View Full Version : Where are all the former news anchors?

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07-30-2004, 09:52 AM
I was just wondering what has happened to some of the former news anchors and reporters from Ch4, Ch5, and Ch9? From an earlier post. Mr.Anderson made the comment that Cherokee Ballard had left. I had no idea. Channel 9 did a special segment a couple of months ago that basically let us know where some of their former anchors and reporters were working now.

There seems to be so many new reporters coming to OKC. Usually when a new reporter comes in, it means another reporter has left.

07-30-2004, 12:43 PM
Cherokee said she left because she had reached her goals. She will still be available for special reports (the reason she was on the air on election night). She is also going to teach journalism at OU.

I just hope and pray she is alright. I have met her and have always liked her. She was really nice to me. :)

07-30-2004, 10:13 PM
KWTV reporters' new gigs, as far as I know: Tony Clark is with CNN, Mitch Jelniker is in Denver, Patti Saurez is pursuing an acting career, Chris Harrison makes a living telling somebody there's one more rose left (on top of hosting "Designer's Challenge"), Mike Carpenter is spokesperson for CityVue20, and Jennifer Reynolds hosts Oklahoma Today.

KOCO reporters' new gigs, as far as I know: Gerry Bonds and ??? host OETA news, and we all know what Mick Cornett's new role is.

KFOR reporters' new gigs: with the exception of former state tourism head Jane Jayroe, they're all still there ;)

Now here's a question: what was the story behind Ann Holloran's departure?

07-31-2004, 10:24 AM
A lot of the former anchors move stations or go into the private sector. Jessica Brown from KFOR is spokes woman for the OSBI, Don Sherry (KOCO) is still with ONG, and several have moved to CNN.

Of course, we need not forget the ones who just changed stations or had some legal problems. ;) ;)

08-03-2004, 01:57 AM

"And where is Carrie Zamora?"

That's a good question. I've wondered where she's been as well! I thought she was a really good anchor for channel 5. I'll email channel 5 and ask!

08-03-2004, 03:20 AM
By the way...where does Fox 25 get all of their weather people from. Seems like the only regular Iknow is Chuck Bell, but they always seem to have new people on there on weekends and such.

08-03-2004, 07:42 AM
I wonder what Jerry Adams is up to now that he has had a run in with the law and had legal problems? Also, Randy Renner (who got caught by an undercover officer at Trosper Park...looking for love in the wrong place :confused: ), Jack Bowen, who got into some deep doo doo by stalking a girlfriend who didn't want him :eek: .

Brady Brus (from Ch.9) is now doing weather on KSBI ch.52. Hey, floater.....I understand that Ann Halloran had her contract terminated because she was just not fitting in with the rest of the anchors. She didn't have the charisma that the producers were looking for. Nothing was ever said on TV about it. All of a sudden, she is just gone. I believe I read the story about her in the TV guide.

Jennifer Eve is now doing some local commercials and also hosting a Saturday morning gardening show on TV. I must agree about Ch. 25's weather people. It seems like I see a new one everytime I tune in.

08-03-2004, 12:02 PM
Actually, Brady Brus OWNS KSBI along with his sister Brenda Bennett. Randy Renner does news on KOMA and OETA.

About fired anchors, etc. Their departure is rarely boradcast. Plus, KOKH uses Sinlcair Broadcasting's "News Central" for weather and sports from their studio, I think in Conneticutt (sp). All but one sports person and meteorlogist are localed there. Chuck Bell, I think is still local. They should have kept the woman and 86'ed him.

08-03-2004, 04:58 PM
That's interesting about Jack Bowen. I heard he was a real standup guy. I heard that he did his best to tolerate a co-anchor who constantly cussed off-broadcast. But, who among us is perfect?

08-03-2004, 06:47 PM
Actually Fox 25 News is a mixture of national and local. All of the weather is local. I learned today that the people they often have on weekends and at other times to fill in are interns from the National Weather Service in Norman. Chuck Bell is the staff meterologist and heads all that up! He is from here and lives with his male partner in Glenbrook!
Andrew Speno and Brooke Osburne are from here and they cover local news, but Morris Jones and the News Central gang are national!

Mr. Anderson, I personally wish Fox 25 News would've kept Megan Glaros!

08-03-2004, 06:54 PM
I think the woman of which I am refering was named Amy. She appeared to be around my age.

Did you notice another KOCO defectee on KOKH? The black guy. His name escapes me.

Also. I remember reading when KOKH layed off the entire sports and weather departments execpt the holdout (I think his name started with a z) and the woman meterologist, that the weather and sports reports would be localized, however, be from the News Central studios on the east coast.

