Posts in Category: Broadcast History

Television News Directors…The Unsung Heros

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Television News Directors…The Unsung Heros

This is nice Sunday morning type piece that I think you’ll like. There are a lot of key news moments here, as well as some interesting camera shots, but more importantly…the discussion and faces of some of television’s top news producers and directors are seen here including “The Dean”, Don Hewitt. Thanks to Charles Chin for sharing this. Enjoy! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://vimeo.com/38106868

Untitled

This is “Untitled” by Chapel Roberts on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.
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November 9, 1965…The Great Blackout Hits The Northeast

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November 9, 1965…The Great Blackout Hits The Northeast

On this date, 49 years ago, it was lights out in a big way! Were you there? From Ontario, Canada to Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey, over 30 million people and 80,000 square miles were left without electricity for up to 13 hours.

The video below starts just before NBC’s Frank McGee, reporting from New York, asks the cameraman using a tiny RCA Walky Looky portable camera, to pan around the studio which was lit by on 2 candles, a Coleman lantern and a battery powered lab light. This was video fed to WRC in Washington where the network had to originate during this time.

I know the video signal was fed there on AT&T lines, and that even when the power goes out, landline phones still work, but with such a large area affected, it’s hard to imagine where the phone companies got enough power to operate…even with emergency generators.

http://www.musicradio77.com/images/bkoutpcm.mp3
Oddly, the power seemed to go down slowly. At this link is WABC’s Dan Ingram recalling the event and playing an air check in which you can hear the records slow down…finally it all stopped at 5:28 PM.

The only good thing about that night was the full moon, which helped a lot of people in the dark. Were you there? Got a story? Thanks to Glenn Mack for reminding me of this. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://youtu.be/o47VVM5riaQ?t=25m41sALSO SEE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeast_blackout_of_1965
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The Back 40: Part 9…A Video Tour Of The Area As It Is Today

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The Back 40: Part 9…A Video Tour Of The Area As It Is Today

I hope you’ve enjoyed this two day special, but it’s time to wind up our look back at the home of so much movie and television history from Cecil B. DeMille, RKO and Desilu. To do that, here is a very thorough video tour of the property as of 2012. It’s all gone now, but not forgotten. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDg8Ui8aR40

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDg8Ui8aR40In 1976 the old 40 acre backlot was demolished when it was sold for development into an industrial park. It was on this lot where the outdoor set for Mayberr…
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The Back 40: Part 8…An Incredible Must See Tour

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The Back 40: Part 8…An Incredible Must See Tour

This will open to the first page of a four page spread on the Back 40 lot. There are dozens and dozens of rare photos here segregated by their use. At the bottom of each page, you can click to the next and I think you’ll be quite happy with all this great information.

This two day special look at this historic property would not have been possible without the huge effort from the creators of the Retro Web site and their contributors, who I thank for their work and passion for history. In particular, thanks to Mark Wanamaker of Bison Archives and Kipp Teague of Retroweb.com. Thank you and keep up your excellent work! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.retroweb.com/40acres_tour.html

40 Acres Studio Backlot – Image Gallery and Virtual Tour

40 Acres – The Lost Studio Backlot of Movie & Television Fame
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The Back 40: Part 7…The Home Of Tarzan In The RKO Years

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The Back 40: Part 7…The Home Of Tarzan In The RKO Years

Take a good look at this 1953 aerial shot and in the lower left corner, you’ll see a tiny sliver of land with a small pond…that was part of the Tarzan homebase in the RKO years. In the next photo, you can see the RKO water tank in the distance and the “lagoon” in the foreground. In these two shots, it doesn’t look much like a jungle does it? But, with a little movie magic, it become the place where Johnny Weissmuller would call home. This was where the Tarzan treehouse was.

