WHAS talks to legendary anchors, producers about 60 years on the air



Posted on March 16, 2010 at 11:59 PM

Tuesday night, WHAS11 marked a huge milestone celebrating our 60th birthday.

We invited our friends from the past, some big names, to come back to the studio for a great dinner and our live show that looked  back at their roles in the station's history.

From the man who picked the well known snow closing music, to anchors who carried the day and night in tragedy we talked to them about WHAS history.

The room was filled with a virtual who's who of local TV history.

Ken Rowland was anchor who helped keep Louisville calm when
the city seemed, at times, to be coming apart at the seams.

“The busing crisis that we had in ‘75 was the roughest assignment that I ever had. The reason for that was it was a lose-lose situation,” said Rowland.

Bud Harbsmeier was one of the reporters who helped him cover it.

He said, “I was caught in my automobile down in the west end when things were really hot and had a brick tossed through my window.”

These newsmen were ready to answer the call when there were deadly tornadoes, blizzards, even a sewer explosion.

“We never knew when the big one was gonna hit. So we were ready when the big one hit.”

Milton Metz was one of WHAS's longest serving employees doing the weather, interviewing celebrities and hosting a daily talk show.

Metz said, “60 years have passed so quickly and things haven't changed that much. There's still the same news integrity.”

Jerry Lloyd spent nearly four decades working behind the scenes as a director and producer.

He may best be remembered as the man who started airing the song "Bella Via" during snow closings during the Blizzard of 1978.

Lloyd told us, he “went downstairs to find a piece of music, Bella Via by some guy, I’d never heard of. Put it on the air.

We started using it and we used it and we used it and we used it.”

While plenty of things have changed here in 60 years, these television legends agree that the most important things haven't.

“The legacy they've left on the community is that journalism counts. The truth counts. And digging and getting it right counts. That's the legacy we have, and we keep adding to it every day,” said Metz,