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Veteran KCBS/KCAL anchor Kent Shocknek announces retirement

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KCBS/KCAL news anchor Kent Shocknek, who famously dived under his desk during a 1987 quake, is retiring

KCBS/KCAL news anchor Kent Shocknek, a familiar face on local broadcasts for more than 31 years who is also known for his dramatic on-air desk dive during the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, has announced that he is retiring at the end of September.

Shocknek, 57, who has worked in TV news for more than 36 years, is believed to have anchored more hours of local TV news than anyone else in the history of the Los Angeles market.

He was the original anchor of KNBC's "Today in L.A.," which debuted in 1986, becoming the first and longest-serving morning TV news anchor in Los Angeles.

He joined KCBS in 2001, where he anchored both morning and evening newscasts until November 2013, when he became a co-anchor of sister station KCAL's 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.

"For years at CBS 2 and KCAL 9, I've had the pleasure and privilege of working with the best producers in morning TV, and more recently, the best prime-time anchor team anywhere," Shocknek said in a statement. "Now it's time to catch up with the people I love, and check out some places I've always wanted to go."

While covering many historic events during a distinguished career, Shocknek cemented his place in local news lore when he jumped under his anchor desk while on the air as the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake jolted the region.

Although he was teased about the incident, Shocknek was later honored by the Red Cross and a few cities for demonstrating how to act during an earthquake.

The incident was recalled this year when KTLA morning anchors Chris Schauble and Megan Henderson ducked under their desk during a magnitude-4.4 quake centered in Encino.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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