Date: 03-Nov-00 08:56 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: LaLaLand on the Potomac
Last day of TV spot production here in DC - unless radio spots - last batch of TV spots going out tonight to air.

I think of all the pols I worked with from OK:

Cong. Mickey Edwards from OKC - longtime OKC Demo who renounced Judaism to become a Baptist to be "electable".

Cong. Glenn English - still one of my favorite GOP's - now director of Rural Electric Cooperatives of America here in DC and still a very decent guy. Ditto Wes Watkins - wherever he is now. Often wondered why Olivia Jones (Cong. Jim Jones' wife) did not do a Hillary Clinton - she was very smart.

Can you remember Page Belcher running against Jones the first time? "What do you want - a Lyndon Johnson liberal or a Page Belcher Republican?". He lost that race - when finally elected Jones got more done than Belcher ever did.

Robert LaFortune - former Tulsa Mayor - a decent and fair guy - another slow talker but a good brain and good heart - one of Tulsey's better mayors.

Worked with Henry Bellmon at 5 doing commentaries before he ran for Gov. again - who may be slow talking but most decent and honest guy I can think of. A true servant of the public.

Gov. George Nigh - not bad for a former grocery store manager. Nice guy but didn't seem to care about the bad goings on at the Capitol - seems like he has government job for life.

Rep. Frank Keating - rising star but his brother was involved in the ill-fated amusement park deal - forget the name - midway between Tulsey and OKC. I am not surprised he has done well as governor.

The old perennial candidate - Jim Inhofe - whom I thought a nice guy 25 years ago - is now kind of a xenophobic, homophobic, isolationist senator for OK - too bad.

Sen. Don Nickles - we called him Mr. Bland but like Henry Bellmon I think grew in the office and has more of a global view of things. He has gone up a tad in my view.

Sheriff Dave Faulkner in Tulsey - what you saw was what you got....

From doing spots for any of them or knowing them from news coverage - OK will always have unique candidates and for me - a lot of memories.

Date: 03-Nov-00 08:26 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Wishing I wuz in Osage County
Gee - had StarShip owner Matt Bunyan bought the Runyon Theatte in Barnsdall - it could have been the "Bunyan Runyon Theatre"!

Always liked Barnsdall! Hello, Mabel - as John Chick would have said!

At the former drugstore I bought a reprint in the '70's of a great book on the "Osage Reign of Terror" in the '30's in Osage County. Last time I was there - the drug store was closed - it was a few doors up from Hub's and across from the "infamous" Police parking spot for the night constable....

Date: 03-Nov-00 08:16 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Warshingdumb, DC
That infamous Oklahoma Monthly article from the '70's refered to Ken Ragsdale as "Breathless" Ken Ragsdale. Ken was a good reporter and writer - last heard a stockbroker in OKC. He worked at 8 and 6 but started as a newspaper reporter - I believe in Pawhuska - writing stories/shooting his own pictures. I attribute "the ear prompter" to him but it could have been suggested by then photog Red Statum or other photogs. 8 bought a lot of GE cassette recorders for reporters to take notes with - a good investment. Ken used to record stand-ups on his recorder and play them back via an earphone discretely hidden with him parroting what he had recorded back to the camera!

In other photog news - I think Oliver "Ollie" Murray is still shooting for 4 in OKC. He started in film and did early video work. He is one of the most memorable nice guys shooting in OKC. For years he was #2 of the many great shooters at 4 after the legendary Darrell Barton. Barton now lives in Guthrie but roams the world for CBS magazine shows as a prime shooter. I once wrangled an interview with Barton - I was really not in their league of shooters but what Darrell wanted was folks that could tell a story with photography - that you could almost do a story without a reporter and still get it across to the average viewer.

8 had "their" Murray - tall Paul Murray who did a lot of "Oil in Oklahoma". He had a dry wit, was very cerebral and a good shooter of "art" pieces but did OU football just as well. Paul left 8 to go to CA and in the late '70's worked for MCA Discovision - no not videos of dancers - early production for videodisks. If anyone knows where Paul is now - let us know.

Date: 02-Nov-00 09:40 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Erick
Geographical location: Tulsa
I think Mike Bruchas needs to adjust the brightness on his monitor. Uncle Zeb is perfectly clear, although I'm still trying to find out exactly where the photo was taken!

