Christine Chubbuck

Posted: 7 May 2023 by Robbie

From People Magazine

One of my favorite flicks in the whole wide world is Christine, released in 2016. Christine is
about the final days of news reporter Christine Chubbuck. Chubbuck was a reporter
for Sarasota, Florida station WXLT. During her tenure with that station in the late spring to early
summer months, Christine had an encountered an issue with her physical health and had a small window to be able to conceive.

Besides her physical health, Chubbuck suffered from mental health issues and social problems.
There are stories I’ve read and what the movie depicts. Another person Christine Chubbuck was
involved with was George P. Ryan. At that time, Mr. Ryan was the main anchor at WXLT. In the
movie, George Ryan played by Michael C. Hall, approaches Christine and ask her out on a date
in which she agrees to. During this date, it seems that George was trying to reach out to her, but
she wasn’t so interested. Despite what the movie has put together, from what I’ve read is
Christine Chubbuck tried to reach out to him, but he was more interested in Andrea Kirby, the
sports reporter.

Basically, from a few podcasts I’ve listened to and from a couple of articles that I got my eyes
on, a majority of the movie is way off from reality. Christine Chubbuck did commit suicide on live tv, the movie has that right. But as I read, Christine did this on the Suncoast Digest show she hosted and not during the 5:00 news as it picked it in the movie. There are so many differences between the real story and the movie, I’m not going to make a big list of that. Head over to a different website for that info. Here’s an article where they talked to one of Christine’s brothers.

Fast forward 7 years later in 1981 (a year before I was born), Tom Leykis, who would be a successful talk radio host, had placed an ad on the Village Voice in New York City. The Village Voice is the equivalent of the Metro Times here in Detroit. In this ad, Mr. Leykis was asking for a little help at his career in radio. One of the letters he received was from George P. Ryan himself. That letter also contained a letterhead with Mr. Ryan’s contact information. Both in New York City and Sarasota, Florida. Besides that Letter’s head, all I said on that letter is focus. This letter was typed on a typewriter and not on Microsoft Word. That didn’t exist in 1981.

Mr. Leykis doesn’t do radio anymore and he released an episode of his podcast on 29 Apr 2023 (subscription required) of this blog post. Just that previous Friday, I watched the movie. Is it interesting coincidence that he talked about Mr. Ryan’s letter and the movie as well. George P. Ryan died in 2006. Yes, I’m a big fan of the movie despite how the makers of the said flick bullshitted a lot of details. The acting and a technology of 1974 is quite intriguing to me. The AKAI, the cameras, the smoking and the newsroom. Just can’t get enough!

One thing that bothers me about the movie is that the part where Christine tells the viewers, “in keeping with WXLT policy…” it quickly shows George Ryan’s face for less than a second, then next to the scene where Christine “does the deed.” It’s like the calm before the storm.

RIP Christine Chubbuck (24 Aug 1944 – 15 Jul 1974) and George P. Ryan

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