Special Emmy? Awards Gala Edition
the board of governors
San Jos? State University
Vice President, San Francisco:
ABC-TV Good Morning America
Vice President, Sacramento:
Vice President, Fresno:
KMPH FOX 26
Vice President, Reno:
Vice President, Smaller Markets:
Spalding & Company
(National Awards Chair)
(National 2nd Vice Chairperson)
(National Program Chair)
KTVU Channel 2
KDTV Univision 14
KUVS Univision 19
Beyond Pix Studios
The Big Picture
(Gold & Silver Circle Chair)
4 U Productions
KNTV NBC Bay Area
KTVU Channel 2
KMPH FOX 26
KGMB/KHNL Hawaii News Now
KFTV Univision 21
(Emmy Gala Chair)
Catchings & Associates
KTVU Channel 2
ARC Law Group
Darryl R. Compton
Calendar of Events
KGO-TV ABC7 Anchor
Dan Ashley's "Rock the CASA" Benefit with
Eddie Money at Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek
Off Camera Copy Deadline
2015-2016 Calendar Year Begins For S.F./NorCal Chapter of NATAS
For more events and important dates, please visit the Chapter website at emmysf.tv.
A Star-Studded Evening to Remember
in San Francisco
Where to Watch Live; Red Carpet Interviews
By Keith Sanders
San Francisco will be the place to be on June 6 for the 44th Annual Northern California Area Emmy? Awards.
The Emmy? Gala will be held at the SFJAZZ Center.
The black-tie evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres and complimentary wine provided by Watts Winery (no host bar available).
The program begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Robert N. Miner Auditorium with reserved seating. The
Marcus Shelby Trio will be performing live jazz music throughout the evening. Shelby will also be leading an "Emmy? Etiquette Sing-Along."
Recipients of the Emmy? statuette will be escorted from the stage to the Joe Henderson Lab for red carpet photographs and interviews.
A dual webcast will allow online viewers to see the live stage presentation and red carpet interviews on
Da Lin of KPIX 5
, Kim Stephens of KMPH Fox 26 and Kevin Wing of ABC News.
The Emmy? LIVE show is sponsored by Comcast. Real-time, individual recipient speeches will be posted to NATAS' YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Add #EmmySFTV to all of your Emmy? night posts.
Emmy? Award Presenter Envelopes will be provided by veteran volunteer Terry Adams. Emmy Guardians Justin Mendoza and Taylor Mosley will deliver statuettes to recipients. Fred LaCosse and Terry Lowry will serve as our experienced Emmy? announcers.
Opening the Emmy? Envelopes
Gala Presenters Represent Entire Chapter
By Keith Sanders
Fourteen distinguished television news veterans representing the entire San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will be opening the coveted Emmy Award envelopes at the 44th Annual Northern California Area Emmy? Awards in San Francisco June 6.
The Bay Area, Sacramento, Fresno, Reno and Honolulu will be honored with the presence of the presenters representing those regions of the Chapter.
Sam Brock anchors NBC Bay Area's Today and also reports for KNTV's "Reality Check" franchise. Sam's reporting primarily focuses on fact-checking claims and statements from leaders to promote transparency in government. He joined KNTV in 2012 and is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.
For over 19 years, Tori Campbell has been Co-Anchor of the Emmy? award-winning "Mornings on Two" newscast on KTVU Fox 2, as well as "The News at Noon." Before joining KTVU, she was a reporter and weekend anchor at KGO radio and was also the news director at KKIQ radio in Livermore.Tori graduated magna cum laude from Hamilton College, in upstate New York where she majored in French Literature.
Ama Daetz is an ABC 7 News Anchor and a San Jose native. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University and began her career as a writer, producer and editor in Fresno. Ama then anchored and reported in Amarillo, Texas, Kalamazoo, Michigan and Detroit, Michigan. Most recently she was an Anchor for the FOX affiliate in Sacramento. Ama has even acted in a primetime TV series and a science fiction movie.
Veronica De La Cruz is a Bay Area native who co-anchors the 6 p.m. KPIX 5 newscast and "Night Beat" at 10 p.m. on KBCW. Earlier in her career she hosted MSNBC's "First Look," as well as NBC's "Early Today Show." Veronica also served as a correspondent for both NBC and MSNBC. Prior to that, she spent six years at CNN as an anchor and correspondent for "CNN Worldwide" and for CNN's "American Morning." She began her career in news as an anchor and reporter for KYMA, the NBC affiliate in Yuma, Arizona. Before working in journalism, Veronica spent a decade of her life as a competitive figure skater.
Kellie DeMarco is News Anchor for the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts at KCRA 3 in Sacramento. Since joining KCRA 3 in 2011, she's covered Northern California's biggest breaking news stories and travelled the country covering national stories like the Aurora movie theater shooting and multiple Super Bowls. She received an Emmy? Award for Best Anchor in 2013. She's also the recipient of two Edward R. Murrow awards and multiple national AWRT awards for her reports on women's issues.
