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									Local 45   International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

                           Business Manager Lloyd Webster   Winter 2006

   Hunter Bloch
  Explains the New
    Digital XD
   Frank Walters Explains the Fast-paced
     World of News Editing and Recent
   Technological Changes in the Industry

                         Page 1
                             Business Manager’s Message
 Business Manager’s Year End Report 2005
                                                    By Lloyd Webster
Dear Sisters and Brothers,                                                                 tory and Path Fire for loading commercials
                                                                                           into servers.
                                                                                                 Management is currently looking for
     This is to inform you of what                                                         sites to install a new radar facility. They
has been happening at the various                                                          upgraded the transmitter and infrastructure
shops we represent here at Local                                                           at Mount Wilson.
45.                                                                                              Finally, the Nextel change-over proj-
    Television City - Hollywood                                                            ect has been delayed. This is a nationwide
     Television City has been very busy                                                    problem.
with the following shows being shot there:                                                               CBS Radio
•    Young and the Restless                                                                      There has been a name change from
•    Bold and Beautiful                                                                    Infinity to CBS Radio.
•    Price is Right                                                                              In LA, the combining of four stations
•    Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson                                                    into one building is now complete. They
•    Real Time with Bill Maher                                                             are very heavily into HD Radio, on both
•    Tyra Banks Show                                                                       AM and FM.
•    Dancing with the Stars                                                                      The Company is seeking new Engi-
•    Dreamgirls                                                                            neering people with R.F. backgrounds.
•    Deal or No Deal
                                             And coming up will be a Game Show
                                                                                                          LA CITY
•    American Idol                                                                               Local 45 Staff and members gave
•    Survivor Finale                                                                       their Power Point presentation to numer-
                                                   Television City can now boast that it
•    Rock Star                                                                             ous City Council members outlining the
                                             has a top ten show for all four networks,
•    The Biggest Loser Finals                                                              wage disparity within similar classifica-
                                             CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.
                                                                                           tions between the Department of Water &
        IBEW Local 45                              On the technical side, the Company
                                             has upgraded two studios to Hi-Defini-
                                                                                           Power and the Information Technology
    6255 Sunset Blvd., Ste. 721              tion, with new SSL audio consoles, new
      Hollywood, CA 90028                                                                        Contract negotiations continue after
                                             Hi-Definition Editing Room and they are
                                                                                           the Bargaining Unit rejected the City’s
          (323) 851-5515                     planning to get SR equipment and DVD
                                                                                           final offer.
                                                                                                 Local 45 Staff and members met with
         Business Manager/                         Syndication continues to be very
                                                                                           the City Administrative Officer to discuss
         Financial Secretary                 busy. Promos for CBS network and UPN,
                                                                                           the wage disparity issue.
            Lloyd Webster                    soon to be the CW network, are still being
                                                                                                 IBEW Ninth District Vice-President
                                             done at Television City.
                                                                                           Mike Mowrey and IA Representative
          Executive Assistant                 CBS News Bureau - Hollywood                  Tim Dixon met with Local 45 Staff and
           Miriam Marchan                          The good news is the network has        members and pledged their support for our
                                             given our members the new Sony XD             issues in negotiations with the City of LA.
             Bookkeeper                      Cam and Avid Editors. They have also
             Gayle Jordan                    trained our members. The shooters really
                                                                                                       LA COUNTY
                                             love the new cameras. The Company                   The Agency Fee Procedure was
         Dues Administrator                                                                implemented thereby guaranteeing that
                                             announced it plans to install video servers
            Tasha Curtis                     in the LA bureau. The Edit Rooms have         all employees that are represented by the
                                             been upgraded to newscutter adrenalines.      Union are paying their fair share.
    Assistant Dues Administrator
                                                                                                 The Bargaining Unit received a union
            Kristy Graham                         KCBS/KCAL - Hollywood
                                                                                           negotiated wage increase of 2.5%.
                                                   The big story at both stations is the
      Business Representatives               new studios being built to house both sta-               LA City College
        Southern California                  tions. The project should be completed in          A successor three-year contract was
       Richard “Rick” Rogers                 the second quarter of 2007.                   negotiated by the Union which provided
                                                   The Company purchased seven new         for an initial wage increase of 5.23%.
         Northern California                 ENG vans and upgraded the satellite truck         LA Unified School District
          Hugh McGuigan                      to digital. They are working on Flip Fac-          Local 45 members continued to re-
