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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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it a hundred percent, which was New York and we already had it. And we would then go fifty/fifty with newspapers in the remaining markets. That way we could get under our quota. That would have given us partial ownership in eight stations and full ownership in one. And when I asked informally for a judgement from the Commission, they said that if we had fifty percent they would count that the same as a hundred percent. That is, they would say, With the network programming and your fifty percent, you are effectively controlling that station. You have the programs and you have the ownership. Not a very attractive position.

I had approached a number of newspaper owners who had television licenses and were interested in my proposition -- because they didn't have any know-how in broadcasting. They had missed the boat in radio, they wanted to get into television, but they didn't have the money to buy programming, and there wasn't a network that would take them, since their competition in their own community was already tied in to NBC.

So it was an attractive idea from many points of view and there is one that I haven't even mentioned: I always felt that if a radio station got into trouble in Washington in a regulatory situation, or in any kind of government situation, that the attitude toward the print media was a much more positive one than it was toward us. So if we had a big brother who was an important force in the community, in print editorially, and they owned half of us -- I would have some shelter and community identification which would count. Experience had taught me in the early days of radio that affiliates which were owned by newspapers -- all other things being equal -- were the superior station to be affiliated with in the community. Why? I suppose because they were entrenched in the community, they knew the community. They were effective in terms of selling. They were effective in the editorial side. And they had a

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