Bill Monroe

Moderator / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In his three-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Bill Monroe (1920-2011) talks about growing up in New Orleans, where he became a print and radio journalist. He speaks about his first job in television, at WDSU-TV, where, as news director, he instituted the use of television cameras in the state legislature and pioneered the broadcast of on-camera editorials. He details his move to Washington, D.C., where he became NBC's bureau chief. Monroe presents his perspective on several noteworthy events of the era including the Civil Rights Movement, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Kennedy Assassination. He chronicles his work as executive producer and moderator of Meet the Press (from 1975-84) and that of special contributor (from 1984-86). He also recalls of his lifelong commitment as a proponent of First Amendment Rights. Karen Herman conducted the interview on June 13, 2005 in Bethesda, MD.

"I realized that the people running television news organizations had come from newspapers, which is the only place you can find active journalists to take over television news. I quit worrying about it being an honest medium. It's honest if you're there. You can make it honest."

Highlights
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral
03:51
Bill Monroe on difficult interviews he conducted on Meet the Press, and his interviewing technique
03:57
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and on covering Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with John F. Kennedy, and on covering the assassinations of the era
04:07
Bill Monroe on covering politics at WDSU in New Orleans, and on setting up camera in the legislature
06:01
Bill Monroe on the preparation he would do each week to moderate Meet the Press
02:34
Bill Monroe on how he would like to be remembered
01:43
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on deciding he wanted to get into journalism; on working in local news in New Orleans at the start of his career
14:12
On working at the "New Orleans Item" newspaper as an editorial writer, and joining the news department at local New Orleans station WDSU; on his duties at WDSU, and on the news format of the station; on the studios of the station
15:06

Chapter 2

On covering politics at WDSU in New Orleans, and on setting up camera in the legislature; on the introduction of editorials on local news shows, like WDSU, and on their editorials on school desegregation for which he won a Peabody Award
18:32
On leaving WDSU in New Orleans to work for NBC News as bureau chief in Washington, D.C.; on taking charge as the bureau chief for NBC News in Washington, D.C.; on his bosses at the network, and on his day-to-day duties in the position
09:58

Chapter 3

On the correspondents working under him when he was NBC News bureau chief in Washington, D.C.; on his association with The Huntley-Brinkley Report at NBC News, and on working with David Brinkley; on NBC News' coverage of the Civil Rights Movement, and on covering Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with John F. Kennedy, and on covering the assassinations of the era
12:14
On covering John F. Kennedy for NBC News, and on how Kennedy handled television; on NBC News' coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral; on NBC News' coverage of Vietnam
14:58

Chapter 4

On NBC News' coverage of the Vietnam War, and on covering the Lyndon B. Johnson administration; on working with NBC News president Reuven Frank; on working for Today
15:38
On covering the presidency of Richard M. Nixon; on being the moderator for Meet the Press, and on asking tough questions; on preparing to moderate Meet the Press, and on booking guests for the show
12:57

Chapter 5

On selecting the journalists for the panel on Meet the Press; on what made for a good panelist on Meet the Press, and on the rules they were told to follow; on his duties as moderator of the show, and on working with the crew
15:52
On dealing with network brass as the executive producer of Meet the Press, and on the changes he brought to the show; on memorable Meet the Press guests during his stint, including Indira Gandhi; on Yasser Arafat's appearance on the show
12:29

Chapter 6

On Carl Sagan's appearance on Meet the Press, and various other memorable guests; on Meet the Press' coverage of Iran circa 1979, during the Iran Hostage Crisis
11:43
On interviewing guests via satellite on Meet the Press; on difficult interviews he conducted on Meet the Press, and his interviewing technique; on frequent guest Bob Dole
12:02
On being replaced as moderator of Meet the Press; on the legacy of Meet the Press
02:56

Chapter 7

On his letters segment on Today; on going to work as an editor for "American Journalism Review" after leaving NBC News; on his greatest career achievements and regrets, and on the role television played in the Civil Rights Movement
12:52
On how television news has changed since he started; on the overall impact that television has had on the presidency; on the events that have changed the country the most in the 20th century
08:17
On how the public's perception of network news has changed since he started; on the then-future of nightly network newscasts; on television and the First Amendment, and on how he would like to be remembered
08:27
Shows

Huntley-Brinkley Report, The

View Show Page
Bill Monroe on his association with The Huntley-Brinkley Report at NBC News, and on working with David Brinkley
03:08

