It was sad to learn today that former, very admired and respected, WCCO-TV and CNN newscaster, "Skip" Loescher passed away last Friday in Annapolis, Maryland. He and his wife, Beverly, were great friends to my family and me during and after my years at KSTP-TV. Immediately prior to writing this, I spoke with Beverly on the phone. She described the painfulness of Skip's last couple weeks. It was difficult to hear a man as dynamic, vital and vibrant as Skip would need hospice care at home and meet such a debilitating end to his otherwise very energetic and full-of-life life.
When I moved to the Twin Cities from Las Vegas to begin working for KSTP-TV in late 1970 (with my first actual weathercast here debuting July 19, 1971), I watched Skip frequently and admired his direct and no-nonsense style, which was real and not forceful just for "show". During those years, Skip, Bev and my family and I got together occasionally socially, but it was after I left to join WJLA-TV in D.C. that we became much closer, as Skip and Bev had moved there, too, either shortly before or after I made the move. (Can't fully remember. Senior moment.) We had great social times together, and even "baby-sat" their furniture when they were ready to make another move, thanks to the nuances of the broadcast business. I wasn't aware at the time, but was told today, Skip was also Vice President Mondale's Press Secretary during those years and Beverly was in charge of securing C-SPAN's congressional guests for many years. Halcyon days, indeed. In later years, while weekend weathercasting at The Satellite News Channels in Stamford, Connecticut (with Paul Douglas, where we met, circa early 1980s), Skip would occasionally be at our studios for special news stories he was then doing as a full-time CNN newscaster/reporter.
Those who remember Skip from his Channel 4 newscasting days here will surely feel they've lost one of the stronger icons in local broadcast television, and those nationally who remember Skip's straightforward and super-professional reportorial skills will feel similar pangs of sadness and loss. They just don't make 'em like Skip anymore. He wasn't one in a million. He was simply "one". Farewell, great friend and great broadcaster.
Footnote: I had intended to comment about occurrences of the past few days and weeks in this space, but will do so next time. Skip's passing deserved precedence. As always, thanks for taking the time to read these shared reflections and recollections.