Date: 27-Oct-00 09:32 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Jim Reid
Geographical location: Dallas
I was the last director that did the TU show at Channel 8. Channel 2 made a big pitch and got it the next year. We aired it live Sunday at 1pm, with the film still very warm from the hot splicer. The TU coach at that time was John Cooper, a really nice guy who made a bigger name for himself at Ohio State a few years later.

I also directed the Merv Johnson show. Merv was Larry Lacewell's replacement after Larry and Barry had their "disagreement".

During one football season I was doing all this, the news 7 nights a week, supervising the OU and OSU highlight tapes being dubbed and shipped, and in my spare time I was tagging and shipping out the weekly group of John F. Lawhon spots.

I learned to live with no sleep, but wouldn't trade the experience I got for anything.

Date: 27-Oct-00 07:01 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Not the ESPNZone....
Coaches shows - more for football - less of them for basketball in the '70's at KTUL.

8 wrangled OU football away from KTVY in OKC - got Phillips 66 to sponsor it for years. KTVY still did another OU coaches or replay show in spite of losing the main OU "franchise". We also made the 2-3 minute long national OU film highlight reels up quickly after each show and ran them to United Films down by 11th and Boulder for duping filmlab print copies to be sent out to the media. Later to save money and as it was a world going to videotape - we knocked out humongous numbers of 2" spot reel dubs on 8's *3* 2" machines.

That was scarey on Sundays when we ran a lot of 2" religious shows and all spots in breaks were 2" tape originating and had to be pre-built. Often we needed more machines than 8 owned - to stay on air AND do production! It WAS amazing what came out of 8 on Sunday mornings in football season.

Add to this dubbing of 10-12 copies of the hour long 2" OU football shows for bus couriering to markets all over the South for Sunday late night playbacks. We knew the bus express people well and all the times of buses out of town!

8 used to fly in Barry Switzer in a small plane every Sunday from somewhere - sometimes scarey for Barry in iffy weather but we could never cancel the show. When I was projectionist at 8 - I did the bagel run to The Bagelry on S. Peoria every Sunday. Barry liked his bagels...

We produced a Jimmy Johnson Show for OSU (we never figured he'd be a biggie in coaching)but also KTVY did one with Bob Barry. Jimmy had to drive in - no limo or plane in his budget.

We had the insufferable Frank Broyles Show (he sounded like a Foghorn Leghorn imitator with his - "ya see now, don't ya see..." remarks) was produced by KATV to air after Monday NFL Football to an audience of a few insomniacs in Arkysaw at about 1 am. Lou Holtz was far more interesting to hear talk when he replaced Broyles.

For TU we did the Hoot Gibson later F.A. Dry TU football shows (that I directed as a kid director).

Plus the Larry Lacewell Show - only 30 min. - but Larry was the defense coordinator at OU and could talk your ear off. I will NEVER forget Fordyce, AR from his remarks.

A couple of times we aired the ULTIMATE EVIL - Darrell Royal's Texas football show - think Kerr-McGee sponsored this.

Basketball - we sporadically did a Golden Hurricane highlight show and a series of ORU coaches shows. The ORU/TU basketball cross-town rivalry games were highlights of the season. Hard to find buyers for spots/sponsorship on Basketball coaches shows though....

College baseball - good only for news stories - never had a big following. Maybe every couple of years we would do a Drillers AAA league game or Ice Oilers hockey game. Several golf specials were done if 8 was doing remotes from there. 8 also tried some coaches show with Susan Silver and Chris Lincoln hosting - may have been another OU spin-off or an ORU basketball show - I don't recall. We did carry some indoor soccer games one year. I can't remember all the Tulsey franchise names though, can you???.

Other than 6 doing wrestling for years - never remember any major sports shows out of there or 2.

Date: 27-Oct-00 06:16 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Warrrshindumb, DeeCee
Late 70's/early '80's a lot of little network experiments were going on.

INN was set up by Tribune Broadcasting with WPIX in NYC and WGN in Chicago as big outposts - don't remember other bureau cities. It made WGN get their news act better together. (Before Jim Ruddle and others - WGN News was a 15 min. cast at 9pm and early news at 6pm. When I was a little kid - the early news segued to a "man on the street" interview in front of Tribune Tower for a coffee company. An announcer, not newsman - Jack Taylor - later did their casts for years.)

