History of Media 70 and Timeline
(Note: This is a work in progress. There may be memory lapses. After all, we are becoming part of the new ’60s Generation’. Additions and corrections welcome.) Media 70 was organized in the Summer of 1968 to produce a multi-media show for the Freshman Summer Orientation Program at University of Texas in Austin. The show was designed to stimulate evening ‘rap’ sessions among incoming freshman–discussions were a key part of the orientation experience. The initial production, called Values was highly successful. Media 70 lasted until the Summer of 1971, and would produce 4 major productions and several message themed shows. At it’s peak, Media 70 included as many as dozen talented contributors.
During the first years of Media 70’s existence, the turmoil of the 60’s began to influence campus life. The Vietnam War was in full sway. The 1968 Tet offensive and battles of Hue and Khe San proved that the country could not end the war quickly. In 1969, the Selective Service instituted a lottery and ended graduate student deferments. Students distributed anti-war literature on the West Mall on the UT campus in Austin. The radical political publication, The Rag, acquires a large a loyal readership. Even the mainstream Daily Texan began to push back on the over-bearing school administration and about national issues.
The traditional sway that fraternities held over campus life was giving way, and hippies comprised a significant and growing fraction of the student body. Students and faculty members smoked pot, hash, and used psychedelics. The Student Union sponsored “sensitivity sessions” run by Learyesque faculty members. The student population divided between the “long hairs” and the straights. The UT Board of Regents censored the UT faculty senate. By 1970, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences had taken a visible, and controversial public opposition to the Board. The student newspaper, the Daily Texan, ran frequent articles critical of the Board. The Board Chairman, Frank Erwin, became a campus villain. Divisiveness, doubt and friction were a common part of campus life. It was a restive time, and the Media ’70 shows would reflect the milieu.
The group was founded by Bill Gurasich and Pete Peters under the inspired guidance of Jack Kaplan, the assistant Dean of Students responsible for the Freshman Summer Orientation Program. Gurasich and Peters would recruit most of the Media 70 group from the Orientation Adviser cadre including Roy Spence, Barry Everett, Kay Morris, and Kenny Meyer. Throughout its existence, Media 70 would continue to have strong ties to the Summer Orientation Program. Media 70 was a loose knit affair. The was no official membership. Contributions to the productions were a matter of individual energy; the group functioned as a pure meritocracy.
By the the Fall of 1969, a core formed around Gurasich, Spence, Peters, Morris and Everett. In time, Meyer and Judy Trabulsi would become core members . Gurasich would also bring in his brother Steve Gurasich with ad partner Tim McClure to contribute to the public relations efforts. Many others would provide pitch-in efforts. After members of the group graduated from UT in 1971, Bill and Steve Gurasich, Roy Spence, Judy Trabulsi, Barry Everett, and Dave Hendrick would form the AdVantage Associates advertising agency.
After a year, Advantage was reorganized by Steve Gurasich, Roy Spence, Jim Darelik, Tim McClure, and Judy Trabulsi to form the very the successful advertising agency, Gurasich, Spence, Darelik, & McClure (GSD&M and later Idea City).
Arguably Media 70’s most significant contribution was that it launched a hugely successful advertising agency, one of the most successful ever from Texas. However, only a few group members embarked on a career in advertising. While the careers of those who did not join GSD&M are less well-known, they had productive careers in engineering, computers, public service and education. Whatever the career path of its alumni, Media 70 served as a crucible for their individual ideas and principles. Hopefully, Media 70 also provided a platform for UT students, faculty and Austin citizens to establish dialogue rather than diatribe in pursuit of righteous causes and high ideals of academic freedom. Hopefully, that is Media 70’s greatest legacy.
The following document provides a timeline of significant events, people and productions from the history of Media 70.
Media ’70 Timeline
Note: Bill Gurasich will be referred to as ‘Gurasich’. Steve and Paul Gurasich will be referred to by their full names.
- Pete Peters introduces Bill Gurasich to Jack Kaplan, the Assistant Dean of Students responsible for Freshman summer orientation. Kaplan asks Peters and Gurasich to produce a media event that would capture the campus experience for incoming freshman and stimulate after-dinner rap sessions. These rap sessions carry-on to the wee hours, and were a key part of the freshman-orientation experience. Kaplan provide the pair with access to the campus resources needed to complete the produce an event.
- Peters and Gurasich start assembling materials. The direction is not certain. They begin by assembling a music track. Then, Peters find the “multi-media” lecture hall, AC21, in the newly constructed undergraduate library called the Academic Center. Gurasich realizes the potential for creating a media event. The AC21 lecture hall will provide the medium for the media the Peters and Gurasich’s group will produce.
