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SOWNY » Kevin Frankish Admits He Was Fired From City TV's BT In 2018 » November 26, 2020 9:13 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 10

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Hi RA,
Here goes the story....
I was called "the Rammer" by Gord Haines, the ND at the time.  This name appeared on a memo posted to the whole newsroom at 99 Queen St East. This designation was given to me because Gord felt that the editing dept need a person who could "ram" though stories to air no matter what.  I had only been at the station for a little over a year and I must have made a great impression on the powers that be.  It pissed off the older more experienced editors in the shop. Needless to say, the name stuck for a short while, but things started to change.  I really detested that name, but as for "the Foxer" here's how this nickname was born.
Greg Manzuik was called "Gregger' on the air, Dave Rutherford (sports producer) was called "Ruther' so naturally I was next, and  suddenly "the Foxer" was born. Even to this very day I bump into old CityPulsers that still greet me that way.  Many others in the newsroom had nicknames as well that weren't part of their real names like  "too tall","pearl",and  "stats" .   It was really the use of these nicknames at work that made CityPulse feel like a family, the names weren't used in a mean or malicious manner ,it was meant as a sign of love and support for one another as you would a family member.   I understand that this feeling has all but disappeared in a very corporate world, all in the name of profit.    As the TV saying goes, "stay tuned".  

SOWNY » Kevin Frankish Admits He Was Fired From City TV's BT In 2018 » November 26, 2020 3:47 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 10

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Hi RA and LorneH,
I know I'm a little late for comment, but here goes.
Kevin tried very hard to get to CityPulse while working at CKVR, in fact he auditioned while we were in the old building, before BT ever took off.  He sat in the late Glen Coles' newer assignment desk and did the audition, like a "streetbeat take".  As BT flourished, I can vividly remember Kevin and one of the production crew (I think Dave was his name)both lived in Barrie and they commuted daily through the worst snowstorms southbound on the 400. This provided a golden opportunity to record some of the most spectacular pile ups known the OPP and give Sgt Cam Woolly his launch to stardom after he retired. It was always the lead in the news packs because NO other outlet had the viz.   Kevin's personal ambition is what made him successful.  Sometimes he could drive you crazy, but he always thanked you and made you feel part of the team.  I have to agree with Lorne, a great talent and now Rogers is facing cuts "Everywhere".

SOWNY » Alex Trebek Passes at 80 » November 9, 2020 5:29 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 20

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Hi RA,
Speaking of "In the can" obits, we had one sitting on the editing desk at CityPulse clearly marked Sinatra Obit,  ready to go at a moments notice for "old blue eyes" to pass away.    Seems it sat there for a while, and eventually went to air.

SOWNY » CityPulse's smashing LiveEye truck » October 18, 2020 9:47 am

The Foxer
Replies: 14

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RA,
This was in the old building 99 Queen East.  When we moved to 299, we still had one Live Eye but a few years later, got another one, so Chris started co-ordinating both for the 6.  As for CityPulse Tonight, it was up to editing, usually me or others to aim the live eye.

SOWNY » CityPulse's smashing LiveEye truck » October 17, 2020 7:32 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 14

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Hi RA,
Oh the "Dead Eye" as Gord used to call it. Two of the greatest guys ran it,  Brian Dean and Bryan Cook (Cookie), I think that's what their first names were if my 65 year old memory serves me. They knew this monster inside and out, probably better then Ron Reid did! If there was a location in Toronto that could see the Bank of Montreal building, then it was a go.  If you were downtown in the shadow of the B of M these crafty guys could bounce the signal off another skyscraper and back to the receiver, no kidding. They used a left or right circular polarization to angulate the signal. I bet they were great pool sharks!
Longest range shots were to Niagara on the Lake, Caledon Hills and the Pickering Nuke plant. It was even rented by American Broadcasters once in a while for live hits on their morning shows long before BT.
Driven into the ground, but what a piece of cutting edge technology for its time!

