You couldn’t be in the newsroom and not interact with Dorraine – RJR’s premier newsreader. Never, ever late to studio, always arriving in enough time to read through the bulletin thoroughly, and yet managing to deliver scripts she was seeing for the first time with as much confidence and smoothness as those she had read half an hour before.
Always courteous and pleasant, Dorraine would greet everyone with the same polite, smiling hello. She religiously attended the TV news post-production meetings, politely pointing out any errors that had been in the scripts or any pronunciation issues she thought needed to be raised.
But my major interaction with Dorraine was on the annual RJR News Year in Review, which I have written and produced for over a decade, and which Dorraine and Derick Wilks anchored. She was a dream to work with. Always on time, always calm, no matter what other external factors were causing problems for the production, and of course, giving top class delivery every time. At the same time, you’re going to get mistakes when reading hour-long scripts, and we had many a chuckle whenever I had to stop her or Derrick and correct any flubs or comical errors they may have made.
At the end of the taping, I’d thank them both, and say something like “See you next year!”
I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that there will not be a “next year” for Dorraine. However, I’ll always be proud that I get to say that I had the pleasure of working with her. May we always strive to live up to the standards she set. She was the consummate broadcaster, and better yet, a truly decent human being.