Bob MacKenzie, whose storytelling was a hallmark of KTVU newscasts for more than 30 years, lost his long battle with cancer today. He was 75.
MacKenzie joined KTVU Channel 2 News in 1978 as a feature reporter for “The Ten O’Clock News” and ultimately was instrumental in the development of KTVU’s popular “Segment 2” and “My 20th Century” franchises, which gave MacKenzie the perfect forum for his inimitable style.
“When Bob told his stories, you felt like you were on the edge of your seat. He was one of a kind,” said Tom Raponi, KTVU vp and gm.
“For more than 30 years, Bob’s stories graced KTVU’s newscasts and stood out like gems,” added KTVU news director Ed Chapuis. “His writing was witty and masterful. His expert use of words, paired with natural sound and moving images, evoked a sense of great artistry as much as great journalism.”
MacKenzie was a graduate of UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Journalism. Shortly after graduating in 1962, he spent a year as editor of the Seaside News Sentinel in Monterey County. He returned to his Bay Area roots when he joined the staff at The Oakland Tribune, where he worked for 14 years, including a long stint as the paper’s television columnist.
“Bob was one of a kind. I always marveled at how easily he could craft a sentence or tell a story, especially with humor,” said fellow KTVU reporter Rita Williams. “He could take the simplest of subjects and make them memorable. He transitioned to hard news with equal ease, but with his mischievous smile, I was always waiting for the punch line.”
Bob MacKenzie is survived by his wife Miyuki, his daughter Dana and two grandchildren, his sister Jean and his brother, Chief KTVU Photographer John MacKenzie.