WTIC Alumni Site

      In Memory of and Designed by Bill Clede

From Dick Bertel:

This is the 6 o’clock Report from March 1, 1974.

It was to be my last appearance on Channel 3. (Jean and I were heading for a vacation to Hawaii the next day and the “sale” to Post-Newsweek was scheduled to occur during the week we were away. On my return I would join the radio staff of WTIC. Knowing this, Dick Oeser thoughtfully recorded the show for me and handed me a two inch TV tape reel after the newscast was over. I remember it was impossible for me to conceal it as I walked out of the building but I didn’t really give a damn.

I was never able to look at the show, of course, because I didn’t happen to have a two inch tape machine in my house, so it just sat in the cellar in a cardboard box.

Several years ago, Jeff Israel offered to transfer it to VHS tape for me and it was then that I saw it for the first time. Still I didn’t think much about it until I transferred it to a DVD recently. I suddenly realized that there were people on camera that I hadn’t seen in a long time and that folks other than me might be interested in looking at this 35 year old show.

The presentation is typical of the period – relatively few visuals – no special effects (there were no computers then to generate them except for what appears to be a primitive Chyron) - no music – no wide shots – no Teleprompters – no bumpers – no ENG - and no visual identification of on-camera people, including the anchor. This, I’m sure, was in keeping with the Channel 3 philosophy that viewers do not tune in to watch a particular newscaster, they tune in to watch the Channel 3 news. (The news reporters, however, were given visual IDs when doing voice-overs). Also, there is not one woman in the entire newscast, despite the fact that Jean Tucker and I co-anchored the 12 o’clock Report starting in 1969, almost five years earlier! Finally, there are no closing production credits. The newscast simply ends smoothly but abruptly.

If you wonder why I did not say “goodbye” at the close of the newscast it is because I was instructed not to do so by management. They wanted to make the transition from Travelers to Post-Newsweek as seamless as possible, and calling attention to my departure would not be in their best interests.

The content is interesting as well. There is no blood, no mayhem, just coverage of what Channel 3 considered important to our viewers in keeping with the station’s image.

The video opens with a VO by George Ehrlich promoting UConn basketball, followed by a booth announcer whose voice I don’t recognize.

Appearing on camera in the show are Bill Mill, Ken Garee, George Ehrlich, Bill Haskell, Tom Seem, Sherm Tarr and Ron Milligan.

I hope this brings back some pleasant memories for you.

Dick Bertel  

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