The Kennedy Assassination Made TV News Forever Profitable

Once upon a time, one requirement for an FCC broadcast license was a certain amount of airtime dedicated to serving the public. TV networks fulfilled this requirement by bringing us the news, 15 minutes of it, at 6 PM. When that was expanded to 30 minutes in September of 1963, all the ad slots were sold immediately. But the networks maintained that TV news was a loss, as it was expensive to run a journalism department that did nothing else. Then on November 22, 1963, 60 years ago today, President John F.Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

All the networks ran coverage of the assassination, the aftermath, and the funeral non-stop for days, with no ad breaks. That cost the networks millions of dollars in lost ad revenue, but it garnered them the goodwill of the public, and even more important, got everyone to tune into the nightly news and other news shows that were gradually added. TV networks still let us think that the news was a public service and a financial loss for years afterward, even as each new news show became more profitable. Read how the business of news broadcasting was a moneymaker long before we knew at the Conversation.  -via Damn Interesting  

(Image credit: Walt Cisco, Dallas Morning News)

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I don't remember that much detail, but I remember my mother crying and how awful everything was. I was five. That was the first big news event I was ever aware of. I do recall watching the funeral.
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I was in school (6th grade) when Kennedy was shot. My nana was watching the tv coverage when it happened and called my mother to tell her what she saw. Our school sent all of the kids home with no explanation why we were let loose early. When I walked in the house my mother was sitting on a chair in front of the tv crying and I had no idea why. I remember a reporter asking Jackie why didn't she change her bloody clothes and she replied: "let them see what they've done." That's why I don't believe Oswald killed him. Also because of Oswald's response when he was arrested and told of Kennedy's death: "Oh, so I'm the patsy."
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