There are a few special privileges granted to old Keloland TV relics like me; one of them was getting a sneak peak at the brand new broadcast studio especially designed for the transformation to all high definition Wednesday at five. I popped in just as they were rehearsing Midday in Keloland and was blown away by all the changes..not only in the news and weather sets but behind the scenes where the directors, producers, engineers and other technicians now operate. Don Jorgenson was waiting in the wings for his turn to rehearse and we had a chance to chat. “Did you see the wall behind the anchor desk?” he said, “It one giant HD monitor. Plus we won’t have cameramen (or women) anymore; the new HD cameras are operated by remote control. Plus the anchors will be using ipads at the desk instead of the old paper scripts.” “Sounds dangerously high tech,” I said. Just then Nicole Winters, who I think is just terrific on camera, wrapped up her rehearsal. I never had a chance to work with Nicole but have gotten to know her a little bit from when I show up at the station to do my “Voice of Keloland” thing. “Doug, do you want to take a spin at your old anchor chair?” she asked.
Just then, my mind raced back to 1975 when Keloland TV was about to unveil a brand new set, a brand new format ( The Big News) a brand new anchorman. (Me) I remember being as nervous as a June bride in a feather bed but after a few newscasts, the four of us: Steve Hemmingsen, Jim Burt, Dave Dedrick and I all fell into a good rhythm that worked and lasted for a very long time.
I was trying to recall the number of different sets we went through during my tenure. There actually weren’t that many..maybe five or six over thirty seven years.
The above set was somewhere in the late 70′s Pretty ho-hum really but we used it for a long time. I think it ended up at OWL TV
“Thanks, Nicole,” I said. “But I think I’ll pass on the chance to sit at the new set.”
I had my turn at the old ones and, while I loved every minute of it, times and technologies change. This exciting new chapter in the history of Keloland is for others to write.
What is comforting to me and I hope to all our viewers, is that amidst all the shiny new equipment and high definition imagery, the basic mission of Keloland Television remains as it always has; to be the station people trust for their news and weather. I know that sounds simple and maybe a bit schmaltzy but I also know Angela, Don, Jay and everyone connected with the news department take that responsibility and tradition very seriously.
I’m just glad that as station announcer I can still be a part of it all and very grateful that I will continue to be “heard” and not seen on television. There’s not enough air brush make-up in the world to make this aging face look good in HD.