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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  • by Mike Kent Location: Traverse City on Nov 27, 2012 at 01:15 PM
    Nice to her that Keith Bassar retired. He was one of my favorite photos (I'm the guy far right, under Dave Such). Keith would always challenge me and the direction I was taking on my stories. He would always ask the tough questions that young reporters should be asked. Great guy!
  • by Scott Grigg Location: Milford, MI on Nov 27, 2012 at 09:01 AM
    That photo was from about 1982-83. Glenn was the main news anchor, Kathy to his right, Ed Ringer, the meteorologist, and me with the cheesy moustache. Behind me is Art Wainwright, our investigative reporter, and to his right, Mike Kent. To Jane's left and up was Bob Trimble, who went on to do sports at WKBD when they were the Fox affiliate as the same time I was the weather anchor there. The whole thing was a time when TV was actually fun to do. These days, friends in the biz tell me it's a drag and personally, I don't see that many happy people in TV news. It's a shame since it was once a great biz to be in!
  • by Jeff Chapman Location: Indianapolis on Aug 10, 2012 at 02:37 AM
    The male anchor you didn't know is Glen Ray (or Glenn)can't remember.I was standing in back of the photog when this shot was taken..
  • by David Location: Lansing on Jan 4, 2011 at 10:21 AM
    This is a great photo! It captures the entire Ch10 News team. I learned a lot about the news game for sure, but a lot more about people and relationships. It was one of the best times of my life.
  • by Phil Location: Branson, MO on May 11, 2010 at 10:38 AM
    Jason, Back in the late 70s and early 80s Kathy and I anchored the weekend news. I was the weekend sports guy. Steve Garagiola was also there at the time and Tim Staudt followed after Steve left for Detroit. I worked with Tim and Glen Ray for a short time before moving to Wichita, Kansas to work at KARD-TV.
  • by keith on Mar 26, 2010 at 05:36 PM
    Jason, That male anchor is Glen Ray. He was at WJIM and came to 10 after Howard Lancour died of lung cancer in the mid 80's, I believe.
  • by keith Location: lansing on Jan 12, 2009 at 05:34 AM
    Between Tim and Kathy is Glen Ray. He started at WJIM in the early 80's. On the far right is Dave Such who later founded Such Video.
  • by Jason Location: Newsroom on Jan 5, 2009 at 03:11 PM
    Jim, hate to do this-- but I wasn't born until 74. But I'll try and hunt down an old pic of that news team and post it here!
  • by Jim Mitchell Location: Alexandria, VA on Jan 3, 2009 at 03:01 PM
    If you want to go way back, I was your Channel 10 anchor in 68-69, back when we were a team of three...
  • by Jason Location: Newsroom on Dec 15, 2008 at 03:28 PM
    Pete, Adela got a job in Houston with the ABC affiliate there. Very good job for her as a weekend anchor. That's the #9 market in the country so it was too good to pass up. Matt, no idea when they'll replace her and yes, Beth was a first-rate sweetheart, but she's doing great in Charlotte, NC as a reporter for WCNC.
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