This week we celebrate the 29th anniversary of the (original) KTLA Morning News in Los Angeles – the Barbara-Carlos-Mark-Sam version was the highest-rated local morning program in TV history! This show provided me with so many life-long friends, a treasure trove of memories and videos, it brought me a mantle full of Emmy Awards and it bought me my first house and half a dozen cars! A few years ago, I wrote a book about my phenomenal experiences starting up the KTLA Morning News – …Like No One’s Watching – Transform Your Local Newscast Into A Hit TV Show! On the off-chance that you haven’t read it, I’m posting the first chapter here – all about the little show that became a monster hit – completely by accident! Continue reading THE KTLA MORNING NEWS JULY 8, 1991
Just know: If I show up at the ER complaining of pneumonia-ish symptoms and you are unable to test me for the coronavirus because you’re all out of tests, I realize it’s not you who failed to plan accordingly – and I genuinely thank you for being there. Continue reading TO MY FIRST RESPONDERS:
Every so often throughout the course of history, a monster comes along – the kind our parents promised us don’t really exist – to put the human race back in its place. Its sole purpose is to remind us how small and truly insignificant we all are. This monster is among us now, lurking invisible to the naked eye but proving itself to be bigger, more adaptable and more powerful than any one of us. Ironically, it’s this very beast that reminds us it can only be defeated by “the whole” of us. Continue reading THE MONSTER AMONG US
Sometimes you’ve just got to let them talk it out. When the word “thug” became a news story, everyone on set had an opinion. It’s so important to allow them to discuss these issues – which strengthens the connection between your talent and your audience. In this example, we just let them talk right up to the hard break.
Continue reading LET ‘EM TALK IT OUT
WAZE 2 UTILIZE UR NEWS CHOPPER
One of my greatest resources while producing The KTLA Morning News was Skycam 5 – our news helicopter, and the people inside – traffic reporter Jennifer York, a photographer (often Martin Clancey) and their pilot (usually one of the Tamburro brothers). With L.A. traffic being a commuter’s worst nightmare, the chopper was in the air four hours daily with scenes from traffic tie-ups in every direction. The chopper was also one of our greatest tools in covering breaking news. In fact, early on, we found a huge audience from an exclusive story KTLA broke thanks to our chopper – the massive flooding in Ventura County where torrents of water literally washed away a mobile home park. You can check out a quick recap of that exclusive footage here before I go on to address the “elephant in the air”… Continue reading THE ELEPHANT IN THE AIR
60 Minutes Australia comes up with the most incredible stories that never seem to reach our shores. Have you heard about this tiny village in Turkey where people still walk on all fours? Absolutely astounding! Continue reading VILLAGERS STILL WALK ON ALL FOURS!
Lost a friend over the Christmas holidays. Robin Phillips has died in Houston. Robin anchored the weekend news at WLWT in Cincinnati when I was little Ray the intern. We covered many breaking stories together including a man barricaded in his home holding family members hostage. He suddenly started shooting from a window – Robin and I heard the bullets whiz right over our heads! That’ll teach you to keep your head down! Continue reading THE LOSS OF BRIGHT EYES
Hey – anchors, reporters and news directors – I want to talk to you for a moment about Rhoda Young. You may not have heard of her or you may have dismissed her – either way – big mistake! She and other “vigilante” journalists are capturing compelling breaking news stories right there in your own backyards – stories that the local affiliates are either skipping or missing. More importantly, they’re capturing an audience (1.1 million views and counting). When was the last time you had one million people watching your house fire package? Continue reading RHODA YOUNG LIVE ON THE SCENE!