Mike Bruchas - 05/29/99 06:33:36

Dumb jingles/dumb slogans - what could GM's/Corporate Chains/Promotions Directors be thinking of at times!

We had an "unnamed" reporter leave KOCO to go to Wichita for a job - they're slogan was something like "4 on Your Side" - one of the photogs quipped it sounded her sex life. Because she was their "4 on Your Side" Consumer reporter.

WJLA - KTUL's sister station used this for years (7's On Your Side!)but they always had a consumer reporter or excellent I-Team (investigative team) though often lackluster, stupid ("sales-driven") management here.

Frank Gari wrote so many of the insipid music packages, also a joint out of Dallas masquerading as TM Productions and a couple of other names produces them.

Former KOCO News Director Mike Youngren - after he left 5 - had a memorable campaign of original music done in Salt Lake City by a local composer that I loved for a station there. Hell I used to play the package on my car cassette player driving to work - it was so good. Mike also had Mike Post - composer of all sorts of TV music such as the Rockford Files - do a package for another station he was VP of News at. Thru Mike - I contacted Mike Post and his partner Pete Carpenter (yes of the Carpenters' fame) about music for the National Assoc. of Broadcasters Convention - when I worked at NAB. NAB poor-boyed though it with something Frank Gari had unsold on the shelf and re-adapted for NAB. Hey - I got a free CD from Mike Post out of it and a chance to talk to the man!

If Don Lundy is on-line this weekend maybe he can tell us who is out there peddling this stuff.

A lot of the music tie-ins came with Fall seasons - ABC had the best then NBC and stations "poor-boying it" would never buy a package of music - just adopt the network package for a year - in Amarillo that's what we did for a while.

Carl aka Zeb Bartholomew also seemed the most expert "adapter" as a producer to these things in the 70's in Tulsa. That's why 8's promos from then are more memorable.

A lot of places take a network video package that holes for "place local anchor shots here" which looks bizarre if all the network video is on 35mm film with a Hollywood look and your station inserts anchor shots made on that 6 year camcorder. Go to a small market - you'll see it.

No, Carl as a firm believer in the film "look" and most stations in this market have film-look opens and generic promos shot locally.

Ex-KTUL anchor Susan Silver produces or produced news image campaigns for stations now that are memorable.

I like "4 Oklahoma" as a slogan. KOCO's "5 Alive" and sister station WXIA's "11 Alive" we have talked about before - lots of live shots, fast moving. They held up a long time. Ditto "Eyewitness News" format though a lot of stations that started out that format now seem to use the moniker but news is often "Brain Boring" news. Yup - I guess you have to change your image every now and then - but you have to wonder what unimaginative manager may have picked the image campaign names!

Erick - 05/29/99 05:38:30
My Email:ericktul@webtv.net
Location: Tulsa

I don't remember a jingle like that appearing on KOCO...it's entirely possible that it did.

Didn't KTUL use "Move Closer to Your World" as a slogan in the early 70s? I have a TV guide with a KTUL ad that said something to that effect.

The 70s were a great time for TV news. I know KOTV had the Eyewitness News moniker during that time. KTUL used Total 8 Tulsa for awhile. OKC had these... and them some. KOCO had Eyewitness News in the 70's, and they recently began using it again. KFOR (then WKY and KTVY) used Action 4 News, and KWTV had Big 9 News...I'm not sure what image Big 9 was supposed to conjure...I guess that's why it didn't take long to go to Newsline 9, a name that lasted nearly 15 years. These names used to be so creative, but now they're not. Here are the monikers of the 3 major Denver stations: 7 News, News 4, 9 News. You'd think the consultants could come up with something different...

M. Ransom - 05/29/99 03:38:09
Stupidest commercial: Luke cigarettes (see below)

This isn't local, but all this talk of jingles reminded me of the slogan for a short-lived brand of cigarette, and it went like this:

From Kankakee to Kokomo,
Along comes Luke
Movin' free and slow.

As the authors of "Positioning" put it, he really was movin' slow, so Lorillard killed him.

