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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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Session:         Page of 755


I told him -- He had already -- I'm not sure whether he had made the decision -- No. He hadn't made the decision. I looked at the ratings, I was thoroughly familiar with what he was doing on the air, and I said I thought maybe the time had come that he should become the elder statesman and do documentaries and be a special kind of newsman, but not the Nightly News. He did it, not on my advice; he was on the threshold of doing it anyway. Then he came back after the decision, the first season he was off, and he was most unhappy because he thought he had gone too soon. He thought he had another season left. I remember he told me a story. He said he was walking down Fifth Avenue, around in front of Tiffany's, when a man and woman -- I think he described them as looking like people from out-of-town -- a husband and wife, presumably, he passed them, and he heard the wife say to the husband, “Isn't that somebody we used to know?” That killed him. Talent is always that way, and that's what makes them talent. Jack Benny was just as bad as anybody else.

Now, some talent will change the format. George Burns very cleverly changed his act, came back with a different act, and there was a second life. For all I know there's a fourth life, because he's still living! But, he had the imagination, and he was a very clever showman, to devise another situation comedy with Gracie that gave him a new lease on life. But those are unusual.


I had a follow-up question in my mind, after your story about John Pastore. You said there were a few occasions when the FCC threatened to revoke your license. Do you recall what those were?


If I said that I should correct it, because we never got that close to trouble. So far as I know, there was never any threat on the license for a specific cause. There were times

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