Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Don Knapp Is the Hardest-Working TV Reporter In The SF Bay Area; Veteran at KPIX, KRON, KGO, KTVU, CNN; Still Steady And Gritty As Ever

don knapp bio head Don Knapp He's everywhere. Peripatetic? You bet. Busy? What, are you kidding me? On the go? Please, like you didn't notice? I suspect the man would give the Energizer bunny a run for his money.

To merely say Don Knapp is a TV reporter would be like describing the Mona Lisa as just another painting.

Knapp is a veteran Bay Area correspondent. He's worked everywhere--literally. Currently, he's holding down the fort at KPIX, but in case you were on Pluto, he's held down stints at KRON, KGO-TV and radio, CNN, for 12 years too. Did I leave out KTVU?

Knapp is good. Hold that. He's great. In an environment that is, well, un-Knapp-like, he's survived the current cutesy culture that's a haven for local TV news not just in the Bay Area but beyond. We know the story. So does Knapp. Like it's his middle name. Get that 49ers jersey and put "STORY" on the back above the number and put it in his mailbox.

Knapp is tenacious without being obnoxious; aggressive and hard-core-- get the story and facts and get it right, for the most part. He's also old-fashioned dogged and determined--how much so? I ran into Knapp on the Embarcadero a few months back and noticed he was carrying a notepad in his pocket. The old newspaper notepad and it was littered with a ton of notes--notes everywhere. I began laughing: "Don, what the hell is that?" I mean, it's not everyday you see a slick TV guy with an old notebook that would make Lou Grant proud.

I know, smell the irony too?

Yeah, Knapp is an old-school correspondent who doesn't have blond hair, big boobs and red lipstick. Knapp can get away with it because he's, well, Don Knapp. A good word is survived. And truth be told we're damn well lucky he's still out in the field hunting down the next story, the next interview with all the dexterity of a young thoroughbred. That's not just good for Knapp, but indeed the entire Bay Area TV news audience.

Here's to a pro. And a nice guy too.

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  1. Don is the best reporter I've ever worked with in 25+ years. He understands what it takes to tell a story and he loves a good story.

  2. and he has a great heart and he's pretty cute too!

  3. Don not only has a great reporter's sense for covering a story, but he delivers it in a professional and concise manner. Kids coming out of college would be well advised to study how this guy performs his craft, because that's how TV reporters are supposed to do it! Unfortunately, Don is part of a dying breed as the broadcast industry has consolidated, and many of the true broadcasters have been either shoved out the door or quit, only to be replaced by many rank amateurs with limited experience. As a result, America is getting far less full and complete coverage of stories, and it's one of the great ironies of our time. With more instantaneous coverage on radio, TV, the internet, etc, than ever before, there are fewer true journalists out there than in a long time. It's one of the many reasons this country has been dumbed down and it has allowed also allowed mega-media companies with a strong political agenda such as Fox to foist their extreme opinions instead of covering the news in a clear, objective manner.

    1. I love your post! You crap all over FOX as an "extreme opinions" outlet, but it is your corrupt bankrupt administration that has set the stage for all of this downturn. Oh I forgot, after 5 years, it is still GWB's fault. LOL!

  4. He's also one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. I've always admired his work and his upbeat nature, he's one of the best.

  5. They don't make them like that anymore!

  6. I have always liked this guy, and it is nice to see all of the favorable posts about him!

  7. Thanks for a well-deserved tribute, Rich. I have been a Don Knapp fan for years. When he's on a story, you know that he'll give you more than just the facts. He'll dig deep, ask the insightful questions and give it the human touch in simple but concise, well-crafted language. Don is simply the best there is, and without a trace of star ego. He's also one of the nicest human beings you'll ever have the pleasure to talk to, if you're ever lucky enough to meet him. Don Knapp is a Bay Area treasure, and we're so lucky to have him.

  8. Great column, Rich. You've had some good ones recently. I've enjoyed Mr. Knapp's reporting for many years. He's a throwback, in a good way, to what journalism once was and increasingly is no longer. As a print editor and radio newscaster, I always viewed TV journalism with a skeptical eye ~ for good reason, as the KTVU fiasco proves. However, when viewing Don Knapp's reporting, I always saw and heard a true professional journalist who takes the craft and art of journalism seriously. He's among a rare journalist in today's media. Tech journalism (print and broadcast ~ via videos on Web sites and podcasts) could use a thousand Don Knapps.

  9. I've worked with Don at KRON and he was a great guy and very easy to work with. Prepared, fast, intelligent. Rare these days!

  10. He is very good.

  11. I worked with Don for many years at KPIX. He truly is the nicest, hardest-working guy in TV. And he delivers, every single time.