National Television Academy


(L to R) Fred Meyers Kim Aubrey Jeff Cree By Keith Sanders

January 2004

San Francisco/Northern California



Photo © Robert Mohr 2001

The deadline approacheth. Television professionals in Northern California, Reno and Hawaii have until Friday, Jan. 16, to submit their entries in this year’s Emmy competition. There are 51 categories this year, including a new category for commercials produced and broadcast locally. The “interactivity” category for televisionrelated web pages and Internet services returns for a second year. There are also four newscast categories: large market (Bay Area, Sacramento); medium market (Fresno, Hawaii and Reno); small market (Salinas,
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Emmy Entry Deadline: Jan. 16
Complete entry forms online at
Emmy Nominations: April 22 Emmy Show: May 22 Emmy Entry Fee: (each name on entry) Members, $ 70 Non-members, $200 (join and save $$) Membership Fee: Renewal New/Returning San Francisco/Sacramento $65 $110 Fresno/Hawaii $50 $ 80 Smaller markets $35 $ 55

Off Camera, January 2004, page 1

HDTV is finally going mainstream. According to a recent Consumer Electronics Association survey, 9 million households are likely to purchase high-definition television products over the next 18 months. More than 7 million HDTV sets have been sold in the past five years. HD technology has changed the film world as celluloid is giving way to silicon. “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” broke new cinematic ground as the first major motion picture to be shot entirely in HD. Now more than 100 major motion pictures have been shot this way, and many of them are being shown on digital HD projectors. Later this month, NATAS and Film Arts Foundation offer an opportunity to meet some of the industry’s top professionals such as: • Fred Meyers from Industrial Light & Magic-HD supervisor for “Star Wars: Episode III” • Kim Aubrey from American Zoetrope, who advises Frances Ford Coppola on emerging filmmaking technologies • Jeff Cree from Sony-Works, who has worked with major film directors such as James Cameron • Kim Salyer from Video Arts, whose company is becoming SF’s first full-service HDTV post-production house • And Russ Walker from Panasonic, an expert on the D-5 HD mastering format. continued on page 2

continued from page 1 You’ll hear about recent projects, see clips projected in HD and participate in an audience Q&A at the 3rd Annual San Francisco HD Seminar on Thursday Jan. 29, beginning at 7pm at Film Arts Foundation, 145 9th St., San Francisco. Please RSVP early Kim Salyer as last year’s seminar was sold Russ Walker out. Admission is $20 for NATAS members and “filmmaker level” FAF members; $30 for others. To register: please e-mail: or 650-341-7786. Refreshments are being provided by Snader and Associates.
Photos © Robert Mohr 2003 (415-647-6647)

By Cynthia E. Zeiden

About 60 people showed up before the holidays for the annual “Holiday Showcase” last month. The event was a joint effort of the National Television Academy, the Bay Area Women in Film and Television (BAWIFT) and UCSF. It was held at UCSF’s spacious Cole Hall Auditorium. A networking party with wine, drinks and food was held before the showcase began. The first presenter was Wendy Walker, who showed a music video called “Stylish Girl” that made fun of the styles stars wore in the 1960’s. It featured footage from “Casino Royale,” “Valley of the Dolls,” and “Boom.”
Cynthia Brian Antonio Montonari

The Television Academy’s Northern California chapter was “on the road again” in December. Chapter president David Mills made a second trip to Sacramento and visited Reno as part of the Board of Governors’ annual drive to drum up membership. Mills returned to Sacramento on Dec. 4 to visit with employees at KTXL-40. Two weeks later, Mills drove to Reno to chat with workers at KTVN, KOLO and KRNV. The chapter president told the television industry employees about this year’s Emmy competition as well as the advantages of joining The Television Academy. The president noted he only lost $10 of his own money — that while playing Keno — the entire time he was in Reno. Mills will visit the Salinas-Monterey region this month.

