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Full text of "Children and television : hearing before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection, and Finance of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, Ninety-eighth Congress, first session, March 16, 1983"

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MARCH 16, 1983 

Serial No. 98-3 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Energy and Commerce 

20-006 WASHINGTON : 1983 









MARCH 16, 1983 

Serial No. 98-3 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Energy and Commerce 

20-006 O WASHINGTON : 1983 

JOHN D. DINGELL, Michigan, Chairman 

JAMES T. BROYHILL, North Carolina 









DON RITTER, Pennsylvania 

DAN COATS, Indiana 

THOMAS J. BLILEY, Jr., Virginia 






HENRY A. WAXMAN, California 



JAMES J. FLORIO, New Jersey 

EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts 


DOUG WALGREN, Pennsylvania 

ALBERT GORE, Jr., Tennessee 


AL SWIFT, Washington 




MIKE SYNAR, Oklahoma 

W. J. "BILLY" TAUZIN, Louisiana 

RON WYDEN, Oregon 



WAYNE DOWDY, Mississippi 





JIM BATES, California 

Frank M. Potter, Jr., Chief Counsel and Staff Director 

Sharon E. Davis, Chief Clerk/Administrative Assistant 

Donald A. Watt, Printing Editor 

Arnold I. Havens, Minority Counsel 

Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection, and Finance 

TIMOTHY E. WIRTH, Colorado, Chairman 

JAMES T. BROYHILL, North Carolina 
(Ex Officio) 

EDWARD J. MARKEY, Massachusetts 
AL SWIFT, Washington 
ALBERT GORE, Jr., Tennessee 
JIM BATES, California 
HENRY A. WAXMAN, California 
JOHN D. DINGELL, Michigan 
(Ex Officio) 

David K. Aylward, Chief Counsel/Staff Director 

Patti Shwayder, Policy Analyst 

Cecile Srodes, Associate Minority Counsel 



Statement of: 

Blessington, John, vice president, personnel, CBS/Broadcast Group 147 

Burton, LeVar, host, Reading Rainbow 24 

,^ Charren, Peggy, president. Action for Children's Television 49 

Christensen, Bruce, president, National Association of Public Television 

Stations 35 

Fritts, Edward O., president, National Association of Broadcasters 113 

Heinz, Hon. John A., a U.S. Senator from the State of Pennsylvania 139 

Keeshan, Robert, New York 11 

Mielke, Keith W., associate vice president for research, Children's Televi- 
sion Workshop 143 

Rivera, Henry M., Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission.... 4 

Robinson, Sharon, director. Instruction and Professional Development, 

National Education Association 168 

Rushnell, Squire D., vice president. Long Range Planning and Children's 

Television, American Broadcasting Cos., Inc Ill 

Schneider, John A., president, Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment Co.. 48 
Tucker-Vinson, Phyllis, vice president. Children's Programing, NBC Tele- 
vision Network 186 

Washington Association for Television and Children 197 

Material received for the record by: 

American Broadcasting Cos. , Inc. , letter, dated April 22, 1983, from Squire 
Rushnell to Chairman Wirth re additional material on ABC programing of 

special interest to children during Children's Television Week 137 

Fellows, James A., Bethesda, Md 214 

National Coalition on Television Violence, Brian Malloy, Washington 
director 210 





House of Representatives, 
Committee on Energy and Commerce, 
Subcommittee on Telecommunications, 

Consumer Protection, and Finance, 

Washington, D.C. 

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:40 a.m., in room 
2322, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Timothy E. Wirth 
(chairman) presiding. 

Mr. Wirth. Good morning. If the subcommittee could come to 

As I believe everybody knows, this is National Children and Tele- 
vision Week. This morning's hearing is a further approach on this 
issue by this subcommittee, which has long been concerned about 
the issues of children and television, and the impact of television 
on the socialization of the young. 

As we all know, historically there have been three main influ- 
ences on children. One, the family; second, the school; and third, 
the church. A fourth has emerged in the last 30 years and that is 
the impact of television on the development of children, and the 
education, and socialization of our young. 

We, historically in this country, have always put an enormous 
premium on the education of our young, and the investment in our 
young people, from the little red school house to the American 
high school today. We are very aware and have long been con- 
cerned about television and its impact on young people. 

This becomes particularly important as we see a number of 
emerging technologies in the 1980's. Alternative ways of developing 
programing for children, beyond commercial television to the 
advent and success of Public Broadcasting may change the outlook 
of the video marketplace. 

Today we hope to take further steps in understanding what is 
the relationship between what we ought to be doing, and where we 
ought to be going in this area of public and commercial television, 
and its impact on our children. 

Before going to our witnesses, let me ask my colleagues if they 
have any statements that they would like to make. I would like to 
start on my left with the ranking minority member, Mr. Rinaldo. 

[Mr. Wirth's prepared statement follows:] 

Statement of Hon. Timothy E. Wirth 

Today we begin hearings on the critical issue of children and television. Last year, 
when I introduced the House resolution which created National Children and Tele- 

vision Week I had intended that we dedicate this week to a thoughtful and probing 
examination of the programming needs of younger Americans. 

There is no question that television has become an integral part of everyday life 
with profound effects on people of every age. Television has the potential to provide 
unique educational and entertainment opportunities for children, yet often falls 
short of its promise. As part of this national look at children's programming, I am 
hopeful that this Subcommittee can begin to make some real progress in sorting out 
much of the debate and controversy surrounding the programming needs of chil- 
dren. In calling this hearing, I hope that we can put the disagreements of the past 
behind us and look toward solutions of the future. 

Children are this country's most precious resource, yet their needs are often not 
adequately served. During their most formative years — the time of their lives when 
they develop a system of values, and outlook of the world around them and the tools 
that will prepare them for their adult lives — television plays a crucial role in our 
children's development. Now, because of an explosion of new technologies there is 
even greater potential to expand the programming choices for children. Cable televi- 
sion, satellite services, and video cassettes are among the mediums that promise 
greater diversity for all Americans. However in the near term, these technologies 
will not be available to the majority of the nation's children. 

Public television has made substantial and extremely meaningful contributions to 
quality children's programming, but its viability is again being threatened by the 
Reagan Administration's catastrophic proposals to rescind 40 percent of its fund- 
ing — proposals I find extremely short-sighted and disturbing given the history of the 
Subcommittee and the Congress's commitment to funding public broadcasting. 

So, where do we go from here to make the technological challenges of the 1980's 
work to the advantage of our children? I believe we must end the feuding and re- 
criminations of the past and work together toward feasible and meaningful solu- 
tions in providing children's programming. While we must be ever sensitive to the 
First Amendment rights of broadcasters, Congress does have a responsibility to 
ensure that the needs of our children are well-served. I would hope that govern- 
ment, industry, educational and grass roots groups can work together toward this 
goal and that is why I am endorsing the legislative proposal of the National Educa- 
tion Association and Commissioner Riviera to create a temporary task force to expe- 
ditiously devise a workable blueprint to maximize the potential of the video market- 
place for children. 

I am most grateful to all of you who have joined us today and I am looking for- 
ward to hearing your views on these important issues of children and television. 

Mr. RiNALDO. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

I just want to make a couple of very brief comments. First of all 
I want to state that I am pleased that we are having this hearing 
because I feel it is important to emphasize how vital it is to have 
good television programing aimed specifically at the child viewer. 
The subcommittee has assembled a distinguished group of wit- 
nesses who have made significant contributions to improving chil- 
dren's television programing over the years. 

While some progress has been made in identifying the program- 
ing needs and interests of children, the networks and broadcasters 
must be more responsive and increase the hours of programing 
aimed at children, as well as the quality of such programing. 

I look forward to hearing about some of the projects which have 
been undertaken specifically for National Children and Television 
week. I hope that they will prove successful enough to be continued 
past this week and to make lasting contributions to improved 
television for children, because, as pointed out in the previous 
statement, television has become a medium that has a significant 
influence on our young people. 

Mr. WiRTH. Thank you, Mr. Rinaldo. 

Mr. Gore. 

Mr. Gore. Mr. Chairman, I don't have a lengthy or formal open- 
ing statement. I would just note, for the record, that in contrast to 
my colleague from New Jersey, I am not impressed with the record 

on children's television. I think it is a missed opportunity amount- 
ing to a national tragedy that we are failing to take advantage of 
the opportunity that children's television provides, and the quality 
of the programing that is produced I think is very poor. 

The level of commitment on the part of the networks particular- 
ly to children's television is very weak, and I think it constitutes a 
failure on the part of the networks to meet the responsibility they 
have to the public, or that large portion of the public. 

Mr. WiRTH. Thank you, Mr. Gore. 

Mr. Tauke. 

Mr. Tauke. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I believe that it is appropriate that we recognize the great impor- 
tance of the children's programing on television and the impor- 
tance of the week that we are celebrating by holding this hearing, 
and I commend you for doing so. 

I guess I find myself somewhat in-between the points of the two 
members that preceded me. I don't really believe we have achieved 
all we can in the television programing area, but I think that it 
has been improved. 

I look at the schedule of programing here on Washington televi- 
sion stations today, and I find however that most young people are 
not going to have much available to them. Many of them are going 
to be, if they watch television, subjected to programs that probably 
are not going to do very much to educate them or to acquaint them 
with the kinds of values that this society would like them to have. 
So while we have seen some progress in some areas of television 
programing for children, certainly there is a way to go. 

I think we have to look not only at the question of what we do in 
the way of children's programing, but I think there is also a seri- 
ous question about who is responsible for providing programing. I 
am not at all certain that we can, as Members of Congress, honest- 
ly sit up here and point fingers at people for not providing the chil- 
dren's programing, maybe it is not their really their responsibility 
to do so. 

I think we have an obligation to look today not only at what is 
being provided and what can be provided, but also what responsi- 
bility various segments of the broadcasting community have to 
make certain that there is the kind of programing for children's 
television which will enhance the well-being of our society. 

Mr. WiRTH. Thank you, Mr. Tauke. 

Mr. Leland. 

Mr. Leland. Mr. Chairman, I welcome the opportunity to com- 
memorate National Children and Television Week, and to discuss 
issues concerning children and television. Television is increasingly 
becoming one of the primary educators of America. 

Studies indicate that many children spend more hours watching 
television at home than they do studying in the classroom. The 
images that children receive from television broadcasting shape 
their perceptions, attitudes, and values. Although there has been 
improvement in the quality of children's programing over the past 
few years, many questions and concerns have gone unanswered. 

I am appreciative that we will have an opportunity to discuss the 
roles of commercial and public broadcasting in providing program- 
ing for children, the impact of the changing marketplace on chil- 

dren's TV, and the development of pay and cable systems and their 
impact on children's programing. 

I fully agree with the Federal Communications Commission's 
statement that broadcasters have a special obligation to children. I 
hope that this hearing will provide the impetus for further im- 
provement of programing designed for and geared to children. I ap- 
preciate your foresight in this matter. 

Mr. WiRTH. Thank you very much, Mr. Leland. 

One of the themes that will run through all of our discussion in 
this area is the first amendment and whether or not the Congress 
can and should be dictating the content of programing. I don't 
think anybody on this panel would suggest for 1 minute that that 
is our obligation or our responsibility, or something that we can do 
under contraints of the Constitution and the first amendment. 

However, it is very clear that there are a number of issues relat- 
ed to the education and socialization of our young have been regis- 
tered here. There is a careful balance which I think we are very 
aware of. I would like to just say that at the start, given the con- 
cerns that many justifiably suggest when we get into this very deli- 
cate area of programing. 

Second, just procedurally, I should note that we in the Congress, 
are at the height of the budget season. As a member of the Budget 
Committee, I am going to have to leave shortly to go over to the 
markup of the famous first budget resolution about which I know 
all of you are passionately concerned. 

We would like to get going as quickly as we can with our first 
panel which includes two very good friends of this subcommittee, 
Commissioner Henry Rivera from the Federal Communications 
Commission — Commissioner, we are delighted to have you here — 
and Mr. Robert Keeshan, otherwise known as Captain Kangaroo — 
Captain, delighted to have you here this morning. Thank you both 
very much. 

Commissioner Rivera, perhaps we could start with you. I just 
want to commend you on the legislative proposal that you and Na- 
tional Education Association have put together to create a tempo- 
rary task force of all groups to look at this issue. I, for one, think 
that this is a very good idea, and one that we ought to pursue. We 
look forward to hearing from you about that and other issues in 
greater detail. 

So welcome, and we look forward to hearing from you. Thank 
you for being with us. 


Mr. Rivera. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. I 
appreciate this opportunity to present my views on the subject of 
children's television, an issue of genuine concern to me. 

I am frankly delighted that the subcommittee has decided to con- 
duct hearings on the state of children's television. In terms of the 
development of the voters, workers, and leaders of tomorrow's 
America, this could not be a more important issue or a more timely 
airing of that issue. 

The statistics on the high incidence of television viewing by 
America's young are well known. During the impressionable ages 
of 2 through 5, our children watch an average of 27 hours of televi- 
sion a week. Children between the ages of 6 through 11 watch 25 
hours of television weekly, on the average. A growing number of 
studies, including one recently issued by the National Institute of 
Mental Health, have suggested a correlation between television 
viewing and child development. 

The magnitude of television viewing and the impact of that view- 
ing on children are great. And yet one need only scan a TV sched- 
ule to confirm that the choice of programs designed for the child 
audience on commercial television is limited, to put it most charita- 
bly. A sprinkling of randomly aired "specials" and the well-known 
Saturday morning cartoon ghetto are all that remain on the com- 
mercial networks. One by one, we have watched the best and the 
brightest programs disappear — Captain Kangaroo, Animals, Ani- 
mals, Animals, 30 Minutes, and even the long popular Wonderful 
World of Disney. 

There have been some replacements, it is true. But more often 
than not, they have been inexpensive animated shows or reruns. 
Since the gradual euthanasia of the Captain Kangaroo Show, none 
of the commercial networks, to my knowledge, airs a regularly 
scheduled weekday program created specifically for children. Is 
this the best our great country can offer its young? 

I do not mean to criticize the television industry alone. We are 
all responsible for the current condition of the medium: parents, 
broadcasters and policymakers. 

As parents, many of us have too easily succumbed to the tempta- 
tion to use television as a surrogate, or an electronic babysitter. We 
have also failed effectively to express our approval of, or displeas- 
ure with, the programs watched by our children. 

Many broadcasters have also failed to live up to their responsibil- 
ities under the public interest standard of the Communications 
Act: to air a reasonable amount of programing specially designed 
for children on a regular basis, at a time when children are likely 
to be watching. Apart from any legal duty, broadcasters quite 
simply have breached their social compact with their constituen- 
cy — the viewing audience — to enrich, entertain and educate. 

At a time when broadcasters are claiming sufficient "maturity" 
to warrant full and unconditional deregulation, I find this perform- 
ance — or lack of performance — disappointing and disturbing. For 
broadcasters to be persuasive in their campaign for full regulatory 
relief, they must show themselves to be responsible to the public. 
Their record in meeting needs of children undermines the sense of 
confidence that policymakers must have before they can make a 
judgment that our broadcast system has come of age. 

I am also disheartened by the inaction of my agency, the Federal 
Communications Commission. Over a decade ago, the FCC began 
an inquiry into the condition of children's television. That effort re- 
sulted in the promulgation in 1974, of a policy statement outlining 
broadcaster obligations to the child audience. In 1979, a special 
task force concluded that the industry, as a whole, was not living 
up to its programing responsibilities under the policy statement. In 
response the FCC launched a rulemaking which outlined five alter- 


native approaches for remedying the deficiencies perceived by the 
task force. In October 1980, during 2 days of hearings, the Commis- 
sion heard some of the many people who commented on these rule- 
making proposals. Presumably, those hearings were a prelude to 
final action in the docket. As it turned out, though, the issue was 
put on the back burner at the agency. National Children and Tele- 
vision Week has not even evoked a commemorative gesture from 
the FCC. 

Many broadcasters have shrewdly appraised the situation in 
Washington and, seeing that the FCC's attention is on other mat- 
ters, have adjusted their program schedules accordingly. As I have 
said in other forums, from a purely financial standpoint I cannot 
blame them. But, I cannot believe that we have become so cynical 
as a society that we will allow the laws of economics to govern in 
every instance. 

I particularly cannot accept the view that broadcasters are 
merely business people — nothing more and nothing less. A televi- 
sion is not, as some have suggested, just a toaster with pictures. 
NAB president Eddie Fritts recently said in a slightly different 
context: "Broadcasting as a guest in the home is unlike any other 
business in the nation." I agree. Also, no matter how warmly we 
may embrace deregulation as a general principle, the fact remains 
that to this day, broadcasters are by law public trustees. As such, 
they are subject to reasonable public interest regulation by the 
FCC. And no matter what the alleged shortcomings of the FCC's 
1974 policy statement, that statement is still on the books. It is a 
good law and the FCC should make good its promise to enforce it, 
not allow its pronouncements on broadcasters' obligation to chil- 
dren to become hollow fictions. 

It is simply unacceptable to say that broadcasting is a business 
and must be guided by what is most profitable. As entities with an 
exclusive license to use the spectrum, broadcasters have benefitted 
substantially from the use of a public resource. In return, the 
public is entitled to a dividend. At a minimum, that dividend 
should include regular, diverse and enriching programing for chil- 

Children's needs simply cannot be met in the present market- 
place. They cannot speak the language that is best understood by 
commercial entities. There is much hope for genuinely abundant 
video programing in the future, but today the video marketplace is 
not so robust that sustained, quality children's programs are likely 
to be offered through the natural interplay of market forces. 

No one expects — or would want — television licensees to become 
national nannies. What we should reasonably expect is for broad- 
casters to offer children a choice. One that we as a nation can be 
proud of. One that reflects the best potential of the medium. And, 
yes, one that is not be dictated exclusively by economics. 

How can we make this longstanding hope and collection of public 
promises a reality? 

Public television is certainly one vehicle for helping fulfill the 
children's programing mission. The public television network has 
been nothing less than the standard bearer in developing programs 
for youthful viewers. We must take all reasonable steps to insure 
that public broadcasting is soundly and generously financed. Given 

suggestions that public television single-handedly meet our chil- 
drens' viewing needs, I view with more than a little trepidation the 
administration's proposals to slash Federal funding of public broad- 

Although I firmly support a strong public broadcasting system, I 
have several reservations about making it shoulder the entire re- 
sponsibility for children's television. Our children's access to di- 
verse and enriching programs should not be dependent on the va- 
garies of the appropriations process. The funding hazards under 
which public broadcasting has recently operated dramatically illus- 
trate the perils of that approach. 

I am also concerned that a large part of the public cannot receive 
an over-the-air public television signal — at least 5 percent and per- 
haps much higher. Universal service is a fundamental communica- 
tions policy goal. We have recently reemphasized this conviction in 
the common carrier area. I can think of no reason that commit- 
ment should not apply with equal vigor in the children's program- 
ing arena. 

Finally, there is a curious double standard, from a first amend- 
ment standpoint in sparing commercial broadcasters from all be- 
havioral regulation in the interest of free speech, while specifying 
desired categories of programing as a condition of Federal funding 
for public broadcasters. Others have raised this issue and it deeply 
concerns me, as well. 

I firmly believe commercial broadcasters should be held to their 
existing duty to air a reasonable amount of programing specially 
designed for children. They have the financial resources, the cre- 
ative talent, and an unmatched ability to reach the entire viewing 
public, free of direct charge. Toward this end, my preference would 
be for the FCC to act on its outstanding rulemaking on children's 
television. The options proposed, which range from imposing man- 
datory programing guidelines to relying entirely on the developing 
new technologies, are sufficiently broad to allow the FCC to ad- 
dress the children's programing issue responsibly. Let me make 
plain that I have no love for mandatory program performance 
guidelines. I would advocate them only as a last resort. However, I 
do believe the FCC has the legal authority to promulgate narrowly 
tailored regulations or processing guidelines to meet the needs of 
this specially protected class. And, if commercial broadcasters 
cannot see their way clear to meeting their obligation to children 
independently, I would be prepared to consider the guideline con- 
cept, at least as an interim measure. 

While I would prefer for the FCC, on its own, to finish what it 
has started, I realize that many of the Commissioners responsible 
for the rulemaking proposals issued 3 years ago have since left the 
Agency. Some of us are unfamiliar with the issues involved. Others 
may feel that the FCC should update the record before acting. Still 
others may want additional analysis of alternatives not expressly 
highlighted before, such as placing responsibility in this area on 
the public television alone. 

We need a vehicle for such supplemental activity, which will 
break the existing regulatory stalemate. I urge this subcommittee 
to consider legislation to form a temporary commission on children 
and television to evaluate strategies for meeting the television 


viewing needs of our young people. The temporary commission 
could consist of high level representatives of government, industry, 
and members of the general public active in this area. 

What I have in mind is something along the lines that the Na- 
tional Education Association proposed to the FCC during a public 
participation en banc meeting in January 1982. If the subcommit- 
tee decided to pursue this suggestion, it should give the temporary 
commission a limited life span, say 6 months, during which the 
group could freshen the record of the FCC's pending rulemaking, 
educate the current FCC on the issues involved, and ultimately 
present final recommendations for positive action. The temporary 
commission should be specifically accountable to the Congress — as 
well as the FCC — so that Congress will be in a position to act 
promptly on any legislative recommendations that are made. 

Although groups of this sort carry the potential for delay, they 
also can, if properly structured, provide the catalyst for creative 
new initiatives. I am especially optimistic about the prospects for a 
temporary commission on children and television because of the 
apparent success of your Temporary Commission on Alternative Fi- 
nancing for Public Television, which is being ably chaired by FCC 
Commissioner James Quello. I can also attest to the creative poten- 
tial of special high-level, task-oriented committees based on my 
own experience chairing the FCC's Advisory Committee on Alter- 
native Financing Opportunities for Minorities in Telecommunica- 

In conclusion, I am grateful for this chance to present my views 
on children's television. National Children and Television week has 
real promise for raising public awareness about the present condi- 
tion of television for our nation's young. I hope that those in a posi- 
tion to make a difference continue beyond March 19 the enthusi- 
asm generated during this commemorative week. 

This concludes my prepared testimony, Mr. Chairman. However, 
before I finish, I would like to report to you a late breaking devel- 
opment from the Commission. I have with me a letter from FCC 
Chairman Mark Fowler to you. Congressman Wirth, which he has 
asked me to deliver. I am told that your staff was made aware of 
this letter last night, right after I received it. The letter states that 
Chairman Fowler has just decided to hold an en banc hearing 
sometime in late April on children's television and to conclude the 
1979 children's television rulemaking proceeding in late summer or 
early fall of 1983. I suppose there may be some truth to the adage 
that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I am pleased that Chair- 
man Fowler has decided to move ahead with the FCC's duties in 
this area. As I stated before, I believe the FCC should finish what 
it has started. While I believe this is a positive development, I also 
continue to believe that congressional action in the area of chil- 
dren's programing would be an appropriate and desirable supple- 
ment to the FCC action. My impression is that when Congress 
speaks, the broadcast industry and the FCC listen. Tangible evi- 
dence of congressional concern cannot harm the cause of children's 
television. It could also help. As I said earlier, a temporary commis- 
sion could fertilize everyone's thinking on this age-old issue. I 
would not want the creation of a temporary commission to delay 
the decision on the children's television issue. But dates often slip 

at the FCC despite the chairman's best intentions, so it is quite 
conceivable that a temporary commission could finish its work 
before the FCC completes its outstanding rulemaking. Its recom- 
mendations could be filtered into any final report and order that 
the FCC would issue. Even if the temporary commission did not 
finish its work before final FCC action, the temporary commission 
recommendations could be used in petitions for reconsideration, or 
considered by Congress, as appropriate. 

These are matters that the subcommittee will obviously have to 
evaluate. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have, Mr. 

Mr. WiRTH. Thank you very much, Mr. Commissioner. 

Without objection, Mr. Fowler's letter of last night will be includ- 
ed in full in the record. We appreciate your good work at the com- 
mission and the efforts of the commission to work together and, as 
you suggest, respond to the very deep concerns of this subcommit- 

Thank you very much, and I hope you won't mind if a number of 
us plagiarize from your excellent testimony. 

Mr. Rivera. Not at all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. WiRTH. Thank you. Commissioner. 

[The letter referred to follows:] 


Federal Communications Commission 
washington, d. c. 20554 

March 16, 1983 

oFTicc or 
The Chairm A.N 

Honorable Timothy Wirth 

Chairman, Subcommittee on Telecommunications, 

Consumer Protection, and Finance 
Committee on Energy and Finance 
U.S. House of Representatives 
Washington, D. C. 20515 

Dear Chairman Wirth: 

I am writing in reference to the Subcommittee Hearing on 
children and television scheduled today as part of National 
Children and Television Week. My fellow Commissioner Henry 
Rivera is scheduled to participate in this Hearing, and I have 
asked him to present this letter to you. 

As you know, in 1979 a special FCC Task Force released a 
study of children's television, reviewing the five year period 
since the 1974 FCC Children's Television Policy Statement. In 
response to that report, the Commission began an Inquiry, Docket 
No. 19142, to consider alternative approaches to the subject of 
children's television. Two days of hearings were conducted in 
October, 1980 on the study and recommended alternatives. 

I would anticipate that the Commission will issue a final 
report in Docket No. 19142 by late summer/early fall, 1983. 
Pursuant to that timetable, and in order to havfe an up-to-date 
record with which to proceed in this important matter, I would 
request, with your permission, that a transcript of today's 
Hearing be included in the record x>f Docket No. 19142. 

In addition, I have scheduled an en banc oral hearing at the 
Commission on Docket No. 19142 for late April. This hearing will 
give interested parties an opportunity to update comments already 
filed in the proceeding. It will also give members of the 
Commission an opportunity, sitting as a panel, to have a question 
and answer exchange with the commenting parties. 

I would respectfully request that this letter be made a part 
of the record of today's Hearing. 


Mark S. Fowler 


Mr. WiRTH. With Commissioner Rivera is, as I suggested, an old 
friend of this subcommittee and a long-time family friend of Sena- 
tor Heinz who was, on the Senate side, the Senate sponsor of the 
legislation creating National Children and Television Week, Mr. 
Robert Keeshan, perhaps better known outside of the families in- 
volved as Captain Kangaroo. 

Captain, again, thank you very much for being with us once 
again. We look forward to hearing from you. 


Mr. Keeshan. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

I must say that you are the first chairman of a congressional 
committee who did not introduce me by saying. Good Morning, 
Captain. I appreciate that. I appreciate the opportunity to speak to 
you today about perhaps my favorite subject, children and televi- 

Perhaps the most basic undertaking of any society is the nurtur- 
ing of its young. This, of course, springs from the instinct, survival 
of the individual and survival of the society. A society which intel- 
ligently attends to the nurturing of its young has a promising 
future. The society which fails in this basic task will spend its re- 
sources restraining its misfits, building detention centers to ware- 
house its failures. 

To be successful in the nurturing process, society must be con- 
cerned about the many influences affecting the development of its 
young. The family, our primary unit for nurturing, must have the 
total support needed to support its task. We must provide for the 
education of the young. Every child must have access to the splen- 
did facilities of modern American medicine. All of us in society 
must weigh how our private actions and our public and corporate 
policies affect the youth of the Nation, its future. 

Television is an influence on our young people. It provides a 
wider range of experiences. It provides more information than the 
public library, for many more information than the schools. Televi- 
sion influences our young in developing attitudes and in the im- 
parting of values to young people from toddler to teen and beyond. 

The questions asked by this committee today are not simply an- 
swered because the question of children and television is a question 
with many parts. 

How do parents use television? 

What can we do to inform parents of the values imparted 
to a 4-year-old watching a game show or soap opera with mature 
themes and to make them understand that television is not a baby- 
sitter but that programing should be as carefully selected as 
friends and other influences upon the child? 

We shall continue to work through the National Council for Chil- 
dren and Television to sensitize members of the creative communi- 
ty to the effects that their writing, production, and performing may 
have upon the Nation's young and, therefore, its future. We shall 
continue to impress upon them that a child is watching. 

That brings us to the basic question, the question of broadcaster 
responsibility to children. I believe that broadcasters, commercial 
and public, network and independent, must appreciate the impact 


of their programing on the Nation's young and, therefore, on the 
future of the Republic. This is not a responsibility which we assign 
to broadcasters and not to others. 

I believe that every segment of our society — government, indus- 
try, business, including broadcasters — must be accountable for the 
effects of their actions on the Nation's young. The question is not 
whether broadcasters should be treated as trustees of the airwaves, 
or as private enterprise in a public business. Every one of us, indi- 
vidual or corporation, public or private, is subject to the principle 
of accountability. 

How to achieve this accountability is indeed a difficult question. 
I have spent most of the last decade across this Nation calling for 
industry self-regulation, and speaking against government intru- 
sion. However, I don't believe anyone is naive enough to believe 
that the marketplace will provide the impetus for meeting the 
needs of children or any other minority audience. 

It is not a question of marketplace or deregulation or first 
amendment rights. Children are special, vulnerable, our most criti- 
cal asset, and must be treated as such. Our law recognizes this in 
protecting them in contracts, alcohol abuse, and such rulings as 
that of the Supreme Court last year in the New York "kiddie 
porn" case, a case incidentally which was fraught with first amend- 
ment questions. 

No, children are special and if we are to nurture our young and 
provide for our future, we must recognize the special conditions 
which obtain. 

I am a broadcaster, a producer of programing. I am not unfet- 
tered. I am responsible for my actions and the effects of my pro- 
graming on young people. I accept that responsibility and ask that 
I be held accountable. I ask that each and every one of my fellow 
broadcasters accept the same accountability. If we do so, as an in- 
dustry, then this committee will not find it necessary to ask the 
questions it is asking this morning. 

Mr. Swift [presiding]. Thank you very much, gentlemen, for 
your testimony. 

We will follow the tradition of the committee, recognizing rnem- 
bers in order of their appearance. We will try to follow within 
reason the 5-minute rule. 

The Chair recognizes Mr. Gore. 

Mr. Gore. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

First of all. Commissioner Rivera, I would like to compliment 
you on your statement, which I found to be truly excellent. I would 
also like to express my appreciation and that of other members of 
the committee, I am sure, for the FCC's responsiveness to the con- 
cerns we have expressed as evidenced by the letter from Chairman 
Fowler, which you read into the record. 

I find your analysis of the problem and your push for action and 
your suggestions all really excellent. I appreciate that very rnuch. 

How long have you been on the Commission, Commissioner 

Mr. Rivera. Since August of 1981. 

Mr. Gore. I would also like to compliment President Reagan for 
having the wisdom to appoint you to the Commission, because I 
find your perspective quite refreshing. I look forward to working 


with you. This is just an enormous missed opportunity for our soci- 
ety and an enormous tragedy in the way that programing is now 
being presented. 

I must admit, Mr. Chairman, I have a conflict of interest of sorts. 
I have four young children, all under the age of 9, and I get to 
watch a lot of children's programing during meals, and whatnot, 
when it is on. I am quite concerned as a parent and as a member of 
this subcommittee. 

Mr. Keeshan, tell me when are you on? When is Captain Kanga- 
roo on television now. I don't see you any more. 

Mr. Keeshan. You are obviously not an early riser. 

We are broadcast on weekends, Saturday and Sunday, in most 
places at 7 a.m., although in many places at 6 a.m. 

Mr. Gore. That is really an impressive commitment on the part 
of the network to get your children's programing out. You used to 
be the only network that produced weekday television programing 
specifically made for children; is that correct? 

Mr. Keeshan. That is correct. For 27 years, we were on Monday 
through Friday on CBS. 

Mr. Gore. Now you have been taken off? 

Mr. Keeshan. Now we are on weekends. 

Mr. Gore. You have been taken off during the week, and now 
you are on weekends. 

Mr. Keeshan. Yes. 

Mr. Gore. Here in Washington you are on on Sunday mornings 
at 6? 

Mr. Keeshan. I am not familiar with the schedule in Washing- 
ton, but it would be 6 or 7 a.m., on both Saturday and Sunday. 

Mr. Gore. Why have they done this to you. Captain Kangaroo? 

Mr. Keeshan. I think the marketplace has really come into play 
here. There had been for many years tremendous pressure to serve 
an adult audience during the week in the time period that I occu- 
pied, 8 to 9 a.m. is a very important time period. It became an op- 
pressive pressure. There was pressure from affiliates, and pressure 
from other quarters, pressures from the News Division to recapture 
that time. 

Everyone was unhappy with the performance of the CBS News 
against their competition from NBC and ABC. The News Depart- 
ment felt very clearly that if they had the full 2 hours to work, 
they could recapture that hour, and they would be more successful 
in competing. 

Mr. Gore. You mean that they would make more money? 

Mr. Keeshan. I don't know if I want to ascribe the most base mo- 
tives to the network, but it certainly is no accident that part of the 
whole picture is that they would always make more money from 
adult programing. Any network will always make more money 
from adult programing. There is no question about that. 

Mr. Gore. It really isn't complicated, it is? 

Mr. Keeshan. No; it is not. You can't serve a child audience, a 
juvenile audience if the only standard is an economic standard. 
You have to have other reasons to do quality children's program- 

Mr. Gore. Little children don't buy automobiles. They don't buy 
beer. They don't buy perfume. 

20-006 0-83 


Mr. Keeshan. They don't vote. 

Mr. Gore. They don't vote, and they are not that successful in 
nagging their parents to buy the things that are advertised to 
them. So there is only a minimal commitment. 

Mr. Keeshan. They are the silent minority, there is no question 
about that. They are not able to express their needs. They are not 

Mr. Gore. I think, as I said before, in conclusion, this is a trage- 
dy that this single largest source of information for young people 
in America is handled, or mishandled, in the way it is. What has 
happened to you. Captain Kangaroo, is the best example I know of. 
The other two networks, of course, didn't have a Captain Kangaroo 
to shuffle off on to the dawn slots on the weekend, so it is not iust 

Thank you very much. 

Mr. Swift. The Chair recognizes Mr. Rinaldo. 

Mr. Rinaldo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Rivera, I want to thank you for your testimony. Twice in 
your testimony you stated that the networks should air a reason- 
able amount of programing specifically designed for children, but 
nowhere did you define what a reasonable amount is. Would you 
please define that for the benefit of the members of this committee, 
and for the record? 

Mr. Rivera. Yes, Congressman, I think that is a real problem, 
what is a reasonable amount. I think that would have to be defined 
and would have to be fleshed out, perhaps, as a result of the en 
banc meeting that the Commission is going to have, or perhaps as a 
result of the work of the temporary commission if Congress saw fit 
to authorize the temporary commission. It is very soft, I agree with 

Mr. Rinaldo. The problem is that you stated that there wasn't 
enough. How much is there now? 

Mr. Rivera. I suggest that that question would be better put to 
the networks. Congressman. 

Mr. Rinaldo. Let me ask you another way. How much more do 
you think there be? Should they double the amount they have now, 
or triple it? 

Mr. Rivera. I would just say that in 1979, when we issued the 
rulemaking, we had a lot more programing for children than we 
have now. So there is considerably less. Whether or not they 
should double it, triple it, or quadruple it, is again something that I 
would like to await saying until I get the information that will 
result from the en banc meeting that we are going to have. 

Mr. Rinaldo. There is less. So you are saying that the situation 
is getting worse rather than better. 

Mr. Rivera. Absolutely. 

Mr. Rinaldo. I have to admit that I don't know very much about 
this, and that is one of the reasons why I am intrigued by the fact 
that twice in your testimony you said "a reasonable amount," and 
I think that the Commission concept is probably a good one. But 
why don't you give me some idea, for the record, as to what your 
opinion of reasonable would be. You must have some idea of what 
it is. 


Mr. Rivera. I utilized that word, Congressman, because that is 
what the 1974 policy statement indicates and utilizes. In other 
areas that we have asked broadcasters to concentrate in, for exam- 
ple, public affairs, we have always left the amount in the discretion 
of the licensee. They have broad discretion. That is what the Com- 
mission was trying to do in 1974 when it issued that particular 
policy statement. 

Mr. RiNALDO. I remember the policy statement, but I am still 
trying to get some idea. I know the difficulty with defining reason- 
able, but can you give me some idea? 

How much has been lost? You said that from 1979 to date, 1983, 
there has been a decrease. 

Mr. Rivera. Yes, 

Mr. RiNALDO. How much of a decrease has there been? 

Mr. Rivera. I can't tell you specifically. I can tell you that Ani- 
mals, Animals, Animals is no longer on, and 30 Minutes is no 
longer on, or the Wonderful World of Disney is no longer on. 

Mr. RiNALDO. Has there been a great decrease, a moderate de- 
crease, or small decrease? 

Mr. Rivera. There has been a great decrease. 

Mr. RiNALDO. A great decrease? 

Mr. Rivera. Yes; I think I can quantify it that way, yes. 

Mr. RiNALDO. Suppose we ran the spectrum from zero to 100 per- 
cent of broadcast time, how much broadcast time, just give me an 
arbitrary number, do you think should be devoted to children's 

Mr. Rivera. I really am, as you can tell, very reluctant to answer 
that question. Congressman. 

Mr. RiNALDO. I know that, but I would like an answer because I 
would like to ask the networks, when they testify, how much they 
are providing now. I would like to get some idea of exactly what is 
going on in this area because I can't make any intelligent judg- 
ments without knowing exactly what is happening. 

Mr. Rivera. I understand that, and neither can I, that is why I 
am very concerned that the Commission flesh out and refresh its 
record in the children's television proceeding so that I could give 
you an intelligent answer to that question. 

I can tell you that we have less than we had in 1979. There has 
been a great decrease, but I certainly can't sit here and tell you 
that 7V2 hours a week is reasonable. I simply do not have the infor- 
mation to give you that kind of answer. 

Mr. RiNALDO. In other words, what you are saying is that you 
really don't know how much is reasonable and you prefer to wait 
until the Commission examines that question and comes up with 
some parameters as to what constitutes a reasonable amount. 

Mr. Rivera. That is precisely what I am saying. 

Mr. RiNALDO. What has caused this decrease, lack of listenership, 
or economics, the need to put on more news? I looked in the paper 
and I noticed that Captain Kangaroo was replaced by the early 
morning news. To what do you attribute this? 

Mr. Rivera. I attribute it to a perception by the broadcasters 
that the Commission is no longer interested in this particular crite- 
ria as a condition for renewing their licenses, and that they can 
make more money airing other types of programs. 


Mr. RiNALDO. When your program was aired on weekday morn- 
ings, did listenership increase over the years, or decrease, or 
remain about the same? 

Mr. Keeshan. It decreased over the years because there was a 
fragmentation of the juvenile audience. The juvenile audience in 
total was a very small audience, an unattractive audience to begin 
with by network broadcast standards. When we first went on the 
air in 1955, in most cities there were only two, maybe three sta- 
tions on the air at that hour of the morning. 

As television matured, many more stations, particularly inde- 
pendent stations, came on the air and engaged in counterprogram- 
ing. We have a situation today where in large cities like New York, 
Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, where we had at that time of 
the morning two, three or four programs designed for juvenile au- 
dience. Therefore, the audience was greatly fragmented. 

So we begin with a small audience, and fragment it even further 
through competitive process, and we end up with a very small au- 
dience, and an unattractive audience. There is no question that 
from a business point of view, it is a very unattractive audience. 
There has to be more than a business reason for doing quality chil- 
dren's programing. 

Mr. RiNALDO. Thank you very much. I have no further questions. 

Mr. Swift. Mr. Leland. 

Mr. Leland. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Rivera, I think that your statement was most profound and I 
am happy to see you on the Commission. I hope that you are able 
to get some of your ideas through to your colleagues. 

Mr. Rivera, in your opinion, can Public Television, pay-services, 
such as Nickelodeon, and ACSN, the learning channel, compensate 
for the lack of quality children's programing on commercial televi- 

Mr. Rivera. Congressman, first of all, Nickelodeon is a pay serv- 
ice, and there is only 35 percent of the Nation, approximately, that 
is wired for cable. So you first have to assume that everyone can 
afford cable, and that the total Nation is wired in order to have a 
compensation effect with regard to services like Nickelodeon. 

Public television, again as I mentioned in my testimony, about 5 
percent of the Nation cannot receive a public television signal, I 
am informed. In addition, there is some undefined percentage, 
maybe as high as another 5 percent, that can only acquire public 
television signals via some sort of a pay service like cable. 

Again, if you put all the burden on public television, it would not 
be an exact balancing. Also if you said that public television has to 
shoulder the entire burden, it is going to be at the expense of other 
types of programing. 

Mr. Leland. With the advent of such high technology as televi- 
sion and other means by which we communicate, it seems to me 
that given the fact that historically we have not had the foresight, 
the Founding Fathers of this Nation and the drafters of the Consti- 
tution did not determine that certain rights should be bestowed 
upon certain citizens of this country. Children have not been writ- 
ten in the Constitution very much even though, they arrive at 
some point in their life when they are protected in a much greater 


sense because they become adults and their rights are then real- 

It seems to me that had they realized that we were going to have 
television, that they would have written in the Constitution some 
rights for children, such as a Captain Kangaroo would have to con- 
tinue on television, and at the same time, in the same slot there 
would be maybe a Captain Rabbit on ABC, and a Captain some- 
thing else on NBC. So that the pressures, the nuances of the com- 
mercialism of television would not be placed on a Captain Kanga- 
roo, but rather they would compete for quality as opposed to the 
dollar. Do you agree with that? 

Mr. Rivera. I think that the Supreme Court has stated in the 
Red Lion case, and in other cases, that it is the first amendment 
rights of the viewing audience and not the broadcaster's that is 
paramount. So to some extent the Supreme Court has done, per- 
haps in not as many words as you would have the Constitution 
read, something similar to, conceptually, what you are talking 

Mr. Leland. I have some obvious concerns also. I am very con- 
cerned with the portrayal of minorities and stereotyping on chil- 
dren's television, particularly in the programing area. In your opin- 
ion, is there still a problem with the stereotyping of minorities and 
women, and their role in society, in programing geared toward chil- 

Mr. Rivera. Congressman, I have not looked into that specifical- 
ly. I have had one of the networks, ABC as a matter of fact, came 
to my office and gave me a presentation in which they indicated 
and demonstrated, and perhaps they will do that for the subcom- 
mittee today, that they are sensitive to these issues and have made 
a conscious effort to do something about that sort of thing in the 
programing that they are running for children now. 

Mr. Leland. Thank you, Mr. Commissioner. 

Mr. Keeshan, I am glad to realize finally that your name is 
something other than Captain Kangaroo. In your opinion are the 
commercial networks really abrogating their responsibilities to 

Mr. Keeshan. That is a question that begs a simple answer, and 
I don't think I can answer it simply. I think it is a very complex 
question. I think there are many influences, as Commissioner 
Rivera has pointed out, that affect decisionmaking at the network 
level. I think there is absolutely no question that there have been 
many pressures, most of them commercial pressures and economic 
pressures, that have taken on a greater importance since the cli- 
mate of regulation of the broadcast industry has changed. 

It is much more difficult now for a network. A network is noth- 
ing more than a collection of stations, and the pressure from indi- 
vidual stations, as Mr. Swift well knows from his past experience, 
those pressures can be enormously great in network executive 
suites. I think that the difference in the climate of regulation of 
the broadcast industry has made those pressures on affiliates much 
more effective. 

Certainly in my case they came into play. There is no question 
that for years affiliates wanted to remove the Captain because not 


only could they not make as much money on the Captain, but also 
he interfered with what they call the flow of the audience. 

There was adult programing before, and there was adult pro- 
graming after, and here was an island of programing that served 
young people. They felt that a lot of adults were switching to other 
stations and were lost for the entire morning or lost for the entire 

Those are commercial considerations and I think in that sense 
the difference in regulatory climate has been a tremendous influ- 
ence on children's television, not just Captain Kangaroo but many 

Mr. Leland. Going back to the question that I asked the Com- 
missioner, do you think that if there had been counterprograming 
on the opposite networks that you would still be on television be- 
cause you would be competing for quality of programing as opposed 
to the commercial aspects that the networks seem to look for now? 

