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Start of 4th Quarter . . .


Friday, June 30, 1978
(budget memo for fiscal 1979)

Our efforts to reach the budgeted revenue figures in 1977 and 1978 have been seriously hampered by the untimely departure of our salesmen, just after the budgets were approved.

In November 1976, Bill Wilson resigned, leaving the comparatively ineffective John Manning to try to make all the sales himself.  The green line on the graph, indicating actual revenue, falls dramatically in January 1977.  Although there are recoveries for the wrestling tournament in March and the football season in September and October, the green line that year never approaches the red line, representing budgeted revenue.

2002 re-creation of 1978 graph


In September 1977, John Manning left.  We had no salesman at all for nearly six months thereafter.  When we first drew up the 1978 budget, we had been rather pessimistic about Manning's abilities and had projected the revenue figures shown by the broken line on the graph; but we found that to get the budget approved, it was necessary to project the much higher figures shown by the solid red line.  Unfortunately, as fiscal 1978 began, we found that, without a salesman, even our preliminary figures were not pessimistic enough.

We finally reached 50% of budgeted revenue in March 1978, with the help of the annual wrestling tournament.  And late that month, we once again acquired a salesman as Lee Rizor joined the team.  Revenues at once began a steady climb, rising well above the pessimistic preliminary figures toward the solid red line of the actual budget.  The historic point was reached in June 1978:  billing figures just released at this writing show $2,387, while the budget calls for $2,300.  For the first time in years, revenues have actually exceeded the budget.

From this point on, the green line shows our predictions for total revenue through fiscal 1979.  We believe that these predictions are reasonable and attainable.  Here are some examples:  high school and college football games $3,880, wrestling tournament $2,000, youth baseball $1,600.

              High-school students on the job

In order to produce and cablecast enough local programs and commercials to meet the revenue projections, we find that we can't reduce our staff below its present level of two employees plus two high-school students.

However, for the benefit of the operation, the two employees have discussed taking a cut in pay, and the salesman has offered to take a cut in his commission rate.  We decided to show in account 57001 that the two employees would forego any raises at least until the summer of 1979.

We arrive at a bottom line for the 1979 budget:  an average operating loss of $863 per month.  This, we feel, is a substantial improvement.  It's only 53% of the actual operating loss during the first seven months of 1978.  It's also 13% below the figure approved for the 1978 budget as an operating loss; and with a competent salesman this year, we're much more likely to reach our budget.



Each week, I typed up a "Cable TV-3 Program Schedule."  One copy went to the local newspaper, the Washington Observer-Reporter, while we used another as a master guide for preparing promos and program logs.

Here are a few dozen 1978 listings.  All times are "PM."

About Washington
Henry Grudi and Leo Trich present opposing views on the proposed sports museum complex.

Highway Financing in Pennsylvania
A discussion taped March 17 at Citizens Library.  (Postponed from an earlier date.)

Pitt Wrestling
The University of Pittsburgh meets Lock Haven.

Colt Basketball Classic, Game 1
Local high-school stars Dave Ruschel, Ron Davis, John Abel, and Eric Sorenson are featured as East meets West.  Tournament taped at Chartiers Valley High School.

Bible Contact
A new series of Bible-study programs, produced by the Washington Council of Churches.

Company Meeting
A children's program taped in color at the Salvation Army in Washington.
Trinity Middle School in Review
T.M.S. students are seen in gymnastics (girls and boys), wrestling, and swimming classes.
City Council Meeting
From City Hall in Washington; shown on a 90-minute tape delay.

South Strabane Township Supervisors Meeting
The first meeting of April, taped last night.

Pitt Gymnastics
Highlights of the meet against Clarion State.
Dan Chunko
The Democratic candidate for General Assembly is interviewed on this paid political program.

Hiller Band: Southbound
The Trinity High School marching band prepares to leave for a trip to Louisville, Kentucky.

About Washington
A tour of the shops at West Alexander village.

Heart Fund Alumni Wrestling
Twenty-six bouts featuring alumni of Trinity and other high schools, to benefit the Heart Fund.  Sil Passalacqua and Carol Phillips report.  (Click here for a photo.)

Funway Freeway Grand Opening
"Chilly Billy" Cardille, Captain Freeway, and many other guests appear in a two-hour program from the opening of the new games area at the Franklin Mall.

Ron King Show
Dorothy Stevenson from the Washington Travel Bureau explains group tours.

About Washington
On the second half of the wedding special, topics include the gowns and the caterer.

Racing About
Late-model stock driver Herb Scott, the nine-time champion of the Pittsburgh Racing Association, is a guest.  Also on the program are Bob Hanna, the leading motocross rider in the nation, and Joan Spencer from North Hills Raceway.

Harrisburg Report
State representative Roger Raymond Fischer appears live to answer questions from viewers.

Pinto League Baseball
The Wrens versus the Pelicans, taped this morning.

About Washington
A special one-hour edition features local people climbing Seneca Rocks, a thousand-foot cliff in West Virginia.

Adios Celebrity Golf
The first of three programs of highlights of the invitational tournament played Monday at the Lone Pine Golf Club south of the city.

Washington County Tennis Tournament
The finals of the tourney which concluded yesterday morning.

Church of Christ Service on the Home
Taped this morning at 700 Allison Avenue in Washington.
W&J College Football
The Presidents open their 1978 season at Denison University.  Tom Thomas and Chuck Ream report from Granville, Ohio.

State Firemen's Association Parade, Part 1
Taped in color on Saturday in downtown Washington, this huge parade climaxes the 99th annual convention of the Pennsylvania firemen.  (Coverage concludes tomorrow night.)

About Washington
Different tennis shoes for different sports?  Tim Fogarty of The Athlete's Foot shows Jerry Polen what's what.

About Washington
The county Civil Defense executive director, Charles Bohner, returns to talk about his problems with the Soviet threat and the county commissioners.
Festival of Bands
Wash High, Trinity, Chartiers-Houston, Peters Township, and other high school marching bands perform at a festival taped at the Wash High stadium September 16.

About Washington
Jerry Polen tries one of the stunts as W&J College students preview their "Almost Anything Goes" show to benefit the Cancer Society.

High School Football
Trinity returns to College Field for the first time in six weeks, to play its homecoming game against Keystone Oaks.

About Washington
The guests include monsters from the March of Dimes Haunted House.

Metro Hair
The hair and fashion show held November 12 by the Washington County Hairdressers Association.

W&J College Wind Ensemble and College Choir
The concert held on Parents Weekend on the college campus.

Magical Mystery Tour
A holiday special: the 1966 Beatles movie, an experiment in film-making that has become a popular cult item for Beatlemaniacs and lovers of pop music.

Anti-Assault Program
The first of two programs featuring local mentalist Steve Shaw.  Tonight, he bends a nail with mind power.
[To explain the title:  this was a  karate instruction series.  To explain the guest performer:  the karate master brought in a young magician, who incidentally would later work with James "The Amazing" Randi on the psi-debunking Project Alpha.] 
Christmas in Washington
The annual CTV-3 holiday special features choruses from the three local high schools, a brass choir, bell ringers, and more.  In color.

High School Wrestling
South Park and Immaculate Conception, taped earlier in the evening.  Sil Passalacqua and Tom Thomas report.

Recalling September 1978

We often videotaped and cablecast the football games of Washington and Jefferson College (Division III).  Usually these were games played at W&J's home field, which was across the street from our studio.  But we covered a couple of away games, too.  I was the play-by-play announcer, and former W&J coach Chuck Ream was the analyst. 

Chuck's on the left in the photo above, interviewing the Trinity and Washington high school wrestling coaches on a call-in program from about 1972, before I arrived in Pennsylvania.

In 1978, it happened that the Presidents were going to open their season on September 16 at Granville, Ohio, home of Denison University.

In the nearby city of Newark, Ohio, there was color TV equipment belonging to a sister cable system of ours.  They didn't normally televise football, and we didn't normally televise in color, but we worked out a deal for this game.  They provided the color camera and VCRs for this game while Chuck and I drove over to provide the commentary.

We taped one opening segment for Washington and a different one for Newark, followed by the game, which W&J lost 35-7.  The tape was then shown in both cities of our little two-state network.


Recalling December 1978

We did our best to make our studio resemble a decorated living room for our Christmas special.  This set was used for host segments, between one taped musical number and the next.

Tim Verderber made a 37-second animated open for the show.  Using Super-8 film, he exposed one frame at a time.  As the characters glided over the soap-powder "snow," they moved about 3 millimeters per frame.

First there was a manger scene; then an elf wandered in, and trees and snowmen gathered around.  Finally, the "snow" was blown away to reveal the words. 

The message:  secular symbols bow to "the true meaning of Christmas."


Saturday, March 31, 1979

(opening copy; image from 1976 THS yearbook)

Trinity High School band director Jack Seibel, 50 years old, on Friday afternoon suffered a heart attack in the high school auditorium.  An hour later, at Washington Hospital, he died.

Jack Seibel was one in a million.  He was loved by the members of the Trinity Band.

And there's another way in which he was one in a million.  He was one of a million Americans who will die in 1979 from heart and blood vessel diseases.

More than forty million Americans are afflicted with cardiovascular diseases.  These diseases, including heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, congenital defects, rheumatic heart disease, and congestive heart failure, kill more of us than all other causes combined.

The 40,000 physicians and 88,000 others who make up the American Heart Association have joined together to try to solve the problems posed by the cardiovascular diseases . . . through research, professional and public education, and community programs.  For this work, the American Heart Association needs to raise funds.

And it's for this reason that the Heart Association in Washington County has brought us here tonight to Trinity High School, only 30 hours after Jack Seibel's death.  Yes, it's for a very important reason that we're here for a night of entertainment:  the second annual Heart Fund Alumni Wrestling Match.

Forty-five wrestlers, who have been out of high school for an average of eight years, will return here tonight to take part in 23 exhibition bouts — all to help the Heart Fund to help us in staying alive.  The co-chairmen of this event, Sil Passalacqua and Ron Junko, will describe the action for you here on Cable TV-3, along with me, Tom Thomas.

This special event is brought to you by First Federal Savings and Loan of Washington.  The Coen Oil Company.  And First Federal Savings and Loan of Carnegie.  Each of our sponsors has also pledged 25 dollars to the Heart Fund, in conjunction with their sponsorship of this cablecast.

The wrestling action will get under way right after this.


Sunday, April 8, 1979
(letter to friend)

For Cable TV-3's annual trip to the Pennsylvania high-school wrestling tournament, which was held this year in Hershey at the Hersheypark Arena, we stayed at the east edge of Harrisburg.  Nothing unusual happened during the four days we were there; but ten days after we left, there was the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, and soon evacuees were being housed at the Arena.


May, 1979
(public relations memo)

One of Cable TV-3's pre-election programs put Washington Channels on the front page of the Washington, PA, Observer-Reporter on both May 7 and May 8.

Voters on May 15 were to decide whether the city of Washington could replace some of its paid firemen with volunteers.  The city administration was in favor of the move, but the fire department naturally was opposed.

Cable TV-3 invited both sides to appear on a live program from the Washington Channels studio, and viewers were invited to phone in questions.  This was only one of eight live programs on Cable TV-3 previewing candidates and issues in the May primary.

The program ran an hour and a half.  It turned out to be the only public confrontation between the two sides.  The top of the local newspaper's front page the following day was devoted to the story of the debate, including three pictures.

Left to right:  Councilwoman Suzanne Gomez, Mayor Michael E. Johns, and Russell Cerami, the president of the Pennsylvania State Firefighters' Association.

Quoting the newspaper:

The studio's switchboard lights were "blinking one right after another," said Thomas B. Thomas, program director.  The program ran a half-hour overtime in an attempt to get citizen questions answered.  At least 21 queries were funneled to the debate moderators, "but I know we didn't get all of them," Thomas added.


Monday, June 18, 1979
(reply to an internal inquiry about local access)

We have one channel for local origination and access, Channel 3.  We're currently averaging about 24 hours per week of programs, the remaining 144 hours being an automated data-and-weather service.

We have never had a formal request for "public access," per se.  This is probably due to a lack of activist sophistication in this city; groups are mostly unaware of the intricacies of FCC rulings.  However, we do get maybe one request per week from groups who "would like to be on TV," as they put it.  Almost all of these are scheduled for a 15-minute segment of our weekly half-hour local talk show, "About Washington."  If we don't have enough volunteers, we recruit guests to fill out the program.

So far in 1979, the "About Washington" guests have included two Mormon missionaries, a group of disgruntled housing-project tenants, an educator recruiting for the public vocational school, a Rotarian just returned from Korea, an IRS man with tax tips, drama students publicizing their play at the local college, a Bell Telephone spokesman explaining phone-book snafus, the Heart Fund publicizing their fund-raising events . . . well, that's only the list for January, but you get the idea.

Other programming done locally includes sports coverage, which annually amounts to 14 football games, six basketball games, six wrestling matches plus the state tournament, 12 Pony baseball games, miscellaneous other events, and two weekly sports talk shows.

In addition, some of our sponsors make it possible for us to carry some syndicated programming.  At the moment, a local savings and loan is sponsoring the Paul Gaudino exercise program taped in Clarion, Pennsylvania, and a local church is sponsoring two weekly religious half-hours for children.