From 1932 till 1942, Weissmuller was Tarzan for MGM, but moved to RKO for six more Tarzan movies when the promised he could play roles other than Tarzan. The RKO jungle romps were not of the same quality of those done at MGM, and other locations were used for filming, but it’s interesting to see just how much we don’t see on the screen. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee








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The Back 40: Part 6…Some Interesting Mayberry Shots

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The Back 40: Part 6…Some Interesting Mayberry Shots

Did you know Sheriff Taylor lived next door to Aunt Pittypat? It’s a little hard to see, but the Taylor house was (in these photos) to the left of the ‘Gone With The Wind’ home of Scarlett’s Aunt Pittypat, famous for the “birthin babies” scene. Below are three photos that show the Taylor house and Pittypat’s house in ‘Land Of The Giants’ and ‘The Untouchables’. More on the photo pages.

Now, on the the Mayberry Courthouse. It seems that the front, two column portico was added just after it was used in the 1947 movie, ‘The Long Night’. In the 1948 movie, ‘Miracle Of The Bells’ photo, we see the addition that would become permanent. Up next, we’ll stop by Tarzan’s house…the tree house. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

All photos courtesy of Retro Web, who we’ll also feature today.






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“Andy Griffith Show” Opening Shot Location

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More Back 40 Lot Tomorrow, But I’ll Leave You With This Classic!

Although this iconic location is not part of the Back 40, it is part of one of the most famous and enduring shows shot there! This is where the opening of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ was filmed and how it looks today. Enjoy your time at “the fishin hole” and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://youtu.be/WdMX6cpbfoQThis is the location where the opening credits were filmed for the Andy Griffith Show. It is located near Beverly Hills, California in Los Angeles. This same…
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Back 40 Lot: Part 5…Just This Summer, Tara Set Discovered!

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Back 40 Lot: Part 5…Just This Summer, Tara Set Discovered!

This news story from July of this year is the first time the dismantled Tara facade from ‘Gone With The Wind’ has been seen by the public. Atlanta’s WXIA takes us to see the remnants of the once glorious mansion, now stored in a barn here in Georgia.

Tara has a sentimental side for me as my great aunt’s home was one of several extensively photographed by set designers on a pre production trip to find the look of Tara. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyxgbRsdrHQ

Savannah Levins reports
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Back 40 Lot: Part 4…The Many Faces Of “Mayberry”

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Back 40 Lot: Part 4…The Many Faces Of “Mayberry”

Although only a small part of the Back 40 lot was used for ‘The Andy Griffith Show’, it is burned into our memory and easily recognizable, but do we always recognize it? Here’s a look at the set in ‘Star Trek’ and ‘The Untouchables’. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUQ9h_Gy70E

The Andy Griffith Show (Mayberry) was filmed in the 1960’s on a 40 acre set and so were quite a few other films and TV shows dating back as far as the 1930’s…
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Back 40 Lot: Part 3…Ultra Rare! Great 1957 Fly Over Footage

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Back 40 Lot: Part 3…Ultra Rare! Great 1957 Fly Over Footage

This video should start at 2:07 when the helicopter flies over the Back 40 lot, BUT…don’t miss the first part! That is a very nice aerial shot with a couple of passes over the Desilu Culver City Studio.

The big long building was the Atlanta railroad terminal from ‘Gone With The Wind’. Near the end, we see the Tara mansion and the area just behind it would later become Stalag 17 for ‘Hogan’s Heros. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://youtu.be/zPLhQl9ZLrM?t=2m7sThey are just starting to build Andy’s house for the Andy Griffith Show.
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Back 40 Lot: Part 2…Burning Atlanta, ‘Gone With The Wind’

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Back 40 Lot: Part 2…Burning Atlanta, ‘Gone With The Wind’

Somewhere, I have seen a ten minute video of how the RKO backlot was prepared and burned. I can’t find it now, but in this very short clip we get to see some of the historic facades from the DeMille years that were burned to depict the burning of Atlanta. Enjoy and share. More to come. -Bobby Ellerbee

http://youtu.be/BEnfgtUOPF8?t=7sGone With The Wind – How the Burning of Atlanta was made
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The Back 40 Lot: Part 1…Just Before “Tara” Was Dismantled

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The Back 40 Lot: Part 1…Just Before “Tara” Was Dismantled

The 40 acre backlot is the misnomer that was given to what was actually about 29 acres of land in Culver City, California, first used as a movie studio backlot in 1926 by Cecil DeMille, who had leased the property from Achille Casserini in March of 1926.