                                                                                           ceive the 7% increase as negotiated by the
                                                               Page 2
Union that covers the training of employ-     of classification to wage compensation,         worked well with Local 45 in his previous
ees to become Communications Techni-          were discussed and resolved.                   position at KRON and we look forward to
cians.                                                          NMT                          a continued good working relationship.
      The Bargaining Unit received a 2%             Assisted Business Manager Webster              The Union and the company reached
wage increase retroactive to July 1, 2004.    in negotiating a successor contract for both   a tentative Agreement on a new three-year
         KTNV – Las Vegas                     the Engineers and Drivers. The Drivers         agreement for the writers and PA’s with
      Negotiated the first TV Union con-       received a 1.5% increase on 1/1/06. The        wage and holiday increases for our free-
tract in Las Vegas on behalf of the fifteen    Engineers’ compensation was changed to         lance members.
newly organized Photojournalists that         reflect a salary based system that in each            Local 45 wishes to thank long-time
guarantees an average of at least a 2%        of the first two years guarantees an amount     steward Curtis Caldwell for his many
wage increase in each of the next three       equal to 10% of what they received in          years of assistance. Curtis has decided to
years and includes increased protection       2004 while still being paid many of their      step down, as he will be retiring soon.
against last minute schedule changes.         existing premiums.                                   KRON – San Francisco
We also held a shop meeting and Holiday             Local 45 conducted several La-                 Changes continue at KRON. The lo-
party for the members.                        bor/Management Committee Meetings in           cal has assisted several members in receiv-
              KGET-TV                         which numerous issues, from scheduling         ing voluntary severance packages.
     Members received a Union negoti-         to wage compensation, were discussed and             The local worked for many months
ated wage increase of 3.25%.                  resolved.                                      on a new agreement that was ultimately
We also held a shop meeting and Holiday                   KRTH/KROQ                          agreed upon in August 2005. A new clas-
party for the members.                             Our members received a Union              sification, Video Journalist, was created
              KERO-TV                         negotiated increase of 3%. We also made        with shooters reporting and also editing.
     Members received a Union negoti-         a shop visit to our members.                         The jurisdiction is shared with
ated wage increase of 2%.                               KTVU – Oakland                       AFTRA, and members working in this
We also held a shop meeting and Holiday             The company added a 5:00PM news          position are receiving significant wage
party for the members.                        show giving additional work to our mem-        improvements. The Company is very
                                                                                             pleased with the speed in which our mem-
              KBAK-TV                         bers.
                                                                                             bers have embraced the new classification.
Members received a Union negotiated                 The local filed a grievance for a
                                              member who was wrongly denied a job                  The Local was successful in revers-
wage increase of 2%.                                                                         ing an out-of-sequence layoff of two
We also held a shop meeting and Holiday       opportunity. The company agreed to give
                                              the job to our member, she is performing       members.
party for the members.                                                                             A grievance was filed and we were
         Hollywood Park/                      well and it has been a success for both the
                                              local and the employer.                        successful in reducing a suspension to
       Santa Anita-Television                       Members continue to improve on           a letter of warning. We argued that the
      Members received a Union negoti-        ENG editing in the field.                       company had not followed any progres-
ated wage increase of 3%.                           We are now in the final year of the       sive discipline and that a suspension for an
      The Union conducted several shop        CBA and will be working with members           employee with an otherwise clean record
meetings and visits to our members to hear    for their input on a new agreement.            was excessive.
their concerns.                                     Local 45 wishes to thank long-time               KCRA – Sacramento
        Clear Channel Radio                   steward Eddie Ento for his many years of             Members are in the final year of
     KIIS-FM/KHHT Engineers received          service to the Local and the KTVU mem-         agreement and the working relationship
a Union negotiated wage increase of 4%.       bers.                                          with the employer is constructive and
     Assisted Business Manager Webster        Eddie has decided to step down but has         positive.
in negotiating the first contract with the     agreed to assist us in bargaining.                   Local worked with management and
five newly organized Engineers who work                   KPIX/KBHK –                         was successful in reducing the duration of
for KTLK, KYSR, KBIG, KOST, KLAC                                                             a couple of disciplinary suspensions.
and KFI that guarantees average wage in-                 San Francisco                             Union objected to the use of produc-
creases of 2.83% over the next three years.         The local filed a grievance for           ers to shoot still shots for air and it was
                                              wrongful termination of a member. The
           Capitol Records                    company subsequently offered a sever-
     Technicians received a Union negoti-                                                          Local 45 highlighted The KCRA
                                              ance package, which was accepted by the        EXPERIENCE in the Quarterly newslet-
ated 2% wage increase.                        member.
     Building Engineers received a Union                                                     ter. The Union held a Holiday luncheon
                                                    The local was successful in getting      for our KCRA members with Management
negotiated 2% wage increase.                  a service credit adjustment for one of our
     Charter Communications                                                                  also in attendance.
                                              members. This allows him to receive sig-
      Members received a Union negoti-        nificant vacation improvements and other                   KSEE – Fresno
ated increase on average of 3.5%.             service credit issues.                              A number of grievances were suc-
      Local 45 conducted several La-                The company has hired Don Sharp          cessfully processed this year.
bor/Management Committee Meetings in          as the News Operations Manager. Don has             We were able to reverse company
which numerous issues, from working out                                                      practice of charging a vacation day when

