Sam Rubin’s Son Honors Him in Emotional KTLA Tribute On Air

Just days after beloved Los Angeles reporter Sam Rubin died at 64, one of his children, Colby, paid tribute to the late journalist in the most fitting way.

On Monday, May 13, the 16-year-old son joined KTLA — where his late father was an entertainment reporter, anchor and the news station’s resident “family man” from 1991 until his death — for the morning news, and shared a touching message.

“Hi, Dad. I wrote this under the desk in your cubicle where you used to catch me sleeping, only you weren’t there to wake me up this time,” Colby began the tribute.

The teen went on to reminisce on the other memories he shared with Sam, from school pick-ups to bike rides, and mourn a future he lost, noting, “You won’t be at my wedding — I can’t believe you are gone.”

“I love you so much. On the day you died, I hope you heard me say that,” he continued. “You were the kindest soul. You were the light in every room. I can’t imagine my life without you. You were part of my everything.”

From boy scout meetings to physical therapy, Sam was “always there,” Colby shared. “I idolized you,” he said. “You are and always will be my hero. And I never got to tell you that, and I’m so sorry Dad.”

After a pause to gather himself and some words of encouragement from voices off-camera, the 16-year-old also shared a text conversation he had with his father, noting that he “always knew what to say.”

“Dad, I am so proud to be your son,” he said. “I had more of a father in 16 years than some people get for their entire lives and I’m so grateful. You are a beautiful human, and you will never be forgotten.”

Sam Rubin’s son, Colby on KTLA on Monday, May 13.


Leaving viewers with a final message, Colby said, “Hug your parents, your siblings, your friends, every day. Cherish your loved ones.”

“I could spend forever thinking about everything we didn’t do. But every day, I wake up with a choice. I get another day to honor his memory, and to share the same love he shared with me with those around me.”

Becoming choked up, he finished, “Dad, I love you. I am so lost without you. I’ll miss you every day. I hope you know how loved you are.”

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Sam, who has three other children — Rory, Perry and Darcy — was known for combining his personal life with his public life, per KTLA

In November, the Hollywood fixture praised Colby on-air for becoming an Eagle Scout, and shared the clip in an Instagram post commemorating his son’s milestone, writing that he “could not help but to share the great news on our show this morning.”

Sam Rubin.

Michael Bezjian/WireImage for The Artists Project

KTLA first confirmed the anchor’s death in a statement on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Friday, May 10. He reportedly died from a heart attack, a source told Variety.

“Sam was a giant in the local news industry and the entertainment world, and a fixture of Los Angeles morning television for decades,” the statement read. “His laugh, charm and caring personality touched all who knew him. Sam was a loving husband and father: the roles he cherished the most. Our thoughts are with Sam’s family during this difficult time.”

Rubin’s manager, Jamie Gruttemeyer, also confirmed the news in a statement to PEOPLE: “Morning news will never be the same. I think we all feel that losing Sam is like losing a close family friend… Someone who could always lift your spirits, someone who was welcome in your home, and always showed up with a smile on his face.”

“Sam will be forever missed,” Gruttemeyer added.

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