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St. Louis TV's First Female Hard News Reporter Signs Off

After 46 years in St. Louis TV, Betsey Bruce, who is credited with being the city’s first woman assigned to cover hard news, has shifted into retirement.

Bruce signed off from Tribune-owned Fox affiliate KTVI on Friday, capping a career in local TV that started in 1970 at KMOV, Meredith’s CBS affiliate.

Bruce, who comes from a family of journalists, told St. Louis Public Radio that when she first got into local TV that St. Louis’ few female broadcast journalists were focused more on feature and public affairs than on hard news. “It wasn’t that these women weren’t doing stories in the field, they did, but I was the first full-time and the first to do hard news on a regular basis,” she said.

At that time, she said, there were no sure-bets for the longevity of female broadcasters—and it was still difficult for women to reconcile whether they could work full-time and have a family.

“I couldn’t walk away from the job and expect to come back to it,” Bruce said. “There was a sense that you were at a time that you needed to lay a trail, lay a path.”