I met Lev (J. Leavitt) Pope - the long time WPIX GM here in DC - he was one of the minds behind INN and made WPIX have a strong local newscast in NYC to compete with the affiliates. Very sharp cookie but down to earth. I could have worked for him - had I been given the chance. His "shop" probably did classier news than the Chicago flagship station WGN for years. I know WGN carried INN and I think they had a midday talk show and some other minor programming.

My buddy Dave Willingham here in DC does early morning weather/traffic on Newschannel 8 (KTUL's sister company run by John Hillis) - he was the INN Miami bureau chief and reporter for several years.

Operation Prime Time was also going on in this period - the guy that set up Entertainment Tonight - I think Al Masini - had a station consortium offering local stations a mini-network of films. I remember some original movie with David Birney and Richard Jordan being their first biggie. WGN was an OPT member. Maybe 2 was in Tulsa and later 25 in OKC when it went commercial.

SFM Media - a syndicator now, more of an advertising consolidator then - started their "holiday networks" that ran movie classics on 2" tape with national ads inserted on the tape. Bob Hower brought this to 8 - a good deal. It was different than the movies in our good packages but more kids/family oriented.

"Big time sports" - 8 used to switch out ABC network lines - very scary - to carry Mizlou Sports Network NCAA games. This was long before satellite dishes were standard and cost a lot of bucks. The scary part was if Southwestern Bell forgot to switch us back to the AT&T//ABC network line after a game OR if they did before a post game show was over! I think we also carried Kansas City Royals baseball for a while on weekends for a bit then someone sued the Royals or the Cardinals about importing out of town signals and this ended.

Somewhere later in here we had SCN - Satellite News Channel - because I watched it on cable in OKC - so I think INN kind of pre-dates it. Satellites were new and portable trucks few and expensive. I think KRON was their west coast anchor room in SFO. Maybe SCN had a 2nd headlines channel like CNN. John Hillis can give us a better history of this - relating to CNN.

I think KGMC had INN for a while in OKC. Think they did a midday cast nationally (which 34 did not carry because of 700 Club paying more $$...) and a late night one that came down about 8pm with news feeds 1-2 times a day in between. I think we got a call in OKC once wanting footage and told them we had no news crews. 34 also carried Notre Dame Football on tape delay and live Notre Dame basketball. Notre Dame had networks on the satellite and was the biggest college alum sports network with OU coming in second.

Gene Autry's KAUT in OKC carried either CNN or SCN when not doing daytime news or were scrambled as STV at night.

CONUS may have also helped kill INN off or they started linking with CONUS on some feeds. CONUS had or still has an all news channel with very little national clearance - basically living on stories members have sent in. 9 in OKC was an early CONUS member - never remember if Tulsey had a station affiliate there.

Showing my age - it's hard to remember all of the timing on these mini-networks...

Date: 27-Oct-00 05:31 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Erick
Geographical location: Tulsa
Didn't a lot of independent TV stations carry INN half hour newscasts? I don't remember it in OKC, but I know KOKI did in it's "TU23A" logo days.

I can't for the life of me find Dean Swanson. I remember his eye surgery. I think he may have finished his OKC career with KWTV, because I still have an old Oklahoman ad for a Big 9 News special report called "Dean's Eyes".

KWTV's "NewsNow 53" is mainly a rerun of that days newscasts. I think they do some original programming, though.

Date: 27-Oct-00 05:12 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Miller
Geographical location: Vienna, VA
Talking about defunct cable news operations, does anyone remember INN? Independent Network News was operated out of New York, and (between real jobs), I freelanced as a correspondent out of the Washington bureau housed in the National Press building.

INN was carried in much of the country into the ‘80’s and suffered from a drought of pecuniary resources. By the time a D.C piece hit the air (after being fed to New York), it was about the eighth generation of videotape. INN kept me busy covering the White House during much of 1981 where I at least got to rub shoulders with some of the big-name news types.

Like SNC, INN also failed to compete with CNN.

Also, for TV news addicts, I ran across a good site called “News Blues” at It’s worth a visit.

Date: 27-Oct-00 12:35 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Of OKC TV - where IS Dean Swanson - a bland but nice guy. From back before 5 took off as the OKC newsleader - for a while.