- Peters and Gurasich give the group the name Media 70.
- Gurasich meets Spence during Summer Orientation. Spence prior claim to fame was as a quarterback for the Brownwood, Texas high school football team. Gurasich challenges Spence to broaden his intellectual interests and contribute to the show.
- Kay Morris and Roy Spence volunteer to work with Peters and Gurasich. The core team is established.
- Media 70 completes production of the first version of its first show, Values. Values is show at each Freshman Orientation Session that summer. The show is very successful.
- First-time orientation adviser Barry Everett attends one of the shows and is struck dumb (for the first and last time) by the event and pesters the group to let him ‘hang around’. Kenny Meyer sees the show as an incoming Freshman.
- The Seesaw Ride begins.
- The group enjoys strong backing from the Dean of Students office. Jack Kaplan, Assistant Dean for the Summer Orientation Program, serves as a strong supporter and mentor. Margaret Berry, the vice president for student affairs, also provides strong support.
- Everett is selected for the Steering Committee on Orientation Procedures (SCOOP) and assists in interviewing and selecting new Orientation Advisors.
- Media 70 is invited to repeat the show for 1969 Summer Orientation Program
- Gurasich, Peters, Spence, Everett, and Morris again join forces to create a new version of the Values show. It’s a community effort. Other summer orientation advisers join in and make contributions and assist with the presentation. At this time, the innovative design of AC 21 provides a wonderful venue for the multi screen presentation, but the number of 35mm slide projectors requires several people to run. By the time Everett runs the 1971 (10 weeks) version of Values, AC 21 has a central control panel which allows the show to be run by 1 person in the audience, and 1 person (Hendrick) back stage.
- The shows are produced in a house rented by Gurasich and Peters at the corner of Enfield and Lake Austin Drive. The house becomes a gathering spot.
- Dave Hendrick offers to help with the engineering, music selection, and sound mixing. He is a university employee with access to the media facilities. He provides the group with access to the AC 21 and to KUT-FM Radio’s Studio 6B (an 8×10 room, with Ampex studio recorder, dual turntable mixing board and very little else) in the old Radio-Television-Film building on Inner Campus Drive
- Peters, Gurasich, Spence, Everett, Morris work as orientation advisers. Kenny Meyer and Nancy Woodward also work as orientation advisers.
- The new version of the Values Show is shown in AC21 for 6 Summer Orientation sessions. It’ s a another success.
- Kenny Meyer asks Gurasich if he can contribute to the productions. Gurasich invited Meyer to production sessions at the Enfield house.
- The group begins planning for campus-wide shows in the following year.
- Bill Gurasich’s brother Steve and his colleague, Tim McClure, develop public relation materials for Media 70. The results are very stylish. Media 70 begins to acquire a professional polish.
- Spence and Everett turn 21. Steve Gurasich joins National Guard and leaves for 6 months of basic training and specialty training.
- In December, the first Draft Lottery is held, and the results are posted in the Journalism Building. The deal for II-S student deferred registrants is that you can go I-A, and take your chances with the lottery, or keep your II-S and go I-A after graduation with no lottery number. There is a great deal of mistrust of Nixon about the lottery.
- Values show is revised for a second time (i.e. the 3rd version). Gurasich, Everett, Hendrick, and Meyer mix a new sound track in Studio 6B of the old KUT-FM Radio studios.
- Many new 35mm, 4X5 glass slides, and 2×2 slides are created. Gurasich, Spence, Everett, Hendrick, Morris, Meyer, and Woodward are key contributors.
- Tim McClure creates Media 70 stationery
- The Texas Union sponsors 12 showings of the revised Values Show. ??
- The technology is primitive by today’s standards. There was no digital sound or graphics, and photos taken required a couple of days for development by photo finishing services. If we needed a rush, we had to drop film off in the alley of Photo Processors (part of the LBJ KTBC TV) at night for overnight service. But progress was being made. Fades between slide projectors, originally done manually with cardboard, were now done with fader boxes (electrical potentiometer ‘pots’ boxes, built by Hendrick.
- Media 70 rents a studio space at 614b 1/2 Lavaca. It’s a single room, off an alley, behind a store front business, called the Rh Factor, owned by Bob Burns. Burns creates silkscreen posters to advertise campus events. Burns will go on to be art director of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes and other horror classics, with director Tobe Hooper. Hooper and crew produced TV advertising film for AdVantage Associates in the 1972 campaign for Ralph Yarborough.
