Wayne Shannon, whose birth name was Gerald Wayne Schetzle, was a popular reporter and commentator at KRON for six years during the 1980s when that meant something. He shoved off in 1988 and joined the original primetime broadcast team at CNBC, the business cable channel, where he worked until 1991. Then he more or less disappeared.
Shannon took up residence in the Pacific Northwest and jealously guarded his privacy. Edward Champion, who edits a culture website in New York and who recalled the funny yet serious newsman while growing up in the Bay Area, wrote about him in 2006 as an example of the rare television personality who’d dropped out and managed to beat the Internet’s prying search engines. Not long after, the following note came:
Wayne Shannon here. About once a year I get on the web and type in my name and see what I do/do not get.
And there you were. Thanks for remembering me at all, web failure or not.
My privacy continues to be paramount in my life, so, unfortunately, the email address above no longer exists. Sorry about that, but I’m not inclined to divulge the one I use these days.
Last Saturday a couple of turkey hunters found Shannon’s body in the Idaho woods near Lewiston, where he lived. He had apparently been dead for months. A brief AP story says evidence gathered at the scene suggests he took his own life. He was 64.
Noted: Champion posts a remembrance along with a few on-air clips.
Image: Shannon on the KRON set, 1982/ Chronicle