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What’s Up With Frank Somerville?

Updated: Jan 05, 2022 20:48
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Courtesy of KTVU Fox News

Frank Somerville has had a pretty shitty year. Even by pandemic standards, fate hasn’t been kind to Frank Somerville. 

So, what exactly is up with Frank Somerville? Let’s start from the beginning. 

Back in May of 2021, Frank was temporarily suspended after appearing drunk on air. He had a dazed look in his eyes and slurred his way through the entire broadcast. Frank didn’t return until 9 weeks later. It is suspected that Frank checked himself into rehab. There hasn’t been an official statement by Frank or KTVU confirming these claims. However, considering the length of his absence, it is within the realm of possibility. 

Here’s the video: 

Frank requested that at the end of their scheduled Gabby Petito coverage, KTVU add a blurb about how the mainstream news media disproportionately covers missing persons cases involving white victims, overlooking similar cases involving people of color. KTVU refused.

In September of 2021, he was suspended indefinitely (corporate double speak for fucking fired) from KTVU after a dispute regarding comments he made to KTVU behind the scenes about racial equity while covering the murder of Gabby Petito. Frank requested that at the end of their scheduled Gabby Petito coverage, KTVU add a blurb about how the mainstream news media disproportionately covers missing persons cases involving white victims, overlooking similar cases involving people of color. KTVU refused. According to reports from a number of reputable news agencies, this dispute cost Frank his job. 

Their murders are compiled and presented to the viewer as a statistic, dehumanizing the victim in the process. 

Whether or not Frank Somerville has a drinking problem, he’s right about the Gabby Petito thing. There have been countless stories of black and brown homicide victims that never make it to national media. If they do, they’re a number. Their murders are compiled and presented to the viewer as a statistic, dehumanizing the victim in the process. 

But that’s an entirely different article, back to Frank… 

Frank Somerville was one of the most popular Bay Area news anchors since Dennis Richmond. Frank often covered real life issues and spoke candidly about his perspectives on life and the news in a segment called “Let’s Be Frank.”

I’m going to be honest, after watching a few of the “Let’s Be Frank” videos that are up on Youtube, I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s a likable fucking guy. He comes off like a true believer in racial equality. In his videos, he appears to genuinely be trying his best to be a good dad and a good person.

Alcoholism and addiction of any kind is a disease. It’s not a moral failing. It’s not a spiritual failing. It’s a fucking disease.

Alcoholism and addiction of any kind is a disease. It’s not a moral failing. It’s not a spiritual failing. It’s a fucking disease. Can you do immoral things while under the influence? Of course you can! But, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a kind heart. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re beyond redemption. 

And before we get into the most recent happenings with Frank Somerville, I want to say this: Frank Somerville is not beyond redemption, and I hope he gets help.

If you’re reading this, you probably already know what happened. Frank Somerville was drunk and crashed into someone while driving around downtown Oakland. Unlike the time when he slurred his words on air, there is no ambiguity, Frank was drunk as fuck. So drunk that he had to be carried away from the crash by two bystanders. Frank was later arrested by the Oakland Police Department for a DUI. 

What’s next for Frank? Who knows? But I know one thing for certain, the Bay Area and a lot of people outside of the Bay love Frank Somerville. 

So, let’s be frank for a moment: get some help, Frank.

Also, KTVU, give him his fucking job back…

He was right about the Gabby Petito case. No matter how many luxury sports cars his drunk ass ruins, he wasn’t fired for being a drunkard. He was fired for being right. Frank’s heart was in the right place.

Even if the blood his heart is pumping is way above the legal limit. But we can work on that!

Here’s a heartwarming video with Frank Somerville:

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Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is a San Francisco-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground will be available early 2022.


  1. ShawnVi
    January 4, 2022 at 3:11 pm — Reply

    The real story here is that KTVU pushed Frank out for wanted to speak truth to lower, and likely pushed him to the state he’s in now. Please @ktvu in your coverage and content and encourage your readers and viewers to do the same

  2. January 4, 2022 at 4:55 pm — Reply

    What I can’t figure out is why, during his first suspension for the slurred broadcast, he went to Rich Lieberman, of all fucking people? That libertarian ass-clown is the one always spreading gossip about local reporters and reducing female reporters to their body parts (and they’re the ones who receive hit cattiest gossip).

    Lieberman isn’t a fellow journalist, he’s the Bay Area’s own Matt Drudge. Somerville can do better in how he gives updates on his life

  3. Flavia Bortulin
    January 4, 2022 at 11:36 pm — Reply

    I haven’t watched MSM for several years. I did hear something about Frank regarding the Gabby Petito story. I had no idea about him being drunk on air and then the DUI til reading this article. When I did watch MSM years ago, I enjoyed watching Frank on KTVU. I’m sorry to hear of the troubles he is having but people like nothing better than a come back story. I truly hope that happens but he is the only one who has any control over that. I am not of the belief that alcoholism is a disease. Cancer is a disease. Picking up that drink is a choice just as it is lighting a cigarette. Addictive? Yes but still a choice.