Most famous thing he ever did was submit to early and experimental laser eye surgery at the Dean A.McGee Eye Institute and have it filmed.

Dean wore glasses and may have had one of the first RK surgeries done in OKC 20 years ago. Often wondered who paid for it. After the surgery - he could see better and looked more telegenic. Heard he went to a bigger market somewhere...

Date: 27-Oct-00 12:31 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
TTM brother John Hillis runs Allbritton's NewsChannel 8 here in the DC area. I still remember him saying he wanted his "baby" here to look as good as a newscast in a market like Tulsa. That's a compliment to Tulsey TV stations since John has worked all over and at CNN and started several cable news operations.

I have to wonder what 9's OKC cable news looks like. I know 8 now does CNN cut-ins all day in Tulsey -- based in the old projection room that Jim Reid and I spent many hours in loading film and slides - tain't the same any more. Monte Toon's digital graphics room is about where "A" film chain stood!

Back in the days of SNC - the Satellite News Channel that went defunct against CNN - KARD in Wichita ran a great local newschannel on cable - I mean this is 18-20 years ago. Have to wonder if their latest owners ever kept this in operation...

Date: 27-Oct-00 12:24 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: DC 20001
Got an e-mail from Mike Miller - who got info from Jim Pitcock - Bob Gregory's brother - that Bob had a recent bypass and is taking it easy. Neither Mike nor I know where he is or what is doing now but Mike's note said Bob DOES have a PC but doesn't go on-line often....

Date: 27-Oct-00 11:19 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: P. Casey Morgan
Geographical location: KWGS in Tulsa
Bob Duff's comments about Tom Gordon and others of the old KAKC crew reminded me that Jim Peters called me a few weeks ago and asked me to post a postscript to Tom's obituary in the form of the following story. I only hope I can correctly interpret my scribbled notes from our phone call.

It seems that, before his death (obviously), Tom Gordon and a group of friends made an annual trip from St. Louis to Arizona to see the Cardinals ball team play in their new hometown. They frequented a bar in Tempe on this annual trip and I think it's best that I don't name this bar (the reason for my uncharacteristic reticence on this point will become clear as the story goes on.) On each trip, a silver loving cup was presented to the member of the group who acted the worst.

Well, you're probably jumping ahead here (if you have a particularly ghoulish imagination). Tom was cremated and his ashes divided to be laid to rest, so to speak, in several locations. One of them was the aforementioned Tempe bar which agreed to accept the loving cup with Tom's ashes to be put on permanent display, proving for all eternity that Tom acted the worst.

I can hear him laughing about it even now.

Casey, I'll get that story added to Tom's page here...thanks.

Date: 27-Oct-00 02:07 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Bob Duff
Geographical location: Tulsa
How did you find TTM? WRHS class of 1960 reunion site
Seeing the pics and reading comments about the old days of Tulsa radio, especially the even newer, same old new KAKC (being a small part of for which I am forever grateful. Frank Morrow mentioned the newscasts at five minutes before the hour to get the jump on every one else is correct. But does anyone remember that we tried something even weirder?

Do you remember 970 NEWS AT 970 BEFORE THE HOUR? We hit the newscast at ten minutes ten sections before the hour, or 9 minutes and 70 seconds, hence the 970 bit. I also remember driving the jeep mobile news unit with the call letters painted on the side in toy blocks and, of course, the forerunner of the ever popular vans, the Chevy Greenbrier. Jim Peters took over as News Director shortly after I arrived on the scene, replacing Harry Wilson. Wilson, the last I heard, was working for the Chamber of Commerce in Oklahoma City. Also read Robert Walker's comments. Very sorry to hear of the passing of "Tiger" Dave Shaw and Tom "Count Gordonski" Gordon. Loved working with them, as well as Robert, and though I lost track of them over the years considered them friends.

To the webmaster of this wonderful site: WAY TO GO!!! Keep up the good work. Would enjoy hearing from any of you via email.

Good to hear from you, Bob...thanks! I see that you were mentioned by John Hillis in Guestbook 14 in connection with the "exploding dog" story.

Date: 26-Oct-00 11:25 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Erick
Geographical location: Tulsa
I really should've had those Oklahoma Monthly articles copied. They were very humorous! I'm surprised the writer didn't pan Lee and Lionel as bad as he did.

