Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Magid's Impact on TV News

Patricia Sullivan

Frank N. Magid, who died Friday, had a view of television news that differed dramatically from that of Walter Cronkite. But in the end, Cronkite acknowledged that it was Magid who had a greater impact on the medium, according to a former TV newsman who wrote a book on television consultants.

Craig M. Allen, now an associate professor at Arizona State University, told me this morning "I think it's interesting that Cronkite is give so much credit for the fundamental process of TV news, but Cronkite himself confirmed exactly what I thought -- that Magid had more influence" in the long run.

In his book, "News is People: The Rise of Local TV News and The Fall of News from New York," Allen writes about Cronkite's 1976 attack on Magid and his colleagues, and how news director applauded his thoughts, then went home and followed the advice Cronkite had deplored.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  February 8, 2010; 11:40 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: King of the Paparazzi
Next: British jazzman John Dankworth


Thanks for mentioning what Walter Cronkite had told me about Frank Magid's legacy. I was fortunate to have had several sessions with both while writing the book on local TV news. People have been referring to Magid as an "visionary" and an "innovator." Magid really was neither of these. He was a social scientist who derived designs from the audience research he performed. He really didn't "envision" anything. Magod told me over and over that his contribution was implementing ideas, priorities, and directions that not he but everyday people had expressed. His research gave people a voice in the news process. That's what Cronkite also had wanted to say. Anyway, Magid was a huge figure in TV news. He was friendly and kind to me. I was sad to learn that he had passed away,.

Posted by: craigallen1 | February 8, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company