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Broadcast Firsts

News Broadcasts - ABC NETWORK NEWS AND VIEWS was ABC's first regularly scheduled nightly newscast anchored by H. R. Baukhage and Jim Gibbons. premiering August 11, 1948. After three years the program was changed to AFTER THE DEADLINES.

DOUGLAS EDWARDS WITH THE NEWS was CBS's first regularly scheduled nightly newscast anchored by Douglas Edwards debuting on May 3, 1948. After 14 years, he was replaced by Walter Cronkite on April 16, 1962.

The DuMont Network's WALTER COMPTON NEWS was the first Dumont Network news program and the first news series to originate from Washington, D.C.. Anchor Walter Compton began as news anchor on August 25, 1947. Later followed by CAMERA HEADLINES and NEWSWEEK ANALYSIS. The Dumont network failed in April 1955.

The NBC Network had primitive regular network telecasts such as SUNOCO NEWS or ESSO TELEVISION REPORTER as early as the 1940s which included radio simulcast of commentator, Lowell Thomas accompanied by news, photos, maps and graphics. However, their first successful nationally accepted anchorman was John Cameron Swayze whose behind the scenes narration on newsreels led to a seat in front of the camera where he read the news on CAMEL NEWS CARAVAN in 1948. He was replaced by Chet Huntley and David Brinkley in October, 1956. They were first teamed by NBC at the 1956 Democratic Convention in Chicago. The combination of the somber Huntley and the witty Brinkley made for a highly successful anchor team especially appreciated for their ability to be more than just a pair of talking heads. Finally, NBC became the first TV network to carry 30 minutes of nightly news seven days a week beginning October 24, 1965. PBS's THE MACNEIL/LEHRER NEWS HOUR was America's first hour-long national evening news show.

According to the Gallop Polls, the program was also the most believed news program on US Television. NBC news became the first television network with thirty-minutes of nightly news broadcast seven days a week beginning October 24, 1965.

The first remote pickup of news by television was accomplished by WGY-TV in New York from the steps of the State Capitol in Albany, New York. It aired both the image and voice of Governor Alfred E. Smith as he delivered his acceptance speech of his Democratic Nomination for President in August of 1928. The first mobile television units for outdoor events were obtained from RCA manufacturing Company in Camden, New Jersey by NBC station W2XBT in New York City on December 12, 1937. A microwave tower transmitter atop the Empire State Building was the mobile vans transmission link. The first "color" mobile television units were in operation January 1, 1954 under the direction of NBC station WNBT, New York City.


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