Oakland Anchor Back On Air After Extended, Mysterious Absence

By Kevin Eck 

KTVU anchor Frank Somerville is back on the air after a months-long absence, but there are few details about what prompted his departure in the first place.

Somerville, who took time off abruptly in May, rejoined the Oakland station’s 10 p.m. newscast Wednesday night without fanfare. The longtime anchor, who has worked at the station since 1991, prompted concern beginning on May 30, where he struggled to read the teleprompter and appeared to slur his words before departing from the 10 p.m. newscast without explanation. At the time, the Fox-owned station said Somerville would focus on his health, but didn’t offer more details.

One local paper reporting about Somerville’s return has asked if viewers are owed an explanation about his absence. We asked KTVU about the story, but haven’t heard back.


Viewers are welcoming Somerville back after he posted about his daughter’s last year of high school on Facebook. One viewer told him he was “missed terribly.”

“Frank !! I WAS SO HAPPY to see you back on the news tonight,” one viewer wrote. “I have thought about you often and held positive thoughts for you. You look and sound great, it seems like taking the time off was beneficial to you.”