Sunday, December 26, 2010

Howdy!

I am looking for any information on a SMTPE engineer by the name of Ellis Dahlin.

I am his great nephew and looking to get more information if possible. I have combed through the website with only one reference by Harry Charles.
Photos, anything…

Jeffery Scott Frayer
info at srqartlife.com

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Clarke Leo Michael Smith posted in In Loving Memory of Jimmy Wall.
Clarke Leo Michael Smith 10:38am Dec 23

Jimmy, mon vieil ami... ça fait du temps que tu es parti, mais ta présence - ou en fait, le manque de ta présence se fait ressentir bien souvent. Tu nous manques!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Thanks for the reply, Dave. Another item - the New York Broadcasting History Board has three messages regarding the first bulletin over WCBS about Pres. Kennedy being shot. The question asked was who read the first bulletin, the one that preceded the Net Alert with Allan Jackson. Someone answered it was news director Joseph Dembo. I believe the clip is on the WCBS "News 88 Appreciation" site.
I have the first few hours recorded from WCBS-FM. There was an interview with a judge discussing probelms with kids, juvenile delinquency and so on. I recognized the voice but didn't know the person's name. According to the "Farewell to Studio 9", the Net Alert bulletin came from that studio. BTW, a WTOP engineer gave me an old News Alert unit. I gave it to an engineer friend in Waterbury CT.
Take care and have a good holiday.

Bob Paine

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hi Dave,
Do you know if there is a floor diagram of the 485 Madison Avenue building - I should say when CBS was there? I've often wondered about the studio-control room arrangements. I understand there were ten or more floors of radio studios, and experimental TV broadcasts came from there in the days before the Grand Central location.
BTW, I saw a 2-hr. documentary on Grand Central and there was not one mention of CBS, nor of the Grand Central Station radio series.
I found the answer to something that stumped me for years. The experimental call letters were W2XAB, but I've also seen W2XAX. The explanation is that XAB was the original, then it was changed in the 30s to XAX and finally the XAB callsign was restored in, I think, the late 30s. Maybe only someone like myself interested in minute details such as this would be interested in knowing this, but it is a curiosity now resolved.
Another bit of (useless?) trivia - in the early 50s, an episode of Studio One (I think I have the correct title), an anthology series, was broadcast from a studio at 485. I believe the title was The Night America Panicked, about the War of the Worlds broadcast. It may have been done from the very studio and control room from which the original broadcast was produced. I'm not sure but I seem to think that studio might have been on the eighth floor.
Would anyone know if the studios were numbered according to the floor they on which they were located? (Studio 9 on the ninth floor, 10 on the tenth and so on.)
Again, I hope you and your family and all the members have a great holiday season - Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever is celebrated. I found a greeting that covers everything and is all-encompassing: Happy...Whatever.
And so it is.....

Take care and 73,
Bob Paine, KA3ZCI

And here are some IDs you won't hear these days:
"This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System."
"This is the CBS Radio Network. WABC, key station of the Columbia Broadcasting System."
"Columbia's station for the Nation's Capital, WJSV."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sad to report the passing last Saturday morning, of John Taddei's live-in companion, Mary Ann Sorby, age 65.
John is basically confined to his bed and has just applied for hospice care.
Anyone that would like to give him a call and cheer him up will be welcome.
You can reach John at 914-946-0856
Dave Schwartz:

Could be Johnny Olsen??

Harold Schutzman
In 1959 there was a CBS show called The Big Party. The show, sponsored by Revlon, ran every other week for 90 minutes. (it was very boring to watch)
Who is the voice on the opening. (it's not Hal Simms, Roger Forester, Bill Martin, or Bern Bennett) but that leaves a lot of other CBS staff announcers in contention.

Dave Schwartz

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Retirees...
Pat Finn, yes ... could that be the studio
that the Mike and Buff show came from?
Regards,
Harold Deppe

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Ron Cooper

This is an older entry that never got posted.
Dav
e

Just received this, Ron was an engineer at EVR, also in my Navy Cryptologic unit where he was one of the best CPO's in the business. Not sure how many EVR types are still around, but thought I might pass this along, think Dave Minott was one.

73,

George Keller
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello everyone,

Sorry to spread this news via email, although I just wanted to let you all
know that Ron Cooper passed away unexpectedly this morning. Dad always spoke
very highly of his friends from the Navy. The arrangements are as follows
(feel free to pass on to anyone I may have missed):

Par-Troy Funeral Home
95 Parsippany Road
Parsippany, NJ 07054
973-887-3235

Viewing: Tuesday 1/12, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Funeral: Wednesday 1/13, 9:30am (tentative)

Sadly,
Dave Cooper


Submitted by Gady Reinhold

Monday, December 06, 2010




This Photo is of a Field Sequential CBS Color Camera. Year 1951.
Can any one remember the name of this Technician?

You did very well with the last Photo. Try this one.
Regards,
Harold Deppe

Maybe Tony Cucu???
Dave
Hi Dave..
Checking this Website each day. it appears to me that the Retirees have left us ..Years ago it was great to get togeather with the old group..
I guess like the Iconoscope, things change. but many times not for the best..
Best Regards
Harold Deppe

Hi Harold,

I guess that as our users age, they need to spend more time ingesting their medications and adjusting their support stockings.

It takes the right combination of flint and steel to create a spark, large enough, to ignite the kindlin
g...

Dave

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Hi Dave..
I have a question about Quad Video Tape at C.B.S. many years ago.
Did you ever hear of an L splice made on Quad Tape?
If not, would you please post this question. There may be a memory out there...
Thanks..
Harold Deppe

Sunday, November 28, 2010

WRONG IDENTITY

No, that is not me. I just read the message. Sounds like a nice person, but is not me. I can't write to the CBS web, so will you answer Tim Wray for me.



Thanks,

Sid Kaufman

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hello,

I am just wondering if the Sid Kaufman listed as a CBS employee who had served in the military (1942-46) US Signals Corps (42nd Rainbow Infantry Division) might have been the same Sid Kaufman who was billeted with my Grandparents Bill and Mollie Wray in Branston village near Lincoln in England during the 1940s.

Technical Sergeant Sid Kaufman worked at the highly secret Wireless Station (part of the Royal Air Force Y Service - which provided data for the Enigma Codebreaking effort at Bletchley Park) at Branston Mere, near RAF Waddington. Could the CBS and secret Wireless Station person be the same man?

Many thanks in advance

Best Regards
Tim Wray
Shepton Mallet
Somerset
England

rachel.wray at ukonline.co.uk

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hi David:
I need some archive help for...
what CBS TV shows used cigarettes as sponsors between 1949 and 1984?
i'm sure, in the beginning anyway, that the sponsors gave out free cigarettes to the crew.
esp. need Lucky Strike, chesterfield (perry como?)-- gary moore-- hit pararde-- arthur godfrey-- robert q lewis-- steve allen -- streisand and garland specials-- jimmy durante--jackie gleason-- jack benny --colgate comedy hour-- ed sullivan-- THE CAVALCADE OF STARS (1951--milton berle--)and on and on.
red skelton--beat the clock--dennis day--ed wynn--hit parade--doris day--martha ray--george gobel--timex

I had heard about someone suing CBS for being forced to retire at 65. do you know who that is? I could use this contact info.
thanks in advance for any help you can muster up, or places to network me to.

Jacquie Sacs
isacsphoto at gmail.com

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sad news in the CBS Family. One of the pioneers of our culture, Jimmy Wahl has gone home. He laid the road for the rest of us. I love you man. Jim was one of the 1st black folks on TV. He was on the original Captain Kangaroo Show. He was the main stage manager of the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. He also did CBS soaps and for many years staged the US Open Tennis tournaments. I am grateful to have known him.

Michael Bruce
Where are all the CBS Hams? Care to chat? Join us every Monday-Wednesday & Friday at 10:00 A.M. (EST) On EchoLink. Connect to W2LTU CBS Retirees.

DE Jay Chichon W2LTU
w2ltu@rcn.com

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

WHERE ARE THE CBS HAMS

Where are all the CBS Hams? Care to chat? Join us every Monday-Wednesday & Friday at 10:00 A.M. (EST) On EchoLink. Connect to W2LTU CBS Retirees.

DE Jay Chichon W2LTU
w2ltu@rcn.com

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

SAD NEWS

Ted, could you please post this on the web site?
Thanks,
Marty Solomon


October 28, 2010

JAMES (JIMMY) WALL, CAPTAIN KANGAROO’S
“MR. BAXTER” AND LONGTIME STAGE MANAGER
FOR CBS NEWS, DIES AT 92

James (Jimmy) Wall, Captain Kangaroo’s knowledgeable neighbor “Mr. Baxter” on the children’s show during the 1960s and 70s and a beloved character around the studios of CBS Broadcast Center in Manhattan, where he worked as a stage manager for nearly 50 years, has died at the age of 92. He lived in Manhattan and died in his sleep last night (27) after a short illness.

Wall had been the stage manager for the Captain Kangaroo show since 1962, when he joined CBS, before persuading the show’s producers to create its first black character. Wall, a talented former vaudevillian with a wonderful voice and kindly demeanor got the regular role of Mr. Baxter in 1968. He played Baxter and another recurring role on the show until 1978.

At the same time, Wall was the stage manager for many CBS, CBS News and CBS Sports broadcasts, including THE CBS EVENING NEWS, FACE THE NATION, 60 MINUTES, NFL TODAY and in 2008, he was recognized on the air for his 41st consecutive year as stage manager of the U.S. OPEN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS. He also stage managed coverage of political conventions, presidential inaugurations, election coverage and space launches of the 1960s.

The stage manager’s role is to be the director’s eyes and ears on the set in addition to other tasks, most prominent of which was the countdown to air for a live broadcast.

