Friday, June 28, 2002

Here is a website that many of you might find useful.

Dave M.
Here is a copy of what I sent to Cameron Shell yesterday, almost accurate!
its been a long time...Harry Charles

I worked at the Grand Central Site for 7 years in the 50's. There were 4 studios. 41, 42, 43, & 44. 41 & 42 were approx 100 ft square each. 44 was a small studio/control room used mostly for co-ords. Floor space was 30 ft. or so. 43 (3rd floor) was the on-air switching for commercial insertion, and was next to Master Control, which set up network feeds and next program routing. On the floor below 43/MC (2nd floor), was Telecine ( the same level as 41/42), which was for film, etc. and a maintainence shop. On the 6th floor was Video tape. After 1958, CBS moved to West 57th St. in 1963/64, when the Broadcast Center was completed enough to operate from.
Hope this helps.

Harry Charles

Hi Dave.
Master Control was on the fourth floor in Grand Central... ST.41 was on the third floor. St.43, in the early days of TV, was a camera control studio for film. The camera had a pickup tube called an Iconoscope. Years later, a much better pickup tube was developed called a Vidicon. The control room for the Vidicon film cameras was on the second floor of Grand Central known as Vidicon Valley.

Best Regards,
Harold Deppe

(After that, an EVEN better tube was developed called the Plumbicon, which was used in the Norelco PC70 cameras -- There were several other tubes as well, such as the Image Orthicon (IMO), the Saticon, and several experimental tubes as well, which were designed and constructed at CBS Labs in the '60's [ I was given one as a present, by the Lab's Chief glass blower, and if memory serves correctly, was Emil Torick] -- Dave M.)
Hi Dave.
A power supply room was next to Master Control. It had all the power supplies for the studio cameras, monitors, and camera controls, and power for Telecine cameras and monitors.
P.S. Is all this interesting to any one?

Harold Deppe

Just adding my comments since I spent much time there! Studio's 41 & 42 were approximately the same size, I would guess 100x150 feet. Studio 44 was hardly a studio (by the way I have the original studio 44 switcher). Studio 43 was the CBS network switching control room, I spent 5 years as a switcher there. CBS master control was adjacent to 43 and the studios were one floor below. Telecine was adjacent to studio 41's control room.
Video tape operations was several floors above. The studios and most of Grand Central became television history in the summer of 1964 when CBS moved most of technical operations to Broadcast Center, on west 57 St.
Hope this might be some help to the inquiry recently received.

Bob Vernum

Thursday, June 27, 2002

I believe TV Master Control was located on the floor below Studio 41 in addition to the information provided by Harold.

Frank Novack
WASHINGTON (June 27) - Lawmakers rushed to the steps of the Capitol to defiantly recite the Pledge of Allegiance following a federal appeals court's decision declaring it unconstitutional. The decision was written by Judge Alfred T. Goodwin, whom Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., called an ''atheist lawyer.''

Remember this name. This idiot undercut one of the foundations of this country. That is the right of the majority, over the minority, on public, political, and religious issues.
If this coward ultimately wins this point, and takes away an inalienable right, then the lawmakers of this country have betrayed the founding fathers with this idiocy that one persons right over rides the majority rule of this nation.
This kind of reasoning portends all sorts of fallacious and divisive appeals to utra-liberalisms, just for the prurient self-interest parties.
Where is Thomas Paine, when we need him? The door has been pried open and the asylum is empty. Their rights are now preeminent. Standby for a deluge of insanity.

Tony Cucurullo
Hi Tony.
There was a small Studio 44 between St 41 and St 42 where the “Lucky” Pup Show came from and a few floors above the Studios was the Video Tape Dept. Maintenance was on the 3rd.Floor, and T.V.R. was on the second Floor. Telecine was next to St.41 on the 3rd Floor.

Best Regards,
Harold Deppe

Tuesday, June 25, 2002


Many people are surprised when they show up at an airport with a confirmed reservation and lose their seat because of overbooking. With the decrease in the number of flights per day, overbooking -- despite decreasing passenger loads -- still can be a problem. What fliers need to know, particularly those who do not fly very often, is people who have their boarding passes and all their paperwork completed most likely will have their seating protected in an overbooking situation. The lesson here is that it is essential, particularly in these times of added security checks, to makes sure "all the I's are dotted and the T's crossed" before you leave home. All ticketing done over the Internet allows the passenger to request a faxed or e-mail set of documentation papers. You won't be let past initial security without that information. This is particularly important for people with only carry-on luggage who have no need to go to the reservation desks. When dealing with a travel agent or with the airlines on the phone, ask if it's possible to get your boarding pass in advance.

