November 2014

Special Gold & Silver Circle Edition

Knapp, Scalem Inducted Into Gold Circle
Silver Circle Nods For Dwyer, Lang, Shlisky, Sinkovitz, Stephens

By Keith Sanders
Chapter President

        Downtown San Francisco was painted orange and black on Halloween to celebrate the Giants' World Series victory. Just one day later, a downtown hotel was splashed with gold and silver to celebrate the careers of seven media professionals from our Chapter. Warm feelings and cherished memories were the coin of the realm at the 2014 Gold & Silver Circle Induction Luncheon at the PARC 55 Wyndham in Union Square.

        This nostalgic NATAS family reunion began by honoring future industry professionals. Education Chairperson (and 2014 Silver Circle Inductee) Steve Shlisky introduced the audience to the five NATAS scholarship recipients from 2014. "This is the highlight of my year to give away these local college scholarships," said Shlisky. 
        Clips of the student's amazing work were shown to the audience, and then each received a framed certificate and check.  

         For more on the honoring of this year's scholarship recipients, please see separate story, below. 

       To be inducted into the Silver Circle you must have been in the business for 25 years, the majority here in our chapter. Gold & Silver Circle Chairperson Terry Lowry (SC '96) welcomed the audience and said that we have inducted 242 people into the Gold and Silver Circles since 1986. She asked for a moment of silence for those who have passed on since last year's event. She then introduced "The Man with 51 Emmy Awards, Master of Ceremonies, 2002 Silver Circle Inductee and KGO-TV Reporter, Wayne Freedman."

       Freedman combined humor with humility and noted, "This is Northern California's Cooperstown, and it's our Hall of Fame. It's not just a, 'been around here a long time club.'"  Speaking to the inductees, he exclaimed, "This afternoon you're going to join an elite group and we're happy to welcome you." Freedman knew everyone in the room and knew how most inductees had made their way in their careers. His presence added a welcome perspective to the show along with his trademark jests.

Silver Circle Class of 2014
Left to right: Steve Shlisky, Diane Dwyer, George Lang, Kim Stephens, Tom Sinkovitz

   KRON Anchor/Reporter Pam Moore (SC '10) introduced the first Silver Circle Inductee, KRON Anchor/Reporter Tom Sinkovitz. She remembered how much she liked working with him in the newsroom. "Those of us who know him know that Tom is a great storyteller, and that's whether he's telling a news story or whether he's telling a joke," she said. "He's a journalist, he's my friend."

      A video about each inductee was shown just before they spoke. The audience learned that Sinkovitz began his career 45 years ago in the Saigon newsroom of the American Armed Forces. He worked in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Atlanta before moving to San Francisco's KRON in 1990. Sinkovitz recalled from the podium that, "Last Sunday I had the privilege to watch Game 5 with my son at AT&T Park. On the way home, I realized that there was not a neighborhood in the city where I had not done an interview, covered a story or been witness to some extraordinary event. I had a responsibility to be fair, be thorough and be discreet when that was called for and I'm proud that I managed to do those at least most of the time."

      Former KGO, KRON and KNTV anchor/reporter Suzanne Shaw (SC'11) introduced the next Silver Circle Inductee, Cinematographer/Director, The Big Picture President and NATAS Governor George Lang. "He is so much more than that cameraman I met back in 1974," said Shaw. "He's the most all-around, talented, cameraman, director, mentor, and really good 'make it happen' producer."

     Lang has survived civil war in Rwanda, radiation seepage in the Marshall Islands and even a helicopter crash in San Francisco Bay. He was welcomed into the Silver Circle on video by none other than U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who called him "my Prince Valiant."

     Lang admitted, "I was lucky enough to have a number of really good mentors, Steve Davis, Jerry Jensen and John Petrie." He talked about the importance of getting a formal education, which he never had (even though he's become one of the best supporters of NATAS college scholarships). Lang thanked the people who worked for him at The Big Picture, thanked his wife, Claudia, who produces there, and mentioned his college-educated kids. His son, Dan, is now a school principal, and his daughter, Monika, works at LucasFilm. "I'm the proudest guy there could ever be."

     KMPH Fox 26 Co-Anchor Kopi Sotiropulos introduced the next Silver Circle Inductee, KMPH Fox 26 Co-Anchor and NATAS Fresno Vice-President Kim Stephens. "Kim has the ability to connect with our viewers," Sotiropulos said. "Kim's a great asset to the community with her endless service to charities and she's embraced the San Joaquin Valley over the last eleven years. When Kim laughs, the whole valley lights up," he added.

    Stephens has worked in Bakersfield, Knoxville, Tennessee, San Jose and Fresno and grew roots in each community. "I feel so lucky for all of the people that I've gotten to meet," Stephens said. One day she was on a cancer walk with her husband, who is a cancer survivor. A man grabbed her arm and began to thank her. He was undergoing painful chemotherapy for his wife and kids because there was no cure, but he would watch her at 5 a.m. every morning and for a while forget about his struggle. "That's why I do this!" Stephens declared through a veil of tears. "It's the connecting with the people."

    KTVU Channel 2 Consumer Reporter Tom Vacar (SC '03) introduced the next Silver Circle Inductee, KTVU Channel 2 Producer/Editor and NATAS Education Chair Steve Shlisky. "Steve is editor, producer, director, writer, educator and once and future performer," said Vacar. "For 35 years he's been an indispensable asset to KTVU and at this hour last week Steve gave a NATAS editing master class to educate attendees and online learners from across the country. He's Co-Chair of Laney College's Media Communications Department where he has taught for twelve years. His entry into the Silver Circle honors all of us."

     Attending the ceremony were Richard Neumann and Mark Musal, two of Shlisky's closest friends from Saratoga High School. They both helped crew a 1974 film that Shlisky created. Mike Krajac, the videographer shooting handheld close-ups, was Shlisky's co-teacher at Laney College who helped edit his video profile. Also present were some of Shlisky's former students, former professors from San Francisco State University and colleagues from KTVU and family members. 

     Shlisky thanked them all, his friends from NATAS as well as his artistic mother and late father. "Lastly, I want to thank my lovely wife Sally. I didn't see any lasting professional success until after I had met her. She is the most beautiful constant in my life."

     Tim Sharp was the former high school sweetheart of the final Silver Circle Inductee, KTVU and KNTV Anchor/Reporter Diane Dwyer. "She went to Cal and I went to Stanford so we had to break up," said Sharp. "But a couple of years later, she gave me a call when I was anchoring in Yuma, Arizona. She wanted to go into reporting."  The first stops of her broadcast career took her to stations in Palm Springs, Butte, Montana, and Chico.  Sharp would eventually move into a career in the high-tech industry, but the pair became reunited and relocated back to the Bay Area. "It was clear very early that she made the right career choice," Sharp said. "She's an incredible storyteller." In the fall of 1990, Dwyer became a freelance writer and reporter at the station she grew up admiring, KTVU Channel 2. She then headed to KNTV in San Jose and eventually broke records as the longest-running solo anchor in Bay Area TV news. 

     Dwyer thanked the team who put together her video as well as everyone in the Gold & Silver Circle. Her son, Baker, was there, but her daughter, Blake, was needed at volleyball tryouts. Dwyer's in-laws, Bob and Katy Sharp, were especially welcome to attend as Dwyer's parents are now deceased (her father passed away a few months ago). Dwyer recognized Tony Hodrick, her longtime cameraman, who actually saved her from gunfire on a street one day. She gave a special thank you to her husband, Tim.

     From this point in the show the medallions were gold. "To earn a Gold Circle Medallion you're voted in by the Board of Governors and you've been in the business for 50 years, the majority here in our Chapter, said Freedman. This year, two television professionals were inducted into the Gold Circle.

Gold Circle Class of 2014
Don Knapp and Jim Scalem

     Executive Producer Jim Scalem (SC '89) began working at KQED in 1958 as a volunteer. "He stayed with KQED until 1990, then he moved to Washington D.C., where he headed fundraising for PBS," said Freedman. During his years at KQED, Scalem worked 34 auctions and raised millions of dollars.

     Joan Baez knew Jim from the sixties and asked if KQED would air a live one-hour Christmas Eve concert in front of City Hall in 1978 to help heal the city after the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. This was Scalem's second collaboration with Baez, and he feels those two shows were the highlights of his directing career. 