Mr. Keeshan. It is an adversarial business, there is no question 
about that. I think that if there were reasons for doing quality pro- 
graming for television, other than economic reasons, we would still 
be there. But it is very, very difficult. 

I think that CBS feels very strongly that it does serve a larger 
public with "CBS Morning News," with the expanded morning 
news, and I cannot argue with that. I think they do serve that au- 
dience. But the question is, where in the world do we serve this 
critical audience, as I pointed out in my remarks, the future of our 

Chairman Fowler in some remarks on children's television very 
recently quoted the psychologist Robert Siegel who says that we 
have 20 years in which to save civilization. Every 20 years a new 
generation matures, and so while we sit here and talk, we influence 
millions of children who will never recapture today, who will never 
recapture this week or last week. They will have been influenced 
or not influenced by what they see on television. 

Those children will perhaps be negatively influenced, and I think 
we ought to address ourselves to those questions, because we can 
talk forever, but while we are talking children are growing up, 
children are maturing, and children are being influenced by what 
they see on television. I think that it is about time that we did 
indeed address what is happening to this critical national asset, the 
most critical of our assets, the future. 

Mr. Leland. This is my last question, Mr. Chairman. 

Do you think that what we ought to do is advocate that mothers 
and fathers of children today ought to boycott the networks until 
they put adequate programing? 

You don't have to answer that. 

Mr. Keeshan. It might be a nice idea, but unfortunately it is a 
complex question, this question of children and television. One of 
the parts of that question, which has been a great disappointment 
to me and to many of us producing quality programing, is the atti- 
tude of parents. 

Ninety-five percent of American parents — this is not a firm 
figure — use television as a babysitter, and are not concerned about 
the effect of television on their young people, not because they 
don't care, but because in this modern age parents are busy. Most 


of them are working and television offers a great opportunity to 
get the child out from underfoot. 

So hour after hour they sit, not watching children's television, 
watching television never designed for them, but watching soap 
operas and game shows, all of which have their place on the broad- 
cast schedule, but not for viewing by children most of the time. 

When you watch some of these shows where greed is rewarded 
and you wonder what values were imparted to young people. I can 
watch that because I have broader experience, and I understand 
what is being done there, but a 4-year old or a 5-year old doesn't 
really understand that. This is the parental responsibility which 
cannot be passed on to the broadcaster at any time. 

Mr. Leland. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Swift. Mr. Oxley. 

Mr. Oxley. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Keeshan, first of all, welcome. 

I must also admit to a conflict of interest because I have a 10- 
year old son. I am not as prolific as my friend from Tennessee. 

Mr. Swift. But there is still time. 

Mr. Oxley. My son is very interested in television in general. I 
have tried to watch his viewing habits over the last couple of 
weeks, knowing that this hearing would come up. 

You mentioned in your original comments several times your 
concern about accountability. To whom are you accountable ulti- 
mately, not only as a performer, but even more importantly as a 
producer, and one who has a great deal of input as to what is 
shown on television? 

Mr. Keeshan. I am accountable directly to the network, and ulti- 
mately I am held accountable by the commission, and ultimately 
by the Congress really. There is a chain there almost as a State has 
a chain in education institutions. The institution is accountable to 
trustees, and they are to the region, and so on. I think there is an 
ultimate accountability, if you carry it to the nth degree, to the 
people of the United States as represented here in the Congress. 

Mr. Oxley. If that is in fact the case, how does that compare or 
contrast with the first amendment and the ability for networks, 
and anybody for that matter, to say what they want to say at the 
time that they want to say it? 

Isn't there an inherent conflict with the first amendment if we 
talk literally about a step-by-step accountability? 

Mr. Keeshan. I go back to my civics courses, and I find that 
every right is accompanied by a responsibility. So if we have rights 
under the first amendment, we also are held accountable. We have 
to be responsible. It is not carte blanche. It is not complete freedom 
to do anything or to say anything. As the famous fire in a crowded 
theatre, we have to be responsible. We have to be held accountable 
for how we exercise our first amendment rights. That is all I have 
ever asked for in regulation of broadcasters. 

I was interested in Mr. Rinaldo's question of how much is reason- 
able. It has always been the difficult question. We have for three 
decades, through the Federal Communications Commission, regu- 
lated, as Chairman Fowler likes to say, with a blink and with a 
nod, and that is anathema to him. He doesn't think that we ought 
to be doing that any more. 


But it did work pretty well, because networks, and stations par- 
ticularly, knew that there was a principle of accountability, and 
someone would ask them questions that they might not be able to 
answer too easily. 

As I learned from Mother Goose a long time ago, a wink and a 
nod can be a blinking good thing on occasion. So that may be exact- 
ly the sort of thing that we are asking for because broadcasters 
have in the past displayed the capability to program very responsi- 
bly for young people and for other audiences. As long as they have 
that knowledge of responsibility, the principle of accountability, we 
think they are quite capable of doing it. 

Mr. OxLEY. Has that eroded during the last few years? 

Mr. Keeshan. There is no question that it has eroded because it 
doesn't really exist anymore. I believe in deregulation, I really do, 
but I don't believe in no regulation. We always look to government 
for the creation of order out of the chaos that would exist if we 
didn't have govenment. 

We are not singling out broadcasters. If we tell the automobile 
industry to put in seat restraints, we are not singling them out. We 
are telling them to put in seat restraints because they manufacture 
automobiles. We are not going to tell a toothbrush manufacturer to 
put in seatbelts, that would be silly. 

So when we talk about broadcasters and their responsibility to 
program appropriately for young people, we are not singling them 
out. We are simply saying, you have the same responsibilities that 
the rest of corporate America, the rest of the academy in America 
has, the responsibility that the Government has, or members of the 
Government have. 

Mr. OxLEY. Are the "Captain Kangaroo" programs that were re- 
ferred to in some questions from Mr. Gore reruns that are shown 
now in the early morning hours? 

Mr. Keeshan. No. Last year we created 52 new programs and 
broadcast 104, so the 52 are then repeated. This year we will create 
26 new ones. We have had a budget cut, so we will create 26 new 
ones, and still air 104, some of them coming from this current 

Mr. Gore. Would the gentleman yield? 

Mr. OxLEY. I sure will. 

Mr. Gore. Who cut your budget? 

Mr. Keeshan. The man who pays me. 

Mr. Gore. The network. 

Mr. Keeshan. Yes. 

Mr. Gore. From what to what? 

Mr. Keeshan. Do you mean dollars? 

Mr. Gore. Yes. 

Mr. Keeshan. I have no idea. 

Mr. Gore. Give me a percentage then. 

Mr. Keeshan. It is a very expensive program. It is about a 40 
percent cut. 

Mr. Gore. It is almost half. 

Mr. Keeshan. Yes. 

Mr. Gore. Thank you. 

Mr. OxLEY. Mr. Keeshan, some of the programs on prime time, 
while not necessarily children's shows, appear to me at least to be 


leaning a little bit toward children. I don't mean necessarily to 
single out one program, but "Diff rent Strokes," for example, ap- 
pears to be an attractive program for young people. Is that consid- 
ered in the business a children's program? 

Mr. Keeshan. It is what we call a family program, a program 
that has appeal to a large audience. You are absolutely correct in 
saying that most programming viewed by most children is not chil- 
dren's programing at all. Probably less than 10 percent of the view- 
ing of American children is children's programing, programing pro- 
duced specifically for them. 

The rest of it is family programing, daytime programing that I 
referred to before, and an enormous amount of prime time pro- 
graming that the producers wish they would not watch. They don't 
want them to watch it, but they do watch it. 

Here again is the question of parental responsibility and paren- 
tal yielding of this responsibility to broadcasters. From the rating 
books we know that the juvenile audience doesn't fall below 1 mil- 
lion until midnight, and that is hardly the broadcaster's responsi- 
bility. I think questions of parental responsibility are raised there. 

Mr. OxLEY. Mr. Rivera, one of the things that has concerned me 
about television in general, and particularly what I have seen in 
passing, has been that many of the independent stations run 
movies in many cases very early in the afternoon and very early in 
the evening. Many of the movies are questionable at best as far as 
a young audience is concerned. 

What responsibility do the independents have, and what can 
really be done about providing some degree of notice or some 
degree of ability for the parents to understand exactly what their 
children may be seeing during that particular time? 

Mr. Rivera. The independents bear the same responsibility that 
other network affiliates bear in terms of serving the community. 

I think that if the viewers believe that they are not serving 
them, they should first indicate to the independent in question that 
they are having a problem with the programing. Then they should 
indicate that to us as well at the Commission, especially at license 
renewal time, with the specifics of why the license is not serving 
the public interest, the viewing audience. 

With regard to what can be done to let parents know what is 
available, if the television digest that appears in the newspaper is 
not sufficient, then I would suggest a telephone call to the station 
in question to ask what the movie is about and that sort of thing, 
to get the particulars if they are worried about a young audience 
viewing the movie. 

Mr. OxLEY. Thank you. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Swift. Thank you. 

Mr. Rivera, you made the comment that you thought that per- 
haps one of the reasons that the amount of children's programing 
is going down is that the Commission, or at least there is a percep- 
tion that the Commission is no longer interested in kids' 

We hear a great deal these days about how the regulation is no 
longer necessary because the marketplace is going to take care of 
everj^hing that is necessary. How does your feeling that there is 


lack of response for children's programing because the Commission 
is no longer interested square with the total deregulatory approach 
that is the philosophy of the Commission as a whole, not necessar- 
ily yourself? 

Mr. Rivera. The cause of the lack of response by the networks, I 
think, is a perception that the Commission is not going to take 
away licenses as a result of a diminution in this type of 

Mr. Swift. Even more that they are trying to get rid of the au- 
thority by which they can even raise an eyebrow. Is it not true that 
Chairman Fowler would just as soon, by statute, have any authori- 
ty to do anything with regard to children's programing or anything 
else for that matter? 

Mr. Rivera. I think he certainly has indicated on the record that 
that is his position. 

Mr. Swift. What I am suggesting is, am I correct in hearing you, 
contrary to that point of view, say that you feel that at least in 
part the feeling in the broadcast community that the Commission 
doesn't care, in fact has resulted in a change in behavior on their 
part with regard to children's programing? 

Mr. Rivera. That is my perception. Congressman. 

Mr. Swift. Thank you. 

I am no apologist for CBS, but it seems to me that there are two 
ways of looking at that particular half-glass of water. One is that 
CBS is terribly bad network who cut "Captain Kangaroo" back. 
One might also argue that it was the network that kept "Captain 
Kangaroo" on years after it was clear none of the CBS competitors 
were going to put on similar kinds of programings, and in fact were 
beginning to build solid leads in early morning programing doing 
something else. I raise that primarily to examine the marketplace 
issues involved. 

It seems to me, and I would appreciate if both of you would com- 
ment on this, that if a broadcaster in a market— We happen to be 
talking about a network and national market, but I think that it 
holds true in the local market as well— if one broadcaster is willing 
to make a commitment to some kind of programing that may be 
expensive and may not be rewarding in terms of profit it can make, 
if its competition doesn't respond in kind, what it probably can do 
is exploit the station to the point at which that broadcaster who is 
trying to do something in the public interest ultimately is going to 
have to respond to the competitive forces and join the competition, 
if they won't join him, in competing for public service, if you will. 

I would be interested in your comments on how the marketplace 
works in that regard. 

Mr. Rivera. I agree with you and that is why I think it is im- 
perative that the Commission enforce its regulations on a uniform 
basis. To the extent that the Commission indicates that, yes, qual- 
ity children's quality programing is a criteria for license renewal, 
then it ought to enforce that across the board, and I don't think 
that you would have the problem, or you shouldn't have the prob- 
lem that you indicated would exist in the market that you posited. 

Mr. Swift. Mr. Keeshan. 

Mr. Keeshan. I appreciate your remarks and you are absolutely 
right. For 27 years CBS did keep "Captain Kangaroo" on the air 



when it was not economically feasible for them to do so. As I men- 
tioned to Mr. Gore, it is an enormously expensive program. I 
cannot tell you how many millions and millions of dollars CBS lost 
over that 27 year period. 

Incidentally, particularly in the early period, they were keeping 
it on for the right reason. People say to me, "They kept it on be- 
cause of the Commission, and they were fearful of regulation." Of 
course, until Newton Ninnow and his vast wasteland comments, 
the Commission cared not at all about the content of programing. I 
was already on the air 8 years before that. Incidentally, I also 
think that almost anywhere else, when the decision was made to 
remove me from Monday through Friday, that would have been the 
end of the "Captain Kangaroo." I would not even have been given 
weekend time. 

So, I don't want to give any impression but that I am very grate- 
ful to CBS for what they have done and what they continue to do 
with that commitment, as reduced as it may be. But there is no 
question, as I indicated before, decisions made by networks are the 
results of many influences. One of the greatest influences is the in- 
fluence of stations. The change in regulatory climate certainly has 
caused the stations to say: 

We don't have to program children's programing anymore. Therefore, we are in- 
sisting that you make this decision. Make us more competitive. We are hurting in 
the morning, and you have to do something to help us. 

Mr. Swift. I yield to the gentleman from Tennessee. 

Mr. Gore. I thank my colleague for yielding for two brief com- 

First of all, I am so glad that in that interchange you made the 
point that you effectively made. It is illustrative to me, Mr. Chair- 
man, because there are really two points. The first one is that the 
dynamics of this particular marketplace do not work to meet the 
needs of the child viewing audience. 

The second point, above and beyond that one, which you have al- 
luded to in your question, is that not only does the market fail to 
meet the needs of child viewing audience, the dynamics of the mar- 
ketplace actively penalize those networks and stations that do try 
to meet the needs of child viewing audience. 

You know that is something that we have really got to take note 
of, because we come up here intermittently and talk about this 
problem, and some of us have sort of had the idea that if the net- 
works just cared enough, if they just realized what a heavy obliga- 
tion to the public they have, then they would meet that obligation, 
but you know that it is not going to work that way. They are look- 
ing at the bottom line. Their station affiliates are looking at the 
bottom line. Those like CBS that have tried get kicked in the teeth 
in the ratings because the competition won't go along with it. 

So it really argues very strongly in favor of the direction that 
you are pointing in. Commissioner Rivera, and I would just hope 
that the Commission would move quickly along the lines that you 
are recommending. I would hope that the Congress would respond 
to your suggestion for a study commission to advise us and you on 
the best course of action. 

Thank you for yielding, Mr. Chairman. 


Mr. Swift. I am happy to yield. The gentleman summarized very 
well the point that I was trying to bring out. 

It seems to me that if we are not going to simply be satisfied 
with a witch-hunt, trying to find the bad guys, and then walk away 
from this issues as we have in the past, we have to ask, "What are 
you going to do about it?" It seems that what we have elicited so 
far, and we will explore this further as the hearing continues, but 
that the marketplace is not going to provide the answer to chil- 
dren's programing. 

Certainly there is no one beyond the broadcaster currently that 
has in law any responsibility to meet this need in any fashion. 
Then we really begin to ask the question, what kind of regulation 
or what alternatives can we come up with that will pursue this. It 
is not an easy question particularly in a climate in which deregula- 
tion is running rampant as the current "in" theory in Washington, 

Let me thank you both and make one last comment to Commis- 
sioner Rivera. 

I am enormously pleased, and I know I speak for the chairman of 
this subcommittee, with the response that the Commission is now 
indicating it will take, or that Chairman Fowler is indicating he 
will make, to your long-held concerns and this committee's long- 
held concerns that we need to do more in children's television. 

We really appreciate the Chairman of the Commission doing 
that, and we welcome him aboard the effort that we have long 
been trying to pursue. 

We thank you both. Your testimony has been superb. 

The committee will adjourn for a vote on the floor and reconvene 
in 10 minutes. 

[Brief recess.] 

Mr. Swift. The subcommittee will please come to order. 

Our next witness is Mr. LeVar Burton. As a west coaster who 
has unfortunately taken the redeye many more times than I would 
like to admit, I know what you have just been through. 

We very much appreciate the special effort that you made to join 
the committee and we will be happy to submit for the record any 
prepared statement you have in toto. You go ahead and make 
whatever statement you choose. 


Mr. Burton. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. 

I am delighted to be here this morning representing Public 
Broadcasting. I would first like to commend you and your col- 
leagues for your conscienciousness in holding these hearings on the 
importance of quality programing for children. 

I have throughout my career maintained a strong commitment 
to children's programing in both commercial and public TV, and I 
am pleased to announce that I am now hosting a new children's 
series for PBS called "Reading Rainbow." 

I believe strongly that we have an incredible opportunity to use 
this unique telecommunications resource to promote the growth 


and development of our Nation's most important resource, our chil- 

"Reading Rainbow" will be shown on public television through- 
out the country during July and August, and it is possible only be- 
cause of the help and cooperation of a long list of concerned citi- 
zens. The production of "Reading Rainbow" is being financed by 
underwriting from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, CPB, 
and the Kellogg Co. The coproducers are Great Plains National of 
the University of Nebraska Educational Television Network, and 
public television station WNED in Buffalo, and they have donated 
their facilities and staff. 

Educational experts and their organizations from the ALA, the 
American Library Association, to the NEA, the National Education 
Association, to the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, 
have contributed their time, energy, and expertise to both the de- 
velopment and the promotion of the series. 

Narrators of the featured books include Bill Cosby, Maya Ange- 
lou, Lily Tomlin, James Earl Jones, Madeline Kahn, and others, 
who have given their time, not for money but for a belief in the 
importance of this type of television programing. 

"Reading Rainbow" is designed to sustain reading skills during 
the summer months when children don't get the same encourage- 
ment to read. We are geared demographically toward entry level 
reading, children ages 6 to 9, and it is our intent, through a fast 
paced half hour of television to give kids the idea that reading is 
fun, that it can open up a limitless world for you. By picking up a 
book you can travel anywhere in the universe. 

Each half-hour program might focus on a single book. The theme 
of the book is expanded in a number of ways from dramatizations, 
animation, and music, to visits to the theme related settings such 
as Dinosaur National Park in Utah, the New England Aquarium, 
and the San Diego Zoo. 

Just as important is that our viewers see other kids just like 
themselves enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. 
So, children play a big role in this series, helping to narrate the 
text, participating in the action scenes. One of my favorite seg- 
ments, book reviews of children's books by children. 

Each segment encourages our young people to use their local li- 
braries. Based on research showing that musical presentations help 
kids remember the concepts presented, music is a part of each pro- 
gram as well. To show you what I mean, we have a clip of the show 
called "Tight Times," which is a terrific book about a family deal- 
ing with the economic situation in the country today. 

Our emphasis in the show is on the fact that even in tight times 
there are a lot of things that you can do that don't cost very much 

[Film clip was shown.] 

Mr. Burton. Doing the work to produce a good series like "Read- 
ing Rainbow" is just a part of the effort, because the kids are never 
going to watch it if they don't even know that it is on. We have 
had a lot of help on this front, too, from the CPB, the local public 
television stations, as well as the ALA, NEA, PTA, Kellogg, and 
book distributors and sellers. 


To accompany the series, an activity magazine, called "Reading 
Rainbow Gazette," is being produced which contains games, puz- 
zles, and photographs from each program, as well as a complete list 
of the books we discuss, and ideas for parents to discuss with their 

In conclusion, I want to emphasize how important each of these 
steps I have described is for the production and promotion of good 
programing, and here is the key, good programing that the kids 
will be interested in watching. But it all takes a lot of time and a 
lot of work, and actually a lot of money. 

The real cost of "Reading Rainbow" is about twice the actual fi- 
nancial contribution of CPB and Kellogg because so many people 
have donated their time and resources to the project. But this isn't 
anything new for the public television that is how their program- 
ing has always been done. 

As proud as I am to be a part of this effort, I am worried, too. I 
want to be sure that it is not the last program I will be able to do 
for public television, but I know that CPB's budget is being cut by 
25 percent, and there have been even larger cuts in the media 
budgets in other agencies like the Department of Education, the 
National Science Foundation, which have funded this kind of pro- 
graming in the past. 

I also know that we wanted to do a longer series, more than just 
15 programs, but we just didn't have enough money. We couldn't 
reduce the quality or we would not be able to attract the audience. 
The same thing is true for promotion, so we had to cut 25 percent 
of the programing. 

I know there are some people who think that maybe we can't 
afford this kind of programing when budget pressures are tight. 
For me and the other people involved in "Reading Rainbow" that 
isn't the issue. In fact, it is just the reverse. How can we possibly 
afford not to fund this kind of program, because the whole future 
of our country depends upon the education of our children. 

[Mr. Burton's prepared statement follows:] 


Testimony of 

LeVar Burton, Host 

Before the 

Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and Finance 
Committee on Energy and Commerce 

U.S. House of Representatives 

March 16, 1983 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I am delighted to be able 
to participate in Congressional hearings emphasizing the importance of quality 
television programming for our children. I'm here not just because I'm the host 
of an exciting new program, READING RAINBOW, on public television. I'm here 
because being part of this series is important to me. An* that's because I want 
to help promote the idea that we can use this unique telecommunications resource 
to promote the growth and development of our nation's most important resource, our 

READING RAINBOW, which will be shown on public television stations through- 
out the country during July and August, is possible because of the help and 
cooperation of a long list of concerned citizens. The production of READING 
RAINBOW is being financed by underwriting from the Corporation for Public Broad- 
casting (CPB) and the Kellogg Company. The co-producers--Great Plains National 
(of the University of Nebraska Educational Television Network) and public television 
station WNED in Buffalo— have donated their facilities and staff. Educational 
experts and their organizations, from the American Library Association (ALA), and 
the National Educational Association (NEA) to the National Congress of Parents and 
Teachers (PTA)~have contributed their time, energy and expertise to both the 
development and promotion of the series. Narrators of the featured books — which 
Include Bill Cosby, Maya Angelou, Lily Tomlin, James Earl Jones, Madeline Kahn and 
others — have given their time not for money but for a belief in the importance 
of this type of television programming. 


'READING RAINBOW is designed to sustain reading skills— so carefully 
nurtured by our teachers during the school months— during the summer months, when 
children don't get the same encouragement to enjoy reading. The Idea for the 
program came from a problem Identified by educators, as Is often the case with 
public television's educational programming. Working with them, CPB and the staff 
of the producing stations, we began to develop a program based on what had proven 
successful In previous educational programming— high quality production, good role 
models, and a strong promotional effort. The purpose of all this, of course. Is 
to encourage reading by showing how interesting and how much fun it can be. 

We began by adapting carefully selected quality books to televislon—67 
titles in all. We looked for books that are not only available in the market, at 
a reading level appropriate for first and second graders, and adaptable to televi- 
sion and with rights available from the publisher, but more importantly, books 
which have been noted for their literary excellence and demonstrated popularity 
with children as well. We turned to our advisors— representatives from the 
American Library Association, the National Education Association, the American 
Booksellers Association, and the Parent-Teachers Association— to select the 

In each of the half-hour programs, I focus on a single book. The theme of 
the book is expanded in a number of ways, from dramatizations, animation and music 
to visits to theme-related settings such as Dinosaur National Park and the New 
England Aquarium. 

Just as Important is that our viewers see other kids just like them- 
selves who enjoy reading and talking about the books they've read. So children 
play a big role in the series, helping narrate the text, participating in the 
action scenes and writing and giving book reviews. , 


Each segment encourages our young people to use their local libraries. 
Based on research showing that musical presentations help kids remember the 
concepts presented music Is a part of each program as well. To show you what I 
mean, I have a short clip from the program, called "Checking It Out." 

— CLIP — 

But doing the work to produce a good series Hke READING RAINBOW Is 
just part of the effort. Because the kids are never going to watch It 1f they 
don't even know It's on. 

And we've had a lot of help on this front, too—from CPB and the local 
public television stations as well as the ALA, NEA, PTA, Kellogg, and book dis- 
tributors and sellers. 

The NEA is printing a generic teachers guide In their newspaper. The 
ALA has Included Information about READING RAINBOW In its National Library 
Week kit. 6. Dal ton and Walden Books are working with us to make sure that the 
books we promote are readily available. Local public television stations, who 
have found that use of a parent mailer, delivered through children from school. Is 
a very cost-effective way of reaching an audience, will purchase the brochure and 
work with community groups to promote the program. In addition, the series will 
be featured in PTA TODAY, Kellogg will devote side panels of their cereal boxes to 
drawings of featured books (which can be cut out for use as bookmarks), press 
kits, posters and public service spots are being developed, and I will personally 
promote the series with interviews and on-air appearances. 

To accompany the series, an activity magazine called "Reading Rainbow 
Gazette" is being produced which contains games, puzzles and photographs from 
each program as well as a complete list of the books we discuss and ideas for 
parents to discuss with their children. 

20-006 O - 83 - 3 


In conclusion, I want to emphasize how important each of these steps 
I've described is for the production and promotion of good programming— that kids 
win be Interested In watching. But it all takes a lot of time and a lot of work 
and especially a lot of money. The real cost of READING RAINBOW is about twice 
the actual financial contribution of the CPB and Kellogg because so many people 
devoted their time and resources to the project. But this isn't anything new for 
public television; that's how their programming has always been done. 

As proud as I am to be a part of this effort, I'm worried, too. I want 
to be sure that it's not the last program I'll be able to do for public television. 
But I know that the CPB's budget has been cut by 25S and that there have been even 
larger cuts in the media budgets in other agencies like the Department of Education 
and the National Science Foundation who've funded this kind of programming in the 
past. And I also know that we wanted to do a longer series, more than just fifteen 
programs but we didn't have enough money. We couldn't reduce the quality or 
we wouldn't be able to attract the audience. The same thing is true for the 
promotion. So we had to cut 251 of the programming. 

I know there are some people who think that maybe we can't afford this 
kind of programming when budget pressures are tight. For me, and for the other 
people involved in READING RAINBOW, that isn't the issue. In fact, it's just 
the reverse. How can we possibly afford not to? Because the whole future of our 
country depends on the education of our children. 


Mr. Swift. Thank you very much, Mr. Burton. 

There are other members of the committee who would Hke very 
much to talk with you and have an opportunity to ask you some 
questions. We have just had a vote and some of them are a little 
late in coming back. Would your schedule permit you to stay with 
the other panel, so that you could be included in the question ses- 

Mr. Burton. Absolutely. 

Mr. Swift. I would like to ask a question or two while we have 
this shot. As long as I have you all to myself, I might as well take 
advantage of it. 

I would just like to get on the record from an artist the answer 
to this question and that is: "These are only kids; why can't you 
reduce the production value, since they are not going to know the 
difference anyway?" 

Mr. Burton. In my opinion, not just as an artist but as a produc- 
er, I have always found it to be my experience that when you begin 
to cut costs, you begin immediately to lose quality. In terms of the 
importance of this programing, the quality is of the utmost impor- 

Mr. Swift. How is a kid going to know whether he is watching 
good quality or poor quality? He doesn't even know what produc- 
tion value is if you asked him. 

Mr. Burton. Children are very discerning human beings. They 
know when they are being scammed. They know when they are 
being cheated and lied to. They know when they are being given a 
second rate deal. They are very intelligent human beings. 

Mr. Swift. Is it not also true that we have inadvertently spent a 
great deal of time educating them in terms of what production 
values are — even though they might not know what that phrase 
means? The special effects that were being used there, the speed, 
the tempo that was being used there, all of which costs a lot of 

If you can use a piece of film and run it 8 seconds, instead of 
running it a second-and-a-half, that is a lot cheaper. But the kids 
are trained, educated, if you will, to television language. They 
know what to expect. As a result, they, in fact, do know, they liter- 
ally know when they are getting a second rate product, although 
they might not be able to explain it to you. Do you agree with that 

Mr. Burton. I would be inclined to agree with that, yes. Their 
indoctrination into the world of television and mass media starts at 
a very early age, and they are very sophisticated television viewers 
I have found. 

Mr. Swift. You indicate that you had to choose between reducing 
the number of episodes or reducing the quality and stretching it 
further. And you made the choice you did. 

About how much did the program cost per episode, do you know? 

Mr. Burton. That is a question that I can't answer. You might 
be able to get a more definitive statement in terms of production 
budget from either the CPB or the National Association of Public 
Television Stations. 

Mr. Swift. So far as you are aware, is it roughly the same as to 
the cost of putting on a commercial half-hour? 


Mr. Burton. As I indicated in my statement, most of my services 
and the services of colleagues of mine have been donated. 

Mr. Swift. So the way that you have been cutting cost without 
reducing the quality is for very talented people to contribute time, 
effort, energy, and talent. 

Mr. Burton. As well as from the entire support group of the 
public television station. 

Mr. Swift. It is also true that labor unions tend to give kind of a 
special deal to public broadcasting, that copyright holders help out 
a little bit by not demanding as much, and on down the line there 
is a tremendous amount of volunteerism that goes into it. 

Mr. Burton. Absolutely. 

Mr. Swift. But in terms of what you have to pay out, you have 
to buy the film, you have to buy the cameras, you have to create 
the sets, and it is no cheaper to do that for children's programing 
on public television than it is for commercial television. 

Mr. Burton. Those real costs are always substantial, yes. 

Mr. Swift. Mickey, I asked Mr. Burton if he could stay around so 
that other members might be able to talk with him after our next 
panel. As long as you are here, why don't you ask your questions. 

Mr. Leland. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Burton 
happens to be a very good friend of mine, and I am very proud that 
he would come and participate in this hearing. 

I have a lot of different interests in the area of children's pro- 
graming. On your new series, I am very proud to say that I think 
that you are going to be a smashing success if, in fact, your past 
performances are any indication or projection for the future. 

One of the problems that I have been struggling with is program- 
ing for minorities for obvious reasons. We know that in the future 
people's opinions and attitudes toward minorities are shaped by the 
medium that has been most seen in the country and that happens 
to be television over the network, and now, of course, cable, and 
pay-television, et cetera. 

What is your opinion about the absence or the presence, for that 
matter, of minority programing and how it is that the audience or 
the public would view minorities in the production of programing. 
Do you think that there is a lack of minority programing? 

Mr. Burton. This is an issue that I deal with every day in my 
life and career in Los Angeles, an issue that I am very concerned 

Let me speak first in terms of "Reading Rainbow" because I am 
very proud to say that we make a supreme and conscious effort to 
be very aware of the images that we portray and role models as 
well in terms of not only minorities, but in terms of women and 
the whole spectrum. 

It is easier, let me say, to achieve these kinds of goals in public 
television rather than in the commercial marketplace. If I had the 
answer to why there are not more minorities represented in the 
medium, I wouldn't be doing this for a living. 

It is very puzzling to me. I have always said, as an actor, I want 
to not only recreate life specifically through the black experience, I 
want to be a human being in the roles that I play, and a black man 
could be a doctor or a lawyer in any given situation, and not 
always have to have come specifically from the ghetto. 


The networks don't seem to think that way. They always rely on 
this code, we give the public what they want. I am more of the 
opinion that they give the public what they want to give them. It is 
I think ultimately a matter of time. The old guard is beginning to 
move out in the industry, and there are new younger people with 
more progressive ideas beginning to come up. 

I am hoping that in the next 5 to 10 years, it is a slow process, it 
is a long and drawn out one, through the efforts of a lot of people 
who are conscious individuals, hopefully we will get the rest of the 
world presented in our living rooms through the tube. 

Mr. Leland. There is some misconception about what children 
programing as indicated by one of my colleagues earlier, who asked 
whether "Different Strokes" would be considered children's progi'am 
ing. The response was that it was family orientation. I am not one 
to qualify, except from a black perspective, it is probably, at best, a 
comedy, a circumstance of television that is still projecting that in 
order for us to be seen on television, we have to be funny. 

Mr. Burton. Right. 

Mr. Leland. Can you just comment on that. I am very concerned 
when all we see on television is black comedy. Young children, 
white, black, brown, or otherwise, who are impressed by these ver- 
sions of our lifestyle, and very excellent artistry, I might add, are 
impressed that indeed all black people can do is to be funny. Do 
you agree with that? 

Mr. Burton. I am very distressed by the fact that in today's com- 
mercial marketplace, in times when we have the Harrison Ford 
character, and the "Star Wars" saga, there are no hero images for 
minority children. Again it goes back to that dollars and cents 

The producers, the people who are in a position to put out that 
kind of positive minority model product, don't believe that it is fi- 
nancially feasible. It is not going to make them any money, where 
statistics show that the direct opposite exists. 

In the minority community, millions and millions of dollars a 
year are spent on entertainment. As I said, it drives me crazy that 
we don't find ourselves well-represented in the media. It is just baf- 
fling to me. 

Mr. Leland. Earlier Commissioner Rivera and Captain Kanga- 
roo, if you will have it, I still can't remember his name 

Mr. Burton. Bob Keeshan. 

Mr. Leland. [continuing]. We're talking about responsibility of 
the networks. Would you comment, for the record, on how you feel 
about the networks being responsible for children and what they 
see on television? 

Mr. Burton. We are talking about commercial television, based 
on the programing they have for children, I don't believe that the 
networks are exercising very much responsibility at all in terms of 
Saturday morning programing, which is really geared toward that 
demographic group. 

I think that for the most part, with a few exceptions, the pro- 
grarning available for children on commercial television is sorely 
lacking, it truly is. The cartoons are not even as good as they used 
to be. 

Mr. Leland. We know that. 


One last question. You were commissioned to do "Reading Rain- 
bow." How long is that scheduled to run? 

Mr. Burton. We start, I believe, on July 11 and we run through- 
out the summer, every day, three times a day. 

Mr. Leland. How many weeks of programing is that? 

Mr. Burton. We have 15 shows and we will repeat the cycle for 
the duration of the summer. Our initial air date I believe is in July 
through August. 

Mr. Leland. After the summer, what happens then? 

Mr. Burton. We will have to see whether or not we can put to- 
gether some more funds for additional shows and continue the 
show. We would look to have the show air on a year-round basis, 
but of course that is all dependent upon the money. 

Mr. Leland. I wish you success. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Burton. Thank you, Congressman. 

Mr. Swift. I know I speak for Chairman Wirth and ranking mi- 
nority member Rinaldo who unfortunately could not be here when 
I thank you particularly for the extra special effort you made to 
come and share with us your particular perspective on the problem 
of how we go about, as a society, developing good, high quality and 
amply supplied children's programming for the children of Amer- 

Thank you very much. If you can stay, that would be wonderful. 
If at some point this drags on so long that your schedule requires 
you to leave, please feel free to do that as well. 

Mr. Burton. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Swift. Thank you. 

Our second panel will include Squire Rushnell, Peggy Charren, 
Eddie Fritts, Jack Schneider, and Bruce Christensen. If they will 
come to the witness table. 

Welcome to you all. 

The Chair would like to announce that this room is scheduled for 
other purposes at 1:30, and because it is the chairman of the full 
committee who has scheduled the room, I can guarantee you we 
will be out of here at 1:30. With that in mind, we will exercise 
some restraint at this end of the table on the questions. We want 
you to be able to express yourselves fully, but if you could keep the 
time constraints in mind as well that would be helpful. 

I would like to begin, if I could, with Mr. Christensen, and have 
each of you identify yourself formally for the record. Then we will 
begin the testimony. 

The prepared statements of all the members of the panel will be 
included in the record in full without objection, and you can pro- 



Mr. Christensen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Educational, entertaining television programs that meet special 
needs of young people are the cornerstone of public television serv- 
ice to American families. Fred Roger's 30-year association with 
public television goes back to the sign-on dates of the first educa- 
tional television stations in the Nation. It is no exaggeration to say 
that "Sesame Street" and "Mister Rogers Neighborhood," which 
began 14 and 15 years ago, put public television on the map and, 
more important, into the hearts of millions of American children 
and their families. 

During the 1970's, public television added the "Electric Compa- 
ny" and "3-2-1 Contact" to its weekday schedule. Today, despite 
budgetary pressures, leading to a 33-percent reduction in the 
number of hours in the national PBS program service, the amount 
of children's programing has remained largely intact. Six hours of 
children's programing are still being distributed by PBS every 
weekday. Added to the weekend schedule, the combined total is 34 
hours a week and represents over 50 percent of PBS's basic pack- 
age of program services nationwide. 

Just recently, public broadcasting has committed resources to 
produce and distribute two new series, "Powerhouse" and the show 
you have just seen, "Reading Rainbow." Our stations have joined 
the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in pledging funds to pro- 
duce and broadcast a new 26-part drama series designed to attract 
the post-"Sesame Street" and "Mister Rogers" audience and their 

Programing for viewers at home is only part of our story. Over 
80 percent of our licensees offer instructional programing for local 
elementary and secondary students, 15 million schoolchildren in 
one-third of our Nation's classrooms are regular users of this serv- 
ice. Over 100 of these programs, developed in direct response to the 
needs teachers have expressed in areas from science and math to 
music, are distributed nationwide. 

Two of our stations are also experimenting with the educational 
uses of teletext. Teachers report that the medium has a strong mo- 
tivational effect on their students, particularly when used inten- 
sively. They witnessed dramatic turnarounds in both achievement 
and attitude among kids who previously had little interest in learn- 
ing or who had not adapted well to traditional teaching methods. 

Our successes have been based on adequate funding, growing 
levels from Federal, State, and local governmental entities, as well 
as viewers and business underwriters, and upon public television's 
mission that requires quality service to our children. 


While children's programing is the last area public television sta- 
tions are likely to cut, budget reductions have severely weakened 
our capacity for future service. The Department of Education's fi- 
nancial commitment to "Sesame Street" and the "Electric Compa- 
ny" alone was nearly $50 million over the period of its initial de- 
velopment and production. Together with the National Science 
Foundation, the Education Department provided millions more to 
develop "3-2-1 Contact." These sources of funding have been large- 
ly eliminated. 

Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has been 
cut by 25 percent. State governments, faced with reduced education 
funds from the Federal Government and their own adverse eco- 
nomic conditions, have cut budgets across the board, further erod- 
ing public television's State and local government support. Thus, 
nationwide, no new children's series on the scale of "Sesame 
Street" are being developed. 

At the local level, many stations have been forced to eliminate 
their weekend morning schedules and most hard-pressed stations, 
some of those who are really in dire financial straits, have no 
morning schedules for children at all. 

We have sought help from the private sector, not just recently 
but for a long time. Community licensees began seeking private 
support in the 1950's as soon as they came on the air. By the late 
1970's, donations from the private sector were already an essential 
part of the mix of revenue sources that sustain public television 

We already have generated dramatic growth in private support 
for public television, thus we did what Mr. Reagan asked us to do, 
but we did it before he asked. However, there are limits to the 
growth in voluntary support and we may be running up against 

The growth of corporate donations and business underwriting 
brought the support to only about 12 percent of public television's 
total income. These efforts have failed to keep pace with the dra- 
matic increases in the cost of television program production. 

This year, ABC spent $40 million to produce 18 hours of pro- 
graming entitled "Winds of War," and another $20 million to pro- 
mote it. That is as much money as public television got in all of 
1981 from all of its corporate and underwriting sources to support 
the national program schedule. 

While the combination of PBS's children schedule and the hours 
of televised instruction for schools account for nearly two-thirds of 
public television's weekday broadcast hours, this is the least eco- 
nomically attractive programing for underwriters. 

The investment of Sears & Roebuck in "Mr. Rogers" and General 
Motors Corp. in "Why in the World," and the Kellogg Corp. in 
"Reading Rainbow" are as commendable as they are unusual. Even 
a tested successful program like "3-2-1 Contact" could not find a 
single business underwriter for the second series. Production was 
delayed and finally limited to less than two-thirds of the original 
number of programs planned. Lack of sufficient funds for "Reading 
Rainbow" resulted in a reduction of 25 percent of its proposed 
schedule as well. 


The simple fact is that children don't buy cars or soap and thus 
have little commercial appeal to commercial advertisers. They 
don't own stock, vote in elections, or take a leading role in their 
communities to be attractive to underwriters of noncommercial 

Money for quality children's programing like "Sesame Street" 
and "3-2-1 Contact" can't be expected to come from the private 
sector or from the marketplace. To place that burden on the mar- 
ketplace is to ignore reality. 

Last year, the total number of viewer pledges during the spring 
festival fund raising drive on public television began to drop. This 
year the records from the first 4 days in the spring festival pledg- 
ing show an even bleaker picture. The total dollars pledged are 
down 10 percent and the total number of pledges is off about 14 

Part of the problem we have is the lack of new, attractive, and 
thus well-publicized programing such as "Brightshead Revisited" 
and "Life on Earth." Another part of our problem is that after going to 
our viewers 3 times a year for over 2 years asking them to help 
make up the Federal budget cuts, they have largely responded to 
our plea and have already given the extra help they could afford. 

Money for future children's quality programing on the scale of 
"Sesame Street" is not likely to come from the public which has given 
repeatedly to simply preserve the program services we already 

It is crucial for Congress and the FCC to focus attention on how 
to encourage more and better program services for children from a 
variety of telecommunication sources. Urgent attention must also 
be given to building on what you have already provided, and that 
means recognizing public television's value as a national communi- 
cations resource for children. 

Without substantial and immediate help from Congress, public 
television cannot provide future programing children will need to 
prepare them for their role as citizens in this great land. The 
future of children's programing on public television rests with you 
and your congressional colleagues. 

Thank you. 

[Mr. Christensen's prepared statement follows:] 


Testimony of 

Bruce Christensen, President 
National Association of Public Television Stations 

Before the 

Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and Finance 
Committee on Energy and Commerce 

U.S. House of Representatives 

March 16, 1983 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, it is a special privilege 
for me to testify today concerning the importance of quality television service to 
children. Our nation's children are not just important to our future, they are 
our future. Television — used in nearly every American home, for an average of 
more than six hours a day— is an especially powerful factor in their lives. 
Congress's establishment of National Children and Te1evisix)n Week has reconfirmed 
the importance of television to children, and we commend the Congress and the 
National Council for Children and Television for focusing the nation's attention 
on the critical issue of how to better harness the television medium in service to 
our young people. 

Educational, entertaining television programs that meet the special 
needs of young people are the cornerstone of public television's service to 
American families. Fred Rogers' thirty-year association with us dates back to the 
sign-on dates of the first educational television stations in the nation. And, 
it's no exaggeration to say that SESAME STREET and MISTER ROGERS NEIGHBORHOOD, 
which began fourteen and fifteen years ago, put public television on the map and, 
more important, into the hearts of millions of grateful American mothers and their 

These series started just after the first major federal commitment to 
fund public broadcasting operations and programming, embodied in the Public 
Broadcasting Act of 1967. The expanded service to children they represented was 
one of the first realizations of the mandate spelled out in that landmark federal 


The Good News—The Funding Crisis has not undercut our coirom'tment to 
children's programming : Faced with the need to curtail programming and services 
in response to federal budget cuts, public television stations have responded by 
reejnphasizing our children as a unique programming responsibility. Although 
public television stations approved a plan to reduce PBS program distribution 
hours in the national program service by 33%, the amount of children's programming 
remained largely Intact. Six hours of children's programming are still distributed 
every weekday; with week-end programming the combined total is 34 hours a week, 
over 50% of all PBS programming distributed as part of PBS's basic package of 
program services nationwide. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, In assessing 
priorities for a diminished television program fund, put children's programming at 
the top of the list. The Children's Television Workshop, which produces SESAME 
STREET, THE ELECTRIC COMPANY and 3-2-1 CONTACT, decreased the amount of the total 
station cost for SESAME STREET, which as a dally program throughout the year, is 
one of our most expensive series, in order that virtually all stations would 
continue to be able to afford to buy it. 