In a rich baritone that could call a busy newsroom to attention, Wall counted the time to air for the likes of Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather as stage manager for THE CBS EVENING NEWS from the 1960s through the 1980s. “TWO MINUTES TO AIR” began his count and eventually, “IN FIVE,” he would intone, and count down until a flip of his hand indicated the anchor was on live television.

Wall semi-retired in 1988 at the age of 71, but continued to work regularly as a fill-in stage manager for THE CBS EVENING NEWS and 60 MINUTES showing up – always on time – as often as several times a week right up until last year, when he was 91. In one of Mike Wallace’s last tapings, the 60 MINUTES correspondent made reference to his own advanced age and that he was the senior person on set. Wallace’s old friend Jimmy had to correct him, reminding him that he had him by five months.

Known by thousands of CBS employees through the years, Wall was a person whose eclectic life and fascinating career made for a never-ending string of stories. Wall went to sea as 15 yr-old, had delivered sugar for New York bootlegger’s stills during Prohibition, and became a singer and dancer in a series of Vaudeville acts that took him around the country and put him on Broadway stages before he was drafted by the Army. He went to Europe, where he became a master sergeant involved in USO shows that he staged throughout the continent.

He was a card player, a pool shark and an avid golfer who boasted he could shoot his age and did, still hitting the links after his 90th birthday.

Walls attended college on the G.I. Bill when he left the Army and continued his love affair with the theater through the 1950s. He played various roles in New York stage productions, often stage managing and performing in the same show, before joining CBS to become the second black stage manager hired by the Network.

The Director’s Guild of America gave Wall its Franklin J. Schaffner achievement Award in 1994.

James Earl Wall was born Dec. 12, 1917 in Wilmington, NC. He lived there until he was 9 years old, when his father, a barber, moved the family to New York City. Young “JE,” as his mother sometimes called him, attended public schools in Brooklyn, including a commercial high school where he took vocational art courses.

He is survived by his wife, VT (Dolly) Wall, whom he married in 1942.

* * *
Press Contact: Kevin Tedesco 212 975-2329 Kev@cbsnews.com

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Jimmy was a classy and great guy... I remember him from Evening News
and Kangaroo. He was one of those people who everyone "just knew"..
He had a great career at CBS, and I know he enjoyed every minute of
it. He will be missed, but well remembered by everyone who ever
worked with him.. or played cards with him.

Ray Sills

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Worked with Jimmy on a couple of US Opens back in the mid eighties. We had an absolute ball together flying by the seat of our pants for many hours of superb live TV! He was the consumate professional and genuine great guy!! He will be sorely missed!!! Rest in peace Jim.
Jon Fortunato
Jimmy Wall was the consumate wisdom filled man who over the years became my friend. Once many years ago he and I were engaged in a conversation about affairs of the heart. I asked him for some fatherly advice where love and relationships were concerened. This girl was not very attentive with me and seemed cool and not very interested. He paused and in an understanding and deep tone commented..."My Daddy always told me, go for the one that goes for you!" How simple and yet so profound!!! I will never forget that conversation...I will never forget you Jimmy. God rest your soul...

Frederick Rivera
This is a place for all to share their wonderful times and thoughts with Jimmy Wall who was employed and retired from CBS for many decades.


Tim Pendleton
Jeffrey M. Pollack 1:15pm Oct 30

Honored to be a part of this page. He will always be one of my most unforgettable characters. Rest in Peace, my friend.
Dave,
I had the pleasure of being on the same shows as jimmy,he had a way of lightening up the captain kangaroo set------it very often needed a few laughs.he was as mentioned previously the sm on the evening news,60 minutes,conventions and the u.s.open tennis. let us not forget his talent at "tonk" in the technicians lounge.he was also a very classy dresser and a truly good friend to all.i put him in the same class as harry haigood,both super gentlemen. RIP jimmy.
bob vernum
Played poker with him many times in the old tech lounge. One of the few all time greats. RIP my friend.

Steve Palacek
My wife Ruth was the AD on Kangaroo for many years and at the end of its run. We both knew Jimmy pretty well. A really nice guy. Even as a Stage Manager he came off like a performer. He loved his work. I last saw him at CBS when he was 91. He kept coming in whenever they called. He told me it was his “card playing money”.

Gady Reinhold
Always a gentleman and professional. I can hear his voice with his signature "Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive Minutes" to make sure we were all at our posts for air for the CBS Evening News. RIP, you were a treasure to us all.

Gayle DePoli
He was so nice. A real gentleman. You felt privelaged to be in his =
presence.

Alan Goldfarb
Five Minutes ...... Will always ring fondly in my memory. RIP =
Jimmy

Tim Kennedy
In Jimmy's own words, he "was a Hoofah!" You could not avoid having a smile on your face in the presence of Jimmy. Every story, and there were countless numbers of them, brought a smile to my face. An entertainer to the end. A man who could steal the spotlight even from Mike Wallace. On what turned out to be Mike's last day of taping, Mike exclaimed "I'm the senior person in this room!" at which point Jimmy pointed out to Mike, I've got you by a few months. " They were both 90, and we all shared an incredibly historic moment that day. Because of Jimmy, "FIIIIIIIIIIVE MINUTES" will last an eternity. Jimmy, I will miss you.

M. Scott Cole
Jimmy, was a trailblazer whom I met in my early years at CBS. A humble man. A true gentle-man. He lived a life we all should aspire to have. Peace, Jimmy.

Ron McGugins
Whenever I'm counting down or tell someone "five minutes" I always think of Jimmy and it puts a smile on my face. I will miss our talks about golf & theories of the swing! I am so blessed to have know him. RIP , hope you're playing all the great courses up there.

Kyle Keever
Jimmy Wall was always a class act. We are all better for having known him.
RIP Jimmy.

Ann Natyzak
James Wall, Who Played a Beloved Character on 'Captain Kangaroo,' Dead at 92 AP
James Wall, better known as Jimmy Wall, a veteran actor and longtime CBS stage manager, has died at 92, AP reports.

Wall is best known for his role as Mr. Baxter, the first African American character on "Captain Kangaroo," a role he played for more than 10 years. He was also a stage manager for the “CBS Evening News” and other CBS productions.

Wall had been working on "Captain Kangaroo" for six years, starting in 1962, before he convinced the producers to add an African American character to reflect the diversity of the children's show’s viewership. Wall was offered the role and began playing Mr. Baxter in 1968.

Wall, who stage managed "60 Minutes," "Face the Nation," the US Open Tennis Championships and other productions, continued those duties until he was 90.

Dave Schwartz

Friday, October 29, 2010

I just got an email that Jimmy Wall passed on last night....he was one of a kind.

Steve Gorsuch

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dave
Re: the pix

Second row Left
Could be Bill Guyon
behind him Leo Hoy
behind him Jim Martens

Harold Schutzman
Mike Zwick passed away on Sat. Oct. 23. 2010. A viewing, 2pm - 6pm and service at 5pm will be held
at Silverton Memorial Funeral Home, 2482 Church Road, Toms River, N.J. on Tues Oct. 26,2010.
Condolences can be sent to Mrs. Pauline Zwick, 5 Marta Court, Brick, N.J. 08723-7830.

Joe Manzo

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dave,
Front row third from left looks like Jim Angerame.
Bob Vernum
That's Charles Collingswood to the right of Ed Murrow.
looks like John Pumo 1st row 4th from right.
I recognize a lot of faces, but can't put a name to them.
Harold Schutzman
I just Googled "1st CBS telstar broadcast'.
their is a wealth of info on the subject.
Near the bottom of the page is a Walter Cronkite
link telling the WHOLE STORY. There must be video
but I only got the audio.

Harold Schutzman
Dave,
Next to Ed Murrow is Charles Collingwood,on the top row third from the right end is B.A Taylor or Bill Taylor. I will continue looking.

Regards,
Bob Vernum
Pic 12----On Vilot's left is Paul Buda
Vilot's right----Jim Kelenson
Murrow's right----Charles Collingwood
Top row Bow tie undone ---Joe Desmond
This pic must be from early 1950's

Lots o'Luck on the rest of them!...
Harry Charles
Hi John,
Saw your pix of you dad. We were quite friendly. Worked with him for many years. I remember visiting him in Hackensack Hospital.
I thought you might be interested in a pix in my files.
Please note: forwarded message attached

First CBS Telstar 1 Broadcast fron Andover,Maine
July,23,1962.It was launched July,10.1962.

Left to right (D)= Deceased

1-Jim Murphy (D)
2-Fred Schutz (D)
3-John Brakita (D)
4-Art Shine
5- ???
6-Harold Schutzman
7-George Moses (D)
8-Jim McCarthy (D)
9-Frank Vilot (D)
Many thanks...My Dad's copy of this same Telstar photo was in our living room for many years but I cannot find it..I had also forgotten that was
John Berkyta in the picture (they lived across the street from us).
If you also knew Dan Acker, he was my godfather. Russ Vollmer also lived around the corner from us.

They were truly the golden years of television!
My Dad loved being part of the CBS family and it truly felt like a family when I walked the CBS halls & ramps with him.

Thanks again,
John Vilot
3 Woodstone Rd
Chester, NJ 07930
908-879-1181
Michael Zwick passed away on 10/23/10. No information on funeral arrangements are available at this time.

Joe Manzo & Al Norwood

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I have just added another picture to our Page 12 collection.
This one is courtesy of John Vilot, Frank's son.
If you recognize any other people, let me know!
Dave

Click here --> Page 12

Monday, October 18, 2010

RE: Lloyd Gross

Legendary guy. Sorry to see him go.

