Fred Anderson

WHYE, 1957; KFMU, 1960; KRHM, 1960; KGBS, 1961-62; KNX, 1963-69. In the late 1960s, Fred was one of the original members of a then-revolutionary page in local TV news, KABC/Channel 7’s Eyewitness News. He also did stories with Elmer Dills and "The Food Life" for Channel 7. His roots are in radio and they laid the foundation for his move into TV. "When Eyewitness News was launched, there were many seasoned TV news people who auditioned. Robert Irvine hired ONLY radio people for the first team of Eyewitness News reporters. He believed the TV reporters of that day had developed lazy habits. They usually had all day to think about their story. Radio reporters, however, were used to meeting several deadlines a day, dashing to a phone to report a tight, coherent report and then rushing on to another story." Fred was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, and caught the radio bug at 15 after a visit to a local station. Two weeks after his 16th birthday he was working part-time at WAAB-Worcester, through high school. He really wanted to be a musician, playing the trumpet and later switching to string bass. He went to Leland Powers School of Theater in Boston and then the New England Conservatory of Music. As he worked in radio at Boston stations WEEI, WBOS and WCOP, he played bass after hours in nightclubs. In 1957 he was hired to be news director at WHYE - Roanoke and as a one-man news bureau for UPI. Before arriving in the Southland, Fred was news director of WJBW-New Orleans. His first job in L.A. in 1960 was, as Fred recalled, "A little FM classical music station in the Farmers Market on Fairfax, KFMU. We all lost our jobs when it became one of the first stations to be completely automated." In the early 1960s Fred was part of the ABC Radio series, "Weekend West" which led directly to his being hired by KNX in November of 1963 to take over a half-hour program called "Kaleidoscope." To survive in the early 1960s, he also did engineer work for ABC and was one of the regular engineers for acerbic-tongued Joe Pyne. At KNX, Fred covered increasing amounts of science, space and medicine and eventually became the science editor. During his six years with KNX he was also a regular reporter for the CBS network program, "Weekend Dimension." In the LA Times' listing of the best of 1968, Fred was named Announcer of the Year. The Times said: "Fred Anderson anchored numerous special reports for KNX over the years, handling every assignment with forcefulness and integrity." Three weeks before his death: "I have many fond memories of radio and its power to be the theater of the mind. I love being in TV...but I do miss radio a lot." Fred died June 23, 1996. A week before his death he suffered a heart attack and had triple bypass surgery. Fred had been in critical and unstable condition after the surgery and suffered a fatal heart attack. KNX’s Beach Rogers called Fred one of broadcasting’s ture "nice guys," with no one in the business ever making an unkind word about him. Fred was 59.

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