The rise and fall of television news: no more father figures
by Jon Rappoport
January 24, 2018
When network television news was created in the late 1940s, no one in charge knew how to do it. It was a new creature.
Sponsors? Yes. A studio with a desk and an anchor? Yes. A list of top stories? Yes. Important information for the public? Yes.
Of course, “important information” could have several definitions—and the CIA already had a few claws into news, so there would be boundaries and fake stories within those boundaries.
The producers knew the anchor was the main event; his voice, his manner, his face. He was the actor in a one-man show. But what should he project to the audience at home?
The first few anchors were dry sandpaper. John Cameron Swayze at NBC, and Douglas Edwards at CBS. But Swayze, also a quiz show host, broke out of the mold and imparted a bit of “cheery” to his broadcasts. A no-no. So he was eventually dumped.
In came a duo. Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. NBC co-anchors from 1956 to 1970. Chet was the heavy, with a somber baritone, and David was “twinkly,” as he was called by network insiders. He lightened the mood with a touch of sarcasm and an occasional grin. It worked. Ratings climbed. Television news as show biz started to take off. At the end of every broadcast, there was: “Good night, Chet.” “Good night, David.” The audience ate it up. They loved that tag…Read More