Live Blogging ‘-30-’ on TCM

Dewey Webb gets into the “-30-” spirit with a 1959 ad from Variety. Thanks, Dewey!

Jack Webb "-30-"
(I swear, the guy in the travelogue called it Aloe Vera Street.)

And that’s “-30-”

Ready to go home, Lady?

Gosh, genuine ugly 1950s layout.

What’s that noise, son? They’re firing up the Web pages and putting stories online!

Heartwarming kid alert!

C’mon Sam…

Everybody thinks I’d be such a good father. I wouldn’t.

SFX: Bell ringing for the press start. Bathgate *promises* no replates.

Are those Steelcase desks?

Be sure to send your color early…..

They found her. Get plenty of sidebar stuff!
Lady types with two fingers!

Notice that people have written their names on the back of the chairs. We still do this. ONE of the biggest sins in the newsroom is to take someone’s chair.

David Nelson: Man up!

2 col cut with 3-col hed on Lady’s grandson…. nevermind the little girl in the storm drain. SFX: Phone

We bring you this word from orphanage lobby. Poor Lady… A Florabel Muir clone. She can go cover Mickey Cohen.

A power greater than we are? That sounds like A.A.!

Poor Lady… hanging on in the news business. Jack Webb isn’t religious but he believes in *something*

Oh. Smoking in the newsroom.

The editor is threatening the public works department?

And what’s across the street? Is it a burger stand or a hotel? The signs keep changing.

Uh-oh. Lady’s grandson is toast. Overacting at 12 o’clock high!

Oh she wrote it longhand while she was waiting for the car… oh, uh, and she took pictures. Oooh she’s shooting 35.

NO. NOBODY SIZES PHOTOS LIKE THAT NO WAY. I have talked to people who have seen it done — maybe. But I have never seen it done. Ever.

The Valley’s flooded? NOOOOOOOOO.

It’s got print on it. It gives a lot of information to a lot of people who wouldn’t get it if we didn’t give it to them. Yeah, it’s a newspaper, it only costs 10 cents. But even if you only read the comics it’s the best buy for your money in the world.

It’s just a newspaper — it’s not like we joined the priesthood.

Give her a byline. ON HER FIRST NIGHT?

Lady make this an insert high in your lede.

Miss Reentry Nosecone?

The religion editor is the real estate editor?

Webb: How are the Dodgers doing? Sports guy: It’s football season. Yet another editor who doesn’t read the sports section.

SFX: Bongo drums!

I’m sorry. I tried to keep the adjectives down!

Oh for the days of those eight-column pages!

The heck with the story about smog and its effect on juvenile delinquency?

16 cols:

2 8-col cuts

Danger kids stay out of these!

The girl’s parents have barricaded themselves in the house and won’t talk to reporters? The TV crews are there? Let’s tweet this thing!

She just got BACK from covering the strangler story? She just left!

OOOH! It’s a chart of the L.A. storm drains — left over from “Them!”

Richard Deacon as the staff artist… Draw a dog? A cat? A pig, with a squiggly tail? My pitiful little job is to retouch pictures. Richard! You cad!!

Get “THE WOMEN’S ANGLE” on the arrest of the strangler?

Inside reference to the Mirror-News!!!

Oh, too good to write obits, eh? Miss effing Smith graduate?

Suppose I turn out to be a really good reporter regardless of how I got the job (She’s a Smith graduate!)


Rewrite… Ashton puts on a headset!

“An adopted child wouldn’t be ours.”

Webb forbids his wife to come to the office during working hours? What??

OK, let me get this straight. It’s raining outside the office. And a 3-year-old girl is missing in the storm drains. Hm.

Cue Whitney Blake!

Looks like Whittinghill got his client into the paper. Instead of the whooping cranes.

They just caught the guy who strangled those three girls? Update L.A.Now!

Did someone say the 3-year-old girl wandered into the storm drains?

Gee, I sure hope we can beat The Times to the street tonight with that one (wild art of whooping cranes).

Erm. There aren’t any women editors. Why is that?


Um, did someone say a 3-year-old is missing?

Uh-oh they just got a directive against giving raises.

Oooh a tour of the newspaper!

What? Newspapers retouch pictures???

Jack Webb deals with PR guy (Dick Whittinghill).

Richard Deacon…. YAY!

William Conrad (Bathgate) started as a copy boy!

Joe Flynn: News photographer!

What? A guy in the composing room is taking bets? I’m shocked.

Oh that’s not a proper eyeshade!

Fact: William Conrad and Jack Webb worked in radio together.

Lgend for many years was that “-30-” was filmed at the Examiner. In fact Jack Webb built a duplicate of the newsroom on a sound stage.

Ooh. the paper has 300,000 circ!

Overture has “Boy!”


The story of a day in the life of a big-city paper.

Factoid about “Elmer Gantry”: Examiner City Editor James Richardson plays a newspaper man in it.

Vampires? OOh. “House of Dark Shadows!”

Robert Osborne… does the “outro.”

Here we go!

1755: We’re live with “The D.I.” One of my friends says this is Jack Webb’s best movie.

