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    Remembering My Dad 1937-2015

    It's taken me a while to post this. My father, Ed McLaughlin passed away back on July 7th, 2015. He went peacefully, in his own home, surrounded by family and friends. I was so fortunate to have had the chance to be there at his side, able to talk to him for 2 full days before he passed, and be right there for him as he left this world. I'll treasure the last words of wisdom my Dad imparted to me always. I wanted to honor him here on my blog by re-posting the tribute that his long time employer NBC 12 WWBT in Richmond, VA produced in remembrance of my father. 

    Also, his obituary from the Richmond Times Dispatch on July 8th, 2015:


    Pioneering WWBT reporter Ed McLaughlin dead at 78

    Former WWBT-TV reporter Ed McLaughlin was among the first black on-air television correspondents in the Richmond area and helped to inspire a new generation of journalists. Mr. McLaughlin recognized his role as a pioneer in the television news business, but “it was more important for him to be recognized as a good journalist,” said his wife, Kay McLaughlin. Mr. McLaughlin, 78, died Tuesday after battling cancer. He had worked at Channel 12 from 1969 until his retirement in 2000.

    “I can almost remember how I felt when my little brother called me from the other room and said, ‘Look, there’s someone that looks just like you on television,’” said Diane Walker, now an anchor at the station. “As a kid, I can remember holding a brush pretending to be a reporter. He was always teasing me about it. When it actually happened where we saw an African-American reporter, it was just amazing.

    “That was an inspiration that sealed my dream that it was possible to pursue a career in television journalism, and I felt honored eventually to end up here working alongside him,” she said.

    Colleagues remember Mr. McLaughlin for his commanding voice, collected presentation and as a stickler for grammar and diction.

    “It’s weird, I can hear his voice,” said the station’s news director, Frank Jones. “Ed just had this amazing voice, and he really knew how to pick the right words to tell a story.”

    Mr. McLaughlin kept a dictionary and thesaurus on his desk at all times and had a penchant for using big words, much to the dismay of some news directors and producers. “When someone would call him out on it, he would say, ‘My job is to educate these viewers,’” said Sabrina Squire, who joined the station in 1981 and now co-anchors the station’s nightly newscasts. “Ed wouldn’t hear it.”

    Walker and Squire said Mr. McLaughlin mentored young reporters.

    “The most difficult thing as a reporter is deciding what to leave out, and I learned that from watching him,” Walker said. “I remember him being extremely serious, but never taking what he did too seriously. One of his famous lines was, ‘This isn’t brain surgery.’”

    For years, Mr. McLaughlin served as the newsroom’s institutional memory — “what happened in Richmond and why it was important,” said WWBT’s general manager, Kym Grinnage.

    “He was an old-fashioned journalist, and I mean that in a good way,” he said.

    He was inducted into the Richmond Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2000.

    After retiring, Mr. McLaughlin traveled with his wife to the Caribbean, Mexico and France. In addition to traveling, he loved to garden and fish.

    The couple met in 1974 when they were neighbors.

    “He loved the news business — meeting people, going interesting places,” Kay McLaughlin said. “I think he did an excellent job at what he loved.”

    No public funeral service will be held, as was Mr. McLaughlin’s request.

    In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Harry McLaughlin.


    We were so fortunate to have my father and his wife Kay visit back in April of 2015. They got to see their grandsons Leo and Ian and spend some quality time. We had a feeling then this may be the last time my father would visit California and see the grandkids (and my Dad certainly felt so, hence he wanted to make the trip in the first place) but we didn't realize of course it really would be. Now I'm just so grateful for every moment I did get to spend with my father. 

    I'll miss you greatly, Dad. :)

    Friday, April 24th Los Angeles was the scene of a.huge protest march on Wilshire Blvd in the heart of Los Angeles. (And right past my work!)

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    It was the protest in commemoration of the 1915 Armenian genocide committed by the Turks and only spottily recognized by the nations of the world.

    I heard a lot of calls by the protestors for Turkey, the United States and other nations that haven’t to officially recognize the genocide.

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    There was a staggering amount of people. It took some of my co-workers an extra hour and more to get to work thanks to the blockage of Wilshire Blvd.

    Once I finally got to work I went out to watch the march and snapped a few photos.

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    Opening Title Ripoff

    Back in the late 90's I was an assistant director on a show for the BBC called "Stressed Eric". I was asked by the show's producer to edit together and time out the opening title sequence and as often happens with my job, given some pretty wide leeway. My contribution of note was picking the audio track "Novacane" by the artist Beck; I cut it up and used it in my rough cut of the opening title for the series.

    Novacane by Beck:

    The idea, as with most music, is that it would be replaced by the show's composer. We sent the show off to England and I was on to other things. A few months later, we got to screen the first finished Stressed Eric episode fresh from London, and to my great surprise, the BBC composers really liked most of my music picks and kept the exact spirit of them throughout the show's soundtrack. Most astonishing for me, is the total dupe of "Novacane" that remains as the show's opening theme.

    The complete Stressed Eric DVD Collection. (I'm not sure if it's available in the States, but I want to try and get my hands on a copy. I haven't seen these shows myself in years.)