They must have changed their minds. :confused:

08-04-2004, 08:49 AM

Everything you said about the KOKH weather department is wrong. They have NO LOCAL WEATHER DEPARTMENT! Chuck Bell left before they closed their operations, and now works for Sinclair Weather Central in Baltimore, MD. Chuck's replacement, Amy, was let go shortly after they hired her, when they got rid of the local weather dept. All of their weather people are in Baltimore (including Chuck). This is why they have no severe weather coverage, except for the annoying map in the corner of the screen.

08-04-2004, 09:33 AM
The following is a quote from Chuck Bell's biography on the KOKH website.

"After 3 1/2 years of heading the Sinclair Station's weather office in Oklahoma City it was time to move to Sinclair's Corporate Headquarters in Baltimore to join the company's ground-breaking effort to centralize weather operations.He can now be seen not only on KOKH-TV FOX 25 in Oklahoma City, but also on WLFL-TV WB22 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Every night Chuck communicates not only the daily forecast, but his love of science and of nature. "

I thought he was still local. I guess it is because when he and Amy (Gardner is her last name. I knew I would remember) were on the air, they WERE local.

Although it could have been said a bit calmer, Raspberry is correct. I stand corrected.

08-04-2004, 09:19 PM
Thanks for the information guys! I wasn't aware of the changes!

08-09-2004, 07:38 PM
Yeah, every night now at the beginning of Channel 5's newscast, they've been continuing to say that Carrie is off for the night, so it sounds as if she'll be back. Hopefully she doesn't have a serious illness like cancer or anything.....I remember when Cherokee Ballard dealt with that. I haven't done it yet, but I'll go ahead and email channel 5 and ask where she is. I'll let you guys know what I find out.

08-09-2004, 11:53 PM
Here's the reply I got from channel 5:

"Unfortunately, as a matter of policy, we can't discuss personnel
matters (we're bound by the same confidentiality rules of any other business).
I hope we'll have Carrie back on the air real soon...


Jonathan Shelley
Asst. News Director"

Sorry I couldn't get the details. I might try to go around this and email Kevin Sims.

08-11-2004, 09:58 PM
Miss Z has severe stage fright that keeps her from appearing on air. With the ADA in force, KOCO can't fire her and she can't work. So....there you have it. :eek:

08-12-2004, 12:01 AM
Are you sure about that? She acted pretty calm to me! In all seriousness, I hope nothing major is wrong with her. It must be a personal issue though.

08-12-2004, 06:34 PM
Granted it sounds far fetched, however, a lot of people who appear before cameras and live audiences DO suffer from "stage freight." Barbra Streisand is among them. She is being treated with a drug called Tenorman. I was on it for hypertension. When I was placed on it, my doctor told me about Barbra and her treatment.

I presume, as time goes by, Patrick, you will be able to confirm that.

Is Carrie sidelined due to "stage freight?" Hard to say.

08-12-2004, 10:25 PM
Stage "FREIGHT"? :confused:

08-13-2004, 02:11 AM
Ann Halloran departed News 9 because of personality conflicts. As the Oklahoma Gazette reported, the station's management felt that Halloran did not fit in to the direction and chemistry that management wanted to take. Right or wrong, Halloran didn't fit behind KWTV's news desk.

08-13-2004, 02:18 AM
News anchors come, news anchors go....some stay a long time, some go in a few months. That's just the nature of the game. If ratings aren't up, your job is axed.

08-14-2004, 06:50 PM
It makes me wonder if very many of these TV personalities actually buy a house when they get a job here. I know people like the Ogle's, Gary England, Dean Blevins, Linda Cavanaugh, and Bob Barry, Jr (just to name a few) are probably going to be around for a long time.......but what about these reporters that come and go through the great broadcasting revolving door? I wonder if they rent apartments or something in case their new jobs don't work out?

08-14-2004, 07:55 PM
Mnay do rent apartments. There was a reporter for KWTV in the early 80's named Jan Costello. I knew Jan very well and to this day can tell you where her apartment was. Some do buy houses. A house, even if you are only around a year or two, still can be a good investment. Most sell fast.

By the way. Jan went from here to CNN. I lost contact with her shortly after that.

08-15-2004, 02:01 AM
It just depends on the person. I know Chuck Bell and his significant other lied in a house in Glenbrook (my dad elivered his mail) and they sold their house.

09-17-2004, 09:40 AM
I'm a former news anchor -- KCSU, Channel 22 in Edmond, OK.

Yeah, that probably doesn't count :D

Joe Schmoe
09-17-2004, 10:41 AM
So are you looking for broadcast work now or was Broncho TV enough for you?

