Tulsa TV Memories Guestbook 153

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Time: December 21 2003 at 12:50:12
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: monitoring Tom Ridge on Network lines
Comments: What is going on at KRSC-TV - they still on a tight budget? Anyone watching them on a regular basis?

Time: December 21 2003 at 07:52:11
Name: Elmer Jennings
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Comments: Great web site: I remember the 1943 "Daze" which opened with Glenn Miller's "String of Pearls".

The Oklahoma history teacher Mrs. Billingsy I think taught us a hymn in an Indian language I think it was Cherokee.

Thanks for the web site.

Thank you, Elmer.

Time: December 21 2003 at 00:08:19
Name: Frank Morrow
Location: Austin. TX
Comments: I also was on duty when Lowell Thomas gave his Hershey, PA, laugh-in performance. All of us in the studios at KTUL also were laughing, but we also couldn't believe what we were hearing. I was worried, because I had to give a station break immediately following the news program. The break-up came during the last two minutes or so of the broadcast, and we all were laughing at what we had heard.

I was sure glad that there was an ET (electronic transcription, ie., a recorded commercial) played during the station break. All I had to do was to give the call letters.

That is the only break-up I ever heard on a network program.

Time: December 20 2003 at 11:14:29
Name: MrTvDaddy
Location: Lookin' at Peoria
Comments: Yeah... looks like all quiet for now... whew!

Time: December 20 2003 at 10:57:04
Name: JB Stone
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Comments: I think our webmaster is on a cruise til' Monday -- we must endure.

Serenity now!

12/21 p.m. - I'm back from vacation, and the phony KJRH entries have been deleted. I don't know what that was all about, but apologies to KJRH.

Time: December 20 2003 at 10:23:17
Name: MrTvDaddy
Location: Under the big 2
Comments: Hey webmaster... is there something that can be done about viacom merger boy? He's starting to get on our nerves. Let's get back to chatting about old Tulsa shows :-)

Time: December 19 2003 at 21:30:25
Name: Other Dave
Location: not on peoria
Comments: Re the KJRH-Viacom merger communicator : It's just my personal preference, but I like complete sentences. We're long past the Western Union telegram days and I never did catch on to reading that writing style anyway.

Time: December 19 2003 at 15:41:57
Name: Noel Confer
Location: Tulsa
Comments: Mr. Harmon, you bet the Coliseum had a basement! It was the home of KAKC...and the place of toil for myself, Jim Ruddle, Frank Morrow, Ken Reed (or, Read ) and a zillion rats.

Frank Morrow : to find a check of Lowell Thomas' "Hersey Penn" boo-boo, you'll have to raid the archives of an old Mutual station. I was on-air when it came down.

Time: December 19 2003 at 15:26:12
Name: MrTvDaddy
Location: down here on Peoria...
Comments: OK... who is this person??? I've just talked to the higher-ups and Scripps is in negotiations to sell some of their stations to Viacom but KJRH IS NOT being sold for 1.25 million... and nobody in this town is switching affiliations... it would be a cold day in hell before KOTV dropped CBS especially with "the eye" doing so well in prime.

Time: December 19 2003 at 14:48:15
Name: Dave Harmon
Comments: Frank...I forgot to mention that I don't know what the Coliseum racing surface was for sure but I remember smelling rubber smoke so it may have been smooth cement...hmmmm....someone said a while back that there was a basement in the Coliseum so the surface could have been wood, I guess...or something laid down just for the race.

Time: December 19 2003 at 14:43:19
Name: Dave Harmon
Location: 1 Mile south of where Ascot Racetrack used to be
Comments: Frank....the midget car races at the Coliseum that I saw were probably in '51 or '52. Someone said it burned down in '53...I remember the live coverage of the fire on TV but don't remember for sure what year that was. I also saw Georgeous George the wrestler during the same time. http://www.wrestlingmuseum.com/pages/bios/halloffame/georgebio.html.