    Mills-Peninsula Hospital Foundation President John Loder formally introduced Scalem, but joked that he thought Scalem was being inducted into the Giants' Hall of Fame. "I got 50 years of stats here!" "This guy has an ERA in television (earned revenue average), and it's stellar!" His WP (wild pitches) was amazing!" His pitches on pledge night were all wild and most of them were home runs." "I'd like to introduce our KQED auction MVP, Jim Scalem!"

    Scalem complimented the terrific work of Jerome Karalfe, who edited the video with him. He also recognized the grandsons of his sister who attended San Francisco State. "Thank you very much for this very nice honor. It's really cool for me as a 65-year fan of the Giants that three days after they won their third World Series Championship (in the last five years) I get this nice award," Scalem said. He then gave special acknowledgements to NATAS Executive Director Darryl Compton (SC '95) and Jim's wife, Linda Cohen, both life-long friends from the KQED Auctions.

    "Our final Gold Circle inductee is a friend of mine ...he's a friend of any of us, to legions in the field," Freedman said. KPIX 5, KRON 4 and CNN Reporter Don Knapp (SC '09) got his first broadcasting job in 1962 as a morning show host at WLKR-FM in Norwalk, Ohio. "He later became Mr. West Coast for CNN, based in San Francisco," added Freedman. "Everybody knows him, nationally." 

    Former KTVU Channel 2 Photographer Bill Moore (SC '89) introduced Knapp. "What you learn from television news is that when you work with people they don't become reporters or producers, they become your friends," said Moore. "You get real close to them and you do funny and stupid things. The only funny and stupid things Don and I did was run the Bay to Breakers when it was really a race."

    "Thanks Bill for more than four decades of friendship," Knapp said. "My thanks also to the Board of Governors for selecting me for this honor, and thanks to my severest critic and my most supportive fan, my wife of over 36 years."

    Don admitted that nearly every story was a tragedy or hardship for someone, and he didn't have fun covering them. "But I loved the adventure, and meeting people," he revealed. "It's been a privilege to tell their stories, and I hope my love of doing it resulted in compelling stories well-told, and maybe even did some good. If I could, I'd do it all again."  Our chapter will do this all again in the fall of 2015, hopefully after another Giants' World Series win!


 Nominations for the Gold & Silver Circle Class of 2015 will be accepted until April 15, 2015


Link to Silver Circle Application              Link to Gold Circle Application


A Memorable Day For Distinguished Inductees

Photography by 
Dave Golden, Michael Moya and Ken Newberry

2014 Gold & Silver Circle photographs
will be available for purchase soon
information will be posted on our website




NATAS Scholarships To Top Students

By Steve Shlisky
Education Committee Chairperson


      Between the luncheon dessert and the first 25-year veteran inductee reminiscence, the San Francisco Northern California Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NorCal NATAS) introduced this year's scholarship recipients.

      Five local students were honored for their collegiate work during the NATAS Gold & Silver Circle Induction event on November 1st. After screening brief clips of each recipients work (a video edited by 2012 scholarship recipient Taylor Mosley), Chapter Education Chair Steve Shlisky handed out $2,000 Scholarships to: Sherae Honeycutt, from San Francisco State University, recipient of the Rigo Chacon (SC'97) Reporting Scholarship; Vanessa-Marie Walker, from Sacramento State University, recipient of the Kenneth Sloat Langley Memorial Scriptwriting Scholarship; and Michael Milano, from the University of California Berkeley (UCB), recipient of the "Miss Nancy" Besst Graduate Scholarship.

     Shlisky also recognized two special candidates with $3,000 awards, generously sponsored by George Lang (SC'14) of The Big Picture. The Steve Davis Undergraduate Overall Excellence Scholarship went to Jonathan Alonso from City College of San Francisco, and the Jerry Jensen Graduate Overall went to Tyler Trumbo from Stanford University.

     Lang devoted part of his Silver Circle induction speech to the students sitting around the scholarship table. Addressing a room filled with the legendaries of Bay Area Broadcasting Lang said: "Go over and visit with the students at table twelve. They are the future of our industry."

     Many of the professionals at the event took up Lang's suggestion. Honeycutt noted that many of the previous inductees congratulated her on the award: "I was very moved by how warm everyone was. I got to talk with Wayne Freedman and everyone was so nice and encouraging. It was just a wonderful day."

     Honeycutt plans to use the award for next year's tuition, to prepare for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), and apply it toward a master's degree.

     Walker will use her scholarship for purchasing camera equipment for her continuing education: "now that I'm a first year graduate student in UC Berkeley's Journalism program, studying television and documentary film."

     "It was just an honor to be awarded a scholarship on the same day seven people were inducted in the Gold and Silver Circles," walker said. 

    She explained how inspirational the experience was.

    "I get to see other professionals get honored for the hard work that they do."

    Trumbo felt the Scholarship ceremony was a nice complement to the larger Gold and Silver Circle reception. He says: "It is inspiring to see the impact a person can have on a prolonged and passionate career."

    Trumbo's award may underwrite the purchase of archive footage for his master's thesis film, a 15- to 20-minute glimpse into a son's relationship with his often absent Navy Seal father.

    Alonso, expected at work shortly after his scholarship presentation, called in late so he could stay through to the end of the Gold Circle inductions over two hours later: "I loved it. I thought it was awesome how long they've been in the industry. It's really important to hear the stories, why they do it, and all that wisdom."

    Alonso will use his scholarship to continue his education by entering SFSU's Cinema department. He hopes this degree will lead him to a career at a network. As a kid, Alonso has always wanted to work for public broadcasting. His dream job: "Working for PBS's 'Nature' as a cinematographer."

    Milano values the opportunity to see the evolution of Bay Area news through the careers of its journalists. He got to listen and learn from those: "Who have done it best."

    The funds Milano received from the award will help fund his USB Graduate School of Journalism master's project, a documentary about the upcoming trial of Michael Brelo, the Cleveland police officer charged with voluntary manslaughter after firing 49 bullets into two unarmed, black suspects. His documentary focuses on the issues around police violence and racial tension. 

    The San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awards these scholarships to encourage individuals who demonstrate leadership and talent in advancing the artistic, cultural, educational and technical qualities of television. 


Link to Scholarship Application Information



KGO-TV's Freedman Hosts Storytelling Workshop 

By Cynthia E. Zeiden

NATAS National Program Chairperson


     The San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and IBEW-San Francisco are partnering to present a Fall series of master classes in TV production/post production free to NATAS and IBEW members, $25 each for non-members and $5 for students with a current ID in San Francisco.  The classes will also be live webcast to NATAS and IBEW members and then archived on YouTube.  RSVP's are required, use links under each class description.

     Each class will begin at 10 a.m. PST with a networking reception.  The classes/webcasts will begin at 11:00 a.m. PST.  The online audience will be able to ask questions of the instructors during Q&A periods, along with the live audience.  Each class will be divided into three segments.  The classes will end at 1:30 p.m. PST. 

     Get in-depth tips and techniques from the Bay Area Television Masters!  Each class will begin with basic principles but will quickly accelerate into advanced concepts in each craft area.


Master Class Schedule


Writing/Storytelling - Wayne Freedman, KGO-TV ABC 7, San Francisco

Saturday, Nov.15


     I'm the bald-headed reporter who likes to shoot many of my own stories. It's what I have always done. In ninth grade, I published my first regular column for what is now The Los Angeles Daily News, and continued it through high school.

In 1977, I earned a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from UCLA while working as a network page assigned to the newsroom at KABC-TV in Los Angeles. In 1978, I finished my Masters Degree in Journalism at the University of Missouri. It's a great school. If you want to be a reporter, go there. Seriously.

Wayne Freedman
KGO-TV Reporter Hosts Master Class Nov. 15

    I have been on San Francisco television since 1981, beginning at KRON. Before that, I worked at stations in Louisville and Dallas. In 1989, CBS Network News hired me to produce and report national feature stories for CBS This Morning.

    ABC7 hired me in 1991. Since then, I have covered all kinds of local, state, national, and international stories. They include Russia's Second Revolution in 1992 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, along with major fires, earthquakes, elections, and NASA space missions. Twice, I crossed the country by train, visiting small towns and taking the pulse of America following the September 11th attacks.

