If you’ve ever watched a live break during one of on-air fundraisers and wondered how the folks extoling the virtues of our programming know when to stop talking and let someone else pick up the verbal baton, the answer is simple – the floor manager. A floor manager is someone who helps coordinate and inform on-air talent with visual clues – essentially, the intermediate between the director in the control room and the people on camera. Occasionally, floor managers communicate via hand signals, often it’s signs that are either pre-printed or written on the fly.
Here’s a collection of signs used by floor managers during a recent fundraiser. I found them after the fact on a table in our main studio.
Another pic from the archives this week – one from a time before even I roamed the halls of UNC-TV (in fact, before these halls even existed or UNC-TV was, in name, UNC-TV is my guess). The publicity still below shows veteran journalist Edward Newman (1919-2010) as host of the program ON TELEVISION: THE VIOLENCE FACTOR. When this show aired, I cannot say because I can find no sign of it. Our current programming database doesn’t go back that far and imdb.com has no credit for Newman with that title.
I thought the show might have been broadcast in 1984 since that year had a September 28 which fell on a Friday but our monthly programming guide Centerpiece doesn’t have the show listed on that date. Moreover, I note that although the description lists the title as ON TELEVISION: THE VIOLENCE FACTOR the picture itself has THE NIMH REPORT: THE BIG DEBATE in the monitor. There is no show of that name either, as far as I can tell.
So no telling when or where or even if this program saw the light of day (although my guess is it did somewhere in the 1980s) but it was, at the very least, publicized to some extent.
Back in July, I shared a picture of the ceramic chicken that showed up in our breakroom. No, it wasn’t exactly PBS-themed despite its appearance here at UNC-TV. Well, the chicken has been supplanted by a new ceramic centerpiece – a white pineapple! Again, this has nothing to do (as far as I can tell) with our programming or our services but I just find it fascinating for some reason. Thus, I share.
So, behold! The white pineapple in the UNC-TV breakroom! The mind reels at what might come next.
Remember the Boohbahs? BOOHBAH was a British kids show that PBS aired in the aughts and the main characters were – well, Boohbahs. I didn’t watch it but I know it was by one of the co-creators of TELETUBBIES and it was a love-it-or-hate-it kind of show. Young people (the target audience) enjoyed it, of course, but I know adults who had a very negative reaction to the series. Can’t say why exactly but that’s my memory of it. Anyway, I saw this Boohbah toy in the Rootle division. “Magic Motion Boohbahs” indeed.
At UNC-TV, sometimes we give away stuff. SWAG, premiums, prizes, tchotchkes, things that you can get by making a donation or visiting us at an event or a local fair. But we like to give away things small and large. Whether it’s a bumper sticker or pin-on button, we give things away so you, the viewer, will know we appreciate your support and can, in turn, share that love with others.
I spied these boxes near the office of our On-Air Fundraising Producer a while back. It’s T-shirts. A couple of great big boxes of T-shirts. These may have been given away to volunteers or donors or members of the public who happened to stop by at our booth at the NC State Fair. Who knows? At the point in time this picture was taken it’s all pure untapped torso-covering potential.
Digging through some old boxes, I found this postcard someone brought me from a long past PBS conference. It was 1988 and, judging by the design, right smack dab in the middle of Hollywood. My guess is a former supervisor snagged this to distribute to those of us not lucky enough to get on the invite list.
Fans of MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD will easily recognize this familiar figure from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. It’s Lady Elaine Fairchilde, the outspoken schemer who runs the Museum-Go-Round. As a child, I loved the puppets of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe but I found Lady Elaine Fairchilde somewhat offputting. Perhaps it was her often cranky demeanor or maybe it was something to do with the uncanny valley.
I spied this Lady Elaine puppet in amongst a batch of PBS Kids-related items in our kids and education department.