John Hillis - 05/28/99 21:30:37
Location: Valley of the tone-deaf jingle singers
Favorite Tulsa TV show: "Eyewitness News 1978"
Stupidest local commercial: Hale Trailers with Billy Parker

KOTV did inflict some jingle damage in the late 70's, but it was nowhere as dreadful as "We're TEW Country, a great country, and so on."

KOTV's was the "Take a Look". As I recall the market-specific lyrics went:

Take a look at Tulsa,
From the Arkansas River to the Green Country lakes,
Take a look at Tulsa,
Growing with pride with each day that breaks.
Take a look at Channel 6,
Take a look at Channel 6,
Take a look.

To paraphrase A.A. Milne, written out like this, it may not look like a good song, but sung to a prerecorded sound track by the absolute minimum of schedule-C Nashville studio singers, it wasn't.

Wasn't KOCO was one of the original Combined Communications stations which were merged into Gannett back in the early 80's? They had a company song, that I heard on WQXI-TV, Atlanta, which changed calls to WXIA in the early 70's. I remember it ended:

Growing 'cross the nation,
Combined Communications,
Bringing more of America to you.

Did it ever run on KOCO?

My first producing job was at WSB in Atlanta, which used the "move closer to your world" package, which is still being used on WPVI, Philadelphia, where I think it originated probably 30 years ago. To this day, hearing the tympani roll that kicks it off makes me anxious, the result of first worrying if the film I edited was going to break on-air and later too many days of going into a half-hour newscast with about 18 minutes of material and knowing the owners were watching. Pavlov was right.

Erick - 05/28/99 20:40:38
My Email:ericktul@webtv.net
Location: Tulsa
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Bob Healey
Stupidest local commercial: Haaaalf prrrice! (Woodcraft Furniture)

Forgot an OKC jingle...when KTVY changed to KFOR on Earth Day 1990, they called themselves "4-Strong". I'm not sure what that meant, but I think it was a play on KOCO's "5Alive". They had theme song, which was quite catchy, that went, "You are the strength of Oklahoma...4 Strong!". People joked that should call themselves 4-Sale since they changed hands so often during that time. At some point during the early 90's, they were purchased by the NY Times, and dropped the 4 Strong moniker. They became Oklahoma's NewsChannel 4, and I believe they copywrited that name so only they could use it in Oklahoma, which may be why KJRH dropped it themselves.

KO-CO (of course, pronounced "cocoa") is the funniest thing I've heard in a while. I recall Travis Meyer saying it on-air once in 1993 during a battle with severe weather. It's not as bad as Wichita's ABC affiliate, KAKE.

Mike Bruchas - 05/28/99 18:54:41

And never ever call it KO-CO! Grrrr. Like the guys from ABC calling us KAY-Tull. Grrr.

I guess KOTV and KWTV are so old they never had a -TV tacked on the end of them. That happened in a lot of markets where there were AM-FM-TV "combos" though. Hence our KVOO-TV.

Erick - 05/28/99 17:09:03
My Email:ericktul@webtv.net
Location: Tulsa

Correct, Mr. Bruchas! You win a free 10 pound tub of pork chitterlings!

You'd be surprised how many people don't know what those calls stand for despite how obvious they are. KOCO used to be in Enid under the calls KGEO. The owner was GEOrge...something. They had studios downtown, which are currently occupied by Enid's Lamphouse Theatre (or they were in the early 90's). They moved to OKC sometime in the 60's, starting off with studios at NW 63rd and Portland. Those studios currently house TBN's KTBO-TV. KOCO moved to their current NE side location sometime in the 70's. They were owned by Gannett for what seemed an eternity. I remember knowing the news would start when we'd see the animated Gannett "ad" followed by the news opening. They were sold at some point to Hearst-Argyle, the current owners.

Mike Bruchas - 05/28/99 16:03:46
Location: Back East of ALLNEWSCOland

KOCO of course stands for K-Oklahoma City Oklahoma (or so I was told. Combined Communications of OK owned it before they were bought out by Gannett Corp.) but the station originally licensed in Enid and I think at one time the "stick" or antenna covered Enid and sneaked into the OKC coverage area like KTUL did at one time.