    My book, It Takes More Than Good Looks to Succeed at Television News Reporting, now in its Second Edition, is required reading for major college journalism programs in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Since 1990, I have conducted more than one-hundred narrative writing and visual storytelling seminars for newsrooms and national organizations in the United States and overseas.

    Many people know me as the recipient of fifty-one Emmy� awards. I earned thirteen of them for Writing, and fourteen others in the category of On Camera News Talent. There have been other multiple Emmy� awards in the categories of Breaking News, Feature Reporting, Feature Series, Sports Reporting, and News Programming Special. I am also a member of the Northern California chapter's Silver Circle. In 2011, I received my 50th Emmy� award for shooting and editing my own stories as a multi-media journalist. After the 51st, I retired from that competition, and now encourage others.

In 2012, I received a regional Edward R. Murrow award for writing.

KGO ABC 7, 900 Front Street (between Green and Vallejo Streets), San Francisco

Link to register to attend seminar



Voiceover - Elaine Clark  

Location: Voice One, San Francisco

Saturday, December 6th


Camera/Lighting - Chris Bollini 

Location: Academy of Art University, San Francisco

Saturday, January 24th

Link to Master Class Information

BABJA Honors KGO-TV ABC7's Carolyn Tyler
Longtime Anchor/Reporter Is 'Veteran Journalist Of The Year'

By Kevin Wing
Chapter Vice President, San Francisco

        Carolyn Tyler (SC'07), a fixture on Bay Area television for three decades, has received a very distinguished honor from the Bay Area Black Journalists Association.
       On Nov. 7, Tyler -- an anchor and reporter at San Francisco's KGO-TV ABC7 since 1986 -- was named Veteran Journalist of the Year during a very special tribute at the organization's annual scholarship luncheon. The event was held at the City Club of San Francisco. 
       "I joined the Bay Area Black Journalists Association when I first came to San Francisco in 1986," Tyler says. "The organization has supported and applauded my efforts throughout the years. The special recognition is marvelous, and I appreciate so many of my friends, from former Mayor Willie Brown, to John Konstin, owner of John's Grill, to colleagues including Dan Ashley attending, especially at an event designed to raise money to assist more young black journalists who are striving to get into the industry. As you know, the news business is rapidly evolving, but students still want to make their mark, and I hope that by seeing my longevity, they can be inspired."
Carolyn Tyler
Longtime anchor/reporter at KGO-TV ABC7 receives honor from Bay Area Black Journalists Association
(Photo Courtesy KGO-TV)
       Tyler, a longtime BABJA member, has led a distinguished television news career and has managed a rare accomplishment in television: lasting more than 28 years at a major market station, as she has achieved at KGO-TV ABC7.
       The longtime Bay Area anchor and reporter's distinguished broadcast journalism career has included the following highlights: The Edward R. Murrow Award (for team reporting) and The George Foster Peabody Award (for team reporting) for coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake; induction, in 2007, into the Silver Circle of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; and two Emmy Award nominations for a series on the impact of the Civil Rights movement on Bay Area students and for a series on San Francisco homelessness. Tyler has also been nominated for an Emmy Award for her contribution's to the station's 6 p.m. newscast.
      In addition to her reporting for the station's ABC7 News during the week, Tyler anchors ABC7 Sunday Morning News at 5, 6 and 9 a.m.
      Read more about Tyler in the December issue of "Off Camera", when she is featured in the monthly "Soundbites" column.

Chasing Hurricane Ana Across Hawaii

By Ben Gutierrez
Special to Off Camera

(Editor's Note: Ben Gutierrez is a reporter and weather anchor at Hawaii News Now.)


   "Have a bag packed and ready to go. You may be headed to Big Island."

   That was the text message I got from Hawaii News Now assistant news director Scott Humber on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 10:06 a.m. A little over six hours later, photographer Peter Tang and I were in Hilo and headed to the Hawaii County Civil Defense emergency operations center for an interview.

   The reason for the trip on such short notice was a storm named Ana. It had developed in the Central Pacific as Tropical Depression Two-C. By midday Tuesday it had strengthened into a tropical storm with a track that would take it toward the Big Island of Hawaii by Saturday, and possibly over the rest of the Hawaiian Islands over subsequent days.

   This was the third time in two years that Peter and I were Big Island bound for a tropical cyclone. In July 2013, we were in Hilo for Tropical Storm Flossie, which only caused relatively minor damage. But we were also on the Big Island in August for Iselle, which made landfall as a tropical storm and caused major damage in the island's Puna District, toppling trees onto houses and power lines and leaving residents without utilities, in some cases, for several weeks, and disrupting voting in that week's primary election (we covered both events).

   With that in mind, it was imperative that we get to Hilo quickly ahead of the rapidly-developing storm. The logistics can be a bit complicated in an island state that is heavily dependent on air travel, but assignment editor Brenda Salgado was able to get us a flight that would depart Honolulu at 3:46 p.m. Unfortunately for Peter and me, we were still making our own storm preparations and taking care of other personal business, but having done this before, we were able to get everything together quickly and get to the airport by 2:30 p.m.

   We touched down in Hilo at 4:26 p.m. By 5:15 p.m., we were at the emergency operations center, where its director, Darryl Oliveira, gave us a quick interview about how the county was preparing for the storm. We were live at Hilo Bay for the 6 p.m. news. It helps that we know our way around the place, and that the airport, the EOC and our Hilo Bay live shot area are all a few minutes' drive apart.

    The Big Island has more than its share of natural disasters; it's the island with an active volcano that is currently sending a lava flow crawling toward a town in the Puna District, threatening at the very least to cut off the only highway to the area. Yes, the same area still recovering from Iselle. Because of the active nature of the island from volcanoes and earthquakes over several decades, the civil defense agency is used to dealing with non-Big Island media.

   We asked if there were civil defense crews out informing the public, and we were directed to a team going door-to-door in the lower Puna coastline, where there was a chance that large surf and a storm surge from Ana could damage homes. It's a very rural area, and we spent much of Thursday on gravel roads, following the county crew and volunteers who talked to residents, or left an emergency notice taped securely to a door or front gate where no one was home.

   Thursday night, we went to Pahoa, about 40 minutes southeast of Hilo, for one of the community meetings that have been held there on a regular basis by the county to update residents about the lava flow threatening their town. That night, the discussion also included a brief update on Ana. Most of the residents' concerns were still primarily about the lava, as it looks less likely that this storm would make another direct hit on the area.

   The pace was relentless, as we were doing live reports for the evening newscasts, and then getting up at 4 a.m. to do live shots for the morning show. Thank goodness the morning show crew is great to work with, even under trying circumstances.

   By Friday, it was apparent that Ana's center would pass to the south of the Big Island, but there was still the possibility of strong winds and high surf for the southernmost part of the island. A second crew, reporter Mileka Lincoln and photographer Alan Johnson, had landed in Hilo a day after us and were already 82 miles to the southwest at South Point, the southern tip of the Big Island (and the entire United States, for that matter).

   Friday morning, Peter and I got a call from Brenda asking us what our schedule was because she needed to book a flight from Hilo to Kauai. We had been expecting a flight home to Honolulu Saturday night or Sunday morning, so this was an interesting development. But it made sense, as Ana's track now had it headed close to the Garden Isle, which had been devastated by Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

   On Friday evening, we broadcast live from downtown Hilo, where Ana's effects were limited to heavy rain. Mileka and A.J. experienced higher surf, heavier rain and some stronger winds at South Point while broadcasting the southernmost live shot in the United States. To my knowledge, it's the first time there's been a live shot from there, thanks to our backpack units.

   Saturday morning, Peter and I were able to sleep in until 6 a.m. because there was no morning show. One last interview with civil defense chief Oliveira and a report from the Hilo Farmer's Market, and then it was time to pack and head to the airport, again. We left Hilo in an absolute downpour; the flight itself went through the northern outskirts of Ana, which made for zero visibility outside the windows and enough turbulence to keep the flight attendants seated through the entire half-hour flight from Hilo to Honolulu for our connecting flight to Lihue.

   We landed at Lihue Airport to our first sunshine in days. Almost immediately I got a call from one of the county's public information officers, saying the mayor would be available for an interview before going into a briefing, leaving us only about 20 minutes to get the interview. Again, fortunately, the airport is literally next door to the Kauai County emergency operations center, a big help for two guys who hadn't been to Kauai in years.

