After 42 years, Fred Roggin to log out from KNBC Channel 4

They had been rookies collectively. Fernando Valenzuela and Fred Roggin every made his Los Angeles debut in September of 1980.

Valenzuela threw his final pitch for the Dodgers 33 years in the past. After a profession of masking the likes of Valenzuela, Kobe Bryant, Wayne Gretzky and Al Davis for Channel 4, Roggin is hanging up his microphone. His final day as a sports activities anchor there’s Thursday.

It’s his selection, he says. He’ll nonetheless seem on his AM 570 radio present. He’ll discover alternatives in tv manufacturing, whether or not internet hosting reveals or inventing them for others. However, after greater than 42 years as an area sports activities man, he is able to throw his final pitch from the anchor desk.

“I realized dreams I didn’t know I had,” stated Roggin, 65. “I’ve been the luckiest and most blessed guy in the world.”

No farewell to Roggin can be correct with out an acknowledgment of the numerous function he performed in revitalizing the nightly native sportscast right here and elsewhere.

Sports activities was a severe factor, narrated by serious-faced individuals.

Roggin was not considered one of them. A 1989 Instances story on a brand new and lighter wave of sportscasters centered on Roggin and carried this headline: “Send In the Clowns.”

Because the Channel 4 sports activities man, Roggin carried on the legacy of such distinguished alumni as Bryant Gumbel, Ross Porter and Stu Nahan. The station closely promoted Roggin along with his personal tag line: “Fred’ll show it to you!”

“I did say … that during an earthquake your chances were 1 in 3 of being crushed by a Fred Roggin billboard,” Keith Olbermann stated in that 1989 story.

Olbermann was the Channel 2 sports activities man then, earlier than he exploded right into a family identify at ESPN. Roggin stayed in L.A., realizing over time that it will not matter if Fred may present it to you in the event you already had seen it.

With apologies to older readers, a historical past lesson for youthful readers: For a time, you needed to anticipate the 11 p.m. information to see Dodgers and Lakers highlights, and Fred may present them to you first. Then ESPN got here alongside, and Fred nonetheless may present them to you, however hours after ESPN may. Then got here the Web, and the smartphone, and you can see no matter highlights you need, everytime you need.

“If we just sit there and tell people what they already know,” Roggin stated, “there is no reason for them to watch us.”

That’s not simply a problem for Channel 4, or for some other tv station. That’s an pressing dilemma for any media outlet, together with this one.

For some followers, the ultimate rating remains to be information at 11 p.m., or within the morning paper. Not everybody appears at a display at night time. However, for many who do, how do you appeal to viewers or readers?

For a time, KNBC-TV Channel 4 closely promoted Fred Roggin along with his personal tag line: “Fred’ll show it to you!” Roggin roughly ceded the hard-core sports activities viewers to ESPN and centered on everybody else.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Instances)

Roggin roughly ceded the hard-core sports activities viewers to ESPN and centered on everybody else, with “Hall of Shame” blooper reels and “Roggin’s Heroes” segments, the “Going Roggin” sports-talk-on-TV present, and “The Challenge” as a recreation present after the sport.

And, on Friday night time, even in a market of 20 million individuals, he featured highschool soccer.

“I always believed that was a point where we could carry our flag,” he stated. “When you pick up the L.A. Times, or check it out online, the lead story is not about a high school kid or a high school game.”

On some days, it’s. The Instances has dedicated to the dynamic duo of Eric Sondheimer and Luca Evans on excessive colleges as a result of The Instances sees, as Roggin did, an opportunity to domesticate a brand new viewers.

It would work. It won’t.

That, actually, was the essence of Roggin. Not all the things he tried labored, however he tried. On this period, the place groups and leagues themselves supply scores and highlights and interviews, shouldn’t an area sports activities report supply one thing totally different?

“That’s not how local sports is approached around the country,” Roggin stated. “It’s scores and highlights. With all due respect to everyone that does it — and does such a magnificent job — it just doesn’t carry the relevance it used to.

“That is why you see local sportscasts dying.”

There nonetheless can be native sportscasts in Los Angeles, on Channel 4 and past. After Thursday, nonetheless, they not will air reside from Mr. Roggin’s Neighborhood.