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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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Well, “CBS Reports” went on the air monthly and then went on the air, I think, every other week the second year. I don't recall whether we went to the three times or the four times or whether events changed the scheduling of the series to an infrequent special kind of hour in prime time.

There were a couple of things about “CBS Reports” which are worth noting. One was, it was a commitment to do that kind of programming in prime time -- It was a commitment to do an hour and it was a commitment to do an hour on a very serious subject. It wasn't a frivolous documentary kind of treatment. It, I believe, represented probably the peak of CBS News in the documentary area. If we hadn't done it under the nomenclature of “CBS Reports”, it would have been done on special subjects. What I was trying to establish was a regular place in our schedule for that kind of programming. And, over time, “CBS Reports” became less frequent and other kinds of programming took its place, in a sense, even Don [S.] Hewitt's “60 Minutes” has many of the features that “CBS Reports” had in the hour format.

I wasn't ever totally happy with the hour. Sometimes it was too much on one subject. Forty- five minutes would have been better -- a half hour was too little and an hour was too much and forty-five or fifty minutes would have worked better. It wasn't a time frame that worked well in the schedule, so, we went to the hour. But then Don came along and took many of the features of what we were doing with “CBS Reports” and said why can't we compress them, and some weeks they're twenty minutes and some weeks they're longer than that. But that was one of the things he did with “60 Minutes.”


Did you communicate regularly with Fred Friendly in terms of the production of “CBS

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