I guess I knew I had to be a broadcaster as soon as I could walk. My folks told me I used to stand outside using a spoon as a microphone. I don't know where I got that. But in my early days I'd go over to my grandma's and listen to radio, fascinated by talk shows, variety, comedy, news. I was a junior in high school when I got my first radio show in my home town of Santa Maria... It was half an hour but turned into a weekend gig before I went away to USC.
In Los Angeles while I went to school I was taught by the pros in the industry. At the same time I wouldn't miss people like Ernie Kovacs and Jack Paar on TV because I found they were using the medium in a bold new way. My first venture into TV News after university was at KSBY-TV in San Luis Obispo. We did it all, hauling around heavy film cameras, editing film, doing the story on air. But it certainly gave me experience!
On weekends we used to take trips to San Francisco. Long before I moved here I was a tourist. I didn't want to move around a lot so I came to ABC7 from the central coast. That's right; I've only worked at two TV stations in 49 years in television. 40 years of it right here at ABC7!
I've played the piano since I was a kid. We had a group in high school that played for dances. I still play to relax&my style is not so great anymore. I sound like I should be playing background piano in a lounge&you know, plenty of background noise.
I like to barbeque. I find it relaxing. I'm influenced by Santa Maria-style barbeque. My dad was one of its innovators. You can only find it in that Santa Barbara county town. Of course I explore our Bay area restaurants that make culinary experiences sublime.
I'm also a travel nut. Love exploring other cultures, finding new places. A lot right here at home. I explore the wine country. Or you'll find me getting my feet wet sailing, or my toes sandy at the beach. What you'd expect of a Pisces, right?
Being the arts and entertainment reporter is like a dream come true. I've been a film buff since the days they charged 9 cents for a Saturday matinee. Theatre? I wish I had time to see everything! And to be able to meet artists is very special.
Don Sanchez is the arts and entertainment reporter for ABC7 News. Sanchez has received two news Emmy Awards from the TV Academy -- one for a harrowing white water rafting adventure in the Sierra. The other for a series on the Special Olympics. He also won a third Emmy for a Good Morning Bay Area interview discussion special. In addition to daily TV stories, Sanchez is a popular MC for numerous charities. He hosts many of the events surrounding the Annual Mustard Festival in Napa Valley each year.