Phoenix Traffic Reporter, Jerry Foster, Dead @ 82

Retired KPNX 12News/Phoenix reporter Jerry Foster died Friday after a battle with lung cancer, according to his wife, Linda. He was 82 years old. Foster was Arizona’s first sky broadcaster, bringing families the news from a helicopter to their homes between the 1970s and the early 1990s. Foster led a colorful life that was not without controversy. As he wrote in his 500-page memoir, Earthbound Misfits, he was dishonorably discharged from the military. After he left 12News, he pleaded guilty to drug charges in 1996. He had clashes with the FAA over some of his methods and once had his license suspended. Foster also helped law enforcement with manhunts, searches, and rescues when many police departments did not yet have helicopters. One of Foster’s last wishes was to soar through the air in a helicopter for one final flight, one last time. In January, Hospice of the Valley made that wish come true. (12News, AZCentral)

12 News/KPNX Traffic Reporter, Jerry Foster

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Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of QZVX, former broadcaster at KTOY FM/Tacoma, KVAC/Forks , KDFL/Sumner, KTTX & KWHI FM/Brenham (TX), KONP/Port Angeles, KBAM/Longview, KJUN/Puyallup, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KAMT/Tacoma, KASY/Auburn, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KTAC/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. -- Airchecks

4 thoughts on “Phoenix Traffic Reporter, Jerry Foster, Dead @ 82

  1. I think his popularity is what kicked off the trend of local stations having their own helicopter. The KTLA/KNBC Telecopter had been alone in the skies for 20 years until Jerry Foster in Phoenix came on the scene. The cost (and size) of ENG equipment coming down probably had something to do with it as well.

    I do wonder why no one else built their own Telecopter in the ’60s or early ’70s. While it would have been probably too expensive for your average station, I’m surprised a network O&O in New York or L.A. didn’t develop one.

  2. I saw a real dichotomy between in that he had trouble with the law yet was helpful in solving crimes. That makes it interesting.

    1. Coincidence maybe. Or are all traffic reporters a bit troubled? Brendle had depression, but I don’t think he had criminal tendencies. Foster was an excellent reporter and popular with listeners. Sounds like he had issues with authority, at least.

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