Posts in Category: Broadcast History

W6XAO – Los Angeles

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Don Lee Broadcasting…Pioneering West Coast Television

KTLA and Klaus Landsberg were not the only ones innovating in Los Angeles in the 1930s. There was also Don Lee who’s station (now KCBS) is credited with airing the first movie and the first news film on television.

Here is an interesting pictorial history and article I thought you would enjoy from my friend Steve McVoy at the Early Television Museum. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.earlytelevision.org/w6xao.html

W6XAO – Los Angeles

One of the most interesting stories in the history of early television is that of Don Lee Broadcasting. Don Lee was a Cadillac dealer in Los Angeles who entered the broadcasting business in 1926 with the purchase of a radio station. In November, 1930, Don Lee engaged the services of 24-year-old Harr…
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February 2, 1950…”What’s My Line” Debuts on CBS

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February 2, 1950…”What’s My Line” Debuts on CBS

65 years ago today, WML began a 17 year run which reportedly makes it the longest running prime time network game show ever.

Produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman, the show was initially called “Occupation Unknown” but the day before air, the name was changed. The show debuted on Thursday, February 2, 1950 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. It originally aired alternate Thursdays, the alternate Wednesdays till October 1, 1950 when it settled into its weekly Sunday 10:30 p.m. ET slot where it would remain until the end of its network run on September 3, 1967.

Here is the debut episode and it’s a good thing they made a lot of changes to the show, and quickly. Dorothy Kilgallen was the only original panel member to survive the line up shifts until her death in 1965. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vA667ybupRo

Series premiere. MYSTERY GUEST: Phil Rizzuto PANEL: Dr. Richard Hoffman, Dorothy Kilgallen, Louis Untermeyer, Harold Hoffman
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February 2, 1973…”Midnight Special” Debuts On NBC

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February 2, 1973…”Midnight Special” Debuts On NBC

Helen Ready was the first host, but instead of playing that clip, I wanted to share this one…I was there for this. My best friend wrote this song, formed the band and played the drums; his name was Robert Nix, but I called him Robotussen. He called me Robustus.

I bought the cowboy shirt lead singer Ronnie Hammond is wearing at Nudie Cohen’s Western Wear that day in Los Angles. About four in the afternoon, we went to NBC Burbank to tape the show.

What people don’t know about this song is that the “imaginary lover” Robert wrote about was Jo Jo Billingsly who was a backup singer for Lynyard Skynyard. Rob and Jo were more than just friends. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://youtu.be/gQJm1F7VEEENo infringement of copyright is intended in any way under DMCA, under the terms of fair use for education. The Midnight Special More 1979 – 11 – Atlanta Rhyt…
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Super Bowl…The Magic Of Half Time! Amazing Video

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Super Bowl…The Magic Of Half Time! Amazing Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNRm7OwXpGo
Two videos here…below, rare shots of the stage being set up for Madonna in 2012, and above is the performance.

Amazingly, they have only 6 minutes to set up and 6 to tear down these incredibly complex stages. I hear there are 600 on the stage crew to carry and assemble all this on the field. Enjoy and share!
-Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bD8HbpHkoYw

Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/sjernigan14 Personal video taken at Super Bowl 46 that shows the stage being built in 5 mins. Madonna was the halfti…
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Behind the scenes of NBC’s Super Bowl XLIX production

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Super Bowl Run Up…From The Booth To The Trucks & More

Here, we’ll see and hear from today’s announcers as well as the producer and director on how things have changed over the years and how they go about their jobs on this super day. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://sports.yahoo.com/video/behind-scenes-nbcs-super-bowl-015101501.html

Behind the scenes of NBC’s Super Bowl XLIX production

Watch the video Behind the scenes of NBC’s Super Bowl XLIX production on Yahoo Sports . NFL Media’s Melissa Stark takes you inside the NBC Super Bowl broadcast with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.
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Live from Super Bowl XLIX: Inside Look at the Making of a World Feed : Sports Video Group