Mark Corwin
I got this note from Ginny when I came in this morning.
Lloyd was a staff director at CBS starting in the late 40’s, later directing hundreds of New York based game shows for Goodson-Todman including the syndicated version of What’s My Line, I’ve Got a Secret, Beat the Clock, Choose Up Sides, Play Your Hunch, To Tell the Truth, Two for the Money. Among the other game shows he directed were the original version of The Wheel of Fortune (1952), Make a Face, Masquerade Party, Window Shopping, Music Bingo and Supermarket Sweep.
From: G9660 at aol.com
Sent: Sunday, October 17, 2010 11:13 AM
To: David Schwartz
Subject: Re: FW: Online Archive of American Television News

Dear David, It is with great sadness that I want to inform you that my darling Lloyd passed away last night at the age of 92. He was in good health until about 6 weeks ago, and then he went into kidney failure and died after only 10 days in the hospital. He was very fond of you, and looked forward to your E mail and phone correspondence.

Sincerely,
Ginny Gross

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hello,
I came across your web site while searching for family history information about my grand uncle Price Fish and found a reference to him in a post from June 14, 2001 in the message archives by someone named
"Adrian". Price died in January, 1992. He worked for many years as an engineer and my mother remembers him being in England in 1953 to cover the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. I was wondering if anyone in your
group would remember him and be willing to share a story or two, or maybe a photo. I only met him 3-4 times when I was a kid but I remember him being an avid photographer and I was very impressed that he owned a Leica camera. He graduated 1935 from William Penn College in Oskaloosa,Iowa.
Thanks.
George Fish
geo at netmdc.com
Tularosa, NM
I want to thank the people from Ameriprise, for sponsoring our luncheon, today.
Although our turnout was rather slender, I beleive that the attendees were grateful for the financial information.
This may be the last luncheon at the Swan Club due to low turnout, unless we make other arrangements with the management.
Another idea, that I proposed, was to combine our group with the ABC retirees, as they hold luncheons as well. They probably are suffering from attrition, as we are.
It might be interesting to meet with others in our industry and make some new friends!
Bern showed me his new license plate one year. It read FU-CBS.
He had to explain to the motor vehicle bureau what the letters ment and he was trying to make something up before he answered.

Cal Marotta
Dave and Dave

Check that info on the password show with Bern Benett in the early 60s. I seem to recall that the pilot show was shot after 1965, the pilot show used either the Videograph or Divcon Graphics equipment. To narrow in on the date a little closer it was around the time of the first rendevous in space. T C Alred operated the graphics equipment at this time and his hire at CBS was 1965. If I would have to guess at a year, I would have to select 1967.

Les Burkhardt

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bern was on CBS announcing staff starting May 1,1944.
He was probably the only staff announcer to work both in New York (1944 to 1960) and Los Angeles (1960 to ???)
I am in the middle of compiling some info on certain announcers, so I will send you others as I get them together.
according to my files here are the shows Bern Bennett announced (all on CBS):

24th annual Emmy Awards
Abe Burrows
Beat the Clock (1950-58)
The Bold & the Beautiful
By Popular Demand
The Clear Horizon (1960-62)
Danny Kaye Show
Ed Sullivan Show (two shows from Hollywood in 1965; may have also announced the show in 1948...I am not positive on that fact)
I've Got a Secret (some shows from Los Angeles in the early 60's only)
Jonathan Winters Show
Keep Talking (may not have announced all of the CBS shows)
Match Game '75 (filled in for Johnny Olson for one week....the only week Olson missed)
Password (some shows from the early 60's when it came to Hollywood)
Phil Silvers Show
Tournament of Roses Parade (from 1962 to 1998)
Sing it Again
Steve Allen Show (1950-52)
This is Show Business (CBS shows only)
To Tell the Truth (1956-60; appeared as a contestant on the show in 1991)
USA Canteen
The Verdict is Yours (1960-62)
What's in a Word?
What's My Line? (subbed for Hal Simms occassionally in the late 1950's)
Winner Take All (1948-50; not sure exactly when he started on the show, one of his first TV assignments)
The Young and The Restless (1973-?? he stopped doing it about 10 years ago or so)
Your Surprise Package (1961-62)
Your Surprise Store (1952)

Dave Schwartz

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Arthur Godfrey did a Show from Africa. Ozzie Presnel was his sound man...
Could Ozzie have used that Portable Sound System?
Regards,
Harold Deppe

Friday, October 08, 2010

Hi -

Working on a book about Arthur Godfrey, his activities and associates. I attended a lot of meetings of the NY-NJ retired group some years back. The contacts have all changed and I'd like to get back in touch. Doris was the secy then.I have since moved from Whippany NJ (I grew up in Morristown area) to VA and then Vero Beach FL. I'd like to get in touch with people in the Miami area group and will appreciate your help.


My contact info is below.Especially int'd in contacting the sound engineer who specialized in the portable sound system used by Mr. Godfrey on his ice shows and horseback things. Having senior moment now I can't think of either the name of the system (German sounding name?) or the name of the engineer who lived in NW NJ. I believe he has moved from their home NW of Dover, where I visited. Seems to me someone told me he moved to FL. Any help you can give me will be very much appreciated.


Best to all - 33s

Lee Munsick

1416 15th Ave.

Vero Beach FL 32960-3767

772 564-2911


Monday, October 04, 2010

Reminder!!
We have until this Saturday October 9th to receive your checks for the Fall Luncheon.
The price is low and time is short, don't delay send in your checks.

Tony Casola

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dave,
Sandy Bell sent me this. It might be of interest to the
website.
Harold Schutzman
http://www.theatermania.com/emailer/process_in.cfm/id/129297

This is a piece about Les Moonves
Dave
Out here (the West Coast), CBS studio scheduling dept has kept a very accurate record of
what shows were taped/broadcast from what stages.  (see attachment)
 
Does such a thing exist for the New York studios?
The files out here go back to 1955.
Today I had a call from a writer needing the information on what studio the
Revlon Revue came from in 1960 and this is one I had never determined.
My best guess was CBS Studio 52, where a lot of the variety shows, other
than the big ones (Ed Sullivan) came from.  By 1960, CBS was getting rid of some
of the theater studios (like the Maxine Elliott aka studio 51 and the Mansfield
aka studio 59)
 
Dave Schwartz

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Here is the definitive answer to the question about those last pictures.
It seems that this conversation has become bi-continental!
Dave

Hi, Howard,
Thanks for the kind words. Happy to help.
Equipment identifiers Jeff Kreines and Len Modzelesky areCC'd on this e-mail.
So is Harold Deppe, Jr., who picked up your need from the CBS Retirees website, and the CBS Retirees webmaster. Dave will likely post it for the retirees' edification. We'll let the QuadList and AMIA-List know, too.
The folks there might be interested in the background of the pictures.
Someone may have a clue or two as to what was being recorded. A number of CBC archivists are on the AMIA List. Who knows? They might have or know where to find the material seen on the machines!
I wonder whether the magnetic sound was being recorded along with VT and telerecordings (aka Kinescopes) for editing as film with later match-back using videotape?
NBC developed a very sophisticated process for doing so called Editors Sync Guide (ESG).
The late editor Art Schnieder described the process on a page of the late Quad engineer and computer editor designer Dave Calaway's Editing Museum website.
That site and Art's description is preserved in several places, including (guess where): http://www.vtoldboys.com/editingmuseum/esg.htm
So, let's keep in touch. There's a lot of knowledge and old war stories to share. Please pass the Quad Videotape Group website on to folks you know.
We'll be making more of our Links page soon and will include VTOldboys.
Have a great Weekend.

Ted Langdell,

Secretary for the QuadVideotapeGroup.com:
Preserving Tape, Equipment and the Knowledge to use them, in conjunction with the Library of Congress
ted at quadvideotapegroup.com

On Sep 17, 2010, at 4:23 PM, Howard Dell wrote:
Hi Ted,
Many thanks for getting back to me so quickly - and with the answer, too!
Google, of course, does know about Magnasync and presented a shot of the recording amplifier, although seemingly a slightly earlier version than in our old photos.
Perhaps you've had a look at the BBC OldBoys website www.vtoldboys.com - lovingly mastered by our Chris Booth, stuffed full of (mainly Quad) memories and stills of the BBC Television VT operation - mainly London with some remote stuff. I think we now have approaching two and a half thousand shots on the website starting from about 1960. The place was run by kids in those days!
All we know about that Magnasync setup is that the photos were taken by one of the BBC location engineers on 6 May 1960 when the BBC was covering the wedding of Princess Margaret. He stuck his head into the temporary installation of one of the foreign broadcasters who were taking the BBC video feed and grabbed the shots. The note on the back of the photos doesn't say who the setup belonged to, but it does say they were recording a French commentary. Now at that time Canada was still pretty close to the Royals - and the French certainly not (we're always sniping at each other) - so we reckon it was probably CBC.
Now here's an interesting thought. You can't see it clearly on the photo I sent you, but with magnification on the original you can read temporary Dymo labels on a couple of the recorders which identify them as VT23 and VT24. VT23 and VT24 were the numbers of two BBC Ampex VR1000 channels at that time. Were the Magnasync machines recording a second sync audio track of the VT recordings? Maybe English commentary on the VT, and French on the Magnasync? If so, what were they synching to - video or control track? It was many years before we ran separate sync audio as routine at the BBC, and then we used timecode. We never saw Magnasync machines.
Thanks for the invitation but sadly none of us will be at NAB - but we do have a reunion lunch next week at a pub not too far from Heathrow so you're welcome to join us! I have forwarded the URL of your Quad group to several guys - one who is occasionally still working with Quad for an archiving company and who may be worth sharing information with.
Please pass on our thanks to Jeff Kreines and Len Modzelesky for their swift and helpful replies. We can now caption those shots correctly!
Let's keep in touch.
Best Wishes,
Howard Dell.
16 Birkett Way
Chalfont St Giles
Bucks. HP8 4BH, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1494 764149
----- Original Message -----

