Thursday, September 16, 2010

It Looks Bigger On TV

I was doing some aimless wandering yesterday, when I decided to blow through Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

This is the new control tower, under construction on the east side of the runway.

Yes, it's an impressive structure, but it's a lot shorter than I expected.  92 feet.  I guess that's high enough for controllers to see all the runways.  The current tower is only 42 feet, and it has an obstructed view thanks to the new terminal building.  It means one of the airport's runways can't be used because of the lack of visual contact.

Maybe it seems shorter because you can't get close to it for a really good look.

The new building will be ready next year.  For a while, the airport will have two functioning towers.  When officials decide all the bugs are worked out of the new one, the current tower, and the old terminal it sits upon, will be demolished.
I also have to note the passing of retired NBC News correspondent Edwin Newman.  He was one of those guys you could put anywhere.  Edwin Newman was the one who announced the death of President John Kennedy over NBC Radio.  There were dozens of high profile assignments over the decades Edwin Newman spent with NBC.

Once upon a time, in 1980, NBC jettisoned three game shows to make way for a morning show hosted by a then-relatively unknown comedian named David Letterman.  NBC made space in the live broadcasts for news updates, anchored by Edwin Newman.  He even had a little desk next to Dave's.  Something unusual happened.  Letterman would introduce Newman, who would receive a hearty round of applause from the audience.  You could see Newman was pleased with the recognition, yet uncomfortable at the same time.

Newman would deliver a few headlines, then chat with Letterman for a bit.  Letterman would be his witty self.  Newman would often be wittier.  He had a dry sense of humor, and he didn't take himself too seriously.  The Letterman/Newman banter was among the highlights of the short-lived morning show.

Eventually, NBC thought the "Newman in the studio with Letterman" thing didn't work.  The updates were moved to the NBC newsroom.  Letterman would toss to Newman, who would appear in a monitor.  The audio guy would quickly kill the studio microphones so you didn't hear the applause for Edwin Newman.

A lot of people are applauding the life and career of Edwin Newman today.  He was 91.