Wayne Freedman (Silver Circle 2002) is a Reporter at ABC7 in San Francisco. In 1977 he earned a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from UCLA while working at KABC-TV in Los Angeles. In 1978 he earned a Master's Degree in Journalism at the University of Missouri. He then worked at stations in Louisville, Kentucky and Dallas, Texas before moving to KRON (NBC San Francisco) in 1981. In 1989, CBS Network News hired Wayne to produce and report national feature stories for "CBS This Morning." Two years later ABC7 hired him. His book, It Takes More Than Good Looks to Succeed at Television News Reporting, now in its second edition, is required reading for major college journalism programs in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Wayne is the recipient of 51 Emmy? awards. In 2012, he received a regional Edward R. Murrow award for writing.
Michelle Griego joined KPIX 5 in 2012 as co-anchor of KPIX 5 "News This Morning," and can be seen on KPIX 5 "News at Noon." She also hosts the locally produced talk show "Bay Area Focus," that airs on the CW 44 Cable 12. Before moving to the Bay Area, Michelle worked at CBS4 in Denver for seven years. The Colorado native started her career in journalism at the tender age of 11 where she co-anchored a kids' news show, "Two Bits" for KWGN-TV. She attended Colorado State University and Metropolitan State College where she was News Director of the campus television station. She was honored with an Emmy? award in 2014 for anchoring "KPIX 5 at 6 AM."
Liz Harrison is co-anchor of "Action News Live" at 5 & 11 at KFSN ABC 30 in Fresno. She's also an Emmy? winning reporter who began her broadcasting career at ABC30 in 1982. Over the years she anchored just about every newscast at the station. She and photojournalist Richard Harmelink received an Emmy? Award in 2010 for excellence in reporting. Liz attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Broadcasting. Liz's formative years were spent in Baltimore, Maryland and Brussels, Belgium.
Until last year, Don Knapp (Gold Circle 2014) worked at KPIX as a General Assignment reporter. Don's 50-year career began at a small town radio station in Ohio. He's worked in San Francisco at KTVU, KPIX, KRON, KGO and what he calls the best job of his professional life - 13 years as a CNN network correspondent. He's been recognized with national and local Emmy? statuettes, Press Club awards and a Society of Professional Journalists Career Achievement award for Excellence in Journalism. Don has a Master's Degree in Journalism from Ohio State University.
Jairo Diaz Pedraza is a News Anchor for Univision 19 in Sacramento. He was born in Lima, Peru and began his career as a radio announcer in Los Angeles. In Miami, he worked for CBS Telenoticias and Telemundo Internacional as a Producer, Sport Anchor and News Anchor. Jairo has received 11 Emmy? awards in the last 9 years.
Jaime Peluffo is a Video Journalist/Reporter at Univision 14. He's a two time Emmy? award-winning reporter and a Peninsula Press Club winner. He's worked in the Bay Area, Texas and Arizona and has over 20 years of television news experience.
Every weekday morning Kim Stephens (Silver Circle 2014) is co-host of "Great Day" with Kopi Sotiropulos at KMPH FOX 26 in Fresno. She then anchors the station's "Midday News." She grew up in San Rafael and is a Marin Catholic grad. Her career began in 1988 with a telecommunications degree from California State University, Chico. Her first job was at KERO in Bakersfield, where she worked her way up to weeknight anchor/reporter. She then became the main evening anchor at WBIR and WVLT in Knoxville, Tennessee. During this time she earned a master's degree in broadcast management at the University of Tennessee. In 2000 Kim got the opportunity to work in San Jose at KNTV as a reporter and weekend news anchor. She then started a brand-new weekly news and entertainment program, "Great Day" on KMPH Fox 26. She has three Emmy? Award nominations and currently he serves as chapter Vice President for the Fresno Region.
(Silver Circle 2007) is an ABC7 Sunday Morning News Anchor and general assignment reporter. She joined ABC7 in 1986 and served as Weekend News Co-Anchor from 1989 through 1995. Carolyn shares the George Foster Peabody Award and the Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. She's received the Rosa Parks Legacy Award in 2006 from the A. Philip Randolph Institute and the Media Award from the Bay Area Coalition of 100 Black Women. She is a member of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association and is the founding co-chair of Friends of Faith. Carolyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcasting from the University Of Wyoming.
(Silver Circle 2004) is the weekend anchor at KITV (ABC Honolulu). In the past she worked at KPIX and KQED in San Francisco. Pam is an 11 time Emmy? winner and is a Peabody recipient. She's also the producer and host of "Mixed Plate", which is Hawaii's longest running news feature series. Pam also serves as NATAS Vice President for Hawaii.
Tickets Still Available for June 6
Emmy? Gala at SFJAZZ Center
Emmy? Gala Chairperson
It is still not too late to purchase tickets to attend this Saturday evening's 44th Annual Northern California Area Emmy? Awards at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco.
Reserved seats must be purchased in advance. Tickets are $80 each. Go to www.emmysf.tv and click on June 6 Tickets to pick your seats.
Emmy? nominations were announced May 6. The Emmy? Award is presented for outstanding achievement in television by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). San Francisco/Northern California is one of the nineteen chapters awarding regional Emmy? statuettes. Northern California is composed of media companies and individuals from Visalia to the Oregon border and includes Hawaii and Reno, Nevada. Entries aired during the 2014 calendar year.