09-17-2004, 01:38 PM
Everyone tells me I was pretty good at it and could have probably made a career out of it -- still could probably. I was more interested in corporate communication -- specifically in the area of video training (I'm also a pretty decent video editor if someone else can make the CG's).

Things have changed since then. I'm now in the legal field and am hoping to start on my JD next year. Broncho TV was fun though and very educational. Many of the folks from there go on to get pretty good jobs. One that comes to mind that graduated recently is Amy McCree (sp?).

09-17-2004, 05:55 PM
That's interesting to know...I don't realize Amy McCree was from UCO. Boy, guess I'm not such a dedicated Broncho alum!!! Anyways, that's really cool to learn.

Joe Schmoe
09-17-2004, 06:30 PM
My son is at UCO this year. He wants to get into physics. I think that would be cool, but I hope the math doesn't eat his lunch.

He's been a computer tech for a couple of years, now he wants to go back to school. I think he misses the girls.

09-24-2004, 07:33 AM
Joe, the females at UCO are the best of any university in the state, bar none.

09-24-2004, 07:38 AM
That's interesting to know...I don't realize Amy McCree was from UCO. Boy, guess I'm not such a dedicated Broncho alum!!! Anyways, that's really cool to learn.

Patrick, the broadcasting school at UCO is undeniably the best in the state. We have students working for major stations all over the US and even some working for CNN, etc. The school at UCO is nationally recognized and just churns out some very talented people. The key to UCO's success is the student-run news cast that airs 4-5 nights a week as opposed to OU and OSU only doing one once per week or less.

The toughest part about being a reporter is when your producer tells you "just go find something, have me a package in 4 hours". I was often throwing on my anchor clothes in the editing booth trying to get the b-roll video layed on my package at 4:59PM (show started at 5). There, they teach quick work, good reporting skills, and the professors (all former broadcast newsmen) know their stuff.

It's always amazed me how the stations in the area hire so many OU/OSU grads when UCO clearly puts out a superior product.

09-24-2004, 12:06 PM
Hey Joe Schmoe, if your son misses the girls tell him to walk into the Liberal Arts Building.

09-24-2004, 12:57 PM
Hey Joe Schmoe, if your son misses the girls tell him to walk into the Liberal Arts Building.

Nah.. join a fraternity there.

No better way :D

Having greek letters will turn you from a 5 to at least a 7 ;)

C Sullivan
11-05-2004, 10:17 AM
BBC TV news recently reported that a major figure in Brit. popular music, a radio DJ named John Peal (65) had died. Nothing particularly earth-shattering about this, but then they had a short tape about when he started in radio back in the 60s under the name John Raven-Craft at KOMA. And this week there was an article in the Oklahoman showing Harry Volkmann retiring from a Chicago station where he had been for 40 years. Harry was the local weatherman on WKY TV in the 50s.

11-05-2004, 10:19 AM
Bella Shaw who was with KFOR several years ago is turning into the infomercial diva. She has been the hostess of several for Carlton Sheets. Plus a couple of others.

Man. She STILL looks good.

11-05-2004, 10:54 AM
Hey, wasn't she the one with real big lips? She was cute, despite her lips.

11-06-2004, 09:21 AM
I watched channel 4 news at 10:00 last night and found out that one of their former anchors, Bob Friar, is now anchoring in Orlando, Florida. Personally, I don't really remember him, but he was still at KFOR when the May, 1999, tornadoes hit.

I also learned that Uze Brown Washington, a very beautiful, and one of the most talented black ladies I've ever seen anchor the news, is now working in community relations in Philadelphia, Pa.

11-06-2004, 02:04 PM
A second on Bella Shaw. She's seemed to only have gotten better with age. I wonder what Patti Saurez looks like now, or Heather Unruh.

Speaking of black reporters, I thought Lee Park (?or something like that) was cute. She was a fellow OU PoliSci grad. But tragically, I heard she died in a car accident.

11-06-2004, 02:20 PM
I know to whom you are refering when you said Lee "Park." I can not rememeber her last name, however, I think she is the one killed a few years ago at NW 36 and Walker. She was with KFOR at the time.

Yes. Bella has improved with age. I did a little background check on line not long ago and found she started her career at the age of 19, which places her at 39 or 40 today. Funny thing is moments after I wrote about Bella I saw one of her infomercials on a weight loss product. By the way. Not a bad choice in names by her parents. Bella is Italian for Beautiful. It fits.

Patty Suarez left KWTV to move to Los Angeles. She was still there last time I was in town. She was with KCAL. That was in 2000. However, checking the websites, I can not find her anymore.

Another KWTV alumnus that is in Los Angeles is Phil Shuman. He is with KNBC and does entertainment reporting.

