Jim Nash, a former reporter at KTLA for more than a decade before his retirement in 2014, died Wednesday night after a cancer diagnosis, according to his family. He was 73.
Nash's illustrious and successful broadcast journalism career began 40 years ago in Denver. He had stops in Idaho, Santa Barbara, Las Vegas and Denver again, before moving to Washington D.C., where he covered the White House under presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
He was a national correspondent for the nationwide chain of Tribune television stations, including KTLA, prior to his move to Los Angeles.
Nash joined the KTLA 5 News team in in September 2000 as a general assignment reporter, covering everything from breaking news to politics and feature stories.
“Kind of an old school reporter, and I used to mimic him from time to time," recalled KTLA reporter Eric Spillman. "But I never really could because when he spoke, it sounded like he knew what he was talking about and he really did.”
Colleagues remembered him fondly for his skill, enthusiasm for the job, his infectious smile — according to Spillman — having "the greatest voice of all time."
"No matter the story, no matter the assignment — good, bad, happy, sad — he always gave it everything, and always, at the end of the day, that wide smile," said KTLA anchor Micah Ohlman.
Added KTLA anchor Cher Calvin, “It didn’t matter what story he was coming back from, he would always light up the newsroom, and I was always so happy to see him.”
The beloved reporter was a well liked, much respected figure in the newsroom, colleagues said.
“Someone I respected tremendously, who I really liked a great deal," KTLA anchor Frank Buckley recalled.
Throughout his decades-long reporting career, Nash interviewed a wide variety of people, including presidents and celebrities. But he said it was the "cop beat" he ultimately favored, and covering the everyday struggles of regular people.
“No story was too big or too small for him. He tackled the feature story just as tough and as strong as he would any investigation," said KTLA News Director Jason Ball.
He also had an extensive business reporting background — during his time in Washington, he reported for the nationally syndicated “First Business” morning program — and enjoyed covering the economy.
Nash retired from KTLA in November 2014 and moved to Denver with his wife of more than three decades, Barbara Lopez-Nash, also a former KTLA employee. He said at that time that he looked forward to being "Grandpa Jim."
Nash called working at the station his “mountain top ... the best place I’ve ever worked — the most talented group of people in this ever-changing news industry. This is the best TV station in America, and I’m proud to be a part of the Channel 5 family.”
For Calvin, Nash was the epitome of the KTLA family.
“He truly was what we mean when we say KTLA family," she said.