From Dave:
I received this request, and if someone would like to contact this person with the information he requested, feel free to do so.

I am wondering if you might know of someone who could tell me exactly
how many studios CBS television had in Grand Central and what their
approximate dimensions would have been. And when did CBS cease to use
those studios?

Best wishes,
Cameron Schell
Here is my semiannual appeal for more stories, tidbits, or just plain information. Guys and Gals, without your support this page could wither-on-the-vine. Sometime back, Bob Vernum, appealed to us, that we could reveal some of our retirement hobbies, (he is into model airplane construction). We don't have staff writers, or research people. Help is needed, from all of you. I don't mind if you put your favorite gripe to print. Maybe some of you are on a weight program that we can all benefit from? Perhaps, you attend art classes, or a senior group? I'd like to hear form Deppe, as to how he has been able to endure that blast-from-hell-heat, you folks in Arizona, live through. Howie Purnick, one of the funniest men alive or dead, has yet to send me an article, unless of course he is out in the desert looking for oil! Stan Seiller is a very good writer. I wonder if he has published any of the plays he has written? Then, friends in Florida sometimes send email. I would rather have some stories on conditions in their state for Seniors. Has anyone seen or contacted a dear friend, Stan Gould? Out on Long Island, any information about Tom DeLila, Dwight Temple? I know the Claudios, (Chico and Betty) just remodeled their home to accommodate their mother. Our own Ted Perzeszty, (I still have to think through the spelling of his name) is working the people out his way to get together with Tony Casola, and others for these mini-luncheons. The news here in Virginia is always Militarily oriented, lot's of sad faces as the battle units head out for Mideast assignments. But, the weather has been beautiful here. Last night we had a full moon and it was totally "Orange". It resembled a thanksgiving pumpkin.
So, folks, come on help out a little.

Tony Cucurullo

Monday, June 24, 2002

Just received the following from Bob Vernum -- Ted Perzeszty


I was pleasantly suprised to read this account of Lee Marvin and a Sgt on Iwo Jima, both marines and both were awarded the Navy Cross, the Sgt was a guy I had the privledge of working with 1972-1979, a most professional man-BOB KEESHAN! Bob Vernum


Date: 6/22/02 4:10:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time
To: Vernum

Subject: Fw: Lee Marvin

Now you will know the rest of the story !!!

Some have been a bit offended that Lee Marvin is buried in a grave
alongside 3 and 4 star generals at Arlington National Cemetery. His marker gives his name, rank (PVT) and service (USMC). Nothing else. Here's a guy who was only a famous movie star who served his time, why the heck does he rate burial
with these guys?

Well, following is the amazing answer:

I always liked Lee Marvin, but did not know the extent of his Corps
experiences. In a time when many Hollywood stars served their country in
the armed forces, often in rear-echelon posts where they were carefully
protected, only to be trotted out to perform for the cameras in war bond
promotions, Lee Marvin was a genuine hero. He won the Navy Cross at Iwo
There is only one higher award... the Medal Of Honor.

If that is a surprising comment on the true character of the man, he
credits his sergeant with an even greater show of bravery. Dialog From The
Tonight Show with Johnny Carson:

His guest was Lee Marvin.

Johnny said, "Lee, I'll bet a lot of people are unaware that you were a
Marine in the initial landing at Iwo Jima... and that during the course
of that action you earned the Navy Cross and were severely wounded."

"Yeah, yeah... I got shot square in the ass and they gave me the Cross
for securing a hot spot about halfway up Suribachi... bad thing about getting
shot up on a mountain is guys gettin' shot hauling you down. But Johnny,
at Iwo I served under the bravest man I ever knew... We both got the Cross
the same day, but what he did for his Cross made mine look cheap in comparison.

The dumb bastard actually stood up on Red beach and directed his troops to move
forward and get the hell off the beach. That Sergeant and I have been lifelong friends.

When they brought me off Suribachi we passed the Sergeant and he lit a
smoke and passed it to me lying on my belly on the litter and said, 'Where'd
they get you Lee?' Well Bob... if you make it home before me, tell Mom to sell
the outhouse!

Johnny, I'm not lying... Sergeant Keeshan was the bravest man I ever
knew..... Bob Keeshan... You and the world know him as Captain Kangaroo."

