Clete Roberts

Clete Roberts
Born (1912-02-01)February 1, 1912
Portland, Oregon
Died September 30, 1984(1984-09-30) (aged 72)
Los Angeles, California
Occupation Journalist
Years active 1950s 1980s
Notable credit(s) KCBS-TV, KTLA Channel 5, KCET

Clete Roberts (1912–1984) was an American broadcast journalist and film & television actor.


KNXT Channel 2

After serving as a war correspondent in World War II and Korea, Roberts settled in the Los Angeles area and became a respected radio news reporter, eventually turning to television in the mid-1950s at KNXT Channel 2 (now KCBS-TV), the local CBS-owned affiliate. He anchored a nightly newscast and occasionally ventured to far-flung locations to report on national and international stories, taking with him his own Bell and Howell movie camera with which he shot his own news footage. With him on KNXT's newscasts in that time were three other Los Angeles television stalwarts, anchor and reporter Bill Stout, weather forecaster Bill Keene and sports reporter Gil Stratton (who at the time also doubled as a radio, television and movie actor).

KTLA Channel 5

Roberts left KNXT in 1959 and joined Los Angeles station KTLA Channel 5 as news director and primary anchor, along with news producer/director Julian Macdonald, virtually remaking that independent station's news operation. The newscast Roberts and Macdonald oversaw included such respected figures as Stout (who followed Roberts to KTLA in 1960), sports reporter and former football star Tom Harmon, and veteran reporter Stan Chambers (who retired on August 11, 2010 on his 87th birthday, marking 63 years as a reporter at KTLA). Roberts' signature conclusion to the early news broadcast was, "I bid you a pleasant evening"; for the late news it was "I bid you goodnight."

"The Big News"

In 1966, Roberts returned to KNXT, joining the station's highly-esteemed 6 p.m. "The Big News" broadcast and its late-night companion "The Eleven O'Clock Report." Roberts joined a staff that included anchor Jerry Dunphy, Maury Green, Ralph Story, Keene, and Stratton. Roberts contributed news and feature reports and anchored the weekend newscasts. Early in 1974 he once again left KNXT for KTLA and took over the station's hour-long 10 p.m. newscasts. After two years Roberts decided to step back from nightly television news and left KTLA; after a hiatus he joined PBS affiliate KCET, contributing feature reports and commentaries. His long tenure in Los Angeles comprised reports and travels ranging from offbeat local stories to the war in Vietnam.

Acting career

Roberts also carried his polish and expertise onto the "silver screen" and television as well, most notably in select episodes of M*A*S*H, in which he played himself, a war correspondent.

Roberts appeared as himself in the lengthy introduction to the crime syndicate expose film The Phenix City Story in 1955. He interviewed on camera several of the actual townspeople of Phenix City, Alabama, who had been witness to the events there in the 1930s, '40s and early '50s.

Roberts portrayed reporters in various productions, among them, Meteor from 1979, the 1983 NBC miniseries V, as well a San Francisco television newsman in the 1983 nuclear war film Testament.

Honors and awards

The Associated Press Television and Radio Association of California, Nevada, and Hawaii has established a $1,500 scholarship in Roberts' memory.

External links

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