James Day

Former President of NET / Public TV Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his four-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, James Day (1918-2008) describes his early career years as the general manager of San Francisco's public television station KQED. He covers many topics including working with Fred Friendly, the series Newspaper of the Air, The Public Broadcasting Laboratory, The Great American Dream Machine and An American Family. Day discusses Kaleidoscope, an interview program he hosted for 15 years. He recounts becoming the president of National Educational Television and helping guide PBS into a fully operational organization. He outlines his later career as a professor, a consultant, and author of the book "The Vanishing Vision." Dr. Ralph Engelman conducted the interview on April 27, 1998 in New York, NY.

"The San Francisco public schools had asked for a series on sex education. One Board member, Shirley Temple Black, said that her friends felt that this was a terrible thing to do. So we held an informational screening for the Board. Shirley Temple Black looked at the films and turned to me and said, 'You're doing the right thing. You ought to run these.'"

Highlights
James Day on Richard Nixon vetoing funds for public broadcasting in 1973
01:32
James Day on programming An American Family and other shows on WNET
04:29
James Day on his tenure as President of WNET
05:21
James Day on garnering viewer support in the early days of KQED
05:33
James Day on career highlights and regrets
01:12
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on how his family dealt with the Great Depression; on his experiences in World War II
13:57
On going to work at the NBC radio affiliate in San Francisco KPO; on moving to Tokyo in 1949 to work for the Civil Information and Education Department; on working for Radio Free Asia
14:48

Chapter 2

On working for Radio Free Asia; on being hired by KQED in San Francisco 
16:01
On his initial duties at KQED (the Bay Area Educational Television Association); on initial funding efforts of KQED
12:14

Chapter 3

On Frieda Hennock, the first female commissioner of the FCC; on garnering viewer support in the early days of KQED; on choosing the call letters for KQED and the early technical aspects and operations of the station
17:50
On KQED's early programming; on the role of the Educational Television and Radio Center in the early years of KQED and public television
10:20

Chapter 4

On Harry Newburn as the head of the Educational Television and Radio Center; on network programming in San Francisco during KQED's early years and KQED's community-based programming; on moderating the series Kaleidoscope
17:21
On the financial turning point for KQED; on early corporate funding of KQED
09:37

Chapter 5

On a Fidel Castro documentary and other KQED programming from the '60s; on the state of KQED in 1962
13:13
On the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television; on the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and becoming President of National Educational Television (NET)
14:18

Chapter 6

On KQED's Newspaper of the Air;  on the KQED series News Room
13:38
On working with Fred Friendly on Public Broadcasting Laboratory;  on executive reaction to Public Broadcasting Laboratory; on becoming President of NET in New York
17:11

Chapter 7

On the establishment of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS); on Fred Friendly's role in the creation of PBS and the politics of the creation of PBS
14:58
On becoming President of WNET and supervising production of The Great American Dream Machine;  on programming An American Family  and other shows on WNET; on the process of program creation at WNET
12:43

Chapter 8

On The Great American Dream Machine and other programs from his time at WNET; on programming The 51st State;  on his tenure as President of WNET
16:14
On Richard Nixon vetoing funds for public broadcasting in 1973; on Woody Allen's Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story;  on resigning from WNET; on the establishment of the Children's Television Workshop
12:31

Chapter 9

On producing Day at Night;  on his teaching career; on his book "The Vanishing Vision"
09:06
On his consulting activity; on the then-current state of PBS and the marginalization of public television; on career highlights and regrets
07:13
On various people he worked with during his career
13:13
Shows

American Family, An

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James Day on programming An American Family  and other shows on WNET
04:28
James Day on programming An American Family
02:50

Great American Dream Machine, The

View Show Page
James Day on becoming President of WNET and supervising production of The Great American Dream Machine 
06:07
Topics

Diversity in Television

View Topic
James Day on Frieda Hennock, the first female commissioner of the FCC
02:14

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
James Day on his experiences in World War II
05:05
James Day on Frieda Hennock, the first female commissioner of the FCC
02:14

Network Creation

View Topic
James Day on initial funding efforts of KQED
04:08

Public Television

View Topic
James Day on being hired by KQED in San Francisco 
08:08
James Day on his initial duties at KQED (the Bay Area Educational Television Association)
08:07
James Day on initial funding efforts of KQED
04:08
James Day on garnering viewer support in the early days of KQED
05:33
James Day on choosing the call letters for KQED and the early technical aspects and operations of the station
10:03
James Day on KQED's early programming 
08:05
James Day on the role of the Educational Television and Radio Center in the early years of KQED and public television
02:15
James Day on network programming in San Francisco during KQED's early years and KQED's community-based programming
04:08
James Day on moderating the series Kaleidoscope
09:51
James Day on the financial turning point for KQED
02:54
James Day on early corporate funding of KQED
06:44
James Day on a Fidel Castro documentary and other KQED programming from the '60s
05:07
James Day on the state of KQED in 1962
08:06
James Day on the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television 
08:13
James Day on the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and becoming President of National Educational Television (NET)
06:05
James Day on KQED's Newspaper of the Air
08:30
James Day on the KQED series News Room
05:08
James Day on working with Fred Friendly on Public Broadcasting Laboratory 
05:43
James Day on becoming President of NET in New York
03:30
James Day on the establishment of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
08:07
James Day on becoming President of WNET and supervising production of The Great American Dream Machine 
06:07
James Day on the process of program creation at WNET
02:08
James Day on The Great American Dream Machine  and other programs from his time at WNET
03:10
James Day on programming The 51st State
04:57
James Day on his tenure as President of WNET
05:21
James Day on Richard Nixon vetoing funds for public broadcasting in 1973
01:32
James Day on resigning from WNET
04:30
James Day on the establishment of the Children's Television Workshop
02:16
James Day on producing Day at Night
05:30
James Day on various people he worked with during his career
13:13
James Day on the then-current state of PBS and the marginalization of public television 
04:55

Richard M. Nixon

View Topic
James Day on Richard Nixon vetoing funds for public broadcasting in 1973
01:32

Television Industry

View Topic
James Day on being hired by KQED in San Francisco 
08:08
James Day on his initial duties at KQED (the Bay Area Educational Television Association)
08:07
James Day on initial funding efforts of KQED
04:08
James Day on garnering viewer support in the early days of KQED
05:33
James Day on choosing the call letters for KQED and the early technical aspects and operations of the station
10:03
James Day on KQED's early programming 
08:05
James Day on the role of the Educational Television and Radio Center in the early years of KQED and public television
02:15
James Day on network programming in San Francisco during KQED's early years and KQED's community-based programming
04:08
James Day on moderating the series Kaleidoscope
09:51
James Day on the financial turning point for KQED
02:54
James Day on early corporate funding of KQED
06:44
James Day on a Fidel Castro documentary and other KQED programming from the '60s
05:07
James Day on the state of KQED in 1962
08:06
James Day on the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television 
08:13
James Day on the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and becoming President of National Educational Television (NET)
06:05
James Day on KQED's Newspaper of the Air
08:30
James Day on the KQED series News Room
05:08
James Day on working with Fred Friendly on Public Broadcasting Laboratory 
05:43
James Day on becoming President of NET in New York
03:30
James Day on the establishment of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
08:07
James Day on becoming President of WNET and supervising production of The Great American Dream Machine 
06:07
James Day on the process of program creation at WNET
02:08
James Day on The Great American Dream Machine  and other programs from his time at WNET
03:10
James Day on programming The 51st State
04:57
James Day on his tenure as President of WNET
05:21
James Day on Richard Nixon vetoing funds for public broadcasting in 1973
01:32
James Day on resigning from WNET
04:30
James Day on the establishment of the Children's Television Workshop
02:16
James Day on producing Day at Night
05:30
James Day on various people he worked with during his career
13:13
James Day on the then-current state of PBS and the marginalization of public television 
04:55

Television and the Presidency

View Topic
James Day on Richard Nixon vetoing funds for public broadcasting in 1973
01:32

War

View Topic
James Day on his experiences in World War II
05:05

Women

View Topic
James Day on Frieda Hennock, the first female commissioner of the FCC
02:14

World War II

View Topic
James Day on his experiences in World War II
05:05
Genres

News and Documentary

View Genre
James Day on a Fidel Castro documentary and other KQED programming from the '60s
05:07
James Day on KQED's Newspaper of the Air
08:30
James Day on the KQED series News Room
05:08
James Day on working with Fred Friendly on Public Broadcasting Laboratory 
08:50
James Day on becoming President of WNET and supervising production of The Great American Dream Machine 
06:07
James Day on programming An American Family  and other shows on WNET
04:28
James Day on The Great American Dream Machine  and other programs from his time at WNET
03:10
James Day on programming The 51st State
04:57
James Day on programming An American Family
02:50
James Day on producing Day at Night
05:30

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

View Genre
James Day on Woody Allen's Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story
04:12

Talk Shows

View Genre
James Day on moderating the series Kaleidoscope
09:51
People

Woody Allen

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James Day on Woody Allen's Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story
04:12

Fidel Castro

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James Day on a Fidel Castro documentary and other KQED programming from the '60s
05:07

Joan Ganz Cooney

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James Day on various people he worked with during his career: Joan Ganz Cooney
00:49

Norman Cousins

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James Day on various people he worked with during his career: Norman Cousins
02:15

Fred Friendly

View Person Page
James Day on working with Fred Friendly on Public Broadcasting Laboratory 
05:43
James Day on Fred Friendly's tenure at NET
04:49
James Day on Fred Friendly's role in the creation of PBS and the politics of the creation of PBS
06:51

Hartford Gunn

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James Day on various people he worked with during his career: Hartford Gunn
00:46

James L. Loper

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James Day on various people he worked with during his career: James L. Loper
01:24

Newton N. Minow

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James Day on various people he worked with during his career: Newton N. Minow
00:29

Richard M. Nixon

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James Day on Richard Nixon vetoing funds for public broadcasting in 1973
01:32

All Interviews

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