Children in over ten million homes watch SESAME STREET every week, 
over 90% of the target audience for the series. Its face pace is designed to 
attract and keep the attention of young children while, at the same time, teaching 
everything from counting and letters to why children should give matches to 
parents, how blind people "see" and how deaf people "hear." Six million children 
are regular viewers of THE ELECTRIC COMPANY. With over 40% of them watching at 
school, it is the most frequently used educational program in the instructional 
television schedule. Designed to make reading fun for 7-10 year-olds, it is 
especially targeted to reach second graders in the bottom half of their reading 
class — the level experts consider crucial in heading off early reading problems. 
Before this program was used in the Lincoln Heights, Ohio, School District, 75% of 
the pupils in grades 1-3 were reading well below national reading achievement 


levels. By the third year of intensive use of the program, first, second and 
third graders were reading at or above national norms. 

3-2-1 CONTACT Is a first critical step 1n addressing America's need 
for more science, mathematics and engineering education. According to the 
National Assessment of Educational Programs, over 25% of our young people have 
already decided against science as a career by the age of 9, considering 1t too 
dull, lonely and rigorous. This has been particularly true for girls and 
minorities. 3-2-1 Is designed to reach to the roots of this problem by helping 
all children experience the joy of scientific exploration through animation of 
difficult concepts, use of positive role models and dealing with questions young 
children themselves Identified. Over 23 million young people watched the program 
at home during Its first year and the companion teacher guide was requested by 
over 250,000 teachers Interested In using the program 1n school. 

Educational programming Is not, of course, limited to Increasing the 
appeal of academic skills. It can also teach children to cope with the world 
around them. In an understanding and compassionate manner. And this Is exactly 
what MR. ROGERS does for young people In over 5 million homes every week. 

Three of these four programs were specifically designed to reach minority 
audiences. Recent Nielsen viewing statistics Indicate that the percentage of the 
non-white audience for each one is as high or higher than the percentage of 
non-white children in the nation as a whole. 

And while expensive to produce, these investments are extremely cost- 
effective. Because of repeated airings of these programs, the cost per viewer 
is about a penny per program. 

Not only are we continuing this basic service but we are allocating 
limited resources to new series as well. POWERHOUSE, which premiered last December, 
is a sixteen part series which uses the adventures of members of an inner-city 


youth center to show preteens and teenagers how to deal with physical and mental 
health problems. Previewing this summer Is READING RAINBOW, fifteen half-hour 
programs where ROOTS star LeVar Burton serves as a role model for first and second 
graders — sharing his sense of fun and excitement In reading good books — to 
encourage our young people to do likewise — thus helping them to retain newly 
acquired critical reading skills over the summer months. And scheduled to debut 
In 1984 Is a new 26-part drama series designed to attract the post-SESAME STREET 
and MISTER ROGERS audience and their families as well. 

Public television programming designed primarily for young people at home 
is only part of our story; the real point is that virtually the entire schedule 1s 
designed to meet their growing need for knowledge. 

Over 80% of our licensees provide Instructional programming for their 
local elementary and secondary schools; fifteen million school children in one 
third of our nation's classrooms are regular users of this service. Developed 
by teachers, in direct response to their concerns, 1t helps them compensate for 
the shortage of specialists in fields ranging from health and nutrition to science, 
math, art and music. Over 1,000 of these programs are distributed nationwide 
In response to teacher needs identified at the local level. The subject matter 
ranges from THE ARTS EXPRESS, for first through third graders, and THINKABOUT, 
designed to strengthen the reasoning and study skills of fifth-and sixth-graders 
in the fields of mathematics and communications to THE COMMUNITY OF LIVING THINGS, 
which together with THE HUMAN COMMUNITY will provide a year-long sequence ranging 
from energy origin, use and distribution to the biological history of lakes, 
forests and deserts for 6th through 9th graders. Two of our public television 
stations are experimenting with the educational use of teletext in the schools. 
Results from the Los Angeles experiment indicate that initial teacher skepticism 
about classroom use of the medium was reversed because of its strong motivational 


Influence for learning. Teachers found that the exercises sparked classroom 
discussion and encouraged students to read more about issues addressed 1n the 
teletext program on their own. In Boston, where the experiment is still in 
progress, teachers are reporting similar reactions. In both cases, the most 
Impressive result may well be the learning motivation for youngsters who have not 
adapted well to traditional teaching methods or have evidenced little interest In 
learning. Here dramatic reversals In attitude and achievement have been reported. 

Finally, most of our prime time schedule— from NOVA, NATURE and LIFE ON 
educational programming for the entire family. Those who appreciate this service 
mirror our society as a whole. Fifty-four percent of the viewers are families 
with incomes between $10,000 and $30,000. The remainder of the viewing homes are 
evenly divided between those who earn less than $10,000 a year and those who earn 
more than $30,000. Twenty-five percent of these families are headed by Individuals 
without high school degrees; nearly the same percentage are headed by persons with 
college degrees. The racial balance of the viewing audience reflects that of the 

With over 50% of all American homes using our service weekly, public 
television has become the most cost-effective public trust institution in America. 
And as the only telecommunications service with a specific educational mandate, it 
is the only such service offering an equal opportunity for enlightenment to all 

The Bad News — Funding Cuts have seriously eroded our ability to continue to 
produce and distribute all programming, especially that for children : Public 
television programming for children is specifically designed to make educational 
skills entertaining and thus appealing by presenting basic spelling and counting 
skills in a fast-paced manner, using positive role models, from firefighters 


to scientists, and demonstrating the Joy and excitement of reading. But to make 
sure these concepts are presented effect1ve1y--so that the young audience Is 
retained and receives the Intended message — requires a substantial investment in 
research and testing. For the first 3-2-1 CONTACT series research and testing 
took two years. Numerous educators were consulted about the learning capabilities 
of the target 8-12 year-old age group; perhaps more Importantly, 8,000 children 
were consulted to find out what questions and issues would actually interest 

Because THE ELECTRIC COMPANY is a five-year series, this kind of research 
continued throughout production. Evaluation after the first year caused the 
producers to slow the pace, to teach more by teaching less', treating a word first 
as a group of letters, then as a syllable in a larger word and finally as a part 
of a phrase or sentence. Continuing research allowed the producers to constantly 
refine their techniques, to make humor more reenforcing and less distracting, to 
understand what formats were most effective with the lowest achievers and to 
extend the interest sparked by television into a desire to read books. This 
commitment to testing and evaluation is in no way limited to these two series; 
on the contrary, it is a basic part of the budget for virtually all of the 
instructional programming produced by our stations for use in our schools. 
Equally critical is promoting the most effective use of this material by our 
teachers, with teacher guides and seminars, ancillary classroom material and 
companion books and magazines. 

This kind of research and promotion adds not just to the excellence but 
also to the expense of the programming; to do otherwise, however, would fail to 
achieve the very purpose of the programming. 

Without significant contributions from the National Science Foundation, 
the Department of Education, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), 


the development of 3-2-1 CONTACT would not have been possible. For SESAME STREET 
and THE ELECTRIC COMPANY, the story is even more dramatic. The Department of 
Education invested nearly $50 minion over the years to develop and provide for 
the production of these programs; additional financial assistance was provided by 
CPB. For programs like GREAT PERFORMANCES and AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE, it was substantial 
early investments from the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, 
in addition to the Corporation, which made development possible. 

But all of these program funding sources have been substantially reduced. In 
addition to the 25S cut In the Corporation's budget, the media allotments for both 
Endowments have been reduced, support from the Department of Education cut 
by about 75% and the National Science Foundation's Public llnderstanding of Science 
media budget eliminated completely. Thus the loss from all federal funding 
sources is about $60 million annually. 

Even before these cuts, the amount of programming was severely limited by 
available resources. Only 30S of the yearly schedule of SESAME STREET and MR. 
ROGERS represent new programming hours. No new program of THE ELECTRIC COMPANY 
has been produced in the last five years, and the first season 65 program series 
of 3-2-1 CONTACT will go into its fifth year of repeated programming next year 
following its new forty lesson second season. Of the 34 hours of this programming 
distributed weekly by PBS, two thirds of the distribution hours are simply repeats 
of programs provided aired earlier in the week. 

The Administration has suggested we look to the private sector to help 
finance our services. 

There are only a couple of things wrong with the Administration's proposal — 
it's not a new idea and it's not their idea. On the contrary, it was our idea and 
it dates back to the 1950' s. The concept began with our community licensees 
who had no direct relationship with state or local educational entities which 


provided the critical early Investments to our state, school board and university 
licensees. THE WORLD OF MEDICINE was underwritten by a German Pharmaceutical firm 
In 1957, a nutrition program entitled THE BALANCE by Neutrallte In 1958 and 
Exxon began supporting the airing of Shakespeare plays shortly thereafter. WQED 
In Pittsburgh began fundralsing door to door 1n 1954 and KQED In San Francisco 
aired the first auction In 1954. As the number of public television stations 
grew In the 1960's, these other licensees Increasingly looked to private sources 
of support. And by the m1d-1970's, the vast majority of public television stations 
joined together In a national effort to fund special fundralsing drives on the air. 

By the late 1970's, this pattern was so well established that the preser- 
vation and growth of our public television system was more' heavily financed by 
Increases from the private sector than through rising federal appropriations. 
In fact, it was essential to public television's survival during the high-inflation 
period of the late 1970' s and early 1980' s. From 1978 to 1981, when Inflation 
Increased the Consumer Price Index by 39.4%, our total nonfederal support Increased 
by a slightly larger amount—42*. By comparison, the federal appropriations for 
public television rose only 11%, because more than half of the Increases for public 
broadcasting were allocated to radio. Comparing our $15 million Increase in 
federal appropriations to the $93 million jump 1n support from businesses and 
subscribers we see that these two private sources together contributed $6 for 
every $1 from federal appropriations during this period. Yet because our total 
income lagged behind the increase in consumer prices, we actually had less pur- 
chasing power in 1981 than in 1978. 

Because of this significant growth In private support for public televi- 
sion, the real question is to what extent we can hold onto it rather than how much 
more we can rely on it. 


During FY1982, for example, more than 330 corporations, foundations, 
associations and government agencies provided underwriting dollars, up from 277 in 
FY! 981. The total contributed was a record $63 million, up S5 million from the 
previous year. But because the overall cost of the schedule increased by 15S, the 
percentage share of underwriting of the PBS schedule actually dropped from 49.55 
in FY! 981 to 46.5? in FY1982. 

Last year, the total number of voluntary viewer contributions received 
during the Spring fundraising drive, which had been rising steadily since the 
early 70' s, dropped off for the first time. Although total dollars contributed 
increased, the increase was less than the amount necessary just to account for 

And this year, records from the first four days of pledging in the Spring 
Festival show a still bleaker picture. Total dollars pledged are down ^0% and the 
total number of pledges are off 14%. Part of the problem is the lack of new, 
attractive and thus well publicized programming such as BRIDESHEAD REVISITED and 
LIFE ON EARTH. Another part of the problem is that after going to our viewers 
three times a year for over two years asking them to help make up the federal 
reductions, they have largely responded to our plea, already given the extra 
assistance they were able to provide. 

With improved economic conditions, we can still hope for business and 
viewer support more in line with cost increase resulting from inflation. But 
the period of sustained dramatic increases may well have peaked. Only the largest 
markets, with their high concentrations of people and businesses, can be counted 
on for the bulk of this support and it is here where our financial base has been 
well established for nearly a decade. Having a nationwide service means reaching 
people in middle and small sized cities as well as rural areas. And growth possi- 
bilities beyond those of recent years are limited by the substantially smaller 
size of the populations and business concerns. 


While we can, and have, tightened our belts — reducing the number of 
hours stations broadcast, cutting back on salaries and number of employees, 
postponing the replacement of outdated equipment--the bulk of the cuts must be 
borne by the programming itself, because that, after all, is what our equipment 
and employees collectively provide. Under the greatest pressure is the programming 
for our children — both at home and in school— because it has traditionally been 
financed by governmental and educational institutions and because the production 
and distribution costs cannot be sustained by corporate and viewer support. 

While the combination of the PBS children's schedule and the instructional 
hours for schools account for up to two-thirds of our weekday broadcast hours, 
this is the least economically attractive programming for underwriters. The 
investment of Sears-Roebuck in MR. ROGERS, of The General Motors Corporation 
in WHY IN THE WORLD and the Kellogg Corporation in READING RAINBOW are as 
commendable as they are unusual. Even a tested and successful program like 
3-2-1 CONTACT could not find a single business underwriter for the second series; 
production was delayed and finally limited to less than two-thirds of the original 
number of programs planned. Lack of sufficient funds for READING RAINBOW resulted 
in a reduction of 25% of its proposed schedule as well. 

The simple fact is that children don't buy cars or soap and thus have 
limited appeal to commercial advertisers; they don't own stock, vote in elections 
or take a leading role in their communities to be attractive to underwriters of 
noncommercial programming. 

What we are really saying is that the focus of attention should not 
be limited to how to encourage more and better programming for children from 
a variety of telecommunications services. At least some of the attention must be 
given to how to preserve what we already have. And for public television, this 
means a firm commitment to ensuring the survivability of the system itself. 



Mr. Schneider. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Warne Amex Satellite Entertainment Company is the cable pro- 
graming joint venture of Warner Communications and American 
Express. One of our programing services is Nickelodeon, a 13-hour 
a day basic cable channel exclusively for young people. It currently 
reaches over 11 million homes on over 2,400 cable systems. 

Commissioner Rivera earlier this morning, I believe, inadvertent- 
ly identified Nickelodeon as a pay-cable service. It is not a pay- 
cable service. It is offered free to the cable subscriber once that 
cable subscriber has paid for basic cable in his home. Nickelodeon 
is paid for by the cable system and that cable operator pays us, 
Warner-Amex, for the Nickelodeon service that we provide him via 

Because children's television is a concern of mine, it is especially 
gratifying that the week of March 13th has been declared "Nation- 
al Children and Television Week." I congratulate you, the rest of 
the U.S. Congress and President Reagan for focusing on an issue of 
vital importance to our Nation. It will heighten the consciousness 
of people everywhere to the needs of our kids. 

Children watch 28 hours of television a week, averaging 4 hours 
a day. In households with cable viewing levels are even higher. 
Television viewing is the No. 1 major activity among American 
children. Cable recognizes the young people as an audience worth 
cultivating by providing over 158 hours per week of children's pro- 
graming. With the debut of the Disney Channel on April 8, this 
total number of hours jumps to 170 hours per week. Nickelodeon's 
91 hours per week represents more than half of that total. 

Nickelodeon is constantly experimenting with new formats 
which break with traditional television. There is nothing on Nick- 
elodeon that could be defined as violent, or which contains stereo- 
typical representations. 

Stimulated by a recent ACT study which decried the lack of posi- 
tive role models on television, we commissioned our own research. 
Following the ACT research format, our analysis revealed that 
Nickelodeon to have the highest number of positive characteriza- 
tions of women, blacks, and other minority and ethnic groups. 

Nickelodeon's program is age specific, falling into five main 
groups — preschool, elementary, subteen, and programs that kids 
can enjoy along with their parents. 

Pinwheel for preschool children emphasizes youngsters's delight 
in discovery and fantasy. 

Against the Odds, a biography series hosted by Bill Bixby, pro- 
files the lives of men and women who have had a profound effect 
on society. 

Reggie Jackson's World of Sports takes viewers around the world 
where they can see young athletes just like themselves striving for 

Standby . . . Lights! Camera! Action!, hosted by Leonard Nimoy, 
provides a rare opportunity for young and old to sample the 
method behind the magic of how movies are made. 


The highly acclaimed You Can't Do That on Television uses fast- 
moving, sometimes outrageous humor to make a point about drugs, 
junk food and other issues of importance to kids and parents alike. 

Livewire, hosted by noted humorist and author Fred Newman, is 
a variety talk show for teenagers, featuring guest performances 
and appearances by celebrities who answer questions about the 
problems and concerns of young people. 

Kids' Writes is a critically acclaimed show based on the actual 
writings of young viewer-poems, letters, stories and songs acted out 
by an improv group. 

This fall. Nickelodeon is bringing Mr. Wizard and his famous lab- 
oratory back to television. In a brandnew series, Mr. Wizard will 
explain the magic and mystery of everyday living for a whole new 

In 1981, Nickelodeon was endorsed by the National Education 
Association. In 1982, the NEA once again honored the entire chan- 
nel with a special award for the "advancement of learning through 
broadcasting." The National PTA Board of Directors gave Nickel- 
odeon a special recommendation, the first time that organization 
had ever recognized TV for its service to young people. In addition. 
Action For Children's Television has recognized the channel for its 
encouragement of program diversity. 

Nickelodeon is doing what cable was designed to do by offering 
more options, more participation and more programing suited to 
individual needs. We are showing people that they are both compe- 
tent and respected. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 


Ms. Charren. For 15 years, ACT's strategy to improve children's 
television has been to advocate: (1) an increase in the amount of 
programing for children; (2) scheduling of children's programs 
throughout the week; and (3) increased diversity in progi-aming 
geared to young audiences. 

While we present annual awards to particularly innovative chil- 
dren's series, ACT has never labeled any programs as the best, the 
worst, the most objectionable, or the most violent. ACT has disa- 
greed again and again with this approach to TV reform. We do not 
want to become television's inspector general. Because of our 
strong belief in the importance of program choice, ACT has vig- 
orously opposed the New Right's efforts to control television 
through program hit lists and other forms of censorship. 

ACT commends Congress for designating this week as National 
Children and Television Week. Still we recognize only too well that 
this week is no time to celebrate the state of children's television. 

Why has program choice for young people grown steadily worse 
during the past 2 years? 

Why, with the removal of Captain Kangaroo is there no longer a 
single daily or even weekly children's program on commercial net- 
work TV Monday through Friday? 

Because TV self-regulation by the dictates of the marketplace 
can never result in adequate broadcast service to young audiences. 
The Nation's young people simply don't represent a strong enough 


buying power to inspire the commercial TV industry to design and 
air, purely out of economic self-interest, sufficient programing for 
young people. 

I would like to point out that that 2- to 11-year-old market that 
commercial television talks about is filled with discrete smaller au- 
diences of children, a fact that Nickelodeon recognizes so nicely. 

Why am I here today? I am here because I believe, like niost 
people, that television programing is a vitally important socializer 
of young children and that young people can and will be engaged, 
challenged, and educated by television programs geared to their 
special needs and interests. 

Programs that teach them about a diversity of places, faces, and 
ideas which their own lives do not expose them to. I believe that 
broadcasters know how to get such programing on the air. They 
don't only because programing for children does not maximize prof- 

I am here today because I believe that Congress has a responsi- 
bility to improve children's experience with television, not by regu- 
lating program content, but by exercising its role as overseer and 
legislating in the public interest. 

I, therefore, offer Congress the following recommendations for 
National Children and Television Week: 

First, Congress should reaffirm the statutory requirement that 
broadcasters operate in the public interest. 

Cable and the other new video technologies are by no means suf- 
ficiently widespread in this country to put an end to the concept of 
the broadcast spectrum as a limited public resource. Nickelodeon 
comes only to homes who pay for basic cable service. 

Second, Congress should, as part of its oversight responsibility in 
the telecommunications area, recommend to the Federal Communi- 
cations Commission that it adopt stronger guidelines for children's 
television programing and advertising. 

With the recent disappearance of the NAB TV Code, children are 
at the mercy of the marketplace as they have not been in years. 
FCC guidelines should address the amount of programing and ad- 
vertising designed for children, not its content. There is a prece- 
dent for this with the processing guidelines relating to news and 
public affairs at the TV stations which do indeed recommend mini- 
mum percentages. It is a hard number to come by, but it is not an 
impossible problem. 

Third, Congress should retain the existing statutory language in 
section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits 
unfair and deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce. 

ACT believes that the vigorous authority and jurisdiction of the 
FTC, as guaranteed by section 5, are essential to the widely sup- 
ported principle of consumer protection, to the promotion of fair 
market competition, which is the problem we were addressing 
before about programing, and specifically to the protection of chil- 
dren from unfair and deceptive commercial practices targeted to 
them on television. 

Fourth, Congress should encourage the enforcement of the Equal 
Employment Opportunity Act to bring more minorities and women 
into decisionmaking positions in the television industry, which in 
turn will help increase program diversity. 


As part of National Children and Television Week, ACT has re- 
leased yesterday a new handbook entitled Fighting TV Stereotypes. 
I would like to submit that for the record. 

Mr. Swift. Without objection, it will be made part of the record. 

Ms. Charren. As one step toward trying to remedy this problem, 
ACT yesterday filed at the FCC specific recommendations about 
amending form 395, an employment report filed annually at the 
Commission by broadcasters. 

Fifth, Congress should insure that any national cable legislation 
guarantees sufficient public access channels and prohibits censor- 
ship by any government agency. 

Only about one-third of all American TV households have cable 
television. Far fewer have cable systems that provide access chan- 
nels. Public access, community access, and leased access channels 
are in the public interest, and it is up to Congress to see that they 
are guaranteed. It is also up to Congress to insure that cable televi- 
sion is protected from local or national censorship. ACT recom- 
mends that all cable companies be required by law to provide lock- 
boxes free of charge to those subscribers who want them. That is to 
preclude local censorship. 

Sixth, Congress should support increased funding for public 
broadcasting which provides an important noncommercial pro- 
graming alternative for children. We saw a nifty example of that 
with an earlier comment. 

ACT does not share FCC Chairman Fowler's opinion that public 
broadcasting should shoulder the full responsibility for children's 
television programing, but because public broadcasting needs more 
Federal support, ACT recommends that Congress vote the Corpora- 
tion for Public Broadcasting an additional $40 million for programs 
geared to young audiences. Short of that, I notice that Representa- 
tive Dingell has a really nifty solution for increasing PBS's budget. 

I would like to thank this subcommittee for providing me with 
an opportunity to offer these six recommendations for congression- 
al action. I was delighted to hear this morning about the en banc 
meeting that the FCC is going to schedule. 

We are pleased that they are finally going to take action on 
act's petition from 1970, and we assume that our lawsuit had 
nothing to do with that. We are pleased by the temporary commis- 
sion that is proposed by Commissioner Rivera and support that 

And we are delighted with these hearings, not only because of 
the opportunity to address these significant issues, but because we 
have here a room full of the players in the children's television 
public policy game. I have not seen most of these people since the 
new administration came into power, and we think that it is a good 
sign that we are all here together again. 

[Testimony resumes on p. 111.] 

[Ms. Charren's prepared statement and attachments follow:] 


Prepared Statement of Peggy Charren, President, Action for Children's 


I am Peggy Charren, president of Action for Children's Television. 
ACT is a national grassroots organization, headquartered in Newtonville, Massa- 
chusetts, that works to encourage diversity in children's television and to 
eliminate commercial abuses targeted to children. ACT was begun in 1968 by a 
group of parents, teachers, physicians, and media professionals who were brought 
together by a common concern for children and how they are affected by what they 
see on TV. Today, ACT has 20,000 dues-paying members throughout the United 
States and is supported in its goals by the ACT Contacts, 100 volunteers who 
speak out for ACT in every state, and by the ACT Coalition, a network of 150 
organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the NAACP, and the 
United Steel Workers of America, representing a total membership of 60 million. 

For fifteen years, ACT's strategy to improve children's television has been 
to advocate: 1) increased age-specific programming; 2) scheduling of children's 
programs throughout the week; and 3) increased diversity in programming geared 
to young audiences. While we present annual awards to particularly innovative 
children's series, ACT has never labeled any programs as the "best," the "worst," 


the "most objectionable," or even the "most violent." ACT has disagreed again 
and again with this approach to TV reform; we do not want to become television's 
Inspector General. Because of our strong belief in the importance of program 
choice, ACT has vigorously opposed the New Right's efforts to control television 
through program "hit lists" and other forms of censorship. 

ACT commends Congress for designating this week as National Children and 
Television Week. Still, we recognize only too well that this week is no time 
to celebrate the state of children's television. It is a time to bring to the 
nation's attention, and to the attention of Congress, the ever-worsening service 
that children have been receiving from broadcasters during the past two years. 
A close look during this special week at the problems surrounding children's 
television can only highlight the TV industry's shameful neglect of the child 
audience during the other 51 weeks of the year. 

Why has program choice for young people grown steadily worse during the past 
two years? Why, with the removal of "Captain Kangaroo," is there no longer a single 
daily or even weekly children's program on commercial network TV Monday through 
Friday? Why have nationally acclaimed series such as CBS's "30 Minutes," 
ABC's "Animals Animals Animals," and NBC's "Special Treat" been cancelled? 
Why is nearly half of the Saturday morning cartoon lineup on all three commercial 
networks produced by one animation house, Hanna-Barbera? Why do most commercial 
broadcasters feed children a starvation diet of televised comic books for a 
few hours each weekend. . .and then brag about their service to young audiences? 

Why? Because TV industry self-regulation by the dictates of the marketplace 
and the bottom line can never, never result in adequate broadcaster service to 
young audiences. The nation's young people simply don't represent a strong 
enough buying power to inspire the commercial TV industry to design and air, 
purely out of economic self-interest, sufficient programming for young people. 


And economic self-interest is the name of the game in commercial television, 
just as it is in every business. Former FCC Chairman Charles Ferris, although 
a great believer in deregulation of the telecommunications industry, said it 
best when he commented in 1980 that "the marketplace forces of the television 
industry as it is presently structured fail when you apply them to children." 

What does this mean? That we must all sit back and watch while television, 
the most creative and informational entertainment medium we have, ignores 
children's needs and dulls their intelligence and curiosity with endless cartoons? 
That we who care about improving children's experiences with television must 
content ourselves with research on TV's effects and speeches about parental 
responsibility for children's viewing habits? 

That is not why I am here today. I am here because I believe, like most 
people, that television programming is a vitally important social izer of young 
children and that young people can and will be engaged, challenged, and educated 
by television programs geared to their special needs and interests — programs 
that teach them about a diversity of places, faces, and ideas to which their 
own lives cannot expose them. I believe that broadcasters know how to get such 
programming on the air; they don't only because programming for children does 
not maximize profits. 

I am here today because I believe that Congress has a responsibility to 
improve children's experiences with television -- not by regulating program con- 
tent, but by exercising its role as overseer and legislating in the public 

ACT therefore offers Congress the following recommendations for National 
Children and Television Week: 

1 . Congress should reaffirm the statutory requirement that broadcasters 
operate "in the public interest . " 


Cable and the other new video technologies are by no means sufficiently 
widespread in this country to put an end to the concept of the broadcast spectrum 
as a limited public resource. Broadcasters are obligated to operate "in the 
public interest, convenience, and necessity," and children are an important seg- 
ment of the public. 

2. Congress should, as part of its oversight responsibility in the tele - 
communications area, recommend to the Federal Communications Commission 
that it adopt stronger guidelines for children's television programming 
and advertising . 

With the recent disappearance of the National Association of Broadcasters 
Television Code , one of the few instruments of industry self-regulation that did 
make a difference, children are at the mercy of the marketplace as they have not 
been in years. FCC guidelines should address the amount of programming and 
advertising designed for children, not its content. 

3. Congress should retain the existing statutory language in Section 5 of 
the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits "unfair and deceptive 
acts or practices in or affecting commerce ." 

ACT believes that the vigorous authority and jurisdiction of the FTC, as 
guaranteed by Section 5, are essential to the widely supported principle of 
consumer protection, to the promotion of fair market competition, and, specifi- 
cally, to the protection of children from unfair and deceptive commercial 
practices targeted to them on television. 

4. Congress should encourage the enforcement of the Equal Employment 
Opportunity Act to bring more minorities and women into decision- 
making positions in the television industry, which in turn will help 
increase program diversity . 


As part of National Children and Television Week, ACT has released a new 
handbook entitled Fighting TV Stereotypes . One of the important points made in 
this publication is that television stereotypes and underrepresents women and 
minorities in part because so few females and people of color are involved in 
making television programming decisions. As one step toward trying to remedy 
this problem, ACT yesterday filed at the FCC specific recommendations about 
amending Form 395, an employment report filed annually at the Commission by 

5. Congress should ensure that any national cable legislation guarantees 
sufficient public access channels and prohibits censorship by any 
government agency . 

Only about one third of all American TV households have cable television; far 
fewer have cable systems that provide access channels. Public access programming 
is the most exciting aspect of cable television, and the one that promises to 
distinguish cable from traditional broadcast TV, because it offers members of the 
community a chance to make their own programming. Public access, community access, 
and leased access channels are in the public interest, and it is up to Congress to 
see that they are guaranteed. It is also up to Congress to ensure that cable 
television is protected from local or national censorship. ACT recommends that 
all cable companies be required by law to provide lock-boxes free of charge to 
those subscribers who want them. Let each family do its own censoring with a 
lock-box; cable television is too important a vehicle of free speech to be sub- 
jected to the risk of censorship on any level. 

6. Congress should support increased funding for public broadcasting, which 
provides an important noncommercial programming alternative for children . 
ACT does not share FCC Chairman Mark Fowler's opinion that public broadcasting 
should shoulder the full responsibility for children's television programming. 


Public television fills one or at most two channels in most communities, and it 
has too many responsibilities to too many different constituencies to become 
primarily a children's service, in order to let commercial broadcasters "off the 
hook." But public television and radio have provided young children and adolescents 
with some of the most thoughtful, exciting, sensitive, and racially balanced 
programming of the past decade and can continue to offer these media alternatives, 
assuming public broadcasting is given more funding. The Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting has recently allocated six million dollars for new children's TV 
programming; this money, however, will support only 26 one-hour episodes of a 
weekly series. Because public broadcasting needs more federal support, ACT 
recommends that Congress vote the Corporation for Public Broadcasting an additional 
40 million dollars for programs geared to young audiences. 

I would like to thank this Subcommittee for providing me with an opportunity 
to offer these six recommendations for Congressional action. I cannot emphasize 
enough the importance of your involvement in the issue of children and television. 
You would not have called these hearings today if you did not recognize that 
television could be doing much more to enrich the lives of children and young 
adolescents. I hope you will agree that Congress has a vital role to play in 
improving children's experiences with television. ACT needs your support; children 
need your help. 





TV Stereotypes 

An ACT Handboolc 

The "scalp-hunting Indian". . .the "Mexican bandit". . .the 
"crotchety old man" ... the "buxom black mama" ... the "inscrutable 
Oriental" ... the "helpless female" ... all images that are now part of 
a more prejudiced past, right? Wrong. Minorities and women have 
been protesting these tired stereotypes for years. Yet they're all still 
there in living color on the TV screen, teaching children lessons about 
the world that countless speeches about racial harmony and sexual 
equality couSd scarcely correct. 

If television is a window on the world, it is the only window through 
which many children can see people who are different from them- 
selves: people of other races, religions, or ethnic heritages, people 
with different accents. Yet most television, especially commercial TV, 
closes the window on diversity. 

What kind of message is TV sending by leaving those who are "dif- 
ferent" out of the picture? What does it teach the young Chicano If 
the Hispanic characters on television are most often criminals? 
Equally important, what does it teach the young white child about 
Hispanics— especially if he has no personal contact with them to 
help him form his own opinions? 

Working to erase stereotypes and encourage positive role models 
on children's TV has long been a goal at Action for Children's 
Television (ACT). Three years after its inception in 1968, ACT commis- 
sioned the first of an ongoing series of studies of sex roles and racial 
and ethnic portrayals in children's programs and commercials. ACT 
has organized a number of workshops and symposia on TV role 
models, inviting producers, researchers, broadcasters, educators, ad- 
vertisers, and public policy makers to examine the kinds of examples 
set on children's TV. And several ACT publications— Promise and Per- 
formance: Children with Special Needs and TV & Teens among 
them— have zeroed in on the problem of stereotyping. Many of the 
quotes in this handbook come from ACTs conferences and publica- 

Television can provide more positive role models and fewer 
negative stereotypes. This handbook outlines how it could, and why it 

ACT is grateful for the support of the Foundation for Character 
Education in making Fighting TV Stereotypes possible. 


"Visions," a KCET-TV (Los Angeles) production, PBS 



. fN '-■ 

photo by Ronr. 

70-006 O - 83 - 5 


Why ACT Is Concerned 

When I was growing up watching television, there were only 
two black children on the screen — Buckwheat and Farina on 
"The Little Rascals." We didn't have the reinforcement of "Leave It 
to Beaver" or any of the other programs that showed warm family 
lives for young white kids. 
— Robert L Johnson, Black Entertainment Television 

Television has come a long way since the days when "Amos and Andy" 
gave us some of the only black faces on the screen, when we dreamed of 
Jeannie and father knew best. Children today can watch shows like 
"Sesame Street," where little Cuban boys join hands with little Viet- 
namese girls to sing about numbers and ABCs. But there are more than 
enough programs — and commercials — on TV that counteract the effec- 
tiveness of such shows. Racial minorities, women, handicapped people, 
and the elderly are all underrepresented on children's television. If they 
are shown at all, they are too often portrayed in a stereotyped manner. 
What's more, a whole new generation is getting a skewed picture of the 
world from syndicated reruns and recycled movies that condone bigotry 
And young people are spending 26 hours a week, on the average, in front 
of the TV, absorbing this cockeyed view. 

How distorted is the TV picture? The children speak for themselves. 

• "I think they are killers to Americans. Indians wear war paint." 
"Indians would be like us if they weren't dark, and they talk 
different. Sometimes they're like savages." — 3rd and 4th graders 

• "They're usually dopers, punks, and bums. I mean, they never show 
the ordinary average everyday Mexican teenager." — 16-year-old 

• "I like to watch 'The V\/altons' because I like to watch John Boy who 
is smart in school, he writes poetry he tries hard to get his ideas 
across and he's going to college. I like to watch J.J. He's hip, he 
raps, he's funny he gets bad grades in school." — teenage girl 

At some point, the child is going to say, "Where do I fit into 
this society? The only time I see myself is when I make people 
laugh, or if there's a documentary about crime in the streets. 
But as far as seeing myself as a dress designer or a city 
official, it's just not there." 
—Collette Wood. NAACP, Beverly Hills/Hollywood brancti 

Of course, television is not the only medium influencing children's per- 
ceptions of reality and much of what young people watch is intended as 
fantasy But children watch TV early and often, and from their viewing they 
take away a sense of the social order that colors their outlook on life. 

Parents and teachers can help offset TV's twisted images, but opinions 
that are formed in early viewing years stay with children. As National Indian 
Youth Council Director Gerald Wilkinson observes, "Indian young people 
will act out not what their parents and grandparents say is Indian, but what 
the subtleties of TV dictate to be Indian." 

By rarely treating girls and minorities with respect, television teaches 
them that they really don't matter. And it teaches children in the white main- 
stream that people who are "different" just don't count. Worse still, by ex- 
porting American programming abroad, we are shaping the way billions of 
people around the world see us — and the way they see themselves. 


"Feeling Free," a Workshop on Children's Awareness production, PBS 

TAtK TO )*e'.fl 



'^ Alan Brigniman 


What the 
Research Says 

Television, to be blunt about it, is basically a medium with 
a mind closed to the swiftly moving currents of tomorrow. The 
networks have erected an electronic wall around the status quo. 

—Jack Gould, former columnist, The New York Times 

All television is educational TV to young viewers, giving them an under- 
standing of the way people should be treated. Young people are watching 
television at all hours of the day and night, not just during the Saturday 
morning cartoon blitz. Nielsen statistics reveal that children aged six to 11 
do fully 30% of their TV viewing during so-called prime-time hours. 

How does TV portray the elderly, racial minorities, and women? 
According to Michigan State University Professor Bradley S. Greenberg's 
Life on Television, the elderly are scarce on the small screen: 

• Only 3% of all characters are in the 65-and-over group: a dispropor- 
tionate number of these are male. 

The 1982 National Institute of Mental Health report. Television and 
Behavior, reviewed a decade of research on television, finding: 

• Men outnumber women 3 to 1. TV women are more passive and 
less achievement-oriented than men: some 70% of the women on 
TV do not hold jobs outside the home (this at a time when 53.1 % of 
all American women have joined the labor force). 

• Blacks and Hispanics are cast mainly in situation comedies, and 
even then only in a very few shows. Both groups are more likely to 
be portrayed as unemployed, or in unskilled jobs. 

A 1981 study by Brigham Young University researchers showed that the 
proportional representation of minorities in TV comedies and dramas has 
actually declined over the last decade. Yet minorities are the fastest 
growing segment of the U.S. population. Why are so many of them all but 
invisible on TV? 

Came the revolution. And went the revolution. And Saturday 
morning children's programming on the three commercial networks 
is pretty much back at ground zero, improved only by a few 
hard-won cosmetic changes. 

— Tom Shales, TV critic, The Washington Post 

If prime-time TV slights women and minorities, children's television offers 
an even more slanted view of society. In Representations of Life on 
Children's Television. Boston University Professor F. Earle Barcus 
concluded that in commercial programming specifically designed for chil- 
dren there are fewer minorities and females, and more stereotypes about 
them, than in adult television. The Barcus study, conducted for ACT in 1981 , 
found that: 

• Out of a total of 1145 characters in the programs studied, only 22% 
were female. They were portrayed as younger, more dependent, and 
less active than males. 

• Only 3.7% of all characters were black, 3.1% were Hispanic, and 
0.8% were Asian: one American Indian appeared. (By contrast, the 
latest census counted 11.7% blacks, 6.4% Hispanics, 1.5% Asians, 
and 0.6% Native Americans among 226.5 million Americans.) 

• Of all characters with speaking parts, 57.5% were white, and 33.8% 
were animals, robots, or other non-humans. 

When an animal is more likely than a black to have a speaking role, it's 
time to take a closer look at the television our children are watching. 


"Hot Fudge," a WXYZ-TV (Detroit) production, syndicated by Lexington 
Broadcast Services 

i* ) : ini 


WhaVs Wrong with 
these Pictures? 

In parts of the country where there are few Chicanos, 
people see "Chico and the Man" and think this is what 
we are really like. In one of the first episodes, the man 
says to Chico, "Why don't you go back to Mexico and 
take your flies with you?" I know they are trying to show 
prejudice, but at the same time there are people sitting at 
home thinking, "Yeah, they ought to go back to Mexico and 
take their flies with them." 
—Dan Chavez, Chicano Coalition of Los Angeles 

National Urban League Director Whitney Young once cited a scene on 
network television that epitomizes TV's exclusion of blacks. "I don't know 
how many of you know 125th Street in Harlem," Young said, "but it takes 
real genius to shoot a scene from 125th Street in Harlem and have nothing 
but white people in it." 

An isolated case of TV's failure to bring minorities into the picture? It 
hardly seems so. For unless they are specifically written into a script, 
minorities are unlikely to appear onscreen. But fair representation on TV 
isn't just a matter of counting black vs. white characters. It's also a question 
of how minorities and women are portrayed — as the butt of jokes or as 
useful human beings, in segregated groups or as an integral part of society, 
in lead roles or as subservient sidekicks. 

Producers of films and TV that blatantly parade stereotypes 
have defended their creations by saying that white people are 
depicted in degrading situations also. That's true, but for 
every bad white image, there are ten good ones to shift the 
balance. Whereas a single caricature of a white person is 
accepted as an exaggerated truth, a stereotype is accepted 
as the whole and complete truth about all Asians. 
— Filmmaker Irvin Paik 

To show all minorities or women as perfect, saintly characters would be 
as much a disservice to children as to paint them as all bad. But when the 
same characteristics are attributed over and over again to any group — 
gays, the elderly the handicapped — TV is reinforcing stereotypes: 

• The black players on a cartoon basketball team get lost in the jungle 
and can't figure out an escape route until they are saved by their 
white manager. A crucial match begins, and the white rivals are 
slaughtering the black team. It's clear the white team is cheating, 
but it takes a dog to set things straight for a black team victory 

• Her body bionically reconstructed, the pretty heroine returns to her 
home town and decides to give up tennis and become a teacher. 
Still, she puts her superhuman skills to good use around the house: 
scrubbing floors, vacuuming, and washing windows. 

• Six Arab assassins are the quarry of the three beautiful detectives. 
As the evil Arabs plot to kill scores of innocent people, they leer at a 
belly dancer and shovel food into their mouths with their hands. 
When the scheme fails and the Arabs are apprehended, one of their 
captors sneers, "You ain't so tough you camel eaters!" 

Weeding out stereotypes can be tough, especially since there's a 
danger that even images meant as positive can, with overuse, themselves 
become stereotypes. The granny on a motorcycle, the supermom/brainy 
executive, the Asian computer whiz — these generalizations are also mis- 
leading. Replacing old stereotypes with new cliches is no remedy 


"The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid," a Jenner-Wailach production in 
association with Comworld Productions, NBC Project Peacock 



What about the Ads? 

Whether we like it or not, television influences the thinking 
of children. We know we cannot initiate a national karate 
attack on the tube. We therefore n)ust wage an intensive effort 
to improve significantly television's portrayal of minority- 
group experiences in this country. 

—Professor Charles W. Cheng. UCLA Graduate School of Education & 
Marsha Hirano-Nakanishi, Institute for Responsive Education 

Ideally, there should be no advertising on children's television. Young 
people simply are not sophisticated enough viewers to be able to separate 
fact from advertising fiction. But as long as ads do appear on commercial 
children's television, an effort should at least be made to avoid perpetu- 
ating stereotypes. Children see nine and a half minutes of commercials for 
each Saturday morning cartoon hour, and more than 25,000 30-second 
messages a year, the impact of v^/hich can hardly be dismissed. 

Marketing surveys have at last begun to convince advertisers of the 
wisdom of appealing to minority audiences. As a result, children are likely 
to' see more minorities between the programs than on them. Money talks; 
advertisers have listened. Still, the commercials have a long way to go. 

The stereotypes are very much with us ... . Old people 
are still constipated, can't sleep, their dentures don't 
stick, and they're experts on remedies for aches and pains. 

—Eva Sl<inner, National Media Watch Committee, Gray Panthers 

In the world of commercials, boys play with toy trucks and racing cars. 
Girls play with makeup, dolls, and miniature household appliances. Moms 
offer snacks to the gang; dads get out and toss the football around. If 
women have careers at all, they're mere diversions from their kitchens 
and their men; "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never 
let you forget you're a man 'cause I'm a woman." 

How constructive are these advertising stereotypes? 

• Demonstrating the ease of operating the family's new dishwasher, 
the little girl says to her male friend, "Seehownard I work for you!" 

• The modern-day stereotypical Chinese launderer no longer says, 
"No tickee, no washee." Instead he tries to convince his customers 
that an "ancient Chinese secret" is the reason for their clothes' 
brightness, . as his wife stands knowingly in the background, 
holding a box of water softener. 

Sexism, racism, and ageism emerge in more subtle ways, as well. 
Women may be on camera, displaying the product, but the voice of au- 
thority convincing consumers to buy it is usually male — 90.6% of the time, 
according to one Screen Actors Guild study Blacks are given fewer speak- 
ing roles than whites, and they are usually the ones being instructed — 
more often than not by a white man — in the right product to buy Moreover, 
a 1981 Amherst College study points out that most "integrated" ads are 
simply spliced-together scenes of separate black groups and white groups. 

Even public service announcements can have underlying messages. 
Harvard University's Dr. Chester Pierce cites a PSA that subtly underscores 
the image of blacks as immature, less serious. A group of schoolchildren 
recite the virtues of eye examinations: they help you read more, they can 
help you Improve your grades. When it's the black girl's turn, she 
announces that eye tests are "fun." On its own, a harmless statement; 
combined with other TV stereotypes, not so innocuous. 


"The Year of the Dragon," a Young People's Special, produced and 
syndicated by Multimedia Program Productions 


Who Runs the Show? 

The world of telecommunications continues to be predominantly 
white, as reflected by ownership and control of the media as well 
as in the programming content .... The failure of television to 
reflect the racial, cultural, and ethnic pluralism and diversity that 
characterizes this country today is a tragic loss. 
— Merble Harrington-Reagon, National Council of Negro Women 

The TV industry points to its liiring record with pride: FCC statistics re- 
leased in 1982 show that women made up 34.7% of all employees In 
broadcast TV and 34.4% in cable. Minorities held 16.9% of all jobs in 
broadcast TV and 13.9% in cable. 

