About Site

Broadcast  Radio, television, cable TV
T. Buckingham Thomas physics Oberlin WOBC Richwood Tom Thomas Chyron Infinit Pittsburgh
Most articles in this category are listed below.  There's also another category, WOBC, about my college radio station (clock the green icon on the left).

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Before There Was 4K

  Once upon a time there wasn't 4K television or even Wrestlemania in theaters, but technology could nevertheless take us to ringside.


Make Ads Memorable

Advertisements should stand out (e.g., a thank-you from a losing candidate).


I'm Your Best Friend!  Get Lucky!

"Your Hit Parade" advertises cigarettes on radio, and later on TV.



In 1948, TV pioneers proposed transmitting from five-mile-high "towers."


°The Intercontinental Web

Discovering an ancient TV show through on-line research.

30 FPS Is Smooth, Man!

Was a 1953 movie made in the broadcast standard of 30 frames per second instead of the film standard of 24?

°Where's NBC Radio?

Remembering network radio, from 1955 until my college friend shut it down.

This Is Your Secret

Some of my earliest memories of TV shows, including M Squad and What's My Line?


My 1958 visit to the TV quiz show scandals.

°The Bixbys

A script for a radio sitcom that I wrote in 1958.

°Ed Paulin and the Radios

A portable radio in a $4,000 carrying case; a sportscaster who called Richwood High School basketball.

Ernie and the Marxkado

Two unlikely television Ko-Kos introduce me to Gilbert & Sullivan.



°Keeping Score

Scoreboards, from the huge one at the L.A. Coliseum to the antiquated one at the Richwood gym, inspire my playful experimentation.

Kentucky Derby

My father won $22 at Churchill Downs in 1942.  Twenty years later, the telecast featured the band playing "My Old Kentucky Home."

°The Trial of Mrs. Peter Piper

The script of a comedy sketch, transcribed from network TV in 1962.

°Dizzy Dean and the Goose-Eggs

Half an inning with the legendary broadcaster.

Script vs Performance

Comparing the written word with the spoken word for a scene from The Dick Van Dyke Show.

°Hoops Copy

Introductions and imaginative commericals for my mock radio broadcasts of basketball.

Let the Sportscaster Beware

High-school fans don't like to hear their kids criticized.

°Where Can We Put the Camera?

The gym's too small; try on the wall!

The Fortune Cookie

A movie being filmed at a nearby NFL game features Walter Matthau and "Stop Action" instant replay.


Starting with a basketball broadcast on December 1, 1965, I soon become WOBC's sports director.

°Audio Radiance

Previously published pictures of WOBC, circa 1967.

The Roadster and the Clock

  The TV detective Mannix drives not-my-father's Oldsmobile, and my grandmother's "TV" clock is digital.


Letters document my junior and senior years at Oberlin, when I rose to the position of WOBC station director.

°WOBC Control Engineer's Handbook

Excerpts from the 1968 instruction manual.

The Sorcerer's Effects

Sound effects, that is, in a little radio play about incantation incompetence.

This Little Group of Men

The Vice-President accuses the Administration's critics of controlling public opinion via a TV monopoly.

°Radio and TV at Syracuse

Letters from my year of study in 1969-70.


Spreading over Chicagoland

The inside story of WEXI(FM), which switched from rock to "clean air."

TV Show & Tell, 1970

Studio production miscellany.

Key Topics

How chroma-key works:  blue screen, green screen, even white screen.

Broadcast Stuff

Ideas for a radio studio complex, a handheld camera, and TV studios tricked out with mirrors.

Benchmark Series

1970 field trips take me to Johnny Carson's New York studio and to the Nixon White House.

I Wear a Happy Face

Audio recorded in the control room while videotaping a 1970 student program — with Beatles cameras.

WAER in Syracuse

A brief stint at another campus FM.

°Fantastic Fred Legend

DJ Vin Ialenti presents his Annette Funicello Dance Festival & Retrospective.  I play a scientist.

Determination of Audience Size

Preparing to leave Syracuse, I propose how ratings could be measured at Marion CATV.

Marion CATV

My first real job is with a tiny local operation where I have to do just about everything.

Sally Flowers

The story of a longtime central-Ohio entertainer with whom I worked briefly.

Communicating in the '70s

Cable shrinkage, Marti units, and a telco-assisted viewer call about Watergate.

°Cable TV Bingo

A small-budget game show occasionally starring yours truly, Tom Baby.

°Those '70s Shows

Tales from Marion CATV.

The Studio That Would Never Be

Drawing on my Marion experience, I help plan a local cable studio in another Ohio city.  It's never built. 

Washington Channels

My next job takes me to Washington — the college town of Washington, PA, that is.

Miss Pennsylvania

In my first month in Washington, I covered a beauty pageant.  You can read my script.

Quoth the Program Director

I explain that with only a bagful of viewers, not a roomful, our little TV channel nevertheless does its best.

Super 8: Bronco World Series

Our local cable channel televises the 1974 international baseball tournament.

Super 8: State Wrestling

Cable TV-3 travels to Penn State to tape the annual high  school wrestling championships.

