Wi-fi, smartphone apps and music networks battle local radio-tv

Coming soon to your smartphone … an app designed by your cable company, through which you would be able to search and view all kinds of content not limited to your regular cable lineup; instead, you would also be able to access Netflix-style streaming video content right from the same app. Consumer advocates say this form of integrated search that unifies cable and streaming programming benefits consumers. [WASHINGTON POST] …
The number of vehicles on U.S. roads with an installed infotainment system will reach nearly 105 million within the next five years. (INSIDERADIO.com) ….
Cumulus Media’s Westwood One will launch a 24/7 Soft AC network on Monday, July 11. “Lite AC” will be programmed by Cheri Marquart, the VP/Programming for Contemporary Formats, and Director of Operations Jonathan Steele. It will offer an AC format in between the company’s Adult Standards and Mainstream AC networks with core artists including Adele, Billy Joel, Celine Dion, Chicago, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Hall & Oates, Michael Bublé and Whitney Houston.

Art MacDonald

Television news lost another colorful pioneer last month when Art MacDonald died at the age of 82. He was part of a small staff that created the news operation for a start-up television station in Seattle.
It was the early 1950s when KOMO-TV went on the air. One of the first steps by its owners was to find a news director who would hire reporters and cameramen to staff the station’s first television newsroom.
They set a high standard. The man they wanted had to have impeccable credentials as a professional journalist. He had to be a person of high reputation who was familiar with the local scene. Of course, that meant they would be looking at the staffs of the two daily newspapers.
They had one important criterion if they were going to hire a newspaperman. If that were the case, then they wanted the “next Pulitzer Prize winner” as the first director of KOMO-TV News. They found him in Herb Robinson.
Robinson was a rising young star on the reporting staff of the Seattle Times. Indeed, he fit the managers’ criteria, except he had absolutely no on-air experience. And he was–despite his young age–becoming bald.
Even at that early stage of television news, personal “on-air” appearance was considered of vital importance. So Robinson was a reluctant recruit. He knew the drawbacks of entering a broadcasting field as a neophyte anchorman with a receding hairline.
But they talked him into it, and so Robinson set about establishing a newsroom operation from scratch. First, a staff. And that’s where Art MacDonald comes in.
Brash and engaging, MacDonald had his first on-air experience as a radio broadcasting student at Washington State University in Pullman. He may not have been the first staffer for the KOMO-TV newsroom, but he was undoubtedly the most productive.
MacDonald was what’s known as a self-starter. Needing little guidance and management, he and a cameraman would spend a day in the field and return with a half-dozen stories to be aired on Channel 4’s newscasts. Art-McDonald
MacDonald became a pillar of Herb Robinson’s news operation. And as time went on, Robinson added other staffers whose productivity and on-air value created a news operation that prided itself on its professionalism and competitive spirit.
Others Robinson brought aboard included Howard Shuman whom he acquired from the brilliant KOMO radio news staff. Shuman proved to be equally adept in both radio and television newsrooms.
To cover sports events, Robinson brought in another former WSU student, Keith Jackson. He parlayed his experience on Channel 4 into a national reputation as an ABC-TV Sports broadcaster who launched Monday Night Football and became famous for anchoring college football telecasts.
Robinson found another scintillating on-air personality in Bruce Caldwell as the first Channel 4 weatherman. Caldwell won the audience with his friendly easy-going manner. His death in the crash of his private plane brought early sorrow to the fledging news operation.
Art MacDonald’s passing August 20 mean almost all are gone from those pioneering days when KOMO-TV news first went on the air.
Just three are left from the early Robinson years. Keith Jackson is still with us, retired and living in California. Howard Shuman retired to the shores of Lake Washington at Kirkland and is about to move to more comfortable quarters in Everett.
komenAnd yours truly, John Komen, is living the good life on Mason Lake, still conjuring up memories of that early TV newsroom in Seattle.

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John Komen, a veteran of 40 years as a newsman, once served as news director and anchorman at Seattle’s KOMO-TV. He also is a former ABC-TV News correspondent based in New York. His career included 19 years at the News Tribune in Tacoma where he filled positions from editorial writer to editor. He now lives with Diane Sue Komen on Mason Lake.
(Mason County Journal)

The video-disc revolution

stredicke-headerVICTOR STREDICKE/ May 18, 1979 — A videodisc looks like a 12-inch phonograph record. But it’s silvery surface reflects like a rainbow. And when it is placed on a videodisc player, it plays picture, as well as sound. The Magnavision videodisc playing system was unveiled yesterday and went on sale today in three area stores. Magnavox calls it a “new wonder of consumer electronics.” Under development the past 8 years, the Magnavision system attaches to the antenna terminals of a television set. It scans the videodisc with a tiny beam of light, recapturing the movies and other filmed features stored on bits inside the silvery platter. There is no needle or stylus, thus Magnavox declares there is almost no wear on the disc no matter how many times it is played. Recent movie “Animal House” sells for $15.95. There are 200 movies in the Maganavox catalog. The player also allows the viewer to speed up, slow down, freeze and even reverse action.

FCC approves two new stations

Stredicke-of-Seattle-Times1December 22, 1963 – The Federal Communications Commission has approved licenses for two new area radio stations. KAGT, an Anacortes outlet which began broadcasting last week, features popular and semi-classical music from 6 a.m. until midnight on 1340 kilocycles. It will also air Anacortes High School basketball games.
KBRO, when it goes on the air, will be a full-time FM stereo station, programming dinner music and show tunes 18 hours a day. The outlet, owned by the Bremerton Broadcast Co., will have an effective radiated power of 30 kilowatts and will broadcast on 106.9 megacycles.

Jack Morton

Veteran KVI air personality, Jack Morton died June 1st. Morton started his career at KMO Tacoma, then owned by his father Archie. Jack Morton was hired by KVI in 1963 and remained there well into the 1970s. Morton switched over to KOL for a period when KVI shuffled the deck chairs, and after returning to KVI and finally leaving AM 570, Morton did a stint at KRPM. Later, Jack Morton worked at KIXI. The format was more akin to the MOR style of the early KVI/Golden West Broadcasters years.

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