Reuven Frank

News Executive / Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

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."

Highlights
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
07:12
Reuven Frank on election night coverage in 1960, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
05:43
Reuven Frank on working on Camel News Caravan, anchored by John Cameron Swayze
04:44
Reuven Frank on the NBC News magazine First Tuesday
05:58
Reuven Frank on his journalistic education
00:46
Reuven Frank on his second stint as President of NBC News
03:20
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
06:30
Reuven Frank on working on Camel News Caravan, anchored by John Cameron Swayze
04:44
Reuven Frank on acting as assignment editor for Camel News Caravan
02:49
Reuven Frank on working with John Cameron Swayze on Camel News Caravan
05:33
Reuven Frank on writing for Camel News Caravan, the show going coast-to-coast, and the sponsor's rules
05:14
Reuven Frank on the equipment used for Camel News Caravan broadcasts, and "switching"
05:34
Reuven Frank on the popularity of Camel News Caravan, and on how NBC, led by Pat Weaver, regarded the news department
06:28
Reuven Frank on Camel News Caravan's coverage of the 1952 political conventions
00:51

First Tuesday

View Show Page
Reuven Frank on the NBC News magazine First Tuesday
05:58

Huntley-Brinkley Report, The

View Show Page
Reuven Frank on the advent of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
04:21
Reuven Frank on the early studios of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
04:00
Reuven Frank on the set of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
04:07
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley's strengths on The Huntley-Brinkley Report
02:54
Reuven Frank on the technical aspects of broadcasting The Huntley-Brinkley Report, and how they evolved
04:22
Reuven Frank on John Chancellor's coverage of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, AR for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
07:43
Reuven Frank on The Huntley-Brinkley Report going from fifteen minutes to a half-hour
01:36
Reuven Frank on expanding The Huntley-Brinkley Report from fifteen minutes to a half-hour
04:01
Reuven Frank on doing stories about oil when Texaco was a sponsor of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
04:58
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
07:12
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Republican political convention and the distrust of the news media, specifically The Huntley-Brinkley Report
04:05
Reuven Frank on leaving The Huntley-Brinkey Report
01:17
Reuven Frank on the ratings decline of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
05:32
Reuven Frank on the ratings decline of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
03:16
Revuen Frank on the retirement of Chet Huntley from The Huntley-Brinkley Report and replacing the show
02:40

NBC News

View Show Page
Reuven Frank on dealing with Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, and Roger Mudd as anchors of NBC Nightly News
07:06

NBC News Overnight

View Show Page
Reuven Frank on his second stint as President of NBC News, and on Overnight with Linda Ellerbee
03:49

NBC White Paper

View Show Page
Reuven Frank on producing the NBC White Paper documentary "Migrant"
02:25

Outlook

View Show Page
Reuven Frank on the news magazine show Outlook with Chet Huntley
03:29

Road to Spandau, The

View Show Page
Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Road to Spandau, and other Sunday afternoon news programming
09:04

Today

View Show Page
Reuven Frank on dealing with Today during his second stint as President of NBC News
04:09

Tunnel, The

View Show Page
Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Tunnel
21:29

Weekend

View Show Page
Revuen Frank on producing the NBC News series Weekend with Linda Ellerbee
06:28
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
05:47

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
07:43

Cold War

View Topic
Reuven Frank on erection of the Berlin Wall
08:11
Reuven Frank on the Cuban Missile Crisis
04:17
Reuven Frank on NBC's coverage of the Bay of Pigs invasion
01:33
Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Tunnel
21:29