This year, a record number of 761 English and 135 Spanish entries were received in 61 categories. English and Spanish language entries were judged and scored separately. A minimum of five peer judges from other NATAS chapters scored each entry on a scale from 1 to 10 on Content, Creativity and Execution. (Craft categories were judged on Creativity and Execution only).
The total score was divided by the number of judges. The mean score was sorted from highest to lowest in each category. The Chapter Awards Committee looked at blind scores (not knowing the category) and decided on the cut off number for nominations and recipients. The results were tabulated by the Chapter's accounting firm, Spalding and Company.
Gala's Classy Musical Entertainment
Will Illuminate SFJAZZ Center
Saturday evening's 44th Annual Northern California Area Emmy Awards Gala in San Francisco will not only showcase the outstanding work of all of this year's talented Emmy? Award nominees, but some very classy entertainment as well with the Marcus Shelby Orchestra.
Marcus Anthony Shelby
Marcus Anthony Shelby is a bandleader, composer, arranger, bassist, educator, and
activist who currently lives in San Francisco.
Over the past 25 years, Shelby has
built a diverse biography as a composer. His work and music has focused on sharing
the history, present, and future of African American lives, on social movements in the
United States, and on early childhood music education.
Shelby received the Charles Mingus Scholarship to attend Cal Arts and study
composition with James Newton and bass with Charlie Haden. From 1990 to 1996, Shelby
was bandleader of Columbia Records and GRP Impulse! Recording Artists Black/Note.
Currently, Shelby is an artist in residence with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival and
the artistic director of the Marcus Shelby Orchestra. In 2013, Shelby received a
commission from the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival to compose
Beyond the Blues: A
Prison Oratorio, an original composition for big band orchestra about the
Industrial Complex, which will premiere in September.
Shelby was awarded a 2009
Black Metropolis Research Consortium Fellowship in Chicago for to
conduct research for his commission to compose Soul of the Movement, a musical
suite on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement. Shelby was also a 2006 Fellow in the
Resident Dialogues Program of the Committee for Black Performing Arts at Stanford
University to conduct research for his commission to compose Harriet Tubman, a musical on the life of the freedom fighter.
Shelby has also
worked extensively in Bay Area Theater, Film, and Dance on a range of productions,
such as composing scores for Anna Deveare Smith's new play, School to Prison Pipeline
(2014), choreographer Joanna Haigood's dance theater work, Dying While Black and
Brown (2014), Margo Hall's plays Bebop Baby (2013) and Sonny's Blues (2008), the
Oakland Ballet's Ella (2004),
The San Francisco Girls Choir (2013), The Oakland Youth Chorus
(2014), and many other productions during the past 19 years in the Bay
Since 2002, Shelby has worked with the Equal Justice Society and is currently
commissioned to create a musical theater work with Halgood
Stephen Anthony Jones
about the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Shelby also
has arranged for, toured, and conducted the
Orchestra featuring Ledisi,
performed and recorded with Tom Waits, and received the City Flight Magazine 2005
award as one of the "Top Ten Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area".
Vocalist, songwriter, and educator Tiffany Austin is a native of Los Angeles, where she was an event performer and session singer. She has received classical voice training in both England and America, and has studied jazz at the Jazz Institute in Berkeley, California. She lived in Tokyo for five years, building a career as a vocalist/lyricist, and performing in various venues: television, live concerts, and session recordings.
Ranging from a rich alto to a clear mezzo-soprano, Austin's voice is infused with jazz and soul. She has performed with Roy Ayers and performs regularly with vocalist Valerie Trout, Darren Johnston, and Marcus Shelby and many more artists.
Austin also holds a degree in entertainment Law from Boalt Law School and often negotiates, reviews and provides counsel along with her creative work. Her debut recording, Nothing But Soul, will be released this month, featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael.
Marty Pasetta, 1932-2015
Pioneering KGO-TV Director Moved To Hollywood, Directing 17 Oscar Telecasts; Also Directed
Carter and Reagan Inauguration Galas For Television
Marty Pasetta, a pioneering director at KGO-TV in San Francisco before heading south to Hollywood to direct 17 live Academy Awards? telecasts, has died at the age of 82.
Pasetta died May 21 from injuries sustained in a single-car accident in La Quinta, in southern California, where he lived.
Was a director at KGO-TV in 1960s before heading to Hollywood to become the prolific director of 17 Academy Awards telecasts.
A veteran director at KGO-TV in the 1960s before heading to Hollywood in 1967, Pasetta was inducted, in 1991, into the Silver Circle of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his many years of contributions to the television industry.
Besides making a huge name for himself as the veteran director of live television extravaganzas like the Oscar? telecasts for prime-time network TV, Pasetta also directed the inaugural galas for Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, in 1977 and 1981, respectively.
The Riverside County Coroner's Office says the driver of the car in which Pasetta was the passenger in had left the engine on after they got out of the vehicle. The car ended up striking Pasetta and another passenger. Pasetta died at the scene.
