March 2013

In This Issue
Member Benefits
Emmy Judges Needed
Silent Auction Donations
Dan Ashley with President
Redell North Poll
Ysabel Duron to Retire
Silver Circle James Stimson
Gold & Silver Circle Nominations
Belva Davis Party
Rita Williams Party
Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement
Health Reporter
Build a TelePrompter
One the Move
Obit: Eddie Alexander
Obit: Lee Noble
Obit: Jo Schmidt


Quick Links
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Off Camera

Keith Sanders, Editor

Kevin Wing, Associate Editor


the board of governors


Keith Sanders, San Jos State University, President

Kevin Wing, ABC-TV/"Good Morning America," VP San Francisco

Christian Anguiano, KUVS 19, VP Sacramento

Richard Harmelink, KFSN ABC 30, VP Fresno

Justin Fujioka, KITV 4, VP Hawaii

Terri Russell, KOLO 8, VP Reno

Mike Garza, KXTV 10, VP Smaller Markets

Kym McNicholas, PandoDaily, Secretary

Terry Lowry, LaCosse Productions, Treasurer

Javier Valencia, Consultant, Past President


national trustees:

Alison Gibson, Media Cool

John Odell, CCSF, Emeritus

Cynthia Zeiden, Zeiden Media (Activities)

Linda Giannecchini, KQED (Alternate) (Museum)



Brent Ayres, Comcast SportsNet

John Catchings, Catchings & Assoc. (Museum)

Janice Edwards, Edwards Unlimited

Karen Todd Griffin, KRNV 4

Scott Humber, Hawaii News Now

Mistie Lackey, KOVR CBS 13

Valerie Landes, KRCB 22

Da Lin, KPIX CBS 5

Ronald Louie, KTVU Channel 2

Sidney Milburn, KITV 4

Karen Owoc, The Health Reporter

Jim Parker, KPIX CBS 5

Bob Redell, KNTV NBC Bay Area

Gary Schultz, KGO ABC 7

Matt Skryja, AAA

Sandy Sirias, KFTV Univision 21

Kim Stephens, KMPH Fox 26

Karen Sutton, Stanford Video

Julie Watts, KPIX CBS 5

Ken Wayne, KTVU Channel 2

Justin Willis, KSEE 24

Pamela Young, KITV 4

Patty Zubov, Platonic TV


committee chairs:

Craig Franklin, (Awards)

Mark Pearson, ARC Law Group (Legal/Bylaws)

Sultan Mirza, KPIX CBS 5 (Marketing)

Steve Shlisky, KTVU Channel 2 (Education)

James Spalding, Spalding & Co. (Finance)


execUtive director:

Darryl R. Compton, NATAS 


Your March 2013 Off Camera Newsletter

Don't Let Your Member Benefits End

Emmy statuetteBy Keith Sanders 

Chapter President


NATAS is a professional service organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational and technical achievements within the television industry. As with any professional service organization, there are annual membership dues. To keep costs down, dues are tiered depending upon market size.

Warning: This will be your last edition of Off Camera if you have not renewed your NATAS membership. It will be the last Silver Circle profile you will read that is written by Kevin Wing, who becomes editor of Off Camera in April. It will be the last event, technology, health, career, and On the Move article that you see.

It will also be your last chance for a free resume listing on our national website at www.emmyonline.tv/academy.html.

There will be no more seminar, workshop or production demonstration discounts.

If you don't renew now, you will no longer belong to a chapter that awarded $12,000 in collegiate scholarships last year, as well as Student Television Awards for Excellence to high school students.

Should you let your membership lapse at the end of March, you'll have to pay the higher new member price when you re-join later:

San Francisco/San Jose/Sacramento returning membership - $65 (new $110)

Fresno/Hawaii - $50 (new $80)

Salinas-Monterey/Chico-Redding/Eureka/Reno - $35 (new $55)

Student - $25 (new $35)

            I hope your NATAS membership has kept you informed about our industry, kept you engaged with a variety of local events, and helped you develop additional skills for your job. Please renew your membership now at www.emmysf.tv. It's a worthwhile investment in your future as a media professional.



Upcoming Emmy Judging
online judgingBy Craig Franklin                 

Emmy Awards Chairperson


     If you're one of the 785 people who entered the 

Emmy awards this year, your work will soon be judged by industry professionals from around the country.  In return, we require your help as a judge for other TV Academy chapters.  Judging is easier than ever, now that entries are online and readily viewable at your convenience.  Plus, it's always interesting to see what other markets are doing. 

     Even if you did not enter this year, or are not a NATAS member, you are still welcome to volunteer as a peer judge. Please let us know which categories you are interested in judging.  You can contact either myself or Darryl Compton, and we will do our best to match you up.

     The success of the Emmy awards relies on good judges!


Craig Franklin - (405) 744-4442 or craigfranklain2011@gmail.com

Darryl Compton - (650) 341-7786 or darryl@emmysf.tv


Silent Auction
At Emmy� Party


     The Emmy Awards Show is being held on June 1st at the Grand Hyatt on Union Square in San Francisco. World-class shopping is just steps away from this prestigious establishment, but the best bargains may be inside!
     For the first time in show history, guests will have an opportunity to bid on a selection of items at the Emmy Gala Silent Auction. How big will it be? That's up to you.

     We're asking for tax-deductible donations valued at over $100 to benefit the Scholarship Fund. It can be an item or a service, such as restaurant meals, gym memberships, auto repair, packaged food, luxury items, movie tickets, or anything else you can imagine. Bundling items is okay, such as combining a restaurant gift card with theatre tickets. All auction donors will be listed in our splashy Emmy program.  There are additional opportunities to advertise within the program, from business card size ads to a full page on the inside cover. Individuals who provide donations worth over $250 get a free small ad. As the value increases, so does the size.

