Mike Hambrick, the former dark-haired WBAL-TV news anchor with the rapid, machine gun-style delivery, was described as "a hot property in the anchorman business," when he first arrived in Baltimore in 1975.
"We had a lot of talent in the newsroom then. People such as Spencer Christian and Sue Simmons and Bucky Gunts. They all went on to New York," said Hambrick in an interview the other day.
"It was a Camelot-like time for me. Baltimore was a great place to work and live," said the Mount Pleasant, Texas, native who was a 15-year-old high school student when he first broke into broadcasting as a 75-cents-an- hour disc jockey at a local radio station in his hometown.
The Memphis State College dropout, who got his first job in television at a station in Wichita Falls, Texas, moved on to other broadcasting jobs in Tulsa, Okla., and New Haven, Conn., before coming to Baltimore to co-anchor the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Action News broadcasts with Ron Smith.
In 1978, he left Baltimore for KTAR-TV in Phoenix, where he was anchor and managing editor. Two years later, he was back on TV Hill sharing the workload with Rudy Miller and Stan Stovall.
Then there were jobs in Texas, Washington and Pittsburgh -- and then back to Washington, where he worked as a communications consultant.
Last year, the Loudoun County, Va., resident went to work for the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington, where he produces and anchors America's Business with Mike Hambrick, a weekly one-hour radio show that airs on 70 stations throughout the nation.
"It's an issue-oriented program, and we're distributed by American Radio Network," he said.
Hambrick, 59, the father of three, has been married to his wife, June, who works in real estate sales, for 34 years. He recently became a grandfather.
"I wasn't and I'm not a talking head. I pride myself on going out and getting a story," he said. "I was never content just sitting back being an anchorman."
Frederick N. Rasmussen