In 1968, Barbara Rodgers was employed as a computer programmer by the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester as one of only a few African American female computer programmers at the time. In 1972, Barbara resigned to join WOKR-TV in Rochester, New York where she became the station’s first female news reporter and first African American newscaster.
Shortly after working for WORK-TV, she joined KPIX-TV, a CBS affiliate in San Francisco, California in 1979 as a reporter, thereafter, she became a co-anchor on the weekend and noon Eyewitness News broadcasts show. She assisted in creating and hosting Bay Sunday in 1989, which later became an award-winning public affairs program.
She became a popular award-winning anchor, reporter and show host for almost three decades winning a staggering eight Emmy Awards for her special reports.
Born to Anna Connor and Jackson Rodgers, a minister on September 27th, 1946 in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1968, she was awarded her B.S. degree in business education from Knoxville College, graduating at SUNY Buffalo in 1976 for creative writing while she completed her coursework at the University of Chicago in 1986.
In 1982, Rodgers co-founded the Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA), the Bay Area chapter of 8-the National Association of Black Journalists. She was nominated in 1993 as one of five journalists to attend the South Africa Journalists Exchange, a collaboration between the National Association of Black Journalists, the Freedom Forum and South Africa.
She earned an Emmy Award for her hour-long documentary titled “South Africa After Apartheid.” Rodgers retired from KPIX in 2008. Two years later, she joined Comcast as a regular host on Comcast Newsmakers and in 2011 became host of the “The Bronze Report” cable show. Her participation I’m the creation and hosting of “The Bronze Report” cable show earned her eighth Emmy Award in 2013. The program focuses on the breadth and depth of the African-American community in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
Barbara also won the Governors’ Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences . From 1981 to 2007, Rodgers won five “Excellence in Journalism Awards” from the National Association of Black Journalists, and was awarded the Madam C.J. Walker Pioneer Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 2004.
Rodgers received the Frederick D. Patterson Outstanding Individual Award from the United Negro College Fund in 2008, and was recognized twice for her outstanding work in broadcasting by American Women in Radio and Television, Inc.
During her long journalistic career, Rodgers interviewed dozens of celebrities and community leaders such as Terry McMillan, Jesse Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, B. D. Wong, Spike Lee, Berry Gordy, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Jamie Foxx, Terry McMillan, Delroy Lindo, Jesse Jackson, Naomi Judd and Deepak Chopra.
In December 2015, Rodgers’ life story was added to the national archive of African-American oral histories being collected by The HistoryMakers.
She also authors a novel titled “a romance for grown-ups.”