I completed my 18th item today. I took a tour of the WGBH studios. I really enjoyed it. The building itself is impressive…just opened in 2007. It is a very green building. 80 percent of it is composed of recycled materials. An employee had called WGBH an “idea factory” so they rolled with it and it has factory-looking features inside.
We saw radio studios and control rooms…and a performance studio where live music is broadcast. Then we went inside the two television studios, and some TV control rooms. There is little, if any, taping going on on Saturdays, so it was pretty quiet.
One of the most interesting tidbits I learned was that WGBH invented closed captioning. And there are employees who do closed captioning for other stations and shows, such as David Letterman, and the Hollywood studios.
I might just start watching more WGBH shows now, and listen to 89.7 FM more often! I don’t really watch TV, period. Except for House on Monday nights. The whole reality TV explosion turned me off from the tube pretty much entirely. But the tour kind of rekindled something in me.
I felt a bit nostalgic while taking the tour. I studied broadcast journalism in undergrad, and that was my career path not taken. I worked on the news show at the college TV station. And I also wrote news stories and announced them for the radio station. Lots of good times were had. Writing stories up until the last minute…anchoring a morning news show (getting up at 6:oo am to go the station; what was I smoking???). Running the teleprompter…today it is all computer-run, but back in my day, we literally printed out the stories in large font and had to feed them on what was basically a conveyor belt. And there was a camera hooked up to the big video camera somehow, so the anchor could read the news stories. Hysterical. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a college student studying broadcast journalism today. Technology has advanced so so so so much.