Former Sacramento KCRA Assignment Editor Turned Author

Former Sacramento KCRA Assignment Editor Turned Author

By: Joyce Mitchell, Governor and Gold & Silver Committee Chair

Former Sacramento KCRA Assignment Editor and current PBS Documentarian BillGeorge gives a book talk tonight in Rancho Cordova. He’s speaking about hislatest work – a publication called Victory in the Pool – about a maverickswim coach – Sherm Chavoor –  trained several Sacramento athletes – and gotthem to Olympic Gold – including Jeff Float and Debbie Meyer. The books isavailable on Amazon.

Bill George and his book Victory in the Pool
Victory In The pool
Bill George with Debbie Meyer and Jeff Float - Olympic Gold Medalists

CBS Drops CW Affiliation for 8 Stations, Makes Them Independent

CBS Drops CW Affiliation for 8 Stations, Makes Them Independent

Reported by Kevin Eck, TVSpy

All eight CBS-owned stations that are currently affiliates of The CW network will transition to independent stations, beginning Friday, September 1.

The announcement was made by CBS Stations president Tom Canedo, who oversees the eight stations.

As part of the transition, KBCW in San Francisco will change its call letters to KPYX and be branded as KPIX+, and WPCW in Pittsburgh will change its call letters to WPKD and be branded as KDKA+. The stations’ new brands align with the call letters for their CBS sister stations, KPIX in San Francisco and KDKA in Pittsburgh. The other six stations will keep their current call letters and will be branded with the city where they are based and channel number (e.g. KSTW-TV, Seattle11).

The new independent stations’ fall schedules will feature a total of seven local, one-hour newscasts. The 8 p.m. newscasts on WPSG Philadelphia, KMAX Sacramento and KDKA+ Pittsburgh will be the only local newscasts airing in their respective markets during that hour. And the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. newscasts on KPIX+ will be the only local newscasts airing in the Bay Area during those hours. KPIX+ is also airing a new local 7 to 9 a.m. newscast, The Morning Edition from CBS News Bay Area.

In addition, seven of the new independents will air CBS News’ 48 Hours in primetime, beginning Monday, Sept. 11, when the series launches in weekday syndication.

“We are excited to be in this unique position that allows us to reimagine our local brands and programming lineups at these eight stations,” Canedo said. “We are beginning by opportunistically establishing local news beachheads in primetime in several markets. And the timing couldn’t be better for us as we look forward to the upcoming launch of 48 Hours in weekday syndication. These are the first brush strokes on a fresh canvas. We will continue to seek out opportunities to add even more local programming, including live sports and shows from across the Paramount Global brands in the months ahead.”

The change came after Nexstar acquired the CW last year. CBS had the right to pull its affiliations, according to one source familiar with the deal. “It was part of the arrangement,” said the source.

Currently, there are 203 CW stations that cover 99.5 percent of U.S. households.

“Since our acquisition of The CW Network last October, we have known that Paramount Global might transition the network affiliations of eight of its company-owned stations later this year,” according to a statement from Nexstar Media Group at the time of their acquisition. “We are prepared for this possibility and confident that The CW Network will continue reaching 100% of U.S. television households without interruption. Paramount’s decision affects a limited portion of The CW’s nationwide reach, and we have already received multiple expressions of interest from station groups hoping to deepen their relationship with The CW by aligning more of their stations with the network.”

Below is a snapshot of the weeknight schedules for the eight newest independents owned by CBS. These programs will debut on Friday, September 1, with the exception of 48 HOURS, which will premiere on Monday, September 11, and the 8 p.m. newscast on KDKA+, which will debut in November.

Wildfires on Hawaii’s Island of Maui

Wildfires on Hawaii's Island of Maui

By: Gerard Elmore, Governor and Cinema Club Chair

Our hearts are heavy to hear and see the news about the devastation on Maui. Our friends, ohana and colleagues on Maui need our love and support. The impact is unquantifiable, unimaginable and heartbreaking. Maui will need all our collective help to help clean up and rebuild. I urge people to consider donating to such organizations as Maui Mutual Aid.

