Raoul Martinez jokes with the San Diego Chicken on the Fox 5 Morning News set. (courtesy photo)
Fox 5 anchorman always stays classy
Fox 5’s Raoul Martinez values stability, family and
It’s 4 a.m. Raoul Martinez is up before the sun as usual on any given weekday, activating his eight-year-old espresso maker. The aroma fills his Scripps Highlands kitchen.
Preparing for a daily audience that ranks among the largest in San Diego, Martinez must look his best. He grooms himself meticulously, adjusts his tie, feeds his new rescue puppy, then bids farewell to his sleeping children as the sun rises over nearby Lake Miramar.
Martinez drives down Scripps Ranch Boulevard and travels a near-empty freeway to Kearny Mesa. By 6 a.m. he is sitting in a television studio, or out on assignment reporting live, as the community awakens to the latest news. Welcome to the world of a morning anchorman.
“I have the routine down,” said the Fox 5 newscaster who has been working for the same station for more than a decade. “I can almost do it blindfolded.”
Though the current events Martinez reports upon are never the same from day-to-day, his life as a broadcast journalist and local family man is remarkably stable, and he likes it that way. The anchorman, who is a big baseball fan, cites the late Tony Gwynn as an inspiration.
“He stayed with one team,” Martinez explained. “He could have left for more money, but some of us choose to stay in one place. My wife grew up here. This is our community. We love where we live, and it means a lot to us.”
Martinez said that 10 years is “a magic number” in television news. Once an anchorman has been in the same market for a decade, “people get used to you. They accept you.”
Apparently, that’s true for the Scripps Ranch resident. Fox 5 has been a consistent winner in the morning news over the past few years, recently ranking number one through five consecutive Nielsen ratings periods.
From his espresso machine to his career, things have been steady for Martinez. But his path to success has been anything but routine. A native of Fidel Castro’s Cuba, he and his family left the Caribbean island very suddenly in 1980 when he was just seven years old.
“They called it the Mariel boatlift,” Martinez said. “Castro briefly allowed many professionals to leave. We got out right when the door was closing.”
The Martinez family moved first to Venezuela, then to Miami before settling in Santa Ana, California. Young Raoul graduated from Saddleback High School, then went to the University of Southern California where he majored in political science and American Literature. He even spent a brief period in law school before entering journalism.
He has always loved reading magazines, watching the news and following current events.
“I credit some of that to the fact that my mom loved watching the news,” he said.
But he never imagined he would go into broadcast news.
“Not at all,” he said.
It was Martinez’ love of baseball that drew him into journalism as a sports reporter.
“My first on-air job was in Palm Springs as a reporter, then they put me on the weekend anchor desk three months later,” Martinez said. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years now and I’ve only worked in three markets, which is a rarity in this business.”
The Martinez family has lived in Scripps Ranch for close to nine years.
“There’s a great sense of community here,” he said.
His wife volunteers at their neighborhood elementary school, the couple have a lot of friends and engage in many family activities together.
“We enjoy the Scripps Ranch Swim & Racquet Club,” Martinez said. “There’s a lot of swimming there in the summertime and we always run into somebody we know. I love playing pickle ball, my wife plays tennis and my kids are learning to play.”
As a widely recognized on-air personality, Martinez is often approached in public. A viewer once saw him in a grocery store and was surprised he did his own shopping. Newscasters may have once been “a big deal” as the fictional character Ron Burgundy said in the film “Anchorman,” but Martinez insisted it’s not like that anymore.
“The way that our show is, people want to know that we are accessible, normal people,” he said. “People who greet me in public sometimes say, ‘I didn’t want to bother you,’ and I will say ‘No, please, bother me.’ I encourage them to come up and talk when I’m in Scripps Ranch. I appreciate the feedback.”