He was 68, according to the Observer-Dispatch.
Recognized for his smooth, unwavering delivery, Jefferson was well regarded in Washington and Greene counties during his four decades in the news industry. He retired in June 2017 after 43 years at the station – most of them as an anchor – in his only professional job.
He was a tutor, as well, and a role model for Bob Gregg, operations director at WJPA. They knew each other for nearly 40 years.
“Jim was here in the afternoons when I was in high school, walking around here trying to learn stuff,” Gregg said. “The Jim Jefferson that people knew on the air was the one we at the station knew personally. He was real, he was fair and he was honest.
Bill DiFabio, a longtime radio personality in the Pittsburgh region, said his friend “is the best news professional I’ve been associated with. You’d marvel at his work.”
Jefferson retired with a measure of trepidation, saying he was going to miss “the interactions with people. The interviews with police, political officials, the district attorney, judges ...” He also enjoyed working alongside Pete Povich, the station’s program director, his on-air partner for 31 years.
Hanging up his microphone, however, gave Jefferson an opportunity to pursue more avidly pursue other passions: his family, playing golf and traveling.