Monday, February 28, 2011

I find the posts from the retirees and other very interesting.   
When I was a little boy and before I became infatuated with the on-air
part of  radio, all I wanted to do was work behind the TV camera. I had
no idea what went on but I wanted to be part of getting the program on
the air and let the on camera people do their thing. I wish I'd pursues
that interest. However, I did get a small taste of it. I once ran camera
for a cable TV telethon and did audio also. And I took a course in cable
TV production. Learned the basics of camera work (also leave some
space above the subject, don't let the top of the head be at the top of
the screen), how to pan, focus, fade (yep, learned a bit about the
control room), and so on. Not network or even local TV but I learned
enough to have a good understanding. Now, I guess, most of the
camera work is robotic. Not much live TV, either. No opportunities
for the unexpected, the practical jokes and the bloopers.
Bob Paine

A few things have been on my mind, so here goes. Was The Brighter
Day (TV) produced at Liederkrantz Hall, where The Guiding Light was done in its
early TV days?

Sunday, Feb. 20 was the 40th anniversary of the false
EBS alert. I ask anyone who was in broadcasting at the time if they were on
duty. Do you or the other members have any recollections of that day?  I didn't
know about it until that evening when I went to see my friend at WICH, Norwich
CT that night. He filled me in on the details.

I received the DVD of
Alcoa's Studio One production of The Night America Trembled. I thought it was
pretty good but I noticed that for the requirements of the visual medium, some
things were not as I've seen in many CBS Radio studio photos. They did use the
RCA 44 Senior Velocity mics.  
The 1977 ABC TV movie, The Night That
Panicked America, did a fantastic job on the studio and control room sets for
the Welles' War of the Worlds. The chairs and the clocks - both art deco - were
period correct, the latter even had stand-by and on-air light features you see
in the publicity stills. I'm pretty knowledgeable but by far not an authority on
the radio studios - since I never got to see the 485 facilities or the CBS Radio
Building (the 51 W 52nd location?). Judging from all the photos I've seen,
though, they appeared very authentic. Even the VU/VI meters on the RCA-ish
console worked.
The film, Good Night and Good Luck, was on TV the other day.
I watched the greatest part of it and caught the door with STUDIO 51. Was 51 the
studio where Murrow did See It Now? And what was Studio F, on the upper East
The producers did a lot to make it appear authentic - at least to
someone like myself, who never saw the CBS locations. If you saw the film I'm
curious how authentic were the studio and control room(s), and the stairway
Murrow walked up near the end of the film? Did you or any of the other retirees
work on the See It Now series?

Lastly, do you think there might be
interest among the members for doing sketches of the floor plans for the various
TV and radio locations? It would be very interesting to me and I'm thinking it
might be to others to see how the studio, control rooms and technical areas were
I hope Harold Deppe and the others will keep sending in
the history and their recollections of TV (and radio), and so the rest of us can
learn what it was like when broadcasting was live, at least for the most

Take care and 73,

Bob Paine
Harold Deppe (sole survivor of the Golden Age and Me)
Harold old boy--don't ever run out of energy or become a disbeliever
because currently you could eaily become  CBS's sole supporter of its Website.
And that honestly would be a sad loss.
Your comment about Old Timers shook me awake to follow up on an outstanding
debt owed  me by the Retirees.
I was fairly active in 2008 with the Webmaster (whose name eludes me at the
moment) active because he himself was as energetic as you in keeping the ball
rolling while instigating a very active participation in bringing "news" to the
attention.of the CBS'rs.
He was aware of my writing a book titled "The Golden Age" a 40 year history
of Television's beginning and asked if it was published commercially. He was
told that it was not because its main thrust was to make my grandchildren aware
of my contributions to its  start up.
He pressed for a loaner book for those interested which I agreed to with
the provision  that it be retured to me.
The book was read by a number of cbs'ers and then fell silent. But the good
fortune is a log was kept of the borrowers and the last person who borrowed the
book is named.
By copy of this e-mail I'm asking for that person to return it to Harold
Deppe who will use it over a period of time to provide  exerps of it for the
That name can be found in the 2008 "Ramblings"  
  ( The webmaster at the time, who I'll always remember, was taken from us
with a fatal dose of cancer).

Good Night & Good Luck! jlk

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sad News!
Received a phone call from Mrs.Audrey Schneider that Larry passed away peacefully this morning. Services will be held Sunday, February 27, 2011 at

Gutterman Funeral Home at 12 noon
175 North Long Beach Rd.
Rockville Center, NY
516 764-9400

Shiva will start after the Services at their home for the coming week.