Yet a closer look at the makeup of the TV labor force reveals that 
women and minorities are rarely seen where it counts: in the boardroom. 
They are, to use the U.S. Civil Rights Commission's term, mere window 
dressing on the set. Office and clerical duties are still considered women's 
work, with women holding 85.8% of all such jobs in commercial and 
public television, and 91.6% in cable. And while the FCC puts the number 
of broadcast "officials and managers" at 9.1% minority and 26.8% 
female, these figures mask the true picture about who makes the 
decisions in the television industry For included in this top category are 
not just general managers and program directors — who tend to be white 
males — but also many of those with no real say in station policy, such as 
promotion directors and research directors (who are often minorities or 

This employment imbalance is perhaps a natural consequence of the 
pattern of ownership of TV stations across the country: 

• Of the 1042 broadcast stations operating in the U.S., only 18 are mi- 

• A 1982 survey of 288 broadcast stations found that women were 
principal owners of only eight. 

• Only 20 cable companies, representing 45 to 50 of the country's 
4,700 cable franchises, are minority-owned. 

Television . . . has a responsibility — and a need— to find 
those potential Lonne Elders and Alex Haleys, to discover 
tomorrow's Lorraine Hansberrys. 

— TV writer Len Riley 

Minorities and women are even more scarce at the creative end of the 
TV structure. Research by the Black Anti-Defamation Coalition reveals 
that the average black TV viewer assumes that any show with a largely 
black cast is written, directed, and produced by blacks, and that blacks 
are reaping the profits. That is hardly ever the case. In 1980, the Writers 
Guild of America, West reported 1,540 members working on a weekly 
basis in TV. How many were black? Four. 

For the most part, the TV business runs on the buddy system, making it 
difficult for those without contacts in the "old boy network" to get a foot in 
the door. Some who have broken through the formidable barriers complain 
that they aren't given creative control, that established white writers are 
called in after minorities submit story ideas. 

That is not to say that no one but a Native American can write about the 
Indian experience, or that only the elderly should produce programs 
focusing on aging. But the more input minorities and women have, the 
more accurate TV's view of the world will become — not just in entertain- 
ment, but in the news, where what gets reported, and how, is often deter- 
mined by people who lack sensitivity to minority issues. 


'Freestyle," a KCET-TV (Los Angeles) production, PBS 


The PBS Alternative 

You can't turn the world around in a half-hour TV 

series. But you can make it more difficult for children 

to maintain stereotypic notions. Once you've been exposed 

to a variety of people within a group, it's hard to continue 

saying, "They're all alike." 

— Yanna Kroyt Brandt, executive producer, "Vegetable Soup" 

When television is good, it can be very, very good, encouraging racial 
equality presenting women in leadership roles, showing gays, the elderly, 
and handicapped people as valuable members ot society 

The Public Broadcasting Service has consistently led the way in foster- 
ing positive role models for children. While programming on public TV has 
its faults, and minorities and women are still underrepresented both 
onscreen and behind the scenes, PBS has come closest to television's 
most noble goal: serving the public interest. Few who compare programs 
like those noted below with those on the commercial networks could 
quibble with the conclusion of the Carnegie Commission on the Future of 
Public Broadcasting; "Public television is capable of becoming the clear- 
est expression of American diversity and of excellence within diversity." 

• Children with handicaps and those without have both profited from 
positive images of the disabled in shows like "Feeling Free" and 
Mister Rogers's "I Am, I Can, I Will" series. PBS's "Rainbow's End" 
was a pioneering effort to teach basic reading and language skills to 
hearing-impaired youth. 

• "The Righteous Apples," a "sitcom with a message," takes on 
sensitive topics like racial violence without suggesting that such 
issues can be resolved in the space of a half hour. 

• "Freestyle," focusing on changing roles of women and men, em- 
phasized nontraditional careers for both sexes and explored the 
consequences of stereotypical thinking. 

PBS also deserves praise as a major showcase for the many series pro- 
duced under the Emergency School Assistance Act (ESAA) TV project, a 
federally financed program to combat racism. Although the ESAA project 
is no longer in effect, the series are still being aired, and the National Cap- 
tioning Institute is adding closed captions for the hearing-impaired, making 
them even more valuable. Some examples: 

• "Bean Sprouts" illustrates the unique challenges of growing up in 
San Francisco's Chinatown through the eyes of an immigrant boy 

• Teenagers in a strong and supportive middle-class black family 
learn difficult lessons about responsibility and independence in "Up 
and Coming." 

• "Carrascolendas" and "Villa Allegre" entertain in two languages 
through music, comedy and dance. 

• School desegregation is discussed by those it most affects in "As 
We See It," a series researched and written by high schoolers. 

Girls and boys of all backgrounds have benefited from PBS's commit- 
ment to cultural diversity Unfortunately federal funds, crucial in keeping 
public television alive, have been slashed. And the administration threat- 
ens to cut government support even further. So the outlook for continued 
excellence in public television programming for children is cloudy indeed. 



More Bright Spots 

When programming— along with employment— at least achieves 
the same parity in diversity as is reflected in the total population, 
we will have reached the best of all possible worlds: a situation 
which argues for no special attention to minority programming. 
That time, unfortunately, is somewhere in the future. 
— Janet Dewart, former director of Specialized Audience Programs, 
National Public Radio 

Public television isn't the only place where positive minority images 
may be found, nor should PBS be solely responsible for all socially rele- 
vant programming. From time to time programs appear on commercial 
television that do more than just line corporate coffers. When they appear, 
they stand out: 

• "The New Fat Albert Show" on CBS gets out important messages 
about issues like anti-Semitism. 

• NBC's "Fame" shows teens of varied ethnic backgrounds 
performing and studying together and working out their differences. 

• A nutrition spot called "Beans and Rice" and a series of brief les- 
sons in urban self-reliance called "Willie Survive" are two com- 
mendable public service efforts that appear in ABC's Saturday 
morning lineup. 

• A number of national children's specials have confronted minority 
issues sensitively ABC's Afterschool Specials, which are closed 
captioned, have focused on racial strife ("The Color of Friendship"), 
blindness ("Blind Sunday"), and other serious themes. Notable syn- 
dicated specials include "Joshua's Confusion," from Multimedia, 
contrasting old ways with new through the eyes of an Amish boy, 
and "Loser Take All," from Capital Cities, about competition 
between two youths, one white, one Chicano. 

• In the mid-'70s "Yut, Yee, Sahm, Here We Come" became the first 
locally produced bilingual series. Produced by San Francisco's 
Chinese community and aired on KPIX-TV, it introduced children to 
the positive aspects of bicultural community life. 

You shouldn't put diversity on television because it's right. . . 
you should put it on because it's good business. People want 
to see themselves, to see the people around them on 
television. They want television to broaden their world. 

—Actor LeVar Burton 

Commercial broadcasters defend their programming decisions by 
maintaining that they must serve too broad an audience to cater to special . 
interest groups. But good programming cuts across all boundaries — " 
color, sex, and ethnicity After all, it's not only doctors who watch programs 
with a hospital theme. TV viewers of all backgrounds will tune in to well- 
made shows that focus on minorities or that showcase minority talent. 

Occasional specials about race relations or feminism or elderly rights 
are fine, but they're simply not enough. Children need to watch news that 
better represents minority concerns, cartoons that reflect all the colors of 
the human rainbow, and live-action programs that enhance their lives. 
What's needed is a commitment to diversity in TV programming on a 
regular basis— locally as well as nationally — and to the time it takes for 
such programming to build an audience. 


"My Father Sun-Sun Johnson," a Learning Corporation of America/British 
Broadcasting Corporation co- production, Calliope 


Other Technologies 

There are a lot of opportunities for minorities to tal(e 
part in cable, low-power television . . ., and other tech- 
nologies, if people know and work hard for them. The 
powers that be are not going to give them away. 

— Will Norton, Minorities in Cable and New Technologies 

With cable TV getting off the ground, there is reason to hope that chil- 
dren's television of the future will do a better job of putting diversity into 
programming. That won't happen if cable sticks to the same old formulas 
that dictate programming to the lowest common denominator. But there 
are signs of progress, like these cable initiatives: 

• SIN National Spanish Television Network and Spanish Universal Tel- 
evision (SUN) are two national services directed to the Spanish- 

' speaking audience, both with special children's programming. 

• A number of other national cable services either existing or in the 
works are directed to specific minority audiences. The Silent 
Network, for the hearing-impaired, will carry original programming 
for children and teens. Black Entertainment Television offers a 
weekly family hour, interviews with leading black personalities, and 
a live telephone call-in show for teens. 

• Programs produced locally either by cable stations or by citizens 
taking advantage of public access provisions, make for TV that truly 
reflects community interests and needs. College students in East 
Lansing, Michigan, produce "Black Notes," while nine- to 12-year- 
old students in Hackensack, New Jersey discuss Black History 
Month and other topics on the "8:40 Report." 

Although they can provide disenfranchised groups with more access to 
the medium, it's unlikely that alternative technologies will solve TV's ills. 
For one thing, cable can be costly Video discs and video cassettes, while 
increasing viewing options by allowing families and schools to program 
their own TV fare, involve expensive equipment. If much of the audience 
for minority programs cannot afford to bring the new technologies into the 
home, their potential for alleviating TV's distortion of life will be limited. 

Since that is so, low-power television may eventually prove to be one 
service through which minorities can have considerable impact. As many 
as 4,000 new TV stations are expected to be set up, with the ability to 
transmit signals within a 15-mile radius instead of the 50 miles or more 
covered by full-power stations. Low-power stations can be built for a frac- 
tion of the cost of acquiring conventional TV stations, and the Federal 
Communications Commission plans to give preference to minority appli- 
cants for ownership, paving the way for neighborhood programming. 

Although low-power TV is still in its infancy there is another alternative 
to commercial children's television, and it's one already found in nearly 
every home: radio. Recently a number of significant radio series have 
been aired nationally: 

• Black music is put in historical perspective in "From Jumpstreet," 
and the concerns of Latino youths are discussed in the bilingual 
"Checking It Out," two public TV shows now on radio. 

• The contributions of minority figures in history who "changed adver- 
sity to achievement" are examined in "Turnaround," produced for 
teens by the New York State Education Department. 

• "Listen Here," a series of 60-second public service announce- 
ments targeted to the secondary school level, profiles successful 
"famous and not-so-famous people of color." 


"The Color of Friendship," a Highgate Pictures production, 
ABC Afterschcol Special 



Affirmative Action 

Why is black ownership so tremendously important? 
... We need to control airwaves in order to control 
the images of black people in the media. 

—Pluria Marshall, National Black Media Coalition 

In 1978 the Federal Communications Commission adopted policies 
aimed at encouraging minority ownership of TV stations by extending tax 
benefits to minority entrepreneurs and making it easier for them to buy 
into television. Still, the number one obstacle for minority groups seeking 
to purchase TV stations remains financing. Several funds have been set 
up to ease the way, such as the National Association of Broadcasters' 
Broadcast Capital Fund and Syndicated Communications, a minority-run 
venture capital company 

With more ethnics and women in ownership positions, there's a better 
chance for diversity to be reflected in TV programming. Detroit's WGPR- 
TV which became the nation's first black-owned station in 1975, allocates 
large amounts of time to ethnic programming. And a new Bridgeport, Con- 
necticut, station "organized, controlled, and managed by women" plans 
to air children's programs that will "demand active responses from 
viewers— children, parents, grandparents." 

/( is important to move ahead with our commitment to 

equal employment opportunities— not simply to create 

more jobs for minorities, but to create more sensitivity 

in broadcasting to the diversity of peoples and 

lifestyles that defines the American idiom. 

—Charles Ferris, ex-chairman. Federal Communications Commission 

Filling the ranks of the television industry from owners down, with a . 
multitude of perspectives can only broaden TV's view of the world 'for 
children, for everyone. 

WNYC-TV is a good example of the increased sensitivity to community 
needs that can result from hiring minorities to decision-making positions. 
In 1981 the New York station appointed a black manager; since then, the 
percentage of black-oriented programming has risen to 30%— more 
black TV fare than any other station in the country 

Slow though it may be, progress has been made throughout the indus- 
try Much of that progress is a result of Equal Employment Opportunity 
requirements set out by the FCC for all licensees. Any station with five or 
more employees is required to file annual reports of hiring practices with 
the FCC, and to establish policies that will ensure "equal opportunity in 
every aspect of station employment." 

These provisions have served as an opening for groups like the Latino 
Committee on the Media and the National Organization for Women to 
challenge the renewal of broadcast licenses, one means of reminding 
local broadcasters of their obligation to serve the public interest. 

From time to time there have been signs that the FCC wants to pull 
back on its commitment to EEC. The Equal Employment Opportunity Com- 
mission's Clay Smith, Jr., emphasizes that such a move would be a giant 
step backwards. "To refuse to enforce FCC policies in connection with 
EEC would reverse 15 years of gains made by minorities and women in 
telecommunications," he says. Without regulations that promote the 
hiring and advancement of women and minorities, the chance for their 
voices to be heard in making programming decisions would be slighter 
than ever. 


"Oh, Boy! Babies!," a Laughing Willow Company production, 
NBC Special Treat 


Changing the System 

We are an unfinished item on America's agenda. It is our 
task to involve and engage ourselves in the struggle 
to force our country to recognize its best potential. 

— Actor Ossie Davis 

Minorities and women who have made it into television l<now how hard 
it can be to scale the walls that insulate the industry. To help others make 
their way. they have banded together to set up new "old boy networks": 

• The National Black Media Coalition runs a media clearinghouse and 
an EEO resource center, and counsels minority media investors. 

• Minorities in Cable and New Technologies holds workshops to 
increase minority participation in alternative technologies. 

Impetus for change has come from the Corporation for Public Broad- 
casting as well: 

• The National Black Programming Consortium sponsors an annual 
competition — with a Children's/Teen category — for notable TV pro- 
grams and films reflecting black concerns. 

• The National Asian American Telecommunications Association pro- 
duces radio and TV series and serves as a clearinghouse for 
information about Asian media professionals. 

• Public TV and radio stations controlled by women and minorities are 
eligible for CPB grants, as are female and minority public TV 
employees wishing to upgrade their skills. 

It's not only national organizations that can effect change: a lot can be 
done on the local level. WETA-TV in Washington. D.C.. for example, has 
provided solid training through its minority internship and minority film lab- 
oratory projects. Broadcasters can watch out for stereotypes on network- 
fed programs and choose to air alternative material. Local broadcasters 
and cablecasters can promote positive images by turning to unexplored 
sources for programming ideas: African poetry Italian folk tales, local 
ethnic festivals. And media employees can let the community and the 
press, know of obstacles they meet in getting balance and accuracy into 
local programming. 

If we want our children to grow up without the prejudice 
that has stained so many of our generation, and we want 
the educational achievement of our children to be as 
great as possible, then why have we ignored the 
inexpensive chance to reach children over television? 
— Former Vice President Walter Mondale 

There are many ways we all can work toward more and better portray- 
als of minorities and women on children's television. Getting involved in 
the cable franchising process is one step — making sure that cable 
systems provide programming for, and by young people and minority and 
women's groups. Businesses can underwrite programming for local 
broadcast or cablecast that aims at erasing stereotypes, and companies 
can pool their resources to set up job training or scholarship programs. 

Viewers can talk back to the TV industry Protests can be effective: 
praise is equally important. Parents, educators, religious groups, and 
youth groups can encourage children to question TV's view of the world. 

The TV industry can't know how viewers feel if the lines of communica- 
tion are closed. Opening them up, and speaking out about television's por- 
trayal of women and minorities, is not only our right. It's our responsibility 
to our children, and to their future. 



TV Stereotypes 

An Action Guide 

For children, seeing is believing. How can we improve TV's messages? 

The TV industry can: 

• Increase diversity in programming of all kinds. Children need to 
see characters who just happen to be black or Hispanic, as well 
as dramas and documentaries that focus on racial issues. 

• Hire and promote minorities and women, especially to decision- 
making positions. 

• Establish recruitment and training programs and scholarships to 
open the doors in all branches of the field: writing, production, 
news reporting, management. 

• Actively solicit programming ideas, scripts, and onscreen talent 
that reflect America's multiethnic, multicultural nature. 

• Provide access to community groups to ensure a minority voice 
on cable, low-power, and local broadcast TV. 

The business community can: 

• Underwrite children's programs that reflect the interests and 
showcase the talents of minorities and women. 

• Support public television as a valuable TV alternative. 

• Fund education and promotion campaigns to develop new 
audiences and encourage community involvement. 

• Pool resources to sponsor scholarships and recruitment and 
training programs to give the handicapped, women, and minorities 
a start in television. 

• Help finance minority ownership of broadcast, cable, and low- 
power stations and other TV technologies. 

All of us can: 

• Watch TV with our children and talk about the role models and 
stereotypes television provides. 

• React to what children see on the screen. Call, visit, or write to 
station managers, producers, writers, and advertisers to applaud, 
criticize, or suggest new ideas. Encourage children to speak out 
as well. 

• Become involved with cable in the community Get in on the 
negotiations to make sure that children are served and that pro- 
gramming reflects local ethnic flavor and minority-group 
concerns. Urge young people to take advantage of the chance to 
make their own programming for public access channels. 

• Support policies at the local, state, and national levels that ensure 
fair representation for women, handicapped, the elderly and racial 
and ethnic groups — in television and in society at large. 

Action for Children's Television 

46 Austin Street, Newtonville, Massachusetts 02160 



Organizations Supporting the Goals, Projects and 
Legal Actions of Action for Children's Television 

Action for Children's Television 
45 Austin Street 
Newtonville, MA 02150 
(517) 527-7870 


Ambulatory Pediatric Association 
American Academy of Child Psychiatry 
American Academy of Pediatrics 
American Association of Colleges for 

Teachers' Education 
American Association of Public Health Dentists 
American Dental Hygienists Association 
American Humane Association, Children's 

American Jewish Committee 
American Montessori Society 
American Nurses' Association 
American Personnel and Guidance Association 
American Public Health Association 
American School Food Service Association 
Americans for Democratic Action 
Americans for Indian Opportunity 
Association for Childhood Education International 
Automobile Owners Action Council 
Black Citizens for A Fair Media 
Center for Law and Education, Inc. 
Center for Science in the Public Interest 
Children's Defense Fund 
Children's Foundation 
Children's Rights, Inc. 
Children's Rights Group 

The Children's Theater Association of America 
Citizens Communications Center 
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists 
Community Nutrition Institute 
Concerned Consumers League 
Congressional Wives Task Force 
Consumer Federation of America 
Consumers Union 
Cooperative League of the USA 
Council on Interracial Books for Children 
Day Care Council of America, Inc. 
Family Institute, Academy of Educational 

Family Service Association of America 

Food Research and Action Center 

Franciscan Communications 

Future Homemakers of America 

General Conference Mennonite Church 

Girls Clubs of America 

Holt International Children's Services, Inc. 

Home and School Institute Inc. 

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, 

Project on Children, Nutrition and Televi- 
sion Advertising 
Inter-faith Communications Commission 
International Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority 
International Association of Machinists and 

Aerospace Workers 
International Ladies Garment Workers Union 
International Reading Association 
Mass Media Ministries 
Media Access Project 
Media Center for Children 
National Academy of Sciences, Food and 

Nutrition Board, Consumer Liaison Panel 
National Association for Better Broadcasting 
National Association for the Education of 

Young Children 
National Association of Elementary School 

National Association of Pediatric Nurse 

Associates and Practitioners 
National Association of Social Workers 
National Black Child Development Institute 
National Black Media Coalition 
National Black United Fund, Inc. 
National Catholic Educational Association 
National Center for the Study of Corporal 

Punishment and Alternatives in the Schools 
National Child Nutrition Project 
National Committee for Citizens in Education 
National Committee for Prevention of 

Child Abuse 
National Conference of Black Lawyers 


National Consumers League 
National Council of Catholic Women 
National Council of the Churches of Christ 
National Council of Community Mental Health 

National Council of Jewish Women 
National Council on Crime and Delinquency 
National Extension Homemakers Council Inc. 
National Gray Panther Media Watch 
National Ladies Auxiliary, Jewish War Veterans 

of the U.S. 
National Latino Media Coalition 
National Office for Social Responsibility 
National Organization for Women 
National PTA 
National Urban League 
National Women's Political Caucus 
National Youth Work Alliance 
Parent Cooperative Preschools International 
Planned Parenthood Federation of America 
Public Action Coalition on Toys 
l^ural American Women 
Telecommunications Research and Action 

Center (formerly NCCB) 
Union of American Hebrew Congregations 
United Auto Woi'kers International Union 
United Church Board for Homeland Ministries 
United Church of Christ 
United Food and Commercial Workers 
United Methodist Church, Women's Division of 

the General Board of Global Ministries 
United States Catholic Conference, Department 

of Communication 
""i<'ed Steelworkers of America 

""or Racial and Economic Equality 
Institute for Freedom of the Press 
Women's League for Conservative Judaism 


Advocates for Children of New York 
American Association of University Women, 

Rochester, NY 
Arkansas Consumer Research 
Aspira Inc. of New Jersey 
Atlanta Council for Children's Television 
Baltimore Media Alliance, Inc. 
Behavior Development Center, Eureka, CA 
Boston Association for the Education of 

Young Children 
Broadcast Commission of the Hawaii Council 

of Churches 
Cable Television Access Coalition, Inc., 

Boston, MA 
Camp Fire, Inc. .Rochester-Monroe County 

Council, NY 
Center for Public Representation, Madison, WI 
Central Oklahoma Multi-Media Association 
"Check-Up" for Emotional Health, NY 

Chicano Federation of San Diego 
Child Care Resource Center, Cambridge, MA 
Citizens Committee on Media, Chicago 
Colorado Committee on Children's TV 
Committee for Community Access, Boston, MA 
Community Coalition for Media Change, 

Oakland, CA 
Community Involvement Communications, Inc., 

Venice, CA 
Conference of Consumer Organizations, 

Inc., MA 
Detroit Committee for Children's Television 
Institute of Nutrition, University of 

North Carolina 
Junior Women's Club of Rialto, CA 
Livingston County Children's Welfare and 

Protective Association, NY 
Long Island Coalition for Fair Broadcastino. 

Massachusetts Advocacy Center 
Massachusetts Children's Policy Institute 
Massachusetts Teachers' Association 
Minnesota Public Interest Research Group 
Montgomery County Hispanic Coalition, Inc. 
Multicultural Television Council, Chicago 
New England Board of Higher Education 
New York Council on Children's TV 
Public Advocates, San Francisco 
Public Media Center, San Francisco 
Puerto Rico Congress of New Jersey 
Rochester Coalition for Children's TV, NY 
San Antonio Black Coalition on Mass Media 
Santa Clara County Dental Unit, CA 
Somerville Media Action Project, MA 
Statewide Youth Advocacy, Inc., MY 
Student Advocacy Center, Ann Arbor, HI 
WATCH (Washington Association for Televisic: 

and Children), Washington, D.C. 
Women's Action Alliance, Inc., Non-Sexist 

Child Development Project, NY 
YMCA of Greater Washington 

Vh'. Action £tr 

45 Au2"uin £trc3t 
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Winter 1983 


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WM DAVIS TAVIXJR. 1955 1977 

Goodby to Disney and all that 

Most children of the past three decades re- 
member a much-loved television show that was 
once the nation's most popular. It featured ad- 
ventures, cartoons and other staples of Walt 
Disncv. * 

The magic is ending after 29 seasons for the 
networks' longest running prime-time enter- 
lainment. The ending highlights a commit- 
ment articulated years ago by Walt Disney: 
We are always keenly aware that things seen 
nn the screen can exercise enormous influence 

on the Ideals and conduct of youngsters 

Those who use the movie or TV screen as a 
business also have a great responsibility to- 
ward their customers." 

Most who currently use TV as a business 
Ignore that responsibl'lity. Despite strong criti- 
( isms of children's programming, the Federal 
Communications Commission chairman. Mark 
Fowler, has unwisely refused to require broad- 
casters to show more 

Market forces, not the government, should 
prevail, he said recently at Arizona State Uni- 
versity, applying the Reagan Administration 
philosophy that business left to its own devices 
will cure all Ills. 

So far. those market forces have determined 
that preschool children will see no morning 
weekday program on any network such as the 
(lassie Captain Kangaroo; that school-age chil- 
dren will see few after-school specials; and that 
much of the selection of children's fare will be 
limited to Saturday morning cartoons. 

— That is why Action for Children s Televi- 
sion, a national citizens lobby based In New- 
ton, sought the requirement to make broad- 
casters offer seven-and-a-half hours of chil- 
dren's programming, some of It educational. 
between Monday and Friday. 

During the Carter Administration, the FCC 
was moving toward enacting a requirement for 
more children's programming. ACT President 
Peggy Charren and others believe^ Moreover,. In 
1974. the FCC issued a policy statement that 
urged television stations to provide more educa- 
tional and informational children's shows with 
less advertising and some provisions for pre- 

Children under five average 30 hours week- 
ly, according to ACT. What are they watching? 
What Is It doing to them, "at a time when they 
are developing and learning about the world 
and the people around them." asks a 10-year 
study on television and behavior by the Nation- 
al Institute of Mental Health. 

Except for a few reruns In late spring and 
summer, the Disney show famllar to families 
for generations will be off the air. save those 
with access to Disney's new pay-televlslon sta- 
tion. The commitment to prime-time entertain- 
ment for children and families will be missed 
unless the FCC reverses field and decides to 
make a difference In the quality and quantity 
of children's programming. 



FCC won't force child programs 

By Kenneth Barry 

WASHINGTON - Federal Communications 
Commission (FCC) Chairman Mark Fowler yes- 
terday said he will not try to force broadcasters 
to show more children's television despite 
charges that Juvenile programming is Inad- 

Market forces and not the government 
should determine the programs children see. 
Fowler said In remarks prepared for delivery at 
Arizona State University In Tempw. 

A long-standing petition tefore the FCC crltl- 
ctzes the record of broadcasters on Juvenile pro- 
gramming and asks that the agency require 
them to screen a minimum number of hours of 
children's shows. The Boston-biased public In- 
terest group Action for Children's Television 
(ACT) has sued the commissioners for falling to 
make a decision on Its 12-year-old petition. 

In Boston yesterday, commenting on Fowl- 
er's speech, Peggy Charren. president of Action 
for Children's Television, said she still hopes a 
requirement that broadcasters run a minimum 
number of 7'/i hours of children's programming 
a week will be Imposed by the FCC. 

She cited figures that children aged 2 to 1 1 
watch 26 hours of television a week and those 
under 5 years 30 hours a week. 

"It's Interesting that a Reagan Administra- 
tion appointee to the FCC Is urging public televi- 
sion to carry the ball for kids, and at the same 
time the Reagan budget people are proposing a 
reduction of the public TV budget from SI 30 
million down to $85 million," Charren said. 
"Mr. Fowler might better have begun his re- 
marks by calling for a $40 million addition to 
the Corporation for Public Broacasting budget, 
which would be earmarked for children's pro- 

Fowler, a former lawyer for broadcasters, 
said he has applied free-market principles 
whenever fxjsslble to areas where government 
has traditionally regulated. 

"This means letting viewer Judgment, not 
government, determine which programs ap- 
pear," Fowler said. 

In 1974 the FCC said in a policy statement 
that commercial broadcasters licensed by the 
FCC have a special obligation to serve the needs 
of children. In 1979 the FCC staff said the 
broadcasters had failed to meet the obligation 
and recommended remedies, but the commis- 
sion took no action. 

Fowler said the staff had failed to consider 
the contribution of public broadcasting In chil- 
dren's programming. 

He said the Corporation for Public Broadcast- 
ing has Increased funding for programs for chil- 
dren and should be given an adequate budget to 
continue that effort. 

"Nickelodeon" and other cable television 
channels also Increase the programs for youn- 
ger audiences, he added. 





• Leaving 
Children to the 
Mercy of the 


nnter, in 1981. the Reagan Administratzon with its" 
proclaimed du^^taste for "Federal bureaucracy" and its 
confidence in the "marketplace approach" as a general 
solution to the nation's ills. Mark Fowler, the Reagan ap- 
pointee to head the F.C.C.. has stated: "The Government 
shoLild get out of the business of declaring what programs 
broadcasters 'should' carry." Not surprisingly, what is 
now happening to children's programming is precisely 
what the F.C.C., under Mr. Ferris, predicted would hap- 
pen without the pressure of Government intervention. 

'The state of children's 
programming is becoming a 
national disgrace.' 

Sn the past couple of weeks, each of the three commer- 
cial networks happened to offer an afternoon special 
that might leave the passing observer with the impres- 
sion that children's programming is finally reaching 
the quality levels demanded by assorted pressure 
groups over the past decade. In fact, the state of chil- 
dren s programming on ABC, CBS and NBC is rapidly 
becoming a national disgrace, and a good many dis- 
tressed watchdog groups are placing the blame on the 
laissez-faire doorstep of the Reagan Administration. 

There is no need at this point to rehash arguments to 
the effect that television can be a powerful educational 
t(X)l and Ihat children are a special audience deserving of 
special treatment. These points were made persuasively 
in the early 1970's by such groups as Action for Children's 
Tefevision. a grassroots coalition of concerned parents 
and educators. Politicians and regtilators were im- 
pressed. The Federal Communications Commission's 
Dean burch. closely associated with Senator Barry Gold- 
water's conservative wing, began making tough public 
speeches on the need for more and better programs for 
young audiences. The networks inevitably took note, and 
one of the first results was a supplementation of the "kid- 
vid" schedule on Saturday morning, traditional ghetto for 
children's programming, with penodic drama presenta- 
tions during the week. That's where those afternoon spe- 
cials come in. 

And they often are impressive. The most recent batch 
included "Sometimes 1 Don't Love My Mother." an "ABC 
Aftcrschool Special," the first and usually the most ambi- 
tious of these series. In this instance, the story involved a 
teen-ager coping with the death of her father and subse- 
quent emotional collapse of her mother, putting the girl in 
ijie painful position of choosing between going to college 
or staging home to protect Mom. On the "CBS Afternoon 
Playhouse," "Help Wanted" showed a high-school stu- 
dent grappling with himself and his family after his father 
became unemployed and embittered. And "Oh. Boy! 
Babies!." on NBC's "Special Treat," used an infant-care 
class designed for grade-school youngsters to e.xplore the 
strained relationships between one lx)y and his new step- 
father and infant stepbrother. 

The point is that each of these presentations was 
produced with care and a concern for quality. There was 
an underlying assumption that younger viewers can be 
taken seriously and treated with respect. These were pre- 
cisely the kinds of programs that should be offered on a 
regular, perhaps weekly basis. That possibility once 
seemed feasible, but no more. In 1974. the F.C.C. sternly 
declared that it expected to see. without specific regula- 
tions, considerable improvement in scheduling practices, 
ba^ed on the clear evidence that children do not confine 
their viewing to Saturday mornings. By 1979, the com- 
mlsssion, headed by Charles Ferns, a Carter appointee, 
was concluding that considerable improvement had not 
been made, that industry self-regulaiion had failed. 
Mandatory scheduling figures were proposed. 

Item: With the expansion of the "CBS Morning 
News" to two hours, "Captain Kangarob," the only net- 
work weekday series aimed specifically at children, was 
shunted to the weekends. 

Item; CBS's "30 Minutes," the award-wiiming magar 
zine for young people that was patterned on "60 Minutes," 
has been canceled. 

Item: NBC's "Special Treat," mentioned above, will 
be staying on, very sporadically, until next April, but 
from now on the presentations will be rebroadcasts. 

Item: ABC has dropped "Animals, Animals, Ani- 
mals" to make room for David Brinkley's "This Week" 
on Sunday mornings. The network has also stopped pro- 
duction on "Kids Are People Too," deciding to go with 
reruns this season for its major noncartoon effort on 

Meanwhile, with pitifully few exceotions, the Satur- 
day-morning schedule has become the Land of Recycling, 
courtesy for the most part of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon 
studios. The producers are increasingly turning for inspi- 
ration to situation comedies, which have often been little 
more- than dramatized comic books. On this season's new 
schedule are animated versions of "Tlie Incredible 
Hulk." "Lavemeand Shirley," "Gilligan's Island," "The 
Dukes of Hazzard" and, straight from "Diff'rent 
Strokes." the diminutive phenomenon named "Gary 

With considerable justification. Peggy Charren, 
president of Action for Childien's Television, is fond of 
comparing children's television to a public library. If any 
library were found to have its shelves stuffed only with 
comic books, she says, the community would rise up and 
howl. But that is exactly what is happening in television 
and with seeming impunity. As a matter of fact, she adds, 
even the Saturday lineup, sad though it may be. is often 
preempted these days for football. "Broadcast executives 
now know," Mrs. Charren charges, "they're hot going to 
get in trouble in Washington." 

Defenders of the "marketplace approach" do have 
their own arguments. Most notable is the theory that the 
new presence of cable television will alter past patterns of 
scheduling. But for the moment, cable is available to less 
that 30 percent of the country, which means discrimina- 
tion in access. Then there is the possibility that broadcast- 
ers mi Jht be convinced to pay a "spectrum fee, ' ' which in 
turn could be used to get public television to assume most 
of the commercial sector's responsibilities in children's 
television. The public-TV role can certainly be enhanced, 
but tne single system is not likely to be able to replace the 
pre,senceof the three <; networks. 

As broadcasters go about setting their priorities for 
maximizing profits, younger viewers are not likely to be 
one of their major concerns. Children do not control a sig- 
nificant amount of disposable dollars. Perhaps, going be- 
yond balance sheets, iMr. Fowler and the F.C.C. may one 
day realize that what's good for CBS, NBC and ABC is not 
necessarily good for the rest of the country. ■ 



1. Sex Roles and Behaviors 


F. Earle Barcus, Ph.D. 


Judith L. Schaefer 

Prepared for 


46 Austin Street 

Newtonville, MA 02160 

(617) 527-7870 

June 1982 




Perhaps the most significant finding of this study of sex role portray- 
als on children's television lies in the overwhelming proportion of male 
chsuracters. This lack of recognition of females is clearly evident in the 
svunmary data below i 

243 females represent 2Zfo of 110? characters identified by sex. 
203 females represent 27% of 758 human characters. 
23 females represent 9% of 244 animal characters. 
There were also interesting demographic differences between female and 
male characters. Although greatly outnumbered in almost all demographic 
groups, females were cast as younger than malesi 

hj^ of teenage characters were female. 
31^ of young adults were female. 
1^ of middle age characters were female. 
Females were also more apt to be cast as married and identified in 
family roles; 

40% of single adults were female. 

45% of married adults were female. 

38% of all characters in family roles were female. 

17% of all characters not identified in family roles 
were female. 

They were more likely to appear in non-animated comedy and drama than 

in cartoon comedy or action/adventure drama: 

31% of non-animated comedy and other drama characters were female. 

20% of animated cartoon comedy characters were female. 

19% of action/adventure drama characters were female. 


Females were not well represented In important dramatic roles i 
1296 of dramatic heroes were female. 

7fi of dramatic villains were female. 
1695 of all major dramatic characters were female. 
27^ of all minor dramatic characters were female. 
They were less often shown as employed, and when employed, were shown 
as professional entertainers, clerical or household woricersi 
29% of females were employed. 
^2?o of males were employed. 

Z^ of professional and technical workers were female. 
5056 of clerical workers were femal.e. 
35^ of household workers were female. 
125? of managerial and sales workers were female. 
Females were almost con^iletely unrepresented in other occupations, such 
as craftsmen, operatives, transportation workers, laborers, farmers, and ser- 
vice workers. 

In spite of their small numbers, female characters tended to uphold tra- 
ditional values. They more often sought altruistic goals such as respect for 
others, devotion to group, home, and family. When seeking "self" goals, they 
more often were concerned with safety and self-preservation or power. Males, 
on the other hand, were more apt to engage in self-indulgences, seek wealth, 
fame, thrill, and act out of hatred. They also valued work and patriotism 
more than females. 

In attempting to achieve their goals, females relied on personal charm 
and dependence on others to a much greater extent than did males who used 
violence, trickery or deceit, and persuasion. 


Females are also portrayed in traditional sex-role patterns. They 
were found to be significantly less aggressive and active than males, had 
lower self -concepts and less achievement-related behaviors. They demon- 
strated much greater concern for social relationships and exhibited slightly 
greater anxiety. 

Traditional personality characteristics were also demonstrated by feinale 
and male diaracters. Males were seen as having stronger, more violent, cruel, 
active, and independent personalities; vrtiereas, females were unselfish, kinder, 
and warmer — personalities rated as higher on the good-bad continuum than males. 
They were, however, more dependent and passive. 

There is. In the several measures used in this study, strong and consist- 
ent evidence not only of a lack of recognition of female characters — throu^ 
their sheer lack of numbers, but also a lack of respect illustrated by the 
small proportions of females in roles of status and prestige in society. How- 
ever, they do uphold many values of society which have been traditionally con- 
sidered the province of the female — home and family. And they demonstrate 
greater concern for social relationships and human qualities of unselfishness, 
kindness and warmth. At the same time, traditional streotypes of women as 
weaker and dependent were abundant. 

Perhaps we should not be surprised at these findings, for they tend to 
confirm a number of previous studies of sex-role streotyplng on television 
(see Chapter II). What is difficult to understand is why television specific- 
ally designed for the child audience continues to be more extreme in its por- 
trayals than that for adults. Whereas the research has indicated that there 
has been a levelling off of male to female ratio in prime-tijne TV of about 2tl, 
this analysis shows children's TV at about itil— and in some important roles an 

even wider disparity. 

Although one can find some examples of female "superiiero" models in the 
TV programming for children, we have found the overaU representations of 
males and females to be quite traditional and streotyped. Moreover, in spite 
of the efforts by many groups to improve the status of women in society and 
the efforts to influence the portrayals of the sexes on television, the re- 
search over the past decade has shown that they are not changing in children's 
programming . 

As a representation of some of the real changes taking place in the 
status of women in society, chUdren's television provides a distorted mirror, 
with outdated models for young diildren. At this time, commercial children's 
television programs represent part of a pattern of persistent barriers to 
social change. 



2. Portrayals of Minorities 


F. Earle Barcus, Ph.D. 


Judith L. Schaefer 

Prepared for 


46 Austin Street 

Newtonville, MA 02160 

(617) 527-7870 

June 1982 



Perhaps the most significant finding of this study of the portrayal of 

racial and ethnic minorities on commercial children's television lies in the 

small numbers of minority characters. This lack of recognition of all ethnic 

minorities is clearly evident in the summary data below; 

184 ethnic characters represent l6.1% of 1145 total characters. 
42 black ethnics represent 3- 7^ of 1145 total characters. 
41 black humans represent 5-4% of 758 human characters. 
35 Hispanics represent 3-^% of 1145 total characters. 
9 Asians represent 0.8/2 of 1145 total characters. 

77 Europeans represent 6.7% of 1145 total characters. 

Ethnic minorities also are less often found in major roles t 

58 ethnic characters represent 11.8% of 490 major dramatic characters. 
10 black characters represent 2.0% of ^^90 major dramatic characters. 
18 non -black minorities " 3- 7% of 490 major dramatic characters. 

In hero and villain roles, black ethnics are more often cast as heroes 

than as villains, but their proportions in both roles are low. Other ethnics 

are more Often cast as villains: 

5 black heroes represent 4.5% of 111 total heroes. 

1 black villain represents 1.1% of 95 total villains. 

3 other ethnics represent 2.7% of 111 total heroes. 

12 other ethnics represent 12.6% of 95 total villains. 

Black and other minorities are also less frequently portrayed as employed 

than are white characters; 

344 out of 659 white characters (52.2%) were shown as employed. 

15 out of 41 black characters (36.6%) were shown as employed. 

16 out of 47 other minorities (34.0%) were shown as employed. 


When shown as employed, both black and white characters are most often 
shown in professional and managerial jobs, whereas other minorities are more 
likely to be portrayed as craftsmen, laborers, or service workers. 

In value orientations, black ethnics seem more likely to pursue altruistic 
goals than other ethnic groups (reflecting the tendency for blacks to be cast 
as heroes rather than villains). Minority characters, in general, are less 
likely to use violence to accomplish goals, but are more apt to depend on 
others, use personal charm, or accomplish goals through luck or circumstance. 

Few major differences were found between ethnic and non-ethnic heroes in 
terms of their personality traits. However, ethnic villains were seen as some- 
what stronger, more selfish, cruel, and dishonest than non-ethnic villains. 

Also, althou^ the differences were not large, black ethnics tended to 
he portrayed as somewhat more serious, peaceful, intelligent, and more "good" 
than non-ethnics. European ethnics, on the other hand, were seen as more "bad," 
selfish, cruel, and dishonest; as well as more serious, cool, passive, and ugly 
than non-ethnics. 

Hispanic characters were rated as more peaceful, kinder, and warmer than 
non-ethnic characters. 

Although blacks have reached some level of respect when portrayed (i.e., 
as hero characters, in occupational roles, value orientations, and personality 
traits) they are so outniHubered overall by others in these roles that their 
absence may offset this respect afforded them. The same holds true for 
Hispanics. As for other ethnic groups, they have neither achieved adequate 
recognition nor treatment which one might expect all minorities would be accorded. 

Except for those programs which have been specifically designed to provide 
Information and more realistic portrayals of minorities (Garrascolendas, Que 
Pasa, USA? Villa Allegre and possibly The Fat Albert Show), or the newer genre 

20-006 0-83 


of short information "drop-in" programs (e.g., Ask ABC News, Time Out, 
Snipets), commercial children's television tends more to avoid racial or 
ethnic messages than to deal with them adequately or realistically. Race 
and nationality themes, for example, represented only three percent of 352 major 
and minor suhject classifications. 

Cartoon comedy programs contain the most blatant ethnic stereotypes. 
These programs also avoid the portrayal of black characters, and frequently 
provide cruel stereotypes of other ethnic minorities. And cartoon comedy 
alone amounts to nearly one -half of all program time on children's TV. In 
addition, almost two-thirds of all characters appear either in cartoon comedy 
or animated action or adventure drama. 

In terms of both the recognition and treatment of racial and ethnic 
minorities, it is fair to say that those programs originally produced for 
Public Broadcasting (some of which are now being carried by commercial stations) 
have led the way in providing more reasonable and balanced images of black 
and other ethnic groups. But even including these programs, commercial 
children's TV does not even approach the level of recognition of these groups 
that has been reported in programming for adxilts— according to prior research 
over the past decade. 

Commercial children's television can only be seen as a major barrier 
in the battle for recognition of and respect for ethnic groups in this country. 



3. Family and Kinship Portrayals 


F. Earle Barcus, Ph.D. 


Judith L. Schaefer 

Prepared for 


46 Austin Street 

Newtonville, MA 02160 

(617) 527-7870 

June 1982 



The major rationale for the study of family and kinship relations on 
children's television was to discover and describe patterns and tendencies 
in the portrayals. It is done with the assumption that such content provides 
the child viewer with information about family roles and structures which he 
or she may learn and model. 

In this analysis, several aspects of family relationships were dealt with 
providing both positive and negative messages for young children. Some of these 
messages are conveyed implicitly through the frequencies and types of family 
units portrayed. Some are conveyed directly through informational and pro- 
social dramatic programs. Others are conveyed indirectly through parental and 
other family roles in cartoons and animated adventure programs. 

About four out of ten program segments were relevant in any way to family 
or kinship relations. Two out of 10 dealt in some significant way with family 
relationships, and about one in 10 dealt with the nuclear family. 

Single-parent families are considerably over-represented in children's 
television as compared to estimates in the real population. This is especially 
true for single male parent family units which outnumber single female parent 
units by two to one--unlike the proportions in the U.S. population, where single 
female parents vastly outnumber single male parent families. 