This is quite off-topic, but I wanted to remind everyone that election day is this coming Tuesday, and you need to perform your civic duty by voting. There are tons of important issues on the ballot this year. The presidency is up for grabs, obviously, but for us here in Tulsa, the Tulsa Time Project is up for vote. If approved, a half-cent sales tax will be applied to convert the current Maxwell Convention Center into a large ballroom and convention halls, and will fund the building of a new state of the art arena. Whether you are for it or not, vote!! It doesn't take very long, and they will usually give you a really cool sticker for it! It's a cliche, but let your voice be heard!

GoGo the Goat Now, more than ever: Vote Goat!...webmaster

GoGo Para PresidenteUpdate, 5/29/2004: The original 1996 "GoGo Para Presidente" video from TNT's "Rudy and GoGo's World Famous Cartoon Show" is available on the! (These graphics saved by the webmaster from TNT's web site in the mid-90s.)

7/21/2007: I found another image in my old email, originally from the TNT site in 1996:

GoGo on the trampoline

11/22/2006: GoGo Papa Presidente now on YouTube:

Rudy and GoGo's World Famous Cartoon Show opening:

Date: 02-Nov-00 06:23 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Jerri
Geographical location: Oklahoma
How did you find TTM? surfin' the web
Looked through the guest book and memories started coming back...I was born and raised in 'The Town With the BIGHEART' i.e., Barnsdall...I remember going into Hubs, on mainstreet, and my parents buying me tennis shoes for school and later going in and talking to Mrs. Lawrence "Mabel" of my best memories was going into the Runyon Theatre and watching a movie with my mom when the "Theatre" opened for a brief period of time...What memories...I remember staying up late and seeing if Don Woods was going to send a Gusty to my sister's or myself...I found my Gusty which he drew a couple of years ago and will always treasure it for it brings fond memories of growing up "In The Town With the BIGHEART", Barnsdall....

Thanks for writing, Jerri.

Date: 02-Nov-00 06:19 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Readers - are the pictures on these pages too dark these days? I asked webmeister Ransom earlier.

Lately anything new I see on my work PC is too dark to discern. The new Zeb pic is a dark blur to me.

How are the images looking to you - e-mail Mike Ransom at link on this page if you are having problems, too!

Maybe it is just me....

Too bad about your PC...
if it were working properly,
you would be seeing this
pic of a nude newswoman-->
(pant, puff!)

Date: 02-Nov-00 07:59 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: John Hillis  
Geographical location: East North South Coffeyville
How did you find TTM? Some guy in a windbreaker gave it to me as I got on the turnpike
KOTV Alumni news: Paula Walker Madison, former KOTV News Director in the mid-80s, has been named Prexy and GM of KNBC, Los Angeles. She had been News Director of WNBC New York since 1996 and NBC VP of Diversity since earlier this year. Before NBC, she'd made her way through the Belo ranks, with postings at WFAA, KOTV, and KHOU.

I think Forrest Brokaw did PR for Sun Oil Co. after he left the TV world. I think I remember his name on the Sunoco/DX releases and he may have even sprung for lunch one time during the late '70s oil contractions.

No KOTV alumnus, but Paul Harvey has signed a new 10 year deal with ABC, which will carry him nearly a decade beyond the half-century mark of his "News and Comment" which began in 1951. Wife and son also inked deals with ABC, she as producer, he as writer of "The Rest of the Story."

(I heard tell that a KOTV News Director after my time once had the job title of writer for Harvey...a task that was mandated by union rules but that didn't entail a lot of actual writing, as Paul did most of it in his own style. Not sure if that's true or not...maybe another TTM stalwart will come up with........THE REST OF THE STORY!)

A unique radio talent.

Date: 02-Nov-00 12:35 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Frank Morrow
Geographical location: Austin, Texas
The death of Steve Allen brings back memories of the first time I ever was aware of him. When I had the night shift at KTUL in late 1952 and early 1953, the scheduling after the 10pm news with Ed Neibling and the 10:15 sports with Jack Charvat was sustaining (non-commercial) programming from CBS, usually band music from some ballroom in a hotel someplace. The music was invariably boring, and the time passed slowly until sign-off. (However, it gave me time to study, being a TU student.)

