Richard Wirth had barely learned to read when his parents brought the glowing box into the living room. By the time he finished elementary school he had read all the books about television in his community’s small public library. The more he read (and of course watched), the more he dreamed of one day becoming a part of the world of television production. Stops on his life timeline include a few local radio and television stations, several mid-western production companies, the American Forces Television Network during his time in the Army and the Motion Picture Association. Along the way, his path lead him to NBC’s beautiful downtown Burbank and later, NBC News. Always looking for new toys to play with, he launched a venture that became The Network Group, a production and transmission services company specializing in planning and providing production services for scheduled or ad-hoc live broadcasts for the networks and corporate television. Along the way, he added consulting and teaching to his resume. Recently he retired from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California where he served as Manager of Post Production for fourteen years.

The US Army’s Syndicated Television Program “The Big Picture”

The US Army’s Syndicated Television Program “The Big Picture”

In 1951, the U.S. Army produced and made available a thirty-minute television show to all television stations in the U.S. and its possessions. In some markets it…

First Steps On the Moon

First Steps On the Moon

In July of 2019 it will be fifty years since man first set foot on the earth’s only natural satellite. On July 20th it would also be the most…

Drive-in Movies

Drive-in Movies

When was the last time you went to a drive in movie? Admittedly, the pickings are pretty scarce these days. At last count there were only 559 drive-in screens…

Television Arrives in Germany

Television Arrives in Germany

It is widely accepted that RCA was the preeminent broadcast supplier in the early days of television. The RCA public relations machine would have everyone believe they were the only…

When Hollywood declared war on Television

When Hollywood declared war on Television

By the end of World War II, motion pictures were coming to the end of their Golden Age. In three different surveys, 1956 movie attendance was down almost 50 percent…

Television Firsts Surround the Crowning of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953

Television Firsts Surround the Crowning of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June of 1953 was a flawless production. Rehearsed, reverent, professional, everyone agreeing to what had to be done to make it the classic…

A (Short) Broadcast History of the Tournament of Roses Parade

A (Short) Broadcast History of the Tournament of Roses Parade

January 1, 2019, marks the 130th Tournament of Roses Parade in the California city of Pasadena. Meanwhile, the Eastern and Midwest portions of North America shiver from cold and snow…

WDTV, DuMont Network and The 1948 FCC “Freeze”

WDTV, DuMont Network and The 1948 FCC “Freeze”

Television has been with us since July 1, 1941. That is the day commercial television began with the American Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approving the first stations permitted to sell…

Television’s On Screen Graphics

Television’s On Screen Graphics

There is very little we do with a television today that does not require some amount of reading from the screen. We take for granted being able to easily read…

CBS and New York’s Grand Central Terminal

CBS and New York’s Grand Central Terminal

When I was in elementary school I occasionally suffered from childhood ailments that kept me home from school. If I felt well enough to come downstairs I would take my…