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Super Bowl Technical Primer…Sports Video Group Magazine

There is a lot of very detailed info in the articles of this magazine. If you are not familiar with it, you should be. Here’s a link to their story on how the world feed is done, but there is a lot more here for die hard techies at all levels. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://sportsvideo.org/main/blog/2015/01/live-from-super-bowl-xlix-inside-look-at-the-making-of-a-world-feed/

Live from Super Bowl XLIX: Inside Look at the Making of a World Feed : Sports Video Group

The Super Bowl’s impact beyond the U.S. continues to grow and this year 18 countries are on site with productions that range from commentary only to three-camera shoots in studio booths. And for Jeff Lombardi, NFL, senior director of international production operations, and his team the goal is to m…
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February 1, 1954…”The Secret Storm” Debuts On CBS

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February 1, 1954…”The Secret Storm” Debuts On CBS

At the time this episode aired, the show was about a year into production and holding its ground from 4:15 – 4:30 weekdays, even though it was up against “American Bandstand”.

The show originated from CBS Studio 65, The Hi Brown Theater at 221 West 26 Street. On June 18, 1962, CBS extended “The Secret Storm” to a half hour and moved it to the 4:00 PM time slot, where it ran for six years against NBC’s “The Match Game”.

In 1966, “Dark Shadows” premiered against it on ABC, and CBS moved the show forward an hour to 3:00 PM on September 9, 1968, facing NBC’s fast-rising “Another World”.

“The Secret Storm” went to color broadcasts on September 11, 1967. In all the turmoil of its later years, the main reason for the show’s demise may have been CBS’s choice to buy the show from the original sponsor/packager, American Home Products, in 1969. Ever since CBS purchased the show, it suffered from numerous headwriter and producer changes. The show was canceled in 1974 and replaced with a less-expensive game show, “Tattletales”.

You may remember that in 1968, Joan Crawford, who at the time was over 60 years old, filled in for her ailing daughter, Christina, who played the role of Joan Borman Kane, a character who was only 28. The episodes were broadcast on October 25, 28, 29 and 30. The 1981 film “Mommie Dearest” portrayed Crawford’s appearance without specifying the name of the series. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6vb0yAJ28Y

an episode of ‘The Secret Storm’, dated February 18, 1955 (2 days b4 i was born!!)..complete with original commercials, organ music and all, this episode sho…
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Ellerbee Camera Collection Video Tour

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[fb_vid id=”10200462127141865″]Ellerbee Camera Collection Video Tour

For those of you that have never seen this, here it is again. I shot this a couple of years back with a small 35mm photo camera and it shows all of the 16 cameras I have on display here in my home. At the time, I had about 25 cameras, now, with the addition of the 70+ ENG cameras, there are about 100 cameras in the collection. Enjoy!
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February 1, 1982…”Late Night” With David Letterman Debuts, NBC

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February 1, 1982…”Late Night” With David Letterman Debuts, NBC

Two videos for you to mark the 33rd Anniversary, first here are two rare promos that ran the weekend before the show debuted on a Monday night.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIUPlDEFgfw

The second video below is from the second night on the air and Dave starts the show by letting an audience member take over one the the RCA TK44s in NBC Studio 6A.

After the camera clip, we get a minute with Pat Paulsen and the shows open is at the end. Bill Wendell is the announcer and Hal Gurney is directing. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NraxSgAPKXQ

2.2.82 2nd Late Night show. opening segment.
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TeleTales #41…But Where Are Our Pants?

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TeleTales #41…But Where Are Our Pants?

Thanks top Bettina Levesque for this picture of her behind the camera at the Metro Media Square Studios where the last two seasons of “Three’s A Crowd” were shot in ’84 and ’85. The camera is an RCA TK45. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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Our New Camera Collecting Friend In Germany…Liam O’Hainnin

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Our New Camera Collecting Friend In Germany…Liam O’Hainnin

We met just this morning and Liam has some very nice Fernseh cameras, including the very camera that shot President Kennedy’s famous speech in Berlin. Donka Shane Liam! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-L7uw8YodI

This is a report on Liam O’Hainnin, an Irish man with a passion for vintage radios and TV cameras! He’s been collecting old broadcasting gear since his 20’s …
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Super Bowl Prep…Chapman’s Two Headed Monster In Action!

