Longtime Anchor John Hambrick lost his cancer battle yesterday.
Hambrick who anchored in Cleveland, Miami, New York and other markets passed away yesterday afternoon at Scott & White Hospital in Round Rock, Texas.
Hambrick anchored the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts at WEWS (Cleveland) from 1967 to 1975. Along with Dave Patterson, Dorothy Fuldheim, Gib Shanley and Don Webster, Hambrick took WEWS from a poor third place station to a dominant No. 1.
"The years spent with John on the news were arguably the best years of my life at WEWS," said Don Webster, who did weather as part of the Eyewitness News team. "John was a true gentleman and a real pro. John was the captain of the ship but never tried to hog the spotlight. He knew we were a team and he steered the ship admirably. He loved his work and his family, and will always be remembered by me as one of the good guys."
Dave Patterson joined WEWS in 1970 and would become Hambrick’s co-anchor.
"His dynamic approach to the newscast came naturally and was a key factor in the success we had," said Patterson of his co-anchor. “We were a mixed bag of personalities and styles that apparently attracted viewers from a wide set of demographics. It taught us all how important a team can be, greater than the sum of each individual talent."
Hambrick grew up in East Texas and Louisiana. His father worked for Humble Oil in what were known as oil camps, small towns that popped up during the oil boom.
"His lifelong dream was to be an actor," said Hambrick’s son Jack.
He studied theater in high school and at the University of Texas. He dropped out of UT and went out to Hollywood to become a star in the late 1950s early '60s. Among roles he landed were small parts in General Electric Theater and Playhouse 90.
"My dad was a creative person, an artist. He approached anchoring the news and writing copy as a creative process. Whether it was writing scripts, anchoring the news or recording a country album, it was all about creativity with him," Jack Hambrick said.