George Putnam (newsman)

George Putnam (newsman)

Infobox Person
name = George Putnam

imagesize = 300px
caption = George Putnam in "Perversion for Profit" (1965)
birth_name =
birth_date = birth date|1914|7|14
birth_place= Breckenridge, Wilkin County, Minnesota, USA
death_date = dda|2008|9|12|1914|7|14
death_place= Chino, San Bernardino County, California
occupation = Television news reporter and talk show host
nationality= flagcountry|US
show = George Putnam
station = KCAA and Cable Radio Network (CRN)
timeslot =
show2 =
station2 =
timeslot2 =
style =
country =
prevshow =
party= Democrat
spouse = (1) Estranged from Virginia Putnam
(2) Companion Sallilee Conlon (1956-his death)
children=Daughters Jan and Jil
by wife VirginiaThree grandchildren Jennifer, Thomas and Jessica.
web =

George Putnam (July 14, 1914September 12, 2008cite web |url= |title=Former LA TV anchorman George Putnam dies |date=2008-09-12 |accessdate=2008-09-12 |author=Associated Press |publisher=Mercury News] ) was an American television news reporter and talk show host based in Los Angeles.


Putnam was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota. His radio career began on his 20th birthday in 1934 at WDGY in Minneapolis. Putnam had been working in the Los Angeles area since 1951. By the 1950s, he had switched to television and hosted the highest rated newscast in the Los Angeles area. He anchored at all four of Los Angeles' major independent stations -- KTTV, KTLA, KCOP, and KHJ-TV (now KCAL-TV) -- at one time or another. In addition to his salary, he was provided a Rolls Royce automobile while at KTTV and KTLA. He was replaced by news legend Hal Fishman in 1975.

Putnam long carried a grudge against Fishman, stating on his radio show 'TALKBACK with George Putnam' that he was back-stabbed by Fishman. Putnam has made this claim for decades. It is noteworthy that when Fishman produced KTLA's 50th-anniversary history in television in 1997, the footage of Putnam was not used, though Putnam had been the face of KTLA news in the 1960s and 1970's before the arrival of Fishman. Ironically, during KTLA's 60th-anniversary special during Thanksgiving weekend in 2007, the KTLA News intro from when George Putnam anchored the news was shown [ [ KTLA News Opens from the Last 60 Years] , Youtube video.] . Fishman died on August 7, 2007, three months before the 60th anniversary special aired.

In 1965, Putnam narrated a film entitled "Perversion for Profit," in which he warned viewers about magazines containing nudity and homosexual material, saying homosexuals were perverts and misfits. The film was financed by Charles Keating. However, by the 1980s Putnam had changed his views. He stated on his radio show 'TALKBACK with George Putnam' that he felt gays were born that way, and added many of his friends and coworkers were gay and good people.

For his contribution to the television industry, George Putnam has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6372 Hollywood Blvd. The late Ted Knight stated that he used Putnam in part as his role model for the "Ted Baxter" character in the 1970s television series "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" on CBS. [Citation
title=Ted Knight...Too Close for Comfort
magazine=TV Guide
date=January 3, 1981
] Putnam was also noted for his years of participation in the Rose Parade, having ridden in that event from 1951 until 2000, when his horse died. At the time, Putnam said that he was too advanced in age to train another Parade horse. Putnam lived and died at his 20-acre working ranch in Chino. The ranch houses his sixty-five racehorses, which have competed at the Kentucky Derby and all of the racetracks in Southern California. He also spent time at his home of fifty-seven years in Beverly Hills.

Putnam was the well-known host of 'Talk Back', a conservative radio show he hosted daily since leaving the television anchor chair in 1975. It is based at KCAA 1050 in San Bernardino, and distributed nationwide on the Cable Radio Network on CRN1. Although Putnam advocated many conservative viewpoints, he stated many times his status as a "lifelong Democrat" since his youthful admiration of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Putnam also published a weekly column, "One Reporter's Opinion," on the Web site His most recent focus was illegal immigration from Mexico. [ [ - George Putnam ] ] Putnam received an honorary LL.D. from Bates College in 1985.

In a June 12, 2008, e-mail to Putnam's readers, it was announced that Putnam was in a Los Angeles hospital undergoing medical treatment on his liver and kidneys. In mid-July he took part in a special on-air 94th "birthday" show, hosted by Chuck Wilder. [] .

Putnam died at a hospital in Chino on Friday, September 12, 2008. His death was announced to Putnam's readers. Upon Putnam's passing, the "Los Angeles Times" recalled the words of former President Richard M. Nixon in a 1984 roast of Putnam given by KTTV to celebrate Putnam's 50th anniversary in broadcasting: "Some people didn't like what he said; some people liked what he said. But everybody listened to George Putnam. That is why he has been one of the most influential commentators of our times." [cite web |author=Dennis McLellan |title=George Putnam, longtime L.A. newsman, dies at 94" |publisher=Los Angeles Times |date=2008-09-13 |accessdate=2008-09-14 |url=,0,210512.story]


External links

* [ One Reporter's Opinion at]
*Perversion for Profit [ Part I] and [ Part II] .
* [ Los Angeles News Icon George Putnam Dies at 94 (videos)] .

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