Trudy Haynes, Philadelphia’s first Black on air reporter has died at the age of 95.
After beginning her career in Detroit, as the country’s first Black weather reporter in 1963, she continued to Blaze trails for Black people and women in the world of broadcasting. She had set her sights on Pennsylvania by 1965, where she worked for Philadelphia’s CBS station KYW for over thirty years before retiring in 1999.
“When I went out on the story, I did what I thought the story should be about. And I made a point when they were edited to include whatever our brown story was,” Haynes once said. “We needed to tell our own stories about our own people.”
The PABJ said in a statement on Twitter: “Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists is saddened by the recent news that Broadcast Legend Trudy Hayes has passed this morning at 95-years-old. We’re not mourning, but will continue celebrating her trailblazing life and legacy.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer also spoke on the life of Haynes, saying that she “became a trusted reporter, host and local personality and told the day-to-day stories of Black Philadelphians—a community then covered ‘very little’ outside of tragedy by an all-white newsroom.”
Former KYW reporter and current WHYY radio host Cherri Gregg said that Haynes surprised her by calling out of the blue when she was hired by KYW in 2010.
“I don’t even know how she got my number,” said Gregg. “But you know, for someone who I saw on the walls of Channel 3 to call me up, unsolicited and tell me that she knew I was going to be successful—it meant a lot.”
Haynes’ workplace alma mater also penned a message about their beloved former reporter. “Haynes transformed the face of the news industry when she became Philadelphia’s first Black TV reporter,” the website reads. “Now, we celebrate her life and all that she meant to us and the legacy she leaves behind.