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fb we're also plays to have those honored just the other members of the commission was an imposing assemblage of leaders in the broadcasting industry i'm very low over your son's mr henry assume the office of chairman levin very interesting times that the us recently because the commission has responsibility in many areas online broadcasting the workload of its staff has been described as staggering after a particularly hectic day not long ago i'm told it was suggested those secretary talking on the moment she does say we're terribly does a instead of her usual description it's a madhouse nevertheless the past year has seen the organization of the communication
satellite corporation comes up and the issuance of two hundred million dollars worth of stock the chairman attended to conferences in geneva and numerous others in washington and to help work out the one because a patient in the program the all channel receiver legislation became effective april thirtieth of this year requiring that all new sets be a quiet receive vote you a job and be a job signals a total of eighty two channels in the field an educational television the matching funds program is now very much on the road promising a great future use of talent of the fcc gas industry last year before this group when chairman henry made his first major industries speech and language commercials to a reasonable level there are indications that he'll continue to press vigorously for reasonable limitations other
events have taken place in mr henry fly ladies getting a build up to audition for new lawyers series on television or your goal and her nationally syndicated column harriet van horn describe him as follows these strikingly handsome and the clean cut what sharon wavy haired pilot used to find such rapturous favor with ladies don't go in the august issue of playboy magazine on was ferried over a biography and a photo of the chairman of song the singing teacher i'd say it was the second best picture in the magazine it's now my pleasure to resign the chairman of the federal communications commission the audible e william and right a
critique i guess they used i'm gonna thank you for that an introduction as always you lock it up a little when you make us feel giglio wanted to be glad to be here again i i appreciate it i was rather surprised to see myself in playboy since you mentioned it i just received a copy on my desk they referred me to page one hundred and eighteen where i was it took me two hours to get there but i was surprised because i have so little time to play and i think in this job you lose your voice tendencies rather so awe as i said the commissioners and myself are going to be here we are here all seven of us i wanna tell you a little behind the scenes my wobbly one of the commissioners almost didn't make it he's been very
i hadn't been feeling too well lately we went to his doctor and the rallies know why his doctor said that it was nothing but tension going to take two tantalizing your it gets it won the commission got someone missed eleven as an inside job three years ago almost to the day and administered before you emerged a concerted effort on your part to produce more and better children's programs your group proceeded forth without a business reorganize itself an adopted a new name next to him an overtime of stimulating oration three months later the trade press rumor that he was going out of business last year i appeared before you for the first time and made a modest
proposal concerning the amount of commercials that you'd be on our radio and television and that was a lot about its cause the one jonathan swift laden seventeen twenty nine leave the irish famine by killing all a newborn babies but it's his proposal eventually prompted have a few souls to combat starvation i'm hoping commission history will eventually reflect action to combat a further eyes in commercial feasting but in any way i approached this particular podium with some trepidation birds obviously loaded and i'm actually point in your direction are not but one thing we do know for sure the ig's podium as a study on free cheerios please call more of the most important figures in the broadcasting business so tonight to share again platform with them and a pleasure to have the absence of dryden idea to on such a knowledgeable orleans since we last met with few year ago the young commissioner
sandy says has not had a dull moment we have stirred up some controversy we agree surveyed all land and we applied a new anchor to any idea of the fairness doctrine we have issued our long awaited premier and we hope that in addition to making you write your lawyer it's been assumed that during the last year we've also worked continuously for the promotion and development of additional television stations in the new age of man and a foster the goals of the auto mall as you know the hbo the vhs theater is packed as silently as a saturday matinee of hello dolly and several eight applicants are fighting for standing room only so you might have a loan can provide the multiple outlets and the potential for program diversity that our system now last we think we're going to be successful and the new age of following its second appearance on the track after falling by the
wayside in the first heat is off to a good start and will finish the race in our continuing efforts to enact rules and established policies that will be conducive to good broadcasting we engaged in a number of important study is some new and some continuing chief among these are studying for proposals for the regulation of community antenna television pay television multiple ownership of broadcast facilities in the overall question of the new concentration of control the ownership of mass media including see a tv controlled by networks of the sources of programs acquire and of course last but not least that perennial favorite of mine the problem of loud commercial the commission not just yesterday took to the field to do some on the spot investigation of the practices and techniques of audio control we'll both live and recorded commercials commission was oddly much alike and how other complex this problem may
be mutual effort on your part and ours said so some of the runaway have been most helpful to us in our efforts to tackle it and we are in the grateful it's then lean on the same subject i ran across a poem the other day which was listed as being of anonymous american art and which obviously andy bates both radio and television and is reportedly a great favorite of the duke of windsor and it goes as follows e who whispers down a well about the goods he has to sell low level rebuild golden bowers like him who shows them around them how now i realize that most progress says the madden has any hollering radio and television them i would only repeat the story of the sophisticated resident of new york city was asked whether he believed at one time broadcasters were experimenting with subliminal advertising i didn't invite you
