Video Age: How did you start out in the entertainment industry?
Glen Kinging: I had a love of movies as a child, and I guess that's what really started me off. I wanted to originally be a film projectionist at the local theater so I could see movies for free. That was my original goal until the local theater manager said, "Listen, we might be out of business when television starts. I think you should look to try to get into television. There's more of a future there." So at the age of 15, I left school one day and started the next day as a stagehand, which was then called a production assistant, at a local TV station. When I answered the ad, I thought it meant assisting a producer. I didn't know I'd be sweeping floors, and so I thought: "Oops! I've made a mistake! I've got to get out of this and try and do something else."
It took me about a year and a half to work my way out of the production area and into the programming area. In those days, there was no such thing as video tape. Everything was still on film or kinescope, 16 mm film. I worked in the film department for a couple of years. That department reported to the program manager, so I just became friendly with his secretary and borrowed his Variety and started reading about the entertainment business.
This side of the business looked really interesting, and I thought that's where I wanted to end up. So, I went from the film department to the traffic scheduling department and then to advertising sales -- selling time to advertising agencies -- and finally from there into the program department. I was the assistant program manager for our station in Sydney, which was about '66. I had started in '57.
VA: What did you do at the film department?
G.K.: I would splice the commercials into the actual films -- there were no computers in those days -- and make sure the programming was technically ready to be shown out of the telecine room. I would also run the projector for the program manager when he wanted to view pilots of new shows that he was interested in buying. That's how I got to really know him.
VA: Is that how you went from the film department to traffic scheduling?
G.K.: No, that was another step. That was deciding at that stage that I should try and get a little understanding of as many departments as I could so that, hopefully, with the knowledge on how a television station operates, I might have a better chance meeting people and executives, and hopefully get into the program area.
VA: When you reached the program area as assistant program manager it was quite an accomplishment.
G.K.: Yes it was. There were nor many people who get that job and I was surprised to find out from the program manager that very few people ever bothered to even show any interest in it.
VA: Did Ted Thomas bring you up to be the assistant program manager?
G.K.: That's correct. He was actually the network's ad-time sales manager, and I was working with him when he was brought across to be the program manager of Sydney. He took me with him as his assistant. That's how that happened.
VA: Then you went to New York.
G.K.: Yes. That was in 1971. Ted Thomas went back into sales and the guy who was...