Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thursday Mar 26, 2009


Bill Kurtis - News anchor / Host Bill Kurtis (born September 21, 1940) is a television journalist, producer, well-known former CBS News anchor and current host of A&E crime and news documentary shows, including Investigative Reports, American Justice, and Cold Case Files. Previously, he anchored CBS Morning News and was a popular news anchor at WBBM-TV, the CBS owned-and-operated station in Chicago. Kurtis began his television career as a full time anchor at WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kansas. On the evening of June 8, 1966, a severe thunderstorm 20 miles (32 km) southwest of town generated a tornado that headed straight towards Topeka. Kurtis warned: "For God's sake, take cover." This warning became synonymous with the 1966 Topeka tornado that left 16 dead and injured hundreds more. Kurtis remained on the air for 24 straight hours to cover the destruction. His performance during this disaster proved to be his big break. He moved to Chicago in 1966 to work at WBBM-TV's Channel 2 News Chicago, first as a reporter and then as an anchorman. In 1982, he moved to New York to anchor the CBS Morning News, but returned to Chicago three years later to produce documentaries for the television show The New Explorers. Kurtis also returned to WBBM-TV at that time and worked as an anchorman there until 1996. He started his own production company, Kurtis Productions, in 1990 and joined the A&E cable television network the following year. He frequently appears on A&E as the host and narrator of Cold Case Files and American Justice. Kurtis has received numerous awards for his television work, including over twenty Emmys and the Illinois Broadcasters Association 1998 Hall of Fame Award and the Kansas Association of Broadcasters 2003 Hall of Fame Award . He was the narrator in the Will Ferrell comedy film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and also contributed a spoken-word intro to the Dandy Warhols' 2005 album Odditorium or Warlords of Mars. Most recently, Kurtis was featured in a series of commercials for AT&T Mobility which poke fun at his serious investigative journalist persona. He appears on a tropical island or in a similarly desolate place and, after explaining the AT&T Laptop Connect Card, states "I'm Bill Kurtis, and I've just found [trademark pause] the Internet." He appears oblivious to the background, which features mythical things such as the fuselage of Amelia Earhart's long-lost aircraft in one instance, the Fountain of Youth in another, a yeti in a third, and a leprechaun with a pot of gold in a fourth. The newest in the series takes a different approach and features Kurtis "racing" Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps in an Internet surfing contest.

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