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The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
San Francisco/Northern California Chapter
SILVER GOLD & SILVER Nov 11 CIRCLE CIRCLE - Nov 11
Tickets are still available for the 20th Anniversary Gold and Silver Circle Induction Luncheon coming up on Saturday, November 11, 2006. The Holiday Inn at Fisherman’s Wharf is the location. The party starts with a no-host reception at 11 a.m. Lunch will be served at noon with the ceremony folllowing. Tickets are $65 for Academy members and $70 for guests. Call the Academy office at 650-341-7786. The luncheon is shaping up to be a star-studded event in more ways than one. Both the Class of 2006 honorees and the presenters they have selected to introduce them represent some of the best and brightest in broadcasting. continued on page 2
OPEN MEDIA NETWORK Nov 15 NETWORK - Nov 15
By Cynthia E. Zeiden Join us on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 for an evening at the Open Media Network (OMN), a video-ondemand company. The location is the Open Media Network Headquarters, 436 Waverley Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301. The event runs from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 CEO Mike Homer p.m., with registration, networking and light refreshments the first half hour. At 7:30, the program begins with an introduction to OMN, its history and development. You’ll see how the OMN viewer works technically, along with demonstrations of the types of content featured on OMN. You’ll also find out how their business model works and how producers can distribute their content on the site.
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KTVU LAUNCHES HD NEWS
By Keith Sanders On Tuesday October 10th at 4pm KTVU became the first Bay Area TV station to air local news in HD. A few stations in the San Francisco market have already experimented with various forms of HD production, but none had tackled the complexities of daily HD newscasts. It’s an understatement to say the switch to HD news was merely complex. “The operators were amazing, given the task of accomplishing many
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No power, no cell phones, no staff. We are broadcasting blind on emergency generator, sending out our signal to unknown recipients. Slowly some cell phones kick in and we start to get calls from the Big By Pamela Young Island. I am on the newsroom cut-in set an hour and 20 minutes after the first earthquake. There is not enough juice to light the main set or studio cams so our chief engineer Rodney Shimabukuro struggles to connect wires under my desk as a Hilo resident describes the devastation of a 6.6 earthquake 6 miles out of Kailua-Kona. We have one lavaliere, which I hold to the speaker phone. No video, no IFB, no rundown, no floor crew. News Director Tod Pritchard makes hand signals and
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EARTHQUAKE HAW IN HAWAII
Off Camera, November 2006, page 1
CIRCLE INDUCTEES CIRCLE INDUCTEES PICK PRESTIGIOUS PRESENTERS PRESTIGIOUS PRESENTERS
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Gold Circle Inductee Franklin Mieuli Will be introduced by Linda Giannecchini (Silver Circle 1997), Franklin Mieuli and Associates/KQED, and the Golden State Warriors basketball giant Al Attles.
Silver Circle Inductee John Fowler, KTVU 2 reporter, picked his former News Director Fred Zehnder (Silver Circle 1991). Fred also received the 2000 Governors’ Award.
Inductee Mark Hedlund, reporter KXTV News 10 selected KXTV News 10 Anchor Jennifer Smith (Silver Circle 2004) to introduce him.
CBS 5 Anchor Sydnie Kohara asked her former boss Harry Fuller (Silver Circle 2001) to introduce her. Harry was News Director at KGO, News Director and General Manger at KPIX. He moved on to ZDTV, CNBC and now C|Net.
Former Fresno Anchor Bob Long has asked KSEE 24 Anchor Faith Sidlow to do the introductions.
KTVU Mornings on 2 host Ross McGowan will have his former KPIX “People are Talking” co-host Ann Frazer introduce him.
CBS 5 Political Reporter Hank Plante will be introduced by his KPIX Special Projects producer Tim Didion.
Terry Lowry, (Silver Circle 1996), LaCosse Productions is the chair of the Gold and Silver Circle Committee. Pete Wilson, (Silver Circle 2001), ABC 7 Anchor, will be the Master of Ceremonies.