- Gurasich, Spence, Meyer, Everett build out the studio with light tables and slide viewers for assembling shows.
- The Lavaca studio is a gathering place and hubbub of activity. Bob Burns complains about not getting enough money given the number of people.
- Judy Trabulsi joins Media 70, as one of the only members to start off with Radio-TV-Film training in the UT School of Communications.
- In March, Barry Everett leaves Austin to work for 3 months to work on Tektite 2 Project in the Virgin Islands.
- Jeff Jones is elected student body president. Jones is a self-proclaimed member of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and the first radical elected to be student body president of a major university.
- On April 30th, the Nixon administration announces the Cambodian Bombings.
- On May 4, four students are killed at Kent State by the National Guard.
- On May 5, campus-wide protest develops on the south and west mall. An agitated mob of 5,000 students and others descends on the Capitol. There is a tear gassing and four arrests. The next day, 10,000 gather on the South Mall and remain there, night and day, for 3 days. The University grinds to a halt for a week. The Texas National Guard is called out. A march is planned on the Capitol. A rumor circulates that the Texas National Guard has orders to shoot any protest that spreads off campus. The protest ends with a peaceful march of 10K protesters to the State Capitol.
- On the site of the Tektite project in the Virgin Islands, Everett and other UT psychology student behavioral observers erect a ‘US Out of Cambodia Now!” sign in camp, for the visit of the Dept. of Interior Secretary Hinkle in May 1970.
- Barry Everett returns from Tektite 2 Project in the U.S. Virgin Islands, with a new Nikon Nikkormat to continue Media 70 photography.
- John Silber is fired as Dean of Arts and Sciences July 24. The ostensible cause is that Silber will not follow a directive from the Board of Regents to split the College of Arts and Sciences into a College of Arts and a College of Sciences. Many highly regarded faculty members will follow him to Boston University.
- Spence, Everett, Morris, Woodward and Meyer work as orientation advisers
- The Values is presented at 6 orientation sessions. Again the shows are very successful.
- The Dean of Students Office hires Media 70 to produce a campus-wide multi-media show to kick off the new semester.
- Meyer leaves in August for 3 months to work on Tektite in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Gurasich and Everett rent a large apartment above Lucky Attal’s Antique Shop in a 19th century house at 12th and Guadalupe. They call the place the Castle, because of the cone peaked turret on the corner of the house. Nancy Woodward and sister Sigrid live across the hall.
- Gurasich, Spence, Trabulsi, Everett, and Hendrick decide to produce a new show addressing the unrest on campus. The new show will be called the Death of Academia.
- Trabulsi and Spence research the events surrounding the Erwin/Silber controversy. They meet influential faculty members and members of State Government. The research establishes a clear pattern of influence peddling by Erwin and other board members. The activities attract the attention of the University Adminstration. Gurasich, Spence, and Trabulsi meet with Dean of Students (Steve McClellan), the President of Student Affairs (Brice Jordan), and executive vice chancellor (Charles Lemaister) who are concerned that the Death of Academia will incite problems on campus. Gurasich, Spence and Trabulsi win a reluctant endorsement and Media 70 produces the show.
- The group argues for many hours about how to approach the material. After considerable struggle about the sound track and the show structure, they hit on a theme that includes a burning candle and a metaphorical Monopoly game, with musical themes by Melanie, “Candles in the Rain” and the Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil”.
- Death of Academia shows the week of September 10, Union Week. The show is highly successful and packs in standing room audiences.
- Bill twin brother John, marries in College station. Gurasich, Trabulsi, Spense, Hendricks, and Everett spend a sleepless weekend traveling to College Station. There is considerable strain. The key contributors consider parting ways.
- The Student Union hires Media 70 to produce a multi-media show for Roundup Week the following spring.
- Jack Kaplan leaves UT to do a fellowship at the Education Department’s Bureau of Higher Education in D.C. He’s replaced by Steve McClellan in the Dean of Students Office. Everett drives with Kaplan to Washington DC.
- The Dean of Students hires Media 70 to produce a show about drugs. The Drug show is assembled from existing materials. Gurasich, Spence, Trabulsi, Everett, and Hendrick are the key contributors.
- Drug show is successfully shown to campus and high school audiences. Gurasich is invited to present the Drug Show in Georgia.
- McClure and Steve Gurasich leave Media 70 to start an ad agency with Bob Burns. The venture is called “McClure and Burns Enterprises”
- Pete Peters leaves the group
- Kay Morris leaves the group
- Meyer returns from the Virgin Islands and stays in “the Castle” with Gurasich and Everett.
