Friday, October 9, 2015

Bay Area Anchors Of Yesterday Had A Whole Lot More Gusto Than Today's Mostly Amateurs; Friday Start

 NOTICE the lack of anchor stars in this city? There's a few that stand out but by and large, there is no big time anchor talent around. You could make a case for Dan Ashley, Frank Somerville, Jessica Aguirre and Catherine Heenan. Maybe Pam Moore. But after that list, who else?

Dennis Richmond was the last of the mighty might --but he retired 7 years ago. Although Dennis was sort of moody at the end he was main anchor royalty--KTVU's last player in its heyday --and I thought Richmond paired with Leslie Griffith was at the top of the list.

Griffith may have had her "Play Misty With Me" moments off camera but she was damn good over the air.

To this day, nobody comes close to Van Amburg --in my mind, the BEST anchor in Bay Area history. He and Jerry Jensen made for a magnificent team. They were not only great anchors but great television broadcasters. There's a huge difference.

I also liked Dave McElhatton and Kate Kelly. Both had supreme chemistry and a boatload of presence.

Today, we don't have much TV News girth--just a whole lot of amateurs.







55 comments:

  1. Don Hayward...now THERE was an anchor!

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    1. Is that Cheryl Jennings?

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    2. No. It's not Cheryl. That's Jan Carson with Jerry Jennings

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  2. Ah yes, Ol' Kate "Hit & Run Maid" Kelly...what a bitch.

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  3. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at Van's house when he watches the news...I'll bet yells out "Asshole" every 5 minutes.

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  4. If you were around the Sacramento market in the 70's-80's, you'd have seen that KCRA's Stan Atkinson might have been the best local Anchorman ever.

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    Replies
    1. Noooo, Darya Folsom is the best anchor ever!

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    2. She's got two anchors ... on her chest.

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    3. No,Bob Whitten was the best local anchorman in Sacto ever.

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  5. Don Hayward...aka Don Belshe (his real name). He was good!
    And while were on the "old" KNTV, Doug Moore and Maggi Scurra were also EXCELLENT. I worked there back in the day...and loved working with those two.

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  6. I think people are more inclined to expect less of a clearcut Anchor hierarchy today than years ago.
    TV people are far more accessible and less mysterious (= less mythic) today.
    Can you imagine Van Amburg getting into an online "Twitter War" with some Blue Haired Freshman from U.C. Davis, a tweeted inquisition about the threatening microaggressions and dubious Dog Whistles heard in his News Reports?
    And if he ignores them, she developes a Facebook Page dedicated to whining about this one thing. I.E. "#Van-Am-Don'tGiveaDamn!

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  7. Van Amberg, like everything else from Lieberman's childhood "is the best!".

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    1. Don't forget Marcia Marcia Marcia

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  8. Aside from Ashley, Somerville and Moore, there's no there there. Maybe you can include Mathai -- especially with that burgeoning Indian population in the South Bay. But the days of Amburg, McElhatton, Jensen, Richmond, etc. are long gone. So is the quality of local TV news.

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    1. Trust me with Moore there's no there there either.

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    2. Trust me with Moore, there is plenty there. Only an idiot would not see that so you must be an idiot.

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    3. @10:30 and 2:10
      Well-said and spot-on.

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    4. Trust me, Moore is a complete buffoon. The only reason she has kept her job over the years is the color of her skin and having a sexual relationship with a fat red-faced sports anchor.

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    5. There is something to be said about Ken Bastida; he tends to channel Pete Wilson a bit too much but overall a pretty decent anchor...Allen Martin, not so much...

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    6. @1:27
      "The only reason she has kept her job over the years is the color of her skin..."

      And what color is that? Seems to be a rather fair complexion to everyone except you.

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  9. Play Misty for me huh? Details! Was Leslie stalking Ibanez?

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    1. Leslie and Mark lived together for awhile.

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  10. Mark and Leslie were living together...she caught him with someone else. Nuff said

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  11. Kristine Hanson with a cherry on top.

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  12. So soon you forget Carolyn Johnson?

    And in the very long ago, there was Fred Lacoste and Kirstie Wilde on KRON.

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    Replies
    1. Kirstie Wilde is still hot and living in Pacific Grove.

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  13. Dennis Richmond--the last of the great Bay Area iconic anchors. No one since comes close.

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  14. My 1966 Rambler Ambassador was a good car, too.

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  15. Why the big fascination with anchors? When there were only a few channels back in the day, they seemed more important, but they really weren't. Now, with a million channels, there is no mystery as to what they do - they read a teleprompter. It does not mean they are journalists, rather they passed a high school level of reading. I don't recall Van Amburg being on the front lines of the Vietnam War or anything. Rich's take is based partly on the premise that the past was better today, We just have more choices today. I would rather watch Jon Stewart give me the news than a talking head. Nobody can say the writing was better than what was on that show.

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    1. Was that a slip? You would rather have Jon Stewart "give you" the news. If you mean that you like to hear satirical representations of current events, great. But it's concerning if you like receiving the news- any news, like a package. We all lived on the hope that presenting as many facts from as many sides as possible, offered you the opportunity to make a choice, or better yet, make the choice to find more information.

