B&C Helped C-SPAN Make History

Press Club marks 35th anniversary of first call-in show

Both C-SPAN  and the National Press Club were celebrating Wednesday the 35th anniversary of the public affairs channel's first call-in show, which featured a panel of media journalists assembled by C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb following a speech by then FCC chairman Charlie Ferris at the National Press Club.

C-SPAN aired an excerpt from the 1980 broadcast on Washington Journal Wednesday, while a few blocks away, the National Press Club was marking the anniversary of what it billed as the "first national regularly scheduled call-in show" with the installation of a framed photo of that first talk show panel outside the studio, The panel included Broadcasting & Cable (then Broadcasting) magazine managing editor Don West and Lamb as well as Michael Kelley of George Mason University and board member of Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Pat Gushman, Washington bureau chief, CableVision magazine; West; Tack Nail, executive editor, Television Digest, and Lamb.

The first call was from a Yankton, S.D., man who wanted to know whether he could build a dish in the back yard and grab the programming off a satellite (this was before DBS).

Lamb was also invited to attend an NPC luncheon Wednesday and to the day's historic significance.