From: Ted Langdell

To: Howard Dell

Cc: Deppe Jr

Sent: Friday, September 17, 2010 2:36 PM

Subject: Re: BBC boys question--What is this machine--Magnasync 602E

Hi, Howard,
Greetings from the US of A.
You'd asked the CBSRetirees.com website about what you thought was a "Picnsync" 16mm magnetic film recorder.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_JIm38sWB7Qc/TI03egATGBI/AAAAAAAAAWI/47kwRZrjj9w/s1600/pic-2.jpg

We have an answer for you, through several hands.
Harold Deppe, Jr is a video engineer with Quad experience. His Dad (Harold, Sr.) is one of the retirees whose name you'd likely see on the CBSRetirees.com website.
Harold Jr. saw your request on the retirees website and passed it on to me (SEE BELOW) thinking some of the folks on the Quad Videotape Group QuadList would be able to identify it.
I also thought someone on the Association of Moving Image Archivists list would have a good clue, so I posted a link to the photo there.
Via the AMIA-L, film maker/film equipment maker Jeff Kreines says:
On Sep 17, 2010, at 5:08 AM, Jeff Kreines wrote:
Magnasync 602E, 16mm.
Very common in the US, successor to the X400 series.
Jeff's post was quickly followed by Voice of America Moving Image Librarian Len Modzelesky, who just said, "Magnasync."
So, we hope this helps. Can you tell us more about the photo and how you came to need an ID?
Feel free to take a look around http://www.quadvideotapegroup.com and to join the QuadList. We have a number of members in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada, Germany and who knows where else.
If you're in the US for NAB, please join us on Tuesday for lunch at 12:30, somewhere within the complex.
With IBC just ended... might be fun to propose a Quad/Editing/Telecine gathering there.

Ted Langdell
Secretary for the QuadVideotapeGroup.com:
Preserving Tape, Equipment and the Knowledge to use them, in conjunction with the Library of Congress
ted at quadvideotapegroup.com
Hi Dave.

The photo of the tape recorder has 16MM Film reels.....could it be that
this recorder is recording audio on a 16mm film magnetic track?

Regards,
Harold Deppe
I have just posted the latest Newsletter. You will find it here:
http://www.cbsretirees.com/Newsletter%20Related/2010-10.htm

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 7th, 2010

George W. Smith

George W. Smith, 91, of Golden Acres Chatham Center passed away peacefully Thursday at Barnwell Nursing Home. Mr .Smith born April 3,1919 in New York City is the son of the late George and Florence Smith. George was a veteran of the U.S. Navy as a radio operator overseas during WWII. He was employed with Channel 11 News then retired from C.B.S. of 35 years as camera technician. He loved Ham Radio and talking on his computer with friends from all around the world, daily. Mr. Smith was active with the Tri-Village Fire Co. for a number of years. He was predeceased by his wife Helen Smith. Mr. Smith is survived by stepdaughter Geolen and her husband Thomas Mulroney. Grandchildren Kathleen Sanjar, Karyn Reineke and Linda Warren. Survived also by 7 Great Grandchildren and his close friend and caregiver Karen Twagor. He was a special man to all that knew him. Service will be private at the convenience of the family. For on-line condolences visit http://www.wenkfuneralhome.com/.
Hi.. Retirees,


It was sad to hear about W2jno ..before we all cross over the Rainbow
Bridge..
It would be great to hear from Retirees that can still ( see ) a Rainbow...
P.S... Its nice to hear from the U.K. I hope we can help them.

Best Regards,
Harold Deppe

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hi! and greetings from the UK.
We are the BBC VTOldBoys, the retired engineers and tape editors of BBC Television's videotape recording department. Our interest period is the golden age of TV - mainly quad recording through 1" and to the edge of the digital era.
Do have a look at our website http://www.vtoldboys.com/
And our friends and colleagues in the BBC studios (tech ops as they were known at the time) have their own site http://www.tech-ops.co.uk/
I discovered your site while googling for sources of remembered knowledge of old broadcasting kit. We need some help in identifying the audio recorders in these photos. Can any of your members help?


The machine is undeniably of North American design, but what is it? We think, by enlarging the name plate, and screwing up our eyes to read it, that it says Picinsync, or similar. There is a suggestion that the machines were recording a French commentary - could it be Canadian? Picinsync isn't known to Google and unfortunately I can't find any club or association for retired CBC engineers to ask them.
It would be great if any of your guys can throw any light on the mystery.

Best Wishes,
Howard Dell,
Sometime tape editor, BBC London.
howard at dell.myzen.co.uk
(replace the "at" with a "@")

Friday, September 03, 2010

W2JNO has passed on and crossed the Rainbow Bridge

I just spoke to George Smith's companion and she said that George passed away quickly, from pneumonia and cardiac arrest at the age of 91.
He has been cremated and there will be no services held.
I will publish a copy of the obituary as soon as it is published in the local newspaper, the Register Star in Chatham, NY.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Sad News
Hi Ted,
George Smith died last night. He was 91. No further details as yet.

73 from Joe Janovsky, w2ovf

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Digging back through our archives, I extracted this item for your perusal!
Dave

Sunday, September 22, 2002


I thought the following article would be of interest to most CBSers
========================================
                What was the first high fidelity recording?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
One might guess it was the invention of the 33 and 1/3 LP record by
Peter Goldmark at CBS Labs in the late 40s. That was certainly a big
leap forward in audio recording. It was also about the time that the
word hi-fi replaced the name record player or Victrola.
But that is not it. The player piano has to take that title. The
player piano had a roll of paper punched with holes that recorded the
key stokes on a piano. Compressed air was blown through the holes as
the paper scrolled by and a mechanism played the piano in the same
way that the holes were punched by the original artist. The system
became so sophisticated that extra tracks of holes were placed along
the edge of the scroll to provide such nuances as tempo and the
positions of the foot pedals. Since the piano was actually used to
recreate the original music from the piano roll (software!), it was
truly hi-fi!

The player piano (Pianola) was invented in 1896 and originally had
mechanical fingers to play the keys.
Other inventions in recording included the tape recorder, which
appeared in the USA right after the war. Captured German machines
were brought back in 1946 and they used metalized paper and plastic
tape. Bing Crosby helped fund the further development of the tape
recorder, which laid the foundation for the Ampex Company. Bing
wanted to be able to make recordings away from the record studios so
he could easily pursue his pastime of golf.

The Germans made tape recordings of propaganda radio broadcasts so
that they would sound "live". BTW The German engineers had a jump on
a source of plastic tape. The Germans produced a cigarette with a
fake tip on it made out of metalized plastic film. The tip looked
like our modern filter but it was only intended to give the
impression of being a cigarette holder. This happened around 1932
by the company we know as BASF.
There were some earlier U.S. & German recorders that used tungsten
wire, but they were not as good as tape.

Submitted by Ted Perzeszty
posted by Ted at 9/22/2002 02:45:00 PM

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

HI..RETIREES..

Lets hear from you..The Question is... The many ways Television has

changed..

should the word Television be changed to Computervision ??

Best Regards,

Harold Deppe

Monday, August 23, 2010

Here is a quote from Harold Deppe, extracted from our 2006 archive:
"In those days the camera was bigger than the lens--today the lens is bigger than the camera."
This is truer today than it was "back then!" A studio quality HD camera can now fit in the palm of your hand.
For those with time to kill, why not peruse the archives and relive some of the "good old days!"

Dave

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Harold Dow, Veteran CBS News Correspondent, Dies



Five-Time Emmy Award Winner Worked on "48 Hours" Since 1988 Premiere, Interviewed Patricia Hearst, O.J. Simpson

Longtime CBS News Correspondent Harold Dow died suddenly Saturday morning.

Dow has been a correspondent for "48 Hours" since 1990 after serving as a contributor to the broadcast since its premiere Jan. 19, 1988. Dow was also a contributor to the critically acclaimed 1986 documentary "48 Hours on Crack Street," which led to creation of the single-topic weekly news magazine.

"CBS News is deeply saddened by this sudden loss," said Sean McManus, president of CBS News and Sports. "The CBS News family has lost one of its oldest and most talented members, whose absence will be felt by many and whose on-air presence and reporting skills touched nearly all of our broadcasts. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Kathy and their children Joelle, Danica and David."

Over the course of his distinguished career at the network, Dow served as a correspondent for the CBS News magazine "Street Stories" (1992-93) and reported for the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," "Sunday Morning" and the CBS News legal series, "Verdict." He served as co-anchor on "CBS News Nightwatch" (1982-83), prior to which he had been a correspondent (1977-82) and reporter (1973-77) at the CBS News Los Angeles bureau.

He has covered many of the most important stories of our times, including 9/11, where he barely escaped one of the falling Twin Towers; the return of POW's from Vietnam; the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst, with whom he had an exclusive interview in December 1976; the movement of American troops into Bosnia and the Pan Am Flight 103 disaster. He also conducted the first network interview with O. J. Simpson following the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

"Harold Dow was a reporter for the ages. Insatiably curious, he was happiest when he was on the road deep into a story. He took pride in every story he did," said "48 Hours Mystery" Executive Producer Susan Zirinsky. "It was his humanity, which was felt by everyone he encountered, even in his toughest interviews, that truly defined the greatness of his work. He was the most selfless man I have known. It is a tremendous loss for '48 Hours,' CBS News and the world of journalism. I deeply miss him already."

