By Kevin Wing
Senior Correspondent, Off Camera
For more than a dozen years, I’ve had the distinct honor and pleasure to interview and share the life stories of many of our distinguished television professionals who, through the years, have been inducted into the Gold & Silver Circles of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. It’s a serious honor to be inducted for, respectively, an individual’s 50 and/or 25 years of outstanding contributions to our TV industry. And, because I’ve always considered it a privilege to be the one to share their life and career stories, I do my best to portray them not so much as how I see them, but how they truly are as their own person. This experience for me has always been leaving me every time with the feeling that I’ve made a new friend for life.
I want to tell you about one of those lifetime friends. My friend, Luis Echegoyen, passed away this week. Here in the Bay Area, he was a very familiar face. He anchored at KDTV (now Univision) in San Francisco from 1975 to 2007. A remarkable 32 years! Luis was inducted into the Silver Circle in 1994 and the Gold Circle in 2008. And, in 2001, he received the Governors’ Award from our Chapter, the highest honor it can bestow upon any deserving individual.
Luis was also my very first Gold & Silver Circle Profiles interview for our monthly “Off Camera” newsletter back in 2007. Since then, I’ve interviewed more than 125 of our esteemed TV professionals. One day, when I have time, I’ll write a book.
Luis was extremely generous with his time for our interview, inviting me to his home in San Francisco. We stepped out for lunch for a bit, then returned to his house to finish the interview and so he could show me all of his many years of career collectibles — memorabilia and history in scrapbooks and photo albums. He had just retired from KDTV after 32 years as its main anchor. I was with him all afternoon, learning all about his life, and his life in TV. My takeaway that day, besides making a new friend, was that I’d just met a very good man.
Many of those I’ve interviewed through the years have passed on, and I’ll admit that there’s a part of me that leaves with them.
My friend, Luis, was 81 when he died Monday. May he rest in peace. And, may I offer my sincerest condolences to his family and friends and to his many colleagues. He will be missed.