DeMille’s production company utilized the backlot for numerous silent films, including ‘The King of Kings’ (1927), for which a large Jerusalem temple and town were constructed, ‘The Fighting Eagle’ (1927), ‘Forbidden Woman’ (1927) and ‘The Godless Girl’ (1929).

In 1928, DeMille’s Culver City studio and backlot were acquired by RKO Pictures, whose films there on the backlot included ‘Bird of Paradise’ (1932) and the 1933 classic, ‘King Kong’. In 1937, David Selznick acquired the property in a long-term lease, and used the backlot to re-create a Civil War era Atlanta for his 1939 epic ‘Gone With The Wind’. During the filming of GWTW, leftover sets on the lot, including the King Kong gate were burned to depict the burning of Atlanta.

Under a variety of owners over the next two decades, the backlot appeared in dozens of films, and by the early 1950’s, the lot began to appear in television productions, including ‘The Adventures of Superman’.

Pictured below is in an aerial view from 1958 that shows the Tara set and what would become the Courthouse in ‘The Andy Griffith Show’. Also shown here are two photos of Tara, just before it was dismantled in 1959. As you will see in Part 5, Tara is now in Georgia and we’ll see if for the first time since 1959.

In 1958, the backlot changed ownership from RKO to Desilu Studios. For the next ten years, the backlot would provide outdoor locales for Desilu’s own television productions, as well as for series produced by others.

From 1960 – 1968, ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ exteriors would be shot on a set that was originally constructed for use as the streets of Atlanta for ‘Gone With The Wind’…that was “Mayberry.”

Paramount Pictures eventually bought out Desilu, and in 1968, sold off the Culver City studio facilities. As the studio continued to change hands, the “40 Acres” backlot fell out of use and into disrepair in the early 1970’s, and in 1976 it was bulldozed and the land was sold to industry.

Much of the information and many photos we will see this weekend are from the great Retro Web site which is linked below. There are hundreds of rare photos of the 40 Acres property there and you MUST visit. Many thanks to the site’s creators and it’s contributors for their extraordinary archival work on this subject, and many others. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://www.retroweb.com/40acres.html




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Sunday, November 7, 1954…’Face The Nation’ Debuts, CBS

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Sunday, November 7, 1954…’Face The Nation’ Debuts, CBS

Wait till you see this video of the first ever presentation of ‘Face The Nation’! The first thing you see is a closeup of a camera’s lens turret with a surrounding that is rather confusing…until the shot widens out. Only then do we see that the camera shooting the guest is behind the wall and shooting over the shoulders of the panel.

That first ‘Face The Nation’ guest was Sen. Joe McCarthy and if you listen to him, I think his tone will sound eerily familiar. A few weeks before, he had been on NBC’s ‘Meet The Press’ and brought a gun to the studio. This time, he wasn’t packing heat. Very Tea Party.

In the early days, ‘Face The Nation’ was originally broadcast on Sunday afternoons at 2:30 eastern. The program’s original host was Tedd Koop, then the Washington D.C. bureau chief for CBS News and originated from the network owned WTOP in Washington.

The show as created by the late Frank Stanton, who ran the network in the early days. When asked why he started it, he said simply, “Because NBC had ‘Meet the Press,’ and I thought we needed a program like that.” Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtVJFBSMXDk

In the first Face the Nation broadcast on television, Sen. Joseph McCarthy responds to questions about his infamous hearings. (CBS NEWS)
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Saturday, November 6, 1947…’Meet The Press’ Debuts, NBC

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Saturday, November 6, 1947…’Meet The Press’ Debuts, NBC

As you’ll see in this and the next post, two of television’s longest running programs debuted this week in history, but they are separated by seven years and a day with ‘Face The Nation’ on CBS debuting on November 7, 1954.