  4. Dawn Holliday
    January 6, 2022 at 2:28 pm — Reply

    It has been mentioned that he was taking Ambien. It is addictive. It stays in your system for 16 hours. It is a very dangerous drug. The user is not aware of their actions. Combined with alcohol it is unforgiving. Mr. Somerville sounds like he is in the throes of his addiction. He does need help. I had the same problem. I didn’t drink.
    Kicking Ambien is easy. Kicking alcohol is not. The man has to want to help himself. He may NOT be aware of the effects of Ambien. I wasn’t.

  5. genexxer
    January 6, 2022 at 2:50 pm — Reply

    Not like he was drunk flipping switches at Palo Verde nuclear generating station. Dean Martin maintained a constant booze buzz every second of air time. It’s reading off a prompter chrissakes. But my loss is gender equity’s gain. And sure she can stop for a quick pop on the road I don’t judge. The rigging guy drives that truck anyway.

  6. January 7, 2022 at 4:40 pm — Reply

    Frank Somerville is a Bay Area legend and has remained a beloved daily fixture in many peoples homes for decades. I can’t stand MSM news, and I think it’s toxic, scary targeted propaganda that has brainwashed the masses into submissive complicity. And even though KTVU is a Fox affiliate, and Fox News channels’ presentation of news are some of the worst of the worst, the local KTVU news which Frank anchored has remained tolerable and semi credible solely due to the trustworthiness and honesty of Frank Somerville. Anyone that follows his social media has seen example after example of his progressive, straightforward, equitable, genuine personality that isn’t afraid to be vulnerable and raw and honest to a fault. It is often extremely difficult for highly sensitive and highly intelligent people to exist in our modern American society, a lot of the time because they are willing to put themselves out there trying to lead by example and equally as willing to take the criticism that so often comes in the form of online or in the case of KTVU, real life bullying. I can’t tell you what issues are causing Frank pain in his personal life, but I would venture to guess the way KTVU handled his indefinite suspension deeply embarrassed him, and somehow made him feel like a failure or a let down to his family, friends and fans. Someone above said something about rooting for the underdog and I couldn’t agree more that I for one sincerely hope and pray that Frank seeks help for his addiction, finds strength and reassurance that he is far from the only one to have self medicated his pain with substances to help, and that we are all confident in his abilities to overcome, and rooting for him to pull through, regardless of what shameful KTVU decides to do. Frank Somerville, like Dennis Richmond before him has a positive legacy in Bay Area history and I’m sure values his reputation and all of the work it took to build it and maintain it for so long. While my heart goes out to the victims of his drunk driving mistake, and I pray for their speedy recovery and full healing , and while I certainly do not condone or approve of the potentially deadly choices he’s made to get behind the wheel while fall down drunk, I also really feel for the pain and shame that are motivating his addiction and it’s tailspin. May Frank find the strength and character that has always defined him and tap back into them, and have the courage to address and face them with the same genuine vulnerability and honesty his name has become synonymous with. The Bay has your back Frank, and I for one am rooting for you to pull through. Who knows, maybe in the light of his potential future success he might once again be a beacon of hope for someone struggling with addiction who might be able to look at his example and use it as motivation for their own victory against addiction. If anyone can do it, I have faith that Frank can do it.

  7. April 8, 2022 at 10:27 am — Reply

    I like Frank and would love to see him back on the air. However, your recounting of the facts around his situation leaves a few things out: the dispute over the Petito coverage wasn’t just “behind the scenes,” Frank was told “no you can’t do that” and then proceeded to do it anyway, throwing a co-worker under the bus in the process. Right or wrong, that’s a firing offense in a newsroom, and is the main fact behind his removal from the building. He was already on probation for the earlier substance stuff, so it sealed his fate there. Had he not proceeded to drive drunk, he might well have been put back on air, otherwise.

  8. September 12, 2022 at 8:16 pm — Reply

    You got so much wrong in this story. Take it from someone who works there. The reason Frank’s addendum to the Gabby Petito case was rejected was because it was an editorial tag on a hard news piece–any first year journalism student knows you don’t mix the two. The news director—who I’m no fan of, btw, but in this case she was right—told him it was not appropriate for the piece but they would allow him to do it later. That wasn’t good enough for Frank, who snuck the tag back in to the next broadcast and told the producer the news director had approved it. She hadn’t. That’s gross insubordination and grounds for termination—ANYWHERE.

    So I’m asking you, if you are really interested in being a fair journalist, to print a correction.

    But I’m pretty sure you won’t. Don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good story.

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