The child seldom has an opportunity to see the extended family unit; uncles 
are considerably more numerous than aunts; and grandparents and older people in 
general are seldom portrayed. 

The child viewer may also see more males than females in both family and 
non- family relationships, although females are more apt to appear in the family 
context than not. 


What the child does see are traditional family roles In which the father 
is rather stern, dominant, and often engaged in work and adventure activities. 
He is also the one most responsible for discipline in the family. In addition, 
he is often portrayed as somewhat incompetent and less nurturing than the mother. 
The mother, on the other hand is more competent in her role, engages in household 
and daily living activities, and is more nurturing. 

Available for the child viewer are frequent examples of close relationships 
between father and son, especially in adventure and action settings--much more 
frequently than mother-daughter or father-daughter relationships. 

The child viewer is also exposed to a variety of family and marital con- 
flicts. Parent-child conflicts deal with disobedience and discipline problems. 
Informational programs dealing with child abuse and runaway children offer examples 
of pro-social messages of hope for those involved. 

Frequently, the child Is introduced to the marital problems of parents 
or married couples without children. Seldom do these conflicts involve the child, 
however, as is frequently the case in the life of the child viewer. Husband- 
vife conflicts occur over definition of sex roles, extra-marital affairs, in- 
law problems, and childish husband behaviors. 

In sibling conflict, the older brother is usually the one who is responsible 
for resolution of the conflict. 

The child viewer may also witness a good deal of family support and cooper- 
ation in addition to the conflicts noted above. Family relations are most often 
shown as close and cooperative, confirming previous research on family inter- 
action patterns. , 

A number of examples of positive child development messages were found in the 
stories dealing with sibling relations and parental guidance and teaching of 
responsibility. These lessons come both from parents and from kindly uncles. 


Sometimes falling in his responsibilities is the father. 

Overall, the family on children's television is portrayed in a traditional 
and stereotyped manner, with parental roles clearly defined and children with 
little say or power in family decision-making. Although some of the changing 
family structures seem to be reflected In the programming — e.g. the single- 
parent family — it is not a very accurate reflection. In addition, many pro- 
blem areas of financial problems, divorce, aging members of the family, pro- 
blems in school, for example--are absent. 

In terms of family development patterns, most nuclear families consist of 
school-age or teenage children and parents, whereas young child-bearing families 
and those with pre-school children, those which provide launching centers, or 
those with aging family members are much underrepresented. 

It is somewhat difficult to make definitive judgments about the adequacy 
or the frequency of portrayals of the family on children's television. Is, 
for example, the lazy or ' irresponsible father who has difficulty driving a nail 
without hitting his thumb more "real" than the perfect father who, after asking 
his son to mow the lawn, gets the quick and eager response, "Right away, Dadl"? 

Overall, the family portrayals represented in this study provide a mixed 
picture. Although serious treatment of a number of family-related problems 
are provided in the context of informational and pro-social drama, many simplis- 
tic cartoon comedy and adventure programs provide stereotyped and hegative 
messages for the child viewer. 


Before the 


Washington, D.C. 20554 

In the Matter of: Docket No. 21474 

Amendment of Broadcast Equal 
Employment Opportunity Rules 
and FCC Form 395 


Pursuant to the provisions of section 1.415(d), Title 
47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (47 CFR 1.415-d), 
Action for Children's Television (ACT) hereby petitions the 
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for authorization to 
file additional comments in the matter of Amendment of 
Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Rules and FCC Form 
395. In support thereof, the following are shown: 

1. New facts regarding the extension of broadcast 
license terms (47 USC s.307(d), P.L. 97-35) strongly compel 
consideration of ACT's comments at this time. 

2. Congress had not enacted the extended license term 
at the time the Commission was last seeking comments on this 
Docket. This constitutes a sufficient change in 
circumstances to warrant the granting of petitioner's 
request to submit its comments at this time. 

3. Further, consideration of the comments and data 
petitioner seeks to file is required in the public interest. 


They are clearly relevant to the Commission's deliberations 
concerning the Amendment of Broadcast Equal Employment 
Opportunity Rules and FCC Form 395. The filing of these 
comments would in no way delay the Commission's 
deliberations or divert attention to unnecessary or 
immaterial facts. To the contrary, the information sought 
to be filed would further aid considerably the 
decision-making process and further serve the public 

Wherefore, for the reasons stated above and more fully 
set forth in Petitioner's Memorandum in support of this 
petition. Action for Children's Television requests 
authorization to file additional comments in the subject 
proceed ing . 

Respectfully submitted, 


By its Attorneys 


160 Milk Street 

Boston, Massachusetts 02109 

(617) 451-1380 

Honora Kaplan, Esq. 

Dated: March 15, 1983 

















FORM 395 

DOCKET No. 21474 

I . Introduction 

Since 1968, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 
has supported, through policy and regulations, equal 

employment opportuni titles for women and minorities in the 

1 2 

broadcast industry. The instant rulemaking, begun in 1977 

and subject to a Second Further Notice on June 25, 1980 has 

provided a vehicle for Commission interest and action. In 

the course of this rulemaking, FCC Form 395 was modified to 

clarify data submitted on minority and female employment. 

The underlying purpose of the FCC's equal employment 

opportunity (EEO) policies and reporting requirements is to 

See, for example. Nondiscrimination in Employment 
Practices of Broadcast Licensees , 13 FCC 2d 766(1968); 
Nondiscrimination in the Empl oyment Policies and Practices 
of Brp-adcast LicenseesT " 60 FCC 2d 226 (19/6) . 

Petitions for Rulemaking to Amend FCC Form 395 and 
InstrucTions , 66 FCC 2d 955(1977). 

^45 Fed. Reg. 42729. 

'^ Amendment of Broadcast Equal Emp l oyment Opportunity 
Rules and FCC Form 395, First Report and Order , 70 FCC 2d 
1466(1979') . 



promote the employment of females and minorities in 

broadcasting, thus stimulating heterogeneity and diversity 

within the industry. Indeed, in a recent Policy Statement, 

the Commission stated: 

"The Commission has traditionally considered the 
under-representation of minority points of view 
over the airwaves as detrimental to minorities and 
the general public. Accordingly, we have taken 
steps to enhance the ownership and participation 
of minorities in the media, with the intent of 
thereby increasing diversity .... To ensure 
the programming reflects and is responsive to 
minorities' tastes and viewpoints, the Commission 
has promulgated equal employment opportunity 
regulations . . . ." 

Action for Children's Television is a national advocacy 
organization working to encourage diversity in children's 
programming and to eliminate commercial abuses in children's 
television. ACT joins the Commission in strongly supporting 
diversity in ownership, control and employment practices of 
broadcast stations. ACT acknowledges that there is no 
guarantee that diversity in these areas will result in 
diversity in television programming or in the images of 
minorities and women televised to children. However, 
without diversity and heterogeneity among television 
station employees and decision makers, we contend that the 
potential for diversity in programming is significantly less 

^"Commission Policy Regarding the Announcement of 
Minority Ownership in Broadcasting," effec. date December 
13, 1982, -48 Fed. Reg. 5943 (Feb. 9, 1983). 


ACT is now seeking to file additional comments in this 
proceeding under 47 CFR 1.415(d) in order to place before 
the Commission new facts which demonstrate the need for 
further modifications in the Commission's EEO reporting 
rules, and specifically in the FCC ' s Annual Employment Report 
Form 395, and which are thus important and relevant to the 
Commission's deliberations and decision. 
II . Argumen t 

A. The Petition for Authorization to 
File Additional Comments. 

This petition for authorization to file additional 

comments, pursuant to 47 CFR 1.415(d), in the Matter of 

Amendment of Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Rules 

and FCC Form 395, Docket No. 21474, is based on new facts 

essential to the deliberations of the FCC in this 

proceeding. The standard by which this petition should be 

judged is analogous to that for a petition for 

reconsideration under 47 CFR 1.429. Among other things, 47 

CFR 1.429(b) provides that a petition for reconsideration 

which relies on facts not previously presented to the 

Commission will be granted only when: 

"(1) The facts relied on relate to events which 
have occurred or circumstances which have changed 
since the last opportunity to present them to the 

(2) The facts relied on were unknown to 
petitioner until after his last opportunity to 
present them to the Commission, and he could not 
through the exercise of ordinary diligence have 
learned of the facts in question prior to such 


opportunity; or 

(3) The Commission determines that 
consideration of the facts relied on is required 
in the public interest." (47 CFR 1.429(b) ) 

The last period for public comment in the instant 
rulemaking as well as actions of the Commission and judicial 
decisions relating to equal employment opportunities all 
occurred at various times when broadcast licensees with 50 
or more employees submitted detailed employment data every 
three years when seeking renewal of their broadcast 
licenses. In August, 1981, Congress extended the television 
licensure period to five years by amending the 
Communications Act of 1934. Therefore, the FCC now receives 
detailed employment data from television broadcast licensees 
only at five year intervals. 

The new law relating to the broadcast license renewal 
term was passed well after the date on which comments in the 
instant rulemaking could be submitted. Petitioner could 
therefore not have known about or commented on the impact of 
the five year television license term on EEO reporting 
requirements during the previous period for comment and 

B. Rationale for Amending Broadcast EEO Rules and 
FCC Form 395 In Light of Changed Circumstances. 

'47 use s. 307(d), P.L. 97-35, 


The FCC has for many years supported the reporting of 
equal employment opportunity data and information. Thus, 
broadcast licensees with more than five employees must 
submit annual employment reports to the Commission (FCC Form 
395). These data are aggregated and published by the 
Commission. In addition, at the time of license renewal, 
renewal applicants with 50 or more employees must submit 
detailed employment data regarding sex and race or ethnic 


group, broken down by job titles. 

There are, however, three problems associated with the 
FCC's current equal employment opportunities reporting 
schema which are exacerbated by the recent extension of the 
television license renewal term: 

1. data related to job functions submitted 
on FCC Form 395 are not described in a 
meaningful v/ay; 

2. detailed employment data are submitted at 
the time of license renewal only by those 
stations with 50 or more employees; and 

3. detailed data submitted by some license renewal 
applicants (see above) are not available from 
the FCC in an aggregated and usable format. 

"^Mondiscrimina t ion/Program , 60 FCC 2d 226, supra ; First 
Report and Order , Vo FCC 2d 1466, supra ; 47 CFR 73.2080 and 
47 CFR 73.3500. 

^First Report and Order, supra at 1467. 


In light of the newly extended license term for 
television broadcasters, this reporting schema clearly 
requires modification and ameridment. Broadcast stations 

submitting annual "395" data now group job titles into nine 

more general categories. These data would be much more 

useful to the Commission and the public if they were simply 

submitted as job titles. Such a modification in FCC Form 

395 would not require any additional data collection by the 

1 icensees . 

Moreover, the utility of submitting detailed 

employment data only every five years is highly 

questionable. In a high job mobility industry such as 

broadcasting, the timeliness of the information submitted to 

the Commission becomes especially critical. Petitioner 

maintains that the extension of the television license 

period from three years to five years has had an adverse and 

deleterious impact on the availability, comparability, 

timeliness and utility of the detailed employment data 

submitted with broadcast renewal applications. Such data 

should be submitted annually. 

"Officials and managers; professionals; technicians; 

sales; office and clerical; craftsmen; operatives; laborers; 

and service workers," FCC Form 395, as amended. 


The articulated purpose and public policy behind the 
submission of employment data by broadcast licensees is that 
discriminatory employment practices are incompatible with 
the operation of broadcast stations in the public 
interest. This policy has been supported by Commission 
action and judicial decision, and remains valid after 
fifteen years. Detailed employment data are thus required 
to be submitted to the Commission as evidence of a 
licensee's commitment to equal employment opportunities and 
to the public interest. The public interest cannot be 
served, however, by outdated information. Nor is this 
situation remediated by the annual submission of information 
on FFC Form 395, since the Form 395 data are significantly 
less detailed and informative than those submitted at the 
time of license renewal. 

Commission policy, judicial decisions, and the public 
interest demand that broadcast licensees promote and provide 
equal opportunity in employment practices. Reporting on 
such practices should not be viewed as an additional or 
onerous burden, but rather as a mechanism to provide 
necessary accountability. 

•'•^ Nondiscrimination in Employment Practices , 13 FCC 2d 
766, supra . 
5(1969) . 


The Commission's policies relating to equal employment 
opportunities in broadcasting are not open to challenge. It 
is anomalous, therefore, for broadcast licensees to object 
to or oppose being held accountable for their compliance 
with these policies. Broadcasting frequencies constitute a 
"scarce resource," and accordingly, broadcast licensees are 
required to operate in the public interest. Reporting 
requirements that inform the Commission, the industry and 
the public about the ways in which broadcast licensees are 

meeting their public interest obligations must be maintained 


and extended when necessary. ' 

At the same time, the Commission has a responsibility 
to collect, aggregate and make accessible to the public the 
detailed employment information submitted by the broadcast 
licensees. The public interest cannot be adequately served 
if important public information is buried in the 
Commission's files. 
Ill . Recommendations 

In order to carry out the Commission's longstanding 
commitment to equal employment opportunities for women and 
minorities in the television broadcasting industry, and in 
light of the recent amendment extending the duration of the 
broadcast license, ACT believes it is essential to modify 
the FCC's employment reporting requirements. ACT's proposed 

^•'• Red Lion Broadcasting Co., Inc., v. FCC , 395 U.S. 
367, 376, fn. 5(1969). 


modifications, set forth below, would provide current and 
detailed information on licensees' employment practices to 
the Commission and the public, thereby promoting Commission 
policy and serving the public interest. At the same time, 
the proposed changes would not impose a significant burden 
on broadcast licensees or renev/al applicants. ACT therefore 
recommends : 

1. that FCC Form 395 be modified to require data 
regarding sex and race or ethnic group on all job 
titles, identical to that now required of license 
renewal applicants with 50 or more employees; 

2. that all television licensees be required to 
submit such specific information annually on FCC 
Form 35 5; 

3. that the Commission aggregate and publish such 
data annually and in a timely manner. 

Only with current and detailed data, submitted to the 
Commission and accessible to the public and to the 
industry, can licensees fulfill their obligation to operate 
in the public interest, and can the Commission, the industry 
and the public have available the necessary information to 
assess broadcasters' employment practices and compliance 
with law, regulation and public policy. 
IV. Conclusion 

The recent changes in broadcast license terms 
significantly affect the timeliness and utility of 


employment data submitted by broadcast licensees both on FCC 
Form 395 and as part of their license renev;al applications. 
The impact of these changes: (1) has not been presented to 
the Commission in this proceeding; (2) warrants 
consideration by the Commission in its deliberations in this 
proceeding; and (3) is legally sufficient to support 
authorization to file additional comments under 47 CFR 
1.415(d) . 

ACT strongly urges the acceptance of its 
recommendations as a further expression of the Commission's 
commitment to equal employment opportunity, to diversity in 
broadcasting, to public accountability, and to the public 
interest • 

Respectfully submitted 

46 Austin Street 
Newtonville, Massachusetts 
(617) 527-7370 

By its attorneys, 


Honora Kaplan, Esq. 

160 Milk Street 

Boston, Massachusetts 02109 

(617) 451-1380 

Date: March 15, 1983 


Mr. Swift. Peggy, thank you very much. You always come with 
proposed solutions to your criticisms, which makes you virtually 
unique before this committee. 

Mr. Rushnell. 


Mr. Rushnell. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee. 
Good morning. 

Once again, my name is Squire D. Rushnell. I am vice president 
of long range planning and children's television for ABC entertain- 

After some brief introductory remarks I intend, with your per- 
mission, to illustrate a number of important developments in chil- 
dren's television programing by showing a short videotape pre- 
pared especially for this hearing. 

As a broadcaster, ABC believes it has a special responsibility to 
provide programing for children. This responsibility, which ABC 
willingly accepts and constantly strives to meet, is part of ABC's 
overall commitment to serve all important elements of the viewing 

At the same time, we do not believe that this responsibility can 
nor should be defined by governmental standards that attempt to 
mandate either the amount or the type of children's programing. 
Rather, this responsibility should be exercised by individual broad- 
casters based on their own editorial and creative judgments. Only 
in this manner can children's programing be said to be truly re- 
sponsive to audience and marketplace needs. 

ABC's on-going commitment to children is reflected in our effort 
to present a balanced schedule of entertaining, enriching, and in- 
structional programing for young people. Beginning more than a 
decade ago with our sponsorship of national children's television 
conference for teachers, parents, and broadcasters, ABC has fos- 
tered what we call a positive evolution in children's television. 

By this I mean that with the guidance of educators and child de- 
velopment specialists, we have brought about positive changes in 
the content of children's programing. 

Such highly-acclaimed series of ABC Schoolhouse Rock and the 
ABC Afterschool Specials, both on the air for 10 seasons now, have 
been developed out of this special commitment. So, too, have a 
number of short informational features which are interspersed 
throughout ABC's Saturday morning children's program schedule. 

To many adults, these aspects of the positive evolution in chil- 
dren's programing on ABC may have gone unnoticed, simply be- 
cause they have not had or taken the time to view weekend morn- 
ing programs with their children. 

Just in case that includes anyone here today, I have prepared 
the following videotape which highlights the positive evolution m 
children's programing at ABC and describes the ABC Afterschool 
Specials and the ABC Weekend Specials. 

[Videotape presentation.] 

In so brief a period as we have today, it is difficult to describe 
the full range of ABC's commitment to children's programing 
which would include among several others such prime time spe- 


cials as this season's 2-hour adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's class 
book, "The Wind in the Willows." 

I thank you for affording me this opportunity to share with you 
some of the ways ABC exercises its responsibility to children. 

Mr. Swift. Thank you very much, Mr. Rushnell. 

If Mr. Fritts would be good enough, we would like to accommo- 
date the schedule of one of our members and permit him to take 2 
or 3 minutes to ask a couple of quetions now before he has to rush 
to another meeting. 

Mr. Gore. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I appreciate the cour- 
tesy of my colleagues in letting me go out of order in this fashion. 
We have the nuclear arms control debate on the floor now, and I 
have another engagement that I am going to have to go to. I just 
wanted to make a couple of brief comments. 

First of all, I wanted to express my appreciation to Peggy Char- 
ren, and the appreciation that I think is felt by millions of Ameri- 
cans, particularly American parents, for your single-minded dedica- 
tion to this important cause. I don't know what we would do with- 
out you. Really it is terrific work that you do, and I am honored to 
be able to work with you from time to time. We really appreciate it 
a great deal. 

I would like to thank Mr. LeVar Burton for his comments and 
apologize to him and the others for not being able to be here and 
hear all of what you said. I would like to note that Kellogg is the 
sponsor of your "Reading Rainbow" and compliment them. They 
are important corporate citizens of Tennessee, and we appreciate 
their commitment to this kind of programing and we hope that 
others will follow. 

I would just like to note briefly for the record that I am im- 
pressed by this presentation, but I wonder how many of those spots 
are on Saturday morning, and how many of them are on other 

Mr. Rushnell. The majority of children's programing on ABC is 
on Saturday morning, weekend mornings, and the ABC "After- 
school Specials" are, of course, in the afternoons, approximately 
twice monthly throughout the school season. 

Mr. Gore. Have they declined, the number of "Afterschool Spe- 

Mr. Rushnell. No. 

Mr. Gore. They have not. 

Mr. Rushnell. They have been on the air for a decade, and they 
have remained constant over the last eight seasons. 

Mr. Gore. With the exception of the "Afterschool Specials," and 
the little clip from "Good Morning America," did any of the other 
programs air on any time other than Saturday morning? 

Mr. Rushnell. No. The ABC "Weekend Specials," quality drama 
for children, is every Saturday. 

Mr. Gore. All of the little spots and so forth, which were very 
well done, all of those are on Saturday morning, and only 9 percent 
of the children's watching time is on Saturday morning. What 
about the other 91 percent? 

Mr. Rushnell. As I mentioned in my closing remarks, I ran out 
of time. I didn't get to prime time, which is an area where we have 
expanded our commitment to children's television. The Wind in the 


Willows is a major undertaking, a very expensive, two-hour drama- 
tization of the children's classic Wind in the Willows. 

This year we have an adaptation of a two-hour film in prime 
time called Rock Odyssey, which is a modern day fantasia, if you 
will. We have a film based on a Peter Dickinson book, The Flight 
of the Dragons. I don't need to tell you that a two-hour presenta- 
tion like Wind in the Willows can reach vastly greater numbers of 
children than a month of sunday. 

Mr. Gore. Again, I appreciate my colleagues' forbearance for let- 
ting me speak out of order. I apologize to those witnesses with 
whom I will not have an opportunity to have an interchange. 

I would just like to close by underscoring my concern about this. 
Most of what children watch are reruns of adult series, that is 
mostly what they watch. 

I was talking with the NAB and expressing some concern that 
one of the local stations here in Washington ran this film— Did you 
check on that? 

Mr. Fritts. I did indeed. 

Mr. Gore. Did it run? 

Mr. Fritts. The film was "Born Innocent" that you and I talked 
about last week. We did check on it and it ran January 27 at 4 
o'clock on channel 7 here in Washington. It was an edited version. 
The scene that was in question had been edited out of that movie. 
It apparently was a substitute movie because the program schedule 
which shows January 27 says that there was a different movie 
scheduled for 4 o'clock that afternoon. 

Mr. Gore. This, Mr. Chairman, was "Born Innocent," a movie 
with the broomstick rape that figured prominently in the trial in 
Florida, and it was shown at 4 o'clock in the afternoon as sort of an 
afterschool special. I really think that kind of lapse in judgment is 
all too common. Maybe that is an extreme example, but we have 
just got to do better. 

I think the chairman has pointed out some structural problems 
that are going to have to be addressed, rather than us just saying. 
Please, care more, because I know you all care. We have got to deal 
with these structural problems, too. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Swift. I thank the gentleman. 

Mr. Fritts. 


Mr. Fritts. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and good afternoon. 

The membership of the National Association of Broadcasters in- 
cludes 693 local television stations and the 3 television networks. 
Certainly we appreciate the opportunity to represent those televi- 
sion broadcasters here today. 

I share with you a concern for the youth of our country. My wife 
and I are fortunate enough to have three young children who 
themselves are products of this electronic age with all of its gadget- 
ry and electronic wizardry, including cable television subscriptions 
for over 20 years. Our oldest daughter, now home from college on 
spring break, is here with us today. 


I will be the first to admit that being a parent today is not easy, 
but it probably never has been. Like myself, most broadcasters 
today are also parents who share the same concern about their 
children and youth that you and I share. 

These are the people who own, operate, and program local televi- 
sion stations across this great land, and they have a genuine con- 
cern for our youth and the roles that they play in the future in 
their respective communities. It is from that perspective that the 
local television stations approach their task of serving not only the 
needs and interests of the children, but of the general populace as 

Just as these broadcasters set aside time periods for worthwhile 
endeavors such as Black History Month, the American Heart 
Month, Red Cross Month, Children's Book Week, we are extremely 
pleased to participate in the National Children and Television 
Week and to use this opportunity to impress upon you that broad- 
casters have not forgotten the needs and interests of today's youth. 

Broadcasters have a long-standing commitment to children and 
television. Broadcasters historically have recognized that children 
constitute a special segment of their viewing audience and individ- 
ually pursue special paths to help assure the appropriateness of 
programs and activities directed to our children. 

We at NAB have tried to provide opportunities for local broad- 
casters to exchange ideas, to meet the issues head-on through our 
children's programing conference, the first of which was held here 
in Washington back in 1975. Our children's programing resource 
book serves as a guide to products availability, public service proj- 
ects, an idea bank of community outreach projects, awards pro- 
grams, reading programs, a list of concerned activist groups, as 
well as FCC guidelines. 

We also have a blue ribbon children's committee, which I will 
mention in more detail later. We continue to work with groups 
such as the National Association of States Boards of Education, 
local State boards, the National Council for Children & Television, 
and the American Council for Better Broadcasts. 

The Television Information Office, an arm of NAB, provides a va- 
riety of services, including a teacher's guide for television which 
has been distributed since 1967. Today, tens of thousands of teach- 
ers and educators are using this publication to encourage the chil- 
dren to watch such specifically selected programs of educational 
value as "Fame," "The Changing Family," "The Wrong Way Kid," 
"The Edison Adventure," "The Secret World of Og," and the "Na- 
tional Student/ Parent Mock Election for 1984," which in 1982 
nearly a quarter of a million people participated in. 

In January, we advised our member stations of the joint resolu- 
tion signed by the President regarding National Children and Tele- 
vision Week, Many of those stations have responded to share some 
of their current projects that they have underway for this special 
week. I would like to mention for you just a few. 

The station we just mentioned a few moments ago, WJLA Chan- 
nel 7 here in Washington, aired a 1-hour prime time special this 
past Monday night entitled "Kids Talk Back." I might mention 
that they bumped an hour of prime time from ABC just prior to 
the Monday night football game to do that. Today, this afternoon. 


they will air an ABC Afterschool Special, "Have You Ever Been 
Ashamed of Your Parents?" Tomorrow, Peggy Charren will be the 
guest on their "A.M. Washington" program. 

From Seattle, Wash., Station KOMO, starting this week, 
launched an ongoing series of special reports in morning and eve- 
ning news called "Superkids." The reports profile kids who are 
making a positive impact on their community. A special "Kids- 
world Northwest," reported and anchored by children, will air 
March 16 in the afternoon with a Sunday repeat. Also, daily topics 
for discussion during the week on their live morning talk show and 
a new series of PSA's which will give ideas on how young people 
can earn extra dollars during the summer months. 

From WPCQ in Charlotte, N.C., producing a series called 
"Minute Mores," 1 minute vignettes that cover such areas as: 
safety tips for students coming home from school to an empty 
house; juvenile court and how it works; and the new restitution 
program where a juvenile offender does lawn work and house 
maintenance with the money going to repay property damage. 

From Little Rock, Ark., KATV will feature the general manager 
and four school editors discussing children's programing, what 
those kids would like to see on television. On their "Good Morning, 
Arkansas" program, producing special promos using their news 
personalities, inviting parents to watch with their children and 
become discriminating viewers. 

These are but a few examples of programs which are being of- 
fered this week as a special salute to National Children and Televi- 
sion Week. 

I might mention that on a continuing basis, just to give you one 
sample of what goes on not only this week but year around, what 
station WSOC in Charlotte, N.C., is doing. On a regular daily basis, 
they have a program called "Kidsworld." The program is a syndi- 
cated magazine show, with local hosts in segments. They have a 
youth advisory council which advises the station on children's in- 

They are producing a program, which I think is particularly im- 
portant called "Carolina's Child." It is a weekly news feature show- 
ing the children who are available for adoption. With that pro- 
gram, they have succeeded in placing 75 percent of the children of- 
fered for adoption on that program. 

They have a TV news game, and a teacher's guide available to 
all schools in the area produced weekly by the station. They have 
Explorer Scouts, a troop of 40 to 50 youngsters trained by station 
volunteers on the business of broadcast business management and 

Then they have television for teachers. Instructional sessions for 
area teachers on how to best use television in their classrooms. 

That is one station out of 693. That is the weekly program fare 
on WSOC in Charlotte. I dare say that it is not an atypical station 
in today's climate. Children's television programing is much more 
than the number of children's program hours. 

The real picture of children's television is far richer, substantial- 
ly more creative and more diverse than any quantitative study can 
point to. Many stations devote substantial resources to the produc- 
tion of entertaining programs which also reinforce educational 


skills. Other stations feature children on special children's editorial 

Numerous local stations have established community and profes- 
sional advisory panels consisting of child development specialists, 
educators, social scientists to work with the stations to incorporate 
the children's needs and interests into the entertaining programs 
for children. In some cases, children themselves are producing 
these programs. 

In short, stations provide a wide variety of services specifically 
designed for our children. Broadcaster response to the needs of 
children has been quite simply far more thoughtful and imagina- 
tive than many give them credit for. 

In discussing age specific programs, former FCC Commissioner 
Abbott Washburn notes, and I quote: 

The series the Waltons and the Little House on the Prairie are basically enter- 
tainment programs for the whole family. Nevertheless, they teach millions of chil- 
dren each week fundamental truths about human relations and the essential char- 
acter of the American people who are portrayed in those programs. My own experi- 
ence with TV and children, based on watching and discussing thousands of hours 
with our daughter and her friends from 1967 to the present, is that there is a vast 
amount of programing now available from which children can learn. It is a question 
of selection rather than scarcity. 

What of government involvement? It seems that apparently nei- 
ther stations nor government controls the viewing habits of the 
child or adult television audiences. Broadcasters cannot be expect- 
ed to assume the role of surrogate parents, or as the Washington 
Post so aptly described it, a "National Nanny," and ignore the in- 
terests of the majority of viewers who are not children. 

There are some things government neither can nor should at- 
tempt in a free society. However well-intentioned government regu- 
lation and intervention may be, there is a danger that it may 
create more problems than it solves by taking over individual re- 
sponsibilities, and limiting freedom that citizens normally control 
for themselves. 

I mentioned earlier our blue ribbon children's television commit- 
tee, currently chaired by Crawford Rice, executive vice president, 
Gaylord Broadcasting Co., Dallas, Tex., and which includes repre- 
sentatives of all three networks, as well as stations from markets 
large and small across the country. In addition, Dr. Karen Haten- 
berger, who was the first director of the FCC's Children's Task 
Force is acting as a special advisor to that committee. 

Meeting just 2 days ago here in Washington, the committee dis- 
cussed the various aspects of children's children and is going to 
gather additional information from licensees concerning individual 
program offerings for children in the various markets, and is serv- 
ing as a clearinghouse of ideas and programs which better serve 
the needs and interests of our children. 

Certainly, Mr. Chairman, where children and television are con- 
cerned, the involvement of parents and other significant adults is 
absolutely essential. The problem must be shared by all broadcast- 
ers, regulatory authorities, schools and parents who together guide 
and help children to use television responsibly. 

Again we appreciate the opportunity to participate in National 
Children and Television Week, and certainly we point with pride to 


the service of America's broadcasters which are they are rendering 
to the youth of our Nation. 
[Testimony resumes on p. 129.] 

[Mr. Fritts' prepared statement follows:] 


Prepared Statement of Edward O. Fritts, President, National Association of 


I am Edward 0. Fritts, president of the National Association of Broadcasters. 
NAB is the major national trade association of the broadcasting industry. Its 
membership includes 693 television stations and the three television networks, and 
I welcome the opportunity to represent those television broadcasters before your 
commi ttee . 

Mr. Chairman, as you know from a visit with us at our 1980 Children's Pro- 
graiming Conference here in Washington, broadcasters have a long standing commitment 
to children and television; indeed, broadcasters historically have recognized 
that children constitute a special segment of their viewing audience and individually 
pursue special paths to help assure the appropriateness of programs and activities 
directed to children. 

We at NAB have tried to provide opportunities for local broadcasters to 
exchange ideas and meet the issues head-on through our Children's Programming 
conferences, the first of which was held here in Washington in 1975. Our 
"Children's Programming Resource Book" serves as a guide to product availability. 


public service projects, an idea bank of community outreach projects, awards 
programs, reading programs, a listing of concerned activist groups as well as 
FCC guidelines. 

We also have a Children's Committee which I'll mention in more detail 
later. We have also continued to work with groups such as the National 
Association of the State Boards of Education, local state boards, the National 
Council for Children and Television and the American Council for Better Broadcasts. 

The Television Information Office provides public service announcements 
for stations, up-to-date fact sheet material on everything from reviews of books 
on children's issues to analysis of various relevant research currently in the 

The "Teacher's Guide to Television" distributed by TIO has been in 
existence since 1967. Today, tens of thousands of teachers and educators are 
using this publication to encourage children to watch such specially selected 
programs of educational value as "Fame", "The Changing Family", "The Wrong Way 
Kid", "The Edison Adventure", "The Secret World of Og" and the "National 
Student/Parent Mock Election for '84" (in '82, nearly a quarter million 

I mentioned earlier broadcasters' historic commitment to its young 
viewers. Somehow when projects such as Teacher's Guides, various reading programs, 
parent participation workshops and the like are provided by broadcasters, they 
are seen by some to be self-serving, to get children to watch more, when in fact 
we have been encouraging selective viewing. 


Just three years ago, the NAB conducted a comprehensive survey designed 
to (a) gather information on children's television programming from commercial 
and public television stations, and (b) describe the quantity and quality of 
that programming. 

The study attempted to survey all commercial and public television 
stations in the United States. Both commercial and public television stations 
were included in the NAB survey because they share the responsibility for 
providing children's television programs and, in reality, compliment each 
other's efforts in a fashion which has enhanced children's television programming 
service. To do otherwise would deny the reality of children's programming 
service as it exists in the marketplace today. 

I'd like to share just a portion of this material with you since I believe 
it to be quite relevant to our discussion today. 

The 727 stations which responded to our survey broadcast an average of 
15.09 hours of children's television programming during the week. 

In terms of program type, 41 percent of the children's programming 
broadcast was either educational or instructional. (Educational programming, 
including information and instructional, by commercial stations represented 
37.2 percent of overall commercial children's programming.) Similarly, 45 percent 
of the children's programming was classified as entertainment. Informational 
programming accounted for nearly 13 percent of the total. Less than one percent 
fell into what we call "other" classification. 


Programming designed for pre-schooT children accounted for 40 percent 
of the children's programming broadcast by the responding stations. On an 
overall basis, 62 percent of all children's programs are broadcast on weekdays. 

NAB also prepared charts indicating when children's programming is 
available in each television market. The charts were a particularly useful 
method of analysis because they indicated the real choices available to 
children as well as the true marketplace supply of programs during the composite 

The charts revealed that in many markets, children's programs are aired 
throughout the day with heavier concentrations before and after weekday school 
periods and on the weekends. They also demonstrated that stations in many 
markets, particularly those in the top 50 which serve a large majority of 
American children, provide children's programs throughout the broadcast day. 

We did not have the opportunity because of the time constraints to 
redo this particular type of research, but what we did do -- (early last year) -- 
as a spot check, was to revisit by phone with a random sample of 20 of the 
above-mentioned stations and ask them to compare their current schedule with 
that of the earlier data. What we found was that overall the 20 stations showed 
a gain of 18>2 hours of children's programming. 

Earlier this year, we sent a letter to our member stations, alerting 
them to the Joint Resolution signed by the President regarding National Children 
and Television Week. Many have responded to us to share some of their current 
projects for this week and I will just mention a few. 


1. WJLA - Washington, DC 

Aired a one-hour prime time special this past Monday (March 14) 
"Kids Talk Back". Today, they will air an ABC Afterschool Special, "Have You 
Ever Been Ashamed of Your Parents?" and tomorrow (March 17), Peggy Charren will 
be the guest on their "A.M. Washington" program. 

2. KOMO - Seattle, Washington 

Starting this week, launched an on-going series of special reports 
in morning and evening news called "Superkids". The reports profile kids who 
are making a positive impact on their community. 

A special "Kidsworld Northwest", reported and anchored by children, 
will air March 16 in the afternoon with a Sunday repeat. 

Also, daily topics for discussion during the week on their live 
morning talk show and a new series of PSA's which will give ideas on how young 
people can earn extra dollars during the summer months. 

3. WPCQ - Charlotte, North Carolina 

Producing new "Minute Mores" - one minute vignettes that cover such , 

areas as: safety tips for students coming home from school to an empty house; ] 

Juvenile Court and how it works; and the new Restitution Program where a 
juvenile offender does lawn work and house maintenance with the money going to 
repay property damage. 


4. WSPA - Spartanburg, South Carolina 

Planning special segments of "Carolina Noon" with parents and 
children, special emphasis on their regular award-winning "Kidsizzle" programs 
and a new Saturday morning program, "Horizons". 

5. KATV - Little Rock, Arkansas 

Will feature the General Manager and four school editors discussing 
children's programming (what those kids would like to see on TV, etc.) on their 
"Good Morning, Arkansas" program. Producing special promos using their news 
personalities, inviting parents to watch with their children and become dis- 
criminating viewers. 

6. WTVG - Toledo, Ohio 

Featuring special segments on how to watch TV and on other activities 
families can do together on the weekly program "Uncle Ben" (now in its 20th year). 

7. WLYH-TV - Lancaster/Lebanon, Pennsylvania 

Planning five special one-half hours for the week airing 9:30 - 
10:00 a.m. (They will produce two, and their three sister stations, all a part 
of Gateway Corrmunications, will each provide a half hour -- a prime example, 
incidentally, of group programming dynamics.) 

Furthermore, children's television programming is much more than the 
nunter of children's program hours. The real picture of children's TV is far 


richer, substantially more creative and much more diverse than any quantitative 
study can paint. Admittedly, this more accurate picture necessarily invites 
reference to qualitative measures. Yet, we cannot ignore the fact that the 
quality of children's programming has improved dramatically in recent years. 

Many stations devote substantial resources to the production of enter- 
taining programs which also teach children usable skills. And other stations 
feature children on special children's editorial shows. Numerous local stations 
have established cortmunity and professional advisory panels consisting of child 
development specialists, educators and other social scientists to work with the 
stations on translating children's issues and concerns into entertaining programs 
for children. In some cases, children themselves produce the programs. 

In short, stations provide a wide array of services specifically 
designed for children. Broadcaster response to the needs of children has been, 
quite simply, far more thoughtful and imaginative than some have given them 
credit for. 

"Why aren't there more programs for children?" This classic question 
dramatizes the unfortunate lack of critic's awareness of the true content of 
broadcast schedules and of children's viewing patterns. There are, of course, 
many programs appropriate for children but not all of them are intended for 
children exclusively or even principally. 

The question of what constitutes "good" inevitably must bog down in a 
host of individual criteria and judgments. Very little of television's output 


may please one family while another will have difficulty in choosing among so 
many available programs -- and both will be right. 

Historian Henry Adams' wry observation is appropriate. "Each of us 
carries with him his own inch-rule of taste which he applies triumphantly 
wherever he goes." 

I've purposely kept clear of the enormous contributions made by the 
netvi'orks to children's programs as I am certain they either will, or have made, 
their own case. 

Through all of this, I cannot help but somehow apply Mr. Justice Potter 
Stewart's well-known criterion for defining obscenity. "Our critics may not 
know how much enough is but they certainly do not hesitate to state that they 
know what not enough is when they see it." 

Viewed in total, there is a considerable and growing body of program 
material from which youngsters and concerned parents can choose. The critic 
who castigates television for not having more good programs may actually be 
asking why more television programs don't conform to his particular idea of what 
is suitable for children and to the demands of his or her schedule. 

To this, broadcasters respond that for the viewer who takes the trouble 
to keep himself informed and to plan viewing, there are most certainly many 
worthwhile programs available for the choosing. Moreover, the evident range of 
public tastes cannot be served by conforming to any one standard. 


And what of the question of age-specific programs? Former FCC Conmis- 
sioner Abbott Washburn notes that distinguishing a program as instructional and 
categorizing it as an age-specific program designed for children does not insure 
that such a program is better than an entertainment program designed for family 

He says, and I quote, "The series. The Mai tons and Little House on the 
Prairie are basically entertainment programs for the whole family. Nevertheless, 
they teach millions of children each week fundamental truths about human 
relations and the essential character of the American people. My own experience 
with TV and children, based on watching and discussing thousands of hours with 
our daughter and her friends from 1967 to the present, is that there is a vast 
amount of programming now available from which children can learn. It is a 
question of selection rather than scarcity. " 

And what of government involvement? It seems apparent to all that neither 
stations nor government controls the viewing habits of child or adult television 
audiences. Broadcasters cannot be expected to assume the role of surrogate 
parents (or, as "The Washington Post" so aptly described it, a "National Nanny") 
and ignore the interests of the majority of viewers who are not children. 

There are some things government neither can nor should attempt in a 
free society. However well-intentioned government regulation and intervention 
may be, there is a danger that it may create more problems than it solves by 
taking over individual responsibilities ... and limiting freedom ... that citizens 
normally control for themselves. 


I mentioned earlier our Children's Television Conmittee, currently 
chaired by Crawford Rice, Executive Vice President, Gaylord Broadcasting Co., 
Dallas, Texas, and which also includes representatives of all three networks 
as well as stations from markets large and small across the country. In addition. 
Dr. Karen Hartenberger, who was the first director of the FCC's Children's Task 
Force is acting as a special advisor to that committee. 

Meeting just two days ago here in Washington, the committee discussed 
the various aspects of children's television and is going to gather additional 
information from licensees concerning individual program offerings for children 
in the various markets. 

As mentioned earlier, in addition to programming, licensees provide a 
variety of services for the child viewer in their individual markets through 
community action groups. We plan to obtain this information as well and share 
both the program offerings and the outreach projects with our members through 
the establishment of a clearinghouse. 

Many people are unaware of the variety of programs available throughout 
the country that meet the needs and interests of children. We plan, therefore, 
to develop a nationwide outreach program, working with licensees, producers, 
educators, child psychologists and other experts to facilitate the on-going 
learning process in which we all share. 

Certainly, Mr. Chairman, where children and television are concerned, 
the involvement of parents and other significant adults is absolutely essential. 

128 ' 

The problem must be shared by all broadcasters, regulatory authorities, schools 
and parents who together guide and help children to use television responsibly. 

Walt Kelly, regrettably gone from the comic scene, took a Mery practical 
"How- To" perspective of the subject of children and television in his Pogo Primer 
for Parents , TV Division . He said: 

"There are a few things to practice not doing. 

"Do not be afraid of your TV set. These things are probably here to stay. 

"Do not wind your child up and set him to watch TV unguided. 

"Do not wind the TV set up and set it to watch your child. 

"A machine is a bad sole companion. It needs help. 

"You can help it. Love your child." 

This seems like a positive note on which to pause in talking about this 
subject that really has no end. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 



Mr. Swift. Thank you very much to all of the panel members. 

I will recognize Mr. Rinaldo. 

Mr. Rinaldo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I would also like to thank all of the members of the panel for 
their very enlightening and interesting testimony. 

I would like to ask LeVar Burton. There has been a lot of talk 
about things that the networks can do in this area. How do we get 
other members of the creative and artistic community to devote 
themselves, like you have so superbly done, to putting more energy 
into quality programing for children. 

Mr. Burton. Most of my friends are involved in Reading Rain- 
bow in one way or another. It seems as though when you approach 
professionals in the entertainment community with something of 
quality, as you are more likely to be able to achieve in public tele- 
vision, they are either willing to donate their services or take a tre- 
mendous cut in salary just in order to be a part of something that 
we all consider important work. 

The only way to entice that same kind of commitment to take 
place in the commercial marketplace is to, I believe, encourage net- 
work programers to produce more quality programing for children 
in the hopes of drawing in again that kind of name talent. 

Mr. Rinaldo. Thank you very much. 

I also want to take this opportunity to commend Mr. Schneider. 
His testimony was very interested and I am referring particularly 
to Nickelodeon and the work that you have done in cable. I am in- 
terested in the possibility of increased choices in children's pro- 
graming through the growth of cable television. 

Cable, as you know, serves a large part of my own State of New 
Jersey. I am curious as to whether or not you have any statistics 
that would indicate how large a child audience is presently served 
by cable and how much this has increased over the past years? 

Mr. Schneider. In your State, the State of New Jersey, to be spe- 
cific, as of the turn of the year there were 498,000 cable homes re- 
ceiving Nickelodeon. Within that half-million homes, obvious at dif- 
ferent day parts and different age groups, and so on, the audiences 

By and large, the preschool children for whom we broadcast from 
the period of 8 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, they seem 
to be the largest consumers of our services. 

At this point, the cable industry and the research establishment 
have not found an effective, efficient, and accurate way to measure 
the audience because it is so diversified, and the cable industry has 
not stabilized itself into a sufficiently common format. 