Next came Cynthia Brian with her series, “Live Your Dreams.” She showed excerpts in which she interviewed a child actor who revealed, among other things, how he got his red hair from the garbage man. On a more serious note, Antonio Montonari showed an excerpt from his documentary, “U.S.A. Versus Tokyo Rose,” an Emmy-nominated program. The documentary was full of rare footage and told The National Television Acadthe story of the infamous World War II spy, Tokyo emy will have an informational Rose. booth at the DI2004 Indie Then, Jen Gilomen, showed a trailer from her Media Expo and Reception, new one-hour documentary, “Art As Revolution.” Her Saturday, January 31st from 5 partner on this project is Jessica Dorfman. The to 7 p.m. at the San Francisco visuals were powerful and featured political artists in Marriott. Information on the the Bay Area. It showed how these artists are using Digital Independence confertheir skills to communicate their stand on issues. ence is at: Sheila Ganz ended the program by showing an extended clip from her documentary, “Unlocking the Heart of Adoption.” This program covers the adopThe Longboard studios tour scheduled for tion triad, the adoptee, the adoptive parents and the January 10th has been postponed until summer. birth parents. Off Camera, January 2004, page 2

It was not a very merry Christmas for several on-air employees at two San Francisco television stations last month. KRON let go at least a half-dozen workers, three of them on-camera personnel. The biggest name was Emerald Yeh, the Emmy-award winning consumer reporter who had worked at the station for 19 years. Executives at the independent station decided not to re-sign Yeh after they eliminated KRON’s midday and 4 p.m. newscasts and cut back the station’s Contact 4 unit. Despite the decision, KRON did broadcast in midDecember a retrospective on Yeh’s 19 years of reports.

Anna Duckworth

Lisa Argent

Emerald Yeh

“It was not something I expected,” Yeh told Off Camera, “but it was a professional and amicable parting.” Along with Yeh, reporter Anna Duckworth was not re-signed. She was hired in late December by KPIX as a morning news reporter. Weathercaster Lisa Argent also left the station after she was reportedly assigned to work weekends and refused to do so. KRON executives refused to comment on the layoffs. Employees say the station still hasn’t recovered financially from the loss of its NBC affiliation three years ago. “Morale here is pretty low,” said one KRON employee. “People are concerned about who’s next.”

KPIX also said good-bye to one its anchors. The CBS affiliate decided not to re-sign morning anchor April Cummings, who had worked at KPIX since 1999. KPIX executives refused to comment on Cummings’ departure. The station’s morning news ratings have dipped the past few months. The broadcast finish fifth in its time slot in November. Employees said they were surprised and saddened by the news. Cummings said she had indications she might not be re-signed. She added she’ll look for new opportunities now. “They made a judgement I don’t agree with, but it’s their judgement to make. That’s just the way things are,” Cummings said.

KGO ABC 7 is adding staff for the new year. Nannette Miranda was named Sacramento Bureau Chief Comcast Communications is reportedly close to for the ABC owned stations in a deal to purchase San Francisco-based TechTV. California. Miranda is from WFTS, “TelevisionWeek” reported in mid-December Tampa FL. Comcast was offering $300 million for the technolGeneral assignment reporter ogy-based network started by billionaire Paul Allen in Lilian Kim joins ABC 7 from CNN, Nannette May 1998. she also has worked at KCRA, Miranda Comcast would reportedly merge TechTV with G4, Lilian Kim Sacramento. the network’s video game channel launched in April ABC 7 has a new political re2002. porter, Mark Matthews. He has TechTV is available in 40 million homes while G4 worked at KERO, Bakersfield and is available in 11 million homes nationwide. KSBY, San Luis Obispo. If the agreement is reached, it’s not clear yet what Jim Huntington was named the combined channel would be called or who would assignment manager, he was manrun it. aging editor at KNBC in Los Angles. Off Camera, January 2004, page 3

EMMY ENTRIES 1 TOWERS STAND TALL continued from page Monterey, Redding, Chico IN SACRAMENTO and Eureka); and daytime
newscast (all markets). The program categories include breaking news, continuing coverage, general reporting, features, specialized reporting, documentary, investigative, sports, live event, cultural affairs, information, children, entertainment and current affairs. The crafts categories include photography, graphics, directing, editing, set design/lighting, on-camera and writing. Categories for public service announcements, community programs and promotions are also in the call for entries. Entry forms may be filled out ONLINE. When you use the online form, the entry information goes direct into the Academy’s database without having to be retyped. You can also pay online with Visa, Master Card or American Express credit cards. Just go to for all the information you need. Membership forms are also available on the web site. In addition, entrants can call the Academy office at (650) 341-7786 for information. No entries will be accepted after Jan. 16. Entries submitted before Jan. 16 that are incomplete or need additions will be charged a $25 late fee. The deadline for corrections to entries is March 31. Nominations will be announced on April 22. The 2004 Emmy Awards show will be held Saturday, May 22, at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.


