Gil Noble, a television journalist who hosted “Like It Is,” an award-winning Sunday morning public affairs program in New York, one of the longest-running in the country dedicated to showcasing black leadership and the African-American experience, died on Thursday April 5th, in a hospital in Wayne, N.J. He was 80.
The cause was complications of a stroke he had last summer, said Dave Davis, president and general manager of WABC-TV, which had broadcast “Like It Is” since 1968.
Though broadcast only in the New York metropolitan area, “Like It Is” attracted guests of national and international influence. Some were controversial. His interviews with figures like Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam drew complaints of one-sidedness. But for Mr. Noble, that was the point:
“My response to those who complained that I didn’t present the other side of the story was that this show was the other side of the story,” he said in 1982.
His interviews comprised a veritable archive of contemporary black history in America: hundreds of hourlong conversations with political and cultural figures like Lena Horne, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bill Cosby, Sammy Davis Jr., Muhammad Ali, Andrew Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Belafonte (Bahamian) and Stokely Carmichael (Trinidadian).
Mr. Noble viewed “Like It Is” as a platform for ideas and perspectives — especially those of blacks — that were missing from the mainstream news media. He once called his show “the antidote to the 6 and 11 o’clock news.” NY Times