A Bicentennial Newscast

In 1976, Washington plans new downtown construction.  Included: update photos from 2002.

Seventies Flashbacks

Video stills of a majorette and an actress lead to "where are they now?" updates.

Earl Bugaile

Collaborating with a radio reporter and attempting to interview a hockey coach.

Tales of '78

An NBC goof, a local tennis tournament and firemen's parade, a magic chalice, and Robin Williams on HBO.


Be skeptical of the mentalist with a balloon.

NASCAR's Perfect Storm

Escaping a blizzard, my parents and I watch a groundbreaking Daytona 500 telecast in Arizona.


I televise the 50th anniversary of Washington's YWCA building, which would be repurposed 36 years later.

°Message Cards

Graphic displays from an automated 1970s cable TV channel.



TV3 New Kensington

Local cable starts inserting ads into ESPN.

Early 1984 

A photo album of TV3 productions during the first week of 1984.

Total Communications

I become a TV sports graphics operator.

The Evanston Story

I travel to Illinois.  It's a needless trip, since my employer has come up a few million short.

°Backstage in Paradise

Miami Beach!  New Orleans!  Maui!  All on a corporate TV tour in the spring of '85.

Pecos Bill

Scenes from a 1986 TV show featuring the lovely Rebecca DeMornay.

°I Invented the Fox Box

Or at least the diagram of the bases.

°Indianapolis 1987

Hanging out at the Pan Am Games, occasionally running off to work telecasts elsewhere.

°The Day I Touched the Net

I held CBS on my fingertips.

All News All the Time

If WOBC were all-news, how would I organize it?


Adventures in making a training video for security guards.

Game Day

Hour-by-hour details of telecasting a Pirates baseball game, with pictures of me and my colleages.

°The Seoul Cypher

The 1988 Summer Olympics in Korea.


My work in 1988-89 involves Las Vegas, logos, a helicopter getaway, and a French T-shirt.

°Chunk Beefsteak!

Transcribed from MST3K.

°An Eighties Flashback

More than two dozen video frames from 1989-90 Pirates baseball telecasts, including commercials.


The Day the Green Died

Why everything on my TV screen was magenta.

°The Nineties

More adventures take me to Tokyo and London.  Also, technical details about my Chyron designs.


A visiting TV director whom we all despised, because the feeling seemed to be mutual.

°I'm Still on the Road

I get to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while pondering rusty towns, blood pressure, and Bach performance.

The Cup and I

I never posed with the Stanley Cup, but I did receive a visitation.

Atlanta and After

The 1996 Olympics, followed by baseball and C-USA football on Fox Sports Net, long travel days, and more.

°End of a Century

Brayett, Mitch Miller, 9/11, and the climax of my football and baseball travels.


What Is It Again That You Do?

I work in sports television, but not as an announcer.

TV Truck at PNC Park

Hooking up at the new baseball field in March 2001.

Directing Our Attention

High-definition TV may make it possible to change camera angles less often.

Bryan & Mary Seip's Party

Pittsburgh-area sports TV folks gather in December 2001.

How I Watch Television

Keeping track of 131 channels requires more than one TV.

What I Did at the Olympics

There was a lot of sitting around at Salt Lake City 2002.

Bammer Interviews Brian

A lesson in TV production.

°The Pete

Surveying Pitt's new basketball arena with an eye to TV.

Century XXI

In rainy Santa Monica for tennis, snowy Buffalo for hockey, and frigid Pittsburgh for high school football.

Up the Creek

An NMT mobile unit makes a movie appearance; some cast members later star in Schitt's Creek.  There's singing.

Methodist Conferencing

I'm behind the scenes as the denomination holds its quadrennial General Conference.

°If You Teach Us Not, How Shall We Learn?

Why radio stations should identify the music they're playing.

The Six-Box

We can put six camera angles and a lot of stats on a high-def TV screen, but should we?

I Never Thought about That

Creating high-definition TV pictures that will be compatible with your old ten-inch black-and-white set.

°Using the Whole Screen

Fox News Channel's bigger fonts flll a wide screen that everyone can see, even viewers with old TVs.


The Teens

Hockey in French and Division II hoops in California.

My Set Day

Details of how I prepared the Chyron the day before our Opening Day telecast.

VSN Graphics

Laying out a graphics package for the Vulcan Sports Network.

Homecoming Weekend 2014

Oberlin welcomes back my classmate the science radio star and dedicates a new football stadium.

Football Duet for a Soloist

My abbreviated single-page index to high school football graphics, with instructions to decipher it.

An Interview with Juan Lee

Two comedy sketches about interpreters with different approaches to literal translation.


Soft Landing

Working less every year after age 66, I finally retire at age 73.  The pandemic has something to do with it.

Billy & Curtis

Pitt's radio crew doesn't go to games during COVID-19; they describe what I'm watching on TV.

Earthbound Bobbles

The live reveal of the first pictures from the James Webb Space Telescope isn't a smooth telecast.


Some shorter notes refer to my experiences as a broadcasting student and professional and a cable subscriber, while others refer to broadcasting in general.  Click the boxes for lists in the following categories:

My Experiences

Radio and TV in General

 Primary Colors