Off Camera, November 2006, page 2
COVERING HAW COVERING AN EARTHQUAKE IN HAWAII
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writes the latest data on scraps of paper. After a few minutes the speaker phone dies and I must repeat the information we receive from callers. KITV anchor Gary Sprinkle We are one step away from using a paper cup and string. Assignments Manager Wanda Wehr dispatches neighbor island stringers to shoot video but we are uncertain how we’ll get it in-house since all the airports are closed. For now we must rely on the phoner descriptions and the imaginations of the handful of viewers who still have electricity. Webmaster Brent Suyama starts receiving photos on our website, thehawaiichannel.com. There are amazing stills of a Lapahoehoe bluff falling into the sea, cracks splitting apart a highway, elderly patients being wheeled out of their crumbling hospital. CNN picks us up and our broadcast, unavailable to most of the state, goes out to the rest of the world. We receive email from Europe, Africa, and nearly every mother on the mainland seeking the whereabouts of vacationing kin. Since we are the only Hawaii television station with a signal, the newsroom becomes Disaster Information Central. Most of our calls then become very personal....”do you know where my daughter is?”... “my parents are on a cruise ship off Maui “....”my grandmother isn’t answering her phone”.... After two hours, the news set fires up. 6pm anchors Paula Akana and Shawn Ching take their seats, while I’m relieved by 5pm anchor Gary Sprinkle, just back from Hawaii Civil Defense with our first package. Nearly every KITV staff member walks through the door, carrying provisions and foul-weather gear. On top of all this, a tropical storm has been forecast. For the
next 11 1/2 hours we are a live, nonstop, barebones broadcast. For the younger reporters it is a lesson in Dark Age television, before prompters, monitors and robotics KITV anchor Pamela Young enhanced their “face time.” Our executive producer Erin Kinney is out on maternity leave, our 6pm producer Marisa Takahashi is in Viet Nam, so 5pm producer Anna Gomes is in The Chair from 8:30am to 11:30pm, sustained only by strong coffee and Cheetos. The loss of power to much of Hawaii created a unique communication process. We were black to our local audience on Oahu, Maui, and parts of the Big Island, but CNN took our words worldwide, and those viewers then called relatives and friends in Hawaii with the necessary emergency information. This also confirmed to us what I’m sure New Orleans broadcast facilities know all too well. In a disaster you cease to be a television or radio station. You become a public utility. I am so proud of the job KITV did. Many put personal concerns aside to support the newsroom, from General Manager Mike Rosenberg, who never left the station, to unpaid intern Nate Serota, who answered hundreds of phone calls. I’m also blown away by the “ohana” spirit of the people of Hawaii. Despite damage to nearly 1500 homes, not one family took the Red Cross up on its offer of housing and food. Neighbors and friends took in the stranded and homeless. It is the next morning and everyone is back for the mop-up. Flights have resumed and we are getting reacquainted with our primary medium...video. Another quake hit the Big Island, 4.0 on the Richter scale, but most structures in jeopardy have already fallen. Since the candy machine has been restocked, newsroom staffers are confident we can weather another storm.
BARTLET ARTLETT MO JOEL BARTLETT MATIER MOVES LIFETIME ACHIVEMENT TO CBS 5 ACHIVEMENT
The Board of DirecSan Francisco Chronicle tors of the Northern Columnist Phil Matier moves California Radio-Televifrom KRON 4 to CBS 5 as an onsion News Directors air contributor. Phil will appear Associaton honored Joel primarily in the 6 pm newscasts Bartlett with a Lifetime and on Early Edition on Fridays Achievement Award at and Sundays. His reporting will the 25th NorCal RTNDA emphasize government and Awards on Saturday, politics. October 28th. Phil co-writes the Matier & Joel has been a Ross column with Andy Ross, meteorologist at ABC 7, KPIX 5, PG&E and a weather which runs in The Chronicle on Sunday, Monday and officer for the U.S. Air Force. Wednesday.
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PA DVD - PAST - PRESENT - FUTURE
By Cynthia E. Zeiden This seminar is definitely one of the most popular we offer! On Saturday, October 7, 2006, after a nice breakfast at Steve Michelson’s Lobitos Creek Ranch in Half Moon Bay, Steve presented his seminar on the history, present and future of the DVD format. Its rich content explored the current usages and trends of DVD, HD DVD and Blue Ray. He then compared the media’s usage to Broadband and gave us some charts that reflected future trends in media delivery. Some facts of interest: only Microsoft’s Windows Media Player has Digital Rights Management built into it. As content providers collect money from pay per view, it protects content and has expiration dates. No other system has this built in. Steve said that with Tower Records closing, it indicates the end of going to stores to buy DVDs. With web VOD, you can purchase movies, download them and burn them onto your own blank DVDs. He calls this Print to Video. Steve also said that MPEG-4 will replace MPEG-2 as the dominant codec because it takes up less space. He ended the morning seminar talking about IPTV, Internet Protocol Television. There are 63 million subscribers worldwide; it uses full screen TV and full interactivity. After the seminar, we broke up into groups to see various DVD demos, focusing on the DVD-rom features of each: Yoga Journal, The Great War, Buddy Rich and His Band-The Channel One Suite, Oil on Ice, Good Cooking, Janice Weir’s Cooking Class and Life with Principle-Thoreau’s Voice in Our Time. In the afternoon, the attendees broke out into groups to discuss their projects in development, getting financing for DVD projects and the legal issues of rights, releases, etc. We plan to offer this event again next year as DVD is becoming more and more dominant as a storage and playback medium. Remember, all Emmy® entries need to be submitted this year on DVDs.
