Ralph Schuetz

  • Years at WGBH: 1968–1972
  • Position(s): Facilities scheduler, Studio crew, Mail Room/Traffic Manager/Tape Librarian
  • Online: www.brycsoccer.org

From Ralph Schuetz — 2000

Wow, bring on the memories from 1968–1972:

  • Facilities scheduler — trained by Dave DeBarger and worked for Alan Hinderstein in the days when we only had two color tape machines to schedule.
  • Studio crew — playing second fiddle switcher to Kathy Smith, but did switch a NET Playhouse once with Jac Venza directing when Kathy decided to give birth a few days early … thanks, Kathy!
  • Mail Room/Traffic Manager/Tape Librarian — created the first computerized tape inventory using the big old IBM mainframe in Helen O’Malley’s office every Friday night.
  • Hired Howard Lowe — now GM of Mountain Lake PBS in Plattsburgh NY — and Kate Taylor of ZOOM fame … I had an eye for talent!

I’ve been with the “network” since I left Boston in 1972.

  • Supervised “tape-by-mail” distribution in the days before we had full time land lines, let alone satellite interconnection.
  • Managed Broadcast Operations (logs and schedules) for many years before moving into engineering. (“I’m not an engineer but I play one at PBS.”)

I’ve played roles in all our planned satellite transitions — and one very much unplanned transition when Telstar 401 went kablooey — since we realized Hartford Gunn’s dream and went up on on our first bird in 1978.

Right now I’m mainly into budgets and meetings, but with lots of other duties as assigned. God willing, I’ll have retired before the next satellite transition! At least that’s the plan.

This picture dates to my days in Boston, early 1971. My wife is Nancy, my daughter is Rachel.

Nancy and I have been married for 32 years. Our 29 year old daughter Rachel, who was a baby when we left Boston, has just moved into her own place, taking our 11 year old grandson CJ with her.

And this one is Rachel at 29 years old, also taken last summer, with my then 10 year-old grandson C.J.

They’re only minutes away and we see him every day before and after school so we’re only easing into the empty-nest years. But considering that Nancy had her 40th high-school reunion last year and mine is coming up, and more and more of our friends have done it, we won’t be too far behind.

Well, I’ve spent far too much time at this. I’ll be looking forward to reading alll the messages posted before and after this one, and looking at those old pix and features on such old friends as Brooks Leffler (whose kite shop in Annapolis I remember well). Sure wish I could see you all in April but it wasn’t meant to be.

This picture is Nancy and me 30 years later, last summer to be precise.


  1. Larry LeCain on July 4, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Thanks for the Thom McCan boots! They sure smelled better than what I was wearing at the time.
    Glad you’re doing well.

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