Many, many years ago, the hot rumor in TV land was that anchor hotties Kimberly Hunt and Michael Tuck were making monkey love after the nightly sports report. This was back in the time of rampant hedonism known as the Early Nineties, when people actually cared if news readers were doing the forbidden dance.
These days, the typical TV news reader has all the charisma of a perky assistant manager at Wal-Mart. But back then TV news folk were honest to God celebs, the topic of gossip and envy.
At the time, Hunt and Tuck shared the desk, as the TV geeks say, at Channel 10 and there was a lot of speculation that they were meeting regularly for high-level editorial grope sessions. Denied by both Tuck and Hunt, the image of the two anchors doing the naked pretzel nevertheless became a common topic of discussion among media types, especially when a radio morning team started talking about it.
Those days seem long ago for Hunt, who is getting the heave-ho at Channel 10 after 15 years of excellent diction. Channel 10 says Hunt's “contract is not being renewed” for “economic reasons,” which is TV management speak for “please don't steal a stapler on the way out.”
Her departure marks the end of an era of sorts. Kimberly-always Kimberly, never Kim-was the blonde who replaced the blonde, big time-bound news reader Bree Walker. Hunt launched her own epoch of really nice hairdos, lasting 15 years as the featured blonde, even as her Boy Toy partners came and went.
When Hunt married Chargers linebacker Billy Ray Smith, it was as close as San Diego gets to a glam couple. And, for a while there, Hunt was even on the cutting edge of TV news.
In the knuckle-dragging world of TV, it was considered radical when she and Carol LeBeau anchored a regular newscast together without the help of a penis-carrying anchor. Two gals anchoring together is common now, but it was wild-eyed wacko at the time.
Kimbo's gift is an uncanny knack for looking absolutely blank. Whether she was reading about starving kids in Ethiopia or the latest liposuction techniques, Kimbo's well-powdered face was remarkably expressionless, a real gift in the TV news game.
Kimbo was from the classic school of TV news, which dictates that a serious expression and a good 'do are the essence of a good reporter. She might not have ripped the lid off the filthy underbelly of San Diego society, but the switchboard always lit up when she got a new perm.
Around the TV news game, Kimbo will always be remembered for the time she dressed up like a fat person so she could try to understand the life of non-babes, which is as close as she came to undercover work.
In recent years Kimbo has been assigned more to the plucky soccer Mom stories, like her regular “Report on Education.” She had her role and seemed OK with it, never whining too much about the penis-carrier getting all the icky news stories.
But her stiff glam-queen act never seemed to mesh with frumpy new sidekick Hal Clement. With the ratings sagging, the deathwatch was out on ol' Kimbo.
TV news doesn't like the blonde-babe to get old, especially when she's making $300,000 a year. You can always get a spunky Yuma weather girl with a zest for breast augmentation to come in and read for less money.
With Hunt gone, the flop sweat must be hitting her old sidekick, Carol LeBeau. The market for aging, crazy-eyed, Bible-toting news readers is fairly limited.
So far, LeBeau has been able to cling to her job thanks to a maniacal following of religious zealots in the East County, who salivate at her every report on new stretching exercises. LeBeau is renowned for wearing her religion on her sleeve, which is why the producers like to make sure she gets to read all the stories about masturbating perverts and new condom ads.
But sooner or later the reaper is sure to come for her, just as it came for Kimbo.
Now Kimbo will go off to anchor heaven. Or maybe she will land at Cox Cable 4, where old San Diego TV news personalities go to die. Either way, Channel 10 will never be the same.