Living Memories New York City Television

Remembering: The Price Is Right

piano keys illustration
Photo by Pixabay on

Host Bob Barker‘s recent passing at age 99 brought back memories of my experience on The Price Is Right stage as a ten-year-old in the late 1950s.

Our family would visit relatives in New Jersey during our vacations from our home in Ohio. In those days, shows like The Price Is Right were filmed in New York City studios. Like others have recently commented, watching The Price Is Right on TV is what you did if you were home sick from school or if school was closed for a snow day.

Somehow my Dad qualified to be a contestant. He won big on the first day, so they brought him back for a second day (where he won nothing more). At the end of day one after the cameras were off, host Bill Cullen had me join them on stage. Cullen then asked my Dad to bring me back for day two – that’s when I was on the show. I remember my Dad needing to wear a blue shirt for the show – white shirts were too bright for the cameras!

A few months after we returned home, Dad bought an audio recording of the show on a 78 rpm record which was mailed to him. We had fun listening to the scratchy bidding replay on our record player, though there was no video back then.

One item my Dad won was an upright Sohmer piano, shipped to our Ohio home. I wasn’t thrilled about it, as my parents immediately pushed me to take lessons! Like many forced into childhood piano lessons, I wish I had practiced more and truly learned to play.

It’s funny what sparks these old memories. Bob Barker and The Price Is Right take me back to a simpler time.

Living Television Web/Tech

Pricing Power and the Beginning of the End for Cable TV?

Wesabe’s Marc Hedlund writes on the Wesabe blog about what his Comcast cable TV service costs – and how those costs have grown – for the exact same service – from $27.88 per month in 2006 to an average of $70.97 per month during 2008. “Same channels, same house, same everything.”

Here’s the graph he posted:

Comcast Costs Increase - 2006 to 2008

Without a service like Wesabe to make this behavior by Comcast blindingly obvious, many of us might not notice in increasingly bigger hand reaching into our pockets!

Anyway, that’s what is called having “pricing power” – the ability to take prices up without losing demand. Those are great businesses where they exist – but often greed takes over and eventually reactions begin to occur – provoking replacements (where monopolies don’t exist) or substitutions.

As a result of his anger about Comcast’s seemingly endless price increases, Marc’s now moving to Internet-based video delivery instead of cable – and canceling Comcast. One worry, of course, is that Internet costs could also rise – as most of us don’t have all that many choices for Internet service. But, we almost always have more than one to choose from – and having more than one choice is usually all it takes.

Current Affairs Television

Favorites: Charlie Rose

I’m a big fan of Charlie Rose – I just love his interviewing style, the time he spends, the quality of his insights and questions. Truly great stuff. Fortunately, DVR’s – and his web site – came along at just the right time to allow me to feed my Charlie Rose addiction at the times of my choosing.

Charlie’s interview earlier this week with Richard Branson is one not to miss. Branson’s views on global warming, the importance of a sugar-based ethanol solution, and so much more were just fascinating to hear. Watch and enjoy!

San Francisco/California Television

Tom Stienstra’s New Great Outdoors TV Show

It’s great to see that outdoors writer Tom Stienstra has a new Great Outdoors TV show in the San Francisco Bay Area on UPN Cable 12 Sundays at 6:30 PM.

I was able to catch his first show on Tivo last night at 10:30 PM — and it’s great. Tom takes you to some of the hidden gems on the north side of Mt. Tamalpais.

Radio Television Travel

Mount Wilson

I flew down to Burbank on Wednesday this week and while driving to the meeting I was going to attend I gazed off in the distance at Mount Wilson. In my youth, I remembered reading about a ham radio station located on the top of Mount Wilson that was remotely controlled from the operator’s home miles away. I wondered whether it still existed.

Little did I know that Scott Fybush has posted almost everything you’d ever want to know about that mountain — and its role in broadcasting to the greater LA basin.

Thanks to Doc for providing some links that took me to Scott’s amazing web site.