This changed one magic evening, when the network announcer said that CBS was presenting a new talent, Steve Allen. What a breath of fresh air! Allen was such an accomplished pianist of pop music, plus he was very funny. He was so relaxed and informal. He would casually mix in humorous comments and funny items from the newspapers with musical numbers.

His program wasn’t on more than a few months—maybe weeks. Or, perhaps he was still on when I changed to the late afternoon-early evening shift. I don’t remember. But, I was not aware of him again until he showed up on network TV. I was so proud to be able to tell people that I had heard Steve Allen---back then.

Thanks, Frank.

Date: 01-Nov-00 06:11 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Erick
Geographical location: Tulsa
I was curious about the Uncle Zeb pic on the main page. Where's the location of it? Looks like some sort of grocery store.

Date: 01-Nov-00 03:25 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Washington, DC
KOCO's Bill Collard died a few years back I was told by former KOCO director, now the UCP of OK Director Jim Rankin.

A former OKC cop - I knew Bill as a live truck major domo at 5 who also field produced and had some of the best contacts in OKC. I knew he had shot at one time but built a special niche at 5 in News. Any major event - Bill was on it for logistics. A sharp guy, always a marathon worker with a good nose for news that often got called in the middle of the night on a tip from his contacts on a story. He was a guy that slept with a scanner on at home, too.

He was a class act and because he was about 5-8 years older than a lot of us there - got our respect.

He too tired of 5's drunken news management in the 80's and took a a civilian media specialist job at Tinker AFB. He was one of the first people I knew to go to Sony Institute to take classes in early interactive media. As he said - an old dog CAN learn new tricks.

We all liked his wife too. Bill will be missed, but always remembered for his good heart....

Date: 01-Nov-00 03:17 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Warshington, DC
To us of the 50's and 60's - we lost a great innovator yesterday - Steve Allen died at 78 or 80 (depending on reports) at his son's house of a sudden heartache. Everyone stole from Allen in late night comedy as time went on. Every live comedy show owes him. Like Sid Caesar - his ensemble troupe of comedians are all memorable.

GoodLife TV - a small national cable network no longer seen most places in OK is my contracted network here in DC and they shot with him twice this last year and you may see some footage on E! tonight. We had Nancy Glass do an "American Couples" show with him and his wife - Jayne Meadows.

They have a clip of Ted Koppel talking about Allen being the first TV star in the US that he can remember as a kid. I also forget the Allens did a turn on "Homicide" as a bickering couple the last season.

Allen also appeared on a taped Tim Conway bio show - "The Real Me" that started airing in September. The latter - he was perky and funny. The former he was more serious. For a guy that worked radio at KOOL in Phoenix and went on to start the Tonight Show - quite a career.

Date: 01-Nov-00 08:57 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Erick
Geographical location: Tulsa
During the year of their 35th anniversary, KOCO had several reports on their history, and showed the tornado footage Bob Duff talked about. I'm not sure where the tornado was located, but it certainly was amazing. It was black and white, but still very ominous. I taped all of those reports, but I really don't think I have them anymore, unfortunately.

Date: 01-Nov-00 01:29 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Bob Duff
Geographical location: Tulsa
How did you find TTM? Real lucky, I guess
Ed Brocksmith is in Tahlequah, as far as I know, still working for NSU. It is interesting that someone asked about him because I was just thinking about him.

Been reading some of the archived guestbooks. Someone asked about the radio station building next to the new (new to me any way) KOCO building. That was the home of KOFM. KOFM in the mid 60s was a middle of the road type station which carried the old American Airlines show, Music 'Til Dawn, with local announcers. But it also was the launching pad for Oklahoma's first radio news network...INN (Indian Nations Network).

Because of its power, special receivers were provided to member stations in most of the state to pick up with network signal, which was really the on-air signal of KOFM. Ed Brocksmith was News Director, I was Assistant News Director. At first, we operated out of a converted vault on the 4th floor of the State Capital, using a regular radio to get our cues. When we did our first newscast, we had 4 stations.

