Louisville, KY - The Rainy weather didn't dampen the spirits of the crowd outside the broadcast headquarters of WHAS11 last Wednesday evening. In downtown Louisville there are two new signs declaring that a portion of Armory Place is now named Chuck Olmstead Way, in honor of a friend, a colleague, and one of the station's best known reporters.
The blue signs feature a picture of Olmstead, who worked at the station for 34 years, wearing one of his signature leather coats and bearing the inscription: "...for his service to WHAS-TV and the people of Louisville 1975-2009. At the request of WHAS11, the Louisville Metro Council passed the resolution honoring the late Chuck Olmstead who died on March 10 at age 60 after suffering a brain aneurysm."
"It's a wonderful tribute," said Olmstead's son Craig, who attended the ceremony with relatives, including his brother Charles, and his mother, Candy. As the rain fell dozens of friends, co-workers and family members gathered around WHAS11 News Anchor Doug Proffitt as he began the live tribute during the 6p.m. newscast. "Chuck would be looking down on us, laughing at me because many times he had to stand out in the snow and the rain and here I am doing a live shot (in the rain) at his memorial," Proffitt said. "He would get a big kick out of this."
During the ceremony, station President and General Manager Mark Pimentel presented a replica of the street sign to the Olmstead family. Cathy Olmstead addressed the crowd and camera audience thanking the community for everyone's support. "I can never ever.ever, thank you enough" she said. "I want you to know that he felt that this was the best community in the world."
While reporting for WHAS-TV, Chuck 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 athletes. Olmstead won numerous local and national awards, and was the first inductee into the Louisville Association of Black Journalists.
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.