ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - For the last 34 years, Jennifer Blome has shared her warmth, caring smile, and integrity with the St. Louis community and NewsChannel 5 viewers. On Friday, the longtime Today in St. Louis anchor announced her retirement.

Jennifer will leave the broadcast journalism industry and spend her retirement focusing another passion of hers. She will become the director of humane education at the Animal Protective Association of Missouri.

"It has been an honor to be part of an exceptional team of journalists on Today in St. Louis," said Blome. "Thank you for inviting us into your homes in the morning. Thank you for the feedback over the years. And special thanks to all of you who have adopted the thousands of pets we have featured on Sammy's Stars every day."

Jennifer's last day at NewsChannel 5 will be Friday, March 28.

She began her career at NewsChannel 5 in December 1979 as weekend weathercaster and weekday reporter by then-news director George Noory, now the host of Coast-to-Coast AM, an overnight radio program about extra terrestrials.

When KSDK launched St. Louis' first morning newscast in the early 80s, Jennifer was the sole anchor. She was later paired with Tom O'Neal and in 1989 began a decades-long co-anchoring partnership with Art Holliday.

"Jennifer and I shared the morning anchor desk for more than two decades," Holliday said. "She welcomed me to the show and became a great friend and colleague. She is a true professional and I will definitely miss working with her."

In 2011, Pat McGonigle joined the Today in St. Louis team as Jennifer's co-anchor. McGonigle counted Jennifer as a mentor and great friend to his family since moving back to the city.

"I have learned so much from her. She has not attained her professional status simply because of longevity, but through her years of reporting, her service to our community, and her dedication to the issues and people of St. Louis," McGonigle said. "She's the best I've ever been around, hands down."

Lynn Beall, president and general manager of KSDK, praised Blome as a consummate professional and pioneer for women in the industry.

"When you think of morning news in St. Louis, you automatically think of Jennifer Blome," Beall said.

Jennifer got her undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University, and earned a master's degree in social work at Washington University St. Louis while anchoring at KSDK.

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