The network lasted about two years before our upstart competition from KTOK, The Oklahoma News Network, purchased us. No one from INN was kept by ONN, so I moved on to TV and KOCO. But by that time we had moved out of the capital and into the luxurious (at least compared to what we were used to) facilities of KOFM.

Speaking of KOCO, our chief photographer while I was there was Bill Collard. Bill was the king of tornado chasers and about 1970 or so, got some of the most amazing footage of a tornado forming, dropping to the ground, destroying a house, then going back up. While the tornado was going back up, in the bottom of the picture you could see a man and woman emerge from the cellar of the just destroyed house.

Incredible stuff! Went to the Smithsonian, the National Severe Storms Lab, The Severe Weather Forecast Center in Kansas City, and was also seen on network (ABC) news shows. Getting that short was really serendipity for Bill. He had left his Bell & Howell silent camera in the station. So, he used his sound rig without a body pod or tripod to get the footage. If he had had his Bell & Howell with him, he probably would not have got that great footage because he would not have had the long lens.

Don't know what Bill is up to these days.

Well, to quote my old producer John Hillis, that's enough brain dump for one day.

Date: 31-Oct-00 08:21 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Carl Bartholomew
Geographical location: Tulsa, OK
How did you find TTM? Hurst Swiggart
Carl's starring movie role...order at! Howdy... boys and girls,
At long last, Uncle Zeb has saddled up with the 21st century. Now I finally have an e-mail address. I'm not sure I can use it proper, but I'll give it a try. If you have any questions or comments to "Zeb" or C.B.... I'd be obliged to try and answer them. All the times I had in Tulsa TV were good, some were just better than others. Until I hear from you, "I'll be lookin' for ya!"

Uncle Zeb, aka, Carl Bartholomew

Thanks, Carl...I'm sure there will be some questions for you here, too!

Carl's movie, "Cole Justice", is available at So is his book, GRANMAX: The Saving of A Steam Train. And be sure to check out the Uncle Zeb page on this site!

Date: 31-Oct-00 07:20 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Ken Broo
Geographical location: Where all the Presidential campaigning has ceased
How did you find TTM? Next to Gloria Strickland's desk
I believe that Steve Zabriskie left KTUL for KDKA in Pittsburgh (where he was also known as "The Big Z", but before Tom Goodgame arrived in the 'burgh)

Zabriskie went on to do play-by-play for the New York Mets and the last I heard, was living, semi-retired, in Hilton Head, SC. Ah, the sweet life.

Hey, Ken, when are you going to tell us about that time Skandor Akbar lit Haystacks Calhoun's beard on fire?

Date: 31-Oct-00 05:13 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Sonny Hollingshead
Geographical location: Brownie's on South Harvard
How did you find TTM? On paper cup at Bellaire Drive-In
Mike...Thanks for the information (albeit sad) about Forrest Brokaw. I believe he ended up in PR at Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO). Ed Brocksmith landed at Northeastern State University in Talequah. He's now retired and running for OK state office this November.

Richard Dowdell is still at KRMG doing morning news. Guy Atchley is a news anchor in Tucson, AZ.

Here's another name for the group...Paul Brignac? Worked with him at Channel 8. He was an assignment editor. He worked in news at KELi as Paul Wade. He later did time as city manager? in Glenpool, I think?

Date: 31-Oct-00 03:59 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Miller
Geographical location: Vienna, VA
Former KELi newsman Don Foster recently advised me that Forrest Brokaw is suffering from eye problems that have rendered him nearly blind. Perhaps his daughter can provide more details.

I believe Forrest moved from KVOO Radio directly to KELi after KTUL-Radio became KELi, back in the early 1960's (Turley days.) Forrest, Don Foster and I were a three-man newsroom, with some part-time help from Hal Balch. We were still taking on KAKC in those days.

Date: 31-Oct-00 11:48 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike (yet again) Bruchas  
Geographical location: Beneath the streets of DC
Is Frosty Troy still doing "commentaries" on OETA? I used to direct "Oklahoma Week in Review" yet another OETA copy of a PBS show and Frosty was on there at times along with Tony Clark (now a long time CNN staple) as moderator. Sometimes Terri Watkins - then at KTOK - now a staple at KOCO appeared, too.

