"Good night and may the good news be yours!"
Ralph Renick was born on August 9, 1928 and died on July 11, 1991. He started as an intern on South Florida's first TV station, WTVJ-TV Channel 4, in March 1949 after he graduated from the University of Miami. He became the face of WTVJ News for the next 36 years and was a true legend in South Florida. WTVJ was owned by Wometco Enterprises, founded and run by Colonel Mitchell Wolfson
WTVJ-TV became affiliated with the CBS network in 1956. WCKT-TV Channel 7 (now WSVN-TV) started broadcasting that same year as an NBC affiliate. In the late 50's WPST-TV Channel 10 (now WPLG-TV) came alive as an ABC affiliate. Ralph remained the dominant and number one rated news anchor despite the competition.
Ralph began broadcasting nightly editorials "The Ralph Renice Report" on his evening news shows in 1957 and they lasted 30 years. He named Dr. Manolo Reyes, one of the first Spanish-language broadcasters, to launch Miami's first Spanish newscast on WTVJ-TV in 1960.
Mitchell Wolfson died in 1983 and Wometco Enteerprises was sold off to an investment firm (KKR- Kolberg, Kravitz and Roberts), a large leveraged buyout of one billion dollars. Ralph, who had only reported to Mitchell Wolfson instead of a general manager, had that authority diminished, making it unbearable to continue working and he made the decision to leave the station.
Ralph joined WCIX-TV Channel 6 (then independent, now WFOR-TV Channel 4 in a three-way channel swap with Channels 4, 6 and 7) to do a nightly commentary on their news program. He retired in September 1990 due to failing health.
Ralph died at the age of 62 on July 11, 1991, at Cedar Medical Center in Miami after months of complications from liver disease and hepatitis. His wife Dane predeceased him in 1964. They had six children. He was a long-time devout Catholic and his funeral mass was held at St. Mary's Cathedral with Archbishop Edward McCarthy presiding. WTVJ-TV covered the funeral live on a two-hour special report and his funeral was the lead news story on every Miami station.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06U7uhK1YS4 - a great 8-minute YouTube video of WTVJ-TV's newscast on the day Ralph Renick died, with numerous old newscasts and historical facts.
http://www.nbc6.net/station/1221683/detail.html - WTVJ-TV's history website