     To donate your item, please contact Executive Director Darryl Compton at (415) 777-0212 or Darryl@emmysf.tv.

KGO-TV's Ashley Interviews
President Obama In Exclusive Interview
Longtime ABC7 Anchor Shares
One-on-One White House
Experience With "Off Camera"

By Dan Ashley
         During more than a quarter century of working on television, I have had the opportunity to cover almost every conceivable event and to interview people from all walks of life, from the famous, to the powerful, to everyday Americans. 
       Over the years, I have covered everything from earthquakes to hurricanes, political conventions to papal visits, and have interviewed a countless number of people on an unknowable number of subjects.  It has all been such a thrill and a privilege. But, in all that time, I have never interviewed a sitting President of the United States.
       Not until last month.
       I got word that I was to meet with the President at the White House for a one-on-one interview just a couple of days before I would leave for Washington. The late notice meant that I would have to prepare quickly.  That sounds easy because there is so much to ask him about, but therein lies the challenge. I was told that I would have a limited amount of time with President  Barack Obama, so I wanted to be certain to ask the right questions in the right order to maximize my time.
       The day began early -- and on no sleep -- as my crew and I arrived at the White House at 7:30 a.m. to go through a rigorous security process.  For some reason, the Secret Service is a bit cautious when people want to enter the home of the President, carrying bags full of electronics. Who knew? After a half hour, maybe 45 minutes, of waiting while the Secret Service searched our backgrounds and our bags, we were escorted into the White House by a member of the President's Office of Communications. We were taken to the very room where Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his iconic fireside chats to the nation as a spot to store gear and coats and recharge cell phones.
       We were then shown the adjoining room, where I and a handful of other local news anchors would meet and interview the President in about six hours' time. There would, however, be no time to sit quietly to prepare for that interview as the White House Press Office had a busy agenda of show-and-tell.
        First stop: the South Lawn, where the President comes and goes either by limousine or by helicopter and a trip to Michelle Obama's much-publicized vegetable garden. There, we were introduced to Sam Kass, a White House chef, who explained that the garden was not just a healthy eating educational tool for the children of America, but a functioning garden that regularly feeds the First Family. While we were there, almost on cue, Bo, the Obamas' famous Portuguese Water Dog, came wandering down to greet us. Now it was a real dog-and-pony show. Nonetheless, it was a nice surprise and made for a great picture, just as the White House intended.  No harm, no foul. Very well-behaved dog, by the way.
       The next stage of our adventure was a terrific insider's tour of the White House led by William Allman who has been the curator there for 36 years, since the Ford administration.  He offered a wealth of information as we toured parts of the building open to the public and parts of it that are not. It was all very interesting and all very distracting, as I was trying to focus my mind on the interview that I traveled across the country to conduct.  First, however, I had to focus on what to ask three members of the President's cabinet, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and the Head of the Small Business Administration, Karen Mills. I had good questions and got good answers from all three on issues that are directly tied to the Bay Area, ranging from California's controversial high-speed rail project, to the high drop-out rate in our schools, to the high-tech industry's insatiable need for capital to innovate and grow. Now, could I please focus on the President?
       Finally, it was time to meKGO_Ashley_1et with Mr. Obama. One by one, we were led into the reception room for our individual interviews. I was to go second to last, which worried me some in the event that things had started to run long and his handlers might therefore be inclined to shortchange the final couple of interviews. Happily, that was not the case, as I ended up getting a little bit more time than most of the others.  As I entered the room to greet the President, he called out to me and said 'hello' and, as I approached, offered a warm smile and a firm handshake. The interview was brief, but went very well. While one could always second-guess the questions that I chose to ask, two of the answers President Obama gave me made news in major papers and national media and a third exchange went viral on the Internet. It also aired on at least two national broadcasts. A nice little bonus to a professional and personal highlight.
       After arriving at the White House at 7:30 that morning, I finally left late that evening, having filed numerous reports for our ABC7 News broadcasts that evening and bringing a couple more with me when I returned to the Bay Area the next day. The opportunity to meet face-to-face with the President was a powerful reminder that a reporter's life is a joy and a unique opportunity to see things and do things that not everyone gets to do.
If that is ever lost on me, it's time to find another line of work.
Year After Year, NBC Bay Area's Redell Braves
North Pole Freeze For Live Shots For Station And "Today"

NATAS Governor

By Matt Skryja


A make-believe man and a Bay Area television news reporter get together every year to pretend that one of them actually exists. It happens around the same time every year, just before Christmas.

Does the name Santa Claus sound familiar to you?

For NBC Bay Area's Bob Redell, the trick is to convince viewers across the country that what they are seeing is real, or real enough to put down their morning cup of coffee and laugh.

Redell embraces this challenge each time he puts on his $1,000 snow suit to brave the extreme Alaska cold to tell Santa's story between chattering teeth and nearly frost-bitten hands.

"I do believe the spectacle of seeing this lunatic stand out there in the crazy cold talking about an imaginary man and his magical reindeer makes for good TV," Redell says.

Something good definitely happens. NBC, which owns and operates KNTV, has asked Redell to make the trek to the 'North Pole' for nine Christmases now, including last December. The location is a very small town, not coincidentally called North Pole, about 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle.

"To get there, drive about 20 minutes outside of Fairbanks. Scream bloody murder. If no one hears you, then you know you've arrived," Redell jokes.

Redell, a veteran NBC Bay Area reporter and Livermore resident, gets in front of the camera as early as 9 p.m., and works until 11 a.m. the next day. It's a marathon live shot tour of the world, with an average of 40 live shots, centering around how Santa gets ready for his Christmas Eve deliveries.

"I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, covering the same event over and over. But unlike him, I'm not suicidal," Redell says. "And I actually like this gig. A lot."

Besides local NBC affiliates across the country, Redell reports live for the Today show, MSNBC, and sister networks in England, Australia, and Canada. Redell admits "the challenge about this gig is selling the audience on this make-believe story without being too lame."

