Friday, July 29, 2011

Guess Who Came to Lunch

Two of WTOP-TV's most successful "graduates get together in New York for lunch

Bill Diehl has that story......

Hi Lee,

After several false starts, I finally managed to hook up with Chet Curtis. Chet and I worked together at WTOP-TV in Washington in the mid 60's. I'm not sure about exact dates but Chet left 'TOP in '66 for WCBS-TV in New York.

I left for WNEW in NY in January of 1967.

Chet Curtis and Bill Diehl
Chet is largely responsible for my leaving WWDC and going to WTOP in 1964.

Chet and I both went to Ithaca College and in Chet's final year at IC, ('61 ir 62) we were roommates, sharing an apartment with another guy. We both were working at a local station, WTKO, an  ABC affiliate.

After graduation, Chet got married, wound up in Rochester at WHAM, and then to WTOP.

Chet left WCBS for Channel 5 in Boston where he and soon to be his wife, Natalie Jacobsen, became one of Boston's most popular husband and wife anchor teams. A decade or so ago, their marriage broke up,
Natalie stayed for awhile, but Chet left and wound up at the cable channel NECN, where he is still there anchoring a news show.

So it was great to see Chet again. We reminisced about old times and new times...people we remembered
from the WTOP days, including Warner Wolf and management people, remember Jack Jurey? Sam Donaldson of course too.

Chet recalled his baptism under fire at WTOP. It was a slow day on Nov. 22nd 1963. Chet was
the new guy on the block and Sam told Jurey "why don't I take Chet up to Capitol Hill to give him taste
of the Washington political scene." And so they went, and there Chet found himself with Sam in the Senate
chamber watching the action, as it were.

Suddenly Chet said he remembered a staffer, Ed Rundell (my spelling might be wrong) coming over to Senator Edward Kennedy and Chet said he distinctly overheard Rundell saying "Senator, we've just received word that your brother, the President, has been shot."

Chet said he turned to Sam and said "I think I just heard that 'the president has been shot.') Well the rest is history and Chet's day in Washington as a 'newbie' turned into quite a story. Chet wound up being dispatched
all over the capitol to cover this huge story...including being at Bethesda Naval Hospital when President
Kennedy's body was brought back to Washington. "What a day," Chet said, "I'll never forget it."



A recent article in the Boston Globe tells of the "changing times" and the demise of "celebrity anchors."
I'm reminded of what our own Julian Barber used to say,  "I may be a "has been"......but look where I HAS BEEN!"    -Lee

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