Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Richmond signs off for the last time

The usually serious and restrained Dennis Richmond struggled to hold back his emotions tonight when he signed off for last time after 40 years at Channel 2.

"I will spend many days in my retirement sending thank-you notes to as many of you as I can, but ... it will take a little while. But of course I will have plenty of time," said Richmond, who turns 65 on Tuesday.

His final "10'O'Clock News" was filled with clips from Richmond's reports over the years -- including shots of him in an afro in the late 1960s -- and farewells from celebrities such as Carlos Santana and John Madden.

"Television news in the Bay Area was never better than when Dennis Richmond was anchoring and when [he] leaves it is never going to be the same," said Madden, former Oakland Raiders coach and now NBC football analyst.

Richmond said he plans to retire to a house on a golf course in Grass Valley with his wife Deborah. Television won't be entirely in their past, however. Deborah is working on a forthcoming Bravo reality show about an interior decorator.

Richmond, who was at the Channel 2 anchor desk for 33 of his 40 years at the station, holds the record for the longest tenure as a TV anchor in the Bay Area, surpassing legends like Fred Van Amburg, Dave McElhatton and the late Pete Wilson.

Starting tonight, Channel 2 newsman Frank Somerville will replace Richmond, co-anchoring the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts with Julie Haener.

Sports anchor Mark Ibanez, who has worked for 29 years with Richmond, said, "This guy is a first-ballot Hall of Famer."

At the end of the news, Richmond appeared to hold back tears as he read his final remarks:

"I will truly miss speaking to you twice a day ... It's been truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that happily for me lasted 40 years. So, for the last time, it is with great joy and great sadness that i say good night and goodbye."

    UPDATE: 9:30 a.m. BANG's Chuck Barney: "When Richmond arrived for his final day at KTVU, his newsroom co-workers greeted him with an impromptu standing ovation, as well as some hugs and kisses. 'He has had such an impact on the culture around here,' KTVU news director Ed Chapuis said. 'He's leaving, but his stamp will still be all over this place.'"

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought the Richmond sign off was really well done. It was understated just like most of his newscasts. He gave you the news, not everything he felt. The only time he seemed ready to cry was when Mark Ibanez made his final remarks and Bill Martin (you could also see Bill kept tapping/rubbing his shoulder) teased him about always stealing the waether remote. I was a bit surprised there wasn't anything from Leslie Griffth and Elaine Coral. He spent so many years with those two I would have thought they'd send a pre-recorded message to him. They made a point to show both of them on the close of the news.

Anonymous said...

I ditto the previous post. I think KTVU and his co-anchors did a great job of giving Dennis such a tasteful tribute. I was always fond of him and will miss him very much. Even the KPIX anchors congratulated him and gave him a fond farewell. Shows how much he's liked & respected in the community.
As far as his former co-anchors, it seemed they made it a point to not send him a pre-recorded message or a public farewell.

Anonymous said...

Dennis was a great newsman and deserves all of the tributes he has received, though I think his delivery was too fast. Somebody should have taken him aside and told him that he tried to talk so fast that he stumbled over words and mispronounced them once in a while. I guess when you're a big star, nobody offers advice like that. Still, he had a great career and I hope he has a happy retirement.

Anonymous said...

Dennis' sign-off was great, but who gave Julie those 2-inch hoop earrings?

Anonymous said...

that's rude ... julie is a great anchor who is dignified and appropriate in her clothing .. she's not like the hookers you see on FNC