Marc Johnson’s “Johnson Post” has a wonderful article today about retiring Idaho Public TV general manager Peter Morrill, complete with stories from back in the old days – when Johnson was in front of the camera, and Morrill was running it. “Peter had become through sheer design and love for the box with wires and lights a complete television talent who understood the business from the perspective of the kid carrying the tripod in the field to the state legislator wrestling over the public TV budget in the Statehouse,” Johnson writes. “It was a natural progression for him to become General Manager of Idaho’s system and the guy who would lead Idaho’s only true statewide media organization to great accomplishments while serving an ever larger audience.”
Among the stories: “We once put the late, great environmental writer Edward Abbey on the air in Moscow (Idaho) for a half hour interview even after the author of The Monkey Wrench Gang insisted that he be allowed to continue smoking his big cigar during the broadcast. That was, of course, in violation of any number of rules, but the show must go on,” Johnson writers. “Peter walked into a Russian Orthodox church service in Moscow (Russia) with a 16 mm film camera on his shoulder after assuring our KGB-like minder that of course we wouldn’t film anything inside the church. He did, mostly without having to look through the view finder.” You can read Johnson’s full article here.