   We had done the report from Hilo, which aired at 5 p.m., and then we went live from Lihue, at the other end of the state, at 9 and 10. This prompted a print reporter friend of mine to call me "the Phil Collins of Hurricane Ana coverage."

   By Sunday morning, we were at Kalapaki Beach, reporting live for a special edition of the morning show. The county was under a tropical storm warning, but we knew that there wouldn't be a direct hit, so Peter and I dispensed with shoes and went with the usual island style of slippers, known elsewhere as flip-flops. We did wear rain gear because of spotty downpours and larger-than normal surf that crashed into the seawall and drenched us from time to time. The waves also attracted dozens of surfers, some of whom went in with their boards to ride waves at a usually calm beach.

   Hurricane Ana would make its closest approach to the islands just to the south of Niihau, the privately-owned island nicknamed "The Forbidden Isle," since you can go there only by invitation. The very rural island is home to fewer than 200, mostly native Hawaiians.

   Fortunately, the main effects of Ana were also relatively minimal for Kauai and Niihau, and we were booked on a flight back home to Honolulu Sunday night.  Peter and I, who have developed a great and constant working relationship over the past few years, may not get too long of a break. Hurricane season doesn't end until November 30. And there's still that lava flow headed to Pahoa.


One News Director's Success Story With Staff
KHSL/KNVN News Director Howard Sticks Up For His Reporters

By Brian Johnson
Chapter Governor, Chico-Redding

     I'm only in my second market as a young reporter, but I've already had great guidance and grown both professionally and personally from the two bosses I've had. I'm not sure many people in other industries can say that. Who knows? Maybe even other people in this industry can't say that. But the great experiences I've had with my news directors inspired me to write about the dynamic between them and the people they manage - people like me, who are still trying to soak up as much about local broadcast news in between chasing stories.

    Come to think of it, that's where most of most of a news director's influence probably comes - not necessarily in a sit-down, one-on-one meeting at the station, but over the phone or though text messages when a reporter is out in the field. Every single time I've run into a road-block on a story, my news director, Scott Howard, has steered me in the right direction, or told me to take a different road altogether. He's even picked me up on the side of the road once or twice.


Scott Howard
Chico news director praised by staff for caring ways

  On a related note, Mr. Howard is like the brain trust of the news station. He knows everything about everything -- politics, the real estate market, how law enforcement operates, how the University operates (he's an alumni), everywhere -- Chico, the North State, and California. And it's now my personal opinion that if you know these places, you pretty much have America figured out. I remember my first day here and was expected to turn a package (and front it) on California's water wars. The thought of learning the extensive history, pretending to know what I was talking about with Congressman John Garamendi, and then talking about it on live TV was intimidating, but he guided me through the process. And if my memory serves me right, I believe that included Scott drawing a diagram of where the "tunnels" would go. I do remember one time when Scott coached me "at" the office when I worked on a story in-house. I had to dissect a Butte County grand jury report that revealed a lot about the state of Chico's ugly financial situation and the extensive backstory of how it had gotten there. We went through it page by page, and highlighted paragraphs we found worthy of being included in my minute and a half long story.

    Mr. Howard has also had my back on stories. And that's maybe the quality I value most in whomever manages me, because given what we do, I believe they're also supposed to defend us. He's defended me on multiple stories, one which I wrote about already in OffCam, when I was chewed out by a PR woman representing one side in a tense, heated tribal dispute at a Corning casino. More recently, however, a Chico State professor blasted us for my story on a small, local health clinic that was closing its doors because of what they said were the negative effects of Obamacare. But eventually, through e-mail responses from Scott and myself, the professor came around and realized he jumped the gun in criticizing us the way he did.

    At the risk of sounding cheesy, I look at a news director as a rock, someone that shows leadership by sticking up for the reporters they oversee, day in and day out. Because without that kind of leadership, we'll feel that we're fish in the water, thrown to the fire, left high and dry... the list goes on. But I certainly have never felt that way working at Action News Now with Scott Howard.


Love Of History Fuels Producer
Former Sacramento Assignment Editor On Track With Trains

By Joyce Mitchell
Chapter Governor, Sacramento

       Next month, Sacramento Documentary Television Producer Bill George releases his latest half-hour historical program, focusing on key events, contributions, and hardships from the past that have helped shaped Northern California. George's most recent program, Chinese Builders of Gold Mountain, traces projects that the Chinese built in the golden state between 1850 and the 1870s.                                              

      George said that while working on his last documentary about construction of the transcontinental railroad, The Hidden Wonder of the World, he found significant stories he felt must be told through the eyes and ears of a local historical producer. He was particularly captured by the hard work and diligence of Chinese immigrants during the Gold Rush. "The Chinese played a huge role in the shaping of northern California," George said. 

      "There often was a misperception, racism, and prejudice against the Chinese. In spite of that, many demonstrated a strong will to overcome oppression." At the same time, George said that they pioneered on a variety of fronts to help California succeed. Those accomplishments Californians continue to enjoy till this day.                                                  Documenting a rich yet challenging time in history, George traversed counties, traveling through Sacramento to Fiddletown, Oroville,  Marysville, and the oldest remaining Chinese Community in the region, Locke. "The Chinese, of course, made a huge contribution to the railroad," George said. "Initially, many arrived here from Hong Kong in search of gold. They primarily settled in San Francisco, Sacramento, or Marysville. Few people today realize those three areas were the major cities in California."       

    During production his documentary now being edited, George follows the footsteps of the early Chinese pioneers from the Sierra Nevada gold mines to working on the railroad, levees, and developing many of northern California's agricultural fields. "You feel history when you walk through the agricultural land that now prospers," George said. "You feel history when you walk through tunnels that were built in the 1860s. It is a niche audience but sharing my love of history through television is rewarding.  Speaking to a library group, someone told me they were never interested in history until seeing my documentary on the railroad. They thought history was dull and boring and that the doc made it come alive. I want people to know that history is more than boring dates and details."                                                         

      George's last historical documentary, The Hidden Wonder of the World, profiles building of the transcontinental railroad, one of the greatest construction and engineering projects in America. It premiered in 2012 on Sacramento public television station KVIE. His latest endeavor also is slated for air on public television in 2015.                                      "The writing but especially the research is most exciting for me," George said. He has spent hours in the library and gets lost in time when he's researching. Once the research is done, George begins scheduling his shoots. "I really like going to the scenes and capturing what happened there," George said.                                                                      George captures a great deal of history in his upcoming documentary.  He recounts that back in 1850, social justice was a non-entity. California enacted the Foreign Miners Tax designed to drive the Chinese out of the gold mines, away from accumulating wealth. Instead of paying the tax, some Chinese workers either branched out as entrepreneurs themselves or labored in agriculture, worked the railroad, or built many of the levees that still stand. In Marysville, for example, levees built back then continue to protect the city from dangerous floods.                                                                   

      Most of the immigrants were men who came to California through San Francisco. Leaving families behind in China, they were in search of gold and a better way of life. "Their contributions and sacrifices to help build this region were monumental and that's what I hope to capture in my documentary,"  George said. "There's a significant Chinese presence in Marysville and Oroville that started during the Gold Rush days. I don't want to see those contributions overlooked and that's why I'm producing this project. I love history and want to shine a light on the legacy of what the Chinese did for northern California."                                                     

     Once imagined to become the New York of the Pacific, it's not well-known that Marysville in 1857 was one of the largest cities in all of California. That's why the city attracted so many Chinese immigrants. Though travails drove many away , as George documents in his program, Marysville is still home to the Bok Kai Temple built in 1854. The temple remains well-preserved and revered, an honor to the impact the first Chinese immigrants had on northern California.

     As also documented in George's program, the economic impact, of course, from the hard work and contributions of early Chinese here in northern California was significant. In 1860, the Chinese constituted the largest component of immigrants in California, accounting for about one-tenth of the state's population. "Though the Chinese faced racism, violence, and taxes aimed at them, their ability to succeed was amazing , accomplishments are still seen and experienced, and certainly deserving of showcasing," George said.                                                                                    

    The Chinese work force, as George depicts, converted swamplands in to rich agricultural lands, using hand shovels and wheelbarrows, working for under a dollar a day, building levees. Fear of flooding from the bordering Yuba and Feather Rivers lead to the demise of Marysville as the growing metropolis imagined as the New York of the Pacifc. Marysville continues to flourish as a city, protected by those levees that in years past held back threatening flood waters. That, of course, was when California had rain.    

