Here’s … Rufus

Biography of Rufus Pederson
upon his nomination to the Silver Circle
of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
San Francisco/Northern California Chapter

Rufus Pederson is an outstanding television director who has dedicated his life to his craft and to the advancement of directors in the television industry. Besides that, he is the nicest human being you will ever meet.

He has shown his versatility over the years by directing every conceivable kind of television show, including news, variety, talk, and specials. In many of these shows he also functioned as a producer. But directing is his first love and to promote his enamoured, he has spent years working for the Directors Guild of America. He was a founding member of the San Francisco Coordinating Committee of DGA and has been a longstanding member of that body’s governing board as well as serving as a representative to the annual DGA National Conference. He has spent endless hours representing the right of every director to have decent work for decent pay.

Rufus began his love affair with television in the army at the first Armed Forces television station — a closed-circuit hook-up with the call letters “CSLO” at Camp San Luis Obispo, California, an Army Corps training camp. That was in 1952. He was a director and occasionally a performer. Needless to say, he gave up on the latter.

After getting out of the service, he went to work as a floor manager then director at KCOP-TV Los Angeles starting in 1955. He worked on the Oscar Levant show, among others.

Then he got a better offer from Channel 2, KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon, to become their production manager as well as director. While there he directed a two-hour live variety show hosted by Steve Davis, later a KGO-TV reporter. Supposedly the show included live animal acts, juggling, mariachis, and many forms of spontaneous mayhem which Rufus ring-mastered artfully.

After a brief stint at Channel 44 in San Francisco attempting an all-live station which didn’t last very long, he finally arrived at KGO-TV, Channel 7. And the rest they say is history. At KGO he was a preeminent director able to direct every form of television. He spent many years directing the “AM-San Francisco” live morning show and its successor, “Good Morning Bay Area.” In addition, he has directed weekly magazine shows including “Front Row Video”, “900 Front Street” and the nationally syndicated “Dr Dean Edell’s Medical Journal,” which also won an “Iris” award for “Best New Magazine Show.” He has directed every form of news and news special imaginable. But some of his best work shows up in variety shows and specials, such as “Good Time Cafe,” (a comedy special syndicated to the Arts & Entertainment Network), “The Roast of Champions,” “The Bay Area Night of International Stars,” and “The 40th Anniversary Special.”

Rufus merits consideration for the “Silver Circle Award” because he has dedicated his life to the advancement of television, particularly television in the Bay Area. And he has done it all with grace, kindness and a wonderful joy.

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