Sunday, June 23, 2002

The summer solstice brings the long days in to nights. The body now gives into naps, and the chance to relive the past through dreams, and controlled fantasies. The time at CBS occupies most of my reverie. It forces many incidents that reside on the back-porch of my mind to be relived vicariously without the standards of facts getting in the way. This summer time of the year, was a cause for many hard feelings amongst the technicians. One of the sore points in the way seniority worked was to give the summer vacations to the same men year-in-and-year-out. When television came in to prominence in the early '50's. The techs that were hired were only days apart from some of their coworkers, yet they always got to pick summer weeks for vacation, without any consideration that the guy behind you was never to have summer weeks off. It was an amazing thing to witness. People that worked together all year long, and were very close friends, had feelings of animosity when it came time for vacation picks. It was the only time you witnessed the worst in some people. They always managed to hide behind the seniority list, as their personal shield. Many plans were offered to make it a fair process, but the ones that had the higher position on the list were not willing to relinquish it. I mention this facet of our life at CBS only to keep the history alive by referring to the good and the bad in our relationships. While, I have always written about the common good, there existed many different and dissident characters. Most though it made for a good stew. The few grabbers that we had couldn't spoil the overall attitude and camaraderie that pervaded the plant in general. I live a remarkable tenure at CBS; I never spent too many years in any one department. It afforded me one of the best all-around opportunities to learn the broadcast business. And I can truly say, I was never bored, and I met the finest people that the company had to offer. I number a great many of you as friends. It made for a great life, but, as I say quite often and ungrammatically now, "it went in a blink of an eye." And, you know what, I don't care about seniority anymore. I am off every summer, so bliffffffszzzzzzzz!

Tony Cucurullo

Friday, June 21, 2002

I find Gayle, very engaging. Her talent as a businesswoman is her forté. She has many stories, but because of commitments to certain people she cannot always fill us in. She is eminently fair in her hiring practices, as she was as a TD, at CBS. She is also helping us with our medical insurance problem. She takes time out from her busy schedule to attend the meetings, (which seem to have come to a halt, presently.) So, for what ever the lady sends, it is good copy, and it makes all of us aware of the current market conditions.


Tony C.

Dear Tony,

Now that is the nicest invitation I have received in a very long time. I do thank you. Yes, I need a break. The last few months have been just too busy. The show that I am working on now was to be recorded, as a live concert at Coney Island's Cyclone for it's 75th Anniversary. I do this series at historical places. Well, we lost our permit to perform at Coney Island because our talent decided to protest on City Hall steps a few days prior. Noble cause for Bloomberg, cutting the funds for public schools.
But nonetheless, my talent got a citation and the slap on the wrist came to no public area would be granted permission for the performance. I still had to produce a show. The only space large enough, outdoors and private was the flight deck of the Intrepid. We were able to get all of the logistics involved moved, and in place with two days notice. Actually less than that because our contract was signed the morning before the load in of stage and lights....Fast forward... Then came the rains. Were they bad? Yes, in the afternoon. But at the time of the concert it was a pleasant mist with the beautiful skyline of Times Square skyscrapers in the background. But the talent wouldn't take the stage. Had his handlers say it was dangerous. Bottom line, not that many kids showed up. Several hundred, but not 2,500 that he hoped for. So a 1/4 million dollars invested and NOTHING to show for it. But I still have to deliver a show. Instead of a nice concert...It's now a 48 Hours show. We followed him into his studio and got a couple of songs and then got a good interview. But in plain English, what a pain in the ass! So I'm living in an edit room all night, and trying to do financial damage control all day. This is after going through 3 weeks of Survivor in Central Park, The Daytime Emmy's and selling a show to MSG Network. All the same month...I'm pooped. Thank you for the invitation and maybe before the summer is over I will stop by to say hello.

Wishing you the best,

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

I found the following article which appeared in the Long Island newspaper "Newsday" on June 18th to be very interesting considering our present situation with CBS medical:

Health Benefits Don't Get Better With Age!

