Brian Lamb

Executive / CSPAN


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb looks back at his early years as a local disc jockey in Indiana and at his time hosting a local program called Dance Date in the early 1960s. He describes his years in the Navy, where he was assigned to both the Pentagon and the Lyndon B. Johnson White House and explains how news coverage at the time affected his worldview and planted the seed idea for C-SPAN. He recalls his role in Richard Nixon's 1968 Presidential campaign, his time as Senator Peter Dominick's press secretary and having a front seat during the Watergate scandal in the Nixon White House Office of Telecommunications. Lamb then outlines the creation of C-SPAN, his struggle to get funding, and how he came up with the idea of broadcasting Congressional sessions. He discusses his philosophy of running C-SPAN, the lack of advertising and marketing for the channel, and its place in the political landscape. He also outlines the creation of C-SPAN 2 and C-SPAN 3, speaks of his role hosting Book Notes and Q&A, and describes what he hopes C-SPAN will be in the future. Karen Herman conducted the interview on November 18, 2011 at C-SPAN headquarters in Washington, D.C.

"So few places do what we do. If you're really interested in information, you want to know how things work. So the person that absorbs what we do walks away saying, 'I know just a lot more than I ever thought I would about human nature, about what these issues are about, about the similarity in the way politicians deal with these subjects.' If they're terribly partisan, they never get over that. You think your side's always right. So you see what you want to see."

Highlights
Brian Lamb on coming up with the idea for C-SPAN
08:37
Brian Lamb on the C-SPAN series Book Notes and Q&A
06:24
Brian Lamb on what the American public has learned from C-SPAN
02:15
Brian Lamb on the threat of "a la carte" cable packaging to C-SPAN
01:26
Brian Lamb on working for Richard Nixon's campaign in 1968
09:25
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his family and early childhood growing up in Indiana; on his early interest in radio; on working as a disc-jockey and radio interviewer at Purdue University
On his local television show Dance Date; on learning how to interview people; on his early interest in public affairs
On the problems with network news; on his time in the Navy working in the Pentagon; on the Detroit riots of 1967
On his time in the Johnson White House; on working on Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign; on working at UPI

Chapter 2

On working for Senator Peter Dominick; on working for the Nixon White House in the Office of Telecommunications
On working in the Nixon White House during Watergate; on the genesis of C-SPAN
On pitching C-SPAN; on the idea to broadcast Congressional sessions; on coming up with the name for C-SPAN and putting it together
On the politics of creating C-SPAN; on C-SPAN's first day of broadcast and early lack of programming

Chapter 3

On creating programming for C-SPAN; on C-SPAN's call-in show; on C-SPAN's audience and marketing
On C-SPAN getting shut out of events and where he'd like to put cameras; on the creation of C-SPAN 2 and C-SPAN 3; on the series Book Notes and Q&A
On where he sees C-SPAN headed; on his management style; on a typical work day and his celebrity
On what the public has learned from C-SPAN; on what he has learned about American politics; on career achievements and regrets and his advice to those wanting to be involved in public affairs television
Topics

Lyndon B. Johnson

View Topic
Brian Lamb on the Detroit riots of 1967
05:52
Brian Lamb on his Navy career in the Johnson White House
02:48

Network Creation

View Topic
Brian Lamb on the inception of C-SPAN
02:41
Brian Lamb on coming up with the idea for C-SPAN
08:37
Brian Lamb on his initial pitch for C-SPAN
03:28
Brian Lamb on putting C-SPAN together and the politics involved in C-SPAN's development
09:09
Brian Lamb on C-SPAN's first day of broadcast and early lack of programming
06:08
Brian Lamb on the creation of C-SPAN 2 and getting the Senate televised and C-SPAN 3
05:37

Richard M. Nixon

View Topic
Brian Lamb on working for Richard Nixon's campaign in 1968
09:25
Brian Lamb on working in the Nixon administration during the Watergate scandal
03:31

Television Industry

View Topic
Brian Lamb on the inception of C-SPAN
02:41
Brian Lamb on coming up with the idea for C-SPAN
08:37
Brian Lamb on his initial pitch for C-SPAN
03:28
Brian Lamb on putting C-SPAN together and the politics involved in C-SPAN's development
09:09
Brian Lamb on C-SPAN's first day of broadcast and early lack of programming
06:08
Brian Lamb on the creation of C-SPAN 2 and getting the Senate televised and C-SPAN 3
05:37

Television and the Presidency

View Topic
Brian Lamb on the Detroit riots of 1967
05:52
Brian Lamb on his Navy career in the Johnson White House
02:48
Brian Lamb on working for Richard Nixon's campaign in 1968
09:25
Brian Lamb on working in the Nixon administration during the Watergate scandal
03:31
Professions

Executives

View Profession
Brian Lamb on his management style
02:28
Brian Lamb on his typical work day at C-SPAN
01:36
Brian Lamb on advice to someone interested in public affairs programming and how he'd like to be remembered
01:01

Network Founder

View Profession
Brian Lamb on his management style
02:28
Brian Lamb on his typical work day at C-SPAN
01:36
Brian Lamb on advice to someone interested in public affairs programming and how he'd like to be remembered
01:01
Genres

News and Documentary

View Genre
Brian Lamb on C-SPAN's first day of broadcast and early lack of programming
06:08
Brian Lamb on the inception and development of C-SPAN
27:03
On creating programming for C-SPAN; on C-SPAN's call-in show; on C-SPAN's audience and marketing
16:42
People

Lyndon B. Johnson

View Person Page
Brian Lamb on his Navy career in the Johnson White House
02:48

Richard M. Nixon

View Person Page
Brian Lamb on working for Richard Nixon's campaign in 1968
09:25
Brian Lamb on working in the Nixon administration during the Watergate scandal
03:31

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