Off Camera, November 2006, page 4
Photos by Lynn R Friedman and Gary Schultz
KTVU LAUNCHES HD NEWS
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changes in an extremely aggressive timeline,” says KTVU Manager of Engineering Operations Don Thompson. “Vinten, Grass Valley, Klotz, Sony, and Pinnacle provided onsite training. Going ‘on-air’ doesn’t end the learning curve as we continue to find better methods, creative ideas, and utilize new equipment. Additionally the KTVU Technical Services crews were fantastic in getting everything installed and resolving issues as they arose.” Substantial changes to the news set were required for the transition to HD. “We moved the news set forward about 5 feet to allow more depth in the background for a new Panasonic HD Rear Screen Projector system” says KTVU Director of Local Programming Jim Haman. “We also changed the shots on the weather center to add new computer screens for our weather talent to see the new HD Barons and WSI computers. Because of the physical changes we added new lights and removed others that were no longer needed.” Haman added that “everyone has heard stories of how HD can be very clear, crisp and unfriendly to talent and we wanted to test that theory. We used our HD Local Programming camera to shoot test shots and review with an HD Make-up artist to instruct our talent on make-up for HD. We did side by side comparisons after the counseling to see the difference.” The graphics change to HD at KTVU was enormous. “We started with a new graphics package from Hot Haus Design in Dallas,” says KTVU Design Director Deanne Moenster-Poitras. “We used Pinnacle Deko for graphic management and playout to air. Because Deko is a template-based system, it never creates a composite graphic, but rather “assembles” the layers to air. We utilize a MOS interface with INews to automate graphics in the control room. We also added ArtBox to coordinate design orders and graphic building by producers in the newsroom.” KTVU’s field cameras are capable of shooting DVCPro HD, but for now shoot in 16 x 9 SD. Jim Haman explains “we selected the Panasonic AG-HVX200 cameras, capable of wide screen 16 x 9 production and once upconverted to 720p, we were
very happy with the results. The clarity and crisp reproduction is very close to HD quality.” Don Thompson clarifies “our microwave trucks are capable of editing 16 x 9 in the field and sending back v/o and packages. The microwave remains 4 x 3 and once back at the station our News Edit (GVG Vibrint) is capable of aspect conversion back to native wide screen 16 x 9. Completed stories and “B” roll are fed to our NAS and played out through GVG Profiles using BCS with MOS interface to the iNews rundown. The control room has a new HD GVG 4 M/E Kayak switcher to manage all the video sources. Because we have new HD graphics, HD Weather and Traffic systems and HD studio cameras we have installed an HD GVG Concerto router to manage HD sources.” Viewers can see KTVU HD newscasts on Comcast channel 702 and on Direct TV. Jim Haman reminds us “not to forget trying a TV antenna to get the best uncompressed HD picture. The news show is produced in HD and we center cut and down-convert the HD 16 x 9 for the SD 4 x 3 stream that goes to Air. The SD product is more crisp and the color more true, so the SD Viewer has gained as well.” “Overall, this was one of the biggest projects that KTVU has embarked on since moving into our current location 20+ years ago,” says Ed Chapuis, KTVU News Director. “The accelerated time frame and shear volume of the equipment and workflow changes have been enormous. The success of the project is directly reflected on the staff at KTVU, their dedication and hard work has been remarkable.”
(left to right) Tim McVay, Deanne Moenster-Poitras, John Mayne, Ed Chapuis, Jim Haman
Off Camera, November 2006, page 5
SOLO ABC 7 GOES SOLO NOV 15 WED. NOV. 15
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Our featured speaker for the evening will be Mike Homer. Mike is the founder and chairman of Open Media Network, a non-profit video-on-demand content collector and distributor for public television, radio and non-profit organizations. Before starting Open Media Network, Mike was the Chairman and CEO of Kontiki. He is also an investor and advisor to several Silicon Valley startups, including Opsware (formerly Loudcloud), Tellme Networks, Palm, and TiVo. Previously, Mike was a Senior Vice President at America Online. Before the acquisition of Netscape by AOL, he held various executive positions at Netscape Communications, including Executive Vice President and General Manager of Netscape Netcenter, and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Earlier in his career, Mike gained valuable experience as Vice President of Engineering at EO Corporation and as Vice President of Marketing at GO Corporation. From 1982 to 1991, Mike held various technical and management positions at Apple Computer. He earned a B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley. Other staff members will also make presentations. Open Media Network is focused on making it easier to find high-quality video programming by innovative educational, community and non-profit organizations. Watching quality programming should be as easy as turning on a TV. OMN downloads programs to your computer so you can watch them on your monitor, on TV via Tivo or on mobile video devices. OMN’s Internet TV Viewer service features more than 40,000 movie, video and audio downloads. The event is free for NATAS members and $10 for non-members. R.S.V.P.s are required, email: email@example.com or call the Academy office (650) 3417786.
