DENVER - After reporting the news for more than 30 years in Colorado, 7NEWS Anchor Bertha Lynn will become the new executive director of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation.
Lynn was bitten by the broadcasting bug during a chance event in high school. Lynn had been asked to talk about events at her high school on a TV program called, "What's New in the School House," in Seattle.
"I had been an avid TV watcher, but I had never been in a studio," Lynn said. "I went in and fell in love with the environment."
Lynn said the host of the show, Marty Camp Wilson, was mesmerizing.
"She was so very kind, and I stayed in touch with her," Lynn said.
Wilson became a mentor and recommended that Lynn attend Washington State University. She did.
Wilson also introduced Lynn to ABC sportscaster and WSU graduate Keith Jackson. Jackson helped Lynn get a job at KBTV (now KUSA).
"He called one day and said, 'I have a contact at a TV station in Denver,'" Lynn said.
Suddenly Lynn was 1,100 miles from home working as "summer relief," helping on the assignment desk, doing voice overs and other assignments.
"They even let me go on camera," Lynn said.
Lynn said one of the important lessons she learned during her summer job was to be nice to everyone.
"As a summer relief employee, I was just happy to be there," Lynn said. "I was making friends with everybody including the housekeeping people."
The night cleaning lady ended up introducing Lynn to her future husband.
"One day, she said, 'I have an attorney you ought to meet,'" Lynn said.
Lynn responded that she didn't need an attorney, but the woman explained she wanted Lynn to "meet the attorney."
"Then I figured out what she meant," Lynn said.
Lynn was too shy to give out her home number, but she did allow the cleaning lady to give the attorney her work number. During their first conversation, the two figured out they were both to going to an event at the Five Points Community Center. They met, then went to dinner.
"We ended up laughing and talking for hours," Lynn said.
At the end of the summer, Lynn went back to campus only to find out she had finished her requirements and could leave.
"News Director Roger Ogden said, 'Come back,'" Lynn said. And just like that, Lynn was officially a cub reporter.
"I was learning the ropes, covering city council and other events," Lynn said.
Lynn even anchored the short, local news breaks during "Good Morning America," a job she is doing again today.
"What goes around, comes around," Lynn joked.
When the noon newscast anchor Ann Penny left KBTV, Lynn asked for the opportunity to replace her.
"And they gave me a shot," Lynn said.
Lynn anchored the noon and filled in on the evening newscasts when then-main anchors Ed Sardella or Mike Landess were sick or on vacation.
During that time, she also continued dating that lawyer, marrying him three years later. They have three children together.
After eight years at KBTV/KUSA, Lynn moved to KMGH-TV for the opportunity to anchor evenings, starting on weekends. News Director Arta Boley and General Manager Bob White lured Lynn to KMGH from Channel 9.
Lynn worked at KMGH-TV for 29 years anchoring every newscast, covering nearly every major event in Denver including the tragedy at Columbine, the Democratic National Convention and World Youth Day and spending time volunteering in the community.
Lynn served on the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District Board, Regis University Board of Trustees and on the board of the Colorado Women’s Foundation. She has also served as Director on the Boards for the Cherry Creek Arts Festival, the Catholic Foundation of the Archdiocese of Denver, Mayor’s Commission on Art Culture and Film, Children’s Museum, National Jewish Hospital Women's Auxilary, Denver Symphony Association, Safehouse for Battered Women, KCFR Public Radio and National Conference of Christians and Jews. She is also a member of the Denver Art Museum’s African American Outreach Task Force.
Her community work helped inspire her next career choice as executive director of the Children's Diabetes Foundation, a nonprofit foundation dedicated solely to the support of research in childhood diabetes and to provide the best possible clinical and educational programs for children with the disease. The foundation raises money to support the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes.
Lynn remembers when Barbara and Marvin Davis' child was diagnosed with diabetes and they started the foundation.
"I was very impressed by that," Lynn said. "They decided to fight back."
The Barbara Davis Center is now one of the leading research centers.
"It's an organization that is well respected and well run," Lynn said.
Lynn explained that it was hard deciding what to do to follow a 37-year broadcasting career.
"What I hoped was to find something up to that standard," Lynn said. "I didn't want to disappoint viewers or myself."
While some might think this is a big change of life, Lynn said she has always been involved in philanthropy alongside her career in broadcasting.
"It makes sense, like I’ve been training for this my whole professional life," Lynn said.
Lynn said the city, state and Coloradans have been so generous with her, she felt compelled to give back.
"It's so important to me because I feel very fortunate," Lynn said of her community service work.
Lynn said she will miss TV.
"I have lot to be grateful for, " Lynn said. "I've worked with so many incredible people and have had the opportunity to sit down with some of the news makers of our time, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Oprah Winfrey and Colin Powell."