G. Franco Romagnoli, 82, Italian Chef

From The New York Times12/17/2008

G. Franco Romagnoli, who, with his wife, Margaret, helped introduce Americans to authentic Italian home cooking on the 1970s PBS series “The Romagnolis’ Table” and in a series of best-selling cookbooks, died Monday in Boston. He was 82 and lived in Watertown, Mass.

His son Marco confirmed the death but did not give a specific cause.

At a time when many Americans believed that spaghetti with meatballs was an Italian dish, Mr. Romagnoli, a Roman by birth and upbringing, translated the basics of Italian cooking on a low-key show that emphasized simple dishes made with restraint.

He did his best to shatter old myths, like the idea that pasta required a tomato sauce bubbling on the stove for hours on end. “That’s as un-Italian as you can get,” he protested in an interview with The Christian Science Monitor. “Ninety percent of pasta sauces are made by the time you bring that pasta to a boil.”

Franco and Gwen Romahnoli at the 2007 studio tour

Gian Franco Romagnoli was working as a cameraman and director in a Roman film studio during the postwar years when he met Margaret O’Neill, an American information officer for the Marshall Plan. Her filmmaking assignments had made her his supervisor. The working relationship turned romantic, and the two married in 1952, in defiance of American government rules, costing the bride her job.In 1955 the couple left for the United States, and Mr. Romagnoli found work as a cameraman at WGBH, Boston’s public television station. He went on to establish a freelance career as a cinematographer, working on documentaries and television commercials.

In 1972, after an extended visit to Italy, the Romagnolis gave a dinner party for friends — some of them WGBH employees — and confided that they would like to do an Italian cooking show. “The Romagnolis’ Table” made its debut on WGBH on Sept. 4, 1973, and ran locally until January 1975, when the original episodes were broadcast nationally by public television. The series yielded several cookbooks, among them “The Romagnolis’ Table” (1975), “The New Italian Cooking” (1980), and “The New Romagnolis’ Table” (1988).

Mr. Romagnoli and his wife, who died in 1995, also opened a restaurant, the Romagnolis’ Table, in Faneuil Hall in Boston in 1979. It closed in 1989. Two sister restaurants, in Salem and Burlington, Mass., were not as successful.

In 2002 Mr. Romagnoli published “A Thousand Bells at Noon,” a well-received travel memoir about Rome. With his second wife, the former Gwen O’Sullivan, whom he married in 1998, he wrote a culinary travel book, “Italy, the Romagnoli Way” (Lyons Press, 2008). He had just completed “The Bicycle Runner: A Memoir of Love, Loyalty and the Italian Resistance,” to be published next August by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press.

In addition to his wife and his son Marco, of Corinth, Vt., Mr. Romagnoli is survived by his three other children from his first marriage: Gian Giacomo of Neshkoro, Wis.; Paolo, of Watertown, Mass.; and Anna O’Neill Romagnoli of Astoria, Queens; and four grandchildren.

Cherry Enoki, video editor, dies in climbing accident

From Cynthia Broner

The WGBH community was saddened to learn of the passing of Cherry Enoki, former ‘GBHer and editor on many projects, including Postcards from Buster, Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman, Design Squad and Nova ScienceNow.

Cherry died Fri, 11/28 while climbing Mount Shasta in Northern California.

“Cherry was an amazingly talented, passionate, invested friend and colleague,” says Brigid Sullivan, VP for Children’s, Educational and Interactive Programming, Media Access. “We will all miss her.”

A gathering in Cherry’s memory was held last Friday as an opportunity for all who knew her to share memories.

From Current.org 12/08/2008

A recent high point in her career was the Daytime Emmy nomination for WGBH’s Design Squad, in which high school contestants tackle engineering challenges for an actual client. “She’s very much one of those people who would be very cynical about pomp and circumstance, but when she was the focus of it, she loved it. She was really excited.”

James Armsey, 90, behind the scenes public broadcasting pioneer

From The New York Times

James W. Armsey, a former Ford Foundation executive who directed more than $350 million in grants to universities in the 1960s while prompting the foundation to deny grants to segregated universities, died on Nov. 2 at his home in Urbana, Ill. He was 90.

From 1956 through 1975, Mr. Armsey held several high-ranking positions at the foundation, including assistant to the president and director of its programs in higher education, public broadcasting and journalism. In all, he oversaw $497 million in foundation grants.

Lew Barlow, 80, producer, professor, mentor

Born in Malden, MA, July 23, 1928 … Mr. Barlow was a graduate of the University of New York were he received a B.A. and his M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1957, Lewis Barlow has been a major contributor to the local television scene in numerous capacities. From his early days as Senior Producer/Director at WGBH, through his decades of teaching communications at Boston University, he has had significant impact on television professionals both young and old.

