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
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