buy them one day i went out loaded tractor we can of course many other matters vital to the growth of podcasting and your special interest television today our talk about only two of those things educational television and money not know that only one of these walls a burning interest you that of course is educational television when i wanna show you that i have a good reason for talking about bo i raised the subject of the tv with this particular audience to emphasize it's overwhelming importance to the future of the television medium in this country later on i want to suggest to you that you in this room have a
special status in this race that i raise the question of money simply because educational television programs are not produced in a vacuum in that medium as in commercial television if you want to dance you have to pay for it the mansour a supplementary educational broadcasting service are far from new three decades ago in nineteen thirty four the congress was considering the bills that eventually became the communications act all the time the honey a superior of the polish father's then proposed an amendment requiring the government to allocate one fourth of all broadcasting facilities to and i quote education religious agricultural laborer co operative and similar non profit making associations and vote senator festival how supporting autonomy said ever
since the radio has been an agency of communication and then complain about a slight attention given to matters of an educational tract or cultural as well as religious other than young commercial broadcast industry fought on his proposal acknowledging the manifest duty the fcc to require public service programming from commercial stations industry representatives then argue that meant nothing more was necessary and of course the industry won the fight meanwhile its technicians were constructing the world's finest broadcasting system which was to reduce some of the world's finest programs and yet that crazy capitalization once made of hollywood broadcasters sat down at this magnificent steinway and more often than not play chopsticks so as a result one of the characteristic aspects of the american broadcasting scene and in the tension between those and sit in your chair and those
trying to carry out our manifest duty we push for public service program which often costs two time effort and money and you're not i'm actually often reluctant right we checked with anger and with the eyebrow you how sensitive the way the constitution they're times when tension evans sometimes for years but the troops we group particularly when public support appears on one side of the other and the battle rages anew meanwhile the condition of the commission that it has come to accept the principle behind father honeys thirty year old proposal has reserved a substantial portion of the available assignments or the specific use of non commercial educational organization we have two hundred and ninety three radio and ninety three educational television stations now me and the federal government's problem another magnuson act matching grants for the construction of
educational stations is well on the way that particular farsighted piece of legislation has been a tremendous importance to the tv and projections that we will have over two hundred educational television stations by nineteen seventy or not i'll well you may say what's the problem with the commercial system is inadequate we have a non commercial system or more than us of the problem is money over three fourths of the ninety three operating educational television stations on the air five days or less per week and many of these operate only a few hours each day even well known stations in large communities such as wnet new york city have recently been forced to curtail their operations for that money according to a recent survey the median educational television stations had about a hundred thousand dollars per year to spend on all of its programs both were in school
instruction and for the general audience again speaking in very rough but indicative terms this amounts to some one hundred dollars to two hundred dollars per broadcast our i'm a video expands in judgment to determine what kind of programs can be provided by individual stations on a budget of one hundred dollars to two hundred dollars per hour and what about the cost of programming for nationwide distribution in the current season by cutting its evening offerings from ten to five hours a week the national educational television center has been able to spend a little over nineteen thousand dollars on each hour of nighttime program in the same season the three commercial television networks are spending an average of about one hundred and twenty five thousand dollars on each hour of primetime programming over six times as much this disparity is compounded by the
fact that each commercial network produces about five times as much evening programming as does an et so those of you who dismiss educational television programming as doll an unimaginably who point out how often people with college educations prefer commercial programs those of educational stations to keep these rather startling cost differential in mind now available money of course doesn't guarantee success nor does good programming in every instance require despite the vast sums poured into commercial television programs including enormous price that talent than talent agencies bring in today's market a hefty percentage of these programs go off the air after the first season but there comes a point at which it's futile to expect regimes imagination art history involves the long supported by buddhist that had refused the truth is that educational television has accomplished wonders with the resources and it's
common but time has also come to say that it will memorize its full potential until its financial base rises to a radically new level marlette level does not have to be anywhere near the posh plateau inhabited by commercial television it must provide support of good programming on a realistic basis the educational television for permanently struggle for subsistence even carl let's look at an informal estimates again on programming dramas for education programming on a nationwide basis and programming along most estimates are in the range of twenty to twenty five million dollars annual international interconnected network of educational television stations is desirable and respected educational broadcasters differ on this question an additional six and a half to seven million dollars per year should be at these estimates do not include research
