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Lovell Dyett: ‘Black News’ and beyond

Lovell Dyett was a WBZ-TV anchor in the 1970s.handout

Lovell Dyett's news career began when there were few black voices on radio and almost no black faces at the TV anchor desk. Dyett, who died this week at 77, reached his prime in the 1970s, when WBZ-TV chose him to anchor a weekly show called "Black News." With its bare-bones budget, "Black News" sometimes appeared to be more of a gesture than a commitment. But it was a valuable means of connection for its black audience, and, for viewers in lily-white suburbs, offered glimpses of a much more diverse and public-spirited black community than portrayed on nightly newscasts, where protests and crime stories predominated. African-American cultural events, community politics, interviews with charismatic neighborhood leaders — Dyett added nuance to the otherwise stereotyped presentation of blacks on TV news.

His broadcast career at WBZ extended into an era when black anchors become commonplace, with some among the most trusted and iconic figures on radio and television. For Dyett, it must have been a welcome surprise, and a source of deep satisfaction.