Before the show history, a note on the photos. The one with no cameras is the oldest known photo and is from December 4, 1947 with guest Sen. Robert Taft. The other photos are just as historic as they are of the first ever colorcast of the show and were taken February 14, 1954 at The Colonial Theater in NYC with Sen. John F. Kennedy as the guest. Usually, the show was done at NBC’s WRC in Washington, but came to New York for the special colorcast with the RCA TK40 prototype cameras.

Did you know ‘Meet The Press’ was actually created and started by a woman? Her name was Martha Rountree and she started as a reporter at The Tampa Tribune. Her duties included writing a sports column under the name “M. J. Rountree,” its readers none the wiser as to the sex of the journalist who was, after all, writing in a field dominated by men. A local CBS station was impressed enough by her work that they gave her a chance to write for radio for the first time, after which she headed north to New York, where she wrote ad copy for the medium. But Rountree was not comfortable playing so minor a part of an industry she felt held greater opportunities for her. “I got the ideas, worked them out; other people got the credit,” she lamented. “I wanted to produce myself. To prove that she meant business, she and her sister Ann opened a production firm called Radio House, which prepared transcribed programs and singing commercials.

1945 was Rountree’s banner year. She made her mark on radio in a big way, selling the idea for two different panel shows to the Mutual Radio Network, premiering them a day apart in October. One was ‘Leave It to the Girls’, the other was ‘Meet The Press’ which debuted first on October 5, 1945.

Although frequently credited as a co creation of Rountree and Lawrence E. Spivak, publisher and editor of American Mercury magazine, authoritative sources adamantly state that it was Rountree who developed the premise on her own, with Spivak joining up as co producer and business partner in the enterprise after the show had already debuted. After she left, Spivak became the driving force behind the show.

On November 6, 1947, while still on Mutual Radio, the show came to NBC Television. ‘Meet the Press’ was originally presented on Saturday night at 7:30 as a half hour show with a single guest and a panel of questioners. The first guest was James Farley, who served as Postmaster General, Democratic National Committee chairman and campaign manager to Franklin Delano Roosevelt under the first two terms of the New Deal Administration.

The first host was its creator, Martha Rountree, the program’s only full time female moderator to date. She stepped down on November 1, 1953 and until Ned Brooks could take over, her friend Deena Clark filled in and is seen here in the Kennedy colorcast photos from February 14, 1954.

Rountree was succeeded by Ned Brooks, who remained as moderator until his retirement on December 26, 1965. Spivak became the moderator on January 1, 1966, moving up from his role as a permanent panelist. He retired on November 9, 1975, on a special one-hour edition that featured, for the first time, a sitting president, Gerald Ford, as the guest.

The next week, Bill Monroe, previously a weekly panelist like Spivak took over as moderator and stayed until June 2, 1984. For the next seven and a half years, the program then went through a series of hosts as it struggled in the ratings against ABC’s ‘This Week with David Brinkley’. Roger Mudd and Marvin Kalb (as co-moderators) followed Monroe for a year, followed by Chris Wallace from 1987 to 1988. Garrick Utley hosted ‘Meet the Press’ from 1989 through December 1, 1991 at which time Tim Russert took over and not long after that, the show went to a one hour format.

Rountree died on August 23, 1999, in Washington, where she had made her name as one of the key figures in political reporting. Her successor in the moderator’s seat, Tim Russert, summed up her status in the medium by declaring, “She was a news pioneer who helped create a national treasure, Meet the Press.” Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee






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Classic Photo…’The Fabulous 50s’…A Peabody Award Winning CBS Special

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Classic Photo…’The Fabulous 50s’…A Peabody Award Winning CBS Special

On January 22, 1960, CBS completed taping of a special two hour look back the the decade that had just passed into history. It aired on January 31. In the photo, we see one of the show’s iconic hosts, Henry Fonda going over his lines in New York. The camera is an RCA TK11 and notice that it is “half racked” to save the IO tube from image burn. That handle on the back of the camera is at an angle which puts the turret over the IO tube opening.