When you get to be 80, you ought to be able to count on a few things, like the health insurance benefits you were promised by your employer and union when you put in enough years on the job. But Joe and Ruth Werner of Riverhead have discovered that the promises were empty.
Indeed, millions of retirees - from public as well as private employment - are under siege by unexpected and rising out-of-pocket health care costs as some firms and agencies raise premiums and others cut or end benefits re-tirees thought they had for life. The cost of health coverage for retirees has become a heavy financial burden for businesses fighting the slump, and other companies hope for relief from a Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Joe Werner worked for Metro-North Railroad for 35 years, supervising a cleaning crew in Grand Central Terminal before retiring in 1986. Ruth Werner, who retired as an office worker for a retail chain, went with her husband's health insurance because the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a state agency, seemed financially solid and provided better benefits at little cost, supplementing Medicare and covering prescription drugs.
Earlier this year, however, a "dear retiree" form letter from Metro-North told the Werners their monthly premium would be raised again, from $120 to $170.95 for each of them, "due to the cost and utilization in prescription drug benefits." Now, their yearly cost for in- surance is $4,103, which does not include nearly $1,300 in Medicare premiums, plus co-payments for drugs. They will pay for this from a fixed income of $2,288 a month from rail-road retirement benefits.
"We're still surviving, but we're running out of room to maneuver," Ruth Werner said. "When are these increases going to end?"
Not anytime soon, said Kate Sullivan, health policy director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "I don't see any relief unless health care costs start leveling off or the Congress provides more funds for Medicare." Health care costs are rising by 18 percent to 20 percent a year for retirees from public agencies as well as private companies, she added, and mostly because of prescription drugs, which account for 40 per-cent to 60 percent of the spending on retiree health benefits.
Gray Matters (a senior publication) warned six years ago, when Grumman pulled back on retiree benefits, that employers may make arbitrary cuts, raise premiums or even terminate benefits unless they had promised not to do so in writing. But most of the promises have been verbal, and the Supreme Court gave companies the green light for such changes.
Most retiree benefits have paid for Medigap plans to supplement Medicare coverage and include prescription benefits and dental or eye coverage, for which the company paid. Now, companies are dropping such benefits, and many are no longer offering to pay even part of the cost of Medigap policies for retirees. Nearly 97 percent of the nation's small firms do not offer retirees health benefits.

And more than a third of the largest American firms no longer offer retiree health benefits, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has joined the growing number of public agencies and private businesses that no longer offer retiree health benefits to new workers, said Sullivan.
Retirees who are hanging on to coverage have been hit with cuts in benefits, the refusal to cover certain non-generic prescription drugs, and sharp increases in co-payments and premiums.
While concern for the bottom line is the most obvious reason for the crisis, the problem is more subtle. Every corporation, said Sullivan, is obliged by law and accounting rules to report its forecasts of future retiree health care costs against earnings. As liabilities increase, earnings are lowered and balance sheets suffer.
In April, at the request of a congressional committee, the U.S. General Ac-counting Office reported on the obligations for retiree health benefits faced by the beleaguered airlines, the steel and metals industry and auto manufac- turers. For instance, General Motors' obligations increased to $52 billion last year from $44.6 billion two years ago. US Airways, which is near bankruptcy, had obligations of $1.4 billion in 2001 compared to $1.1 billion in 1999.
American Airlines' obligations climbed to $2.7 billion last December from $1.3 billion in 1999. And in the steel and metals industry, Alcoa's obligations rose to $3 billion from $1.6 billion.
Unless Congress grants them relief from soaring health care costs for retirees, said Sullivan, corporations will continue to reduce their liabilities by charging retirees higher premiums, cutting or ending their benefits and even scaling back on health coverage for active employees. U.S.-based companies, she said, cannot remain competitive if they must drag the anchor of increasing retiree health liabilities.
In Holland, Mich., Kraft Foods is closing its Life Savers plant and moving it to Canada, where the government will pay for the health insurance of employees. Corporations in bankruptcy leave retirees without coverage.
Big steel, which has sought trade protection from European manufacturers, whose workers have national health insurance, has also asked the United States to help pay its "legacy costs" - its obligations to retirees.
Strengthening Medicare with a prescription benefit that controlled costs would slow the rise in health care liabilities, said Sullivan.
But there is a more fundamental lesson cited by health care experts - employer-funded health insurance is a mistake, for health care for Joe and Ruth should not depend on anyone's bottom line.

Write to Saul Friedman, Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, NY 1747-4250, or by e-mail at
Health Benefits Don't Get Better With Age Newsday June 18, 2002

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Fred Schutz update:

Fred has been recuperating from hip and leg surgery at Southside Hospital in Bayshore, Long Island, NY. He has sustained two weeks of rehab treatments, along with dialysis every other day. He was released to go home on June 14 and will continue with the rehab sessions at his home in Massapequa, Long Island. He is also undergoing chemotherapy for the blood cancer (multiple myeloma). I'm sure that Fred would appreciate hearing from you.