The operator of the vehicle,
Keith Stewart, 75, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
During four decades in television, Pasetta directed and produced specials for many of Hollywood's biggest names, including
Frank Sinatra and
Bing Crosby, and oversaw star-studded tributes to
Fred Astaire and
He was credited with convincing
Elvis Presley to suspend his drug use and lose weight for the 1973 special,
Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii, which has been described as the first satellite broadcast of a live concert.
The Presley special was Pasetta's proudest achievement, according to his son,
Marty Pasetta, Jr.
Some audience estimates state more than 1 billion people worldwide saw the concert.
The show he was best known for, however, was the Academy Awards. He directed every Oscars telecast from 1972 to 1988, and was responsible for introducing split screens, instant replays and musical numbers involving large numbers of background dancers, lasers and pyrotechnics.
Elvis Presley, in 1973, directing the singer's television special,
Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii, which became a blockbuster hit worldwide.
His years with the Oscars show were also memorable for unscripted drama, on and off stage.
In 1973, for example, tempers flared backstage when
Sacheen Littlefeather accepted
Marlon Brando's best actor award for
The Godfather with an overtly political speech decrying the depiction of Native Americans in film.
John Wayne was in the wings "and was so angry he wanted to go out and pull her off stage," Pasetta recalled in an interview with United Press International in 1984.
Then, there was the time that presenter
Charlton Heston's car blew a tire on the freeway. As a last-minute replacement for the actor known for playing Moses in
The Ten Commandments, Pasetta yanked
Clint Eastwood from his seat in the audience.
"That was the year the writers had gotten very clever," Pasetta recalled in the
Chicago Tribune years later. "It was all written in Biblicalese - 'thou'
this, 'thou' that, and poor Clint couldn't paraphrase it. It totally freaked him out."
Pasetta also presided over the 1974 program disrupted by a naked man who "streaked" across the stage behind Taylor and
"We have been accused over the years of planning that one," Pasetta told the
Chicago Tribune, "but it's not true."
The prank prompted a witty comeback from Niven, who said, "The man is showing off his shortcomings."
Martin Allen Pasetta was born June 16, 1932, in San Jose. He attended Santa Clara University, but dropped out to work at KGO-TV, where he rose to stage manager and producer.
He later moved to Los Angeles, landing his first major directing job on
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967. The program aired on CBS.
Pasetta also helped to launch and direct the long-running game shows,
Wheel of Fortune and
In addition to his son, Marty, Pasetta is survived by his wife, Elise; a daughter, Debbie; a second son, Gregory; and five grandchildren.
Veteran Producer, Longtime NATAS S.F./NorCal Fixture Produces Film
Diane Paskerian's "1915" Features S.F. Ballet Dancers
In Commemorating Armenian Genocide Centennial
By Kevin Wing
Chapter Vice President, San Francisco
A documentary commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide has been produced in the Bay Area, created by longtime Bay Area television producer Diane Donian Paskerian, and featuring the San Francisco Ballet.
Diane Donian Paskerian
Paskerian, who was inducted into the
Silver Circle of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1989, has been a prolific television producer from the 1960s to today. She worked for KPIX and KBHK in San Francisco and KABC-TV and KNBC in Los Angeles.
Her latest project is
1915, an eight-minute-long documentary memorializing the Armenian spirit and survival of ancestors following the Armenian Genocide a century ago. Paskerian, who is of Armenian descent, worked with
Davit Karapetyan and
Vanessa Zahorian, also of Armenian descent, to produce the documentary, which included appearances by several ballerinas from the San Francisco Ballet. Karapetyan and Zahorian, husband and wife, perform with the San Francisco Ballet.
Karapetyan choreographed the film to honor the Armenian spirit through creative dance and music as a way to bring peace to the world.
Davit Karapetyan, at the Mount Davidson cross
Paskerian says the documentary was filmed at Mount Davidson in San Francisco, with the centerpiece being the 103-foot-high cross which sits atop the mountain peak.
Karapetyan and Zahorian, both principal dancers with the San Francisco Ballet, appear in the film with 11 additional dancers from the ballet company.
"Davit said he wanted to do a film to honor our Armenian ancestors," says Paskerian, a former professional dancer. "He sent over a budget proposal and we went to work."
Because the Armenians were going to be commemorating the 100th year, it was a beautiful way through music and dance to create a tribute to our ancestors," she adds. "One hundred years have gone by, and we just feel that most people are not aware of the history of what happened in 1915. Through our film, that history can be explained in a very beautiful way through dance and music. It's really done in such a beautiful way."
"We loved producing this film together to honor our heritage," Paskerian says. "It is a true tribute to our ancestors and to the survival of our country, too. We felt it was a story that needed to be told, especially for the younger generations."
Dan Ashley Celebrates 20 Years
At KGO-TV ABC7's Anchor Desk
By Kevin Wing
Chapter Vice President, San Francisco
It's not every day that a news anchor at a major market television station can claim to last 20 years or longer at the anchor desk.
But, Dan Ashley can now claim that honor at San Francisco's KGO-TV ABC7, joining several of his anchor-desk colleagues in the same good company.
Ashley, who joined the station June 5, 1995, recently signed a new five-year contract to remain at the station until at least 2020. In fact, Ashley, who will be 52 this summer, is now the longest-serving chief male news anchor in the history of the station, which first went on the air in 1949.
