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One of the important conversations you and I have over a band of yours that I've never to the people in the public broadcasting family affected in which we devote ourselves entirely to them just to know how you were we a corporation a board about that so lacking a pro the most important job and we were certainly careful about it but you know we've been that very distinguished group under John Rockefeller. Set out to find the right man. And they ended up in finding the right and which John makes. I think John Rockefeller must examine the hundred twenty five different people before the committee finally unanimously recommended you and I'm happy to. The
group is listening here that the board itself is a very independent group unanimous through the general sentiment was that it was well worth waiting for. Now from now on this is going to be your family. And I'm sure they'd like to know a little bit about what kind of a guy you are so you might know what your background. Frank I agree this is as important a conversation as we could possibly have and I think it's very appropriate that we're having it here today. The first day of my service with this family I'm very pleased to join this fine group across the country and to become a part of this community effort nationwide community effort to make public broadcasting live strong and creative way. You're citing the search for me as sort of the reverse thrust. In relation to my recent background because I'm accustomed
to having to explain to the president why certain names are recommended and why the background of the individual recommended most highly. Fits the job. So are your languages for measure but your object is somewhat different. I'm sure that some of the family and they wonder why someone who has spent his career of nearly 30 years in public service and an education is appropriate to head this vital expanding program. I like to think that I was among the pioneer thinking thinkers in this field. You may recall that many years ago we talked about the importance of this medium and its great potential in serving the American public in a great variety of ways not only in education in the classroom sense. But also in the sense of stimulating public responsibility
part of citizens. And so I feel that in many ways my privilege in joining this family as president of the corporation is the fulfillment of the interest and expectation and previous involvement or as I expressed to the board earlier today that I feel this is an extension of my combined experience in public service and in education and that this is an exciting new medium in which all of us working together can really make a great contribution not only to all the American people but potentially to people abroad as well. You know John it's interesting as you were talking because I think run of the things and this is right of the intangibles that you must have dealt with in your previous period that causes me to believe that you are the man for this job is it. I bet out now for nine months traveling around meeting our great many other people who are in public and they're
independent. We said in Arkansas and I still don't really have ice and that's not much but they are basically people who have. A certain common quality to them. They're there by and large reaching for things that are bigger than themselves. If I had to say why you fit this pattern it's not just because you have headed the Civil Service Commission not because you held a high position at west land not because you know government in the Congress but because you're the same kind of person and you've got the same kind of thing the same kind of disasters and I don't believe you. Unless you think they are quite with the people you lead. And that's the reason that by and large I think you're right for this. But I think you'd be useful because you've brought a good old to the group listing here for you to sort
of outline your own slants or the priorities that you see moving out here. Yes I think that one of the tasks we have as a family is to identify just what the primary priorities are and I think one of the fascinations of this field is its tremendous suite of potential opportunities. Almost too much. And yet with limited resources both in dollars and in talent. We do have to set for ourselves some priorities. I feel very strongly as you have said that our basic purpose is to provide strength. And support for the stations in the family and the people that are working. We've said this publicly not just through in our own address that within the family but I think this is basically our honest thing and I think I think that's the central vein of the statute that we have the responsibility and we learned the commission report. So yes
and and this this should be the the rallying purpose and that everything that we organize in terms of priority should be with that objective in mind. Somebody once said Money isn't everything and the comic added he didn't quite know what was in second place and so probably we have to talk about money as we do as the first item and I have a tremendous regard for the people in the stations in the with respect to the ingenious techniques that they've used to provide their their own resources I would hope we could be helpful to them in disseminating those techniques and making known the most successful ways of doing it. But beyond that because the Congress in the long run is going to be asking you what have you been able to prove Bridou private guards. There were long run of the purely public is not going to get the job. It's got to be good to help. We fall into the trap of being an federal institution and
all of us agree alone and we don't want to be an all or nothing it's important that I say that since I come from from a federal law and I think I think a part of the genius of this legislation is the fact that it permits a blending of private and public resources for the purposes of public broadcasting. And I don't know of any other country in the world where it is done this way. I think this was a this was an American innovation and we want to make that innovation innovation work but I think it's very important that we be in a position in the corporation to go back to the Congress in a responsive way and say yes the resources that we've had at our disposal in terms of appropriated funds is not sufficient to do the job that that is necessary for this now this is a moron. I don't Ron was this they invited him to the Congress. When I put in I put in a very sick concern about the
facilities the physical facilities the technical things even though that isn't the big responsibility now but it seems to me that as spokesman. As the spokesman for this family that even though the corporation itself. Does not perform this particular function that we should be up there making a case for all of the station and good if you're really good and it doesn't read only live with your thing you know got to have a war on our left arm and nonfunctional exactly that while we don't have responsibility for the left. I agree with you if we don't get out and dig to make sure that left arm is functional We just got half the system right. And then there's the whole exciting area program that really this is the substance this is the message this is what we're trying to do through the stations. This is the means of communicating with the American people and I think here priority is probably the most difficult to achieve all because of so many things. That would be worthwhile to do.