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
05:47
Reuven Frank on John Chancellor's coverage of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, AR for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
07:43
Reuven Frank on NBC covering the coronation of Queen Elizabeth
07:36
Reuven Frank on NBC News' coverage of the space race in the '60s
05:52
Reuven Frank on erection of the Berlin Wall
08:08
Reuven Frank on erection of the Berlin Wall
04:14
Reuven Frank on the Cuban Missile Crisis
04:17
Reuven Frank on NBC's coverage of the Bay of Pigs invasion
01:33
Reuven Frank on NBC's coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral
04:43
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
07:12
Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Tunnel
21:29
Reuven Frank on the NBC News coverage of the Vietnam War
05:47
Reuven Frank on NBC News' coverage of the anti-Vietnam War movment
02:45
Reuven Frank on NBC News coverage of the Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations
04:51
Reuven Frank on NBC News coverage of the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago
10:49

Hollywood Blacklist

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the Senator Joseph McCarthy hearings
01:28

Industry Crossroads

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the Senator Joseph McCarthy hearings
01:28

JFK Assassination and Funeral

View Topic
Reuven Frank on NBC's coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral
04:43
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
07:12

Jimmy Carter

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the 1980 election between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and on calling elections early
02:46

John F. Kennedy

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the 1960 Democratic primary with John F. Kennedy
05:11
Reuven Frank on election night coverage in 1960, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
05:43
Reuven Frank on the 1960 elections, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
05:38

Lyndon B. Johnson

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Democratic presidential convention
02:58
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Democratic political convention, which produced Lyndon B. Johnson as the nominee
02:52

Moon Landing

View Topic
Reuven Frank on NBC News' coverage of the space race in the '60s
05:52

Pop Culture

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the 1968 "Heidi Game"
00:51
Reuven Frank on the "Heidi Game"
01:46

Queen Elizabeth Coronation

View Topic
Reuven Frank on NBC covering the coronation of Queen Elizabeth
07:36

Richard M. Nixon

View Topic
Reuven Frank on Richard Nixon's hostility toward the press
04:50

Ronald Reagan

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the 1980 election between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and on calling elections early
02:46

Television Industry

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the Senator Joseph McCarthy hearings
01:28
Reuven Frank on the biggest changes in television news during his career
04:39
Reuven Frank on the pressure to cut costs in television news
02:45
Reuven Frank on how well television news serves the people, and on the then-differences between the three network newscasts
03:25

Television and the Presidency

View Topic
Reuven Frank on Camel News Caravan's coverage of the 1952 political conventions
00:51
Reuven Frank on the 1952 presidential conventions
06:39
Reuven Frank on the technical aspects of covering the 1956 presidential conventions
04:07
Reuven Frank on NBC's floor reporters at the 1956 presidential conventions
02:10
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Democratic presidential convention
03:04
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Republican presidential convention
01:53
Reuven Frank on the 1960 Democratic primary with John F. Kennedy
05:11
Reuven Frank on election night coverage in 1960, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
05:43
Reuven Frank on the 1960 elections, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
05:38
Reuven Frank on NBC covering the 1964 Republican primary between Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller
02:48
Reuven Frank on the 1980 election between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter
02:46
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Republican political convention and the distrust of the news media, specifically The Huntley-Brinkley Report
04:05
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Democratic political convention, which produced Lyndon B. Johnson as the nominee
02:52
Reuven Frank on Richard Nixon's hostility toward the press
04:50

Vietnam War

View Topic
Reuven Frank on the NBC News coverage of the Vietnam War
05:47
Reuven Frank on NBC News' coverage of the anti-Vietnam War movement and on his regrets over Vietnam
02:45

War

View Topic
Reuven Frank on erection of the Berlin Wall
08:08
Reuven Frank on the Cuban Missile Crisis
04:17
Reuven Frank on NBC's coverage of the Bay of Pigs invasion
01:33
Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Tunnel
21:29
Reuven Frank on the NBC News coverage of the Vietnam War
05:47
Reuven Frank on NBC News' coverage of the anti-Vietnam War movment
02:45
Genres

