Allison Keyes, a reporter for New York's all-news WCBS(AM), was one of the station's reporters on the scene of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, and was just a block away when the north tower collapsed. It shook her, obviously, though she said she had the sense to "keep tape rolling" to record the event. At television outlets—led by ABC a couple days after the attacks—rules developed limiting the subsequent use of the awful video. Less known, Keyes told an RTNDA panel, is that there are now specific rules at the station that limit the use of audio that recorded the sounds of screaming New Yorkers fleeing the scene.
NAB honored former FCC Chairman and media law icon Dick Wiley with its 2002 Distinguished Service Award at the convention's opening session. Wiley said of his time as FCC Chairman that his objective was "less regulation for the broadcasters who fulfilled their public trust and more enforcement for those relatively few who abused it." Saying the digital future is "clouded by considerable uncertainty," he still saw a bright future ahead, and "in any case, there is no turning back." Shown (l-r) Susquehanna Radio's David Kennedy, NAB joint Board Chairman; Wiley; NAB President Eddie Fritts.
'A Little War'
Conrad Burns, former broadcaster and ranking Republican on the Senate Communications Subcommittee, called on Minority Leader Trent Lott to end the political fracas over the vacant FCC seat. "We've got a little war going on over there and we've got to take care of that this week," the Montana Republican said during the NAB 2002 congressional breakfast Monday. Burns quickly laughed off such a quick turnaround, but made it clear a fight over filling the empty Democratic seat could stall key public policy decisions over spectrum management, media ownership and digital TV.
Ladies and Gents…
Led by creator and executive producer George Schlatter, the cast of Laugh-In joked, mugged, and reminisced its way into the NAB's Hall of Fame Monday at a luncheon in Las Vegas. Schlatter's reaction: "We're so glad to be here. What the hell took so long." So long was the almost 35 years since the show debuted in 1967. It went on to became a top-rated show and a seminal marriage of techniques inherited from vaudeville and a social conscience it would bequeath to shows like Saturday Night Live . One piece of trivia: Lily Tomlin, in her Ernestine the Operator guise, dialed the phone with her middle finger in a gesture Schlatter says censors never picked up on. Cast members shown (l-r): Gary Owens, Ruth Buzzi, Schlatter, Lily Tomlin, Jo Ann Worley, Alan Sues and Henry Gibson.