CLEVELAND - We’re undergoing some changes in our studios and sets here at WEWS.
NewsChannel 5 anchor Chris Flanagan did a story on our move to a temporary set last week; you can read his story here . But with the changes happening, here’s a look back at our news and Morning Exchange (MX) sets from 1980.
One of our employees grabbed a camera and shot behind-the-scenes video during our noon news and a segment of the MX and it’s a reminder of how much times have changed.
We start looking through the viewfinder of cameraman Phil Parisi on camera 1 as the Catch 5 theme of TV 5 Eyewitness News begins. Joel Rose, Jenny Crimm and Jan Jones are our news team that 1980 day. Pat Whitley is running camera 2 while Eric Blackburn cues the talent as floor director.
Today, all three studio cameras are run by one person from a computer console with pre-set shots and there is no floor director.
A minute into our footage, we see we’re in an era before whiz-bang graphics, as UPI fax pictures are stapled to a board and shot by one of the studio cameras for a story Joel or Jenny would read.
They read the story from a teleprompter that was very low-tech as well. Stories were written by typewriter on script-sets (six sheets of paper with carbon paper in between). The top sheet was put on a hand-controlled conveyer belt and passed under a camera.
Lighting director Craig Cihlar lights up the Morning Exchange set across Studio A just before we get to look at the false ceiling that “hung” over the wide shot to open the newscast.
It was a mock-up just a few feet square, lit from below and shot low from across the studio to give the illusion of a ceiling over the set. Once in a while it would be bumped accidentally or as a prank, Gib Shanley would yank it just as the show opened and the entire studio swayed (on TV anyway).
The menu board was the way we superimposed the forecast over weather video. Yes, it was that simple.
With the curtain pulled away from the wizard’s tricks, off to the other side of the studio for the Morning Exchange.
Jones prepares to do a live commercial for Medic Drugstores and then Fred Griffith does an interview on the mid-section of the set.
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From the time the Gene Carroll Show debuted in 1949 until its final broadcast in 1982, the variety of acts to appear in our WEWS studios ran the spectrum of entertainment.
Fred Griffith did thousands of hours of live TV. It would only be logical to assume Fred had his share of bloopers and entertaining moments during his career.
Jimmy Buffett writes children’s books, nearly quit his music career when he missed a flight and was on the WEWS nationally-syndicated rock music show Upbeat.