Carlos Amezcua is the latest newsman to carry KTLA Channel 5’s 45-year-old standard of broadcast journalism. He anchors the station’s 8-week-old, 7-9 a.m. weekday newscast with Barbara Beck.
“The news tradition at Channel 5 is what attracted me to KTLA,” says Amezcua, who came from the NBC affiliate in Denver.
This is the second time Amezcua has worked in Los Angeles. He was a reporter for KTTV Channel 11 in 1980 and 1981.
“The gang problem had not yet surfaced,” recalls Amezcua, who also was a weekend anchor and reporter and KCST-TV (now KNSD) in San Diego and a New York-based CBS Network correspondent. "(Now) every Monday morning we come in and see 20 more people were killed in drive-by shootings over the weekend. The violence level has escalated and that does make it less livable.”
Amezcua is the only Latino male currently anchoring a newscast on a Los Angeles VHF station, and is critical of the industry’s “abominable” record for hiring and promoting Latinos.
“It’s a shame in a city like Los Angeles that such has a predominant Hispanic population, the broadcast industry here has virtually ignored that segment,” says Amezcua, a member of the National Assn. of Hispanic Journalists and California Chicano News Media Assn. “We do have Hispanic females anchoring, but Hispanic males were nonexistent before I came along.
“All we ever see of young Hispanic men is in gang get-ups, being arrested and the very negative side,” says Amezcua. “Although that does exist, there isn’t enough done to promote the good things young Hispanics and blacks are doing. We’re working to respond to that to show the TV audience our people--if you want to call it that--do have a positive influence on the community.”