Archive for KTVU-Channel 2

Mark Curtis Update

Right now, former KTVU-Channel 2 anchor Mark Curtis is on his way to Florida to cover the primary.

I have already been to Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada,” Curtis writes in an e-mail.

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Mark Curtis

Mark has left KTVU-Channel 2 and has started his own freelance news reporting, public relations and political analysis agency.

Go to Mark’s blog for his campaign reporting. Or for more info on Mark, go to his Web site to read about his new adventures in reporting.

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KTVU Announces Dennis Richmond’s Retirement

The worst-kept secret in local TV history is now out in the open: KTVU-Channel 2′s veteran anchor Dennis Richmond will retire in May.

Although it hasn’t been a secret – Dennis Richmond himself has told people for almost two years about his plans – the station has been reluctant to make a public statement until now.

Today, the silence was broken and a full announcement made on the KTVU Web site There’s also a nice slide show on Dennis’ career.

“KTVU has always been one of the most respected TV news organizations in the country and I feel honored to be part of it for so long. It is gratifying to be trusted enough by Bay Area viewers to be welcomed into their homes each night,” said KTVU Anchor Dennis Richmond.

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Dennis Richmond

“Dennis is an icon. He has a presence that demands attention and respect. His anchoring has always been the perfect match for KTVU Channel 2 News,” said KTVU Vice President and General Manager Tim McVay, “As a working journalist, Dennis is the pinnacle of objectivity and fairness. When you watch him anchor, you know you’re getting the real news. He has never let his feelings or opinions drift into the stories he delivers. Dennis and his style of delivery has defined KTVU for decades.”

Richmond will continue to co-anchor the KTVU Channel 2 News at 6 and The Ten o’Clock News on KTVU Channel 2 until May 21, 2008. Richmond started at KTVU on April 29, 1968 and has anchored The Ten o’Clock News on KTVU since 1976.

“I drove with a friend out to California in January 1968 with $400 in my pocket. I had recently finished a three year hitch in the Army and didn’t have a clear idea what I wanted to do,” said Richmond. “I had some family and friends in the Bay Area and didn’t know where I was going to stay, but I knew I needed to find a job.”

He landed at KTVU as a part-time clerk typist. By 1969, Richmond was a full-time reporter and he was covering the Bay Area’s biggest news stories, including some with national attention.

“We had a great opportunity competing against the networks on some big stories back then,” said Richmond. “Patty Hearst’s kidnapping, the Zebra Killings, Dan White’s shooting of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk; they were all high profile stories where the networks threw an army at us, but KTVU was scrappy and we scored some terrific wins with our coverage. Those were exciting times.”

While Richmond has vivid memories of his street reporting days, his decades of anchoring The Ten o’Clock News on KTVU Channel 2 has set him apart from others in the industry. He has delivered steady anchoring while being an eyewitness to history as he led KTVU’s coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, the Oakland Hills Fire, and field anchoring political conventions.

“Dennis is the ironman of the anchor desk at KTVU. It has been an honor penciling his name in the line-up each night. He’s been at KTVU for 40 years, but he could keep going for another decade if he wanted. He’s so strong; it’s hard to believe he’s retiring. We’d love to keep Dennis at KTVU forever and he knows that,” said KTVU News Director Ed Chapuis.

“I wish it wasn’t true. Dennis’s departure from the anchor chair will mark the end of an era in Bay Area television news. He is the ultimate pro and a good friend. What viewers don’t see every night is his compassion for people and his huge heart,” said KTVU co-anchor Julie Haener. “It has been a pleasure and an honor to co-anchor the evening news with him. There will never be another like Dennis.”

Being the anchor of the Bay Area’s top-rated newscast for decades has brought Richmond attention, but he is quick to point out that he’s only part of a winning team. “What we do every day at KTVU is truly a team effort. It wouldn’t exist without everyone here pushing in the same direction. I could not do this without the support of my co-workers. This is not an individual effort. We have a great team here at KTVU and I am happy to be a part of it.”

During Richmond’s tenure he has received a plethora of awards including several Emmy and Radio-Television News Director Association Awards.

In 1999, Richmond received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was elected into the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Silver Circle in 1994. Three years ago, he also received the Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA) Journalist of the Year Award. In 2005, The Radio-Television News Directors Association awarded a national Edward R. Murrow Award for best large market newscast in America to The Ten o’Clock News on KTVU Channel 2 which was anchored by Richmond.

“Dennis is as much of a leader in the newsroom as he is on-air. There is a side of Dennis that viewers don’t see, but his co-workers do and they love him for it. He has a fiery competitiveness. But ‘getting it right’ has always been the most important thing for him,” said KTVU Ten o’Clock News Executive Producer Mike Kelly. “Dennis is a legend in the KTVU newsroom for his attention to factual accuracy, his detailed editing of scripts, and his probing questions in editorial meetings. He is a leader in the KTVU newsroom in every sense of the word.”

Even with all the journalistic awards and recognitions, Richmond says he most appreciated being recognized by viewers. Over the years he has been named the best Bay Area television anchor in the reader’s polls of the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, The Bay Guardian and San Francisco Weekly. “Feedback from viewers, which is unsolicited, is what is most important,” said Richmond. “It means a lot to me and I will miss it.”

