LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Longtime Los Angeles newsman Stan Chambers, who spent more than six decades at KTLA and was a pioneer of broadcast journalism, died Friday at age 91.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Chambers family,'' KTLA President and General Manager Don Corsini said on the station's website. "Stan was a brilliant journalist and one of the best in the business.''
Chambers joined the station in 1947, when there were only about 300 television sets in the Los Angeles area.
Chambers filed more than 22,000 stories over the next 63 years, until he retired in 2010, on his 87th birthday.
"He will be remembered as a pioneer in the industry and a pillar of the KTLA family, the station's news director, Jason Ball, said on the station's website.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave this statement: "Stan Chambers was a newsman in the truest sense. His dedication to producing the best story possible led to innovations that define the newscasts we watch today. Stan was a gentleman, a gifted storyteller, and one of those rare L.A. icons whose impact was felt by generations of Angelenos. He will be truly missed."
Chambers, a Navy veteran, joined KTLA in 1947, largely working behind the scenes before appearing in front of the camera. He eventually helped anchor 27 hours of coverage of 3-year-old Kathy Fiscus, who became trapped in an abandoned well in San Marino -- a defining moment in broadcast journalism. He was then part of the station's first daily newscast in 1962.
Chambers went on to cover major events in the city, including the Bel-Air fire, Baldwin Hills dam break and Northridge earthquake, along with the Robert Kennedy assassination, Manson family murders and Hillside Strangler case.
Chambers also broke the Rodney King beating story, according to KTLA, when an amateur photographer who filmed the beating handed over his tape to the trusted reporter.
"Stan Chambers is one of the greatest reporters ever to be in our city,'' City Councilman Tom LaBonge said during today's council meeting. "...He was there when television started. I remember being with him at the Pan-Pacific fire in the '90s, and the first story he covered for KTLA is the ice skating show at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium. I think we will on Tuesday adjourn in a higher note to his memory, but sad news ... sad news ... There's no one more special to Los Angeles, a news reporter of all areas -- that's Stan Chambers.''