Electronic Magazines: Soft News Programs on Network Television

By William C. Spragens | Go to book overview

Preface and Acknowledgments

It became clear that one gap in the literature about broadcast programming could be found in the lack of serious studies about the mushrooming phenomenon of magazine programs on the three original commercial networks.

The author began this study with the hope of covering content on all three networks. It was determined, however, that tri-network analysis had to be limited to analysis of ratings because the subject matter kept growing.

Nevertheless, the historic CBS programming beginning with "60 Minutes" and continuing with "48 Hours," "West 57th" and "Street Stories" has been examined in some detail. Brief looks have been taken at "20/20" and "PrimeTime Live" on ABC. A definitive study remains to be done on these as well as "Day One" and "Turning Point." Further work also needs to be done on developing CBS programming such as "Eye to Eye with Connie Chung" as well as NBC's "Now with Tom and Katie" and "Dateline NBC."

It was also fortuitous that with the cooperation of such network executives as Roone Arledge, Howard Stringer and Eric Ober, it was possible to obtain brief interviews with Alan Wurtzel, ABC senior vice president for magazines and long-form programming, and Andrew Heyward, former executive producer of "Eye to Eye with Connie Chung" and "48 Hours," now executive producer of "The CBS Evening News," who gave details of the philosophy of CBS in delving into sociological backgrounds of current societal trends.

-xiii-

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