Friday, June 24, 2005

A Weekend Two-Fer

For twenty Alec - name the best anchor team ever in Portland, and the best newspaper columnist.

PDX Media Insider says - Who was Cathy Smith and Bill Laggatuta at KGW and former (and awfully harassed) Oregonian Sports Columnist Julie Vader?

Your turn. No real brainpower required.

Bonus - Worst anchor team - Eric Schmidt and Kelley Day on KPDX when she first came to Portland.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie Vader was a wonderful writer but not a great columnist -- her opinions didn't come out sharply enough for a 10-word nugget. But she could turn a sentence, in the end a far rarer skill. (Dwight Jaynes, he bitter ex-colleague, is just the opposite: a simply terrible writer of sentences whose opinions, however cro-magnon, are immediately clear.)

Erich Schmidt: I remember an ad campaign that his station ran in the Oregonian with a picture of him holding a standard reporter/steno notebook in one hand and an inquisitive look (or facsimile thereof) slapped on his face. I wouldn't have been surprised if the spiral binder part of the notebook were the closer to his body. He seemed generally to have no idea on earth what the content was that he was reading...

Saturday, June 25, 2005 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hit it with the first pitch.
Kathy Smith and Bill Lagatutta were the best Portland has seen.
They hated each other off the air and there was a spark of competition that kept them always sharp and alert on the air.

Saturday, June 25, 2005 1:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, the toupee'd one (James) was really nasty about Vader (girls don't know nothing about sports...) when she was hired and made it clear to his colleagues she didn't pass HIS test. He hasn't changed his attitude. Ask any Trib or former Trib person - if Dwight doesn't like what you're doing, or is threatened by the fact that people are drawn to you and your abilities, goodbye. Why do you think a world class editor like Lora Cuykendall is long gone?

Saturday, June 25, 2005 8:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops.. just failed. I meant Jaynes.

Saturday, June 25, 2005 8:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Donahue and Jim Rauh were tops. No team has even come close ever since. They each brought different strengths to the desk, and for local television, were the best at taking a ball and running with it.

As the late Ted Bryant used to say, "There are no great ad libbers, some people are just better prepared than others." How true.

Eric Schmidt is under rated. Average reporter, but super in live situations. He could carry a breaking news live shot for two minutes, without repeating himself, and you got the major information when he was done.

Ann Schatz was the best interviewer in the market. Jack Cappel the best meteorologist. Steve Arena was absolutely the best sports Anchor/reporter, after Rod Luck, of course. NOT!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2005 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm the best interviewer in the market.

Saturday, June 25, 2005 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one of Kathy's former producers, I must agree with the Kathy and Bill team as the best ever in PDX from the tapes I have seen and the stories I have heard. For the record, I produced her after Bill went network.

Kathy was a gas to work with and was always loyal to the news people and studio crew who did the heavy lifting (not the suits, natch). What happened to her hearing (blown out in a broken IFB at KPTV) is a tragedy and I wish her well. A great broad.

But, if I had to give out a bronze medal, I'd give it to Jeff and Julie at their height when they owned this town for a few years... those were the days...
Kenny F. producing... Devlin driving things... with Norm's help... and Rick Howard where he belonged -- yelling at a live truck engineer over the phone.

And yes, Eric S. can do a great live shot with little or no notice and then will brag about it, in his own Eric way, all the way back to the station. A charmer, fer sure.

And as for Ms. Day... woo, man! Water, please!

Saturday, June 25, 2005 6:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worst current team (not news department) has to be Jeff Douglas and KC Kowan on OPB.

Saturday, June 25, 2005 9:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best news anchor team:
Richard Ross and Ralph Wenge back in KGW's Northwest Tonight days. Two actual newsmen (what a concept!) instead of blow-dried airheads that we have today.

Julie Vader as best columnist? Were you drunk? The fact that Dwight Jaynes hated her doesn't make her good. As a sports columnist, the girl was in way over her head. It was a PC hire (maybe a woman as sports columnist will show people we're serious about hiring women). She would have been a much better fit replacing Jonathan Nucklehead or that Margie person who writes that sob-sister tripe on Sunday. Oh, and by the way, Dwight Jaynes is a fat blowhard who was in bed with the folks who were trying to pull off that ballpark swindle last year.

Anyone remember Doug Baker? "Baker's Dozen" in the old Oregon Journal was the best column this city has ever seen. Period. Baker knew the city inside out and top to bottom, his stuff was ALWAYS interesting and he wrote six columns a week.

Saturday, June 25, 2005 10:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Some guy said...

Baker was awesome. His column was long and packed with meat. He'd work the phones, calling and quizzing people without necessarily identifying himself (happened to me, but I spotted him). And what appeared was invariably true. Absolute must read. Stanford comes the closest--everything else is gossip, what's hot, or sob-sister stuff that doesn't make me grab the paper and flip the pages to find it, the way we did with Baker.

Saturday, June 25, 2005 11:44:00 PM  
Anonymous historian said...

