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
Do we know the whereabouts or life condition of any of the following:

Jay Jackson ; Val France; Tony Tobia; Herb Foster; Sy Elliot; Len Ufland; Gil Miller; Bob Jegle: Stan Mitchell; Jim Patterson; Bob Hanford; Bob Oswald; Kim Gregory; Bill Kenny; Jim Kinney; Vic Milano; Vern Surflis; Pete Prescott; Joe Gregory; Marty Solomon; Steve Laxton.

Also, maybe you can ask the members to fill in the proper dates of passing for those already on the list?

Goody Freed

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thomas Brennan

Hello CBS Alum,

You have Johnny Brennan deceased in 2006.
All I can say is, there must be another Johnny Brennan.

John Thomas Brennan age 85, who worked out of CBS 57th street and Blackrock Bldg , and was one of the first Cameraman on TV for CBS is still alive and well! Needless to say , he made a humorous reference to the fact that he was listed as deceased. I do not believe I can write it in this email. Ha, Ha.

He still reminisces about his TV family at CBS. If you have any questions please email me.

By the way , He is looking to replace a CBS hat that he has had for years. Any idea where I can get one for him? He just wants the CBS logo with the eye.

Good to see this site still up and running. Does this site have a Facebook account/link?


Lauren Brennan Stellwagen
mommystell at

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jane Klain

Dear CBS retirees,

I wanted to alert you to the passing of a CBS retiree - -
Frances Buss Buch, the first woman television director.
She worked exclusively for CBS from 1941 to 1953.
Here’s some information about her life and career:

The first woman television director, Frances Buss Buch,
died on Tuesday at the age of 92. In 2007, the Paley Center
feted her as one of the “She Made It” honorees that year and
New York Women in Film and Television held a reception honoring
her as well which she attended. It was at that time I got to
know and spend time with her.
She was a remarkable pioneer and a fascinating woman.

I’ve attached the biographical profile that the Paley Center
wrote about Frances on its “She Made It” website (with a photo
that she vetted). She was the very first woman to have a
contract as a director.

What is fascinating about her television career is that she
directed and produced programs in all genres from game shows
(where she was the first Vanna White as score keeper to the
1941 CBS Television Quiz program, to one of the first cooking
shows (Dione Lucas Cooking Show), from baseball games to dramas
with the young Nicholas Ray as her assistant director on the 1946
“Sorry, Wrong Number”) and even Mike Wallace’s first series
“Mike and Buff.”

Here is the biography we wrote about her:

Frances gave a part interview to the Academy of Television
Arts and Sciences which is online and I’ve attached the Academy’s
official timeline for her life and career.

A 2008 article about Frances in the Winston Salem Citizen-Times:,+2008

And the April 3, 1949, the NY Times profiled her as a “distaff director”

If you wish to speak to her great nephew, Mark Spencer,
he can be reached at cell: 847-287-0409.

Following is an obit that her family wrote:

Frances Buss Buch, 92, of Hendersonville, died on January 19
at Four Seasons Elizabeth House.
She was the daughter of the late Theodore Francis Buss and
Helen Shultz Buss and wife of William Henry Buch, who died in 1998.
She is survived by her sister, Mary Keating of Hilton Head Island,
SC; a niece, Frances Keating Spencer of Inverness, IL; and her
devoted friends, Kathleen and Dennis Stauffer.
Frances loved performing from an early age.
As young teens she and her sister acted and sang three times a week
on a St. Louis radio program that promoted safety to children.
Later she performed in local theater and she attended
Washington University, but left college to seek her fortune on the stage
in New York City. While taking acting classes, performing off-Broadway
and modeling she took a temporary job at CBS television as a receptionist.
Soon thereafter she was asked to be in front of the camera in a
variety of programs, which were all live and in black and white.
By 1945 CBS promoted her to become the first woman director/producer
in television. For this pioneering work the Paley Center for Media
inducted her into the “She Made It” class of 2007, which also honored
Paula Zahn, Candice Bergen, and Andrea Mitchell, to name a few.
During World War II, while directing and producing U.S. Navy
training films in Florida, she met her beloved Bill, whom she married
in 1949. After directing the first color television program in 1951
for CBS, she retired to become a fulltime homemaker. She and Bill
lived in New Jersey from 1954 until he retired.
They moved to Hendersonville in 1985.
Frances loved everything in nature, especially the birds that
came to her feeders and the plants in her garden, many of which
she could identify by their Latin names. She delivered Meals On Wheels,
volunteered as a literacy tutor, and served as secretary of the
Birding Club (Not sure if the club name is right name.
I will check with Kathleen on this).

There will be no services.
A future memorial gathering is being planned.

Please let me know if you have any questions,

Thank you,

Jane Klain
Manager, Research Services
The Paley Center for Media
25 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 621-6631 (p)
(212) 621-6646 (f)
jklain at

TVs First woman Director Dies

On 1/21/10 3:24 PM, "David Schwartz" wrote:

I just got word this afternoon that Frances Buss, who was the first women director at network television (CBS) died earlier this week.