I DO think KOCO signed on under different call letters in Enid, but can't remember them. Nor do I know who the original owners were.

Long time ex-employee Jim Rankin now at United Cerebral Palsy of OK might know. He also grew up in SE KS in the 50's and might have some insight on KOTV/KVOO-TV programming then, too. For years Jim was one of the leading lights as a newscast director and Operations Manager at 5, 9, OETA, and 34 before he changed careers.

I'll check it out.

Erick - 05/28/99 15:02:30
My Email:ericktul@webtv.net
Location: Tulsa

I remember the 34 Country jingle, but thankfully, not the lyrics. It seemed as if all stations had some sort of horrid jingle at some point. KOKH had one during the 80's that went some something like, "at TV-25...we love you!" KWTV is known as the Spirit of Oklahoma, so they had Reba McIntyre sing a song about it...here it goes: "It's the Spirit...the Oklahoma Spirit. You can see it in every face, and every smile. It's the Spirit...so loud you can almost hear it. It's the Spirit of Oklahoma...TV9!" The only jingles I can remember from KOCO came out about the same time. One was of the anchors and reporters dancing and singing to "Dancing In the Streets"... that was horrendous. They also had one that went... "5Alive...We Are Oklahoma!!" Mike Bruchas, you're a former KOCO employee...here's a quiz: do you know what the call letters stand for?

That sounds pretty gruesome, Erick.

Bob Brown - 05/28/99 12:41:16

My thanks to Mike Bruchas for the note and his extraordinary contributions here. I'll enjoy checking in every few weeks. I still tell people there was no better environment in which to develop than the one that existed in Tulsa, and it's great to look at this site and see why.

Mike Bruchas - 05/28/99 12:13:42
My Email:bruchasm@atlanticvideo.net
Location: Musical Jingle Hell

Help me!

I have the 2 Country and (from OKC) the 34 Country music trapped inside my head and I am trying to remember the stupid, insipid lyrics!

You know how sometimes you can't get a song out of your head? (No I am NOT on Prozac!).

When Ted Baze - owner/GM of KGMC in OKC bought the 34 Country package = all of us ex-Tulsans groaned. We hated it. KOCO almost bought it in a slightly different version later - we had to convince our then brainless Promotions Director that it was a variation of what was on 34. She NEVER watched TV so it took a while to click.

All I can remember was the lyrics talked about: Started with several riffs of "2 Country, That's 2 Country"...I will always remember the trumpet part mentioned earlier on this page.

Then -"There are no city limits in our country" - a guess a market with a lack of zoning.

"We've got the best of both worlds" - meaning small city in an agribusiness area where this music package seemed to sell BIG.

"Peace of mind country" - huh?

Anyway - as Yul Brynner would have said, Et Cetera Et Cetera Et Cetera....Anyone who has nightmares and can remember ALL the lyrics for 2 Country/34 Country juingles - send 'em in!

I'll sleep better knowing all and maybe I can get this tune out of head and "more closer to my world". Damn - there I go again....

Seems like 6 in the 70's never put us thru this!

These jingles are the mental equivalent of viruses. Maybe in the movie "Independence Day", they should have just played "2 Country" at the aliens, sending them home with their tails between their legs.

Fred Lehmann - 05/28/99 07:47:41
My URL:http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Set/5115
My Email:wa0pbl@arrl.net
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Favorite Tulsa TV show: n/a
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: n/a
Stupidest local commercial: na/
How did you find TTM?: your message on my page

Thank you for your comments on my web page. My only connection with TTM is growing up on Rock and Roll by listening to KOMA 50,000 watts 1520 in Oklahoma City.

Fred's site is called "Dinosaurs of Electronics" and features pics of Quadruplex Videotape Recorders on the main page.

Mike Bruchas - 05/27/99 18:31:14
My Email:bruchasm@atlanticvideo.net
Location: Alexandria, VA

Forgive me, Bob Brown - someone at TU had told me a gazillion years ago that you were AFRTS in Nam. It was stuck in my brain.

