Reuven Frank

News Executive / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly nearly seven-hour Archive interview, Reuven Frank (1920-2006) discusses the success of Camel News Caravan featuring John Cameron Swayze, as well as covering several sets of political conventions beginning in 1948. He recalls the Democratic and Republican conventions in 1956 anchored on NBC by David Brinkley and Chet Huntley, which led to the creation of The Huntley-Brinkley Report. He chronicles covering many news events during his tenure at NBC, including the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the rise of the Berlin Wall, and the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral. Frank talks about the award-winning documentaries he produced including The Tunnel. He also recalls his years as President of NBC News, first in the 1960s, as well as a second stint in the 1980s. Jeff Kisseloff conducted the two-part interview on October 16 and 20, 1997 in Tenafly, NJ.

"I’m worried about this business of customizing news [via the Internet]. Bill Gates had this speech about how you will decide how much news you want, you will decide what you’re interested in. Well, what you’re interested in is what you already know. The point of news is what you don’t know yet, and you become informed."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on election night coverage in 1960, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
Reuven Frank on working on Camel News Caravan, anchored by John Cameron Swayze
Reuven Frank on the NBC News magazine First Tuesday
Reuven Frank on his journalistic education
Reuven Frank on his second stint as President of NBC News
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on radio news he listened to as a child, and on various radio news correspondents; on his journalistic education
On seeing television at the 1939-40 World's Fair, and on his first job in television news; on processing and editing footage from Pathe for NBC News' Camel News Caravan, and on writing for the show; on acting as assignment editor for Camel News Caravan

Chapter 2

On television news' early use of news reel footage; on working with John Cameron Swayze on Camel News Caravan; on writing for Camel News Caravan, the show going coast-to-coast, and the sponsor's rules
On the equipment used for Camel News Caravan broadcasts, and "switching"; on Camel News Caravan's coverage of the 1952 political conventions

Chapter 3

On the 1952 presidential conventions; on the news magazine show Outlook with Chet Huntley; on pairing Chet Huntley and David Brinkley for the 1956 presidential conventions
On the technical aspects of covering the 1956 conventions; on NBC's floor reporters at the 1956 conventions
On the advent of The Huntley-Brinkley Report; on the early studios of The Huntley-Brinkley Report

Chapter 4

On the set of The Huntley-Brinkley Report; on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley's strengths on The Huntley-Brinkley Report; on the technical aspects of broadcasting The Huntley-Brinkley Report, and how they evolved
On John Chancellor's coverage of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, AR for The Huntley-Brinkley Report; on NBC President Robert E. Kintner

Chapter 5

On the 1964 Democratic and Republican presidential conventions; on the Senator Joseph McCarthy hearings; on NBC covering the coronation of Queen Elizabeth
On the rise and decline of the news documentary; on the 1960 Democratic primary with John F. Kennedy; on how the 1952 writers strike impacted NBC news and on the 1960 presidential campaign

Chapter 6

On the 1960 elections, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon; on NBC News' coverage of the space race in the '60s
On Charles Van Doren at NBC News; on erection of the Berlin Wall, and on the Cuban Missile Crisis; on The Huntley-Brinkley Report going from fifteen minutes to a half-hour

Chapter 7

On the NBC News documentary The Road to Spandau, and other Sunday afternoon news programming; on NBC's coverage of the Bay of Pigs invasion; on the change in atmosphere of television news beginning with Watergate
On expanding The Huntley-Brinkley Report from fifteen minutes to a half-hour; on doing stories about oil when Texaco was a sponsor of The Huntley-Brinkley Report; on the assassination and funeral of John F. Kennedy

Chapter 8

Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Tunnel

Chapter 9

On NBC covering the 1964 Republican primary between Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller; on the 1980 election between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter; on the 1964 Republican political convention and the distrust of the news media, specifically The Huntley-Brinkley Report
On the 1964 Democratic political convention, which produced Lyndon B. Johnson as the nominee; on leaving The Huntley-Brinkey Report; on the NBC News coverage of the Vietnam War
On NBC News' coverage of the anti-Vietnam War movement; on the ratings decline of The Huntley-Brinkley Report

Chapter 10

On the ratings decline of The Huntley-Brinkley Report; on Robert E. Kinter being fired as head of NBC, and on becoming a vice president at NBC News; on becoming President of NBC News in 1968, and on NBC President William R. McAndrew
On NBC News coverage of the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago; on the "Heidi Game"

Chapter 11

On the "Heidi Game"; on Richard Nixon's hostility toward the press; on the NBC News magazine First Tuesday
On producing the NBC White Paper documentary "Migrant"; on resigning as NBC News President; on producing the NBC News series Weekend with Linda Ellerbee
On the retirement of Chet Huntley from The Huntley-Brinkley Report and replacing the show; on his second stint as President of NBC News

Chapter 12

On his second stint as President of NBC News, and on Overnight with Linda Ellerbee; on dealing with Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, and Roger Mudd as anchors of NBC Nightly News; on dealing with Today during his second stint as President of NBC News
On the biggest changes in television news during his career; on the pressure to cut costs in television news; on how well television news serves the people, and on the then-differences between the three network newscasts, and on Roy Cohn

