Andy Gastmeyer of WPXI-TV (11) and Marilyn Brooks of WTAE-TV (4) are retiring this month – both after many years of service to their respective stations.
Gastmeyer has no quams about telling it how it is. The “no features, no fluff” format provides less and less satisfaction for the general assignment reporter who has been with the station 24 years. “I guess I’m one of those dinosaurs”, Gastmeyer told the Post-Gazette, “I had it instilled in me that in this business, you comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. You’re a surrogate for people who don’t enjoy the privileges we in the business enjoy. And there is less and less of that in this highly competative market of Pittsburgh.”
For Brooks the reason isn’t lack of satisfaction. The recent death of her dog and a close-friend who is ill at a young age have inspired the long-time medical reporter to want to live life. “I want to wake up and go for a long walk, and I don’t want to have to put on my war paint. In a way, it’s kind of sad to go, but then I think, ‘No more deadlines, oh whee!’ I’m a happy camper,” she said.
Before coming to Pittsburgh, both reporters worked in DC. Brooks covered the end of Nixon’s Administration for WTTG-TV while Gastmeyer covered White House happenings for two news services which are no longer in existence. Both plan on remaining in Pittsburgh. Gastmeyer will continue to write and tell stories – a website yet to be finalized is in the works. He may teach, but he really wants to travel. Brooks may attempt to get a PhD in public health and may try her hand at teaching.