L.A. news legend Pete Noyes hangs 'em up

creditPete Noyes, 77, has worked behind the camera in influential roles at, I believe, Channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 13 and most recently 11. A former print reporter, producing investigations was his forte and high standards were his hallmark. Noyes won Emmys and Golden Mikes and SPJ's Distinguished Journalist award, and Fox 11 colleague John Schwada blogs his final exit from the studios on Bundy.

It was a sad day, losing a living legend, a raconteur, a keeper of the flame, an encyclopedia of journalism lore. Pete won innumerable prizes and awards over his distinguished career; I won’t attempt to catalogue them. Suffice it to say, there are few – if any - in the TV-journalism business in Los Angeles these days who can match his achievements....

I’d heard about Pete Noyes for years in Los Angeles. But our paths didn’t cross until a few years ago when his station, UPN/KCOP Channel 13, merged with Fox 11 News. It was a great pleasure to come to know him and a great honor to actually work with him on several stories, including a series about real estate fraud.

Pete was often heard before he was seen.

“Godddammnnnit! I’ve been in this business 46 years, and that’s a lot of nonsense!” Something like that would often rip through the newsroom just as I was trying to down my first cup of morning coffee. It was like sugar in my Java to hear Pete, on the phone or in the house, giving some stubborn bureaucrat or wet-behind-the-ears city desk assistant a piece of his mind.

Pete was the horror of the modern-day, corporate human resources department manager, who would rather have employees high on horse-tranquilizers, sedated and content, than hot on the trail of a good story, full of grit and indignation, breathing fire.

The post goes on to share some fun Pete Noyes stories. When Noyes left the TV news business once before, in 1998 over his frustration at the car chases and mindless banter between anchors, veteran newsman (and current USC professor) Joe Saltzman wrote then that he would be missed.

Pete Noyes is an old-fashioned newsman, the kind who created an American journalism aimed at keeping the public informed no matter what the cost, no matter what the obstacles. Every TV station news program that told you the news of the day in a clear, focused form, that explained to you why a councilman or supervisor was not performing well, that uncovered a fraud or exposed a sham, had one or more Noyeses working for it. They were the writers and producers who worked behind the scenes to make sure the on-air reporters and other "talent" had something important and accurate to tell the audience. The term "talent" was coined by the Pete Noyeses to refer to the people on the TV screen who delivered the news. It was a sarcastic term, usually delivered with some bitterness when the "talent" messed up a piece of copy or ad-libbed an inane comment.

The photo shows Noyes and his wife Grace, from Schwada's blog.


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