Robert Trout

Correspondent


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

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."

Highlights
Robert Trout on his nickname "the iron man of radio"
00:52
Robert Trout on making the transition from radio to television
03:07
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
11:51
Robert Trout on covering the 1964 Democratic Convention
07:15
Robert Trout on his greatest journalistic achievements 
02:21
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
14:24
On how the Depression impacted his family; on going to work at radio station WJSV
13:56

Chapter 2

On his responsibilities at radio station WJSV on Alexandria; on participating in a broadcast of President Herbert Hoover
15:05
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
10:38
On covering the presidency of Herbert Hoover; on President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
04:08

Chapter 3

On covering press conferences by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt; on the lack of news broadcasts on early radio
06:29
On covering President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats; on the format of Fireside Chats
16:52
On being transferred from Washington D.C. to New York City
06:20

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
11:32
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"
18:00

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
16:20
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
12:25

Chapter 6

On covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy; on covering the 1964 Democratic Convention; on comparing radio news to television news
10:35
On covering various political conventions; on CBS Reports; on the death of Edward R. Murrow
08:54
On moving to Europe for CBS News in 1965; on his role at CBS News in Europe; on covering the 1968 Democratic National Convention
10:13

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 
10:47
On television news' relationship with the Presidency; on the public perception of integrity of news
09:31
On advice to aspiring broadcast journalists; on how he'd like to be remembered; on various people he encountered in his career
09:53

Chapter 8

On working with Dan Rather; on working with Charles Collingwood; on working with Howard K. Smith
07:59
On working with Arthur Godfrey; on working with Harry Reasoner and Douglas Edwards; on working with Eric Sevareid
10:32
Shows

CBS Reports

View Show Page
Robert Trout on CBS Reports
03:47

Who Said That?

View Show Page
Robert Trout on hosting Who Said That?, produced by Fred Friendly, first on radio and later on television
04:19
Topics

1939-40 World's Fair

View Topic
Robert Trout on covering the 1939 World's Fair
01:15

Advice

View Topic
Robert Trout on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists
04:04

Franklin D. Roosevelt

View Topic
Robert Trout on covering the inauguration of President Roosevelt in 1933
04:06
Robert Trout on President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
01:56
Robert Trout on covering press conferences by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt
04:07
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
11:51
Robert Trout on covering the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 1936
06:23
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's second inauguration in 1936
03:51

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Robert Trout on how his family was impacted by World War I and attending the Presidential inauguration in 1916
06:28
Robert Trout on covering the 1939 World's Fair
01:15
Robert Trout on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
01:46

Hollywood Blacklist

View Topic
Robert Trout on the Communist blacklist of the 1950s
03:40

Industry Crossroads

View Topic
Robert Trout on the Communist blacklist of the 1950s
03:40

JFK Assassination and Funeral

View Topic
Robert Trout on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
01:46

John F. Kennedy

View Topic
Robert Trout on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
01:46

Lyndon B. Johnson

View Topic
Robert Trout on covering the 1964 Democratic Convention (Lyndon B. Johnson)
07:15

Pre-FDR

View Topic
Robert Trout on participating in a broadcast of President Herbert Hoover
06:44

Television Industry

View Topic
Robert Trout on the Communist blacklist of the 1950s
03:40
Robert Trout on the public perception of integrity of news
07:26
Robert Trout on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists
04:04
Robert Trout on the growth of CNN
01:16

Television and the Presidency

View Topic
Robert Trout on participating in a broadcast of President Herbert Hoover
06:44
Robert Trout on covering the inauguration of President Roosevelt in 1933
04:06
Robert Trout on President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
01:56
Robert Trout on covering press conferences by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt
04:07
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
11:51
Robert Trout on covering the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 1936
06:23
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's second inauguration in 1936
03:51
Robert Trout on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
01:46
Robert Trout on covering the 1964 Democratic Convention (Lyndon B. Johnson)
07:15
Robert Trout on covering various political conventions
05:07
Robert Trout on covering the 1968 Democratic National Convention
02:25
Robert Trout on television news' relationship with the Presidency 
02:06

War

View Topic
Robert Trout on how his family was impacted by World War I and attending the Presidential inauguration in 1916
06:28
Professions

Correspondent

View Profession
Robert Trout on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists
04:04

Journalists & News Producers

View Profession
Robert Trout on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists
04:04
Genres

Game Shows

View Genre
Robert Trout on hosting Who Said That?, produced by Fred Friendly, first on radio and later on television on NBC
04:20

News and Documentary

View Genre
Robert Trout on CBS Reports
03:47
People

Winston Churchill

View Person Page
Robert Trout on covering Winston Churchill 
01:27

Charles Collingwood

View Person Page
Robert Trout on working with Charles Collingwood
03:02

Douglas Edwards

View Person Page
Robert Trout on working with Harry Reasoner and Douglas Edwards
01:16

Fred Friendly

View Person Page
Robert Trout on working with Fred Friendly at CBS
02:58
Robert Trout on hosting Who Said That?, produced by Fred Friendly, first on radio and later on television on NBC
04:20

Arthur Godfrey

View Person Page
Robert Trout on working with Arthur Godfrey 
06:16

Don Hewitt

View Interview Page
Robert Trout on hosting the CBS News series Presidential Timber  and working with Don Hewitt
03:54

Herbert Hoover

View Person Page
Robert Trout on participating in a broadcast of President Herbert Hoover
06:44
Robert Trout on covering the presidency of Herbert Hoover
01:08
Robert Trout on covering press conferences by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt
04:07

Lyndon B. Johnson

View Person Page
Robert Trout on covering the 1964 Democratic Convention (Lyndon B. Johnson)
07:15

John F. Kennedy

View Person Page
Robert Trout on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
01:46

Edward R. Murrow

View Person Page
Robert Trout on working with Edward R. Murrow
04:42
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
03:09
Robert Trout on the death of Edward R. Murrow
01:20

Dan Rather

View Interview Page
Robert Trout on working with Dan Rather
01:34

Harry Reasoner

View Person Page
Robert Trout on working with Harry Reasoner and Douglas Edwards
01:16

Franklin D. Roosevelt

View Person Page
Robert Trout on covering the inauguration of President Roosevelt in 1933
04:06
Robert Trout on President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
01:56
Robert Trout on covering press conferences by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt
04:07
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
11:51
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's second inauguration in 1936
03:51

Eric Sevareid

View Person Page
Robert Trout on working with Eric Sevareid
02:08

Howard K. Smith

View Interview Page
Robert Trout on working with Howard K. Smith
00:53

All Interviews

Q
S