Herb Granath

Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his five-hour Archive interview, Herb Granath discusses his start in the entertainment industry as a college student working in the Page program at NBC. He talks of becoming a staff member within the NBC Sales department, and his subsequent move to ABC sales. He details working on Monday Night Football and creating a special sales unit focused on selling sports programming. Granath then discusses the beginnings of ABC Sports and his involvement with helping ABC become "The Network of the Olympics." He details his move into the position of Vice President of Program Development at ABC Sports, recalls becoming a director of the parent company of International Management Group, and outlines his eventual return to ABC as Assistant to the President. Granath also recounts ABC's entrance into cable programming and the beginnings of basic cable. He chronicles the creation of several cable channels including A&E, The History Channel and Lifetime. He also discusses the birth and growth of both ESPN and ESPN 2, shares his role in the development of ABC's long partnership with the Shubert Organization and comments on his move into the role of Chairman of Disney International upon ABC's merger with The Disney Company. He also touches on being Vice Chairman of Central European Media and becoming Co-Chairman of the Hallmark Network. Karen Herman conducted the interview in Darien, Connecticut on November 15, 2011.

"... looking at all the people who have worked with me over the years, all of whom are considerably younger than I am, and looking at their careers and what they've been able to accomplish, it's part of the ongoing legacy of passing the baton. What it says to me is that over the years I've made some pretty good decisions and they're the living examples of that."

Highlights
Herb Granath on ABC being the network of the Olympics
01:15
Herb Granath on his involvement with Monday Night Football
09:27
Herb Granath on the birth of ESPN
17:53
Herb Granath on how Sports Center on ESPN came about
01:35
Herb Granath on Jim McKay's coverage of the Munich Massacre
01:24
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on his responsibilities at NBC as part of the Page program as a college student
21:14
On memories of shows he worked on at NBC; on working as part of the sales staff at NBC; on TV sponsors' close connection with TV shows; on memories of working at NBC as a Page
20:03
On moving to sales at ABC; on having his salary cut due to his high commission through successful sales; on his friendship with Howard Cosell
18:46

Chapter 2

On the biggest deal he made for ABC Radio; on working on Monday Night Football and creating a special sales unit focused on selling sports programming; on the beginnings of ABC Sports; on how ABC became the network for the Olympics; on the "all marketing program" he started at ABC
11:33
On becoming the Vice President of Program Development at ABC Sports; on the success of Monday Night Football; on what he learned working with Roone Arledge; on his move to IMG - International Management Group and becoming a director of the parent company
19:16
On deals he made working in his new position at IMG; on his return to ABC as Assistant to the President; on becoming acting chairman of ABC-Dunhill Records; on ABC's entrance into cable programming
29:42

Chapter 3

On the business model for the new ABC cable channel business he started with the Arts network; on advancements in cable technology that benefited ABC; on the start of basic cable; on the short-lived "CBS cable"
19:46
On the formation of the Arts and Entertainment cable channel also known as "A&E;" on the formation of other cable channels including "The History Channel" and the "Lifetime" cable channel; on the challenge of making cable TV profitable
13:49
On starting a sports network with Roone Arledge; on the birth of ESPN; on the purchase of ABC by Cap Cities
19:51
On the growth of ESPN; on the launch of ESPN 2
07:20

Chapter 4

On the conflict between cable operations and ABC's station division; on the beginning of ESPN 2; on the formation of Eurosport; on how Sports Center on ESPN came about
14:27
On how ESPN stays in the forefront of new technologies; on the future of ESPN; on his involvement with the Shubert Organization with ABC to produce theater
23:33
On the Disney-ABC merger and how it affected his career; on Disney- ABC's involvement in foreign investments; on becoming Chairman of Disney International
12:33
On being Chairman of the cable networks and his move back to ABC; on doing consulting; on retiring from ABC; on being Vice Chairman of Central European Media; on becoming Co-Chairman of the Hallmark network
09:06

Chapter 5

On his involvement with the Television Academy; on being elected Chairman Emeritus of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences; on what he thinks the mission of the Television Academy should be
07:30
On the challenges of keeping up with the evolution of television; on what the next step in TV will be; on his opinion of and relationship with the FCC
05:35
On the most important component of creating a new cable network; on his Pay-per-view idea "Tele-first;" on his proudest career achievement
12:33
On career regrets; on selling the "Satellite News Channels" to Ted Turner; on his legacy within the TV industry
16:31
Shows

ABC's Wide World of Sports

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Herb Granath on his recollections of ABC's Wide World of Sports
03:09

American Sportsman, The

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Herb Granath on the start of The American Sportsman
00:21

