Blast From the Past

By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

I get some kind words from a former WILX anchor.

In the mid-to-late 80's I spent summers in mid-Michigan with my dad and would often watch the news-- usually for sports.  So I knew Kathy Schmaltz well, as I'm sure do most of you who've been around this area for awhile.  She preceded Liz Talbot, who preceded Melissa Proffit, who preceded Adela Uchida as the main female anchor.  I remember watching "Bloopers and Practical Jokes" with Ed McMahon and Dick Clark in Florida during the school year and seeing a clip of Kathy and telling everybody, "I know her!  She does the news where I live in Michigan!"

Andy Provenzano still stays in touch with her and got an email from her the other day that he shared with me.  Basically, she wanted to pass along that she likes watching the 11 and thought I was doing a nice job and Andy and I worked well together.  I was blown away to hear that from someone I looked up to for so long.  Now I'm needling Andy to ask her for some pointers and maybe critique me a little more thoroughly.  I'm always trying to improve and getting feedback from a former anchor would be great.  I often pick the brains of people who've been in the business, like Dave Machtel who was a long time anchor for WLNS in the 60's and 70's.  Maybe it's nostalgia or perspective, but I like to hear from folks who've already traveled the road I'm on.

If anything, the encounter gives me the chance to share an old photo of the staff here at WILX from the early 80's.  It's been up in the office of our jack-of-all trades Judy Kirk forever and I never hesitate to check it out.

Some faces you should recognize-- like on the desk from left is Jane Aldrich, Tim Staudt, some guy I don't know but I assume was the male anchor, and Kathy Schmaltz.  Further to the right, standing, is Art Wainright.  Furthest to the left is Fred Heumann, current sports director at WLNS.  Behind him to the right with the beard and glasses is photographer Keith Bassar who just retired a couple years ago.  Thought you might like a flashback at the Action News team based out of Jackson back in the day.

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