He did come down hard on OKC! Particularly KOCO. I think he made gest of Fred Norman's nasal voice, and the fact that anchorman Dean Swanson seemed less a newsman and more a news reader. He even criticized the newscast's opening!

The Jim Hartz interview was great too. I may need to make a return trip to the library. The old TV Guides they have make for great strolling down Memory Lane, too.

I guess some person(s) who frequent this guestbook do not appreciate OKC TV contributions. For the record, my knowledge of Tulsa TV comes from what I've seen in my time here off and on for the past 10 years. I try to relate OKC stories that are similar to an occurance in Tulsa, or if they relate to Tulsa. Certainly, it would be great to have an OKC TV site. Sadly, one does not yet exist. Until then, webmaster Ransom has said on more than one occasion that OKC TV talk here is fine. He has also said that the talk here doesn't necessarily have to revolve around just television or radio (I remember we've heard similar complaints about that in the past). I think I'll let him call the shots on what goes.

Yes, that's is easy enough to scroll past comments that don't catch your fancy. Heck, we wouldn't have been discussing Black Drought (patent medicine hawked by Porter Wagoner) or Griesedieck beer awhile back if we stuck strictly with Tulsa TV! Too, these digressions ofttimes lead circuitously back to a new aspect of our central topic.

I hear tell that there may be an OKC TV site in the works by one of our readers...maybe that site would like to copy our OKC remarks to get them started off right.

Date: 26-Oct-00 10:41 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Lowell Burch
Geographical location: Doing my Christmas shopping at Northland Shopping Center
How did you find TTM? Exciting, controversial, witty and rich with a wealth of TV insights and anecdotes.
I lived in the OKC area for a while and my wife is from the area so we skim the OKC entries in case something looks familiar. I don't mind the OKC TV comments but until they come with a Lee and Lionel or Mazeppa, Tulsa TV is still the best.

I remember the Oklahoma Monthly article comparing Tulsa and OKC news programs. I think the writer was from New York and had to live up to the snooty attitude that the media folks from that area seem to harbor. He really slammed Tulsa. I especially recall how he grumbled about the weatherman who sang and had a lion puppet for an assistant. The next month he panned OKC and said it was much worse than Tulsa!

I have seen many major market news shows, including NYC, and all of the network news programs, of course, and I think the stations in both T-Town and the City do exactly what they are designed to do, and they do it very well, thank you.

High praise up there in your header, Mr. Burch. Tanx.

Date: 26-Oct-00 10:05 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Noel (the grouch) Confer
Is there a page along the lines of "Oklahoma City TV memories"? I'd like to post a series of Tulsa stories.

OK, but please post them here first!

Date: 26-Oct-00 08:23 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Erick
Geographical location: Tulsa
Chris Lincoln still works for Winner Communications, but also hosts a weekly horse racing show for the ESPN networks.

Bob Gregory. Is this the same Bob Gregory who worked for the oft-mentioned Oklahoma Monthly magazine?

Speaking of weather earlier on, my first clear memory of how brutal television can be was when KOCO's Fred Norman was, for all intents, fired. This had to be '77 or '78. He told KTOK radio about it, they went on the air with it, KOCO's GM went on the air to deny it, then basically said Oklahomans should think twice before believing KTOK. KTOK went on the air again to reveal their source as being Fred Norman himself. KOCO's GM went back on the air, repenting like a sinner. I think Fred's firing was short-lived, but I don't think he was the chief meteorologist anymore. Wayne Shattuck made his first of 2 KOCO tours soon thereafter.

Working in TV can be a cold, ruthless world!

Date: 26-Oct-00 07:29 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Chris Lincoln impersonates Bob Gregory right in front of him! Okay folks - the picture of Chris Lincoln and Bob Gregory brings to mind - where ARE Chris and "Daddy Deepthroat" now?

Anyone had any Steve "THE BIG Z" Zabriskie sightings on baseball or NCAA football regional games?

I worked with Fox's James Brown when here at BET and he is a class act.

ABC's Chris Schenkel was often in OK in the '70's and I think Pete Abrams told us Chris piloted his own plane around the US to engagements then back home to LaFayette or South Bend, Indiana where he lived. He, too a good dude to work with. I haven't heard of him in years so I presume he is retired or off broadcasting with Cosell "in the great stadium in the sky"...

