Robert Trout

Correspondent


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his four-hour Archive interview, Robert Trout (1909-2000) talks about his career as a reporter, starting in 1932 at WTOP-AM in Washington, D.C. He discusses, introducing Franklin D. Roosevelt's now-famous fireside chats. He recalls leaving CBS for NBC in 1948 and moderating the quiz show Who Said That? He outlines returning to CBS in 1952 to cover the political conventions for radio, and moderating the public affairs show Presidential Timber. Trout speaks of teaming with Roger Mudd to cover the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Trout outlines covering several other news events, including the 1939 Worlds Fair, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Vietnam War. Dr. Ralph Engelman conducted the interview on June 21, 1999 in New York, NY.

"Edward R. Murrow was in London broadcasting back to New York, and Paul White was talking privately to Ed between broadcasts. Paul didn't like something that day they'd done and he was remonstrating Murrow on the private line saying, 'Ed you should have done this or that,' and Ed broke out immediately and forgot himself so much as to use profanity. Murrow said, 'Hell, Paul, I'm no Bob Trout!' I think that was the high point of my career."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Robert Trout on his nickname "the iron man of radio"
Robert Trout on making the transition from radio to television
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
Robert Trout on covering the 1964 Democratic Convention
Robert Trout on his greatest journalistic achievements 
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on early news programs he enjoyed; on how his family was impacted by World War I and attending the Presidential inauguration in 1916
On how the Depression impacted his family; on going to work at radio station WJSV

Chapter 2

On his responsibilities at radio station WJSV on Alexandria; on participating in a broadcast of President Herbert Hoover
On being an announcer at radio station WTLP; on his early ability to ad-lib, and working for the CBS Network; on covering the inauguration of President Roosevelt in 1933
On covering the presidency of Herbert Hoover; on President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats

Chapter 3

On covering press conferences by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt; on the lack of news broadcasts on early radio
On covering President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats; on the format of Fireside Chats
On being transferred from Washington D.C. to New York City

Chapter 4

On the differences between CBS in Washington and New York; on covering the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 1936; on covering President Roosevelt's second inauguration in 1936
On his relationship with President Roosevelt when he was in office; on covering the coronation of King George VI; on his nickname "the iron man of radio"

Chapter 5

On signing a long-term contract with CBS and hosting "Robert Trout with the News Till Now" until Edward R. Murrow took it over; on hosting Who Said That?, produced by Fred Friendly, first on radio and later on television on NBC; on returning to CBS in 1952
On hosting the CBS News series Presidential Timber and working with Don Hewitt; on CBS News' coverage of the 1952 conventions; on the Communist blacklist of the 1950s

Chapter 6

On covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy; on covering the 1964 Democratic Convention; on comparing radio news to television news
On covering various political conventions; on CBS Reports; on the death of Edward R. Murrow
On moving to Europe for CBS News in 1965; on his role at CBS News in Europe; on covering the 1968 Democratic National Convention

Chapter 7

On covering historic events in the '60s; on leaving CBS for ABC in 1974 and stories he covered for ABC; on his greatest journalistic achievements 
On television news' relationship with the Presidency; on the public perception of integrity of news
On advice to aspiring broadcast journalists; on how he'd like to be remembered; on various people he encountered in his career

Chapter 8

On working with Dan Rather; on working with Charles Collingwood; on working with Howard K. Smith
On working with Arthur Godfrey; on working with Harry Reasoner and Douglas Edwards; on working with Eric Sevareid
Shows

CBS Reports

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Robert Trout on CBS Reports

Who Said That?

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Robert Trout on hosting Who Said That?, produced by Fred Friendly, first on radio and later on television
Topics

1939-40 World's Fair

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Robert Trout on covering the 1939 World's Fair

Advice

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Robert Trout on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists

Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Robert Trout on covering the inauguration of President Roosevelt in 1933
Robert Trout on President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
Robert Trout on covering press conferences by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
Robert Trout on covering the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 1936
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's second inauguration in 1936

Historic Events and Social Change

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Robert Trout on how his family was impacted by World War I and attending the Presidential inauguration in 1916
Robert Trout on covering the 1939 World's Fair
Robert Trout on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy

Hollywood Blacklist

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Robert Trout on the Communist blacklist of the 1950s

Industry Crossroads

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Robert Trout on the Communist blacklist of the 1950s

JFK Assassination and Funeral

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Robert Trout on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

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Robert Trout on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson

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Robert Trout on covering the 1964 Democratic Convention (Lyndon B. Johnson)

Pre-FDR

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Robert Trout on participating in a broadcast of President Herbert Hoover

Television Industry

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Robert Trout on the Communist blacklist of the 1950s
Robert Trout on the public perception of integrity of news
Robert Trout on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists
Robert Trout on the growth of CNN

Television and the Presidency

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Robert Trout on participating in a broadcast of President Herbert Hoover
Robert Trout on covering the inauguration of President Roosevelt in 1933
Robert Trout on President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
Robert Trout on covering press conferences by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
Robert Trout on covering the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 1936
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's second inauguration in 1936
Robert Trout on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
Robert Trout on covering the 1964 Democratic Convention (Lyndon B. Johnson)
Robert Trout on covering various political conventions
Robert Trout on covering the 1968 Democratic National Convention
Robert Trout on television news' relationship with the Presidency 

War

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Robert Trout on how his family was impacted by World War I and attending the Presidential inauguration in 1916
Professions

Correspondent

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Robert Trout on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists

Journalists & News Producers

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Robert Trout on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists
Genres

Game Shows

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Robert Trout on hosting Who Said That?, produced by Fred Friendly, first on radio and later on television on NBC

News and Documentary

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Robert Trout on CBS Reports
People

Winston Churchill

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Robert Trout on covering Winston Churchill 

Charles Collingwood

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Robert Trout on working with Charles Collingwood

Douglas Edwards

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Robert Trout on working with Harry Reasoner and Douglas Edwards

Fred Friendly

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Robert Trout on working with Fred Friendly at CBS
Robert Trout on hosting Who Said That?, produced by Fred Friendly, first on radio and later on television on NBC

Arthur Godfrey

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Robert Trout on working with Arthur Godfrey 

Don Hewitt

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Robert Trout on hosting the CBS News series Presidential Timber  and working with Don Hewitt

Herbert Hoover

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Robert Trout on participating in a broadcast of President Herbert Hoover
Robert Trout on covering the presidency of Herbert Hoover
Robert Trout on covering press conferences by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt

Lyndon B. Johnson

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Robert Trout on covering the 1964 Democratic Convention (Lyndon B. Johnson)

John F. Kennedy

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Robert Trout on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy

Edward R. Murrow

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Robert Trout on working with Edward R. Murrow
Robert Trout on signing a long-term contract with CBS and hosting "Robert Trout with the News Till Now" until Edward R. Murrow took it over
Robert Trout on the death of Edward R. Murrow

Dan Rather

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Robert Trout on working with Dan Rather

Harry Reasoner

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Robert Trout on working with Harry Reasoner and Douglas Edwards

Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Robert Trout on covering the inauguration of President Roosevelt in 1933
Robert Trout on President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
Robert Trout on covering press conferences by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's second inauguration in 1936

Eric Sevareid

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Robert Trout on working with Eric Sevareid

Howard K. Smith

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Robert Trout on working with Howard K. Smith

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