What better way to make sure your live shots to millions of people around the world aren't lame than to include something spectacular and mind blowing, like an elf puppet you made yourself?

"This year, the elf puppet saved Christmas and the world from the Mayan Apocalypse. Last year, he took over the camera. I know one year he ended up in that tin foil UFO with balloon boy," Redell adds.

As any television reporter can tell you, things don't always go as planned, like when a package doesn't roll on cue or the audio cuts out. These problems bring on new meaning when the mercury drops through the floor. Temperature-wise, 2012 was a record year for Redell.

"I watched my handheld thermometer drop from minus 47 to minus 50. Unreal," he says. That temperature matched a record number of live shots: 50.

With temperatures so low, engine blocks freeze, and so do body parts.

"I don't think there is any way to protect fingers and toes, outside of amputation," Redell says, "which I considered with my right thumb."

He is kidding, of course, which is the case with his general tongue-in-cheek approach to these live shots.

The live shots are done outside a large Santa's House gift shop where Redell "talks" to Santa.

"A lot of people up there eat reindeer sausage. No joke. I hear Dasher with a dash of salt is good," Redell jokes. But the jokes don't always find their mark. "What's interesting is how the same bit plays across the country," he says. "There are some markets I know I can play well in and get the laughs: Miami, Chicago (Redell's hometown), St. Louis, L.A., Sacramento, S.F., the Today show. Other markets, not so much. Crickets."

Redell figures his live shots are best embraced by children, or at least children at heart. He says his daughters, 10 and 13, can attest to that, even if they don't believe in the man in red anymore.

"Is it the best TV on the planet? Not always," he says. "But we strive for that and I do think we're giving kids (and parents too) a little something to smile about that morning."

In 2011, Redell's unique take on the Santa tradition caught the attention of the Middle East.

"I remember freezing my tail off, trying to get warm in my shooter's car in between shots, when a call from halfway around the world was patched into my cell. It was an Al Jazeera 'presenter' in Doha who wanted to go over my shot. My response was 'Do you guys even celebrate Christmas over there?' Turns out, everyone loves Santa."



Ysabel Duron, Bay Area TV News Icon, To Retire April 14 

 Preparing For Farewell On Her Birthday After 23 Years At San Francisco's KRON 4
By Kevin Wing
Chapter Vice President, San Francisco
       Ysabel Duron, who has anchored the weekend morning newscasts of San Francisco's KRON Channel 4 for more than 20 years, has announced she is ready to retire after 42 years in the television news business.
       The anchor/reporter joined KRON in May 1990. She will retire from the station on April 14, her birthday.
        Duron has become a fixture on KRON's weekend morning broadcasts, alongside co-anchor Marty Gonzalez (SC'10).
        She joined the station's San Jose news bureau as a general assignment reporter. In July 1992, she added anchoring duties when she was named co-anchor of the station's weekend morning news broadcasts.
        Duron joined KRON after a four-year tenure as a general assignment reporter at WMAQ-TV in Chicago, where she joined in 1986. From 1981 to 1986, she anchored and reported for San Jose independent KICU-TV's 10 p.m. newscasts.
        In 1980, Duron was a reporter at what is now KNSD (formerly KCST-TV) in San Diego. Prior to her time in San Diego, she worked briefly as a reporter and weekend anchor at WBZ-TV in Boston. From 1972 to 1979, she was an anchor and reporter at KTVU in Oakland, where she received an Emmy award in 1974 for her coverage of the Patricia Hearst kidnapping.
        Beginning as a news writer at what is now KCBS-TV (formerly KNXT) in Los Angeles, Duron moved to the Bay Area in 1971 to join KRON as a writer, She then spent a year as a reporter at KPIX, also in San Francisco.
        In 1997, Duron was inducted into the Silver Circle of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for her significant contributions to the Bay Area television community.  


Silver Circle Profile: James Stimson 


gr profile header  

 Stimson B   

       "TV news has been a big part of my life," says James Stimson, assistant news director at Sacramento's KCRA.

       And, for nearly 40 years, Stimson has been a big part of KCRA's.

        There aren't many television journalists like Stimson who have remained with a station as long as he has. His tenure at the powerhouse NBC affiliate has another professional distinction: it's the only place Stimson has ever worked at.      

      The five-time EmmyAward-winning newsman has worn many hats since his arrival there in 1974. Stimson, who was inducted in 2008 into the Silver Circle of the San Francisco/Northern California Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, has also served as a news writer, assignment editor, office manager, field producer, weekend reporter, news producer, senior producer and executive producer.

         Born in Pasadena and raised in nearby San Marino, Stimson caught the broadcasting bug as a young boy.

         "I was fascinated with television and broadcasting," he explains. "I could see the TV towers atop Mount Wilson from my bedroom window. I was fascinated with live TV coming into my house."      

        Growing up near the Rose Bowl and seeing the famed parade march its way through the streets of Pasadena, Stimson was more interested in watching the TV crews cover the event.

        "I would wander away and watch the TV crews at work," he says. "I was fascinated with the whole idea of TV production and live broadcasts. I grew up watching us go to the moon. I watched KTLA's coverage of the Watts riots. By the time I was in the sixth grade, I was listening to (radio news stations) KFWB and KNX. The news bug hit me pretty early in life."

        Television took on a certain type of importance in Stimson's years of growing up in southern California.

        "Something about it.. it just seemed exciting and important," he recalls. "I remember when (President John F.) Kennedy was killed. The family was gathered around the TV that entire afternoon. I was at school in the fifth grade when I heard what happened. I learned a new word that afternoon - assassination."

        As the young Stimson grew older, he was "addicted" to the Watergate hearings. "It was real stuff, and real people, doing real things. Definitely an interesting time in our nation's history," he says.