Speaking of South Bend - I forget the TU grad of the late '70's who is now the dean of ND Sports - I think last name Jeffers.....

Date: 26-Oct-00 06:53 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Near Hydro, no Bug Tussle - in mah head....
Speaking of the "Silkwood" era in - OK:

Her ex-boyfriend we ran into somewhere or he may have come by KOCO for something else and he was a good old boy. Not Kurt Russell though.

The Press Information Officer or PIO for the OKC PD when I was at 5 - I forget his name - he partied along with the then FD PIO at newsies parties in OKC.

Police and newsies were not adversaries and usually it was the FBI that wanted to confiscate news footage for cases back then, not the local cops...

Techies Ben/Martie Kretchmar and later anchor/reporter Dan Hausle hosted several parties that had techies, anchors, cops, reporters and photogs from all the stations in attendance. Having 2 or 3 OKC PD staffers with unmarked cars out front at party-time meant marked OKC PD Cars might NOT stop by to say - "pipe down".

Any way - when I read the Silkwood book - I learned the lovable, funny PD PIO had been on the OKC version of the "Red Squad" helping Kerr-McGee folks that quashed some of the info Karen Silkwood had discovered!

Oklahoma was a smaller place then....

Date: 26-Oct-00 06:38 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
How did you find TTM? KTUL sold it to me....
Ed Hunt was I think National Sales Mgr. at 8 when I was there - he may have been Sales Manager - all is a blur. Sorry. Nice guy - I agree.

We had during my tenure at 8 on the sales staff - some jerk named Keith who tried weekend sports and was awful; the voice of "the boys at McIlroy's" - Keith Bretz - who I think was a minority partner at Winner Communications; the late Ed Neibling of Tulsa radio fame; the "Muskogee Kid" - Jim Wilburn - now owner of Winner Communications; the late, very quiet, very genteel Saidie Adwon - later GM and the biggest grossing salesperson for many a year (I embarrassed myself cursing during a newscast and looking around to see her peeking into the booth once - she was too proper to hear this...); the beloved Jim Hill - now selling stocks and looking un-aged; Len Allsup - who last heard was a cable TV system exec in PA, was always a hard worker and a damned good salesman. Beverly Bowman was the Sales secretary and a nice lady.

Somehow I think GM Tom Goodgame also helped sell and got a cut of all sales. He WAS a good salesman before becoming a GM.

Red Statum was Chief Photog. He was anti-union drive of '75 but also had put in a lot of good years for 8 - he was the only known newsie to go to Sales. This was immediately after the union failure, so it seemed a very significant reward for being a hardliner against them "radicals".

Red also worked his tail off in news - so maybe too this was a reward for too many years of sitting in the rain, lugging the old Auricons around and being a fast,almost surgical film editor - he was not an artiste but a concise news cutter. I hear he is a good salesman now - but you know going from News to Sales - I am sure he had to build his client list from a lot of dregs and first time advertisers to whom he has now. I saw him 2 years ago and the skinny, hyper Red is now a much "wider", laid-back Red (as we all seem to be).....

Date: 26-Oct-00 06:21 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Naderland, DC
I remember visiting Don Lundy in Corpus 25 years ago or so when he was at KRIS. We watched the signal from their newly acquired station in Laredo and joked the the short-sleeved weather talent looked more like a cab driver than weatherman. I think he had 1 or 2 boards of numbers. Weather is easy dry/hot or wet in Laredo - not a big thing...

Then again folks used to complain about BBC TV weathercasts when visiting from the US - took about 30 seconds to do and very vague....

Date: 26-Oct-00 06:26 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Sonny Hollingshead
Geographical location: Sad City
Just saw this in this morning's Tulsa World:

Ed Hunt, 70, former KTUL employee, died Friday. Services are pending with Stanleys Funeral Home.

All-around good guy. Gonna miss him.

Date: 26-Oct-00 12:24 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Frank Morrow
Geographical location: Austin, Texas
From the comments I've been reading, I presume that the laid-back, fun days of Tulsa broadcasting in the 1950s are long gone.

Was this a gradual process, or is it comparatively new, as the big media conglomerates gobble up locally owned stations, and have become much more competitive and demanding?

