After five decades in journalism, Dick Knipfing retires

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – After welcoming Dick Knipfing into our homes for five decades, he’s hanging up the microphone.

“That amount of time with the energy and the perspective that he brought to the news desk each day, we’re very lucky to have someone like that and for that long,” said Agusta Meyers, who anchored with Knipfing for five years at two TV stations.

Knipfing started his TV career in 1961 at KGGM, which later became KRQE. He was just a junior at the University of New Mexico at the time. Knipfing shot film, he reported, and then he found the anchor chair.

“Dick came of age in an age when … people who were glued to their television as if there was no alternative,” said Bill Anderson, General Manager at KRQE.

Dianne Anderson sat on the anchor desk next to Knipfing at two stations for 15 years.

“When I first started working with him, I was 30 years old, and I was just in awe to get to sit next to the greatest news man in New Mexico,” she said.

Anderson says she grew up watching Knipfing on air, like the rest of New Mexico.

“He’s a fixture in New Mexico. They’ve been watching him since they were a little kid,” she said. “He’s so much a news man through and through that I can’t imagine seeing the news without him.”

Knipfing quickly learned to maneuver amidst tight deadlines and unrelenting stress. He thrived in the TV business. In 51 years, his work ethic made him a catch for each of the three Albuquerque TV stations.

“I’ve never known anyone who’s stayed in one profession for 51 years,” said Jim Baca, who worked in journalism with Knipfing before getting elected mayor of Albuquerque. “I think it showed how much he really loved that business, and we’re going to miss that.”

Baca saw Knipfing’s political skills quickly develop early in his career.

Knipfing perfected that political skill throughout his career.

“What I most admired him for was his ability to remember all the names of all the state representatives, all the state senators,” said Linda Thorne, who anchored with Knipfing at KGGM in the late 1980s. “He knew their histories, and I had to work so hard every time there was an election.”

Knipfing has been a part of New Mexico history.

“On every single news story in the last 51 years, Dick has had his hand in it,” said Larry Barker, KRQE co-worker and long time personal friend.

Career Timeline

  • 1963-1964 KGGM-TV (channel 13) Reporter/Photographer. Began his broadcasting career as a night shift $60/week Reporter/Photographer. Dick’s first story was the construction of Albuquerque’s first high-rise building.
  • 1964-1979 KOAT-TV (channel 7) Reporter/Photographer, Anchor. Started as Reporter/Photographer. Later promoted to Weekend Anchor, News Director and Weekday News Anchor.
  • 1979-1986 KOB-TV (channel 4) Weekday News Anchor
  • 1987-1990 KGGM-TV (channel 13) Weekday News Anchor
  • 1990-2000 KOAT-TV (channel 7) Weekday News Anchor
  • 2000-2014 KRQE (channel 13) Weekday News Anchor

Knipfing ended his TV career where it started — at KRQE, the CBS affiliate. He broke the news of his decision to retire in a text message to KRQE GM Bill Anderson last spring.

“He says ‘I was walking my dog, and for the first time in my career, I really don’t want to go into work tonight, and I think it’s really time we talk about me retiring.’ And I write back two things: One, get a cat, and two, we’ll talk on Monday, and I’ll talk you out of this nonsense,” Bill Anderson said.

Unfortunately, Bill Anderson didn’t talk him out of retiring.

“I’m sad…. I’m sad about it,” Bill Anderson said. “On a personal basis, I love this guy.”

After leaving the anchor chair, you’ll continue to see Knipfing at his favorite spots around town.

“He’s just a fixture at the Frontier,” Bill Anderson said. “You go in to have a cup of coffee or breakfast and see Dick Knipfing.”

At 71 years old, Knipfing has plenty of energy and passion for the news.

“There are things that are more important than being our beloved news anchor, and that begins with his family,” said Anderson

Knipfing’s retirement plans are to spend more time with his family, who have sacrificed a lot through his unforgiving schedule — especially his wife of 49 years, Charlene Knipfing. The couple are enjoying time with their first great grandson born earlier this year.

“Number one to Dick is family, and it’s time to devote his full attention to his family,” Barker said.

Dick’s Final Sign-off

“I would like to end by saying Thank You.
Thank you to God from whom all blessings flow. He has given me more than my share.
Thank you to Charlene, the love of my life. She has been *my anchor.
Thank you to our family, Tina, John, Trey, Annette, Tyler, Sarah, Mark, Ashley .. and just recently our great grandson Owen.
Thank you to my on-air teammates. I am proud and humbled to sit beside such talent every night. And as Dean joins you tomorrow you will go on to even better things.
Thank you to my friends and colleagues in the news room, the production staff and all here at the KRQE media group. Special thanks to Bill, Iain and Zach.
Finally, thanks to all of you for inviting me into your homes and lives for so many years and so many newscasts. It has been an honor to serve you.
And, as always, Thanks for watching News-13.”

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