Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters' Past President Chuck Street presented the organization's Diamond Circle Award to Jeff Wald at the March 16, 2018 luncheon honoring Dame Joan Collins. Below are Mr. Street's remarks introducing Mr. Wald.
Jeff Wald has served as a television News Director, Executive Producer, News Consultant and Senior Educator.
He is best known as News Director of KTLA, Channel 5, He is the only Los Angeles News Director to serve in the same capacity at the same TV Station twice in his career.
He was born and raised in Los Angeles and started at KTTV as a Messenger and Production Assistant. He moved to KTLA with George Putnam and Produced â€śTalkbackâ€ť Ě¶ the first News Program with a LIVE studio audience that could talk back to the news!
Jeff then moved to KNXT, Channel 2, (now KCBS-TV) as Assignment Editor. With a tip from a friend, he learned that the LAPD had a house surrounded with members of the Symbionese Liberation Army, the kidnappers of Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst inside. He positioned the crew across the street and viewers watched the LIVE gun battle between the SLA and the LAPD.
He worked for Frank Magid as a News Consultant and two years later in 1981 he returned to Los Angeles as News Director of KTLA at the age of 29. He created award-winning programming including KTLAâ€™s 48-Hour Live Coverage of Pope John Paul II Visit to Los Angeles in 1987 with fellow PPBâ€™er Joel Tator and a live Town Hall two-hour TV Special, â€śPublic Schools Working the Systemâ€ť with Marcia Brandwynne.
He was recruited by KCOP-TV to compete directly with KTLA and expanded their news operation. He then started his own TV News Consulting Company with partners Jon Fischer, Scott Lane and the late, legendary, Bob Long, who later became News Director at KNBC.
Jeff returned to KTLA in 1997 and served as News Director for 10 more years at KTLA and worked closely with PPBâ€™er Joe Quasarano.
He has won 13 Emmys, was named Journalist of the Year by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and honored with 23 Golden Mike Awards. Today, he becomes the recipient of our Diamond Circle Award.
Currently, Jeff is VP/Marketing for Lights! Action! Company - a Motion Picture Lighting firm with his wife, Gabrielle and his Father-In-Law, Hank Weiss, a PPB member for over 30-years.
Before joining the family business, he was Director of Broadcast for AFTRA, just before the Union became SAG-AFTRA.
He also teaches Journalism at UCLA, and taught at USC, his alma mater.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we welcome into the Diamond Circle Jeff Wald.
Jeff Wald Accepting His Diamond Circle Award From Chuck Street