When asked which personalities he would put on a theoretical "Mount Rushmore" of local TV personalities, local TV historian-author Bill Shull's first three honorees were not that surprising: Larry Kane, the only person to quarterback news teams at all three of the city's VHF-band commercial outlets; Channel 6 news and talk-show star Jim O'Brien; and John Facenda, the Channel 10 news anchor who also gained national stardom as the long-tenured "voice" of NFL films.

But his pick to complete the quartet may be a little surprising: Gene Crane, whose almost-six-decades-long career at Channel 10 began May 23, 1948 - the day the station debuted.

"It's just amazing that he lasted there for almost 60 years," said Shull, who noted that Crane - who worked at the station until 2004 - was not only a newscast fixture for decades, but starred in a number of live entertainment-oriented broadcasts as well, especially during the 1950s (he was also the station's lead "voiceover" announcer for many years).

When it was suggested that many Philadelphians would have put TV cowgirl Sally Starr on the list, Shull acknowledged that, to be really fair, he would "need a bigger mountain."