News 5 employees honor retiring Leon Bibb, Lee Jordan

Posted at 2:25 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-27 13:57:15-04

As Leon Bibb and Lee Jordan prepare to retire, we here at News 5 are saying 'Thank you!'

Read the comments below from people who spent every day alongside these legendary journalists: 

Leon, I grew up watching you here in northeast Ohio, and have always looked up to you as a mentor, a friend, and an inspiration while working with you at here at News 5.  It's hard for me to put into words the impact and positive force you've had on our newsroom, and to thousands and thousands of viewers in our community.  Your ability to put critical perspective and insights on key issues faced by all of us, will never be duplicated in the realm of Cleveland market television.  I've just been one of the many who have been blessed to work with such a local news legend.  Leon congratulations on your retirement, and I look forward to your continued commentaries on News 5!

Lee, Cleveland television and our newsroom will never be the same without you.  Your amazing talent, credibility and compassion in telling stories can not be replaced.  Congratulations on your retirement!  I'm so happy for you!  Still, thousands and thousands of viewers will miss watching your reports everyday, and I will miss your leadership and great sense of humor in our newsroom.  I was so blessed to have you as a colleague.

- Joe Pagonakis

Leon Bibb IS Cleveland. He represents the best in all of us, and has for decades. A role model, friend, and hero inside the newsroom and out, Mr. Bibb is what every journalist should aspire to be, and what every Clevelander should be proud to call one of their own.

Lee Jordan is a talent who can do it all, and in her 30-years at News 5, she DID it all. A groundbreaking journalist as an anchor who showed us all how this job should be done. Our viewers will miss Lee on the air, and so will; but I’ll miss laughs in the news room, the moments that make our “work family” what it is.

You can point to the years of service walking out that door, and, yes, the number’s very impressive. But it pales in comparison to the quality of those years, and the quality of the two people who put in all that work. Unequaled grace, dignity and class walk out that door when Lee and Leon head into their well-earned retirements, and they take the gratitude of every one of us with them.    

- Rob Powers

I got the opportunity to work with Lee and Leon for the past thirteen years.  I have enjoyed many chats and fun stories with Leon.  He is an amazing story teller and such a kind sole.  Lee and I  had several discussions at her desk while I temporarily worked in the news room scheduling vacation time.  She is so down to earth and very easy to talk to.  The community has been blessed with all Lee and Leon have had to offer over the years.  I wish both of them nothing but the best during their next chapter in life.  They both deserve to be able to relax and enjoy a slower, less hectic pace.  News 5 will definitely miss their presence!

- Terri Wood

Leon Bibb is an award winning journalist who uses words like musical notes, as he composes stories that resonate like a favorite song you want to listen to…over and over again. Why? Because Leon’s stories are journalistic masterpieces that inform and inspire you. The soulful tone of his writing makes you feel something. His work touches your spirit and provokes you to think about humanity. Leon’s commitment to the community is unparalleled.  It’s personal for him. He loves the people who make Cleveland a great city and he is a champion for the culture that nurtured his upbringing from a small boy to an accomplished man.  Talking to Leon is like sitting under a tree called Wisdom and being grateful for anything that would fall from its rich branches into your hands. Leon gives you nuggets of wisdom to hold on to, so that you don’t fall into “life” traps that could hinder you from pursuing your dreams. This newsroom, this station, and the community has benefitted greatly from the rich deposits this man gives so graciously. It’s been an honor to work with him and I am a better human being because I have been blessed with the friendship of this powerful pioneer.

Lee Jordan, the name means grace, style, class and integrity. She doesn’t know this, but when I was anchoring the morning show I would watch her in the evenings to learn how to handle breaking news without breaking a sweat.  I would say, “how does she stay so calm and poised?” I would be stumbling and mumbling and a nervous wreck. It’s an attribute I came to truly admire and respect as her co-anchor during the 5pm newscast. We learned how to work together and make some of the rockiest live tv moments look smooth.  I will miss our “commercial chats” that ranged from hot topics in the news to our favorite thing we like to do as soon as we get home. Don’t ask…it’s a Lee-Nita thing you wouldn’t understand.(smile)  Sharing stories about our sons and teaming up to handle Mark Johnson are special moments I’ll never forget. I’m happy for her as she starts a new and exciting chapter of her life and wish her the best!

