Earlier today, Gardner informed his colleagues of his decision to reduce his schedule by continuing to anchor the 6 p.m. newscast, with Ducis Rodgers and Meteorologist Cecily Tynan, but no longer anchoring the 11 p.m. newscast. His last late newscast is scheduled for early January. WPVI will announce his replacement in the coming months.
"It's hard to imagine that I have had the opportunity to spend a professional lifetime with colleagues so committed, resourceful and wonderful. They have taught me so much about television journalism and about myself. I am profoundly grateful," said Gardner.
"I have spent most of my adult life at Action News, and many of our viewers have grown up and experienced life along with me and the on-air team I've worked side-by-side with. I've been blessed to raise a family here and to be a member of this community over the past 45 years. I feel I have a special relationship with our viewers and the communities we serve, and I plan to continue to enjoy every minute with them over the next year."
Gardner has held the long-tenured position of anchor of Action News at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. since May 11, 1977, after joining WPVI as a reporter and anchor during the Noon newscast on June 1, 1976.
Bernie Prazenica, president and general manager of WPVI, shared his thoughts: "For many of us, Jim is the last news voice we hear before ending our day. He has guided us through the good and the bad with calm confidence for more than 40 years, often reassuring us that tomorrow will bring a better day. His presence will be missed by our viewers and by all of us at 6abc. Thankfully, we have another year with him during the 6 p.m. newscast, and we look forward to his continued presence and leadership."
Gardner received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in 1970. Following his graduation, Gardner worked briefly on the radio at the all-news WINS Radio in New York and later WFAS Radio in White Plains, New York.
He began his television broadcast career at WKBW-TV in Buffalo before joining WPVI, where he has remained for more than four decades.