Category Archives: Breaking News


Think YOU had a bad day? I got into the office this morning and the first thing to greet me was this e-mail! Yes, I bought that Hoverboard at auction in 1992 for $3k. Yes, I sold that Hoverboard in 2010 to a guy in Finland for $11k, almost quadrupling my investment. Smart move, right? Wrong! 11 years later, that same Hoverboard sells at auction for US$506,000. This is heavy! Great Scott! Continue reading MY HOVERBOARD HORROR!


Newton-John once told me after her cancer diagnosis, she would mentally picture her dog (Jackson) running through her system eating the cancer cells like PacMan. I have no doubt that is what kept her going for 30 years after her diagnosis. I got a call on Friday saying it could be any time now, so I suppose she just got tired of fighting. She was a genuinely warm person and shared her time and her wealth with so many. The first time I met her was in Cincinnati when she was shooting the NBC made-for-TV-movie “A Mom for Christmas”. I begged my boss in Detroit to let me go down and interview her. I was so incredibly nervous, but deliberately decided not to get a photo with her as I just wanted that memory for myself. Continue reading I HONESTLY LOVE YOU TOO


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 NewsPersonality Driven – The Secret Sauce For Selling News.   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


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



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


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!


In a society where anyone over 40 is considered an old coot, undate-able and unemployable, a Dutch man tried to do something about it. Emile Ratelband decided to become “age fluid” – officially recognized as twenty years younger to attract more women on Tinder.  He claims he was being discriminated against because he is 69 and wanted to list his age as 49. His logic was, if transgender people can change their sex, he should be permitted to change the date of his birth since doctors have attested that he looks much younger than he actually is. Continue reading “AGE FLUID” FATALIST