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

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

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 brief 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 particular person too.

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

It wasn’t till I began filling in for Sam now and again that I started to really respect how laborious his job was and the way a lot duty 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 rather a lot. So I used to be shocked when Sam referred to as me up and requested me to fill in for him on a reasonably vital morning on the earth 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 night time earlier than, and Sam actually wished to go that and likewise wished the peace of thoughts of with the ability to rejoice along with his KTLA household with out having to fret about getting up so early the following 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 (along with his wonderful co-host, Jessica Holmes) — to not point out extra superstar interviews than anybody might 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 vital project.

Sam will need to have been proud of how I did as a result of that was the primary of many instances that I crammed in for him through the years on KTLA Morning Information, the latest being Friday.

The morning went tremendous easily, because of the producers in the very best 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 whole shock. I couldn’t consider 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 good friend.

Each time I noticed Sam, I’d at all times greet him by saying, “There he’s, the Godfather of Leisure Information,” and get a giant 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, significantly at a time after I wanted it probably the most.

Just a few 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, normally as soon as per week. That continued even through the pandemic lockdown (when every part shifted to digital) and final yr’s double strikes. And I can’t let you know how a lot it meant to me.

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Furthermore, Sam not solely championed me to fill in for him but additionally to affix 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 very well off one another.

And Sam was gracious sufficient to advocate 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 flicks, 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 might assist, he instantly mentioned, “I do know the man.” To at the present time, 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 individuals ask me, “What’s Sam Rubin actually like?” I at all times give the brief reply I shared above but additionally make it some extent to say that Sam was beneficiant, and his generosity was unconditional. As anybody on this cutthroat enterprise will let you know, that kind of generosity is extremely uncommon. I by no means took it as a right, and I by no means will.

Transferring ahead, I don’t know what the leisure information world will seem like with out Sam, nor do I do know what my life will likely be like with out Sam’s assist 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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