Time: December 19 2003 at 11:00:29
Name: Jim Ruddle
Location: Rye, NY
Comments: On the subject of UHF ownership in Milwaukee, in the fifties: Gaylord which owned stations in Tampa and Orlando, along with its Oklahoma properties, also had a "U" license for a station in Milwaukee, with the assigned call letters "WUHF." A very funny fellow named John Haberlin was dispatched to Milwaukee to put the thing on the air and was asked what was the first thing he would do. He said, "Change the call letters to WVHF."

Time: December 19 2003 at 10:17:05
Name: Erick
Location: Tulsa
Comments: In regards to Daniel's question, you have to remember that the transmitters for the Tulsa stations are located in the Oneta/Coweta area just southeast of Tulsa.

Your likely problem is terrain. Also, with the distance you have, you should be using a rooftop antenna instead of rabbit ears (if that's what you're currently using).

Time: December 19 2003 at 09:43:30
Name: Daniel Wright
Location: Okmulgee, Ok
Comments: This is more of a technical question but I live in Okmulgee and I can't get channel 2 and rarely channel 6. The reception is awful. I am only 40 miles out of Tulsa. Are our local stations underpowered or am I just too far out?

Time: December 19 2003 at 09:36:56
Name: MrTvDaddy
Location: KJRH for years....
Comments: No bad info here... yes they make more money than the rest of the Scripps stations but they still operate in the red every year and have for years. They just aren't as bad as some of the stations in the chain which isn't saying much. Scripps only keeps their TV side as a tax right-off and offset for their print side.

Scripps is forecasting strong broadcasting revenues for 2004.

Time: December 19 2003 at 09:19:11
Name: Joe
Comments: KJRH is one of Scripps biggest moneymakers. You have some bad info.

Time: December 19 2003 at 07:18:58
Name: Sam Loveall
Location: Down East North Carolina
Comments: Guestbook #152 ends on Dec 7. Guestbook # 153 begins on Dec 14. Did we lose a week?

As the current Guestbook gets longer, it eventually spans two or three pages. When this happens, just click "Next Page" at the bottom to see the rest.

Once a Guestbook is archived, it is all on one page.

Time: December 19 2003 at 01:11:45
Name: Frank Morrow
Location: Austin. TX
Comments: Comments on some of the entries:

I saw some midget car races at the fairgrounds pavilion before WWII, but I didn't know that the Coliseum had races there, too. When was that? What kind of racing surface was it?

Was Glenn Condon still at KRMG in 1979? What a wonderful, kind man.

The interesting thing about Lowell Thomas' breakups was that, instead of stopping and laughing, he would try to continue reading, making weird sounds that resulted in a more hilarious result. I'm still trying to find my recording of Thomas' famous breakup when he read the story about Eisenhower visiting Hershey, PA.

Time: December 18 2003 at 18:38:10
Name: Jim Reid
Location: Dallas
Comments: Re: "Does anyone remember in '94 when News Corp (Fox) purchased a ton of CBS affiliated stations and switched them all to Fox? Denver's 3 major network stations all swapped affiliations around that time too.""

My station was part of that deal. First, we were a CBS affiliate owned by Times-Mirror (L.A.Times). In 94, we were sold, along with sister stations in St. Louis (ABC) and Austin (CBS) to the newly formed Argyle Group. At the same time, another sister station in Birmingham, Alabama was sold to NBC. One year later, Argyle sold all three of it's stations to New World Entertainment. Part of New World's funding of the purchase was provided by Rupert Murdoch as long as NW agreed to change all the stations to FOX affiliates. On April 1, 1995, we signed on as a FOX station. One year later, in April of 1996, News Corp., Murdoch's company aquired New World, making us FOX O&O stations. In 94, we had also started operating KDFI channel 27 through an LMA. As soon as it was legal, FOX purchased KDFI. It's been a head-spinning experience.