SOWNY » City TV Alumni You May Never Have Known Worked There » July 8, 2020 12:19 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 13

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Ok News15, Do you remember the time when Brian Hill was doing the CP6 weather cast and referred to "our weather girl, Mary Garofalo will have more weather details later on CityPulse Tonight"  Oops! Mary never let poor Brian forget that she was NOT the weather girl!  

SOWNY » City TV Alumni You May Never Have Known Worked There » June 25, 2020 4:18 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 13

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Hi RA,
To the best of my memory now that I'm 65, I think Moses sent Dom Sciullo down to South America to train camera persons to become "videographers" when he was trying to sell the brand to other countries. As I remember he shot the tape/story and we cut it for him.

SOWNY » City TV Alumni You May Never Have Known Worked There » June 15, 2020 6:31 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 13

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Hi RA,
Let me chime in here.....
Natalie came from CJCL Metro 1430 before she worked at City.

How about Barbra Laskin, she was the first story I ever cut as a jr. editor at CityPulse.  Very nice to work with as I recall, because it wasn't too long after she went stateside I think to WNYW?

Or how about Terilyn Joe or TJ as we used to call her.   What a mouth on that gal!   So she rushes in with raw tape in hand to cut a story, in all the confusion that was CityPulse Tonight, somehow the raw tape gets mixed up with a voice over tape and she accidentally bulk erases the raw instead of the voice over tape. Oops!  Or just before going to air she's in the women's bathroom (right next to editing) prepping her hair and looks at me and says "I have to get rid of this JF look Foxer" What's the JF look? Just Fucked. Oh please, get the soap out!  Thought she ended up at KGO. If anybody talks to her, ask her about the "plum sauce", she'll die laughing.

And last but not least, Anita Kartalija, I think she came from CKO. I don't think she got along with management, but look who's talking now, she's working at RBC Financial, and laughing all the way to the bank!  Good for you Anita!

SOWNY » Trump and Lysol » April 24, 2020 11:41 am

The Foxer
Replies: 4

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Hi RA,
Lysol will never cure "foot in mouth" disease for the Trumpster, until he watches this blast from the past from the CityPulse files!!! Enjoy.



 

SOWNY » Oh man, it's the all Covid-19 all the time format on all TV stations » March 23, 2020 11:20 am

The Foxer
Replies: 23

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Hi RA,
Also having worked in a newsroom for 17 years, I can fully attest to dark humour in the news gathering biz.  Here are 2 classics I can't forget!  I can't remember the date, but it was in the old building (99 Queen E) and the story was about an over-crowded ferry sinking in Bangladesh with no final death count.  Someone posted a pool to guess the final death count, pick the number, toss a loonie into the pot, and hope you win.
The other was the Bernardo trial, again predict the time of the verdict, put your money in the pot, and hope you win.   In both cases I don't know who won the money.

SOWNY » Radio Automation Before Computers: How Did They Do It? » March 1, 2020 12:37 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 25

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HI RA,
When I worked in Thunder Bay, while going to RTA at Con College, my part-time gig was working at the "Hill" and occasionally I made my way upstairs to CJSD-FM with the big automation system.   Ok, if you listened very carefully, you heard a "hiss" on the air during music.    No wonder, tapes ran at 3 3/4 ips, you've got to love to love that signal to noise ratio. And to top it off, "Del King" was the canned announcer. The news was sometimes taped from the AM side from CKPR, and most of the station was run by part-time students.  The whole schlocky thing, including the announce booth could fit in a small bedroom.

SOWNY » Attn. CTV: When Weather Matters, Stop Wasting Your Viewers' Time!!! » February 26, 2020 10:21 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 26

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Hi RA,
Back sometime in the winter of, I think it was in the early1990's, Clint was producing CityPulse Tonight, and the lead was the weather.   Either Harold or Environment Canada got it wrong but the forecast was for 8 cm to fall that evening.  Oh, we sent out the usual camera to get the visuals, plows, salters etc.  OMG it's the big story tonight!   Oops! Down from the heavens falls a scant 2 cm's.   Clint went with it, so sometimes the forecasters, as my wife would say are paid to be wrong.  

