Stan Chambers

KTLA News Correspondent


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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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 mic 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." 

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Stan Chambers on KTLA's invention and use of the first news helicopter, the "telecopter" in 1958
Stan Chambers covering the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968
Stan Chambers on KTLA's breaking the news story of the Rodney King beating by Los Angeles police officers
Stan Chambers on how he'd like to be remembered
Stan Chambers on a photo of a 1952 live remote of an atomic bomb test in Nevada
Stan Chambers on the history and facilities of KTLA and some of the key people who were there at the beginning
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

Frosty Frolics

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Stan Chambers on hosting Frosty Frolics on Los Angeles' KTLA
Stan Chambers on a cast photo from Frosty Frolics

Judy Splinters

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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
News correspondent Stan Chambers (then stagehand) on Judy Splinters ventriloquist/host Shirley Dinsdale 

Lawrence Welk Show, The

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

Mike Stokey's Pantomime Quiz aka Stump the Stars

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News correspondent Stan Chambers (then stagehand) on how the popularity of KTLA's Pantomime Quiz led it to the CBS network 

Time for Beany

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Stan Chambers on the introduction of Beany and Cecil on Los Angeles' station KTLA
Stan Chambers on Time for Beany's Stan Freberg and Daws Butler
Topics

Civil Rights Movement

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

JFK Assassination and Funeral

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

Korean War

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

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

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
Stan Chambers on Gene Autry's purchase of KTLA Los Angeles

Technological Innovation

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

We Cried

View Topic
Stan Chambers on reporting at the scene of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy -- a story that was followed nationwide
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
Stan Chambers on covering the Los Angeles riots in 1993
Stan Chambers on covering the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968
Stan Chambers on KTLA's breaking the news story of the Rodney King beating by Los Angeles police officers
Stan Chambers on a photo of his coverage of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy
Stan Chambers on a screen photo of his breaking the Rodney King beating story on KTLA
Professions

Journalists & News Producers

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Stan Chambers on the process of covering local news
Genres

Commercials

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Stan Chambers on selling and hosting ads for KTLA in the early 1950s

News and Documentary

View Genre
Stan Chambers on reporting at the scene of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy -- a story that was followed nationwide
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
Stan Chambers on KTLA's remote coverage of the local Southern California troops leaving for Korea and returning from duty 
Stan Chambers on anchoring KTLA's evening news in 1958 (and using an improvised prompting system)
Stan Chambers on KTLA's invention and use of the first news helicopter, the "telecopter" in 1958
Stan Chambers on covering the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968
Stan Chambers on KTLA's breaking the news story of the Rodney King beating by Los Angeles police officers
Stan Chambers on the process of covering local news
Stan Chambers on news coverage's evolution throughout his career
Stan Chambers on a photo of the maiden voyage of KTLA's telecopter
People

Gene Autry

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Stan Chambers on Gene Autry's purchase of KTLA Los Angeles
Stan Chambers on Gene Autry

Daws Butler

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Stan Chambers on Time for Beany's Stan Freberg and Daws Butler

Spade Cooley

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Stan Chambers on Spade Cooley

Shirley Dinsdale

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Stan Chambers on Shirley Dinsdale's start at KTLA
Stan Chambers on Shirley Dinsdale
News correspondent Stan Chambers (then stagehand) on Judy Splinters ventriloquist/host Shirley Dinsdale 

Kathy Fiscus

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Stan Chambers on reporting at the scene of the 1949 Kathy Fiscus tragedy -- a story that was followed nationwide

Hal Fishman

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Stan Chambers on Hal Fishman

Stan Freberg

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Stan Chambers on Time for Beany's Stan Freberg and Daws Butler

Dorothy Gardner

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Stan Chambers on Dorothy Gardner

Art Gilmore

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Stan Chambers on his student work at radio station KUSC and his interest in the new medium of television

Ken Graue

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Stan Chambers on Ken Graue

Corris Guy

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Stan Chambers on Corris Guy (host of KTLA's early cooking show Tricks and Treats )

Pope John Paul II

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Stan Chambers on covering Pope John Paul II's visit to Los Angeles for KTLA in 1997

Robert F. Kennedy

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Stan Chambers on covering the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968

John Milton Kennedy

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Stan Chambers on John Milton Kennedy

Dick Lane

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Stan Chambers on Dick Lane

Roberta Linn

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Stan Chambers on Roberta Linn

Gil Martin

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Stan Chambers on Gil Martin

Korla Pandit

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Stan Chambers on KTLA's mesmerizing organist Korla Pandit
Stan Chambers on Korla Pandit

Clete Roberts

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Stan Chambers on Clete Roberts

John Silva

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Stan Chambers on KTLA's invention and use of the first news helicopter, the "telecopter" in 1958

Bud Stefan

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Stan Chambers on KTLA director Bud Stefan
Stan Chambers on Bud Stefan

Mike Stokey

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Stan Chambers on Mike Stokey's start at KTLA

Lawrence Welk

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Stan Chambers on getting Lawrence Welk on the air on KTLA
Stan Chambers on Lawrence Welk

Bill Welsh

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

Gordon Wright

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Stan Chambers on Gordon Wright

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