NER Washington forum; Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, part five
As further evidence of CBS's longstanding endorsement in support of noncommercial television. And to help launch the 25 million dollar enabling in downtown for the proposed Corporation for Public Television. CBS pledges an unrestricted gift. Of 1 million dollars payable a day the new corporation is chartered. Confirming letter to follow the money as you just heard was that of Dr. Frank Stanton president of the Columbia Broadcasting System and one of our guests on the NE our Washington forum a weekly program concerned with the important issues before us as a nation. This week a condensation of testimony presented by the presidents of the commercial broadcasting networks as they appeared before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on communications. Considering the proposed public television Act of 1967 you will hear Dr. Stanton NBC president Julian Goodman and ABC network president Leonard golden sent this program was produced
by the national educational radio network through the facilities of W am you FM American University Radio in Washington DC. I many our public affairs director Bill Greenwood. Efforts to expand the noncommercial federally subsidized educational Broadcasting System received major support from the presidents of this country's three commercial radio and television networks. As the U.S. Senate subcommittee reviewed the pro and con of the matter they heard first from CBS president Dr. Frank Stanton. My name as the chairman has indicated is Frank Stanton. I'm president of Columbia Broadcasting System Inc. The position of CBS in affirming the need for a strong noncommercial broadcasting service. Is not new to this committee. We have expressed our support by both word and action. But we have never considered existing facilities and resources in this field. Adequate
to the needs and opportunities. Facing noncommercial television and radio. We welcomed and supported the county commission report. Because it seemed to us a giant step toward meeting these needs and realizing these opportunities. We now welcome and support as a weapon 60. As a practical approach the first step. In bringing about the objectives of the Carnegie Commission. CBS endorses all three titles of the proposed legislation. My comments this morning however are addressed the title to. Which What established the Corporation for Public Television. There are three fundamental factors about which those engaged in chiding this pioneer venture. Will want to be as careful and four sided as possible. All have been discussed at past actions of these hearings. They
are first. That legislation. Creating the corporation and its chartered. Have built in safeguards. Assuring to the maximum extent possible. Its independence from political control and reprisal. Second. That the financing of the proposed corporation be stable. Predictable. And sufficiently strong. And third that the corporation encourage and strengthen pluralism in the sources of noncommercial programming. I would offer the observation. That of all the consideration given educational television over the years. None. Is the peer that conducted by the Carnegie. Commission. I support for the present bill is motivated in large measure. Because it takes its lead from the Carnegie recommendations although it does not embrace all of them
and its plan for action. I said upon its publication. And confirm it now. That the Carnegie proposal. Seeks to well disparate constituencies. Into a complimentary whole. This. Is a difficult task. The components are fragile and their joining takes great skill. But the game. Is worth the candle. Mr. Chairman. This committee is to be congratulated for giving prompt consideration to ass 11:16. The bill is addressed to as to an important and indeed a pressing public need. The Uses and advantages to be derived from noncommercial radio on television will reach all our people. Cutting across lines of geography economics. Culture and.
There seems to me nothing more likely than public television. To effectively rally national resources. For public good. Thank you very much and you have indicated that the matter of financing should be something to be taken that. Explored more probably later and not missed initial bill my correct in that interpretation of what you said right is correct. Do you have real apprehension. That. The Congress or any administration being under public scrutiny as. We are. Likely to. Prevent the Educational Television far. For political partisan uses.
I'm not asking you to characterize us but I'm asking as a principle. You know Senator Cotton I have I have deep concern about the financing and the problems that flow from that as a as they apply to insulation First of all I got the problem of getting the money but at the same time we get the money I want to be sure that there is as much insulation built in as it's possible to do. I would never I don't see this as as Congress moving into this area of trying to subvert the. Activities of the educational television but. There is always the risk. And we've all lived through this at one time or another where. One member of a committee in the appropriations area might take exception to something us rub him or an important constituent or a group of constituents the wrong way. Now that's the thing that I'm concerned about. And I thought that. That the proposal of the Carnegie Commission went about as far as you could go in
trying to build innocence elation. But. I remember some of the cultural affairs of the State Department when they were sending. Roadshows out into developing countries into other parts of the world. That activity was stopped at one time because exception was taken to the kind of plays that were produced offshore. And I agree with someone who appeared before me that. You're more apt to have difficulty in the drama field. If you will and you will perhaps in the hard news area. So that I want to go as far as it possible to go. To. Get this insulation. And I would hope that if you see one you see fit to. Go along with the suggestion that Senator Javits suggested of another study. That this be one of the things of course to be taken into consideration. That's the whole thrust of what he was talking about.