    Still, in Marysville and throughout the areas highlighted in George's documentary Chinese Builders of Gold Mountain,  pride -  historical pride - is the new gold. Generations later, families of the Chinese immigrants, historians, communities, and individual residents more than ever are aware of the hard work, performed almost entirely by hand, that enabled the purchase of land and the flourishing of diversity in this Golden State of California. That historical pride is showcased in George's latest documentary. "Chinese immigrants brought a lot of wealth to northern California in more ways than one," George said. Stay tuned for the documentary and historical insight coming up next year on Sacramento PBS station KVIE. "It's been an honor to work on this project," George said.


Scholarship Winner's Determination Paying Off
Young Journalist Drops Off Audition Tape, Gets Job In Louisiana

By Steve Shlisky
Education Committee Chairperson

      Talia Samelian, last year's Steve Davis Memorial Scholarship recipient, spent little time getting her career off the ground. 

      In the last year since receiving her award, she has contacted 70 news directors, as Miss Emmy during this year's Award Gala she handed out Emmys onstage to recipients, celebrated her second year as an assignment editor at KPIX CBS5, and finished her degree in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts (BECA) program at San Francisco State University (SFSU). 

      Since graduation she set upon a 12-state, 30-station blitz, from Southern California to Florida. The short week and a half resulted with several job offers. She chose the NBC affiliate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, WVLA. Today she is a reporter, each day filing a package and three VOSOTs before each day is through. Samelian says: "It's nuts, it's exciting, and the day just flies by."

Talia Samelian
Scholarship recipient lands first reporting job

      The $3,000 scholarship prize directly helped her realize her career goals. Besides helping to pay for gas to cross the country by car, she purchased programs like Adobe Premiere, made dozens of audition CDs, and created her professional website: "The Scholarship helped me to do real world things to get a job and not just send out paper resumes." Samelian adds: "The scholarship was monumental. It opened an opportunity and provided money to let me do the things I needed to do to start my career."

     The Steve Davis Scholarship followed the excellent broadcast education she received from the SFSU program:

     "The well-equipped BECA department does a fantastic job for a pro career. It gives you a real world experience on a daily basis. The professors are always pushing you to do better. I am now on a job with a million things to do. BECA puts all the things in front of you and you take what you can."

     The BECA experience certainly prepared the energetic Samelian for her full time reporter tasks. By her fourth day on the job, she created a package on introduced it live on the air. The newest of five reporters, her week begins at 9am Monday morning pitching stories for that day. By 9:45 a.m. she is on the street speeding to her first assignment, a nearly two-minute package on dealing with local education, politics or health. She will shoot, write, and eventually edit the story for one or more of three � hour newscasts at 5, 6:30, or 10 p.m. on WVLA 33. The package could also appear on WVLA's sister station, WGBM, on their one-hour newscast at 9 p.m. Each package takes three to four hours to investigate and shoot. She interviews at least four people and then races back to the station. For the next three to four hours, Samelian will write and edit the package and do a cut-down VOSOT.  Her day is finished after she has written and edited two more unique 30-second VOSOTs.

    By the second month at WVLA, Samelian produced two feature stories for the sweeps period. Pleased with her early success, she explains the work "Really fulfills me. Reporting lets me tell stories that are important; a really unique opportunity to impact the world in a positive way."

    Samelian closely connects to one of this year's scholarship recipients. While at SFSU, she single-handedly reinstated the SFSU's College Students in Broadcasting Club (CSB) in the fall of 2013, and became its president. SBC sponsors broadcast centric events on campus, such as, studio productions and field trips to meet studio executives in Los Angeles. In this capacity she met and mentored Sherae Honeycutt, this year's recipient of the Rigo Chacon Reporting Scholarship. Samelian admired Honeycutt and saw her: "As a real go getter. I'm incredibly excited that Sherae won the scholarship. I know it'll help her achieve great things." Samelian even encouraged Honeycutt to apply for the award.

    Samelian plans to stay at WVLA for up to two years, her ambition is to be a network anchor. She guesses her next jump will be to an anchor-reporter position: "It is rare for a reporter to jump to a full-time anchor chair." Right now she wants to glean everything she can: "When I've gleaned it all I will move on to bigger things."

    Samelian suggestion to her BECA classmates and other students to: "Do not hold back and go for it with full force." She says some of her classmates seem too satisfied with being a production assistant in the Bay Area. Samelian believes it is easy to be seduced waiting for opportunity to strike while working in a low level position. San Francisco is a large market offering limited opportunity for the unseasoned. She counsels:  "Take the risk ...go out and have the experience. Learn from the bottom up."

Gold & Silver Circle Profiles   

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       This month, as we honor and recognize the 2014 inductees of our Chapter's Gold & Silver Circle, I thought it was time to remember someone who was one of the first inductees of our Silver Circle, and a legendary one at that.

       Her name was Lucille Bliss (SC'90, GS''02),  and in the truest sense of the word, she was definitely a television pioneer in San Francisco. And, the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognized her accomplishments and her 25-plus years in the industry in 1989, when she was inducted into the distinguished Silver Circle.  Lucille was also a member of the first class of Gold Circle inductees in 2002.  

       Bay Area television was still in its infancy when Bliss arrived on the scene. She performed on many local and network radio programs based out of San Francisco. Eventually, she moved to Hollywood, where she worked with Walt Disney, providing the voice for one of Cinderella's wicked stepsisters. In later years, she was featured in Tom & Jerry and Droopy cartoons.

        Lucille Theresa Bliss was born in New York City in 1916. Bliss, who died in 2012, was known for her legendary voice for most of her 96 years.

       She provided the voice of the title character on Crusader Rabbit, the first animated cartoon series produced in the pioneering days of television.

       The show debuted in October 1950, and revolved around the adventures of a plucky little rabbit and his faithful pal, "Rags the Tiger", voiced by the late Vern Louden (SC '89), and their nemesis, "Dudley Nightshade", voiced by the late Russ Coughlan (SC '86). In later years, Louden became a longtime director at KRON and KPIX; Coughlan became an anchor and the vice president and general manager of KGO-TV. 

       The five-minute Crusader Rabbit segments aired weekdays from 6:40-6:45 p.m. on NBC. Bliss, whose long career as a voiceover artist stretched from Hanna Barbera's The Flintstones in the 1960s to Nickelodeon's Invader Zim, remembers earning $5 per episode in the early years. She would record her tracks in a San Francisco studio.

       While in San Francisco, she hosted a local show, The Happy Birthday To You Show. It lasted seven years, from 1950 to 1957.

       For the next 50 years, Bliss' legendary voice was heard in such animated works as the 101 Dalmatians (1961), The Secret of NIMH (1982), Robots (2005), and throughout television.

       Bliss also entered the video game genre in the 1980s and 1990s, voicing parts for Space Quest 6, Battlestar Galactica and Stars Wars: Bounty Hunter. In 1999, for her work in 1950's Cinderella, she received the Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award.

       In the Bay Area, Bliss was also featured with her own shows, which were seen on KRON, KGO-TV, and KPIX. She also performed in dramatic on-camera series for KQED.

       For a much later generation, Bliss was the voice of "Smurfette", female star of the National Emmy Award-winning Smurfs cartoon series.

       Her last work - at age 91 - was when she voiced the role of "Quinby" in the animated short, Up-In-Down Town.

       At her passing four years ago, she was living in Costa Mesa, in Orange County.

       Lucille Bliss was one of the Bay Area's true television pioneers. 

       Kevin Wing is a San Francisco Bay Area-based producer for ABC News' Good Morning America. He also serves as editor of Off Camera and as vice president, San Francisco, on the Board of Governors of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Tweet Kevin @KevinWingABC
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In this month's Soundbites, we spotlight KPIX 5's Brian Hackney, who is perhaps one of the most versatile television journalists in all of California. He has nearly done it all, as an Emmy Award-winning meteorologist, reporter, anchor, science and technology reporter and program host. Currently a meteorologist for the San Francisco CBS station's KPIX 5 Eyewitness News, he also serves occasionally as a reporter. After a successful stint in San Diego, he returned to his native Bay Area nearly 25 years ago and he's been at it nonstop since. The secret to his success, besides being versatile at his craft, intelligent, likable and an all-around good guy? Find out more right now. 