You're not funny they are just purely a personal lens thing and none of us can impose our personal instincts on an institution that the Perth Perth think of always been the tremendous things to be done with children. I mean you know you've reached the point where at the age of eight you're a birthday for almost all of your formative process. The have been terrifying and it is terrifying when you think what we are doing here and now. I honestly feel that this is going to be a great area but I didn't want to belabor I buy that completely and I think that we need to focus on the younger generation and I think that this medium can be particularly effective. It has the audience the youngsters are watching that screen. Can't we provide for them a better learning experience and possible time so that I think that that that would have a very high priority in
programming. I'm keen on continuing education but little as I indicated earlier this this is has been a part of my own experience and almost a part of your life as a great believer in John Gardner's thesis of software nor I think modern man does become obsolete if he does not consciously involve themself in the continuing educational experience. Incidentally you're too modest to say it but I should say that John Gardner suggested you were the best man for the job and I think that's a fair grade sponsor. Yes I like except that with great pleasure. Also I'm I'm greatly interested in seeing what we can do beyond what has been done so far in the whole area of the arts. The American culture. I'd like to see public television become the arena where the creative arts of young Americans get their first opportunity whether it be a play or a symphony.
Graphic arts or whatever it may be. This is this is the kind of opportunity that just isn't offered anywhere else because look look at the audience that we look at the opportunity that the individual has to display his wares and to anybody that I know there is a code we've talked about it that. One of the key things on your mind is technology. That's right. Roger talk about that a moment because I think this is something where maybe our greatest you know every time you talk about this fascinating media and you keep saying well maybe this is where our greatest opportunity live. But if I have a sense it is that that technology for which we are flexibly pre-packed is really our great opportunity would you say and we have so I think that there are so many research and development
efforts underway in the great areas of technology which have directly or indirectly implications for the future of broadcasting. And I feel that the corporation must accept an obligation to be fully acquainted with what is going on and what some of the expectation is for the future so that this can become a part of the long term planning of the family and the public good point you made with me. Critical is that we can guide that technology to the advantage of public broadcasting. I know were running a little late on time would you just say a word about radio. Yes let's let's not overlook. The power of radio. I'm particularly impressed with the what happens with the radio in the automobile. This is the this is available to the vast audience there. I don't think we've done enough with respect to radio. We haven't even started really and
I'd like to see us really block out some time and resources so that we do something about it. About radio I don't have any specific ideas. I don't think I would be presumptuous if I were to suggest any but I think a great deal should be done. I don't think I ever told you this but one of my one of my uncles was a converted void a Virginian who appeared on the in the early days of radio. So that where you're going or that that's where that is where this that's where that's where the railhead I don't want to see I don't want to vanish because it has a special it has a special community. That that can be critically important in this whole process. We didn't have about 45 seconds and I want to say I know you believe in the importance of interconnection the way I do and the ability to reach out across this. That's why we're here. That's why we're here without it. I know because we've talked about that
you're deeply determined there we're going to get it for the media and that's the way it's going. We're going to get it but it's not going to in any way put a damper on an individual initiative in programming by the station say that again. Right. Say that again as we believe in the strength of the Union. But we believe also in the complimentary strength of what can be done by individual station oriented to their own community. Don I hope we can do it again to the group who are listening where they are to serve you without you without you we couldn't make the grade. And I speak for both John and myself when I say that we'll be seeing more of you. But you've got a great new man here a great driver a great believer a great leader. We'll be seeing more of you in the future. This has been a pleasure for me. There may also and I hope to see you not only on the screens but in your workshops as well.
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CPB appointment of new director
Special Program - Not For Broadcast
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Public Affairs
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 5517 (University of Maryland)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:15:00
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Chicago: “CPB appointment of new director; Special Program - Not For Broadcast,” 1969-02-06, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 28, 2023,
MLA: “CPB appointment of new director; Special Program - Not For Broadcast.” 1969-02-06. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 28, 2023. <>.
APA: CPB appointment of new director; Special Program - Not For Broadcast. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from