Felix In Hollywood

A Blog for the Smart Set

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stan The Man!

A block up the street from me, this guy retired yesterday.  Well there's more to it than that, see he's 87 years old and has been on the job since 1947.  You might think that at that age his productivity might have slipped or the quality of his work might have been a bit compromised but it hadn't and it wasn't, because if it had it would have been noticed.  You see it wasn't just his bosses that had their eye on his work....


Folks, meet KTLA television news anchor, Stan Chambers.


To fully understand the scope and depth of his career, here's a little perspective.  Paramount took their television station KTLA (originally known as W6XYZ) live on January 22, 1947 with a variety program hosted by Bob Hope.  It became the first licensed station West of the Mississippi and broadcast to each and every one of the 350 TV sets in Los Angeles.  Two months later, Chambers joined the station as their news anchor.


KTLA really has remained a station of firsts and Chambers has been there every step of the way.  Two years after he joined the company, he made history.  Three year old Kathy Fiscus fell into an abandoned water well in San Marino, northeast of downtown Los Angeles. Chambers and a camera truck raced to the scene to do live remote coverage.  For 27 1/2 hours straight. 

Many people knew someone with a TV set where they could gather.  Those who didn't crowded into bars or onto sidewalks in front of appliance stores, riveted.  The day after the tragedy there began a massive uptick in the sales of television sets.  With Stan's reporting the television set went from being something of a novel and expensive plaything to a medium that could inform and unite a community - the country - the world.


Oil refinery fire, 1951


Chambers has also seen, first hand, some of the not-so-wonderful changes in the news racket.  With the introduction of CNN and the 24 hour news cycle, there has been a need for crap more sensational and tabloid style content.  I'm sure you know what I mean:

"WHAT'S IN YOUR REFRIGERATOR THAT CAN KILL YOU
 - TODAY AT 5!"

"POPPY BRENNIGAN TAKES YOU LIVE INTO A MALE STRIP CLUB
 - TONIGHT AT 11!"

But Chambers has stayed alert, detached, and professional; you know - a newsman
And last night after 63 years and over 22,000 news stories, Stan Chambers signed off.

During a commercial break last night, Chambers smiles at his family off camera.


Chambers receives a kiss from wife, Gigi, yesterday.

7 comments:

ayeM8y said...

What a cool story. Brings new meaning to the term 'lifer'.

The days of professional distinguished detached news anchors will soon be over and replaced with the Robin Meades' of the world.

Incidentally did Lassie or Rin Tin Tin show up to save little Kathy Fiscus from the well?

normadesmond said...

gee, reading this brought to mind that very similar story about that governor of alaska, what's her name?

MJ said...

You may be surprised to hear that someone north of the border knows about him but I often watch the KTLA news.

Michaela Pereira and Mark Kriski are Canadians.

Miss Janey said...

Awesome achievements.

Mike, Studio city said...

I have been watching him since I was a kid, and I'm 60 yrs old.

Stephen said...

What an amazing post...
& knew so little about him. I only lived in LA for 4 years.
You give such good blog!

JANN said...

Interesting post.