6 On The Move: KOTV Legends On The Evolution Of News On 6

Thursday, January 17th 2013, 4:42 pm
By: News On 6

As News On 6 makes the move to the new Griffin Communications Media Center in the Brady Arts District, we look back at our history - 63 years of reporting news to the people of Oklahoma.

Joshua Brakhage, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma - Our old downtown headquarters has really become a relic of the past.

In a world of 21st Century news gathering, this building is essentially obsolete. We've retired old technology before, as KOTV legend Clayton Vaughn remembers, with former Channel 6 reporter Bob Brown.

Before winning Emmys and before reporting for 20/20, Bob Brown bumped his head on the ceilings at KOTV.

"Bob, back in those days was 6-foot, 4-inches tall. And he could barely make it through the doorways, as I recall," said Clayton Vaughn.

From a different era in broadcasting, Bob and former Managing Editor Clayton Vaughn remember those same ceilings, tinseled with film.

Strips of film would hang from paper clips while the chemicals dried.

"We were right next to the film processors, so we had to—we could smell the chemicals all day. I'm sure, I'm still getting that out of my head, senses," Bob said.

He says the assignment board hasn't changed.

"It's not the same one, is it?" Bob said, standing in the newsroom.

Special Coverage: 6 On The Move

But the newsroom has changed.

Originally, reporters worked in a garage behind the station.

"You have multiple rows of desks here. We had two rows, a really cheap laminate over the desks, and old Royal all-caps typewriters that you really had to bang," Bob said.

"It was on-the-job training, because no one knew what they were doing," Clayton said.

Clayton and Bob say we're not the only ones who have moved out of our little corner of downtown.

They remember the old neighbors

"The police station used to be located right across the alley," Clayton said. "And the drunk tank was on the second floor of the police station. And there was some traffic in and out of that, that would occasionally go into the studio."

"The studio had these two enormous wooden double doors, and they weren't locked. So, occasionally, we would be in the studio doing a newscast, and you'd look up and there'd be some dark, mysterious figure standing somewhere near the door, and you just hoped that it wasn't someone they had released from the drunk tank," Bob said.

"One of our part-time weather people occasionally had too much to drink and the police would round him up and put him up in the drunk tank," Clayton said. "And then, when we would need him for the broadcast, we would go over and walk him back over and then we always had to promise to walk him back."

The drunk tank is gone and so are the typewriters.

So are the strips of chemical-soaked news footage hanging from the ceiling.

But the foundation Bob, Clayton and others built here is the same one we build on as we move to our new headquarters.

"And I feel a great deal of pride that it started here," Clayton said.

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