Don Archiable has the second-largest broadcast memorabilia collection in the country, all housed in a 4,200-square-foot building behind his Cleveland home. Included in the assembly are about 400 microphones and 60 television cameras. The makeshift museum, however, is not an homage to the evolution of television, per se, but more an acknowledgement of Archiable’s successful career in broadcast technology.
With degrees in architecture, industrial design and engineering, Archiable studied broadcast management at Xavier in the early 1980s before landing a job with Taft Broadcasting.
“I was lucky enough to walk in at the right time and started at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati as a chief engineer,” he says. “In about six months, they went through a growth spurt and went to 36 television and radio stations and they made me their corporate architect.”
This stroke of luck would lead him to design NBC’s space in the 40-story, $100 million NBC Tower on Chicago’s Miracle Mile, complete the 20-year, $308 million master plan for Rockefeller Center—including the studios for “The Today Show,” “Saturday Night Live” and “The David Letterman Show”—and collaborate on projects for movie producer George Lucas and the Discovery Channel. And this was only the beginning.
Today, Archiable is in his fourth year at Cleveland-based Archteck, a design firm he co-founded that specializes in broadcast studios and technology. “We feel we’re kind of unique in the country doing design-based schemes and such that are technology driven and have an infrastructure that is mission-critical,” says Archiable, who is rebuilding the Weather Channel and designing network studios around the country. And despite his fast-paced career, Archiable hasn’t lost any energy.
“It’s 1,000 times more personal satisfaction because I can pick and choose and I don’t have a corporation that tells me to what to do,” he says. “This is probably the most calm, the most rested I’ve been in 10, 20 years.”