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Super Bowl Prep…Chapman’s Two Headed Monster In Action!

Here’s a short but sweet clip of the unusual dual platform Chapman sideline cart on the field with comment from NBC cameraman Mark Lynch and driver Rob Lombardi. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=906828359370124&set=vb.112955302090771&type=2&theater[fb_vid id=”906828359370124″]How’d you like to ride on one of these at the Super Bowl?
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Photos: We Visited Saturday Night Live’s Set-Building Factory

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Building The Sets For “Saturday Night Live”…A Visit To Brooklyn

This a good story on how, where and when the sets for SNL are built each week, BUT…make sure to click on the slide show button at the bottom of the page to see the 16 pictures. The work they do on such short notice is just amazing! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.vulture.com/2015/01/how-saturday-night-live-gets-built.html?mid=nymag_press

Photos: We Visited Saturday Night Live’s Set-Building Factory

Behind the scenes with the rapid-fire builders.
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Super Bowl VII…Christina Skaggs…Up, Up And Away For CBS

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Super Bowl VII…Christina Skaggs…Up, Up And Away For CBS

You may remember Christina best from her days behind the camera on “The Match Game”. http://youtu.be/o1FDyV8kYSE?t=30s

As one of the few women in television at this level, she got some interesting assignments outside the studio too. Here she is in 1973 ready to get the aerial shots from the Goodyear Blimp in Los Angeles. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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Ultra Rare! Meet Television’s Top Late Night Directors!

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Ultra Rare! Meet Television’s Top Late Night Directors!

Thanks to Vinnie Favale, here is a one of a kind photo. From left to right is “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” director Dave Diomedi, “The Colbert Report” director Jim Hoskinson, “Late Night With David Letterman” director Jerry Foley and “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” director Chuck O’Neil. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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Super Bowl…More Two Headed Monster and NEP’s New Trucks

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Super Bowl…More Two Headed Monster and NEP’s New Trucks

Here are a couple of new photos of Chapman’s dual cam platform in use at this year’s Sugar Bowl. There will be two of these on the sidelines this Sunday…one on each side of the field.

At the story linked here, you’ll get the latest on the newly upgraded trucks from NEP which has at least 24 production trailers in use for the game. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://sportsvideo.org/main/blog/2015/01/neps-upgraded-fleet-is-at-center-of-super-bowl-xlix-coverage/



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NBC Super Bowl Camera Location Chart

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In Case You Missed This…NBC Super Bowl Camera Location Chart

There are 51 cameras inside the stadium to cover the game action. I understand, a separate set of cameras and trucks are covering half time in the stadium.

This does not count all the pregame show cameras that will be used outside the stadium, so we are probably talking about around 120 to 130 total. There were 104 used on the National Championship college game a few weeks back. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/sb-cameras-1-20-15.pdf

nbcsportsgrouppressbox.files.wordpress.com

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Happy 64th Birthday…NBC Studio 8H

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Happy 64th Birthday…NBC Studio 8H

On January 30, 1951,Studio 8H was dedicated as a television studio.

On November 7, 1933, 8H was the home of the first NBC Radio broadcast from the new 30 Rockefeller Plaza headquarters and was then known as the Auditorium Studio.

As early as April 19, 1944, television had occasionally come from here with occasional broadcasts/simulcasts of “The Voice Of Firestone”. The 1944 occasion was only a local event, but in 1949 there were a few network television simulcasts of Firestone. All were covered as remotes, even thought they were in the building.

