Friday, November 23, 2012

THE WEEKENDER-Singing Anchors

     In the television news business, the anchors, correspondents and reporters are referred to as "Talent." Some are, as in talented.
     The gold standard used to be experience in the field, as a reporter. The influence of consultants-they used to be called news doctors-and the advent of cable news led to a sea of talent who were essentially good at looking good.  In some cases, little else accompanied the package.
      There are still good, intelligent and skilled journalistic talent working.  As a news executive I looked for life experience and journalistic experience ahead of the cosmetic factors. I was able to hire many good talent. And then there was the extraordinary guy.
      He was a young guy still, not too long out of school and was working in one of our broadcast divsion's smaller markets.  I had known his father, when we were street reporters, back in our youth. Since then Phil had gone on to a solid and illustrious broadcast career in the tough Chicago market.  Phil had another son Dan who also had followed him into broadcasting.  So I knew Anthony had great news "genes," on top of his own intelligent and capable work. It was an easy hire.  
     When he arrived I learned that he was also a concert pianist and a vocalist.  A talent with real talent.
     In what I think must be a book waiting to be written, Phil, Dan and Anthony practice their skill in Chicago. At this years Newzapalooza charitable fundraiser, brothers Dan and Anthony displayed a talent, deeper than that required on a news desk.  Ironically they perform their tune THE ANCHORMAN.  
    Enjoy the Ponce brothers, and have a great weekend.

Dan, Phil and Anthony Ponce in Chicago.
Photo courtesy of Yvette Marie Postani for The Chicago Tribune
See you down the trail. 


  1. Wonder if they know Doug "Wacker" James. Doug does voice overs in Chicago but spend most of his time singing with his band "Nasty Habit". Seems talented people all have more than one!

    Cool stuff TC.

  2. You forgot to mention that Dan is a founding member of Straight, No Chaser . . a men's acapella singing group.

  3. Sharon Butsch FreelandNovember 23, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Everyone in the family is talented!

    Dan Ponce was the founder of the music group, Straight No Chaser, while a student at IU. If you've never heard their rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," you MUST!

    Phil's wife and Dan and Anthony's mother, Ann Walls Ponce, is an artist: She grew up in Indianapolis and went to North Central High School

    Phil and Ann's daughter and Dan and Anthony's sister, Maria Ponce is a photographer:

    Ann's father, Phil's father-in-law, and Dan, Anthony, and Maria's grandfather is John Walls, the first Executive Director of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) and later, the Deputy Mayor of the City of Indianapolis.

    You probably already know all of this, but just in case you didn't, I thought you'd enjoy knowing what a talented family Anthony is from.

    1. Sharon-
      Thanks for adding the links. Indianapolis and Chicago has known of the talents of this incredible family for years. Now readers elsewhere can take a look.
      BTW John was one of people I covered back in the early days of the Richard Lugar administration. He was one of the impressive young men who helped give the city
      the trajectory it took.

    2. Sharon Butsch FreelandNovember 26, 2012 at 6:58 PM

      I figured you'd remember John Walls. I became friends with another of his daughters, Kathy (Walls) Roudebush Shorter, during my years with the Broad Ripple Village Association. She is president of MIDTOWN Indy (originally known as HARMONI), which is an "umbrella" organization that has been formed in recent years. It includes the area from Fall Creek on the south to the White River on the north and from Michigan Road on the west to the Monon Trail on the east. Broad Ripple, Meridian-Kessler, and Mapleton-Fall Creek are the primary neighborhoods represented in MIDTOWN. We worked together on a number of issues relevant to all and managed to complete some projects. Several other initiatives are still in the works. Many of our plannings meetings were in MIDTOWN's so-called "board room," which was actually the dining in Kathy's house at 49th and Meridian Streets.

    3. Sharon Butsch FreelandNovember 26, 2012 at 7:24 PM

      Oops! I left out the word "room" in my last sentence. I meant to say that our weekly meetings were in the dining room at Kathy's house. Her large dining room table served as our board room table.

      Because we usually met at 7 a.m. on Tuesdays, I was reminded of the the 1969 movie, "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium." I joked about this after our initial five or six Tuesday morning meetings in a row. From that point on, we referred to our meetings simply as "Belgium" as a sort of shorthand. With just word, everyone involved knew "Belgium" meant Tuesday at 7 a.m. in Kathy's dining room.

    4. Didn't you and Hank live near there, way back in the near dark ages?
      It seems it was in that area, though on Illinois? Memory is kind of vague, but I can remember there many good times. I think we saw a few early episodes of SNL.

  4. I enjoyed the video. Too bad I haven't heard about these guys before now, but better late than never.