His address is:
Fred Schutz
90 Cabot Road
Massapequa, NY 11758

Ted Perzeszty

Friday, June 14, 2002

June 14th, Flag Day.
I forget the year, but it was at the Firestone Country Club in Ohio, where we were setting up for a golf match. Al Vestuto, a former CBS technician, was visiting. He was quite a character. I watched him sit in on the drums, when the Tommy Dorsey orchestra was a summer replacement show out of the Sullivan theater. It was nice to see Al once again. On our lunch break we all ambled over to the club house, and as we approached the main building, I noticed a Red Ball on a white background flag flying over the Club House. That flag was the infamous rag that flew over Bataan, the Philippines, and all Japanese held torture area's of the Pacific rim. Here it was, flying over an American golf course. I asked a uniformed state trooper where the American Flag was, and he answered, "this is a private club, and they can fly any flag they want." I screamed in his face, "Bullll s--t, no flag flies higher than the American flag." I marched into the lobby, totally incensed, and asked for a manager. When one finally came, I spoke in my usual loud manner..."That flag comes down, or put up an American flag over it." The rest of the story is not germane to the end, but they did indeed raise our flag on that pole. The people of the NEC (NIPPON ELECTRIC COMPANY) did some screaming of their own, but we prevailed in the end. As long as I am still a red, white and blue American, the flag that was adopted after Betsy Ross made it, and was in the hearts and minds of the men and women of the other wars fought by our American people, then Old Glory will fly over any other rag in THIS country!
Tony Cucurullo

Thursday, June 13, 2002

Belmont Day has come and gone into the record books. The largest crowd ever to attend a horse race on New York soil got their money's worth. They witnessed their dreams shattered when the Cinderella horse, War Emblem, fell to his knees as the gate swung open, and of course, that afforded him crying-rights, because he lost the Crown. He can join me in the, I-coulda-woulda-shoulda, bet on the winner Club. The club would also have as a trophy, a crying towel for Hans Singer, the "Oh S**t Plaque" for George Naeder, who called the wrong number out at the window. The Tom Delila-Al Bressan tip sheet that they got from Eddie Arcaro, with eight losers, but at least, they all came in last.
And of course, the piece-DE-resistance' is Big Jim Kelenson, who was being carried out on a stretcher. He was in pain because he fractured his leg at Churchill Downs. Before the "Derby, he asked the ambulance crew to hold up and let him know who the winner of the race was before he went to the hospital. When the driver told him, he said, "@#$%&* shoot me, I can't get a winner all day."
But, the Belmont will always be remembered, in my mind, as the day that Richy Brender mooned the entire grandstand at one of the Belmont Stakes.
You see, Rich was born without a behind, (derriere, for you purists), and when he bends over, their isn't any way his trousers can stay up. He was at the starting gate to hold a mike cable, and he bent over just as the race started. The fans screamed, and he got three offers from some old ladies that were down by the rail.
But, you know what folks? There will be another Belmont next year.
Happy picking.
The loser of the year,
Tony C.

Saturday, June 08, 2002

June 6th, as December 7th, were supposed to be, "Days that will live in infamy." The sad fact of the matter is, not many people these days, recollect the significance about the events that made these days trigger points for recognition.
June 6th is immortalized as the day, Private Ryan a soldier, got lost in a movie, that Tom Hanks, lost his life finding him. December 7th, and all the other dates, are now relegated to the memory banks of the different veteran organizations. Of course, the new date of September 11th, or more colloquially stated as, "Nine-eleven" has overpowered our thinking. The enormity of the event, and too, because it was on our home turf, make it indelibly etched on our minds and psyche, for generations to come.
If I feel a little maudlin about the history of my generation, it is because of the small part that other CBS' ers and I played. But, as the saying goes, "There aren't any small parts only small players." Consider too, that we don't remember with any clarity the events of the Civil War, that had such horrendous numbers of dead in one battle, and on one field, here in the United States. The battle of Gettysburg had more dead in one day than in the Korean, War, the Viet Nam War. (Fifty-eight thousand (58,000) Americans.)
Do we hold a memorial for those dead? Perhaps somewhere in Pennsylvania, but not in our reverie. So, you see, June 6th, came and went, but, I am sure Al Fabricatore, (of the Construction shop, as I was reminded) landed on Omaha Beach. So, June 6th is personal to him, and the others of CBS that participated, on that date.
Instead of carrying a camera on my shoulder anymore, I wear a baseball style hat, emblazoned with gold lettering, proclaiming that I too, am one of those almost forgotten, PLAYERS WITHOUT LINES. Most people, I feel silently say to themselves, "Thanks Grandpa, for what ever it was you did for our country."
Thanks, Tom Hanks; at least most people remember you gave your life trying to save, "Private Ryan," on June 6th, 1944.
Tony C.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Hi everyone,
We had a very good turnout for our mini-luncheon at the East Bay Diner in Bellmore, NY. Some wives came and enjoyed themselves. If you couldn't make it this time, we hope to see you at the next mini-luncheon.

Tony Casola