Mr. President, I rise to pay tribute to a friend and public servant of New Mexico, Dick Knipfing of Albuquerque.
A few years ago, a New Mexico research company conducted a statewide poll on the popularity of certain well-known people. My name was one of the most recognized, but I wasn't No. 1. The person best known and best liked by New Mexicans was Dick Knipfing.
He is not a politician. He has never been Governor, Senator, mayor, or on any city council. Dick is something more special to everyday citizens--he has been a nightly guest in their living rooms for 40 years.
In July 1963, Dick started as a reporter for the CBS affiliate in Albuquerque. He did it all. He shot and edited his own film, wrote his own scripts, and got to know some of the most influential people in New Mexico. Eventually, Dick became an anchor. Over the course of his career, he moved to the ABC affiliate, then to the NBC station, and back to ABC. This month, he celebrates his 40th anniversary in broadcast journalism at channel 13, the CBS station where it all started.
Since Dick returned to Channel 13, a station whose news had been in the ratings cellar, the station rapidly shot into head-to-head competition with other New Mexico news channels. There is one big reason--Dick Knipfing.
New Mexicans trust Dick as a veteran newsman. He is respected by his colleagues. He has been inducted into the Silver Circle Society by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, one of the organization's highest honors for a television journalist.
Dick Knipfing is revered by viewers because they easily discern that he is devoted to bringing them a comprehensive and accurate look at the day's major news events. Viewers have welcomed him into their homes, either as a reporter or anchor, because he has shown them that he cares very deeply for New Mexico and its people. Dick, and his wonderful wife, Charlene, have made Albuquerque and New Mexico their home, and integrated themselves into activities to make it a better place to live.
Like tens of thousands of New Mexicans, my wife Nancy and I have grown accustomed to Dick's face and his voice. As he marks his 40th anniversary in broadcast journalism, we hope there will be 40 more years of Dick Knipfing to represent the best in broadcasting.
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