A little follow to Saturday's post about the Channel 2 alumni who are burning up Facebook with reminisces — their legendary producer Pete Noyes is featured in a Sunday "Then and Now" piece by Steve Harvey in the L.A. Times. At a time when Los Angeles newscasts were 15 minutes long, counting weather and sports, "The Big News" launched as a 45-minute show on KNXT in 1961 (expanded to a shocking hour in '63.)
People said, 'How are you ever going to fill it?' " recalled Pete Noyes, the show's city editor and, later, producer.
It wasn't difficult for Noyes. A former wire service newsman, he brought an investigator's zeal to the job of ferreting out corruption and fraud. He also developed numerous sources in law enforcement and scored scoops in such cases as the Manson family murders.
Creator Sam Zelman put together a talented staff, including anchor Jerry Dunphy, a Chicago import with a stentorian baritone; investigative reporter Maury Green; avuncular Ralph Story; witty weatherman Bill Keene; and actor/umpire-turned-sportscaster Gil Stratton.
KNXT set up bureaus in Sacramento and throughout the state as well as in Washington, D.C.
Noyes, whose memoir is "The Real Los Angeles Confidential," is said to be the model for the Lou Grant TV character. Upon his retirement from Fox 11's newsroom in 2008, reporter John Schwada said of Noyes: "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."
Previously on LA Observed:
L.A. news legend Pete Noyes hangs 'em up