Inside Thirteen blogger: Gloria Deucher, Director, Volunteer Services
On Saturday, October 4th, our station was one of 350 sites throughout New York City participating in openhousenewyork (ohny), the country’s largest architecture and design event. WNET.org opened its doors to visitors who wanted to know more about their local public television station. During the course of the day tour guides Rita Kessler, Liz Kaufman, Joe Weber, Fred Sorkin and Rosalie Kaplan (with the help of Carol Kaufman, Lorraine Sachs and Bea Sorkin at check-in) treated a total of 136 people to a behind-the-scenes glimpse of technical and architectural highlights of the station. The tour included Master Control, edit rooms and the main and Starr studios.
In Master Control, the Broadcast Operations Coordinator Brynne Clarke maintained her tireless good humor explaining how she and the other BOCs monitor the 9 different signals we broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Her command post–which looks to the uninitiated like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise–is the brains of the broadcast facility. Guests kept a respectful distance from the control panel and tried to take it all in.
Savidge in the studio
A highlight of the tour was, of course, the main studio with its sleek new Worldfocus set. When we first began to organize for ohny back in May, we had just begun to hear talk of this new international news show we would be producing. We never imagined that the date of ohny would time perfectly with the October 6 launch of the show. The show’s host, Martin Savidge, had spoken to the guides earlier in the week and suggested stopping by to talk to our visitors. It was an unexpected perk we never could have imagined. Martin and his wife Blis generously spent their entire Saturday afternoon on the set greeting guests, describing the show, the need for it and answering questions. I’m sure most of them tuned in last night with a special appreciation for what they were viewing. That, after all, is the point of the open house–to stimulate interest, open a dialogue and send guests away with a better understanding of how the “behind-the-scenes” makes the “front of the scene” happen.