March 11, 2009

WHAS-TV Mourns Passing of Long-time Friend and Journalist Chuck Olmstead

LOUISVILLE, KY -- WHAS-TV News Reporter Chuck Olmstead, a television news reporter at WHAS11News since 1975, passed away today after suffering a brain aneurysm two weeks ago. Chuck was 60 and is survived by his wife Candy Olmstead and their two sons.

In a message to station employees this morning, WHAS11 President and General Manager Mark Pimentel said, "We all held out hope that the improvement of Chuck's condition would bring him back to us, but that was not to be. Many of you knew Chuck for longer than I, but I know we all share the same view of Chuck's unique ability to tell a story with his texture and style that was unmatched. He was one of a kind and he will be missed."

Over the years, Olmstead covered virtually every major local story. From the tense early years of school desegregation in Louisville, the sewer explosions that racked the city, the tragic bus crash in Carrollton, and the advent of Proposition 48 which injected a new academic requirement of college student athletes.

Olmstead won numerous local and national awards and his series giving viewers a rare look inside the Fort Knox Gold vault is featured in a Discovery Channel special.

Chuck's career began in his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts when as a college junior he was hired by WHDH-TV in 1969 as a part-time editor. Chuck attended Suffolk University in Boston during the day and worked 4-midnight at the station. He eventually won the confidence of news staffers to cover stories for the 11pm news.

After graduation, he landed his first on-air television reporter job at WTIC-TV in Hartford, Connecticut, and then worked briefly in Detroit before going on to take a job in Washington, D.C. at WMAL-TV where he remained for the next two years.

Chuck found he missed the excitement of street reporting and in 1975 took a job in Louisville at WHAS-TV. In 1989, the "itch" struck Chuck again when he took a job offer from WCBS-TV in New York. Within a year though, he was back in Louisville. Chuck said, "New York is still America's greatest city and I had great stories such as covering that fire which killed 87 people and the Colombian plane crash. The trouble was that's all I was doing was-crime, disaster and more crime-I never got to step foot inside the United Nations."

WHAS11 is part of Belo Corp. (BLC), one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, with 2008 annual revenue of $733 million. The Company owns and operates 20 television stations (nine in the top 25 markets) and their associated Web sites. Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW and MyNetwork TV, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households in 15 highly-attractive markets. Nearly all Belo stations rank first or second in their local market. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Kirk Szesny, Director of Marketing and Creative Services at 502-582-7870.