You taught the best "real" TV journalism course I took at TU one semester - back in the early 70's.

I remember you and ace photog John Bateman on campus during what was one of TU's only touches of student "unrest" - a protest at the ROTC Building.

Amazingly Gene Dennison from 2 was also there shooting and when we watched your story and KTEW's version that night in the dorm rooms, it seemed like 2 different events. 2 seemed to blow it out of proportion to what occurred (I guess Jack Morris was blowing off those younger viewers as usual). Channel 6's version - as reported by you - seemed more credible of what really happened - to those of us "on the ground" there when it happened.

From those ex-Tulsans like me that watch 20/20 - your pieces there have always been first-rate!

Bob Brown - 05/27/99 13:41:07
How did you find TTM?: Friend

I happened across the site on a friend's recommendation and was impressed by the range of knowledge Mike Bruchas displayed. I would like to correct one thing. I was drafted into the Army in 1968 and served two years, working in army information, but did not serve in Vietnam, although I helped write and produce Vietnam-related material. Vietnam was a whole other level of service, and the ones who were sent or volunteered to go deserve special recognition for their time in the army...which I do not deserve.

I had worked at KOTV from 1964-68 while I put myself through the University of Tulsa. I returned there in 1970 after my army service, and left late in 1973 to anchor at KHOU-TV in Houston, which was owned by Corinthian Broadcasting (no longer with us) the same company that owned KOTV. I was at WFAA-TV in Dallas from 1975-77, and have been at ABC since 1977. Mike's right about my having worked at KRMG. I started there in 1960, when it was owned by the Meredith Broadcasting Company, and left at the end of 1961 when the station was sold..to Swanco, I think. By then I was a high school senior, and Dick Schmitz hired me to work at KAKC. That's where Scooter Seagraves started calling me 'Baby Bobby Brown,' after which I used the nickname on the air.

Thanks for taking the time to visit, Bob! We're honored to hear from you back here in Tulsa, where many folks remember your Tulsa TV stint fondly.

Mike Bruchas - 05/26/99 23:48:48
My Email:bruchasm@atlanticvideo.net
Location: Alexandria, VA
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Go for Dough with Gary Chew

Lights out at KTUL. This happened all to often. You may seen previous notes on owner Jimmy Leake's lack of desire to have a back-up PSO line brought to Look-out Mtn. (he was cheap and had to keep buying them Rolls').

One Sunday night Bob Hower was filling in for someone on vacation. I think he produced that night, too, so no producer sat in the booth with me. It was an uneventful nice day - everybody was juiced up to go.

We ran the out-of-ABC movie break then the local spots AND ALL WENT DARK just before we rolled the news open.

I thought I had died in the director's booth - then in B Control. Talk about sensory deprivation!

We all were stunned, none of us could talk on headsets - it was dead. Bob's on-set hotline to the Control Room was dead.

In what seemed like an eternity but was probably about 2 minutes - the engineers fumbled and found flashlights and started opening rooms and finding folks. We stumbled downstairs to talk to Bob. No bad weather was eminent - we just lost power. Bob said let's sit for 30 minutes and if we don't come back up, say the hell with it and go home.

The smokers headed outside, we hunted for more flashlights because 8 had not any battery-powered hallway lights then.

We tried to call PSO on the hotline but got no response. As it was Sunday the Engineering staff rolled up to a dark plant to do weekly maintenance.

At 10:45, with still no power -Bob called it and all went home. Ditto the engineers about 30 minutes later. Someone stayed up there and I guess about 1am - power clicked back on. Whomever stayed re-set all for Monday morning. We never heard what caused this - but it was typical ch. 8!

Can any of you remember when he power to KOTV was flooded in downtown after a super heavy rainfall? They did the 6pm cast in the alley using the WWII surplus generator 6 owned. I think Ralph Bardgett (one time dean of KOTV directors) said he had 1 camera, 1 tape machine and I guess some switcher and audio control plus the microwave feed to Sand Springs. It made The World with a picture of the crew outside. Luckily it must have been during Daylight Savings Time. I think by 10pm - they were back in the studio.