Can't remember the rest of the crew - Tony got a variety of reporters on. Contrary to what OETA "agency director for life" Bob Allen felt - no one cared about state capitol news unless it involved taxes, horseracing or liquor. But Mr. Allen played to any legislator that controlled purse strings for OETA.

Date: 31-Oct-00 10:22 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Puttin' mah stamp on Hamp!
The Nader-LaDuke campaign is headquartered at the National Press Club Building here in DC on election night. A sister company to my employer is doing the uni feed from there but ABC was complaining at the charges to get the pool feed - they feel they can get Nader to move to a cheaper location!

I remember 4 years ago - the Dole Campaign watch party was across the street from where I now work and police shut down the half block long section of I Street here to accomodate a sea of satellite trucks. I was a government contractor at INS 2 blocks farther away and had NO wishes to be stuck in traffic downtown here that night so I opted to vote at 5pm - meaning I got outta DC about 4pm.

Date: 31-Oct-00 09:20 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Washington DC
Ross Dixon's son's kidnapping - I heard about it later - OKC media did a near blackout on the story - supposedly out of concern for Ross and his family.

Forrest Brokaw - I heard went to KELI's sister station in Amarillo when KELI was sold and I believe is now retired.

Where is Ed Brocksmith of KRMG fame? His sister Katie went to TU for a while - she was about 3-5 years younger than me.

Richard Dowdell went to TU with Guy Atchley and me - he was always a hoot. Is he still at KRMG?

Yes, Richard Dowdell is still at KRMG...

Date: 31-Oct-00 08:24 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Robert Walker  
Here's a name I don't think I've seen mentioned in these pages: Forrest Brokaw.

What years was he in Tulsa? Was he related to Tom?

I have invited his daughter to bring us up to date. Doing a TTM search (using "Search EXACT phrase" on "Forrest Brokaw"), we learn that he was news director at KTUL radio (which became KELi). He also worked at KVOO-TV. You can see a picture of him with Chet Huntley and on a 50s election set in the KVOO photo album.

Date: 30-Oct-00 05:49 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Erick
Geographical location: Tulsa
About Ross, I'll never forget when his son Doug was kidnapped in the early 80s. Seems like the kid was missing for a month before he turned up - unharmed - near downtown Tulsa.I was reading the Oklahoman archives earlier, and discovered that Ross' wife Peggy died earlier this year.

Date: 30-Oct-00 02:54 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
I was a young projectionist at 8 when Hal O'H. was let go - never knew why - Mike Miller can probably tell us more. He was replaced by "THE BIG Z" - Steve Zabriskie from then dinky market, Austin, TX where he was Steve Zanon because "it sounded less ethnicy to management" than Zabriskie. Though Zabriskie is seen less now - he was a class act then. Chris Lincoln wore big shoes but had big ones inherited from Zabriskie after he came in. I forgot where THE Z went after 8 but we saw a lot of him on regional NCAA games. I also think he was a big college baseball expert....

Date: 30-Oct-00 12:12 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Bruchas  
Geographical location: Election City USA
Ross Dixon and Weatherscan - Ross was also a partner in Zephyr that had we had IPO's 20 years ago - it would have been one.

I did a promotional video with Janice Hudson's husband on Zephyr - I can't remember his name (Ron Hudson?) but he was a weekend anchor at 5 at one time - Janice was Traffic Director at 34.

Foreman Scotty may have been the voice-over talent on it - I don't remember...

It was an early gee-whiz computerised forecasting and data system that was too far ahead for any OKC station at the time - in the early 80's. Weatherscan was for businesses to look in at weather - if you were a rancher or PSO needing to know what was coming up - it was to help you digest info as I recall and I think Zephyr was tied in with an early automated newsroom system. Need to get Ross on line to talk about both.

As mentioned here before - Ross has a dry delivery but producers and control room crew loved him - had a clock in his head.

Tell him weather was cut to 2:30 on busy newsnight - he would deliver a 2:30 long cast. Be in the middle of a weather segment and lose your live shot - via ifb - tell him he needed to stretch to 3:30 or 4:00 - he would coherently do it - within :05 seconds!

Date: 29-Oct-00 11:46 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Jim Reid
Geographical location: Dallas
I doubt that Hal O'Halloran ever got in much trouble for the bowling stories. I was in the room with James Leake when he was complaining about spending too much time on OU and OSU football. His theory was that people would only be interested in things they could do, like bowling and fishing.