        Stimson eventually moved to northern California to attend the University of California, Davis, where he went to study engineering. But, after one quarter, he learned he wasn't cut out for an engineering career.

        "The university had a radio station," Stimson says, "so I wandered down there to see what they did. As it turned out, they needed help. They asked me if I could push buttons and open microphones. I had a ham radio license in high school. Soon, I began working at the station and doing news there.

        Stimson grew very comfortable with his job at student-run KDVS Radio. And, he was valued there so much that he eventually became news director.

        "That was during Watergate, and the Patty Hearst kidnapping, and the SLA (Symbionese Liberation Army). We traded stuff with other campus radio stations, and worked out some deals to which we could carry presidential news conferences, live," Stimson says. 

        He parlayed his experience at university radio station into an internship at KCRA Radio in Sacramento. The year was 1974.  

        Living in Davis at that time, Stimson didn't own a car, so he took a Greyhound bus to work every morning.  

        "It would drop me off downtown, and I'd go to the radio station and do morning drive," he says. "I had a split shift, and I did afternoon drive, too, but instead of taking the bus home, I would hang out at the Associated Press office and freelance for ABC Radio and NBC Radio and give soundbites for free. It got me the press credentials. Soon, I was doing SOTs and packages. NBC Radio News had just launched its all-news radio network. It was an exciting time. Jerry Brown was governor. He was dating Linda Ronstadt at that time, too."   

A year later, he became an employee at the radio station, staying for an additional three years.  

Stimson's big break came on Sept. 5, 1975, when President Gerald Ford was in Sacramento to give a speech to the state Legislature.   

"That day, I tried to get a soundbite from Ford, but that didn't happen," Stimson says. "What did happen was that Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme tried to kill the President. It was the woman in the red dress who pulls a gun on the President. That's how AP got the story out of Sacramento."    

In 1978, Stimson jumped ship, sort of. He moved from KCRA Radio to KCRA Channel 3.

        At Channel 3, Stimson worked on the assignment desk in the morning, then wrote for the evening newscasts. He also produced the station's 5 p.m. newscast on Saturdays.

        Eventually, Stimson would produce the noon newscast, before being returned to the weekday 5 p.m. news. From 1980 to 1990, Stimson was one of the station's top, talented news producers. It was enough to propel him to executive producer of every KCRA newscast.

        In 2000 - 26 years after first walking through the door as an intern for KCRA Radio - Stimson became assistant news director of KCRA Channel 3.

        In the industry, Stimson - and KCRA - are known for setting high standards in the KCRA newsroom.

        "Our slogan, from day one, has been 'where the news comes first', but it's so much more than just a slogan," Stimson says. "You have to make good on it, or it's just a slogan. There are commitments to covering news. It sends a message to our viewers, and to our staff, and to everyone. We have had the kind of leadership to make these kinds of commitments."

        The goal, through the years, is to brand KCRA in such a way that Sacramento-area viewers know which station to watch when it comes to news.

        "Viewers have always said that if there's something big happening, anywhere, let's go to KCRA," he adds. "We have the commitment from the ownership of our station, and we have the support. It's the culture of who we are. And, viewers expect this from us."

        That kind of mantra has helped turn KCRA into a ratings powerhouse through the years. The station has, for most of its 58 years on the air, dominated the Sacramento market in the ratings.

        But, Stimson is cautious not to dwell on the numbers.

        "If you worry about ratings all of the time, you're not doing your job," he explains. "If we are being responsible to the communities we serve, and we're doing all things right, the ratings will take care of themselves."

        Stimson explains this is a good way to run an organization, like KCRA.

        "First and foremost, we have a responsibility to the people who turn to us for the news," he says. "Whether it's TV, online, or mobile, we have a responsibility to them, just as we have a responsibility to our colleagues here. We value their opinions and input. We have the ability to affect a lot of good to help various organizations in need, to shine light in dark places, to give voices to people who may not have strong voices."

        Naturally, as the years have passed, the faces of those who deliver the news to viewers of KCRA have changed.

        Stimson says something that hasn't changed is the high standards KCRA has set for itself when it comes to reporting the news.

        "What hasn't changed here is good reporting, good pictures, good interviewing, good writing, and we always ask ourselves if we're doing the right thing," he says. "We still have these conversations. This part of the business hasn't changed. The gizmos and the whiz-bangs have had an effect on how we deliver the news, and we've got some remarkable tools. When I started, we had typewriters."

        KCRA has certainly been committed to full and complete coverage of numerous events on national and international levels as well as on a local level.

        "Take, for example, the Super Bowl. The Niners were in the Super Bowl for the first time in years. We put a lot of resources into it. We sent four crews to New Orleans. NBC wasn't carrying the Super Bowl this year, but we wanted to be the Super Bowl station. We did a one-hour special the night before the game, and when the game was finally over, we were on the air with our own special," Stimson explains.

        "When the tsunami happened, it occurred during our 11 p.m. news,"

Stimson says. "We stayed on all night. We started pulling in resources. We called our reporters and photographers at 2 in the morning. Not everyone answered the phone, but everyone called back. We ended up being on the air for 15 or 16 hours until we knew the worst had passed us."

        While Stimson's work is a big part of his life, he does like to "tinker around" at home, in Davis.  

        "I like working with my hands. I garden on weekends. I'm away from the sounds and fury of the newsroom out there, and it's very calming," he says.   

       But, the recipient of those five Emmy� awards (and more than 45 Emmy� nominations) and Edward R. Murrow and Radio Television News Director Association awards can certainly admit that TV news is a "24-hour-a-day business."

         "I've had the very good fortune to work with some very talented people," Stimson says proudly.

         And, for 39 years, KCRA has had the good fortune and honor to have someone like Stimson in their newsrooms. Much of KCRA's success is because of him. 


