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There are times that even I don't have the heart to use my "dig a hole" catchphrase. While we never went bowling or to a movie together, I knew Gloria Penner and was fortunate enough to have worked with her on several shows at KPBS. The news of her passing at age 81 from pancreatic cancer saddens me deeply.

Gloria was a tough, committed, and extraordinarily dashing woman who was also astonishingly fast on her feet and never afraid to mix it up with me both on and off the air. Gloria was too busy living her life to spend two hours in the dark eavesdropping on the lives of others, so we seldom talked about movies. Her knowledge of Jewish customs and traditions -- a favorite topic of discussion -- never ceased to amaze me. She was a great listener -- the hallmark of any talk show host worth their salt -- and the times I was able to work with her proved to be as pleasurable as they were enlightening.

Gloria had been with the station since 1969, a remarkable run by all accounts. I join her legion of listeners in expressing my condolences to Bill Snyder, her husband of 26 years, and her sons Steve Penner and Brad Penner. We're going to miss you.

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Comments

FatCatSegat Oct. 7, 2012 @ 6:57 p.m.

Damn! Just heard about her passing today. My favorite station in the city will never be the same without Ms. Penner. Her interviews on both the radio and television were always informative and her soothing voice always made me feel as if I was talking to family. My thoughts and prayers go out to her close ones. God bless you Gloria.

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monaghan Oct. 7, 2012 @ 7:12 p.m.

I doubt that Gloria much appreciated your outre style, Scott, and I mostly remember her as an interrrupter rather than a listener. But she definitely was in institution on the long-running Editors' Roundtable that never, ever, included a reporter/representative of the San Diego Reader. Aside from these cavils, she was an important part of San Diego's KPBS, no doubt about it.

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Scott Marks Oct. 7, 2012 @ 10:42 p.m.

Whether she appreciated my irreverence or not, it never showed when we worked together. She was gracious, very friendly, and genuinely seemed to enjoy herself. (Geez, I hope she didn't roll her eyes the second my back was turned.) And it was always my experience that Gloria was a listener, someone who made it easy to bounce back and forth between questions.

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rdotinga Oct. 7, 2012 @ 9:21 p.m.

It was a shame that the Editor's Roundtable crew was so un-diverse for so long. I called KPBS out a few times in my North County Times radio column about this.

But it did eventually embrace a wide variety of voices, including the editor of CityBeat. So a leftie alternative-press voice did get in there.

As for the show never including a Reader voice:

The Reader loves to antagonize lots of local media outlets, from the U-T to KPBS to VOSD.

It's good, at least in theory, to have a news organization that's not polite. But you can't make bitter enemies in the media and then expect these same folks to invite you on their shows. It doesn't work that way. Instead of whining about who won't talk to it (like the city), the Reader should be proud that it's pissed people off.

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Dorian Hargrove Oct. 8, 2012 @ 1:21 p.m.

I don't whine about the fact that the City won't speak to me/us. I do complain. After all, it is very frustrating to have to find other channels to go through. I think any reporter would agree that an open government in regards to the press is necessary.

On a side note, I always appreciated listening to Mrs. Penner regardless whether she invited the Reader or not.

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Scott Marks Oct. 8, 2012 @ 12:43 p.m.

How come, Mindy? I love crazy originals and learned a lot about Vreeland from watching this movie.

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