administration and a host of other overhead costs one additional thirty hours a week of local programming estimates range from one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to two hundred thousand dollars per station so as you all know the production of television programs is no diamond that proposition sums of the size just mentioned bring into sharp focus the government's appetite of that the crime reduction of many find programs on educational television at the national and the local level is a glowing tribute to their producers and station personnel but we are deluding ourselves and the public when we think and talk of educational television has a broad alternative and satisfactory supplement the public service programming of commercial stations when we paid a shining light because of a different kind of television free from the pressures of a commercial system and open to the creative talent of a growing america
if at the same time we claim it can grow and prosper women especially extremely limited financial framework so where does the money come from many different solutions while we are now agree that a public service program is not necessarily selling my sponsorship the proposal in educational television sell time to advertisers as some obvious problems program on the writing where credit is given to the commercial business without advertising is permitted but it is self evident that underwriting is a program by program approach which cannot be the major answer to the question of money or educational television letting educational stations use part of that time to pay television as also going to get and again if we're talking about a television correspondent school type of venture for educational television it is unlikely that massive ponds would be generated
and brought her a television ventures such as first run movies was a number of well publicized problems apartment patients that an educational setting where it on the whole and the hope that educational television might find the needed support by selling a service in the marketplace offers little promise of filling the tale so we're left with two alternatives one the generosity or chatting if you will of the public the foundations and businesses including a broadcasting business and to the taxing powers of the local state and federal governments tell us quickly agree that the greater the risk for this reason we need more support not less in the sphere of voluntary donation many people in the broadcasting industry many in fact in this room did they have given generously they need to get
more than others to join them the ford foundation has singlehandedly performance not task in this field one that has put us all in its debt hopefully it will continue and broaden its efforts and other foundations will find new and distinctive ways they make their own contributions in may of nineteen sixty three a national conference on the economics of educational television was held at brandeis university that conference recommended the establishment of a private nonprofit corporation which would among other things coordinated national fundraising efforts on behalf of educational television we need that agents in the same month may nineteen sixty three fights that proposed quota a mighty annual campaign unquote on behalf of educational television station one that quote ought to involve not just the educational and television world but the churches synagogues nations the business community the people unquote we
needed a campaign when he suggested it was delivered the national education television center of the abel that mr jack white has done a tremendous job local stations such as san francisco's kqed and others at an astounding success in local fund raising campaign we need them to ensure the charitable impulse and be productive as well as a novel the number and variety of where the activities that the people of this country support on a voluntary basis i visited one of the best reputations of that often heard remark american civilization is wholly nominated by christmas and materialism indeed no one can seriously while with the proposition that private sources of funds are the best sources for educational television program if they can do the job and the multiplicity of financial services for educational television will always be the best guarantee of its independence
but we are a long way from the go while the psalms are quietly tv are small in comparison with our nation's well they lived in the world of jackie and voluntary giving so we simply cannot meet other alternatives unexamined and unexplored one source of supplemental plans for educational television program is local and state governments which already provide the bulk of its support we must have government in the pit the natural impulses to turn the government that the level nearest the communities the educational institutions most directly concerned more local and state governments are already in the eu and how this approach has considerable appealed to me is i'm sure that you certainly state and local governments will always be the primary source of funds strictly instructional television program
on the other hand it's difficult to call a recent article in businessweek which stated as follows quote state local expenditures doubled between nineteen fifty and nineteen sixty two about fifty one billion dollars and they are expected to double that by nineteen seventy this includes spending on the federal grants the trouble is state and local governments are bumping against the ceiling of their present thousand taxation and they are limited sources of revenue anyway it happens and i'm still called a solution cannot come too soon for embattled state and local authorities and hope the statements such as this forces to examine ways in which the national government might finance that part of an educational television system which is truly national in scope it's been recommended by author gun of wgbh in boston as i indicated earlier by the grand ice conference and probably by others at a private national agency be
created to coordinate national fundraising efforts for educational television from both private public sources presumably members are such a bore could be elected by the local educational stations themselves leading open for the moment the question of whether to apply the principle of one station one vote and as you know walter lippmann and others have suggested a federally and out educational television system along the lines of land rent out other suggestions include annual appropriations by congress either directly to the local stations or to a national agency of the crime and still other sources of federal funds have been proposed from time to time senator bill later john fisher of harper's magazine have proposed a rattle off the system of the use of commercial broadcasting frequencies the proceeds to go the noncommercial programming it's also been suggested that the fees the sec now charges for the filing of our testing applications you automatically turn over their educational