                                                                Page 3
employee was off on a holiday. The com-      employees have since been added. The          the agreement. Additionally, the employer
pany stopped the practice and reinstated     employer continues to look for additional     stated during bargaining that if station
lost vacation days.                          Service Technician hires.                     results were good, a bonus would be
      The duration of a disciplinary sus-          The union filed a grievance over         given. The company kept the promise and
pension was reduced after consultation       company action of sending employees           gave out bonuses earlier this year to the
with Management.                             home with less than the contractual 40-       members.
      Company plans to have reporters        hour workweek. Company agreed to stop               The Station has almost completed its
shoot news stories for air was stopped due   practice but state they believe they have     digital conversion.
to union’s objections.                       the right and will present at next round of
           KFSN – Fresno                     bargaining.
     Local 45 wishes to thank long-time            We continue to work on company
steward Tom Moscatelli for his many          abuse of start time and travel time.
years of service to the Local and member               Day Wireless –
of KFSN.                                            Bay Area/Sacramento
     Tom has retired and we wish him a            A new one-year agreement was
long and happy retirement.                   reached without many changes. The em-
     A new three-year agreement was          ployer did agree to pick up an additional
reached with employees receiving 9%          5% of medical costs.
over the life of the agreement. Union and         Steward Dave Green resigned and
management worked together on an exten-      moved to Montana. We have a replace-
sion of existing terms and conditions with   ment Steward, Frank McClory, who has
the wage adjustment. The membership          volunteered to take the position.
overwhelmingly accepted the agreement.            Company has consolidated facilities
     The company has added three full        and is now operating in Benicia, Hayward,
time positions this year.                    and Sacramento.
   GE – Bay Area/ Sacramento                         KVIE – Sacramento
     The union filed a grievance over              A new three-year agreement was
the use of non-union temporary employ-       reached and accepted by the membership.
ees and was successful in getting them       Wages will improve 8% over the life of        Cameraman Tom Rapier
removed from the job. Three full time

                                                                          New KCBS/KCAL
                                                                            Studio Under

     A new KCBS/KCAL studio is under construction
and scheduled to open in early 2007. It is expected to
be the most modern in the nation, if not the world.
     The new $45 million studio is rising on a 11.5-
acre plot about seven miles from Columbia Square in
Hollywood. The newsroom in the new building will
be named after Jerry Dunphy, who died in 2002 after a
half-century as a Los Angeles broadcast journalist.
     Ground was ceremonially broken on June 18 by
CBS brass and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