Photos: Kevin Wing/NATAS
, relaxing at home in his study.
"It's been wonderful to have had the chance to cover every possible story imaginable," Ashley tells Off Camera. "To make some of the best friends I have in my life. And to become deeply involved in the community I care deeply about.
Ashley is the main face of KGO-TV ABC7, anchoring the station's 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights. Additionally, he also anchors the station's 9 p.m. newscast each weeknight, which is aired on KOFY TV 20.
Before arriving in the Bay Area, Ashley was a respected anchor and reporter in Charleston, South Carolina.
"When I left my last job in South Carolina, I was very fortunate to have a number of different opportunities to choose from," he says. Ashley was offered weekend anchoring gigs in New York and Chicago, a main anchor position in Dallas, and anchor jobs in Pittsburgh, Houston and Indianapolis.
"At the top of the list was not just San Francisco, but KGO-TV," he says. "It was one of the last jobs offered to me."
In 1989, Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston. Ashley says the Bay Area sent American Red Cross relief and other relief workers to help in the aftermath of the devastation. Three weeks later, on Oct. 17, 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck the Bay Area. Ashley says Charleston reciprocated and sent emergency workers and volunteers to the Bay Area. Ashley was dispatched to the West Coast to cover the quake for his station in Charleston.
"It was a very strange month. I'd never been to San Francisco before. I worked out of KGO and just loved it. I thought it was a beautiful place. Just a really special place. About three years later, my agent asked me what I'd like to do next, and I said I wanted to go to San Francisco and work at KGO," Ashley recalls.
Spalding Ashley, on a recent weekend in their backyard in the East Bay.
Two years later, Ashley was offered the 5 p.m. anchor job at KGO, and he and his wife, Spalding, and their family packed up and headed to the West Coast.
"It was the place I had chosen to come to work," he says. "Out of many great choices, and I chose here because I thought it was a wonderful news operation and a wonderful community, and boy was I right."
Ashley has covered it all during the last 20 years, including the O.J. Simpson criminal trial, Sen. John Glenn's return to space, from Cape Canaveral, the visit to Mexico City by Pope John Paul II, among many. During the 2000 presidential race, Ashley followed George W. Bush and Al Gore all over the country as part of that year's campaign coverage. He has covered presidential debates, state primaries and a host of political conventions. He has also interviewed President Barack Obama, one-on-one.
What does Ashley love about the Bay Area?
"I love the vibrancy of the people, I love the philanthropy of the people. This is a very civic-minded community," he says. "People who are involved and engaged in what is going on around them. I love the diversity. All walks of life are here. And, of course, I love the weather. It's a very exciting place to live.
"Thank you to the viewers of the Bay Area," Ashley says of his two decades on the air here. "It has never been lost on me what a great privilege it is for me to have a job where people watch you every day and entrust you to tell them what's going on in their communities and in the world. It's a sacred trust, and a privilege.
Save The Date!
Gold & Silver Circle
Annual Induction Luncheon will be held on
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Parc 55 San Francisco, a Hilton Hotel, 55 Cyril Magnin St, San Francisco
Back in the Day
(Editor's Note: This edition of
Back in the Day, about former Sacramento news anchor
, is written by Chapter Governor
. Both were classmates at Jesuit High School, graduating in 1982.)
By Ross Perich
Chapter Govenor, San Francisco
Ever wonder whatever happened to
Brothers was a very successful news anchor at KCRA in Sacramento for many years.
And then, in 2007, he decided it was time to switch gears and change careers.
That is when Brothers became a partner at Genovese Burford & Brothers, which specializes in wealth and retirement planning for some of Sacramento's most prominent families and businesses.
Brothers hasn't entirely left broadcasting. He still dabbles in it, as a regular on-air financial advisor for KCRA and KFBK Radio.
Why did you pursue a TV news career?
At KNOP in North Platte, Nebraska, mid-1980s
I got into broadcasting due to a lack of football talent and I could have never come close to playing at Notre Dame, but I really liked football and discovered I could really experience the Fighting Irish program by doing play-by-play for both home and away games -- which I did for two years while pursuing my undergraduate degree. I gave it up my senior year to let others have a shot, and also so I could wear blue jeans to the games instead of a suit and tie and I could also enjoy a few cocktails on game days with my friends. Meanwhile, I did TV internships in Sacramento and South Bend, and pulled together a resume tape. I sent my tape to 100 stations and received 101 rejection letters. It turns out one station lost track and sent me two letters. The great news was a local bar in South Bend had a special "job rejection" night, where they offered a free drink for every rejection letter you brought in, so needless to say, I was quite popular at the bar that night!
