Longtime WCVB-TV and NECN news anchor Chet Curtis died Wednesday, Jan. 22, after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 74.
Curtis, along with his former wife and long-time local co-anchor Natalie Jacobson, were once huge news stars, whose fame seemed bigger than the TV station they worked for, WCVB-TV (Channel 5).
His trajectory from megastar anchor to Sunday host mirrors the ongoing transformation of local television news.
Here is his story. Next
1972: A former radio reporter, Curtis’s TV career in Boston began at a time when local TV news stations were beginning to supplant newspapers as the main source for news and information. He started as a reporter at WCVB where officials paired him and Natalie Jacobson on the midday newscasts.
1975: Curtis and Jacobson got married.
1976: Here, they are shown working at WCVB-TV Channel 5. Next
1979: Jacobson and Curtis at the Concert for the Maestro.
“We used to do stuff that nobody else did in television,” recalled Curtis, who remembers co-anchoring, with Jacobson, for seven to eight hours live coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Boston in 1976. “We always used to go to the state conventions and national conventions.” Next
1981: WCVB beat WBZ-TV (Channel 4) in the ratings, the same year he and Jacobson had their first child.
1982: Curtis became the first host of the weekday newsmagazine show “Chronicle,” and anchored key newscasts with Jacobson throughout the 1980s and 1990s. They were paired together for the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts and were often called “Chet-n-Nat.” Next
1986: Shown is a screen shot of footage from WGBH Boston News of Jacobson and Curtis during the evening news of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
1993: Curtis and Jacobson began coanchoring WCVB’s 5 p.m. newscast in addition to 6 and 11 p.m. Next
1999: Curtis and Jacobson announced that they had separated.
Here they are shown on the Channel 5 evening news. Next
2001: Curtis and Jacobson filed for a divorce. Next
2001: Curtis joined NECN as an anchor for the 8 p.m. newscast.
He is shown here with coanchor Margie Reedy. Next
2011: Curtis on the set at NECN, where he has worked for the last 10 years.
At 72 years old, he served as the host of the low-rated Sunday morning public affairs shows.
Curtis relished the anchor chair but wished he had more time in it. “I still think I can contribute,” he said. Back to the beginning
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below