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DaveMichaels NBC Page Days

True Story!

I hosted AM New York for a short time during the Winter of 1974 at WABC-TV. ABC News offered me an Anchor position at KABC-TV from this show.

One morning the Producer, Director and Floor Manager took me out to a late breakfast at an eatery across from Lincoln Center. We had a great time trying to get a word in edgewise with the usual TV talk.

We soon learned all four of us had something in common. All of us had started in this business as NBC Pages.

I can assure you rest of the shows we did together were great fun.

NBC Pages & Guides 1954 - My favorite year!

That's when I was a Page at NBC in NYC.

Former NBC Page, Richard Benjamin directed a wonderful film about a 1954 TV Show similar to "Your Show of Shows," and a comedy star like Sid Caesar - "My Favorite Year."He recreated the feel, and look of the NBC Studios at the then RCA Building during the mid-fifties.

He even placed a Page as a 'stay' in the back of a studio audience. Only another Page would know what that means.

I was actually a Page twice. First during the Summer of 1952 when I was between my Junior and Senior year at Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, NY. And, later for most of 1954. I was known in those days by my real name - Dave Potts.

Brass Button Memories...

On New York TV in the Fifties there was a delightful little lady named Josephine McCarthy. She did local cooking shows and later cooked things up on NBC's Home Show with Arleen Francis and Hugh Downs. She used to save the best for me. She'd come out to my desk at 101 West 67TH Street, and tell me to come into the studio at the end of the show - she had something special she wanted me to try. I would get to eat before the crew got to it. Nice lady!

More NBC Page Memories...

Watching Harry Belafonte and Jackie Robinson in conversation in front of my 8th Floor Desk.

Interrupting Dorothy Collins as she was singing in a Hit Parade rehearsal and handing her a Papoose. She almost died when I walked in on the 8-H set. Vocalist Russell Arms and other members of the cast asked me to do it. She had just announced she was pregnant. The Papoose came from a production number.

One day while working the desk outside 8-H the actor Biff McGuire came over to me with a great idea. He was working in a Kraft Theater production. He said, "What are you doing right now?" I said, "I'm manning this desk." He said, "You've got to run over to the (such&such) theater right now. They're casting a play today about the Army, and they would hire you for one of those parts the moment you walked in. Wear that uniform over there right now!" I told him I couldn't do that. I was sure I'd get fired. Very dissapointed - he gave up on me. I should have gone!

Playing basketball with cast and crew of Kraft Theater in 8-H during a rehearsal lunch break. The court was part of one show's plot.

Almost losing it as J. Fred Muggs leaped up onto my 8th Floor desk and knocked off all the phones, and message pads.

Being asked to be the announcer on a dress rehearsal of Princeton '54 - a local public service show on CH-4. At the end I looked around expecting to be hired, but no - nothing happened. Not even a "thank you." Nothing! But, one of NBC's Protection Police, a wonderful guy named Dan Harrington saw what happened, and came up to me and patted me on the back saying, "You did a fine job kid."

Ushering NBC Symphony rehearsals Saturday afternoons at Carnegie Hall - Arturo Toscanini conducting.

Working Friday afternoons with NBC Radio's "Road Show" Producer Parker Gibbs. His daughter and I would go through all the Limerick Contest postcards.

Working at NBC's Ch-4, WNBT, up at 101 at West 67th street, and talking with Ray McKinley about his Glenn Miller AAF days. Ray was working on the afternoon Morey Amsterdam Show. Morey owed me about 2-bucks worth of dimes for feeding his parking meter out front.

Hugh Downs coming out to my desk while he was working on The Home Show with Arlene Francis at West 67th. He loved to tell stories from his Chicago NBC days - and, as a fan of what was called the Chicago School of TV I was happy to hear them.

Talking and kidding with Gene Rayburn almost everyday while up at 101 W. 67th. We talked about it at the Reunion in '83.

If they asked me I could write a book!

"Memories light the corner of my mind..."

NBC Pages NBC Pages

The film took me back to a very happy time, and reminded me of the good friends I made during that year at NBC.

This is not me, but I wore a uniform just like this.

NBC Page

This is me!

In 1952, and 1954, I had the great fun of working as an NBC PAGE at NBC's New York Studios in the RCA Building, and frequently, at various theatres NBC used to produce network Radio and Television Shows.

NBC Page
It was more than just ushering.

You managed desks on the various studio floors, answered phones, took messages to actors and executives. Many times you actually worked on LIVE shows.

Menial work? Not for those of us who wanted to be in the business; we would have paid them to let us work there.

The pay scale was not too far off that arrangement. I think I was getting about 40-dollars a week. It was paid on the 1st and 15th of the month. Many times you'd go through three weekends on about 80-bucks.

Thank God the beer was cheaper in those days! Much cheaper!

Money wasn't the reason for taking the job.

It was a foot in the door - a way to be allowed into the daily workings of a major network, and connections for future employment. It allowed us, first hand, to watch what would be called the Golden Age of Television, and the last throes of Network Radio.

