Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spirited and Civil Debate; Why I posted the Anna Chavez Story

I love a good spirited debate.

It's the essence of a healthy democracy. Too bad most debates on radio have become a cesspool of ad-hominem attacks and personal shots.

We will discuss this today on radio.

*Why did I post the Anna Chavez story? I have been sitting on this for many months and only days ago decided, after much thought, to go ahead and publish it.

This was not an easy decision. I was confident that story was good and the sources were excellent. They had no axe to grind and were only confirming to me what I had asked them, unsolicited.

I acknowledge that this story had and has ramifications involving Chavez. The last thing I wanted to do was bring forth added anxiety for a woman who was pursued by stalkers, one of whom was deemed "very dangerous."

My reasons to go forward: A. Anna Chavez was not your run-of-the-mill anchor; she was a very popular news anchor in the Bay Area and her hefty salary and stature in the area measured that status. I also received, as I do periodically, e-mail inquiries as to "whatever happened to....?" Chavez was high on that list.

B. The passage of time...To those of you who had legitimate concerns that me bringing this story to light would be a disservice to Chavez and only encourage more stalkers. I agree. But given that it's been over 15 years since the initial story, I concluded that it was time to come out with the reason. Don't want to sound sanctimonious, but this is a legitimate news story and I'm 100% comfortable with the sources who provided me the information which has been corroborated by other sources.

That said, I'm hopeful that Anna is, as I've been told, leading a quiet and peaceful life, both personal and professional.

*Follow me on Twitter and listen to me daily, Monday-Friday from 1-4 PM PT on KSCO/KOMY

39 comments:

  1. Ana Chavez was over hyped as an anchor. That Suzanne Saund rs got pushed out in favor of her is one of the great travesties in KGO's history...

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  2. Rich, I accept your explanation of your reasons for publishing the story about Ana Chavez and that, based on your unnamed sources, you're convinced that it's true.

    However, at the same time, as much as I respect you, I am aware that not everything you report from your inside industry sources necessarily is true. Often, it is speculation or a well-informed guess.

    Since we do not know who your sources are for this story, let alone any of the details, which we can subject to critical scrutiny, please understand that some of us will have reasonable and understandable questions, qualifications or reservations about the story. At least not until and unless Ana Chavez or her designated spokesperson confirms what you have written.

    This is no way an indictment of your credibility, honesty or professionalism, or meant in any way to slight you, but rather a frank and realistic acknowledgment that you are a blogger; as such, you post your opinions and those of others.

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    1. "I am aware that not everything you report from your inside industry sources necessarily is true. Often, it is speculation or a well-informed guess"-----

      ---Well, actually since BOTH of the sources worked with Chavez for many years, I'm CERTAIN that their information is credible and true...Beyond that, it was ME who initiated their cooperation. They have NO agenga, no axe to grind with Anna and only confirmed the information I learned. This is/was "not a guess"; the information is true and genuine. I'm certain, but thanks for your civil concerns.

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    2. With all due respect, you know the story is true, Rich, because YOU'RE certain the sources and their information are credible. I get that. I don't doubt it. But readers like me have only your assurances to go by. For many, that might be enough, but I don't know you or your sources or their track records. They could be right 99.9% of the time and wrong this one time. So, yes, YOU'RE convinced beyond all doubt. But saying that doesn't make it so. Not that I have reason to doubt you or your sources, but I can't make that leap of faith. I'd rather hear it from Ana Chavez or her authorized spokesperson. I still enjoy your blog.

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    3. Frank, the journalism world was blasted apart by the Web. As it is reassembled, accommodation must be made for a new species of reporters on websites and blogs. Many fine journalists have moved online, either by choice or necessity. New reporters are making their bones on small digital outlets instead of in small markets.

      I think of Rich as a small town print reporter with a great passion who recently moved up to a substantial mid-market. Of course, he never physically moved. It was his blog that grew.

      With technology, people can find their passion in journalism long after they attend college to learn another trade. In that regard, I always enjoyed mentoring journalism students. It is still an eye opener for them to learn that they no longer hold a lock on the priesthood.

      From his very much process-oriented posts, Rich has shown that he is being mentored, is questioning his own decisions, and is capable of defending his choices.

      For anyone interested in the future of journalism, this is a fascinating thing to watch develop, if, for no other reason than that Rich is long past college age. It's not just the kids who can thrive in the new world.

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  3. I work for a local TV station, and I can tell you for certain that many of your favorite (and probably not so favorite) anchors and reporters have stalkers. Some of them are quite scary. In almost all cases, the stalker is mentally ill, to some extent. Almost always, the police end up getting involved. Restraining orders are not at all uncommon, either. I'm sure every radio & TV station with on-air personalities has had to deal with it at one time or another.

    I don't think Rich saying what is purported to have happened would hurt Ms. Chavez in any way. Let's face it, "Ana Chavez" is not exactly a unique name in California, nor the U.S. There is a lot of anonymity in a common name.

