About Denver7Celebrating 70 years of Denver7


A look at how much things have changed in TV over the years | Denver7 70th anniversary

Denver7 evening anchor team Shannon Ogden and Jessica Porter revisited some photos from the station archives to see how far we’ve come.
Posted: 2:29 PM, Nov 30, 2023
Updated: 2023-11-30 21:01:15-05
how things have changed.jpg

As Denver7 continues the celebration of its 70th anniversary, we’re taking a look back at just how much things have changed over the years when it comes to how we get television on air.

Denver7 evening anchor team Shannon Ogden and Jessica Porter revisited some photos from the station archives to see how far we’ve come.

First, they looked at election coverage through the years. Back in the 1960s anchors were smoking pipes in the studio and tallying votes manually with numbered pieces of tape on scoreboard-like displays.

“Just look at how many people are in the studio,” Porter said looking at photos of KLZ’s – the original call letters for what would become KMGH – coverage of the 1964 election. “The cameras are humongous. And everything is done by hand. It's all done with paper.”

Today, of course, we utilize interactive touchscreen technology and computerized vote tabulation on Election Night.

Next, they looked at the equipment used in news production. From the audio patch board used to route different audio sources, to a third person being part of a field crew in order to hold a physical tape recorder, things used to move at a slightly slower pace.

“I still think I was the last generation to even work with tapes, and you would have to line them up in order to have them queued up,” Porter said. “So the director would have called them up and you'd have to be ready.”

Live trucks have evolved, too. Shannon took a look back at the live truck for KLZ.

“[Our live trucks today are] very large, but there's a lot more computers and things inside that just make our life more comfortable out on the field,” he said. “We don't even need [trucks] anymore [in most cases]. We actually go live with just a backpack and our camera and a couple of lights.

“We can be anywhere we need to be so quickly.”

TV newsrooms of the past looked a lot different as well. Old photos show KLZ journalists using typewriters and pneumatic tubes to process and share information – all of which is done over computers, messaging apps and shared servers today.

Another thing that’s changed? The diversity of the group delivering the news. Chiefly, the number of women on TV.

Denver7’s photo archives – and those of most TV stations nationwide – are full of all-male anchor desks.

In contrast, Shannon and Jessica pulled up a photo of Jessica, former Denver7 evening anchor Anne Trujillo and meteorologist Stacey Donaldson on the desk.

“I can't imagine what the folks back in the 1950s, 60s and 70s would’ve thought seeing three women on the desk,” Porter said. “Sometimes we still get emails about this today.”

If you want to take a look at more historic photos and video footage from the Denver7 archives, go here.