I thought Heather Unrue retired to raise a family. Could be incorrect about her.

11-06-2004, 02:40 PM
Yeah, Lee's last name passes me. We really must have caught Bella early in her career. Makes me wonder, for you guys in the TV biz. Is there a preference for locally-raised reporters for local stations? Is there sort of a set local-nonlocal mix of talent? Do they hire only those who they think will stay, or are they realistic that some use stations to advance their careers onto bigger markets? Is that a question in the interview process? I'm pretty sure some who thought that they would work here temporarily find themselves wanting to stay.

11-06-2004, 03:34 PM
I remember when I was in my twenties and still had a realistic chance of getting a broadcast gig. The idea was to start in a small market like Lawton, Ada or Ardmore, then work your way into markets like Oklahoma City, then to markets like Dallas* or St. Louis, THEN you would make Los Angeles or other top ten markets then if you were lucky, you would make network.

*=Dallas was not a top ten market in the 70's.

On occasion, a reporter would get a big story that hit the network from a market like Oklahoma City, or win the one and only Emmy, and go directly to network. Case in point. Bob Dotson was with KFOR (then either still WKY or already KTVY), and won the first ever Emmy for his report called "Through the looking glass darkly." His producer (name escapes me) was a customer of mine when they won the Emmy. I actually held it. Man! Are they heavy!

Basically, you had to work your way up the ladder or through the ranks. I interviewed in the mid 70's with KOCO for a reporters position. I did not get the job but was recommeded for one in Ada. I did not want to move, so I passed. Big mistake. The news director (again, name escapes me) told me the only reporter he ever hired with no experience was Terese Arena. She later went to Dallas.

Most reporters look to the "big time." There are those who intend to stay. I bet Kelly Ogle is one of those. He has said he has had offers in a lot of larger markets, but has passed. Others, Robin Marsh, for example, started in small markets. Robin started in Lawton, where she was raised. My bet is she intended to move through the ranks, but changed her mind. Others like, Cherokee Ballard had no intention on moving up to the "bigs."

Today, a lot of reporters will go immediatly into larger markets. Many have gone straight from college to a job in Oklahoma City. Cherokee Ballard did her internship at then KTVY, then went straight to KOCO where she concluded her broadcast career eariler this year. Some reporters will step down in market size. It is a fickel area.

So. Things have changed some. As far as hiring, mostly for the worst. The only typical looking people I can name that have made it in the business in this market are Teri Watkins and Mick Cornett. For the most part, you have to look like the cover of GQ or Vouge to make it. Typical looking people stand no chance at all.

11-06-2004, 08:41 PM
I also believe that there are reporters that start in the small markets, just so that they can make it to the big markets. Of course, there are those like Linda Cavanaugh, Bob Barry, The Ogles, Gary England, and Mike Morgan that are set for life at the stations they work at.

I remember when Mitch Jelniker was with KWTV, and did an outstanding job. There was some big story that he reported on that got him national recognition. Because of that story, he was offered a better position at another station in another state.

As far as Patti Suarez goes, KWTV interviewed her about 6 months ago, and I believe she was living in Los Angeles, and she was doing some acting. She was no longer in the broadcasting business. You could tell she had aged, however, she is still as beautiful as she was when she was doing the news.

There were two other reporters from channel 9 that actually begin a relationship when they started working together, and they eventually got married. Shortly after they married, they dissappeared from TV, and I have no idea where they went. I believe one of the reporters' names was Curt Autry.

How many remember Bill Mitchell? He was on two different stations in OKC, and he basically dissappeared. If I remember correctly, last time I saw him was on OETA doing some reporting.

Then there was Randy Renner who was with KWTV. He got caught with his pants down at Trosper Park as he propositioned an undercover male police officer acting as a prostitute. He was arrested, and not long after, he was gone from channel 9. Again, not too long ago he was reporting for OETA.

How about Brady Brus, the former meterologist from KWTV? He is now vice president of KSBI TV, channel 52. His sister, Brenda Bennett, who has been doing commercials alot and had been on the radio with her own show is also part of KSBI.

So, what happened to Jerry Adams and Jack Bowen? Both men have been in trouble with the law, and I haven't seen either in a long time.

It sure goes to show that if you are in the broadcasting profession, especially in TV, there is no use in buying a house and settling down, because you never know when it will be time for you to pack up and leave once your contract expires.

11-06-2004, 09:08 PM
Actually, Brady Brus is the President of KSBI and owns controlling interest. From what I hear, the station is not doing well financially. A prosepctive owner no longer has to prove solvency for a set number of years, and Brus was able to buy the place for 25 million borrowed dollars. His weather center set him back half a mill.

