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Roger Grimsby (September 23, 1928June 23, 1995) was an Americanmarker journalist, television news anchor and actor. Grimsby is known as one of the pioneers of local television broadcast news.

Early life

Roger Grimsby was an orphan who was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesotamarker, by a Lutheran minister. After graduating from Denfeld High School in 1946, he attended St. Olaf Collegemarker in Northfield, Minnesotamarker, before studying history at Columbia University in New Yorkmarker. Grimsby was a U.S. Army veteran who was stationed in Germanymarker before serving in the Korean War. It was during his stint in the Army that the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) sparked his interest in news broadcasting.

Career

Grimsby returned to his native Duluth, Minnesota, where he began his anchoring career in 1954, serving as an announcer for WEBC Radio. Shortly thereafter, he decided to switch to the growing medium of television, working as a correspondent and news director at various television stations around Minnesotamarker and Wisconsinmarker, including WEAU-TVmarker Eau Clairemarker, WISC-TVmarker Madisonmarker, and WXIX-TV (now WVTVmarker) Milwaukeemarker. He then spent two years (1959-1961) at KMOX (now KMOVmarker) in St. Louismarker, before becoming the anchor and news director at ABC-owned KGO-TVmarker in San Franciscomarker, in 1961. He then moved to New York Citymarker's WABC-TVmarker in 1968, where he was co-anchor on Eyewitness News alongside Tom Dunn from 1968 through 1970, and then Bill Beutel from 1970 to 1986. He won six Emmy Awards at WABC-TV before he left that station in 1986 to join WNBC-TVmarker. After two years at WNBC, he relocated to San Diegomarker where he was anchor for KUSImarker news, before going into semi-retirement in 1990.

Grimsby's departure from WABC was a rather acrimonious one. After his departure in 1986 (in an incident recounted by several of his colleagues, including Tom Snyder who reported the incident on The Late Late Show soon after Grimsby's death), ABC decided to retaliate against Grimsby by buying a building across the street from WABC's studio in upper Manhattan where three bars he used to frequent regularly were housed, and closed the bars shortly thereafter.

Other career notes

Grimsby was known for beginning his broadcasts with the phrase "Good evening, I'm Roger Grimsby; here now the news," and ending them with the phrase "Hoping your news is good news, I'm Roger Grimsby." Chevy Chase later parodied the opening line on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update segment with his catchphrase, "Good evening, I'm Chevy Chase and you're not."

Grimsby could be rather funny, himself. His humor was off-the-cuff, often with the typical journalist's sarcastic tone. One famous remark, widely circulated on an industry outtake reel, came after a studio wide-shot caught an unknowing on-set reporter quickly lifting her middle finger, presumably to a member of the stage crew, as her story was being introduced by one of the anchors on the 5 o'clock edition. At the end of the 6 o'clock edition, Grimsby, with a straight face, looking into the camera quipped, "Well . . . as Mara Wolynski would say -- 'We're number one.'"

His on-air feuds with fellow "Eyewitness News" team members, including Howard Cosell, Geraldo Rivera and gossip columnist Rona Barrett (whom he openly called "Rona Rooter") were legendary. He once segued into a Barrett report after a story about garbage by saying "Speaking of Garbage." However, the fact he remained an anchorman for 18 years in the nation's largest television market was a testimony to his journalistic skill and unique delivery.

He often appeared in films, usually playing himself as an anchorman, in such movies as Bananas, The Exterminator, Ghostbusters, Turk 182, and Nothing but Trouble.

Death

Roger Grimsby died on June 23, 1995, in New York City of lung cancer, at the age of 66.

Footnotes

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbwsJp8Mpro
  2. It was never clear whether Grimsby said "hear" or "here" while beginning the broadcast.


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