Thursday, July 28, 2016

Chak's Take: KSBW's New Set and Dennis Lehnen's Retirement - A Major Departure from the Old Set in the Last 30+ Years?!

For over 30 years, KSBW was the first choice for viewers that saw the anchors at Studio B. This was a few years before I was born in the late-1980s. I was unsure the exact date when KSBW started to broadcast from Studio B back then. But a major milestone marked a huge change at KSBW ever since the station started broadcasting from Studio B. This came as the fact that KSBW was introduced on September 11, 1953 - exactly 48 years before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York City.

At the time of this blog write-up, KSBW was 63 years old. But more than 30 years of those came when the news broadcasts originated from Studio B, located at the intersection of John and Abbott Streets in downtown Salinas. That is only 1/2 mile directly from U.S. 101 via the John Street exit, where KSBW's location still stands as of now. I reviewed several YouTube clips that featured people like Seattle-native and anchor Margo Myers, anchor Dave Gonzales, and local favorites like Jim Vanderswaan and Dennis Lehnen. There were classic clips from the 1980's and 1990's when the latter two, who were longtime personalities at KSBW, made promotions that had a fun way of education for the youth.

But as KSBW has a new set, there is one unfortunate consequence. KSBW is saying farewell to Dennis Lehnen just as the opening ceremonies of the Rio de Janiero Olympics get underway. He is the Quincy native (in northern California) who came to KSBW on December 2, 1981 - the same exact date Lehnen mentioned when Britney Spears was born. KSBW announced that the torch (common term in the Olympics) will be passed to Drea Blackwell, a Monterey native, as the new sports anchor, as well as the next sports director at the station. This also marks the end of Share Your Holiday for Lehnen, who has served his community near Monterey helping out in taking donations each December. It's likely that Blackwell will be taking his place afterwords.

In the past several years I've been watching KSBW, the previous set (before the current set) was very familiar to many viewers throughout Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and southern Santa Clara County, as Jim Vanderswaan would refer to "the four counties that KSBW serves." KSBW does know the fact that southern Santa Clara County is technically not part of the Monterey DMA, but the transmitter in Fremont Peak dues broaden their reach to include areas as far north as south San Jose. Previously, the transmitter serving those areas allow viewers like me to see their usual news studio virtually, which is Studio B, including on social media. However, no public tours are allowed or offered for KSBW viewers.

In a KSBW editorial, KSBW President and General Manager Joseph W. Heston showed off that new studio, backing of what Action News Sunrise anchor and daytime reporter Brittney Nielsen said in a live Facebook chat about how long did KSBW broadcast from Studio B, but failed to mention as such in his comments. I tried to figure out what exact year did KSBW started their news broadcast from Studio B, but to no luck. No videos from KSBW's YouTube page offered any historic moments that KSBW started news broadcasts from Studio B.

KSBW has yet to replay the video from the time that Dennis Lehnen held his 20th year at KSBW and upload that part on YouTube, which was my favorite moment about Dennis Lehnen. Let's hope that I would one day see one of those memories, including a station identification from the early 1980's...

Original Work: Kyle Chak
Twitter: @KyleSChak
NOTE: Some corrections have been made due to minor errors.

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