                                                               Page 4
                 Hunter Bloch Explains the New
                     Digital XD Camera:
      For CBS news camera operators like       tape, Bloch’s new
Hunter Bloch, a second’s decision can          camera records di-
mean catching the perfect shot — or miss-      rectly onto a CD that
ing it by a mile.                              is held stable inside
      Armed with a new digital XD cam-         a transparent plastic
era, Bloch has a powerful new tool for the     cartridge. “They look
task of telling a story with pictures on TV.   like the old floppy
It’s an important job, because the footage     disks, only bigger
Bloch captures during his day of shooting      and capable of hold-
in the city of Los Angeles ends up on the      ing so much more
CBS evening news that night for millions       information,” Bloch
of Americans to see.                           said. “We can hold 45
      The new cameras are powerful tools       minutes of high-defi-
because they offer Bloch a variety of new      nition video on these
features that turn seconds into a lifetime     disk cartridges.”
— and make possible what was previously              Another im-
unheard of with cassette-
based technology.                                                                                              resolution by the time
      “As long as you’re                                                                                       we get back in from the
pointing the camera and                                                                                        field.”
not shaking it, it will log                                                                                     Once they’ve returned
the last twelve seconds in                                                                                     from a day of shoot-
a temporary video cache,”                                                                                      ing, Bloch said they can
said Bloch, a 40-year                                                                                          tell the computer to go
veteran of the industry                                                                                        into the hard copy and
and a Local 45 member                                                                                          pull out the particular
since he came to CBS in                                                                                        timecodes used by the
1977. He likens the video                                                                                      editors when they were
cache feature to a mini-                                                                                       editing the low-res cut.
TIVO digital recorder.                                                                                         “It’s really revolutioniz-
“As soon as I hit record                                                                                       ing the way we’re doing
it grabs those last twelve                                                                                     things,” said Bloch. “We
seconds and tacks them                                                                                         used to have to wind and
onto the beginning of my                                                                                       re-wind back and forth
shot,” Bloch marveled. “If                                                                                     to find what you wanted
I’m waiting for someone                                                                                        on the tape. Now we can
to come out of a building or waiting for       portant feature now available to the CBS      access the shot immediately if we know
a demolition, I can hit record as soon as I    news crew is a proxy-video function. The      the timecode.”
see action. As long as I was pointing at the   feature allows camera operators to upload           Never one to shy from the techno-
building I’ve got the last twelve seconds      low-resolution copies of their footage to     logical advances demanded in the news
of my shot.”                                   the bureau computer system. The process       industry, Bloch test drove his new XD
      It’s only possible because of the evo-   takes only a few minutes, and then the        camera covering Hurricane Katrina in the
lutionary jump from analog cassettes to        low-res footage can be used by editors        waist-deep waters of New Orleans. It was
the XD camera’s digital disk technology.       to start piecing the stories together while   all part of the moment-to-moment nature
For camera operators like Bloch it means       crews are still out in the field.              of his business.
less time wasted and more time capturing             “In the old days editors had to wait          “We’re like firemen,” Bloch said.
the images that will remain burned in our      until the crews brought their tapes in from   “Some days we don’t do anything, but
minds long after the program has ended.        a day of shooting,” said Bloch. “Now I can    we’re here when the alarm rings and
      “It’s not so much the camera that’s      go to Starbucks and use their wi-fi con-       there’s a crash somewhere. If there’s a
special — it’s the medium we’re record-        nection to upload low-res video footage       shooting or a disaster we scramble to the
ing on now,” Bloch explained of the new        which includes the time code. The editors     scene.”
technology. Rather than using a cassette       can have the story edited together in low