For example, there are many 12-channel systems, 22-channel sys- 
tems, 32-channel systems, and 54-channel, and indeed 108-channel 
systems. The research methodology is now being worked out be- 
cause there is a critical demand for measurement in order to get 
economic support for cable programing. 

At best I can say that the audience levels that we talk about in 
cable are primarily estimates. We think we are sufficiently sophis- 
ticated to have pretty good estimates. I would say that on average 
about 2 percent of the homes in which Nickelodeon is in, during 
certain day parts, look at Nickelodeon. 


Let me put this in perspective and I will do so briefly. A pre- 
school child has an attention span that is quite small. If we are of- 
fering 6 hours of preschool programing, obviously a preschool child 
does not sit, nor would we want him to, nor do we encourage him 
to, nor do we program in order to get him to sit for long periods of 
time in front of the television set. 

Aside from whether we think that is a responsible course of 
action, his attention span is simply not sufficient. He is in and out 
of the 6 hour. The preschool child will be drifting in and out of the 
preschool program over the 6-hour period. 

I have taken such pain to explain that because in terms of com- 
mercial broadcasting, a one or two rating seems almost ludicrous 
that it wouldn't be worth the trouble to only have 1 percent of your 
homes or 2 percent of your homes bothering to consumer your serv- 
ice. Over a 6-hour period, with the attention span being something 
like 12 or 18 minutes, that is not bad. 

I hope that answers your question. 

Mr. RiNALDO. Partially. Let me just ask an additional question. 

Has the amount of programing on cable devoted to children in- 
creased substantially from, say, 1979, or has it remained the same? 

Mr. Schneider. The Nickelodeon service that I am here and can 
speak about was in its very formative stages in 1979. The company 
that I am here representing did not exist in 1979. It came into 
being in 1980. This is 91 hours of children's programing on cable 
television that didn't exist in this form in 1979. 

Since that period, again, the frame of reference being 1979, the 
U.S.A. Network, another cable service, I believe has expanded and 
has added 2 hours a day of children's programing. The Disney 
Channel will launch April 11, and it will contain 10 hours a week 
of children's programing. So I would say that in the broader sense, 
there is more children's programing over cable than there was 3 
years ago. 

Mr. RiNALDO. That takes me to my final question. Would you say 
that generally speaking the increase in children's programing in 
certain areas of the country where cable is readily available has 
offset the decrease that was alluded to in earlier testimony in net- 
work programing. 

Mr. Schneider. Mr. Rinaldo, the arena for the attention of young 
minds is the face of the television tube. So that if you will agree 
with that definition, then we equate programing offered to the face 
of that television via cable versus over-the-air, there might well be, 
I am not taking an adversarial position here, some who would say 
that over-the-air is available to everyone and cable may not be 
available to everyone. It may be readily available, but I think to 
put them in exact equilibrium, you would get arguments with. 

I am not here to make those value judgments, I just want to 
point them out. There would be perhaps opinions on either side of 
that definition. 

Mr. RiNALDO. Thank you. 

Mr. Swift. Thank you, Mr. Rinaldo. 

Mr. Leland. 

Mr. Leland. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I am concerned about the whole question of imagery on the 
media as it appeals to the different audiences, whether we are talk- 


ing about children or minority. I am concerned about cable today 
because I know that particularly my district in Houston, we have 
relatively free cable access. I am sure that you are familiar with 

Mr. Schneider. Yes. Our company, I believe, has better than half 
of Houston as its franchising responsibility. 

Mr. Leland. Most homes in the minority communities don't have 
cable for one reason or another. Cable, of course, is a new arrival 
to Houston in particular. So then the question that Mr. Rinaldo 
asked is of particular concern to me because I know that while the 
networks have an abysmal record from what I have heard and 
what I have seen, or what I have been advised on, cable does not 
provide the kind of programing to them because cable is just not 

Can you comment on when it is that you are going to arrive in 
our community? That probably holds true for the rest of the coun- 

Mr. Schneider. Cable is currently somewhere in round numbers, 
35 percent of U.S. homes. That means that at the end of 1983, it is 
the industry estimate that there will be 30 million cable homes. I 
believe that the number of television homes in America is approxi- 
mately 83 to 84 million. So that in 30 million out of 84 million 
homes, a cable connection will exist at the end of 1983. By the end 
of 1985, it is the industry estimates that between 40 and 41 million 
homes will have a cable running into that house. At that point, 
just to round this off and make it easy, that will be approximately 
50 percent. 

There will be a percentage of homes where cable will not get 
maybe ever, the equivalent of the rural electrification problem that 
this Nation faced in the 1920's and 1930's, which caused the Gov- 
ernment to have the Rural Electrification Act passed, it is simply 
ineffficient and outrageously costly to string wires down the high- 
way to reach very sparsely populated areas. 

Direct broadcast satellites are probably going to be the better 
way to serve some 20 to 25 percent of U.S. homes where it is just 
not economically sound to run a cable into that home. It is, I be- 
lieve, our government policy now to embrace the laissez faire atti- 
tude in direct broadcast satellite restrictions, so that that area may 
be opening up. They have already granted, as you know, COMSAT 
the authority and given them what little space to place those satel- 

Mr. Leland. Mr. Rushnell, you end up being the whipping boy 
because you are the only real network representative on this panel. 
Let me whip on you, if I can. 

I am concerned about what I saw on television just now in some 
of your programing, and you are saying that you are breaking 
down the stereotypes because now the ethnic minorities are the 
heroes, and of course women are out in the forefront. But is there a 
real commitment to live presentations or the production of young 
black and Hispanic and women heroes for our children as you 
make your creative productions available to the network? 

Mr. Rushnell. Congressman Leland, we do have a concern and 
share your concern for minorities and minority stereotypes on ABC 
children's programing. It was such a brief presentation that it was 


impossible for me to show the full range of how we have addressed 
those issues. I would be happy to be very detailed at some point. 

Let me say this. I have not only a concern now about addressing 
minority issues. I have concern for the future. May I digress here, 
and say like, many of the subcommittee and this panel, I am also a 
parent. I have two daughters in college and my wife is in the 
second trimester of her pregnancy. So I am very concerned about 
children's television into the 1980's. 

I would like to illustrate my point by just telling you about one 
project we have in development that I am very excited about. We 
were concerned, my staff and I coming out of a conference this past 
summer with various leaders in the educational community, social 
scientists, about crime in America and the plight of today's young- 
sters and the barrios, and a sense of hopelessness. 

We were really struck by a description of the youngster who 
lives in the ghetto. The description was block-locked. I had never 
heard that before. The kid who grows up in one block, and he is 
afraid to go to the next block because there is a gang, or he can't 
go to the other block because there is another gang. He is isolated 
and the only thing that he can see in his neighborhood that is a 
sign of success is the guy who is peddling dope, or doing something 
else that is illegal, or his window on the world is television. 

So we began developing, and I don't know where this is going to 
come out, but we are earnestly developing ways in which we could 
communicate to 11- and 12-year old kids, and 8- and 9-year old kids, 
to give maybe some sense of hope about the future, of where they 
can fit in. We are trying to bring together our creative energies to 
create programs, maybe Schoolhouse Rock length programs, or 
short-form programs, where we could say to a kid: 

Hey, if you are terrific at playing video games, maybe you have an aptitude for 
computer science. If you like pets, maybe you ought to be a veterinarian. If you are 
one of those people who love to climb a tree and see how far you can see, maybe if 
you study math and science, you can be an astronaut. 

It seems to me, if we direct our energies, and again we are spe- 
cifically gearing our approach to those youngsters in the ghettos 
and the barrios who maybe don't have any sense of hope. We are 
concerned about those same issues. 

Mr. Leland. Why don't you have a Captain Rabbit every day on 
your morning programing? 

Mr. RusHNELL. I do have a conflict of interest there. 

Mr. Leland. Why would you guys force Captain Kangaroo off the 
air is what I want to know. 

Mr. RusHNELL. You see, I have been vice president of children's 
programs for the last 7 years, and out of the last 4 I was also vice 
president of Good Morning, America. In my resume, I would like to 
take full credit for that success. My mother gives me all the credit. 

Obviously, as a television network, I don't mean to be light on 
that, we have a responsibility to serve all of the audience and var- 
ious factions of the audience. As a specific children's broadcaster, it 
is my responsibility to expand those barriers as much as I possibly 
can and to lobby for more and more children's programing. I can 
tell you with great pride that in my 7 years that expansion has 


Mr. Leland. One last question, Mr. Chairman, if I might. I would 
like to ask Ms. Charren to comment on what she saw on television 
and the remarks that we have heard. 

Ms. Charren. I welcome the opportunity to comment on Squire 
Rushnell's testimony, just for a couple of seconds, because I think 
we are fortunate to have on this panel possibly the best network 
representative in the whole industry. He is sort of unique in his 
peer group because I think he really cares. 

I think that that answer to your question coming from Squire 
could only have come from Squire. I think that most of the other 
people who get involved in children's television either don't care or 
they don't manage to get the commitment from the network. If 
they care, then they must be very frustrated in their jobs. 

Squire has continually provided a model for the industry, I 
think, with those afterschool specials. They do do what our Fight- 
ing TV Stereotypes book was all about. In fact, we had a hard 
time — that book is very nicely illustrated with pictures from pro- 
graming that does do its job — not filling it full of ABC Afterschool 
Specials. We wanted to give other people credit, too. 

I would rather leave his testimony sit and just pat him on the 
back for continuing to provide the only live children on Saturday 
morning who are not in the commercials. 

Every year, come September, ACT sits down with the network of- 
ferings for children, and since diversity is ACT's middle name, we 
look for programing of different formats, programing of different 
kinds, programing that would reflect the diversity in the children's 

What we get is programing that generally reflects the diversity 
in comic books, and there is some diversity, there are classic comics 
and there are some different kinds. That shelf in the drug store is 
fine, and a lot of kids learn to read from comic books. But we are 
continually looking for one of these wealthy institutions in broad- 
casting to do something, and the last time I looked there was a 
greater return on invested capital in broadcasting than in the oil 
industry, and you know what we say about them. 

The fact is that it is still all animated, except for the Weekend 
Special on ABC, except for that program now on CBS, the Film 
Festival, which is on so late in the schedule that it is canceled by 
sports in too many markets in the country, and CBS knows that 
but puts it there an3^way. They have traditionally done that with 
their prize-winning programs. 

We look for children. After all, it is children's programing and it 
makes sense to look for them through all those hours of program- 
ing. When you get over the fact that 8y2 hours of it is provided by 
one animation house, you look for children. There are lots of chil- 
dren, children of all different racial and ethnic groups, males and 
females, but the children are all in the commercials. 

Nifty looking commercials, carefully researched to reach children 
where they really are. They tie them up to all sorts of electronic 
devices to see that they are getting the message, to lobby for 
sugary goods and expensive toys. We don't see any real children in 
the programing. Maybe some day, if we have enough hearings like 
this, we will find more programing on Saturday morning — I say 
Saturday morning; I wish we could be talking about the week. 


That is the most outrageous part of the idea about serving chil- 
dren on television, I think. They know that their affiliates depend 
on them for programing. Networks don't have a responsibility, but 
they know their stations do. When there were other Government 
hearings like this, in the late 1970's, when the FCC and the Feder- 
al Trade Commission were focusing on issues relating to children 
and television, we found the O and O's (network-owned-and-operat- 
ed stations) were leaders in providing local programing. I think the 
networks felt up against it, and they managed to get their owned- 
and-operated stations providing the kind of diversity that everyone 
was looking for on Saturday morning. 

The last time I checked, no one, not one of the 15 O and O's had 
a single regularly scheduled program Monday through Friday. I 
think that that is an indication of what has happened to local pro- 
graming in this country. 

I don t know if you expected that much, but you asked. 

Mr. Leland. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Ms. Charren. One other thing. I would like to, if I am compli- 
menting one side, I should compliment the other. Certainly Nickel- 
odeon is the kind of nifty service that people had hoped for from 
cable, and I wouldn't want John to feel left out. 

Mr. Leland. I just wish that the children of my community could 
watch Nickelodeon. 

Ms. Charren. That is the problem with depending on cable. That 
is why we think that Mark Fowler's idea of depending on the new 
technologies to take over now for that public interest standard, is 
the wrong time for that kind of deregulation. If cable were in more 
homes and more children had access to Nickelodeon kind of pro- 
graming, I think we could begin to think about deregulating. 

Mr. Swift. Let's pick up right there and proceed a bit further. 

We have a very interesting array on this particular panel. It is 
very well balanced, and if the staff is to be responsible for that, my 
compliments. They are also very articulate coming from their re- 
spective positions. 

I am not surprised or disappointed that you reach 1 to 2 percent 
of your audience. The economics of the cable technology makes 
that a commercially viable number for you, because you make your 
money by persuading local cable systems that they are going to 
make money and win subscribers, and keep subscribers by having 
that service there for the small percentage of the time that a child 
wants to avail himself or herself of that program. 

Mr. Schneider. That is true. 

Mr. Swift. You can do something that a broadcaster can never 
do, which is virtually continuous children's programing of a high 
quality and it will be there when the child or the parent or the 
family wants it. Is that correct? 

Mr. Schneider. Yes, sometimes we are referred to £is an electron- 
ic sandbox. It is handy. 

Mr. Swift. What occurs to me is that that is an enormously en- 
riching thing you bring to the Nation in terms of children's pro- 
graming. It is one thing that could not have been provided in the 
past, prior to your technology being available, no matter what com- 
mitment the broadcaster made, because his economics are differ- 


Mr. Schneider. That is correct. 

Mr. Swift. I have for many years been concerned with those ad- 
vocates of children's programing that seem to have the idea that 
the broadcaster was capable of doing it all. I am now concerned 
that others will believe that you can do it all with your type of 
service, because there are limitations you have as well. You have 
to be wired to the home and you have to be available on a local 
system that chooses to buy you in syndication in order to get it. 

So you have advantages and you have disadvantages as a tech- 
nology and given the nature of the economics of your technology in 
distributing children's programing. 

Mr. Schneider. That is correct. 

Mr. Swift. Broadcasting has a different set of advantages and 
disadvantages. My point is, I doubt if either of the technologies, or 
direct broadcast satellite, or anything else that comes along is ever 
going to be the single way in which we are going to be able to meet 
the needs of children's programing. Does anybody disagree with 

Mr. Schneider. Mr. Chairman, for many, many years, over-the- 
air television was the only game in town. In fact, there was a 
period when VHF television was the only game in town. I was 
struck last night dialing around in my hotel room here in Washing- 
ton by the number of UHF that seemed to be on the air now. So 
UHF expanded substantially the old VHF dominance. But now we 
have cable. We have multi-channel distribution systems. We have 
subscription television, direct broadcast satellites, an explosion in 
video discs and video-tape technologies that will continue to 
expand. Then there is the video game which also uses that televi- 
sion set. 

I made a point before that I would like this committee to consid- 
er. The arena in which we are playing, all of us, is the face of that 
television tube. That television tube is used increasingly for home 
computers, as a display device of which, I might add, children avail 

I was pleasantly surprised the other day to find that the Atari 
Co. has a new computer coming out called "My First Computer," 
and it is designed for the preschool child. So we have a brave new 
world out there for young people, and the competition for their 
young minds. I am hopeful that all of us will continue to work in 
the most responsible manner in that regard. 

Mr. Swift. And that should be seen as an enormous opportunity 
for this society. 

What I am trying to get at is that it seems to me that as these 
new technologies come on line, we should view them as additive, 
being able to do different things to augment what we have had 
before. The commercial adviser has some confines in which he can 
function, but the public broadcaster has some different audience 
needs. He is freed up in some ways but he has terrible problems 
financially. So he is constrained. You have constraints. All the 
others will have some constraints. 

As public policy people we need to devise a policy that is going to 
get the best out of all of these, and create the best possible mix for 
the children of America. 


Mr. Schneider. You must be wise and you must be sophisticated. 
I think that it is a very difficult problem for this committee, with 
all of its other responsibilities, to keep up with the exploding tech- 
nology. I know that you will try. | 

Mr. Swift. It seems to me you start by not assuming that just 
because you have arrived with your technology, and your particu- 
lar economic base, that you are automatically going to replace 
something that we have previously relied on — because that is not 

the case. 

Ms. Charren. I can't tell you how happy I am to hear you say 
that, because I was fortunate enough to get CBS cable, when CBS 
cable was available to people who could afford cable. I could see 
somebody sitting at a hearing like this and making a case that you 
don't need public broadcasting anymore, at least for the arts and 
culture, because here was CBS cable doing all kinds of programing 
like that extraordinarily well. 

What if we had done away with the whole funding apparatus for 
public broadcasting during the height of that service, and had 
taken it out of the public policy arena and in effect done away with 
it, and then CBS cable went bankrupt. What if we depend on Nick- 
elodeon, which is really a nifty service now, although it is only one 
spot on the dial. You need more diversity than that, I guess. 

What if we depended on Nickelodeon and a few other programs 
like that for program services, and then they took advertising. Be- 
cause of the pressures of advertising and the advertiser saying, 
"Look if we are going to put our message in, we want a bigger 
share of that audience," the television on Nickelodeon would start 
to look like the television on the networks on Saturday morning, 
with that lack of diversity. That is what caused television to lack 
diversity, the advertising. It is not that anybody wants to program 
for any other reason. Then we end up with no diversity of service 
because we are depending on everything but that public interest 

I think we have to remember that television has become the 
most important medium. We have to have the public interest con- 
siderations that make it work for us. 

Mr. Swift. It seems to me that the public policy issue is not 
"who killed Captain Kangaroo." It is rather to understand the var- 
ious economic, technological, and social forces that are at work on 
all of the means of providing children's television and to try to de- 
velop a policy that may take more wisdom than we have. The goal 
should be to try to develop a policy that will draw the maximum 
reasonable effort out of all of those technologies in the service of 
children, given the fact that they have other aspects of the Ameri- 
can audience that they must serve as well. 

I think that you have all contributed immeasurably in helping us 
to try to find a little wisdom in our pursuit of that policy. 

Thank you all very, very much. 

[The following letter was received for the record:] 


ABC Entertainment 

1330 Avenue of the Americas New York. New York 10019 Telephone 212 887-6691 

Squire D, Rushneil. Vice President 
Long Range Planning 
and Children's Television 


Dear Mr. Chairman: 

I would like to submit for the record of the March 16 
House Telecommunications Subcommittee hearing on 
children and television the following additional 
information on ABC programming of special interest to 
children during Children's Television Week: 

Wednesday, March 16 . ABC Afterschool Special, 
Have You Ever Been Ashamed of Your Parents ? A 
teenage girl learns an Important lesson about 
pride when her mother takes a job as a cook for 
a wealthy family. 

Thursday, March 17 . The Magic Planet , a 
prime-time fantasy adventure ice ballet starring 
Olympic medalist Toller Cranston, with music by 
the National Philharmonic Orchestra in London. 

Saturday, March 19 . 

ABC Weekend Special, All the Money in the World ; 
when a young boy rescues a leprechaun from a 
well and is granted three wishes, what he gets 
seems to be all the trouble in the world. 

Scooter Computer and Mr. Chips , a new segment in 
the Computer Rock series, designed to introduce 
children to computer education. 

Additionally, ABC distributed to 6,000 school libraries, 
the attached poster entitled "ABC Treats Kids TV with 
TLC." Therein we salute National Children and 
Television Week. 

Thank you for this opportunity to supplement my 
remarks . 

Sincer*,ly ^VourfsT) , f\ 

Squire D. Rushneil 

Honorable Timothy E. Wirth 

Cha irraan 

Subcommittee on Telecommunications, 

Consumer Protection & Finance 
U.S. House of Representatives 
Washington, DC 20515 

April 21, 1983 


Mr. Swift. Senator Heinz, who is cochairman of the resolution 
that created this week had hoped to be here, and was unfortunate- 
ly detained in business in the other body, wanted to submit a state- 
ment for the record, and asked if the Chair would read the follow- 
ing very brief statement into the record. 

Senator Heinz says: 

I congratulate Chairman Wirth and the committee for holding these important 
hearings today, and I would like to announce my intention to introduce legislation 
soon to provide greater tax incentives to corporate underwriting of children's TV 
programing. I am particularly interested in seeing the Federal Government add mo- 
mentum to the efforts of the Five-Station Public TV Consortium on Children and 
Families, which with the help of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will pro- 
duce 26 1-hour dramas for prime-time showing in 1984. I salute all of those involved 
and pledge my support for this initiative and others discussed in today's hearing. 

Without objection, his entire statement will be made a part of 
the record. 
[Statement of Senator Heinz follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Senator John Heinz 

Last year. Chairman Wirth and I introduced legislation to 
designate a "National Children and Television Week." I hope to 
add to the promotional events being conducted around the country 
this week by soon introducing legislation to increase the incentives 
for private sector support of children's T.V. 

As a nation, we are recognizing that the private sector must 
play a greater role in support of important "public" services. 
Both the President and the Congress have encouraged increased 
charitable giving, corporate social responsibility, and public/ 
private partnerships through administrative action, as well as 
tax legislation. ' 

The sad fact is that adequate support for high quality television 
(and radio) programming for our children is gradually diminishing. 
The commercial networks have demonstrated time and again that 
they have been increasingly forced by economic realities to refrain 

from developing new programs for children. Some such as television 


critics like John 0' Conner of the New York Times, have argued, 
"The state of children's programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC is rapidly 
becoming a national disgrace." Although I am aware that the 
networks have produced some quality children's T.V., it is true 
that as broadcasters go about maximizing profits, younger viewers 
are not of major concern. Children do not control a significant 
amount of disposable dollars . 

Unfortunately, television is big business with big fiscal 
responsibilities. Fortunes are made or lost on the turn of a 
rating point. Can we leave the fate of children's programming 
to the operation of the marketplace? I think the question 
answers itself. 


We are becoming more aware that the marketplace approach will 
not be effective, even those of us who once advocated this approach 
have begun to revise their thinking. Most recently, Mark Fowler, 
Chairman of the FCC, speaking about children's T.V., said last 
month, "Let's end government by a wink and regulation by a nod 
when it comes to certain categories of programs . Let us be 
advocates of public broadcasting's mission in this area, to fill 
gaps left by the broadcast and non-broadcast marketplace." 

So it seems that public television is the only answer. And 
certainly the government should maintain or increase its level 
of support for this essential part of our national culture. But 
as we all know, the federal budget is in some difficulty; the 
federal government cannot do it alone. 

Chairman Fowler also said in his speech, "I believe it is 
incumbent on those who care about children's programming, and I 
include myself among those, to advocate a sufficient budget for 
public broadcasting to help meet the needs of , the child audience." 
It is ironic that at the same time the Reagan Administration is 
proposing to cut the funding for the corporation for Public Broad- 
casting from $140 million in FY83 to just $75 million by FY86 . 
That's nearly a 50% cut. 

The Congress's designation of "National Children and Television 
Week" encourages an increased investment in children's programming 
by all segments of American society. Many individuals and many 
groups have searched for ways to accomplish this . I have been working 
since January 8, 1983 when the President signed the legislation 
sponsored by Mr. Wirth and myself to develop a partial solution 
to the problem. 


The clearest solution is to find a way to give the public-spirited 
members of the private sector a proper incentive that encourages 
them to do more of what they have often demonstrated they want to do. 
For these reasons, I am proposing a tax credit incentive for the 
corporation of the United States. This credit would be available 
to the commercial networks, the traditional sponsors of children's 
programming, and all the corporations in the land which are 
interested in the welfare of our nation's most valued resource. 

The inspiration for my proposal comes from the recent announcement 
that five public television stations have joined forces to form a 
consortium to produce programmina f or children and families. Headed 
by WQED in my hometown of Pittsburgh, the consortium members include 
KCET/Los Angeles, KTCA/Minneapolis-St . Paul, SC ETV/South Carolina 
and WETA/Washington, D.C. The series will premiere on PBS in the 
fall of 1984. 

The mandate for the series from the Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting (CPB) is simple and direct: each program should invigorate 
and replenish the strong American storytelling tradition. Dramas -- 
well-crafted stories told well -- will give the series its distinctive 
character. Narratives with broad audience appeal will be developed 
into dramas and imaginatively produced to captivate the family 
audience week after week. 

Only public television has not forgotten the children, which 
may explain why it is watched and loved by so many young people. 
The regular service has included Mister Rogers' Neighborhood , Sesame 
Street , Electric Company , Zoom, Once Upon a Classic and others. 

Now, thanks in large part to CPB, public television is much 
better equipped to address the problem of inadequate programming 


for children. CPB has announced a $5 million challenge to 

establish a new consortium for family and children's programming. 

The public T.V. stations have added $1,000,000. This grant will 

combine resources of KCET, KTCA, South Carolina, and WETA , led by 

WQED, with its award-winning track record of programs for children 

and their families, in designing a modeD\, impactful series of 

26 hour-long dramas. Most of them will be contemporary in concept 

and setting. Designed to be aired in prime time, the series will 

reveal the rich diversity of our past, our present, and a hopeful 

future. The consortium will also seek $2,000,000 in additional 

underwriting to assure a budget which will permit the highest 

quality programs to be produced. I think the federal government 

should act to provide at least a matching amount. 

My plan is not complicated: We propose a three year experiment 
which will explore the possibility of private philanthropy helping 
to solve the critical problem with the aid of a tax credit. 

In the same way an individual can claim a tax' credit for child 
care, corporations would be allowed a children's programming tax 

The tax credit would be for a portion of every contribution 
made to any FCC-licensed charitable public television or radio 
station to produce, acquire, advertise, or broadcast high quality, 
innovative programming for the children of America. On the balance 
of these contributions not available for computing the tax credit, 
corporations would be allowed the normal deduction provided for 
charitable contributions by the Internal Revenue Service. This 
tax credit for charitable contributions will be a powerful incentive 
to do the job that needs to be done. 


For the purposes of this legislation, children's programming 
is defined as programming directed toward children and teenagers 
(under age 17) in content areas such as health, science, literature, 
and other cultural fields . This programming would take the form 
of dramatic, informational, and educational presentations. 

The basic intent of this plan is to generate major gifts from 

corporations capable of making them by providing an appropriate 

incentive. At a time when American corporations are seeking to 

reduce their own tax burdens , is there a more effective way to also 

benefit American society? 

The advantage of this plan is that it calls on and rewards 

the public spirited efforts of this nation's private sector to 

help accomplish a good for a precious , improtected portion of our 

entire society. 

Mr. Swift. I thank you all for waiting so long. There is a finite 
end to your wait, however, because we have just about 30 minutes 
in which to do our business. I would like to begin by having each of 
you identify yourself for the record, and then we will come back to 
each of you and take the testimony. 


Mr. MiELKE. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. 

Children's Television Workshop produces Sesame Street, The 
Electric Company, and 3-2-1 Contact. Of those, the best known 
product is Sesame Street, which has now been on the air for 14 


In the production of that, a unique model, an approach to the 
ways of producing television has been developed and that continues 
to evolve through our most recent children's program, which is a 
science program for children 8 to 12 years of age called 3-2-1 Con- 

If we have ever had anything approaching national consensus on 
an educational need, it is in the area of science education for a citi- 
zenry that can cope with technological issues, the employability of 
our graduates, the national economy, the national security, to pro- 
tect our lead in the high technology industries, to bring women and 
minorities fully into the science and technological field. 

These are continuing problems, and it is going to require the best 
of our formal and our informal efforts to try and address them, and 
television has an important terrific role it can play for those sig- 
nificant national needs. 3-2-1 Contact is a program that meets 

Its first season is quite successful. 3-2-1 Contact is designed to be 
used both in the home and the school. The home audience, for ex- 
ample, in its premiere run, attracted over 23 million home viewers. 
In the schools, 500,000 teacher guides were requested and sent out. 
So we have substantial audience in the home and substantial audi- 
ence in the school. 

Through the use of repeats, this continuing popularity leads to 
an attractive cost-effectiveness as well. We think it is reasonable to 
estimate that it would cost no more than one penny to expose one 
program to one audience member. 

This program has also been endorsed by the National Education 
Association, the National Science Teachers Association, and has 
won numerous awards. 

We are very pleased to report that the second season of programs 
of 3-2-1 Contact is now being produced. With the support of the 
Congress, and the support of the Public Understanding of Science 
program within the National Science Foundation, the Department 
of Education, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, we are 
now producing 40 new programs. 

Beyond that, our future funding is uncertain, but we are hopeful 
and optimistic that with leadership from the Federal agencies, we 
can use our most powerful national medium in a long-term com- 
mitment to children, education, and science. 

I have a very brief excerpt, some snippets of the second season of 
3-2-1 Contact, which will premiere next October. We are in pro- 
duction and this was pulled out of the studio very late last night, so 
I am very hopeful that this is OK. This is our first look at season 
two of 3-2-1 Contact. 

[A film clip was shown.] 

Mr. MiELKE. This completes my testimony. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Mielke follows:] 


Prepared Statement of Keith W. Mielke, Associate Vice President for 
Research, Children's Television Workshop 

Mr. Cnairman and memoers of tne Subcommittee: 

I am Keith Mielke, Associate Vice President for Research at tne 
Children's Television Workshop. We produce SESAME STREET, THE ELECTRIC 
COMPANY, and 3-2-1 CONTACT. 

In the spirit of National Children and Television Week, I am here to testify 
about constructive and positive uses of televison, and how this medium can 
serve tne best interests of children as well as some of our most pressing 
national neeos. 

CTW's best known product is SESAME STREET, which is now in its 14tn 
broadcast year in the U.S. The intent of all our educational series is to 
educate using entertainment techniques, such as animation, snort 
documentaries, humor and music. Educational advisors recommend curriculum 
content, and CTW researchers monitor program elements and test reactions 
with target audiences. 

While SESAME STREET once depended heavily upon federal support, the good 
news is that now direct federal support is no longer required. Two-thirds 
of the cost of producing SESAME STREET is now paid through self-generated 
income, and the other third is paid by the public broadcasting stations. 
Millions upon millions of pre-schoolers have now benefitted from this 

Our most recent children's program, and the one with which I am most 
closely involved, is 3-2-1 CONTACT. This is a science and technology 
series for children eight-to-twelve years of age. 


If ever there was an emerging national consensus on an educational need, it 
is for science education. For an enligntened citizenry aole to cope 
intelligently with technological issues, for reasons of employabi lity and 
national economy, for reasons of national security and protecting our lead 
in critical nigh technology areas, tne conclusion is that we are 
dangerously oehind in science education ana tnat it is a high national 
priority to address the proDlem. The proolem is so severe and so 
entrenched that it will take the oest efforts of our formal and informal 
educational resources to be responsive. Television has a Dig role to play 
in that mission. 

3-2-1 CONTACT is a fine example of educational programming at the national 
level, programming designed to complement the formal curriculum in schools, 
but also to be freely available in homes where science instruction in 
schools may be inadequate or even non-existent. In the homes, this series 
attracted over 23 million viewers in tne very first airing of its 65 
programs. 3-2-1 CONTACT is also viewed widely in elementary schools 
througnout the country. About 500,000 teacher's guides which help teachers 
incorporate the series into their curriculum have been requested and sent 
out. With large audiences for science education in the homes and the 
schools, ana with continuing popularity through multiple repeats, we 
estimate tnat the cost of one person viewing one program reduces to about a 
penny or less. 

CTW nas aemonstrated that children in very large numbers can be reached in 
nomes and schools with programs that are appealing and educationally 
effective, and that national impact can be achieved at very attractive 
levels of cost effectiveness. 

We are very pleased to report that, with the strong support of the 
Congress, the National Science Foundation, through its Public Understanding 
of Science Program, the Department of Education, and the Corporation for 
Public Broadcasting have provided funding for a second season of 
3-2-1 CONTACT programs, to consist of 40 programs. Funding beyond this 
point is uncertain; nevertheless, we are optimistic tnat we can, with 
strong federal leadership, use our most powerful national medium in the 
service of children ana science education, not as a one-shot band-aid, but 
as a long-term commitment. 

With your permission, I will now play for you a few snippets from some of 
the scenes in the new 3-2-1 CONTACT series which will premiere next October. 


Mr. Swift. I loved that opening sequence. I could sit and watch 
that all day long. 
Mr. Blessington. 


Mr. Blessington. Thank you, Mr. Chairrpan. 

I appreciate the opportunity to present the views of CBS on the 
important subject of children and television. 

What qualifies me to appear before you today is not my recent 
personnel appointment, but rather the preceding 4 years as CBS' 
vice president, educational and community services, and the 20 pre- 
ceding years as a teacher and a schoolhead. 

We have submitted our remarks, and I have cut them down. In 
view of your comment and the interest of time, I will cut them as I 
go. So if I stumble a little bit, you will know I am trying to edit a 
little bit as we go along in the interest of time. 

CBS is especially responsive to young people as a part of our 
commitment to the total audience. I think that is our overall posi- 
tion. We feel secure in saying that in innovative areas, we have 
made some very strong commitments having produced some of the 
first formulas, such as trying to give children an understanding of 
current events in our series "In The News," which was Emmy and 
Peabody awarded. In the fields of cultural programing, we tried to 
bring an array of things, including currently the "Children's Film 

In other innovative areas, we introduced the concept of value-ori- 
ented themes through the award- winning "Fat Albert and the 
Cosby Kids," which has been a Saturday morning staple since 1972. 
These are just a few of that type. 

We don't stop with what is on the screen, we go past that. So 
that we have in our broadcast group the department of educational 
and community services, which I headed for 4 years. In that we de- 
velop programs and projects with educational community groups 
trying to find ways to have television be more beneficial to chil- 

For example, the department directs the CBS television reading 
program. This project involves the distribution of scripts around 
the country. Since 1977, we have distributed over 20 million scripts. 
The National Education Association said that they thought this 
was a notable exception of television and teachers working togeth- 
er to help children. So we are pleased about that. 

Another example of our efforts to use television to encourage 
reading is our "Read More About It" project, which we do at the 
Library of Congress. In a variety of specials, an actor comes at the 
end of the special, and steps out of character and announces a list 
of books which have been selected by the Library of Congress 
which might be of interest to the television viewer. Dr. Daniel J. 
Boorstin of the Library of Congress says that this project links the 
pleasure, power, and excitement of books and television. 

In short, we believe that our young viewers have been thought- 
fully served by our efforts on screen and off. We recognize the 
hearing has not been called so that we can congratulate ourselves 
or because everyone is terribly pleased. We know that some people 


are displeased with both the quality and the quantity of children's 
programing. In the past, they have called for legislation for the irn- 
position of quotas mandating the amount of and types of children's 
programs which some individuals would fmd appropriate. 

In our view, the establishment of quotas for children's program- 
ing, or for any other program category, would do no less than 
accept the principle that the Government may determine how 
much of what kind of programing would be seen and when. This 
concept we find at odds with basic first amendment values and the 
role of broadcasting in a free society. 

Equally important is the fact that to mandate one type of pro- 
graming is to exclude others regardless of the interest of the audi- 
ence or the judgment of the broadcaster. Therefore, CBS strongly 
opposes the adoption of such type of rules. 

However, I do not want to dwell on this, I am not a lawyer. 
The fact is that we think the children are rather well served by 
commercial and public broadcast and increasingly through the 
emergence of new technology such as cable and video-cassettes. 
Therefore, the question to us is really one of selection rather than 

Also part of the problem, however, is definitional. The FCC now 
limits its definition of children's programs to those originally pro- 
duced and broadcast for 12 years old and under. However, we all 
know that children watch a far wider range of programs, and to 
cite a few, "The Blue and the Gray," "Oliver Twist," and "A Tale 
of Two Cities," these types of programs which are designed with 
children in mind, in part provide information and stimulate inter- 
est about history, literature, culture, and social issues. 

These are not children's programs by FCC standards, yet even 
our critics call these "must viewing" for young people. This appar- 
ent anomaly has led one former FCC Commissioner to suggest that 
programs which serve the young audience be redefined to include 
those "contributing to the learning experience of young people 17 
years old and below." 

When viewed in that perspective a far greater picture of the 
viewing choices available to a young audience emerges. Indeed, the 
letter of invitation to this hearing refers to programing for younger 
Americans. ^ 

There are, of course, many programs available which are more 
specifically directed toward the younger audience, in addition to 
our regularly-scheduled children's programs. We offer the after- 
noon specials, the specials on weekends, on Sundays. We know that 
other broadcasters can point with justifiable pride to their efforts 
as well. 

We think that it does not negate our attempts if we point to the 
role of public television, because a portion of the public spectrum 
has been reserved to the public stations precisely in order to allow 
them to serve needs which may not be fully met by the commercial 
systems. So no matter how we evaluate what is available for chil- 
dren, we could certainly not ignore "Sesame Street," "Mr. Rogers 
Neighborhood," and the "Electric Company." 

Another emerging source is cable, as has been indicated before. 
In addition to the "Nickelodeon," the Disney channel, and then the 


HBO "Fraggle Rock" and "Brain Games" and USA Cable's "Calli- 

So, in summary, we don't think that there is any great absence 
of programing at all, whether it be educational or informational. It 
is inevitable, however, that opportunities for viewing being what 
they are that some people will be dissatisfied. Each of us would like 
television to offer more of the kinds of programing which he or she 
thinks is important. But broadcaster time is finite. If one kind of 
program is put on, then another has to be excluded. Clearly the 
first amendment means that such value judgments will not be im- 
posed by Government. 

It is important to emphasize, as I close, that television can never 
take the place of the school, the church, the home, or any of the 
other social institutions that rely on interpersonal contact to help 
children grow emotionally and intellectually. 

On the other hand, I would observe that television in general, 
and not just what we call children's television is a wonderful re- 
source which parents and educators can, and very often do, use in 
a very constructive manner to enrich the lives of our children. 

Thank you. 

[Testimony resumes on p. 168.] 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Blessington follows:] 



CBS Television NetworiL CBS Entertainmenl.CBS Sports CBS News.CBS Tetevisior Slalions.CBS Radio 
CBS Inc 51 West 52 Slreel. NewYbt*, Newlfortc 10019 (212) 975-4321 


of the 



Vice President, Personnel 

CBS/Broadcast Group 

March 16, 1983 

I appreciate the opportunity to present the views of CBS on 
the important subject of children and television. At the 
outset, I would like to note that what qualifies me to appear 
before you today is not my recent personnel appointment, but 
rather the preceding four years spent at CBS as Vice President, 
Educational and Community Services and 20 years before that as 
an educator. 

CBS is responsive to young people as part of a commitment 
to our total audience, and our record is one of achievement. 
For example, we have pioneered several innovative program 
formats for young viewers. CBS was responsible for network 
television's first regularly-scheduled effort to provide young 
people with information about current events -- the series of 


capsule news segments entitled IN THE NEWS, which has been 
honored with Emmy and Peabody awards. And in the field of 
cultural programming, we offer such series as the CBS 
CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL. In still another innovation, we 
introduced the concept of value-oriented themes in Saturday 
morning children's programming through the award-winning FAT 
ALBERT AND THE COSBY KIDS, a staple since 1972. These are but 
a few of many interesting and imaginative programs which CBS 
offers to young viewers. 

Our commitment to young people, however, does not end with 
what appears on the screen. CBS has a separate Department of 
Educational and Community Services, which I headed for four 
years. The department works with educational institutions and 
community groups across the country in developing ways in which 
CBS programs and projects may be used to benefit young viewers. 

For example, the department directs the CBS Television 
Reading Program. This project involves the distribution of 
scripts of selected CBS Television Network programs for 
classroom use to enhance student interest in reading and other 
subjects. Since its inception in 1977, CBS has distributed 
more than 20 million scripts nationwide. The National 
Education Association has called the Reading Program "a notable 
example of television and teachers working together to help 
children. " 


Another example of our efforts to use television to 
encourage reading is our "Read More About It" project. Here, a 
list of books, prepared by the Library of Congress and relating 
to the subject matter of selected CBS specials, is recommended 
to viewers at the conclusion of these broadcasts. This is done 
by a member of the program's cast, stepping out of character 
and addressing the audience directly. In the words of Dr. 
Daniel J. Boorstin, Librarian of Congress, this project "links 
the pleasure, power and excitement of books and television." 

In short, we believe that young viewers have been 
thoughtfully served by our efforts both on screen and off. We 
recognize, however, that this hearing has not been called 
because there is universal approval of the performance of 
broadcasters in this area. There are some who are dissatisfied 
with the quality and the quantity of children's programs on 
television today. And, as in the past, that dissatisfaction 
has led some to call for government involvement in children's 
programming, including the imposition of quotas mandating the 
amounts and types of children's programs which these 
individuals would find appropriate- 
In our view, the establishment of quotas for children's 
programming -- or for any other program category -- would do no 
less than accept the principle that the government may 
determine how much of what kinds of programming will be seen by 


the public and when. That is a concept which we at CBS find 
fundamentally at odds with basic First Amendment values, and 
with the role of broadcasting in a free society. Equally 
important is the fact that to mandate one type of programming 
is to exclude all others, regardless of the interests of the 
audience or the judgment of the broadcaster. Therefore, CBS 
strongly opposes the adoption of any such rules. 

However, I do not want to dwell on this subject, both 
because I am not a lawyer and because, it seems to us, the 
recurring calls for government involvement in this area are 
based on a false premise. Contrary to the belief of some, the 
fact is that children are well served in today's television 
marketplace by commercial and public broadcasters and, 
increasingly, through emerging technologies such as cable 
television and video cassette. Therefore, the question is not 
one of scarcity, for the programs are there; rather, it is one 
of selection. 

Part of the problem in discussing children and television 
has been definitional. The FCC has narrowly limited its 
definition of "children's programs" to those which are 
"originally produced and broadcast for [children] twelve years 
old and under." We all know, however, that children watch a 
far wider range of programming. To cite only a few CBS 
examples, such highly-acclaimed dramatic specials as THE BLUE 


information and stimulate interest about history, literature, 
culture and social issues. Although these presentations for 
the entire family are not considered "children's programs" by 
FCC standards, they are frequently singled out by critics, 
parents and educators as "must" viewing for young people. 

This apparent anomaly has led one former FCC Commissioner 
to suggest that programs which serve the young audience be 
redefined to include those "contributing to the learning 
experience of young people 17 years old and below." When 
viewed in this broader perspective, a more complete picture of 
the viewing choices available to the young audience emerges. 
Indeed, the letter of invitation to this hearing refers to 
"programming for younger Americans." 

There are, of course, many CBS programs available which are 
more specifically directed toward the younger audience. And, 
in addition to our regularly-scheduled children's programs, the 
CBS Television Network offers after-school children's specials 
on weekday afternoons, while continuing the presentation of 
children's specials on Sundays. Our efforts in this area are 
detailed in a report entitled "Children and Television -- A 
Closer Look," which we are submitting for the record. 


Other commercial broadcasters have their own achievements, 
to which they can point with justifiable pride. However, it is 
in no sense an abdication of the responsibilities of commercial 
broadcasters to point out the role of public television in this 
area. A portion of the broadcast spectrum has been reserved to 
public stations precisely in order to allow them to serve needs 
which may not be fully met by the commercial system. No 
attempt to evaluate the viewing opportunities available to 
children should ignore such programs as SESAME STREET, MISTER 

Another emerging source of children's programming is cable 
television. Warner Amex's "Nickelodeon" provides a cable 
channel devoted to. children' s programs, and a new children's 
service, the Disney Channel, will begin operation this year. 
In addition, other cable services offer regularly scheduled 
children's programming, such as HBO ' s FRAGGLE ROCK and BRAIN 

Moreover, the free market continues to search for still 
other opportunities to meet the entertainment and information 
needs of the young through television. In recent years, for 
example, that market has spawned more than 2000 video cassette 
titles for young audiences. 


In sum, there is no absence of programming for youag 
viewers -- including informational programs -- on American 
television today. Indeed, CBS recently conducted a new survey 
of weekday children's offerings in the same 52 sample markets 
analyzed in an FCC study issued in advance of the Commission's 
1980 children's television hearings. Our survey, which we are 
submitting today for the record, shows that most children are 
served during the overwhelming majority of non-school, 
non-prime time half-hours. 

