Mike Cruce began in broadcast industry in 1980 as camera operator and editor for ADTEC Productions, ROLEEN Productions and West Lauderdale Baptist Church TV Productions. The church program aired on Trinity Broadcasting Network’s O&O station WHFT TV45 in the South Florida viewing market.
This exposure to the production and technical management of WHFT led to a position in the station’s master control department, where Mike was responsible for switching live and taped programming to air. While with WHFT, he functioned in the roles of Tape Operator, Editor, NewsBreak Announcer, CG Operator, Camera Operator, Prop Designer/Builder, Assistant Director and Technical Director. The TD position included switching a six-camera, two-studio, live 2-hour broadcast of a locally produced, nationally aired TV program that aired each Friday morning.
Through the efforts extended at WHFT, Mike was offered a Master Control Operator position for a new Spanish language station, WKID TV 51, also serving the south Florida viewing market. This station was purchased by John Blair Entertainment and took on the call letters of WSCV. Mike was promoted to the position of Master Control Supervisor, where he was responsible for scheduling personnel and developing broadcast procedures for smooth implementation of each day’s programming on air. In 1987, Saul Steinburg and The Reliance Group purchased WSCV and nine other Spanish language stations throughout the US. This began the Telemundo Hispanic Television Network, which operated out of the WSCV studios for about a year, before relocating to studios in Hialeah, Florida. During this time, Mike was promoted to Operations Manager of the Network, making him one of the youngest managers to hold this position in the industry. Mike was responsible for hiring and managing personnel, editing processes, program delivery, commercial insertion, transmitter and uplink maintenance, and design of existing and new Master Control Room equipment and ergonomic layouts. Through the experience gained in previous positions, he developed a Master Control equipment design and operational procedure system that gave the network a back up to each show and commercial aired. Through these efforts, the network was able to maintain a near-perfect record of airing each show and, more importantly, each commercial, resulting in zero loss of revenue during his tenure at Telemundo.
From the engineering and design experience gained at Telemundo, Mike moved into the sales arena. He was offered the position of Sales Engineer/Southeastern Division for Ikegami Electronics. Mike was responsible for selling their broadcast camera products into existing dealer and end-user markets, as well as developing new markets and products. He earned several sales awards and broke new ground for Ikegami in their hand-held camera division. One notable implementation was the efforts extended with NASA at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, where he worked with several NASA officials and their contractors to develop a new color camera for viewing shuttle launches and sensitive fueling and payload areas.
This led to NASA creating a “CR”, which is a “Change Requirement”. This CR stated that they could now change from black and white images to color images throughout KennedySpaceCenter. Forty of the top NASA officials attended the presentation and stated that this would not have been possible at the time, without his direct efforts. Hundreds of these units were sold to NASA and to this day, many of those cameras still bring images to TV during shuttle launches. Another notable effort was with a color film processing company. Hundreds of Ikegami broadcast cameras were retrofitted into these machines, enabling the customer to revive outdated technology. This system was implemented in the “Kodak Colorwatch” control stations, which are used to process color film prints for the consumer and commercial industry.
Mike's position at Ikegami led him to a wide variety of competitors, colleagues and end-users throughout the US, especially in the SE. One of his responsibilities was to develop and support their network of dealers and systems integrators. As Mike wanted to move from south Florida to Birmingham (where he spent most of his vacations, as his family is from here), an Ikegami dealer in the area offered me the position of National Sales Manager. The company had been in business for roughly 10 years and maintained a level of sales of approximately $2 million. Within eighteen months, Mike took the company from $2.2 million in sales with two offices in Alabama, to nearly $9 million in sales and six offices in three states.
David Baran has been in the industry for over 20 years plus. Originally from the Chicago land area, David made his home in Birmingham, AL. in 2004. David spent his early years on the road, touring with National acts as a sound engineer. David joined the Media Visions family in 2009 as the Production Manager. He thrives on the challenges and pressures that Live Concert Production brings. When ask what makes Concert Production so enticing he stated “ When you first walk into a venue or field and there is nothing there, and in 4 hours or so you have loaded in a complete concert, and the fans are screaming and having a great time…. well, that’s exciting!
Ken Sorrell brings with him 17 years of live production and TV/Film experience that all started with a Production Assistant job at Cellar Door Productions in 1996 while attending Radford University for Music Business. Immediately following college, he moved to Nashville TN, chose a career in entertainment lighting, and began touring with artists such as Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn, WWE, Avenged Sevenfold, and Good Charlotte. In 2008 he moved to Los Angeles where we became Head of Lighting and Video for Stage-Tech. Ken recently moved back to Nashville,TN and joined the Media Visions team in early 2013 as Accounts and Production Manager for the Nashville office with his main focus set on expanding the company's Touring and Special Events division.
Chris Stamps has been in the Audio Visual field for over 15 years. Having been with Media Visions for 13 years now Chris is one of the longest standing employees at the company. While having worked his way up from the warehouse to now running the design and installation division he stands ready to serve your needs. Chris is responsible for managing all installations and completing and certifying all fiber optic projects.
Accreditations and Certifications:
VidCAD SQL - Design Automation
The Fiber Optic Association, Inc - CFOT (Certified Fiber Optic Technician)
QSC - Q-SYS Level 1
Extron - School of Audio Visual Integration for Sales Professionals.