King of course is leaving KPIX to pursue a second career in art. Her move to embrace sculpture was accelerated by management who let King go with another year left on her high-dollar contract. She'd been at KPIX, (CBS5), since 1997.
Friday's 11 PM newscast was sprinkled with banter between King and co-anchor Ken Bastida and sports anchor, Dennis O'Donnell, who provided dual acts of unintended hilarity on an otherwise compelling bit of local TV news history. The newscast itself with King talking between stories about her passion for art, was fine and perfectly apt and suitable until O'Donnell's hijinks kidnapped an otherwise acceptable broadcast.
O'Donnell spoke about past stories involving King and himself. He recalled a bet with King involving the Raiders and him being subjected to a haircut performed by King. It was semi-poignant. Then out of nowhere, O'Donnell lost it. Fighting back tears, he implored the cameraman to cut immediately to commercials. Then toward the end of the broadcast, the sports anchor inexplicably popped a bottle of champagne toward the desk and suddenly, everything was kooky and out of place and over the top. Or, to put it more succinctly, this was hardly the kind of show befitting the departure of a beloved anchor. Dennis Richmond's last show on KTVU was far more classier, bereft of the histrionics that overwhelmed King at the end. It all worked out eventually but it had a bad aftertaste.
At the last moment before the end of the show, a video vignette involving KPIX anchors, reporters, and newsroom staff filled the screen with goodbyes to King. The video included Kate Kelley, Roberta Gonzales, Juliet Goodrich and Vern Glenn. Conspicuously missing in the video: News Director Dan Rosenheim and GM Bruno Cohen--both of whom were involved in King's dismissal a year ahead of schedule. Coincidence? Perhaps. You be the judge.
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