This month's edition of
Off Camera is being re-distributed
due to the placement of an incorrect photograph in an article about
Good Day Sacramento's 20th anniversary.
The correct photograph now appears in this re-distributed edition.
Off Camera regrets the error, with our sincerest apologies.
the board of governors
San José State University
ABC-TV Good Morning America
Vice President- Sacramento
KMPH Fox 26
Spalding & Company
(National Awards Chair)
(National 2nd Vice Chairperson)
KTVU Fox 2
ABC-TV Good Morning America
KDTV Univision 14
KUVS Univision 19
Beyond Pix Studios
The Big Picture
(Gold & Silver Circle Chair)
4 U Productions
KNTV NBC Bay Area
Manny Ramos Communications
KMPH FOX 26
KGMB/KHNL Hawaii News Now
KGO-TV ABC7 (Retired)
(Emmy Gala Chair)
Catchings & Associates
KTVU Fox 2
ARC Law Group
Darryl R. Compton
GOLD & SILVER CIRCLE 2015
Gold Circle Induction
TV Producer To Receive Honor in San Francisco Oct. 24
By Kevin Wing
Chapter Vice President, San Francisco
Lee Mendelson, best known as the executive producer of the Peanuts animated television specials during the last 50 years, will be inducted this fall into the Gold Circle of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for his half-century of contributions to the television industry.
Destined for Gold Circle
Lee Mendelson, prolific and talented TV producer of the "Peanuts" specials for the last 50 years, will be inducted into the Gold Circle Oct. 24 in San Francisco.
Mendelson, 82, a Bay Area resident, is currently producing a 50th anniversary special for
A Charlie Brown Christmas
, which will air this December on CBS. The original animated special first aired on CBS in December 1965.
A 1988 Silver Circle inductee, Mendelson will be inducted into the Gold Circle Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Gold & Silver Circle induction luncheon at the Parc 55 Hotel in San Francisco.
Mendelson was born in San Francisco, grew up in San Mateo, and entered Stanford
University in 1950, where he studied creative writing. After graduating in 1954, he spent three years in
the Air Force where he served as a lieutenant. He then worked several years for his father, a vegetable
grower and shipper.
Mendelson's career in television began in 1961, when he started working at San
Francisco's KPIX, where he created public service announcements. A fortunate find of
antique film footage of the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair led to Mendelson's first production, a
documentary entitled The Innocent Fair. The documentary was the first in a series on the history of the
city, San Francisco Pageant, for which Mendelson won a Peabody Award.
Mendelson left KPIX in 1963 to form his own production company. His first work was a documentary
on Willie Mays, entitled A Man Named Mays.
The 1965 airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas
went on to receive both Emmy and Peabody awards, and was the first of over 40
animated Peanuts specials created by Mendelson and Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz.
Mendelson is the founder and president of Lee Mendelson Film Productions, a Burlingame-based
television and film production company.
Mendelson Productions has produced over 100 television and film
productions, receiving 12 Emmys and four Peabody awards, as well as numerous Grammy, Emmy
and Oscar nominations.
Join the celebration!
Gold & Silver Circle
Annual Induction Luncheon
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Parc 55 San Francisco, a Hilton Hotel, 55 Cyril Magnin St, San Francisco
Bay Area TV Pioneer, Art Finley, Dies
"Mayor Art" Hosted Kiddie Shows In S.F., Sacramento
By Kevin Wing
Vice President, San Francisco
Art Finley, a pioneer of the early years of television in San Francisco and Sacramento who became famous to a generation of children growing up in the 1950s and 1960s as "Mayor Art", has died at the age of 88.
Finley died Aug. 7 in Vancouver, British Columbia, after suffering a heart attack.
He is widely remembered as "Mayor Art," the host of a live children's show, featuring "Popeye" cartoons, that aired weekday afternoons on
in San Francisco from 1959 through 1966.
Dressed in a top hat and a
, Finley addressed his live audience of children, who wore similar top hats, as the "
Each program featured a short science segment; and in between
cartoons, Finley used a
, "Ringading", to teach introductory French, Spanish, German, and Italian words and phrases.
