The tributes are rolling in as Dennis Richmond prepares to sign off for the last time Wednesday night after 40 years at KTVU … 33 of them as co-anchor of the “Ten O’Clock News.”
Richmond, who turns 65 on May 26, is in the same league as Fred Van Amburg, Dave McElhatton and the late Pete Wilson — the Cronkites, Huntleys and Brinkleys of the Bay Area.
The Chron’s Steven Winn did a 1,550-word profile on Friday, Bruce Newman of the Bay Area News Group did a 1,446-word send-off yesterday and Channel 2 has posted its official 539-word profile. Here are a few points from these profiles:
- • “Dennis was so good-looking, you could hear women gasp,” Channel 2 cameraman Bill Moore said. “I think he enjoyed it a lot. I certainly never saw him with an unattractive woman.”
• Richmond finally married at age 51, and became a grandfather last year when his daughter Amber, from a previous relationship, had a child, Mya, 14-months-old.
- • His wife of 13 1/2 years, Deborah, 51, is working on a forthcoming Bravo reality show about an interior designer.
• Richmond adores golf, likes to eat and travel and greets the strangers who regularly approach him in public cordially.
• When he and his cameraman showed up at crime scenes in the 1970s, the cops often assumed they were perpetrators, not newsmen. When he and Moore arrived at San Quentin to cover a breaking story in their marked news van, armed only with press credentials, the prison guards ordered the pair to produce further identification — while pointing loaded rifles at them.
- • Richmond got his chance as an anchor in 1976 when one of KTVU’s anchors was fired after passing off as a bulletin a story that was actually several hours old.
* Elaine Corrall, who shared the anchor desk with Richmond for 12 years, was never allowed to deliver the lead story.
• Dana King has been calling Richmond’s replacement, Frank Somerville, to warn him, pro-wrestler style, that he’s “going down.” Dana also calls Richmond a “stud.”
• KPIX has launched a 10 p.m. newscast that it hopes will draw viewers away from Channel 2 when Richmond retires. At the beginning of the May sweeps, however, Channel 2 was pulling in a nightly average of 102,000 viewers, compared with KPIX’s 6,000.
(Photo credits: Richmond in 1976, reporting a story on Angel Island wildlife, courtesy of KTVU; Richmond in the mid-1990s, courtesy KTVU; Richmond in 1977, not long after he covered the trial of Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, courtesy KTVU; Richmond applies makeup before the news, photo by Bob Larson, Contra Costa Times; Richmond and anchor Julie Haener share a laugh before the 10 p.m. news, photo by Bob Larson)