Where did you grow up? 

Hollister.  The real one, not the Abercrombie & Fitch advertising device.  I'll see children from China with "Hollister" emblazoned across their chest and say, "You're from Hollister?  I'm from Hollister!"  Cowering away from me in terror, they cry, "It's a marketing brand!  It's a marketing brand!"  I'm quite serious.


Do you have siblings? 

I was surrounded by a maximum of four wolverines (sisters) in my formative years.


If I recall, I read once that you grew up in Hollister. I'll bet your family is very proud of you.

They were for about 40 minutes.  Then they realized I didn't know Peter Jennings personally.


What were your growing-up years like? 

Oh, bliss.  Small town.  Everyone knew everyone.  People----this will take some imagining---said "Good morning" to each other.  You couldn't blow through a stop sign because people would see you later in the day and say "What was all that about, then?"  I went to Sacred Heart School.  I was an altar boy, and to answer your next question, close, but not as far as I remember.  I actually have fond memories of being slapped quite smartly by Sister Jane Frances for talking in class. The punishment wasn't exactly Dickensian in proportion, but Mary Poppins in effect.  We obeyed, and how.


When did you first realize that you wanted to be in television news?

When, at about ten, I took keen interest in the obvious production value differences between KSBW (now home of my hero, Jim Vanderzwaan) and, say, KGO.  I'd watch live shots and think: I could do better than that.  At that point, I began doing simulated live shots, using a Bic pen as a microphone.  My sisters will corroborate.


Where was your first job in TV? What was it like there?

KSBY, San Luis Obispo.  I took a 60 percent cut in pay to leave my job as an engineer at Raytheon. Well, actually, I'd worked as a booth announcer at KSBY while going to Cal Poly.  This gave me great street cred at KCPR (the campus station), where I was program director and Weird Al was my Saturday night 9 p.m.-midnight disc jockey. It was, again, delirious bliss, and interfered mightily with my studies in physics and electrical engineering.


Who has inspired you in your career? 

There is no question: Jules Bergman, the great Science Editor of ABC News.  He practically invented reporter involvement, agreeing to be dunked into Florida lagoons and spun in centrifugal chambers, to show what an astronaut had to go through to be tossed toward lunar orbit.  No one will ever know again the excitement of Jules, live at the Cape, exulting "Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins sound like they're having a ball up there!"  Actual science reporting (as distinct from health segments) has almost vanished.


Who has inspired you as a person? 

Catherine Heenan.  Beloved by millions in a way I never could be, cool, calm, poised, brilliant, the pinnacle of ability, a killer anchor, a mesmerizing storyteller.  I wish I could be half as good.


You've worked for nearly all of the Bay Area's major news stations - KPIX 5, of course, but also, KRON 4 and KGO-TV ABC7. What's the key to your longevity?

Diversification.  It helps to be able to do three distinct jobs at once. 


Besides the weather, you've reported on science, the environment and technology. It seems like you have a natural curiosity about these subjects. True?

Oh God, yes.  I ground the lens for my own telescope in high school.  I majored in physics and electrical engineering, so I would have a solid background for reporting science.  And I grew up at the very junction of the San Andreas and Calaveras faults, which, if they killed you, meant you would at least understand why.


You and I have San Diego in common. In the late 1980s, I worked at KFMB-TV there. I had moved to San Diego from the Bay Area for my first full-time job in TV news. And, I remember watching you there on KNSD. What was it like working as a weatherman in San Diego?

Doing the weather was a challenge because the weather's both (here's an underused word) delightful and bloody dull.  But the station was burgeoning, I was surrounded by brilliant, experienced reporters and anchors, we were beginning to win, I had the main weather gig, and, at twenty-seven, bought a house.  Just two years before I was designing circuit card assemblies. Now I was in broadcasting, and I didn't have to talk into Bic pens.


Remembering you in San Diego all those years ago, and seeing you all of these years here in the Bay Area, I've noticed that you don't age. At all. What's your secret?

Kevin, you're very kind.  If you buy a TV station, please let me know.  I remember a bumper sticker: Kids Keep You Young.  But First, They Make You Old. I never had kids. 


What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

Root beer.  But it's hard to find.


How do you spend your weekends?

Working with the network-quality talent, Ann Notarangelo.  I'm so lucky to be teamed with someone so smart, so cool, so capable.  And having Vern Glenn for sports is phenomenal: every day's his birthday.


What charitable organizations are nearest to your heart?

The Cal Poly Alumni Association, absolutely.   


Perfect dinner?

The one my grandmother made from a cote of doves hunted by my grandfather on my aunt's ranch.  The brown gravy, the parsley, the garlic, potatoes whipped like clouds, melted butter, the fiestaware, the shotgun pellets spat onto the plate.  The taste of it lingers on my lips still.


Any guilty pleasures? 

P.G. Wodehouse in the nightly tub.  Don't tell his wife.


At KPIX 5, you have worn many hats, including serving as one of the hosts of "Eye On The Bay". What was that like?

It was simply the best job ever, and being the best job ever, I knew it couldn't last.  It didn't.


Do you have any professional mentors?

Well, I always learn something from the God of MultiTalentHood, Mike Sugerman.  Photographer Craig Franklin is a master of video and production and a career highlight was to be teamed with him on KRON's "Where The Fault Lies".  But Kevin, you'll remember Bob Dale from San Diego.  Why this legend took an interest in this kid with his tee-shirt hanging out and atrocious taste in haircuts and ties, I'll never know.  He'd worked in television since 1948, was the most famous talent in San Diego, and shared his experience, his tips, his tricks, his advice, so generously, and spending afternoons with him in the weather office at KNSD were the happiest times of my career.  It was also important to him that I sought him out and had a voracious curiosity about his career and his success.


What do you do to relax? 

I don't.  I can't.  I wish I could.


How many Emmy awards have you won through the years?



Who is your favorite television journalist? 

Apart from the ones previously mentioned?  When I got the job at KPIX, I thought: Wow.  I'm going to be at the same station as Mike Sugerman. He's continually inventive, confident, smart, has fantastic pipes, is enormously clever and memorable. If we're meant to entertain and inform, Mike does both with infinite skill.  I watch and learn.


What's your favorite TV show?  

Alfred Hitchcock Presents.  Especially the ones with Denholm Elliott.


See any good movies lately?

Loved---LOVED---the 1979 "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" series with Alec Guinness, sought out because the 2013 version with Gary Oldham, while fun, was impenetrable. And both versions of "The Importance Of Being Ernest"; 1952 (Michael Redgrave/Michael Denison) and 2002 (Rupert Everett/Colin Firth).


Personality-wise, are you more of a goof than you are serious?! 

I'm schizo in that regard.  I take journalism and its travails very seriously, but not myself.


If you could do it all over again, is there anything you would change about your life?

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been.'  Of course.


Any words of wisdom for the next generation of television journalists?

Major in Medicine.  Really.  Have a backup plan.  You don't need a degree in journalism---you need a degree in whatever you wish to specialize in.  Politics? Crime?  Get a law degree.  Sports?  Physiology.  Health/Medicine?  Get your MD.  If you're interested enough to be a success in journalism, then you're interested enough to already know how do to whatever you'd learn in J-school.  Oh, take every internship available, absolutely, to learn the mechanics of the biz.  But get a degree in something that you cannot acquire on your own.

 Favorite vacation destination? Where have you yet to travel to?

I love going to the UK to shop for books.  I'd like to go to one of those tropical islands where the huts sit on stilts above aquamarine waters.  I think I get that for filling out this questionnaire...?

 During your career, has there been a story or stories (weather-related, or otherwise) that you've "owned" that, up to now, has defined who you are as a television journalist?

Absolutely---I remain fascinated by all things earthquake.  I think it might be because quakes were the only thing that genuinely seemed to terrify my grandfather.  That, plus coverage of anything space-related.


Favorite music? What's in your iPod (if you have one) or collection of CDs?

Lots of stuff, but nothing really measures up to Eddy Arnold's "Cattle Call."  Of course I also have a complete collection of Tom Lehrer.


Wine tasting, or a cold bottle of beer? 