Meet the Press

View Show Page
Bill Monroe on being the moderator for Meet the Press
02:41
Bill Monroe on asking tough questions on Meet the Press
02:17
Bill Monroe on the preparation he would do each week to moderate Meet the Press
02:34
Bill Monroe on the booking of guests for Meet the Press
01:19
Bill Monroe on selecting the journalists for the panel on Meet the Press
03:20
Bill Monroe on what made for a good panelist on Meet the Press, and on the rules they were told to follow
03:16
Bill Monroe on his duties as moderator of Meet the Press, and on working with the crew
09:15
Bill Monroe on dealing with network brass as the executive producer of Meet the Press
02:31
Bill Monroe on changes he brought to Meet the Press when he took over as moderator and executive producer
04:43
Bill Monroe on memorable Meet the Press guests during his stint, including Indira Gandhi
03:19
Bill Monroe on Yasser Arafat's appearance on Meet the Press
01:56
Bill Monroe on Carl Sagan's appearance on Meet the Press, and various other memorable guests
02:57
Bill Monroe on interviewing guests via satellite on Meet the Press
05:48
Bill Monroe on difficult interviews he conducted on Meet the Press, and his interviewing technique
03:57
Bill Monroe on frequent Meet the Press guest Bob Dole
02:16
Bill Monroe on being replaced as moderator of Meet the Press
01:40
Bill Monroe on the legacy of Meet the Press
01:14
Bill Monroe on Meet the Press' coverage of Iran circa 1979, during the Iran Hostage Crisis
08:44

NBC News

View Show Page
Bill Monroe on leaving WDSU in New Orleans to work for NBC News as bureau chief in Washington, D.C.
02:48
Bill Monroe on taking charge as the bureau chief for NBC News in Washington, D.C.
03:59
Bill Monroe on his bosses at NBC News when he was bureau chief in Washington, D.C., and on his day-to-day duties in the position
03:11
Bill Monroe on the correspondents working under him when he was NBC News bureau chief in Washington, D.C., including Pauline Frederick, the first female Washington correspondent for NBC
03:19
Bill Monroe on his association with The Huntley-Brinkley Report at NBC News, and on working with David Brinkley
03:08
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Civil Rights Movement, and on covering Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with John F. Kennedy, and on covering the assassinations of the era
04:07
Bill Monroe on covering John F. Kennedy for NBC News, and on how Kennedy handled television
06:10
Bill Monroe on covering the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis for NBC News
03:38
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral
03:50
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of Vietnam
01:14

Today

View Show Page
Bill Monroe on working with NBC News president Reuven Frank, and on working for Today
07:56
Bill Monroe on his letters segment on Today
05:48
Topics

Civil Rights Movement

View Topic
Bill Monroe on the major news stories covered during his time at WDSU in New Orleans, including the Civil Rights Movement and the Emmett Till trial
04:01
Bill Monroe on the introduction of editorials on local news shows, like WDSU, and on their editorials on school desegregation
08:43
Bill Monroe on winning a Peabody Award in 1960 for his editorials on school desegregation
03:48
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Civil Rights Movement, and on covering Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with John F. Kennedy, and on covering the assassinations of the era
04:09
Bill Monroe on his greatest career achievements and regrets, and on the role television played in the Civil Rights Movement
05:05
Bill Monroe on the events that have changed the country the most in the 20th century
02:43

Cold War

View Topic
Bill Monroe on covering the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis for NBC News
03:37

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Bill Monroe on the major news stories covered during his time at WDSU in New Orleans, including the Civil Rights Movement and the Emmett Till trial
04:01
Bill Monroe on the introduction of editorials on local news shows, like WDSU, and on their editorials on school desegregation
08:43
Bill Monroe on winning a Peabody Award in 1960 for his editorials on school desegregation
03:48
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Civil Rights Movement, and on covering Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with John F. Kennedy, and on covering the assassinations of the era
04:09
Bill Monroe on covering the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis for NBC News
03:37
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral
03:50
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of Vietnam
01:14
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Vietnam War, and on covering the Lyndon B. Johnson administration
07:40
Bill Monroe on Meet the Press' coverage of Iran circa 1979, during the Iran Hostage Crisis
08:44
Bill Monroe on his greatest career achievements and regrets, and on the role television played in the Civil Rights Movement
05:05
Bill Monroe on the events that have changed the country the most in the 20th century
02:43

Hollywood Blacklist

View Topic
Bill Monroe on Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s
01:39

Industry Crossroads

View Topic
Bill Monroe on Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s
01:39

Iran Hostage Crisis

View Topic
Bill Monroe on Meet the Press' coverage of Iran circa 1979, during the Iran Hostage Crisis
08:44