Mike Bruchas - 05/26/99 13:10:55
Location: Ulp! Back again too damned soon!

Rex's note prompted me - I forgot all about how good Gaylord Herron was a reporter? Where is he now?

Tony Clark - long of OKC's KWTV and at CNN now forever as "the Southwest story guy" reminded me somewhat of Gaylord Herron's style - Tony just sounds drier but could be just as good a reporter.

Mike Bruchas - 05/26/99 13:05:37
Location: Clintonville on the Potomac or "Where we just sold the Washington Monument to the Chinese! But it's now Janet Reno's fault!!!"

Yeah, Rex! I think I remember rhe Godzilla Chuckhole story and remember rolling on the floor after seeing it at home - a lot of these were "inspired" stories!

Though I will always be perflexed because I have heard it as both chuckhole (did Chuck make the hole?) and chughole (we stupid drivers just chug on thru these, losing hubcaps and knocking our cars out of alignment).

Someone in Tulsa once said chuckholes were probably being dug by "the boys at McElroys! They don't work on commission!", as Keith Bretz used to announce on KTUL slide spots. Yup - running around town in their trucks, dropping micro-explosives or small Viet Nam surplus satchel charges (brought to you by Oklahoma Army Surplus!) at key intersections all over town, making them craters.

Not to say plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery but fast forward here about 10 years to Washington, DC. Channel 9 - another station consulted to by McHugh and Hoffman - did stories like this for a while.

Then a year or so later WRC the NBC O&O did chuckhole of the week for a while. This was in the first Mayor Barry administration here - when the streets BEFORE a bad Winter looked like they might be in Kosovo.

John Hillis said - the consultants couldn't fathom the chuckhole thang - but I guess someone at McHugh and Hoffman "connected the dots" probably after "serious market analysis" and advised other stations they consulted to - to just try it!

About 2 weeks ago ch. 9 here did a "mega-chuckhole with water" story. It was a follow-up on a street with a broken water main that kept flooding in downtown DC (the President knew nothing about this..). While they were filming, some idiot drove his Mercedes thru the puddles but went down to his axles in a chuckhole "hiding" underwater. The reporter borrowed a broom from someone and stuck it in the hole thru the water. It went down about 3 feet!

I guess this whole chuckhole/chughole thang must be some new phenomena sweeping the country - Y2Chuck? But you, fellow Tulsans, saw it earnestly reported first on KOTV by Rex Daugherty way back when!

Rex Daugherty - 05/26/99 03:27:22
My URL:http://members.delphi.com/rexydog/index.html
My Email:rex.daugherty@wilcom.com
Location: Tulsa
Favorite Tulsa TV show: KOTV news
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Gaylord Herron
Stupidest local commercial: This babe from Dallas telling us how the oil companies are taking good care of our lands
How did you find TTM?: Mike Ransom

Gotta respond to Mike Bruchas and the Ken Ragsdale, Ikehorn story.

I worked as Ken's photographer when he used the famed cassette recorder and earpiece business. Later, when I began doing reporting, I thought I would try out this great invention ... bit mistake. It fried my brain as good as an satellite delay.

So, I learned the art of just writing our a few sentences and memorizing them and then regurgitating it for the camera. That worked as well as anything -- until we went to live TV .. but that's another story. Jesus is involved --- so it needs it's own section.

Meanwhile, on the Horn Brothers furniture ads. We need to remember that once we hired an Ike Horn relative, Debbie Eichhorn .. to do the noon news. I reckon things were going okay for Debbie, except one day she decided to change her hair color -- without notifying management.

They fired her the same day she walked in with her new hairdo.

I made up my mind to never change my haircolor without first checking with Al Howard.

Rex Daugherty - 05/26/99 03:12:13
My URL:http://members.delphi.com/rexydog/index.html
My Email:rex.daugherty@wilcom.com
Location: Tulsa
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Mazeppa
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Dino Economous
Stupidest local commercial: Any guy selling cars --- Tammy with Turnpike Ford is okay
How did you find TTM?: Mike Ransom called and said some people were using my name in vain.

