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Vermont's Own Legacy: 60 Years of WCAX, Part 2 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont's Own Legacy: 60 Years of WCAX, Part 2

Vermont's Own Legacy: 60 Years of WCAX, Part 2

The exciting and emotional story of Vermont's first television station is told through candid interviews, rare archival footage and photos. Learn the unique story of WCAX; from its humble roots as a small newspaper and radio company, to the challenge of building a transmitter on Vermont's highest peak. Find out what it has taken to remain successful as one of the last remaining local, family-owned TV stations in America.

TRANSCRIPT:

>> THEN IN 1958, CP HASBROOK STEPPED DOWN AND RED MARTIN BECAME THE PRESIDENT OF WCAX.

HIS PERSONALITY AND PHILOSOPHIES WOULD SHAPE THE FUTURE OF CHANNEL 3.

>> RED, ALTHOUGH NOT A BROADCASTER INITIALLY, BECAME ONE, BECAUSE HE CARED ABOUT THE COMMUNITY WHERE HE AND HIS FAMILY LIVED.

>> GREG MARTIN WAS -- RED MARTIN WAS INTERESTED IN THE TECHNOLOGY OF TELEVISION LIKE CHILDREN ARE INTERESTED IN TOYS, AND I KNOW HE KEPT THE STATION, KNOW, AT THE FOREFRONT OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE.

>> BEING TECHNICALLY MINDED, HE DIDN'T MIND SPENDING THE MONEY TO KEEP US NO. 1.

>> IT WAS A CASE OF YOU DID NOT WANT FOR EQUIPMENT.

THE EDITING GEAR THAT WE HAD AT THAT POINT WAS BETTER THAN WHAT WAS ON THE CBS EVENING NEWS WITH DAN RATHER.

>> AND HE SAW AND UNDERSTOOD THE IMPORTANCE OF NEWS AND DOING IT RIGHT.

>> RED MARTIN DID NOT BELIEVE IN THE MODEL OF THE PRETTY FACE ON TELEVISION.

HE WANTED PEOPLE WHO HAD A KEEN INTELLECT.

>> WHAT HE WANTED TO MAKE SURE WAS THAT CHANNEL 3 WAS THE PLACE THAT HAD VERMONT.

>> HE SAID OUR RESPONSIBILITY AND OUR ROLE WAS TO PRESENT INFORMATION, WHETHER IT'S GOOD INFORMATION OR BAD INFORMATION.

VERMONTERS HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW.

>> THE PERSON DELIVERING THE NEWS IN THE RED MARTIN PHILOSOPHY WAS THE ONE YOU COULD TRUST AND RESPECT THE MOST, BECAUSE THAT PERSON HAD MADE THE DECISIONS ABOUT THE NEWS.

>> AFTER TEN YEARS OF EXPERIMENTATION, THE ARRIVAL OF RICHARD MICKEY GALLIGHER BROUGHT A TRIO TOGETHER THAT CAME TO DEFINE THE CHANNEL 3 NEWS AND WHAT IT WOULD BECOME.

>> THE DAY WASN'T COMPLETE WITHOUT HEARING THE NEWS FROM MICKEY, THE WEATHER FROM STEWART AND THE SPORTS FROM TONY.

>> ON AIR FOR DECADES, THOSE SAME PEOPLE WERE THERE.

IT WAS LIKE AN EXTENSION OF YOUR FAMILY.

YOU TURNED ON THE NEWS BECAUSE IT WAS ON AT 6 O'CLOCK.

THAT WAS PART OF THE CULTURE REALLY.

>> I'M RICHARD GALLIGHER.

>> MICKEY GALLIGHER, RICHARD GALLIGHER, WAS GOOD OLD-FASHIONED NEWSMAN.

>> HE WAS ONE OF THE BEST WRITERS THAT I'VE EVER COME ACROSS, WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, HOW.

YOU BETTER HAVE THOSE FIVE BASIC, FIVE W'S, IN YOUR STORY, BECAUSE IF YOU HAVEN'T ANSWERED THEM, PEOPLE WILL NOTICE IT RIGHT AWAY.

>> MICKEY REALLY SET CHANNEL 3 UP IN A HARD-NOSED NEWS OPERATION.

HE USED TO SAY, JUST GIVE THE NEWS.

>> HELLO, ONCE AGAIN, EVERYBODY, AND WELCOME TO UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT HOCKEY LIVE HERE ON CHANNEL 3.

>> GOOD NIGHT, GOOD SPORTS.

THAT ABOUT WRAPS IT UP FOR NOW.

UNTIL TOMORROW NIGHT AT THE SAME TIME, TONY ADAMS, GOOD NIGHT, GOOD SPORTS.

>> TONY ADAMS WAS A FIXTURE, AND HE WAS WONDERFUL, AND YEAH, EVERYBODY KNEW HIM.

HE WAS A SPORTS GUY.

>> WHEN THE LOCAL BASKETBALL TEAM WAS ON TELEVISION, EVERYBODY IN TOWN, YOU KNOW, HAD CHANNEL 3 ON.

