Monday, February 25, 2013

Anna Chavez: The Mystery of her Disappearance Explained; Former Popular Bay Area TV News Anchor Victim of Stalking; 415 Media Exclusive

Anna Chavez was a very popular and engaging news anchor who spent 21 years in the business, (mostly in SF at KGO-TV and KPIX).

Suddenly, out of the blue, she announced she was quitting and said she wanted to pursue another career. Her co-workers were stunned. How could such a talented newswoman leave an industry she excelled in and was widely admired and respected.

In fact, one of the main reasons why Chavez left TV was because she was being pursued by stalkers--several, in fact, and one individual who was considered, "very dangerous", according to sources who worked with Chavez. The stalking episode lasted several months and years, according to the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"It was unnerving and scary enough to her to a point where she wanted out," said one source who added that Chavez was concerned about her family and its welfare.

Most stalker victims are understandably unwilling to go public. However, one victim told me, "It's well known in the industry, (TV news), that many women and some men have had very scary stalkers." The source said it's not uncommon for police to become involved, including providing private protection by off-duty officers.

Attempts to contact and reach out to Chavez were unsuccessful.

It is generally assumed she now leads a quiet and private life.

*Rich Lieberman 415 Media Exclusive

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30 comments:

  1. Bad time to be famous or a popular TV personality. Now that you're getting famous, always watch your back. These are desperate times with plenty of wacked out weirdos.

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    1. Is it really that surprising, in a culture which deifies celebrity?

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    2. Understand this could have happened to Anna back then. But it is 2013 now and it must be a joke to equate bay area TV people with celebrities. Who really cares except for the so called wacked out weirdos?

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    3. If we deified clergy, would they have that problem?

      The issue is obviously about beauty attracting the mentally ill.

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  2. I'd be more prone to believe this if there were anything from Chavez or the "one source" was identified (not by name) by their relationship to the story.

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    1. Just doesn't seem like it's solid enough to publish.

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  3. Terilyn Joe will read this and say, "Darn! Why didn't I think of that one first?"

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  4. She was, indeed, very popular. Twenty years ago I was in junior high, and I can distinctly remember her $500,000 a year salary became a source for conversation around school.

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  5. I went to high school with Anna and enjoyed seeing her on TV. I often wondered what happened to her.

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  6. If nature and gravity took their course (and they always do) it may be time to come out of hiding. I do remember clearly fantasizing about Chavez as a young man going through puberty. She was a hottie.

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  7. 12:01: The story is accurate, level-headed and would not be disputed by anyone who worked closely with Anna. The near-ubiquity of TV news anchor stalkers is not at all surprising to insiders, as Rich makes clear, though as far as I know, this is the first time it has been revealed to the public.

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    1. I recall reading a news story maybe a decade ago about a guy being arrested for stalking behavior directed at one or two of the female anchors at KTVU. I don't recall seeing anything further regarding conviction, etc.

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    2. Shortly before he retired from KFOG, Dave Morey talked about a stalker he had. He siunded genuinely afraid of the woman. As I recall, he even played a portion of a voice mail she'd left him. Its sad we have people like this, when the folks we listen to/watch are really no different than you or I are.

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  8. Timely info!

    Next up...Dave McElhatton's commute time from Hillsborough affected by Embarcadero freeway collapse!

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    1. Actually Dave M had a stalker too. A woman who would call the station once in a while and claim she could see under his clothes or something weird like that.

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    2. "Rant Bot," indeed. "Whatever happened to..." is a great story, especially if it involves the sudden and unsatisfactorily explained disappearance of a very well liked public figure. The other, perhaps even more newsworthy element is the quote about "many women and some men" in TV news having stalkers, and the suggestion that it's something people in the business inherently (and "understandably") believe should not be reported. Why should an enterprising writer not focus on this? An obsession with TV news anchors is part of our culture. The stalker extremes in that obsession demonstrate how willfully cynical news executives are in their choice of talent and content. It's always good to be reminded of that.

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    3. Whatever happened to... can be an interesting story. BUT it needs to be accurate and authoritative, which this story IS NOT.

      Perhaps if Chavez was interviewed OR an identifiable person with some verifiable details stepped forward, this would be a news story. As is, it's an unidentified person making a vague claim about one of the reasons Chavez left.