Time: December 18 2003 at 17:57:03
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: DC where the CBS affil is still Gannett-owned
Comments: Ch. 2 to CBS? Don't think so - for a couple of years maybe. CBS is cheap at times - when they bought a UHF in Milwaukee maybe 8-10 years ago - they had a VHF there in the 1950's which they had sold off when U's were deemed near useless - they promoted it heavily but did not spend as much as many expected on staff nor the plant.

Bro' Hillis may know about the UHFs they bought in Atlanta and I think Miami. KOTV is an awfully strong CBS affil - and the second oldest CBS station in the state - moving it to CBS might not help ch. 2. Also the Griffin ties to CBS might be stronger than those think.

Now Viacom-owned Paramount ch.20 here has had LITTLE investment since the take-over - in fact for a while had and may still have CONTRACTED staff from Baltimore running the technical side of the station here. They used to carry John Hillis' NewsChannel 8 as their "branded" news in the early days of Bro Hillis' reign over NewsChannel 8.

In Charlotte, NC - the CBS affiliate, WSOC, co-operates the former Paramount station there and does their news too - at a different time plus shares and repeats syndicated programming.

Time: December 18 2003 at 13:12:57
Name: John Hillis
Comments: The KATV/KTUL sale took place, I believe, in 1983--so it's 20 years ago, not 10. Time does fly when you're having fun.

Since Tulsa is under market #50, it would be surprising for a network purchase, but these days, nothing surprises....

Since Scripps' hottest properties are its cable nets, and that's an area in which Viacom has more than a little power, I guess it wouldn't be shocking for a buy-out of all Scripps' TV properties...including the lonely lady of Brookside.

But as Sgt. Schultz always said before the KOTV 6 O'Clock News..."I know noothing, NOOTHING!"

Time: December 18 2003 at 13:01:28
Name: Erick
Location: Tulsa
Comments: IF Viacom is purchasing KJRH from Scripps, there could be some interesting developments. Viacom owns 35 television stations, only one of which is not a UPN or CBS affiliate, and that's KCAL in Los Angeles, which is an independent station.

If this rumor is true, would Viacom require KJRH to take the CBS affiliation?

Does anyone remember in '94 when News Corp (Fox) purchased a ton of CBS affiliated stations and switched them all to Fox? Denver's 3 major network stations all swapped affiliations around that time too.

Later note from the webmaster: The bogus KJRH entries are now gone. I don't know what that was all about, but apologies to KJRH.

Time: December 18 2003 at 09:23:11
Name: Erick
Location: Tulsa
Comments: WCVB was purchased by Hearst-Argyle, which usually overspends. I think they purchased KOCO from Gannett for a somewhat lower yet equally absurd price several years ago.

Does anyone recall what Griffin paid Belo for KOTV?

Time: December 17 2003 at 17:14:04
Name: Jim Reid
Location: Dallas
Comments: 22 million for both KTUL and KATV sounds pretty low to me. Maybe 22 million each? The ABC affiliate in Boston sold a few years ago for over 400 million.

Time: December 17 2003 at 15:32:50
Name: Mike Bruchas
Comments: Didn't Jimmy Leake sell both KTUL and KATV to Allbritton Communications for like $22,000,000 like 10 years ago?

Time: December 16 2003 at 10:53:22
Name: John Durkee
Location: Tulsa
Comments: Wow! It was great to see a posting by Dave Poteet. KAKC was a most unique place in the "last days". Dave would hold the program director hostage with the fire extinquisher until the PD relented on whatever was his stupid cume-building idea of the week ("cume" is short for "cumulative audience"...webmaster). As I recall, the strippers--hired as board operators-- were really, really ugly in the daylight.

Time: December 16 2003 at 08:14:05
Name: Erick
Location: Tulsa
Comments: Great to hear from "Karen Larson".

However, you would think she would know how to properly spell her own last name.

I have a complaint. I am a huge weather fan, always have been, but Tulsa TV meteorologists need to work on their winter weather forecasting abilities.

