Showing posts with label Frank Somerville; KTVU-Channel 2-"Ten O'Clock News"-415 Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frank Somerville; KTVU-Channel 2-"Ten O'Clock News"-415 Media. Show all posts

Monday, June 13, 2011

10 Questions for Frank Somerville; Up Close and Personal with KTVU's Top Dog; And Something that may Surprise You



Frank Somerville is the lead anchor at KTVU, reading the news at 5, 6, and on the still-vaunted "10 O'clock News."

Its been a little over three years since Somerville took over for veteran tonsil, Dennis Richmond.

So far, the transition has been relatively smooth; although KTVU's viewers ratings are down in the early evening, 10 O'Clock remains a solid domain.

I recently caught up with Somerville and we talked about a variety of things.

It's been 3 years since you've held court since Dennis' retirement--how you feelin?

 I FEEL GREAT. IT TOOK SOME GETTING USED TO, AND IN THE BEGINNING I DIDN'T FEEL TOTALLY COMFORTABLE. BUT NOW I FEEL LIKE I'VE HIT MY STRIDE.ALSO EVERYTHING WAS MADE EASIER BY THE FACT THAT I WASN'T COMING IN FROM ANOTHER STATION AND THAT I ALREADY KNEW EVERYONE AND FOR THE MOST PART THE AUDIENCE ALREADY KNEW ME.

What's been the biggest adjustment? Professional and personal.

I REMEMBER THE FIRST NIGHT I TOOK OVER, AND HOW ODD IT FELT TO SAY, "I'M FRANK SOMERVILLE" AS OPPOSED TO, " I'M FRANK SOMERVILLE FILLING IN FOR DENNIS". BUT REALLY THE BIGGEST ADJUSTMENT WAS THE HOURS. GOING TO WORK AT THREE PM AND COMING HOME AT 11PM, IT'S STRANGE GOING TO WORK AT THE END OF YOUR DAY, THEN HAVING TO BE YOUR SHARPEST FROM 10-11 AT NIGHT, ESSENTIALLY RIGHT BEFORE YOU GO TO BED.


ON A PERSONAL LEVEL, I HAVE TWO KIDS IN SCHOOL SO I DON'T SEE THEM AS MUCH. THEY ARE COMING HOME JUST AS I LEAVE FOR WORK, BUT THAT JUST MAKES THE WEEKENDS THAT MUCH BETTER!


How are things at KTVU?

LET ME SAY FIRST THAT I THINK KTVU IS ONE OF THE BEST STATIONS IN THE COUNTRY AND I AM PROUD TO BE A PART OF IT. THAT SAID, THINGS ARE CHANGING AT CHANNEL 2, JUST LIKE THEY ARE AT EVERY OTHER STATION BECAUSE OF THE INTERNET.


IT'S ALMOST LIKE TV NEWS HAS TO REINVENT ITSELF, AND THERE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE PEOPLE WHO DON'T WANT TO SEE THINGS CHANGE, WHO REMEMBER THE GOOD OLD DAYS (WHICH WERE VERY GOOD!). BUT THESE ARE NEW TIMES AND WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO CHANGE WITH THE TIMES.


There's a sense, (from a few people in the biz) that, perhaps, you've been overworked doing 5, 6 and 10 PM. Your thoughts.

TRUST ME I AM NOT OVERWORKED. I AM BLESSED TO HAVE A GREAT JOB,  THAT I ENJOY AND THAT PAYS VERY WELL. FOR ME TO EVEN SUGGEST THAT I'M OVERWORKED WOULD MAKE ME FEEL LIKE A COMPLETE JERK  WHEN THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE EITHER LOOKING FOR WORK OR BEING FORCED TO WORK MORE THAN ONE JOB TO HELP FEED THEIR KIDS AND PAY THE RENT.   THOSE PEOPLE WORKING TWO JOBS, THEY ARE THE ONES WHO ARE OVERWORKED,  NOT ME,  I'M NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!!


