Cheltenham High School Hall of Fame

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Donald  Pike

class of 1933
inducted in 1987

Donald Pike

Emmy Award-Winning Technical Manager

Pike's career began as a Music Instructor at Philadelphia Polytechnic Institute. From there he joined Farnsworth Television, Ltd., working as conductor-arranger for experiment television broadcasting. In 1945 Pike joined the Television Development Staff of the National Broadcasting Company. He operated in every technical position in the NBC staff, including that of Technical Director. Some highlights of this phase of his career were Philco Television Playhouse and the first television opera (Aida) which required Pike to read an orchestral score rather than a script. Pike became Technical Director for the RCA-NBC Color Television Systems Development Project Field Tests in 1950. The facilities were used to refine the systems for final approval of the present color television method specified by the Federal Communications Commission. He also served as Technical Field Representative including responsibility for quality control of remote pickups for network service. In 1961 Pike joined the U.S. information Agency in Washington, D.C., and rose to Chief of Production.

Pike then returned to NBC and became deeply involved with color broadcast of events at
Cape Canaveral for NASA, since only NBC had color equipment and the other networks had to feed from NBC. He handled the televising of several President trips for Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. Pike has also been responsible for the transmission of several Super Bowls, World Series games and Miss America Pageants. Pike received a Emmy for Technical Production of Stereo Sound for his work on the telecast of Vladimir Horowitz's performance of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta. Since his retirement, Pike was asked by the NBC Engineering Department to join their staff in coverage of the 1988 Olympics from Seoul, Korea.