Stan Chambers

Local News Correspondent


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

Part of the local Los Angeles news scene for over 60 years, Stan Chambers (1923-2015) was instrumental in the national evolution of local television news coverage. Chambers worked at KTLA almost since its inception. In his four-hour Archive interview, Chambers discusses the many local events, breaking news stories and tragedies he has covered. He speaks on the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy involving the rescue attempt of a little girl who was trapped in a well and also discusses hosting Frosty Frolics. Additionally, he talks about covering an above ground Nevada A-bomb test with television cameras for the first time; the first Telecopter, the Watts Riots, breaking the Rodney King beating story and many others. Karen Herman conducted the interview on July 28, 1998 in Los Angeles, CA.

"I like the idea of the live deadline of standing there with your mi in-hand and 20 seconds to go waiting for the cue. It's a sensation that I do enjoy. I frankly just think that I'm there in the dark talking to the cameraman." 

Highlights
Stan Chambers on KTLA's invention and use of the first news helicopter, the "telecopter" in 1958
05:51
Stan Chambers covering the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968
04:28
Stan Chambers on KTLA's breaking the news story of the Rodney King beating by Los Angeles police officers
11:04
Stan Chambers on how he'd like to be remembered
01:30
Stan Chambers on a photo of a 1952 live remote of an atomic bomb test in Nevada
00:38
Stan Chambers on the history and facilities of KTLA and some of the key people who were there at the beginning
14:14
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years growing up in Los Angeles, his education and military service, and his first work in radio

Chapter 2

On his student work at radio station KUSC and his interest in the new medium of television
On joining KTLA and his initial jobs behind-the-scenes at the local Los Angeles station
On the history and facilities of KTLA and some of the key people who were there at the beginning

Chapter 3

On his early years at KTLA and some of the unique programming that was on the station, the influence of Klaus Landsberg

Chapter 4

On selling ads on KTLA; on hosting shows including Frosty Frolics and a cooking show; the death of Klaus Landsberg and how it affected KTLA
On reporting at the scene of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy -- a story that was followed nationwide

Chapter 5

On the conclusion of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy and some of the details of the coverage as well as the influence it had for how television covered live news events
On KTLA's remote coverage of the local Southern California troops leaving for Korea and returning from duty 
On KTLA's remote coverage of atom bomb tests in Nevada in 1952
On KTLA's coverage of hearings and Los Angeles stories with a national focus

Chapter 6

On anchoring KTLA's evening news in 1958 (and using an improvised prompting system)
On KTLA's invention and use of the first news helicopter, the "telecopter" in 1958
On Los Angeles' KTLA's news coverage and competition in the late-50s and early 60s, including the assassination of President Kennnedy, the Baldwin Hills Dam collapse (1963); becoming news director for KTLA and his role in managing the team
On Gene Autry's purchase of Los Angeles' KTLA station; changes in the newsroom

Chapter 7

On covering the Watts Riots in 1965 and the Los Angeles riots in 1993
On covering the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968
On stepping down as KTLA's new director in 1970 and focusing on reporting; on the changes in local news coverage; on covering Pope John Paul II's visit to Los Angeles in 1997

Chapter 8

On KTLA's breaking the news story of the Rodney King beating by Los Angeles police officers
On the process of covering local news

Chapter 9

On news coverage's evolution throughout his career
On how he'd like to be remembered
On some of the people he's worked with during his long career

Chapter 10

On some more of the people he's worked with in his career at KTLA; his first wife Beverly; current wife Gigi
On photos of some of the highlights in his career
Shows

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

View Show Page
Stan Chambers on the first Emmy winners Mike Stokey and Shirley Dinsdale
01:37

Frosty Frolics

View Show Page
Stan Chambers on hosting Frosty Frolics on Los Angeles' KTLA
05:51
Stan Chambers on a cast photo from Frosty Frolics
00:27

Judy Splinters

View Show Page
News correspondent Stan Chambers (then stagehand) on popular KTLA series Judy Splinters (with Emmy-winning ventriloquist/host Shirley Dinsdale) and its move to the NBC network
00:44
News correspondent Stan Chambers (then stagehand) on Judy Splinters ventriloquist/host Shirley Dinsdale 
00:35

Lawrence Welk Show, The

View Show Page
Stan Chambers on getting Lawrence Welk on the air on KTLA
01:37

Mike Stokey's Pantomime Quiz aka Stump the Stars

View Show Page
News correspondent Stan Chambers (then stagehand) on how the popularity of KTLA's Pantomime Quiz led it to the CBS network 
00:41

Time for Beany

View Show Page
Stan Chambers on the introduction of Beany and Cecil on Los Angeles' station KTLA
01:08
Stan Chambers on Time for Beany's Stan Freberg and Daws Butler
01:56
Topics

Civil Rights Movement

View Topic
Stan Chambers on covering the Watts Riots in Los Angeles in 1965
04:36

JFK Assassination and Funeral

View Topic
Stan Chambers on announcing the death of President Kennedy on Los Angeles' KTLA station
01:37

Korean War

View Topic
Stan Chambers on KTLA's remote coverage of the local Southern California troops leaving for Korea and returning from duty 
01:48

Network Creation

View Topic
Stan Chambers on the history and facilities of KTLA and some of the key people who were there at the beginning
14:14

Studio and Network Management

View Topic
Stan Chambers on the history and facilities of KTLA and some of the key people who were there at the beginning
14:14
Stan Chambers on Gene Autry's purchase of KTLA Los Angeles
02:26

