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Dan Gross: Reporter Mike Strug to retire Friday

NBC 10 REPORTER Mike Strug, who has worked on Philadelphia television for more than 40 years, is retiring Friday.


Mike Strug

, who has worked on Philadelphia television for more than 40 years, is retiring Friday.

"I accepted a buyout that I'm very happy with," Strug told us last night. "I'm in a position where I would have retired at the end of my contract anyway, in about a year-and-a-half. I couldn't have planned it any better," he said.

Strug, 66, who grew up in Logan and attended Olney High before Temple University, says he "was fortunate to have worked in my hometown all along."

He started his career at Channel 6 from 1966-1978, worked at Channel 3 from '78 to '89 and has been with NBC10 since 1990.

"I'm not gonna sit around fishing, but I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do," says Strug about his future. He says his friend 6ABC's John Rawlins once told him,"You stumbled into a career that exactly fits your attention span," because he got to do a different story every day.

Strug's girlfriend, Andrea Leerman, told him not to say he's retiring, but

"exploring other options." He has known her since they were teens. She was a friend of his late wife, Carole, the mother of his two children.

Kelly Ripa to cheer for dad

South Jersey native Kelly Ripa, of "Live with Regis and Kelly," will be in Blackwood today, when her father, Joseph Ripa, is sworn in as Camden County clerk by Gov. Jon Corzine.

Kelly's mother, Esther, and sister Linda are also expected to be there to support Joseph, who replaces James Beach, now a state senator. Joseph Ripa is a former president of Local 880, Amalgamated Transit Union representing New Jersey Transit workers. Since 2004 he has been a Camden County freeholder. He also serves on the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund Authority and the South Jersey Transportation Authority. The event takes place at 2 p.m. at the Dennis Flyer Theater at Camden County College (College Drive & Peter Cheeseman Road.)

Punter Landeta ties the knot

Congrats to former Eagles punter Sean Landeta and businesswoman Donna Bretzel, who tied the knot Saturday at St. Mark's Church with a reception at DelFrisco's (15th & Chestnut).

Eagles assistant coach Doug Pederson, a teammate of Landeta's on the Packers and Eagles, was among the guests. The honeymooners stayed at the Downtown Marriott, where Sunday a group of Eagles fans complimented veteran New York press agent Sy Presten about his Landeta jacket, even though it bore the colors of the Giants, with whom Landeta won two Super Bowls. Presten and wife Joanne are longtime friends of Landeta's.

Tony Luke reunites with Flay

Sandwich mogul Tony Luke Jr. will be in California next week at the Great American Food and Music Fest, hosted by Bobby Flay. You may recall that Tony Luke beat Flay in a cheesesteak-cooking contest on the Food Network's "Throwdown with Bobby Flay." The festival is June 13 in Mountain View, Calif., and features a handful of other Food Network stars, but not hottie Giada De Laurentiis, also seen often on the "Today" show.

Comedian visits Marlton dentist

Veteran comedian Steve Rossi, former partner of Marty Allen, made a quick trip to Marlton the other day to have some emergency dental work performed by Dr. James Weiner.

Rossi now performs in the off-Broadway comedy, "Don't Leave It All to Your Children." *

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