Stevan Vigneaux

Years at WGBH: 1977-1980

Title: Maintenance Engineer

I learned to solder at 14 from Jim Deering, who later worked at WGBH, when he taught me so I could help rebuild a small radio studio used by Ruggles Street Baptist Church in Boston. I was hooked — radio, and eventually television, had my heart.

Many years later Hans Scharl called me out of the blue to tell me I had been hired at WGBH to be half of a two-man team to build new control rooms at Symphony Hall and WGBH-FM. The odd thing was, I’d not even applied. Tom Keller, then Director of Engineering, had asked a vendor to recommend someone for these two projects. Nick Balsamo of Automated Processes recommended me so strongly I was hired before I even knew there was an opening, for which Nick has my long-standing gratitude.

My three years at WGBH were filled with fantastic colleagues. John Labounty was an amazing boss. Gordon Mehlman, Benny Kroll, Harvey Hudson, Allen Lee, Bill Johnson and Dave Hutton were my shopmates and tutors who often forgave the overabundance of a relative novice. Bill Busiek and Carol Pierson were good friends and mentors on the radio side. Miles Siegel became a good friend of many years. Margo Garrison and Perry Carter brightened many days. Susan Brennan and I shared many interests and I treasured her company.

One night Dave Crane asked me if I could work overtime so I could sync the station to the network. I said “Sure. What’s sync?” Dave responded with “Gordon!!” And then he taught me the basics of video. We travelled together for live concerts and worked on The Scarlet Letter technical crew. Years later he called me to help him launch Court-TV — we hired 40 people in two days with 10-15 minute interviews. An amazing man.

And then there were Steve Colby — a valued friend all these years later after many adventures together.

I learned a great deal at WGBH. I still look back with fond memories of people, events, and friendships.