underlying all these possibilities for federal support are two basic question westwood the federal government be mature enough and wise enough to support a broad educational and cultural service without placing restrictions on the nature of the problem second most important would a strong commercial television industry be ready at all time and defend against the lone offenders the right of its non commercial brothers to be down to be freewheeling and free thinking these are the major alternative sources of the tvs fact all had their drawbacks and difficult it is for this very reason that we have a problem though one i claim that i have the end because i didn't know we must not fail to supply educational television one way or another with sufficient far the result is far too important for the future of this industry and his
gut it mason committed to eliminating poverty in all its forms we should not overlook what might be called a cultural problem as applied to your industry there is indeed an electronic appalachian the vigor of a democratic civilization depends upon the availability of knowledge and enlightenment culture and beauty not to enter the lead but all who want to learn all those minds on the marriage our public school system free libraries in museums all these are monuments to obsolete in this proposition and a critical function of educational television is to serve those who seek enlightenment on all subjects and the beauty of a line in a painting the fascinating story of mankind's rise from caveman to ask about the elimination of poverty usually when a rocket major responsibilities and i would suggest that you are familiar with the awesome paul of the atom and the electron tube might look with a new
conviction at the sobering thought once expressed by thomas carlyle that there should one man dying or who had possibly been mulling this i call credit so the time for critical and broad range thinking on the subject is now the next decade will see the basic physical plant of our educational television system substantially complete with this plan now if that plant yesterday put the fullest use in these circumstances we cannot let our thinking the power lies by simple fear of the future in dealings with the problems raised it to the alternative methods i have mentioned we was not succumb to what lawyer and his call the habit of manic extrapolation a reckless projection of present trends and if you took a test rather having recognized potential dangers of difficulties we was little ways though overcome for justice brandeis once wrote
if we would lead by the light a reason we must let our minds the bowl now finally most importantly this audience many of the answers lie would argue in this room for that there's nothing startling in the thought that those who read a proper use of broadcasting frequency have a special obligation to contribute to the support of educational television if you have already done much you should do more educational television is entitled to look for you for a quarter of its financial support nor is there anything unusual in the idea that you have a special ability to help you operate the most powerful selling instruments ever and then if it can sell soul automobiles and potato chips can certainly sell an idea an idea with the intrinsic may have educational television so you never know when you have the facilities apple why
should not this organization the iowa ag's taken leading hangout pakistan's proposal i'm a nineteen sixty three the commercial broadcasters health educational station's launch an annual campaign funds and if not this organization won our dna be on ad hoc committee with representatives from network stations advertising agencies program produces and every other element of this great now beyond all this you have a broader capacity to help this cause educational television needs ingenuity enthusiasm and you have a plentiful supply of both these qualities in behalf of causes that are close to your heart as i have seen it close up so i just put this cause close to your heart for which you're active sympathy and support it can succeed now why should you do all this as i said before what is your
state well there are some obvious reasons you are a lot of american television and television as a medium needs the contribution that only a non commercial service and may you have a need for competition from telecast is or not bound by the inevitable pressures of the market lay's and that competition raises the level of the entire meeting you also have a need for a place in a medium where new ideas and new techniques can be more easily test it where there is no automatic penalty for failure to attract maximum audience there is another less obvious reasons for thirty years your public service obligations have been the subject of controversy and debate the creation of a meaningful national educational system and have a real impact on the course of this debate not educational television would take over your public service
role i think we can all agree that it would be unwise to create a situation in which the medium had only one source of education and enlightenment one source of broad information on public affairs and one source of cultural problem additionally public service programs as well as sponsors should be able to take advantage of the strong lead in a commercial television schedule and supply there's no doubt in my mind that we would all be in a better position to understand commercial televisions true public service role if there were a complementary national television service devoting full time to meet images which your primary mission often lead you just give or you know with such a yardstick we would know more about what you should and should not be expected to do your responsibility to be better defined as good the tasks that only he specializes in under that the problem of your proper functioning would
lose i think many of its angrier and more difficult over till it would become less a field of battle and more a feel for growth of the latter day comes y'all in the hot kitchen made famous by president truman one of the fcc job is to keep the temperature in the broadcasting of an at an appropriate level that we're doing and some continued but the doctor the kitchen isn't nailed shut i'd like you to help us open at the press winds of the future the pope you've certainly given us a lot to think about and you're certainly always
welcome at a microphone thanks very much to the commissioners for joining us today and also to our distinguished guests and thank you ladies and gentleman meeting adjourned in its be fb
E. William Henry, Chairman, FCC
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Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station: New York, N.Y.)
Speaker: Henry, E. William
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Chicago: “E. William Henry, Chairman, FCC,” 1964-11-19, The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
MLA: “E. William Henry, Chairman, FCC.” 1964-11-19. The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 29, 2024. <>.
APA: E. William Henry, Chairman, FCC. Boston, MA: The Riverside Church , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from