Jerry Polen, who ran the local employment agency Polen Personnel, was the host of our "About Washington" interview show.

Rather than lining Jerry and his guests up along the studio's back wall, we developed a more natural arrangement.  We moved the backdrops (dark green curtains) to the left and right walls of the studio.  The guests sat in the green and blue chairs, facing Jerry in the red chair.

2002 diagram from memory

To open the show, he spoke to Camera 2 (yellow) in closeup.  When he introduced his guests, Camera 1 (aqua) established them in wide shot with his shoulder in the foreground.  For Jerry's first question, Camera 2 gave us a wide shot of him over the shoulders of his guests.  Then Camera 1 showed the closeup of a guest answering the question.


Thursday, July 19, 1979
(letter to candidates)

We're mailing our "Meet the Candidates" invitations early because of a policy change.

Prior to the May primary, we invited opposed candidates to appear live on a certain night.  Those who said they couldn't make it, but who asked to pre-tape an interview instead, were allowed to do so.

But we had some complaints that this might be unfair.  A pre-taped candidate didn't have to field live questions from viewers, and he could appear that night not only on TV but also elsewhere in person.  And these advantages were available only to those who requested them.

Therefore, we will no longer pre-tape any segments.  The "Meet the Candidates" programs leading up to the November election will be completely live.  To insure that all candidates can attend if they want to, we're mailing the invitations three months in advance so that you can arrange your schedule accordingly.


Sunday, July 29, 1979
(letter to friend)

On a recent program at Cable TV-3, we interviewed some women from the La Leche League who were promoting breastfeeding as well as membership in their group.  For one thing, they said, breastfeeding leads to a better psychological bond between mother and infant.

The host of the program, Jerry Polen — a brasher person that myself — said, "Yes, but what about the bond between father and infant?  The father of a bottle baby would occasionally get to feed the baby himself, but if you're breastfeeding, he's entirely left out of this bonding.

"And is breastfeeding hygienic enough?  Those who use bottles always sterilize them before use.  You women don't take baths in boiling water before every feeding, do you?"

Well, how about it?  Some serious questions were raised there by our Cable TV-3 interviewer.  Perhaps the whole subject needs to be reinvestigated.


On Wednesday, August 1, 1979, I sketched the set for the Bible study series "The Open Book."  We were paid, as nearly as I can determine, $50 to tape and air each half-hour episode.


The large rectangle represented a carpet in one corner of our studio.  The background consisted of six 4' x 8' sheets of wood-grained paneling, flanked on either side by dark curtains.

The preacher opened the show sitting behind the desk.  Later he got up to stand at the podium and refer to something he'd written on the blackboard.  The blackboard, suspended by fishing lines from the lighting grid, appeared to be floating in air.

All of this was covered with a single camera — no distracting cuts.


Friday, September 14, 1979
(letter to ad agency from our advertising manager R. Lee Rizor)

Our "Shotgun Sampler" gives you sixty 15-second spots over a thirteen-week period.  These spots will consist of a single slide and 15 seconds of copy.  Rather than being concentrated in one program, they'll be distributed throughout our Cable TV-3 program schedule, so you'll be able to reach all our viewers.  The cost is only $150.

[This package was not aimed at big spenders:  it works out to two and a half bucks per commercial and $11.54 per week.  We were trying everything at this point.]


Monday, November 12, 1979
(memo to regional office)

In the past few weeks, a number of groups have approached Cable TV-3 with proposals for program series for which they would either pay Washington Channels or provide sponsors who would pay.  This shows a growing interest in the community for the services which Cable TV-3 can provide, plus a growing opportunity for the local origination channel to earn revenue — providing that the equipment is in operating condition.

(1)  The Meadows, the local harness racing track, asked for a price on a weekly half-hour to be done partly live in the studio.  The program would also include a race of the week and a behind-the-scenes feature, both taped at the track.  We quoted a price of $500 per week.

(2)  Dr. H. H. McConnell, pastor of one of the city's largest churches (the Church of the Covenant, Presbyterian), asked us to video-tape the 11:00 am service at the Church each Sunday and show it later in the day on Cable TV-3.  We quoted a price of $175 per week.

(3) Danny Warbutton, who owns and operates a local gymnastics academy, asked us if we could produce a monthly or bi-monthly program featuring his students, as we get closer to the 1980 Olympics.  Mr. Warbutton would either pay for the series himself or (more likely) recruit sponsors for it from his contacts.

