ABC7 reporter and longtime host of Eyewitness Newsmakers Adrienne Alpert is hanging up her microphone after a quarter century at ABC7 and 48 years in the news business.
"I just got up one day and said, it's time," says Adrienne. "My son said, go 50 years and then you can say you've worked half a century. And I think almost half a century is good enough."
Adrienne's long and storied career in journalism began in San Diego with her first on-air job in news radio. But her love of journalism began in elementary school when she put out a community newspaper called the "Alpert Bulletin."
Her inspiration? The comic strip, "Brenda Starr, Reporter."
"I'm reading this comic that shows this red-haired woman having these adventures; that's what I want to do," recalls Adrienne. "I got seduced by journalism very early on in life."
Radio led to a TV gig at the ABC affiliate in San Diego where Adrienne started as an assignment editor and worked her way into an on-air position. She stayed there for 19 years - reporting, anchoring and hosting a political show also called, "Newsmakers."
Adrienne made the move to Los Angeles and ABC7 Eyewitness News in 1996 and quickly learned that L.A. is a hotbed for breaking news.
"All the breaking news you can think of, and I was usually in the A-block with the breaking news," says Adrienne. "I first got here, and I think there was a missing child, and we went up in the satellite truck, and I didn't come back for two days. I thought, wow - this is Los Angeles."
On May 22, 2000, Adrienne was covering an event that would change her life. The mast on her news van came too close to high-voltage power lines, setting off an electrical explosion.
"What I can say to start with the accident is... I wish it hadn't happened," says Adrienne. "But if I held any bitterness or anger inside of me, it would have killed me - not the accident."
"So, I knew I had to let that go as fast as I could, and that's what would get me up and going again, and it did."
Adrienne spent three months in a burn center and four months in rehab before returning to work at Eyewitness News in January 2001.
"During my recovery, I got hundreds of cards and letters," says Adrienne. "That really lifted my spirits... and it gave me something to look forward to. So, it was really important to hear from people and it was great."
Since then, she's interviewed newsmakers of all types, from governors, mayors and police chiefs to chefs, artists, architects and costume designers.
"I just like politics," she says. "Elected officials are the people we most need to hold accountable. And I'm a pretty tenacious interviewer as far as asking questions. I'm not afraid to ask questions."
"My love is also the arts, and I still love fashion, and I still love doing costumes and all the other stories that I've done over the years, which have always meant a lot to me. It's sort of my vacation from politics."
But politics has always been Adrienne's forte, and she began hosting "Eyewitness Newsmakers" in the fall of 2004. The half-hour program gave guests the space and time to delve more deeply into the issues that affect Southern Californians.
"This has been my first love, and I came back around to it," says Adrienne. "The long format interview, unscripted --- I think is the best interview there is."
Adrienne has won Emmy, Golden Mike, SPJ and Associated Press awards and has been a contributor to a team that won Edward R. Murrow awards.
"I've gotten to be an eyewitness to history," says Adrienne. "That's what this job has been."
Watch the full interview with Adrienne Alpert, where she talks about her nearly 50 years in the news business, by downloading our streaming apps for Roku, Amazon FireTV, AppleTV and Android TV.