Chapter 13

On various people with whom he's worked in his career; on working with Bob Doyle, Dave Garroway, and Gerald Green
On various people with whom he's worked in his career

Chapter 14

On b-roll pictures from his career- with Ralph Peterson and John Cameron Swayze; the set of The Huntley-Brinkley Report; with Bill McAndrew; as President of NBC News; with Elliott Frankel, and Sander Vanocur; on the set of The Huntley-Brinkley Report; at the 1968 Democratic convention; picture of John Chancellor; winning an Emmy for The Tunnel; election night 1970
Shows

Camel News Caravan

View Show Page
Reuven Frank on processing and editing footage from Pathe for NBC News' Camel News Caravan
Reuven Frank on working on Camel News Caravan, anchored by John Cameron Swayze
Reuven Frank on acting as assignment editor for Camel News Caravan
Reuven Frank on working with John Cameron Swayze on Camel News Caravan
Reuven Frank on writing for Camel News Caravan, the show going coast-to-coast, and the sponsor's rules
Reuven Frank on the equipment used for Camel News Caravan broadcasts, and "switching"
Reuven Frank on the popularity of Camel News Caravan, and on how NBC, led by Pat Weaver, regarded the news department
Reuven Frank on Camel News Caravan's coverage of the 1952 political conventions

First Tuesday

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Reuven Frank on the NBC News magazine First Tuesday

Huntley-Brinkley Report, The

View Show Page
Reuven Frank on the advent of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on the early studios of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on the set of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley's strengths on The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on the technical aspects of broadcasting The Huntley-Brinkley Report, and how they evolved
Reuven Frank on John Chancellor's coverage of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, AR for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on The Huntley-Brinkley Report going from fifteen minutes to a half-hour
Reuven Frank on expanding The Huntley-Brinkley Report from fifteen minutes to a half-hour
Reuven Frank on doing stories about oil when Texaco was a sponsor of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Republican political convention and the distrust of the news media, specifically The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on leaving The Huntley-Brinkey Report
Reuven Frank on the ratings decline of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on the ratings decline of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Revuen Frank on the retirement of Chet Huntley from The Huntley-Brinkley Report and replacing the show

NBC News

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Reuven Frank on dealing with Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, and Roger Mudd as anchors of NBC Nightly News

NBC News Overnight

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Reuven Frank on his second stint as President of NBC News, and on Overnight with Linda Ellerbee

NBC White Paper

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Reuven Frank on producing the NBC White Paper documentary "Migrant"

Outlook

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Reuven Frank on the news magazine show Outlook with Chet Huntley

Road to Spandau, The

View Show Page
Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Road to Spandau, and other Sunday afternoon news programming

Today

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Reuven Frank on dealing with Today during his second stint as President of NBC News

Tunnel, The

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Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Tunnel

Weekend

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Revuen Frank on producing the NBC News series Weekend with Linda Ellerbee
Topics

1939-40 World's Fair

View Topic
Reuven Frank on seeing television at the 1939-40 World's Fair, and on his first job in television news

Civil Rights Movement

View Topic
Reuven Frank on John Chancellor's coverage of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, AR for The Huntley-Brinkley Report

Cold War

View Topic
Reuven Frank on erection of the Berlin Wall
Reuven Frank on the Cuban Missile Crisis
Reuven Frank on NBC's coverage of the Bay of Pigs invasion
Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Tunnel

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Reuven Frank on seeing television at the 1939-40 World's Fair, and on his first job in television news
Reuven Frank on John Chancellor's coverage of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, AR for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on NBC covering the coronation of Queen Elizabeth
Reuven Frank on NBC News' coverage of the space race in the '60s
Reuven Frank on erection of the Berlin Wall
Reuven Frank on erection of the Berlin Wall
Reuven Frank on the Cuban Missile Crisis
Reuven Frank on NBC's coverage of the Bay of Pigs invasion
Reuven Frank on NBC's coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Tunnel
Reuven Frank on the NBC News coverage of the Vietnam War
Reuven Frank on NBC News' coverage of the anti-Vietnam War movment
Reuven Frank on NBC News coverage of the Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations
Reuven Frank on NBC News coverage of the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago

Hollywood Blacklist

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Reuven Frank on the Senator Joseph McCarthy hearings

Industry Crossroads

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Reuven Frank on the Senator Joseph McCarthy hearings

JFK Assassination and Funeral

View Topic
Reuven Frank on NBC's coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report

Jimmy Carter

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the 1980 election between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and on calling elections early

John F. Kennedy

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the 1960 Democratic primary with John F. Kennedy
Reuven Frank on election night coverage in 1960, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
Reuven Frank on the 1960 elections, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon

Lyndon B. Johnson

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Democratic presidential convention
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Democratic political convention, which produced Lyndon B. Johnson as the nominee

Moon Landing

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Reuven Frank on NBC News' coverage of the space race in the '60s

Pop Culture

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the 1968 "Heidi Game"
Reuven Frank on the "Heidi Game"

