August 6, 2007
Hal Fishman, veteran news anchor and Mideast expert, dies at 75
A native of Brooklyn, the Jewish newsman always took a particular interest in Arab-Israeli affairs and prided himself on his knowledge of the area.
When he was interviewed by The Journal in 2001 for a story on the best Jewish news sources for Los Angeles area reporters, Fishman said, "I used to be a political science professor [at Cal State LA] and I have kept up, so I'm my own analyst on the Middle East."
Israeli and local Jewish leaders remember Fishman for his knowledgeable interviews.
Ehud Danoch, the resident Israeli consul general, recalled a lengthy on-air discussion with Fishman during last year's Lebanon War, and observed that "a precious Jew has left us."
Fishman frequently attended receptions and news conferences for visiting Israeli dignitaries, going back to Prime Minister Golda Meir in the 1960s.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, also recalled Fishman warmly as a perceptive reporter during news conferences at the center.
Fishman was best known for his nightly "KTLA Prime News," which he had anchored since 1975 and his last broadcast was on July 30. He had been diagnosed with colon cancer and the disease had spread to his liver.
Colleagues recalled him as a "walking encyclopedia" and voracious reader, who retained everything he read. Last month, he was presented with a certificate from Guinness World Records, which noted that he had anchored television news without interruption from June 20, 1960 to the present -- probably an American record.
Fishman is survived by his wife, Nolie, and son, David.
-- Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor