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 Electronic Side of Color Media

The Electronic Side of Color Media

In our previous installment, we looked at the history of color in film. Film color evolved over the years from hand painting directly on the film frames to various photochemical…

A Short History of Color in Film and Television

A Short History of Color in Film and Television

The beginning of the photochemical film process came in the form of still photography at the end of the first quarter of the 19th century (around 1826). It would be…

Vintage TV Studios in Modern Film and Television

Vintage TV Studios in Modern Film and Television

Have you ever watched a movie or a television program set in a time decades ago that had a scene take place in television studio and wonder where did they…

Communications Satellites

Communications Satellites

The year 2017 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the first artificial earth object to orbit this planet. Sputnik 1 was launched on October 4th, 1957, from what is now known…

Kinescope Recording – Television’s Antique Recording Medium

Kinescope Recording – Television’s Antique Recording Medium

I’ve written about restoration of television programs before. But the master copies were usually on videotape that didn’t start showing up until the late 1950’s. The forerunner…

Remote Productions:  The Traveling Road Show Continues

Remote Productions: The Traveling Road Show Continues

In our first examination into the origins of television remotes, we explored the first mobile units designed to leave the confines of studios and cover events, particularly sports, from anyplace…

Remote Broadcasts: Television’s Traveling Roadshow

Remote Broadcasts: Television’s Traveling Roadshow

As television struggles to re-invent itself to stay relevant in a world increasingly getting their video fix from so-called “second screens” (tablets, laptops, smart phones or something not…

Going Back in Time at the NAB Show

Going Back in Time at the NAB Show

As the NAB Show opened and most attendees scrambled to get up to speed on the future of IP, 4K and HDR video from companies showing their latest and greatest…

Ernie Kovacs: Making Comedy a Uniquely Television Experience

Ernie Kovacs: Making Comedy a Uniquely Television Experience

If you aren’t saying to yourself “Ernie who?” then you might be saying “Why Ernie Kovacs?”  These articles have been about the technical side of developments that took…

Restoration of a Piece of Television History

Restoration of a Piece of Television History

Previously, we explored how the invention of monochrome video tape and the FCC’s approval of RCA’s compatible color television system came together in 1958 and were…