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|Born||March 18, 1936
|Died||September 26, 1997 (aged 61)
Los Angeles, California
|Education||University of Michigan
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
|Notable credit(s)||KABC-TV Ch. 7
KNBC-TV Ch. 4
Gold Mike Award
|Children||Tina, Gretchen, Elliott
John Schubeck (March 18, 1936 – September 26, 1997) was an American television reporter and anchor, and one of the few to anchor newscasts on all three network owned-and-operated stations in one major market.
Schubeck was born in Detroit, Michigan. He was a graduate of Denby High School in Detroit. While attending the University of Michigan, Schubeck broadcast half-time events at Football games for WUOM, and was the #1 Golfer on the Michigan Golf team. After graduation, he began his broadcasting career at Detroit radio station WJR, working with station legend J.P. McCarthy. He then worked as a reporter at then-NBC-owned WRCV radio and television in Philadelphia, and then at WGN-TV in Chicago before rejoining NBC News in 1966 for his first stint as an anchor at KNBC in Los Angeles, where he helmed that station's late evening newscast until February 1967. Several months later Schubeck moved to ABC News as early evening anchor at WABC-TV in New York City; he also did newscasts for the American Contemporary Radio Network. His run as anchor ended in 1969, and for the remainder of his stay with ABC in New York, he was WABC-TV's theatre critic.
During his time in Los Angeles he earned a degree from Loyola Law School. He was represented in Los Angeles by famous Agent, Ed Hookstratten, in his broadcasting career.
In 1971, ABC moved Schubeck back to Los Angeles, to co-anchor KABC-TV's Eyewitness News broadcasts. In 1974 Schubeck returned to KNBC, this time to replace Tom Snyder on the late edition of KNBC News Service (reformatted the following year as NewsCenter 4). At KNBC he was part of a news team which also included co-anchors Bob Abernethy, Jess Marlow, Paul Moyer, Tritia Toyota and Kelly Lange; sportscasters Stu Nahan (both worked together at KABC-TV), Bryant Gumbel and Ross Porter; and weatherman (and future Wheel of Fortune host) Pat Sajak. Schubeck was known for acknowledging whichever of NBC's Los Angeles-based staff announcers was on duty when he was anchoring–during his run as anchor at the station, this group included Donald Rickles (not to be confused with the insult comic of the same name), Peggy Taylor, Don Stanley and Victor Bozeman. Along with his local duties, Schubeck also anchored NBC News updates during primetime in the Pacific Time Zone.
After leaving KNBC in 1983, Schubeck joined KNXT (now KCBS-TV) where he remained until 1988. Among several of his last broadcast jobs included hosting a radio show on KIEV (870 AM) in 1993 and a brief anchoring stint at KMIR-TV in Palm Springs in 1995.
During his college years at the University of Michigan, he was the #1 player on the golf team and did broadcasts on WUOM as well as the half-time broadcasts of the Wolverines football games. Awarded a Evans Golf Scholarship, he became the top ranked amateur golfer in the United States, eventually participating in many pro am and celebrity golf tournaments. A tournament was named after him in Indian Wells, California, named the John Schubeck Golf Classic.
One time he was asked about the validity of a story by Peter Bart, towards the end of one of the 11 p.m. newscasts Schubeck anchored one night, he had read only ten minutes earlier, that was displayed again on the teleprompter. Faced with either repeating the story or doing an ad lib, Schubeck instead just sat motionless and silent, waiting for the correct story to come up, and remained that way until the newscast ended.
Schubeck was one of the earliest millionaire local television news anchors. He generated around $1 million a year during his stints. However, he battled alcoholism throughout his life. He died from kidney and liver failure at age 61. Friends say that the stress of covering news events, often involving calamity, contributed to his alcoholism, his career setbacks, and untimely death. He died in relative obscurity at Columbia West Hills Medical Center, and his obituary appeared in The New York Times. In a tribute to a fellow journalism colleague, close friend and co-anchor Tritia Toyota, reportedly paid for his memorial services.
- 1954 Yearbook
- Obituary in The New York Times, September 28, 1997.
- Schubeck, TV Anchor, Dead at 61 (obituary). Variety, September 29, 1997.
- Requiem for an Anchorman by Peter Bart. Variety, October 6, 1997.