Some mysterious night moves have happened at KGO-TV. The San Francisco ABC affiliate has switched its 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts to solo anchor shows… and nobody at the station will talk about it. Cheryl Jennings now anchors the 5 p.m. by herself and Dan Ashley is the lone anchor on KGO’s 11 p.m. news. Pete Wilson and Jessica Aguirre are the coanchors on the 6 p.m. news. Aguirre and Ashley both also work on special reports. News managers at KGO are tight-lipped about the changes. They refused to comment on the solo anchor situation, saying it is a competitive strategy issue. Employees at the station also told Off Camera they are not allowed to talk about the changes.
ADROUNY ASST. ND ADROUNY ASS SST
ABC 7 Executive Producer Stephanie Adrouny has been promoted to Assistant News Director under Kevin Keeshan. Stephanie replaces Tracey Watkowski who is now the News Director at ABC 30, KFSN in Fresno. 11 p.m. Producer Krisann Chasarik will become the Executive Producer at KCNC in Denver.
KNTV HONORS LONGONG-TIME EMPLO KNTV HONORS LONG-TIME EMPLOYEES
Balloons flew, corks popped, ers Jim Sanders, VP of News, cake was passed as NBC11 Willie McGrady, Broadcast honored four employees, Operations Manager and Angela each celebrating 25 years of Crayton, Director of New Techservice to KNTV. Ken Lopes, nology and Broadcast EngineerKirk Woolman, Lou ing for their immeasurable Stallbaumer and Dick contributions to the station. Swank have each seen Honoree Dick Swank noted, ownership changes, numerby way of explanation to their ous technology changes, and longevity, that each of the a market change from Salihonorees came from a technical nas/Monterey to the San and engineering background. Do Francisco/Oakland/San Jose engineers have more fun? All of market (a first in TV history) the honorees recognized their (left to right) Dick Swank, Kirk Woolman, before finally becoming an co-workers and thanked them Ken Lopes, Lou Stallbaumer employee of NBCU when NBC for making KNTV such a great By Damian Trujillo purchased KNTV in 2002. The place to work. NBC11 was proud honorees were recognized by Linda Sullivan, Presito honor these four individuals who were instrumental dent and General Manager, as well as by direct managin making NBC11/KNTV the great Bay Area station that it is today.
Off Camera, November 2006, page 6
TO MILW WALDON TO MILWAUKEE CHIEF OF CONTENT
KOVR/KMAX Assistant News Director Lori Waldon is leaving Sacramento to take over as News Director of Milwaukee’s HearstArgyle station, WISNTV. Before joining the Viacom duopoly in Sacramento, Lori spent 13 years in news management roles at KPIX-TV in San Francisco, serving as Managing Editor, Executive Producer and News Producer. She also worked as a General Assignment Reporter at television stations in Charlotte, Mobile and Peoria. Lori also has a rather distinguished academic career. She followed up her USC degree with a master’s from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. She’s served as a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute for journalism and a leadership coach for the Radio and Television News Directors Association and Foundation. Lori is an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists and was a director on the NorCal RTNDA board. Linda O’Bryon has been named the new Chief Content Officer for Northern California Public Broadcasting. She reports to president and CEO of Northern California Public Broadcasting, Jeff Clarke. O’Bryon is a public broadcasting veteran of more than 25 years. She succeeds John Boland, who recently left to assume the newly created role of Chief Content Officer at PBS. Clarke says O’Bryon “brings to this post a wealth of relevant skills, expertise and stellar experience that will help shape our new organization and expand our content for listeners and viewers in the Bay Area and beyond. We admire her commitment to providing quality content and look forward to her leadership in delivering programming to our audiences.” O’Bryon will lead the content divisions of a multimedia organization that includes more than 150 television and radio producers and programmers, editors, reporters, educators, web content developers, management and technical personnel at KQED, KTEH, and KCAH.