Mahalo nui.



By: Joyce Mitchell, Governor and Gold & Silver Committee Chair

– – – UPDATED – – –

Reporters filled a studio at San Francisco Educational TV Station KQED in 1965 to cover the legendary, 51-minute news conference held by Musician Bob Dylan. An overview of what happened that day and so many other stories are now captured in a new book just released by Bay Area Film Director Robert Zagone.

Propped-up on a platform, smoking nonstop, Dylan carved out a piece of rock history during that famous question- answer session. And Zagone was there, producing and directing the 2-camera film shoot for the world to see.

Back then, rock was not deemed important enough to warrant long news conferences. Dylan set the tone for future rockers – like the Beatles and Rolling Stones – to follow suit.

Out of the 4th and Bryant Street TV station, magic was made. San Francisco’s growing subculture prompted young and energetic broadcasters to take notice and document what they were seeing. Zagone was one of them.

That famous Dylan footage exists under the auspices of Ralph J. Gleason who acquired the footage from KQED immediately after the news conference was held. Gleason, back in the day, was a well-known music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. Today, the Gleason Estate continues to promote the event on DVD and other media. That news conference has gone down in history, been studied, analyzed and used in numerous articles, books, and documentaries.

The press opportunity had evolved into a cut and thrust for Dylan. Zagone paid close attention as reporters tried to brand Dylan as the spokesperson for a new generation. Refuting the inference, Dylan turned somewhat self-effacing, mocking himself as a simple “song and dance man.”

And then, Dylan’s answers began trending toward obliqueness as a shield. At one point, he said something like, “What do you want me to do? Attack the cameras?”

That unforgettable moment influenced the title of Zagone’s self-published book, ATTACK THE CAMERAS! Musings of an Independent Film and TV Director. “Dylan and that press conference helped me name the book, for sure,” said Zagone.   

Stories included in the book are vast and memorable. At one point, Zagone invited an unknown Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company to perform on KQED. It was the first time that Joplin and her band would appear live on TV.

Pushing the envelope sometimes gets a little push-back. Zagone heard from the director of development, in charge of raising money for the station who asked, “why are these scruffy-looking people here?” He continued, “How on earth is the station expected to get people donating to public television listening to that screeching voice?”

Zagone responded, “I’ll tell you why I’m doing this show. It’s because someday that singer you are seeing is going to be really famous. I didn’t know how big of a star she would become.” He said that he just had an innate feeling that the group and Joplin were something special.

ATTACK THE CAMERAS! draws on Zagone’s memories of the past. Add to the list of firsts for the energetic film director and KQED, B.B. King. Zagone produced and directed the first national television appearance by the blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. Zagone muses with fond recollections. “The show was such a delight and the band loved seeing themselves on camera,” said Zagone.

He maintains the 60’s and 70’s were the golden years of television. “A lot of talented people migrated to KQED to work and volunteer, said Zagone. “It was sort of like getting a master’s degree in film and television. Many went on to extraordinary careers, some won Academy Awards.”

Zagone, himself, has received a great deal of recognition for his work, including a Regional Emmy in 1995. “For years, I’ve been telling stories about meeting all these wonderful people,” he said. “During the pandemic, I thought this is a perfect time to write a book and I took all those stories and decided to bring them to life.”

“I’ve been in the right place at the right time,” said Zagone. “Colleagues have really enjoyed going back and reliving those times of working in film with creative people in the Bay Area. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

At 85, Zagone’s still going strong. And still making a little bit of history, himself. “I got a call from my old friend and colleague Danny Glover about doing a commercial for an insurance company in the middle of the pandemic,” said Zagone. “I put together a crew for him and asked my old cameraman to direct for me. But he got COVID, and I stepped in at the last minute. At the time I was 82.”

Zagone said directing felt like riding a bike. He didn’t skip a beat. A big smile came out of that project when Zagone asked the crew, “how many of you have ever worked with an 82-year-old director before?”