- Danita Harris

As I sit here wondering what I can even say regarding Lee and Leon's retirement from WEWS, I can't help but think about Leon himself.

He has a way with words. I have never come across a Journalist who can craft a story the way Leon does. This is one of the many things I will miss about Leon.

I will also miss his personal stories. He is a walking history book. I have loved learning about local television news through Leon's eyes and experiences during his early days in the industry. Our chats in the newsroom have always been a highlight of my day. One of the best moments was when Leon called me Daddy-o. The void he is leaving in the WEWS newsroom will never be filled. Our hearts break, but we couldn't be happier for this well deserved break and new adventure.

If losing Leon wasn't bad enough, we are saying goodbye to Lee. Whoa. What a double-whammy!

Lee is classy. Lee is compassionate. Lee is a cheerleader. I will miss her laugh. It was always a good day when I got Lee Jordan to chuckle.

Over the years, I have been amazed at just how easy Lee Jordan makes our job look. She makes anchoring and reporting seem so effortless. We all know it takes a lot of work and commitment to do a great job, and Lee never faltered. She is an amazing role model and will be missed.

We have been lucky enough to share in Lee and Leon's journey over the years, they will always remain a part of the WEWS family. I hope to make them proud and carry on their great legacy here at the corner of East 30th and Euclid.

Love you guys! Mean it.

- Mike Brookbank

Lee and Leon are class acts, not only exceptionally talented, but also great to work with! They are both just as down-to-earth and friendly in person as they appear to be on TV. I'll miss you guys and wish you both the best in retirement!

- Cindy Edwards

Leon & Lee,
Congratulations on your retirement! It’s truly been an honor and a privilege to work with you both. 
You’re two of the classiest and most talented journalists I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting to know.
One can only dream of being as gifted of a writer as Leon Bibb . . . or as flawless of an anchor as Lee Jordan.
By the way, Leon, you gave me my very first Mother’s Day card! It’s so special to my husband and me. After all, he grew up watching you! We have tucked it away and can’t wait to share it with our baby boy someday.
It’s challenging to express in words just how much you will be missed. I think it’s fair to say everyone in the newsroom is a little distraught these days!   
However, we’re also very happy for you. I can’t wait to see how you write the next chapters in your lives because I know it will be interesting and inspiring.
I wish you all the best in your and hope you enjoy every single day of your retirement. There’s no doubt, you’ve earned it!

- Sarah Buduson

I'll start from the inside out: At Leon's core is his big heart & strong sense of service. This is buttressed by his professionalism & strong work ethic.
Add to this foundation the alchemy of his artistry . . . and next thing you know, you're going for a ride with Leon's storytelling! A colorless account is lifted off the pages & takes flight as Leon infuses words with poignancy & delivers a story to the viewer's doorstep now overflowing with anything from intrigue to gravitas.
     Whether he's interviewing Barack Obama or someone raw in grief, he handles it all with grace & dignity.
     I am proud that he has been such a steadfast voice & champion for Cleveland. Leon IS Cleveland.

When I see Lee, her glass-blue eyes are like portals that lead to all these warm & wonderful memories. She embodies the special & homey feeling of the Morning Exchange while, also, being the classic anchorwoman!
     She has always done everything so well. If there was Breaking News, you know if you could get the ball to Lee, she could carry it the distance for the station. This is no small feat! With live TV, the sky's the limit on ways that on-air talent can be tripped up: remotes that die, wrong cameras taken, misspellings in the prompter that read like gobbledygook, more than one person talking in your ear, or in the chaos of breaking news - maybe conflicting information coming in your ear . . . or maybe there's NO new updates (rather crickets . . . ) & you're left to tap dance, holding the fort, waiting for back-up. In the bedlam of breaking news or equipment failures, Lee has remained poised and, amazingly, never leaked frustration or dismay; this is almost unnatural to do. But the gifted make it look easy & Lee is at the top. 

- Lisa Mulholland

It’s been an honor to work with two of the best journalists in the business. I’ve learned so much from both of you. Lee and Leon, you will be missed!

- Sara Roth 

Lee, Your professionalism is paramount in this industry.  Your hard work and dedication in preparing news stories and transmitting them with love, soul, and principal is second to none. 
Your presence on-air which has been so kind, warm, and full of heart will be more than missed.
I hope you enjoy every minute writing this next chapter of your life.