There are several used copies of CNN-The Inside Story available at at very reasonable prices.

You can also find copies of Bob Losure's and Steve Zabriskie's, but not Betty Boyd's book...

Alas, with today's sedentary lifestyles, Mr. Leake's theory is unlikely to be borne out.

Date: 29-Oct-00 11:15 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Bob Duff
Geographical location: Tulsa
How did you find TTM? Just lucky
Erick...KOCO installed its weather radar in 1971 during a remodel of the building which added much more space to the news room and included the rather short tower for the radar in one corner of it.

Also, you are sort of correct about Ross Dixon and Weatherscan. He was not exactly employed by that company since he owned it. It was primarily a private weather service providing weather info for contractors, municipalities and others who needed such information for planning purposes. I don't know if Weatherscan International still exists, but in those days he was doing pretty well with it.

As for Fred Norman, you are right. He was definitely a class act. But, he could also be had. I sold him my fire engine red 1965 MG B, which he drove for quite some time.

Date: 29-Oct-00 10:54 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Dave E.  
Geographical location: Fayetteville, Ark.
How did you find TTM? It found me...
I grew up in Tulsa a few decades ago and can still monitor things well enough from NW Ark. Does anyone know or recall things about the following?

-- Did Hal O'Halloran ever get in some trouble for doing too many bowling stories on Channel 8?

-- When Troy Gordon critiqued Len Morton's re-creation of Oiler road games? It seems that Len wanted to be so authentic that he ran a recording of a train whistle during a game from San Antonio or Amarillo and said something about the Whatever Express that goes by the ball park here every night about this time. Troy thought that was a bit much, so they invited him to watch them re-create a game and he wrote a column about it.

I recall that when KVOO re-created Oiler games played at Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs that it was something of a futile effort. They were always about a half-hour behind the live broadcast on WFAA, which boomed into Tulsa loud and clear.

-- Who recalls KOME's experiment as a soul station in the late 60s? KOCW tried that too for awhile a couple of years earlier.

-- Chuck Adams' feud of sorts with Mayor James Hewgley on the KRMG morning show. He liked to take relatively gentle gigs at the mayor, prompting Hewgley to say something to one of the newspapers about putting up with "a smart-aleck disc jockey."

Date: 29-Oct-00 08:51 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: John Hillis  
Geographical location: Exotic, mysterious, Fairfax County, Virginia
How did you find TTM? Heard about it from Brad Holbrook on INN
This may be a long and somewhat off-topic brain dump, so apologies in advance, but people asked.

INN was the Tribune Company's half-hour nightly national news effort. It was produced at WPIX New York, where Lev Pope was the GM and John Corporon was News Director. I worked a lot with WPIX when I was on Long Island, and they were the best and scrappiest indy news shop in the city. I think INN started around '80, and ran on the Tribune stations and others around the country.

Brad Holbrook was one of the anchors, and as Mr. Bruchas noted, Dave Willingham, ex-of our little shop here in Washington, was Miami bureau chief. INN and CNN cooperated a lot in Washington, where both were understaffed, non-union, and outgunned on all sides. Ultimately, Tribune returned the national news to local control on its owned stations, and INN died, though Trib continues to have a good DC bureau servicing its stations, with ex-CNN'er Cissy Baker (Daughter of Sen. Howard Baker) as bureau chief and most of the employees having worked for us at News Channel 8 Washington.

SNC was a co-venture of Westinghouse and ABC News that was supposed to blow up CNN. It has a complex system of satellites and regional stations that did cut-ins for about five minutes of every hour. I think KPIX, being the Group W station in SF did the inserts, because KRON swapped material with CNN (we had a switch on timer in the SF bureau that turned one the 11 PM news, 2 AM in the East and brought in the off-the-air feed on satellite). This regional system used up five satellite transponders and had some serious switching required at the cable system head-ends.

SNC was supposed to be the fast-paced news channel, with SNC II to compete with the "more serious" CNN. However, as SNC was announced, CNN responded (before SNC could get on the air) with CNN2, now known as Headline News.

