Standing Ovation, Please: Legendary Newsman, 87, Retiring After 63 Years on TV (!!) and 22,000 Stories

Aug 11, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Not only is it once in a lifetime, it IS a lifetime.

One of the most famous local newsmen in TV, who started his on-air career in 1947, at the dawn of the TV era, is retiring at age 87, the Los Angeles Times reports.

It’s Stan Chambers of pioneering L.A. TV station KTLA.


Chambers has covered stories ranging from the 1961 Bel-Air fire to the South Central riots in 1992 as well as reporting on the station’s broadcast of the Tournament of Roses parade nearly every year since 1949, the story says. But the story that set him apart early in his career was his coverage in 1949 of the death of Kathy Fiscus, a 3-year old who fell down a well shaft while playing in San Marino.

Chambers and his colleague Bill Welsh broadcast more than 27 hours of continuous live coverage of the unsuccessful rescue attempt, the story says. While TV sets were relatively rare at the time, Los Angeles residents were prompted to buy televisions after the coverage, the article adds.

Chambers was scheduled to announce his retirement on "The KTLA Morning News" this morning and will appear on today’s 1 p.m. newscast, which will also air a career retrospective, the story says.

The station plans a one-hour special on Aug. 23 at 8 p.m., with a repeat on Sept. 5 at 11 p.m. "I can go anywhere and have memories of what happened. I can say, ‘I was there,’ or ‘We did this.’ It really is a special feeling and I will miss it terribly. I’m sure that’s why I put this off for so long," Chambers says.


  1. Yes indeed, I remember as if it were yesterday; standing on the sidewalk looking in a Riverside store window TV set while they were showing this eerie shot of the top of that Kathy Fiscus well. It was so powerful that I went into the store and bought my first TV set, took it home, and watched until they found her dead. Stan, I hope you enjoy your retirement as much as I have mine.

  2. Congratulations Stan! Stan is a pioneer and a legend! So much great work from such a wonderful gentleman. Back in 2000 as the news voice of KTLA he gave me and my family a tour that we will never forget! From the days of KFWB – “Keep Filming Warner Brothers” – to the bowling alley that once did business from the famous Selznick offices shown at the open of “Gone With The Wind” – we were escorted through living film, radio and television history. He even took us to the Judge Judy set which was there at the time that was built by Chaplin for Tramp. All the best Stan and God bless you!

  3. What a great legend – for all these years, and what a quality individual. I’ll never forget seeing Stan live from Moscow in one of the very first international live satellite shots in broadcasting, back when satellites were in low orbit and signals could be bounced only for a few minutes every few hours. An incredible break-thru in the early years of TV. Congratulations to Stan! There’s no one who’s served broadcasting better!

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