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Former KSBY-TV News Anchor Rick Martel Dies

Family confirms he passed away Tuesday at age 83

Former KSBY-TV News anchor Rick Martel passed away Tuesday.
Former KSBY-TV News anchor Rick Martel passed away Tuesday. (Jeff May / San Luis Obispo Tribune photo)

Rick Martel, a longtime Central Coast news anchor and variety show host known for his silver mane and baritone voice, has died.

His family said he passed away Tuesday of a kidney infection. He was 83.

Martel worked as a news anchor at San Luis Obispo-based KSBY TV for more than a decade before leaving in 1995. He then moved onto KCOY TV in Santa Maria.

He was also known as the host of Charter Communications public access TV show Rick at Nite.

Lynn Diehl, executive director of the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau, worked with Martel both as a reporter and later as co-host of the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts at KSBY.

She remembers Martel as well-read and interested in music and a variety of other topics. He thoroughly enjoyed anchoring the news.

“I think he really liked coming to work every day and the viewing audience responded to that,” she said.

Diehl said she admired Martel’s relationship with his wife of 50 years, Stormi.

“As a younger person, I admired the life he built for himself,” she said.

— David Sneed is a reporter for the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Contact him at [email protected].

[Click here to read more stories from the San Luis Obispo Tribune]

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