A cold breeze chilled participants in Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Dolores Dore Eccles Broadcast Center at the University of Utah.
And according to Spencer F. Eccles, nephew of the woman who donated $5.5 million toward the facility's $7.2 million cost, that's just as it should have been."A lot of folks said it would be a cold day in you-know-where before we ever broke ground on this facility," Eccles joked to a small, supportive crowd of spectators that included Mrs. Eccles, Gov. Norman H. Bangerter, U. President Chase Peterson and even Utah Jazz center Mark Eaton. "Today we're breaking ground, so it has to be cold."
But you wouldn't have known it from the warm glow emanating from the faces of university broadcasting officials, who were delighted at seeing a long-time dream take its first big step on the road to reality. For 31 years now KUED has operated out of the basement of the U. of U.'s Gardner Hall in an area that used to serve as the university's Student Union Building cafeteria - not exactly state-of-the-art digs for a much-honored public television station.
But in about two years that will change - assuming, of course, that Annette Cummings and her fund-raising committee are able to come up with the additional $1.7 million to complete the building. The Eccles Broadcast Center, located on the U. campus at 119 S. Wasatch Dr., will house KUED (Ch. 7), KULC (Ch. 9), KUER (FM 90.1) and the state-wide EDNET microwave system. The 53,000-square-foot building will feature two television studios, three radio production studios, on-air control rooms, TV editing rooms, student production studios, audio and video libraries, offices and storage facilities.
Those who work at KUED and KUER are excited about being able, for the first time in years, to have the university's entire broadcast staff work together under the same roof instead of being spread out in four or five different buildings across campus. But the most exciting thing, according to KUED General Manager Fred C. Esplin, is what it will mean to KUED viewers and KUER listeners.
"(The new building) won't just benefit those of us who use it," he said. "It will benefit our viewers and listeners. With new facilities, we'll be able to improve the quality and quantity of what we do."
And you don't have to wait for a cold day in you-know-where to get excited about that.
-ON TV TONIGHT: You know who Lech Walesa is, but you might not be as familiar with Fang Lizhi. Nevertheless, both men will be in the spotlight tonight during the presentation of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award (8 p.m., Ch. 7) in Washington. Polish Solidarity leader Walesa will deliver the keynote address for the ceremonies, during which Lizhi will be honored for his pro-democracy efforts during the dramatic events in Beijing's Tiananmen Square uprising.
And if you like a touch of monarchy with your freedom, tune in for PBS's perspective on Bonnie Prince Charles, Charles at Forty: A Prince for Our Time (7 p.m., Ch. 7).
Tonight's movie offerings include two strong Alfred Hitchcock movies - 1956's The Man Who Knew Too Much (6 p.m., WGN) with James Stewart and Doris Day and 1948's Rope (7 p.m., Ch. 30) - Robert Mitchum as Jake Spanner, Private Eye (7 p.m., USA) and Danny Kaye's first big film, Up In Arms (8 p.m., Ch. 11).
Elsewhere, the Jazz take on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in NBA Basketball (7:30 p.m., Ch. 13); Night Court (8 p.m., Ch. 2) spoofs Zsa-Zsa; and Moyers: The Public Mind (9 p.m., Ch. 7) looks at how polls and surveys influence American public opinion.