Mort Crim reflects on his career in memoir 'Anchored'

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- He was a traveling minister at 16 and ordained at 17. But Mort Crim eventually found his calling not on the pulpit, but as a part of the press.

Walter Cronkite, Paul Harvey, Jessica Savitch and Will Ferrell all figure into his new memoir, "Anchored: A Journalist's Search for Truth."

"I've been blessed with a good voice, and I'm very grateful that, at age 85, that's probably the only part of my body that hasn't changed," Crim said.

He first rose through the ranks of radio to become a network radio reporter and anchor, covering the biggest of stories.

He said the space program was "the most exciting." He covered the first manned mission to space for ABC Radio. Walter Cronkite was there for CBS News. It was Cronkite who helped Crim get his first anchor job in Louisville.

It's one of many stories Crim shares in his new book, "Anchored."

Crim spent 20 years as the main anchor at WDIV in Detroit.

In an earlier time, when he was anchoring in Philadelphia, Crim says he had an affair with his co-anchor, Jessica Savitch, that would haunt him for years.

She would later became a star at NBC News.

Crim said the affair remained an unspoken issue with his wife, Nicki, until the day she died.

"There was guilt for the pain that I had caused her, and it was her understanding and her love that helped me to get through one of the darkest chapters of my life," he said.

For a time, Crim was the fill-in anchor for radio's Paul Harvey, but he says a philosophical difference with Harvey's wife ended that. He created his own syndicated radio series instead.

In later years, he found a different kind of fame. Will Ferrell revealed Crim was his main inspiration for "Anchorman."

The two finally met at the "Anchorman 2" premiere.

"He said, 'I want to thank you for the way you've taken all this is good humor.' And I said, 'Well, frankly, if you had billed this as a documentary, I'd really be pissed.' But I said, 'As a parody, as a satire, I enjoyed it as much as anyone. I thought you did a good job,'" Crim said.

If you'd like to get "Anchored," one place to find it is www.mortcrimspeaks.com.

Besides the broadcasting world, some of Mort's stories involve faith, family and flying. He was a pilot for 70 years, sometimes flying himself to cover a story.

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