On Tuesday of last week, we hear that we might get a dusting to an inch of snow. I ended up with 6 inches. Then on Friday, we hear the mother of all storms is heading in. It rained most of the night at my place before getting a dusting. I know folks up toward Bartlesville got hammered, though.

Later note from the webmaster: The entries purportedly made by someone at KJRH have been removed. They didn't make much sense on any level.

Time: December 16 2003 at 03:59:49
Name: Dave Harmon
Location: 1 Mile South of Ascot Raceway
Comments: My dad and I went several times to the midget car races at the Coliseum....indoor of course, the smell was wonderful as the engines used alcohol. We watched wrestling too, I remember the one and only time I saw Georgeous George perform in the ring....shortly after I remember watching the Coliseum burn on live TV. For many years, the wreckage of the Coliseum was almost untouched and I always noticed it as I drove past. Long ago.....far away...damn.

Post WWII midget car in the 'Downtowner', courtesy of Frank Morrow
Post WWII midget car in the "Downtowner", courtesy of Frank Morrow

Time: December 15 2003 at 13:21:36
Name: Tom Vance
Location: Sand Springs, OK
Comments: Back in 1953 I graduated from the old Central High, now occupied by PSO, downtown Tulsa. Sam Avey's Coliseum was to be the place where we were to graduate,but the place burned and we used Skelly Stadium instead. I once watched a Tulsa Ice Oiler game at the old Coliseum and remember it well.

The Coliseum

Time: December 15 2003 at 12:12:29
Name: Ike Walker
Location: Slummin' in South Tulsa
Comments: Just wanted to say I love this site... great work... long live Tulsa TV and long live "You're On"

Thanks, Ike.

Time: December 15 2003 at 05:12:21
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: On dawn patrol in DC - doing feeds from a dark White House - will someone call the Bushes and ask them to put the porch light on?
Comments: Is Lyon's on line yet? One of my oldest memories of Tulsa - is going there!

Time: December 14 2003 at 17:26:13
Name: John Young
Location: Deep In The Heart of Discontent
Comments: Lyons Indian Store at 11th & Elgin in Tulsa has some good Tulsa themed merchandise as does Borders Books on 21st.

Time: December 14 2003 at 16:59:45
Name: Mike Bruchas
Location: Xmas shopping in the snow with little $$
Comments: Besides our TTM links to Amazon.com, friends in OKC say you should also look at http://www.ok-history.mus.ok.us./gifts/catalog/catalog.htm which is the Oklahoma Historical Society gift shop.

Whom else can ya'all suggest for Oklahoma or Tulsa-themed Xmas gifts?

Time: December 14 2003 at 06:20:50
Name: Karl Mindeman
Location: Treading corn and snow in central Indiana
Comments: Kathy - The award I won that year was for Best Technically Produced Film. That year, Best Film was won by Gary Amstutz. I'll have to dig through some trunks to find further info. The filmmaking teacher at Edison was Mr. Crowell - I believe first name David. You may have known Michelle Kelly and Dona Wheeler?

Time: December 13 2003 at 21:07:11
Name: Kathy Schramm Rapp
Location: Texas
Comments: Karl, what was your award for at the student film festival? I remember at about the same time, when I was taking acting lessons at Charles Ellis Studio of Acting, I saw the musical, "South Pacific", at Edison High School. I had a few friends from Edison, even though I attended Byrd Jr. Hi. and Memorial High. Last I heard, Charles Ellis was the head of the Tulsa Civic Ballet. Anyone know any updates?

Time: December 12 2003 at 18:26:38
Name: Karl Mindeman
Location: Swimming through the dying cornfields in central Indiana
Comments: One of my fondest childhood memories was getting to be in the studio audience of Big Bill and Oom-A-Gog with my friends on my birthday. I even remember Big Bill referring to me as 'a regular' on one of the shows - a true brush with greatness!

Fast forward about a dozen years to 1973, when Edison High School used to hold an annual student film festival. I won an award that year, and one of the judges was Bob Brown.

