Galvanizing San Diego


By Julia Clarke
Photo by Janelle Maas

(Published in the February 2010 issue)

Ruben Galvan is sitting in the kitchen/lounge at the San Diego 6 television studios when he’s asked to describe the most embarrassing thing ever to happen to him while cameras were rolling.

Just then, anchor Marc Bailey walks into the room and interjects, “What about that time you got attacked by a military training dog and broke your wrist? Or when you accidentally said ‘shit’ while you were riding a bull at the Lakeside rodeo? Or...” Bailey’s voice trails off as Galvan’s boisterous laugh fills the space. Unfazed, Galvan offers up another of his sitcom-worthy moments:

“Once I was dancing, on-air, and dropped down and ripped my pants open. The most embarrassing thing was that I wasn’t wearing any underwear that day!”

As San Diego 6 News in the Morning’s feature entertainment reporter, Galvan has found himself in every situation imaginable, from interviewing celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria on the red carpet to riding a wild bull at the Lakeside rodeo.

The work, he says, is the realization of a long-held dream.

“In college, I knew right away I wanted to be a news reporter,” says Galvan, whose role model as a kid was Peter Jennings. After graduating from college, Galvan learned the ropes during an internship with the FOX affiliate in his hometown of Houston. His first paid gig was as a hard news reporter at a station in Boise, Idaho, where he covered murder trials, education and other civic news.

He lasted eight months before deciding the job wasn’t a perfect fit. “I was beginning to think this work wasn’t for me, but I thought I’d give it another chance back in Texas,” he recalls. After two more stints, he began to doubt if the TV news business was his true calling. That’s when he decided to make a break for it. “I always wanted to live in California, so I packed up my little Jetta and drove to San Diego.”

When he arrived, the first thing he did was drop off a job application at Banana Republic in Fashion Valley (“I knew I needed a job right away”) and a demo tape at the (then) XETV studio.

Five days later, Banana Republic called to offer him a job. An hour after that, the XETV station manager called to invite Galvan to be a freelance reporter. The decision was easy. When a veteran entertainment reporter became ill, Galvan was asked to fill in-and he knew right away that he had found his niche. “It came so natural to me,” he says.

Despite his on-air gabbiness and outgoing personality, Galvan says he’s different off-camera. “People see that one side of Ruben-high energy-but in real life I’m a really private person and kind of a shy guy.” He spends his downtime catching up with friends, dining out around town (especially in his Little Italy neighborhood) and going to the movies. Or you might catch him running along the beach in Coronado or La Jolla. But his alltime favorite activity? Dancing.

“I’m always dancing in the car before I go to work. I can dance anywhere...sometimes it can get a little out of hand,” he says.

If you want to catch Galvan in action, swing by The Waterfront, Stingaree or Vin de Syrah one of these nights. Underwear optional.