Business Magazine| Magazine
supplement of The
Daily Journal, March
6, 2000, page 4
Ken Allen Video Productions Studio
Townsend and Townsend and Crew
Live from a Palo
Alto Home, It’s
‘Ken Allen Presents’
partner at Townsend and Townsend and Crew in Palo Alto, is both a night
owl and an early riser. He has to be to keep up with his law practice,
his cable television show, his writing and his kids, foster children and
live-in exchange students.
Townsend patent lawyer specializing in the telecommunications industry,
Allen is also the producer of “Ken Allen Presents,” a public access cable
television show that he’s had since 1991. Allen provides viewers
with what he calls an “eclectic range of shows.” For example, he broadcasts
local sporting events, such as high school basketball and football games,
and theater and musical productions, such as a glass harmonica performance.
His show airs at 8 p.m. on Saturday nights on Palo Alto’s local channel
buff who also has a ham radio license, Allen sometimes spends up to 20
hours a week preparing for the show. He has a full range of editing
equipment set up in his home.
Allen says, is “enhancing [the station’s] focus of allowing average citizens
put quality performances on cable… It’s ‘long-attention-span TV.’”
graduate of Northeastern University Law School, Allen also spends a significant
amount of his time writing. His essays and stories, which he publishes
on a person Web site, are the result of 30 years of researching his family’s
history, which dates from the 9th century and includes a great-grandfather
who served under General Custer. Also an avid photographer, Allen
adds vintage photos to accent his stories.
intense effort,” he says about his writing projects.
his wife have four kids ranging in age from 24 to 14. They have also
been foster parents to three children and have hosted a slew of exchange
students and foreign graduate students attending neighboring Stanford University.
who is Mormon, being a surrogate parent is really a “recognition that we
have something to offer that we need to share with others. It’s hard
to describe in other than a spiritual basis,” he says.
it our not, Allen, who has a master’s in electrical engineering, also has
time to practice patent law and serve as head of Townsend’s partner nomination
process. Among his clients are Metricom, Photon Dynamics and SRI
all these activities in – and others such as rebuilding a 1968 Porsche
from the ground up and participating in a church production of “Bye, Bye
Birdie” – Allen often goes to sleep in the middle of the night and is then
up again at the crack of dawn.
profession could absorb my life,” Allen explains. “I’m over 50 now, and
I want to do things that could be a little more lasting.”
-- Leslie A. Gordon