KCBS San Francisco Morning News Anchor Stan Bunger announced on Twitter that his last day at the station will be June 11th and he’s looking forward to sleeping in. Jennifer Seelig, Director of News & Programming for KCBS sent the following note to the staff.
One of the joys (and challenges) of our line of work is stringing the “right” words together. We aim for precise, accurate and on-the-mark language. And, we reserve exceptional phrases like “the greatest,” “the best,” “legendary,” “acclaimed” and “most successful” for truly exceptional occasions. Today is one such occasion – as we announce the retirement of best-in-class news anchor Stan Bunger.
Stan is the gold standard of news anchoring at KCBS. Indeed, Stan embodies the role of drive-time news anchor. He is steward of his daypart. Quarterback of an award-winning team. A leader. A mentor. He brings passion and creativity into the Newsroom and across the airwaves every day. Stan has never been one to “mail it in” or accept substandard work. He takes charge. He understands what we do – what we’re supposed to do – and, he knows how to help develop and execute a winning strategy. He is smart, thoughtful and decisive – qualities that are essential in a broadcast booth. He challenges broadcast and content status quo and advocates, relentlessly, for a superior product. He sets the bar high – and we are far better off as broadcasters and as a news brand because of it.
Stan elevated his already-stellar game to an entirely new level during the pandemic. Truly, he has performed at an otherworldly level. His A+ game skyrocketed to an A++ game. He has been diligent and resourceful – and unflappable even on the most challenging of days. Stan recognized – very early on – the weight of the story. He works tirelessly to communicate important information – succinctly – to the communities we serve. Ask An Expert, of course, is a crowning achievement – and encapsulates all that is superb about Stan’s audience-minded approach to his job. People have questions. They want answers. They have been, at times, desperate for information. The wheels in Stan’s head were turning – as they always are – and he aimed high – as he always does. His pitch: 20 minutes of continuous, uninterrupted conversation about the most significant story of our lifetime – every day, without fail, for more than a year. Listener response was instantly overwhelming – and remains significant to this day.
Ask An Expert was not Stan’s first programming pitch – not by a long shot. He conceptualized a commercial-free, hour-long Loma Prieta Earthquake anniversary remote. The “10 Questions” podcast. The KCBS News Vault. The Sports Fan blog and podcast. Stan has always had a knack for thinking big and trying new things. Stan brings passion to the proverbial table AND to Studio A – and, occasionally, to Bay Area music venues with the rest of the Eyewitness Blues Band in tow.
Stan is also passionate about sports – participating (cycling and swimming) and spectating (he loves his Giants!). It was only fitting that he had a daily segment with another legend, John Madden. The Madden segment was appointment listening. Stan and John are both great communicators. And, you could hear genuine friendship and admiration when they chatted on air.
Stan assumed the challenging role of KCBS AMD anchor in July 2000. As many of you know, this is actually Stan’s second tour of duty at KCBS. He was a KCBS anchor and reporter from 1982 to 1992. He then spent 3 years anchoring in Dallas, at KRLD, before returning to the Bay Area to report on technology on KICU-TV and KRON-TV. Stan’s first professional broadcast job was at KRKC in King City in 1977. He was born in San Francisco but raised in San Jose and is a proud graduate of West Valley College and San Francisco State University, where he remains an enthusiastic booster of the school’s BECA (Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts) Department. He has been inducted into the SFSU Alumni Hall of Fame and the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. He is the greatest, the best, legendary, acclaimed and most successful news anchor. He is also a respected colleague, a tremendously talented broadcaster, a friend to many – and, a loving husband and father and a doting grandfather.
For more than 20 years, the Bay Area has awakened to Stan Bunger. Indeed, he is the one narrating the soundtrack of the Bay Area. He sets the agenda for the Bay Area. Many months ago he shared with me his personal agenda: more time in France, more cuddles with his adorable grandchildren, leisurely breakfasts with his wife – and, fewer deadlines, no alarm clocks and an end to his pre-dawn commute. He has more than earned it.
We are incredibly fortunate to have had the greatest at the mic for so long – and, we will treasure every additional minute of his anchoring until his final newscast on June 11.
Congratulations, Stan – and, thank you.
Director of News & Programming