Personalities have been coming into our homes since the invention of radio. When television came along, the addition of the video image often magnified the personalities who graced its screen. There were quite a few legendary local TV news personalities to grab audiences – here are a few of my favorites:
Bill Bonds, Channel 7 Action News. He was the king of Detroit TV from the late ‘60’s to the mid-90’s on ABC affiliate WXYZ. He was beloved as the hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, hairpiece-wearing, blue-collar everyman in a rank and file union town. After the Gennifer Flowers revelation, he asked presidential candidate Bill Clinton during a nationally-televised debate: “Are there any more smoking bimbos in your closet?” And have you seen his direct and unflinching interview with Utah Senator Orrin Hatch?
Next check out Ann Bishop, Eyewitness 10 Nightbeat, who dominated the Miami market at WPLG for 10 years. She was hell in heels. She would look you right in the face and call you a liar if you happened to be a politician guesting on her newscast. I couldn’t track down some of the legendary clips, but this gives you an idea:
Then there’s Al Schottelkotte, “The Voice of Cincinnati,” known for his forceful on-air delivery. His WCPO newscasts were such big hits that they bore his name: The Al Schottelkotte News at 6 & 11. He owned the Queen City from 1960 to 1982.
I grew up watching Mr. Schottelkotte. I clearly remember his coverage of a tragic breaking news story in Cincinnati – and one thing he said in particular that I still recall nearly 40 years later. Click on the photo below to view that blog post.
Also check out another blog post about the incomparable Arlene Francis – click on the photo below to view that.