I know you have to be diplomatic here--give me your relationship with ND (news director), Ed Chapuis.

MY RELATIONSHIP WITH ED IS FINE. MY BIGGEST PROBLEM IS REALLY THAT WE DON'T GET A CHANCE TO TALK AS MUCH AS I'D LIKE BECAUSE WHEN I GET IN AT THREE I'M PRETTY MUCH NON STOP UNTIL THE END OF THE SIX PM NEWSCAST. USUALLY BY THEN HE'S GETTING READY TO LEAVE.


I SHOULD ALSO SAY THIS, HE'S IN A VERY TOUGH POSITION BEING THE PERSON WHO HAS TO IMPLEMENT ALL THESE CHANGES. IN JUST ABOUT ANY BUSINESSES THERE ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE PEOPLE WHO ARE RESISTANT TO CHANGE

How do you feel about the local news situation here? Good, bad, indifferent.

I WOULD PUT BAY AREA NEWS, AND ESPECIALLY KTVU NEWS UP AGAINST ANY AREA IN THE COUNTRY.   GO TO NEW YORK,  PHILADELPHIA,  SAN DIEGO,  LA.... AND YOU'LL SEE THAT THEY HAVE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT STYLE OF NEWS COMPARED TO THE BAY AREA.


Give me a detailed schedule of your typical day.


I GET UP ABOUT 8 IN THE MORNING. I GET UP SO I CAN SEE MY GIRLS BEFORE THEY LEAVE FOR SCHOOL, USUALLY ONE OF THEM GETS ME THE PAPERS. THE FIRST THING I DO IS GET MY LOW CARB MONSTER DRINK, A BIG GLASS OF ICE AND READ THE CHRONICLE AND THE TRIBUNE...AND NOT ON LINE.. .I SUBSCRIBE BECAUSE I STILL LIKE GETTING A NEWSPAPER IN THE MORNING.

AFTER THAT I EITHER DO ERRANDS OR WORK OUT OR TRAIN IN AIKIDO. I LISTEN TO KCBS FOR THE TOP STORIES, I CHECK ON LINE TO SEE WHAT'S GOING ON. THEN I MIGHT TAKE A LITTLE NAP TO GET RECHARGED. AS I'M GETTING READY FOR WORK, I WATCH THE NOON NEWS WHICH I HAVE TAPED SO I KNOW WHAT WE ARE COVERING THAT DAY.

ONCE I GET TO WORK I START WRITING AND GOING OVER SCRIPTS FOR THE 5PM. I ACTUALLY DON'T EVEN GET TO LOOK AT THE SIX PM SCRIPTS UNTIL THE BREAK IN BETWEEN THE TWO NEWSCASTS.

AFTER THE SIX I EITHER GO TO THE GYM AND DO CARDIO, GO TO AN AIKIDO CLASS OR ON THURSDAY NIGHTS I GO UP TO THE THIRD FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM WITH MARK IBANEZ AND WE DO A KILLER STOMACH WORKOUT. THAT HELPS CLEAR MY HEAD, AND THEN I'M READY TO GET STARTED ON THE TEN. AND AGAIN, I WRITE SOME STORIES, BUT MY MAIN TASK IS REALLY TO GO OVER SCRIPTS WITH A FINE TOOTH COMB MAKING SURE THEY ARE ACCURATE, FAIR, CLEAR, NON BIASED, ETC.

FOLLOWING THAT I GO OUT AND ANCHOR THE TEN, AND THEN I COME HOME. USUALLY BEFORE I GO TO BED I WATCH THE CBS EVENING NEWS, WHICH I HAVE TAPED, AND THEN I READ. I'M ALWAYS READING SOMETHING NON FICTION BECAUSE MY FEELING IS, WHAT I LEARN MAY COME IN HANDY SOMEDAY WITH A STORY I'M DOING. RIGHT NOW I'M READING A BOOK ABOUT BERNIE MADOFF AND I JUST FINISHED A BOOK ON THE FARALLON ISLANDS.