Finley would also introduce creative art and imagination when he would have one of the kids from the audience come up and haphazardly draw a shaped line on a blackboard. "Mayor Art" would then complete the line by continuing it into a cartoon or real world object. He was wonderfully gifted with many talents.
"Mayor Art's Almanac" was the first TV newscast for children in the U.S., and the state of California awarded Finley with two gold medals for the feature, in 1963 and 1965.
Mayor Art Show ended in the summer of 1966, Finley joined KRON-TV's news department as a reporter and producer-host of
Speak Out, a weekly political interview program, until 1968.
During the last half of his 50-year career, Finley returned to radio as a newsman and talk-show host. He relied on his wife,
Geraldine, as his career advisor, researcher and editor throughout their 56-year marriage. She died in 2006.
In the U.S., Finley's station affiliations were primarily in San Francisco: 10 years at KGO, and KCBS. Three interim years were spent at XTRA in San Diego and WNIS in Norfolk. Two radio stations in Vancouver, B.C., needed a talk show host with U.S. experience and a knowledge of Canadiana, and Finley spent five years at CKNW, and later, six years at CJOR. He retired in 1995 from his years as a KCBS news anchor.
Annual Beyond Pix-Hosted Event
For Production Community A Hit
Project Reboot SOMA-Palooza A Bay Area Favorite
By Sean Karlin
Chapter Governor, San Francisco
In an industrial park tucked discreetly away between the 101 and 280 freeways, a large party gathered to rejoice. The usually cavernous soundstage was so full of guests one could barely hear the winning raffle numbers read out over the PA. But, from the cheering that continuously erupted around the studio, you knew that people were attentively listening for the chance to win anything from a pair of Sonoma Speedway weekend passes to a one-year Adobe Creative Cloud membership. Following a day of visiting open production studios, schmoozing with media industry colleagues and enjoying live music and generous refreshments, this sweepstake marked the grand finale of the 4
annual Project Reboot. It seemed that almost everyone from the San Francisco production community was there to party.
At the start of the decade, a gloom hung over the San Francisco economy. Many wrestled with the feasibility of working in the Bay Area film and television industry. Cue Ray Santiago, the owner of Beyond Pix Studios. Equipped with a simple yet powerful idea to create an event to combat this depression, Ray set out to "reboot" the struggling production industry. In 2011, Ray and a handful of participating production companies brought his vision to life. Project Reboot 2011 marked the first Bay Area party put on by and for the production community. It was an opportunity for companies to celebrate and be celebrated, for old and new friends to connect, and, above all, for people to come together and support one another in a time of economic hardship.
On Aug. 6, Project Reboot celebrated its fourth anniversary, and what a celebration it was. Companies like Videofax, Little Giant, DTC, The Producer's Loft, Polarity Post, Rough House and Express Media opened their doors for the Production Crawl. This opening stage of Reboot encourages attendees to visit partner companies around the neighborhood. Crawlers moved from production house to sound stage to prop shop asking questions, taking notes and enjoying complimentary refreshments, food, and the occasional DJ. Of course, the Crawl was just the appetizer. Visitors were given raffle tickets at each open house location redeemable only at the final stage of Reboot: SOMA-Palooza.
Later in the evening,
a crowd of roughly 300 crawlers and open house hosts alike made their way to the Beyond Pix @Bayshore studio for live music, BBQ and 19 more production groups who had opted to set up booths around the studio. Within the first hour, a line formed up to the second floor VIP lounge where The Institute for the Future offered Oculus Rift, 360º virtual reality tours. Outside, a small fleet of production ready trailers assembled for producers looking to take their show on the road. Other booths included an official RED camera table, two competing grip and lighting companies, audio post-production services, Videofax showing off their new MoVi gimbal rig, Reel Directory, 4
Street Studios, and even the San Mateo Film Commission, who brought tasty candies and some financial incentives to capture production work for the peninsula. Someone even spotted Darryl Compton from NATAS holding an Emmy® Award or two. It was a full house where everyone was talking shop, making deals and enjoying the party.