 Stimson A


2013 Gold & Silver Circle Nominations

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

        San Francisco/Northern California Chapter


Gold & Silver Circle Nominations 2013


This is your opportunity to honor the careers and contributions of our NATAS Chapter's most distinguished television colleagues by nominating them to the Gold & Silver Circle Class of 2013.




MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2013


The Silver Circle is not an award -- it is a society of honor. To be eligible for membership, individuals must have been actively engaged in television broadcasting for 25 years or more (with at least half of those years in the chapter region), made a significant contribution to their local television markets and distinguished themselves within the industry and the community.  Silver Circle inductees are elected by current members of the Silver Circle.


The Gold Circle honors individuals who have been actively engaged in television broadcasting for 50 years or more (with at least half of those years in the chapter region) and who have fulfilled the same criteria as Silver Circle nominees.  Gold Circle inductees are elected by the NATAS Chapter Board of Governors.


Neither the candidate nor the nominator need be a member of NATAS.


Inductees will join the ranks of television luminaries such as: Pam Moore, Marty Gonzalez, Ysabel Dur�n, Pete Wilson, Barbara Rodgers, Dave McElhatton, Wendy Tokuda, Rigo Chacon, Sydnie Kohara, John Kessler, Dennis Richmond, Belva Davis, Ross McGowan, Ed Pearce (Reno), Nancy Osborne (Fresno), Pam Young (Hawaii), Dan Adams (Sacramento), Suzanne Shaw, Luis Echegoyen, Rita Williams, Don McCuaig, Shirley Temple Black, Charles Schulz, Jack Hanson, Jim Vargas, Don Sanchez, Joe Fonzi, Cheryl Hurd, Jack LaLanne and Elaine LaLanne. 

SAVE THE DATE!  NATAS 2013 Gold & Silver Circle Induction Luncheon


Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel San Francisco, 55 Cyril Magnin Street, Market at Fifth

Bay Area's Belva Davis Caps 50-Year Career with Bow



By Catherine Bigelow

San Francisco Chronicle


Belying the teasing video tribute starring comedian Bill Cosby, journalist Belva Davis (SC'89) never fed George Washington Carver his first peanut. Nor did she form a singing group with Harriet Tubman.

That said, this tenaciously talented and universally beloved reporter is a hero to legions among the African American community, fledgling female journalists and all seekers of truth.

A 400-strong crowd turned out Feb. 23 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to toast Davis, who recently wrapped an award-winning 50-year career in the dog-eat-dog world that is the Fourth Estate.

Among her admirers: Sen. Dianne Feinstein; Davis' husband, former KTVU cameraman William Moore (SC'89), and children, Steven Davis and Darolyn Davis; Attorney General Kamala Harris; actor Danny Glover; Denise and Bernard Tyson; Dr. Ernie Bates; Anette Harris and Marc Loupe; Wilkes Bashford; Tommy Moon and his wife, Giants announcer Renel Brooks-Moon; the Very Rev. Jane Shaw and her partner, Sarah Ogilvie; 5th Dimension vocalist Lamonte McLemore; and U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee.

"Belva didn't just report the news," said Kamala Harris. "She allowed viewers to see the world in a way that allowed them to expand their vision of the world."

Hosted by the Bay Area Black Journalists Association and organized by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' Charles Ward, with emcees KRON anchor Pam Moore (SC'10) and retired KPIX anchor Barbara Rodgers (SC'02), this rollicking fete raised funds for a BABJA scholarship in Davis' name as well as the Belva Davis Archive Project at San Francisco State University.

The evening featured two lively panels, emceed by Willie Brown, on the actual set from Davis' weekly KQED current affairs program, This Week in Northern California.

But, most fans of that almost 24-year-old news show rarely referred to the program by its proper title.

"Everyone just says, 'I watched Belva.' How many women in the world are known by just one name? There's Madonna, Oprah and, of course, Belva," noted KQED President John Boland. "People don't just like her, they love Belva."

And Davis, who recently wrote her autobiography, "Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman's Life in Journalism," has loved breaking news since her first assignment in 1957 for Jet magazine.

From radio to television, Davis was on scene to explain as the civil rights, free speech, labor and women's rights movements exploded and demanded center stage.

"Belva knows everybody, from Fidel Castro to the Pope," said Rodgers, admiringly. "In fact, I think the Pope is retiring just so he can hang out with her."

Davis has also loyally served as a trustee for the Fine Arts Museums, the Institute on Aging and the Museum of the African Diaspora, for which she raised $5 million in one year.

Also singing her praises were the panelists, an A1 posse possessing their own journalistic plaudits: Chronicle Senior Political Writer Carla Marinucci; KPIX News Director Dan Rosenheim; ABC Chicago anchor Ron Magers; retired KTVU News Director Fred Zehnder (SC'91); George Washington University Associate Professor of Journalism Roxanne Russell; Bernard Osher Foundation President Mary Bitterman; KNBC Los Angeles assistant news director Stacy Owen; former SAG-AFTRA Executive Director Kim Hedgpeth; and Center for Investigative Reporting board chairman and reporter Phil Bronstein.

The evening also happened to coincide with the 50th wedding anniversary of Davis and Moore, who joked he was just hearing about this woman whom everyone described as never raising her voice or doing anything wrong.

Even his wife, laughing, had to agree.

"Tonight, you've all shared so many wonderful memories," noted Davis, with her signature modesty. "But I think you've painted a picture of a woman I've yet to meet."

Catherine Bigelow is The San Francisco Chronicle's society correspondent.

E-mail: missbigelow@sfgate.com

Rita Williams Retirement Party March 23 In Oakland 
Benefit for Friends of Faith


Tickets:  http://ritaretirement.eventbrite.com/#


th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy� Awards
Honors Lifetime Achievement
  Monty Hall                           Bob Stewart
                                              (1920 - 2012)


The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced on Feb. 14 that Monty Hall, the daytime television icon of the historic, Let's Make A Deal, and Bob Stewart, the legendary creator of To Tell the Truth, Password and The $10,000 Pyramid will be honored at the 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy

Awards with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. 

