Tuesday, March 6, 2018

What The Anchors Of Today Lack That Was Quite Apparent Years Past: Bay Area TV News Star Power

Image result for dave mcelhatton kpixONE OF THE THINGS I MISS ABOUT THIS MARKET is the lack of Star Power.

Dave McElhatton and Van Amburg come to immediate mind. Pete Wilson and Evan White, Bob Jimenez and Dennis Richmond.

You may not have necessarily loved their style or approach but you nonetheless watched them

Image result for dave mcelhatton kpixI wasn't a huge Wendy Tokuda fan but at least she had an aura about her; ditto Terrilyn Joe, who could cause quite a storm but was fairly good and confident on the air.

*Evan White was like a mini-Walter Cronkite. A Bay Area old, KRON/KGO steady presence on the air who brought civility to the desk with his calm demeanor and reticent style. It was both effective and necessary when too many others would shout.

Image result for Evan White KRONWhite didn't need to raise his voice because he was already in charge. No story could shake him; I'm not saying he didn't inject emotion every now and then; I am saying he approached the story with a consistent calm and ease which made him very popular with viewers. We could use an Evan White on Bay Area TV News; the only one that comes close is Dan Ashley, another anchor comfortable and calm bereft of loud antics and an easy to watch.

Image result for Evan White KRON*Bob Jimenez was as gifted an anchor as I ever watched here in the Bay Area. I knew he was network quality.  A cool, sincere, reader and could ask intelligent questions in a split screen. Moreover and quite delicately, Jimenez also had a wicked sense of humor. It wasn't overt; you had to really watch him to discover it but when it eacked out, it could be quite interesting and watchable.

SO HERE, I may shock you:

I liked Sylvia Chase at KRON. Too bad it never worked for her in this market but I liked her work and she was definitely a star. For some reason viewers never warmed to her but I think that's more a Bay Area thing than Chase in particular.

She was never able to generate any chemistry nor gusto but I liked her elegant look and simple style of reading the news. I was definitely in the minority. Maybe it's a matter of taste.

Image result for Sylvia Chase KRON



27 comments:

  1. Good analysis and summary. I miss Dave Mack and Pete Wilson the most.

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  2. I loved Sylvia when she did her psychic stuff. Especially when she was on "That's Incredible" with the great Fran Tarkenton at the haunted Toys R Us in Sunnyvale.

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  3. Terilyn Joe may have been a tornado of dysfunction, but she was physically attractive. And yes, she usually was good on-air.

    I've always wondered if Chase's health issues effected her work during the latter part of her career.

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  4. Who watches local news these days anyway? Everything they report is old by the time it reaches the air. We know the scores, we've seen the highlights, we know what the weather forecast is etc. Unless one has been away from a radio or internet there is little reason to tune in to televised local news. 1985 is no more Rich.

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    1. This is what's really wrong. I travel to other markets and see it there as well.

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  5. Today other than Dan Ashley and Frank Somerville there aren't any real news anchors anymore

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  6. 10:42, I agree.

    Even the local newscasts admit that time has passed them by, when the lead story ... often highlighted as "BREAKING NEWS," ... turns out to be a house fire, which was doused 6 hours ago.

    And, I'm no "Millennial."

    Those of us who worked in local radio for decades, watch, helplessly, while our medium has lost relevance.

    Our colleagues on the "TV side," are going to have to face the reality that they are headed for the same situation.

    Van, Dennis, "Mack" and Pete aren't coming back into vogue.

    Time marches on.

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  7. I remember Sylvia Chase. Nothing wrong with her, she was cool. Maybe Bay Area people (including me) are just hypocritical douchebags.

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  8. Sylvia Chase was a very good investigative reporter along with her producer. She was a lousy anchor. The first skill is more important.

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  9. Growing up in the South Bay, I freakin' LOVED KNTV's Doug Moore and Maggi Scurra from the 80's. I thought they were on par with any of the "Big Boys/Girls" from up north.

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  10. remember..Dave McElhatton was a radio guy with no TV experience. Joe Russin, who also hired me at KPIX, came from the serious side of the news biz. He was a great news director. He knew that Dave's warmth and genuine personality would overcome the glamor boy approach to picking news anchors. It was a gamble that worked.

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    1. Well, one out of two gambles worked.

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    2. If you are implying that I didn't work out at KPIX, you are wrong. I came there from Carmel and my first job at KSBW. The ratings for the weekend shows I did with the very solid Andrew Hill and Jan Hutchins went up by two ratings points. Do you find that evil? We had a very good news program. I was then hired by CBS Sports as one of the first female sportscasters on the network, doing segments for the CBS Sports Spectacular. At KPIX, Joe Russin brought in lots of folks who were excellent, serious reporters and producers. We had Belva DAvis then, Bill Schechner, Cheryl Jennings..etc. etc. Television news viewing was much higher then, as was radio listenership. There were no internets.

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    3. Oh my you're insecure and easily baited. You seem quite enamored with yourself and self-congratulatory. I'm sorry the big time didn't work out for you and you ended up in tiny markets and UHF stations.