A relative newcomer to the San Francisco production community, Liliana Urbain had been charged with organizing the event this year and she had some big shoes to fill; Danielle Cheifetz spearheaded the prior three Reboots, which grew in success and popularity each year. "It was pretty intimidating at first," Urbain reflected, "but as soon as I started making calls and hearing how eager everyone was to help, I realized that I wasn't organizing this on my own. I had countless Bay Area producers, editors, actors and even plain old film fanatics backing me up every step of the way."
This is exactly what makes Reboot special--it's not just an event, it's a communal movement. It's interns raising a glass with company owners. It's competing businesses helping set up each other's booths. It's college students debating seasoned professionals. It's a celebration of the diversity, ingenuity, and excitement that makes the Bay Area production industry one of the most genuine and inspiring out there. And the best part? It's coming back again next year.
Good Day Sacramento Celebrates 20 Years
By Joyce Mitchell
Chapter Governor, Sacramento
Working odd shifts - it's part of the TV business. For twenty years now, talent, producers, and technical staff have been showing up bright and early to pull off Good Day Sacramento, a mysteriously wonderful and unpredictable blend of news, entertainment, viewer interaction, weather, and community service. The CBS duopoly KMAX -- or CW31 -- weaves together breaking news with an early morning dose of fun for a daily five-and-a-half hour broadcast that starts at 4:30 a.m.
And viewers are following. "If you would have told me I'd still be doing this program twenty years later when we started, I wouldn't have believed it," says Good Day Co-Anchor Marianne McClary. "The hours are tough but you adjust. I'm a reformed morning person."
KMAX News Director John Armand refers to the Robert Louis Stevenson poem Bed in Summerwhen he talks about what it's like getting up at 2 A.M. and often sleeping during daylight hours. The poem ends this way:
"And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play
To have to go to bed by day?"
So, the hours may be a little tough but the payoff has been grand. "When we started 20 years ago, we were considered the market underdog," says McClary. "It was a bold move to launch a start-up morning show on a station known for sports."
That makes the celebration even more memorable. That's why Good Day took the show on the road live to the Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento on Aug. 14 for its 20th anniversary. A crowd of nearly 200 people turned out to participate and watch. "We went to the Railroad Museum to honor the heritage of Sacramento," says Good Day Co-Anchor Ken Rudulph. "It's a big Sacramento attraction and visual location."
Celebrating 20 Years On The Air
Celebrating 20 years of "Good Day Sacramento" with a special broadcast at the Old Sacramento Railroad Museum are Mark S. Allen, Cody Stark, Tina Macuha, Marianne McClary and Ken Rudulph.
Familiar faces viewers have come to count on in addition to McClary and Rudulph includeCourtney Dempsey, Tina Machua, Mark S. Allen, and Weekend Anchor Cody Stark. Rudulph has been on the anchor desk for nearly four years now. Growing up in Sacramento, he was ready to bring his family home from Los Angeles where he had been working in TV for 15 years. "The reason I wanted to be involved in the show is that you get to be the ring leader of all the insanity, stoking the flames that instigate so much fun," says Rudulph. 'It's the nature of the show - anything goes."
"No cussing, no nudity, make it FCC appropriate and other than that, it's a free-for-all," says Armand. "It's the best job I've had in my 35-years of being in the business." Armand is something of a news nomad, having worked at several stations across the country. He also did a several year stint at Dateline NBC. The video vagabond, as he's been referred to, believes Good Day is a great reason to endure the grueling shift.
"I would describe Good Day as casual," says McClary. "We do all the formal stuff, news, weather, traffic, and the show is scripted. But it's meant to be less formal and connect with people. We're interactive and approachable."
And then, there's Allen. With a larger than life personality, he goes for it, from bull riding to flying in supersonic jets. He's Good Day's entertainment anchor and producer/host of Mark@TheMovies on CW31. "I've met literally every childhood hero from Evel Knievel to Robin Williams to the entire cast of the Original Star Wars," says Allen.