Leon, You have been a staple in our community and Cleveland should be honored to have had you tell its stories.
You are truly a legend in broadcasting and have supplied a style to storytelling that is distinctive and irreplaceable.
I wish you the best in this next phase in your life.

- Georgios Angelokostopoulos

When I think of Lee, kindness, class and a quiet leader all come to mind. She is gracious, as gorgeous on the inside as she is on the outside and a great listener.” “Lee, I will miss our make-up room gab sessions.

When I think of Leon, immeadiately, a great story teller comes to mind. He’s a champion of Cleveland. From the day I walked into News5 he was kind and willing to help me with anything I needed.

I will miss Lee and Leon both professionally and personally.

- Tracy Carloss 

Leon, you’re one of a kind!  I’ve enjoyed your work as a colleague and a viewer, as so many others have.  You’ve contributed so much and inspired so many.  Congratulations on all of your achievements!

Lee, it’s been a pleasure working with and watching you for the past ten years.  Always so steady and comfortable delivering any kind of news to Clevelanders near and far.  Congratulations and enjoy your time ahead!

- Dan Coyle

Leon is one of the best storytellers I've ever had the privilege of working with. His my Ohio pieces were always a treat during the weekend mornings. It was also great to learn from him in the small talks we had about the history of cleveland. We also love to talk about sports.

Lee and I were rarely on the same schedule. But she was a treat to work with when I got the rare opportunity. From any special or story she worked on she was a true pro.

- Eric Ristow 

There’s no one more ‘Cleveland’ than Lee and Leon. They’ve championed this community and its people through their passionate journalism, brilliant storytelling and positivity – so much so that it inspires me daily. Their kind hearts and caring nature are unmatched. Lee was the first person to read the first script I ever wrote when I started at News 5. She took time to give me feedback, and this gave me confidence that I could succeed. Leon was the first person to lend a listening ear and guidance when I needed it most, and I carry his inspiring words with me daily. Through their work and support, Lee and Leon both showed me how I can make a difference in this community.

- Samah Assad 

Both Lee and Leon are such staples at News 5. It is hard to imagine the newsroom without them, their professionalism, warmth and expertise. Getting to work alongside them, learn from them and get to know them has been one of the greatest honors of my career. They are irreplaceable and will be truly missed.

- Corrina Pysa

It has been an honor to work with both Lee and Leon.  They are truly legends of Cleveland television.  Enjoy the next chapter.  It's certainly well deserved.  We at News 5 will greatly miss you both!

- Brian Sobolewski

You have been such a great mentor, and friends since I've been here at News 5. I remember watching you as a little girl, and thinking I wanted to do what you were doing! You are such a legend here in Cleveland, but beyond your career, getting to know you in person is the true blessing! You are creative, passionate, and a real inspiration to so many of us, especially me! We will miss you dearly! So excited for you and your next season in life!

I can't believe I got to not only work with, but learn from you! You have been such great mentor and teacher for me since I've been here at News 5. All your advice and encouragement has meant so much! Thank you for wanting to invest your wisdom and knowledge into me and so many others! Your journey is just beginning and I'm so excited to see where the road ahead leads you! Wishing you all the best life will bring you!
With Love.

- Lauren Wilson

Lee, You have brought grace, intelligence, poise and compassion to everything you do. Brightened our newsroom with your presence. I will miss you much!

Leon, It has been such a privilege for me to share so many major events over my years of reporting with you—many of them live on the air. You made me look much better than I deserve and your insights into our community brought our reporting so much insight and incredible perspective that cannot be matched.

- Ron Regan

Even though I have only been at the station for a little over a year, I am so fortunate and privileged to have had the opportunity to meet and spend time with both of you. Your careers have been legendary and we are so proud to have had you for all of these years.  You represent the best of Scripps and WEWS. I will miss you both, but I hope we can still stay in touch!

- Natalie Sherman

Lee, the gold standard for women in news. Graceful, thoughtful, hard-working, helpful, and creative. A role model for the next generation of female anchors. Your encouraging spirit will be missed.

Leon, what can you say about a living legend? You can't say "Channel 5" to someone without hearing "Leon Bibb" in return. And yet, he doesn't act like he even knows how big of a deal he is. Anytime he's talking, you want to listen. It doesn't matter what the topic is, HE makes you want to hear about it. That is a rare gift. I'm just honored he knows my name. I'll miss you Leon, your stories and your candy deliveries to the assignment desk

- Leah Richards