They aren’t used much anymore, but three structures of steel loom large in the Sacramento television industry. They’re the broadcast towers that hover mightily next to the three major network affiliates in the state capital. The triple towers are part of the history of KXTV, KCRA and KOVR and have developed into part of each station’s identity. “They’re really part of the skyline,” said Margaret Mohr of KXTV. No one is quite sure why Sacramento is home to a trio of old broadcast towers. The central location of the city and its flat terrain are probably factors. The story begins in 1955 when KCRA went into operation and used its tower to send out its broadcast signal to homes in its market area. When cable came into vogue in the 1960s, the tower was no longer needed for that function. KCRA and other stations built a 1500-foot tower in Walnut Grove (south of Sacramento) to bounce live signals. In the 1990s, KCRA constructed a 2,000-foot tower in Walnut Grove — at the time, it was the largest human-made structure west of the Mississippi. The original tower is used as a back-up and for cell phone, skycam and other transmissions. Nonetheless, it remains a fixture in the KCRA parking lot. The same is true for the tower that stands near the front entrance of KXTV. The 302-foot tower was completed in 1999 and helps broadcast HDTV.

“Fridays with Art” is insiders’ accounts of the early days of the TV biz by some of the guys who make it work. The It’s also part of KXTV’s logo book is edited by Dick and is used to display informaWoolen. Art Greenfield was tion. It emits a red glow if the the catalyst and mentor for temperature tops 100 degress; many. Our own Silver Circle white, if it is cloudy or foggy; member Dick Block is a green, if it’s raining; and purple if contributor. E-mail the Sacramento Kings win. continued on page 5 Off Camera, January 2004, page 4




NOTE DATE CHANGE (3rd Mon, this month only) Drama and Comedy 2 hrs. 05 min. Edward Bloom (Albert Finney) has always been a teller of tall-tales about his oversized life as a young man (Ewan McGregor), when his wanderlust led him on an unlikely journey from a small-town in Alabama, around the world, and back again. His mythic exploits dart from the delightful to the delirious as he weaves epic tales about giants, a witch and conjoined-twin lounge singers. With his larger-than-life stories, Bloom charms almost everyone he encounters except for his estranged son Will (Billy Crudup). When his mother Sandra (Jessica Lange) tries to reunite them, Will must learn how to separate fact from fiction as he comes to terms with his father’s great feats and great failings. MPAA Rating: PG-13 for a fight scene, some images of nudity and a suggestive reference. Directed by: Tim Burton Produced by: Richard D Zanuck, Dan Jinks, Bruce Cohen This is a special PRIVATE screening at the Delancey Street Screening Room, 600 The Embarcadero, San Francisco. Refreshments & Networking 7 p.m., movie 7:30 p.m. Seating limited to first 146 to arrive. The CINEMA CLUB is a FREE first run monthly screening (second Monday) for NATAS, DGA and AWRT members who may bring a guest.

Romance and Drama 2 hrs. 35 min. Directed by Academy Award®winner Anthony Minghella (“The English Patient”, “The Talented Mr. Ripley”) and based on Charles Frazier’s best-selling Civil War novel of the same name, COLD MOUNTAIN tells the story of Inman (Jude Law), a wounded confederate soldier who is on a perilous journey home to his mountain community, hoping to reunite with his pre-war sweetheart, Ada (Nicole Kidman). In his absence, Ada struggles to survive, and revive her father’s farm with the help of intrepid young drifter Ruby (Renee Zellweger). MPAA Rating: R for violence and sexuality. Produced by: Wiliam Horbert, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa, Sydney Pollack Meet vice president George Franco in the lobby of the Regal Theatres at Natomas Marketplace, 3561 Truxel Road, Sacramento (Off I80). Networking at noon, check theatre for exact start time. FREE to NATAS members who may bring a guest.

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Beach Elementary School in Piedmont is looking for a videographer/editor to videotape its legendary Beach Revue this March. Responsibilities will include shooting the behind-the-scenes footage, the performance and rehearsals; editing; and making dvd and vhs copies which will be purchased by the children’s families. A small stipend is being offered. If you are interested, please contact Lisa Scimens at: 510-6557759 or . Off Camera, January 2004, page 5

Mohr says the tower was carefully planned to be part of the station and the community. “We put some thought into it,” she said. The third tower sits at the beginning of the driveway into KOVR’s West Sacramento offices. The structure isn’t used much, except to bounce the occasional live signal. However, it too is a landmark for a Sacramento t-v station.