Broadway Open House

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Herb Granath on memories of Broadway Open House Theater
03:31

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Herb Granath on a meeting of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences board with actors regarding the Daytime Emmy Awards
00:42

Home Show, The

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Herb Granath on how Pat Weaver started The Today Show, The Tonight Show and The Home Show
01:15

Howdy Doody

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Herb Granath on his memories of The Howdy Doody Show
01:38

Milton Berle Show, The (1954-56)

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Herb Granath on working during the beginnings of television on The Milton Berle Show
00:42

Monday Night Football

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Herb Granath on working on Monday Night Football and creating a special sales unit focused on selling sports programming
01:59
Herb Granath on the "all marketing program" he started with Monday Night Football and the success of the program
16:18

Olympics

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Herb Granath on how ABC became the network of the Olympics
01:25

Today

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Herb Granath on how Pat Weaver started The Today Show, The Tonight Show and The Home Show
01:15

Tonight

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Herb Granath on working during the beginnings of television on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen
02:40
Topics

Coverage

View Topic
Herb Granath on Jim McKay's coverage of the Munich Massacre
01:24

Emmy Awards

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Herb Granath on a meeting of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences board with actors regarding the Daytime Emmy Awards
00:42

Network Creation

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Herb Granath on the start of the Lifetime cable channel
04:57
Herb Granath on the growth of ESPN and the launch of ESPN 2
17:53
Herb Granath on the birth of The History Channel
03:59
Herb Granath on the birth and management of CBS cable
04:23
Herb Granath on the birth of ESPN
19:34
Herb Granath on the formation of Eurosport
07:29
Herb Granath on becoming Co-Chairman of the Hallmark Network
06:01
Herb Granath on the most important component of creating a new cable network
01:00

Olympic Games

View Topic
Herb Granath on ABC being the network of the Olympics
01:15
Herb Granath on ESPN's coverage of the Munich Massacre at the Olympic Games
02:04

Sports

View Topic
Herb Granath on ABC being the network of the Olympics
01:15
Herb Granath on the "all marketing program" he started with Monday Night Football and the success of the program
16:18
Herb Granath on his recollections of ABC's Wide World of Sports
03:09
Herb Granath on working on Monday Night Football and creating a special sales unit focused on selling sports programming
01:59
Herb Granath on the birth of ESPN
19:34
Herb Granath on the growth of ESPN and the launch of ESPN 2
17:53
Herb Granath on Jim McKay's coverage of the Munich Massacre
01:24

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Herb Granath on hiring Jack Healy to help run ABC's new cable TV programming
07:28
Herb Granath on ABC's entrance into the cable TV business
19:46

Television Industry

View Topic
Herb Granath on working in sales for NBC
07:02
Herb Granath on the start of the Lifetime cable channel
04:57
Herb Granath on the birth of The History Channel
03:59
Herb Granath on the birth and management of CBS cable
04:23
Herb Granath on the growth of ESPN and the launch of ESPN 2
17:53
Herb Granath on the birth of ESPN
19:34
Herb Granath on the formation of Eurosport
07:29
Herb Granath on becoming Co-Chairman of the Hallmark Network
06:01
Herb Granath on his involvement with the Television Academy
06:20
Professions

Television Executive

View Profession
Herb Granath on his role at ABC upon his return to the company
02:42
Herb Granath on the birth of ESPN
17:53
Genres

Awards Shows

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Herb Granath on a meeting of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences board with actors regarding the Daytime Emmy Awards
00:42

Children's Programming

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Herb Granath on his memories of The Howdy Doody Show
01:38

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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Herb Granath on the start of Daytime cable TV programming
01:18
Herb Granath on the start of the Lifetime cable channel
04:57

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Herb Granath on working during the beginnings of television on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen
02:40
Herb Granath on working during the beginnings of television on The Milton Berle Show
00:42

News and Documentary

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Herb Granath on the birth of The History Channel
03:59

Service Shows

View Genre
Herb Granath on the Arts programming for the ABC cable network
06:25

Sports

View Genre
Herb Granath on ABC being the network of the Olympics
01:15
Herb Granath on the "all marketing program" he started with Monday Night Football and the success of the program
16:18
Herb Granath on his recollections of ABC's Wide World of Sports
03:09
Herb Granath on working on Monday Night Football and creating a special sales unit focused on selling sports programming
01:59
Herb Granath on the birth of ESPN
17:53
Herb Granath on the growth of ESPN and the launch of ESPN 2
17:53

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

View Genre
Herb Granath on starting the Hallmark Movie Channel
01:24
People

Steve Allen

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Herb Granath on working during the beginnings of television on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen
01:25