SNC got Turner very close to bankrupcy, but, as organizations that have two owners with other major interests often do, wound up with less focus and stamina than Turner and ended up accepting his buy-out offer.

If you really care about such arcana, you can read a good account in detail on the whole SNC battle from CNN's point of view in the out-of-print book CNN-The Inside Story by Hank Whittemore. Available in esoteric libraries, it's pretty good and pretty accurate on the SNC story. (I'm in there, too, for whatever that's worth).

CONUS was a newsgathering cooperative put together by the Hubbards of St. Paul. They were first to use Ku-band satellite uplink trucks. The earlier C-Band uplinks required an 18-wheeler and a separate control room truck and generator, so didn't get much spot news work. It started in 1985. They also produce All News Channel, a Headline-News-type service carried on Direct TV satellite. Like a lot of little guys, CONUS is scrappy, can-do, and does a lot of good work. Because, years ago, CNN would not sell news footage to local 24-hour news channels, a lot use CONUS for their national feed.

The chief engineer of CONUS, Ray Conover, is probably the best satellite brain in the broadcast industry.

I think KAUT tried an all-local-news format when it signed on around '82. Didn't last long, as costs were high and revenues were low. Even Mr. Autry couldn't make that song sound good.

I got to meet Gene Autry at a Broadcasting Magazine Hall of Fame dinner in the early '90's, when he was probably 85 years old. He was sharp as a razor, funny as all get out, and the only person who got a bigger kick out of talking to him than I did was Sam Donaldson.

If that's not a good place to end the brain dump, It'll have to do!

Thanks, John.

Date: 29-Oct-00 08:43 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Erick
Geographical location: Tulsa
Bob Duff...what year did KOCO install its "Eyewitness Radar"? I know KWTV installed a radar system in 1973.

I know I've talked lots here in the past of Fred Norman, but I don't think I could ever relay how cool I think he is. I remember he came and spoke to my earth science class in elementary school when he was still at 5. Then, many years later, he spoke to my 12th grade meteorology class! A class act the entire time.

Ross Dixon, incidentally, was employed by a company called WeatherScan, not KOCO. Of course, he helped start that company. Several stations did this. It was a unique situation where KOCO could decide who they wanted as a weekend meteorologist, but WeatherScan would pay them.

And yes, you can all catch Ross nowadays on OETA weeknights at 6:30.

Date: 29-Oct-00 01:27 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Bob Duff
Geographical location: Tulsa
How did you find TTM? Lucky break
Reference the webmaster's comments:

Yes, Ho Ho was indeed a world class food mooch. But, as I said, he was also a wonderful human being, whom, unfortunately, we lost a few years ago.

As for Kitty Gibbons and her "unexpected guest" she totally lost it. Couldn't stop laughing. Meanwhile Flynn, ever the stone face, continued to do his stories with Sartain draped over the news desk and Kitting laughing her head off.

Someone here also brought up Fred Norman, the meterologist at KOCO. Fred was quite a character but he did sort of pioneer a technique that is common place now. In those days the weather board was really a weather board with stuff stuck on it to show temps, low pressure areas, etc. This was before common use of video tape locally and certainly before all the computer stuff. So Fred came up with the idea for "moving" weather. He would spend an hour or so with a photographer setting up his weather board. The photographer would shoot a few frames at a time, Fred would move the weather system, The photog would shoot a few more frames, Fred would move the system, etc, etc. Then during his weathercast he would run the film and magically, the weather system would move across the map. I know that sounds pretty hokey now but then it was innovative and brought a lot of favorable comments. Incidentally, KOCO was the first OKC TV station to get its own radar. During that same time our weekend weather guy and weekday backup was none other than Ross Dixon, now of OETA.

Date: 28-Oct-00 06:23 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Erick  
Speaking of the OU game and Mack Creager, just saw a live shot on KOTV with sports director John Holcomb and Ryan Rahal that was somewhat reminiscent of "the incident". At the end when John tossed it back to the studio, the anchor thanked him, and waited for a response. Instead of the traditional "you're welcome", we saw Holcomb yell at someone, I can only assume it was a producer. The news anchor was very eager to go to a commercial. lol

Date: 28-Oct-00 02:49 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mike Miller
Geographical location: Vienna, VA
Mack Creager Congratulations OU! Watching the Sooners beat Nebraska today reminded me of the good old days when I spent many Saturdays during the late 1960’s filming the team with KOTV Sports Director Mack Creager.