By Vince Casalaina

“The Choice between Life and Death,” a one-hour program, was the first locally produced viewer interactive docu-drama. It aired on KPIX in 1977 at 10pm. The program was funded and produced as part of the monthly “KPIX Impact” series of public affairs specials. “The Choice between Life and Death” looked at California’s recently enacted death penalty law and how it could affect everyone in the community. The story involved a robbery gone bad where a store owner was gunned down. Each act of the program looked at one of the primary characters of the drama — the young man who committed the robbery, Robert Mayhew played by Carl Lumbly; the young public defender, Mark Arnold played by Mark McIntire; the older prosecutor, John Gilbert played by Scott Beach; the wife of the shop keeper; and the jurors who would decide the case. “The Choice between Life and Death” was the first program on television to ask the viewers to determine the outcome of the drama. At the close of the 60 minutes, the station asked the audience to call KPIX and cast their ballot on whether Robert Mahew was to live or die. Following the local news, we played the ending that had been selected by the audience. In this case, they chose execution. KPIX then devoted the next 90 minutes to a round table discussion of the death penalty with San FranTHE BOARD OF GOVERNORS

cisco District Attorney Joseph Freitas, U.S. Attorney James Browning, state Public Defender Paul Halvonick and psychologist Dr. Thomas Hillard. An studio audience and viewer call-ins continued the viewer interaction of the production. The program won a local Emmy for “informational programming” and an American Bar Association Silver Gavel for legal reporting. The docu-drama’s co-producer Ben Bayol went on to produce the PBS daily informational show “Over Easy” and later developed the “Digital West” program at KQED. Director Vincent Casalaina went on to direct “Over Easy” and later produced sports programs featuring pro-am sailboat racing that aired locally, on national cable television and on international broadcast television. Actor Scott Beach went on to appear in the films “The Right Stuff,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Tucker.” Actor Carl Lumbly went on appear on television in “Alias,” “Men of Honor” and on the New York stage in “Siswe Bansi Is Dead.” Mark McIntire went on to star in the one-man show “JFK Lives.” “The First Time” is the theme of our 2004 Emmy show on Saturday, May 22. If you know of any television “firsts” (dealing with television professionals, programs and technology) in the Bay Area, Sacramento, Fresno, Reno and Hawaii, please send them in to

Stewart Heller, York Productions OFFICERS: Adam Housley, Fox News David Mills, KPIX, President Ashley James, KTOP(Publicity) Lynn R Friedman, KGO, VP, SF Ronald Louie, KTVU Keith Sanders, DVCreations, VP, SJ Terry Lowry, LaCosse Productions George Franco, KOVR, VP, Sacramento Deanne Moenster, KTVU Erik Rosales, KGPE, VP, Fresno John Murray, JM Communications SAN FRANCSISCO David Ratto, ImageSync, VP, Reno Sharon Navratil, KTVU CALIF ALIFORNIA NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Pamela Young, KITV, VP, Hawaii John Odell, CCSF 4317 Camden Avenue Michele Ball, KBWB, Secretary Ross Palombo, KRON San Mateo, CA 94403 James Spalding, Spalding & Co., Pat Patton,Young/KRON (Member) Treasurer (Finance) Terri Russell, KOLO NATIONAL TRUSTEES: Heather Searles, ITVS James Lautz, Tudor Communications Damian Trujillo, KNTV Cynthia Zeiden, Zeiden Media (Activities) Javier Valencia, KRON (Awards) GOVERNORS: Kira Vilanova, KDTV (Publicity) Dan Adams, KXTV Stuart Yamane, Independent Dan Ashley, KGO Richard Zanardi, Notre Dame Brian Avery, KTLN COMMITTEE CHAIRS John Catchings, Catchings & Assoc. Darryl Cohen, Cohen & Cooper (Legal) (Museum) Linda Giannecchini, KQED (Museum) Albert Garcia, KUVS EXECTIVE DIRECTOR Alison Gibson, Media Cool (Education) Darryl R Compton, NATAS

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