                                                                Page 5
 Frank Walters Explains the Fast-paced World
   of News Editing and Talks About Recent
    Technological Changes in the Industry
      In the-fast paced world of television    “The evening news goes live
news, camera operators, journalists, edi-      on the East Coast at 6:30, and
tors and producers work on tight schedules     that means we have to have
under enormous pressure. Their industry        our pieces fed by 3:30 in the
is, by its very nature, a high-pressure        afternoon.”
environment, but because of the time dif-            Walters explained how
ference, news crews at CBS on the West         stressful the process sometimes
Coast have the added pressure to deliver       becomes.
their product three hours earlier than their         “It can be seven hours
East Coast counterparts.                       of boredom and one hour of
      “We have the shortest turnaround         terror,” he laughed, recalling
times of all the network bureaus,” said        some of the tighter deadlines
Frank Walters, a news editor who’s been        he had to deal with. “You’re
a member of Local 45 since 1991 when           waiting on a script and waiting
he worked at KPIX in San Francisco.            on a producer and you’re wait-
                                                    ing for your footage and
                                                    the voice-overs. Some-
                                                    times they all come to you
                                                    with an hour to spare and
                                                    say, make a piece out of
                                                     With the clock ticking,
                                                    Walters takes the as-
                                                    sembled components
                                                    and begins crafting the      Kimberly Everett - Video Tape Editor
                                                    story, cutting and splicing
                                                    together various segments               Walters. “And we do — we know a good
                                                    of footage and on-site reporting.       shot when we see it. We put together good
                                                    “They dump it at our door and we’re     stories.”
                                                    supposed to make art out of it,” said         Everything Walters and his edit-
                                                                                            ing team create must be approved by the
                                                                                            show’s producers as part of the process.
                                                                                            He commented that at CBS they are
                                                                                            considered trusted members of the creative
                                                                                            team. “When it comes down to deadline,
                                                                                            the way it is here — the editor in essence
                                                                                            takes over and does what he or she feels is
                                                                                            necessary to the piece,” Walters said. “The
                                                                                            producers aren’t hanging over your shoul-
                                                                                            der saying do this shot or that shot — they
                                                                                            don’t have to work that way here.”
                                                                                                  Walters said that if there’s one thing
                                                                                            that’s a constant in his industry it’s change,
                                                                                            and with the recent purchase of six new
                                                                                            XD cameras, the industry just took another
                                                                                            step into the 21st century. The digital disc
                                                                                            technology gives the editing team unprec-
                                                                                            edented flexibility in cutting and pasting
                                                                                            sections in the computer.
                                                                                                  “It used to be the linear world,” said

                                                                 Page 6
Walters — where every time he wanted
to add in material, the end of the tape had
to be dubbed off onto a separate tape. The
new material was then recorded onto the
piece and the end section was dubbed back
on from the other tape. “Every time you
do that you’re dropping generations, and
you’re losing video quality,” Walters said.
“It’s making a copy of a copy, and we
don’t have to worry about that any more
with these new cameras.”
      With the new XD technology,
Walters can simply drag and click with
his mouse to cut and paste pieces together
— completing the equivalent of hours of
work under the old system in a matter of
      He works on an AVID digital edit-
ing system, and said digital technology
— while still in the fledgling stage of
growth — will be the standard in the near
future. Yet while the technology might
make the job faster, Walters joked that it
gives producers more opportunity to ask
for changes as deadline approaches.
      “The faster you can do it, the more     Above: Editor Frank Walters AVID
time you have left to work, the more pro-
ducers are going to ask you to change it,”    Below: Editor Gilbert Le Veque
he laughed. “Now, if the producers always
knew what they wanted — that’d be a dif-      Far Right: Various new equipment
ferent story…”