     "Aside from all of the excitement around our 40th anniversary," said Malachy Wienges, Chairman, NATAS, "we are honoring two giants in game show history. So many of us grew up watching Monty Hall excite us with what was behind Door #1, #2 or #3 and found ourselves addicted to the challenge and imagination of Bob Stewart's classic To Tell the Truth, Password, Pyramid  and others. The high-water mark these two pioneers have made in daytime television is unparalleled and the entire Emmy Award community stands in appreciation for the immeasurable contribution they have made to the game show genre."


Monty Hall

Emcee Monty Hall is one of daytime television's all-time beloved Icons. His signature show, Let's Make a Deal, premiered on NBC in 1963, moving to ABC in 1968, as well as other network and syndication runs in the 70's, 80's, 90's and 2003. Since 2009, Let's Make a Deal has shown resurgence in the national spotlight, running daily on CBS, now in its 4th season, hosted by Wayne Brady. It is one of three game shows to air in every decade since the 60s, and Hall has hosted in each decade, including a week of appearances in 2010 at age 88. It is estimated that he has hosted over 4,500 episodes.

As co-creator and executive producer, Hall's legacy extends overseas where Let's Make a Deal has had long running versions as well since the 1980s.

His work in television and radio also includes hosting Video Village for CBS from 1960 to 1963 (and Video Village Jr.), Your First Impression for NBC in 1963 and Monitor on NBC radio in 1960. Hall created and executive produced Split Second for ABC and syndication in 1986-87.

With one of the highest Q ratings in his era, Hall made numerous guest appearances, usually playing himself, on shows like The Odd Couple, The Dean Martin Show, The Love Boat, The Wonder Years, Arliss, Love and War, and Love American Style to name a few, as well as two prime time variety specials for ABC.

Hall's life away from television has been as significant as that on the stage. He has raised an estimated $1 billion through tireless work for a variety of charities. Part of this extraordinary amount came from Hall's service as president, and later, as chairman of the Board of Variety Clubs International, the world's largest children's charity.

His selfless dedication to charitable causes has resulted in over 500 honorary awards. Few men have four children's hospital wings named after him, but Hall does at UCLA Medical Center, Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia, Mt. Sinai in Toronto, and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

His contribution to the television arts has been acknowledged with three Walk of Fames, in Hollywood, Canada and Palm Springs. He was also Hollywood's "Honorary Mayor" from 1973-1979.

His native Canada has recognized his accomplishments with the prestigious national honor, the "Order of Canada", as well as his home province's "Order of Manitoba".

Hall has been married to Marilyn Hall for 65 years. He is the proud father of Tony Award winning actress Joanna Gleason, Emmy Award winning television producer Richard Hall (who worked at KTVU in Oakland) and television executive Sharon Hall.


Bob Stewart

Stewart's early broadcasting career included a stint at WNEW-AM in New York City and then at NBC flagship TV and radio stations. In the book "The Box," the native New Yorker said he got the first spark for The Price Is Right during his tenure as a staff 3 producer at WRCA-TV (now WNBC-TV) when he happened to observe an auction taking place on 50th Street during his lunch hour. He developed the idea into the working title of "The Auctionaire."

Stewart joined Goodson-Todman Productions in 1956. Bob created The Price is Right using some of the "Auctionaire" concept, which premiered on NBC Nov. 26, 1956, with Bill Cullen as host. It lasted seven years on NBC before being bumped in favor of Monty Hall's Let's Make a Deal in 1963. After that, Price moved to ABC, where it lasted another two years. The Price is Right still airs daily on CBS, 56 years after its premiere.

CBS' To Tell the Truth, emceed by Bud Collyer, hit the air less than one month after the original Price debuted, in December 1956. Stewart said he auditioned the concept to Goodson and his producers by trying to have them guess which one of three men had been in the infantry in World War II and was now managing a grocery store. The original pilot, hosted by Mike Wallace and existing as a kinescope, was titled "Nothing but the Truth."

Five years later, in 1961, Stewart scored again with Password, a word-association guessing game. The show, which was the first game to pair celebrities and civilian contestants, became the top-rated program on daytime TV and popularized the concept of an end-game bonus round (the "Lightning Round") for additional money. (In June 2008, CBS and Fremantle Media revived the game in an updated big-money format titled Million Dollar Password, based on Stewart's original game format. His son, Sande Stewart, served as a creative consultant.

Before Price was cancelled in 1965, Stewart left Goodson-Todman to set out on his own in 1964, forming Bob Stewart Productions. His first network program or show as an independent producer, the memory game Eye Guess, aired on NBC daytime from Jan. 3, 1966 to Sept. 26, 1969, and featured close friend Bill Cullen, who had emceed Price, as host.

Stewart's biggest success with his own production company, Basada, Inc. (named after his sons Barry, Sande, and David), and one of TV's most honored and popular game shows, was Pyramid,originally hosted by Dick Clark, which, like Password, was a word-association game. Its March 26, 1973 premiere on CBS marked the biggest possible cash payoff on a quiz show since the short-lived 100 Grand in September 1963. Pyramid would have a network run that would span 15 years, off and on, with escalating dollar amounts in the title reflecting increases in the payoff amount over the four years. It has proven to be one of the most enduring game shows, airing almost continuously between first-run network or syndicated airings and cable reruns since 1982, when the second CBS version began.

Stewart, known for his sharp wit and quiet generosity to his friends, his loyal staff and numerous philanthropic causes, passed away in May 2012, just a few months short of his 92nd birthday. His son, Sande, will accept the award. During his successful career, Bob Stewart was honored with nine Emmy� Awards as executive producer on his shows as well as being inducted into the Television Academy's Hall of Fame.