The story continues on the many pages of very rare historical documents and photos, so please click on each. Enjoy and Share! -Bobby Ellerbee













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TeleTales #40…The Super Bowl’s First Celebrity Half Time Performer

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TeleTales #40…The Super Bowl’s First Celebrity Half Time Performer

At Super Bowl IV in 1970, Carol Channing became the first celerity to entertain at half time at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. Al Hirt was actually the first celebrity to perform at a Super Bowl, as he played the National Anthem at Super Bowl I.

Before this, half time entertainment was from the great Florida A&M Marching Band and the next year by Grambling State’s Marching Band, both of which were black colleges with great dancing bands.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Super_Bowl_halftime_shows
At the link is a fascinating list of the half time shows that followed. You’ll be surprised. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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TeleTales #39…Four Camera Bowl Game, NBC 1960

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TeleTales #39…Four Camera Bowl Game, NBC 1960

It may not have been much of a surprise in yesterday’s post that ABC only used four cameras for a college football game in 1949, but in 1960…guess what…it was still four cameras.

This was the 1960 Senior Bowl, hosted by Red Grange and Lindsey Nelson from Mobile Alabama. NBC was using an RCA mobile color unit for this. There were several of these on the east and west coasts for broadcasters to rent for special or extended coverage. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee




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TeleTales #38…Watch For These At The Super Bowl

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TeleTales #38…Watch For These At The Super Bowl

This is probably the most unique camera platform ever. I think this configuration debuted about five years ago when ESPN asked Chapman for something different for sideline coverage. According the NBC’s camera chats, there will be two of these on the sidelines this Sunday for the Super Bowl. If any of you are at the arena and can get us some new pictures of these, I know we would all appreciate it. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee



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TeleTales #37…Three Strip Technicolor; How It Was Done

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TeleTales #37…Three Strip Technicolor; How It Was Done

http://www.digital-intermediate.co.uk/examples/3strip/technicolor.htm
At the link is the best description and detail I have ever seen on this landmark color technology. It’s a well written article that’s not overly technical. “Gone With The Wind” and “The Wizard Of Oz” were some of the fist big films to use this new process. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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ABC Election Coverage, November 1980, Studio TV 2 New York

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ABC Election Coverage, November 1980, Studio TV 2 New York

Here are a dozen or so great pictures from John Schmidt of the election set. The candidates were incumbent Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Independent John Anderson. In some of these, you can see reporters Frank Reynolds, Ted Koppel, Max Robinson and Barbara Walters.

The cameras are shooting toward the back of TV 2 and the white wall behind the cameras is the door that separates TV 1 and TV 2. In one of these, the door is up. Our friend Bob Franklin at ABC wanted to see some of his old friends, and Ryan Balton mentioned his dad, Bruce was on the crane in some of these elections.

Please help identify people, places and equipment as you click through these. I know there are some rare goodies in the graphics, audio and control room shots. Enjoy and Share! -Bobby Ellerbee













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TeleTales #36…A Super Bowl Fact You Won’t Believe!

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TeleTales #36…A Super Bowl Fact You Won’t Believe!

Did you know the real grass field in the stadium “goes outside for sun”? It’s true! It takes about 45 minutes for the grass surface to travel back inside and is the only retractable grass field in the US. It’s only brought inside for football. The rest of the time, while concerts, tennis, basketball and other events happen on the concrete floor, the lawn is outside soaking up the sun.

In the last pix, we see some of the Chapman sideline dollies being set up. Thanks to Guy Jones for the pix! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee




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TeleTales #35…Oldest Complete MLB Color Broadcast, 1967

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TeleTales #35…Oldest Complete MLB Color Broadcast, 1967

Hopefully this will bring some warmth our friends in Boston!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cze3fMSa84w&feature=youtu.be
At the link is the September 30, 1967 game between Boston and Minnesota at Fenway Park. This was one of the closest pennant races in the American League ever with the Twins one game ahead of Boston and Detroit on the last weekend of the season.

