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Whats up with our old TV friends?
- Pete Schulberg
- Portland Tribune - Features
They're on the air. They're in your face. They're even on the sides of MAX trains.
And then they're gone É leaving viewers wondering. So, as a public service, let's catch up with some Portland TV personalities who have disappeared from the airwaves Ñ some by choice, others by shove.
Ken Ackerman: The former 'Good Day Oregon' co-host, pink-slipped by KPTV (12) last July, debuts this week on KATU (2) as morning and noon news co-anchor with Debora Knapp and weather person Rhonda Shelby.
Ackerman, who started in the market as a KGW (8) sports reporter-anchor, moved to KPTV as a feature reporter before taking on hosting duties at 'Good Day.' This will be his first stint at news anchoring.
Laura Stephenson: Ackerman's former 'Good Day' co-host, who left the station when she had her third child, just gave birth to her fourth. She is living with her surgeon husband in Bend.
Kathy Smith: The longtime KGW personality had returned to television and was working as a morning news anchor for KPTV. She left the station early last year after suffering hearing problems when too much audio was pumped through her earpiece.
She credits the Portland-based American Tinnitus Association for recommending alternative treatments for hearing disorders.
Eric Schmidt: He was working as the 10 p.m. news anchor for KPDX (49) when the station's corporate overseer, Meredith Corp., deep-sixed its news after acquiring crosstown rival KPTV.
Schmidt has hired on as news editor and evening anchor for KPAM (860 AM) and, now that he's off-camera, is sporting a beard.
Jack Capell: Capell had a career at KGW that stretched back to the '50s. He retired last year and now lives in Seattle.
Lou Gellos: The former sports director at KATU is the communications director for a Seattle-based high-tech company,Terabeam.
Jim Little: This Linfield College product bounced around Portland's weather maps like a high-pressure area, producing five-day forecasts for (in order) KGW, KATU and KOIN. These days, Little is doing independent meteorological consulting on behalf of private businesses and government agencies.
Joe Sottile: Another ex-weatherman for KGW, Sottile coaches girls' soccer at La Salle High School in Milwaukie and with FC Portland.
Kim Singer: The one-time co-anchor of KPTV's '10 O'Clock News,' in the news awhile back as part of a bizarre dog-napping saga, is back at her old haunts. She is co-host of Saturday morning's 'Good Day Lifestyles' with newspaper writer Ken Hoyt.