- Gurasich, Everett, Spence and Meyer decide to produce the Wozard of Iz for Roundup Week in March 1971.
- Meyer’s draft number has been called and he must take a draft physical. He passes and is ordered to report for duty at the end of February. He obtains a reprieve from the Houston draft board and returns to school late in January.
- Production starts on the Wozard of Iz. Gurasich, Everett, Trabulsi, Meyer, and Spence are the principal contributors. Everett shoots 16mm film of live actors. Gurasich, Meyer, Trabulsi and Spense collaborate on the music. All including Nancy Woodward contributes to visuals. Bill Gurasich’s younger brother, Paul, moves to Austin and helps with logistics.
- Steve Gurasich returns from National Guard duty and produces a flier to advertise the show.
- Media 70 presents 24 showings of the Wozard. Showings include a live actor (Drama student Terry Tannen as the Scared Crow) who performs in silhouette behind a scrim, and comes from ‘behind the curtain’ to deliver the final lines of the show/play. “Disbelief and lack of faith is The Witch. The Witch must die.” The Show is highly successful and packs in standing room audiences.
- The schedule is arduous. The core members are exhausted and grow quarrelsome. There is considerable talk of disbanding.
- Gurasich obtains a contract from Texas Association of Independent Insurance Agents to produce Media 70’s first commercial show outside of UT. The show will be called “Youth Generation.”
- Youth Generation is designed to be 9-image rear-project show. A custom screen is built with shower curtain and aluminum tubing. The effect is poor, and because of the projector “hot spot” and ambient light in the room (hotel in downtown on First and Congress). At the 11th hour, the set up is changed for front projection. A new sound track is created. Existing visuals are used.
- Youth Generation is shown once in June. The controversial material is not well received by the customer.
- Gurasich, Spence, Trabulsi and Hendrick graduate. They agree to form an Ad agency with Steve Gurasich and Barry Everett. They call it AdVantage Associates, Inc. Meyer does not join AdVantage.
- McClure and Associates includes Jim Darilek and conitues in friendly competition with AdVantage.
- Media 70 ends its run.
- AdVantage pitches Pearl Beer to win the the Youth Market account for Country Club Malt Liquor. The price wage freeze kills the deal.
- Meyer, Woodward, and Morris serve as orientation advisers
- Everett packages Values and runs it for all Summer Orientation sessions as a solo contractor. The show is trimmed some, but AC21 now has a central control panel that allows one person to run most of the projectors, with assistance from Trabulsi.
- Steve Gurasich goes to Summer Camp with the Guard.
- Every one is exhausted after Pearl. Trabulsi goes to Houston to visit with family.
- Spence, Everett and Hendrick run the 3 small accounts from a spare room near the campus.
Fall & Winter ’71
- Fall: AdVantage rents a small office near 15th.
- Winter: AdVantage moves into large office on 34th, with reception, offices, studio, dark room.
- Everett finishes UT degree in December 1971
- AdVantage Associates Advertising various pitches for John Roberts Rings, Bank of the Southwest in Houston.
- AdVantage successful accounts include the “Live Like You Feel” campaign for Contessa/Contessa West.
- Early 1972: Roy Spence connects with Garry Mauro and lands the Ralph Yarborough Senatorial Campaign. The games begin…
Spring & Summer ’72
- Ralph Yarborough Senatorial Campaign begins a new era for AdVantage. There is a budget for producing and radio and TV spots. There’s a real campaign. Yarborough’s Republican opponent is John Tower. Even though, Yarborough is running in the primary for the Democratic nomination, the Yarborough campaign battles the Tower campaign.
- The 1972 Democratic Primary is inconclusive and Yarborough must enter a runoff race with challenger Barefoot Sanders.
- In June, Yaborough loses a very close runoff to Sanders. Sanders goes on to lose to Tower in the November general election.
- AdVantage must negotiate with the Yarborough Campaign for funds to pay off media bills.
- Advantage is left with very little cash for the time, materials and media commissions. The campaign leaves the AdVantage team in a state of extreme exhaustion and disappointment. Discussions about the future of the group continue through the summer.
- Steve Gurasich, Roy Spence, Jim Darilek, Tim McClure, Bil Gurasich, Judy Trabulsi, and Paul Gurasich form GSD&M. Everett and Hendricks do not continue with the agency. Shortly after the founding, Bill Gurasich is given an ancillary role. Everett goes into Freelance Photography, Writing and Bartending.
