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Sam Rubin Remembered By Scott Mantz, Anchor Who Filled in for KTLA Icon

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Sam Rubin Remembered By Scott Mantz, Anchor Who Filled in for KTLA Icon
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard

Over the 9 years that I’ve been contributing to KTLA-TV in Los Angeles, I’ve been requested the identical query again and again by individuals who acknowledged me from the channel: “What’s Sam Rubin actually like?” The quick reply is straightforward: With Sam, what you noticed was what you bought. As exuberant, enthusiastic and charming as he was on digital camera, that’s precisely how he was in individual too.

And what a proficient skilled. After 33 years because the face of leisure information for KTLA, he had the job down, and you can inform how a lot he beloved doing it. He maintained the identical degree of gleeful vitality from his first day by day information hit at 6:15 a.m. to his final at 10:45 a.m. — and once I would see him later within the day at screenings, junkets, premieres and awards exhibits, he was nonetheless going robust. I actually don’t understand how he did it, however he did — each time.

It wasn’t till I began filling in for Sam occasionally that I started to actually respect how exhausting his job was and the way a lot accountability got here with it.

By December 2015, I had already been a producer with Entry Hollywood for about 15 years. I had some on-camera expertise by that time however not quite a bit. So I used to be stunned when Sam referred to as me up and requested me to fill in for him on a reasonably essential morning on this planet of leisure: the morning of the Golden Globes nominations announcement. It required a very early begin because the nominations are introduced simply after 5 a.m. The KTLA Christmas social gathering was the evening earlier than, and Sam actually needed to go that and likewise needed the peace of thoughts of having the ability to have a good time together with his KTLA household with out having to fret about getting up so early the subsequent day.

By that time, Sam was already a firmly established L.A. establishment. After so many pink carpet premieres, awards exhibits, and Oscar and Emmy preshows (together with his wonderful co-host, Jessica Holmes) — to not point out extra superstar interviews than anybody may depend — he had earned a stellar repute as a revered skilled and a category act. So, greater than something, I used to be extremely honored that he trusted me with such an essential task.

Sam should have been proud of how I did as a result of that was the primary of many occasions that I stuffed in for him over time on KTLA Morning Information, the newest being Friday.

The morning went tremendous easily, because of the producers in the most effective leisure information division I’ve ever labored with, to not point out absolutely the graciousness of legendary morning anchors Frank Buckley, Jessica Holmes, Mark Kriski, Megan Henderson, Eric Spillman and Henry DiCarlo. I wrapped at 11, left the studio at 11:30, and simply 20 minutes later, heard the information that Sam had handed away. I used to be in complete shock. I couldn’t imagine it. As I write this the next morning, I’m nonetheless in shock.

Like so many who knew Sam and who felt like they knew Sam, I’ve misplaced a pricey buddy.

At any time when I noticed Sam, I might at all times greet him by saying, “There he’s, the Godfather of Leisure Information,” and get an enormous smile from him in return. I’ll do not forget that smile, and I may also keep in mind how supportive Sam was of me, notably at a time once I wanted it essentially the most.

A couple of years in the past, I used to be feeling fairly blue after experiencing a double-whammy of private {and professional} upheaval, and that’s exactly when Sam and his wonderful leisure producer, Grace Mendoza, requested me to begin contributing to KTLA on a extra common foundation, often as soon as every week. That continued even throughout the pandemic lockdown (when every thing shifted to digital) and final 12 months’s double strikes. And I can’t inform you how a lot it meant to me.

Furthermore, Sam not solely championed me to fill in for him but additionally to hitch him on the air on particular events, like KTLA’s Oscar and Emmy preshows and Oscar nomination morning from the Academy. These days have been particularly enjoyable, as Sam and I performed rather well off one another.

And Sam was gracious sufficient to suggest me for different gigs, most memorably in 2021, when the Skirball Cultural Heart unveiled a model new exhibition referred to as “Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds,” which featured props, costumes and fashions from throughout Star Trek’s 55-year historical past. He wanted somebody educated to program particular screenings of traditional TV episodes and films, adopted by hosted Q&A conversations with Star Trek actors and historians. Sam knew that I used to be a lifelong Trekker, so once they requested if he knew of anybody would may assist, he instantly mentioned, “I do know the man.” To today, that’s nonetheless some of the rewarding skilled and private experiences I’ve ever had, and I’ve Sam to thank for it.

So, when folks ask me, “What’s Sam Rubin actually like?” I at all times give the quick reply I shared above but additionally make it a degree to say that Sam was beneficiant, and his generosity was unconditional. As anybody on this cutthroat enterprise will inform you, that type of generosity is extremely uncommon. I by no means took it as a right, and I by no means will.

Shifting ahead, I do not know what the leisure information world will appear to be with out Sam, nor do I do know what my life might be like with out Sam’s help and steerage. However each time I hear the “ding-ding-ding” music fanfare that begins the KTLA “Leisure Information” report, I’ll consider him. And I’ll miss him dearly.

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