Dow's reports have garnered him numerous awards. He has been honored with a George Foster Peabody Award for his "48 Hours" report on runaways and a Robert F. Kennedy Award for a report on public housing. He has received five Emmy Awards, including one for a story on the American troops' movement into Bosnia (1996) and one for "distinguished reporting" for his coverage of the Pan Am Flight 103 disaster (1989). He won an RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award, an Operation Push Excellence in Journalism Award and, for a "48 Hours" profile of Patti LaBelle. He also was recently recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists for his report about Medgar Evers, which was featured in the CBS News special "Change and Challenge: The Inauguration of Barack Obama."

Dow began his career at CBS News in 1972 as a broadcast associate. Before joining CBS News, Dow, who has been based in New York since 1982, had been an anchor at Theta Cable TV in Santa Monica, Calif. He was also a freelance reporter for KCOP-TV Los Angeles and a news anchor for WPAT Radio in Paterson, N.J. Dow became the first African American television reporter in Omaha, Neb., where he served as co-anchor and talk-show host for KETV Omaha.

Dow was born in Hackensack, N.J., and attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

©MMX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Gayle P. De Poli
1-646-354-1705 USA Mobile
1-877-840-2030 USA e-fax
1-203-724-2007 International e-fax
gayle.depoli Skype

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I have just modified the Archives selection to display as a drop down box. This will make it easier to select a particular range.

Dave

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

For a bit of nostalgia, here is the roster of luncheon attendees from ten years ago!

The luncheon attendees at the Swan Club, L.I.NY on April 15th,
2000. First-time attendees **

Actual attended 125

Peter Albis**
Bert & Alma Amian**
Tony Ancona
Charles & Ann Arcieri
Sid & Judith Bean **
Barbara Begelfer
Ann Brown**
Bob Brown
Jack Brown
Murray Brown
Gerald Bunting
Al & Renata Cafiero
Charlie & Terry Carambelas
Tony Casola
Vini Castrataro
Warran Chang
Herb & Betty Claudio
Peter Constantine
Bernardo Cosachov
Al Cosentino**
Bill Cote
Mike De Ieso
Steve De Ieso
Ann Deller
Peter Deller
Joe Digiovanna
Charlie & Isabel D’Onofrio
Morris Drucker
Paul & Jovanna Ducroiset
Adele Ellis
Adrian Ettlinger
Al Fabricatore
Edith Feinmel
Russ Gainor
Herb Gardener
Nick & Ronnie Giordano
Murray Goldstein
George & Carol Gray
Lou Griffo
Henry & Grace Guarini
Jerry Jeromack
Tony Joseponis
Manny Kaufman
Josephine Kavanagh
Fred & Babette Kiesel
Bert & Shirley Knight**
Herman Lang
Peter Locascio
Tom Lorenzen
Al Loreto
Joe Manzo**
Cal Marotta
Jim Martens
Frank Marth
Ron McGowan
Henry & Fran Menusan
George & Sylvia Miller
Dave Minott
Art & Lona Murphy
Bill & Lucille Murtough
Bill & Joan Naeder
Dick O'Brien
Joe & Terry Panico
Gene & Andrean Pasculli
Ted Perzeszty
Tony & Vicky Pizzarello
Ed & Doris Reardon
Charlie & June Rennert
Ricky Riccardi
Chuck Riker
Mike Salgo
Lou Scanna
Fred Schutz
Everett Schuval
Bob Shoppe
Kevin & Helen Slattery
Joe Spieler
Danny & Gladys Stevens
Jerry Sullivan
John & Anna Taddei
Ben Taussig
Dwight Temple
Artie Tinn
Phil Valastro
Arthur Voldstad
Jimmy & Dolly Wall
Ray Walsh
Bob & Camille Wilson
Charlie Wyker
Sy Yusem

After several days of downtime, we are finally back up and running again.
Our service provider has restored our data to the point before their crash
and if you find anything that looks like it is missing, or out of date, please
let me know at:
webmaster at cbsretirees.com

Dave

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fellow retirees:

I just finished watching a commercially produced DVD of the original
"Cinderella" broadcast live, in color, from Studio 72 on March 31, 1957.
Apparently the only surviving copy of the show, it was a poor quality 16mm kinescope.
There was a huge investment of money ($375,000) and PR leading up to the
broadcast, and it commanded the largest audience (115 million) up to that
time. Four months earlier saw the first use of videotape with the November 30,
1956 broadcast of "Douglas Edwards with the News" from TV City. Would it be
a leap to imagine that a (B&W) tape copy of Cinderella was made on either
the east or west coast? Would anyone have some insight or thoughts on this?

Regards,
Harold Deppe

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sad News

I'm sorry to report that Bruno Fucci passed away on July 22, 2010. I have no other particulars.

Ted P.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

End of an Era

With As the World Turns going off in September, that marks the end of CBS producing daytime soaps in New York.

CBS’ first TV soap premiered 60 years ago and was called “The First Hundred Years” and it lasted only a year and a half. It would be replace in June 1952 by a TV version of The Guiding Light, which had a much longer run.
CBS didn’t begin taping soaps in Los Angeles until 1960, with the premiere of Full Circle that year and The Clear Horizon as well as moving The Brighter Day from New York. None of these shows made much of an impact and all were gone by the end of 1962. CBS did not tape a soap here again until The Young and the Restless in 1973.
As far as I know, sample episodes of almost every soap exist (the ones I am not sure about are Hotel Cosmopolitan and A Woman without a Past)
As the World Turns even had a primetime spinoff in the mid 60’s, Our Private World.

Dave Schwartz

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

For those of you that want to have your own domain, which will allow you to set up websites and handle your e-mail without ever, again, having to change your e-mail address, take advantage of this half-price offer ($3.88/month) from the company than handles my personal websites and addresses.
Dave




Host your Web site with PowWeb!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I have updated our list of CBS employee's military roster.
You can view the list from the Home Page - In Memoriam.
Please examine and report any additions, deletions and/or corrections
to webmaster at cbsretirees.com.

Thanks,
Dave

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Here’s more on TC.
Tony was diagnosed with a brain tumor about (6) weeks ago and found to be terminal. He was then placed, because of declining health, into hospice care. He passed away Monday evening, June 14th, at the age of 72 years old.

Tony was employed at CBS since the days of 485 Madison Avenue (Grand Central Terminal).

With the exception of 5 years working for a bank, Tony worked at CBS until he took an early retirement back in 1998.

Tony is survived by his wife Annette, a daughter Michelle, and a son Russell; also 5 grandchildren.

Mark Carey

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tony Castro or TC passed away last week and was buried Saturday, June 19, 2010. I believe his full last name was something like Castro-Giovanti, but I am not 100% sure of the spelling. I got this from Dianna Asadorian. Tony Vitale may have some background on TC’s time at CBS.


Mark Carey

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tony Castro, draftsman at CBS Engineering, died last week. I do not have any details. I just got it in an email from a CBS friend. I am not sure who you would contact for details.

Mark Carey

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Robert J. Wussler, 73, died on Saturday, June 5, 2010, at home in Westport, Connecticut after a long illness. Wussler was internationally recognized as a leader and visionary in the television and sports industries, and held senior executive positions at CBS and Turner Broadcasting System.


Gayle P. De Poli

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I think someone needs to create a central portal for all things TV & radio, with links to all of these great collections.<

Re: CBS Program Book 1937-48


From a radio only perspective, I believe Susan and David S. Siegel have come as close as anybody with their "A Resource Guide to the Golden Age of Radio: Special Collections, Bibliography and the Internet" (Book Hunter Press, 2006).

Jim Cox
I am a PhD student at the University of Maryland's Journalism School
doing research into this program. I would like to be in touch with
anyone who remembers working on this show.

Many thanks!
James M. Baxter
jmbaxter at jmail.umd.edu

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Artie Tinn's daughter, Liz, called and reports the passing of her
father. Artie will be remembered as a long time member of TV Field
Operations and was in charge of many major remotes. He was also the
technical co-ordinater of NFL football for many years including Super Bowls. Funeral arrangements are:

Star of David Funeral Home
1236 Wellwood Ave
West Babylon. NY
Sunday, June 6, 12 Noon
631 454 9600

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

For Memorial day, I have added a list of all CBS personnel, both living and deceased, who have served in the Military. If there are any corrections, additions or deletions, please let me know. The list is available from our Home Page by clicking on the "In Memoriam" link or here: http://www.cbsretirees.com/memoriam.htm

Dave

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I came across your website today after being referred to it by a post on the QuadList. I am currently a TD at WWJ-TV in Detroit and have always been interested in the old television musicals such as “Cinderella” from March 1957. I believe it was produced at CBS Color Studio 72 in New York and the credits list Lou Tedesco as the TD. Do you have any information on the technical history of this production?

Steve Thomas
SENIOR EDITOR and TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
phone: 248.351.7905
e-mail: sdthomas at cbs.com

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More info on James Harrington


To All --

As many of you may have heard by now, our dear friend and longtime CBS employee Jim Harrington passed away unexpectedly yesterday.

Jim's family has made the following visitation/funeral arrangements:

VISITATION: Wednesday, May 19 -- 7-9PM
Thursday, May 20 -- 2-4PM and 7-9PM
Donohue-Cecere Funeral Directors
290 Post Avenue
Westbury, NY 11590
Tel.: 516-333-0615
http://www.donohue-cecere.com/

FUNERAL MASS: Friday, May 21 -- 10AM
Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church
534 Broadway (intersection of Broadway and Cherry Lane, east side)
Carle Place, NY 11514
Tel.: 516-334-6288
www.OLHOPE.org

The family has suggested that in lieu of flowers donations to the SIDS Foundation or the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation may be made.

Thank you.

Matty
SAD NEWS

For those on this list who have been friends of James Harrington, I learned that he had passed away today of a heart attack.

I don’t have any details so if you hear anything, please keep us in the loop.

I am saddened by the loss of Jim.