News and Documentary

View Genre
Reuven Frank on television news' early use of news reel footage
04:19
Reuven Frank on producing The Camel News Caravan on NBC
23:43
Reuven Frank on producing for NBC News, and The Huntley-Brinkley Report
30:19
Reuven Frank on NBC News President William R. McAndrew
02:06
Reuven Frank on producing The Huntley-Brinkley Report for NBC News
28:15
Reuven Frank on the rise and decline of the news documentary
02:15
Reuven Frank on how the 1952 writers strike' impacted NBC news
03:41
Reuven Frank on being a producer for NBC News
30:03
Reuven Frank on acting as a producer and executive at NBC News
28:17
Reuven Frank on the change in atmosphere of television news beginning with Watergate
03:23
Reuven Frank on producing The Huntley-Brinkley Report and acting as an executive at NBC News
30:56
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
07:12
Reuven Frank on the NBC News documentary The Tunnel
21:29
Reuven Frank on acting as producer for The Huntley-Brinkley report and for NBC News at large
28:57
Reuven Frank on becoming President of NBC News in 1968, and on NBC President William R. McAndrew
03:34
Reuven Frank on his time as a producer and executive at NBC News
28:54
Reuven Frank on acting as an executive and producing for NBC News
29:23
Reuven Frank on acting as a producer and executive at NBC News
28:39
People

David Brinkley

View Interview Page
Reuven Frank on paring Chet Huntley and David Brinkley for the 1956 presidential conventions
05:26
Reuven Frank on the advent of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
04:21
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley's strengths on The Huntley-Brinkley Report
02:54
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
07:12

Tom Brokaw

View Person Page
Reuven Frank on dealing with Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, and Roger Mudd as anchors of NBC Nightly News
04:09

John Chancellor

View Person Page
Reuven Frank on John Chancellor's coverage of the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, AR for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
07:45
Reuven Frank on dealing with Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, and Roger Mudd as anchors of NBC Nightly News
04:09

Charles Van Doren

View Person Page
Reuven Frank on Charles Van Doren at NBC News
02:40

Bob Doyle

View Interview Page
Rueven Frank on director Bob Doyle
01:04

Linda Ellerbee

View Interview Page
Revuen Frank on producing the NBC News series Weekend with Linda Ellerbee
06:28
Reuven Frank on his second stint as President of NBC News, and on Overnight with Linda Ellerbee
03:49

Dave Garroway

View Person Page
Rueven Frank on Dave Garroway
00:49

Gerald Green

View Person Page
Rueven Frank on Gerald Green
01:17

Chet Huntley

View Person Page
Reuven Frank on the news magazine show Outlook with Chet Huntley
03:29
Reuven Frank on paring Chet Huntley and David Brinkley for the 1956 presidential conventions
05:26
Reuven Frank on the advent of The Huntley-Brinkley Report
04:21
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley's strengths on The Huntley-Brinkley Report
02:54
Reuven Frank on Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reporting on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral for The Huntley-Brinkley Report
07:12

John F. Kennedy

View Person Page
Reuven Frank on the 1960 Democratic primary with John F. Kennedy
05:11
Reuven Frank on election night coverage in 1960, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
05:49
Reuven Frank on the 1960 elections, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
05:38

Robert E. Kintner

View Person Page
Reuven Frank on NBC President Robert E. Kintner
06:59
Reuven Frank on Robert E. Kinter being fired as head of NBC, and on becoming a vice president at NBC News
04:37

Joseph McCarthy

View Person Page
Reuven Frank on the Senator Joseph McCarthy hearings
01:25

Roger Mudd

View Interview Page
Reuven Frank on dealing with Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, and Roger Mudd as anchors of NBC Nightly News
04:09

Richard M. Nixon

View Person Page
Reuven Frank on election night coverage in 1960, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
05:49
Reuven Frank on the 1960 elections, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
05:38
Reuven Frank on Richard Nixon's hostility toward the press
04:50

John Cameron Swayze

View Person Page
Reuven Frank on working on Camel News Caravan, anchored by John Cameron Swayze
04:44
Reuven Frank on working with John Cameron Swayze on Camel News Caravan
05:34

All Interviews

Q
S