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Former KTVU anchor Frank Somerville arrested again

The anchor was detained by police twice this week on charges of assault and DUI.

The anchor was detained by police twice this week on charges of assault and DUI.

Former KTVU television news anchor Frank Somerville is facing criminal charges once again after being arrested twice by Berkeley police this week.

The first arrest occurred following a domestic disturbance at a home in Berkeley early Monday evening. Around 6:15 p.m., police were dispatched to a residence after receiving a report that Somerville allegedly assaulted his 91-year-old father.

Somerville was arrested by police and booked into the Alameda County jail on charges of assault and disturbing the peace. He was released a short time later.

Early Tuesday morning, police were called back to the same home where Somerville was arrested after his brother reported the former KTVU (Channel 2, Fox) anchor had returned to retrieve items he lost during the earlier fight. When police arrived, they found Somerville sitting in his car, where he reportedly smelled of alcohol.

Police arrested Somerville again on charges of drunk and disorderly conduct, driving under the influence of alcohol and violation of his probation. He was booked into the Alameda County Jail with a court date scheduled for Thursday.

The arrest early Tuesday morning was at least the second time Somerville had a run-in with police for DUI. Early last year, Somerville was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of DUI after a crash in Oakland.

The crash occurred several months after Somerville affirmed KTVU and its parent company, Fox Television Stations, had declined to renew his contract. The departure came after Somerville was denied a request to deliver an on-air commentary about apparent disparities in the media’s coverage of video blogger Gabby Petito, who was white, and similar cases involving missing Black women. One year prior, Somerville took an extended leave of absence after slurring his speech during an on-air broadcast, something he attributed to a mix-up of medication.

The incidents capped a tumultuous final few years for Somerville, who until then was one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most-recognizable and respected television news anchors.

In an interview aired by KRON-TV (Channel 4) earlier this year, Somerville admitted the need to take charge of his personal affairs, but declined to admit that he had a problem with alcohol.

When asked if he would stop drinking, Somerville replied: “I’m not prepared to say I never will. It’s still a work in progress.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).