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Column: Barbara-Lee Edwards bids farewell to CBS 8 news desk

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Comments of compassion, sympathy and understanding poured in after CBS 8 presenter Barbara-Lee Edwards video said goodbye Wednesday on the evening newscast.

She has been on the sidelines since suffering a brain hemorrhage after returning from work on December 23, 2020. Since then, the Emmy-winning broadcast reporter has been recovering at her Encinitas home – walking around, eating healthily and undergoing regular medical examinations. .

But living in TV news limbo ended this week. “Bittersweet day of laughs, tears and lots of hugs,” she announced on her Facebook page. “I officially resigned my anchor position at CBS 8 to focus on my health and recover from a brain hemorrhage I suffered in December.”

“Although this is over for now,” she posted to subscribers, “you will always be a part of me.”

Edwards had suffered from a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which bleeds from a vein, unlike a stroke or an aneurysm, which involves a torn or blocked artery.

When I checked in with Edwards last March, she was hoping to eventually return to the Channel 8 news desk alongside co-host Carlo Cecchetto.

On Wednesday’s show, however, she made it clear that this was not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

In an interview recorded last week with fellow CBS 8 colleague and friend Marcella Lee, who replaced Edwards on the presenters desk, Edwards told viewers she was not ready to face the intense pressure posed by the urgent stories, which comes with the job.

Marcella Lee, right, replaced CBS 8 presenter Barbara-Lee Edwards, left, and interviewed Edwards at home last week for the Oct. 27 newscast.

(Courtesy photo)

She told Lee that she would have a hard time with that, “Can I operate at the level I was operating at?” No.”

That’s why, after 20 years, it’s time to quit your dream job.

“The support I received from viewers was absolutely overwhelming,” said Edwards, adding that many people have shared their own experiences of brain injury.

Cecchetto has also received numerous texts and emails requesting information about his co-presenter. “I was uncomfortable sharing more than I had to say,” he told viewers. He was waiting for Edwards to have a chance to explain what was going on.

In addition to Lee’s interview and a larger-than-life “We Love You, Barbara-Lee” backdrop during the news segment, the CBS 8 news family joined her, offering a cake and congratulations, to celebrate his career in the patio of the studio. .

In keeping with a CBS 8 tradition for departing employees, the station gifted him a “psychic” 8 ball. Edwards asked the token crystal ball if she sees her coming back to work on Channel 8 in the future.

She liked the 8-bullet response: “I can’t answer that right now.”

After consulting with her neuropsychic medical team, she realized that it was simply too early to recover daily in a pressure cooker work environment. Her doctors estimate a full recovery can take up to 24 to 36 months.

“It was really hard,” to make the announcement this week, she told me. “It was my dream job. I liked everything, especially the people I worked with.

A comeback might be possible if she recovers to the point where her doctor thinks she might be working in a pressured situation. “The station left the door open for me,” she added.

After the party, Edwards posted a thank you on Facebook to his KFMB family: “I feel very blessed to be here again and to continue my wonderful journey in life… wherever it takes me.

She made it clear in the video broadcast that it wouldn’t take her away from San Diego: “It’s also my dream place to live, so I’m not going anywhere.”

From TV to print: Journalist Don Harrison, who founded the San Diego Jewish World in 2007, has announced that he will sell the daily online publication and step down as publisher and editor at the end of the year.

Jacob Kamaras, former editor of the National Jewish News Syndicate, has been chosen to succeed Harrison, who previously reported for the Associated Press and covered politics for The San Diego Union.

Last January, Harrison underwent surgery for a brain tumor, followed by knee surgery in May. Although he’s recovered from both medical procedures, he says it’s time to move on to other plans. He will remain Editor Emeritus and continue to write for publication, primarily on travelogues and book reviews.

Kamaras, 35, moved to La Jolla two years ago and was hired as editor in May. He edited the post two days a week until he became the owner on January 1. One of its goals is to extend the reach of Jewish World to a younger population.

During this time, Harrison began writing his seventh book, a sequel to “77 Miles of Jewish Stories,” in which he drove along I-8 from the Pacific Ocean to the Imperial County Line and descended at each exit along the 77 mile highway. to find at least one story related to Jewish history, settlement or people.

Now he has started the same journey but along I-5 from the Mexican border to the Orange County border. So far, his literary journeys have taken him north to the B Street exit of I-5.

“Now, at 76, I would like to do something other than sit in the editor’s chair,” says Harrison, noting that his wife, Nancy, always berated him for staying in their booth to edit the. San Diego Jewish World when they were on a cruise.


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