The special not only won viewers and ratings…it won a Peabody Award too and below is the Peabody Museum’s description of the show.

“The Fabulous Fifties from CBS, combines style, humor, and imagination. It was rich in touches of quality showmanship and equally rich in the memories of a decade which it revived. In recognition, the Peabody Television Award for entertainment is presented to The Fabulous Fifties, with a special word of praise for producer Leland Hayward and the top talent which appeared in this memorable entertainment special*. *The two-hour special featured comic takes and commentary about the previous decade by, among others, Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Dick Van Dyke, Shelley Berman, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Jackie Gleason, Eric Sevareid and Henry Fonda.”

Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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One Side Up…Three More To Go At 30 Rock

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One Side Up…Three More To Go At 30 Rock

In September the old GE signs at 30 Rock finally came down. Thanks to our friend Alan Coffield, here’s a picture of one side of the building’s new top hat, complete with a peacock logo. Both the north and south sides get this treatment and the east and west faces will get the peacock only…hopefully in color. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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CBS Launches Digital Streaming Network

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CBS News In The News With Launch Of Digital Streaming Service

http://cbsn.cbsnews.com/
At the link above, you can visit the site. In the story below, you and get the details of the new service that launched yesterday.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/06/cbs-news-digital-streaming-network-cbsn_n_6114788.html

CBS Launches Digital Streaming Network

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS News has expanded its reach to a digital streaming network that features live, anchored coverage 15 hours each weekday. The ad-supported network, called CBSN, launched Thursday. It is available around the cloc…
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Anaconda to Swallow Man Whole on Discovery Special ‘Eaten Alive’

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TV Either Just Jumped The Shark Or…Hit The Bottom Of The Barrel

Anaconda to Swallow Man Whole on Discovery Special ‘Eaten Alive’

This one isn’t for the faint of heart. Discovery is ready to feed a man to an anaconda for Eaten Alive. The network released two promos for the special, which will see wildlife expert Paul Rosolie go into the belly of the beast . But not to worry, he’ll be wearing a protective suit (as showcased in…
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A Rare Sighting…The GE PC 25 Color Camera

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A Rare Sighting…The GE PC 25 Color Camera

There were not many of these cameras made and I think the total ever built was twenty four. This shot is from WFAA in Dallas with DJ Ron Chapman hosting a local dance show. KGBT in Harlingen, Texas had them too.

Although GE broadcast equipment was built in Syracuse NY, in general it seems the west and south were their best broadcast markets. In a discussion with Pete Fasciano (inventor of the Avid editing system), Pete recalled that GE was so far behind in sales, that had the plumbicon tube not come along when it did, GE may well have gotten out of the broadcast business because without them, they would not have had the 250s, 350s and 400s.

Speaking of Syracuse, WCNY, the PBS station there had them but I think they were donated hand-me-downs from GE owned WRGB in Schenectady, but that’s the only two locations in the northeast that I know of that had these. Thanks to Martin Perry for the picture. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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Remember MGM’s Great Tarzan Movies?

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Just For Fun…Remember MGM’s Great Tarzan Movies?

Here’s a rare shot of Johnny Weissmuller with his MGM crew on location in Florida at Silver Springs. That’s where they went when they needed great underwater footage. Otherwise, most of the six Tarzan films for MGM were shot around the Lake Sherwood area near Los Angeles. Other exterior shots included Sherwood Forest, where aerialist Alfredo Codona doubled for Weissmuller swinging through the trees.

The tree-house was first seen in ‘Tarzan Escapes’, and was built at Crater Camp, in what is now the Malibu Creek State Park, and duplicated on a stage at MGM. The interiors were on another sound stage.