Queen Elizabeth Coronation

View Topic
Reuven Frank on NBC covering the coronation of Queen Elizabeth

Richard M. Nixon

View Topic
Reuven Frank on Richard Nixon's hostility toward the press

Ronald Reagan

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the 1980 election between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and on calling elections early

Television Industry

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the Senator Joseph McCarthy hearings
Reuven Frank on the biggest changes in television news during his career
Reuven Frank on the pressure to cut costs in television news
Reuven Frank on how well television news serves the people, and on the then-differences between the three network newscasts

Television and the Presidency

View Topic
Reuven Frank on Camel News Caravan's coverage of the 1952 political conventions
Reuven Frank on the 1952 presidential conventions
Reuven Frank on the technical aspects of covering the 1956 presidential conventions
Reuven Frank on NBC's floor reporters at the 1956 presidential conventions
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Democratic presidential convention
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Republican presidential convention
Reuven Frank on the 1960 Democratic primary with John F. Kennedy
Reuven Frank on election night coverage in 1960, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
Reuven Frank on the 1960 elections, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
Reuven Frank on NBC covering the 1964 Republican primary between Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller
Reuven Frank on the 1980 election between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Republican political convention and the distrust of the news media, specifically The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Democratic political convention, which produced Lyndon B. Johnson as the nominee
Reuven Frank on Richard Nixon's hostility toward the press

Vietnam War

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the NBC News coverage of the Vietnam War
Reuven Frank on NBC News' coverage of the anti-Vietnam War movement and on his regrets over Vietnam

War

View Topic
Reuven Frank on erection of the Berlin Wall
Reuven Frank on the Cuban Missile Crisis
Reuven Frank on NBC's coverage of the Bay of Pigs invasion
Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Tunnel
Reuven Frank on the NBC News coverage of the Vietnam War
Reuven Frank on NBC News' coverage of the anti-Vietnam War movment
Genres

News and Documentary

View Genre
Reuven Frank on television news' early use of news reel footage
Reuven Frank on producing The Camel News Caravan on NBC
Reuven Frank on producing for NBC News, and The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on NBC News President William R. McAndrew
Reuven Frank on producing The Huntley-Brinkley Report for NBC News
Reuven Frank on the rise and decline of the news documentary
Reuven Frank on how the 1952 writers strike' impacted NBC news
Reuven Frank on being a producer for NBC News
Reuven Frank on acting as a producer and executive at NBC News
Reuven Frank on the change in atmosphere of television news beginning with Watergate
Reuven Frank on producing The Huntley-Brinkley Report and acting as an executive at NBC News
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Tunnel
Reuven Frank on acting as producer for The Huntley-Brinkley report and for NBC News at large
Reuven Frank on becoming President of NBC News in 1968, and on NBC President William R. McAndrew
Reuven Frank on his time as a producer and executive at NBC News
Reuven Frank on acting as an executive and producing for NBC News
Reuven Frank on acting as a producer and executive at NBC News
People

David Brinkley

View Interview Page
Reuven Frank on paring Chet Huntley and David Brinkley for the 1956 presidential conventions
Reuven Frank on the advent of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley's strengths on The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report

Tom Brokaw

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Reuven Frank on dealing with Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, and Roger Mudd as anchors of NBC Nightly News

John Chancellor

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Reuven Frank on John Chancellor's coverage of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, AR for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on dealing with Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, and Roger Mudd as anchors of NBC Nightly News

Charles Van Doren

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Reuven Frank on Charles Van Doren at NBC News

Bob Doyle

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Rueven Frank on director Bob Doyle

Linda Ellerbee

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Revuen Frank on producing the NBC News series Weekend with Linda Ellerbee
Reuven Frank on his second stint as President of NBC News, and on Overnight with Linda Ellerbee

Dave Garroway

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Rueven Frank on Dave Garroway

Gerald Green

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Rueven Frank on Gerald Green

Chet Huntley

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Reuven Frank on the news magazine show Outlook with Chet Huntley
Reuven Frank on paring Chet Huntley and David Brinkley for the 1956 presidential conventions
Reuven Frank on the advent of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley's strengths on The Huntley-Brinkley Report
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report

John F. Kennedy

View Person Page
Reuven Frank on the 1960 Democratic primary with John F. Kennedy
Reuven Frank on election night coverage in 1960, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
Reuven Frank on the 1960 elections, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon

Robert E. Kintner

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Reuven Frank on NBC President Robert E. Kintner
Reuven Frank on Robert E. Kinter being fired as head of NBC, and on becoming a vice president at NBC News

Joseph McCarthy

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Reuven Frank on the Senator Joseph McCarthy hearings

Roger Mudd

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Reuven Frank on dealing with Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, and Roger Mudd as anchors of NBC Nightly News

Richard M. Nixon

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Reuven Frank on election night coverage in 1960, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
Reuven Frank on the 1960 elections, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
Reuven Frank on Richard Nixon's hostility toward the press

John Cameron Swayze

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Reuven Frank on working on Camel News Caravan, anchored by John Cameron Swayze
Reuven Frank on working with John Cameron Swayze on Camel News Caravan

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