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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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was awfully difficult to convene that group, even electronically. We, early on, had an Affiliates Advisory Board, and they would meet two or three times a year to gripe to us about things they didn't like about what we were doing, business things, programming matters, anything they wanted to talk about. We had a frank and open discussion for two or three days. I had the top executives of the company sit in on those meetings, to pay respect to their points of view and to learn something about what the affiliates felt about the way we were conducting our business. NBC and ABC both followed us on that, but that's another subject. The '52 campaign, I believe, is when I did this. We didn't have legislation, and I think I may have told you that I approached Eisenhower's campaign manager to see whether Ike would debate. Stevenson agreed to debate. I was going to bite the bullet and go for the debate without getting legislation, because there wasn't time to get it, and I thought the idea was so strong that once we said we were willing to do this (and we had a hand tied behind us but we were going to go ahead), the public support would be so strong that the editorial support would be even stronger--because it was a novel idea, to have the two candidates for president on television.



I knew if we fed that to our affiliates, that they had the licenses that would be at stake for carrying the program. The network didn't have a license. Now, we're licensed indirectly, because we own stations, and in that sense it's the same as if we're licensed, but we're not technically licensed as a network. So, I was feeding something, or I thought I might be feeding something, to the affiliates that would cause them trouble with the FCC. I caused the board to come into Chicago and we met at the Admiral's Club, or one of those airline clubs at O'Hare airport. They flew in for an evening meeting, we had a dinner, I laid the

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