The Development of Magazine Programming
This analysis seeks to show the development of magazine programming on network television, tracing the origins of the original "60 Minutes" program to the situation in the mid-1990s in which each major network has several such programs and most of them tend to be well rated, especially the more established ones.
Our entire culture has felt the impact of television on the American public. Numerous authors and analysts have noted its considerable impact on the political system.1
Studies in the voluminous literature have examined entertainment on television, and other works have analyzed facets of broadcast news and feature coverage. But this book will focus on the evolution of broadcast news/feature coverage from the original long-form documentary, through documentary facets of early television (influenced by print patterns) during the 1948-1969 period, to modern personality-based programming, particularly since 1969.
We suggest a pattern may be found across the media. This pattern finds feature coverage has evolved from the newspaper rotogravure section of the 1920s and 1930s (along with motion picture newsreels) and the early heyday of magazines ( 1900-1945) into the broadcast programming of the past several decades. In the 1990s this broadcast coverage is packaged in both conventional television programming and that of cable.
The documentary, a staple of background reporting in network television's early days (especially "sustaining" unsponsored