Friday, January 28, 2005

Hal Fishman and Leila Feinstein At Channel Five Are Outstanding Newscasters

(Hal Fishman died of colon cancer on Aug. 7, 2007. He was 75. He had broadcast as the anchor on Channel Five for the last time July 30, dedicated to the end to serve the people of Southern California. He will be remembered as a consummate professional. This tribute was written two years ago).

For my money, the best nightly news in Los Angeles is the 10 o'clock on Channel Five with two standup personalities, the veteran Hal Fishman and the relative newcomer Leila Feinstein.

They do what the big cable news channels seem unable to do: Handle a large variety of subjects in a fairly short time, and there is a directness about both that is appealing.It's an hourlong newscast, but it seems to go faster than Aaron Brown on CNN, especially since CNN unwisely put him into more features and doesn't lead any more with even a summary of the biggest news.

"I'm Hal Fishman." "I'm Leila Feinstein," the Channel Five news begins, and then, they are off, often with a good local lead. Recently, they seem to have dropped such frequent repetition of motorist chases that were becoming boring.

With the tsunami, the Metrolink train crash and the Iraq elections, these have been big times in the news in the last month or so, and 10 o'clock is a more appealing time slot for me than 11.

Yes, I know that like the L.A. Times, Channel Five is owned by the Tribune Co., but this seems to have worked out better for Channel Five than The Times. Channel Five staffer Ron Olsen broadcasts from the Times once during the 10 o'clock, usually interviewing a Times reporter or editor on an interesting story appearing in the paper the next morning. They could actually give this feature a little more time.

Fishman, who has been on the air for more than 45 years, tries a little commentary but not too much. Feinstein came to the station from San Francisco only in 2003.

Channel Five has always had good coverage of Hollywood, is great on show business obituaries and has more foreign news than most local stations. So if you haven't given them a try, you ought to.


Anonymous Bob Burch said...

Hal, Re: the passing of Noni Bernardi. He was also a saxophonist in he "Big Bands". e.g. Bob Crosby, Kay Kyser (lead sax), but was best known for his arrangement of Tommy Dorsey's theme song, "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You".

Bob Burch

1/11/2006 9:55 AM  
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