Dick Pinkham

Friday, May 14, 2010

SAD NEWS

Richard LaMotta died two days ago, he had a massive heart attack and went quickly.

The phone # for the funeral home is 914-769-0001, it is in Pleasantville NY. The wake will be held this weekend. There will be no funeral.
Hi it’s Tommy LaMotta—Richard’s son. I’m e-mailing you with some bad news, Richard died two days ago, he had a massive heart attack and went quickly.

I thought you would want to know. , I know you guys had mutual friends, if you can tell any of them that would be greatly appreciated.

The phone # for the funeral home is 914-769-0001, it is in Pleasantville NY. The wake will be held this weekend. There will be no funeral.

The home # is 914-666-0668

Goody Freed

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dave,

For years CBS technicians wintered in Miami Beach working on the Jackie Gleason show. The beautiful theatre which took on the name Jackie Gleason theatre has been violated badly in the last few years. First it was taken over by a concert promoter. All of the seats taken out to turn it into a "GA" house. No seats, standing room only. The Gleason Theatre was Miami's version of Radio City Music Hall. Now in an effort to redevelop the Miami Beach Convention Center, they want to tear the Jackie Gleason Theatre down. I'm attaching the link to the Miami Herald article.

The Fillmore Miami Beach may become extinct in one convention center proposal - Miami Beach - MiamiHerald.com

http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/04/22/1593835/the-fillmore-miami-beach-may-become.html

Gayle DePoli

Monday, April 26, 2010

The process of moving all our blogs is now complete.
Hopefully, there has been no loss of data and our postings can resume, normally.
This was due to Blogger/Google changing their policy and removing the ability to post via FTP. A bit technical, but thought you might want to know what was going on!
There is still a problem accessing the archives, but this should be straightened out by next week...

Dave

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

SAD NEWS

I just received this from Stan Mitchell

hi! Ted,
Just learned that Jim Paterson died this morning in Florida , 4/21/10.
He died of Pancreatic cancer.

Regards,
Stan Mitchell

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Here is the answer to my second trivia question:

The "Glockenspiel" was manufactured by Rohde & Schwarz.
I believe it was a TV signal analyzer/spectrum analyzer,
but the memory is fading...
(Their website doesn't mention any "nicknames.")

Dave

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mr. Schutzman -

Hello. Bob Sammon, Jr. here. I've been monitoring Dad's email account
for the past week in the event that he received mail from someone we
haven't contacted directly.

I have the sad duty to report that Dad passed away quite suddenly the
Saturday before Easter. My daughters and I were in town visiting with
him and we had a great time on Thursday and Friday. Dad was in great
shape and in great spirits. On Saturday morning he awoke with a severe
headache and within minutes we were unable to help him and called the
paramedics. He died quickly and peacefully with my family at his side
and his other children coming to be with him.

We held the wake on Monday after Easter and buried him on Tuesday next
to my Mother. He will be missed by all who knew him if the testaments to
his life are any indication of the way he was loved and respected.

I am sorry to have to share this news in this fashion but I felt you'd
like to know what happened. If there is anything else you need I can be
contacted at bob at bobsammon.com

peace,
Bob
We have less than 2 weeks for the CBS Luncheon deadline date(Saturday, April 24th). The response has been slow, so please start sending in your checks.

Tony Casola

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

When I first started working at the B.C. in the early '70s, our shop was located on the South wall of the building. We had a large box of fuses mounted on the wall, and when it was very sunny, the fuses would get quite warm. Whenever someone came in and needed a fuse, they asked us how come they were warm, and we would tell them that we "pre-heat" them to make them work better...

Dave
Hi Dave

For Harold Depp:

The first time I saw a Frame Sync was at Forest Hills Tennis. One morning,
George Nader drove up to the mobile unit and picked up equipment and
left. he was going to do camera on the Goodyear blimp. Later that day we
started to see pictures of N.Y.Harbor. The next morning when we arrived,
there was George waiting to pick up some more equipment. He
drove off and we powered up the monitors. On the blimp monitor was a
picture of the Statue Of Liberty. I knew he just left so how did the picture
get there? It took an awful lot of educating to make me understand why!

Super wipe.
I'm sure you saw the 3D tree of resistors and capacitors Ben Ackerman was
working on in the Field Shop, but who hung extra resistors and caps on it
when Ben went out to lunch one day ?
I think it was first used in the 1968 Convention with Cronkite in the lower right
corner Later that year we were out in Cheyenne Wyoming with the Arthur
Godfrey Show. There was a reporter from the local TV station watching. He
was going to ask Bob Hammer to be intervewed on the 6 o'cock news, but
he saw there was going to be a problem. He came to me. Dumb me, I agreed.
I assumed he was going to talk about Audio. First question he asked was
"How does the pictuere of Walter Cronkite get in the corner of the screen?"
I sat there with my mouth open. They went to a commercial.

Harold Schutzman

____________________________________________________________
Get Free Email with Video Mail & Video Chat!

Monday, April 05, 2010

How many remember... Ben Ackerman and the "Super Wipe?"
Frank Florio and the first Color shows at ST.72?
Telecine at Grand Central with the Iconoscope Film Chains,then Vidicons.
The Marconi Cameras at the B.C.?
It has been a long time...

Harold Deppe
To Jay Chichon,

yes Jay, I remember gen lock very well! Gen lock made a multiple remote broadcast a nightmare! Trying to convince a director that you could not dissolve or do split screens instantly without first "gen locking" became a challenge until-------frame synchronizers or as we called them"frame syncs"came along.shows such as NFL TODAy with its many football remotes made it necessary to find another way,the frame sync solved the problem.

regards,
Bob Vernum

And I remember when we got the first two Frame Syncs into the B.C.
They were in 7' high racks! Now they are in one rack unit frames
or just a single chip!
Dave

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Who remembers "Gen Lock"? In the early days of TV broadcasting each studio and remote originations had their own "Sync Generator". Thus you could not "dissolve" or cut to another video source without frame rolls etc. They developed "Gen Lock" to correct this problem but many times Directors did not consider this requirement and called for dissolves to remotes without warning the TD to Gen Lock to the remote.

Jay Chichon

Friday, April 02, 2010

Subject: Re: Large Machine

Part of the Enigma decoding system. Just after you posted this there was a whole story about it on the History channel.

Goody

Hi Goody,

It was called the "Bombe" and was developed here in the U.S. after the Bletchley gang, in England, gave up trying to decode the enigma stuff. It was only recently that our government acknowledged that it existed, and gave credit to the designers and all the women that did the soldering and "grunt" work.
supposedly, Alan Turing came over to inspect it and said that it would never work!

Here is an except from Wikipedia:

US Navy Bombe

US Navy bombe. It contained 16 four-rota Enigma-equivalents and was much faster than the British bombe.Funding for a full, $2 million, navy development effort was requested on 3 September 1942 and approved the following day. Commander Edward Travis, Deputy Director and Frank Birch, Head of the German Naval Section travelled from Bletchley Park to Washington in September 1942 to establish a relationship of "full collaboration" with OP-20-G.[25] An all electronic solution to the problem of a fast bombe was considered, but rejected for pragmatic reasons, and a contract was let with the National Cash Register Corporation (NCR) in Dayton, Ohio. This established the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory. Engineering development was led by NCR's Joseph Desch.

Alan Turing, who had written a memorandum to OP-20-G probably in 1941,[27] visited OP-20-G in December 1942, and went to NCR in Dayton on the 21st. He was able to show that it was not necessary to build 336 Bombes, one for each wheel order, by utilising techniques such as Banburismus. The initial order was scaled down to 96 machines.

The US Navy bombes used drums for the Enigma rotors in much the same way as the British bombes. They had eight Enigma-equivalents on the front and eight on the back of the machines. The fast drum, however, rotated at 1,725 rpm, 34 times the speed of the early British bombes. When a 'stop' was found, the machine over-ran as it slowed, reversed to the position found and printed it out before re-starting. The first Navy bombes became available in late May 1943. They were 10 feet (3.0 m) wide, 7 feet (2.1 m) high, 2 feet (0.61 m) deep and weighed 2½ tons.

Production was stopped in September 1944 after 121 had been made. The last-manufactured US Navy bombe is on display at the US National Cryptologic Museum. Jack Ingram, Curator of the museum, describes being told of the existence of a second bombe and searching for it but not finding it whole. Whether it remains in storage in pieces, waiting to be discovered, or no longer exists, is unknown.


Dave
Dave..

Did it have anything to do with Film or Mail in WW 2..?
Harold Deppe.

Nope!

There is a connection, however, to the British initials, "BP".
Not necessarily what you might think...
Looking back at the March 14th quiz that I posted, here is the answer to #1;

What piece (or pieces) of TV equipment had hidden "Easter Eggs"?
A clue is that with one, you could play a game of "The Towers of Hanoi."
Others played "Asteroids" and one displayed swimming fish?

What piece of test equipment was lovingly called "The Glockenspiel"?

Who was the manufacurer of, and what was a piece of test equipment whose initials
caused much smirking?

Here is the answer to question #1:

Tektronix 2232 Oscilloscope Easter Egg - The Wizard
1. turn the scope on
2. push the "ADV FUNCT" button once
3. push the "SAVE REF. 3" two times
5. move the "CURSOR"
6. now you have reached the so called "secret menu" here you can see a wizard on a skateboard or
the "TECTRONIX" logo or you can clear all memories..

Tektronix 601 Component SDI WFM/Vectorscope Easter Egg
Tektronix WFM601 Screensaver
1. Switch oscilloscope ON
2. Go to config menu
3. Select menu item REMOTE
4. Press bottom right option select switch which has the software version just below it on the screen.
5. You get a couple of the fish as seen on the 1751 but also greyscale waveforms and other stuff
floating around (confuses the heck out of operators if you leave it on the screen!)