Morey Amsterdam

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Herb Granath on working with Morey Amsterdam on Broadway Open House
03:13

Roone Arledge

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Herb Granath on how Roone Arledge took a chance on hiring Howard Cosell for TV
08:01
Herb Granath on working with Roone Arledge at ABC Sports during the heyday of Monday Night Football
19:17
Herb Granath on starting a sports network with Roone Arledge
01:41
Herb Granath on Roone Arledge's involvement with news coverage of The Munich Massacre
02:31
Herb Granath on working with Roone Arledge and Bill Baker to create a competitive news network
10:03

Milton Berle

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Herb Granath on working during the beginnings of television on The Milton Berle Show
00:42

George Bodenheimer

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Herb Granath on George Bodenheimer's promotion to CEO of ABC's ESPN
05:11

Steve Bornstein

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Herb Granath on Steve Bernstein's promotion to CEO of ABC's ESPN
00:54

Sid Caesar

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Herb Granath on working during the beginnings of television on The Show of Shows with Sid Caesar
01:15

Imogene Coca

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Herb Granath on working during the beginnings of television on The Show of Shows with Imogene Coca
01:15

Howard Cosell

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Herb Granath on how Howard Cosell first got his start in sportscasting and their life-long friendship
06:26
Herb Granath on his and Howard Cosell's transition to television with ABC
02:16
Herb Granath on Howard Cosell's involvement with Monday Night Football
07:05
Herb Granath on Howard Cosell's involvement with news coverage of The Munich Massacre
01:24

Jim Duffy

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Herb Granath on his meeting with Jim Duffy at ABC
06:07
Herb Granath on being hired by Jim Duffy for ABC TV
05:00

Dick Ebersol

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Herb Granath on Roone Arledge hiring Dick Ebersol to work at ABC
00:40

Michael Eisner

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Herb Granath on discussing foreign investment with Michael Eisner
02:53

Arlene Francis

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Herb Granath on Arlene Francis working on The Home Show
00:56

Frank Gifford

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Herb Granath on Frank Gifford's eventual involvement with Monday Night Football
07:05

Leonard H. Goldenson

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Herb Granath on his thoughts about ABC founder Leonard Goldenson
01:47
Herb Granath on the corporate staff at ABC: Leonard Goldenson, Mike Mallardi, Elton Rule and Irv Ehrlich
06:57
Herb Granath on Leonard Goldenson's vision for ABC
00:40
Herb Granath on Leonard Goldenson's approval concerning working with Th Shubert Organization
03:20
Herb Granath on Leonard Goldenson's support and foresight to changes within the TV industry
08:33

Eydie Gorme

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Herb Granath on working during the beginnings of television on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen with Eydie Gorme
01:25

Curt Gowdy

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Herb Granath on the start of The American Sportsman with Curt Gowdy
00:21

Steve Lawrence

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Herb Granath on working during the beginnings of television on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen with Steve Lawrence
01:25

John Malone

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Herb Granath on the cable deal he made with John Malone
13:30

Jim McKay

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Herb Granath on memories of Jim McKay
02:35
Herb Granath on Jim McKay's coverage of the Munich Massacre
01:24

Don Meredith

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Herb Granath on Don "Dandy" Meredith's involvement with Monday Night Football
07:05

Thomas Murphy

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Herb Granath on his negotiations with Tom Murphy and Dan Burke
04:59

William S. Paley

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Herb Granath on the birth and management of CBS cable
04:23

Elton H. Rule

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Herb Granath on how Elton Rule changed the ABC network
00:59
Herb Granath on how Elton Rule handled the news of him leaving ABC
02:10
Herb Granath on his meeting with Elton Rule to discuss his return to ABC
02:42

Alvin Sapinsley

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Herb Granath on studying creative writing with Alvin Sapinsley
01:24

David Sarnoff

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Herb Granath on David Sarnoff and Robert Sarnoff
00:37

Herbert S. Schlosser

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Herb Granath on his deal with Herbert Schlosser to form the A&E cable channel
02:50

Chet Simmons

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Herb Granath on the instrumental role that Chet Simmons played in the creation of ESPN as well as Stu Evie and John McKinley handing the reigns over to ABC
11:48

Arturo Toscanini

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Herb Granath on being an usher for the NBC Symphony Orchestra at NBC
02:42

Ted Turner

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Herb Granath on Ted Turner's plan to buy ESPN
00:32
Herb Granath on selling the "Satellite News Channels" to Ted Turner
02:34

Sylvester L. Weaver

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Herb Granath on how Pat Weaver started The Today Show, The Tonight Show and The Home Show
01:15

Andy Williams

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Herb Granath on working during the beginnings of television on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen with Andy Williams
01:25

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