Richmond has been recognized, saluted and honored by many civic organizations. He is the recipient of the Humanitarian Award of Oakland, the highest honor given in the city. He was honored as the Good Scout of the Year by the San Francisco Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America in 2004. He is a member of the board of directors of the Child Abuse Consortium which is a statewide agency and has been the Chairperson of the YMCA fundraising drive for Alameda County.

Looking down the road at what life will be like in retirement, Richmond says, “I do know that I’m going to relax and get my golf handicap down. I might write a book, but it will definitely be fiction. My life in news has all been about the facts. So, I’m looking forward to making some stuff up.”

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Heather Holmes Helms KTVU News

Wow. There’s some alliteration for you.

Heather Homes has nabbed the weekend news chair next to Ken Wayne. In a canned press release circulated after hours today, Holmes says she’s excited about her new role at the most respected stations in the country.

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Heather Holmes

It’s been two years this month since Holmes joined the KTVU-Channel 2 news team as a reporter, and was promoted to fill-in anchor in November 2007. She came to the station from WPIX in New York. Her career began in Lubbock Texas.

Holmes received two Emmy Awards in New York and a Long Island Press Club Award for Environmental Reporting in 2005. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Texas.

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More Mark Curtis/Dave Clark reader comments

It’s 2008, and time to clear out the emails:

Miss Young:

I disagree with your viewers who say that Dave Clark (of KTVU) sucks! Or whatever silly word was used to
describe Mr. Clark. He is well qualified with a lot of experience! I think most of the Bay Area viewers are borderline racist! They only tolerate Dennis Richmond as a main anchor…there are no others! As for Mark C., I was an intern there 8 years ago when he would sub or work as a morning reporter! He was a jerk! He arrived there from his DC post in ’98 or ’99! He has not been at KTVU for 14 years! That is a lie!

Andre’

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Dave Clark

And here’s another email from a reader:

While I am not sure why Mark Curtis has been demoted, it does no matter, what is ironic is that you would demote what seems to be a light hearted individual and continue to inflict pain..forcing us to watch Dennis. So why are more people are choosing the internet, CNN and radio for their news choices? We hear personality and do not have to see pancake make-up!

Another Oakland viewer, back to ABC

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Mark Curtis

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More Comments on KTVU-Channel 2’s Mark Curtis

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Mark Curtis

From Alice Becerra:

I too am very disappointed that Mark Curtis is gone. I missed him and was wondering what was up – first thought he was ill. I watched KTVU faithfully every morning at 5:30 and enjoyed Mark and Pam but not now. The new gentleman is just well how should I put it “blaugh” I don’t like his voice, just doesn’t fit with Pam – oh well so much for my opinion. Thank you for the update on Mark Curtis he will be really missed – best wishes to him and his family.

From John Fitzgerald of Santa Rosa:

Was sorry to learn Mark would not be on channel 2 any longer. I have watched the morning news every day (today is Dec. 14) with Dave Clark and it is just not the same. It is about 8:30 am and in my home office and have changed over to KRON 4 my new channel of choice. Best of luck to Mark and his family.

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Livermore-raised Mikaelian Named KTVU-KICU Anchor

Today KTVU-Channel 2 announced Gasia Mikaelian has been promoted to Anchor of the KTVU Channel 2 News at 5 and Bay Area News at 7 on TV36.

Hey, did they just sneak in an announcement that there will be a 7 p.m. newscast launching? That’s right and it begins in January. But we suspect it will be little more than a rehash of the KTVU evening newscasts.

Anyway, a friend, Jason Bezis, called me about a week ago saying that he had been contacted by a polling firm to see if he would watch a 7 p.m. newscast.

That newscast time works out perfectly for folks who are still sitting in commuter traffic when most nightly newscasts air.

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Gasia Mikaelian

Gasia will share the KTVU-Channel 2 News at 5 desk with Frank Somerville. This might help placate viewers the station angered recently when it replaced 14-year early news veteran Mark Curtis with L.A. transplant Dave Clark.

“I’m thrilled to be offered this opportunity,” Gasia says. “Growing up in the Bay Area, KTVU has always been the station I wanted to be a part of, so it is very exciting to be promoted into such a key role here.”

Gasia, who holds a BA in broadcast journalism from San Diego State University, joined the KTVU Channel 2 News team in March 2005 as a reporter/fill-in anchor and was promoted to weekend anchor in July of 2007. Prior to joining KTVU Channel 2 News, she began her career in 1997 in Yuma, followed by stints as an anchor/reporter in Huntsville, and San Diego.

She grew up in Livermore and her family still lives in the East Bay. She has been active in a number of Bay Area charities including the MDA Telethon the past two years.

“It is a pleasure to be able to promote Gasia into this important position,” KTVU News Director Ed Chapuis says. “Her knowledge of the Bay Area and her roots in the community will be an asset for KTVU.”

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KTVU’s Sara Sidner says “Hello, Delhi”!

