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Behind the Scenes at Houston's KHOU - Channel 11

Lois Perucca

Sound | c. 1968

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  •  I walk to work. 
  •  Errol Flynn trots along ahead of me, but that's dogs for you. 
  •  Most people run only when they're late or when they're young people in a series. 
  •  I walk. 
  •  This is where I work. 
  •  It's in a state of revision right now; we're remodelling the place. 
  •  Even with the confusion out in the halls, our new news room gives us something we've never had before -  
  •  a place to plan coverage of the news the way it should be planned, and the way it should be covered. 
  •  There are twenty of us who work in or out of this office. 
  •  Ted Groves is my number two, the guy whose job it is to keep up with everything that's happening everywhere. And assign the  people to cover what we consider the important happenings. 
  •  Ted doubles as weekened sportscaster when Harry Kalas is on the road with the Astros or the Cougars.  But his prime function is that of coordinating the best news operation in Houston.  
  •  And he does it well. 
  •  At the other end of the room Pete Marone works. 
  •  An amazing young man produces Ron Stone's 5pm portion of the evening news, researches editorials, does newscasts on the morning show.  
  •  The Morning Show. 
  •  Five hours a week, head-to-head against Today. 
  •  Pete covers the news, Al Bell and Joy Newfort provide guests, features, and entertainment that says, "This is Houston." to Houstonians. 
  •  If there's a star in town, a social or a civic function, an incident of interest in this city, Al and Joy tell you about it and bring you the people involved, consistently. 
  •  The word applies as well to the news at noon. 
  •  Consistent. 
  •  In a different format, Al is here again, this time with Joanne King, Channel 11's women's editor. 
  •  Al does the news, Joanne talks fashions, people, women with equal authority. 
  •  Proof - well ninety-thousand homes, sixty percent of the audience, consistently. 
  •  You want more proof? 
  •  She's in Europe tonight witnessing previews of this year's fashions.  Just part of her job. 
  •  My work keeps me in close contact with all these people, none possibly so much as with Ron Stone. 
  •  Now what can I say about Ron? 
  •  A good newsman, a good writer, a funny person with unmatched insight. 
  •  Yes, a delightful human being too, and you already know that. 
  •  Ron anchors our weeknight ten o'clock report and begins our early coverage with the five o'clock segment of the evening news. 
  •  Just an hour later, with two equally delightful people, I go into the studio for the six o'clock evening news. 
  •  Ed Edwards and Sid Lasher look like they're having a good time doing what they do. 
  •  They are. 
  •  And so am I. 
  •  You know, we discovered long ago that hard, serious news doesn't have to be laughed at, but it doesn't have to be related as if at a funeral either. 
  •  We present the news the way we know best, and that's by being ourselves. 
  •  Ron walks in with Ed and Sid four hours later on weeknights, and once again, the same atmosphere prevails. 
  •  Ron preceded me in this ten o'clock seat, and when it became necessary for me to work daytimes to conduct the total news operation, there was only one very obvious thing to do: Ask him to take it over again. 
  •  The thing about it is, these men are pros. 
  •  Ed Edwards lives and breathes the sports he covers. 
  •  He's a familiar face at the world series, the superbowl, and the neighborhood sandlot. 
  •  That sounds like advertising copy, it's still true. 
  •  Ed knows, and more important, he conveys that knowledge. 
  •  Sid...well, Sid's in a class by himself. 
  •  Weathermen have been known to be dry, humourless, technical, and very boring. 
  •  None of which can be said of Sid. 
  •  He's been called "Houston's favorite television personality". 
  •  And not without reason. 
  •  The friends he's made for himself and for us are in great measure directly responsible for the success we enjoy. 
  •  Thank you, Sid. 
  •  On weekends we normally stay home. 
  •  We are replaced at six by Steve Edwards, Harry Kalas, and Jerry Dale, and then at ten by Steve alone. 
  •  I think it may be that a good reporter has to be born with a sense of news, like an actor or a ball player. 
  •  If that's so, Steve was. 
  •  I probably shouldn't say this, because I certainly don't feel like being put out to pasture yet, and I know Ron doesn't either, but Steve Edwards could well be the newscaster of the future. 
  •  Harry Kalas is new, to Channel 11 anyway. 
  •  He's known to you as a member of the Astros and Cougar's broadcasting teams for which he's already received a national reputation as one of the very best. 
  •  Harry's on the road tonight with the ball club, but on Saturdays and Sundays when the teams are in town, Harry's part of our team too. 
  •  Jerry Dale is the voice of Channel 11 if that's a title you can give someone. 
  •  He handles the weather assignment on the weekends, and he often tells you about it after having flown to meet what's coming in earlier in the day. 
  •  Not every weathercaster in this business goes to quite that much trouble. 
  •  He's also the station staff announcer and director of audio production. 
  •  We keep him busy, but with good reason - He's good. 
  •  These are the people I work with, the ones you see on the air, anyway. 
  •  It's trite for me to say that we're a part of a larger group effort, but we are, of course. 
  •  We are all of us aware of that and aware of what this group effort has accomplished and will continue to accomplish. 
  •  We work in this building with its new desks and new rugs and tape machines and God knows what kinds of technical equipment and walls that aren't all up yet and carpenters hammering and plumbers plumbing and paperhangers papering. 
  •  We work here together with one goal: to bring you total television with an eye on the news and the clock and a hand on the pulse of this city. 
  •  We hope we read that pulse correctly. 
  •  Dick John 
  •  Ted Groves 
  •  Pete Marone 
  •  Al Bell 
  •  Joy Noufer - Miss America, 1966 
  •  Joanne King - A Houston socialite possibly best known for her involvement with Charlie Wilson.  She is portrayed by Julia Roberts in the film Charlie Wilson's War. 
  •  Ron Stone 
  •  Dick John 
  •  Ed Edwards 
  •  Sid Lasher 
  •  Steve Edwards 
  •  Harry Kalas - National Radio Hall of Famer, best known for his time as the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies and with the NFL, called Astros and Cougars games from 1965 - 1971. 
  •  Jerry Dale 
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News Director Dick John gives a tour of the Houston's CBS affiliate, KHOU/Channel 11's, news department, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the on-air personalities and their contributions to the station's programming. The film was made during the late 1960s when the building, located on Allen Parkway, was undergoing major renovations. Following the tour of the station is an intro for Channel 11's Friday night movie. This film came to TAMI as part of former KHOU-producer Patrick S. Coakley, Jr.'s collection.