THAT IS VERY CLEVER STUFF FOR CHANNEL 3 TO DO.

>> WHAT A RIDICULOUS WAY TO DO TELEVISION.

HUH?

IS THAT RIDICULOUS OR WHAT?

YOU BRING THE WHOLE TEAM INTO THE STUDIO.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANT TO EVERY SMALL TOWN IN VERMONT?

THERE THEY ARE.

THOSE ARE OUR KIDS.

AND PEOPLE FEEL GOOD ABOUT THAT.

AND TONY ADAMS WAS WISE ENOUGH TO GET THAT.

>> THIS IS THE WEATHER.

THIS IS THE TIME, TIME TO SAY SO LONG UNTIL WE MEET UNTIL.

>> STEWART HALL, GREAT WEATHERMAN.

>> I'D SAY STEWART AND RED MARTIN BOTH CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH IN THE SENSE THAT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO LET EVERYBODY KNOW WHAT WAS GOING TO BE HAPPENING, BUT YOU DON'T WANT TO HYPE IT.

>> I ONCE READ AT A MUSEUM IN WASHINGTON D.C. THAT JOURNALISTS WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT OF HISTORY, AND THAT'S TRUE, AND IF YOU DON'T TAKE THAT SERIOUSLY, YOU'RE IN THE WRONG BUSINESS.

OUR NEWS HAD TO BE NEWS THAT YOU COULD TRUST.

>> PROBABLY THE MOST SIGNIFICANT THING THAT HAPPENED WAS THAT WE WENT TO ONE HOUR OF NEWS AT SIX.

THAT WAS A VERY UNUSUAL THING TO DO.

>> I SAID WE WERE BITING OFF MORE THAN WE COULD CHEW.

IT WAS BEFORE THE TIME OF VIDEOTAPE.

>> WE DIDN'T HAVE COMPUTERS IN THOSE DAYS.

WE HAD PAPER WITH CARBONS IN THEM, AND WE USED TO WRITE OUR SCRIPTS ON THAT.

THIS WAS THE INDUSTRY STANDARD.

THEY SAID YOU COULD DROP THIS OUT OF A HELICOPTER AT 5 OR 600 FEET AND PICK IT UP AND KEEP SHOOTING.

>> ALL THE FILM HAD TO BE TAKEN BACK TO BURLINGTON TO BE PROCESSED.

>> GETTING THAT STUFF BACK TO THE STATION, GETTING IT PROCESSED, GETTING IT WRITTEN, IT WAS A BEAR.

>> I'D GO TO THE FAIRY LANDING WITH A ROLL OF FILM, AND I WOULD START AT THE HEAD OF THE LINE AND ASK ANYBODY IF THEY WERE GOING TO BURLINGTON, WOULD THEY DROP THIS OFF WHEREVER THEY WENT.

I HAD A 5-DOLLAR BILL IN MY HAND.

WE PAID THEM.

NEVER LOST A ROLL OF FILM.

IT MADE THE 6 O'CLOCK NEWS EVERY NIGHT.

MANY PEOPLE SAID, OH, IS THIS GOING TO BE ON THE NEWS TONIGHT?

I SAID YES.

AND THEY SAID, WE'LL TAKE IT.

WE KNOW WHERE THE STATION IS.

MANY PEOPLE BROUGHT IT RIGHT THERE AND WERE GLAD TO DO IT.

THEY FELT PART OF THE PROGRAM.

>> IT WAS REALLY A CHALLENGE TO FIND ENOUGH NEWS AND ENOUGH CONTENT TO FILL AN HOUR EVERY DAY WITH THE TYPE OF STAFF THAT THEY HAD.

SO THEY DUG INTO WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN STATE GOVERNMENT AND IN COMMUNITIES AND REALLY TOLD PEOPLE IMPORTANT THINGS THAT HELPED SHAPE THEIR LIVES.

>> YOU COULD DO AN IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW INSTEAD OF JUST A COUPLE OF QUICK QUESTIONS.

>> WITH THE NEWS PROGRAM, YOU CAN QUOTE ME, AND I WAS WILLING TO BE ON THERE.

>> SUFFICIENT SUBSTANCE TO THE NEW FEDERALISM TO PROVIDE A BASIS WHEN THE LEGISLATURE CONVENES IN JANUARY.

>> THE YOU CAN QUOTE ME WAS VERY POPULAR AND STILL IS, BUT THEN I THINK EVERY POLITICIAN WATCHED IT.

IT WAS JUST TO STAY INFORMED, YOU HAD TO WATCH IT.

AND THEN THERE WAS THE MORE BENIGN AND FOLKSY ACROSS THE FENCE.

>> HELLO.

WELCOME TO ACROSS THE FENCE.

>> I THINK THE HOUR-LONG NEWS PROGRAM IS WHAT FOR SO LONG NOW HAS SET THEM APART.