Alan Lupo, 70, “The Hub’s Herodoutus”

From The Boston Globe 9/30/2008

Alan Lupo, chronicler of Boston, dies


He was no stranger to the inner sanctums of City Hall but was more at home with regular folks on Boston’s stoops and sidewalks. He knew people — and people knew him — from the North End to Southie, from Dorchester to Doyle’s pub in Jamaica Plain. And there, immortalized in a barroom mural, he forever soaks up stories amid the sandwiches and the elbow-benders. …

Mr. Lupo, one of few columnists whose work appeared in the latter-day troika of Boston newsprint — the Globe, the Herald, and the Phoenix — died yesterday …

The Hub’s Herodotus, Mr. Lupo captured the city’s unfolding histories as they played out in courts, schools, and discreet handshake deals among the powerful. Reaching beyond the confines of newspaper stories, he left the Globe in the early 1970s to serve as an editor and reporter on the WGBH-TV show “The Reporters,” which he helped found. …

To read an Alan Lupo newspaper column was to hear his voice, the Boston accent saturating every syllable.

“Alan stood out in a distinctive generation of reporters, activists, and politicians who will forever be identified with the era of Tom Winship at the Globe and Kevin White in City Hall,” said Christopher Lydon, a journalist and radio talk show host. “They, or should I say we, were interested in every inch of city turf, in the scoundrels and the saints, in the ancient history and all the present-day choices before the town. Alan stood for localism at maybe its all-time best.”

Jean (Coggan) Becton, 91

Henry Becton’s mother, Jean (Coggan) Becton (91), passed away on Wednesday.

The family will hold a private memorial service for her later this summer. In lieu of flowers, Henry and the family have asked that those wishing to make a donation in her memory could contribute to the Blue Hills Heritage Trust or the Kollegewidgwok Sailing and Education Association. Information about each follows below.

Condolences may be sent to Henry c/o WGBH, One Guest Street, Boston, MA 02135.

The Blue Hill Heritage Trust

Blue Hill Heritage Trust
PO Box 222
Blue Hill, ME 04614 USA
Phone: (207) 374-5118
Fax: (207) 374-3778
Email: info@bhht.org

Kollegewidgwok Sailing and Education Association (KSEA)

KSEA Sailing School
P.O. Box 473
Blue Hill, ME 04614
E-mail: ksea@kollegewidgwokyc.comPhone: 207-374-5581

    Become a WGBH docent

    Hello! We’d like to see if any ‘GBH alum might be interested in becoming docents in our new studios in Brighton. We’ve already recruited a few and they are terrific!

    The WGBH Tour Program has welcomed nearly 14,000 visitors on tours of our new Brighton facilities since it’s debut last fall. This summer, we will host a docent training for additional docents to assist with public tours, special events, and children’s tours.

    Applicants should have a passion for public radio and television, an interest in public speaking, and a willingness to share this interest with adults and youth.

    Volunteers must be able to make a minimum of one year’s commitment to the program, which will include providing tours, attending docent meetings, and other projects as needed. Applicants must also be available for mandatory docent training sessions, which will take place on June 11, 18, 24 and 26 from 6-8:30pm. We are looking for docents who can commit to daytime, evening and/or weekend tours.

    If you are interested in participating as a volunteer docent at WGBH, please email Stacy Kasdin at volunteer_coordinator@wgbh.org.

    Memorial for Phil Collyer

    The legions of friends and fans of longtime ‘GBHer Phil Collyer will gather in the Calderwood Studio to remember him Monday, April 28, at 11a.m.

    “It’s a longstanding tradition at WGBH to gather, Quaker-style, in the memory of dear colleagues and share our reflections — anecdotes, poems, memorable photos — or, if we prefer, sit in silent reflection,” says WGBH President Jon Abbott.

    “Members of Phil’s family will join us, and we’ll recall our friend with a special video created by Susie Dangel. We invite ‘GBH alumni to gather with us.”

    For directions to WGBH and information about visitor parking, please visit the WGBH Web site. Entrance to the Calderwood Studio is through the main entrance at One Guest Street.

    Phil Collyer, 68, executive producer, Caption Center director

    Phil Collyer

    It is with tremendous sadness that I share with the WGBH family the news that our longtime friend Phil Collyer died yesterday of complications from leukemia. He was 68.

    Phil’s career at WGBH stretches back nearly 50 years from his most recent role as the indomitable executive producer of the WGBH Auction and the Rare and Fine Wine Auction. Two among his many career highlights: working on our Oscar-winning profile of poet Robert Frost and helping to pioneer the development of captioning for deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences.

    Kirk Browning, 86, WNET TV director

    Kirk Browning

    Kirk Browning, whose unusual career path took him from chicken farmer to television director of “Live From Lincoln Center,” died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 86.

    “Kirk contained the entire history of cultural television in our country,” Mr. Goberman said on Monday. “He started in 1948 with the NBC Symphony, and here he was at 86, still turning out fabulous performance television.” …

    In addition to his “Live From Lincoln Center” programs, 10 of which won Emmy Awards, Mr. Browning eventually directed, among other productions the premiere of the first opera written expressly for television, Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (1951); the first TV show with Frank Sinatra as host (1957); and “Hallmark Hall of Fame” music and drama specials (1951 to 1958).

    For PBS he also directed many “Great Performances” and “Live From the Met” programs; “Pavarotti in Concert at Madison Square Garden”; and telecasts of numerous Broadway productions. He won two outstanding individual achievement Emmys for PBS programs: one in 1987 for “Goya With Plácido Domingo,” and one in 1988 for “Turandot” from the Met.