SPJ/LA Expresses Grief and Sorrow on the Loss of Veteran KTLA Reporter
The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists mourns the passing of veteran KTLA reporter, Stan Chambers.
“Los Angeles has lost a legend, a reporter who invented live television news,” SPJ /LA President Navid Nonahal said. “SPJ/LA extends its condolences to Stan’s family and colleagues.”
Chambers passed away today at age 91, at his home in Holmby Hills, surrounded by his family. He worked at KTLA for 63 years, retiring at age 87 in 2010.
Colleague and SPJ/LA board member, Jeff Wald, said Chambers was known for his storytelling skills and particularly his ability to report news events live. In 1949, Chambers invented live television coverage of breaking news, reporting the tragedy of a little girl named Kathy Fiscus who had fallen down an abandoned well in San Marino. He was on the air for more than 27 hours.
Some 40 years later, Chambers provided live coverage of a light plane that had become entangled in high-tension wires. “Two men were trapped upside down in their private plane. The plane never moved as firemen worked to rescue the pilot and passenger. This went on for hours. Stan’s reporting was gripping and our viewers couldn’t turn away,” Wald said.
In his 63 years at KTLA, Chambers covered the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968 and countless fires, floods, riots, and human-interest stories. All of the stories — some 22,000 of them — were presented with accuracy, consistency and solid reporting.
In honor of Chambers, here’s the link to a collection of interviews from the Archive of American Television, including a short clip on how he’d like to be remembered. http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/stan-chambers
The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to promoting high standards of ethical behavior and encouraging the free practice of journalism. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. The Greater Los Angeles professional chapter celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2009.