The Today Show: Transforming Morning Television

The Today Show: Transforming Morning Television

by Cathleen M. Londino


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In the early 1950s, when television networks did not broadcast regular programming before 11 a.m., radio and newspapers were the most popular and reliable ways for Americans to get their morning news. Then, Sylvester (Pat) Weaver, vice president of programming at NBC, pitched a bold new concept to the network: a two-hour early morning news show that would run Monday through Friday starting at 7 a.m. By developing Today, Weaver filled a programming void before viewers even realized there was one—and revolutionized the viewing habits of millions.

In The Today Show: Transforming Morning Television, Cathleen M. Londino provides an entertaining and informative look at the first twenty-five years of NBC’s innovative program, from 1952 through 1977. Focusing on Today’s broadcast history, the personalities instrumental to the show’s success, and the show’s contributions to the entertainment industry, this account illustrates how the evolution of Today closely paralleled the development of the broadcast industry and rise of the major networks. In addition to chronicling the show’s history, the author profiles some of the key players both behind and in front of the camera, including Dave Garroway, Barbara Walters, Tom Brokaw, and Jane Pauley.

The vision of morning news developed by Weaver more than sixty years ago endured far beyond his wildest expectation, establishing a model that would eventually be adopted not only by competing networks but also by television programmers around the globe. The Today Show: Transforming Morning Television is a fascinating account of the unprecedented success of this influential program and will appeal to anyone interested in television history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442269927
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/03/2016
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Cathleen M. Londino is professor of media and film at Kean University with more than thirty years in higher education. Combining teaching and professional activity, Londino has served as producer, director, writer, and talent for a number of video and film projects.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

1 Creating Today: Pat Weaver's Concept 1

2 Programming Today: Mornings at Seven 9

3 Producing Today: Behind the Camera 47

4 The Paces of Today: On-Air Talent from Dave Garroway to Jane Pauley 81

5 Selling Today: Advertising and Station Relations 117

6 Watching Today: A Look at the Audience 145

Conclusion: Today in History 167

Notes 171

Index 181

About the Author 187

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