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  4. Looking over many responses to Anna's Story, I see that its common for tv viewers to develop intense attachments to some of these anchors. Sometimes an anchor is more than a nice to dazzling face with fussed over hair. Sometimes these become people we trust. I haven't even thought about Suzanne Saunders or Elaine Corral or Leslie Grifith is years. All beautiful, exciting women, no one I could ever have. I haven't thought of them lately though, mostly because I almost never watch network news anymore unless I'm visiting somebody. I've changed the way I usually get my news fix of the moment.

    I remember them all. I remember Leslie saying that her father inspired her to go into that business. They were all very trustworthy in their on air persona. I won't pretend to know about what was really going on behind the scenes. I do know that is a competitive tough business. Everybody has to work together. I've always heard if you plan to be on camera live, do not make enemies with the cameraman if at all possible, because they could easily make you look klutzy, foolish or unattractive. To some degree, the news speaker is not indispensable, but in another intangible sense, that anchor, and their delivery becomes fused into one event. The way something is said or omitted, the gravity or the degree of levity permitted to be heard on air, really does add colour to the story, whether intended or not.

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  5. Hoon-a-pear-o? That seems to be how KPIX's anchorette thinks we should pronounce Junipero.

    Didn't anybody in HR think of quizzing - or maybe informing - her on NorCal pronunciations before making the offer?


    (Just trying to take the heat off of you, Rich, and place it where it rightly belongs.)

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  6. ”I love a good spirited debate.” Hahahaha! Is that why you constantly censor critical comments? If you love to debate why are most of your responses: ” don't listen to me or don't read me!”. Not exactly debate material there Mr. Dick Lieberman.

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    1. Some people like you aren't worth the time and since your a serial poster not really ready for prime time but I gave you your due, anonymous troll.

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    2. If you don't like Rich and his blog, 5:44 p.m., then by all means don't read it and don't post any more comments. You're just a pathetic Internet troll and Rich "hater."

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    3. Who have you ”debated” tough guy? Fair and Balanced is a perfect example. He constantly calls you out with fair, well thought out arguments and you only reply with unimaginative, dismissive replies like ”just spell my name properly” and ”don't listen to me”. God knows we probably only see 1% of critical comments, the rest never see the light of day Mr. ”I love a good debate” Lieberman. You like to debate as much as Limbaugh likes to debate...which is nada!

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    4. Well said at 7:22pm.
      The day that Lieberman gets a good debate will be the day that he stops censoring comments.

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    5. I post here occasionally. I don't always agree with Rich, and will say so--but in a civil and courteous manner. Rich has never censored one of my posts.

      Maybe it's YOU? I appreciate Rich taking the time to save ME some time! Nothing more irritating than reading troll comments. Just sayin.

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  7. I'm No Syncophant!February 28, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    "Anna Chavez retiring from TV" was the tag for the story appearing in the San Francisco Examiner on March 20, 1997.

    Anna Chavez, KPIX-Channel 5's popular news anchor, will retire from TV to pursue another career, most likely in public service or nonprofit work.

    Chavez, who co-anchors the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, will step down May 21, according to KPIX officials, who announced her decision to station employees Wednesday.

    The longtime Bay Area anchor was scheduled to come back from a vacation Monday, but her co-workers at KPIX became anxious when she didn't return.

    "To my knowledge, all of this has gone down in the last three days," said Chavez's 6 p.m. co-anchor, Joe Oliver.

    "Obviously, she's been thinking about this for quite some time."

    Oliver called Chavez "the best anchor I've ever worked with" and said her decision had surprised many in the newsroom.

    "It will take a little time to regroup," he said, adding that no one had been picked yet to fill her spot.

    Chavez joined KPIX to anchor the 6 and 11 p.m. news with Dave McElhatton in 1992, after working at KGO-Channel 7 for some 12 years.

    "I feel truly blessed to have had the privilege of working with so many wonderful colleagues, beginning at KGO-TV and ending at KPIX," Chavez said in a statement.

    "Now, in my mid-40s, I'm ready to get involved in another career, perhaps in public service or in working for foundations or nonprofit organizations."

    In August 1995, Chavez took a seven-week leave, and speculation ran high that she was considering leaving KPIX, or even leaving the business altogether.

    In her statement Wednesday, Chavez said, "During that time, I reflected a lot about what I had done in the broadcasting industry and what I would like to pursue in the future. Since that time, I have been considering how to make that transition."

    Chavez was born in East Palo Alto and received her bachelor's degree in journalism from Stanford before starting her career as a production assistant at KGO in 1976. By 1978, she was hosting two public affairs programs for the station.

    After a brief stint as a reporter for KABC in Los Angeles, she returned to KGO in 1984 and co-anchored the 6 and 11 p.m. news until leaving for KPIX.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Anna-Chavez-retiring-from-TV-3129395.php

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  8. Hey, troll at 5:44: learn the difference between censorship and editing. You are only making a fool of yourself here.

