|HAL FISHMAN: IN LOVING MEMORYKTLA.COM HOMEPAGE | NEWS | TRAFFIC | WEATHER|
Legendary KTLA Anchorman Hal Fishman, the longest-running anchor in television history, and a presence in Los Angeles broadcasting for nearly five decades that many in the city grew up knowing and trusting, died August 7, 2007 at the age of 75. Hal's strong connection with Southern Californians, along with his journalistic integrity, made him one of the brightest stars in KTLA's 60-year history.
A serious infection in late July 2007 caused Hal to become ill. While being treated for the infection, doctors discovered he had colon cancer, which had spread to his liver. The condition proved fatal.
Messages of condolence came from many places. The Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Jounalists said in a statement, "We are deeply saddened by the death of long-time KTLA anchor Hal Fishman. Hal was an icon in Los Angeles news, and his depth of knowledge and presence is unparalleled."
"Hal was an icon for reporting fair and balanced news," L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich said in his words of condolence. "Our prayers go to his wife and son."
Hal was on track for a career as a college professor when television station KCOP invited him to teach an on-air class in politics in 1960. He agreed, and "American Political Parties in Politics" became so successful that the station asked him back to anchor his own segment on the news. Hal made the jump to KTLA in 1965, the year of the Watts riots. His coverage of that event helped KTLA win an Emmy and a Peabody Award.
A 47-year news veteran, Hal anchored KTLA Prime News (known previously as "News @ Ten") continuously since 1975, making him the longest-running anchor in television history. Along with serving as an anchor for Prime News, Hal was also the show's managing editor.
Hal was been the bearer of good news and bad news to the television viewers of Los Angeles, including the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, the visit of Pope John Paul II, and the Sylmar and Northridge earthquakes. Hal also helped to break the Rodney King beating story, among many others.
Hal was a multi-award winning journalist whose honors included the prestigious Governors Award from the Los Angeles Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1987 and the Outstanding Broadcast Journalism award, one of journalism's highest honors, from the Society of Professional Journalists. On April 20, 1992, Hal Fishman received his very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2002, the Associated Press Television-Radio Association (APTRA) presented Hal with its first Lifetime Achievement Award and also named Hal "Best News Anchor" for the third consecutive year. In 2005, APTRA honored Hal with a "Best Newswriting" award for his nightly commentaries.
The Los Angeles Press Club also honored Hal and his Prime News colleagues with an award for Best Regularly Scheduled Daily News Program for their coverage of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Southern California Radio and Television News Association honored Hal for Best News Commentary in 2004 and 2005. Hal received an Emmy Award for Best Light News Story-Single Report and a Golden Mike for Best Original News Commentary.
In the summer of 2000, on the occasion of his 40th anniversary in television news broadcasting, KTLA named its newsroom "The Hal Fishman Newsroom" in recognition of his devoted service to the station and community. Those in attendance included co-workers and former co-workers, city, county and state officials, as well as reporters and anchors from stations across Los Angeles who put competition aside to honor Hal's journalistic excellence.
Hal was honored again by KTLA this summer as part of the station's 60th anniversary celebration. The event was held at the Autry National Center, with many dignitaries in attendance. Click here for more on the gala.
Hal was also a pilot and the holder of 13 official world aviation records for speed and altitude.
He is survived by his wife, Nolie, and his son David. Hal's family has asked those who wish to pay tribute to him to make a donation to the American Cancer Society in lieu of flowers.
The citizens of Los Angeles will always hold Hal very dearly in their hearts, and he will be deeply missed.