I caught a break when I met a guy in my dorm named Mark Dylan, whose dad, Mort, was an executive at NBC. I sent my tape to Mort, he saw potential, and offered some tips to improve my tape and he explained that I was aiming too high for a first job as I had previously sent my tape to markets like Reno and Albuquerque. I sent out my second batch of tapes to five stations only, and immediately received offers from stations in Lake Charles, Louisiana; Ft. Smith, Arkansas; and North Platte, Nebraska - which had the smallest NBC affiliate in the country. The day after I graduated from Notre Dame, I shed a few tears, packed up my Buick and drove to North Platte, but it felt like I was going to the moon! I arrived Tuesday and anchored the news the very next day. I had a great year there as I did it all. I reported, anchored, did news, sports and weather. On Friday at the end of my first week, I grabbed a beer at The Platte Bar, and boy did I stick out from the regulars. I walked in wearing a blue suit and makeup on, and a really nice guy at the end of the bar offered to buy me a beer. What a welcome I received. As it turned out, that guy was Bob Kerrey, the governor of Nebraska and former Vietnam War hero.
What markets did you work in during your career?
After a year in North Platte, I decided to go back to grad school at Notre Dame, but I kept my hand in TV, working at WNDU-TV. I also did radio, as the station was affiliated with the university. I vividly recall the stock market crash in October 1987, and I struggled with what to lead with, as that same day, 18-month old Jessica McClure fell into her aunt's well in Midland, Texas. It was a super busy time in my life as I worked 20 to 30 hours while getting my MBA in 1987-88. I then moved to London where I did a little work for the BBC covering the American presidential election -- again, more good fortune as I had interviewed Dan Quayle a year earlier and had that on my audition tape. It caught the attention of someone at the BBC. After graduating in December 1988, a friend of a friend of a friend back in Sacramento -- where I grew up -- introduced me to John Kelly, who owned KCRA as part of Kelly Broadcasting. I walked in his office and told him my name was on his letterhead, and that he had to hire me and the rest is history. Our relationship remains very strong today, as he is an investor in my financial services company, Genovese Burford & Brothers, and I manage part of John's portfolio.
What is your top small market horror story?
When I first started in Nebraska, I was anchoring and referred to MC Hammer as "McHammer", but my worst gaffe on the air was when I referred to Congressman Schmidt, as Congressman Shit, and I actually said it twice! I was terrified when the general manager called me into his office, as I was certain I was going to be fired. I can picture the scene like it was yesterday. Ulysses Carlini was his name. He walks in with his arms folded, and told me the station had already received 100 phone calls, and he let me sweat it out for a few long seconds, and then he told me that "99 of those viewers said you were right the first time!" I breathed a huge sigh of relief!
What are you most proud of during your remarkable TV career?
I am most humbled by our award-winning coverage of life-threatening floods in Sacramento. It was December 31, 1997, and our son, Liam, had just been born. I was working New Year's Eve, and the floods started to build. We were on the air around the clock with 90 consecutive hours of live coverage. We would do an anchor rotation of 12 hours on and 12 hours off with very few breaks. It was incredibly frightening. We would receive letters from old ladies around town living along the levy which was not structurally sound, and they slept with the TV on as we were the ones keeping an eye on things and they relied on us for their very livelihood.
When I think back of my proudest moment in both radio and TV, I recall the mid 1980s, when I was also working for KFBK Radio, and we became the organizing force behind the Freedom Flights where we secured donations to fly World War II veterans back to see the memorial in Washington, D.C. It got started when I did an interview with Keith Soward, an illustrator and infantryman in World War II, who had created some amazing pieces featuring Gen. Douglas MacArthur and several key battles, and his work was going to be featured in the Smithsonian for a month. We asked if he was going back to Washington, but he couldn't afford it. Real estate developer and San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos heard the interview and offered to take Keith and his wife in Spanos' private jet to see the World War II memorial as well as his artwork. These freedom flights expanded as we solicited more donations, and Mr. Spanos cut a check for $130,000 to allow us to charter a 757 jetliner to fly hundreds more veterans to D.C. We ended up getting enough donations to send four planeloads of veterans and guests to see the memorial. They were treated like royalty on these trips, with limos transporting them, and they recounted wonderful World War II stories during the trip, bringing tears to their eyes. I will never forget that, and then I would see their obituaries after that and reflect on that amazing experience for them and for us. That was a kick.
What was your toughest assignment in TV?
I had the privilege of witnessing history as I reported on several big stories over the years, including going to London to cover Princess Diana's funeral. The most emotional story I ever covered were the Yosemite murders in 1999 and witnessing the horrible experience of the Sund-Carrington family who lost their daughter and granddaughter. Once again, Mr. Spanos contacted me and asked if I would represent the media and go on his jet to fly the remains of Silvina Pelosso back home to South America, so she could have a proper burial at home. Mr. Spanos did not want Silvina to be offloaded off a commercial jet and treated like luggage. When we arrived in Argentina, there was a large crowd at the airport, and Silvina's dad and mom were overcome with grief. They were so incredibly gracious, not even an hour later had passed that they invited us into their home and cooked us a delicious dinner. It was their way of thanking us for bringing their daughter home. What struck me was that, despite these horrible criminal acts where the Pelossos and greater South America could have been left with a bad impression of America, this experience helped to change the perception of the world and how it thinks of America.
What was it like to fill the shoes of Stan Atkinson, a broadcasting legend at KCRA?
