Rick Friedman

His Story

The following is an e-mail Rick Friedman to Gerry Wilkinson...Thanks for getting in touch. I had a chance to go through most of the site on Friday. It's awesome.

My favorite is the picture and quote of Harold Thomas. I didn't know they tore Thomas Hall down, though I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Are all these professors really still alive???????? Amazing.

Anyway, it was great to browse down memory lane. Our era at Temple was really special.

Thanks for preserving it.

Best regards,
Rick Friedman

The following is another e-mail Rick Friedman to Gerry Wilkinson...the WRTI website you constructed is terrific. What a great bunch of people were part of that era.

By all means, feel free to post my home email - rick699@aol.com.

To think back and remember that professor John Roberts was the victim of the first newscast I ever produced at the then WFIL-TV. I'd been in TV about 6 weeks when the weekend producer, Pete Spear, got sick on a summer Saturday afternoon when all the real producers had disappeared (probably to the Jersey shore) and only I, the weekend assignment editor, was findable (since I was on duty).

I'd put together a 45 minute show for our 30 minute time slot, and killed two packages for every one that actually ran while were were on the air. But what a rush!

After the Philly trifecta from Channel 6 to Channel 3 to Channel 10, I headed west in the summer of 1990. I'd signed up for a new 20th Television strip called "Personalities," hosted by Charlie Rose. I learned a lot working with Charlie.

But when the Gulf War broke out and I was in the middle of a two-day edit on a pasteup entitled "Stars Who Appeared in Playboy" I had to ask myself, What are you doing with your life?

Shortly thereafter I went to work on an NBC/Kushner-Locke daytime strip called "Trial Watch," which folded after two cycles.

When the '92 LA Riots broke out, I was producing political coverage for KCBS. The news director, John Lipman, stopped me in the hall and said, "Anatomy of A Riot. Can you do it?" The result was an emmy winning special that scooped the LA Times on what really happened by three or four days.

Several months later, I got a phone call from my former and future boss, Steve Cohen. "We're launching a network for truckers. We're doing it from Washington. Do you want in?" Launch a network. You bet. It was supposed to be a DBS network direct to truckstops. Actually a pretty good idea. But the investors really only wanted to drive up the price of their penny stock.

Just before it went completely belly up six months later, I was headed to Chicago to launch the Fox morning show there. I'm not a guy who should be getting up at 1:00 or 2:00 am, so after a year I headed for Atlanta to work on a show about racecar drivers called "Winners" for TNN. Six weeks into the gig, the host, driver Neil Bonnett, hit the wall in Daytona and was killed instantly. We finished the season with guest hosts and I went back to Chicago, where I got to produce a pilot for the "Danny!" (Bonaduce) talk show for Buena Vista Television. 1995.

Back to LA. That's where I am now, executive producer at KCOP-TV (UPN). We have an hour newscast nightly at 10:00. Our current anchor team is Alan Frio (formerly WCAU-TV) and Tawny Little (former Miss America). Next? You never know what's next. Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a freight train determined to run you over. Sometimes it's a new and exciting opportunity you never thought of. But it's quite an adventure and it's still a rush!

Best regards,
Rick Friedman