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    1. Big Vinny says he loves to debate. I have yet to see him debate anyone. When he is called out his only response is ” don't listen or read me”. You need to learn to comprehend the written word fool.

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    2. If you really want to debate Rich, take him up on his offer and call into his program Monday through Friday, from 1-4 p.m., on KOMY AM 1340. Rich has extended this offer many times during segments when he wasn't interviewing a guest, but no one has had the guts to call him. Maybe it is because they know that it in a debate, they will surely lose.

      Rich's critics don't have the courage of their convictions and that's a sad commentary on them. Most of us who read Rich's highly informative media blog and listen to his insightful, hard-hitting radio talk show, "Lieberman Live," know him to be hands down the best thing to happen in Bay Area media circles in a long time. This man is going places and national syndication can't be far off. It may very well be in the works now. Stay tuned.

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    3. Rich routinely censors perfectly civil, articulate, comments that are the least bit critical of him.

      That's a fact.

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    4. Rich,
      If you are now so sure of yourself and a success as you say, why not end all this and go to a paywall? Keeps the trolls out, you'll earn a few bucks and you control who gets in because they pay to play.

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  9. I believe your story. Your gutless and anonymous critics are always looking for a pretext to rip into you. They have nothing better to do. If you say it and you stand by it, your word is all I need. Since when has anyone proved you wrong?

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    1. You are "Anonymous" for what reason?

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  10. OK... It was 16 years ago when Ana Chavez abruptly left KPIX-TV 5 and her career as a newscaster ended. Why does it matter now why she left? Other TV personalities have had to contend with stalkers yet remained in the business. So, can you shed any more insight into what was special in Chavez' case? But, again, that was 1997. It's old news baby!

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    1. To some it matters; to many it probably doesn't. That's not the point. Rich was responding to a good many email messages he received from his blog readers asking the question, "Whatever happened to former Bay Area TV news anchor Ana Chavez?" He researched this question and posted the answer. That's how Rich works.

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  11. C'mon guys: Show a little love to Rich. Stop the negative posts!

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    1. Right, because Rich never says anything negative about anyone else.

      That's the essence of his blog, building himself up by criticizing others.

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  12. Rich should force people to have to sign in, so even if they were using a fake name, they would have to at least be consistent. Although I don't see him doing that because it would limit the appearance that there are many readers.

    There's no other reason he wouldn't do that.

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    1. Rich knows roughly how many readers he has and he can prove this by the number of clicks his site garners each day. So his current and potential advertisers. There is no correlation between readers/followers of this blog and the number who post comments.

      No one can dispute the fact that Rich has established himself through hard work over many years as well as his extensive network of radio/TV business insiders as the dominant, most reliable, most trusted and most respected media critic in the Bay Area.

      Now, he is becoming a force to be reckoned with on Bay Area radio with his daily three-hour talk show, "Lieberman Live," with his incisive commentary, spot-on analysis, and well-honed interviewing skills. Nobody can match the quality of the guests he regularly features.

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    2. Say what? What's the point of using a fake name?

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    3. People can't be "forced" to do anything with a blog. They either be involved or they don't, depending on quality. Show where the credibility comes in.

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  13. I believe Rich was telling the truth and will continue to support him. One piece of advice though is that he may consider post about people more recent, more relevant, people we can still see on TV (should we choose to tune in), instead of an obsolete story or mystery about a person few can remember.

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  14. Rich: Please censor all negative comments posted by the Internet trolls. They are just here to cause needless trouble and impugn your character without justification. If you would stop posting them, the trolls and flamers would disappear. But every time you post their negative comments, it's just stoking the fire. Cut them off ... NOW!

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  15. What a moron. Rich is already "censoring" self-criticisms, while dishing them out about anyone he cares to.

    Why not just make everyone post their name? You think that would work? Then y ou are a moron.

    Thirdly, why is it everyone you disagree with or who disagrees with is "an internet troll"? Some of us have been here for a few years, meathead. You're one smart cookies.

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  16. Was there any attempt to contact Chavez for her reaction to the story?

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  17. I suspect many of these anonymous pro-Rich comments are from Rich.

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    1. Hey 1:44. If you can read with a little intelligence, you will see right away that Rich's written "voice" is quite different and easily distinguishable.

      Sorry--don't mean to imply that you are not intelligent! Just reading with a little more care can help the reader figure out the writers. Phrasing, frequent use of certain words, etc. It's sort of fun, like a puzzle!

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  18. Whether you know it or not, your internet identity is transmitted to Rich with every comment here. Your IP address will not reveal your name or address, but it can be read to show your general location or corporate network and it is a unique identifier. (The reverse is also true. If you are stupid enough to post messages from work, your boss can easily discover which sites you visited.) If he wants to, Rich can single out and block any one particular person by blocking that person's IP address. There are some relatively simple ways to remain completely anonymous, but most people don't bother.

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    1. So what? Whether or not Rich knows our IP addresses, the fact remains he censors eloquent and thoughtful criticisms, yet he claims he loves to debate.

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    2. Right use "InPrivate Browsing"

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