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come back or you'd have picked up the paper in Bermuda or someplace and had seen that
we'd lost the contract.” It was a little touchy for a time.
So I had invested some emotional capital in the contract renewals. I wasn't a great football
fan, but I recognized the popularity of it and the importance of it to our schedule. Then, of
course, “Sixty Minutes” came into the picture. “Sixty Minutes”--I'm sure Don Hewitt
wouldn't share this--but
I believe I was about to say that I don't think Don Hewitt would appreciate what I'm going to
say, but I question whether “Sixty Minutes” would have taken off the way it did twenty years
ago, if it had had to fight out its start on its own. It had the tremendous feed-in from NFL,
and so did “Murder, She Wrote” have a fantastic feed-in from “Sixty Minutes.” That's
something that many people don't realize--that it isn't just putting one program in; it's how
you build the evening, or how you build the schedule, one feeding the next one.
And when you interrupt that schedule for some special event, regardless of how noteworthy it
is, it's difficult to get that flow back again. It will be interesting to watch what happens this
fall, when Fox has football and “Sixty Minutes” has figure skating or whatever is going to
come in ahead of it.
Well, figure skating was pretty exciting this year. [Laughs]
Yes, but nothing like football.
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