Hank Baughman still recovering

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Readers have inquired about former WPXI-TV news anchor Hank Baughman, a native of Westmoreland County who lives in Latrobe.

Until about two years ago, Mr. Baughman enjoyed an active lifestyle. He juggled radio duties at WSHH-FM, WHJB-FM and WJAS-AM until early September 2011.

At 69, he was a dedicated runner. But in the summer of 2011, he experienced chest pains before fainting while out on a run.

He was diagnosed as having atrial fibrillation -- an irregular, rapid heartbeat. His recovery after having a pacemaker inserted "was an unmitigated disaster," he said, and it was removed less than two months later.

Since then, it has been a struggle.

"I went from running three to five miles several times a week to barely being able to walk across a room. It was devastating ... ."

He underwent cardiac ablation in October to burn away damaged heart tissue. It stopped the fibrillations.

"I'm self-sufficient, just very weak," he said. "I haven't been able to regain my strength to this day."

He said he has done a little work with a Web startup and with advertising.

"I get calls from people out here in Latrobe who recognize me from appearances on television, and they are always kind enough to ask [about his health]."

Mr. Baughman broke into the Pittsburgh market on-air at KQV, when it was a well-known top 40s station in the 1970s. He later worked at Channel 11, often handling anchor duties at noon, 6 and 11.

Memorial Day events

WQED-TV begins its Memorial Day coverage Tuesday with "The Ghost Army" at 8 p.m. This documentary shows how during World War II American soldiers recruited art students to create fake tanks, convoys and realistic sound effects on the front lines.

Other programming includes:

• "Secrets of the Dead: The Airmen and the Headhunters" at 10 p.m. Wednesday. Local Dayak tribes protect American airmen who are shot down in Japanese-controlled Borneo.

• "Unforgettable: The Korean War" at 3 p.m. May 26, followed by "Maggie's War: A True Story of Courage, Leadership and Valor in World War II" at 4 p.m.

• The 20th "National Memorial Day Concert" May 26 features the National Symphony Orchestra from the West Lawn of the Capitol. Co-hosted by Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna, this 8 p.m. program will also pay tribute to the late Charles Durning, a decorated WWII vet.


Maria Sciullo: msciullo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.

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