Fred Friendly: ‘a tough man but, my God, full of ideas’

Fred W. Friendly, the legendary CBS News producer who tried to bring innovation to public TV in the 1960s and later developed a celebrated series of televised seminars on major public policy issues, died March 3 at his home in New York City. He was 82. “He was a great broadcaster, a great innovator, a great friend of public television,” observed PBS President Ervin Duggan in a release. At CBS, Friendly worked for years with Edward R. Murrow, producing many of his appearances, including the milestone 1954 report that questioned Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist campaign and the famous CBS Reports: “Harvest of Shame” on the lives of migrant workers, aired in 1960. He was named president of the news division in 1964 and quit two years later when the network carried an I Love Lucy rerun instead of a Senate hearing on the Vietnam war.

Merger: we’re not talking now, but we might be talking later

It may be a simple question–are PRI and NPR talking about a merger?–but that doesn’t mean it gets a simple answer. To keep their options open, the presidents of the two networks are employing nuances that reach beyond the English of newspaper headlines and into metaphysical realms of potentiality. Asked to clarify their positions Feb. 19 [1998], NPR’s Delano Lewis said talks with PRI are still ongoing and PRI’s Stephen Salyer said they’re not, “currently.” Lewis was questioned at the NPR Board meeting after trade periodicals delivered conflicting assessments that both came from Salyer:

“NPR-PRI merger talks are off, says Salyer,” said the headline of Current’s Feb.