Several oscilloscopes have contained Easter eggs. One example is the HP 54622D, known to have

an Asteroids clone (and even to save high scores in NV-RAM). Another is the Tektronix 1755A Vector and Waveform Monitor which displays swimming fish when Remote > Software version is selected on the CONFIG menu.

Dave

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Our new online Newsletter for 2010 has been slightly modified. You can view it at:
04-2010 Newsletter

We hope you are planning to attend what may be our last luncheon...
If so, please fill out the form at the bottom of the newsletter and
mail it in with your check, as soon as possible!

Thanks,
Dave

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In reference to the last "mystery picture", it has a connection to WWII.
Need a specific answe!
Dave

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Here is some more "announcer" info.

John Condon lives back east and Warren Moran lives in Arizona.
I probably have a few dates written down on paper someplace that I have not entered.
Alan Berns is still around but I have not been able to track him down.
I have no idea about Bill Martin, if he is still around or any biographical info. He did the Lowell Thomas news broadcasts for many years and filled in once as announcer on "To Tell the Truth", circa 1960.
I am in the process of scanning a lot of old press releases (very slowly on this project).

Dave Schwartz
The original "TV Girl"


Click here for the article:TV Girl

Courtesy of Dave Schwartz

Thursday, March 18, 2010

SAD NEWS

Received mail from Bill Naeder that Bob Callahan, who worked in technical maintenance, passed away on March 17, 2010.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Our Spring Get-together Luncheon will take place on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at the Swan Club in Glenwood Landing, Long Island, NY. We must have a minimum of 40 people. We're asking everyone to make an effort and come. This maybe our last catered affair, so perhaps you can bring family members and friends.

Tony Casola
Sad News,
Received mail from Mary Durante that Joe Desmond, who worked as a cameraman, passed away January, 2010, and Mary Ann Urban who worked in Bob Hammers office passed away January 24, 2010.

Tony Casola

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It is an Atwater Kent Radio, I sold one years ago from my wife's antique shop in Nyack, NY. There is an Atwater Kent Museum in Philadelphia, PA.
Goody
Ok, here are a few for the younger "techies":

What piece (or pieces) of TV equipment had hidden "Easter Eggs"?
A clue is that with one, you could play a game of "The Towers of Hanoi."
Others played "Asteroids" and one displayed swimming fish?

What piece of test equipment was lovingly called "The Glockenspiel"?

Who was the manufacurer of, and what was a piece of test equipment whose initials
caused much smirking?

Dave
Harry Charles:

Could This be an Atwater Kent Radio of the late 1920s in a Kiel table??

Harold Deppe

Dave, As long we're guessing, here is a picture of something. What is it?
how old is it? and has anyone ever heard of this company?
Keep up the flow!

Harry Charles
Mark Ogden.

I saw this 35mm sound on disc Projector at a Theater.
The year was 1930. It was quite a thrill to see a sound film at that time.
Thanks for your answer,it makes this Website interesting.

Harold Deppe
Sorry the Picture was just the turntable.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I'm not an old-timer ( at least not quite yet ), but the picture that Harold Deppe has posted is the base of a dual-system "Vitaphone" style film projector. The transcription discs would be placed on the turntable and be cued to an inscribed arrow while the film was cued to a start mark on the leader, and there was a sort of crude interlock between the two devices. The result was a rudimentary form of synchronized sound. Films like The Jazz Singer, The Cocoanuts and The Wedding March played in this system.

Mark Ogden
CBS N.Y.
Re: The picture from Harold Deppe of the black machine,
it looks like a record mastering lathe or transcription cutter.

Goody
Another day on "The Ernie Kovacs Show"

I think the show budget was about $1.50, so there was no
rehearsal or script. We learned that they did rehearse the
night before at one of their homes but the Director was not
invited. I kept asking, "what comes next" and always got
the same answer "how the hell would I know", from the
Director, Ned Kramer. J.Jack Howerton would never
ready a shot (because he didn't know what comes next.) He
would poke Jack and say, "take it".
When Jack went on vacation, Dick Crane did vacation relief.
Dick would not have any of the pokes or "take it". he got very
angry one day and yelled "DON'T POKE ME. READY THE SHOT.'
There was a lot of anger in the control room.

Harold Schutzman

Friday, March 12, 2010

First day of the new "Ernie Kovacs Show" in Studio 55, Lederkranz Hall.
Early afternoon, following "Bride And Groom".
Crew: TD- J.Jack Howerton, AO-Harold Schutzman, VO- Tony Philippe,
Cameras- Cass Gaylord, Teddy Sepp, Joe Sokota, SE- Russ Gainor
Dir.-Ned Kramer (spelling?)
Dir has Cam 2, Teddy,(on a small crane dolly) shooting Kovacs. Dir
tells Cam 1, Cass, to shoot Kovacs also. The only way he can do that
is to shoot ACROSS the tongue of cam 2. Dir now tells cam 2 to pull out.
Obviously cam 2 would have to pull out through cam 1 shot.
Teddy Sepp turns around,looks into the control room window and says
" HOW THE F---- CAN I DO THAT"? I didn't have to read lips.

With 12 minutes left in the show, Kovacs has run out of material. He whispers
to Edie Adams, "sing another song". She whispers back "I only rehearsed one".
Now he needs to fill about 10 minutes. He tell cam 3, Joe, to follow him. Kovacs
knocks down the set(stage left).There is a door out to a fire escape to the
backyards of the houses of Park Avenue. Kovacs has Joe shoot the windows of these
houses on Park Avenue.
All this was only day one. There were many days like it.

Harold Schutzman
With regard to Harold Deppe's question about why use film when video
tape is available? I once asked Red Steiger that very question. His
answer: not all TV facilities had video tape. In fact, I recall
watching a recording of The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite done
on film for eventual use with affiliates in Alaska who did not have a
live connection with the network.
They had to originate all their programming via film from the lower
48. I especially noticed that the video display on the monitor
associated with the recorder had -very- strange colors. Turns out,
for good film recordings, they had to adjust the levels of colors to
make a good film.

The 1973 photo certainly appears to be a recording system I can see
FR-2 on the frame of one of the racks, plus a tall rack with "Eastman"
clearly visible. That sure smacks of film recording.

73 de Ray Sills

Thursday, March 11, 2010

For those that are interested in the history of TV Equipment, see:

"http://www.tech-notes.tv/History&Trivia/history_of.htm"


Jay Chichon
Don't forget in the early days we needed a standards converter to play tapes in Europe & South America. Red was quite a guy, he did a lot of tape to film transfers. He transferred a cassette tape for me to 16mm which I was able to project at the Imax theater onto a screen & the picture was acceptaby clean, beautiful. There was a B/W film recorder which Red had that you could take the film & go right to a projector & play. It was pre-tape & as I understand was used mostly for news. Unfortunately Stan Greene in his infinite wisdom gave it away & according to Steiger, cost CBS a number of paying clients. Was that what was called a Kinescope recording? Red knew the value of film & worked everyday to bring in more inside/outside work for his department.
Goody
I remember working in Film Services where we put film commercials on reels and then sent them down to telecine for projection. The room we worked in had bins which stored the film commercials in alphabetical order. I do remember making up the super bowl film reels air and standby with such care, and then having them re-checked by two supervisors before going for screening in our screening rooms. Al Kelly, Ed Peraza and Al Deltoro and Vince Romelo were film supervisors. Joe McDonald and John Wyman worked the film projection room which were used for quality control and timing of the shows by our AD's. We also supplied film for the local WCBS broadcasts, and we spent many stressed hours waiting for commercials to arrive and then integrated into the local news show. Last minute changes were common and we all ran around like chicks with our heads cut off. The work also included doing commercial integration into prime time shows and Saturday and Sunday cartoons. I enjoyed working with the guys who all groused about how boring it was, but I knew I would have a steady pay check that did not bounce and was grateful for the opportunity I had gotten when I was hired by Irving Rosenberg the director of Film Services. We were all a collection of characters from different walks of life but who could forget the imprint they left on us. I remember one in particular who was an un-sung hero of the fight for Israeli independence. Richard (Dick) Fallon, was the Navigator of the Gun running ship the Alata Lena which helped bring guns into the underground fighting the British. Dick passed away and at the funeral he was honored by the Israeli government, and those of us who worked along side this quiet humble man never new who or what he was. Then we had Harry the Horse Heisner who could eat fire hot peppers with a corned beef sandwich and not blink and eye. We also had a world war two combat photographer named Al Attars and Phil Weinstein who worked doing films for the government at the old Silver Cup factory in Queens, NY. These are just a few of my recollections, Mike Singer, Bob Villandre, Al Townsend, Al Thompkins, Pat Murtha but to name a few, but I am sure it will jog the memory of those who read our site and perhaps peak their interest and they will contribute.


Are there any old timers out there that would know what equipment this is?
I saw this in operation 80 Yrs ago ...by the way, if there are any old timers
out there, we would like to hear from you.. Hint that is a 16" Disc.

Regards,
Harold Deppe

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I have corrected the picture in Harold's last post.
Any comments, now?

Dave
Harold,

I think that setup was one of Red Steigers devices. I recall him telling me that there was a demand in certain areas of the world for film versions of our programing. I was told that Red made a lot of money for CBS with these film versions of programs.

Jim Herschel
Dave is right. this is a triplex machine used to play back slides,16mm and 35mm film. As a matter of fact you can see a small reel on the 16mm machine. thats was probably a 20 sec, 30 sec or 1 minute commercial. The only recording that was done on 16 mm film was in TVR run by Red Steiger also known as kinescope. That later became VT recording for CBS archives.

