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TRAFFIC REPORTER YORK LEAVES KTLA IN FRUSTRATION.

Byline: - Valerie Kuklenski

Veteran traffic reporter Jennifer York takes her last spin this morning in the KTLA helicopter. She is resigning because she said Channel 5 would not allow her to grow professionally or take on more varied assignments.

``(News director) Jeff Wald chose to limit me to flying,'' said York, who has been working without a contract since March. ``I felt limited in what I wanted to do. I desire to work very hard and wasn't given an opportunity to do so.''

York has been airborne for 15 years doing traffic reporting, two years with KFWB-AM and the rest with KTLA. In addition to her early-morning shift, she had been a midday anchor and worked as a field producer, but those assignments have been cut back in recent years.

``It's a subjective business and he's the boss and he has a right to choose who's on the air and I have to respect that,'' York said of Wald. ``This is not Channel 5's decision. It was my decision.''

``As far as we're concerned, it's a loss,'' said Carolyn Aguayo, KTLA spokeswoman. ``The viewers will miss her. She was there with the Morning News since its inception in 1991. It's totally her decision to leave, and we're sorry to see her go.''

York's replacement has not been determined. Bill Thomas, her regular substitute, will fill in beginning next week.

For York, the job was more than updating commuters on the latest Sig alerts. She recalls giving viewers the aerial perspective of the 1992 riots and the 1994 Northridge Earthquake as well as significant floods and wildfires.

``I think what I'll miss is being an accurate voice for the people and helping them get through difficult events,'' she said.

York will continue performing at clubs with her York Quartet (news on a CD and upcoming gigs is at jenniferyork.com), and she is working toward a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. She expects to return to broadcast journalism.

``As Arnold Schwarzenegger says, 'I'll be back,' '' she said.

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Beyond traffic updates, Jennifer York provided aerial coverage of the 1992 riots and the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 15, 2004
Words:360
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