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Trail-blazing Rita Williams retires

Rita Williams said farewell to Channel 2 viewers last night after 35 years with the station and a remarkable career that blazed a trail for other women reporters in what was once a male-dominated business.

Williams in the 1980s

She told The Almanac, the paper serving her hometown of Portola Valley, that she considers herself to be tenacious, but also sees herself as bringing a woman’s feeling and warmth to her reporting.

She gave notice last summer and said her boss picked Feb. 27 as her last day because it was the last day of the ratings period.

Williams in the early 2000s

In an era when reporters have short careers and bounce around from station to station, it’s unusual for Williams to have been at Channel 2 for 35 years.

“Most women who started with me back then stopped doing it. It was a tough business, lots of barriers, lots of discrimination. Sometimes, people would do their best to get rid of you. So you just worked harder than any of the guys, and you showed them you can do it, and you just did it,” she said, according to a story posted on the KTVU website.

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