598 Pauley Dr.
West Heampstead, NY 11552
516 483-5633

Tony Casola

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I would be most happy for any short answer from You to be sure that I have reached You from here remote Finland. And I would be very grateful of information about Mr Jerry Colet´s whereabouts. I would like to contact him for a very personal reason, as You may cipher from my message to him, hereby attached.
With best greetings
Ms Terttu Talonen, a reteree from YLE, Finland

Lähettäjä: Jarmo Talonen [mailto:jarmo.talonen at]
Lähetetty: 16. helmikuuta 2011 9:18
Vastaanottaja: 'webmaster at'
Aihe: A voice from Finland
Dear Dave,
This is a voice from Finland, (in fact a retired voice from YLE, Finland, from TV1) – coming to ask for your kind assistance. If only possible, I would like to ask you kindly forward the message below to Mr Jerry Colet, who, I assume, is a member of your CBS Retirees. There was his e-mail address in the end of his message, but I cannot get it working from my computer. His given e-mail is (or was?) jfcolet at
As you see from the message hereby attached, I would like to have Mr. Colet to send some information to our Class Reunion, on May 20th this year, telling what happened to our class mate, Ms Raili Syreeni (married to Mr Cook?) who was working at least some time for the CBS.
I remain waiting for your kind reply, whether it has been possible to forward my message to Mr Colet.
With best wishes to you and – as I can see from your web pages - to your remarkable work with the CBS Retirees connections.
Ms Terttu Talonen
e-mail jarmo.talonen at

Dear Mr Jerry Colet,
I am a total stranger to you but approaching you this way – after accidentally finding your message from 2006/via Dave, to the CBS Retirees. And why I do this? Because, I found a good school mate´s name there, and to my deep sorrow learned that to your knowledge she had passed away already maybe 1998. I am talking about Raili Syreeni from Finland.
I am a member of a small team that is trying to get our matriculation class of 1961 together to celebrate our 50 years Reunion, here in Helsinki, Finland. Someone knew that Raili had moved to the US but nobody knew where or when. I just accidentally put her name on Google and found your message with her name on it. I am very sorry to hear that we cannot reach her any more. It seemed that you had been close to her and her husband, maybe working closely?
I just wonder whether it would be possible that you could kindly write me something about her, her late husband and her possible family over there, her work and any information about where she might be buried. I am sure our class that is going to have the Reunion on 25th May this year, would be very grateful to hear your comment read on the occasion. We will have a silent moment to commemorate her.
I remember Raili as a very energetic and brave young woman. We thought that it was rather fine of her to take the step to move to the States. But as it often goes, life takes us apart and we don´t know very much of our former school mates.
I myself was as an AFS exchange student in the US, the year 1959-60, in Huntington, Indiana. Last September I took part in the Class of 1960 Reunion in Huntington. It was great fun and wakened a lot of emotions, especially as my former foster sister came to meet me from Florida, where she is living today. I came back in 1960 to join the class where Raili was a member. I remember her being very interested of my experience of the US.
Please, be so kind and answer me, if only possible.
With best greetings from Raili´s homeland, Finland.
Ms Terttu Talonen
e-mail jarmo.talonen at
There could be a few C.B.S, employees now at C.B.S. who would like to know
how it was at C.B.S. 60 Yrs. ago, as much as I would like to know how it
is at the present there no interest any more or has Arthritis set in at the keyboard...
Harold Deppe

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'm sorry to inform you that Jim Martens passed away on February 14, 2011.
There will be a Mass at 11am on Friday, February 18th at:

St. Rose of Lima Parish
2 Bayview Avenue
Massapequa NY 11758
Phone: 516-798-4992

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I was doing a web search for info about 485 Madison and found a site with an article about the CBS game show Dotto. There may something interesting for you:

Bob Paine

Monday, February 07, 2011

The use of a Studio camera for a ( Rain Machine ) was a bad idea. It would
tie up that camera. The idea of having a ( Rain Machine ) in Telecine was that it could be used by any Studio at any time. It was part of a slide used for Telops and made rain the same as the Studio device and had a motor drive.


Harold Deppe
Hi Dave,

Very interesting information about 485 Madison Ave. I didn't know there was so much TV activity there. I had thought there had only been experimental work.
Bob Hall was the third actor to play The Green Hornet (from Detroit), from 1943 to 1946. Hall was only 17 at the time. I had the article with his obit in 1967. I think he was quite young when he passed, perhaps in his mid-forties. The story also mentioned he was the youngest actor to play the role.
I said in an earlier email that the "Studio 1" TV series did an episode from a radio studio at 485, based on the War of the Worlds broadcast. I think I said the studio was on the lower floors. Since then I haven't been able to verify that so I'll retract the part about the studio's whereabouts.
Re: Studio 9 - was the news televised from it or did they just do voice-over?
It will be forty years on Feb. 21 that the false EBS alert occurred. Were you or any of the retirees on duty that day?

I hope you don't mind these emails, since I'm not a retiree. The posts are fascinating; like the old phone company commercials, they're the next best thing to being there. I enjoy reading about the way it was in earlier days.

