Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 28, 2004 · Page 73
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 73

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 28, 2004
Page 73
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Mart 28, 2004 Arts & Entertainment G-3 Gene Collier G-7 The List G-8, G-9 Marilyn McDevW Rubin G-13 Questions about delivery or service? Cal 1-800-228-NEWS (6397). OASOME Section G Born in television's Golden Age, Pittsburgh's public broadcasting station pioneered educational programming, weathered economic storms and now moves forward with a renewed local emphasis. By Bob Hoover, Sally Kalson and Barbara Vancheri Pittsburgh Post-Gazette he year 1954 was the high-water mark of what has been called "the Golden Age of Television." It boasted original live drama, the crusading journalist Edward R. Murrow, the Army-McCarthy hearings, "The Honeymooners" legendary shows and moments that lent the emerging medium energy, intelligence and creativity. That mood was felt in Western Pennsylvania when, at 8 p.m. on April 1, 1954, an experimental television station flickered to life. The Metropolitan Pittsburgh Educational Television Station WQED, Channel 13 was a product of the civic pride the city was feeling as it banished smoke and slums, calling its progress the "Renaissance." Appearing on the program was Pittsburgh Mayor David L. Lawrence, leader of the Renaissance and a prime mover behind WQED. It was Lawrence who announced the organization of WQED on Jan. 14, 1953. While there were other TV stations around the country dedicated to educational and cultural programming, WQED was the first community-owned one. The station's other parent was Leland Hazard, counsel for PPG Industries and the station's first president. Its studio was an Oakland building once owned by PPG at 4337 Fifth Ave., across the street from Heinz Chapel. The Rev. Robert J. Lamont, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, offered a televised prayer, asking that "through its facilities, the best things in life may be shared with the community." Hazard then began a WQED tradition that lives on today: accepting a donor's check. Emerson Radio and Phonograph Co. gave $10,000 for educational efforts. Six months later, another tradition began. It was the on-air fund drive. The station mounted a marathon 52-hour telethon, "the longest in TV history" up to that point. While offering classes via TV to students in Pittsburgh and 10 surrounding counties, WQED also was charged with providing "cultural" programs as well. The station aired those shows starting at 5 p.m., "timed for the lull between schools ending and the beginning of the evening," as one newspaper put it. That hour was "The Children's Corner," devised by two of WQED's original employees, Josie Carey and Fred Rogers. SEE WQED, PAGE G-14 1964 Terri and Brett Hardt of Allison Park watch themselves on a television monitor during a WQED open house in 1964. Visitors lined up in the rain to tour the station headquarters at 4337 Fifth Ave., which was approaching its 10th anniversary and gearing up for its annual fund drive, with a goal of $250,000. -A y , I "3 - Josie and ( f fie pussycat: Josie V ' 1 ,Carey. With Daniel V"1 ' 1 Str;-ed Ter, on I Xr ' ;3set at WQED. (( JhN) s ov X .'ift i r tin?" j""MI J rrfTT W ,M '''l if n I " 4 shooting on ' s I l; ) C, V I "Mister Rogers' J M I Vll'1 - J I I Neighborhood," i-qui , j f Jmm' producer-director - - J r . t Sam Silberman, J a-"-""" -J S. f t above left, and .tnrt . , , V 4 Fred Rogers make 5475 ' ,! adjustments to ( j : J ' ( 1 1?1 King Friday's I 'if"l f 7 ''j castle in the .ik,.i, - Neighborhood of .u Illl:!yril iwaw,r-MmiJ 1 T'-V jj ' Make-Believe. 1 ' il pi s -f J 1 I ; j 'vJH l Post-Gazette photos TIMELINE February 1953: Metropolitan Pittsburgh Educational Television Is incorporated. Its name will change to: Metropolitan Pittsburgh Public Broadcasting, QED Communications, WQED Pittsburgh and WQED Multimedia. ' March 1953: Leland Hazard is elected president at the first board of directors' meeting. Aprfl 1953: WQED is incorporated. W" Is mandatory designation for this region, while the Latin QED" is short for "Quod Erat Demonstrandum," roughly meaning "let it be demonstrated." August 1953: PPG Industries gives old ; Holland mansion, Fifth and Bellefield avenues, to Pitt for use by WQED. September 1953: Mrs. James Torino, a 41-year-old Pitcairn mother of two, becomes first "$2-a-year subscriber on faith" to WQED and calls educational TV "the coming thing." November Apr 1, 1954: WQED signs on as first 1953. community-owned public television station and Students n'rt educational TV outlet in the country. A mark National Pittsburgh Press columnist predicts launch of Education educational television "could, conceivably, have Week with as &reat an Impact upon civilization as the first door-to-door P10"0 school." Among the first regularly campaign scheduled shows: "The Children's Comer" with to "sell" host Josie Carey and producer Fred Rogers, educational TV. continued, page 6-14 ALSO INSIDE: ARTS& ENTERTAINMENT The Darkness pooh-poohs punk and sheds light on the band's hard-rock revival. PAGE G-3 Chanel's rimless sunglasses with gradient lenses, from Eyetique. X i if STYLEWISE The sunny forecast for sunglasses includes lots of rimless varieties and colorful gradient lenses. PAGEG-12 FOOD 4 f ?v?v r Food Editor Suzanne Martinson gets out of the same-old-recipe rut with something new from Ireland. PAGE G-13 E-MAIL: MAGAZINEU5T-GAZEnE.COM PH0NEWy3SITE: FOR FEATURES, 412-263-1635, WWW.P0ST-GAZEnE.COMLIFESTYlJ; FOR ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT, 412-263-3859, WWW.POST-GAZEnE.COMA'

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