This is this is a deep concern for me and you have a combination of that for me you have a combination of forces here you have the force of the. Of the construction or rather the composition of the border. And you have the question of where the money comes from. I believe it was in 1963. That I made some remarks to our affiliated stations. In which I was. Trying to stimulate them to do in their own communities a fund raising job for the purpose of supporting educational television within their own backyards. Because it seemed to me. That educational television was suffering from a shortage of oxygen in the form of money. And it was being nickeled and dimed to death. And it needed more funnels. And I felt that commercial broadcasting should try to get the communities organized to support their own activities by their own activities I mean the community activity.
And the reason I did that. Wasn't because. I thought that was the only way to do it but it seemed to me that this was the best way to do it to get this pluralistic support and to decentralize it and to keep it away from a strong federal funding. I was wrong because it didn't happen this was just not enough money was raised in my own community of New York I think it's too bad. That Dubey NTT suffers from a lack of funding it's its operating to be true but there are nights of the week when it doesn't operate and it should be operating now and CBS has made an offer of a million dollars to this. Public Corporation is that correct. That is correct. Does the office still stand. It does I I think I said loud enough. It doesn't still stand because you want me to go away.
I was told that you will add that the committee will have the text of what we said at the time the. Kind of the commission report was published. On the 25th of January I sent a wire to the chairman of the commission James R. Kelly in June in which I said the record of the Carnegie Commission on educational television provided to the American people a balanced. Realistic and practical approach to a more adequate noncommercial television service. The report's reason that safeguards give assurance that educational television. Will be pluralistic in the sources of its support and of its programming and in its administrative control. As further evidence of CBS's longstanding endorsement in support of noncommercial television. And to help launch the 25 million dollar enabling Endowment for the proposed Corporation for Public Television. CBS pledges an unrestricted gift. Of 1 million dollars payable the day the new corporation is chartered. Brand confirming letter to follow.
Mr. Perry joins me in sending congratulations to you and your distinguished colleagues who have worked so long effectively on this problem of vital interest to all of us. Signed by Frank stand. Thank you very much. Thank you back to standard. Now the play had to have you. The next witness is the president of the nation no Broadcasting Company Mr. Julian Goodman. Thank you Senator. I welcome this opportunity to appear before you to outline bases views on as a level 60. NBC endorses the principles and purposes of the bill which effectively carry forward the objectives outlined in the president's message on health and education. We believe that S11 60 like the president's message outlines a wise and constructive course for the development of noncommercial broadcasting. In summarising NBC News. I will try to deal with the principal rather than with the mechanics. The details will not on the major venture cannot be accurately blueprinted I think in advance.
But the principles are right. The best ways of implementing them will grow with experience. We believe this is the approach of the president's message. And the bill. The main provisions of S11 60 are contained in Title 2. But before discussing names let me comment very briefly on the other provisions which are also important to noncommercial broadcasting. I don't run extends and enlarges the provision. Of educational television facilities act 1062. This was the pioneer legislation that has stimulated the striking physical expansion. Of our educational television. The federal fund provided. Help in the construction of many new educational stations and enabled existing stations to improve their facilities. Title 1 extends these grants to educational radio as well as television. And provides 10 and a half million dollars for these properties in fiscal 1968. And effective system of noncommercial broadcasting must begin with. Adequate number of properly equipped
stations title one of the bell contributes to these purposes and NBC supports. Giving over the title 3. That section authorizes a comprehensive study of instructional television. This highly specialized medium involves novel problems. Educators need to create methods for making teaching by television most more effective not effective. And to learn how television teaching can best be integrated into the overall school system. They also need to know more about efficiency and about the cost of a broadcast teaching facility compared with close circuits. They need to know more about information storage and retrieval systems and the many new varieties of teaching machines we favor Title 3 because it provides a means for identifying and exploring such basic technical problems which must be met with instructional television is to begin its growth. However since many of the same considerations apply to instructional radio. We suggest the section be broadened to include radio like Title 1 of the bill. This brings me to Title 2.
