LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – From the O.J. Simpson saga and the Freeway Murders to the L.A. Riots and dozens of disasters, for the last 48 years, if there has been news in Southern California, Dave Lopez has been in the middle of it.

Dave began his legendary career as a sportswriter at the Huntington Park Daily Signal newspaper. After six years there, he decided to make the move to TV, signing on to do general assignment and sports reporter at KHJ – now KCAL9 – and then KFMB in San Diego.

Dave Lopez early in his career.

“A wonderful man named Pete Noyes hired me and in his gruff wonderful voice, he said, ‘I’m not gonna have you do sports, you’re gonna be a newsman! You’re gonna have a lot longer career in news than in sports!” Lopez recalled.

After only nine months in San Diego, Dave returned to L.A. and started at CBS2 in the summer of 1977 and immediately began showing off his versatility and incredible storytelling ability.

“I got wonderful advice one time from a gentlemen, he said, ‘Davey you gotta write like ya talk, you gotta tell a story, you gotta be conversational’,” said Lopez. “That was a piece of advice that I always remembered. You gotta talk to your audience not at them and that’s what I’ve tried to do.”

Dave Lopez in an undated photo. (CBS)

And when Dave wasn’t covering the news, he was making it, like when he went public with his battle with prostate cancer in 1997.

But there was one story that Dave didn’t cover.

“I missed the Christopher Dorner story. My wife, God rest her soul, was very, very sick at that time and she was in intensive care and I’t work that month,” he said. “But that’s the only major story that I didn’t cover in Los Angeles, every one else I’ve been apart of somehow, some way.”

Comments (8)
  1. Yume Nzerem says:

    My favorite TV reporter Dave Lopez is retiring, that’s a sad news for me but I am happy for you. Ever since I moved to SoCal from San Francisco nearly 30 years ago, Dave Lopez, you have been the man, the one to count on to deliver the rightful news. I remember at some point you reported exclusively from OC and I remember you saying you would like to retire as OC bureau reporter. You know, in the past, I didn’t enjoy this, but in the last few years I have enjoyed watching your video every time I went for jury services at OC Court houses. You are such a great story teller you make everyone feel at home in the court house. We will miss your booming baritone voice. Congratulations on your retirement!! Stay safe!

  2. mandyfard says:

    Wow… I have watched you all these years and have gotten used to you since 1992. Truly the gold standard in journalism. Thank you for all the work you did. I have nothing but gratitude for you Mr. Lopez and I wish you a delightful retirement. Hopefully, you will share your own story one of these days. Wishing you much success from https://www.market-connections.net. Congratulations to you for such a shining career.

  3. Kathy Cooper says:

    Congratulations Dave! The tribute to you on CBS was really outstanding and it obvious you absolutely loved your career. We know you will love retirement even more. All our best to you,
    K&J Cooper

  4. Alan Grossman says:

    Congratulations, Dave! I have been watching your reports since you were on KHJ-TV/Channel 9. For me, and I dare say one million others, you and the late Stan Chambers of KTLA have been the most trusted TV reporters in Southern California for decades. I wish you and yours all the very best!

  5. Harry Ladd says:

    We knew the Lopez Family from South Gate Park football (Dave played and his dad was the coach). Also Dave was a grade ahead of me at St. Emydius Catholic School. I always enjoyed his news stories. When he was covering the flooding in downtown Laguna Beach one winter, we saw at work he was reporting across Broadway from us. I wanted to cross the street so bad to go say hi but the flooding prevented it. Enjoy your retirement, thanks for all the stories!

  6. DonDonP1 says:

    All the best to Dave on his retirement.

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