The occasional Tanqueray 10 gin and tonic, since it was the official drink of Kennedy & McNamara during the Cuban Missile Crisis.


You've nearly done it all in television, from doing a live shot underwater to reporting extensively on the San Andreas Fault. Of stories you've worked on through the years, what are some that have always stood out in your mind?

Meeting and interviewing Paul McCartney when he was on the Central Coast to shoot a music video.  We'd scheduled an interview on the agreement that we wouldn't literally broadcast the fact that he was in town, along with Michael Jackson.  We were to meet at noon; Paul didn't step in front of the camera until 8:30 that night.  It didn't matter.  I'd still be waiting if I had to.  He was down to Earth, funny, sweet, amiable. "I've been in this business three months," I thought at the time, "and if I'm still in it in a hundred years, there will never be another person I'd rather have met."  That's remained true to this day.  Let me carefully point out it has not been a hundred years.


You seem like a very easygoing guy on the air. How do you prefer viewers to see you?

As myself.  It's why people who are standouts distinguish themselves, like Ann Notarangelo and Catherine Heenan.  The competence and confidence isn't an act. For that matter, I got to finally meet Jules Bergman before his untimely death (is the death of your hero ever timely?). He was also himself, larger than life, intimidating, scrutinizing.  With better timing, I'd have hoped to be the Jules of NBC.  But they already had Roy Neal and by the time I left Raytheon, the worm of science coverage had already turned.


Favorite spot in the Bay Area?

Kevin, how to choose?  Stanford Theater during a Cary Grant fest.  The top of Diablo after a cold front's blown through. The still-charred remains of Jack London's Wolf House in Glen Ellen.  The dog-friendly side of Stinson beach with an offshore wind.  Edit me now.


Favorite restaurant in the Bay Area?

I do love Tadich Grill, both for the history and the unpretentiousness, but especially for the seafood cioppino.  Also for breakfast: the Howard Station Caf� in Occidental.


In next month's Soundbites: 

In the December edition of Soundbites, we turn the spotlight on Carolyn Tyler, who's been anchoring and reporting for KGO-TV ABC7 in San Francisco for more than 25 years. More on her story next month. 


     Kevin Wing is a San Francisco Bay Area-based producer for ABC News' Good Morning America. He also serves as editor of Off Camera and as vice president, San Francisco, on the Board of Governors of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Tweet Kevin @KevinWingABC

The Health Reporter

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Death on the Fairway


      Did you know that golf courses are the fifth most common place for people to suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops functioning.

      According to the American Heart Association, a golfer is one of over 380,000 people in the United States each year to suffer from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest... and less than seven percent survive. The other four most common places for SCA are airports, shopping malls, stadiums, and jails.


How to Be Prepared

     The worst-case scenario is having a cardiac event on a distant hole. On your next golf outing, it's a good idea to do the following when you schedule your tee-off time:  

  • Find out if the golf course is equipped with an automated external defibrillator (AED), where it's located, who is trained to use it, and if that person is on the premises at all times. (It's best if the marshal also keeps one in the cart and can operate it.)
    A defibrillator can deliver an electric shock that can restore a normal rhythm to a heart that's stopped beating, but the sooner lifesaving treatment can begin, the chances of survival are greater. Permanent brain damage can occur after only four minutes without oxygen, and death can occur within four to six minutes after that. How fast do you think you can get help on the golf course?


  • Get the clubhouse phone number and find out if they have an emergency phone number (that is, a number where you won't be put on hold in an emergency). Save these contact numbers in your phone. Each player in your group should do this.
  • Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol -- especially if the weather is hot. Alcohol is a diuretic and will further deplete your body of essential fluid and electrolytes. Dehydration can affect your heart rhythm and can be a life-threatening condition.
  • Be on alert if you have a history of coronary heart disease (CHD) and/or you're a man over age 45 or a woman over age 55. Men are two to three times more likely to have SCA than women.
  • Be a regular exerciser -- not a weekend golf warrior. A sedentary lifestyle puts you at risk for SCA.
  • Pick a partner that knows CPR!

     Karen Owoc is a cardiac rehabilitation clinical exercise physiologist and former NATAS governor. If you'd like more info on her talk, Links to Life™ - Sports Cardiology Tips for Golfers, you can reach Karen at: karen.owoc@TheHealthReporter.tv. A healthy heart usually means a healthy body. Learn how to lower your risk for heart disease and SCA while lowering your score in golf. You'll get tips on how to help keep your game in the fairway and your body in motion.


The Yoga Corner


Your Breath and Your Body 

     Have you ever had a news epiphany? 
     Perhaps it was early in your reporting career when you discovered you would never sweat losing a business card again if you always had your interviewee say and spell his or her name on camera.
     Or maybe it was realizing that careful placement of the shotgun mic could help you get natural sound to pace a piece.
     How about the first time you were totally slammed and wrote your script first, then found the one or two soundbites you needed to plug in, without logging an entire interview.
     You could call these news epiphanies. 
     In my opinion, epiphanies are like little gifts. They are sudden realizations that can change our whole way of thinking or even being. 
     I remember the first yoga pose where I had what I like to joke was a yogapiphany. 
     It's called recline gentle pose or reclined bound angle pose. If you want to get really fancy, in Sanskrit, it's called Supta Baddha Konasana and pronounced SOOP-tah BAH-duh cone-AHS-uh-nuh.
     It's also the first yoga pose we'll practice together. Though, if you've been following this column since its inception, you've been practicing yoga for three months now just by breathing, paying attention to your alignment and listening inwardly for guidance. This may be the first yoga shape we're taking but you need not bend, twist or contort your body to practice yoga. It's something this particular yoga shape highlights well.
     Since it can be challenging to practice yoga and read at the same time, I suggest reading the steps below once or twice and then giving it a go. Afterwards, come back to the article for a yoga debriefing. 

1. Grab a couple of props. If you practice yoga and have yoga blocks, wonderful. If not a couple of towels, two sweatshirts or anything you can ball up will work fine.
2. Find a comfortable place to lie down (on a yoga mat is great, but a towel, carpet or even hardwood floor will work too).
3. Lay down flat on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet flat to the floor to begin. 
4. Bring your arms to your sides, palms facing up.
5. Gently draw your shoulder blades in towards one another so that your heart lifts towards the sky. 
6. Drop your chin ever so slightly so that your neck is long and in line with your spine.
7. Begin to let your knees open up like a book as the soles of your feet come together. 
8. It can be really nice to use props here especially if this is the first time you've felt your hips opening. Place a balled-up towel, sweatshirt or your yoga block underneath each knee so that your knees are supported and you're filling the space between your knees and the ground. If you haven't already, close your eyes.
9. Breathe - As you inhale through your nose, feel your body filling up with space from the soles of your feet, around your hips, up your spine, around your shoulders, up your neck and through the crown of your head.
10. Breathe - As you exhale through your nose, feel your body letting go from the crown of your head, down your neck, around your shoulders, down your spine, around your hips and through the soles of your feet.
11. Continue to practice your ujjayi breathing (inhaling and exhaling through your nose). If a thought comes in, see if you can put a cloud around it in your mind's eye and let it float by. Continue to come back to your breath again and again without judgement. Start over as many times as necessary. Each inhale is an opportunity to begin again. Each exhale is an opportunity to let go of something that doesn't serve you.
12. If the hips or some other part of your body feels tight in this pose, see if you can send your breath to that area to help it soften. Sometimes as we open up one area (like our hips) another area clenches (like our jaw). Our stubborn mind wants to hold onto the tension. Send your breath to any area that needs it (maybe even your mind) and allow yourself to let go. 

