John Wallace remembered fondly by fans, co-workers

This is a photo from 2007 when John Wallace, veteran news anchor and co-host of the CBS47 “This Morning” show, became the new president of the Bulldog Annual Foundation Fund.
This is a photo from 2007 when John Wallace, veteran news anchor and co-host of the CBS47 “This Morning” show, became the new president of the Bulldog Annual Foundation Fund. Fresno Bee File Photo

The death of longtime news anchor John Wallace has generated a lot of nice comments from those who admired what he did in the anchor chair or worked with him either in television or through the many community activities with which Wallace was associated.

Here’s just a sampling of the reactions.

Alyce L. Diaz was an intern at KGPE in 2008 when she got the chance to work with Wallace.

“He taught me so much about broadcast journalism, I will never ever forget what he taught me about writing a news story. I'm very thankful for meeting him,” Diaz says.

Don Baxley worked at ABC30 when Wallace was there. What Baxley remembers most about Wallace is how “slick and cool he was.”

“When I first arrived I saw the newscast. A break came. Wallace steps off the stage in blue jeans and boots, then walks down the hall, talks with some people and laughs,” Baxley says. “Then you hear 30 seconds to air time. He casually walks back in, sits down two seconds before he is live and continues as if he never left.”

That kind of calm under pressure is an incredibly important trait for a news anchor. Viewers will look to them for stability even if the world is going crazy. Wallace always had that kind of calm when he was behind the news desk.

Mike Novak, CEO of K-LOVE, worked with Wallace for many years at KYNO. On behalf of himself and everyone at K-LOVE, Novak sends condolences.

Lanny Larson, the former Fresno Bee writer who had this job before me, reveals on Facebook how he first met Wallace. Larson was new to covering local TV and radio when Wallace left KFSN (Channel 30.1) to go to KGPE (Channel 47.1).

Larson says he was generous with his time and actively sought out opportunities to make his colleagues and the entire community better.

“John lived an extraordinary life and made us all the better for knowing him. My prayers are with his family and all who loved him, but also with our community, for we are grateful for all he has done,” Larson adds.

That was the case when I dealt with Wallace. In recent years, when Wallace was battling the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that would take his life, I made an effort to get Wallace to give me an interview to talk about his career and health.

Wallace kindly passed on the request. That was not surprising to those who knew Wallace. He was not one to search out the spotlight.

Funeral services have been finalized. Visitation will be held 4-7 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at The Clovis Funeral Chapel, 1302 Clovis, Ave., Clovis. There will be a public memorial service at 11:30 a.m. Monday, April 3, at People’s Church, 7172 Cedar Ave.

Seeing double

Doug Broten couldn’t believe his eyes while attending a business meeting in Omaha. He turned on the television to watch the 9 p.m. news on the local FOX affiliate, KPTM (Channel 42.1).

What he saw were some very familiar faces. The newscast was being anchored by Monty Torres and Gia Vang with Kevan Ramer handling the weather reporting and Ralph Wood dealing with sports. Any watcher of KMPH (Channel 26.1) will recognize those on-air personalities for their work on the Fresno FOX affiliate.

What is happening is that the local anchors join reporters on the ground in Omaha to produce the news in the Nebraska city before turning their attention to what is happening in Fresno. Both stations are owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, and the news production is a joint effort. KPTM has not had a full news department since 2010. The news was produced by the Independent News Network for a couple of years before the KMPH team took over.

This kind of production is only possible because both stations are FOX affiliates. That means they only have one evening newscast, unlike affiliates of other networks that have at least three news broadcasts in the evening hours.

Details on how the KMPH team manages both newscasts are not available as Sinclair turned down a request to do interviews. You can go to http://fox42kptm.com/ to see the local faces on the Omaha station website.

Other news

Big win: Fresno’s Nic Pope picked up $69,965 in cash and prizes (that include a trip to Maui) on the episode of “Wheel of Fortune” that aired at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, on KFSN (Channel 30.1). The pastor and father of three has been loyally tuning in to “Wheel of Fortune” every night since the show began in 1983.

Pope hopes to use his winnings to buy his wife a wedding ring and take her on a tropical getaway.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1

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