As we ended our show last night (Monday), on KTSA’s actual 100th birthday, we heard some sad news.
Longtime former news and programming director Anne Schiller had passed away after a lengthy illness.
If the name is not familiar, Anne was a behind-the-scenes voice, not an on-air one. She came to KTSA straight from UT with a degree in journalism. From what I’m told, she worked her way up through almost each department at the radio station, ultimately reaching the top.
That’s a rare career path in our business.
In 1999, when I was leaving WOAI, KTSA expressed interest in me, although they were already brimming over with Hall of Fame-level talent. I had never met Anne, only heard her name, but it was suggested we meet. I think my hiring was foisted on her, not her choice. After all, her contemporaries were Bruce Hathaway, Brad Messer, the Ware pair.
Since I had not yet been announced as hired, she arranged it to be a somewhat private, lowkey meet, and she wore sunglasses and a garden hat. I thought she was in a sort of disguise, but when I got to know her better, it was just what she had on that day.
She was friendly and kind, although she later told me that she didn’t approve of some of the elements of my show and my way of presenting them. I recall that we both had to compromise! In some ways, she was very traditional. But she also helped engineer a bold transition from music to news/talk, and KTSA was a nationally known example of the transition being smooth and successful.
KTSA, I would come to find out, engendered a lot of loyalty and sense of “ownership” among many who worked there. Anne was one of those.
Eventually, it had that effect on me too.
She was a smart, kind manager and leader, who loved San Antonio and its culture. As a direct result, and even years after she left, the station sounds like San Antonio.
And a more than a little bit like Anne Schiller, too.
What a legacy. If anyone would’ve appreciated the historical significance of the day, it would be her.
Our love and condolences to her family.