Monday, February 04, 2008

Don Herbert Dies

Former TOPer Don Herbert Dies - 2/4 - Don Herbert, a longtime Los Angeles news radio anchor who once worked at WTOP, died on 2/2 of complications from colon surgery. He was 72. Herbert worked at WTOP before moving to LA to become one of KFWB's original anchors upon its debut as an all-newser in 1968.....

Don worked in the WTOP newsroom as a young man right out of college. He was with us for about 9 months.


Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1935, Herb Rosenblum attended The New York City school system and later, majored in Broadcasting at the University of Alabama. His broadcast career began in Alabama at some very small radio stations with television entering the picture in Little Rock Arkansas. On TV, Herb, also known as Don Herbert, has been a news reporter, anchor, writer, and producer. His career also includes TV weatherman, children''s show host, and writer for Chuck Barris and his game shows.

Herb joined KFWB in Hollywood, California in 1968 when it became an All-News station. He stayed there for 30 years. He considers his finest achievement was Operation Heart Start in which, thru his series of reports, over a quarter of a million people became trained in CPR. Herb has covered major stories ranging from war to assassinations to earthquakes. He has also appeared on many radio and TV commercials and has done voice-over roles in movies and television shows.

Married to Linda and with two grown children, Brian and Meredith, Herb lives in the San Fernando Valley along with three dogs and a cat.

Don wrote a very funny book after he retired:

We'll Have More Music Right After the News

According to ex WTOPper Don Herbert, those were the last words spoken before his station KFWB went ALL NEWS.

Don says he made that up, but it's a great way to introduce his latest book! It's just been released and my guess is that like only old broadcasters knew that the WKRP sit com was REALLY a documentary, folks like us will immediately realize how hilarous the true history of our industry can be.

Here's what the publisher says:

About the Book

“We’ll Have More Music, Right After The News!” is a lighthearted look at the first thirty years of All News Radio in Los Angeles.

Though not a scholarly volume on the philosophy and mechanics of covering news in a major American City, it is a close-up and personal look at how my colleagues and I coped with never ending deadlines, the pressures that come with getting and confirming facts and getting them on the air professionally accurately and as quickly as was possible.

The book looks at the humor of a radio newsroom. Not situation comedy humor as in the TV series “NewsRadio” but the real thing, unexpected and unrehearsed. It becomes the fly on the wall in a room filled with highly educated and highly motivated journalists as they write and report on critical news of the day while maintaining their emotional balance through laughter. You will read of the way tensions in and out of the newsroom were dealt with and you will experience the silliness of a never-ending supply of bloopers. Most of all, you will meet a marvelous group of people who evolved from a staff of talented strangers into a smoothly operating close-knit family.


That slogan was parodied, joked about by average folks and nationally known comedians alike. But it did what it was supposed to do. Whenever you heard those words you immediately thought of KFWB.

Our first reaction to that slogan was........ 22 mmutes? That would give us a 66-minute hour. How could that be, especially if we, as newscasters were supposed to be accurate? We got our answer........ the number 22 apparently would be remembered more easily than 20 minutes or 25 minutes or 30 minutes. To this day I have not yet figured out how they came to that conclusion but by golly, they were right.

Two days after we started using that slogan, a postcard that we scotch taped to the wall, came from a man who said, “I gave you 22 minutes. You gave me the world. I didn’t like it. I want my 22 minutes back.”


If I had my way, that slogan would be installed in the Promotion Hall of Fame as one of the best slogans ever.


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