Open Mike


Play by the Rules

“Pay for Play”? Your editorial [12/29, page 39] should have read,
“Since We Don't Police Ourselves, the Government Will Do It For Us.”

It seems to some in the network hierarchy that they cannot compete in
today's entertainment environment unless they continue to push the violence,
speech and nudity envelope. Foul language and graphic violence are cheap, easy
ways to shock viewers. When viewers grow numb, the entertainment divisions inch
closer to the line drawn in the FCC's sand. And eventually, they will cross
it again. And again.

Each time, stations and networks are fined, and each time, they blame
the “prudes” at the FCC. Is it possible that the FCC is not the problem?
Maybe the FCC understands that people don't welcome being embarrassed
watching television or listening to the radio with their children or their

The networks know the rules; they know the penalties for breaking them.
To claim that Viacom and others cannot survive unless they pay “protection
money” for breaking the rules is a lot like saying that the Steelers can't
win a football game unless they pay off the officials.

Can network TV survive? Of course it can—and it can thrive as well.
The networks can thrive by producing high-quality shows, by producing shows
that don't cross the FCC's line in the sand.

Dave Morrison, WPXI-TV Engineering,


Hum the Birthday Song while you read:

Congratulations to you

Congratulations to you

Congratulations, new B&C

Congratulations to you!

The new look, format, class and writing style are absolute winners.

I designed one version that lasted from Sol [Taishoff] to Son and had
the delightful experience of working with Don West when we did that

Congrats to you and the designers and daily art directors. It holds up
and has made me a new fan of the oldest broadcasting trade in America.


Arthur Hecht, Former president of Hecht, Higgins
and Petterson, Naples, Fla.