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    4. Bullshit, you're sorry? That's like saying to someone," I'm not going to lie to you."It always means that you are not a person who typically tells the truth. I had a wonderful career spanning tiny stations, mid-market stations, as well as a major network. Probably the most fun, was in the nation's then 26th market. In Santa Barbara, high atop TV Hill, checking out the north swells while leaving work. Size isn't everything. Along the way, I went to law school and then practiced at a dream firm. I'm not sorry you don't like yourself. I'm 73 now, and among other things, finishing a documentary about ten nasty deaths in the foothills. As Eva Marie Saint said at the Oscar's telecast last week, "Just keep moving". May you never reach my advanced age and experience. It would be too much for you to handle.

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  11. Agree with Scura and Moore. Local icons. Have gravitas.

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  12. When KPIX was a Westinghouse station, they were solid with Mac, Wendy Takuda, Joel Bartlett and Wayne Walker. Kate Kelly slid into the anchor position after Wendy moved to SoCal. They worked well together and genuinely appeared to liked each other.

    Back then, I thought the were better than KGO, KRON and KTVU.

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  13. No one tops Ashley and Somerville in the market. I'm actually an Eric Thomas (KGO-ABC-7) fan as well. He's smooth, as is KTVU's Ken Wayne. Aside from KTVU and KGO, I'm not sure what KPIX and NBC Bay Area has to offer. Ken Bastida is a great guy, but a great anchor? He's top 6 in the market but does that make him special? Raj Mathai is also solid, but again, nothing special! Don't get me started on KRON. But to be honest, sometimes I enjoy watching Gary's "sports" coverage. I'm just waiting for him to go off on something....

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  14. > I wasn't a huge Wendy Tokuda fan but at least she
    > had an aura about her

    That was just confusion.

    Wendy couldn't find her ass on a good day if she used GPS.

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  15. Old Juan in DelanoMarch 6, 2018 at 8:20 PM

    Evan White: Don't forget Bay TV. "Bay TV is YOUR TV"

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  16. I grew up with Mac, Wendy, Wayne and Joel at 6 and of course Dennis at 10... my childhood. I also liked Barbara Rogers and Pam Moore. I didn't become a fan of Pete Wilson until he came to KRON...solid as they come

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  17. Dontcha miss Milt kahn?

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  18. I agree with the statements about getting the weather forecast via other sources besides TV or radio.

    The TV weather segments repeat the same information two or more times during the brief amount of time allotted for them, and I think I know why. When's the last time you saw a national map during the weather segment (besides the brief shots where hurricanes might be happening)?

    It used to be an actual weather "report" of temperatures and conditions from the east coast to the west, at which point the focus turned to the Bay Area. Now we don't see a map of anything more than the greater Bay Area. Not even southern California temperatures or forecasts, even though the air traffic corridor between here and there is one of the busiest in the nation.

    This strikes me as very self-centered, as if weather elsewhere doesn't matter. Wouldn't we all like to feel better about the impossible traffic, cost of living and astronomical home prices here by being informed that it's -17 in Chicago?

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  19. Dion Lim has the makings to be a Bay Area icon.

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  20. Before Dennis Richmond . . . does anyone else remember Gary Park? He was my favorite, along with the excitable, enthusiastic weatherman, Pete Giddings! "Batten down the hatches folks!! Giant blockbuster storm blowing in from Hawaii, with four or five inches of rain expected"!!
    Five hours later . . . "Oops, sorry folks, the storm fell apart about fifty miles off shore".

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  21. Like a previous post said: Radio and TV ain't no more. For forty years I was part of this once respected contributor to our society. I was lucky enough to spend my entire broadcasting career right here in The Bay Area, covering all the good and the bad. When the computer and later the internet came into our lives, I saw how this new and ever changing technology was going to change our lives forever. Despite my warning colleagues that our days were numbered! Many stayed and unfortunately They've become statistics of a disappearing industry. Newspapers, magazines became some of the first victims. You pick up the Merc or the Chron today and the stories they publish are laughable. Because of staff size, Radio was first to be hit by the financial ax as their ad revenue began to collapse when ratings stated showing up in single digits. I remember the once powerhouse radio station I worked for was pulling in a 10 share for all four quarters. Today, not even the number one station can pull such a rating, even for a single quarter. Local TV was able to hang on a bit longer as all local stations make a tidy profit from national ad campaigns where they hook onto by selling commercial space to local retailers. The auto industry is one good example. Those were the days! Like in the last scene of that old Mary Tyler Moore show. Whoever is the last one to leave; you know what to do!

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  22. Sylvia Chase: Probably sent several KRON folk to the nut house. Classic example of great field reporter lousy anchor. Her arrival was the biggest media whore event in Bay Area TV history. Buses, Bart, Magazines, Billboards opined the Chase is On! Problem, much like Dennis Richmond, she couldn't ad-lib her way out of a paper-bag. On the night of Sunday Super Bowl victory for the Niners it was Good Evening Bay Area its 6:00 O'Clock and I'm Sylvia Chase. Problem was it was 6:27 and she was glued to the prompter. Some say it was no accident. Either way she lasted less than two years. True Story.

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