FRIDAY THE 13TH $40,000 JOHN CANNON FRIDA 13TH HARRY BA HARRY FULLER B A SH SCHOLARSHIP
The John Cannon Memorial Scholarship is awarded by the Board of Trustees of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to an exceptional high school student who intends to major in television, telecommunications, or a similar communicationsrelated field at a four year college or university. The Scholarship will be distributed over a four-year period with $10,000 awarded prior to the first year of study, and three additional awards of $10,000 granted in subsequent years. To be eligible for the continuing awards, the recipient must demonstrate satisfactory progress towards a degree and remain in a communications-oriented program. The scholarship award may be used for tuition, books, living expenses, and other related costs. An application can be downloaded from, the NATAS foundation web site: www.emmyonline.org/emmy/ scholr.html. While considerable emphasis is placed on the creative accomplishments of each applicant, college board scores are also required. Those selected as finalists will be required to submit a portfolio of their creative work. The entry deadline is December 11, 2006. John Cannon was the longtime president of the National Television Academy. He died in June 2001.
Photos by Lynn R Friedman
Off Camera, November 2006, page 7
MIKE BOYD LEAVES BEHIND GIANT FOOTPRINTS
The word legend is thrown around with reckless abandon in our industry, but there are times we lose someone who deserves the label. Mike Boyd was such a person. Everybody in Sacramento knew him. He seemed to show up prominently in every shot of attorneys walking out of court during a big case, and every police soundbite from a crime scene, including the competition’s, much to their chagrin. Yes, Boyd learned more than a few tricks during his 38 years at KCRA, Ch. 3. He retired in 2001, and died last month, at age 74. Of the thousands of stories Boyd reported at Ch. 3, two stand out as truly legendary, and will be talked about in newsrooms by generations of journalists to come. There was the time he interviewed mass murderer Charles Manson in his prison cell. Boyd stuck the microphone between the bars of the cell, while Manson, in full “vintage Manson” form, ranted by firing Boyd’s questions back at him. Finally, Boyd looked Manson squarely in the eyes and said sternly, ”I’m the one who’s asking you!” “Can you imagine challenging Charles Manson like that?” asked Ron Middlekauff, a KCRA photographer and longtime friend of Boyd. “I talked to Mike about his Manson interview, and it was incredible. At one point, (guards) brought in Manson’s dinner, and Manson says, ‘Let this guy eat it.’ And then Mike brings out the Manson book (‘Helter Skelter’), and Manson grabs it away from him and autographs it.” But his biggest scoop came in 1988, when KCRA chartered a jet to fly Boyd down to southern California to interview notorious F Street murderer Dorothea Puente. There were no other commercial flights scheduled that night, so some Sacramento deputies asked if they could tag along. The deputies ended up bringing Puente back to Sacramento with them on that private plane and Mike interviewed her exclusively. Adding insult to injury, the competition had no idea what was unfolding. Rival reporters learned Puente was back in Sacramento and that Boyd had the exclusive interview with her, by watching it all on televisions in the Sacramento airport boarding area the next morning, as they were waiting for the first flight out to L.A. One of the greatest compliments another reporter could ever receive was besting Boyd on a story, and having him come up to you the next day and say “You kicked my butt.” Co-workers and competitors alike will miss that fire and drive, as well as countless other qualities that put Boyd on top, forever.
7 KGO CHASED OUT OF ITS STUDIO BY RAIN
The November storm front was no surprise. But rain inside the ABC 7 studio was. The KGO building on Front Street in San Francisco has been getting a new roof put on for months, and it wasn’t quite ready for the first significant rain of the season when it came November 2nd. Putting a new roof on a television station is much more complicated, and apparently time consuming, than replacing the roof of other buildings. Satellite dishes have to be rewired and moved to one side until half the roof is finished, then everything has to be moved back to the completed side while workers tackle the other half. Turns out, they needed a few more dry days. Water first started dripping into the ABC 7 studio during a local news cut-in in Good Morning America. The moisture blew out part of the overhead light grid, and
Off Camera, November 2006, page 8
the morning crew scrambled up to the newsroom set for the next update. As the rain picked up throughout the day, so did the leak, until it appeared it was actually raining in the studio. Ch. 7 shot video of the situation, and showed it to viewers during their Midday, 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00pm newscasts to help explain why they were anchoring their shows from the newsroom instead of the regular news desk (which viewers saw covered by protective tarps). The only adjustment made was to the 6:00 show, which Jessica Aguirre and Pete Wilson divided up, each anchoring half, rather than trying to co-anchor from the small “flash cam” desk. In the end, the shows all went off without a hitch, as work continued on the roof to plug the leaks quickly, because the next rain storm was expected to hit in about 12 hours.
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