Bruno

Actually, Harold sent me the wrong picture!
I will correct that later today or tomorrow.
Dave

Sunday, March 07, 2010


I have a question. This is a Photo of a machine in Telecine at the B.C.center in N.Y.
It records live Video on 16mm.Film.The film comes out the back end ready for projection. The question is, why use this machine when we had many Video Tape
recorders? If not known, could you please Post..Thanks.
P.S. The Photo was taken in 1973
Regards,
Harold Deppe

Click on image to enlarge.
Dave

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dave Schwartz

Here is some updated info on announcer biographical dates

Gaylord Avery 7/6/1918 Minnesota-3/11/96 San Francisco, CA

Don Baker 2/26/1903 Ontario, Canada-11/12/68 Hollywood, CA

Wes Battersea 9/26/1908 Colorado- 12/65 exact date unknown

Ford Bond 10/23/1904 Louisville, KY-8/15/62 Virgin Islands

Don Briggs 1/28/1911 Chicago, IL-2/3/86 Los Angeles, CA

George Bryan 6/9/1910 New York, NY- 6/27/69 Stamford, CT (CBS staff 1940-69)

Nelson Case 2/3/1910 Chicago, IL- 3/24/76 Hollywood, CA

Hugh Conover 3/27/1915 Washington DC- 9/27/92 Morgan Hill, CA

more to come....

Dave Schwartz

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Herschel

Harold,

I have a different take on your comment regarding "more commercials than entertainment - Greed" Well it makes money for the Networks and keeps my monthly retirement check coming!
I have been quite fortunate in my lifetime having visited 59 different countries. It's been my observation that the good old USA has the best television programing than anywhere else in the world. The crap that I have seen on foreighn TV bores me to death.

Jim Herschel

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Deppe

Hi Goody,

Yes I was in Maintenance. and there could be both on this Website..
Technology and operations....more commercials than entertainment.?..GREED..
Thanks for your input your'e so right...hope we see more action..

Harold

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Freed

Hi Harold,

If I were to guess I'd say you were in Maintenance, is that right? Operations techs are more people persons so we dwell on those things. However, we're always willing to learn. If you think equipment is what you'd like to hear about have at it but as I recall we've had plenty of shop talk. Would you care to reiterate? To you the Golden Days were the advancements in technology, to me the advancements were in programming. Unfortunately technology continues to advance & programming is going the other way. When did it all fall apart? I used to think the commercials were separations in the program now it's the other way around. We used to have four or five channels of exciting entertaining, well engineered shows that seems to have lasted for about twenty to twenty five years then they became fair to midlin' shows now we have a hundred or more stations of mostly controlled news, not funny comedies & fair to poor entertainment. The internet has taken over & those of us without computers or access to it are being lost to our old friends. As you can see, I've lost a few hundred of mine in the past years. Too bad we can't get more of the techs, former (you know who you are because I've mentioned this to some of you personally) & present day, to acknowledge this website & submit gems in order to keep it more vibrant. To any of you who know someone who you feel can add to this site give them a nudge. This place is important, it's like maintaining a family genealogy. Sorry, I do tend to ramble. Looking forward to hearing from more of you. Goody

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Deppe

Retirees...

Are we no longer interested in this Website ?
It is sad that we are not keeping up with the Golden Days Of Television...
as I remember it was great to be around to see us go from the Iconosope
Camera T.V.R. Video Tape and Color Television.. anyone still interested.???
Best Regards,
Harold Deppe

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

MBC

Dear Friend of the MBC:

I am happy to announce that our latest book Chicago Television is now available at www.Museum.TV.
With more than 200 vintage photographs and illuminating commentary, media critic Robert Feder says the book is:

"a glorious and nostalgic journey through the first 50 years of the medium."

I am also very happy to report that the MBC will soon restart construction on our new home thanks to a $6-million capital grant from the State of Illinois.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has delivered on the long-promised appropriation and we appreciate his strong support. Governor Quinn understands Chicago’s important role in American broadcasting history as well as the role of the MBC in preserving that history.

Yours truly,

Bruce DuMont
Founder/President & CEO
The Museum of Broadcast Communications
676 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 424
Chicago, IL 60654
http://www.museum.tv/

Monday, February 01, 2010

Gil Miller is living in Scotland. His e-mail is gilpat27@aol.com Also he's on Skype at gil.miller27

Marty Solomon is still around NY. Last know e-mail is: rilees7k@yahoo.com

Steve Laxton the freelance TD? Unfortunately Steve passed away about 5 years ago from a sudden heart attack. Way too soon. Way too young. He was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame this December. Below comes from the SVG Sports Video Group website.

Steve Laxton

When it comes to life on the front bench of a sports production, it is often the technical director who is in the hot seat. The role demands a tremendous amount of focus and clearheadedness, for it is the technical director (TD) who turns the mental vision of the director and producer into a comprehensive story that smoothly takes the viewer from one camera shot and replay to the next.



At first glance, the position can appear to be nothing more than pushing buttons on a production switcher. But the late Steve Laxton, who served as technical director for NBC Olympics beginning in 1988 and also freelanced for ABC, CBS, ESPN, and HBO, transformed the role for future generations.



“He was not just a button pusher,” says Dave Mazza, NBC Olympics, SVP of engineering and Laxton’s predecessor as NBC Olympics TD. “He would design and develop graphic looks and transition elements, and he would build disks of effects for other TDs.”



Laxton’s creative juices surfaced in his personal life through a love of music, playing guitar, and gourmet cooking. “He was very thoughtful and caring,” says Nancy Laxton, his widow. “He loved the beach and was always on the edge with things like cave diving and ice climbing.”



His desire to push the limits surfaced professionally in a love for the creative process. “He would get involved in the creative process earlier than most,” says Mazza, “and he had a knowledge of what was possible with the tools.”



More important, Laxton had strong relationships with his directors, particularly with Bucky Gunts. The two began working together in 1988 on NBC’s late-night show from the Seoul Olympics. Gunts and Laxton would work together on five Olympics, the last four as director and technical director, respectively, of the primetime Olympics broadcast.

“He was very creative as well as a tremendous engineer,” says Gunts. “He also wouldn’t allow anything to go on the air that wasn’t perfect.”



Going for Gold
That perfectionism resulted in long hours of building effects and other elements. Often, he would use subtleties, such as shadows, that would be appreciated only by him and Gunts, but they were part of his quest for perfection.



Solid, intuitive communication between the director and TD is the key to on-air success. For Gunts and Laxton, that communication often didn’t need words because they both knew what to do in certain situations.



Opening Ceremonies like those at the Athens Olympics were a favorite, and Gunts recalls Laxton’s simply giving him a quick look when he thought Gunts was staying with a shot too long: “He was always making sure the right thing was on the monitor.”



Laxton was born on Oct. 18, 1955, and, the son of Navy officer Roy Laxton, lived in numerous places, including Morocco, Taiwan, Japan, and the U.S. He graduated from high school in Japan in 1973 and attended Florida State University. He began his career at WTSP Tampa Bay, FL, in 1982 and joined F&F Productions, located in Clearwater, FL, as editor in 1987. While there, he began to build a reputation as a top-level talent.



“He was extremely talented in all facets of the job, whether the creative side or the editing side,” says F&F Productions VP of Engineering Bill McKechney. “He was a great guy to work with.”



In 1988, Laxton made the jump from F&F Productions to NBC Olympics, working on the Seoul Summer Games. That move began a period of his career in which his work influenced a generation of technical directors.



“He was always very generous with his time and more than happy to teach and spend time with other TDs,” says Gunts.



Technology Innovator
While Laxton spent most of his professional time driving production switchers for major sporting events, he also drove innovation and product development for such manufacturers as Sony, Abekas, and Philips. Helping Sony build a production switcher capable of competing with the Grass Valley production-switcher line was a key contribution.



Charlie Steinberg, then president of Sony Broadcast, brought Laxton in as a consultant based on input from those who worked in the sports-production field. Laxton relished the opportunity.



“He came to us and used the production switcher extensively,” says Steinberg, “helping us know what features were needed and what features could be cut because they were of little value and, by cutting them out, we could cut costs.”



The real benefit was making the switcher easy for technical directors to use. “You can do almost anything technically, but the question is, what is required by the technical director and what is the man-machine interface?” says Steinberg. “For a technical director, you need an absolute perfect interface that is readily operable by the user. And Steve gave us the input to make that happen.”

Laxton died of a heart attack on Dec. 2, 2005, but his legacy lives on and, next February, will once again be front and center during NBC Olympics coverage of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.



“He was the best,” says Gunts. “We always prided ourselves on being a step above, and he helped us have a very classy and clean look on air. He is sorely missed.”

-- Ken Kerschbaumer

Gayle P. De Poli
1-646-354-1705 USA Mobile
1-877-840-2030 USA e-fax
1-203-724-2007 International e-fax
gayle.depoli Skype

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Subject: Johnny Brennan

Hi Mr Freed.

My father started CBS in 1950 and was on the Ed Sullivan show as a camerman.
He also did the Ken Murray show, Fred Waring, Arthur Godfrey, Person to
Person , As The World Turns , Love of Life,Darren McGavin, 60 minutes,
Goodson Todman. This is just a few of the shows that he did. Johnny was
with Studio Show Crews of technical operations.
He mentioned many names and remembers you as well. Patty Finn, Bill Kenny,
Norm Ferro, Casey Caughey, Herb Claudio, Stan Gould, Dennis Pat McBride,
Charlie Lyons, James Mcarthy, Fred Schutz, Don Morrow (Guest Voice overs),
Frances the makeup artist and many more. I am going to be setting him up
a FB page in the near future in hopes he can reconnect with some friends.

My Dad mentioned perhaps it was "Johnny Brennan" the stage hand
who had passed.

Thank you for your email. It made my dad's day.

Laura Brennan Stellwagen