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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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Session:         Page of 755

So, there wasn't any question about getting to know him. Moving on from '52 to '54, by that time I had done some ground work and had promoted the idea of the debates in Washington. I found very little interest on the part of the FCC in changing the rules.

Q:

Who was the head of the FCC then? I'm trying to remember.

Stanton:

I think a guy by the name of Paul Walker, but I'm not absolutely sure. But, there was very little sympathy on the Hill, where the thing had to be addressed, because it meant changing the section of the code. While the FCC could interpret, there was very little room for them to interpret in a way that would allow us to do it. But, I didn't want to go to the Hill before I talked to the FCC about it, and it was just not a live subject.

I made it the subject of an address to our affiliates around, I think, '54. I wanted to get an endorsement on the part of the affiliates that, yes, they thought it was a good idea, and yes, they would carry such a thing. Can you imagine? I was begging them to consider whether they would carry it.

Q:

It's hard to imagine today, in particular.

Stanton:

A man in Seattle, a very smart guy, said, “Big mistake.” Got up, made a speech on the floor of the meeting against the idea, and as I recall --

Q:

Was this a meeting of the American Broadcasters?

Stanton:

No, just the affiliates of CBS. Oh, no. I looked upon this as something that was



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