WABC Pays Tribute to Gil Noble

WABC/Channel 7 remembered its longtime friend and colleague Gil Noble yesterday. On the station’s weekly African-American public affairs show Here and Now, host Sandra Bookman opened the program with a six-minute remembrance of Noble.

Noble, the trailblazing journalist was the co-host and reporter on Like It Is when it debuted in 1968. He remained host of the award-winning show documenting the black experience for 43 years. Noble suffered a severe stroke last summer and died Thursday.

Bookman interspersed vintage clips of Noble, with several former guests sharing their memories. Noble’s daughter Lisa, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte, Reverend Al Sharpton, and former Mayor David Dinkins were among those interviewed for the tribute.

It’s not clear whether Channel 7 rushed to do the Noble piece after his death or if it were recorded previously, given Noble’s deteriorating state. For what it’s worth, Bookman’s voice-over may shed some light.

“For an astounding 43 years, ‘Brother Gil,’ as he is affectionately known, spent every week telling Like It Is.

It is unlikely that Here and Now, the station’s weekly homage to Noble’s Like It Is, would air live, and less likely since it was Easter Sunday.

One criticism for Bookman and WABC: Since she speaks of his work as an “astounding 43 years.” The station should have set aside the entire 30-minute broadcast to pay tribute properly even though Bookman did say there will be more Noble memories.

“In the coming weeks, we will continue with our celebration and look back at Gil’s life and career.”

Without saying another word about Noble, the show resumed its planned segments. Apparently dedicating to Noble, the program ended with his picture, name and saying “1932-2012.”