Jerry Adams? Who knows. I could care less. I met him when I was interning at KTOK. What a jerk. Jack Bowen. Who knows.

By the way. I can give you a lifetime million dollar per year contract as the reason England stays. He has been offered every network weater job in the country. When you have the best in the country, you pay them to stay.

11-06-2004, 11:12 PM
Holy cow!! Are you serious? Does that make Gary the highest paid media personality in OKC (including radio and print)? No wonder he's still around!!! Anyway, thanks for the insights, mranderson.

11-07-2004, 12:32 AM
Hey Keith, what trouble with law did Jack Bowen run in to? I heard he was a standup guy.

I remember Bill Mitchell, just from him heading up the short-lived South OKC bureau of KOCO.

The tradeoff of the profession is that there are only so many TV reporter jobs in a given market. You either have to relocate to move up or even just find employment, or find another venue for your skills (pr, radio, print, or another TV station) if you want to stay in the area.

11-07-2004, 07:16 AM
A while back, Jack Bowen was doing commercials for Economy Hearing Aids with George Tomek. Evidently, Jack had divorced his wife and was seeing another woman. Evidently, Jack ticked his girfriend off and she told him to get lost. One day, he showed up at her place of employment, dressed like Santa Claus, and started cursing her out and doing other unmentionables. Because of that, he was arrested for disturbing the peace and for stalking. It made the news headlines on TV, as well as in the newspaper.

Thta's why he is no longer doing commercials for Economy Hearing Aids..they fired him. They didn't want a person that had been arrested doing their commercials. At the time, Jack was considered a role model. So much for that. I haven't heard nor seen him since.

11-08-2004, 09:16 AM
I've heard worse things about Jack. But nothing I'd repeat on here as they are just rumours :D

I played in the pit orchestra a couple times back when he MC'd the "5 Who Care Awards".

11-09-2004, 01:09 AM
Actually Jack asked the lady to marry him and she turned him down. That made Jack angry, and thus the resulting behavior.

11-09-2004, 12:24 PM
Actually Jack asked the lady to marry him and she turned him down. That made Jack angry, and thus the resulting behavior.

Oh, okay, sounds personally rational to me :noldus:

11-09-2004, 02:36 PM
Yeah, Lee's last name passes me. We really must have caught Bella early in her career. Makes me wonder, for you guys in the TV biz. Is there a preference for locally-raised reporters for local stations? Is there sort of a set local-nonlocal mix of talent? Do they hire only those who they think will stay, or are they realistic that some use stations to advance their careers onto bigger markets? Is that a question in the interview process? I'm pretty sure some who thought that they would work here temporarily find themselves wanting to stay.

There was a theory I heard a long time ago that says when you are trying to remember something, your brain goes to "file cabinets" and tries to retrieve the information. Well, my brain had to look in a lot of cabinets.

The Lee who died was Lee Evans.

11-09-2004, 07:23 PM
Ahh, yes, she's the one. Thanks, mranderson!

11-18-2004, 10:31 PM
Gary Lezak, Amy Hawley and Cynthia Gunn are all on the same station in Kansas City, WDAF NBC 41. Lived up there for a few years, recognized them all from here. Saw Devin Schillian on a Detroit station on a friend's satellite dish (he couldn't get his local channels...)

12-14-2004, 12:21 PM
There is a good bit of information about OKC TV on my site, Tulsa TV Memories (see my profile for the link). Try searches for George Tomek, Bill Mitchell, Foreman Scotty, Ho Ho, Count Gregore, Trust House, etc., and you'll see what I mean.

02-17-2005, 12:23 PM
I ran into Cherokee Ballard.

She is doing some freelance work for KFOR. She was the reporter with the great big smile on her face as she did a follw-up story about the arrest of Brian Bates. I smiled right along with her as I watched her conduct her interview.


02-17-2005, 08:14 PM
I have a question. What ever happened to Butch and Ben from channel 5. It was like one day they were on the air. The next day they were gone.

02-17-2005, 11:49 PM
Here is a little something on Butch and Ben.

03-17-2005, 11:14 AM
Hello guys, just wondering where Amy Hawley (News 9) went. Is she still a news anchorwoman or is she doing something else now?


03-17-2005, 03:10 PM
Amy Hawley is now a reporter with an NBC station in Kansas City, MO.,1925,KSHB_9379_1803733,00.html

03-17-2005, 07:37 PM
I sure did like Amy. She did an excellent job in reporting and anchoring, plus the fact that she was very attractive didn't hurt either. Thanks, oklacity75 for posting the info, because I always wondered what happened to her.