Ode to Jim Gardner

Written by Rachael Balascak

December 9, 2022

I am a Philadelphian.

I grew up hearing the 6abc theme song in the background, every night. It signified dinner time and when I was a child, it’s when I would start to daydream. Because honestly, no kid likes the news. But as I matured, so did my taste in entertainment. It’s where I learned about 9/11 and all the wars, Princess Diana’s tragic death, and saw my high school wrestling team featured for winning states. And the voice that delivered that news every time was Jim Gardner.

Fast forward through my adult life, I end up nailing my interview at 6abc Action News and begin working as a Broadcast Designer in 2010. That first week was a blur, but the moment that stands out the most is walking by Jim’s desk in the cubicle farm of the newsroom. My heart stopped a couple days later when he came into the art department asking a question about a pre-pro for his show.

Jim Gardner is everything you want in a legend; confidence, composure and kindness. I was lucky enough to work on Jim’s show for 8.5 years, the bustling 6pm and 11pm news shows. I worked Election Night 2016 with him. His comments that evening assured me that I wasn’t crazy. I created custom graphics and animations with his executive producers to make his program stand out. He cares about how he delivers the news. He is a true pro.

The legacy that Jim created for the tri-state area is inspiring. I bet there is no other icon in Philly’s lifetime that can compete with him. And I’m lucky enough to call him my friend. Happy Retirement Mr. Gardner, or as my daughter still calls you while pointing at the tv screen, “Mommy’s boss”.

I hope you enjoy the images I put together. I love the idea of showcasing Jim throughout the years in a creative way and demonstrating some of the talent I learned at my time at Action News. If you are interested in using my photos, please contact me and make sure to credit accordingly.

Rae Balascak
© Rae Hearts Design LLC

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  1. Bob Brittain

    I too have watched Jim Gardners work from the beginning. Your work an amazing way to look at an amazing career. Thank you for these

    • Rae

      Thank you Bob!

  2. Beth Kupfer

    Great tribute and photos. You are a true artistic designer for the network and valued employee.

  3. Carol Bozarth

    Fantastic photos paying tribute to Jim!


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