Mike Jackson joined NBC4 in 1994 and was a news anchor with Colleen Marshall until he suffered a massive stroke in 2019. In the article below and in the two videos attached, she shares an update on his health. You may leave a message for Mike on this Facebook post.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — NBC4’s Mike Jackson says all he ever wanted to be is a good storyteller. For 40 years, he’s been that and so much more. Mike is a consumer advocate, a community leader, a civil rights defender — a champion of truth.
There is a saying that “rain always falls on people who deserve nothing but sun.” Mike Jackson deserves sunshine, but since January 2019, the rain has been falling. He lived through a massive stroke. “Big Mike” was felled by a tiny, blocked blood vessel.
With the love and support of his wife, daughters, and grandchildren, he struggled through grueling physical therapy sessions and settled into his new normal. Then came the cancer. It started in his throat and within months a massive tumor forced surgeons to remove his voice box. With tragic irony, the gifted storyteller was silenced by an invasion of cancer cells.
But Mike still has words inside.
Hospice minister Darryl Beckett recognized that and encouraged Mike to, one more time, reach out to the community he loves with the story only he can tell. Mike painstakingly typed out a message about his cancer to tell you where he is now and then asked me to tell you where he’s been. It is my honor to do so. Our stories are attached to this article.
We take a brief step back in time. In 1994, longtime Channel 4 anchor Doug Adair announced his retirement. Cabot Rea moved seamlessly into his seat, but that left another anchor position open. Gail Hogan had the “perfect guy” in mind for the job and contacted her friend Mike Jackson, who she worked with years earlier at WSYX-TV. He was a perfect fit for our NBC4 family.
Longtime viewers likely know Mike’s commitment to consumer reporting. His “Better Call Jackson” reports did everything from reconnecting fraud victims with their money to helping clean up neighborhood eyesores. For one such story, he worked tirelessly to have a drug and rodent-infested eyesore torn down. After promising a woman he’d help rid her neighborhood of the dangerous house, he worked on a series of stories focusing on that single neighborhood problem for three years. It worked and the house was finally razed.
Mike started his broadcast career in his hometown of Charleston, West Virginia, first in radio, then TV in Oak Hill. Along the way, he worked at Channel 6, then as a news director in West Virginia, as a reporter in Washington, D.C., and finally brought his talent to us. We are better for it. Columbus is lucky to have him. I am blessed to call him a friend.
As you might imagine, the past four years have been emotionally, financially, and physically challenging for Mike and his family. There is a GoFundMe, started by his family. His wife hopes to use part of the funds for a scholarship in Mike’s name for an aspiring young, black journalist.
As you will see, his final story focuses on the hardships he witnessed in other cancer patients.
As Rev. Beckett points out, even in his darkest hour he thinks of others.
What a legacy. What a story.