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Shocknek--Not at All Shook Up

February 12, 1988

The earth shook again in Los Angeles Thursday morning, but KNBC-TV early morning anchor Kent Shocknek wasn't shaken this time around.

Oct. 1 when a 5.9 temblor hit at 7:42 a.m., Shocknek and weatherman Christopher Nance stayed on the air, but took cover under their desk--and took some heat for it.

"Well, here we go again," the now-unflappable Shocknek said on the air at 7:25 a.m. Thursday as the 5.0 aftershock rolled through the Southland. "Southern California is having an earthquake as you are watching this. Why do I always get these stories? Let the record reflect that neither (KNBC traffic reporter) Paul Johnson (in another studio) nor Kent Shocknek dove under the desk in Southern California's latest earthquake."

Afterward, in an interview, Shocknek wondered about the whole thing. "What are the odds of that happening? I don't know," he said. "I wish I could hit odds like that in Las Vegas.

"I was just talking to (KNBC general manager) John Rohrbeck, and he thinks somebody upstairs looks down, sees when I'm on the air and says, 'This guy is making me mad.'

"Every case has to stand on its own," Shocknek said of his decision to stay top side. "In October, things kept getting stronger and stronger--this one was just a little ripple, at least in our area. This time, believe me, I looked up immediately, and did not see the lights swinging as much, not nearly as much. Oct. 1, they were like pendulums, 80-pound pendulums."

In a quake as strong as Oct. 1's he might dive on-air again, Shocknek said. "If the conditions are right and I'm on the air, and the only way I'll be able to report the news is to keep my own life, I'd do it again in a minute. Today, the conditions were not anything like they were then."

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