                                                             Page 7
                                Timothy Cruz Saves a
                                Lucky Woman’s Life
      There are many heroes in the
City of Angels.
      But on a rainy night in Janu-
ary 2003, Local 45 member Timo-
thy Cruz went above and beyond
the mere title of ‘hero’ on his way
to becoming an angel for one lucky
young woman.
      The evening began innocently
as Cruz worked two hours past the
normal end of his workday.
      “I stayed late working and
then looked at some stuff on the in-
ternet,” he remembered. “But it was
the first of several coincidences that
happened that night. Lots of things
came together.”
      Usually Cruz took the quick-
est way home after work, but that
night he took a different, longer
route. “I took a detour, and I came
across a horrific car crash on a
bridge over the L.A. River,” said
Cruz. “It was a fresh accident          Timothy Cruz with Business Agent Rick Rogers
— it had just happened.” It looked
like only one car was involved, but Cruz              Recognizing that he was probably        pelvis, skull, feet, and arms — requiring
remembered the vehicle as resembling           the only chance for the woman’s survival,      six surgeries in all. When she awoke from
nothing more than a twisted heap of scrap      Cruz leapt over a tall chain-link fence and    her coma, Cruz visited with the woman
metal. “It was a four-door that had turned     scrambled down to where she lay in water       and they became friends as she worked
into a two-door,” he recalled. “But there      several inches deep. Relying on his EMT        her long way back to recovery. Because
was no one there — there was no driver         knowledge Cruz called the fire department       she had broken so many bones, the woman
and I thought at first that maybe the car       and told them to send a battalion chief,       was confined to a hospital bed for sev-
had been stolen and the driver had run         paramedics, the fire chief and an EMT,          eral months with a variety of metal pins,
after the wreck happened.”                     plus 15 firefighters for support. “At one        needles, bolts, and screws sticking out of
      While a crowd of motorists gathered      point I thought I’d lost her,” he said. “She   her. Realizing how bored she would be,
around the wreckage, Cruz walked off to        was bleeding profusely from her leg — I        Cruz fashioned an apparatus to hold a flat-
the edge of the bridge and looked down         had to pinch her femoral artery with one       screen television over the bed. “She had
into the darkness.                             hand and hold her head with the other.”        a cage around her head to hold it in place
      “All the sudden a reflection of light     She’d been bleeding profusely for three        and she couldn’t sit up,” he said. “All she
came across the water and this person’s        minutes and when the EMT’s arrived they        could do was count the dots in the ceiling
leg moved,” he said. “I knew it was a          told Cruz the fact that he’d been there to     panels, until I hooked up a DVD player so
person, and I knew that she was alive.”        stop the bleeding probably saved her life.     she could watch movies.”
      From police conducting the wreck         “She survived so many deaths that night,”            Cruz hopes to get the story on a tele-
investigation, Cruz later learned that the     Cruz said. “She survived the high impact       vision show some day, especially because
woman had fallen asleep at the wheel and       where she broke her neck on the wind-          publicity might help the family raise the
slammed into the bridge’s cement guard-        shield, she survived the ejection, a 65-foot   funds to pay for one final surgery. “Both
rail — an impact that tore the driver’s        fall, not bleeding to death, not having the    her arms are frozen in L-shapes and she
side door off her car. As the car spun 360     wound get infected from bacteria in the        needs a reconstruction on her elbow,” he
degrees the woman was ejected from the         L.A. River.”                                   said. Still, both recognize how lucky she
vehicle and thrown over the edge of the               At the hospital the report was grim.    is to be alive. “It was divine intercession,”
bridge where she landed 65 feet below in       She’d broken 32 bones in her body,             Cruz summed it up. “Something wanted
the river bottom.                              including multiple fractures to the spine,     me to be there to go down into the river.”

                                                                 Page 8
                       CBS Electrical Department
                        Keeps the Shows Going
      The 16 members of Local 45 work-        lights, plugs, and air conditioning.”          week,” Amato said of ABC and Fox’s im-
ing in the electrical department at CBS             That’s important for the variety of      mensely popular reality shows.
Television City studios do more than just     programming that tapes daily in CBS’s               Keeping the lights on and the sound-
keep the juice flowing smoothly.               state of the art recording studios — every-    stages cool means that Local 45 members
      Working 24 hours a day, seven days      thing from the classic game show “The          spend their days replacing old wiring
a week, these devoted electricians and air    Price is Right” to soap operas like “The       with modernized technology and keep the
conditioning repair specialists ensure that   Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young         studio’s massive air conditioning units up
the show will go on for many of CBS’s         and the Restless.”                             to par. “It’s a lot of work sometimes — we
most popular shows.                                 “We have eight of the nicest studios     recently had to replace a bunch of antique
      “There’s no such thing as an off-day    in the city,” said Amato — so nice, in fact,   voltage regulators with new uninterrupted
for us,” said department foreman Tom          that CBS leases out two of the studios for     power supplies,” said Amato. “But we
Amato. “Without a dedicated source of         taping by nearly every major network.          enjoy our jobs and we have a good time.”
power these shows can’t record, and we        “’Dancing With the Stars’ just wrapped
make sure that everybody in this place has    up and ‘American Idol’ is moving in this

Pictured above are members of the Electrical Department at CBS: Foreman Tom Amato, Walter Alta Mirano, Ray Chavez, John
Ruiz and Shop Steward Gene Dickens