Allen has been with the broadcast nearly 20 years. He's received three Emmy® Awards for his work. "I sleep whenever I stop moving," says Allen. "I get in to the station at 5:01 A.M. and am not home until 7 P.M. every night. At 3:30 A.M., I hit a one-minute snooze button ten times in a row and roll out of bed at 3:40 A.M."
"I look forward to sleeping-in until 5 A.M. someday," says McClary. But pretty much everyone agrees that working on Good Day is a great gig. People love going to work. "It is my life," says Allen. "I love my family but Good Day is equally apart of my family. Makes me happy."
The show's audience will undoubtedly grow. Beginning Aug. 24, Good Day Sacramento began airing on San Francisco sister CBS station KBCW, a duopoly with KPIX.
Gold & Silver Circle Profiles
is practically synonymous with the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as he is with the Bay Area television market.
He is a true television pioneer.
Robertson was one of the first employees to be hired at KTVU Channel 2 in Oakland, just before the station hit the airwaves as the Bay Area's first independent television station.
It was March of 1958, when Robertson was just 32 years old.
Robertson is also one of the first to work in promotions and public relations for a Bay Area television station. I guess we could say he wrote the book on how to promote a television station, and how to do it well.
He also worked later, for many years, at San Francisco's KRON Channel 4 and KQED Channel 9, before forming his own public relations agency, Mother Lode Communications.
Robertson has a long and storied history with this Chapter. He has served as its president, as well as vice president representing San Francisco. And, for many years, he was the Chapter's administrator.
Through the years, as you can see, he has kept himself busy with anything he has ever been involved with.
Today, Robertson is 89 (he will be 90 in March) and living in Medford, Oregon. While he is long retired from the business, that hasn't stopped him from being the board chairman of Southern Oregon Public Television for the last seven years.
Robertson, inducted into the Chapter's distinguished Silver Circle in 1988, was also honored with admission into the Gold Circle, in 2005, representing more than 50 years of professional contributions to the Bay Area and northern California television industry.
While he spent most of his life in the Bay Area, Robertson is actually not a native son. He grew up in Salt Lake City, attended the University of Utah before going into the service.
"I signed up for the Naval Air Corps," Robertson says. "I worked in the engineering department. I was stationed for three years in Hawaii, on Ford Island. That's where (World War II) started for the United States, on Dec. 7, 1941."
Robertson's main duties was to be in charge of inventory and bomb site maintenance.
After his three years in the service, Robertson used the G.I. Bill to return to the University of Utah. He attended the university's journalism school, earning the first Master's degree to any journalism student at the university. He later worked in the university's public relations office.
In 1950, television, which was burgeoning but still in its infancy, came calling. Robertson joined KSL in 1950, working for both the television station and radio station.
Robertson stayed six years. Then, in 1956, he left for New York to become the advertising manager for a publication called Television Age.
While in New York, Robertson missed working in the business.
"Anytime I went to a TV station, I felt I should be on the other side of the desk," he recalls.
Then, he knew some people in the Bay Area who were trying to get a new television station launched. That was 1958, and the station was KTVU.
One thing led to another, and Robertson found himself relocating to the Bay Area to become one of the original employees of KTVU.
Launching a new TV station
Dick Robertson, left, and Al Helmso, admire a copy of TV Guide featuring an advertisement about KTVU Channel 2, which had just launched. Spring 1958.
"Back then, the station was located in the old Paris Theater on Telegraph Avenue," Robertson says. "I was the station's first promotions manager."
But, while Robertson was one of the new station's first employees, his tenure there would ultimately be short-lived.
In 1959, he went to work in San Francisco at KRON. First, he was the station's merchandising manager.
"They made me a deal I couldn't pass up," Robertson says of KRON management. "We used to put in-store displays in store, and the station got write-ups in all sorts of places."
Eventually, KRON's upper managers - Harold See, president of Chronicle Broadcasting, which owned KRON at the time, and Al Constant, the station's general manager - took notice. They asked Robertson to take over the station's promotions department.
It was a job that Robertson loved. He remained at KRON until 1977, when he decided to retire from the station.
