From TV to the ‘Net

Bill Brown

Photo by Jimmy Boegle

Bill Brown, 48, has one of the town’s most familiar faces, although you probably haven’t been seeing it much lately (unless you work for the RN&R, and thus have an office in the same building). That’s because he’s out of the TV news biz—for now, at least—and is concentrating full-time on his company, IPBroadcast, which (to drastically oversimplify things) designs Web pages. Brown graduated from Reno High School and attended the University of Nevada, Reno. He’s 17 credits short of his degree, but he plans on taking a few classes to bridge that gap. He worked in the TV business for 26 years, working for all three of the town’s major TV news operations before starting IPBroadcast with his nephew, Brad Brown. Bill is single and has a 9-year-old daughter, Kinsey.

What the heck is an IPBroadcast?

IP stands for “Internet protocol,” which is the basis for all of the programming you do. IPBroadcast has four of the best Web designers in the world. We also have designers affiliated with Pixar Studios and Industrial Light and Magic. That’s because Brad trained them.

Really? Wow.

We do everything from mom-and-pop [businesses’ Web sites] to high-end, $250,000 sites. We have the most advanced video compression codes in the world right now for streaming video on the Web. KOLO-TV is our beta site []. The video looks good even with a 56.6k modem.

What made you leave TV and get into this?

I had done some high-tech reporting at the end of my TV career, and I was fascinated by that. My nephew, who has done work for Harrison Ford and Francis Ford Coppola, wanted to move back to Reno. He asked me if I wanted to start the company. After 26 years of broadcasting misery and bad news, that was enough. After all those years of horrible news, it was time.

Do you miss it at all?

Well, I am going to be showing up again, I believe. Sometimes, I really do miss it. It’s funny, because my recognition factor is greater now than it was than when I was on the air.

Why do you think that is?

I’ve started to understand that when you’re on the air, you’re part of [the viewer’s] family, and people miss you. People come up to me all the time, say hello, and ask what I am doing. It’s a wonderful, wonderful feeling.

You said you might be showing up again on TV. Come on, give me a scoop.

I possibly might do some high-tech reporting for a local TV station. With the time I put in [with IPBroadcast], it would be very limited and part-time.

I see you dress more casually these days.

That’s part of this business. For a more formal engagement, I’ll at least wear Dockers. But for coming into the office and doing grunt work, you can be casual.