One of the most pleasant Tulsa TV personalities I remember meeting was Boyce Lancaster, former weatherman at KTUL. He went to our church, and had a great singing voice!

Time: December 11 2003 at 07:19:11
Name: Dave Poteet
Location: Norman
Comments: I used to work at KAKC in the 70's with John Durkee, now news director at KRMG and others like Sunny Ray and Michael MorningMouth McCarthy. Those were fun days especially when we would have fire extinguisher fights between newscasts on weekends. I also remember right before the station was sold in 1979 when in order to keep the station on the air we hired strippers to come in and spin records.

Time: December 10 2003 at 20:55:36
Name: John Hillis
Location: Down amongst the paperwork, Fairfax County, Virginia (motto: that water we've glommed from Maryland since 1789 is legal, Supreme Court Says So. Tasty, too, mostly.")

Since it's a quiet night here in the hayloft, let me tell you about the early KOTV minicams.

Corinthian, the company that grew out of KOTV's legendary manager Wrede Petersmeyer, and built up by the equally famous New York newspaperman John Hay Whitney, and came to be owned by Dun and Bradstreet by the time the minicams and I arrived within a few months of each other. By then, Corinthian included KOTV, KHOU in Houston, WISH in Indianapolis, KXTV in Sacramento, and WANE in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, giving it the five television stations that one company could legally own back in those different-than-now days. All 5 were CBS affils, by the way.

Now, kids, back then, there used to be a company called Robert Hall that sold men's suits with the slogan "Low Overhead." Corinthian was like that. Wherever they had a station, it probably wasn't tops in the ratings, but it was tops when the shared profit numbers came out, because, as used to be said, "They threw nickels around like they were manhole covers."

The minicam revolution, as Senor Bruchas has suggested, appealed to the Corinthian guys for a couple of reasons--tape that could be erased and re-used over and over, and being able to eliminate the labor and time spent in running film, as well as the fixed costs of the lab (though I knew a crafty guy elsewhere who made his station's lab a profit center by driving the silver residue up to Kodak in Rochester NY a couple of times a year and recycling it in the days when silver was at its peak.)

There were a couple of different kinds of cameras in that first wave from Japan--there were the ones made to broadcast standards--KMOX-TV was among the first with these, as a CBS Labs Test bed. Then there were the ones that basically were turned up from the industrial video market. That's what KOTV got: little Sony rigs that had a camera head about the size of a loaf of bread, with a lens on, tethered to a CCU that looked like a box for a pair of Shaq's shoes, which was then tethered to the tape deck, which weighted about 40 pounds with battery. This was all loaded on two-wheeled cart of the sort that little old ladies used to haul their groceries home.

As awkward as this arrangement was, when compared to one piece CP16 film cameras that had everything in one unit that weighted maybe 20 pounds, the video they made was, in a word, ugly.

But you could re-use the tape till the oxide fell off (which frequently happened at 6), and you could turn the dark, fuzzy, smeary picture around without processing...assuming the recorder didn't eat the tape or the camera didn't quit making pictures altogether, which happened with distressing regularity in exact proportion to the importance of the story.

This has gone on too long, but I will tell one favorite of mine. The long hall at 302 S. Frankfort went from the front lobby past the glass walls of the newsroom, to the back door. My post as normal producer was facing forward, with the windows to the hall on my right and the back door through which the photogs entered behind me.

One fine day, either right before the back door opens comes a vulcanized oath at 110 db, the door opens, and BOOM! Mahcoe Van Dyke's cart, dragging its camera head like a Pawhuska sidewinder behind it, goes rolling up the hallway.

Another job for Chan Allen. Digital video is much easier.

Time: December 10 2003 at 14:25:18
Name: Kathy Schramm Rapp
Location: Texas
Comments: Hello!!! It's so quiet!!

Time: December 09 2003 at 02:46:13
Name: Webmaster
Location: Tulsa
Comments: Archived Guestbook 152...

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