The Health Reporter

health rep header 

In Living Color                                           

Orange Fountain-of-Youth Foods


     If you work as talent, keeping a fresh, youthful appearance may be important to your longevity in the television industry. But regardless of looking good on camera, here's a dietary tip to help you look your best all the time.

      The spectrum of colors that line the produce aisle - from robust red to vibrant orange to every shade of green - contain fruits and vegetables rich in nutritious organic pigments. To get a broad range of nutrients in your diet, eat foods in all colors and varieties. On your next excursion to the supermarket though, be sure to specifically shop for the color orange. These sunny foods are essential for firm, youthful and healthy skin. Here's what's good in them:


Vitamin A (Beta-carotene)

     Vitamin A rebuilds body tissues and helps control the production of sebum (oil) that lubricates the skin. Dry, scaly skin is a symptom of a vitamin A deficiency. It's an essential vitamin and antioxidant that destroys free radicals (the by-products of oxidation from normal metabolic processing).

      Free radicals cause cellular damage and are responsible for aging skin. Their production is accelerated by environmental toxins, such as smoke, pollution, pesticides, and radiation. Free radicals attack your skin's elastin and collagen - the vital components of youthful firm skin. Orange food sources of Vitamin A:  

  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Egg yolks
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Persimmons
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash

  Vitamin B

     B vitamins are found in whole unprocessed foods. They are not a single vitamin like vitamin A or C, but consist of a group of eight B vitamins known as vitamin B complex. Vitamin B6 regulates hormone levels and helps women with acne flare-ups triggered by hormone changes during the menstrual cycle.


     B vitamins assist in cellular respiration and blood cell formation. Cracked skin and dermatitis are symptomatic of a B vitamin deficiency. These vitamins also maintain a healthy nervous system that helps the body cope with stress. Orange food sources of Vitamin B:  

  • Eggs
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Oranges
  • Salmon
  • Sweet potatoes

Vitamin C

     This antioxidant is vital for healing wounds, resisting infection and collagen maintenance. Collagen is the fibrous protein found in connective tissue. It's the key to having firm and youthfully plump skin. Orange food sources of Vitamin C:  

  • Bell Peppers
  • Cantaloupe
  • Guava
  • Orange citrus fruits and their juices
  • Papaya
  • Peaches  

Vitamin E

     This antioxidant promotes cellular respiration and vitamin A absorption. It increases the flow of oxygen to the skin which speeds healing. Orange food sources of Vitamin E:  

  • Carrot juice
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes


Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

     These essential fatty acids maintain skin moisture and resiliency. Acne has been associated with low levels of these fats. Orange food sources of omega fats: 



     This antioxidant mineral protects body tissues against oxidative damage. It can reduce the risk of skin cancer and counteract the effects of premature aging. It also promotes the absorption of vitamin E. Orange food sources of selenium:  

  • Eggs
  • Icelandic Artic char
  • Salmon
Build It Yourself TelePrompter
By Anthony Nielsen
     The teleprompter is a vital piece of production gear, and it's not inexpensive. But rather than buy one from a vendor, you can actually build it yourself as long as you own a tablet for the monitor.
     Here's how it's done:  
building teleprompter 
 Part Shopping List 
1 8x10 solid wood picture frame with glass insert -- to position the reflecting glass
1 1x1' sheet of wood -- as teleprompter base
2 small hinges -- to attach the frame and teleprompter base
1 5/16" dowel rod -- to support the frame
2 shelf support/brackets -- to hold the tablet in place
4 self-adhesive rubber bumper pads -- for holding tablet on base
1 1/4-20" wood insert -- as a tripod mount
spare cardboard
spare fabric

To Build
1. For adding the tripod mount - drill a 5/16" hole in the middle of the base and screw in 1/4-20" wood insert.


2. For mounting the picture frame onto the base - install the two hinges on to picture frame, and then to the base. Make sure to first drill pilot holes on the frame and onto the base to prevent the wood from cracking.


3. To hold the picture frame at a 45 degree angle - drill 2 5/16" holes halfway though both sides of the picture frame and 2 holes at a 45 degree angle on either side of the base. Then cut the 5/16" dowel rod to fit on both sides.


4. To hold the tablet in place - drill 2 small holes to place shelf supports on the base and stick the rubber bumper pads where the tablet will rest.


5. To shade the reflecting glass from light - cut and and fashion spare cardboard into a hood and tape onto the picture frame.


To Use 
1. Attach teleprompter to a tripod and stand in front of the camera so that the camera is shooting about the middle point though the glass.

2. Cover the hood and camera with some cloth/fabric to shield from light.

3. Use an app like Teleprompt+ on the tablet and make sure to have the image set to mirrored in settings.



On The Move...


  Joe McNamara, KHON president and general manager, has parted ways with the Honolulu Fox affiliate, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser. McNamara had been the station's general manager since 2006. KHON, previously owned by New Vision Television, was purchased in May by LIN Media. No successor was immediately named, but LIN Media will "be naming someone here very quickly," EVP for television Scott Blumenthal told the Star-Advertiser.


      Jeff Cardinalemorning executive producer at KFSN ABC 30 in Fresno, is the new vice president of communications, California Table Grape Commission. His new duties will be to lead the national and international marketing of California's $1.3 billion table grape industry. Previously, Cardinale worked as a news producer at KBAK-TV in Bakersfield, KPIX in San Francisco and KTVU in Oakland. His seven years at KFSN were split by a six-year tenure as spokesperson for the Fresno Police Department. He returned to KFSN in 2011. His last day there was Feb. 28.  





