Long before the era of 24/7 news channels, in the 1970s, I grew up in a house that never missed the local news on the TV (or radio or newspaper for that matter. And back in the 1970s and 1980s–when you were watching Channel 5 (then a CBS affiliate) WAGA-TV–you were watching news anchor Jim Axel. The man commanded my attention and informed me as a kid, he’s part of my news junkie childhood memories.
Jim Axel died on Saturday, after a long battle with cancer. AJC’s Rodney Ho and Doug Richards (former WAGA, currently WXIA). Both articles link to WAGA’s coverage of his passing, but I linked to Ho and Richards’ pieces mostly because of the tributes that flow out of the comments sections in both posts. I was pleasantly surprised to see a comment from Axel’s former co-anchor Chuck Moore (another name I grew up respecting).
A few things are clear in reading the comments, Axel cared about his friends and his co-workers — almost as much as he loved his family. And Axel was at peace with his passing and how he had lived his life. And not everyone can pull that off. It’s not easy–and there’s a lesson to be taken away from that. Yet again, years after leaving TV news, Jim Axel one last time gave this news junkie some information that he could use.