Eventually satellite programs were set up at three universities: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and the Rhode Island School of Design, where Howard and others from NCET conducted workshops with students and encouraged similar kinds of facilities to develop. Howard left NCET in late 1974, and soon afterwards, under the guidance of the CPB, NCET moved out of the KQED offices to Berkeley. The organization began to fall apart in 1975. Klein recounts:
I always regretted them moving the center, because it pulled it out of broadcasting. I always wanted it in broadcasting, just like I wanted playwrights in theaters.... When I first went there, here was the station and here was a little room, and Stephen Beck had incense burning and an Indian cloth hanging over a light bulb, and that to me was interesting. What wasn't interesting was to see them set up their own office in Berkeley.... In fact what happened was that KQED, in closing out the accounts, demanded the return of an encoder, which was the basis of Stephen Beck's inventions, and he had to return it to KQED. We ended up giving him a grant for $4,000 in 1976 to replace it. That just tells you how bad things were between them. It was a destructive situation. They weren't able to continue a relationship with the station as it went through changes and problems.
Ultimately, the question raised by the demise of NCET is whether any institution would support that kind of process oriented milieu for very long. Brice Howard says that, of all of the experimental television centers, "we were the least likely to survive. . . . TV is a great sprawling institution outside of the commercial world. It is an abstraction in the non-profit world unless it is veiled as a product." The question of who NCET actually served and its relationship to the video community in San Francisco is also one to be considered, and one that would be raised again in the aftermath of its closing.
In comparison to NCET, the New Television Workshop at WGBH and the Television Laboratory at WNET/Thirteen were less overtly experimental and closer to the model of television production in which artists-in-residence produced works intended for broadcast TV. These programs were run by innovative television producers (most of whom are still working in public television today) instead of scholars and theorists. While the NCET program could represent the freeform style of the 1960s, the WGBH and WNET projects were emblematic of the more practical 1970s.
WGBH was actually the first of all three stations to support experimentation, receiving funds from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1967 and, under the guidance of producer Fred Barzyk, producing several early experimental shows, including an innovative 1967 series, "What's Happening Mr. Silver?" and the seminal The Medium is the Medium (1969). The New Television Workshop was not formally established until 1974, but experimental activities under the general name "the Workshop" were thriving throughout the 1960s. The early days at WGBH were marked by a truly innovative and unusual approach to producing and broadcasting. In 1972, the workshop produced a 1/2-inch video festival for broadcast, and in 1969 sponsored Nam June Paik and Shuya Abe in building their
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