Jim Axel, news anchor for WAGA TV when I was a child, died Saturday at age 75.
He was one of those news people you could believe. He looked you in the eye and told you what it was, whether it was good or not.
He worked in the days of TV News authority, not the current "we report, you decide" mentality. Jim Axel reported, decided, and you could take it or leave it.
My family watched Channel 5 Eyewitness News almost exclusively. Probably more for Ed Thilenius' sports (he was from my hometown), and Guy Sharpe's weather (he was from The Rock, Georgia, halfway between Barnesville and Thomaston).
But they didn't call Jim Axel (what a name!) the "anchor" for nothing. He opened the newscast, hovered throughout, and closed it when it was over. There was no "co-anchor" to throw it to. He was tough but compassionate, no-nonsense and humorous when it was called for. One of those men who pass through but once.
Why all the fuss over a retired newsman? Read it again. From my perspective Jim Axel was a man's man. Just what we needed then.
And need more now.