SOWNY » Family Endures 6 Yrs. Hearing Phantom Radio Stn. - Through The Walls » February 21, 2020 8:55 am

The Foxer
Replies: 6

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Hi RA,
If you've ever driven on the QEW to the Falls, in Grimsby 680's towers are within spitting distance in front of a 6 story condo. I've always wondered if the RF from the 50K blowtorch in their front view would affect the health of the owners.    Just asking?

SOWNY » When Silverman Helped At City TV » January 9, 2020 10:25 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 9

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Hi RA,
It seems it was a right of passage at CityPulse that every new editor was thrown into an edit bay with Peter and his usual greeting was "who the fuck are you?" If you made it past this point, you usually kept your job.
Further along in the "Silverman Helps" days of Pulse, it was common for Terry and Peter to have some heated discussions right smack in the middle of the editing bay along with the entire newsroom watching. I don't mind telling you that I, along with other editors were always stuck in the middle of the shit show.  Peter used to call the editors "techies" and myself "short-ass".  Poor Terry. Silverman had a heart of gold, but his bark was out of this world!
 

SOWNY » Radio’s Morning & Evening “Pattern Change” Has Certainly Changed » October 27, 2019 9:59 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 18

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Hi RA,
Before I ever started in the TV biz, my very first broadcasting gig was at CFPA 1230 radio in Thunder Bay.  I was the 6 to 12 jock 6 days a week and for added pleasure also worked Sundays from 3:30 to midnight, what a joy. But being 21, and my first job in the biz, the harsh reality of life dropped on my head: the power change that I missed several times and did not get fired for it.   Imagine 1,000 watts day, 250 night, omni pattern protecting some other rinky dink station across Lake Superior.   The control was like a phone dial, you had to dial in some numbers, then flip a toggle switch and look at the meter on the control panel.
I think 1,000 watts got as far as Kekabekka Falls and 250 just barely reached the airport. Old man Parker, who owned the station was also the engineer who advised me of the notices from the DOC. 

SOWNY » A Poll for the Polls. Who will you watch on Election Night? » October 21, 2019 6:50 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 35

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Hi RA,
As promised, I dug into the dusty old closet and found these two gems you might like. I wore one to class today and only one staff member asked about it....I must be getting old.https://i.ibb.co/Phb92Pb/IMG-5583.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/6JwyK8x/IMG-5584.jpg

SOWNY » A Poll for the Polls. Who will you watch on Election Night? » October 20, 2019 11:10 am

The Foxer
Replies: 35

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Great research RA,  I have two more that I found in the closet....I will photograph and send later!
But here's the best election story...SAP Secondary Audio Programming (I think that's the correct acronym)
I can't remember what civic election it was, I think the first or second one after we moved into 299, anyway, our hard working, under appreciated engineering dept headed by Ron Reid, put a microphone in the control room and fed that to SAP.
And Ron was also in charge of getting the results computer from City Hall to talk to our computer, so we could have instant access to the results.    Well wouldn't you know it, it works in rehearsal, but craps out during the show. OOPS, panic in the control room and all that foul language and yelling for those who have their TV's with SAP on, had a grand old time listening to the air turn blue.
 

SOWNY » A Poll for the Polls. Who will you watch on Election Night? » October 20, 2019 10:01 am

The Foxer
Replies: 35

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Ok RA here's the CityPulse way elections were covered...as cheaply as possible, but different!
As Leo in editing used to say "just take two tin cans and piece of sting, and that was the live eye".
There was always some kind of party, so that the  "has beens" and "wanna be's" could show up, schmooze, drink the free booze and drop their veggies into the peanut butter dip.
Beer had to be poured into plastic cups as to not have the companies logo appear in the background, as it would piss off sponsors.  Everyone that worked on the election had to wear some form of a shmatte with the election slogan plastered over it like "X lies and Videotape" etc etc, counter to the networks that had a plain and simple "Election ___________".
If there was a way doing things "cost effectively" CityPulse was the master of that craft!
 

