James L. Loper

Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-hour Archive interview, Dr. James L. Loper (1931-2013) talks about his early influences in broadcasting and his first work in the field as a weekend announcer at KTAR, Phoenix Arizona's NBC radio affiliate. He describes his rise through academia, earning his doctorate in 1967 from the University of Southern California. He details the creation of public television station KCET, the history of channel 28, its initial programming, and the funding of the station. Loper then discusses his work at KCET, serving as the station's Vice President and General Manager (in 1967), President and GM (through 1971), and President and CEO (through 1982, when he left the station). He recalls the Federal government's decisions regarding public television throughout the 1960s, and comments on the landmark Carnegie Commission Report, the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, the creation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the emergence of PBS. He talks about the programming that was shown on PBS and the network's satellite distribution (which pre-dated the use of satellites by the commercial networks). He also outlines the contributions to public broadcasting of such figures as FCC chairman Newton Minow, CPB president Hartford Gunn, and NET president James Day. Finally, Loper recalls his long tenure with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and tells of the creation of the Academy Foundation's Archive of American Television. He also comments on his then-current work at the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. Michael Rosen conducted the interview on September 19, 2003 in Pasadena, CA.

"The main purpose of The Academy is to recognize excellence in television. The challenge long term is we have more television and more organizations producing television. It's a fact of life today that we face these multiple cable outlets and satellite transmissions and all kinds of things. The Academy looks forward to how to best cope with that and the judging structure."

Highlights
James L. Loper on getting KCET on the air
04:05
James L. Loper on National Educational Television
02:25
James L. Loper on the Public Broadcasting Laboratory 
02:53
James L. Loper on PBS programming and the mission of PBS
03:33
James L. Loper on the introduction of Sesame Street
04:00
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on radio he listened to growing up
On early network radio programming; on early television and Dave Garroway; on getting his first job in television

Chapter 2

On developing instructional television; on the early history of public television
On the importance of the Educational Television and Facilities Act of 1962; on The Committee for Educational Television; on getting KCET on the air

Chapter 3

On KCET getting on the air and its early programming; on KCET's early equipment; on getting into programming and National Educational Television
On early fundraising for KCET; on KCET's early location; on the Public Broadcasting Laboratory and the beginnings of PBS

Chapter 4

On the formation of The Corporation for Public Broadcasting; on Hartford Gunn
On how the Corporation for Public Broadcasting affected KCET; on the introduction of Sesame Street; on obstacles to creating PBS

Chapter 5

On Mister Rogers Neighborhood; on his education; on the consolidaiton of the PBS network and broadcast standards
On Hartford Gunn's role in running PBS; on Masterpiece Theater and other PBS programming; on satellite distribution of PBS programming

Chapter 6

On leaving KCET; on becoming Executive Director of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; on putting The Emmy Awards on FOX
On increasing membership in The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; on the Academy Foundation and The Archive of American Television; on attempting to get an exclusive deal for The Emmy Awards with ABC

Chapter 7

On the main purpose of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; on how The Academy can remain relevant; on teaching and his proudest achievements 
Shows

Masterpiece Theatre

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James L. Loper on Masterpiece Theater and other PBS programming
02:51

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

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James L. Loper on Mister Rogers Neighborhood and the Sears Foundation
03:13

Sesame Street

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James L. Loper on the introduction of Sesame Street
04:00
Topics

Emmy Awards

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James L. Loper on moving the Emmy Awards to FOX and the license fee for the Emmys
00:43
James L. Loper on a 1993 boycott involving the Emmy Awards
01:40

Network Creation

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James L. Loper on getting public television station KCET on the air
03:59
James L. Loper on developing instructional television
03:48
James L. Loper on the beginnings of the PBS Network of stations
02:32
James L. Loper on PBS programming and the mission of PBS
03:33
James L. Loper on obstacles to creating PBS and dealing with Washington D.C.
03:11

Public Television

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James L. Loper on Hartford Gunn's early role in running PBS and standards in programming
08:12

Technological Innovation

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James L. Loper on how KCET received its early programming and equipment
02:55
James L. Loper on satellite distribution of PBS programming
01:07

Television Industry

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James L. Loper on getting public television station KCET on the air
03:59
James L. Loper on developing instructional television
03:48
James L. Loper on the beginnings of the PBS Network of stations
02:32
James L. Loper on PBS programming and the mission of PBS
03:33
James L. Loper on obstacles to creating PBS and dealing with Washington D.C.
03:11
James L. Loper on Hartford Gunn's early role in running PBS and standards in programming
08:12

War

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James L. Loper on how World War II affected his family
01:06

World War II

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James L. Loper on how World War II affected his family
01:06
Professions

Executives

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James L. Loper on becoming a programmer at KCET and gauging viewership
04:24

Television Executive

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James L. Loper on becoming a programmer at KCET and gauging viewership
04:24
Genres

Awards Shows

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James L. Loper on moving The Emmy Awards to FOX and the license fee for The Emmy Awards
00:43

Children's Programming

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James L. Loper on the introduction of Sesame Street
04:00
James L. Loper on Mister Rogers Neighborhood and the Sears Foundation
03:13
People

James Day

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James L. Loper on early government involvement in PBS and Jim Day
03:11

Dave Garroway

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James L. Loper on the first time he saw television and his admiration of Dave Garroway
04:38

Hartford Gunn

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James L. Loper on Hartford Gunn
03:35
James L. Loper on Hartford Gunn's early role in running PBS and standards in programming
08:12

Hank Rieger

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James L. Loper on Hank Rieger
01:06

Fred Rogers

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James L. Loper on Mister Rogers Neighborhood and the Sears Foundation
03:13

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