Weismueller went on to make six more Tarzan movies for RKO which were noticeably lacking in production value as most of the filming was done on the famous “back 40 lot”. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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The Paper Roll Teleprompters…A Funny Story

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The Paper Roll Teleprompters…A Funny Story

I would love to hear your funny teleprompter stories, and I know there are a lot, but here’s the best one I’ve heard and it happened in Atlanta at WSB TV.

Back in the 50s and early 60s, a lot of local spot were still done live and stations had to keep talent and techs on studio duty, and they had to be ready to go on time. A veteran director at WSB, Roger Marx, told me that one of the announcers he worked with was really bad about walking into the studio just seconds before air with no run through. He asked him time and again to be early for at least one pass, but no amount of pleading worked, so….

One afternoon, it was a minute till air and this announcer was not on the set but, as usual, strolled in with only ten seconds till air. When the cue came, the prompter rolled the copy and Mr. Tardy was at a loss for words. To teach him a lesson, they had loaded the paper roll upside down. He was never late again! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee




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The First Known Videotape Edited Show…November 20, 1958, CBS

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The First Known Videotape Edited Show…November 20, 1958, CBS

Seated on the right is director John Frankenheimer watching Ross Murray edit “Old Man”, which was a ‘Playhouse 90’ presentation that aired November 20, 1958.

This was the first time an entire production had ever been videotaped in advance and edited for air. The year before, Frankenheimer had used videotaped inserts in the live productions of two prior ‘Playhouse 90’ shows which were “Bomber’s Moon” and “The Days Of Wine And Roses”, but “Old Man” was a different ballgame.

Most of “Old Man” took place in a storm on the Mississippi River as an escaped convict fled from the law. The production used two studios at Television City (wet and dry) and was so daunting technically that the only way to do it was on tape. You can see some of the production shots below, including the huge Chapman movie crane they brought in.

On November 30, 1956 CBS had made history by tape delaying ‘Douglas Edwards With The News’ and again on October 13, 1957 when they used videotape to play back ‘The Edsel Show’ which aired live from Television City three hours earlier. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee





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A Great True Story From NBC Veteran Frank Gaeta…NBC 1951 – 1988

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A Great True Story From NBC Veteran Frank Gaeta…NBC 1951 – 1988

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Gaeta about his 37 years at NBC. In this photo from NBC Brooklyn Studio II, Frank (plaid shirt) is operating the TK41 at the bottom of the picture. This is on the set of ‘Sing Along With Mitch’ in 1962.

He was there for the remarkable early days of color and spent a lot of time at The Colonial Theater and Brooklyn which were NBC’s first two color facilites. In ’75 he moved from cameraman to technical director and was TD for ‘Another World’ till he retired in ’88 and on occasion, also directed.

Here’s a story like none I have ever heard before. One night in the early 60s, he was on one of four color cameras for a live color prime time network show from NBC Brooklyn. They had rehearsed for three long days, and it’s a good thing they did.

About thirty seconds into the show, the intercom line to the control room went dead. None of the studio crew could hear the TD and he couldn’t hear them, but the cameramen could hear each other. So, as the show went on, all of them were talking to each other, feeding each other shots. It sounded something like this…”Frank, you’ve got shot 72 and hold it till Jack can get in place for 73 and then truck left for 74.”

There’s no business like PRO business, and that’s how these guys pulled it off without a hitch. If you have a story like this, we would all love to hear it so please tell us about it! Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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From Flip Cards To The Credit Roll…

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From Flip Cards To The Credit Roll…

As we end today’s discussion on early graphics techniques, here are some shots that cover a lot of territory…from 1948 into 1993. The big picture is from NBC’s 1948 ‘Television Scene Magazine’ and shows the flip card board. The second photo is from the 50s of a black drum style credit roll with a Marconi Mark I or II. The color photo from James Shea is from a 1993 episode of ‘The Price Is Right’ from CBS Television City. This is one of the last times this was used and shortly after, they went along with everyone else and changed over to CG. They kept it in use long after other shows went CG because the producers liked the more organic look. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee




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Manual Graphics…1952 Election Coverage At ABC

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Manual Graphics…1952 Election Coverage At ABC

This is a far cry from where we are now, but this is the way it was done back when television was just taking baby steps. The ABC stagehand in the large photo is one of several men behind the big totals board. Each plastic ring has 0 through 9 on it and with the latest vote tabulations called out to them, these men moved the numbers on the board. On this night, Walter Winchell was the network’s television and radio anchor. These photos are more than likely from ABC Studio TV 1. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee




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1950s Demo Reel…Local Market Weather Package

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1950s Demo Reel…Local Market Weather Package

These twenty second forecast pieces were usually not in lieu of a local weather report inside a regular newscast, but were used during the day as sponsored “public interest” spots with a ten second sponsorship slide and VO at the top of each one.

Telecine rooms were always busy back in those early days. It was all manually done with film, slides and live VOs and very “by the book” as the book had all the break and run times, slide and film numbers and live VO scripts. Stations that used this package would have had all these on separate mini reels with leader at the front and back end and woe be unto you if the box and reel numbers got mis matched. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOLgNuVVmBw

A collection of weather report animations for almost every condition.
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Analogue Graphics Display…The 1964 Version

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Analogue Graphics Display…The 1964 Version

With several stories on computer graphics and the like lately, I thought taking a look at how thing were done before all that came along would be fun and I’ll share a few with you this morning.

This is a WHDH Boston Celtics player info box complete with changeable photo cards and a small control box. Thanks to Maureen Carney for the photo. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee


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SMPTE Time Code – Virtually Unchanged After Almost 50 Years

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New Richard Wirth Article…The SMPTE Time Code

This is a perfect detailed follow up to the Smith Block and video editing stories I posted here a few weeks back. Here’s the story of how the time code came to be and, having been around for almost half a century, how it has withstood the test of time.

Some of the most interesting parts of this are the rare videos he found while doing the research – like the CMX600 promotional film that gives a detailed demonstration of the first non linear editor in detail by taking you through the editing of a musical piece. Thanks to our friend Richard Wirth for composing this very interesting article. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://provideocoalition.com/pvcexclusive/story/timecode-virtually-unchanged-after-almost-50-years

SMPTE Time Code – Virtually Unchanged After Almost 50 Years

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  So goes the old proverb. SMPTE Time Code is like that.  While the entire production and post world around it has changed radically, time code has remained virtually the same.
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Continuing Election Coverage At CNN…A Look Inside Event Control

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Continuing Election Coverage At CNN…A Look Inside Event Control

Thanks to our friend Andy Rose, here is a look inside CNN Atlanta and one part of the network’s technical tasking for the still ongoing CNN election coverage. This photo does not show a traditional control room. It is the “event control” in Atlanta used during special coverage. It coordinates incoming live signals and routes them to the control room in manageable blocks. At last count, there were 96 remote signals expected over the course of the night (counting reporters, guests, and candidates’ events) which would overwhelm a traditional control room. These signals are transmitted through a combination of fiber optics, IP networks, broadband, bonded cellular, and literally every satellite frequency that CNN has available. Enjoy and share! To all the very tired folks at all the networks and local stations, THANKS! -Bobby Ellerbee


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Best Election News Yet…The Ads Are Over, And This Fun Clip

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Best Election News Yet…The Ads Are Over, And This Fun Clip

No matter how or who you voted for, one thing we can all agree on is that we are glad the 2.2 million political ads that ran this season have finally come to an end. In election night coverage, here’s a light moment with Tom Brokaw who ran with the ball when his cell phone rang. Enjoy and share! -Bobby Ellerbee

http://on.msnbc.com/1EgNHm3In the midst of discussing the 2014 midterm election returns with an msnbc panel, NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw is interrupted by a phone call.
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