At that time, Robertson and his then-wife, Lanora, decided to move from San Francisco to Walnut Creek. She was going to dental school at the time.
"We bought a house on a hill," Robertson says. "After we bought the house, Lanora got out of dental school. She really wanted to work for a university. She eventually landed a job as the head of dental services at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff."
Robertson wasn't sure what he would do in Arizona. He had some ideas - one was to purchase a radio station. Ultimately, he taught public relations and journalism at the university.
"I loved it," he says. "I loved getting the kids out there into jobs."
Though he was working in Arizona, Robertson found a way to split time between there and the Bay Area. He became a special adviser to KQED Channel 9; he would come back during summer break from the university to work in San Francisco.
Eventually, the Robertsons divorced.
From 1979 to 1982, Robertson was KQED's director of corporate communications. And then, he met Rose, who would eventually become his second wife, in 1981.
Leaving KQED in 1982, Robertson launched Mother Lode Communications.
As far as the Chapter was concerned, he became more involved with it as well. Serving as the Chapter's president from 1969 to 1971, Robertson already had quite a successful tenure with the Chapter. In 1989, he took over as chapter administrator, a position he would hold until 1996.
Dick and Rose were both very involved with the Chapter. While he served as administrator, Rose became editor of Off Camera.
In 1996, the Robertsons decided that they wanted a quieter life, so they moved from the Bay Area to Sonora.
After 22 years of marriage, Rose Robertson passed away in 2003.
By then, Lanora, Robertson's first wife, was single again. They decided to give marriage another try, and in 2004, became husband and wife again.
These days, the Robertsons love to travel.
"We've traveled all around the world, taking cruises," he says. "Our last cruise was to Australia and New Zealand. We've also been to the Mediterranean and to Alaska.
Besides traveling, the couple is also actively involved at their church in Medford.
Robertson has fond memories of his years in Bay Area television and with the Chapter.
"Those were glorious years," he says.
Next month in Gold & Silver Circle Profiles: Read all about
Lee Mendelson, who has produced the
Peanuts specials for network television for the last 50 years. Inducted into the
Silver Circle in 1988, Mendelson will be inducted into the
Gold Circle next month.
On The Beat
Catching up with Cristina Rendon of KTVU in Oakland. Rendon is among the new generation of television journalists to join the station in the last several years. Whether there's a story in San Francisco, the South Bay or the East Bay, you can usually find Rendon on the beat.
PHOTOGRAPHY: WAYNE FREEDMAN/NATAS
Chico's NBC, CBS Affiliates To Be Sold
New Owners Assume KHSL And KNVN This Fall
By Alyssa Deitsch
Chapter Governor, Chico-Redding
New owners are expected to take over Action News Now in the Chico-Redding market this fall. The CBS-CW/NBC-Telemundo affiliates, operating under one roof, are nearing the end of the 30-day waiting period following the FCC filing in August.
In a joint services agreement, Heartland Media will acquire KHSL (CBS and CW affiliates) from GOCOM Media of Northern California and Maxair Media will purchase KNVN (NBC and Telemundo affiliates) from K4 Media Holdings.
"The stations are doing very well now so we plan on continuing the traditions they've started," said Maxair Media owner Dan Modisett.
Modisett has 41 years under his belt in the broadcast business, starting in radio sales for WSLI AM/FM in Jackson, Mississippi. He taught broadcasting classes at his alma mater Mississippi College before retiring as general manager in 2014 from Jackson's NBC affiliate, WLBT-TV.
Modisett said he wanted to keep his hand in the business and spoke with Bob Prather, owner of Heartland Media, whom he considers a long-time friend. The two looked at the Chico-Redding market and decided to go in it together.
"Chico-Redding is a beautiful area," Modisett said. "There is a lot of potential there so we are excited to be a part of it."
Modisett said Heartland Media plans to invest in the station, which will soon have sister stations in Oregon, Mississippi, and New York once the sale is finalized at an undisclosed date this fall.
General Manager At Honolulu's ABC Station
Leaving To Join Leading Marketing Firm
Andrew Jackson Joined KITV In 2010 As Station's Chief
Leaving TV for marketing.