It didn’t take long for KTVU-Channel 2 news anchor Sara Sidner to pack her bags.

CNN announced Sara will be their New Delhi correspondent beginning in January. CNN is opening a new editorial operation in India, where Sara joins former CNN senior producer Liz Neisloss.

“The rapid growth in India in terms of global business and regional political influence underlines how crucial these appointments are as part of CNN’s international expansion,” said Parisa Khosravi, senior vice president of CNN International newsgathering in the press release. “With Sara and Liz now confirmed, we can combine that with the strength of our sister network CNN-IBN and have a powerful editorial presence in India.”

In the same release, Sara says this is a great opportunity for her.

“To be part of CNN’s international team of correspondents is an opportunity that any journalist would relish,” Sara says. “To be based in India as CNN expands its newsgathering operations makes the challenge and responsibility all the more rewarding.”

This new position in South India is part of the multi-million dollar investment that CNN announced earlier this month and that will see an additional editorial resources and correspondents based in a number of countries. New operations are also planned for Afghanistan, Belgium, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland and Vietnam

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It’s Official: Sara Sidner Out at KTVU-Channel 2

While we tipped you off last week about Sara Sidner, KTVU issued a press release late today confirming that the anchor will be leaving the station for a position with CNN International as a Correspondent.

Sidner’s last day with KTVU Channel 2 News will be December 31st.

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Sara Sidner

“A station is made up of people, and at KTVU I respect and love the people,” Sidner says in the press release. “That is what makes this decision so difficult. It’s like leaving a family but sometimes you need to jump at opportunities. That still doesn’t make it easy.”

Sidner joined KTVU in January 2004 and has reported on a number of important Bay Area and International stories. In 2005, she was the first reporter on the scene and to break the news that four lost Bay Area hikers had been rescued in the Sierra.

In 2006, she covered a story about a girl whose body was dumped in Castro Valley and was only known as Jane Doe. She was in Mexico when investigators finally learned the girl’s true identity and was the first to break the news. Sidner also reported from Sri Lanka in 2004 about the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia.

While working for KTVU Channel 2 News, Sidner has also received a number of awards that include, Peninsula Press Club first place award for Reporting, Northern California Radio and Television News Directors award for Reporting and 4 National Academy of Arts & Sciences (Northern California Chapter) Emmy nominations.

Sidner has also been very active in the Bay Area community; she has volunteered at Saint Vincent’s Day Home in Oakland, hosted the MDA Telethon, is a member of the Junior League of San Francisco and is a board member of Friends of Faith which benefits underserved Bay Area breast cancer patients.

“We are very sad to see Sara leave and will miss her upbeat personality and dedication to our news product and the community,” said KTVU Vice President and General Manager Tim McVay in the press release. “Sara is a real pro and we are very proud and happy for her and this opportunity with CNN International. Sara will always be a welcome member of the KTVU family.”

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Sara Sidner going, going gone from KTVU

Word has slipped out that KTVU’s Sara Sidner is the next anchor out the door at the beleaguered East Bay station.

Sidner joined the KTVU news team as co-anchor of the weekend edition of “KTVU Channel 2 News at 6″ and “The Ten O’Clock News” and weekday reporter in January of 2004.

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Sara Sidner

Sidner, it should be noted, is one of the few locals who looks like she could have a brilliant future as a network prospect. She’s bright, presents herself well and is young. Which is why it is rumored that KTVU wanted to lock her into a five-year contract with the station.

Sidner would be foolish to spend that long at a local station, given her potential. But we’d like to have seen KTVU work with her a bit to keep her on as long as possible.

This comes on the heels of viewers already irate at morning anchor Mark Curtis’ ouster. While the station has said that he will “transition into a reporting position,” we’ve heard no contract has been offered. His current contract expires in January.

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Mark Curtis

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Dennis Richmond Back, Mark Curtis Reporting

Dennis Richmond is back at his desk, and the people at KTVU couldn’t be any happier.

Dennis returned on Friday to anchor the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.

“I watched him and thought he was back 100 percent (after his neck surgery),” KTVU-Channel 2 news director Ed Chapuis says. “He looks good and his voice is strong.”

Dennis said in an interview with Alameda Magazine back in 2006 that he was looking at spring 2008 as a target date and that doesn’t seem to be changing although Ed says nothing new has been announced.

“Look, we all retire at some point,” Ed says. ” But we haven’t made a statement about Dennis yet.”

As for Mark Curtis, who was ousted as the early morning anchor at KTVU in favor of L.A. anchor Dave Clark, Ed says he hopes viewers will give Dave a chance.

“Mark has made the transition from anchoring to reporting. He’s still working here at KTVU and still using his skills to the best advantage,” Ed says. “Dave Clark just started last Thursday and has only been on for four mornings so far. I think he looks terrific and like a part of the team.”

Ed says he understands that viewers might not like the change, but it was done in an effort to improve the newscast.

“If you are watching KTVU news, you see a lot of people who have been here a long time,” Ed says. “I think we do the best job of covering local news in the Bay Area, but we are always looking for ways to improve our coverage and that includes adding people who have the experience and the level of quality of a Dave Clark.”

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