Bennington Banner from Bennington, Vermont on November 3, 1984 · 31
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Bennington Banner from Bennington, Vermont · 31

Bennington, Vermont
Issue Date:
Saturday, November 3, 1984
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Networks crank up for election night By JOAN HANAUER UPI TV Reporter NEW YORK (UPI ) A familiar face will be missing when TVs election night gang gets together next Tuesday Walter Cronkite wont be there. Cronkite, who retired from CBS in 1981, anchored every presidential race since the networks began covering them in 1952 except 1964. That was the year CBS, worried about competition from the popular NBC team of Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, went with Robert Trout and Roger Mudd in his place. Cronkite was back in 1968. This year CBS suggested several possible election night assignments for Cronkite but the veteran anchorman and the network were unable to get together on his role. As of this writing he will be included out on CBS election night coverage. All three networks plan continuous coverage of the election, as does Cable News Network. PBS, which does not maintain a regular news staff, will air regularly scheduled programing. Dan Rather will anchor for CBS, Tom Brokaw will do the honors for NBC and on ABC Peter Jennings and David Brinkley will co-anchor. CNN will field two anchor teams Don Farmer and Chris Curie will alternate every 90 minutes with Bernard Shaw and Mary Alice Williams. Earliest to come on the air will be CNN at 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Along will come NBC at 6:30 p.m. and CBS and ABC at 7 p.m., all Eastern time. The backup teams are about as television news junkies would expect. The ABC anchor team will be joined in New York by Barbara Walters and news analyst George Will. Sam Donaldson will be with President Reagan, Brit Hume with Walter Mondale, Lynn Sher with Geraldine Ferraro and Carole Simpson with George Bush. Barry Serafin will report the results of ABCs exit polls, in past elections considered by some experts the best in the business, while chief political correspondent Sander Vanocur will do an overview of the election and analyze results of the Senate races. Capitol Hill correspondent Charles Gibson will analyze the House races. At NBC, Brokaw will report on the national and state-by-state presidential contests, while chief political correspondent Roger Mudd covers Congress. John Chancellors chores will include handling the data from NBCs national polling of 40.000 voters, conducted by a staff of about 4.000 precinct reporters. Connie Chung will handle added feeds to affiliates. At CBS, Bruce Morton will provide details of the presidential race in individual states, Bob Schieffer will cover the Senate, Lesley Stahl the House, while Bill MoyersJiandles analysis and commentary. Diane Sawyer will represent special interest groups. Andy Rooney and Charles Kuralt will add their own distinctive insights. CBS will conduct exit polls in key states, and with The New York Times will question about 10,000 voters to find out who they voted for and why. The poll also will take into account the gender gap, new voters and the possible realignment of political parties. The CNN team includes Dan Schorr analyzing results in Washington, where he will be joined by columnists Roland Evans and Robert Novak. The guest star in the CNN lineup is Theodore White, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the Making of the President best-sellers. All will cover the four candidates, as well as Democratic and Republican headquarters. NBC also is boasting of a computer-age advance this year computer-driven animated displays in which actual vote totals will automatically control graphics displays shown on the television screen. PBS plans nothing special for election night, although local stations may choose to air their own election coverage. But anyone who lusts for a final debate can tune in Advocates 84: Who Should Be President on Nov. 4, 10-11 p.m. (check local listings). William Rusher, publisher of the National Review, will be the Reagan advocate; Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the Mondale advocate. Witnesses for Mondale will be Massachusets Gov. Michael Dukakis and Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd. The Reagan witnesses will be U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick and Rep. Jack Kemp, R-N.Y. More American opera companies report losses NEW YORK (UPI) - Opera is big business in the United States and Canada but expenses continue to outpace growth of income for most opera companies, according to a new study of the field. Profile: 1984, published this week by the 89 company OPERA America organization, said North American opera companies with total operating expenses of $197 million in 1983 are experiencing a growing income gap in spite of stringent cost-cutting measures and increased investment in fund-raising activities. Forty-five percent of the companies reported an operating loss for 1983, up 4 percent over the previous year, and 58 percent of those submitting attendance figures reported an audience decrease. Only nine of the companies reported an endowment of $500,000 or more. The survey blamed the labor-intensive aspect of staging and performing opera as the reason for ever-increasing operating expenses. Sixty-two percent of opera companies aggregate income goes to personnel. The leveling off of funding has resulted in shrinkage, both in repertory and quality, OPERA America reported in a review of the 1982-83 opera year. During the past three years, there has been a constant battle against erosion of quality and the swelling tide of red ink, the report said. Fewer new productions and reductions of chorus and orchestra rehearsals were common cost-cutting measures. More of the most popular of the traditional works filled the opera season and there was an increase in the number of operettas and musicals from the past in order to enhance box officy sales. An analysis of performance data shows that companies are performing