Ben Gutierrez Ousted at KITV

Local ABC affiliate KITV announced this afternoon that newcomer Amber-Lynn Hyden would take over morning weather anchor duties. But for all the glowing praise KITV News Director Tod Pritchard heaped upon the former flight attendant, not a word was said about her predecessor: veteran morning weather anchor Ben Gutierrez.

Presumably, fresh-faced Hyden is a considerably less expensive resource than the experienced Gutierrez.  But in saving money, KITV is losing quite a bit.

As a periodic “LOST” commentator for the station, I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know the KITV morning team pretty well.  And I’ve always been immensely impressed with Ben’s work.

You hear everyone talk about “up to the minute forecasts,” but Ben was the real deal. Studying data right up until his segment, then coming into the studio and working that bluescreen like a pro — usually without notes or prompts, yet smooth and silk all the way through. He seemed to never miss his mark or miss a cue, and was always ready with facts and figures and a clever retort when necessary.

And for all his natural talent with the weather, he frequently showed his extensive journalism chops with news and feature stories. Not surprising for a former news director and talk show host.

Frankly, in terms of experience, qualifications, and genuine passion for weather reporting, I thought KITV had the deepest resources of any local news outlet.  Combined with evening weather anchor Justin Fujioka, Ben made the station a force to be reckoned with.

I do know that Ben had many other interests, among them music and other artistic pursuits, so I hope this change creates more opportunities for him with things he loves.  I also hope he gets a more fitting sendoff than one hidden between the lines of a press release.

28 Responses

  1. Joscelyne says:

    we are fans of Ben G as well. He interviewed us when Troy’s ship came back from deployment and was so kind and caring to our boys.

  2. Aloha 'Aina says:

    I always thought that Ben’s talents go so much further than what he’s allowed to do at KITV. He covers news well, is intelligent and personable – all the things needed for a great journalist. What a huge loss! I hope one of the other stations is smart enough to pick him up.

  3. First demoting Shawn and Paula and now this? Goodbye, KITV!

  4. billso says:

    Very depressing news. I don’t watch much local TV, but even I know that Ben G was one of the good guys.

  5. Pedro says:

    I totally agree with you on Ben’s abilities. I have been fortunate enough to see him in action when I’ve had to promote a show or an event and like you said, he’s so incredibly smooth and well prepared. It’s very amusing watching how well he knows his stuff because he makes it look so effortless. Good post.

  6. Keahi Pelayo says:

    One of the risks of being “talent”.

  7. W. J. Cabanas says:

    Ben’s speech, carriage, and personality were superb and very professional. We will surely miss him and wish him all the best. In his element, he was hard to beat.

  8. Bob says:

    Ben…we will miss you. Best of luck in the future. Mahalo!

  9. Mark & Barb says:

    What a loss. That’s how you treat your talent.
    We’ll catch our local news elsewhere.
    May a new door of opportunity open for you Ben.

  10. viki says:

    Pathethic, Ben was real, his weather forecasts were the best. I’ll be watching elsewhere. All the best Ben!

  11. Patee says:

    Get rid of Amber, she annoys me by speaking so FAST. Bring back Ben. And, what’s this with the suits? This isn’t the mainland. Bring back the local attire or else I’ll be watching another channel!

  12. PT says:

    WOW … KITV sure is going downhill! Amber-Lynn???? Maybe she’s got something going with Tod? Hmmmmmm

    Ben was MUCH MUCH more professional.

    Aloha KITV. You’ve just lost another viewer.

  13. PM says:

    Very disappointing . Ben was one of the reasons we watched KITV in the morning. Best wishes to you, Ben.

  14. Ben Gutierrez is the consummate professional. I worked with him for three years at KHNR as his news producer. One of my pet peeves then and now is the mispronunciation of Hawaiian words. Ben NEVER uttered one incorrectly. He knows and respects the language and the people that speak it. Big loss for the viewers–bigger loss for KITV!!

  15. Lei says:

    What a loss! Although I enjoy Dan & Mahea, it was the entire team that kept my interest. Too bad KITV – you just gave me a reason to check out the other stations. Good luck Ben!

  16. Dani says:

    What a loss indeed! My husband and I were hoping this wasn’t true. Really sad of you to do that to him. We’re sad and shocked. Hope Ben reads all of the support he has out there. Good Luck to you Ben….Hawaii love ya!

  17. kelley says:

    good luck ben….you were one of the best !!

  18. T.P. says:

    KITV—what were you thinking? Shawn & Paula & Ben were the reasons my wife and I watched KITV. You just lost some loyal fans! They were professional and yet personable. They were a dynamic, multi-cultural team that truly represented Hawaii! Ben was also the reason why we would watch the local M.D.A. telethon! Ben–hope you’re reading this.

  19. Stephen says:

    Was wondering what happened to you. Thought you did a great job. Hope your doing well and found a new and better en devour.

  20. delmar says:

    ben is my uncle hes cool

  21. Ben M. says:

    BAD MANAGEMENT DECISION. You just LOST another family of KITV viewer. KITV is now banned from my TV. Ben Gutierez is the best. Intelligent, personable and knows his stuff. Our family misses him.

  22. deb says:

    So that’s what happened. We will miss Ben. He was part of a fun, great morning team. I now watch channel 9. Good luck Ben and I hope you find something where you will be more appreciated.

  23. Akira Hino says:

    Ben Guiterrez, this makule Japanee enjoyed your weather report on Channel 5 news 6:30 PM on Tuesday, December 29, 2009. Your relaxed delivery and timely gestures were appreciated. When I saw you and Tanya Joaquin, I stayed on K5 for the whole segment. You make a great team. Thanks for the treat. On another channel, the weather report has such a Halloweeny ambience, even without a broom, I switched off righ away. Hope to see you more often.

  24. gloria silva says:

    well i still miss ben! and amber was off for more than a month, mawani is bette than amber, but,BEN WAS THE BEST!!
    get rid of amber, she sucks, prbably swallows too!

  25. Joe says:

    There’s only one BEN, period!

  1. December 21, 2008

    […] KITV for promoting Amber-Lynn Hyden to do weather.  I know many people liked Ben Gutierrez, but with this new blood, I might actually watch their weather coverage […]

  2. January 3, 2009

    […] some staff shuffling including the release of Ben Gutierrez at KITV, the station is now advertising for a Weekend Weather Anchor […]

  3. March 9, 2009

    […] at the Tweetups.  Getting to know Ben better over the past few weeks, I’ve come to see he is everything great that Ryan said about him – and […]

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