The groundbreaking KTLA Morning News is celebrating its 30th anniversary Thursday, and in honor of this special occasion, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce presented the station with an Award of Excellence.
“From everyone at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, congratulations,” Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rana Ghadban said.
Eric Spillman and Sam Rubin helped Ghadban unveil the award presented to the station.
Actor Eric McCormack also spoke during the event, and even roasted a few of the Morning News members before congratulating the team. “Thank you, from everybody in L.A.,” McCormack said.
Debuting on July 8, 1991, the KTLA Morning News featured anchors Carlos Amezcua and Barbara Beck.
The show got off to a slow start and was receiving poor reviews early on.
“We were just hoping to stay employed. We got zero ratings for about 4 months … But look what 30 years has done. Amazing,” Amezcua said in an interview Thursday.
Also there on day one of the show were weathercaster Mark Kriski and reporters Eric Spillman and Michele Ruiz.
“The first program was horrible. Let’s be honest … and it didn’t work for quite a while,” Spillman said.
Things began to change when Mark Kriski was allowed to go to a Denny’s restaurant across the street and cook pancakes to bring back to the station. “That was what gave everyone kind of permission to be themselves,” he said.
Thirty years later, the Morning News show has extended into an hourslong program that begins at 4 a.m. Monday through Friday, and takes viewers all the way into the afternoon.
The 4-7 a.m. show is currently hosted by Chris Schauble, Megan Henderson and Henry DiCarlo.
The show continues from 7-11 a.m. with Frank Buckley, Jessica Holmes and Mark Kriski still forecasting the weather. They are joined by longtime entertainment anchor Sam Rubin.
The legendary Gayle Anderson, often referred to as the hardest working reporter at KTLA, also joined the team during its early years in 1993.
Gayle’s impact on the city has been so great that Feb. 28, 2017, was declared Gayle Anderson Day in the City of Los Angeles.
“I still have a lot to learn but this was one of those blessings. One of those miracles,” Anderson said.