Which outlines a new structure for noncommercial broadcasting. To the general public. The concept of the system is set forth in the Bell expressing the congressional declaration of policy set forth in section 3 9 6 8. In B.C. supports this declaration a policy without reservation. We are great as a section declares that it is in the public interest in the public interest to encourage the full development of noncommercial broadcasts. That this requires initiatives at both the local and the national levels. That the field affects the general welfare and is a concern of the federal government. And that the creation of a private nonprofit corporation is a suitable way of pursuing these purposes. Including the essential one of insulating noncommercial programming from extraneous interference and controlled. As a last consideration is underscored in the president's message which states noncommercial television and radio in America even those supported by federal funds must be absolutely free from any federal
government interference over programming. We agree with the statement and its central importance in the subject you are considering. Incidentally this entire section of the bill. Like Title 1. Covers the important medium of noncommercial radio as well as television. However the organisation it establishes call the Corporation for Public Television is not only incomplete but inconsistent I think with the heading of Title 2 which refers to a nonprofit educational Broadcasting Corporation and perhaps the name of the corporation could be changed to reflect its scope. More accurately. So far as program content is concerned we recognize that there will be some areas of overlap between commercial and noncommercial broadcast. For example the NBC television network schedule some programs that might also be appropriate for noncommercial television. Illustrations or such programs as NBC News 3 and a half hour program analyzing the development of American foreign policy. Another one that long covering organized crime the Profiles in Courage series the investigation which we
put on recently a documentary and drama 90 minutes long on the Auschwitz trial franker trial. And the NBC experiment in television a series we have broadcast the season which NBC will continue next season. The difference as I see it. Is that programs of this type might someday be topical for noncommercial television. But our special offerings in commercial broadcast. This does not suggest a fart in the commercial medium. Our property and its standards. Its function is different from noncommercial broadcasting. But no less honorable. As a mass medium and devotes most of its time to programs that appeal to most people. As a result it cannot wholly satisfy the more specialized interest of smaller audience segments. That is the role of noncommercial broadcasting which can perform this function because it is not known for years hearing unattested Goodman but I'd like to ask you the question anyway. Price today at. Commercial broadcasting is charged with a public responsibility. That is one of the predicates one of the
requirements in in the FCC granting a license. Now if you you do bring out the fact that. There are certain programs that are now being put on through the media of advertising as public service programs like carry a Profiles in Courage investigation. And. Other such programs. How do you see this. As an escape on the part of the commercial broadcasters. In carrying out their responsibility and what their lifestyle is beltless. Well I know the development of this whole idea of educational television. Announcer. Now so I do not see it in any way as any attempt on the part of commercial broadcasters to avoid any responsibility which we have in which we feel strongly. I think that our development programs such as I have mentioned here. And others will continue and will not abate at all even with the growth of the educational noncommercial you see it as possibly a shopping the element of
competition between. The commercial and the noncommercial. I do see that the creation of noncommercial broadcasting the growth of educational television will sharpen the creative competition between us both and improve both in other words I think that we ought to make this abundantly clear in the wreckage because I know that some people may be thinking about this on may be suspicious of it. There has been a very very strong in in phatic endorsement of this legislation on the part of commercial broadcasting. And we want to make the record clear. That the motive behind this is not to escape any responsibility that you now have under the law. Is that correct that is correct and I hope and hope the record will continue to show that Senator as far as I'm concerned as far as my colleagues on the other networks are concerned. And as far as all responsible broadcasters I know which includes just about all of them. I see no avoidance of responsibility through our encouragement of
educational or noncommercial broadcast. Thank you Mr. Leonard golden Cin president American Broadcasting Company. You made a proceeding Mr. Chairman. I deeply appreciate your courtesy in extending an invitation to appear before you. To present my views in the cots and Senate bill. 11 60. The proposed public television Act of 1967. At the outset of these relatively brief remarks. Permit me to point out as a basic premise. That ABC has always approved and favored the establishment of a strong and vibrant noncommercial educational television system national in scope. ABC has consistently recommended an expansion of such a system through wider public and private financial support and through the application of the latest scientific advances in mass communications.
Particularly in the use of a domestic communications satellite system. With certain reservations which I will outline later. ABC also favors commercial network cooperation with educational television to ensure its combination as a truly nationwide operation. Specifically as to Senator Bell level 60. I do not have to tell you that there is a widely held theory that federal financial support of educational television could lead in time to federal control. But frankly while I do admit the possibility of that here I am equally convinced that you also are aware of it and that adequate safeguards will be developed by the Congress to prevent its occurrence. I am also convinced that educational television has an a chance in the world are becoming the strong and independent system we all desire. Without considerable federal financing.
