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
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]