Phil Gonzalez, a beloved member of the KTLA family since 2012, passed away Thursday. He was 62.
As KTLA’s director of sales marketing and public service, Gonzalez was at the center of the station’s community engagement for nearly a decade. Over those years, Gonzalez built a reputation as one of L.A.’s most respected TV executives, helping raise thousands of dollars for events such as the Special Olympics.
He was known for building close, productive relationships with business partners, “always with a selfless kindness and generosity cherished by his friends and peers alike,” said Marshall Hites, who headed KTLA’s creative services department for years and worked alongside Gonzalez.
Gonzalez loved the people of Southern California, KTLA News Director Jason Ball said.
“He was at events every week. He was always putting other people’s need before his,” Ball said. “Last year when I did the AIDS/LifeCycle, Phil made a donation in the memory of his cousin, who he said he missed every day. Now, we will miss Phil.”
Gonzalez touched the lives of everyone he worked with and will “always be a shining light for Los Angeles,” said KTLA Manager of Marketing and Promotion John Lovelace.
“He was the North Star for every organization and effort to help those in need, and an inspiration for everyone who worked with him,” Lovelace said. “He nurtured the best in people to realize their potential and to further the good of the city he loved. KTLA and the broadcast industry, both radio and television, feel the loss today and send their deepest condolences to the Gonzalez family.”
KTLA’s recently retired longtime general manager, Don Corsini, said he was lucky to have known Gonzalez for more than three decades.
“Phil was not only a dedicated and successful employee, but also a true friend,” Corsini said. “We’ll miss you, Philly. Rest in peace.”
Longtime Angelenos may remember Gonzalez as the voice of “Raoul” on KMET radio during the ’70s, when he rubbed elbows with countless rock stars and worked alongside the station’s prominent DJ, Patrick “Paraquat” Kelley.
In 1984, Gonzalez transitioned to marketing, first at Viacom-owned radio stations STAR 98.7 and KXEZ 100.3. He made his jump into TV marketing in 1996 and served more than 15 years at KCAL and KCBS before joining KTLA.
“We’ll miss you, Phil, and treasure you in our memories,” Hites said.