NBA Hall of Fame Nomination Form - Electronic
(Microsoft Word DOC)
NBA Hall of Fame Nomination Form - Printed
(Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Hall of Fame 1972
Floyd Kalber (aka "The Big Tuna") was born in Omaha, Nebraska on December 23rd,1924. He served two years in the army during World War II, then returned to Omaha and enrolled in the journalism department of Creighton University. He dropped out of college after a semester to work at KGFW radio in Kearney, Nebraska. Slightly two years later, he became a sportscaster at a newly-formed radio station in Peoria, Illinois. Floyd saw television for the first time in 1949 when he went to New York to cover Bradley University's efforts in the National Invitational Tournament. Figuring that video was the medium of the future, he quit his radio job and moved back to Omaha where the age of television was about to dawn.
In 1950, KMTV,Omaha, hired the 26 year-old Kalber as its first television newsman. The newsroom had a staff of one. Kalber worked as on-air talent, control room director and studio production man. It was at KMTV that he mentored his most famous protege, Tom Brokaw. In 1958 Kalber's coverage of the manhunt for mass-murders Charles Starkweater and Caril AnnFugate brought him to the attention of NBC News executives.
In 1962 he was hired by WNBQ (later WMAQ TV), NBC's owned-and-operated television station in Chicago. He initially served as Midwest correspondent for "NBC Nightly News" with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, but within three months he replaced Alex Dreier as the station's principal anchor and the broadcast quickly became Chicago's top-rated news program and remained so until WLS's introduction of the so-called "happy talk" news format in 1968. In the late 1960's, Kalber also began doing five-minute news digests in early and late afternoon timeslots on NBC, during which a national audience became familiar with his work. At various points in the 1970's he anchored weekend broadcasts of NBC Nightly News. In 1975, WMAQ paired Kalber with the then unknown Jane Pauley, who was recruited from WISH TV in Indianapolis. Pauley left a year later to become the news anchor for NBC's Today Show.
Moving to national broadcasting for the NBC television network in 1976, Kalber was one of the most visible broadcasters in the country while anchoring the news on Today, working with hosts Brokaw and Pauley. He left the program after Brokaw went to NBC Nightly News, and he then retired form NBC in 1981.
Kalber later was recruited again to Chicago broadcasting by station WLS in 1984, where he anchored the popular 6 p.m. evening news broadcast until he retired in 1998. He died on May 13th, 2004 at the age of 79.