How's the workouts been going?

THE WORKOUTS ARE GREAT.  I WORK OUT AT GOD'S GYM IN OAKLAND WITH A GUY NAMED  GARY SHIELDS, WHO'S A PERSONAL TRAINER, HE IS A REAL GAME CHANGER. HONESTLY AT 53 I'M IN THE BEST SHAPE OF MY LIFE. MARK IBANEZ ALSO WORKS OUT THERE.   AND HONESTLY ALONG WITH BILL WHO'S IN GREAT SHAPE FROM BIKING AND SURFING,  AND JULIE WHO'S ALSO IN GREAT SHAPE,  I THINK IT WOULD BE FUN SOME DAY TO CHALLENGE THE OTHER ANCHOR TEAMS TO SOME TYPE OF COMPETITION:)  MY MONEY IS ON KTVU!


Your wife's brother is Jay Wright, the college basketball coach at Villanova. Are you a certified fan?

CAN'T SAY I'M A CERTIFIED WILDCATS FAN.. WITH ME IT'S GO BEARS... ALWAYS HAS BEEN, ALWAYS WILL BE.


I ALSO HAVE TO ADMIT I AM NOT A BIG BASKETBALL FAN. MY LINE IS ALWAYS.. BASKETBALL WOULD BE BETTER .. IF IT WAS HOCKEY!!! THAT'S MY SPORT, ALONG WITH FOOTBALL AND FORMULA 1 RACING

Give us something we should know about Frank Somerville that we don't.

I'LL GIVE YOU SEVERAL THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: I'VE WITNESSES TWO EXECUTIONS AT SAN QUENTIN PRISON, I'VE FLOWN WITH THE BLUE ANGELS AND YES I DID THROW UP, AND MARIO ANDRETTI DROVE ME AROUND SEARS POINT IN A TWO SEATER INDY CAR (BEST FOUR MINUTES OF MY LIFE)




I ALSO MENTIONED EARLIER THAT I TRAIN THREE TO FOUR TIMES A WEEK IN AIKIDO (FOR THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW STEVEN SEAGAL IS AN AIKIDO MASTER) AT THE AIKIDO INSTITUTION IN OAKLAND. I'M A 4TH KYU WHICH IS EQUAL TO A GREEN BELT AND PREPARING TO TEST FOR 3RD KYU. AT THIS PACE I SHOULD GET MY BLACK BELT WHEN I'M 56.



I'VE ALSO BEEN A VEGETARIAN, NO MEAT FISH OR POULTRY, SINCE I WAS 12.. I AM A VEGETARIAN BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE TO KILL ANIMALS.



AND FINALLY, MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER IS ADOPTED, SHE ALSO HAPPENS TO BE BLACK. I MENTION THIS ONLY BECAUSE ADOPTING CALLIE IS WHAT I AM MOST PROUD OF IN MY LIFE BECAUSE I CAN NOW SAY THAT IN MY OWN WAY I HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN SOMEONE'S LIFE. AND BY THE SAME TOKEN CALLIE HAS MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN MY LIFE.

ALSO I THINK THE COOLEST THING IN THE WORLD IS THAT MY WHITE KID, WHO'S BIOLOGICAL, WILL GROW UP WITH A BLACK KID AS HER BEST FRIEND, AND MY BLACK KID WILL GROW UP WITH A WHITE KID AS HER BEST FRIEND. IT JUST DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT.

AND IF I COULD JUST PUT IN A QUICK PLUG FOR ADOPTION.. IF THERE IS ANYONE OUT THERE WHO'S CONSIDERING ADOPTION OR IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE ELSE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT IT, PLEASE EMAIL ME AT FRANK.SOMERVILLE@KTVU.COM AND I WILL ANSWER ANY...REPEAT ANY...QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.
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