John Hillis, mentioned the "Chug Hole of the Week." ... Or, "The Chuck Hole of the Week." Depending on which side of the Mississippi you were born on. Let's see, so for John that would be "chuck." Clayton Vaughn let me do absolutely ANYTHING for a chughole of the week. Being a big goof, I thought it was great --- a chance to be silly in front of 100-thousand people every week.

One week I got little toy wind up Godzillas and let them churn around in a chug hole -- I got some neighborhood girls to stand way down the street and run around screaming .... it was, how you say, "forced perspective."

I got the idea from my cousin, Pat Daugherty, now a drama teacher in a community college in OKC. Pat was a Junior at Chelsea High School.

I could have gotten all my techniques by going to one the expensive film school in California, like Channel 8's Greg Sherrill -- did ... but, hey, if you can't get learn from a high school kid -- you just can't learn.

Once Clayton let me spend a hundred bucks to haul the KOTV grand piano out to a street off Admiral and Sheridan ... I hired a TU pianist, rented a tuxedo and bought "Mendelson's Spring Song" from Saied's music company. However, first -- and I never told Clayton this ... I wasted half a day seeing I could figure out how to play the song myself -- finally I called this guy I knew at TU to come do the deal.

It worked. The piano was kind of cockeyed in the chug - chuck hole ... and Dave played away. Clayton loved it.

Of course, for me -- the big deal was .."Did Clayton like it?"

I remember once when Clayton didn't like it -- that was when I was Rocky Stegman's photographer ... and he had me shoot a bunch of Christmas decorations at Gilcrease museum ... then he and Susan Bunn got in the recording booth and sang Christmas songs acapella.

After the story aired, Clayton had this dry look ... He looked at Rocky and said, "That was the worst thing I've ever seen."

Of course, there was lots worse to come ... when we went to live reports from reporters in the field -- but that's another day.

And, what am I doing now? ... Business TV at Williams. See ya later -- we'll talk about Henry Lyle's fake heart attacks and Macho Van Dyke's feet.


Mike Bruchas - 05/25/99 23:20:57
Location: Tain't Heaven but it ain't so bad....

Mike Bruchas and the fatal compliment.

When a freshman at TU - I wrote Oral Roberts' TV Production Office a complimentary note on the level of production on his show.

The show looked "network quality" - it wasn't seen in Chicago where I grew up. I did not know that he hired a crew from NBC urbank to do all. Later KTUL provided truck services to NBC on some of his appearances in town.

From 2 weeks after I wrote the letter till the day I left Tulsa for Amarillo in '79 - every month or so I got a prayer or money request from the ORU Evangelistic Association. Somehow my TV technical laudatory letter made it to the mailroom and I was shunted to the folks doing "development" - meaning raising cash for Oral......

Mike Bruchas - 05/25/99 21:57:45
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Ken Ragsdale at the Pawhuska Daily Glom or Ken Ragsdale on 8 or the new improved Ken Ragsdale on 6
Stupidest local commercial: IIIIIIIIIKE HORN

If I can find it - I have the old Oklahoma Monthly Magazine from the 70's that compared news talent in the Tulsa and OKC markets. The writer spent a week in Tulsa -which I guess he considered podunk Hell- watching OUR stations.

He did not like Ken Ragsdale and called him "Breathless" Ken Ragsdale which we all at 8 ribbed him about.

Ken could have been a rich man from his invention of what we called "the ear prompter". He would sit down, write out his "bridges" and stand-ups (you knew he started as print journalist) and read them back into a cassette recorder. He then popped an earpiece in his ear. With the film or tape rolling, he played his "read" of the script back in his ear and repeated all he had said on tape. We thought it looked great and added credibilty to the stories he voiced. Someone now makes an electronic system that does this. Uh - it didn't work on live shots though - so if he fumbled a second, hey it was live! Ken was a hard working reporter that all appreciated.

Years later in OKC Ken - now a stockbroker - appeared on some moronic KOCO talking head Sunday show hosted by Ann Abernethy with stock info.

