Showing posts with the label edward r murrow broadcasts

World War II

In 1937, CBS sent Murrow and his wife to Europe. CBS wanted to set up a network of reporters to provide first-hand observations of the changes in Europe. There was no network news at the time so there was no pattern to follow. Not only was there no pattern, Murrow had never been in the news business and never written a newspaper story. What he did know is how to organize people and work with people to get what he needed. In addition to setting up the reporting network, he was to schedule talks and set up interviews people with important people. But these interviews were for entertainment. News on the radio was limited to reading the news headlines on the hour by announcers. There was very little research and very little reporting on current events. His first hire was William L. Shirer , an American expatriate who worked all over Europe. Shirer’s hiring was Murrow’s first big test with the CBS brass. Shirer was no announcer, he was a newsman. The bosses back in New York thought hi

World War II Reporter

Murrow was not at all shy about where he had to go to get a story. He was not one of those reporters who only sat at a desk and delivered news written by someone else based on facts gathered by another person. From his signature, “ London” to the final “Good night and good luck”, he brought the action to the audience at home in the United States. One of his first reports from the middle of the action was during the Blitz in London. He provided a blow-by-blow account of the German bombs dropping on London. Reporting from the steps of St. Martins in the Fields on Trafalgar Square, with air raid sirens blaring in the background, he described in great detail the blackout. In other reports you can hear him talk about “bombs skittering”, hear the sound of explosions in the background and ack-ack exploding overhead. He flew 25 mission with both the RAF and the US Army Air Corp even though the honchos at CBS had a fit. This was an interesting take since his London office was b

Post-War Radio

Edward Murrow came home a changed man to a changed America. What now? That is the very same question millions of American, men and women, were asking themselves. Murrow helped transform news reporting just before and during the war and the things he saw and experienced changed him. Just as radio was forced to grow up rapidly, Murrow grew rapidly as a reporter. His broadcasts from Europe made him hugely popular at home in the United States but where was he to go from there?  - Old Radio Cat

I Can Hear It Now

Over the course of his career, Murrow was never content just to sit back and report the news. He was aware that the news is also history. In the late 1940s, he recorded a series of records called I Can Hear It Now . The records were produced by Fred Friendly from a Rhode Island radio station. The records combined speeches and historical events with narration provided by Murrow. The series was so popular that CBS took notice, and since Murrow worked for CBS, they were able to strike a deal and bring the premise to radio. It was a little different for the time. They brought the stories to life by using recorded sounds like guns when presenting a story about war or aircraft when talking about aviation. I Can Hear It Now was presented in a magazine format which means that the show is divided into segments, and each story is presented in a dedicated segment. (You might be familiar with the format from television shows like 60 Minutes .) The  I Can Hear It Now  

This I Believe

With a name like This I Believe and with the involvement from Edward R. Murrow, you might think that this show was an editorial platform for Murrow. However, it was not an editorial vehicle for Murrow. It was a show about Americans and their beliefs. In another, more cynical time, Murrow and This I Believe would probably be called naive, but with Murrow’s reputation for journalistic integrity, his unapologetic love for America, and the time period, it was a hit. He could see that, after the last war, and with the looming shadow of the Cold War, Americans needed to find themselves again. They needed to remember what they believe. The biggest problem he ran into was top management at his own network. They increasingly tried to control the editorial direction, continually placing yokes on the news division and trying to make sponsors happy. Eventually, out of several shows Murrow was pitching, the brass approved This I Believe. The show was about beliefs. Not religious beliefs but

CBS University of the Air

Murrow’s first involvement with CBS grew out of his NSFA presidency. In 1929, CBS started working with the NSFA to create the CBS University of the Air. The NSFA organized speakers and lessons to appear during the low-rated afternoon hours. In 1930, in his capacity as NSFA president, he also started working with CBS on the show. Murrow made his first radio appearance in September 1930 and, eventually, took over as the program host. He arranged for both international and American speakers like Mahatma Ghandi from London and former President Paul von Hindenburg from Berlin as well as Albert Einstein, Corliss Lamont and many more. Though Murrow eventually left the NSFA, he maintained his contact with CBS eventually going to work as the Director of Talks and Education.