WDSU-TV PERSONNEL (1948 - 1972)
M. J. Gautier
One of the first television news cameramen in the South. His
Cajun and American Indian ancestors must certainly be immensely proud of
him. Gautier retired from WDSU-TV after a long and successful association.
G. "Mike" Lala
Mike Lala was another of the early WDSU-TV news cameraman.
All of the news cameramen at Channel 6 proved to be extremely "nervy" and,
like Mike, were never afraid to put themselves in danger to "get the
picture" and the story. A very young Mike Lala is shown, in the above
picture, using a 16mm Auricon Pro (sound on magnetic film stripe) camera.
Mike's long association with WDSU-TV brought him many awards for his
photography. After Mike retired, he became the owner of one of the
tourist's favorite restaurants, the "Old New Orleans Inn" in the Vieux
Herman E. Liveright (D)
This producer/director of television news programs and other TV shows
became the subject of a news story of the year. Herman Livright came to
WDSU-TV from ABC-TV in New York. He was the director who gave actress
Eva Marie Saint her first on-camera gig. He joined WDSU-TV in 1953 as a
Producer/Director and was promoted to Program Director in 1954. In March
of 1956, Liveright was subpoenaed to testify brfore the Senate internal
security sub-committee led by Senator James O. Eastland, D-Mississippi.
Liveright refused to answer the sub-committee's questions concerning
whether he or his wife was or had ever been members of the Communist
Party, whether he had held Communist Party meetings in his home and
whether he and his wife had been directed by the Communist Party to move
to New Orleans.
Liveright did not claim rights of the Fifth Amendment against self
incrimination. He stated that the First Amendment protected him in
challanging the sub-committee's right to question his activities in his
home or place of employment and his or his wife's beliefs. He also
stated tyhat: "...I oppose the committee probing into my private affairs.
I deny that I've engaged in activities that are unlawful."
Edgar B. Stern, Jr., owner of WDSU-TV, said the station would never
knowingly employ a member of the Communist Party. He also said that anyone
who refused to answer the questions of a duly appointed congressional
committee would not be employed by WDSU-TV. Liveright was fired. His wife,
Betty Fouche Liveright, at that time was producing a television program,
"Tulane Closeup" for Tulane University. The program was aired on WDSU-TV.
She was fired by Tulane University.
In 1957, Liveright was convicted of contempt of Congress and sentenced to
a three month jail term and a fine. Five years of litigation resulted in
a Supreme Court decision to overthrow the conviction in 1962, citing a
fault in the indictment. Herman spent much of the rest of his life
championing people they considered to be political prisoners in the
United States. Liveright and his wife wrote a book, "Their Chance To
Speak", based on their interviews withmen and women in state and federal
prisons. Herman Livright died at the age of 89 of surgery complications
Corpus Christi, Texas, January 19, 2001.
His death notice in the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that the
Eastland Senate sub-committee hearing for which Liveright was subpoenaed
met in Washington, D. C. The hearings actually were held in the Main Post
Office building in new Orleans.
Frank Klotz (D)
Frank started with Channel 6 when the station was in its
infancy. He worked as a projectionist and later became the station's
main source of publicity still pictures. All of the "Byline set pictures
were shot by Frank. He is shown gathering publicity shots during one of
the Celebrity 6 Caravans. Seated next to M. J. Gautier, that's Rita Yacich
(Mrs. Paul Yacich), not a WDSU-TV staffer, but one of the production staff
of the "Morgus Presents" series that was produced in the WDSU-TV studios.
Paul J. Yacich
Paul Yacich is an Amateur Radio Operator, W5LLJ, and like Lindsey Riddle,
Chief Engineer of WDSU-TV, made his hobby his life's work. Yacich joined
WDSU radio as an engineer in March of 1947 after serving 2 years as a
Radio Officer aboard U. S. Merchant Marine vessels during WWII.
In 1948, he was one of a small group of engineers that built WDSU-TV. He
worked with the FCC and Assoc. of Maximum Power Broadcasters to set new
TV coverage contours. He was called to active duty in a branch of the
Office of Naval Intelligence (Korean Conflict - 1950). Yacich was allowed
by the Navy to assist KULA (Hawaii) in applying for a new TV station.
He returned to WDSU-TV in October, 1952.He prepared (for Lindsey Riddle)
all of the engineering exhibits for an FCC new TV station application for
what eventually became WYES-TV. Yacich participated in the first extra-
continental TV program origination, "WIDE WIDE WORLD", from the Caribbean
island of Bimini.
Later, Yacich was appointed Producer/Director. He directed Mel Leavitt's
"Byline" program and as a member of Leavitt's Special Events team was the
director and co-writer, with Mel, of the award winning program "THE BATTLE
THAT MISSED THE WAR", celebrating the sequicentennial celebration of the
Battle of New Orleans. He directed the award winning "HUEY LONG STORY", the
Emmy winning program "KKK", and "THE SCHOOL THAT WOULD NOT DIE." which
received an Emmy citation. Yacich also directed the first and second
place award winning commercials in the "100 BEST"...a nationwide TV
commercial awards show (Dallas, TX.).
Paul Yacich was inducted into the Greater New Orleans Broadcast
Association in 1999 and in that same year was awarded the Lifetime
Acheivement Award of the Louisiana Broadcasting Association. He
holds the rank of "Brigadier" as a member of tht "Order of the
Iron Test Pattern" Yacich has taught courses in Adbanced TV
Production at both Tulane and Loyola Universities.
Though in retirement now, Yacich still maintains some contact with the
New Orleans broadcast community. He has been a featured guest on radio
programs, filled in for a radio personality on vacation, and has been heard
as co-host, with Charlie Matkin, former WDSU and WWL announcer, of a radio
program, "Seems Like Old Times." The program features old time radio program
segments and program re-creations by the New Orleans Radio Theatre group.
When he became associated with WDSU, Ray Liuzza was then the youngest promotion
manager in the country. Ray was formerly editor of one of Louisiana's most
widely circulated fraternal newspapers. He had little trouble getting print
promotion for the station since his father, Ted Liuzza, a New Orleans Item
newspaper reporter, wrote about radio and TV for the Item, the Illustrated
Press, which was a New Orleans newspaper specializing in radio and television
happenings, and Variety, the national entertainment newspaper. Ted Liuzza
also wrote the "The New Orleans Item Picture Parade ", the Item's
fast-paced television show.
The Liuzza's left the media to become "giants" in the New Orleans hotel
Following in the footsteps of Ray Liuzza, Maury Midlo succeeded Marian
Annenberg as Promotion Director or for WDSU-TV. Like Ray Liuzza, Maury was also
one of the youngest publicists in the country associated with a major
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