Actually, Dave Walker and Lois Hart took over the 5 o'clock news, but I replaced Stan on the 6 o'clock show. It was bittersweet. Stan is a lovely man, we are good friends and still in touch today. It was such a tragedy with his son passing away unexpectedly, and when he left KCRA, it was tough to recalibrate. There was great sadness with him leaving, but it gave me an opportunity. I understand the one constant in TV is change. Then the Kellys eventually sold (the station), and I got to see how others embraced their transitions and knew I would soon follow.
The Brothers family at KCRA
Why did you decide to leave KCRA?
I had a great anchor gig on the No. 1 station in the fastest-growing market in the nation, but when the station was bought, I knew I would no longer have the opportunity to report in London or Argentina because the new owners had stations in other markets and they would send other talent. We had three kids at the time and a fourth on the way, and I didn't want to be in position where a general manager could just axe you. When I was single or newly married, it didn't bother me because there wasn't so much at stake. The other factor was I had not eaten dinner at home in 12 years. When kids started school, I would pass them in the driveway, and only see them on weekends. I wanted to not only be able to attend all of their school events, but I also wanted to coach and so I did and still do today! I also wanted to own equity in something, control my own destiny and yet still keep a toe in broadcasting, so now I have the best of both worlds as a partner in our financial services firm and a financial advisor on KCRA-TV and NewsTalk 1530 KFBK.
Tell us more about your financial advisory firm.
We are growing like a weed, as we now have $2.5 billion under management. And doing the financial news segments on KCRA and KFBK provides really great marketing for our company. It also allows me to still scratch my creative itch, and yet I don't need to be in the newsroom every day, which is great. I am passionate about improving financial literacy and try to incorporate that into all of my TV and radio segments. Everyone is living longer, so corporate America and the government is offloading retirement to individuals and we are woefully unprepared. The biggest mistakes people make are fear-based and that results in bad financial decisions. The more we can educate, the less fear will creep in during turbulent markets.
What do you do for fun?
Well, as a family of six, we have a lot of fun. We ride bikes, play golf and tennis, and travel. I'd say my vice is travel -- we have taken the kids to Ireland to meet their cousins, aunts and uncles. The kids' favorite vacation ever was our Ecuador mission trip, where we helped refurbish an orphanage. I have a very full life with four kids in three different Catholic schools, all with three different sets of hours. And, of course, we love keeping up with old friends!
What should people be surprised to know about you that they don't?
I have Irish citizenship and an Irish passport. But the biggest shocker is I don't balance my checkbook, and yet I manage people's money on a daily basis. I know exactly where I stand with my IRA and 401K at all times, but when it comes to my checking account, I just figure it in my mind and stay within $200 of the exact balance. There, I said it. That will horrify people.
Waxing Political with Steve Swatt
Veteran Sacramento Reporter
By Joyce Mitchell
Chapter Governor, Sacramento
Sacramento Broadcast Journalist Steve Swatt is taking his passion for politics to a new level. The California Historical Society last year awarded him a $5,000 book advance for publication of the manuscript, Game Changers: Twelve Elections that Transformed California.
It's his second book and another way to communicate how politics literally impacts Californians.
Years of working in television news taught Swatt how to think on his feet. "No question about that," Swatt says. "I worked at a station in Sacramento that had monster ratings and it gave me a name in the community that opened doors." Swatt spent 22-years at KCRA, reporting the news and covering the State Capitol.
He retired from news in 1992, but is regularly seen on local TV stations providing election coverage analysis. He's appeared on ABC's News10, CBS 13, KCRA, and Capital Public Radio, dissecting and explaining how politics applies to people's daily lives.
Swatt is putting the final touches on his historical manuscript. "I didn't write the books to make money," Swatt says. "I wrote them to prove I could do it. There's an old saying that within every reporter, there is a novel waiting to be written." His first book was a novel called Fair, Balanced...and Dead.
"It's about a TV reporter at Sacramento's largest TV station," he says. The reporter stumbles onto a big story, finding himself embroiled in mystery and intrigue. Reviews have dubbed it a political thriller with a TV twist.
Swatt earned a Master's Degree in Journalism from UC Berkeley in the mid sixties. While a graduate student, he reported for the San Francisco Examiner. He then took a job at United Press International in Los Angeles for two years.
Always, Swatt was drawn to the world of politics. Every Sunday, he and his parents would watch Meet the Press. So, while in Los Angeles, it was no surprise when passion took hold. He quit UPI without a job in the wings, and moved to Sacramento. He yearned to be in Sacramento and at the hotbed of political activity.
"I wanted to try TV and interviewed for three days with KCRA co-owner Bob Kelly," Swatt says. For decades, KCRA was an NBC affiliate locally-owned by brothers Bob and Jon Kelly. "He kept asking me questions about theory and my knowledge of journalism," Swatt says. "I showed him my UPI articles, including one that landed on the front page of the New York Times. He liked my stuff, but was concerned I lacked broadcast experience."
Kelly suggested Swatt try starting in a smaller market. "I said I just came out of L.A., where I covered the Robert Kennedy assassination," he says. "I'm not going to Chico." Kelly gave Swatt a chance, hiring him in 1969 as a reporter on KCRA Radio. The next year, Swatt crossed into TV.
In 1976, Swatt received an Emmy Award for the report, Eyes of a Stranger, about corneal transplants. "We followed a kid who blew off his hand and arm on the 4th of July," Swatt says. "He also lost his eyesight. The surgery restored his vision."