Media ’70 Group members
|Group Member||Joined Media ’70||Left Media 70||Role|
|Bill Gurasich (Major: Chemical Engineering) Property Developer in Austin aka Hunk||Spring ’68||Summer ’71 (to start AdVantage)||Founder. Deeply involved in selection of thematic content and show structure. Principal contact with Dean of Students Office. Played key role in the selection of the music for the sound tracks.|
|Amos “Pete” Peters III (Major: Political Science) Political Consultant Texas/California||Spring ’68||Fall ’70||Founder. Principal contact with Dean of Students Office during ’69 & ’69. Became less involved after ’69.|
|Roy Spence (Major: Political Science) CEO GSD&M Idea City||Spring ’68||Summer ’71 (to start AdVantage)||Principal contact with Dean of Students Office. Deeply involved in the content of the show. Deeply involved with visual selections during until Spring ’71.|
|Kay Morris (Major: Art) Founder and CEO, MarathonKids.org||Summer ’68||Fall ’70||Created many of the 4×5 slides. Identified and Copied many materials from books and magazines. Many thought Kindly Kay to be the gentle spirit of M70|
|Barry Everett (Major: Pyschology + Radio Television Film) Information Security Officer, EPA Virtual Worlds, Web 2.0 Champion||Summer ’68||Summer ’71 (to start AdVantage)||Principal Photographer, copywriting, story editing, production design and graphics. Deeply involved in the content of the show.|
|Dave Hendricks (Major: Radio Television Film) Unknown||Fall ’68||Summer ’71 (to start AdVantage)||Equipment and electronics, contact for the RTF Dept. – KUT studio and AC 21|
|Steve Gurasich (Major: Advertising) President, GSD&M aka Tebo||Fall ’69||Summer ’71 (to start AdVantage)||Story consultant, advertising|
|Tim McClure (Major: Advertising) Co-Founder GSD&M||Fall ’69||Summer ’71 (to start McClure Associates)||Advertising, logo design|
|Nancy Woodward (Major: English) Outward Bound, Unknown||Fall ’69||Summer ’71||Photography. Helped find quotes. Created many of the 4×5 slides.|
|Kenny Meyer (Major: Pyschology) Software Developer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA aka Milo||Fall ’69||Summer ’71||Story consultant, photography, Deeply involved in the content of the show.|
|Judy Trabulsi (Major: Radio Television Film) Founder, Executive VP, GSD&M||Spring ’70||Summer ’71 (to start AdVantage)||Content design, story editing, advertising, Campus Relations, Deeply involved in the content of the show.|
|Paul Gurasich (Major: ?) Unlnown aka Bird||Spring ’71||Summer ’71 (to work for AdVantage)||Accounting. Production support.|
|Jim Darilek (Major: Art, Graphics) Co-Founder GSD&M||Spring ’71||Summer ’71 (to start McClure Associates)||Logo Design, Graphics|
|Elizabeth Atkinson (Major: English)||Spring ’69||Spring ’71||Contributed quotes for visuals|
Media ’70 Group Shows
|’68 Values Show||She’s A Rainbow, Ride My Seesaw, Who Knows Where the Times Goes, etc.|
|’69 Values Show||Sound track includes “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Both Sides Now,” “White Rabbit”, “Street Fighting Man”|
|’70 Values Show||The show is revised to include a strong anti-war message.|
|’71 Values Show||Barry Everett – Solo Contract||Summer Orientation July 1971|
|Death of Academia||Inspired by the firing of John Silber (7/24/70) by Frank Erwin. References to the “Rainey incident,” a similar sequence of events that occured in the 40’s. Includes metaphorical Monopoly game. Music includes: Candles in the Rain”, “Sympathy for the Devil” The show was an appeal for a peaceful response to the events of the proceeding spring and summer.||September 10, 1970|
|Wozard of Iz||Psychodelic Rock Opera. The only theatrical show, using live actors on stage and on film. Based on the electronic musical of the same name.||24 showings in March 1971|
|Youth Generation||Produced for the Texas Association of Independent Title Agents. Roy Sneed, a local Austin politician, connect Gurasich and Spense to association. Thematic sections included: ‘America’, ‘Truth,’ ‘Dreams,’ ‘Times,’ ‘Volunteers,’ ‘Monster,’ and ‘Liberty/Justice for all.’ The show begins with the jet blast from the Beatles song “Back in the USSR” (White Album.) The initial show was not well received by the older generation title agents and local funeral home owners. A follow-on show had a much better reception. This show ends Media 70’s existence as a student organization, and marks it’s transformation into an Ad Agency.||June 1971 Two showings: 1. Hotel conference room 2. Ranch somewhere in the Hill country|