After 25 years at WDIV as a popular weeknight news anchor and award
winning consumer investigator, Ruth Spencer will retire from her 35 year
career in television news at the end of 2015.
Upon graduating from San Francisco State University with a BA degree in
broadcast journalism Ruth worked as a news assignment editor and field
producer at both KPIX and KRON TV in the city. But she wanted to perfect
the on air work she had started at the university and at the public TV station
KQED. So she took a 50 percent cut in salary and jumped into a small market that
was full of novice anchors and reporters, KRDO in Colorado Springs.
After a year in Colorado Ruth was hired into a medium market, Little Rock,
Arkansas, as KATV’s first female week night co-anchor.
The head hunters kept calling and it wasn’t long before Ruth was hired into
a top twenty market at KSTP in Minneapolis/St. Paul. There she served as the
main weeknight co-anchor for five years before coming to WDIV, a top ten news market.
Ruth was hired at Local 4 to be Emery King’s weeknight co-anchor on the
6 p.m. news. She is grateful that Detroit area viewers enjoyed their team
work and that Ruth and Emery enjoyed their number one rating on that
newscast for 13 years.
Ruth also feels lucky to have been given the consumer investigator role
at Local 4 when Asa Aarons left for a reporting job in New York. The
consumer unit was renamed “Ruth to the Rescue” and Ruth became a
popular advocate for Local 4 viewers who had unresolved complaints about
businesses, products and services.
Ruth is married to a native Detroiter who is an attorney and the couple
has a daughter who attends The University of Michigan. The family would
spend their annual beach vacations in Longboat Key, Florida and have been
building a house there in which to retire.
In order to exercise an option in her current contract to leave early, Ruth gave
six months written notice to the station on the last day of June this year. One
week later the station publically announced Ruth’s plan to co-retire with her
husband to their new life together in their new house in the sunshine state.
Ruth says she won’t miss the stress of TV news but will miss loyal Local 4
viewers who have always been lavish with their kind thoughts and words
in person, in emails, and in cards and phone calls.
From age 11 the San Diego native spent many years in the serious study of
ballet and later danced roles with Oakland Metropolitan Ballet in Oakland,
California. In fact, Ruth put herself through college teaching ballet at several
ballet schools in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Besides a love for the performing arts and a love of classical music, Ruth also
enjoys hours on the beach in the early morning hours gathering sea shells to
add to her large collection. Gardening is another hobby of hers along with
traveling, reading and watching movies and documentaries.
Ruth says it’s been a privilege to serve WDIV’s viewers with news and information. And for those who have appeared in her stories - especially the children - she's honored to have served with care, concern and her love.
-A Simple Path, by Mother Teresa
-My Descent Into Death: A Second Chance at Life, by Howard Storm
The Wizard of Oz; Funny Girl; The Turning Point; The Elephant Man; Brave Heart, The Bird Cage