Ray Forrest

Announcer/ Broadcaster

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents



About this interview

In 1939, Ray Forrest (1916-1999) became television's very first news anchor, announcer, personality, and political commentator. In his three-hour Archive interview, he speaks at length about the early days of NBC where he announced every show on the air as well as breaking news events. He also talks about working in the television studios with the cumbersome lights and cameras. He recalls how, after the war, he started one of the first children's television shows on Saturday mornings. Jeff Kisseloff conducted the interview in New York, NY on April 12, 1997.

"When radio was king in the early days of television, the announcers  sounded stuffy and very elegant and unapproachable. When I got into television, which is the norm today, everybody was sort of relaxed and easygoing. When I got into it, I found that was the simplest way to do it." 

People Talking About ...
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and influences; on getting a job at NBC; on meeting Albert Einstein

Chapter 2

On his first job as announcer for experimental NBC in New York, the early TV studios and equipment, and how the public first reacted to television

Chapter 3

On his work announcing every single show on the air on NBC, and how the network's regular programming began

Chapter 4

On some of the early mishaps of early live television; on meeting NBC head David Sarnoff; on the advent of commercials; on the on-air announcement of WWII.

Chapter 5

On working at NBC during WW II; on the beginning of Milton Berle's show; on the first color television system; on the start of children's TV shows

Chapter 6

On his work on the children's show Saturday Morning Children's Theatre; on winning a local Emmy; and leaving the television industry

All Interviews