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  9. Repeating a rumor IS NOT NEWS!

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  10. This story is ridiculous....
    "It was unnerving and scary enough to her to a point where she wanted out," said one source who added that Chavez was concerned about her family and its welfare.

    So quitting her job would make the stalker disappear ???
    It would be easier to protect her family's welfare without her $500,000/year salary ???

    This was "one of the main reasons" she left her job???

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  11. The world has changed...just see how many TV personalities generously publish their pictures and activities on facebook and twitter. Being afraid of being stalked, or begging for attention?

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  12. While this is sad, something else sad was reported in the Chron obits this weekend. Former KRON sportscaster Eddie Alexander died at the age of 71. He was one of the first Black TV sportscasters in the 1970s. His signature phrase on his sportscasts was, "Good luck everybody." His obit is listed under Walter, but he went by Eddie.

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  13. Here is what Chavez herself told the Chronicle when she retired in March 1997:

    Reached at her home in San Francisco last night, Chavez, 42, said her desire to begin a new career in midlife "is part of our generation. Baby Boomers are wired that way.

    "We tend to think about what we want to do with our future. I know the conventional wisdom is that I have a great job with wonderful people. It isn't always a matter of following conventional wisdom, but quality of life."

    Chavez said she was "just now beginning to look for leads" on a new job, and added, "I'm not looking to do something that has more media exposure and more attention . . . I don't think I would ever run for public office."

    The announcement was unexpected, but the decision apparent ly wasn't sudden. Chavez began giving serious thought to a future outside broadcasting when she took a sabbatical in August 1995.

    She said she has been "talking for a while" about the career change with KPIX general manager Harry Fuller and news director Al Corral.

    http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Anna-Chavez-Quits-TV-2849416.php#ixzz2Lyf8aSvQ

    Who are you going to believe? Anna Chavez herself or an unnamed source 16 years later?

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    1. Neither. The whole business is about spin spin spin. And really, why does it matter? Do we ask why an architect or a banker or a cab driver decided to leave their job? Do we care?

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    2. She was smart to leave the business before it demised.

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    3. She quits her high-paying job before starting to search for a new job, or even before selecting a new career. She says she is "not looking to do something that has more media exposure and more attention." She is walking away to seek "quality of life."

      What did you expect her to say? The unfiltered truth? Because then she would have said, "There are some dangerous nut jobs trying to get to me and I'm tired of having to hire a couple of armed off-duty cops to guard me every time I step out the door, so screw it, all the money in the world isn't worth living in fear and risking my life and maybe my family's lives, and just talking about it like this is going to bring some even more dangerous nut jobs out of the woodwork, so, yeah, I'm disappearing, and I don't even trust the friends I worked closely with over the years to keep my new life secret, except for one person I am designating as my gatekeeper who will know how to reach me and maybe I might respond to you but probably not."

      And why "16 years later?" Mainly because, until now, no reporter covering Bay Area broadcasting has bothered to do even just a little bit more than re-hashing press releases and writing unchallenging profile pieces.

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    4. Sad or a blessing...no TV personality nowadays in bay area would have to make this decision again. For 1/5 of what she made, they'd have to choose to stay and work.

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  14. The Mystery Explained? REALLY?

    Who ever said it was a mystery?
    And even if it was, and this sketchy, hearsay is accurate, even then it's still no more a claim about one of the reasons she left the business.


    What next? The REAL reason Wayne Walker moved back to Idaho - uncontrollable hay-fever!

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  15. If it's true, and I can imagine easily enough that it is, is it really fair to dredge the story up? What if the creepy stalker is still obsessed with her, and suppose some careless person here posts something about her? (Rich, don't allow any such post.) It just seems better to keep it off the radar.

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  16. Thank you for posting this. Stalking is no joke. When Ms. Chavez allegedly was experiencing this, there were little to no laws on the books to protect stalking victims who were NOT public figures. I know because I had to leave the Bay Area for the same reason and I'm not even famous. I researched and moved to a State with tougher laws and protections for victims. Back then, it was easier to "disappear" and not be found. Even years later, I have to be very careful to guard my privacy and keep my information off the internet, since the nutjob that would not leave me alone is still out there. Anna seemed like a lovely lady.

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