Annual “Broadcast Babes” reunion celebrates TV trailblazers

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NAPLES, Fla. — Janice McDonnell can recall when she first heard of the gathering.

“One day I went to the mailbox and there was this little invitation [that said] Broadcast Babes on the Beach,” Janice said.

Little did she know then that the event would become a highly-anticipated tradition. 

Each year, women from across the country have gathered in Naples for a broadcasting reunion unlike any other. Each of the attendees has built a celebrated career in television news.

“There was always the good old boys network,” Denise Cobb, who started the group, said. “We could get the good old girls network going.” 

Members of the “Broadcast Babes” include former and current television anchors, reporters, producers, and photojournalists. Denise hosts many of the events at her Naples home.

“I don’t even want to think about how much news experience is sitting in this room,” Margaret Larson, a former TODAY show anchor, said during the group’s most recent gathering this summer. “It’s going to make me cry because I really do love them.” 

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At the core of the group is friendship. The women have formed bonds that have helped them navigate a tough industry together.

“It’s been invaluable,” Corita Gravitt said. “And it’s just fun.” 

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