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  16. Catherine Heenan does not belong in this group. She has never been more than a weekend anchor or vacation relief. One would think that to be considered "big time" one should be on a prime newscast. Don't ya think?

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    1. Agree. Catherine Heenan is an old school and lackluster anchor at most.

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  17. Nowadays, perhaps one could also make a case for Bastida.

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  18. For Anonymous at 11:06 am
    Why do you say that about Pam Moore? Can you elaborate?

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  19. I'll never forget Mr. McElhatton's coverage of the '89 quake. I read something later that at the time he was reassuring all of us, with his calm Cronkite like delivery, he was in the same boat that I was - not sure if a loved one was coming home (his daughter, my husband). He was one of the best.

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  20. Boo Hoo, everything is terrible these days. No one can hold a candle to the great Van Amburg.

    Really Lieberman? You're kidding, right?

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    1. No, sir, you're joking. It's called perspective. If you weren't around during Van Amburg's heyday, including knowing and watching other stations and anchors, you'd have no clue the quality of broadcast(ers
      ) was far superior to todays product.

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  21. Want to be number one in the Bay area news arena, it's over the top obvious. Hire beautiful intelligent women and display them properly, and get rid of the "grandma" dress code. Why do you think Fox (cable) is number one, and will remain number one, probably until the end of time. If it's all about ratings.....well!

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    1. ".....and display them properly...." what the hell ??? woman are not objects ! appearance should have zero to do with a broadcasters ability to present the news - unless of course you are a shallow testosterone driven male of species i suppose

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    2. In the Bay Area, one beautiful and intelligent female anchor that I won't miss, is the very attractive Peggy Bunker. (And yes, I am male! )

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    3. You forgot to read the part that says, "Why do you think Fox is number one.

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    4. Heather Holmes comes to mind when you think of Fox cable showcasing sexy women. ... She is trying real hard but KTVU needs to get a legs cam.

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  22. There was no 415Media back then, either. Those anchors seemed a whole lot better!

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    1. Psychologists have a term for it but the name escapes me. Everything from one's childhood is better than it actually was. A huge part is nostalgia.

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    2. 10:29AM, I think you're referring to False Memory Syndrome.

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  23. Sal Castaneda ..... the NEW Dave MacElhattan ?

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    1. Please. Few people know who he is.

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  24. Dan Ashley and Terilyn Joe

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  25. Leslie Griffith? A whole lot more gusto?!? Leslie Griffith?!?

    At least Terrorlyn "G.I." Joe had the balls to throw tomatoes at people she didn't like.

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  26. TV is unwatchable, radio unlistenable, and newspapers unreadable. Just sad...

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  27. Sad but true. Quality journalism is lacking in the larger markets and has disappeared completely in the smaller ones where radio and TV stations have merged and have tiny staffs of underpaid, overworked, inexperienced youngsters.

    Back in the day, tens of thousands of Bay Area residents watched KGO, KRON KPIX and KTVU news, but no more. All these fresh faces on TV come and go with alarming regularity and sadly, very few of them are properly trained or qualified. Many are outright amateurs and embarrassments and never would have gotten even a sniff at working in the local media just a few years ago. But when Congress deregulated the media 20 years ago, that ruined the profession.

    Americans are getting less and less reliable information from fewer and fewer sources. Most of the crap that young people rely upon today on the internet is just regurgitated wire copy. Sad state of affairs. It used to be that you had to spend at least three or four years working in the 'sticks' in small market radio, TV or newspapers before you'd get a shot at a job in SF. But now they're hiring younger, cheaper, and less experienced, because the bean-counters who run the media profession are not accountable to anyone but the shareholders and CEOs. The public gets screwed, and veteran reporters with years of experience and knowledge are thrown out of work because they are "making too much money."

    Americans ought to be upset about it, but everyone, especially the folks under age 35, are totally distracted by their smartphones, and are too busy texting, tweeting, Facebooking and instagramming to care about what is really happening around them.

    Just look at the state our Congress and Senate is in these days and it's no wonder the media is, like most businesses in this country, going down the crapper. No oversight, regulation, or scrutiny means lowered standards, poorer quality service and products, and Americans then have the naivety to wonder how this all happened right under their noses. If we keep elected right wing deregulating Tea-Party nit wits, we'll continue to get what we deserve!

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  28. Hey, Yo 3:30 PM

    I haven't heard that Terrorlyn "G.I." Joe reference before. That's clever. Very cute. If you thought of it, congradulations, if you remembered it from elsewhere, thanks for posting.

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  29. I think, in particular, TV news went to hell when the broadcasting GM went out the door and sales managers, who knew only one aspect of the TV broadcasting profession, became the go to GM. They didn't know news, didn't know technology, and had only one focus, make money by automating everything.This is obviously the short version, but hopefully my point is made.

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  30. For the money, Lynette Jennings has the best modulated voice, most professional presentation, is the most attractively groomed and dressed, and, for her age, is the best looking Bay Area anchor currently working in the market. She may have been put on permanent relief anchor with Ashley, the prick, and decided to take early retirement instead. Good for her.

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