Date: 25-Oct-00 11:28 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Erick
Geographical location: Tulsa
Re: Mike Bruchas' comments...

'Round about 1991, KOCO (with Mike Morgan at the weather helm) debuted 'First Alert'. This is an automated warning system that was brand-spankin' new, but is all too common these days. At the same time, they debuted their 'First Alert Storm Teams' or 'F.A.S.T.' teams as they called them. These storm chasers were equipped with video cameras and the technology to transmit still photos of cell phone lines. These were called 'First Pix'. It was considered a huge step in television storm chasing, and really caused the so-called 'Storm Wars' in OKC, as well as the storm chaser hoopla we've seen in recent years. A year later in '92, KTUL came out with the very same systems and monikers. However, once moving video was able to be transmitted via cell phone, 'First Pix' was really a thing of the past. I think the idea was for KTUL and KOCO to team up to have a kind of severe weather partnership. But, I think it was around that time Gannett sold KOCO, and nothing ever materialized of it.

Funny thing about those Oklahoma Monthly articles. The writer absolutely ripped into Tulsa TV personalities (my favorite line was something about the fact that it seemed Jack Morris was "bugged" by the presence of John Hudson at the "Scene 2 News" desk), and in the next months article on OKC TV, said that after seeing OKC newscasts, Tulsa should be proud of what they had. The writer didn't seem to have much foresight. He claimed Jerry Webber was merely a reader of sports, and basically had no business at a news desk. He also tore pretty hard into Gary England, and all but said England wouldn't last long in television. 28 years and counting...

Date: 25-Oct-00 09:26 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Not in Kansas, Dorothy....
Note to Erick - I heard both KTUL and KOCO were testing weather video via cell phones in the '80's or '90's - but all they could laboriously send was a still frame or 2 at a time. This was after I had moved East. No real video nor constantly updating images.

At a NAB gee-whiz trade show of that era, I think I saw at least 2 companies showing the technology - both touting field testing in OK.

Date: 25-Oct-00 09:22 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Not Okieland, bud....
Packed in a box somewhere in my domain is a copy of the infamous OKC vs. Tulsa TV anchor "Oklahoma Monthly" comparisons of the '70's. Some day I will find it and scan it for this page. It was pretty brutal and the writer made a lot of snide generalizations as I recall. I think he felt a week in Tulsa equivalent to a week in Podunk.

Funny how we Tulsans used to consider "Oklahoma Shitty" as a Podunk cowtown with wacky, moneygrubbing politicos running amuck there...

I have lived in both and like each for its merits and DE-merits, though when I went from Amarillo (after 1 year and a week which was TOO long) to OKC - all I knew of it was the North side, Nichols Hills, the Skirvin and Norman, OK -- and figured never to step out of those areas.

No matter how folks compare Amarillo to Tulsa and Lubbock to OKC - I can't after having lived in both. When I lived in Big A, Lubbock was changing to "Texas Techville" with high tech jobs, a better variety of world/ethnic cuisine, a good law school and what is a world class university finally getting it's just due.

I DID step out when I got to OKC and explored all (especially Silkwood era central OK) and still love it!

Kids - it may not seem like Paradise there - but there are a far lot worse places to be!

Date: 25-Oct-00 09:23 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Erick
Geographical location: Tulsa
A little OKC rant here...

There has been friction between Mike Morgan and Gary England since Mike went to KFOR in the early '90s. In Gary's book "Weathering the Storm" (which I can't seem to find in my organized home), he gets on Mike several times. In one instance, he mentions how former KWTV anchor Roger Cooper developed a system to send almost-moving video through cellular phone lines in 1992. Two years later, KFOR acquired a faster system that did this, entered into Emmy competition for new technology and won.

For my money's worth, I would always turn to Gary during severe weather. He may get a bit excited and flustered, but it seems Mike has become a bit to big for his britches, as my grandfather would say. It's unfortunate too, because Mike was interning at the National Weather Service in Tulsa when he was 13! He was on-air at KJRH at 19! I didn't know he didn't have a meteorology degree, and it shocks me, really.

Incidentally, KWTV and KOCO both have live radar systems, and I'm not sure why they were relying on delayed weather service radar in a tornadic situation.

Date: 25-Oct-00 05:43 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Jim Back
Geographical location: Edmond
A couple of things . . .