                                                                Page 9
      Chuck Clifford at KRON 4 News Gets
        New Camera, Goes to Australia
      Local 45’s camera operators at CBS
aren’t the only members this month to take
a few steps into the technological future.
Local 45 member Chuck Clifford, a video
journalist at KRON in San Francisco,
recently got a new digital video camera
— and a trip to Australia to boot.
      At first glance, the biggest differenc-
es between the new technology and the old
are reductions in size and weight. These
advantages bring enthusiastic approval
from the camera professional.
      “After years of lugging around beta-
cams and other big cameras, to suddenly
be able to work with a small camera that’s
only a couple of pounds is a dream,” said
Clifford. Shooting on mini-DV tapes, the
camera is small enough to be hand-held,
and it still delivers great video quality and
high audio quality through the attached
shotgun mic. “I love it, and my back is
thanking me every day for it,” he laughed.
      Clifford commented that beyond the
obvious size and weight differences are a
host of evolutionary advances in tech-

                                                Page 10
niques he can use to create stories for the
evening news.
      “A typical day for me involves going
into the studio and getting an assignment,
and then spending the rest of the day
putting together the story,” said Clif-
ford. From its offices in downtown San
Francisco, KRON runs stories about a
wide range of newsworthy topics — from
police shootouts to celebrity events. He
remarked, “Once in a while you have to
use some file video, but I try to shoot my
entire story on my camera.”
      Clifford then loads all the video onto
his Panasonic laptop and edits his story in
the computer. “I can take the final story
into the studio and load it onto the server,
or I can upload it over the Internet,” he
said. “They’re still working out the kinks,
though — it’s either super-fast or super-
      Clifford recently got to test-operate
his new camera in the field when the sta-
tion sent him and several other reporters
to Australia. As part of a joint agreement
between the station and the Australian
government, Clifford traveled around the
country for a week and put together stories
for the KRON morning show. “It was
great,” he recalled. “We went diving on
the Great Barrier Reef and had a chance to
visit Port Douglas. It was nice, but a lot of

Richard LeComte, LA County Communications
        Systems Support Department
      With over 4,000 square miles in area
and a population of over 10 million, Los
Angeles County is one of the largest coun-
ties in the United States, both in square
mileage and population.
      That’s a lot of area for a single
county department to service, but the 16
technicians from Local 45 that make up
the L.A. County Communications Systems
Support Department cover it all.
      From Torrance to Malibu, Lancaster
to Pomona, CSS technicians bring their
skills and experience to any job where
the county needs audio, video, or security
      “We have a lot of work we need

Continued on page 12

                                                Page 11
LeComte                                    careful.”
                                                 LeComte said his department has re-
                                                                                        job descriptions. They try to get away
                                                                                        with it and keep piling away on us.”
Continued from page 11
                                           cently been waging a battle with manage-           LeComte said Local 45 has loyally
to get done, and we don’t have enough      ment at the county. “They’ve done a lot of   supported his department’s complaints,
people to do it,” said shop steward Rich-  shady things like change job specs in the    and said that soon the matter may proceed
ard LeComte. “It’s like everywhere these   middle,” he said. “Management is trying      to arbitration. “They say ‘We can do this,’
days, but we find a way to get it done. My  to take the existing technicians and have    and we say ‘No you can’t’ — but with the
technicians are great.”                    them perform jobs over and above their       support of the Local we’ll win,” he said.
      With a variety of
technical certifications on
their resumes, LeComte’s
technicians are masters of
what they do. “A lot of what
we do deals with security,”
LeComte said. “We install
video systems and closed
circuit television systems in
parking lots, hallways, door
entries — any place where
you want a record of who’s
coming and going.”
      Much of their work
takes place in L.A. County
Superior Court System, and
LeCompte said they also do
work in the prison system.
“We do a lot of work in
places where it’s especially
important to have good sur-
veillance,” he said. “These
days you can never be too       Richard LeComte

 Local Union #45 International Brotherhood                                                                   PRESORT STD
 of Electrical Workers                                                                                       U.S. POSTAGE
 6255 Sunset Blvd., Ste. 721                                                                                     PAID
 Hollywood, CA 90028                                                                                      LOS ANGELES, CA
                                                                                                          PERMIT NO. 34694

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