Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Educational television, part two
Continuing now with this special report on the Senate subcommittee hearings on the public television Act of 1967 we hear from representatives of the educational television stations. The comments will be heard from board chairman Jack G. McBride board member and former FCC chairman Newton Minow former w NDTV New York Board Chairman Devereaux Josephs and Miami Florida Educational Television consultant C. Scott Fletcher first to speak is Mr. Jack G McBride manager of the brass good educational television network. I appear today is chairman of the board of directors of the educational television stations division of the National Association of educational broadcasters. I will introduce the several distinguished gentlemen with me subsequently of my maid. As I think you know sort of a press story educational television stations of that division of the NE B which concerns itself with appropriate national matters relating to
educational television stations. Our organization has as you would know given a great deal of study a great deal of attention to s 11:16 conclusion is that we come to you in complete accord with 11:16 as it stands. We think it is a good bill. We urge its passage. My statement my remarks and those of others offer specifics offer documentation. This will be on the record according to your recent order. Now the statement summarizes a number of statistics and facts about Ari TV stations. These are presented to you as well we can save time here in this instance also. We are speaking on behalf of small TV stations as well as the large community TV stations where we represent all varieties and types of the over 130 stations that exist in virtually every
state. As I think you know the stations are licensed about equally a number to four general categories of licensees. Universities state commissions and Department of Education. Public school systems and community organizations established pacifically to operate the TV. Title 1 of 11 60 is concerned with construction of facilities and extension of the excellent program of educational television facilities active 1062. We certainly most definitely applaud this extension Educational Television has taken giant steps ahead as a result of the TV facilities act. I can speak personally in terms of the assistance and development of the Nebraska educational television network and there is much other documented documentation that can be provided as well. We believe the future accomplishments of this title will be even more far reaching than the obvious accomplishments of the TV facilities act they have down to date and view of the current needs which can be so abundantly documented we endorse the wisdom of continuing the they
act for ended and for an additional five year period and adding additional dollars to it. The 10 and a half million dollars for the next fiscal year to carry out the purposes of this particular title is sorely needed urgently needed in terms of construction development for educational television if indeed Educational Television is to continue its vital growth. I would point out to your committee that a report recently made to Senator Warren Warren Magnuson indicates that for every dollar expended in the TV facilities act thus far at least two to three dollars resulted locally in operations and capital matching funds thus have the federal funds also generated continuing and growing local support as a result I think this is an important point Senator. We're pleased that the maximum sum to be granted to any signals in a single state has been raised from one million per year per state to twelve and a half percent of the total appropriations for any year. We have approximately 20
such states now which have reached their million dollar limitation with much work remaining to be done in terms of satisfying or in terms of bringing educational television service to the more sparsely populated areas of our nation. We note with considerable pleasure the inclusion of educational radio stations are directors of the TV stations have long ago urged that radio be made eligible eligible for these grants as well. Turning out of the second title of the act. Calling for the establishment of a nonprofit educational Broadcasting Corporation. I can speak for all of the TV stations and concur absolutely on the aims of this title we believe it is in the public interest for the Congress to encourage the growth and development of noncommercial educational radio and television broadcasting. We heartily endorse the policy aims of freedom and magination an initiative which we know from direct and long experience are the cornerstones on which public television must be built. Our aim has always been to achieve diversity
and excellence although heretofore we have seldom had the means at all levels to accomplish it. We study the recommender corporation. We believe that this is an appropriate agency for the Congress to establish and that is that it can be of extremely vital service in assisting the continuing development of educational broadcast throughout the United States. This corporation must be freed from undue outside influence. We believe the corporation as described in established by the bill will accomplish that purpose I can state categorically that no educational broadcasting licensee desires interference with his own local authority or with his program schedule. We do not permit it now. We cannot permit it in the future. The licensees responsibility is total for his own program schedule. I can assure you that the institution and the agency which employ me and those licensees of all other educational television stations can concur. Absolutely. There simply can be no interference with the
autonomy of our program schedules today or in the future these are really our credos of educational Broadcasting Service. In terms of the specific activities of the corporation we applaud the establishment of the corporation itself as essentially a non operating entity. We believe that just as important that the corporation be insulated itself from the day to day activities of a broadcast station or network as it is from the political control in it so election of staff and board members. This is a point which has been referred to several times this morning and yesterday it is the opinion of our operating educational television stations that even additional insulation can be provided if the corporation is to contract with yet another entity for the network networking provision. We support the broad activities everywhere you are in favor of the bill as it is grown. We are so with endeavor that build as it is drawn
we think this adds yet another buffer of protection. We support the broad activities to which this corporation would offer encouragement extremely critical as the operational support of some of our stations. We have too great a number of the TV stations today which operate with budgets far below any level of effectiveness in their communities. The majority of the TV stations operate annually on less money than the cost of one hour of prime time programming on commercial television. Despite these limitations we're proud of the achievements the modest achievements to date of our e TV stations and we certainly longingly look to a future of vastly improved and increased service which we know we can provide given given the means. Therefore we're pleased that the corporation in such situations can assist in the direct operational support of the stations also assist with regional networks as are developing and certainly assist with programming at the national level. With such a production or rather such
programming facilities as National Educational Television which is so important to all of our operating the TV stations and state wide networks. Indeed I draw attention to the importance as well of the TS programme service which is providing valuable programming assistance in exchange of of programming between the stations. Turning to Title 3 for just a moment we certainly approve with a comprehensive study of instructional television and radio just as it has been done for public television by the historic Carnegie Commission study we feel a study of similar stature with similar outstanding citizens serving it should be applied to the field of instructional television. And here question Mr. McBride So those are get the proper context that the ordinary individual. Who is. Looking at out and listening to us will understand. Are you saying that in effect.