A writer speculated that the smaller the market, the goofier the stories. That reminds me that my sister, when she was living in Odessa, TX for a time back in the 1970s, told me that the weather set literally fell over one night while the guy was doing the weather.

On the subject of David Griffin & family buying KOTV: I don't know what changes he has in mind, but if he steps up the competition within the market to come anywhere close to the level over here (OKC), it will make things more interesting in Tulsa.

The pressure of competition here leads to verbal skirmishes at times. Tuesday's newspaper reports that during Sunday night's ongoing storm coverage, KFOR's Mike Morgan noticed that both KWTV's and KOCO's NEXRAD Radar was showing a storm hovering near downtown OKC, when in fact it had moved several miles north of that into the Frontier City area. He (according to the paper) said on the air that the other two station's radar was "running 20-25 minutes behind our live radar, 'The Edge'."

Morgan told the paper "It wasn't a snide remark. It was a very even-handed remark. I pointed out we were experiencing disruptions as well in our NEXRAD." And said that's why he was using his other radar, The Edge.

David Griffin told the Oklahoman, "I think he should spend less time watching us. He's too worried about us all the time."

KWTV's superstar, Gary England, was out of town, and one of his pups (Brady Brus) was running their weather coverage Sunday. The paper says Brus said on his KXY weather reports on Monday morning that he "doesn't put any stock in what somebody without a meteorology degree would say."

(Morgan apparently took all the weather classes OU offered and has a BS in Geoscience from OU, but not a degree in meteorology).

See the nitpicking you have to look foward to if Griffin steps up the competition?

Date: 25-Oct-00 04:53 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Erick
Geographical location: Tulsa
Spent the day at the Central Library downtown. Got to reading some old Oklahoma Monthly magazines. There was an issue from '76 where they reviewed Tulsa and OKC local newscasts. Man, were they harsh!! Except with Woodsy. Other than saying he had trouble telling Tuesday from Monday.In another issue was an interview with Jim Hartz, who had just taken the co-host job with Today. Pretty insightful. Check it out if you get a chance.

Date: 25-Oct-00 02:58 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
How did you find TTM? By the Goat Head BBQ Pit on the Perdernales
When Gannett bought KVUE in Austin - they were snotty in refering to it - about it being a small market compared to OKC but it came as part of a sale as I recall.

"Them Easterners" in then Rochester NY knew of it only from LBJ days when Lady Bird's station was the only dog there. You'd think them coming from the New York State capitol would understand dynamics in the Texas State Capitol - but they didn't. As it was they moved Gannett Corporate to DC - duh.

Those of us at KOCO knew that KVUE was a GOOD station to work for by reputation and from meeting touring Austin staffers and that Austin was becoming one of the more live-able places to be in Tehas! For years though, only the Austin American-Statesman was seen as a legit news source there in the late '60's/'70's.

KVII in Amarillo refered to them on all their Capitol news. Probably stole "readers" - stories that is - for newscasts.

Date: 24-Oct-00 08:35 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Frank Morrow
Geographical location: Austin, Texas
How could they rank Austin at 61st, and Tulsa 58th? Metropolitan Austin is considerably larger. It has more than a million. Austin has been a multi-phone book city for a long time, whereas Tulsa still has only one.

Or are minorities, Yankees and Californians still under the 3/5s rule?

Date: 24-Oct-00 08:14 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: John Hillis  
Geographical location: Down the block from the OTASCO store, next to the Rexall
How did you find TTM? Ran into it skiing the Tulsa mountains with John Erling
I think Tulsa hovered around low-mid 50's market size for most of the 60's and 70's; I think it was 52 or 53 when I went to work at KOTV in 1976. I don't think it ever pierced 50, however. Sales people always thought they were that close to big new dollars from the top-50 market national buys.

My Broadcasting Yearbook says Tulsa is 58, using Nielsen January 2000 estimates; OKC is 45, Little Rock is 57. Growth markets in the last few years have been places like Raleign-Durham (45 to now 28), Las Vegas (was about 95, now 53), and Austin (now 61). Dallas has moved up from around 12 to 7; Pittsburgh fell from 10 to 20.

Nielsen ranks the markets county-by-county; with the market receiving the most viewing getting the county for ranking purposes. In some markets, counties see-saw back and forth, making for year-to-year changes, but the Tulsa map looks pretty much unchanged from 25 years ago.

