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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 2, No. 5, May 1977
Page 7
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 2, No. 5, May 1977 - Page 7. May 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. May 6, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4096/show/4081.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(May 1977). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 2, No. 5, May 1977 - Page 7. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4096/show/4081

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 2, No. 5, May 1977 - Page 7, May 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed May 6, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4096/show/4081.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 2, No. 5, May 1977
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date May 1977
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 7
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  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_528g.jpg
Transcript Media women air By Janice Blue THELMA SCHOETTKER , KEYH Television is in its mid-twenties. There were few women on the air from its infancy through its teens. Not many, in fact, until TV turned 21. That was in December 7977, when the FCC decided that television (and radio) must go co-ed. At that time, Houston station managers publicly expressed fears that their ratings would drop if anything higher than a baritone delivered the news. One television executive conceded that if a woman were pretty enough, she might get away with a feminine voice on television, but on radio ''never/' Another asked, "How many women are interested in this kind of work, anyway?" It is apparent that a number of women availed themselves of the opportunities which opened up in the Seventies. It is interesting in talking with Houston media women to note that when they make references to "in the beginning" and "back then," they are talking about the early Seventies. All except for Vesta Brandt and Thelma Schoettker, veteran broadcasters from the days before the FCC directive. Brandt worked as secretary to the general manager of KNUZ/ KQUE for 18 years before she walked in one day and said, "I want to go into sales." She is now the station's local sales manager. Schoettker is regarded as the dean of Houston women broadcasters. She was on the air in the earlySixties and remembers being the only woman at the station. She's pretty up-front about the fears she had whenever she saw another woman interviewed. "I just didn't think the station would have two of us." "Today," the KEYH broadcaster says, "when I see women coming in and applying for a job, I want to stand up and cheer!" Yet some media women question the "double standard" that exists in hiring practices for women in broadcasting. As former Houston newswoman Jessica Savitch put it a few years ago: "I personally feel, given a devaluation in my cosmetic value, I wouldn't have gotten the chance I did. The first women who were given a chance were not the bright ones with journalistic ability but rather the ones who could photograph well and speak well." Most of the women in the Houston market seem to be young (under 30) and attractive, raising yet another question: "Will these same women be allowed to age on the television screens or will broadcasting, like modeling, be a short term career for women?" In addition to Brandt and Schoettker, several Houston media women talked about their experiences in the field and their observations on the changes of the last few years: Elma Barrera, news reporter, KTRK-TV Jan Carson, news anchor, KTRK-TV Sharon Blair, program director, KUHT-TV Leslie Davis, talk-show host, KPRC-AM Sondra Feldman, weekend news editor, KTRH-AM Mildred Gaddis, news reporter, KYOK-AM Sara Lowery, news anchor, KPRC-TV Karen Lugar, camera operator, KDOG-TV Jackie McCauley, program director, KLOL-FM Dana Millikin, news reporter and photographer, KTRK-TV Deborah Wrigley, consumer news reporter for former station KLYX-FM KAREN LUGAR , KDOG SONDRA FELDMAN , KTRH PAGE 6 • MAY 1977 • HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH ENTRY Elma Barrera: I answered the phone for three months during my training period. The other trainee was sent out on news assignments. I told the station I'd leave if they didn't put me on the air by the third month. They did. That was five years ago and I'm still here. Dana Millikin: I flew in from Mexico City where I had been editor of a bilingual magazine and I went to Channel 2 for an interview. Someone there told me, "Well, you really have to know how to type. We really don't have women in news. We've had a couple of women associate producers but they had to know typing." At KAUM, I lost out on an internship To a guy who wrote for the Rice Thresher, but I was asked if I would work for nothing just to get experience. I ended up doing it. Jackie McCauley: Most positive thing I ever did was not learn to type. Deborah Wrigley: My typing was so slow at the Houston News Service that I got promoted to a news intern. Once an intern, I found myself doing tape work for a male reporter who had a little more experience than I did. I'd do the interview and he'd put his voice around it. It really made me mad. Vesta Brandt: After working as a secretary for 18 years and with encouragement from the local sales manager and two other media women, I presented my case to the president of the company: I wanted to work in sales. I really understood the business and market — the bottom line — and told him so. He hired me back in 1970. I tell women all the time who want to go into sales to be the best at whatever they do. If you can't file, you can't keep good business and sales records. IMAGE Appearance Jan Carson: Back at a station in Louisville (Ky) I was told "You've got the image that the station wants to project — tastefully dressed, well groomed, and attractive." That plays a large role in my being an anchor. Sara Lowrey: There is a double standard. But if I were a station manager, I wouldn't take the risk of putting someone on the air who wasn't attractive, because they're taking a risk putting women on anyway. Rightly or wrongly. It's really unfair because there are some ugly men on the air. In anchor positions like Jan's and mine, I don't think they would have had an unattractive woman. Thelma Schoettker: Even now, I hear friends of mine whom I respect say "I like Jan Carson, she's so attractive." Or "That Sara Lowery is a doll." They are attractive, but that's irrelevant. There definitely is a double standard. Mildred Gaddis: I am not cosmetically acceptable by Anglo standards. I am not tall, thin or fair-skinned, nor do I have long silky hair. If I had been pretty in the way America sees beauty, I could have gone a few places. Just look at the black women on the air. They're all fair. Yes, it's racistl Deborah Wrigley: Good looks can be a drawback ... can be distracting. I've sometimes been told by older male reporters that I'v gotten into interviews because of the way I look. Most of the women in this market are young and attractive, but there are no bombshells on TV. I was told a well-built woman would be offensive to other women and that because women control the dial, the stations wouldn't hire such a woman.