Donald Kerr attended Radio and Television
Arts from 1973 - 75
I was born in 1955 and grew up in the
Annapolis Valley in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada.
My father served in Europe for several years
during World War II, the legion put on the footstone at his
I remember him mentioning once a bullet barely skimmed the top of
his head and when he became awake again he was in an England
His first wife died while he was serving overseas during the war.
After the war he remarried (to my mom). He worked for awhile for
the Nova Scotia electrical company and then ran a poultry
warehouse full of thousands of laying hens, Eggs and chicken was
free for us then!
My brother in law told me he took my dad to
the war museum once, and Dad stopped and looked at a particular
picture they had on display there for the longest time, and he was
asked if he was ok, my dad said the picture was all wrong, the
water was red.
Way back in high school, my first thought was to fly, not as a
passenger but as a pilot, my brother in law suggested I join the
air force for 3 years where all the flight training was free, back
then for whatever reason I was not all that interested in joining
the air force (although I am sure that would have been a great
option), financial resources was not that great at the time, and
to get enough flight training to get an entry position on any
airline from a non air force source may have been costly. Being
technically minded I am sure I could have become a great pilot but
I was extremely lucky not to have chosen that option as it would
have been a short career as mobility issues that developed over
the years would have definitely grounded me.
So now my 2nd choice was to work in the broadcasting field.
Although I am not sure if Wally Webb had this as a first choice or
not, but in the later years of high school we both where in the
same grade and attended the same high school in Nova Scotia.
I had applied to several colleges, the ones I remember are
Ryerson, Loyalist, Confederation, I got accepted at all, Wally was
leaning with Confederation College so I went in that direction
Although my first interest was to work in an on-camera position, I
quickly realized my strength was not in that area at all but in
the technical / operational side.
I was working with the local Television station in the evening
prior to the finish of college and worked in VTR, telecine and in
the end master control before obtaining employment in Ottawa in
In Ottawa I first started in the VTR on-air department, but have
filled in for Telecine, worked in master control, and when master
control of several stations was taken over by Toronto in 1998
creating a mega master down there, I moved into news editing.
During the years before and leading up Toronto taking over the
master control operations, and during the DOS days of computers, I
wrote a large portion of the software used in on-air vtr and
During the years of being in news editing, I did news and sports
editing, live news shows being in tape. In 2000 we changed over to
non linear computerized video editing, at that time I figured out
how automate a recording list and wrote a bat file to read the
computer date / time to change the recording file automatically
during the night to the next day without any human intervention.
I wrote 2 manuals on the Sundance / leitch, which Leitch obtained
a copy of to provide to other stations that the same system was
being installed at.
A decade later they changed over to a Harris / Velocity non linear
We had a fire that destroyed our broadcast building in 2010 and we
ended up moving to a downtown location, none of us was that happy
about that at the time particularly the loss of free parking that
everyone had enjoyed for decades.
I also had an interest in Audio, which I have served in that
function on numerous live news shows, the only thing that
prevented me from applying for that permanently was mobility
issues that would have made it difficult to work around guests.
My final shift before retiring I did was an audio shift.
The first onset of mobility issues started
around the age of 25 when others before myself noticed a slight
limp, this very gradually progressed over the years until now when
my walking ability is extremely limited and must be holding on to
something to walk at all, use a power wheelchair.
In 2012 when changes where happening in the workplace and
reduction in staffing, many of us accepted incentives that where
close to retirement to leave then which saved a lot of peoples
jobs that where much younger. It was a good time to retire as
mobility issues would have eventually forced me to go long term
disability. I managed to end my career without resorting to LTD.
Although I hated the politics / power struggles that sometimes
happen in the workplace, I enjoyed a long career, and miss the
daily interaction with co-workers and the suspense of being
involved in a live show.
I also served for several years in the work union as master
steward and have taken several union courses.
Years ago I have done most of all my vehicle repairs, brakes, rack
and pinion steering changing, and other repairs, as well as home
furnace repairs, although I still have the knowledge but my
physical ability has changed which makes me unable to do a lot of
that now, and I hate having to pay others to do what I know I
could do myself but no longer can.
I have created many websites, back in 1999 I started with another
person an electrical website and forums. The other person was an
electrical and building inspector in the United States, and we
sold those websites back in 2007 for a good sum of money. The
other person is now deceased.
Now I have created a new websites and
they are listed towards the bottom of the main page of this
Although Google which is the sought after search engine makes it
more difficult to get a website on top of the search results but
it is getting there.
On a personal note, I am married since 1983, have 3 children who
are all adults now, and currently still waiting for grand kids.