Best anchor teams in PDX history:

- The ensemble of Richard Ross, Tom McCall, Jack Capell, and Doug LaMear (KGW-1960s)
- Mike Donahue & Jim Rauh (KOIN-1970s)
- Bill Lagatutta & Kathy Smith (KGW-1980s)
- The ensemble of Jeff Gianola, Julie Emry, Paul Linnman & Steve Dunn (KATU-1990s)
- Pete Ferryman & Kimberly Maus (KPTV-2000s)


A few of the worst anchor TEAMS (not individuals):

- Kim Singer & Pat Kirk (KPTV-early 1990s)
- Steve Abrams & Tracy Barry (KGW evenings-1993)
- David O'Karski & Anne Jaeger (KOIN mornings-1996)
- Crystal Thornton & Anne Jaeger (KOIN mornings-1996)
- and sadly, some of our current morning & weekend anchor teams may very well belong on this list too

Sunday, June 26, 2005 12:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of not the best TV news anchors in town, where is Kim Sherwood these days? Those KOIN Noon Show cooking segments with Jack and Iva must have been very challenging, for sure.

Sunday, June 26, 2005 4:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Joe Inkwell said...

The best news team in Portland history? Definitely that KGW crew of Richard Ross, Ivan Smith, Doug LaMear, Jack Capell and Tom McCall.

I mean, these guys RULED for close to two decades. And stayed pretty much intact, except for losing McCall when he became secretary of state and then governor. Newsbeat at 5, Nightbeat at 11. Everyone else was competing for crumbs. And it was a solid newscast day in and day out, albeit only 30 minutes long in those days. Today, we live in the Age of Crap.

Speaking of old Journal columnists (and Doug Baker was THE BEST), anyone remember Dick Fagan? He wrote the "Mill Ends" column and was the guy behind Mill Ends Park, which was really (if memory serves) a traffic divider outside the old Journal building that Fagan got the city to declare the smallest official park in Portland (something like 24 square feet).

As far as best sports columnists are concerned, I'd have to give it to George Pasero on volume alone. The guy cranked out six columns a week at the Journal and even in his dotage, when he was only doing a Sunday column at The O, it was usually worth reading. Although some of the old-timers tell me he was an A-hole to work for.

I can't believe anyone would think Julie Vader was Portland's BEST columnist ever. I read some of her stuff when she was a bench-warmer at Sports Illustrated and she didn't get any better when she came to the O. Always seemed like she didn't really know what she was talking about and was trying to keep readers for realizing that. At least hacks like Jaynes and Eggers and even Terry Frei had a modicum of expertise. Steve Kelley was pretty good when he was here, too, but after 20 or so years at the Seattle Times he's still just a notch or two above mediocre.

Worst sports columnist in my book was Bart Wright, who actually once wrote a column in The O in which he whined that he wasn't getting enough respect from Portland sports fans. What a creep.

I also think Ken Wheeler was a fine writer who deserved a shot at a column. Read some of his stuff on high school sports in small towns in eastern Oregon; or his stories about small, local rodeos. You'll feel like you were there and that's the best thing you can say about any reporter.

I used to like Leo Davis, too.

But that was back in the day when the good writers were real craftsmen.

Wow...Julie Vader?????

Monday, June 27, 2005 2:26:00 AM  
Anonymous historian said...

Oops, I forgot to include Ivan Smith when I posted my best-of-PDX list above. No disrepect intended... just a brainfart.

So make that Richard Ross, Ivan Smith, Tom McCall, Jack Capell and Doug LaMear (KGW-1960s). Quite an emsemble.

Monday, June 27, 2005 4:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sidebar -- who or what is Twenty Alec???

Monday, June 27, 2005 9:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lame attempt at a "Jeoparday" allusion....I think.

Monday, June 27, 2005 9:18:00 AM  
Blogger activist kaza said...

Steve Duin was pretty good as a sports columnist; so too was Steve Kelley, even if mediocre since in Seattle. KGW '60s-'70s were certainly the best anchor team/newscast in my lifetime. LaMear was a bit weak, but the rest of the team definitely SET the standard in this town.

Monday, June 27, 2005 4:38:00 PM  
Anonymous decaf said...

Oh, you journalists and your fragile grasp of numbers. Mill Ends Park is 452 square inches, about 3 square feet, a third of a square yard.

Monday, June 27, 2005 5:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mill Ends Park was something from the 1960s....in other words, a hundred years ago.

Monday, June 27, 2005 6:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Joe Inkwell said...

Yo, Decaf...not bad math, just bad memory.

But glad to see someone else remembers.

Greg's Gossip, anyone?

Monday, June 27, 2005 6:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The creation and naming of Mills End Park... a Portland legend... would never have happened
today... because the newspaper editor would have been too busy playing Solitaire on his PC to notice.

Thursday, June 30, 2005 2:13:00 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, Whatever happened to Eric Schmidt?

Thursday, July 13, 2006 6:43:00 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Saturday, November 17, 2007 10:18:00 AM  

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