Long-time WNPV sports broadcaster Jim Church (pictured here) has retired from his high school sports interview program On the Bench after 40 years. Station Owner John Skibbe says he was well-liked because he was always positive about student athletes.
“That’s the most important thing, and I think that’s what people enjoyed more than anything. After all, they’re only high school students, and they’re going to make mistakes, but you have to tell about the positive things also.”
Jim says he made mistakes as a three-sport athlete many years ago.
“I missed tackles, I missed free throws, I struck out occasionally. You’ve got to put everything in place. I remember back a long time ago 15, 16 years old, so you can’t fault a kid for that. Let the coach do it.”
Former WNPV News and Sports Director Joe Heyer Junior called in on the final show Saturday and said he learned a lot from Jim.
“Never criticize an athlete, always stay positive, and handle yourself with class on the air, and when you say ‘Jim Church,’ that’s what people think of. It’s funny over the years I’ll bump into a former player from the North Penn area and they ask if Jim Church is still doing games on WNPV, and everyone will say he is so positive with the players and he has such a good way with the coaches, and a lot of guys coming up try to emulate your style and approach things that way.”
Jim Church might fill in occasionally on the Saturday show, and he will do a sports commentary, but at the age of 77 he is pretty much retired.