April 6, 2017
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This week Joe and Richard welcomed the beloved and notable Bree Walker, retired television news anchor, investigative reporter, producer, actress, disability rights activist and warrior for many good causes. Walker started her career in the mid-1970s in Kansas as the first ever commercial FM rock and roll disk jockey. It wasn’t long before she and her hit show got offers to move to New York where she became the first-ever female morning disk jockey. In 1978 she moved to San Diego and became the highest-rated FM disk jockey at KPRI. In 1980, she followed her desire to work in TV news and became a consumer advocacy reporter at KGTV Channel 10. Soon thereafter, she became a news anchor and decided to wear prosthetic hands to cover her fused fingers. After a short while, she was ready to end her anchoring duties due to the discomfort of working with prosthetics. To his credit, news director Ron Mires suggested that Bree discard the gloves and continue to do her great anchoring work. It was a life-changing event. Eventually Bree was partnered with Carol LeBeau to co-anchor their 11pm Nightcast, the first news program in the nation anchored by two women.
Established and well into her career at KGTV Channel 10 in San Diego, Walker decided to go public with her ectrodactyly after previously keeping her hands hidden inside a pair of glove-like prosthetic ones. After seven years in San Diego, Walker moved to WCBS-TV in New York and finally KCBS-TV in Los Angeles.
Walker has also dabbled in acting, appearing as herself in the end-of-the-world science-fiction thriller, “Without Warning”, and as a television reporter, Wendy Sorenson, in The Chase. She also guest-starred on an episode of the PBS children’s series, Reading Rainbow, to talk about her disability. Walker furthered her acting career in 2006 by appearing as an inspirational woman with ectrodactyly on the fourth-season premiere of “Nip/Tuck”. Bree also appeared in the HBO series, “Carnivale” as Sabina, the Scorpion Queen.
Walker was nominated and inducted into the San Diego Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010 hosted by Women’s Museum of California, Commission on the Status of Women, University of California, San Diego Women’s Center, and San Diego State University Women’s Studies. She served on the President’s Committee for Employment of the Handicapped, the California Governor’s Committee and The Board of Directors of the Women’s International Center. She has also earned several awards for her works including the 1992 National Courage Award from the Courage Center in Minneapolis and the Senator Robert Dole Foundation’s Media Awareness Award, given in Washington, D.C. in 1992. Bree now primarily resides in Hawaii and is working on further self-improvement re her health and well-being and philanthropic causes.
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Bob Babbitt, Co-Founder of the Challenged Athletes Foundation and Kathy Kinane Co-Founder of the O’side Turkey Trot
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