(4) Syl Wrubleski, a local resident who has appeared on some of our "Government Report" programs, suggested a four-week series of football nostalgia, in which he would talk to former local coaches.  He found three sponsors for the series (total $300) and is working on a fourth.  The series, "Remember Football When," is now being cablecast and obviously has viewers, from the number of phone calls received during the premiere.


In the above memo, Lee and I included the phrase, "providing that the equipment is in operating condition."  It was, but only barely.

On Sunday, January 20, 1980, I updated my six-page list of "Local-Origination Equipment Maintenance Needed at Washington, Pennsylvania."

There were 17 items under "Replacement Recommended," including numerous picture-quality problems with the cameras and monitors.  We had just about given up on fixing the cameras, for which parts were no longer available.  The cameras needed to be replaced, but there was no money in the capital budget.

There were an additional 35 items under "Repairs Possible."  Here are the first nine.  They all have to do with our three 3/4-inch "U-Matic" videocassette recorders, and they all result from the fact that we couldn't afford to hire an engineer to do maintenance on these beasts.

1.  On "Sam," serial number 21298, used as VTR 3, there is a "clunking" problem.  It rarely shows up until after the machine has been started and stopped a few times.  Thereafter, when we start to play or record, the pressure roller will move away from the capstan for about a second, then back against the capstan for about a second, then away again, making a clunking sound and causing the tape to speed up and slow down repeatedly.  This machine is now in Columbus, Ohio, awaiting parts.

2.  On "Charlie," serial number 13306, used as VTR 1, pressing the Play key results in nothing happening.  It's necessary to remove the cover from the VTR and reach inside to turn the mechanism that pulls the tape out of the cassette and threads it around the drum.  Once the tape is started, the machine requires no further manual assistance.

3.  Problem number 2 applies to Sam also.

4.  On "Fred," serial number 21525, used as VTR 2, during the threading process the tape sometimes rises over the guide pins and becomes entangled around the head drum.

5.  On Fred, the control keys have broken springs and have to be pulled back up manually.  (The keys on the other two machines are showing signs of going the same route.)

6.  On Fred, it's often impossible to play or record on a cassette that has been fully rewound to the clear leader.  Most times you try, Fred will start to thread the tape, then abort, unthread, and rewind, with the amber "stand by" light remaining on a good five seconds.

7.  During rewind, Fred usually fails to stop when the clear leader is reached.  There's a clunk when the tape stops abruptly, but the rewind motor keeps running and the rewind key stays down.

8.  On Charlie, recordings made on many cassettes turn out to have a thin band of snow along the bottom of the frame.  These cassettes work okay when the other machines are used to record on them, and cassettes recorded by other machines play okay in Charlie.

9.  On Charlie, the rewind process is often very sluggish, with the tape hardly moving at all.  This most often happens when the cassette has already been mostly rewound and when Charlie has not been used much that day.


Sunday, March 9, 1980
(letter to friend)

This coming Wednesday, three other people and I will be heading to Hershey for the annual state high-school wrestling tournament.  That's always the big event in Cable TV-3's year.  It costs us about a thousand dollars to videotape the local wrestlers in action, but we get over two thousand in advertising revenue, so it's well worth it.

For the championship round this year, taped on Saturday, March 15 and aired as the final part of our four-hour Tuesday, March 18 program, we obtained a color video feed from the public television station that was also there to tape it.  I wrote this copy to synchronize with their opening titles:

And now in color from Hershey, it's the 1980 Triple-A wrestling championships in the PIAA tournament!

This is Tom Thomas again, along with Sil Passalacqua and former Trinity High School coach Joe Shook.  And we're happy to be able to bring you the finals in color, through the courtesy of WLVT-TV channel 39, public television in the Lehigh Valley.

Their telecast was made possible through funds provided in an underwriting grant from The Pennsylvania Public Television Network, in co-operation with TCS Sports, as a public service to friends of high school wrestling across the state.

Shel Seigel and Larry Sheridan of WLVT, along with all their crew, have been very helpful to us here, and I'm sure that you at home join us here in the press box in thanking WLVT for providing us with their color video of the finals, right here on Cable TV-3.

This program is presented by arrangement with Total Communications Systems of New Kensington, Pennsylvania.  It may not be cablecast on any other cable system without the permission of TCS.


Friday, April 18, 1980

This statement, adapted from Washington Channels general manager James A. Loker's April 14 letter to City Council, accompanied the program schedule for the week of April 21.