That we modified. The present position provisions in this particular bill. With reference to this contracting out for you to change. That back if it were construed literally could obviate any teeth completely. Do I make myself clear. I don't believe I understand your question Senator. Well now let me put it this way. Last August we had hearings on the Ford Foundation. We had many cameras here. It was supplied by any team. Yes I understand throughout the country. Last night at certain hours much of what transpired here was broadcast. That's right. Now the people who did that. Well the any right would need really a contract. Under the proposals of this bill. Under the proposals of the bill it would be entirely possible for their product you amended this
bill leaving it up to the corporation to make that decision and giving it the authority they themselves could substitute themselves for any t my correct in that interpretation that's right and that's what you're trying to avoid. We're saying it would be more appropriate and more in order for the corporation not to themselves serve as a programming agency but it would be more appropriate to contract out to any T or a second national programming agency as such might be developed and see the services provided now certainly. We we most definitely want to see the services provided. These cameras here. Which are which belong to the Washington TV station and are picking up these proceedings on behalf of any t. Are feeding these what we feel very important hearings and others we would propose out to our in TV stations and all across the United States. The
Nebraska state network last night tonight and throughout the rest of these hearings will carry summaries of the proceedings. Your questions and comments by the people sitting at the table here bringing this and other important governmental hearings to all of our butt so that we can get this in proper perspective. Under the bill as it is presently written that is the only way that it could be done. That correct. Under the bill as it's now written it talks. I guess it isn't ready. In other words for the benefit of the public at large what are we trying to change here. And what are we trying to do. I think the objectives of all of us are entirely the same. I know I know that I'm not talking about the broad objectives I mean with reference to this issue has been raised here this morning. Does anyone else want to comment on this. One. I'm ready.
What do you wish there really were at the start of the second national conference. Which was held as you know in Washington early in March. The conferees were discussing and they were brought together for the purpose of discussing the Carnegie Commission report in terms of long range financing not just for a year but for a long range financing. And when the conferees came to listening to Weekend U.S. executive consultancies Scott called last Friday the bill in depth at the same time but they did not vote on the bill as a conference. They related the items in the Carnegie Commission report to all items in the kind of report 12 out and there were three that I will single out later and describe what I can do one of them now and that applies to Title 2. And I will read what I had in my testimony it's very short it's only about two paragraphs three paragraphs. The Carnegie Commission recommendation to now as it relates to Title 2.
We recommend and then I look at the Carnegie quotation is here but I will not read it. But prior to discussing this matter and remember that was not discussed in a large room the conferees were in 11 small rooms in charge of appropriate chairman cetera. In discussing this matter the conferees took into full consideration President Johnson's education message to the Congress and the restrictions concerning operations recommended by the kind of cooperation and the what some. And also the recommend restrictions mentioned in the bill. Here is the conference consensus and I will read it. These are the words of the record is the official record is not mine. The concept and principle of the corporation are indorsed installation of the corporation is vital. Realizing that differing methods exist in different proposals for the appointment of the corporation's board of directors the companies feel that three factors will assure the necessary insulation.