SOWNY » Confirm Or Deny: Did CityPulse Really Hire A Guy Who Killed His Wife? » September 12, 2019 9:54 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 4

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Ok RA,
Your sources are right on!   CityPulse did have a "Gene" on staff, he did work in the newsroom as kind of a "go-fer" doing odd jobs.   I once witnessed him answering the phones in the newsroom one day and he certainly handled the caller well with the complaint.  I did hear through the grapevine that he had a brush with the law, and by the way one of the gentlest persons you'd ever meet.  You wouldn't think he was even capable of such a heinous act.     As I remember, he was given the job of editing stock, that frustrated him to no end, so he quit.   I've always thought in the usual CityPulse style, he was assigned the stock shift so he would quit, today he could have sued them for constructive dismissal.  This was long before Lorne could act on his behalf.
 

SOWNY » CityNews’ Anchorless Cast Has A Meltdown » August 25, 2019 10:39 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 4

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RA,
I can attest to that type of attitude from Clint in the control room, as many of us who passed through those hallowed doors at either 99 Queen East or 299 Queen West.   It was always a pressure cooker,  but as Clint always said "the closer to deadline, the shorter the fuse" and yes it was like "dominos", if a tape failed to make it for it's slot, you could juggle and make it, but sometimes it crashed and burned.  And really no amount of yelling and screaming could fix it.  As we used to say "It's gone to Mars".
More later, stay tuned.

SOWNY » Instant Replay: CP24, The Early Years » August 25, 2019 9:40 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 14

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Yes,RA you are correct, Steve Hurlbut and Alisa Kerr.  Just a quick point that Alisa was a smoker, and I bet Alisa one day that she couldn't stop smoking for a whole year.  I bet her $100.00!  True to her word, I had to pay up a year later.   Sadly, husband Clint could not stop smoking, and died last year of lung cancer. RIP Clint.
On another point, CP24 overnights.
Filler is the word.     We recorded, edited out (blacked) the commercials, doped and prepared each one hour filler.    CCTV from China, DW from Germany, and ABSCBN from the Phillippines. And I forgot the other two, I think France some other country. The Phillippines was a hoot!   Some stately anchor guy with really greasy hair right out of the early 60's with a red suit that came from CKX TV in Brandon. Just ugly. And his side kick was this gal that was right out of the 70's with puffy hair and was adorned by him as the greatest co-host on earth.  Absolute Ken and Barbie!  It filled the time, that's all they wanted.
More later, stay tuned!

SOWNY » Instant Replay: CP24, The Early Years » August 21, 2019 9:59 pm

The Foxer
Replies: 14

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Thanks RA for this!
Ok, here are a few stories about CP24 because I worked there.
When the jobs were posted in the newsroom there were only 35, that's right, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year=35 jobs.  The bulk of the work really come from editing, just dub the best (or worst) from the 6 and rerun it to death.  Just feed the pig, as Hurlbut would say. If you know about 3/4 in tape, one dub was about as good as it was.    The playback for 24 was Sony 9850 or 5800's take your pick, which ever survived the pounding they took.  Just 4 machines, and a massive amount of tapes. Slugs and labels were mixed up, lots of stress in the beginning and LOTS of repeats. 
Oh, about the "enriched screen", ripped off from CHCH as they carried Bloomberg, because I saw Steve and Alisa watching it in the office one day. You are right Mav!
There's much more, let me take a breather right now, and next time I'll tell you about the overnight fillers, that I had to record, screen and log.

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