Tag Archives: The Group

R.I.P. WGBH-TV’s TOCN: The Aftermath Before Greater Boston

And WGBH, despite a tradition as the “Tiffany” station in the Public Broadcasting System [ahem… “Service”], is no exception. ’GBH is a national powerhouse, producing shows such as Frontline (the one shining exception to PBS’s public-affairs vacuum), NovaThis Old House, and Masterpiece Theatre, filling about one-third of PBS’s prime-time line-up. But when it comes to local programming, WGBH’s call letters for most of the ’90s might as well have been AWOL.

Dan Kennedy, The Boston Phoenix February 7th, 1997

In 1997, Dan Kennedy who was the media writer for the Boston Phoenix, the once “alternative” paper in the area; did a writeup on the inaugural week of Greater Boston. Kennedy brought this ol article back into light on his blog after the cancelation of Beat The Press a couple Thursdays ago.

I am not going to quote the very lengthy article in verbatim (because that’s what alternative papers are, long-winded) but I would like to bullet-point specific parts that relate to what ended The Ten O’ Clock News, how Christopher Lydon moved over to WBUR-FM and actually this year marked the 20th anniversary of his dismissal at ‘BUR; because this article highlights the midpoint of Lydon’s career at 90.9.

And just to clarify, Emily Rooney quasi-retired from WGBH-TV at the end of 2014, when Jim Bradue came from NECN to take over hosting the program, while her show Beat The Press (of which she owns the registered trademark, not WGBH) continued and she hosted to it’s very end. The article does not state this program because it didn’t go on the air till the following year in 1998.

Continue reading R.I.P. WGBH-TV’s TOCN: The Aftermath Before Greater Boston

If you remember The Group… you’re not hallucinating!

If you were a kid in the 1990s and was either channel surfing or happened to see this program after The Newshour, you actually weren’t seeing things. This was the show that succeeded The Ten O Clock News on WGBH-TV Channel 2. I am not sure specifically when The Group went on air, but this was the show that covered local affairs until a lady named Emily Rooney came along by 1997. Other than Say Brother, WGBH was relying entirely on their national programming as their identity. Nearly four years later, the station would rebrand to ‘GBH (albeit on the air) then more hell would break loose from the outside looking in.

Chyron IV styled titles that was left alone from the last production, The Ten O Clock News.

The program was blaintely recession-era production value. Hell they didn’t even change the font package on the Chyron Scribe, it was the same title package from TOCN if you look closely enough.

The Group Open (Apparently The Wednesday Group) this from 1992

The animation package for The Group was pretty advanced compared to the rest of the program

The plain set as of 1992

Apparently Marcus Jones was able to apply as a producer for this show, according to that spring comment on YouTube, but this program had much less people behind the scenes. There wasn’t much need to do a lot of producing if there was no host. I am unsure if WGBH had gotten robotic cameras (at least on the head for Pan Tilting and Zooming.) I remember albeit vaguely another set that looked like they were in Studio A, the big one, where I thought they literally taping a nightly program on backstage. I vaguely remember the WGBH logo was on some signage, and I could’ve remembered large bins and other weird props or BTS type of storage equipment.

Obviously if The Group  was so successful, there would be loads of videos on YouTube, but there’s not. The show had that much impact in the market. That show was far from a dooszy…  I kid. They needed Emily Rooney and her crew more than she needed them.

That should tell you right there how desperate the station was at that point. Again this went right into ’97.

There was a reason why I was really skeptical about the reboot of the ‘GBH branding. They are one program away from being from where they were on June 1st, 1991 if the mismanagement continues.