A look back at the 38-year TV career of Barbara Reyelts - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

A look back at the 38-year TV career of Barbara Reyelts

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DULUTH, MN -

This Friday we say farewell to Barbara Reyelts.

We're losing her to retirement.

From an intern to now News Director, Barbara has been a staple of the Northland media for 38 years.

In that time as a broadcast journalist, Barbara Reyelts has appeared on just about every Northland TV station's air.

Her journey began in college, working as a model to pay for her first degree.

"It was fun but didn't require a lot of thinking. I wanted to follow in my mother's foot steps and she was a journalist," said Reyelts.

So that next degree found Reyelts, a native of Canada, in Duluth, interning at a newspaper, a radio station and KBJR-TV.

She tried to say goodbye to the station manager on the last day of that internship in 1979.

"He said that's no good. We'll see you tomorrow and give you a job," said Reyelts.

It didn't take long for the reporter and Live At Five anchor to start hobnobbing with all sorts of celebrities.

She taught David Letterman about taconite and even mailed him some.

"A few weeks later he opened the envelope and he had our taconite on the David Letterman Show," said Reyelts.

Some of Barbara's reports contained high adventure.

She was reporting on the 1988 Duluth Independence Day fireworks when they all went off at once.

Caught off guard for a second, Reyelts then ran toward the danger.

"Well, the fireworks were spectacular but short. My crew and I picked up our gear and and ran through the crowd to where the explosion happened," said Reyelts.

Incredibly, no one was injured in that news story.

Unfortunately, Reyelts has also covered tragedy in her long career.

She's proud that her coverage of the Katie Poirer murder helped lead to a law protecting others.

"Senator Becky Laurey asked me to testify before the Minnesota legislature. It did seem to make a difference in deciding on that law," said Reyelts.

In the last decade, Reyelts continued investigative reporting, became the news director for KBJR6 and CBS 3, and found the time to earn her U.S. citizenship.

She retires on Friday and leaves with advice for young reporters.

"These days with all the allegations of fake news, which is a term I hate, we have to go the extra mile to make sure everything we're saying is factual and fair and unbiased," said Reyelts.

So, what does Barbara plan to do with her time once she retires?

She's been working on a book of fiction.

As she shops around for a publisher, she says writing fiction is a lot different from the factual news reports she's been doing for nearly 40 years.

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