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Walt Bodine
Television

KBMA Channel 41
Freelance producer, host of “Bodine's Beat”

1970s thru mid 1980s

Bodine's Beat, etc.

Another locally owned independent television, and a better-financed one went on the air in 1970. KBMA Channel 41 was owned by a company headed by the president of Kansas City’s Business Men’s Assurance Company.

Walt worked at various jobs at KBMA, producing specials and recording public-service interviews. He also produced shows with Rob Forsythe, including "Bodine's Beat" an hour-long monthly show that was usually shot outside the studio. This lead to some unusual technical problems.

“Rob has seen a lot of things in the viewfinder of his camera, but there’s one he says he will always remember from that show. He was shooting a scene with me inside a van. Rob was seated next to the driver, leaning around with his camera pointed at me. I was in the back seat behind a small desk, talking away. Suddenly, the van swerved.

“One moment I was looking at you talking.” Rob recalled, “and the next minute I was looking at the soles of your shoes.”

KBMA also gave Walt the chance to do interviews before a live audience, taking questions and comments as the program went along. The guest interview portion of the show usually went well, but Walt says he was never comfortable moving up and down the aisles.

“You can be interviewing someone on the left side of the aisle and, seeing no one nearby who’s ready to talk, swing around to the right side and hope someone wants to contribute. In desperation sometimes I stuck a microphone in front of anyone who simply looked at me in the non-threatening manner.

 

 
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