MarketInk: TV ‘Troubleshooter’ Marti Emerald Shorter But Stronger After Spine Surgeries

Marti Emerald in hospital
Marti Emerald in the hospital for spine surgery.

Known as the “Troubleshooter” at KGTV-TV in San Diego, Marti Emerald stood tall as perhaps the market’s most dominant TV news reporter throughout the late-1980s, 1990s and early 2000s.

Today, the 66-year-old is flat on her back, resting at her Imperial Beach home after her fifth back surgery. The 6-foot-tall Emerald is now about 5-foot-10-inches, she said.

“I’m all braced up, using a walker, feeling stronger and better, literally one step at time,” Emerald told Times of San Diego. “Maybe one of these days I’ll learn how to hit a golf ball.”

Not long after joining KGTV in September 1985, Emerald became San Diego’s TV consumer advocate. (“We’re committed to consumers in this country, we’re looking out for you,” was one of her favorite, enthusiastic lines.)

Ratings soared as viewers watched Emerald’s ambush interviews with someone cringing, squirming or hiding behind the curtains. “It’s okay to talk to us, we all know what’s really going on here,” she would say, attempting to badger and coax subjects to talk to a news camera.