NBC Pages
In the Fifties we wore the CHIMES on our upper right sleeve.

I ushered such shows as The Hit Parade, The Voice of Firestone, The Telephone Hour (radio), Howdy Doody, Cavalcade of America (radio), The Original Amateur Hour, The Kate Smith Hour, Mr. Peepers, Bride And Groom, and numerous game shows. And, I even got a chance to work with the staff of NBC Radio's Road Show.

Later in '54, I moved up to 101 West 67th Street, and worked around The Home Show with Arlene Francis and Hugh Downs. Their Floor Manager was a guy named Roone Arledge.

101 West was great because it was like working at a small local TV station. My fondest memories are of the two NBC Protection Officers I worked with - Dan Harrington and Dan Cash. Two of NYPD's best. They had retired from the force and worked at NBC.

In December, 1983, NBC held a reunion of the Page and Guide Staff. I covered it as a reporter. At least that was the excuse I gave my GM.

The late Gene Rayburn was our host!

"Indubitably!" That was Gene's reaction when I asked him if being on the NBC Page Staff helped him in his career. He said he came to New York to be an actor. Instead he became a Page, and then got into radio. Gene ushered the first Broadcast of the NBC Symphony, in 8-H, conducted by Arturo Toscanini.

NBC Page 50th Reunion
NBC Page, Gene Rayburn

NBC Page, Jack McCarthy NBC Page, Regis Philbin NBC Page, Ken Howard


The great baritone, and former Page, Earl Wrightson, told me a funny story at the '83 Reunion.

He said one of his first jobs was working with Key Page Efram Zimbalist, Jr. on the Eighth Floor in the late Thirties.

Zimablist at one point is on the phone ordering lunch, and Earl leaned over and asked that he order for him, too.

Zimbalist put his hand over the phone and asked, "Do you rely on your Page earnings to live?" And, Earl said, "Yes."

Zimbalist said, "You can't afford this - I'll tell you where you can eat."

Earl said he quickly learned that Ephram Zimbalist, Jr. came from a far different social class than he did.

Zimabalist, of course, was the son of one of the World's great Concert Violinists.

A number of celebrities who started as Pages were there.

Most New Yorkers will remember the late Jack McCarthy from years of covering the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Jack said he was a Guide when they opened the RCA Building and became an NBC Announcer, "at the ripe old age of 21."

Regis Philbin followed me as a Page. Later, we worked together at KABC-TV. We both loved working the 8th Floor. "It's where the action was!"

Actor Ken Howard was both a Page, and a Guide. He remembered ending some Sunday tours by taking part of the tour to Mass over at St. Pat's. Ken was there in '65, and '66. He also ushered the Carson Tonight Show.

Just to name a few more: ABC's Lara Spencer, Michael Eisner, Dave Garroway, Eva Marie Saint, Gordon MacRae, Efram Zimbalist, Jr., Kate Jackson, Don Galloway, Willard Scott, Earl Wrightson, Tex Antoine, Bob Keeshan, Ted Koppel - and old friends Bob Howard and Ray Timothy. Bob was an NBC Spot Salesman when I knew him and Ray was a Guide when I was a Page in 1954. Both became NBC top executives. Two good guys! And, sadly enough, both are gone.

Actors, Executives, Producers, Writers, News Anchors, Hosts, who started their careers on the NBC Page/Guide staff in numerous NBC O&O's.

Gordon MacRae Story...

Gordon was an NBC Page back in 1940 and used to sing at the top of his lungs in the Page Locker Room on the Second Floor. Directly across from the locker room was the office of Band Leader Horace Heidt who was doing shows on NBC. His secretaries fell in love with Gordon's voice and convinced Heidt to audition him.

He did, and hired him!

Remembering NBC's

8-H & 8-G

plus, Chief Announcer Pat Kelly!

Click image on right!

NBC Pages 8H

NBC Pages
'Turn Your Radio On' to


Dennis Hart has put together an incredible web site devoted to one of the most innovative radio programs ever - MONITOR.

It has everything - from the Monitor Beacon (beep-beep-beep) to photographs and wonderful audio clips of the "Communicators" - people like Dave Garroway, Hugh Downs, Gene Rayburn, Barry Nelson and so many more.

Monitor was the brainchild of Sylvester "Pat" Weaver Jr. - the smartest guy who ever ran a Network!

It's a shame there isn't something as bright, informative and entertaining on radio these days. Obviously, radio's towers are leaning so far to the 'right' that it might be tough to get the signal out.

If you were a member of the Page, and Guide Staff let us hear from you. Sign into the Guest Book below, and share some of the memories.

Tell us where you are and what you've been doing. 

Sign the GUESTBOOK here!

Or...Read the Guestbook!

And, dont forget Bill Sobel's Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nbcpages/

  Disclaimer: This is not an Official NBC Site.

It's simply one put together by a former Page

who wants to keep the reunion going. DM

This link will take you to NBC's Official Home Page!