>> IT WAS AN ERA OF STRONG COMPETITION, WHICH ALSO SAW THE ARRIVAL OF A YOUNG REPORTER NAMED MARSELIS.

>> YOU DON'T CONSIDER YOURSELF POOR THEN?

I DON'T THINK SO, NO.

>> WE ALWAYS COMPETED.

WE COMPETED WITH THE NEWSPAPER.

WE FELT WE WERE STRONG ENOUGH.

THE BIGGEST THING WE HAD TO WORRY ABOUT WAS BURLINGTON FREE PRESS, RUTLAND HERALD, BARRY TIMES.

I ALWAYS CONSIDERED THEM MY MAIN COMPETITION BECAUSE THEY HAD A LOT OF RESOURCE, TOO.

>> RICHARD GALLIGHER WAS THE NEWSMAN WHO SAID THE NEWS COMES FIRST.

DO WHAT YOU GOT TO DO TO GET THE NEWS ON.

>> THERE'S NOTHING LIKE BEING THE FIRST WITH THE STORY, WITH A GOOD STORY, NOTHING LIKE IT.

MAKES YOUR DAY.

>> NEWS COMPETITION WAS AT ITS HIGHEST AND VERMONT GOT SO MUCH DONE.

SO MUCH OF THAT CAME ABOUT BECAUSE OF THE MAIN NEWS MEDIA WATCHING CLOSELY, YOU KNOW.

THERE WAS A PRESS MEETING IN MOUNT MOUNT -- MONTPELIER.

HE WAS TOUGHER THAN NAILS.

HE WAS THE LIBERAL, AND MICKEY WAS THE CONSERVATIVE, AND THEY NEVER AGREED ON ANYTHING, AND THEY WERE AT THE BAR, AND THEY ENDED UP IN THE PARKING LOT SWINGING AT EACH OTHER.

IT WAS A REAL FIGHT OUT IN THAT PARKING LOT.

THE NEWS COMPETITION IN VERMONT WAS VERY, VERY INTENSE.

THE FACT THAT THE HEAD OF TWO OF THE THREE MOST INFLUENTIAL NEWS ORGANIZATIONS IN THE STATE WOULD END UP IN FIST -- FISTICUFFS OVER A MATTER OF SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE ADMINISTRATION OF STATE GOVERNMENT SAYS SOMETHING WONDERFUL ABOUT THE PASSION THAT EXISTED IN THE NEWS MEDIA IN THIS STATE, AND ONE OF THEM WAS THE RUTLAND HERALD GUY, AND ONE OF THEM WAS A CHANNEL 3 GUY.

>> OCTOBER 12th, 1984, WAS A DAY THAT WOULD CHANGE THE COURSE OF THE CHANNEL 3 NEWS.

>> GOOD EVENING, I'M MARSELIS PARSONS.

THE MAN WHO DELIVERED THIS NEWS FOR 20 YEARS IS DEAD.

RICHARD GALLIGHER, WHOM WE ALL KNEW AS MICKEY, DIED THIS AFTERNOON OF A MASSIVE HEART ATTACK.

HE HAD JUST TURNED 58 THIS PAST MONDAY.

>> I RECALL THE BROADCAST THAT NIGHT WHEN THE TEASER WAS A DEATH IN OUR FAMILY, AND ALL OF US WONDERED WHO THAT COULD BE AND LEARNED IN A VERY SHORT TIME THAT MICKEY HAD LEFT US.

>> IT WAS A SHOCK TO ME.

IT WAS VERY SUDDEN.

>> MICKEY DID HIS USUAL STINT AS HOST OF "YOU CAN QUOTE ME".

THEY RECORDED THE SHOW AT 11 THAT MORNING.

HE TOOK THE USUAL, WENT HOME TO LUNCH, AND DID NOT RETURN.

HE DIED JUST AFTER LUNCH.

>> IT WAS A BAD DAY.

IT WAS A BAD DAY, BECAUSE MICKEY WAS A GOOD GUY.

HE WAS A GOOD TEACHER.

HE WAS A GOOD MENTOR AND WAS JUST GENERALLY A GOOD GUY.

>> IT, OF COURSE, IS ALWAYS A SHOCK WHEN SOMEONE THAT YOU WORK WITH, YOU KNOW, LEAVES AND DOESN'T COME BACK, AND WE GOT THROUGH IT.

>> IT WAS REALLY DEVASTATING, BUT I'LL TELL YOU, IT WAS SUCH A PROFESSIONAL CREW THAT THEY KNEW THAT THEY HAD TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THE NEWS DAY AND THAT THE DEATH OF THEIR BE LOVED ANCHOR WAS A BIG PART OF THE NEWS AND WOULD REALLY TOUCH PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE.

>> FOR ALL OF US AT CHANNEL 3, HE OBVIOUSLY LEAVES A TREMENDOUS VOID.

OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH HIS WIFE AND THREE CHILDREN, HIS FAMILY, HIS MANY FRIENDS AND FANS.

WE SHALL ALL MISS HIM A LOT.

REST IN PEACE, MICKEY.



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