A veteran TV newsman who was a fixture on local television has died. The New York Times reports the death Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, of Chet Curtis, who for years was part of a husband-and-wife Boston-area news anchor team.
Curtis, 74, died of pancreatic cancer, the story reports.
Curtis and his wife, Natalie Jacobson, anchored the news twice a night on WCVB-TV, an ABC affiliate, for 18 years. The pair were “the de facto first couple of Boston, very likely the city’s best-known conveyors of news since Paul Revere,” until their professional split in 2000, which shook up viewers, the story notes.
“One of the very few married anchor teams in the country, and by all accounts the only one in a major market at the time, the couple were embraced by their city as cherished neighbors,” the article reports. “Known in familiar tandem as ‘Chet and Nat,’ they were recognized everywhere and profiled in the local and national news media.”
WCVB’s newscast was a ratings leader because of their popularity.
But Bostonians were surprised when they announced their separation in 1999. They never discussed what caused their breakup. They continued as co-anchors until 2000, and then were given separate newscasts. In 2001, they divorced and Curtis moved to the cable channel NECN.
“Throughout their marriage, Mr. Curtis and Ms. Jacobson were interviewed often about balancing work and romance. They made it clear that they wanted to be thought of as newscasters first and foremost,” the article reports.
“Asked by The Boston Herald how they planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day 1998, Mr. Curtis replied, ‘It’s not a big celebration for us,’ adding, ‘Usually it’s a workday during a ratings period.’”