Date: 24-Oct-00 07:56 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Jim Ruddle
Geographical location: Rye, NY
In the mid-fifties, KOTV advertised itself as being in the 43rd market, nationally. How accurate that was is debatable.

Adding to the Sue Staggs Tuma recollection: I left this out of any previous mentions of Cy, figuring it was less than complimentary and what the hell. However, now that she has mentioned his amorous peccadillo, I will simply note that the young women employed at Channel Six dreaded working late because Cy would inevitably call their desk extensions and ask them to get him a cup of coffee from the lounge machine. Because he was in the newsroom at the South end of the building, and the lounge lay near the opposite end, his physical disability made it virtually impossible for him to make the trip or to carry the coffee. That was the trap. How could he be refused, considering his condition? But there was a price to pay. Any women who took the bait and carried Cy's coffee, also got grabbed and mugged by him. The "Gimme a little kiss" routine wore extremely thin and would have cost Corinthian thousands were it to happen today.

Date: 23-Oct-00 06:20 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Bob
Geographical location: Gladstone, MN
How did you find TTM? link
This is some fascinating stuff. I've never been closer to Tulsa than Kansas City, but I can tell from looking around the site that there was some twisted stuff going on in Tulsa TV studios. Confirms my long-held belief that the most interesting local TV comes from the smallest markets.

Thanks, Bob...I think I just read that Tulsa is now the 59th largest market; how did it rank in the 50s/60s/70s?

Date: 23-Oct-00 12:11 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Sue Staggs Harris
Geographical location: in the valley, in the woods
How did you find TTM? got lucky!
Sue Staggs, from an 8's The Place promo I have had sooooo much fun reading and remembering.

When I read the Cy Tuma page...When I was young and dumb, Cy called me to come up to the control room. At that time I was working with Pauline Thurmond in traffic. I went up and Cy said he was feeling blue and needed a little kiss on the cheek. I bent down to give him one and as fast as you can imagine out came the sly Cy's tongue. I was so shocked. He laughed and I ran back down and told Pauline. Boy did Cy get in trouble...Pauline was after him in a heartbeat. We had lots of laughs about that during the years. He called me his golden flame. I loved him, and all the guys upstairs. Yes, the engineers gave me the "Sweet Sue" name. They used to clap when I walked in. It made me turn red, but I enjoyed it. We were family.

On my first day at work I was trying to use the crazy copy machine when Bob Hower came up behind me and goosed me. I screamed and papers shot every where...I never let him forget it.

Great Memories.....Thank you webmaster and everyone who has contributed.

luv, Suz

You're welcome, Sue. Good Cy story...added it to the Cy Tuma page!

Date: 22-Oct-00 11:18 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Frank Morrow (via email)  
Geographical location: Austin, TX
The Tulsa media were urged by the boosters to participate in Tulsa's 50th anniversary in 1957. The big thing was to wear western clothes and to grow beards. At KRMG, Program Director Keith Bretz and I (see pics on the Tulsa Radio in the Fifties page) were the only ones to sprout beards, although an engineer from the transmitter site may have done so, too. Keith shaved his off after several weeks because he thought it looked too straggly.

Despite the big push to display facial hair, extremely few media people or anyone else actually did it. Except for McCarthyism, people didn't take things too seriously in the '50s. It wasn't exactly apathy. It was more like a combination of cynicism, disinterest, and not wanting to look foolish.

Date: 22-Oct-00 01:05 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Noel Confer
Dear Mr. Webmaster, sir
Would you please e-mail to me, your snailmail address. I have a cast picture of the crew of the first telethon ever on Tulsa TV. I'm not set up to send pics via the 'puter.

Yes sir, I will. Thanks!

Date: 20-Oct-00 03:50 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Webmaster  
Archived Guestbook 58 today.

Former KOTV folks remembered Duane Harm. We saw a picture of Gene Tincher. The news broke that KOTV has been sold to Griffin (of waffle syrup and former KTUL ownership fame). The lavish bonuses and holiday parties of local TV were discussed. Charles Dickerson was remembered. We saw one of Teddy Jack Eddy's many deaths (on Gunsmoke, this time).

Look back, then keep it going right here!

Back to main page