As for what’s next? A low budget feature film. And after that, we’ll just have to wait and see. The answer…my friends…is Blowing in the Wind.

Zagone’s book ATTACK THE CAMERAS! Musings of an Independent Film and TV Director is now available on Amazon.

Video link: Bob Dylan San Francisco Press Conference 1965

Retired Veteran KTVU News Reporter Betty Ann Bruno Dies at 91; Appeared as a Munchkin at Age 7 in Judy Garland’s 1939 Classic “The Wizard of Oz”

Retired Veteran KTVU News Reporter Betty Ann Bruno Dies at 91; Appeared as a Munchkin at Age 7 in Judy Garland’s 1939 Classic “The Wizard of Oz”

By: Kevin Wing, Chairperson, Media Museum of Northern California

Betty Ann Bruno, a well-known presence on Bay Area television as a longtime news and investigative reporter and show host for KTVU Channel 2 in Oakland from the 1970s through the 1990s, died July 30 in Sonoma County after suffering a medical emergency. She was 91. Bruno would have celebrated her 92nd birthday Oct. 1.

Her husband and partner of 46 years, Craig Scheiner, a retired longtime KTVU news photographer, said Bruno suffered a heart attack at a local hospital after rushing her there after she complained of having a severe headache following a hula dance lesson she was teaching.

“She loved hula dancing,” Scheiner said, “The last thing she did was dance with her students. Danced in her bare feet like hula dancers do. Couldn’t have had a better way to go, doing what she loved.”

Bruno worked for the Oakland station from 1970 until her retirement in 1992, first working in the station’s community affairs department, which she became acquainted with during her tenure as president of the League of Women Voters of Oakland. Bruno helped to produce election broadcasts and public service announcements before joining the department’s staff. She would eventually host Channel 2’s public affairs show. After a stint with that, she was persuaded to move to the newsroom, where she became an accomplished, three-time Emmy Award-winning news reporter. Besides Emmys, Bruno received numerous accolades and honors, including a presidential certificate from President George H.W. Bush.

In October 1991, Bruno and Scheiner lost their home in the Oakland hills to the devastating Oakland-Berkeley Hills firestorm, which destroyed more than 3,000 single-family homes, condominiums and apartments. The fire gutted more than 1,500 acres. When it was finally over, thousands of people lost their homes, and 25 people lost their lives.

Once the firestorm was over, Bruno and Scheiner allowed a KTVU cameraperson to walk with them as they surveyed what was left of their home. It had been reduced to ashes.

Although Bruno retired from KTVU in 1992, she remained with the station until 1994, working part-time.

“Betty Ann was such a good reporter,” said Bill Moore, a retired KTVU photographer who worked at the station for three decades, from the 1960s to the ’90s. “She was a great person to work with. I have the highest respect for her, and I will miss her.”

“Betty Ann’s amazing talent was that she could get anyone to talk to her, anyone,” said Gary Kauf, director of television broadcast operations and film at Ohlone College in Fremont and a former longtime KTVU reporter and producer. “She was non-threatening, and gentle with everyone.”

Born in Hawaii and raised in southern California, Bruno graduated from Stanford University, and also did graduate work at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

At age 7, she was chosen to play one of the Munchkins in the 1939 film classic, “The Wizard of Oz”, starring Judy Garland.

After retirement, Bruno and Scheiner moved to Sonoma. In 2009, Bruno founded Hula Mai, which she called her “retirement career” — teaching hula and Hawaiian culture. Hula Mai performed in the Sonoma Plaza every spring and at luaus and other celebrations throughout the Sonoma Valley.

Officials with the Sonoma Cultural and Fine Arts Commission named Bruno the city’s Treasure Artist in 2020 and 2021.

We will miss you, Betty Ann. May you rest in peace.

Our sincerest condolences are with Craig and his family during this difficult time, and with everyone who knew Betty Ann as a trusted friend, colleague, teacher and mentor.