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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Era (02/03/11)

TITLE: Seventies Television
By Ken Ebright


When I was a little kid, the only thing I wanted to do when I went to the state fair is to go to the different television stations and watch them do their thing. Being formally employed in the television business it amazing how is has changed.

One of the things that was different was sound. In 1970, they did not have the small microphones that can be clipped on to your tie. They had to use a hand held microphone. In later years, at the fair it was funny to watch the new anchor hurry to get his mike cord untangled and clip it to his tie 30 seconds before air. They did not have that problem in 1970.

Due to time constraints, often they cut stories out of the newscast. In 1970 that information was delivered by phone. Today a newscaster will have a plastic ear piece in his ear which is connected to an old fashion ear phone that is usually clipped to the back of their shirt collar. It has to be tough to listen to a producer yapping in your ear while simultaneously talking.

The weatherman stood in front of a weather map. He would have a dry erase marker in his hand and draw on the weather map. Today they stand in front of a green wall and the weather map is keyed in over the green wall. People always laugh at the weatherman at the fair because there is no weather map behind him.

In 1970 the pictures that were shot in the field were shot on film. The reporter and photographer would need to allow plenty of time to get the film back to the studio and get it developed. The next process is editing; the film would need to be cut and spliced and edited together. Today the pictures you see are shot on videotape. It can be played back instantly and does not need to be developed. Videotape can be edited electronically.

Speaking on how fast things can be done. I was amazed when a news crew covered a controversial decision at a city council meeting. They had done interviews earlier in the day with the mayor and the parties involved. The crew needed to be at the council meeting to record on video what the final vote was. In the news business, a videotaped report is called a package. After they videotaped the decision the crew had to rush to edit the final piece of video and be ready to go on the air in ten minutes.

I remember watching the state tournaments in the 70ís and early 80ís. Every tournament has brackets to show who plays whom. A carpenter had a model of the brackets on a board that a sportscaster would stand next to. Today that is all done on computer. When my high school won the state boys basketball tournament. I remember sportscaster, Tom Ryther, came and presented the brackets seen on TV to our high school.

From audio to video to computer graphics there have been lotís of changes since the early days of television. Things are not they way the used to be.

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This article has been read 392 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/10/11
This is an interesting and educational piece. I've often wondered how a bet of those things were done. It's funny, I think of TV as being relatively new, but as you showed there sure have been many changes. What an era -the ever changing world of electronics,
Jody Day 02/10/11
I really enjoyed reminiscing along with you. Things have changed and you captured that with your descriptions.
diana kay02/12/11
great description of times go by.... that our present generation of techno internet facebook savy kids have no idea about. Well told and spot on them
Bonnie Bowden 02/12/11
I remember the tv broadcasting in the seventies. We had a weatherman on our local channel, until recently, when they substituted him for a meterologist.

Your article brings back lots of fond memories.