She began working for CBS in 1941 and was an on camera assistant to Gil Fates on the CBS Television Quiz. In the mid 40’s she began directing shows for CBS and was one of the two directors on the first color TV broadcast in June 1951. She directed many of CBS’ color shows that summer including a Brooklyn Dodger broadcast.

She was also the director of Winner Take All in 1951 for CBS and Mike & Buff (Mike Wallace & Buff Cobb). She retired from CBS in the mid 50’s.

Several years ago she did an oral interview for the TV Academy’s “Archive of American Television”

The Archive of American Television interview with Frances can be found here. Nice, feisty lady.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bruno Fucci

My heartfelt condolences to Goody for the loss of his wife. Yes I do rememebr her on the picket line.
I was a picket captain and she could never do enough for me or the other pickets. She used to answer the cab drivers every time they passed by and asked us to go back to work as they missed the late show and the late late show. God bless.............Bruno Fucci

Bob Vernum


When I was hired at CBS, my first assignment was the morning show with Jack Paar. I was assigned to G.C. studio 41 as a utility man. During my stay on that show, Jack went on vacation, his replacement was a young man from the midwest---Johnny Carson! I believe it was his first network gig. Pupi Compo was a blast as he constantly tried to get laughs while Jack was on the air. Jonathan Winters was also a regular along with Charlie Collingwood as the news anchor, the audience was composed of mostly cab drivers who were wooed to come up with the promise of coffee and doughnuts. Jonathan Winters "entertained them with jokes" not more than 50 feet from Jack's desk! It all seems like yesterday!

Bob Vernum

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sol Tabachnick

If my mind hasn't gone completely:
The first morning show was from studio 42 with Jack Paar, Pupi Compo and band and Betty Clooney. Then came Will Rogers Jr. and then the show moved to studio 41 with Walter Cronkite. When it went to studio 41, I was assigned to the Eidophor projector.

Sol T

Goody Freed

Sad news:

I am sorry to inform you that my wife Judith Freed passed away this morning, January 19th. 2010. She passed after a long battle with mutiple illnesses. Some of you may remember her from the strike in the seventies, feeling that the wives had as much at stake as the workers she organized them & with their children they walked the picket line, much to the dismay of many brothers & the union officials & pressed 1212 & CBS, namely Arthur Taylor, for talks leading to a settlement. For twenty three years or so she had her "Oaken Bucket" & "Judith Antiques" shops in Nyack & again in Atlantic City. Born in Brooklyn, a graduate of PS 167 & Erasmus High School, Judy an avid reader, had fond memories of the Brooklyn Dodgers & Coney Island. After over fifty years of marriage she will be missed.

goody freed

Monday, January 18, 2010

Harry Charles


It was interesting to see the 1957 Log pages. That was right in
the middle of the time I spent switching in St 43, I might have even
been on that day...When I go to the "Articles" page any subject, I get a
Not Found message. On two different computers. Is it me or what? Regards
to Holly...........Harry Charles

For those having a similar problem, please ensure that you have the
Acrobat reader installed, as most of these articles are in PDF format.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


There were also Studio 43 and 44 at Grand Central.
St.44 had a Children's Show ..Lucky Pup.. Host. Doris Brown,
Video. Nat. DeGutz.
ST 43 was Film Control.. Joe Cook ..Harry Charles. Etc..

Harold Deppe

P.S. ST.41 at Grand Central had the shows, "You
Are There".. and.. "Person To Person".

Sol T

My days at Mama were at studio 58 on 10th Ave. Frank Protzman was TD
Sol T

Dave Schwartz

Several years ago, a friend of mine gave me this copy of something he had in his collection. (This is in reference to the OP Sheet I just added to our collection- Dave) Gady pulled some studio information off some of these logs he had.

Great stuff helping us determine exactly where these shows originated from.

It would be great to find some paperwork for 1953-54-55 as I have incomplete info on where many shows came from in those years.

Dave Schwartz

9-30-57 OpLog

I have just updated our 'Articles" section with an Op Sheet from 9-30-1957.
This might bring back a few memories for some of us!
Click here to go directly --> =""

Bob Vernum

I believe, Harold, that Mama was broadcast from Grand Central-BUT- I was in 61 for the last Mama show in the mid '60s. That was about the same time that the next generation of RCA cameras were delivered to 61. I believe they were TK30s. The other video man was either Mike Terrel or Nat de Gutz. Mama went on the air with brand new cameras.