One the real name of the administration to the collective responsibility of local TV broadcasters and a faith in the American people. Now I come to the point you raise three. There is strong agreement with the county recommendation that the corporation be a non operational entity. I want to read it to you because it's very important I think. Maybe you wish to discuss it. In this respect the conferees noted the commission's statement on page 40 of its report which reads. In general the corporation will act by means of grants to all contracts with stations within the system. Entities are various kinds in gauged in work associated with television and colleges and universities. Except for its obligations in providing. For the word providing could be actually operate or provide money for the operation. But the word is providing. Its obligations in providing interconnection and dissemination of information and perhaps for the establishment of archives. It should not act as an operating institution.
That we are working with and particularly that that. Paragraph with the bill at this particular stage which says to arrange by Grant or contract with appropriate public or nonprofit private agencies organizations or institutions for interconnection facilities suitable for distribution and transmission of educational television or radio programmes to noncommercial educational broadcasting stations. Now would you construe that language to preclude the corporation itself from doing it. Yes yes you were we read it that way that it would be that I think that I think that Mr Killion read it the same way that's reason why I'd like to have a change I think that's right. Yes sir. And you would prefer to have it remain the way it's in the bill now. Yes or. In other words if we're going to have this. Interlocking. You'd have to do it under the method that is Britain being. Used
presently. That's right. We. There is precedent we have experience it works. We think it can work even better given the assistance as provided by the act. The speaker is Jack G. McBride of the TV my editor and I write scripts for a seat in the interests of time to introduce the three gentlemen here with me and have them summarize their statements. If I understood you do nothing. The operation of heartbreak. That's right. And you interpret the bill to also say it's a non operational corporation that is your interpretation. Yesterday. Mr. Chairman. I did not understand that. And. I this is the very heart of what I've been talking about here for days I'm in favor of public television and instructional television. But the very unfortunate events walking out here for the last few days it is whether or not you're going to have an
operating cooperation. Is it not I'm asking a question not making a statement. Well no the whole essence of the bill is that it will not be an operating and that's the point that the gentleman just me. But yet in the recommendation made here we do get into the element of operating that corrected that. And but as the bill is wrong it is bills drawn. It does preserve this element of non operational. Is that correct. That's correct in our interpretation. And yet as Dr. Killian suggested your upgrade that you might fall into operational. What activity. Well I suppose it depends on a on a on a definition of the word. The term operational itself certainly the corporation would have to be operational as it serves as a holding company or a trust on behalf of the educational television stations. Certainly there have to be operations in
quotes in terms of making the grants to both national programming agencies and to local stations and so forth. In terms of distribution in terms of determining at what particular time a particular program should be fed down the national interconnection line however we feel this function could better be provided by another entity an entity other than the corporation as I always understood that the function that the Carnegie. Commission was talking about. For instance they would go to Channel 2 in Boston. Who would submit a proposal for some kind of a program. Now that the corporation itself would consider quitting could be disseminated among other stations either in the region or nationwide. Now of course that that gets into the element that this is
got to be interconnected with the various stations as you do now when they need to be. Yes and I thought that all they were asking for was the authority that if they saw fit that this program should be disseminated by the processes of interconnection that they could provide the money in order to have this done correct. Now you know Paul with that you know we encourage this. But what we're seeing there is having provided the money for the production of this desirable program. But then the transmission of that program once produced once completed. Would be entrusted your own contract to yet another agency. This is not as important in terms of the recorded program that is is is time less and that does not need to be picked up instantaneously as this particular program. It becomes important it becomes more important in terms of a program which
is an on the spot. Pick up. And in this instance decisions networking decisions need to be made as to what time the national line would be cleared for distribution of this program and so forth and so on. We feel that it would be even more desirable for the corporation itself not to have not to entertain this function as well that it would be even better for the Corporation which makes the decisions concerning providing the grant of the program that the grant of funds for production of the program that it not also make the decision as to the time of the day and so forth in which the program would be distributed nationally. I don't think they have any such intention but let's assume that you do inaugurate a program in in the last lie that set up and the only other outcast that would like to see that is some educational station let's say in
Philadelphia. Now in order to get that program from the Boston station which at the moment would become more or less the network operation. In order to send it to Philadelphia there might have to go to the telephone company to make the connection. Now why should they go to a contractor to do that why can't they do it. We're talking about interconnection here. When are talking exactly about becoming a network. I don't think that anyone here is taking the position that this corporation shall become a network. We're talking here about interconnection. That's right. Now in order to produce some of these programs you might have to go to the individual stations. Who are into clouds. Let's assume for instance they put on something like Meet the Press. Now the individuals participating in this. Their locus would be Boston. That's where they are.