Eddie Alexander

"Fast Eddie" Was Popular KRON Sports Anchor In Early 1970s
Eddie Alexander
       Eddie Alexander, who was the first African-American sports director in the San Francisco television market and a popular presence on KRON-TV in the early 1970s, has died.
      Alexander died in Pacifica Feb. 16. He was 71. He had resided in Daly City with his wife, Henrietta.
       Born Walter Edward Alexander, Jr.,in Chillicothe, Ohio, he worked at KRON-TV from 1971 to 1974. Known to viewers as "Fast Eddie", Alexander parlayed his Bay Area popularity on local television into a career in Los Angeles. In 1975, he joined KABC-TV there, staying until 1979.
       In 1981, Alexander resurfaced in San Diego, where he worked as a sports anchor at KGTV, until 1983.
       In addition to his wife, Alexander is also survived by a daughter, Margarita, and a son, Edward. He is also survived by four grandchildren.     
      A memorial service was held Feb. 27.
Lee Noble McEachern
Former KRON Public Affairs Manager, Dies

      You wouldn't know from the smile on that young man's face in the photo that he was about to embark on a dangerous wartime mission in which he and his fellow airmen risked their lives in ways that no one ever had before.

     Lee Noble McEachern, Pfc. Radio Operator-Mechanic, survived nearly 200 air transport flights over the Himalayas "The Hump" during World War II, ferrying munitions and supplies from India to China. Threading the unarmed C-46 aircraft between the highest peaks in the world and the occasional Japanese Zero fighter planes, the men of this famed airlift braved conditions no previous aviators had faced: High altitude ice build-up on their wings, which could crash a plane in five minutes, temperatures below zero in cabins with heaters removed to save on weight, unreliable charts and few navigational aids to guide them home. A high percentage of the flights ended in tragedy and as the months went by, Lee counted an increasing number of bright aluminum reflections shining up from the ground below.     

     He accepted the Distinguished Flying Cross with pride but refused a Purple Heart, which he was awarded due an injury suffered in an attack on his airbase, reasoning that he deserved it less than men who were more badly wounded.

     It was all so very far from home for Lee, born in Birmingham, Alabama, Feb. 15, 1921,and a recent graduate of the University of Alabama. And it felt so very, very far from his wife and the love of his life, Anne Farrar (Smith), whom he had married in a brief ceremony officiated by an Army chaplain just before flying to the other side of the world in defense of his country. The airlift over The Hump kept China in the war against the Japanese, which was vital to the Allied war effort. But Lee never talked in such grand terms; he was just glad when it was all over and he was back home with Anne Farrar.

     They settled in Memphis, Tennessee, where Lee began his career as a radio and television broadcaster at WHBQ radio and television, hosting shows with a success that brought him and the family to the Bay Area in 1958. His broadcasting career extended another 20 years at KFRC radio, KRON TV and the FM radio stations KRON and KFOG. During those years, Lee and Anne Farrar raised a close family of four children in Corte Madera.

     McEachern died in San Francisco on January 27.



NATAS Parliamentarian Jo Schmidt Dead at 95

jo schmidt

Jo Schmidt was born Georgian Ileen Dreher on May 16, 1917. She started her career in television in November 1955, previously working as the office manager of an advertising agency.

Jo started her new position at local station WLWC Channel 4 - Columbus, Ohio. The moment she walked through the station doors she was "certain she made the right choice."  On reflecting over her life's journey, she realized that the she had made "the perfect choice."

Jo was invited by a co-worker at Channel 4 to join the local speaking group, Toastmasters International, where she was first exposed to the workings of parliamentary law. At Channel 4, she became involved in the TV Academy and chartering what would become the Ohio Valley Chapter of NATAS. Jo became President and then Trustee of the chapter in 1968, serving until 1970.

As Trustee, Jo was the first person in television outside the industry centers of Hollywood and New York to be elected to the Board of Trustees of the TV Academy.

She was elected Secretary of the Board of Trustees in 1970 for two, two-year terms. In 1974, Jo became their registered National Parliamentarian and was instrumental in creating a new Constitution for NATAS, after the break from ATAS in 1976.

Jo worked professionally for 27 years in the Ohio Valley television market, and in 1982 was recognized with the Ohio Valley Chapter's Board of Governors' Award. 

In 2006, Jo was inducted into the Gold Circle honor society, which honors 50 years of service and leadership in the television industry and community; and in June 2012 she received the Chairman's Award, from NATAS Chairman, Mal Wienges.

For over 30 distinguished years, Jo served as the Parliamentarian of NATAS.  She initially served from 1974 to 1999, officially retiring from her position in 1999. However, when the Board needed to update their bylaws, Jo was convinced to leave retirement, and she served NATAS again as Parliamentarian from 2002 to 2011.

While Jo's greatest professional interest was parliamentary procedure, she also had the hobby of collecting bells. She built a very large and extensive collection, which rang the unique sounds from different parts of the world.

In 1995 she met Mel Gravely at a local gathering of parliamentary professionals.  At the time, Jo was a leader in the National Association of Parliamentarians. Mel and a group of students were seeking a greater depth of knowledge and asked for her assistance.  She reviewed with each of them Robert's Rules of Order tutoring them, chapter by chapter as they stopped by after work for lessons at her home.   Finally, she administered the five-part Professional Registered Parliamentarian certification exam. Mel, one of her star pupils, grew to become her successor and the current Parliamentarian of NATAS.

Jo passed on Feb. 21, at the age of 95. She was preceded in death by her husband James A. and daughter Barbara Loudermilk; and is survived by her children, James and Martha of Dayton, Ohio, Jon and Dana of Wenatchee, Washington; Deborah and Ronald Gutzwiller of Mason, Ohio; nine grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; ten great-great-grandchildren; and brothers, George and Okie Dreher of Hillsboro, Ohio.

She is remembered by NATAS for her guidance, leadership, thoughtfulness, tact, and grace in the arena of organizational governance.

To our beloved Jo Schmidt:  "Blessed Be."

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.