It is inevitable, of course, that the opportunities for 
viewing which in fact exist will not satisfy everyone. Each of 
us would like television to offer more of the kinds of 
programming which he or she personally thinks is important. 
But broadcast time is finite; if more of one kind of program is 
presented, something else will have to be sacrificed. Clearly, 
if the First Amendment means anything, it means that such value 
judgments cannot be imposed by the government. 

It is important to emphasize that television can never take 
the place of the school, the church, the home, or any of the 
other social institutions that rely on interpersonal contact to 
help children grow emotionally and intellectually. On the 
other hand, I would observe that television in general -- and 
not just what some call "children's television" -- is a 
resource which parents and educators can and do use in a 
constructive manner to enrich children's lives. 


The Availability of Children's Television 

A 52-Market Analysis of Weekday Programming 

November, 1982 

The report presents the results of a study conceived and executed 

by CBS to determine the availability of children's television programming 

during the typical Monday-Friday period in November, 1982. 

The data were derived from an analysis of daytime half-hours C6:30am to 
6:30pm) throughout the week when all children two-to 11 years of age are 
at least potentially in the television audience. The objective was to 
determine the proportion of these half -hours in which at least one children's 
program \ras available on over-the-air television channels in each of 52 

In addition, from those half -hours in which there was no children's 
programming from broadcast sources, the study sought to establish 
whether such programming was being provided by cable systems serving 
the market. 

Since, for all but the youngest children, the weekday hours between 9:00am and 
3:00pm are normally spent in school, the Monday-Friday portion of the analysis 
was necessarily confined to the 12 half -hours between 6:30 and 9:00 in the 
morning and between 3:00 and 6:30 in the afternoon. Thus, the Monday- 
Friday data reported below are based upon a total of 60 daytime half-hours. 

Sample Markets 

The 52 sample markets are the same ones included in a similar analysis 
carried out in 1980 for CBS's filing in the FCC children's television 
proceeding (and, prior to that, in an FCC- sponsored study comparing the 
amounts of children's programming available in the years 1973 and 1977). 
As in the earlier research, the markets have been grouped according to size 
into four separate strata, each comprised of 13 markets. With only two 
exceptions, the stratum distribution of the 52 markets is identical to wliat 
it was in the earlier CBS and FCC research. These are Fort Smith, which has 
moved to Stratum 3 from Stratum 4, and Utica, formerly Stratum 3, dropping 
down to Stratum 4. 

API Rank- Interval* 
Stratum 1 Markets 1 - 53 

Stratum 2 Markets 54 - 101 

Stratum 3 Markets 102 - 156 

Stratum 4 J'larkets 157 - 210 

^Obviously, 210 markets cannot be divided into four equal strata; beyond 
that, however, population shifts over the past several years have affected 
the relative size-rankings of the original 52 sample markets, requiring 
that the end-points of the four ADI rank- intervals be slightly redefined. 


Tabulation of Programs 

The raw data on which the findings reported below are based are the 
number of half-hoxirs in which at least one children's program was avail- 
able in each market during the typical Monday- Friday period. This was 
determined from two sources: 

1. The Monday-Friday section of the November I982 Nielsen Station Index 
for each market. (Nielsen was chosen over Arbitron for this purpose 
because the latter does not include the titles of public stations' 
programs). We included in our count only those programs intended 
expressly for children; those having demonstrably strong appeal to 
the child audience but not originally produced for that audience 
(e.g.. The Brady Bunch , Buck Rogers , Chips Patrol ) were not tabulated. 
Where there was confusion over whether a given title was in fact a 
children's program, this was resolved by contacting the programming 
department of the station involved. 

2. Unlike our I98O study, which was limited to programming available 
only from over-the-air sources in each market, we have this time 
integrated the children's fare offered during non-school half-hours 
Monday-Friday by five nationwide basic-cable services : Nickelodeon 
(Warner Amex) , USA Cable Network, and the three superstations — 
WTBS, WOR and WON. This of course provided only a minimum estimate 
of cable-delivered children's programming, since it does not include 
other distant broadcast stations which may be imported into an 
individual market . 

The number of weekday half-hours in which children's programming is avail- 
able in a given market was computed as the sum of: 

• The number of half-hours provided by over-the-air soiirces, plus... 

• The number of half-hours in which only cable-delivered programming 
was available, downweighted by the local-market penetration of the 
cable service offering it.* 


1. Stratum 1 Markets : Out of the 60 non-school half-hours (6:30-9:00am 
and 3:00-6 :30pm) comprising the Monday-Friday period examined. Stratum 1 
markets averaged U7.I half-hours {19%) in which was available at least one 
program intended specifically for the two-to-11 age group (or some segment 
thereof). Of these kf .1 half-hoxirs, U5.8 were provided by over-the-air 
stations and an additional 1.3 by the five cable sources. 

*For example: in Green Bay, there is no over-the-air children's programming at 
8:30am, but 2k% of the homes in that market are able to receive USA Cable Net- 
work, which offers the program Calliope at that time. The 8: 30-9 :00am time 
period therefore contributes 0.2U half-hours toward Green Bay's daily total. 


As shown in the following table, there has been a very slight decline since 
1979 in the niomber of weekday half-hours in which over-the-air children's 
programming is available. To some extent, this has been offset by the 
increasing availability of cable-delivered children's fare over the past 
three years — an increase we have no way of quantifying precisely, however, 
since cable was not included in our earlier study. 

Percent of 
# Non-School Half -Hours Total Non-School Half-Hours 
Average Market Average Market 

1982 1979 1982 1979 

Over Over 

the Cable the 

Total Air Only Air _% _% 

Stratum 1 1+7-1 '+5-8 1.3 U7.S 78.5 79.2 

In view of the relative concentration of children in the nation's larger 
television markets, the data for Stratum 1 are particularly significant. 
For, in the top 53 markets from which these 13 were selected, there reside 
21.5 million children — some two-thirds (66. h%] of all two-to-11 year -olds 
in the U.S. population. For these children, television (predominantly 
over-the-air television) is providing programming during an average of over 
three-quarters of non-school weekday time. And, for the approximately 30^ 
of Stratum 1 homes now subscribing to basic cable, children's programming 
is of course available during an even larger proportion of the day. 

2. Stratxim 2 Markets : The 13 markets drawn from Stratum 2 averaged U0.6 
half-hours of weekday children's programming, or 68% of the morning and 
afternoon half-hoiirs when children aren't in school. Again, the bulk of 
this total (36.2 haJ-f-hours) was accounted for by over-the-air stations — 
a fig:ure higher than 1979 's 32.5 — with the remaining U.U half -hours 
coming from cable services. 

3. Stratum 3 Markets : The average Stratum 3 market offered 31.1 half-hours 
Monday-Friday in which at least one children ' s program was available ( 52^ of 
total non-school time). Relative to 1979, the number of half hours provided 
to the average market by over-the-air stations was somewhat less (26.2 versus 
28.7). With the inclusion of the nearly five additional half-hours supplied 
by cable, however — an amount almost certainly well above that of three 
years ago — the availability of children's programming in these markets is 
in all likelihood more than what it was in 1979. 


k. stratum h Markets : In Stratim k, as in Stratum 2, the number of half- 
hours in which children's programming was offered by broadcast stations 
was actually higher in 1982 than three years before (l8.1 versus 13.1). 
Together with the nearly eight weekly half-hours delivered via cable (a 
figure arrived at through weighting in accordance with the five services' 
respective penetrations in each market), the availability of children's 
programming in the average Stratum k market stood at just under 26 half -hours 
(or k2% of weekday non-school time). 

Non-School Half-Hours 
Average Market 

Percent of 
Total Non-School Half-Hours 
Average Market 

Stratum 1 



the Cable 
Total Air Only 

Ut.1 ,U5.8 










Stratum 2 







Stratum 3 31.1 26.2 k.g 28.7 

Stratum k 25-9 I8.I 7.8 13.1 



— Philip A. Harding 

Director, Special Projects 
CBS/Broadcast Group 




^ hildren's television. Much has been said about it; 
'much has been ignored. 

For too long, the focus has been simply on "children's 
television," yet it is more important to examine the subject of 
children and television, because young people do not just 
watch programs designed specifically for them. There is no 
such thing as a "chOdren's hour." In fact, Saturday morning 
represents only 9 percent of the 2 to 1 1 -year-old child's 
weekly viewing. 

Programs such as CHARLIE BROWN, DR. Seuss, GARFIELD and 
other special fare are enjoyed by audiences both young and 
old. Acclaimed dramatic specials such as THE BLUE AND THE 
Gray, Oliver Twist, and All Quiet On The Western Front, to 
cite only a few CBS titles, provide information and stimulate 
interest about history, literature, culture and social issues. 
While these presentations are not called "children's pro- 
grams" by Federal Communications Commission standards, 
they are h'equently singled out by critics, parents and 
educators as "must" viewing for young people. The FCC 
narrowly defines children's programming as "programs 
primarily designed for children aged 2 through 12." It seems 
clear that a more flexible approach to assessing service to the 
young audience is needed. Indeed, former FCC Commissioner 
Abbott Washburn suggested a broader definition: "Programs 
contributing to the learning experience of young people 17 
years old and below." This approach would encompass many 
of the above-mentioned programs — and more. 


Even as with adults, children are informed and entertained by 
television. However, children do not either live or grow up in a 
vacuum. Television may play a role in the developmental 
process, but the home, the church, the school and peer 
groups play vastly larger roles. While television— by design- 
should not be an instrument of teaching, it can serve as the 
catalyst to stimulate interest in a wide range of subjects and 
ideas. Television is not and should not be either an extension 
of the classroom or a third parent in any household. 

American historjr was the 
backdrop for The Blue And 
The Gray, the sweeping saga 
of the Civil War. 

I niledfealiifeSvnilnsIf ln< 

The Charlie Brown specials 
provide entertainment for 
children and adults alike. 




Parents properly devote time either to selecting or approving 
a child's clothing, books, food, friends and schools, and they 
should be equally involved in selecting what a child watches 
on television. Yet the question of parental guidance and 
responsibility is too often ignored in discussions ab)OUt 
children and television. 

Do children spend too much time watching television? In 
many cases, yes — but not because there is cinything inherently 
wrong with television viewing. The answer would still be "yes" 
even if children devoted all of their viewing time to watching 
Beethoven concerts and Shakespearean plays. There should 
he diverse activities for cfiildren (and for adults), such as 
athletics, reading and hobbies, to name a few. But that is 
where the parent must assume a role in guiding the child's 
leisure time activities. 


The interest of CBS in young people goes beyond what 
appears on the screen. CBS is unique among broadcasters in 
having a separate Department of Educational and Community 
Services, headed by a professional educator and serving as a 
valuable resource to the public in the areas of education and 
family life as they relate to television. Working with educa- 
tional institutions and community groups across the country, 
the department has representatives traveling almost con- 
stantly, meeting and tcdking with parents, educators, religious 
leaders and others interested in children and television. This 
allows us to develop opportunities for CBS progreims and 
projects to be used to provide a greater service for young 
viewers and their families. 


Several major projects have been developed by CBS to enrich 
young people's viewing experiences by encouraging the 
application of that viewing to a learning experience at school 
and at home. 

The CBS Television Reading Program is a nationwide television 
script-reading project designed to utilize students' enthusiasm 
for television to help improve their reading skills and increase 

Television viewing is often a 
family activity in many 
homes where the parent 
guides a child's viewing. 

In the classroom, many 
educators are using 
television to stimulate 
Interest and ideas In a wide 
range of subjects. 


their motivation for further reading, learning and creative 

Working through CBS affiliated stations and local schools, the 
Network offers matched-to-broadcast scripts of specially 
selected CBS presentations to elementary and secondary 
school students around the country. The scripts contain the 
dialogue as well as camera and stage directions. In the 
classroom before the actual broadcast, students often take 
turns reading the various roles aloud or acting out the parts. 
Participating teachers receive comprehensive guides which 
are used to initiate classroom discussion and involve the 
students in a variety of reading, writing and creative projects 
that include history, geography, social studies and other 
subjects. In addition to reacUng the scripts, students are urged 
to read some of the many books, articles or periodicals listed 
in the teachers guides' extensive bibliography. Since its inception 
in 1977, more than 20 million such scripts have been 
distributed nationwide. In addition, scripts and guides are also 
being used in schools tor the hearing-impaired, senior citizen 
centers and a number of correctional facilties. 


In another effort of significance to young viewers, CBS is 
teamed in a unique partnership with the Library of Congress in 
a project called "Read More About It." In the words of Dr. 
Daniel J. Boorstin, Librarijin of Congress, the effort "links the 
pleasure, power and excitement of books and television. " 

From a variety of selected CBS specials, the Library of 
Congress prepares a list of recommended books which relate 
to the particular subject matter of each broadcast. In a special 
televised message immediately follovmg the broadcast, a well- 
knovm personality— usually a featured performer from the 
broadcast itself — alerts viewers to several titles from the list 
and urges them to visit their local library or bookstore to read 
more about the subject. The full list of recommended titles is 
also distributed to schools cind libraries around the country by 
the Library of Congress and American Library Association. 

Since the project began in 1979, "Read More About It" 
messages have varied in scope from Richard Thomas' 
announcement following his performance in All QUIET ON THE 
Western Front to an animated message delivered by Charlie 

As part of the CBS Television 
Reading Progrtun, television 
scripts are being used as 
tools for reading, learning 
and thinking. 

The "Read More About It" 
project stresses the 
complementary relationship 
of books and television. 


Brown and Snoopy following a CHARLIE BROWN special. In all, 
some 50 CBS Television Network broadcasts have been 
included in the project. 


CBS has published and funded several viewers' guides 
designed to help teachers, parents, students — viewers in 
general^become comfortable and creative in the uses they 
make of television. 

In addition to the guides for the CBS Reading Program, other 
guides are generic and have value beyond use with a par- 
ticulcir program. One such guide, "Take a Lesson from TV," 
demonstrates how teachers, students and families can use 
television to enrich learning and enhance creativity. Organized 
by subject area, "Take a Lesson" suggests reading, writing, 
listening, drama cind library activities that use television as a 
springboard to further learning. Although directed primarily at 
teachers, each section contains suggestions for family 
activities as well as classroom experiences. 

Another guide, "The Television Picture," explains clearly and 
graphically how television developed, how it works, how 
stations and networks are organized. This guide has tjeen 
especially useful in career education. 

A third guide, "Television: A Plus for Librarians," was developed 
in conjunction with the American Library Association and assists 
school and public librarians as they direct children toward 
making constructive use of the various electronic media. 


To help shape informative and entertaining progrcimming for 
children, an educational advisory panel was established in 
1972, with Dr. Gordon Berry of the Graduate School of 
Education at UCLA serving as chief adviser to CBS on 
children's programs. Dr. Berry works closely with program 
producers and writers and with the CBS programming and 
program practices personnel. He examines story outlines, 
reviews scripts, discusses issues and ideas. He also draws on a 
panel of experts from different fields, including child psychia- 
trists, psychologists, educators and others who provide their 
advice and guidance about some of the learning activities, 
values and concepts that are to be part of CBS programming. 

Richard Thomas alerted 
viewers to books about World 
War I following ALL Quiet On 
The western Front. 

CBS furnishes many 
materials for teachers, 
parents and students to help 
them use and understand 



CBS has pioneered several innovative program formats for 
young viewers: broadcasts that entertain, enlighten and 

Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids has been a Saturday morning 
favorite on CBS since 1972. This highly successful, award- 
winning series deals with real problems that affect all children 
at one time or another, such as keeping a promise, obeying 
parents, not poking fun at younger children, maintaining a 
proper diet, even not watching too much television. 

The situations and characters are drawn from comedian Bill 
Cosby's own chOdhood in Philadelphia, with Cosby himself 
appearing to add a personal touch to the theme of each 

NEWS & INFORMATION Young people are growing up in an 
exciting, changing world, and to help them understand it 
better, CBS News developed iN THE NEWS, network television's 
first regularly scheduled effort to provide young viewers with 
information about current events. And, according to a special 
Gallup Youth Survey, these capsule news broadcasts have 
made an importcint contribution to children. 

in a survey of a national sample of teenagers, Gallup found 
that two-thirds had seen In THE NEWS while growing up and, of 
this group, nearly 90 percent said they had learned from the 
series. Nearly half considered iN THE NEWS a major source of 
information about the world. Conceived in 1971, this pioneering 
Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series of capsule news 
segments is broadcast at least once an hour during the CBS 
Saturday morning programming. 

In addition, short, informational messages relating to health, 
safety and nutrition are also interspersed throughout the 
weekend children's schedule. 

Festival provides a brilliant panorama of customs and 
attitudes of different lands by presenting the best available 
children's films from here and abroad. This award-winning 
series offers the rare combination of pure entertainment and 
cultural values wrapped into one pleasurable package. 












Fat Albert And The cosby 
Kids reflects real situations 
about growing up. 

In The News provides young 
viewers with information 
about current events, 
drawing upon the world wide 
resources of CBS News. 


AN AMERICAN INSTITUTION A commitment to children that 
began on CBS more than a quarter of a century ago continues. 
Since his first broadcast on the Networic in 1955, CAPTAIN 
Kangaroo has been sharing the joy of discovery with an 
ever-renewing audience of preschool children cind their 
parents. And to keep up with that changing world, Bob 
Keeshan and his stciff are continually developing new pro- 
gramming concepts to encourage a child's interest in reading, 
nature, the arts, science and health. Recognized with four 
Emmy Awards and two George Foster Peabody Awards, the 
Captain offers a format of limitless variety and boundless 
enthusiasm. In all, almost 8,000 hours of CAPTAIN KANGAROO 
programs have been broadcast on the CBS Television 

PROGRAM DIVERSITY The Network's Saturday morning 
program schedule reflects a broad range of fare from the pure 
entertainment of BUGS BUN>fY to the informational IN THE NEWS 
segments and the value-oriented FAT ALBERT. And in devel- 
opment for the fall of 1983 is THE CHARLIE BROWN AND SNOOPY 
Show, cin cill-new weekly series based on the popular Charles 
Schulz characters. 


Expanding its creative efforts, CBS developed an ever-growing 
commitment to special broadcasts for young people, featuring 
well-known personalities and exciting production values, 
opening doors to new worlds, focusing on important issues, 
and sparking curiosity in the arts, music, dance, books, reading 
and reasoning. 

At the top of the list is THE CBS FESTIVAL OF LIVELY ARTS FOR 
Young People. For more than two decades, this premiere 
series of children's specials has explored the arts in a lively, 
entertaining way. Special hosts — from Leonard Bernstein to 
Beverly Sills, from Joe Namath to Rudolf Nureyev, Danny Kaye, 
Julie Andrews and Henry Winkler — have employed ingenious, 
enjoyable forms to do just that. Often unconventional but 
always entertaining, the acclaimed "Festival" repertoire is as 
diverse as the expression of art is limitless. A special "Festival" 
presentation for 1983 will feature Olympic gold medalists 
Dorothy Hamill and Robin Cousins in an ice-show adaptation 
of Shakespeare's classic "Romeo and Juliet." 

Captain Kangaroo has been 
sharing the joy of discovery 
Gpith millions of young 
viewers since 1955. 

Many CBS specials for young 
people spark curiosity in the 
lively arts, such as Julie 
ANDREWS' Invitation To The 
Dance with Rudolf 


The CBS Afternoon Playhouse presents sensitive dramatic 
treatments of tlie conflicts and dilemmas often faced by young 
people. Examining topics such as friendship, family values, the 
life of foster children, shoplifting, teenage pregnancy, drug 
abuse cind adjusting to stepparents, PLAYHOUSE dramas 
center on young people maJdng choices which will affect their 

Famous Classic Tales features animated presentations of 
classic works of literature, such as "The Last of the Mohicans," 
"The Count of Monte Cristo," "A Christmas Carol," "The Three 
Musketeers," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Hiawatha." 

The CBS CHILDREN'S Mystery Theatre brings together an 
inquisitive youngster, a puzzling occurrence and a maze of 
clues to decipher. These mind-twisting adventures offer more 
than the ability to keep kids on the edge of their chairs. Each is 
written to emphasize to young viewers that the key to solving 
a mystery is deductive reasoning. 

The CBS Library piques a child's interest in books with an 
ingenious formula: Take three books that share a similar 
theme. Dramatize only a selection from each book, and almost 
never finish telling the tale. Then add a wraparound story that 
encourages children to read the stories to their conclusions. 
All titles come from the Library of Congress annual list of 
recommended children's books. 


CBS provides young people with a variety of efforts, both on 
and off the television screen. But CBS is not alone. Other 
networks cind other stations, both commercial and non- 
commercial, network-affiliated and independent, are also 
providing programming for young people. In addition, some 
cable services also offer programs for the younger audience. 
Indeed, there is hardly a community in the United States today 
that does not offer a Vciried daily menu of television program- 
ming for young people. 

51 WEST 52 STREET, NEW YORK. 'NY 10019 

Classic literature comes alive 
in presentations like The 
COUNT Of Monte Cristo. 

Children today have a great 
variety of television 

progr amming tO draw upon 
for pure entertainment as 
well as to enrich their social, 
cultural and learning 




Ms. Robinson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Much can be said about the quality and quantity of currently 
available programing for children. I think you already have some 
evidence I have given you in previous testimony. The NEA is ac- 
tively involved in this area on behalf of advocacy for children, and 
on behalf of use of the medium in helping us to provide proper edu- 
cation and socialization facilitation for our young. 

The committee, I understand, is particularly interested in ques- 
tions regarding the responsibility of broadcasters to provide pro- 
graming for children. In the written testimony, we have spoken to 
that at length, however, to summarize I would reference a quote by 
Walt Disney that "We are always keenly aware that things seen on 
the screen can exercise enormous influence on the ideals and con- 
duct of youngsters. Those who use the movie or TV screen as a 
business also have a great responsibility toward their customers." 

Recently, a program manager for one of the UHF stations, 
WDCA here in the Washington metropolitan area, commented, "If 
you take a close look at your community, your budget, and commit- 
ments, you will be surprised at how affordable children's program- 
ing can be and the many rewards you will earn from it." I would 
comment that this particular independent station offers more chil- 
dren programing than many of the other network affiliates in the 

Further, the responsibility to provide programing for children is 
spoken to in the Communications Act as well as in the 1974 FCC 
policy statement. Whether public broadcasting can assume a large 
part of this responsibility, I think is already answered, and the 
answer is yes. But should the public broadcasting system assume 
all of this responsibility, I would have to respectfully submit that 
the answer is no. Funding is a major factor that intervenes, which 
we could always answer with more money, and I would not want to 
discourage more funding for public broadcasting. 

The advent of cable is a partial answer indeed to the question of 
programing for children and young people, but we have the reality 
of the evolution of that technology and access to that technology. 
Therefore, we are discouraged to depend heavily on cable or upon 
public broadcasting to provide all that must be provided for chil- 

Government responsibility in this area is, I will admit, a very 
thorny issue and I am not a lawyer either. We are proposing that 
since we have new problems to solve, perhaps we ought to provide 
or apply a new technology. The NEA has proposed, and Mr. Wirth 
has mentioned this morning some support for the concept of a tem- 
porary commission on children's television programing. Commis- 
sioner Rivera has also endorsed this idea. 

What might this commission do, you would say. Questions re- 
garding the definition of children's programing will have to be re- 
solved if we are ever to conclude whether we are or whether we 
are not addressing that need. A standard for the amount of pro- 
graming needs to be developed. We must provide dissemination 
mechanisms for informing one another of the availability of pro- 


graming, commercial programing, and programing which has been 
developed at the expense of Federal dollars. 

Mr. Chairman, we should not forget the ESAA program resulted 
in the development of over 50 series of programs for children that 
programing rarely finds its way into the schedules of local or net- 
work broadcasters. 

We also need to design a structure for appropriate support for 
television programing development. Incentive programs that we 
may not have thought of before. 

Further, and I think most important, we need a forum for discus- 
sion, for the developing of consensus, and a mutual commitment 
among all the interest groups that have something to say on this 
issue. In support of this idea, I would refer to a comment made re- 
cently by Chairman Mark Fowler in an address in Arizona, "I be- 
lieve," and I quote: "the purpose behind TV regulation is not to 
come up with rules, but to provide a way for those in the industry 
with quality on their minds to be heard." 

I suggest that vehicle proposed by the NEA is a vehicle through 
which those who have quality on their mind relative to children's 
television programing can indeed be heard. I think it is a vehicle 
that suggests that perhaps out of the light of the cameras and the 
posturing before congressional committees, we can let our imagina- 
tion run a bit in finding a new way to address some of our very 
new, but very difficult questions. 

[Testimony resumes on p. 186.] 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Robinson follows:] 


Prepared Statement of Dr. Sharon Robinson, Director, Instruction and 
Professional Development, National Education Association 

The NEA is pleased to participate in these hearings as part 
of National Children and T'elevision Week and to take this 
opportunity to consider the impact of television on the children 
of this country. While television has a vast potential to 
support the education and socialization of young people, that 
potential is not yet realized. 

The National Education Association represents over 1.7 
million teachers and other school employees. With the help of 
our 12,000 state and local affiliates, we have been an active 
participant in FCC proceedings on this issue. 

We are here today because we believe that there is an 
essential difference in what we believe is the responsibility of 
the FCC under the law to protect the public interest and what we 
understand to be its current view. We don't believe that a 
dialogue is even possible when there is no ability to meet and 
discuss the premises on which the issues are based. Therefore, 
we are grateful to be able to come before Congress, whose 
legislative mandate the FCC is charged with upholding, to present 
our recommendation for a Temporary Commission on Children's 
Television Programming. 

Let us take a moment to review what has happened to this 
issue before the FCC. Ever since 1960 "programs for children" 
has been included by the FCC as a category that every broadcaster 
is expected to air. In 1974 the FCC adopted a Policy Statement 
requiring commercial television broadcasters to provide a more 


substantial commitment to the child audience, including regular 
weekday scheduling of children's programs. 

Three years ago the Commission issued a rulemaking with 
several regulatory options to address the sad fact that 
programming designed for children had not significantly increased 
since 1974. There was still only one daily network program for 
children, the same one as in 1974, "Captain Kangaroo" on CBS. 
NEA filed comments in the FCC rulemaking proceeding, first 
suggesting to the FCC that a voluntary children's television 
advisory board be created, with representatives from industry, 
education, and other groups to arrive at a common definition of 
children's television. 

Last January, at an en banc session of the FCC, we again 
expressed our concern about the state of children's television 
programming. By that time "Captain Kangaroo" had been cut back 
from one hour to one-half hour and moved to an earlier time slot, 
resulting in many CBS affiliates dropping it. There were still 
no regularly scheduled network children's programs on weekday 
afternoons, so "General Hospital" became the most popular 
television series for young people. Saturdays and Sundays were 
not much better. NBC had eliminated weekend health and sports 
features for children, and ABC had replaced an award-winning 
Sunday morning children's program. 

We again expressed our frustration to the Commission. Since 
1971, there had been FCC inquiries, petitions, reports, task 
forces, policy statements and an incomplete rulemaking. We 


again placed NEA's specific suggestion for a non-regulatory 
solution before the FCC: an ad hoc group of broadcasters, 
producers, education professionals, and others that would discuss 
this issue in a non-adversary context, with meetings to be 
chaired by a designated FCC commissioner. 

It is now March 1983. There has been no response from the 
FCC to our suggestion in over a year. Despite the support we 
have received for our suggestion through a letter from Chairman 
Wirth of this Subcommittee to Chairman Fowler, in February, 1982, 
we have heard nothing. This subcommittee, in its recent FCC 
budget oversight hearings also directly requested from the 
Commission an explanation as to how it plans to implement the 
1974 Policy Statement on Children's Programming, and asked for a 
response to the NEA recommendation regarding establishment of a 
temporary commission on this issue. The Commission said it would 
address the Policy Statement "as priorities permit," and that 
NEA's suggestion had been "placed in the outstanding docket in 
the children's TV proceeding." 

Mr. Chairman, we believe that by so dealing with our 
suggestion the FCC has, in effect, consigned it to oblivion. At 
a time when organizations all over the country are taking this 

week to address the issue of children's programming when the 

White House has issued a proclamation, when Congress is holding 
hearings, when broadcasters ■ are airing public affairs programs on 

the issue everyone is thinking about children's television 

except the one federal agency that is mandated by law to protect 


the public interest, and, specifically, to protect special and 

unique members of this public the child audience. This busy 

committee, which has many important issues on its agenda, is 
today spending more time on the issue of children's television 
than the FCC has spent during the past two years. 

This FCC has seemed to forget its own statement in 1974 that 
"broadcasters have a special obligation to develop and present 
programming that serves the unique needs of the child 
audience." The FCC did not say only public broadcasters had this 
statutory duty under the public interest standard of the 
Communications Act. In fact, this FCC Policy Statement was 
specifically directed to the networks and other commercial 
television broadcasters. 

Regardless of the personal convictions of the current 
Commissioners, the Commission has responsibilities set forth in 
law, in the public interest standard of the Communications Act. 
Since the FCC children's rulemaking began in 1979, one new 

Chairman and three new Commissioners a majority of the 

current Commission have joined the FCC. They have not had a 

formal opportunity to examine the Children's Task Force Report or 
the comments filed and testimony presented on the Report in 
1980. We simply do not know the views of most of the 
Commissioners on this issue. 

We offered last year to meet with all members of the 
Commission, to discuss NEA's proposal. Only one Commissioner, 
Henry Rivera, has met to discuss this subject with us. We were 


highly encouraged by this meeting. He has even spoken out on the 
subject. At a meeting of the Albuquerque, New Mexico Bar 
Association last November, Commissioner Rivera said that 
"Broadcasters haven't been paying enough attention to the needs 
of children. .. .the sad shape children's television is in today 
serves to remind me that although reliance on market forces is 
normally preferable to regulation, blind, unthinking or 
rhetorical reliance on the marketplace is an abdication of our 
duty to the public under the Communications Act." This is the 
kind of interest and enthusiasm that would help the deliberations 
of a Temporary Commission. 

As the members of this subcommittee well know, there are 
solid precedents for this kind of temporary commission. The 
Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing for Public 
Telecommunications (TCAF) was initiated by this Committee and 
authorized by the Public Broadcasting Amendments Act of 1981. 
The TCAF members included representatives from public radio and 
television, Congress and NTIA, and was chaired by FCC 
Commissioner James Quelle, This joint industry-government group 
has held numerous meetings, most of which have been open to the 
public. It is conducting an eighteen-month demonstration project 
on advertising on public television. Most importantly, TCAF has 
completed a report to Congress that includes a variety of 
recommendations on such options as tax credits and expenditures 
and special trust funds to assist public broadcasting, as well as 
lifting FCC and other federal restrictions to assist public 
broadcasters in generating new income. 


Another recent example of voluntary private-governmental 
cooperative participation under the aegis of the FCC is the FCC 
Advisory Committee on Alternative Financing for Minority 
Opportunities in Telecommunications. This committee, chaired by 
FCC Commissioner Rivera, held meetings over a two-day period with 
representatives from industry, financial institutions, the public 
interest community, the FCC, and the Department of Commerce. As 
a result of the report of this FCC advisory committee, the 
Commission submitted proposed legislation to Congress and signed 
a memorandum of agreement with the Minority Business Development 
Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Several creative 

private-sector incentives including tax certificates issued 

by the FCC for sales of cable TV properties to minority 

purchasers were recommended by this advisory committee and 

adopted by the Commission. 

We believe that there is much we can learn from these two 
examples where the public, industry, and government have 
successfully worked together on a sensitive communications issue 
and offered nonregulatory, private sector incentive solutions to 
a thorny problem. For a Temporary Commission on Children's 
Programming, a first step might be to simply define the dialogue 

to find a way to define children's programming. In their 

comments on the 1979 FCC children's rulemaking, our members 
stressed the importance of not only developing age-specific 
programming but also of providing a way to identify information 
about its availability and content to broadcasters and to the 


audience. The NEA, as a member of this temporary commission, 
could provide suggestions as to how this could be accomplishied. 

We have already had formal FCC hearings on the children's 
issue, and a slightly less formal en banc meeting before the full 
FCC last year. What we are seeking is a far different way, as 
these examples point out, where the private and public sectors, 
but with a vested interest and stake in this issue, can really 
exchange ideas on how to generate such programming. This 
roundtable dialogue, free from fanfare and formal posturing 
before the FCC or Congress, in a non-adversarial setting, can 
result, we believe, in creative solutions short of new 

Private sector initiatives, not necessarily mandated by 
government, but encouraged through an interchange of ideas 
between the broadcast industry and the community served by this 
industry, is indeed what the public interest standard is all 
about. Even FCC Chairman Mark Fowler, in a recent address, noted 
that the "purpose behind TV regulation is not to come up with 
rules but to provide a way for those in the industry with quality 
on their minds to be heard." 

We know that there are some very fine examples of 
broadcasters serving the needs of children in exceptional ways. 
Finding a means to identify these examples and to create an 
information system so that other broadcasters and other 
communities can benefit from these opportunities would be a 
valuable result of this chidren's commission. Here in 


Washington, D.C. , WDCA-TV, a UHF station, broadcasts more 
children's programs than any of the four commercial VHF 
stations. It airs two 30 minute, locally produced, children's 
programs a day, runs special children's PSAs, and produces at 
least three children's specials a year with printed study guides 
for school and home use. The station depends on a volunteer 
Children's Advisory Committee, representing education, parent, 
and civic organizations in the metropolitican Washington area, to 
help them determine the needs and interests of the children in 
their community. 

WDCA Program Manager Farrell Meisel said at the 1982 NATPE 
convention last March, "If you take a close look at your 
community, your budget, and commitments, you'll be surprised at 
how affordable children's programming can be and the many rewards 
you'll earn from it." This kind of responsive broadcaster is the 
kind of person who could contribute substantially as a member of 
the Temporary Commission we propose. 

Another task the Commission might undertake would be to try 
to figure out how to generate wider knowledge about and use of 
the vast storehouse of free children's programming already funded 
with federal dollars. More than 50 children's television series 
have been produced with federal funds since 1968. Many were a 
collaborative effort between the Department of Education, 
business, and industry. Supplemental materials written for 
classroom or home use have been developed for these programs. 
With some restrictions as to the placement of advertisements, 


these programs have been available to commercial broadcasters for 
the price of postage and handling. Many are award-winning shows, 
yet they rarely find a place on a local TV schedule. The 
Temporary Commission could look at how to stimulate better 
mechanisms for bringing the availability of such programs to the 
attention of broadcasters, and cable systems as well. Congress 
should be concerned to be sure the millions it has already spent 
for ESAA children's programs was well spent. 

We know also that the networks and cable have provided us 
with exceptions. All three commercial broadcast networks have 
worked with the NEA to develop children's educational materials 

for outstanding historical series this year we had the "Blue 

and the Gray" on CBS, "Winds of War" on ABC, and a new, expanded 
version of "Shogun" on NBC. On the Warner Amex NICKELODEON cable 
channel, over thirteen hours of very fine age-specific 
programming is broadcast for children. We know the opportunity 
is there to make our children's television viewing an enriching 
experience, but for the most part, these opportunities are too 
few and far between. 

Mr. Chairman, in case you are wondering what has actually 
happened to children's regular TV fare in the year and a half 
since we've last been to the FCC, let me give you an update. The 
situation is at an all time low. "Captain Kangaroo" left the 
weekday lineup this summer and has been moved to the weekend. 
There is no daily weekday series for children on a commercial 
broadcast network left on the air. Several other network 


programs for children noted for their outstanding quality have 
been dropped. Local stations are not replacing these programs 
and indeed many have stopped buying children's syndicated 
programs as well. In addition, all three commercial networks 
have added more time to their early morning lineups devoted to 
news programming, which usurps the time formerly used for 
syndicated and local children's programs such as "Romper Room." 

Public television, suffering from lack of sufficient 
funding, cannot take up the slack. The oldest children's program 
on PBS, "Sesame Street" will produce only 130 new segments this 
year. The "Electric Company" is airing reruns. In a February 
issue of Broadcasting Magazine , Sue Weil, chief of programming 
for PBS, said: "Children's programming is a forum where we are 

thin even though we are head and shoulders above everybody 

else." Yet FCC Chairman Fowler has indicated that he believes, 
despite the FCC 1974 Policy Statement to the contrary, that 
public broadcasting is the only broadcaster that has any 
responsibility for children's programming. Even if an economic 
solution could be found to bail out the financially starved 
public television network, it is doubtful that PBS alone wants, 
or should have, this total mandate and responsibility. 

We cannot expect the new communications media alone to 
provide these programs. Only 30 percent of American households 
are wired for cable TV, and 70 percent of these cable systems 
have only 12-channel capacity. The "must carry" rules for local 
broadcast signals virtually eliminate the opportunity for these 


low capacity systems to carry specialized networks with 
children's programming options. Other new technologies, like 
DBS, STV and MDS are primarily seen as sources of pay movie 
channels for those who cannot receive cable. 

A recent editorial in the Boston Globe mourned the passing 
of the Disney prime time family series. I have attached a copy 
to my testimony. The editorial, "Goodbye to Disney and All That" 
lamented that the "magic is ending after 29 seasons for the 
networks' longest running prime-time entertainment" program. The 
end of the Disney series recalled for the editorial writer the 
following words of Walt Disney: "We are always keenly aware that 
things seen on the screen can exercise enormous influence on the 
ideals and conduct of youngsters .... those who use the movie or TV 
screen as a business also have a great responsibility toward 
their customers." The Globe ' s editorial concludes that "Most who 
currently use TV as a business ignore that responsibility." 

Over the past year we have seen numerous studies that have 
reinforced the notion that TV has an enormous impact on 
children. Most research places the child in front of the 
television set for approximately 10,000 - 15,000 hours during his 
or her public school years, while the classroom takes up only 
11,000 hours. Research by Action for Children's Television has 
indicated that the average pre-schooler spends more time with 
television than any other activity except sleeping. 

Dr. Edward L. Palmer, vice president for research at 
Children's Television Workshop, has been researching what he 


calls the "alarming decline in support for quality children's 
television in the U,S," By studying television in Great Britain, 
Sweden, and Japan to determine the factors that shape the 
standards for children's programs in these countries, he hopes to 
provide some constructive suggestions for American programming 
for children. One factor to come out of this research relates to 
the economics of broadcasting and the need for some kind of 
incentives for the industry. Palmer notes: "Unlike other nations 
with more government involvement in broadcasting, the U.S. has no 
economic incentive for commercial television to put on more or 
better shows for children." These are precisely the kinds of 
economic incentives the Temporary Commission should be examining. 

We bring to this hearing the expertise of educators 
throughout this country who know their profession and are 
dedicated to helping children grow, learn, and be useful to 
society. For over fourteen years the NEA has encouraged a 
supportive relationship between educators, parents, and 
broadcasters. We are eager to make our resources available so 
that the needs of this significant audience of children will be 
served. We certainly owe our children and young people a little 
of our time in this matter so that their "prime time" for 
learning and growth is not wasted. 




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202 / 632-0002 

1919 M STREET. N.W. 


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~"^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ July 1, 1982 



The Congressionally created Temporary Commission on Alternative Financing 
for Public Telecommunications has issued its First Report to Congress with its 
analysis and recommendations concerning alternative financing options for 
public broadcasting. 

After considering numerous options, the Temporary Commission concluded 
that in the short term there is no reasonable alternative to continued Federal 
funding and that precipitous reductions below currently anticipated levels of 
Federal support would lead to reductions in service. The Temporary Commission 
also concluded that over the longer term none of the other funding options it 
explored would be preferable to continued Federal funding as the means to 
maintain the existing public broadcasting system. 

The Temporary Commission did determine that legislative and regulatory 
changes could assist in the development of important supplemental sources of 
income for public broadcasting, and it made the following specific recommenda- 
tions for action: 

For Congress 

— Ensure that sustaining or bridging Federal funds are appropriated 
through the current authorization period and are continued until 
or unless adequate alternative financing is found; 

— Study repeal of the unrelated business income refund provisions of 
the Public Broadcasting Amendments Act of 1981; and 

— Review the effects of the 1981 Economic Recovery Tax Act and take 
steps necessary to increase tax incentives that reinforce individual 
and corporate incentives to contribute. 

For the FCC 

-- Authorize commercial and nonbroadcast, nonaural use of SCA sub- 
channels by public radio stations and enlarge the baseband; 

— Examine restrictions governing commercial use of satellite facilities 
by public radio and television licensees, and foster noninterf ering 
use of excess capacity; 

— Moye expeditiously to resolve UHF comparability problems; 


" Ensure that public TV stations are authorized to offer teletext 
services without restrictions on payment mechanisms; 

— Maintain an adequate number of Instructional television fixed 
service channels available to public broadcasting and broaden 
the use of those channels; 

— Initiate an expeditious rulemaking to develop policies for 
authorizing subscription television operations by public 
broadcasters; and 

" Review FCC rules and policies governing on-air fundralslng 

activities and promotional identification to reduce restrictions 
on the generation of revenues while maintaining the noncommercial 
character of public telecommunications services. 


— Afford stations greater flexibility in the use of equipment 
funded In part by the government. 

The Temporary Commission also proposed to take the following actions 

" Study the feasibility of financing public broadcasting through a 
special trust fund; 

" Study tax credits and expenditures; and 

-- Analyze and report on the Advertising Demonstration Program 
being conducted by 10 public television stations. 

Congress created the Temporary Commission in 1981 (PL 97-35) to identify 
funding options which would ensure that public telecommunications as a source 
of alternative and diverse programing will be maintained and enhanced. In 
the same legislation, Congress extended the authorization for appropriations 
to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Public Telecommunications 
Facilities Program administered by the National Telecommunications and Infor- 
mation Administration, but at reduced levels. 

The members of the Temporary Commission are; 

FCC Commissioner James H. Quello, Chairman; The Honorable Howard W. 
Cannon, United States Senate; Bruce L. Christensen, National Association 
for Public Television Stations; Hartford N. Gunn, KCET-TV(ED), Los Angeles; 
William H. Kling, Minnesota Public Radio; Frank Mankiewlcz, National Public 
Radio; The Honorable Robert W. Packwood, United States Senate; Edward J. 
Pfister, Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Kenneth Robinson, National 
Telecommunications and Information Administration; The Honorable Al Swift, 
U.S. House of Representatives, and The Honorable Thomas J. Tauke, U.S. House 
of Representatives. 


5k ^o6m (3\obc 


Goodby to Disney and all that 

Most children of the past three decades re- 
member a much-loved television show that was 
once the nation s most popular. It featured ad- 
ventures, cartoons and other staples of Walt 
DisncN • 

The magic is ending after 29 seasons for the 
networks longest running prime-time enter- 
laininent. The ending highlights a commit- 
ment articulated years ago by Walt Disney: 
"We are always keenly aware that things seen 
nn the screen can exercise enormous influence 
on the ideals and conduct of youngsters. . . . 
Those who use the movie or TV screen as a 
business also have a great responsibility to- 
ward their customers." 

Most who currently use TV as a business 
Ignore that responsibility. Despite strong criti- 
cisms of children s programming, the Federal 
Communications Commission chairman. Mark 
Fowler, has unwisely refused to require broad- 
casters to show more. 

Market forces, not the government, snould 
prevail, he said recently at Arizona State Uni- 
versity, applying the Reagan Administration 
philosophy that business left to Its own devices 
will cure all ills. 

So far. those market forces have determined 
that preschool children will see no morning 
weekday program on any network such a& the 
classic Captain Kangaroo: that school-age chil- 
dren will see few after-school specials: and that 
much of the selection of children's fare will be 
limited to Saturday morning cartoons. 

— That is why Action for Children s Televi- 
sion. a-Tiatlonal citizens lobby based in New- 
ton, sought the requirement to make broad- 
casters offer seven-and-a-half hours of chil- 
dren's programming, some of It educational, 
between Monday and Friday. 

