Signing Off The Air: IPR's Pat Blank Retires After 43 Years In Broadcasting
During this Talk of Iowa podcast episode, IPR's Charity Nebbe talks with Pat Blank, host of All Things Considered, about her 43-year broadcasting career, and what comes next.
Pat wrote a lovely letter to say goodbye, which you can read below.
As I wrap up my 43-year broadcasting career, 33 with Iowa Public Radio, I want to thank you for being part of my journey.
You may have been a source for a story, the subject of a news event or just along for the ride as the broadcast unfolded.
You have been there as presidential candidates, the King of Norway and even the Dalai Lama crossed my path.
You were there for live reports on election night, you cheered from the sidelines as the UNI Panthers made an unforgettable trip to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen basketball tournament. And you shed a tear as lives were lost and several NE Iowa towns, especially Parkersburg, were torn apart by an EF5 tornado.
You rode the uncertainty of a merger of three local public stations into one. We had some growing pains for sure, but we’ve emerged stronger and better together.
In 2014, I was honored to receive the Iowa Broadcast News Association’s highest award named after legendary broadcaster Jack Shelley. As a bonus, Judy Woodruff of PBS was at the convention and was the one who presented it. Again you were there to congratulate me and I was humbled.
As I prepare to hang up my headphones and turn off the microphone please know that I have felt your presence all these years, during the pledge drives and just on a daily basis as you listen from your car, tractor, barn or your home during the pandemic.
When you hear the 6:04 newscast you can say, Pat Blank made that happen. I felt bad for our Statehouse reporters who filed a story just after 5:30 and wouldn’t have their material broadcast until the next morning. So I suggested and got approval to do one last short broadcast at the end of the shift.
I plan to stay busy with multiple volunteer projects and I raise Nigerian Dwarf goats for 4H kids. I will miss you, but don’t fret, you and me will be just fine.