He was doing very well in his new field, probably was a good "closer" and could have done the show as a monologue standing on his head and the viewers gotten more than what the host presented.....

John Hillis - 05/25/99 21:05:34
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Oral Roberts Presents
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Ken Ragsdale

Actually, I rather liked Bob Losure in his purple period.

I heard Tony Randall once say that KOTV sales guy Art Ford beat Tony out for the lead in the school play when they were both pups in Tulsa in the 30's.

Someday when I have an hour to type, I'll tell the Sony camera on wheels story from the KOTV mailroom, where Gary Gunter would weigh his weekend show script on the postal scale to see if it was long enough to fill the half-hour.

Ray L. Rivera - 05/25/99 16:34:16
My Email:rlrivera@worldnet.att.net
Location: Louisville, KY
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Mazeppa
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: So Many of them
Stupidest local commercial: So Many of them
How did you find TTM?: Surfin'

For those of you who work/worked at KTUL-TV in the late 70s and 80s--a question. Is it true that there was a tiny caricature of Richard Nixon, with arms aloft and flashing his famous "V" for victory, painted onto the BOK Tower in the Tulsa skyline backdrop? I heard it mentioned but I never got close enough to the studio backdrop to find out for myself.

Mike Bruchas - 05/25/99 13:53:43

KOTV "mini-cams".

When lightweight portable (that's someone else's opinion) color video gear came out, the Ikegami HL (Handy/Looky in Japanese) cameras were snapped up by the networks - of course you had a union soundman to lug a 40 lb. 3/4: recorder for you!

Someone at KOTV thought to buy the Sony 1600 (?) camera system with mated 3800 recorder. The recorder rode on a little 2 wheeled cart but supposed could be knocked down to a back-breaking back-pack.

The camera could mount on a tripod or or cute Sony pistol grip. When shooting with the grip outside, cars always slowed down - thinking they were driving into a speed trap!

It wasn't very good camera in low light nor often as sharp as the film shot with the CP-16 cameras all stations in the market used but it WAS video. We at 8 lusted for these little cameras and at the time I left there at had bought their first RCA TK-76 mini-cam which was sharper than 6's Sony's but heavier and cost a lot more.

6 bought their gear at Logan Wait's at the corner of Peoria and 3rd Street - he sold Toro lawnmowers, Husqvarna outboards and Sony industrial video gear!

We also learned a hard lesson - never never go shooting in the rain or high humidity without a rain hood or garbage bag over your tape deck. The tape would stick to the scanner drums if wet and your Sony recorder became nothing but an electronic boat anchor...

When I went to 6 - I shot a little with the Sony's then one day NEW GEAR ARRIVED! It was 3 of those tiny Mattel-like Hitachi 3030 cameras that John Hillis remarked on and 3 new higher grade/newer generation, but not lighter weight Sony field decks. Of course nothing Hitachi made interchanged with the Sony's like cable and batteries or how you "white balanced" the camera for correct color (hate them purple Bob Losure faces!). Rex got one, I think Sports another and I as "commercial" production shooter//later back-up news-shooter got the third to replace an Arriflex 16mm camera that I never got to use. This made 6 the best equipped outfit in town to shoot video for news! (of course early single tube color cameras had "signatures" - they burned tubes when shooting into bright lights.) Also we got to recognize the differences in the video shot between cameras when edited together in stories. The engineers - namely John Gurkowski - would yell "It's one of them damned HI-tachi cameras - crank the hue!!". Sony's were biased for red/blue colors and Hitachi's seemed to act up on green/yellow colors.

Then those darned guys at KTEW got 2 brand new super sharp-looking/network quality and expensive Ikegami cameras and as an after thought, 1 Sony 1600, just like ours, PLUS the first new generation microwave truck in town. Grrr. But then 6 got the first "golden rod" antenna truck, so we were competitive till 2 then went and got a 2nd live truck!

Though 2 & 6 were leading in the conversion to video - 8 got in the fast lane with I guess 2 or 3 more RCA TK-76 cameras. 8 scored a live coup when some building down by TJC blew up at about 11th & Main and they were first on the scene and first live. They also started buying more low end live trucks with less sophisticated transmission gear and then THEY had more live trucks on the street than anyone.

