The History of TV News in Broad Ripple as told by Jack Carter and Glen Hague - part two
posted: Dec. 06, 2019
In the last issue: Don Satterfield starts TV News in 1950, publishing from his home on Riverview Drive. He moves it to 915 Broad Ripple Avenue (where Triton tap is today). He hires Glen Hague. Glen quits and suggests his friend Jack Carter to take his job.
Jack said of the staff at the weekly magazine, "Don had about 5 or 6 people on the masthead, but they all didn't work at the office. As far as the number of actual working employees in the building, he probably had about 4, including myself and Bob Scott. Bob Scott deserves more credit than you could possible give him. He was my right hand man, I mean he was Mr. Dependable. I don't think TV News would have been as successful as it was without Bob Scott. Jack Wheatly handled all the subscriptions, keeping them up to date and keeping the subscription files and expirations and so forth and that was it. That's all we really needed."
I asked Jack about the subscription addressing machine that Glen mentioned, "Little stencils. Paper-surrounded stencils that we would keep in a file and then we had a couple of addressing machines and you'd pile the magazines in the machine and it would feed the magazines and the stencils...you know...each one at the same time. We had two of those, in case one would break down or something. Back when Don had it, he has the same idea except he only had this one machine and it was not automatic. You had to take one magazine and put it here and pull down a lever. Take the next magazine and pull down a lever....and I got to thinking, you know, what happens if something breaks, we're done! So I got rid of that thing when I thought about feeding as many as 50,000 magazines one at a time..."
TV News added a crossword puzzle. Jack said, "There would be certain times when we ran out of crossword puzzles to buy. So Bob would just change the clues and use the same B&W engravings for the puzzle and answer grid, but with different clues."
Originally, TV News was hand-typed and the copy was delivered to Hudler Press in Noblesville to be printed. Jack recalls when computers came in, "As soon as Tandy, you know, Radio Shack, came out with computers, we bought two or three. But before that, why, we were just handing them sheets of paper that were typed. Hudler used a string of about four linotype machines to set the type and then used these big huge flatbed letterpresses. And every Monday morning I'd have to get out of bed at about 4 o'clock and take late information changes up to Hudler. They'd have one linotype operator come in at 5 o'clock in the morning and he would make changes on individual lines of lead type and then it was up to me to go downstairs while the press man was getting the presses ready, you know, with the ink and the rollers and all. It was up to me to put those new lines of type into the forms and pull the old lines out."
In addition to subscriptions, the magazine was available at stores. "We distributed locally and we had good circulation in the Indianapolis area then, 'cause there wasn't anything like it."
I asked why people bought TV News, if there were free listings in the newspaper. "They just gave you the names of the programs. We would get the episode information of what was going to happen on All In The Family that particular time, or maybe what was going to be on 60 Minutes and all that, because that was my job to get all of that information from the local stations via telephone.
"We also used to get regular mailings from the 3 major networks with program information and details about the episodes. But, on the last day that we could make changes we would call the stations to ask them for the very latest changes. Of course TV Guide would call them too. Our press times were the same - we were both weekly magazines. I had built up such a good relationship with the people at the stations that they would call me as soon as they would talk to TV Guide. So, I had the same late information that TV Guide had and nobody else had, none of the newspapers had any of it."
Jack said Koch News Co (pronounced Coke) distributed the magazines in Indiana.
"When we started listing the stations in Terre Haute and up and down the Wabash Valley area, they just went wild for it. Because for people who lived in that general area,TV Guide was a state-by-state deal, so all of the people who lived up and down the Wabash Valley area, in order to find out what was going to be on television, had to buy an Indiana edition AND an Illinois edition of TV Guide. We ended up outselling TV Guide all up and down the Wabash Valley area like crazy. I mean to the point where the news distributor over there ended up putting TV News in TV Guide racks. And TV Guide didn't like that at all. It got to the point where a lot of individual dealers over there, drug stores and Kroger stores, places like that, would the put TV News in the TV Guide racks with TV Guide, only they'd put TV News in front. And that made TV Guide extremely unhappy. We were a little thorn in their side (Jack laughs), and I enjoyed every minute of that!"
Jack discussed when he took over running the magazine for Don around 1957, "I went through various promotions to the point where Don decided that he and his wife wanted to permanently retire and move to Florida where they had made several trips. So he just turned the running of the magazine over to me, but his corporation still owned it. He told me, "Now Jack, don't bother me with a lot of paperwork and sales figures and all that. Just send me a check for what ever amount of money you want to send me." He just left it all in my hands. So, he evidently trusted me."
Jack remembers Broad Ripple in the early 1980s, "That was the time Broad Ripple started turning into one giant bar. I thought, I am going to get out. It was the beginning of the end for me because it got real rowdy. I would come to work in the morning and there would be broken beer bottles on my parking lot. One morning somebody left a car parked there overnight, right up against my front door. I couldn't get in my own building!"
Jack described a nearby bar, where on a holiday... "there'd be a hearse parked out in front in the parking lot. And it would sit there all day. You would see a man and a woman go out and get in that hearse, about every hour or so, a different man and a different woman. So it became obvious what was going on."
After running the magazine for several years for Don, now living in Florida, around 1981 Jack buys the magazine. Don Satterfield took the money that was in the bank from the subscriptions, but Jack ended up with the popular magazine and the building on Ferguson.
"I got ownership of everything that had anything to do with TV News for ten grand. Then I turned around and sold the building and moved to Carmel, and remember I think I got $75,000 just for that little brick building!"
The new location in Carmel was at 427 Gradle Drive. Jack recalled the distribution from Carmel, "Koch News Company would distribute them [to the news racks at stores] and after I moved everything to Carmel we were still taking all of our mailbags full of magazines for shipment to subscribers to the Indianapolis Post Office. And finally we got a call from the Carmel Post Office, and I don't know why I didn't think of doing that myself. The Carmel Post Office came over and visited me one day and said they would gladly take over the mailing through their post office and save us the trip. It finally got up to the point where there were about 50,000 subscribers, we were the biggest 2nd class mail user in the city of Carmel back then!"
TV News was published for many more years. In 1994, at 65, Jack decided to retire, "I sold it to a printing company called Alexander Graphics in Indianapolis."
An amazing 44 year run for TV News, the little magazine that started in Broad Ripple.
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