a shrinking pool of repertoire there was a 7 percent drop in the number of different works performed during the course of the season as companies moved toward more popular operas and works requiring smaller orchestras and choruses and fewer stage sets. The survey noted that fund-raising activities consume increasing amounts of opera companies financial resources and increasing time on the part of opera officials and volunteers. Many companies, particularly smaller ones, are vulnerable to the effects of local economic conditions, with corporate giving tending to fluctuate more than any other sources of income. Nevertheless, more high quality opera is being produced professional today than ever before, said OPERA News president Robert Herman, commenting on the survey. But compromises have had to be made. Productions shared by several opera companies save money, but they also weaken a companys ability to make an artistic statement. The luxury of producing new or seldom performed works is too risky at the box office for many companies to undertake, A resurgence of game shows By VERNON SCOTT UPI Hollywood Reporter HOLLYWOOD (UPI) - Game shows are back on the tube with a vengeance 26 in all and 22 of them on a daily basis. There are more quiz, game or audience participation series than there are cops and robbers shows. , Some are strictly for laughs The Newlywed Game, The Dating Game" and Anything for Money. A few strive for intellectual stimulation Scrabble and Super Password. Many appeal to avarice $100,000 Name That Tune, $25,000 Pyramid and Wheel of Fortune. Others defy analysis Body Language, Press Your Luck and The Jokers Wild. Then theres Family Feud, "Lets Make a Deal," Video Game, Putting On The Hits, "Tic Tac Dough and Sale of the Century. These shows are building larger and larger audiences on independent stations across the country. The most popular show in syndication, for instance, is Wheel of Fortune." It is seen in 170 markets, more than M-A-S-H. There appears to be a convenant of some sort between game shows and closet viewers. None of the shows are seen in prime time and rarely do people with respectable IQs discuss them in public. So pervasive is the trend that some old game shows have been exhumed and revived for todays increased interest in the genre, including Name That Tune, Lets Make a Deal and Jeopardy. Alex Trebek, producer and host of resurfaced Jeopardy, is at a loss to explain why viewers are turning away from daytime soaps to watch contestants vie for bucks, exotic vacations and kitchen appliances. Trebek, like most game show hosts, has been around the bam a time or two. He has hosted seven other game shows, including Wizard of Odds, High Rollers," Double Dare" and Battlestars. I cant account for the new popularity of game shows, said the affable Trebek. But I do know they have caught fire in syndication. Theyve replaced the variety talk shows that were so popular a few years back." Trebek, a transplanted Canadian, is making a fortune from Jeopardy, but like almost all game show ringmasters, he is mildly resdless. He is typical of his tribe, polished, well-educated, articulate, good-looking, adroit at putting people at ease and fast on his feet. These attributes, however attractive, can be a collective hindrance in show business. Once a game show host, always a game show host," Trebek said with good-natured irritation. Were trapped by our own success while making tons of money. Rarely does anyone in show business take us seriously as actors, hosts of other shows or even as comedians. People look down their noses at us even though we do well in a difficult job. We have to show impartiality to the contestants while encouraging them to do their best and to keep the game and the conversational ball rolling for the amusement of the studio audience and viewers at home. Trebek aspires to producing television shows, acting in TV and movies and conducting an interview show along the lines of Entertainment Tonight and Good Morning, America." He says a few game show hosts are content with their lot, among them veterans and the dependence on the few real superstar singers to assure sold out houses has resulted in such competition that they must be booked years in advance. Herman called for an increase in the 2.3 percent level of federal subsidy of opera companies, not to the 90 percent level that exists in Europe but a more realistic 25 percent. Other findings in the survey were : Total earnings for opera companies increased 13 percent in 1983, so that earned income represented 51 percent of all opera income. Donations from individuals were the largest component of contributed income and represented 16 percent of total income, followed by corporations at 6 percent, foundations at 5 percent. State and local governments accounted for 6 percent. 60 percent of opera companies were forced to raise top ticket prices to meet income goals, but almost all companies continued to make tickets available under $10;' Bill Cullen and Bob Barker, possibly because they have enjoyed such outstanding success. We play a sort of game ourselves, Trabek said. Its called musical hosts. We go from one game to another, people like Chuck Woolery, Tom Kennedy, Jack Narz, Jim Lange, Jim Perry, Wink Martindale and Bob Eubanks. "Theyre all good guys, polished and bright. They give viewers the feeling that they are doing everything possible to help the contestants win. Sometimes it isnt easy to help a losing contestant fight despondency and to keep him in the game. "I know them all. And most of them share my feelings about moving on to other, more important projects. One of the most successful guys at doing other things is Peter Marshall. He used Hollywood Squares to open up a singing career and stage appearances. And you know a man like Monty Hall is capable of doing many other things, but its difficult to break out of the game-show mold. Financially, I suppose game shows are not a bad trap to be in. But a trap is still a trap no matter how plush. Banner TV Week. No . 3-9. 1984 9 I

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