73, Bob Paine KA3ZCI

Sunday, February 06, 2011

I was not aware of the "Rain Machine" in Telecine. Perhaps it was the "new improved model". The one I remember was a device used from the studio floor. It consisted of a barrel like horizontal drum with a center axle that could be rotated by a hand crank. The drum was covered with Emery Paper (Not Sandpaper). A spotlight was focused on the rotating drum (perhaps an "Inky"). You had to be careful in what direction you rotated the drum, otherwise it might be raining UP instead of DOWN! A regular studio camera was used to pick up the tiny white specks reflected from the Emery Paper. There was no Matting in those days so th TD had to split the fader arms in order to superimpose the "snow" over the scene.

Jay Chichon

Friday, February 04, 2011

Rain was made for Television at C.B.S.' in Telecine on a drum coverd with
sandpaper and rotated In the Telop machine.
Harold Deppe

Thursday, February 03, 2011

"Necessity is the mother of invention".
That was certainly true in the early days of Television.
Does anyone remember how we simulated "Rain" for dramatic shows such as Studio One which originated in Studio 42 in Grand Central?

Jay Chichon

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Thanks to Bob Wilson for his kind words. A Pulse Light was in a 35 mm projector at Grand Central Telecine.
It was a lamp that was pulsed so there was no need for a shutter. when the pulse was lost the lamp was on continuously and the output of the projector was a mess....and we heard, "MAINTENANCE..."

Harold Deppe
OK, so lets go back 60 (or more ) years-------

Let's look at it from the maintenance perspective -------
Setting the background -------
At 55 East 52nd Street ------
Henry Korkes --Audio Maint.Supv.
Mason Escher--EIC.
(General) Jack Norton in Radio Master Control

As I recall, the late night Music Show with Bob Hall was called "Music 'Til Dawn”----and at that time I would check with Fred Barbiere, who was doing the show at that time, to be sure all was well prior to my going home----
However, as I was about to leave for the day, the phone rang----It was Mason Escher telling me to get up to see Jack Norton in MC, because what was known as the “BNC KEY”, had fallen apart ---- The “BNC KEY”, for the Operations people who never worked in TR 11, was the way you broke away from the Network, inserted Commercials, promos, etc. and then switched back to the NET.------Rather important, Aye what-----

Without going into the boring details of it all-----With less than six months on the job,and with Mason Escher and Jack Norton looking over my shoulder, the KEY was replaced...

Of course the big thing now was,-------would the Key work when it came time to switch
back to the NET.---We all (at least I did) held our breath when Jack threw the Key----
By Golly it worked-----Big Smile on everyone’s face-----
Left for home at 3:30 am----

Submitted by - Gene Pasculli

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Hello Bob Wilson
from Sid Kaufman
It has been 60 years but here goes!

Yes Jay, I too built a TRANSVISION receiver kit; also, later, the Heathkit color receiver. Both worked very well.

As for RADIO studios lets start at the top of 485 Madison. Somewhere on a high floor was Studio 1 which, when I was there, was devoted to Peter Goldmark and his sequential color work. Nobody I knew had access to this place.

Master control and TR11 (station breaks and net standby) were on the 21st floor. A pair of turntables were there for recorded commercials and in the event of a net failure.

The news studio 9 was on the 17th floor as was the newsroom and TR (transcription room) 14 where Joel Tall was the resident tech.
A good guy and inventor of the EDITALL editing block.

I was on duty one night when war was declared; Israel had invaded Egypt and all hell broke loose. When was this? 1956-7?? Dick Robinson the editor honcho on duty called up lines from EVERYWHERE . Jim Berry relieved me when he arrived next morning.

Studios 31/32 were local and on the 9th floor. Turntables and two 350 tape machines were there.

The 8th floor featured some (4/5 ?) tape rooms where in each two console Ampex machines were located with an announce booth. The tape operated at either 30 inches per second (!!!!!) or 15. We seldom if ever used 30.
Appros tape speed; the original AMPEX video recorders worked at both 15 ips and 7.5. We never used 7.5; the guard bands must have been non existent.

I am hard pressed but cannot recall where Studio 4 was; this is where I did "MUSIC THROUGH THE NIGHT", with Bob Hall. I did this one night a week; Joe Kulin was the regular man. Studio 4 was also where MORT GOLDBERG and I worked a New Years EVE Show.

21/22 in the studio building were for audience shows. My first job after indoctrination was Public Address in 21 for GRAND SLAM; with Irene Beasly.

AND so it goes. My first day with CBS was that day when the first Live (no tape yet) COLOR TV commercial show went out to America using the sequential system from Peter Goldmark. Several manufacturers had set up their prototype receivers in Studio 21 to demonstrate such. The pictures were gorgeous. This must have come from Studio 72 up on Broadway.
The sponsor was Longines Wittnauer; the announcer Frank Knight.

Additions and corrections are welcome.

Hello Harold Deppe; you asked for it...

Harry Peterson