LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) — The longest serving morning news anchor team in Southern Nevada is the one at News 3 right now. Dana and Kim Wagner have been with the show that bears their name for seven years. That's longer than any team at News 3 — or for that matter, any other local TV station.
Before "Wake Up with the Wagners," the program was known as News 3 at Sunrise. It started on July 25, 1989, as announced by an advertisement that was running in the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Las Vegas Sun.
"We looked like the most stern, moody news anchors ever," remembers Steve Eagar with a laugh. "And that was anything but what we were."
Today, Steve Eagar anchors the evening news at KDFW in Dallas. Back then for News 3, he could suit up to cover the Nevada Legislature or report from the street rocking the late-'80s Cosby sweater.
His co-anchor was a rising star in Southern Nevada broadcasting, who had already reported and anchored the evening news at Channel 13 across town, but had recently been hired by News 3.
"The late Sarah Hoeveler, who was a great lady," says Eagar.
"Well it's getting down to crunch time at the U.S. Open," reports Hoeveler in a 1992 news clip. She was introducing Colin Cowherd, who you might know today from ESPN.
Back then, Cowherd was clearly destined for bigger things, even though News 3 was his first job in television.
"And the Stars begin their playoff series tonight against Colorado Springs," Cowherd said, looking into the Camera with his ever-present smirk. Each evening, he would record "Sunrise Sports" to air the following morning.
"Well back in the day, we didn't start until 6:00," says former News 3 at Sunrise anchor Kendall Tenney, dropping by the set of Wake Up With the Wagners. "And I don't know how you guys do it now."
As the third male anchor, Tenney was part of the slow creep to 4:30 a.m., a half hour at a time, as announced in a promotional spot by the program's second male anchor in 1991.
"I'm Jim Snyder. Join Sarah Hoeverler and me, along with Tom Hawley's traffic updates and Mike Moody's business news, weekday mornings at 6:00."
Soon thereafter, Hoeveler moved to the evening newscast, replaced by Sue Tripathi, who had a playful interplay with Snyder. One fun exchange came after the morning's business report with Mike Moody.
"Caesars down a half at 34 and Hilton was off three eighths at 43 and a half," finished Moody.
"OK, thanks a lot, Mike," said Snyder, turning to the anchor desk. "Sushi ... I mean Sue."
"We've all heard people complain at times," reported Tripathi, stifling laughter as the graphic for a story about sushi appeared over her shoulder. Later at the end of the newscast, her name appeared as "Sushi Tripathi".
Sue Tripathi — who later was known by her married name of Sue Manteris — was a serious journalist with a sense of humor. She provided a stable presence for the next 15 years with co-anchors Snyder, Tenney, John Overall, Scott Haws and Mitch Truswell before she moved to the evening news.
Somewhere in the middle there, another familiar face arrived.
"Your forecast for today has not changed," went a typical John Fredericks summer weathercast before he would launch into some schtick, the "Fredericks Fact", "Joke of the Day" or some other lighthearted approach.
A few years after Fredericks had been established, News 3 viewers caught a glimpse of the future.
"I'm Kim Capozzo in for Sue Manteris," announced the woman at the anchor desk.
"And I'm Dana Wagner in for Scott Haws today," added the man next to her.
Back then they were the fill-ins, with Kim still going by here maiden name. In 2007, they became the permanent anchor team, and Southern Nevada viewers have been "Waking up with the Wagners" ever since.
Twenty-five years ... many people.
"Great memories," says Eagar, completing the thought. "Good luck for you know ... another century on the air."
Sadly, original anchor Sarah Hoeveler Ralston passed away in 2011, and weatherman John Fredericks the following year. To find out about dozens of other former members of the News 3 morning team over the year, click the "Where Are They Now" link at left.