ABC believes that one of the safeguards that can be developed is to have the money needed for Educational Television come from multiple sources from private donations and from broad based taxation as well as from appropriations provided by the Congress. As far as ABC is concerned we believe that there are considerable contributions that commercial broadcasting can and will make to assessed educational television. Involuntary to bear the full cost of domestic satellite transmission and permitting educational television to use a satellite free of charge to relay noncommercial programs to their stations. The commercial networks would not be making a miserly contribution. In fact the assistance to educational television would be considerable and would contribute greatly to the successful operation of an educational system. In that connection I would like to make one thing clear. Personally I am
opposed to the blanket suggestion that the commercial networks contribute to educate educational television. Their quote savings unquote which may be derived from domestic satellite transmission of programmes. Such a proposal is in effect a special tax or surcharge leveled solely against the commercial networks while exempting others messages or data transmitted by satellite. I believe this is unfair. However ABC would be willing as we have already informed the FCC to enter into voluntary contractual arrangements to donate quote a portion of any savings close quote to any T or to the national socialization of educational broadcasters for educational production purposes. We are willing to make a voluntary donation. We oppose a special tax or surcharge against us alone. For the same fundamental reason ABC opposes the suggestion of a tax
on television sets to support the proposed educational television system. Such a system certainly isn't the greatest of public interest and will serve all of the public. If Educational Television is in the public interest it should be supported generally by the public. But against a tax on television receivers is a special tax levied against a smush by special commodity. And again we oppose it. I do not contend that private contributions no matter how generous can in themselves support. The proposed educational television system there is urgent need for federal support both in the form of broad based and general taxation and by outright federal grants or appropriations. Gentleman. ABC as I said at the start of these remarks is more than willing to help develop a successful educational television system. We would welcome any opportunity to participate in future discussions and studies to bring
about a truly national educational television system. Thank you for. The excellent statement. Mr Dylan same man. You work Grace quite a bit of emphasis on a nationwide educational system. And I think you kind of pitched this to a satellite. Yes. Now Ron could you have. Could you have exclusive reliance upon a satellite without having some other. Auxiliary arents Hillary. Alternative. Of transmitting. Well in in our proposed plan of course we have in the event of a failure our one satellite. The changeover to another as a standby to protect. A national system. So helo adds the auxiliary would be up in the upper tier space. Exactly. So there would be an immediate changeover. In case of failure.
Now what would you say as to this question. Of subservience. To the mother company. For instance the public television corporation. That Qana the report was which you are familiar of course. Make places a tremendous amount of emphasis upon the option of the local station. To either accept or reject. A program. And the reason for that is obvious. To make the choice a local one. Now do you think that with this network a tie in which would be nationwide that the tendency there would be to make the local station. More subservient. To the network or to the corporation. IPO all this. I don't. Say it in the form of
subserviency but I feel. That local stations cannot always afford the money necessary to develop research in the form of new educational types of programs. That is a central source. This new public corporation for he could develop research that would become available to these local stations in the form of programs that they think are experimental. Now the local station may in that in the first instance refuse it but other stations may accept it as a consequence studies would be made as to the acceptance of those programs by the public and later these other stations that refused it in the first instance may accept it. But I do look upon this national corporation as a form of stimulation as a form are helping these local stations do what they themselves cannot do. Well now let me recapitulate just a little bit in other words you take the position. That there is admirable thing to do would be to develop a nationwide
Indic connection system. Yes. And number two in that development you have no fear that this will in any way delude or imperil the freedom of choice on the part of the local broadcaster. Absolutely not. All right Mr. Goldberg I want to thank you very much. Thank you. You have just heard the testimony of CBS president Dr. Frank Stanton NBC president Julian Goodman and ABC network president Leonard golden Scn as they appeared before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on communications chaired by Senator John Paul Pastore a of Rhode Island. They all voiced support for the proposed public television Act of 1967. This program was produced by the national educational radio network through the facilities of W E M U F M American University Radio in Washington DC. I many our public affairs
- NER Washington forum
- Producing Organization
- WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
- National Association of Educational Broadcasters, WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- Senate hearings on Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. Highlighted testimony of Dr. Frank Stanton, president of CBS, announcing $1 million gift to newly-chartered Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
- Other Description
- Discussion series featuring a prominent figure affecting federal government policy.
- Public Affairs
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Host: Greenwood, Bill
Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters, WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Speaker: Stanton, Frank, 1908-2006
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-24-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- MLA: “NER Washington forum; Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, part five.” 1967-05-10. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 18, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-057cw631>.
- APA: NER Washington forum; Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, part five. 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-500-057cw631