This will be the final week of programming on Cable TV-3.  The "data channel" service will continue, but programs will be presented infrequently if at all.

Washington Channels began local program origination in 1971 after the Federal Communications Commission ordered that all cable systems with 3,500 or more subscribers had to do so.  This placed a financial burden on cable systems across the country, which they were unable to recover through advertisers and sponsors, so in 1975 the FCC withdrew the order.  But in Washington, we continued to operate local program origination, because we felt it was a service our subscribers wanted and we hoped we would be able to attain income at least to cover our operating costs.

Five years later, Cable TV-3 is still operating at a deficit.  The equipment now needs to be replaced, and Washington Channels cannot justify the capital expenditure to do so.  Therefore, the remaining Cable TV-3 staff of two people will be laid off after the end of programming on April 24.

Washington Channels deeply regrets this decision, but it is purely and simply a matter of economics.


Sunday, December 14, 1980
(letter to friend)

This is my first letter to you in quite a while, a fact that is mostly attributable to the circumstance (which you may have guessed from my changed address) that I, too, have changed jobs.

It was back in April that the management at Washington Channels decided that the losses had gone on long enough.  We were either going to have to shut down our local programs or continue them with one person, me, doing all the work.  I thought at first that I would continue, but after thinking it over I decided that it would not be much fun.  For example, I'm not a very good salesman, tending to be too honest in pointing out our product's shortcomings and too willing to accept a "no" without argument.

So on April 25, I began what turned out to be four months of unemployment.  I found it to be not at all unpleasant.  Mr. Reagan was partly right in describing unemployment compensation as a paid vacation plan; between the $126 per week unemployment, other income from interest and stock dividends, and low expenses, I actually was able to put a little money into my savings account during this period.  (That money and a lot more came out of savings, however, when it became time to move to a new city.)

Seeking a Job

In looking for a new job, naturally I looked at cable TV program positions, but there weren't many available.  I wasn't sure I wanted to stay in the same field, anyway.  I was still doing essentially the same things after ten years in the business, and the two companies I had worked for had both eventually shut down their program operations.

I had enjoyed teaching the studio-operations part of a winter term course in TV production that was taught at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, so I asked the chairman of the education department at W&J (Chuck Ream, who was also a sports commentator for us) whether he thought I might be qualified to be a college instructor.  He did, so I applied at several schools and was interviewed at one, little Salem College in West Virginia.

Having come from Oberlin, I was somewhat surprised that Salem was so desperate for enrollment that they made very little attempt to provide a "liberal arts" education; all their courses were aimed at job skills.  So I would not have been giving students a feel for the overall broadcast industry so much as training them to be disk jockeys.  I wasn't sure this was what I wanted, but it turned out that I didn't have to make that decision because Salem never called me back.

I also went to Oberlin in June to interview for the position of assistant executive director of the Alumni Association.  That too went to someone else; judging from the article in the alumni magazine, he is better suited to the position than I would have been.

Finding a Job

Finally, it happened that I brought myself to the attention of a company called Total Communications Systems just at the time when they needed a program director for their local cable station, TV3 in New Kensington, Pennsylvania (northeast of Pittsburgh).

Here we go again.  I had been program director of TV3 in Marion, Ohio.  I had been program director of TV3 in Washington, Pennsylvania.  It sounds like I'm being typecast.

TCS seemed very interested in me and offered me the job, and since job offers were not coming in very often, I accepted.

This situation, however, is not exactly like the first two TV3's.  Those were both run by cable companies.  This TV3 is run by TCS and uses a channel that TCS leases from the local cable company, Westmoreland Cable.  It happens that Westmoreland has about 24,000 subscribers, so this TV3 can be seen by three times as many people as the earlier TV3's.

Most important, TCS is involved in many other activities, and all the employees are encouraged to split their time among several of the divisions.  TCS operates two radio stations in New Kensington, produces the telecasts of Penn State football and basketball, Ohio State basketball, and Pennsylvania high school championships, and is starting a new regional pay-cable service called Action TV.  I have daily contact with people working in all these areas.

Although my main work is with TV3, I am being phased into the college-sports area too.  They're considering sending me to California to learn computer-assisted videotape editing next spring, which could mean I would be one of only two people in the company who would really know how to operate a rather valuable piece of equipment.  And a year from now, I could be working part of the time out of TCS's new van [mobile production unit] for remote telecasts.

There are a lot of possibilities ahead.

Continue the story with these threads:
TV3 New Kensington
Total Communcations


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