JFK Assassination and Funeral

View Topic
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral
03:50

John F. Kennedy

View Topic
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Civil Rights Movement, and on covering Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with John F. Kennedy, and on covering the assassinations of the era
04:09
Bill Monroe on covering John F. Kennedy for NBC News, and on how Kennedy handled television
06:08
Bill Monroe on covering the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis for NBC News
03:37
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral
03:50

Lyndon B. Johnson

View Topic
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Vietnam War, and on covering the Lyndon B. Johnson administration
07:40

Richard M. Nixon

View Topic
Bill Monroe on covering the presidency of Richard M. Nixon
04:04

Television Industry

View Topic
Bill Monroe on winning a Peabody Award in 1960 for his editorials on school desegregation
03:48
Bill Monroe on Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s
01:39
Bill Monroe on how television news has changed since he started
03:37
Bill Monroe on how the public's perception of network news has changed since he started
02:50
Bill Monroe on the then-future of nightly network newscasts
01:23
Bill Monroe on television and the First Amendment
02:23

Television and the Presidency

View Topic
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Civil Rights Movement, and on covering Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with John F. Kennedy, and on covering the assassinations of the era
04:09
Bill Monroe on covering John F. Kennedy for NBC News, and on how Kennedy handled television
06:08
Bill Monroe on covering the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis for NBC News
03:37
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral
03:50
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Vietnam War, and on covering the Lyndon B. Johnson administration
07:40
Bill Monroe on covering the presidency of Richard M. Nixon
04:04
Bill Monroe on the overall impact that television has had on the presidency
01:56

Vietnam War

View Topic
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of Vietnam
01:14
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Vietnam War, and on covering the Lyndon B. Johnson administration
07:40

War

View Topic
Bill Monroe on covering the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis for NBC News
03:37
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of Vietnam
01:14
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Vietnam War, and on covering the Lyndon B. Johnson administration
07:40
Professions

Journalists & News Producers

View Profession
Bill Monroe on covering politics at WDSU in New Orleans, and on setting up camera in the legislature
06:00
Bill Monroe on the introduction of editorials on local news shows, like WDSU, and on their editorials on school desegregation
08:43
Bill Monroe on difficult interviews he conducted on Meet the Press, and his interviewing technique
03:57

Moderator

View Profession
Bill Monroe on difficult interviews he conducted on Meet the Press, and his interviewing technique
03:57

News Producer

View Profession
Bill Monroe on covering politics at WDSU in New Orleans, and on setting up camera in the legislature
06:01
Bill Monroe on the introduction of editorials on local news shows, like WDSU, and on their editorials on school desegregation
08:43
Genres

News and Documentary

View Genre
Bill Monroe on working at the New Orleans local station WDSU as news director
15:06
Bill Monroe on his time a bureau chief for NBC News in Washington, D.C.
09:58
Bill Monroe on working in New Orleans local news at WDSU in New Orleans
18:32
Bill Monroe on his time at NBC News as the bureau chief in Washington, D.C.
29:18
Bill Monroe on moderating Meet the Press
08:57
Bill Monroe on moderating Meet the Press
28:23
Bill Monroe on moderating Meet the Press
26:42
Bill Monroe on his letters segment on Today
05:48
People

Yasser Arafat

View Person Page
Bill Monroe on Yasser Arafat's appearance on Meet the Press
01:57

Bob Dole

View Person Page
Bill Monroe on frequent Meet the Press guest Bob Dole
02:16

Reuven Frank

View Interview Page
Bill Monroe on working with NBC News president Reuven Frank, and on working for Today
07:56

Pauline Frederick

View Person Page
Bill Monroe on the correspondents working under him when he was NBC News bureau chief in Washington, D.C., including Pauline Frederick, the first female Washington correspondent for NBC
03:19

Indira Gandhi

View Person Page
Bill Monroe on memorable Meet the Press guests during his stint, including Indira Gandhi
03:18

Lyndon B. Johnson

View Person Page
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Vietnam War, and on covering the Lyndon B. Johnson administration
07:40

John F. Kennedy

View Person Page
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Civil Rights Movement, and on covering Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with John F. Kennedy, and on covering the assassinations of the era
04:07
Bill Monroe on covering John F. Kennedy for NBC News, and on how Kennedy handled television
06:08
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral
03:50

Martin Luther King, Jr.

View Person Page
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Civil Rights Movement, and on covering Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with John F. Kennedy, and on covering the assassinations of the era
04:07

Joseph McCarthy

View Person Page
Bill Monroe on Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s
01:39

Richard M. Nixon

View Person Page
Bill Monroe on covering the presidency of Richard M. Nixon
04:04

Carl Sagan

View Person Page
Bill Monroe on Carl Sagan's appearance on Meet the Press, and various other memorable guests
02:57

All Interviews

Q
S