    Odd bit of Stressed Eric trivia: The show was mildly successful on BBC Channel 2, which isn't too odd, since it's a very uniquely British show. But for whatever reason, NBC (which in my business long earned the name Not Buying Cartoons) decided to pick the series up, re-dub them using American actors, and air the show in prime time in 1998. It was the first animated series since Mr. Magoo in 1965 that NBC had run prime time.

    I admit, I thought it was a dreadful idea from the start- but it was exciting to see something I AD'ed air prime time on a major broadcast network. The first hint of awful came from the re-dubbing. Hank Azaria was cast as Eric, but the whole show just didn't have any charm without the cool Brit accents. Just as bad, and probably for copyright reasons due to all the barely-disguised rips, the music soundtrack was just stripped right out of the show and replaced with…. silence! It played just horrendously silent, whereas the music had played a major role in the timing of sequences and buildup of Eric's stressful overreactions to everything.

    I think three episodes of the butchered US version ran on NBC before it was mercifully canceled.

    200th Episode Table Read

    Recently we had the 200th episode table read at work. (A table read is where all the actors and principals of the show gather around a table and do a read through of the script with the production team in attendance.) This one was a party event with members of the press and lots of celebs and guests in attendance. 

    Clockwise around the table from the far left are: Scott Grimes (Steve), Wendy Schaal (Francine), Matt Weitzman (Co-Creator/Show Runner), Seth MacFarlane (Stan, Roger), Brian Boyle (Writer/Producer), Rachael MacFarlane (Haley),  Dee Bradley Baker (Klaus),  Kevin Michael Richardson (Principal Lewis).  Not in attendance was Patrick Stewart (Deputy Director Bullock).  

    My copy of the 200th episode script. 

    Champagne and a Roger-shaped cake to celebrate the event. 

    Full 22 Episode pickup

    TBS gives Speedy Renewal to AD

    The Hollywood Reporter, 11-18-2014:  TBS is going all in on American Dad. Less than a month after it started airing original episodes of the Seth MacFarlane cartoon, which aired its first 10 seasons on Fox, the cable network has ordered a new 22-episode season of the 20th Century Fox Television series.

    American Dad got off to a solid ratings start on TBS and is averaging 3.1 million gross viewers for premiere episodes this season. TBS' acquisition has also brought over the series' handsome catalog of old episodes.

    "We are thrilled with American Dad’s American Dad’s performance to date and are confident the show is going to continue its tremendous success," said Turner executive vice president, head of program acquisitions, content strategy and licensing Deborah K. Bradley. "By ordering a new season while the current season is early in its run, we're ensuring that Seth MacFarlane and his team will have the freedom to take the misadventures of the CIA agent Stan Smith and his family to a whole new level."

    American Dad is doing really well on it's new home, TBS! 

    Our recent champagne toast at work. For us, the celebration was really an additional 7 episodes on top of our initial 15 episode pickup. 

    TBS has been going gangbusters advertising the show. This was in Times Square this summer.

    About 10 shows in this season, I will edit the 200th episode of the show. (I've worked on pretty much every episode except the 2004 pilot.)

     

    Thanksgiving 2014

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    Recently I was in Virginia for thanksgiving.  I saw my mother and my Dad and Kay.  I was lucky enough to have an early Thanksgiving meal with my Mom in Staunton,  then a later dinner with my Dad and Kay in Richmond.

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    It snowed in Staunton while I was there, but thankfully it was a clear drive over the mountains past Charlottesville to Richmond.

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    Snow in Staunton, VA.

    All said and done, it was great to see my folks and my home state!

    My Feral Lady

    Show within-a-show- an episode of the talk show "Leeza" within the show Duckman. I'm seated right behind Leeza in this clip (wearing glasses and a backwards cap) around November, 1996. One of many episodes of Duckman I was the assistant director on.

    Workin’

    My desk at FTA.

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    Where I’m spending my days working on the 10th season of the show I’ve been on since 2004.

    Palm Springs Time Lapse

    I took some time lapse video for the heck of it while out in Palm Springs with my son recently.

    Early Morning 6am -8am October 7th:

    Mid Afternoon to Sunset, October 8th:

    I Love Ford

    Recently, Leila is about to toss out some 'junk mail' when she decided to double-check something sent from Ford. Turns out it's this letter, apologizing for an inaccurate fuel-economy rating. (Keep in mind, this for a car I've put three tanks of gas in all year- the number would *still* be one had I not been driving it a lot this summer including a trip out to Palm Springs. In other words… how much better could the fuel economy BE on this car, I'm over the moon about it!) 

    So to make me whole for this terrible outrage, they send me a check for $475. 

    Good thing she didn't toss it out as junk mail!

    Have I mentioned lately that I love Ford? (Oh yeah, I have. In the post title)

     

    Edit: I was skeptical too. My first thought: "Great, another of those 'hey, here's a check, but you can only spend it if you come on down to the dealer and buy blah de blah…" type 'checks' you get, oh every other week or so. But nope. It's legit. Part of an EPA downgrade, and a legit payout program. If I wasn't leasing the car and had bought it, the payout would be $775. Here's an article:

    CLICKIDY CLICK HERE

    Also, from the horse's mouth:

    CLICKIDY CLICK HERE: WATCH VIDEO

    Sometimes, once in a great while, companies apparently do the right thing and it's NOT some kind of sales scam with stings attached. 

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