"(It's) time to put down the microphone and pick up the paint brushes," Robinette, an avid painter, said in an open letter to his audience, published on the WWL-AM website. "Forty years in the public eye is a long time."
According to Chris Claus, vice president and general manager of Entercom New Orleans, which owns and operates WWL Radio, the 74-year-old Robinette made his decision after a recent bout with pneumonia. Robinette has been absent from his "Think Tank" program since mid-April.
"It's a tough decision for Garland; a sad one for us," Claus said in a news release. "He means so much to WWL, to our community, to the region. His voice, his leadership and undying passion will be greatly missed."
A product of Boutte in Louisiana's Cajun country, Robinette rose to local prominence when he joined WWL-TV in 1970. With Angela Hill, his co-anchor who would become his wife, Robinette would be a key part of a broadcast news team at WWL that would dominate local TV news ratings into 2016, according to nola.com.
In the process, Robinette -- in addition to reporting the news -- would occasionally make it. In 1978, his marriage to Hill captivated the city, dubbed by The Times-Picayune "a marriage made in Nielsen heaven." In 1988, he made headlines of another sort when he was barred from the GOP National Convention at the Superdome after trying to enter the venue with a handgun he had forgotten was in his briefcase.