Friday, June 30, 2017

Van Amburg's Last Newscast on KGO-TV

The following video above is Van Amburg's last broadcast on KGO-TV; in fact, his last newscast, period, from August 29, 1986, nearly 30 years ago.

(Amburg passed away last Thursday)
Amburg, one of the most celebrated and famous Bay Area news anchors left KGO under mysterious circumstances but many believed Van's exit was a power struggle with ABC which owned KGO at the time --(Disney owns ABC today and KGO is an O and O )

Amburg was the highest-paid (just over a million dollars) Bay Area anchor; he and the late Jerry Jensen were a part of one of the most successful and profitable newscasts, "News Scene", which dominated the ratings during the 70's and mid 1980's and made Channel 7 #1 for many years.

It was KGO that was the unofficial birthplace of the "Happy Talk" format; "If it bleeds, it leads" was a common industry tag line that came out of the KGO newsroom. The circle7 logo became a regular presence on KGO's news platforms.


  1. Interesting look back, I remember Van Amburg, is was also interesting to see a young and slimmer Pete Wilson, who also for years was a main personality on local TV, and was in fact an anchor on KGO TV and also a radio host on KGO 10 years ago when he suddenly and sadly passed away. I remember it was 10 year ago (this august I think) because my cousin and her husband was visiting from my native Denmark. Even though it has only been 10 years it seem a lifetime ago, back then both radio and TV had substance and class, not so much anymore. In fact we seem to have a President who has no class what so ever, sad on all points.

  2. I find it a bit ironic; on one of the local news stories about Mr. Van Amburg's passing, it was mentioned that after he got out of the military he moved to the Bay Area with his bride and studied broadcasting at SF State. While going to school he supported his family by working at Judson Steel in Emeryville...the same Judson Steel that was the opening story of Van Amburg's last'ever newscast...interesting how life comes full circle...

  3. Another side note: The story on US Navy planes chasing Russian planes out of the Bering Sea being launched from the USS Carl Vinson. I was on that ship at the time...I recall waving at the brown USSR planes as they flew over us. In fact, I may have been in that pic of the ship in the story...

  4. Folks that is what a professional newsman looks like

  5. I laughed out loud at the CHP officer identified as "John E Law"