Dunng the Carter Administration, the FCC 
was moving toward enacting a requirement for 
more children's programming. ACT President 
Peggy Charren and others believe^ Moreover,, m 
1974. the FCC issued a policy statement that 
urged television stations to provide more educa- 
tional and informational children's shows with 
less advertising and some provisions for pre- 

Children under five average 30 hours week- 
ly, according to ACT. What are they watching 
What is it doing to them, "at a time when thev 
are developing and learning about the world 
and the people around them." asks a 10-year 
study on television and behavior bv the .\ation- 
al Institute of Mental Health. 

Except for a few reruns in late spnng and 
summer, the Disney show famllar to families 
for generations will be off the air. save those 
with access to Disney s new pay-television sta- 
tion. The commitment to pnme^tlme entertain- 
ment for children and families will be missed 
unless the FCC re\-erses field and decides to 
make a difference in the quality and quanuty 
of children's programming. 



FCC Conmlssloner Henry M. Rivera, Chairman 
Edmund H. Cardona, Special Assistant 

Executive Committee 

Anne P. Jones 

FCC Commissioner 
Joe L. Allbrltton 

Allbritton Communications, Inc. 
Virginia A. Dwyer 

American Telephone & Telegraph Co. 
Coy Eklund 

The Equitable Life Assurance Society 
of the United States 
Joseph Laitln 

Private Consultant 
Charls E. Walker 

Charls E. Walker Associates, Inc. 

Policy Panel 

Michael R. Gardner 

Bracewell and Patterson 
Plurla Marshall 

National Black Media Coalition 
L.E. Guzman 

Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. 
Margita White 

Taft Broadcasting Co. 
William A. Russell Jr. 

FCC Public Affairs Office 
Erwln Krasnow 

National Association of Broadcasters 
Robert L. Johnson 

Black Entertainment Television 

Financial Panel 

Tenney I . Deane 

First Energy Associates 
Chris Flor 

Heller-Oak Communications Corp. 
Lee M. Hague 

Hague and Company 
Ragan A. Henry 

Broadcast Enterprises National, Inc. 
Eugene D. Jackson 

National Black Network 
Joseph La Bonte 

Twentieth Century Fox Corp. 
Thomas A. Marlnkovlch 

Daniels and Associates 
Raul Masvidal 

Biscayne Bank 
C. Douglas Mercer II 

First National Bank of Boston 
Fernando Oaxaca 

Coronado Communications Corp. 
Marianne Camllle Spragglns 

Salomon Brothers, Inc. 
Howard Stason 

Blackburn and Associates 
Donald A. Thurston 

Berkshire Broadcasting Company 
Zelble Trogden 

Security Pacific National Bank 
Herbert P. Wilkens 

Syndicated Communications, Inc. 

Management and Technical Assistance Panel 

Victor M. Rivera 

Department of Commerce 
Bazil O'Hagan 
. The WNDU Stations 
Fernando Oaxaca 

Coronado Coomtunlcatlons Corp. 
Alex P. Mercure 

Mercure Telecomnninlcatlons, Inc. 

Associate Members 

Eddie Pena 

National Cable Television Association 
John Oxendlne 

Broadcast Capital Fund, Inc. 



Ms. TucKER-ViNSON. I am grateful for the opportunity to speak 
on children's programing from my own experience, not only as a 
children's television programer, but also as a parent and an educa- 
tor with a bachelor's degree in child development. 

I will condense my statement for your convenience. 

Mr. Swift. Thank you. 

Ms. Tucker- Vinson. NBC has evolved a programing philosophy 
which appreciates that our programs must entertain if we are to 
attract viewers, including youngsters. At the same time, while we 
have no desire to usurp the right and responsibility to educate that 
belongs primarily to parents and teachers, our philosophy includes 
a sensitivity to the informational, educational, and prosocial values 
our programing provides in response to children's needs. 

In 1975, NBC established a social science advisory panel of inde- 
pendent, top-ranking social scientists to assist in the development 
and evaluation of our Saturday morning programs. This panel 
works with NBC from the inception of program concepts and pro- 
posals through the completion of program development, advising 
NBC on potential problems, and suggesting themes and role models 
for programs. 

In addition, we recently held two symposiums designed to im- 
prove the depiction of minority groups in children's programing. 
Experts in the areas of stereotyping, development of minority chil- 
dren, and race relations informed us and the producers and writers 
of our Saturday morning programs about recent research in these 
important areas. 

This year, NBC philosophy and programing for children and all 
family viewing is reflected in a schedule which includes diversity of 
programing types and provides animation and live action, comedy 
and adventure, fantasy and reality, entertainment and informa- 

As in the past we have tried to avoid stereotyping, gratuitous vio- 
lence, and negative-role models, while making every effort to incor- 
porate wherever possible wholesome messages, positive-role models, 
and ethnic diversity among characters. 

In prime-time, the NBC Television network offers a number of 
programs designed to provide a viewing experience that children 
and their parents can enjoy together. Some of these are described 
in my prepared statement. They offer information and enlighten- 
ment and include such programs as Little House — A New Begin- 
ning", "Voyagers", a series produced in association with Scholastic 
Productions; the award-winning "Frame", "Facts of Life", "Different 
Strokes", and "Silver Spoons." 

NBC has also carried a number of special prime time programs, 
such as "Skeezer", the "Electric Grandmother", and "Big Bird in 
China", which will be referred to in my upcoming visual presentation. 

NBC's Saturday morning programing for children consists of ani- 
mated series and informational features. We believe NBC's Satur- 
day morning schedule provides young viewers with a blend of en- 


tertainment and information, like the Smurfs and Ask NBC News, 
that interest youngsters and is of value to them. 

NBC television network also continues to offer its highly ac- 
claimed series of monthly afternoon specials for young people 
called "NBC Special Treat." This series, while designed for chil- 
dren ages 8 to 14, is consciously structured for parent/child view- 
ing. This year, NBC will expand the scope of the program by pro- 
viding opportunities for their production by the NBC-owned and 
NBC-affiliated stations, and to take young viewers on adventures 
all through the United States. 

I have brought with me a tape which is representative of some of 
our efforts for young people. 

[A film clip was shown.] 

Ms. TucKER-ViNSON. NBC's network programing is only a part of 
the total and varied mix of children's programs on television. The 
NBC-owned television stations also carry a substantial amount of 
locally produced or syndicated children's programs. Some of these 
include: "Stuff, "Teen Exchange", "The Beth and Bower Half-Hour", 
and "It's Academic", all of which are produced by WRC-TV, our 
station here in Washington. 

Beyond our on-air efforts, two NBC projects reflect our commit- 
ment to work with children, adults, parents, and teachers to make 
television an even more positive part of our lives. NBC publishes 
and distributes a series of viewers' guides which are designed to aid 
the entire audience and in particular young viewers to understand 
and take advantage of the many excellent programs on television. 
The guides contain descriptive materials about selected programs 
and among other things suggest questions implicit in them which 
would serve as the basis for class and home discussion. Last year, 
thousands of copies of over a dozen guides were distributed by NBC 

NBC also cosponsors the Dramatic Script Category of Scholastic 
Inc.'s National Writing Awards program and has been doing so for 
several years. This project is designed to encourage excellence in 
writing and creative achievement for students in the 7th through 
the 12th grade. Students submit original radio, television, or film 
scripts, or a one-act play, to a panel of judges. Winners receive 
scholarships or cash prizes. 

As I have mentioned before, NBC recognizes its special responsi- 
bility to young people. Our program department and the NBC 
Broadcast Standards Department require that producers be sensi- 
tive to the special needs of young people. 

In addition to an obligation to present positive and prosocial ma- 
terial, there also is an obligation to avoid material that would have 
an adverse effect on a child's behavior and intellectual and emo- 
tional development. Our Broadcast Standards Department directs 
and administers a well-established series of standards both for pro- 
graming and commercial practices which reflect the special sensi- 
tivities of the young audience. 

Over the years children's programing has changed and evolved 
as we have learned from our experiences and listened to our critics, 
colleagues, and our audiences. NBC intends to continue, as we have 
in the past, to find new and different ways to serve children, to 

blend into a total schedule which serves them as well as their fami- 


That concludes my presentation. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Tucker- Vinson follows:] 



Prepared Statement of Phylus Tucker- Vinson, Vice President, Children's 
Programming, NBC Television Network 

I am grateful to the Conunittee for this opportunity to 
speak on children's programming from my own experience, 
not only as a children's television programmer, but also as 
a parent and an educator with a Bachelor's Degree in child 

NBC has evolved a programming philosophy which 
appreciates that our programs must entertain if we are to 
attract viewers, including youngsters. At the same time — 
while we have no desire to usurp the right and responsibility 
to educate that belongs primarily to parents and teachers — 
our philosophy includes a sensitivity to the informational, 
educational, and pro-social values our programming provides 
in response to children's needs. 

NBC's programming philosophy has evolved as we have 
listened and learned from children, their parents and their 
teachers. We have also listened and learned from our critics, 
from producers, and from other broadcasters. And in 1975 NBC 
established a Social Science Advisory Panel of independent 
top ranking social scientists to assist in the development and 
evaluation of our Saturday morning programs. This panel 
works with NBC from the inception of program concepts and 
proposals through the completion of program development, 
advising NBC on potential problems and suggesting themes 

20-006 O - 83 - 13 


and role models for programs. In addition, we recently held 

two symposiums designed to improve the depictions of 

minority groups in children's programs. Experts in the areas 

of stereotyping, development of minority children, and race 

relations informed us, and the producers and writers of our 

Saturday morning programs about recent research in these important 


This year NBC's philosophy on programming for children 
and all-family viewing is reflected in a schedule which 
includes a diversity of program types and provides animation 
and live action, comedy and adventure, fantasy and reality, 
entertainment and information. And, as in the past, we have 
tried to avoid stereotyping, gratuitous violence and negative 
role models, while making every effort to incorporate, 
wherever possible, pro-social messages, positive role models, 
and ethnic diversity among the characters. 

Thus, in prime time the NBC Television Network offers 
a number of programs designed to provide a viewing experience 
that children and their parents can enjoy together. Some of 
these are: 

Little House - A New Beginning — The heartwarming 
dramatic series which centers around the pioneer 
Ingalls family in the late 1870 's and the events 
that take place in their lives as they work and play 
in the infant communities of the U.S. The weekly 
episodes recount the love and warmth exhibited by 


the Ingalls family, the hard work and sacrifice 
involved in starting a new life, preparation for 
prairie schools, natural disasters, meeting 
neighbors, and making new friends. 

Voyagers ' — An adventure series about two "time 
travelers" who take incredible journeys back in time 
and witness various events in history. This series 
was produced in association with Scholastic 
Productions, and at the conclusion of each program 
young viewers are urged to visit their local library 
and find out more about the subject of the night's 

Fame — A musical/dramatic series centering on the 
talented and high-spirited students of New York's 
High School for the Performing Arts. The energetic 
teenagers aspire to various show business careers, 
but all share the problems and the exhilarations 
of the special life they have chosen. The 
youngsters learn more than technical ability at 
the school; they learn how to deal with competition 
and rejection, and they learn how to support and 
respect each other. 

The Facts of Life — A situation comedy in which 
a housekeeper accepts a temporary position as 
housemother to five teenage girls at the Eastland 
private school, a college preparatory school for 
young women. As housemother, she is mother, 
confidante, and all-around advisor and problem 
solver. Problems of concern to children and young 
teens are generally the subject of each episode 
which are looked at with common sense, warmth, and 
good humor. 

Diff'rent Strokes — A situation comedy which seeks 
to promote racial understanding about a millionaire 
widower with a 13-year-old daughter who lives in a 
swank New York City penthouse and who adopts two 
small Black boys, sons of his late housekeeper. 

Silver Spoons — A situation comedy about an 
immature father whose 12-year-old son comes to live 
with him and tries to help his dad grow up while the 
dad tries to help his serious little boy get more 
fun out of life. 

NBC has also carried a number of special prime time 


programs, such as Skeezer , The Electric Grandmother , and 
Big Bird in China , which will be referred to in my upcoming 
visual presentation. 

NBC's Saturday morning programming for children 
consists of animated series and informational features. The 
current season includes a new ninety (90) minute edition of 
the popularly acclaimed SMURFS series, which has seized the 
imagination of the American public. Each of the programs, 
which features the adventures of tiny, blue elf -like Smurfs, 
the lessons they learn in living with each other and their 
battles against the Wizard Gargamel and his cat Azrael, 
consists of three separate stories and light classical music 
in its background score. The Emmy -Award winning series 
Ask NBC News , in which NBC News correspondents answer 
questions on current events and news-related subjects posed 
by young people from across the nation, is broadcast five 
times each Saturday morning. We believe NBC's Saturday 
morning schedule provides young viewers with a blend of 
entertainment and information that interests youngsters 
and is of value to them. 

The NBC Network also continues to offer its highly- 
acclaimed series of monthly, afternoon specials for young 
people, called NBC's Special Treat . The series, while 
designed for children ages 8 to 14, is consciously structured 
for parent/child viewing. One of the goals of the series 


is to provide an opportunity for this co-viewing and a 
springboard for discussion. The Special Treat series has 
received numerous awards, including seven awards from ACT. 
This year NBC will expand the scope of the programs by 
providing opportunities for their production by the NBC 
owned and NBC affiliated stations and to take young viewers 
on adventures all around the United States. 

[Play tape of programs for children] 

NBC's Network programming is only a part of the 
total and varied mix of children's programs on television. 
The NBC owned television stations also carry a substantial 
amount of locally produced or syndicated children's 
programs. Some of these programs include: 

Stuff — This 30-minute program hosted by two 
15-year-olds, Beth Arnold and Oteil Burbridge, 
is designed for children 12 and under. Each 
week these co-hosts present information about 
careers, television advertising, safety, good 
nutrition, sports, and the world around them. 
The program is produced by WRC-TV in Washington. 

Teen Exchange — A weekly half hour teen talk 
show by teens for teens. The format involves 
the teenage audience into the topics discussed 
and provides a forum for them to voice their 
opinions on issues affecting their lives today 
and in the future. Teen Exchange topics run the 
gamut from the impact of video games on them 
to music, sports careers, nuclear power, divorce, 
and shoplifting, as well as numerous other ideas. 

The Beth and Bower Half-Hour — A series for young 
viewers between the ages of 7 and 10, features 
Beth, a secondary school student and her life- 


size puppet "Bower". Each week's program helps 
develop the self-esteem of young viewers by 
emphasizing the individual's basic goodness and 
intellectual and creative potential. The program- 
also features original, basic cooking, crafts 
and art and poetry contributed by local elementary 
.school students. 

It's Academic — A half-hour weekly question and 
answer show designed to display scholastic 
achievements of Washington-area youth in a quick 
recall of facts and abstract thinking on each 
program, features three carefully selected teams 
of students from local high schools as competing 
participants. The show is designed in three rounds 
as the moderator directs questions to the teams 
playing against the clock. 

Beyond our on-air efforts, two NBC projects reflect 
our commitment to work with children, adults, parents and 
teachers to make television an even more positive part of 
our lives. NBC publishes and distributes a series of 
Viewers' Guides which are designed to aid the entire audience 
and, in particular, younger viewers, to understand and take 
advantage of the many excellent programs on television. The 
Guides contain descriptive material about selected programs 
and, among other things, suggest questions implicit in them 
which could serve as the basis for class and home discussion. 
Last year, thousands of copies of over a dozen guides were 
distributed by NBC nationwide. 

NBC also co-sponsors the Dramatic Script Category of 
Scholastic Inc.'s National Writing Awards program and has 
been doing so for several years. This project is designed 
to encourage excellence in writing and creative achievement 


for students in the seventh through twelfth grades. Students 
submit original radio, television or film scripts, or a 
one-act play, to a panel of judges. Winners receive 
scholarships or cash prizes. 

As I have mentioned before, NBC recognizes its 
special responsibility to young people. Our program 
department and the NBC Broadcast Standards Department 
require that producers be sensitive to the special needs 
of young people. In addition to an obligation to present 
positive and pro-social material, there also is an obligation 
to avoid material that would have an adverse effect on a 
child's behavior and intellectual and emotional development. 
Our Broadcast Standards Department directs and administers 
a well-established series of standards both for programming 
and commercial practices which reflect the special 
sensitivities of the child audience. 

Over the years children's programming has changed and 
evolved as we have learned from our experiences and listened 
to our critics, colleagues, and our audiences. NBC intends 
to continue, as we have in the past, to find new and 
different ways to serve children, to blend into a total 
schedule which serves them as well as their families. 

That concludes my presentation. 


Mr. Swift. Thank you very much. 

As we indicated, time is running out, and I will not ask any ques- 
tions. I would give the panel this one opportunity of 2 minutes, if 
there are any of the things in the previous discussion that any of 
you would like to comment on at this point, I would be happy to 
hear your comments. 

Mr. Blessington. I would just comment that in listening to the 
previous presenters and the questions from the committee, I was 
struck, as I have been, by the fact that it is very difficult for the 
industry to come off on the right of the argument if it talks about 
decreased presentation of specific programing to children, and that 
seems to be a track that we run around a fair amount in this. 

I would just like to comment that having recently left teaching, 
there is much that has been said that I don't recognize. That is to 
say, there are points at issue about things about children and tele- 
vision, and what they need, that it is an awful and terrible depriva- 
tion, which I guess I haven't shared as a teacher, parent, or school- 

I don't say that to be at all in terms of not joining in m the care 
of children, I have had that for years. I sought to work in this in- 
dustry because I wanted to build bridges to it. But there are some 
things about the current state of children and their learning which 
makes television so wonderful as it is, and as the industry attempts 

to make it. 

I hear a rather depressing display of opinion with regard to the 
downside of it, and I haven't heard enough celebration of the 
upside for me, anyway. 

Mr. MiELKE. I tried to show some of the upside. It is with very 
great pleasure that we acknowledge the Federal support that we 
have received in the past for funding for programing by the Chil- 
dren's Television Workshop. 

In a previous incarnation, when I was on the faculty of Indiana 
University, I did some policy research studying the question of the 
Federal role in funding children's television programing, and we 
examined in some detail the various options that there are to 
answer various funding questions. 

My bottom line on that, and it is reinforced by what I hear 
today, is that the Federal Government is the funder of last resort 
for those special categories of people, children, who cannot be 
served through the marketplace mechanisms, who cannot receive 
continuing support through philanthropic organizations and corpo- 
rate underwriting. So we really place ourselves at the hands of the 
Federal Government for the long term. 

Mr. Swift. Dr. Robinson, you may have the last word. 

Ms. Robinson. I think that the NBA has been involved with and 
has endorsed programs that appear on every commercial networks 
as well as on public broadcasting, and with cable, and this would 
suggest that there is something of value out there. We have a prob- 
lem of getting information and letting our students, parents, and 
our colleagues know more about what is out there, and working 
with the industry so that we can provide a standard of programing 
which is consistent, predictable, and easily accessible by all the 
viewers who need this programing. 


Mr. Swift. I thank you all.T think that this has been a particu- 
larly useful set of hearings due to the quality of presentation that 
has been provided by all of the witnesses. We would especially like 
to thank ABC Television for the provision of the video equipment 

here today. 

The committee stands adjourned. 

[The following statement and letters were received for the 


The Washington Association for 
Television and Children 

The Washington Association for Television and Children (WATCH) is pleased 
the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and Finance 
is addressing the issue of children's television and we thank you for the 
opportunity to present our views. 

Recently FCC Commissioner Mark Fowler posed the question: "What do they 
want?" -- they being the media reform community. We offer our answer to that 
question in hopes that what we say will stimulate discussion and action and 
not merely be part of a procedure which transfers information from our type- 
writers to a shelf, with only the fact of the transfer acknowledged. 

"What we want" can be covered under five headings: 

1. Appropriate service to that portion of the audience 
considered to be children; 

2. Scheduling of this service at appropriate times 
throughout the week; 

3. Restraint of commercialization; 

4. Wide dissemination of information about how to use 
television, particularly critical viewing skills; and 

5. Federal government assumption of its unique role -- 
that of acting for the good of the whole society and 
balancing the intended and unintended effects of the 
parts against each other. 

We would like to expand upon each of these items and offer some specific 




WATCH defines children's programming as including (1) those programs 
expressly designed for a child audience (the definition adopted by the FCC), 
(2) those programs watched by a large number of children, (3) those programs 
which have been made into cartoons such as Mork and Mindy or Gilligan's 
Island , and (4) those programs which generate lines of toys for marketing to 
children such as the Dukes of Hazzard . WATCH also believes it is appropriate 
to define children as a wider group than the "two- to eleven-year-old market." 
We would include adolescents in the wider group due to the fact their needs 
only partially overlap with those of an adult audience. WATCH sees childhood 
as a developmental continuum and we stress that arbitrary divisions into pre- 
school, school age, and adolescent are convenient groupings rather than 
actual categories. 

Bearing this in mind, we are disappointed to report that even the 
limited definitions and limited service standards contained in The Federal 
Communications Report and Policy Statement of 1974 are not reflected in the 
current offerings for children on television. At this writing there is not 
one regularly scheduled children's program on network television on a weekday. 
Furthermore, the amount of age-specific programming offered on the weekends 
has actually declined either through elimination ( CBS News for Children ) or 
restructuring ( Captain Kangaroo ). The marketplace is the most inexorable of 
regulators — dismissing all the complexity of a standard like the "public in- 
terest, convenience and necessity" in favor of the deceptively simple quantitative 


measure called the "bottom line." The present state of children's TV is the 
best argument for regulation. Without government regulation what we have is 
just about what we should expect -- almost nothing. 

What we would like is another matter. Look at the shelves of a children's 
library. You will find thousands of books divided by subject matter and reading 
level. This is a good beginning when we look for a standard of diversity. 
Television has an even wider range of capabilities than the public library when 
it comes to children who do not yet read or who do not read well. This latter 
group includes both those in the early grades and those older children who read 
far below grade level. For these children, television is a primary if not the 
primary source of information about the world. 

Unfortunately, television is likely to provide children, under the guise 
of entertainment, with misinformation about the world. Who pays the costs when 
young boys grow up with the model of the car chase or the motorcycle daredevil 
antics of our popular programs? Who pays the cost of alienation of a poor or 
disadvantaged child who grows up thinking that most families are like the 
Brady Bunch, with the lifestyle of a six-figure income and parents who are 
never too hassled to listen? Who pays the cost of the little girl who sees 
women on television through the filter of today's prime time sex stereotypes 
or yesterday's stereotypes on the syndicated reruns? Who pays the cost for 
the primacy of fists and guns as means of resolving conflict? Who pays the 
costs of a child's perceptual dissonance when sound effects and camera angles 
stimulate the attention for the upcoming commercial but there is no corresponding 


stimulation in the story line? Who pays the costs of creating expectations 
that problems are solvable in thirty or sixty minutes, with time for commer- 

Not the boradcaster or the advertiser. These are not costs reflected in 
their bottom lines. WATCH is not asking for censorship but rather for a set of 
positive standards to be applied to the broadcast services provided for children 
and young people. 


Many times parents have called WATCH with these questions: "I'd like to 
be a responsible parent with regard to what my child sees but most of the time 
there's nothing on that I think is appropriate. Is my only choice to say 'NO 
TV?" Or, "Why do they schedule children's specials in the evening at 8:00? 
It's much too late to let them stay up." Or, "My kids lose out on children's 
programs because they have activities on Saturday morning. They're home after 
school but there's usually nothing on for them then." The Federal Communications 
Commission Children's Television Task Force Report , issued in 1979, stated 
that independent stations and public stations were bearing most of the respon- 
sibility for programming for children during the week. In addition to the 
obvious disparity of services between these and the network stations, it must 
be noted that not everyone can receive these stations. Many independent and 
public stations are UHF and do not come in clearly. Communities in smaller 
markets may not be served at all by either an independent or a public station. 


A number of years ago, Action for Children's Television suggested that a 
minimum of two hours a day be devoted to children's television on each station. 
WATCH concurs in this recommendation and notes that many millions of children 
have passed through the stages of pre-school , school age and adolescence since 
these recommendations were made. It is too late to provide appropriate pro- 
gramming and scheduling for them. How much longer must today's children wait? 
Recommendations for scheduling are simple: there should be enough programming 
for children scheduled and it should be scheduled for the convenience of the 
audience rather than the advertiser. 


Ideally children's programming would be offered on a sustaining basis, 
free of commercials. Several years ago the Federal Trade Commission took up 
the question of whether or not it was "fair" to advertise to young children at 
all and the Commission was very nearly put out of business in the ensuing storm. 
WATCH hopes the discussion is not shelved. It is a serious question which 
deserves a fair hearing. 

A small anecdote is in order here. WATCH' s president Mary Ann Banta 
showed the film "Seeing Through Commercials" to her class of pre-schoolers. 
The children asked to see the film again and indicated that they had understood 
its message. Then, in the next breath, they wanted to buy the nonexistent 
advertised products! On one hand the children understood the manipulation of 
the product but they were unable to sense the media's manipulation of their 
wants and desires. 


WATCH recommends that, under a system where commercials provide for the 

sponsorship of children's programs, the following constraints be observed: 

Commercials should be clustered at the beginning and end of 
programs with clear signals that this is a commercial break. 
This provides some buffer between program and commercial and 
avoids the problem of special effects hype preceeding the 
commercial . 

Commercials on children's programs are predominantly for 
toys, snack foods and cereals (usually sugared). WATCH rec- 
commends the addition of a wider range of edibles and that 
public service announcements on nutrition balance these 

Commercials on television often put the child in the role of 
salesperson. Advertisements aimed toward parents, or empha- 
sizing parents' roles in determining purchases are preferable. 

When the FCC considered guidelines for children, it declined to intervene 
in the area of commercials because the National Association of Broadcasters 
Code already provided the guidance necessary. Since then the NAB Code has 
been found unconstitutional, and it is recommended that other ways be found to 
compensate for the relaxation of the rules for advertisements of products in- 
tended for children. 

Special problems arise when products and programs are closely associated. 
Although host selling restrictions provide some constraint, other situations 
are not addressed. The Smerfs and The Dukes of Hazzard , to name two examples, 
are lines of toys as well as television programs. It may be said that the 
whole program in these cases serves a commercial function. Cross-ownership of 
broadcasting companies and toy manufacturers complicates the issue. Serious 
study needs to be given to the best means of protecting the interests of the 
child consumer in these areas. 


WATCH would also like to draw attention to the background messages and 
settings of commercials. Products often are shown in highly idealized or wery 
wealthy settings to indicate that it is a good product. The elusive promise 
of belonging, of friends and even romance if you just have the right snacks, 
toys or what-have-you is questionable in any advertisement. It is a cruel joke 
on children. Also, advertisements featuring groups of children should include 
both sexes and a mix of races. Few jobs or activities are segregated and it 
is a disservice to create expectations that they are segregated in a pluralistic 

Some of these problems are appropriate for government regulation; others 
for self-regulation. WATCH recommends that rules and policies be generated to 
strengthen rather than weaken the self-regulatory capacity of the advertisers. 


WATCH highly recommends the promotion of critical viewing skills and other 
means to provide children and adults with the information they need to evaluate 
television and its effects on their lives and on their communities. One should 
not have to attend a course in communications theory to hear questions posed about 
the form as well as the content of information. Because television is such a 
major part of children's lives, it is essential that some instruction be devoted 
to its use and abuse. WATCH applauds the efforts undertaken to develop critical 
viewing skills curricula and encourages its expansion. This topic needs to be 
included in the preparatory coursework of teachers. 


WATCH has itself prepared critical viewing skills materials (samples of 
which are included in the appended issue of WATCHWORKS) for pre-school through 
sixth grade. The examples are designed to be included in English classes or 
social studies classes without requiring the teacher to make major changes in 
the syllabus. 

The United States has a good record of informing citizens about public 
health questions, proper nutrition and other aspects of a healthy physical 
environment. Providing information about the attainment of a healthy social 
environment is also a necessary function. Before anyone remembers that it is 
almost 1984, it is appropriate to mention that Orwell's Appendix on Newspeak 
showed a constriction rather than an expansion of the vocabulary for speaking 
and thinking. Television's form is geared to creating a favorable tool for 
the commercial message. If television itself does not provide the tools for 
critical viewing, they must come from other sources — primarily those of 
formal and informal education. If these tools are to be widely disseminated 
they will require financial support from the government. It is taken for 
granted it is not feasible to provide this education on television so other 
sectors of society must participate. 


WATCH requests that the Congress take the broad view of its responsibilities 
regarding children and television. Only the federal government has the requi- 
site scope to act on behalf of the whole of society. Other constituencies have 
more influence than children; they can make their needs appear more dramatic or 

20-006 0-83-14 


more pressing. But, we cannot ignore the welfare of children just because it 
tends to come behind "unemployment" or "the national defense" on surveys of 
public opinion. Television has a major effect on our society and particularly 
on the children of our society because they are more impressionable, because 
they watch more than all other age groups except the elderly and because they 
represent the future of our society. It is not reasonable to ask the producer 
of a particular program or the management of a network or a station to look for 
and counteract the less desirable effects of the medium. They respond in terms 
of their own self-interest, e.g., television does not cause violent human 
behavior, but television does influence buying behavior. It is therefore up 
to a larger vision to consider these issues. 

For example, if we look at the Grand Canyon, we see a result that has 
taken many years of interaction of rain, wind and heat. Someone who observed 
that area for a day or a week or a year would not see much effect. The time 
period is too short. In similar fashion, we can't look at the cumulative 
effects of television on a child's development in terms of a program or a 
season. Even less can we see cumulative effects from a program or a season on 
society. Long-term research is needed, and on a large scale or we simply won't 
know the effects. If we don't know, we cannot take steps to correct imbalances, 
offset destructive tendencies or predict future behavior. We are symied by the 
lack of evidence meeting the rigorous standards of physics, especially in moni- 
toring an appropriate range of variables. It might help to approach the 
question by asking how can we compensate for unintended or undesirable effects 


rather than how can we fix blame on the misbehaving individual or corporation. 
If a set of positive standards is reached, then the individual or corporation 
can be held to them. If everyone must meet the same standards, there will be 
objections but then companies will adapt with minimal effect on their profits. 

Society has larger concerns than maintaining an industry's conventions or 
its profits. How far can poorly informed citizens be pushed before the 
democratic process collapses? How robust can a society be if its habitual 
thought patterns reflect the simple world of television drama instead of life's 
complex actual situations? Is it possible to grow up on a news format which 
talks of a celebrity divorce and a coup d'etat in a foreign country with equal 
emphasis on Monday night and mentions neither Tuesday? With this background 
can one notice trends or classify the importance of events? If television's 
format remains sacrosanct, what other media must be developed to fill the gap? 
To what extent is government itself bending to the criteria of entertaining to 
the detriment of informing the people -- witness the State of the Union message 
and the Democrats' reply. How will our children learn to understand the 
processes of government, the place of the United States in world affairs or the 
means of adapting to an accelerating rate of social and technological change to 
fulfill their responsibilities as citizens when they are adults? How does 
television help or hinder that process? These are questions that must be ad- 
dressed on a scale broad enough to take into account the whole of society. 

Let's face the issue that the marketplace does not meet the needs of 
children. Without pressure of regulation, Saturday morning would be the only 


time network affiliates find it profitable to air chilren's programs. 
Commissioner Fowler has said that a flaw in The Task Force Report of 1979 was 
that it did not take public broadcasting services into account. We ask, how 
could the Task Force Report have done so and retain any semblance of compatabil ity 
with the provisions in the Communications Act, or, for that matter, any legal 
precedents of licensure. To do so would violate the spirit and letter of the 
responsibility of an individual licensee by placing the locus of control of 
its actions outside its agreements. And, how can Commissioner Fowler justify 
placing a public service burden only on those commercial stations operating in 
communities where there is no public or independent stations? 

Commissioner Fowler in his speech talked about the "myth" of trusteeship. 
We disagree. Portions of a law which are enforced loosely, or hardly at all, do 
not disappear. They wait for caretakers of government with either the respon- 
sibility to enforce the law or the gumption to try to repeal it. Previous 
Commissions have operated by a wink and a nod. Some made no bones about their 
reluctance to place any burdens on the broadcasting industry they expected to 
join. Others took their responsibilities to the public more seriously but 
preferred persuasion rather than invoking the penalties attendent on strict 
enforcement with the limited number of sanctions available. We would like to 
remind Commissioner Fowler that broadcasting is not like other businesses. 
Trusteeship is not a quaint do-gooder idea but was a trade-off. Trusteeship 
is the price the broadcaster is to pay for exclusive use of one of the very 
limited spaces on the spectrum and for the government's protection of that 


It would be tempting, but a mistake, to say that cable, video disk and 
other advances make this a moot point. When the majority of the public has 
access to these alternatives there will be plenty of time to make their capa- 
bilities the base for telecommunications policy. (Look at the networks' own 
projections of their market shares over the next ten, twenty, thirty years.) 

The job of protecting the public interest in telecommunications can only 
be done by the federal government. No other government has jurisdiction and 
no other component in society has the mandate. It certainly cannot be done 
by the media reform community. None of us have the resources. This testimony 
was drafted on the weekend on volunteer time. We were not informed about 
these hearings in time to request the opportunity to present oral testimony. 
WATCH has no staff at all and has a budget small enough to be an embarrassment. 
Other groups who testify may have a small staff and a larger budget than ours 
but they are still small potatoes indeed in comparison to the resources of the 
industry or the government. No group, it must be stressed, is in the position 
even to undertake the research needed or even the coordination of research 
findings needed to assemble a composite picture of the effects of television on 
the children of our society. Most of the research that we cite as documentation 
of our concern was undertaken on a piecemeal basis and most of it was concerned 
with analyzing specific results of monitoring projects. A wider view is needed. 

Parents and teachers have come under fire for a number of things they 
haven't done. On the one hand, they are criticized for not taking more respon- 
sibility for children's television. But, both parents and teachers have many 


responsibilities. As a rule, it requires several years to become familiar 
enough with communications issues to be creditable. Involved teachers and 
parents have been blamed for saying that television is the only major influence 
on children and that it is responsible for all of their problems. Must such a 
claim be proven for action to be taken? We do claim that of all the major 
influences on the majority of children -- home, school, church and community -- 
that television is perhaps the only one whose interests are so in contradiction 
to the welfare of children. 

We thank the Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and 
Finance for holding this hearing. We respectfully submit that Congress must 
ACT! The Federal Communications Commission's position is on record. We have 
done what we can to say what it is that we want for children. We have raised 
questions and concerns and have been honest about our own limitations for 
achieving change or redressing an imbalance. We now ask Congress to act on 
behalf of the children who have never heard of WATCH but who have heard of and 
do watch television. 

To summarize, WATCH believes it is important that program services for 
children be provided and that they be scheduled at times appropriate for 
children to watch. We also ask for restraints on commercialization of messages 
to children and for help in teaching children to apply critical viewing skills. 
Finally, we ask for the federal government to assume the role of acting for 
society as a whole, and particularly for those members who are most vulnerable 
and have the least influence on the lawmaking process -- our children. 



Board ol Olneton 

Thomas RadecM, M.D., NCTV Chairperson 

Southern Illinois Unlv School of Medicine 
Grace C. Balslnger 

National PTA Past President 
John fl. Lion. M.D . Founder. Violence Clinic 

Depl. ot Psychiatry. Unlv, ot Maryland 
Townes Osborn. President 

Washington Assoc, tor Television and Children 
Nelson Price. Public Media Director 

United Methodist Communications 
Sam Simon, Executive Director 

Telecommunications Research and Action Center 
Sally Steenland. Women's Issues Consultant 

Nawslatler & Monltortng Office: 

Dr. Thomas Radecki. M D. 

National Coalition on TV Violence 

600 E ParK Ave 

P O. Box 2157 

Champaign. IL 61820 (217) 359-8235 

Washington Office: 

National Coalition on TV Violence 

1530 P. Street N W, 

P.O. Box 12038 

Washington, DC. 20005 (202) 462-0515 

Chairman Timothy Wlrth 
Subconmiittee on Telecommunications, 
Consumer Protection, & Finance 
B-331 RHOB 
Washington DC 20515 

March 16, 1983 

Dear Chairman Wlrth, 

As part of the record for this hearing on Children and Television, The 
National Coalition on Television Violence would like to submit our most 
recent monitoring results on violence portrayed during prime time and 
Saturday morning viewing hours. The statistics present the average of 
violent acts per program during our monitoring period. 

I feel these statistics, and accompanying program descriptions, present 
an accurate picture of what is being daily broadcast into our homes - 
violence as entertainment. What is most alarming about these findings 
is that the most violent programing of all is presented on Saturday 
morning and intended for the child viewer. 

The Coalition is greatly concerned about the high amounts of violence 
employed by networks to entertain the children of this country. Recently 
The National Institute of Mental Health released a ten year study on the 
affects of televlRrion on viewers. The study found that "the consensus 
among most of the research community is that violence on television does 
lead to aggressive behaviour by children and teenagers who watch the 
(violent) programs." 

It is my hope that the results that have been submitted will encourage 
this subcommittee to further investigation into this situation. 


Thank you for your time. 


'^^^:^ TfuJt^ — 

Brian Malloy 
Washington Director 

High Violence Programs (Sept. 27-Dec. 26 1982) 

1. Fall Guy (ABC) 34 acts/hour 

2. Tales of the Gold Monkey (ABC) 31 acts/hour 

3. Voyagers (NBC) 30 acts/hour 

4. Gavilan (NBC) 27 acts/hour 

5. Dukes of Hazzard (CBS) 23 acts/hour 

6. Greatest American Hero (ABC) 22 acts/hour 

7. T.J. Hooker (ABC) 20 acts/hour 

8. Simon and Simon (CBS) 20 acts/hour 

9. Magnum P.I. (CBS) 19 acts/hour 
lO.Knightriders (NBC) 18 acts/hour 


WhBther'ifs^eaA ,'' 
or a 6esteiUftbn*.-.-.i- ^v -•: 
someone's s/tvBjSafterGBvmn] 
He's Stwaysrahot spot . 

All Your Time Is Prime Time 
. .Think About It. 

\ Recipe for Murder: 

Combine-. 1 poisonous food critic 

4 diefe who TOnl his head on a [iate 
mend m an cicplceion of Mactoail and reven«< 
Yield; 1 bizarre murderer who puts 
heat on Matt Houaoa 



March 13-19, 1983 



Remaining High Violence Programs: 

11. ABC Monday Night Movie 19 

12. The Quest(ABC) 1' 

13. Matt Houston(ABC) i^ 
Hart to HartCABC; 
NBC Sunday Night Movie 
Fancar;- Tsland(ASC) 
ABC Sunday Night Movie 
CBS Saturday Night Movie 
CBS Sunday Night Movie 
ABC Friday Night Movie 
Tucker's Witch (CBS) 
Walt Disney(CBS) 
Powers of Matthew Star-NBC U 
Hill Street Blues(NBC) 

25.i,Cagney & Lacey(CBS) 
26. The Devlin Connection(NBC) 
CBS Tuesday Nifeht Movie 
CBS Wednesday Night Movie 

Violent Movies on Prime-time Included: 

1 s. 




Battle Beyond the Stars 

The Big Red One 

The Shadow Riders 


The Outlaw Josie Wales 

Every Which Way But Loose 

The Blue and the Gray, Pt 

The Blues Brothers 

Dr. No 

Blazing Saddles 

The Gauntlet 

The Blue & the Gray, Pt 2 


Deadly Encounter 

My Bodyguard 

The Final Countdown 

Love at Fist Bite 

An ima l HoUSe 

Smokey and the Bandit II 





Above Average Violence: 



Remingion Sleele 



Family Ties 


oevsn Bndes for Seven Brotnefs 





The ue.:... Connectron 








Silver Spoons 


Falher Murphy 



Did rent Strokes 


Pvt Benjamin 



The New Odd Couple 


Laverne & Shifley 



. Dallas 


Ripley s Believe It Or Not 



Archie Bunkers Place 





One Day at a Time 


Little House on the Prarie 





Happy Days 







60 Minutes 


Low Violence 



Trappy' .*„.in. MD 



The Facts ot Lite 


niiny Hich 



Love. Sidney 


Three s Company 



. Dynasty 


Star of the Family 



Love Boat 


Gimmte a Break 



Too Close for Comlort 


Knots LanCing . 



It Takes Two 


r^lcon Crest 



9 to 5 


ine jc;;j":nns 



Joanie LOves Ciiacni 


Square Pegs 



That's Incredible 







S: Eisewr>ere 


Real People 


•„ ..o.J. , 


Saturday Morning Cartoons-Fall Monitoring- 
New Season 

Flash Goraon(NBC) 

Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner(CBS) 2 hours 



Pac Man(ABC) 

Huikyspider Man(NBC) 


Richte Rich/Litlle Rascais'i.ABC) 




Scooby Doo(ABC) 



Meatballs & SpagemiCBS) 


GiMigans Planet(CBS) 

Gary Coleman Show^NBC; 

Fat AlberKCBS) 




















•Most Of violence m Little Rascal Segments 

NadoBd CkBdm A TV Week's Prlmemmc PrognmrnlBg 

To celebrmie Naoonal Children ind Tdeviiion W«k the noworts present the following 
prime time lo go alon| with the usual Salurday moming canoons: 

From TVGuide descnpiions 
Saturday; Wlzanli A Warrlon: Battling Ughlning bolts, black magic, and demoo 
monsters. Prince rescuea kidnapped Princeai from evil Blackpool; TJMooktriABC). 
draws fUe from fellow officers when be chooses not to shoot a cornered cop killer; 
Jane Doe(CBS movie); Suffering from amnesia due to an attempt on her life. Jane 
IS hounded by a psychopath(ad sutes. "Woman without a memory, detective without 
a clue, and a madman without a choice but to try and kill her again." Faalai} 
Ulai»d(ABQ: woman whose husband died dunng a fantasy puis a $1 million boun- 
ty on Roarke's head. 

Sunday; CHiPS:{NBC) Search for Ltlle girl who was kidnapped on her way home 
from school; Matt Hoh»Ii>»(ABC): Muckraking gossip columnist is blown iky high 
3t high-soaety benefit carnival; MghtkUKNBC): Deteciive investigates mysterious 
disappearance of wealthy induiirialist. 

Monday; Small A FrylCBSXcomedic violence): Tries to stop a chemical firm from 
polluting a pond(ad; "Can a 6-inch deiecuvc cut two hit-men down to size?); Cafoey 
A Lac7y(CBS); Car-theft ring takes poUceman hostage and another pobceman sear- 
ching for him becomes mvolvcd in the shooting of a black youth. 

Tuesday: The A-T«sa(NBO: Craah-lands in backwoods to battle with mountain 
men to save a man from bdng bunwd at the stake; Aa Cnwford, Privau EyciCBS 
comedic violeoce): Tough -talking detective short on ability has confronuiion with 
hood who's shaking down bar owner; Gu Sky(CBS): Devi]-may<are gambler wins 
two kids in poker game with two outlaw pals; ReBJaftoa $teek<NBC): Corpse bobs 
to surface of wine val and keeps resurfacing in unrdaied places; Hart to HBn(ABC): 
wedding gjfi of antique bed that several people try to kill for in order to steal it. 

Wednoday: JUg* P«rfof»aac«<ABQ: rescue of T^'rcpona whose cover was blown 
after he infiltrated lurvivalist group stockpiling ilfcgaJ weapons; Fall Csr(ABC): Tab 
Hunter framed for murder of gangland debt collector and rescued by Colt; Dyiaa- 
ty(ABQ: Jeff & KL'by get cold reception returning from Reno. Blake threatens to 
stop Jeff from suing Alexis. 

Thursday; MagDom P.I.: Pilot survives crash but Magnum discovers his survival 
wasn't in game plan, Magk PlasetfABC): