Valley Broadcast Legends
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Meetings: 2nd Thursday even numbered months
2017: 9 Feb, 13 Apr, 8 Jun, 10 Aug, 12 Oct, 14 Dec

11:30 AM at The Club Pheasant in West Sacramento


8 June -- Going 'Beyond the Nut Tree'


The satellite truck revolutionized the way we covered the news back in the day, and two guys who were there to make it happen will share their stories at our June 8 luncheon. Tom Wagner captained “Big Red” at KXTV10 for nearly 25 years and our Mike Guiliano did similar duties for KOVR13 [the less big Blue]. Both will have plenty to say about the plusses and minuses of working with the truck.

I remember the day when KCRA3 premiered its first live microwave truck … showing a not-so-exciting static shot of the distant Sierra. But soon the live trucks were everywhere, covering fires and floods, groundbreakings and jazz jubilees. Almost anything was deemed worthy of live coverage just to get the word “live” in the shot.

But going “beyond the Nut Tree”… that was problematic. You had to be able to get a shot to the tower at Walnut Grove [a line-of-sight distance of approximately 30 miles]. My most vivid memory of that was the Harvey’s Hotel bombing at South Lake Tahoe in the 1980s when we had to use a microwave truck on the ground and Dann Shively and Livecopter3 to relay a shot to Walnut Grove. Talk about a Rube Goldberg move. But it worked.

All of that became passé when the satellite trucks came to town. They could get a shot from (almost) anywhere and greatly widened the scope of live television. And, as in the case of microwave trucks, the operators of the satellite trucks kind of had to make it up as they went along.

Tom and Mike will have plenty of stories to tell about their experiences at our June 8 luncheon. Return with us then to those glorious days of yesteryear when the Big Reds [and Blues] of the world first roamed the range. --Copy by Jim Brennan [asides by webmaster]

last edited 30 May 2017