Former KPIX news director Joseph Russin wrote the following letter in today’s Chronicle:
- I read with extreme sadness of the passing of Dave McElhatton (“Respected TV and radio news anchor,” Aug. 25).
- As your story says, Dave was one of the sweetest people in the business. He was not, however, immediately enthusiastic about television. I was news director at KPIX and wanted an anchor knowledgeable about the area and able to beat Van Amburg at KGO. I had heard Dave on KCBS radio for years and felt he was perfect. He thought he might flop on TV.
- The folks at Westinghouse also were less enchanted. Dave, they thought, had a face for radio and was overweight for TV. Good sport that he always was, Dave agreed to a series of secret training sessions and auditions on camera. We met in motel rooms at Fisherman’s Wharf, hoping no one would see us.
- Dave proved to be so likable on camera that KPIX management was willing to sign him. And Dave launched himself on an eight-glasses-of-water-a-day diet to become camera-svelte.
- That completed the package: a wonderful man whose good nature burst through the camera and whose knowledge and judgment could always be relied on.
- Joseph Russin, Glendale