Why did they get a new STAR ? Thanks Ray
19 years ago
Why did they get a new STAR ? Thanks Ray
I think that it was several factors. I suspect that Steve Thomas was getting bored with doing it, and wanted to do other things for a bit. Also, I suspect that Morash wanted a fresh point of view on the show too, to help freshen it up for viewers. The word is that the parting was amiable.... Regards Dave Mundt
Anyone know why Bob Vila left the show back in 89? The most I can find out is that it was some kind of scandal involving Craftsman tools and Sears....
Dave Mundt wrote:
Vila was being paid to advertise Sears products. This didn't fit PBS policy so they parted ways. I don't think that qualifies as a scandal.
Heh, no, not much of a scandal, huh? Thanks for the clarification. :)
I read an article which I swear was in Popular Mechanics, but I could never find it. Written by him, he said that he had asked the show permission to do advertisements. The show agreed and only later after a 'local' sponsor' complained, that the show said he couldn't do the promotions. He was already committed (and I imagine there was money there) and he wasn't invited back to the show (I don't recall if "fired" came up in the article). The thing I remember most was he said he was hurt, because even Norm didn't say goodbye.
If anyone remembers or has a copy of the article, I'd like to know about it (lastnamefirstinitial@inficad).com
I looked through the library's 3 years around early 80's about when it happened and he still had a monthly article in PM.
I was working for a PBS station at the time Bob Villa left. The Sears thing was certainly part of it, but PBS felt Bob leaned too much towards the common man. If you noticed, once Steve was in place, all the projects involved much more expensive homes. No more Bob and Norm doing a makeover on a 1956 tract ranch home. We heard that they did research, and found they could get more pledges if they featured the homes of the well to do.
I have written PBS several times since Steve Thomas started complaining about the now nothing but upscale projects. The show was still entertaining, but of little use to me, a plain, middle class working man that could not spend300,000 for a new kitchen. Never did I even get a reply. Oh, well, I am no longer a pledge.
Speaking of recent changes in the show, I've noticed that since the new guy came on board, 3/4 of each show is taken up with visits to other homes or showplaces and very little time is spent on showing the work on the current project. Most of these visits are purportedly to get ideas for how to get the most out of a small space, but that is only one aspect of the current project. The time spent on exploring solutions to this "problem" is way out of proportion to it's importance, in my opinion. Nothing against the new guy - I kind of like the interplay between the old hands and the new kid. It adds a nice element to the show. I just wonder why all the emphasis on touring other homes, room by room ad nauseum. It's become like "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." Gary Hastings
I stopped donating also. The head guy here in Dallas decided him and his wife were entitled to travel all over the world on donated funds. Not on my dime. I'm also steamed that I still support this system through my taxes. So they are getting me anyway.
Well, I have to toss in a word of support for NPR and public radio stations here...and say that, in spite of local abuses, they do provide a valuable forum for alternative views and experiences that would never get on commercial radio because they are not profitable enough. Diversity, even if we do not always agree with it, is important to have in our lives. Hopefully, not only did you refuse to donate, but, you also took some effort to let the controlling body of the station know WHY you were not donating, and worked in other ways to have the abuser removed. The good news is that the tax support of NPR is so small these days that it probably does not amount to more than half a cent per person per year. I recall hearing that NPR gets 100 million from the government for its budget. That is less than the cost overruns on one bloody airplane, so it is hardly a significant amount. In any case, if NPR and the network of public radio stations across the USA vanish, America will be poorer for it. Regards Dave Mundt
That's the first I'd heard, thank you for posting. I gathered from his 'no one said goodbye' comment that there were issues with behind the scenes as well.
As for the "This Old Rich Guys Overpriced Remodel Show", I haven't watched very much in a while. Steve did fit in after a while, but I grew tired of million dollar homes with 2 million budgets. "it looks like we'll be 50,000 over budget, but we'll manage". I find it ironic they started with 'fix up and sell a place' to 'no limit hold'm'. This new guy just looks too dopey and for their audience, some knowledge of the host was nice ("gee, why do you put shingles on a roof?"). I caught the show on Saturday. They're converting a garage into an in-law-suite (at the back of a million dollar house). They did a cut to a glass factory and as I was looking for the remote I realized they were making the glass not the windows. I mean EVERY show they visited the feakn window factory. If they continue, this might be a nice change as I've never seen glass made before. There are so many other processes they could take trips to too.
I stopped donating sometime after the shows change over, but started again when my 9year old was 2 or 3. Barney was on right at supper time and that kept him out of the kitchen so we could get ready. Last time I donated was when robotwars was on Fridays. They were right towards the end of the pledge drive and offered a shirt. Never got the shirt and the show was gone the next month. I laughed at the next guy when he called asking for a donation and what shows I watch. "If I tell you what shows I LIKE, you'll take them off the air".
I haven't seen Bob's show in a while, is it still on? At least he had stayed with doing projects that were realistic.
In Chicago WTTW, the original PBS station is a mere shadow of itself. We have an every night local show on Chicago. Time was we had a LOT of the informative, programs. Most are history. TTW looks more like a regular station.
Now with most of the old shows we liked being gone, the things we know public television for, they now have a "begathon" that seems to appear for several weeks of begging 3-5 times a year. What's more infurating is that during the begathon, they show "Specially created" shows on music, health and what-not that are quite good, but they use these as carrots for begging. They say without our funding these shows could not be made. And they offer DVD's,tapes etc., but only for "Gifts" in the several hundreds of dollars. Now, these "special programs" are funded by all the PBS stations and then they all use them I suppose. But still, these kinds of shows should appear during the *regular* programming, and they don't.
I hardly see Scientific American with Alan Alda. Nova, or other programs of that ilk which we all enjoyed. We had a show Wild Chicago but that's gone. No money to tape things. OTOH, we have "cooking show saturday" which there seems to be no end of funds for.
TOH and Norms Yankee Workshop appear on Saturday. Used to be it was on Saturday and repeated during the week. That's gone too. Hometime? Maybe on Saturday and when the begathon is on, they're all gone for 2-3 weeks the begathon is on.
No hope of seeing the programs that are on other PBS stations either. I go to Philly often and it seems their station is heads above WTTW. Even our newcommer Channel 20 here has more variety than the old PBS, WTTW.
So why bother. They build themselves new offices and other stuff and programming is in the dumper. And they want money. Time was they did far, far more with a lot less just a few years ago.
I have no reason to contribute. Even the lack of contributions does not give them the hint that something is wrong with their plan.
Well said. The programming here in Dallas has been more consistent than what you are experiencing. I still believe they should be forced to operate in the open market without my tax dollars. The Federal Gov't has their nose in many places it doesn't belong.
This is far from definitive, but I couldn't find anything else:
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