If You Lived and Drove in Los Angeles Anytime Between 1968 and 1999, Chances Are You Knew This Familiar Voice. Longtime KNX Newsradio Anchor Harry Birrell, Recipient of Numerous Golden Mike Awards, Dies at 85

May 28, 2013  •  Post A Comment

"Harry Birrell, 85, a radio reporter and news anchor whose deep bass voice was heard on KNX-AM (1070) for more than 30 years, died Saturday at his home in Thousand Oaks of complications from interstitial lung disease, said his son Walker," reports Claire Noland in the Los Angeles Times.

The story continues, "Birrell joined KNX in 1968 and was a regular weekday anchor on the all-news station until 1993, when he retired. But he continued to file daily reports of Ventura County news from his home in Thousand Oaks until January 1999." Birrell joined the station when it started its all-news format in the spring of 1968. Prior to that time KNX-AM’s format was Middle of the Road (M.O.R.). 

The obituary adds, "The Radio and Television News Assn. of Southern California recognized Birrell with multiple Golden Mike awards for excellence in local broadcast journalism."

“ ‘I have found my niche,’ Birrell said in a Times interview in 1975. ‘For me, this job is more than just reading the news. You’re looking at cold copy much of the time, putting things together, and there are always people dropping off new material. But it never gets routine. You never come to work knowing what’s going to happen from one minute to the next.’

To hear a snippet of Birrell reporting some old headlines, you can listen to a short podcast of Birrell’s obituary on the KNX Newsradio site.

One Comment

  1. Birrell had that innate quality of conveying news in a way that you got it, whatever the information was, from his first read. No drama, just the reality of the story and its parts.
    Having been a radio newsman, I appreciated his on air approach.
    Many so-called newscasters should make a study of Harry’s recordings, though I doubt they’ll “get it”, based on their non organic communication “skills”.
    I was saddened when he retired, more so to read this news of his passing.
    Peter Bright

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