Ah, video wars in Tulsa!

John Hillis - 05/25/99 12:44:25
Location: 302 S. Frankfort + 23 years
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Easy Country
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Johnny Martin
Stupidest local commercial: "Come to Wal-Mart"

Somebody asked about "The Chughole of the Week," a feature that was well-established by the time I arrived at KOTV, but was one of those things born out of desparation to fill that 60 minute newscast. You found a large hole in the street, and figured out a set-up to feature it.

One gem that was before my time (which Doug Dodd told me about when I was there for my job interview) involved having the T-U men's chorus in full tuxes standing in a pothole on S. Yale, singing "The Whiffenpoof Song." Yale...get it?

Another was to use commercial spokesmen to do chughole pitches. I can still hear John F. Lawhon saying, "If you're looking for the best chughole buy in Oklahoma..." We also did holes with (I think) the Guy Henshall Shadetree Mechanic and the jeweler whose name escapes me, but we filled the hole with rhinestones for his thing and shot it with a star filter. It was in retrospect a kinda dumb feature, and we probably milked the situations too many times before we all finally ran out of ideas and variations (in short, a lot like TV today!), but it was uniquely Tulsa. I remember the consultants from McHugh and Hoffman visiting, watching it, and being puzzled, like it was in French or something. Like a lot of the back half of the 6 newscast, it was both deadpan, and ironic, (and a little weird) all at once. The deadpan and irony had a lot to do with Clayton, and obviously, the "Letters" segment he closed with was the primary example.

Rex Daugherty, who was a remarkably centered young man when he worked at 6, is, I think, still at Williams doing public relations. He was involved with the Business Education Channel co-owned by PBS and Williams, and I spoke with him a year or so ago. Rex was for a lot of the time he worked at KOTV a one-man band, shooting and reporting all by himself in Muskogee and farther afield. In those early days of cameras and decks, that was a challenge, and Rex got a smaller camera that had "Hitachi" on the outside, but looked like it was made by Mattel..cheap plastic.

Thanx to Bru-ha-ha (another Dodd-ism) for putting out the pix of the old KTUL set. Hard to believe here in the era of tropical colors and earth tones that we all did that hot red, white, and blue. (In our defense, it _was_ around the bicentennial.)

When KOTV installed the giant "Eyewitness News" set in late '78 (we called it "Battlestar Corinthian."), it was a first charge at earth tones...though it really looked more like the Tulsa skyline during one of the spring dust storms--very brown. Broo's desk was about 50 feet from the main anchor pod. I think they finally took a chainsaw to the thing after I left.

Michael - 05/25/99 04:07:04
Location: Houston
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Mazeppa
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Woody

Re:Where are those KRMG voices of the 70's - Don Cummins and Ed Brocksmith?

Ed Brocksmith is retired at a home near Lake Tenkiller and Tahlequah, Ok. He has been seen at the Tulsa Flea market shopping on occasion.

Added 6/17/2005: Ed wrote in Guestbook 186, "Yes, I'm at a 'home' near Tahlequah, but it's not a rest home, it's my house."

Mike Bruchas - 05/24/99 22:20:00
My Email:bruchasm@atlanticvideo.net

Duh! This Internet thang works too good at times. After 10 minutes of searching - found Guy Atchley!

He is still anchoring in Tucson at KGUN-TV.

Please see:


for a picture of him today.

Was not lucky finding Melanie Roberts - formerly of KOTV in Lexington, KY though.....

M. Ransom (the webmaster) - 05/24/99 20:40:04
Location: Tulsa
Favorite Tulsa TV show: Creature Feature
Favorite Tulsa TV personality: Jim Millaway
Stupidest local commercial: Kitty, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty Clover! (OK, maybe regional)

This is the start of Guestbook 9. In Guestbook 8, we had just discussed Gary Shore, Guy Atchley and Sam Jones. I just added a new "Behind the scenes" page and revamped the menu. Much more to come...

Tulsa TV Memories main page