The game was covered by WHDH with RCA TK41s. At the start, you can see Boston’s mayor with VP Hubert Humphrey from Minnesota, Senator Ted Kennedy and what looks like Sen. Mike Mansfield from Montana, who was Senate Majority Leader at the time. Thanks to Alec Cumming for sharing this. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee






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TeleTales #34…Speaking Of CBS Studio 50

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TeleTales #34…Speaking Of CBS Studio 50

Earlier today, we saw this same stage in the story of Elvis Presley’s first network television appearance on this day in 1956.

Here’s a great shot of Ed Sullivan in the theater now named after him. Behind him is a scaffold with a camera up top, but with space so tight on this stage, some of the props for each broadcast were kept here for easy access. You can see the layout, production and technical information of Studio 50 in these other three pages. Thanks to Gady Reinhold for this info from the CBS 1960 Production book. Notice the Zoomar on the RCA TK11. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee





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TeleTales #33…A Stunning Piece Of Real Television History

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TeleTales #33…A Stunning Piece Of Real Television History

Stunning? How so? If you think back on all the years of color test broadcasts in the early 1950s, including NBC’s coast to coast colorcast of the Rose Parade on January 1, 1954, you suddenly realize that no one could see it! Well…all but a few.

If you wonder why they did all that color testing without the public being able to see it, the reason lies in this term “compatible color”.
RCA and NBC had to make sure their Dot Sequential System of color was also sharp and clear in black and white, as well as color. It was also a test for the stations that had installed the color transmitters.

There is a most excellent timeline of NBC color history here at Ed Reitan’s great site. http://edreitan.com/rca-nbc_firsts.html

For the Rose Parade, RCA had built about 200 color receivers that were shipped to the 21 markets that had color capable stations for the broadcast. In each of the 21 markets, the receivers were on display at local dealers where large crowds came to watch.

By the way, when I say “color capable stations”, I mean they were only able to broadcast color programs that came in from NBC. The first shipments of live TK40 color cameras and studio equipment from RCA began on March 4, 1954, just 21 days before this announcement of the start of production on the granddaddy of color sets, the CT 100. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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TeleTales #32…NBC Television Network: July 1, 1948

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TeleTales #32…NBC Television Network: July 1, 1948

For a bit of perspective on how much things have changed, here is a map of NBC’s network in the middle of 1948. At the time, there were only seven stations, with nine to be added in 1949.

Of course the NBC Radio network was much bigger and was coast to coast, but AT&T was the driving force in where and when television could go. TV took coaxial cables or microwave relays and all that had to be built or laid. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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TeleTales #31…Covering Football In 1949 vs Now

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TeleTales #31…Covering Football In 1949 vs Now

https://nbcsportsgrouppressbox.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/sb-cameras-1-20-15.pdf
With the Super Bowl looming, take a look at the difference in camera placements. At the link above, you’ll see where the 51 NBC cameras inside the stadium will be. Yes…51, just to cover the action on the field. I’m sure there will be another 50 or more in use for pregame location shoots.

Below you’ll see the placement of the 4 RCA TK30s ABC used to cover a game at The Los Angeles Coliseum in 1949.

My how times have changed! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee



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January 28, 1956…Elvis Makes His First Network TV Appearance

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January 28, 1956…Elvis Makes His First Network TV Appearance

http://www.elvispresleymusic.com.au/pictures/1956_january_28.html

When Jackie Gleason brought his half hour, filmed version of “The Honeymooners” to CBS in the 1955-56 season, he decided to produce the half hour lead in show too. For that, he chose The Dorsey Brothers, Jimmy and Tommy, with their great bands, and called the production “Stage Show”.

Like the live Gleason shows of the past and future seasons, it originated at CBS Studio 50…now called The Ed Sullivan Theater.

On this particular Saturday night, Elvis Presley made his first ever network television appearance and you can see this rare performance at the link above. This is a photo from that night and CBS legend Pat McBride is behind the camera.

Elvis was paid $1,250 for each of the six ‘Stage Shows’ on which he appeared. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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