Tag Archives: WNBC

HEY BATTER BATTER

26 Aug

72 years ago today, on Saturday, August 26, 1939, the first televised Major League Baseball game in history was broadcast. In fact the first TWO major league games were televised, as it was a doubleheader* between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds.

Your blogger at a Brooklyn Dodger exhibition at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, 1984.

Legendary broadcaster Red Barber was the announcer for the games, which were seen on W2XBS, the station now known as WNBC in New York City. Just 3 months earlier the same station televised the first baseball game of any kind — a college game between Princeton and Columbia Universities.

The teams split the doubleheader at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, with Cincinnati winning the first game 5-2 and the Dodgers winning the second, 6-1.

Apparently, only two cameras were used, but there are differing reports on what they showed. It’s agreed that one was stationed behind home plate – some say it was from a high angle to show a wide shot of the field. The second camera may have been near the third base line to show throws to first base… or the second camera may have been on announcer Red Barber himself. Either way, to make the historic day even harder, Barber had no monitor and couldn’t see what the viewers were seeing.

It must have been a success because today Major League Baseball is practically run by television; the length of breaks between innings is dictated by TV commercials and all World Series games are at night.

 

*Doubleheader: A doubleheader was when two baseball teams played two games in one day, with fans paying just a single admission to see both games. It was once a common occurrence until major league baseball realized they were not maximizing their revenue. Now, on the rare occasion of a doubleheader, the stadium is cleared and a second admission is charged.

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AND PARTY EVERY DAY

1 Apr

48 years ago, on Monday, April 1, 1963 the children’s show Birthday House premiered locally in New York on WNBC-TV.  It was a kid’s show, broadcast each morning that was really just a big birthday party. Basically, real children, from the audience, celebrated their birthdays on the air in the “birthday house.” But it was hosts Paul Tripp and his wife, Ruth Enders Tripp, who made the show.

A cherished possession I have saved for 45 years; an “autographed” photo of Paul Tripp from “Birthday House.”

The Tripps were originally educators. (It was their work with children that first got them noticed by TV producers). So while they played games with the kids in the studio, and us at home, they were actually teaching us. Who knew? I sure didn’t at the time.

Tripp and his wife had previously hosted a CBS morning show for kids called, “On The Carousel” from 1954 to 1959.

Whenever I think of “Birthday House” or see a clip from the show, it makes me think of my wonderful mother… and I like that.

Birthday House” was broadcast until September of 1967.

BIRTHDAY #100

20 Feb

100 years ago today, on Monday, February 20, 1911 children’s TV host Paul Tripp was born in New York City.

Of course, Tripp was much more than simply a “children’s TV host.” He was also an actor, author, musician, and educator.

A cherished possession I have saved for 45 years; an “autographed” photo of Paul Tripp from “Birthday House.”

It was Paul Tripp’s work with children that got him and his wife, Ruth Enders Tripp, noticed by TV producers. That eventually landed Tripp a job as “Mr. I Magination” on CBS, Sunday nights from 1949 until 1952.

Tripp and his wife Ruth then hosted a CBS morning show for kids called, “On The Carousel” from 1954 to 1959. During that time Paul Tripp also hosted a summer series for CBS on Sunday nights in 1955 called, “It’s Magic.”

But I best remember Paul Tripp as the host of “Birthday House” on WNBC in New York, from 1963 to 1967. It was a kid’s show, broadcast each morning that was really just one big birthday party.

For others Tripp may be best remembered as the author and creator of “Tubby the Tuba,” a children’s song from the 1940s.

Paul Tripp died in his native New York City on August 29, 2002 at the age of 91. Today I honor the 100th anniversary of his birth simply because he gave me joy when I was a child, and I’m certain he made millions of other children happy as well.

Interestingly, while watching a clip of “Birthday House” this week it made me think of my late mother.

Thank you Paul… and Happy Birthday.

A TRUE NEWSMAN

3 Feb

71 years ago today, on Saturday, February 3, 1940 TV journalist Jim Hartz was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Hartz is best known for his work on NBC’s “Today Show” and then on PBS. But Jim Hartz started his career, in his hometown of Tulsa, in 1962 as a reporter for CBS affiliate KOTV. Hartz anchored the station’s “Sun Up” program, which was perhaps good training for the early morning hours of “Today.

Autographed photo of Jim Hartz from the 1970s.

Within two years Jim Hartz was named news director at KOTV, but he left a short time later for the big time in New York City. Hartz joined WNBC in 1964 where he remained a news anchor for ten years.

In April 1974 Hartz was picked to replace Frank McGee as co-host of “The Today Show” on the NBC network. He co-hosted with Barbara Walters, but when she left in 1976 to co-anchor “ABC Evening News” with Harry Reasoner, NBC replaced them both with Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley.

 Jim Hartz spent the next three years as an anchor at NBC’s WRC in Washington, DC before moving on to public television. On PBS Jim Hartz hosted shows like “Over Easy,” “Innovation” and “Asia Now.”

Hartz earned five Emmy Awards and two Ace Awards for excellence in cable television. He has also been inducted into the University of Tulsa Communication Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame.

Jim Hartz turns 71 today, February 3, 2011.

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