Swatt eventually transitioned into political reporting. "Politics is perceived as boring. That's evidenced by record low voter turnout in California and why it's important to tell stories in a human, interesting way."
His new book, Game Changers, documents history and politics, telling stories that made a difference in the way business is done in the state. "We are trying to grab people and let them know elections matter," Swatt says. " We've had to drum that into people's heads." Swatt co-authors the book with his wife, Susie Swatt, and Jeff Raimundo and Rebecca LaVally.
Proceeds from Swatt's novel were donated to the Sacramento Press Club for journalism scholarships and to women's empowerment groups in the region.
Swatt invests in his community.
For 13 years, he's served on the board of directors for the California Conservation Corps (CCC) Foundation.
"I give my time because I am so impressed by the program," he says. "It gives young people a transformative experience. They're struggling and many have dropped out of school. In the CCC, they work for minimum wage fighting fires, floods, oil spills, enhancing California's environment. They go to school at night. They're taught it's a badge of honor to work hard."
In 1983, Swatt interviewed Gov. Jerry Brown, who started the CCC 39 years ago. "He told me it was the greatest accomplishment of his first eight-year term," Swatt says.
Changing Hands: Honolulu's KITV
To Former Owners of KHON-TV
KITV is being sold to SJL Broadcast Management, a company that owned KHON-TV from late 2005 to 2007.
Terms were not disclosed but will become public record in the required license transfer application to be filed with the Federal Communications Commission.
New York-based Hearst has owned KITV and neighbor island sister-stations KMAU-TV on Maui and KHVO-TV on Hawaii, for 18 years, and as such is the longest-term owner of a major network affiliate in Hawaii.
Gold & Silver Circle Profiles
Gold & Silver Circle Profiles is on summer vacation and will return in the September issue of
(Editor's Note: With this edition of
, we launch Our People,
a new monthly pictorial series featuring a single snapshot of someone representing the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. All of "our people" are skillfully photographed by
, the longtime reporter for KGO-TV ABC7 in San Francisco and a recipient of a record 51 Emmy?
awards. Freedman, who also serves as a Governor on our Chapter's Board of Directors, is a 2002 Silver Circle inductee and, as you can see for yourself, quite a shutterbug.)
PHOTO: WAYNE FREEDMAN/NATAS
KTVU FOX 2, OAKLAND
ACCOMPLISHED, CELEBRATED CONSUMER REPORTER
MULTIPLE EMMY? AWARD RECIPIENT
INDUCTEE, SILVER CIRCLE, CLASS OF 2003
ALL-AROUND NICE GUY, A GOOD FRIEND TO MANY
Do You Remember?
That's Entertainment! Even at the Emmys!
This was our Chapter's 25th Anniversary Emmy Gala,
but can you name the year, the "chorus line"
and the location?
The answer in next month's Off Camera!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
In the May issue of Off Camera,
we asked if you knew the name of this TV show,
the program host, the station that the show aired on
and the name of the spaceship.
Hint: The host is a Silver Circle inductee.
Answer: It's Bob March, Silver Circle Class of 1990,
Starfinder II set of Captain Satellite
on KTVU Channel 2 in the 1960s.
Thank you, Al Sturges, Silver Circle Class of 1997,
for writing in with the correct answer!
Snapshots From Around The Chapter
NBC's Lester Holt Is Now Dr. Lester Holt;
Honorary Doctorate in Sacramento
Photo: Joyce Mitchell/NATAS
NBC News Anchor
an Honorary Ph.D from Sacramento State University on May 23 during the university's
During his college years, Holt attended Sacramento State and was an intern at KCRA in Sacramento. He never graduated, instead choosing to leave the university as a junior to pursue a career in radio. He gave up radio
for TV news,
and the rest is history.
Holt's parents were in the audience.
"This degree is for them."
On the Move
Mark Antonitis, former general manager at KRON in San Francisco, joins KTSF Channel 26 in Brisbane/San Francisco as general manager.
Jerry Del Core has left KTXL in Sacramento after five years as its general manager. His last day was May 22.
Cam Tran, former meteorologist at KITV in Honolulu, joins AccuWeather as an on-air meteorologist.
Keba Arnold, joins KTVU in Oakland as co-anchor of the station's new 4 p.m. newscast, which debuts June 22. Arnold arrives from KXTV in Sacramento.
Mike Mibach, anchor/reporter at KTVU in Oakland, becomes a co-anchor of the station's new 4 p.m. newscast, which debuts June 22.
Have a new job? Got a promotion? We'd like to know about it. Please let
On the Move know by writing to
Off Camera Editor
Kevin Wing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Off Camera Wants to Hear From You!
Off Camera always wants to hear from you. Have a great story idea? Interested in writing a story for us? Want to tell us how we're doing? Whatever it may be, please feel free to drop us a line.
National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
San Francisco/Northern California Chapter
Darryl Compton, Executive Director
4317 Camden Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94403-5007
Phone: 650 341-7786 or 415 777-0212
Fax: 650 372-0279
The name "Emmy?" and the graphic image of the statuette, are registered trademarks of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.