We would return to the station from Norman shortly before air time (for the early news) and a major problem was to trying to quickly edit about 800 feet of film. Since Mack was an excellent play-by-play announcer, I suggested he record his narration as I filmed the game. (We shot all third downs and key situations and got lucky a few times.) That way, during the editing process, I could find the highlights by listening to his audio track. This was much faster than squinting into the small viewer. We then used Mack’s filmed play-by-play during sports.

The “live on film” method of football coverage sometimes allowed KOTV to beat the other channels on the early newscasts. It also freed Mack to devote more time to other duties prior to his sports segment. Mack Creager was not only creative and versatile, but also a lot of fun to work with, on and off the air.

Date: 28-Oct-00 02:09 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Mikr Bruchas  
Geographical location: Not in OK today
Doing a national -albeit boring- videoconference today. Talking with downlink sites - Central Texas sounds like it is blowing away!

Several Texans on the show - everyone is asking where the monitors are with the OU/Nebraska game! So OU football crosses several state boundaries with fans!

Date: 28-Oct-00 09:59 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Glen Fisher
Geographical location: Jacksonville, Fl
How did you find TTM? News Blues
I was happy to hear Lee and King Lionel are still spreading the word. I spent 25 years in television, 22 as sports anchor, 75 and 76 at KOTV and the last 3 as anchor. While in sports, I thought I was pretty good at picking the winners...until I hooked up with the King. The worst 2 years of predicting.... against the King.

Lee, do you remember Lionel's denim hat than I liked so much, I had you contact the lady who made it and ask her to make one for me. I loved that hat. When I left Tulsa to return to Jacksonville, the moving van was broken into and among the things that were favorite hat. You and Lionel were one of the highlights of my broadcasting career. You made it fun! Thank you.

Glen Fisher

Thanks for the visit, Glen!

Date: 28-Oct-00 01:23 AM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Bob Duff
Geographical location: Tulsa
Seem to be several comments about OKC TV on Tulsa site. So, since the door has already been opened, may I step through with some OKC TV memories? Thank ye kindly.

Ed "Ho Ho The Clown" BirchallDuring my time at KOCO there was a wonderful human being named Ed Birchall who loved kids and life in general. His alter ego was HO HO the Clown and he had a sidekick named Pokey (really just an old gym sock with a face). Ed's show was moved around a lot but he took it all in stride. When it was lunch (or brunch?) with HO HO he played to the housewives. Ed was on in the mornings for a while. His show followed the Sunrise Summary, our pre-Good Morning America local news show which I anchored. On occasion, in promoting his show, I would refer to him as Lt. Wallaby. That was both a reference to the BIG Man Captain Kangaroo and an acknowledgement that Ed was a great admirer of Bob Keeshan. Anyway, on the news show we had a big clock with a somewhat cartoonish sun for a face which was frequently seen over my shoulder via chroma key. One morning, after I refered to Lt. Wallaby, HO HO made some clock hands, stuck them on his clown nose, and stood in front of the clock. The next time the clock appeared, I caught a glimpse of it in the monitor and nearly fell off my stool. I completely lost it and almost couldn't finish the show. Sort of like Kitty Gibbons with Mike Flynn on the Tulsa channel 6 noon news when Gailard Sartain dropped in and literally dropped on the news desk while Kitty was reading.

The point of all this is to say that while those who read and contribute to this site are naturally fond of the Tulsa market and its colorful past, we are not alone. There was some pretty good stuff going on at the other end of the turnpike as well.

How did Kitty take the unexpected "guest appearance"?

We've had quite a bit of comment on Ho Ho here in previous Guestbooks. We learned, among other things, that Ho Ho was a world-class food mooch!

Date: 27-Oct-00 11:32 PM (on Tulsa Time)
Name: Webmaster  
Archived Guestbook 59. Re-indexed the search engines.

Discussed in #59: TV sports, and news (including INN, SFM, SNC...), OKC TV, Cy Tuma, the "News Blues" site. We learned of the passing of KTUL's Ed Hunt.

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