Bob Vernum

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sol Tabachnick

You are correct, but that was before my time at CBS.
Sol T

Harold Schutzman


Harold Deppe is correct. Both "Danger" St.41 and "Man Aagaist Crime" St 42 as well as "I Remember Mama" broadcast from Grand Central. Those years were my first at CBS.
I played records on all three shows. Paul Hale was the audioman on Mama show

Harold Schutzman

Harold Deppe


It has been a very long time, and my memory is not very good did not the
Danger Show come from the Grand Central Studios.? also, Man Against

Harold Deppe

Sol Tabachnick

A little late but let me weigh in on the studio 61 remembrances. I had the pleasure of working there in the '50s and '60s. Ther are many programs sent live out of there. Some of them OMNIBUS with Allistair Cook. Then there were two mysteries. One was Danger and the other name escapes me. Danger has great mishaps.The studio had two loading doors. One on the north side and one on the south side. The north led directly onto 76th street. The south led through an alley between two apartment houses to the street. They decided to use the alley for a big bang 'em up shot. We rehearsed all day and at dress rehearsal they let loose with the gunshots and all. Well the police arrived and it was a mess. Seems no one told the neighbors. We did get the show on the air. Another time an actor left after dress reharsal.
The director put on one of the old stage manager's gray box and headset, had his head bandaged to cover the headset and the AD and some assistant read him the lines.
Now, I think the maintence guys there at the time were Sol Held and Heinz Milark. Greg Harney was the resident lighting director. And I truthfully don't remember the crew as I was floating at the time. I was assigned to no crew. The most famous incident there was during a rehearsal of "For Whom The Bell Tolls" Directed by John Frankenheimer Starring Ingrid Bergman and Maureen Stapleton. During this rehearsal Maureen stopped in the middle of a difficult scene and turned to the camera and said," I know who you have to F--- to get on a show, But who do you have to F--- to get off it."
With that I'll go quietly back to my fired up remembrances every time I access the website.
Thanks for prodding my memories and to any of my old coworkers , hello and stay safe.
Sol Tabachnick

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ron Cooper

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.


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

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

Dave Cooper

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Articles & Listings

I have finally updated the "Articles" link from the Home Page.
This section now includes all information that I have received in the past.
As new information is obtained, it will be added to this section.
Most of these are courtesy of the New York Times.


More About the Studios

"The Edge of Night" did air from the east side 76th Street studio.
At the time I joined the SFX department in 1975, Edge was broadcast
live from that location. Sid Bean was the SFX guy for the show at
that time.

Wikipedia has this to say:

"The Edge of Night (also known as Edge of Night) is a long-running
American television mystery series/soap opera produced by Procter &
Gamble. It debuted on CBS on April 2, 1956, and ran on that network
until November 28, 1975; the series then moved to ABC, where it aired
from December 1, 1975, until December 28, 1984. There were 7,420
episodes, with some 1,800 available for syndication."

Sid went on vacation during the interval when the show was preparing
to move to ABC. So, they started videotaping the shows, doing two
shows one day, and one show the next. It took about a month for them
to get two weeks worth of shows in the can, which is what they needed
to make the move.

And Jim is quite correct that -this- was not the studio that he
designed. Most of the theater was in it's original condition. The
SFX "booth" was simply an area up in a mezzanine or balcony that had
been "walled off" with heavy curtains to provide some sort of sound
isolation. The SFX console was a vacuum tube design with plug-in
modules, that had three variable speed turntables and four tone arms,
plus an outboard McKenzie cartridge tape player, and a single
outboard LP turntable. When Jim's design debuted, there was a real
room for SFX, with a newly designed SFX console, with three variable
speed turntables, each with two tone arms and a DJ style cross-fader
on each. The audio path also had a 12 input Neve solid state mixer,
and eight audio cart machines, including two that were record-playback.

ATWT eventually returned to the BC, and the east side studio was
closed. In January 2000, the show moved to it's current Brooklyn

Ray Sills

Saturday, January 02, 2010

There sure seems to be a lot of confusion about the East Side Studio. I guess my memory is no better than many of my colleagues but I am quite clear on some details. The "Edge of Night" Studio referred to by Harold Schutzman cannot be the same studio I designed. My studio was several years after the Grand Central era. It also was several years after the Court Theater. There very well may have been an East Side studio used by "Edge" but I'm sure it predates my employment at CBS 1965-1995. For a period of time my duties at CBS Engineering & Development had me responsible for all the design projects for all the NY Studios outside of BC. I got to do many projects around town during my tenure.

I clearly remember that the Project justification for building my East Side studio was specifically to move ATWT out of BC Studios 41 & 42 which CBS wanted for other uses. The theater at the time we were starting the project did not have any TV control room . It still was configured as I descibed with audience seating. The conversion of the stage area and orchestra gave a studio floor area that was roughly equivalent to the combined square footage of studios 41 & 42. I do remember that the interior of the theater had some very fancy decorative wall treatments which were not damaged during the renovations and remained intact. One feature of the theater was its domed ceiling. In my dealings with Facilities Engineering I predicted that we would have acoustical problems unless we did something to that area. Because of cost restraints, Facilities said that we would address that problem if it actually occurred. After the lighting grid was installed and the stage area was complete, I was proven right, since the curved surface of the dome focused any sound on the stage back down to the floor. Oops! They had to hang , at great expense, a lot of vertical sound absorbing panels above the lighting grid to correct the acoustics.

Where the new Studio missed its mark was that the attached scenery storage building was not large enough to accomodate the show's storage requirements. This made the ATWT folks unhappy and they eventually asked to return to BC.

None of these facts shed any light on the actual studio designation number but I offer them for their historical value and I really didn't have anything better to do today!

Jim Herschel