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Stan Chambers on how the definition on the early television cameras almost prevented him from being on-camera
01:53
Stan Chambers on anchoring KTLA's evening news in 1958 (and using an improvised prompting system)
02:04
Stan Chambers on KTLA's invention and use of the first news helicopter, the "telecopter" in 1958
05:51
Stan Chambers on KTLA's breaking the news story of the Rodney King beating by Los Angeles police officers
11:04
Stan Chambers on a photo of a 1952 live remote of an atomic bomb test in Nevada
00:38
Stan Chambers on a photo of the maiden voyage of KTLA's telecopter
00:33

We Cried

View Topic
Stan Chambers on reporting at the scene of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy -- a story that was followed nationwide
11:01
Stan Chambers the conclusion of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy and some of the details of the coverage as well as the influence it had for how television covered live news events
08:38
Stan Chambers on covering the Los Angeles riots in 1993
06:02
Stan Chambers on covering the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968
04:28
Stan Chambers on KTLA's breaking the news story of the Rodney King beating by Los Angeles police officers
11:04
Stan Chambers on a photo of his coverage of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy
00:27
Stan Chambers on a screen photo of his breaking the Rodney King beating story on KTLA
00:26
Professions

Journalists & News Producers

View Profession
Stan Chambers on the process of covering local news
17:27
Genres

Commercials

View Genre
Stan Chambers on selling and hosting ads for KTLA in the early 1950s
06:12

News and Documentary

View Genre
Stan Chambers on reporting at the scene of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy -- a story that was followed nationwide
11:01
Stan Chambers the conclusion of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy and some of the details of the coverage as well as the influence it had for how television covered live news events
08:38
Stan Chambers on KTLA's remote coverage of the local Southern California troops leaving for Korea and returning from duty 
01:48
Stan Chambers on anchoring KTLA's evening news in 1958 (and using an improvised prompting system)
02:04
Stan Chambers on KTLA's invention and use of the first news helicopter, the "telecopter" in 1958
05:51
Stan Chambers on covering the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968
04:28
Stan Chambers on KTLA's breaking the news story of the Rodney King beating by Los Angeles police officers
11:04
Stan Chambers on the process of covering local news
17:27
Stan Chambers on news coverage's evolution throughout his career
16:49
Stan Chambers on a photo of the maiden voyage of KTLA's telecopter
00:33
People

Gene Autry

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Gene Autry's purchase of KTLA Los Angeles
02:26
Stan Chambers on Gene Autry
00:49

Daws Butler

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Time for Beany's Stan Freberg and Daws Butler
01:56

Spade Cooley

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Spade Cooley
00:53

Shirley Dinsdale

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Shirley Dinsdale's start at KTLA
00:50
Stan Chambers on Shirley Dinsdale
00:34
News correspondent Stan Chambers (then stagehand) on Judy Splinters ventriloquist/host Shirley Dinsdale 
00:35

Kathy Fiscus

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on reporting at the scene of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy -- a story that was followed nationwide
11:01

Hal Fishman

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Hal Fishman
01:21

Stan Freberg

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Time for Beany's Stan Freberg and Daws Butler
01:56

Dorothy Gardner

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Dorothy Gardner
01:09

Art Gilmore

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on his student work at radio station KUSC and his interest in the new medium of television
09:37

Ken Graue

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Ken Graue
00:46

Corris Guy

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Corris Guy (host of KTLA's early cooking show Tricks and Treats )
01:03

Pope John Paul II

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on covering Pope John Paul II's visit to Los Angeles for KTLA in 1997
03:03

John Milton Kennedy

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on John Milton Kennedy
00:28

Robert F. Kennedy

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on covering the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968
04:28

Klaus Landsberg

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on the history and facilities of KTLA and some of the key people who were there at the beginning
14:14
Stan Chambers on KTLA's mesmerizing organist Korla Pandit
01:19
Stan Chambers on hosting Frosty Frolics on Los Angeles' KTLA
05:51
Stan Chambers on reporting at the scene of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy -- a story that was followed nationwide
11:01
Stan Chambers on Klaus Landsberg
00:51
Stan Chambers on a photo of Klaus Landsberg
00:25

Dick Lane

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Dick Lane
01:24

Roberta Linn

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Roberta Linn
01:00

Gil Martin

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Gil Martin
00:26

Korla Pandit

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on KTLA's mesmerizing organist Korla Pandit
01:19
Stan Chambers on Korla Pandit
00:44

Clete Roberts

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Clete Roberts
01:21

John Silva

View Interview Page
Stan Chambers on KTLA's invention and use of the first news helicopter, the "telecopter" in 1958
05:51

Bud Stefan

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on KTLA director Bud Stefan
02:07
Stan Chambers on Bud Stefan
01:35

Mike Stokey

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Mike Stokey's start at KTLA
00:47

Lawrence Welk

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on getting Lawrence Welk on the air on KTLA
01:37
Stan Chambers on Lawrence Welk
00:44

Bill Welsh

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on reporting at the scene of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy -- a story that was followed nationwide
11:01
Stan Chambers the conclusion of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy and some of the details of the coverage as well as the influence it had for how television covered live news events
08:38
Stan Chambers on Bill Welsh
00:49

Gordon Wright

View Person Page
Stan Chambers on Gordon Wright
00:37

All Interviews

Q
S