Now you're going to get this in four or five different places you're going to get it in Chicago you're going to get it in Philadelphia you're going to get it in Pittsburgh and you might have to want to bring it here to Washington. Now in order to do this you've got to do something the connection am I correct. It's right. Now that an interconnection can either be done I suppose through the medium of any t that would go up there to Boston and put on a show or you could have it picked up there and sent through the wire and the cables. But why couldn't they do that directly. Why would you deny him that of power. Oh we're not suggesting this be tonight at all Senator. As a matter of fact we would encourage all of this type of interconnection station to station Station to regional network regional network to regional network and station to national distribution that's all right. Oh that's that's we're completely in accord I would tell me what you're fearful of. Worse we're saying that the the the the station should
go to the whoever it is that has the contract for this national interconnection and simply make the request for time on the network so that the interconnection can be provided. We're saying simply that it is more desirable for this process to be enacted than it would be for the corporation itself to serve as the networking facility. So in stead in this instance Channel 2 Boston would make its request of of the contractor or rather than making its written whether or not you don't want a race operation to go on and get itself a lot of cameras. And go up to Boston and get this. You know on the road so to speak. Yes or that which you're talking about where because then you say that's operation that's operational and we're seeing even additional and even additional bunch of buffer can be provided if through this this recommended procedure. As it's contained in our belief in the wording of the bill.
Thank you for clarification on that. What you're saying is then that the cooperation shall have no authority whatsoever to directly involve itself in producing programs. No no sir. Certainly it would it would have died I mean other than to award contracts our grants to certain other and other activities so that what you're saying also have the have the power of you and review you as the US the corporation would make a grant to me as a producing a TV station. I having submitted my proposal to you for matching funds or assistance of some sort to produce this series of programs which we put in a proposal to you. You would. You would then have the power of a view and review of those programs. If indeed we now would that include view and review would that include editing. Oh no sir. No sir not not editing. We feel that once the
grant has been provided we should be able to produce the programme according to the prospectus according to the proposal that had been presented down according to the manner in which the funds had been the remark ration would only act as a conduit for money from the conduit for two purposes. Two I mean not a kind of as an entity to receive money and then as a conduit to move that money out into the country to other people that are accorded me there is no purpose to the corporation according to the the policies and procedures that the board of directors of the corporation would determine. But this this protects the local station autonomy while I'm not. I'm trying now just to understand what you're saying that you want them to do and that is you want them to have the authority to receive money and to issue contracts. Our rants on here for the purpose of production of programs and then they can review the programs.
And reject them. They would not they would not be rejecting them in other words because they reject them accept them and revise them and I know they would and I have already lived there I know so they would not have the ability to do any Come on back to you. Then what is what is then why have we been so fearful of who's appointed to this board if all they're going to act is that is a mere administrative agency. I mean isn't that the substance of the complaint and the worry the last few days. I'm big television. I'm upgrading television I want to do that and I want to protect it from the same thing same things we've been talking about what I'm trying to find out now then what has been the great concern that we have been expressing and different degrees here about who was appointed who appoints them. If all they're going to have is a myriad administrative duties. Well if they had no policy making decision whatsoever we we believe there
certainly would be policy making decisions necessary for the board and the bill as written delineates rather carefully the duties and responsibilities of the corporation itself. We however feel that that the bill as written also is desirable in terms of the method of appointment of the corporate members and we think this is entirely in order. That was the testimony from representatives of each of the educational television stations. You have also heard testimony from representatives of any National Educational Television of any special report on the Senate hearings on public broadcasting as been pretty of US national educational radio row the facilities of W am you FM the American University Radio in Washington D.C. This is NPR public affairs director Bill Greenwood inviting you to join us tomorrow for the final part of this five program
- Educational television, part two
- Producing Organization
- National Association of Educational Broadcasters
- WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program, the second of two parts, features John F. White, president of National Educational Television (NET), and former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair E. William Henry. Also: Edwin Burrows; Jack McBride; and Newton Minow.
- Other Description
- Senate Hearings on Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, held during April 1967.
- Public Affairs
- Media type
Host: Greenwood, Bill
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Speaker: Bundy, McGeorge
Speaker: White, John F. (John Francis), 1917-2005
Speaker: Henry, Emil
Speaker: Minow, Newton N., 1926-
Speaker: McBride, Jack
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-Sp.5-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Educational television, part two,” 1967-04-15, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 27, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-rj48tw7k.
- MLA: “Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Educational television, part two.” 1967-04-15. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 27, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-rj48tw7k>.
- APA: Senate hearings on public broadcasting; Educational television, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-rj48tw7k