The general manager for Honolulu's ABC affiliate has decided to leave the station after five years.
Andrew Jackson is trading in television for a return to a marketing career.
is joining the Anthology Marketing Group.
Before arriving at KITV in 2010, Jackson was senior vice president of marketing for BBC Worldwide.become the executive vice president and chief operating officer of advertising for a leading marketing firm.
Jackson says managing KITV -- with more than 100 employees -- was a valuable experience for him.
Jackson has more then two decades of experience in the broadcast industry. Previously, he held positions in production, news and marketing in California, New York and Hawaii.
KRON's Website Tops In The Bay Area
Online, Station Attracted 2.9 Million Visitors In July
KRON 4 in San Francisco says it had more visitors to its website than any other Bay Area television station.
According to comScore, KRON's website attracted 2.9 million unique visitors in July. The website topped KPIX's website, which attracted 2.8 million unique visitors for the month.
Below, for the month of July, is the website breakdown for the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose television market:
KRON: 2.9 million
KPIX: 2.8 million
KGO-TV: 2.4 million
KNTV: 2.2 million
KTVU: 1.4 million
comScore measured the total unique visitors to a TV station website, desktop and mobile combined, in the San Francisco=Oakland-San Jose market for July.
KRON4.com nearly doubled its total unique visitors in July 2015 compared to the previous month, desktop and mobile combined.
"Our focus has been on delivering fresh, new content online first," says KRON News Director
Aaron Pero. Specifically, kron4.com dominated the market in mobile delivery, where the nearest competitor was over 540,000 unique visitors behind. "Whether our viewers are at home watching us or on the go with their smartphone, they know they can count on us to get them the latest news," Pero says.
"This is a huge accomplishment for us and a testament to our commitment in growing our digital platforms," say KRON Vice-President and General Manager
Ashley Messina. "Mobile devices are making news consumption easier and our content is both engaging and relevant to the Bay Area. I'm very proud of our digital efforts and digital team."
On the Move
Bill Green, news producer at KGO-TV ABC7 in San Francisco, is retiring after 20 years as the very talented and capable producer of the station's weeknight 6 p.m. newscast. Green, who joined KGO-TV in 1995, has worked for ABC parent companies, including The Walt Disney Company, for the last 35 years. His last day at the station is Oct. 1.
Mike Dello Stritto, managing editor at KPIX in San Francisco, has rejoined KTNV in Las Vegas as its news director. It is a return to KTNV for Dello Stritto; he was a reporter at the station until 2006. Previously, he was also a reporter at KOVR in Sacramento before becoming assistant news director there. Dello Stritto had been KPIX's managing editor since 2014. He began his new job Aug. 31.
Katie Utehs, reporter at KTVU in Oakland, joins KGO-TV as a reporter.
Have a new job? Got a promotion? Retiring? We'd like to know about it. Please write to
On the Move and
Off Camera Editor
Kevin Wing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do You Remember?
Who is the gentleman on the cover of this TV magazine, and what station did he work for
in the Bay Area?
In the August issue of Off Camera, we asked you who this reporter is, what station she worked for at the time and what story she was covering.
, of KFSN ABC 30 in Fresno. The year was 1983, and she was covering the devastating Coalinga earthquake. Osborne is also an inductee of our Chapter's distinguished
(class of 2005)
Many thanks to
(SC'05), the retired, longtime news reporter for KXTV in Sacramento, who wrote in and guessed the correct answers!
Thanks for playing,
If you know the answer to this month's
Do You Remember?, please write to
Write Us! Off Camera Wants to Hear From You!
Off Camera always wants to hear from you. Have a great story idea? Interested in writing a story for us? Want to tell us how we're doing? Whatever it may be, please feel free to drop us a line.
National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
San Francisco/Northern California Chapter
Darryl Compton, Executive Director
4317 Camden Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94403-5007
Phone: 650 341-7786 or 415 777-0212
Fax: 650 372-0279
The name "Emmy®" and the graphic image of the statuette, are registered trademarks of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.