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March 9, 2012 > KQED's Belva Davis to retire

KQED's Belva Davis to retire

Submitted By Evren Odcikin

Belva Davis, the award-winning host of This Week in Northern California on KQED Public Television, has announced she will retire from the anchor chair after 19 years. Davis, who was the first female African-American TV journalist in the West, has been in broadcast journalism for almost half a century. She has reported on many of the most important stories of our time, including the UC Berkeley Free Speech Movement student protests, the birth of the Black Panthers, the Peoples Temple cult that ended in the mass suicides at Jonestown, the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, the onset of the AIDS epidemic, and the terrorist attacks on the U.S. embassy in Tanzania that first put Osama bin Laden on the FBI's Most Wanted List.

Davis will lead KQED Public Television's expanded coverage of the 2012 local and national elections before giving her final broadcast on Friday, November 9, 2012. KQED will celebrate Davis's career throughout the year, which will culminate with a special event commemorating her distinguished legacy.

"I have enjoyed a unique and long career here in the Bay Area and have been witness to some of the most explosive stories of the last half century. I'm truly thankful for the support of everyone at KQED and the loyalty of our audiences throughout my time on the air," said Davis, who has received several dozen awards for her journalism, including eight local Emmys. "I began my career with the coverage of the 1964 elections and I'm thrilled that I shall be devoting my last months on the air to the elections of 2012."

"Belva Davis is an icon of fair, thorough and local journalism and she has opened up so many doors for women and African Americans in television and beyond," said John Boland, KQED president. "We count ourselves lucky to have had such a trailblazer as part of the KQED family. We will continue our commitment to our weekly public affairs and news programming and will build on the insightful and thought-provoking coverage that Belva has so brilliantly led over the last two decades."

"I want to recognize the extraordinary contribution that Belva has made to the debate in our state," U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said. "When she speaks, people listen. They respect what she has to say and we're very, very proud of her."

Prior to her post on KQED-9, Davis anchored news programs on Bay Area stations KPIX-TV and KRON-TV. She is also the author of a memoir, "Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman's Life in Journalism" which chronicles her experience as the first African-American woman hired to work as a television news reporter on the West Coast. An inspiration for professional and aspiring journalists, Davis has interviewed several U.S. presidents and other world leaders. She is also celebrated for her community involvement as a board member for various Bay area non-profits and a staunch supporter of numerous cultural institutions.

This Week in Northern California airs Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 1:30 a.m. on KQED 9 and KQED Life. Encore presentations on KQED World are on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 1 a.m.

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