JAMES J. MASSARO, PRESIDENT
Mr. Massaro has owned and operated Massaro Productions, Inc., a successful video production company, since 1983. He attributes part of his success to quality production which is achieved through the use of the latest cutting-edge equipment and dedicated, highly skilled technicians.
Jim is a 36 year veteran of the television industry and a recipient of more than 20 national and regional awards. His personal “whatever it takes” philosophy is to continually exceed client expectations through unwavering dedication and commitment.
Working out in the field on a daily basis, Jim witnessed the growing need for a dependable uplink company in the East Central region. With this realization, in 1998 he formed First Call UPLinks providing live coverage of breaking news, sports and videotaped interviews for all major networks.
Jim presently operates one of three satellite uplink trucks in addition to occasional event coverage behind the camera. He also handles production management and technician training to provide support services for network live production.
ROBIN CHANNELL, VICE PRESIDENT OPERATIONS
Ms. Channell began her broadcast career with Massaro Productions, Inc. in 1992 as the Office Manager. Her duties included all accounting and payroll functions as well as production crew assignments and coordination.
With the formation of First Call UPLinks, Robin’s appointment to the position of Vice President of Operations was a logical step. The “delightful” Robin, as named by network insiders, is standing by 24/7 to handle immediate crew and truck booking needs. She is the first point of contact person clients routinely encounter and she is dedicated to that client’s needs from beginning to end.
Robin’s database of professional camera, sound and technical subcontract personnel spans five states which ultimately provides the client with crews and truck coverage fast and easy with one call.
GEORGE SCHRAFFENBERGER, CHIEF ENGINEER & OPERATOR
Mr. Schraffenberger is an Emmy Award Winner for “Engineering Excellence” providing HD Coverage of the John Glenn launch. During that time he worked for WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio, and was Engineer in Charge for two trips to Tempe, Arizona providing coverage of the Ohio State Buckeyes Football Championships; as well as numerous remotes during 9/11 in New York City.
George joined First Call in 1999 and still operates the Columbus, Ohio based satellite truck. His responsibilities also include the daily updates of production equipment and procurement of necessary supplies and equipment vital to the success and operation of our continuous transmission needs.
As an engineer for First Call UPLinks, George still holds the record at ABC Network News for the longest continuous coverage during the 2000 Presidential Election in Austin, Texas. His assignment was a total of 84 days!
TRACEY LISTON, BROADCAST ENGINEER
Mr. Liston first joined First Call UPLinks in 2000 as a part-time Satellite Truck Operator.
Tracey managed the Media Support Department of the Case School of Medicine. He handled the daily technical coordination of many surgical teleconferences and media video releases for university leadership.
Due to the growing coverage area, First Call UPLinks offered and he accepted a full-time position in 2012.
Tracey’s broadcast experience includes coverage of two North American Olympic Games. He has provided the world feed for two Super Bowls, handling the pre and postgame needs of domestic and international clients.
Tracey has also created an excellent, longstanding relationship with a prominent East Asian client to the point of being their go to man for numerous LPGA events held in the United States and Canada.
BENJAMIN POPIO, CAMERAMAN/DIRECTOR
Mr. Popio joined First Call UPLinks in December of 2005. Ben has 20 years combined experience in SD and HD videography working with local stations WYTV and WKBN producing news and sports.
Ben is an accomplished cameraman ready to do whatever it takes to get the job done right the first time. Networks rely on his professionalism and experience to handle live or taped remotes in a variety of news and sports venues.
As director, Ben is responsible for coordinating and overseeing multiple crew assignments and procuring the right personnel and equipment for each unique assignment. His in depth knowledge and expertise covers a variety of venues in the Tri-State Area.