     Congratulations, yogis and yoginis! We've now taken our first yoga shape together. What did you notice? Were your hips tight at first? Could you not fully bring the soles of your feet together? That's okay by the way! What happened as you consciously breathed? Did your hips soften? Did any other area tighten up? Did you feel bored or anxious? Were you able to let go of any floating thoughts by coming back to your breath?
    My personal yogapiphany in recline gentle pose was that I could use my breath to relax and soften any tension in my body, especially tension in my hips. The hips are a very common place to store old life junk and stress. Sometimes you don't even know it's there until you attempt to open the hips. As I breathed, there was such an obvious difference in how much closer to the floor my knees came with each round of breath. My hips also went from screaming in discomfort to opening, softening and relaxing into the posture. It was a difference I could see and feel. Aha! Yogapiphany! 
   The beauty of a yogapiphany such as this is once you have it, you can use it anywhere. You don't have to be in recline gentle pose. You could be sitting or standing and use your breath to consciously soften and relax any stress, tension or strain in your body. Simply slowly inhale through your nose creating space in the tight area and exhale from your nose allowing that same area in your body to let go. Sometimes it's nice to even inhale to the silent mantra in your mind 'let' and exhale 'go.'
   Next month, we'll tackle the age old yoga complaint, "I'm so inflexible I can't even touch my toes." I promise you with one tiny adjustment to account for tight hamstrings, you will indeed be able to touch your toes (or at least get really close). Forward folds are also great for creating length in your spine and undoing hours of sitting at your desk or in a live truck. 
   Until then, may you have many news epiphanies and yogapiphanies! 

    Melanie Woodrow is an investigative reporter at KTVU Channel 2 and a certified yoga instructor and health coach. She is also on the Board of Governors of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Have a question or suggestion for a future column? Tweet Melanie @MelanieWoodrow

On The Move


       Brittany Nielsen, reporter and weekend 

Brittany Nielsen   Lauren Seaver
anchor at KSBW in Salinas-Monterey, becomes weekday morning co-anchor of the station's Action News 8 Sunrise

      Nielsen will co-anchor with Dale Julin, along with meteorologist Lee Solomon and traffic reporter Michele Allen. With KSBW since 2007, she was promoted to weekend anchor in 2010.  

      Lauren Seaver, anchor and reporter at KSBW, becomes the weekend evening anchor of Action News 8.

      Got a new gig or a promotion? 
On The Move and Off Camera would like 
to spread the word!  Please drop us a line at kevin.offcamera@gmail.com 
and let us know!  


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Do You Remember?
Can you name this KTVU Promotion Manager (holding magazine)?
Hint, he is a member of the Gold and Silver Circle and former Administrator of our chapter.

Last month we asked your to name these three:
If you guested CBS's Mike Wallace with Elaine Doyle LaLanne and Jack LaLanne.  The LaLanne's were inducted into the Silver Circle in 1991 and the Gold Circle in 2002.  Mike died in 2012, Jack in 2011, Elaine is still active on the lecture circuit and running BeFit Enterprises.


Off Camera

    Kevin Wing, Editor 

the board of governors




  Keith Sanders, San Jos

  State University

Vice President, San Francisco: 

  Kevin Wing, ABC-TV/"Good

  Morning America"  

  Vice President, Sacramento: 

  Cynthia Zeiden, Zeiden


Vice President, Fresno: 

  Kim Stephens, KMPH FOX 26 

  Vice President, Hawaii

  Pamela Young, KITV 4

  Vice President, Reno: 
    Terri Russell, KOLO 8
    John Odell, CCSF Emeritus
    Jim Spalding, Spalding &               Company
  Past President:

  Javier Valencia, Consultant


national trustees:

Linda Giannecchini, KQED 9

(National Awards Chair)

Alison Gibson, Media Cool

(National 2nd Vice Chairperson)

Cynthia Zeiden, Zeiden Media

(National Program Chair)

Steve Shlisky, KTVU Channel 2  (Alternate) 



Zara Arboleda, KGPE CBS 47

Kent Beichley, KRON 4/Pac12

Wayne Freedman, KGO ABC 7 

Luis Godinez, KDTV Univision 14

Richard Harmelink, KFSN ABC 30  (Nominating Chair) 

Pablo Icub, KUVS Univision 19

Brian Johnson, KHSL-KNVN

George Lang, The Big Picture

Da Lin, KPIX 5

Terry Lowry, LaCosse Productions  

(Gold & Silver Circle Chair) 

Sultan Mirza, KPIX 5 (Webmaster) 

Jen Mistrot, KPIX 5

Joyce Mitchell, 4 U Productions

Ross Perich, Trainer Communications

Greg Rando, KTVU Channel 2

Brenda Salgado, KGMB/KHNL, Hawaii News Now  

Sandy Sirias, KFTV Univision 21

Matt Skryja, AAA 

Stephanie Stone, KFSN ABC 30

Karen Sutton, Beyond Pix Studios

Melanie Woodrow, KTVU Channel 2 

Alice Yu, KVIE 6


committee chairs:


  Cynthia Zeiden, Zeiden Media 


  John Catchings, Catchings & Associates

  Linda Giannecchini, KQED 9 


  Julie Watts, KPIX 5


  Steve Shlisky, KTVU Channel 2 


  Alison Gibson, Media Cool  


   Mark Pearson, ARC Law Group 


  Kym McNicholas, Kymerview


  Patty Zubov, Platonic TV


execUtive director:

Darryl R. Compton, NATAS 

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NATAS Selects New National President

      The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and its Board of Trustees announces the appointment of Bob Mauro as president of the organization.
      Mauro, a former CBS Vice President of Network Operations and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Leo Burnett Worldwide, is recently responsible for the broadcast operation of over 40 television, radio and telecommunications clients at the Empire State Realty Trust.
     Mauro takes over NATAS' operation including the sales, promotion, marketing, financial management and planning of its various Emmy� Award programs.

     "I couldn't be more pleased to add such a talented senior executive as Bob Mauro to our organization," says Chuck Dages, NATAS chairman. "Bob's breadth of experience in various industry positions of responsibility will be instrumental as our organization moves forward in our mission of recognizing excellence across the new landscape which is television."

     Fresh out of college at St. Francis in Brooklyn, in 1978, Mauro began his career in the corporate finance department at CBS Inc. and soon moved to CBS News, where he was responsible for production, operations and eventually worked with the editorial staff to create the network's second prime-time news program, West 57th.

     In 1987, Mauro left CBS to use his entrepreneurial skills to build the first low power television network, Channel America, consisting of owned and operated stations and affiliates. As president, he raised capital to build the company and ultimately guided the company through a successful initial public offering.

    The company was eventually sold and he returned to CBS to head up the entire East Coast production arm of CBS Inc. which included CBS News, CBS Sports, WCBS, and longtime daytime dramas Guiding Light, As The World Turns and independent program producers,such as Tribune Productions.

    Given a unique opportunity in Chicago in 1995 to run Window To The World Communications Inc., Mauro picked up family and moved to the Midwest. The task at hand was to turn the company around, rebrand each division and establish a new vision and mission for the company. After five years, his goal was reached, elevating the group's WTTW-TV to become the most-watched public station in the country in all dayparts and positioning the entire organization on solid financial ground.

    Mauro was recruited out, again, in 2000, for a unique opportunity to join Leo Burnett Worldwide as their chief operating officer, brought in to restructure the global company and to get the company ready for an IPO. While directing the day-to-day global operation of over $11.5 billion in advertising revenue, the board of directors accepted an offer in the interim from the Publicis Group and the company was sold prior to the IPO.

    Never one to sit still, Mauro moved back to New York to lead the broadcast operations of over 40 Radio, Television and Telecommunications companies that transmit from the Empire State Building prior to accepting the position at NATAS.


Nielsen Releases 
2014-15 DMA Rankings
S.F. Remains 6th In U.S.; Sacramento 20th; Fresno 54th


      Nielsen has released its DMA rankings for 2014-2015, and the Bay Area -- the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose television market -- remains the sixth-largest in the United States. 

      Compared with 2013-2014 numbers, the top 10 markets saw an increase in TV homes.

      San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose has nearly 2.5 million TV homes, or just under 2.2 percent of all TV homes in the country. 

      Within the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Sacramento follows, and is ranked 20th.

       Honolulu follows as the 69th largest market, with 439,000 TV homes. h nationally with 1.3 million TV homes. The Fresno-Visalia market is next; with 569,000 TV homes, it's the nation's 54th largest market. 

       Reno is at 107th on the market list, with 266,000 TV homes.

       The Monterey-Salinas market is the 125th largest, followed by Chico-Redding as the 132nd largest, and Eureka as the 195th largest, out of 210 television markets in the nation. 

       While there were no changes in rank among the top 10, 46 markets gained viewers while 52 lost them. Phoenix and Detroit swapped spots, with Phoenix moving up to 11 while Detroit dropped to 12. Tampa-St. Petersburg swapped places with Seattle at number 13 and 14.


Contact Information:

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.