JOHN STOLTZ posted a discussion in Remembering Dick Tauber
The planet lost a great one. By far Dick Tauber was the best mentor that I have had in the satellite industry. I met Dick back in 1998 when I worked for a company called TOKO which made an MPEG1 store-and-forward box via Inmarsat. CNN was one of our largest customers thanks to Dick. I recall him once asking us to sell video applications, satellite hardware and airtime services as a “bundle”. I thought what a terrific yet fairly obvious idea but Toko only wanted to sell video hardware so in 2000 some of us left to GCS. Tauber then asked us to do “live” video which Toko thought would look terrible at 64Kbps. They were right on quality but so was Tauber on the need for this gear. I remember in 2000 when an American spy plane was forced by the Chinese to land in Hainan Island. CNN, thanks to Tauber, made the “live via videophone” famous and they were the “exclusive” broadcaster to get the shot out live while the US plane was allowed to take off. Thanks to Dick. Then on the early morning of 9/11 in 2001 we were demonstrating a 128Kbps “Talking Head” videophone system which bonded two Inmarsat-phones. Dick and Arnie were outside with the satellite gear while I was back inside in the studio at the Satellite Desk when I saw the very first video from the World Trade Center crash. I remember running outside to inform them what had happened and they said that the demo was off but we could stay as long as we kept out of the way. Throughout the course of that day and week Dick kept ordering more and more satellite phones and videophones. I asked him for a purchase order to which he just wrote in the bottom corner “DT” and said “that is my PO, I’m good for it.” We shook hands and never looked back. The rest is history on to Afghanistan and Iraq as well as our emerging friendship. One of my coolest memories is watching CNN’s Humvee “Warrior-1” chasing the tanks in the Baghdad while sending live video “on the move.” Such amazing innovation by CNN thanks to... see more The planet lost a great one. By far Dick Tauber was the best mentor that I have had in the satellite industry. I met Dick back in 1998 when I worked for a company called TOKO which made an MPEG1 store-and-forward box via Inmarsat. CNN was one of our largest customers thanks to Dick. I recall him once asking us to sell video applications, satellite hardware and airtime services as a “bundle”. I thought what a terrific yet fairly obvious idea but Toko only wanted to sell video hardware so in 2000 some of us left to GCS. Tauber then asked us to do “live” video which Toko thought would look terrible at 64Kbps. They were right on quality but so was Tauber on the need for this gear. I remember in 2000 when an American spy plane was forced by the Chinese to land in Hainan Island. CNN, thanks to Tauber, made the “live via videophone” famous and they were the “exclusive” broadcaster to get the shot out live while the US plane was allowed to take off. Thanks to Dick. Then on the early morning of 9/11 in 2001 we were demonstrating a 128Kbps “Talking Head” videophone system which bonded two Inmarsat-phones. Dick and Arnie were outside with the satellite gear while I was back inside in the studio at the Satellite Desk when I saw the very first video from the World Trade Center crash. I remember running outside to inform them what had happened and they said that the demo was off but we could stay as long as we kept out of the way. Throughout the course of that day and week Dick kept ordering more and more satellite phones and videophones. I asked him for a purchase order to which he just wrote in the bottom corner “DT” and said “that is my PO, I’m good for it.” We shook hands and never looked back. The rest is history on to Afghanistan and Iraq as well as our emerging friendship. One of my coolest memories is watching CNN’s Humvee “Warrior-1” chasing the tanks in the Baghdad while sending live video “on the move.” Such amazing innovation by CNN thanks to guys like Tauber and his team. I believe you can still see that Humvee in the food court area of CNN Center. Then a few years later Tauber and the DNG group became very interested in IP and the next generation of Inmarsat service called “BGAN”. CNN pioneered this field newsgathering technology in conjunction with GCS, Hughes, Streambox and Inmarsat. The CNN DNG team in 2007-08 went on to win a technical EMMY Award for which I was very grateful to be apart. I’ve been to many tradeshows and conferences with Tauber over the last two decades and like many I presume have enjoyed many good meals and laughs with Dick. These nights were my favorite times with “Mr.T” because the man had a terrific sense of humor, loads of jokes & stories and a contagious laugh. Just being a supplier and mentor was only part of what Dick was to me. I really considered him a friend and someone who really and truly cared for everyone around him. I’ve visited him in hospitals in NYC and L.A. but he always kept that smile and sense of humor going even if he was near death’s door. I believe he did this because he wanted us not to feel so bad about his health condition. That meant so much to me and brings tears to my eyes. The world, not just the broadcast industry, needs more guys like Dick Tauber. May you rest in peace my dear friend Mr. T.