I almost never write about San Diego TV News anymore because let's face it...there's not a lot to write about. For a big city, all local news stations here seem to be covering a small town. Fires, murders, traffic accidents. I'm sure it's this way around the country, in even bigger cities. That's why they call it local news.
But San Diego saw two major on-air news personalities leave the air this past week. Arthel Neville left the Fox 5 Morning News and Marty Levin retired from NBC 7/39.
Neville was the outside big name added to a roster of locally known talent (Chrissy Russo, Susan Lennon, and Kathleen Bade, since augmented by Aloha Taylor and Loren Nancarrow) when Fox 5 started up 2 years ago. The daughter of Art Neville, of the musical Neville Brothers, she came from E!, CNN, and co-hosted Fox's Good Day Live before landing in San Diego. While a good sport each morning, Arthel seemed a little too classy for a morning TV news show in San Diego and no one can ever blame anyone from walking away from a job that includes being in at 4:30 each morning. I can't find anything on this here Internet thingie that says where Arthel is heading next. I'm guessing the station's live reporter, Shally Zomorodi, will be taking Arthel's seat at the anchor desk.
Marty Levin has been a fixture on San Diego local TV for 33 years. His career includes all 3 of the major network-affiliated stations. I don't watch 7/39 very much, but they seem to have the local record for keeping talent on the air. There's not a lot of change there, which is a major comfort for viewers. I've always looked at on-air talent as the main face of local TV news, much more important than the news director, producers, and graphics package. It's also refreshing to see a person retire from the TV news biz because he felt it was time to go. The worst thing in the world is a news anchor hanging on until they literally die in the job (like Hal Fishman at KTLA), long past the age when they should have hung it up and gone fishin'. Levin reportedly gave away most of his ties to co-workers. That's a sure sign he has no illusions about retirement. I envy him.