1756: Fake Southern accent alert!

1758: Tough drill sergeant in dress shop — comedy relief!

1759: Cleaning the M-1

1800: Those rifles cost your government $80 apiece!

1803: Score by David Buttolph

1805: Moore is the most devoted man I ever knew.

1807: “You’re awfully strict, aren’t you?”
“And what if I am. Is that bad?”

1808: A friend said a circle in the water is like a man’s life. It gets bigger and bigger and then it’s gone.

1810: You better go find yourself a man in a tuxedo.

1814: I don’t baby anybody, sir.

1815: You’re not a civilian anymore, Pvt. Owens.

1816: I’m mixed up, sir.

1821: You have two brothers in the Marine Corps?
I had two brothers in the Marine Corps, sir.

1826: gas mask drill.

1827: General Discharge for Pvt. Owens

1829: Pvt. Owens’ mother, the widow of a Marine officer, explains things to the captain. You WILL make a Marine out of him. You WILL NOT let him quit!

1836: Pvt. Owens do you want me to sign your discharge?

1838: Is she enticing Sgt. Moore into the back room?

1840: EXT Day. The parade field

1845: Do you think you can carry this?
Yes sir!
I think so too!

Marine Corps Hymn and out!

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1959, Film, Hollywood and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Live Blogging ‘-30-’ on TCM

  1. Greg Clancey says:

    are we going to be able to make comments?


  2. that pr guy is Dick Whittinghill, longtime la DJ….KMPC when it was the station of the stars, i think … or was that Dick Whittington? 🙂


  3. Mary Mallory says:

    References to Kathy in the well and Black DAHLIA.


  4. Mary Mallory says:

    Just called her a spy for the Mirror News. What happened to the live blogging?


  5. Larry Schwartz says:

    The “Editor of Heaven and Earth” line was keen. As was the gal in the bathing suit. That never happened at the T. O. News Chronicle, though we DID have the big band soundtrack.


  6. Larry Schwartz says:



  7. Gary Metzker says:

    Sorry Lady, we’re running out of time


  8. Mary Mallory says:

    The Radio/TV Editor was poo poohed, but they probably are more important to the paper now, since they all seem to focus on gossip and stars.


  9. Larry Schwartz says:

    Is it THAT cold in that place that all the guys are wearing ties, undershirts, AND sweaters? I’ve never been that cold INSIDE.


  10. Larry Schwartz says:

    Cover us with sidebar stuff.


  11. c j robinson says:

    Are you still blogging? I haven’t seen any updates in a while. Will the paper get out? Will Peg leave? When will the music crescendo again?


  12. Awesome….. simply awesome!


  13. Mary Mallory says:

    Did you see Los Angeles, Wonder City of the West? Olvera Street, Hall of Justice, LA Times Building, City Hall, Park Plaza building, Wilshire and Wiltern, Bullock’s Wilshire, Hollywood Blvd., the Bowl, studios.


  14. Mary Mallory says:

    Los Angle ees.


  15. loved the Hollywood Bowl rehearsal…. so wacky and so staged. you could almost see the bowl pool, i thought….


  16. James Curtis says:

    Has anyone ever noticed that THE D.I. is effectively a remake of the Lon Chaney silent TELL IT TO THE MARINES?


  17. Robert Dudnick says:

    Larry: You write, in regard to “30,” that “NO ONE ever cropped pictures that way” (I paraphrase). If you’re referring to the “squint method,” I can assure you I and others on the Hearst L.A. papers used this method. Take a line gauge or any ruler and mark off the columns. (That would be maybe 9 picas each in those 8-column days.) Lay the picture flat and raise and lower the ruler while squinting until the appropriate column width on the ruler aligns with the edges of the art or of the crop marks. Turn the picture sideways and, still squinting, see how deep the art will be. The method wasn’t entirely precise, but it didn’t have to be. If you were off a little, makeup could always adjust on the stone by using a filler lower down, say. In fact, many editors would draw only the main elements of inside pages and let fillers plug any small holes (usually a 1/14-2 hed). I never saw squintism used elsewhere except by me, and I got laughed at.

    The part about whooping cranes was also true on the Examiner and Herald-Examiner. A news editor–I think his name was Burt Resnick–was nuts about whooping cranes, and we’d always have a story when they landed at Port Aransas on their annual migrations.


    • lmharnisch says:

      @Robert: After the first time I saw “-30-” I asked some layout editors at The Times and I found one guy who had seen someone do it. You’re the first newspaperman I’ve met who actually did it. I’ve only seen editors use a proportional wheel, one of those weird accordion gizmos or a calculator (which is what I used). Knowing Jack Webb’s mania for authenticity, I’m sure it was done. But it disappeared long before I got into the news business, along with glue pots and spikes.

      I wonder if the guys in the composing room showed the newsroom visitors some type lice.

      ps: You called it a line gauge! Yay!


  18. Robert Dudnick says:

    Larry–I got squirted by type lice at the Culver City-Venice Evening Star-News-Vanguard in 1961 by a printer named Eddie Arondondo. I had no sense of humor back then. Would love it now.


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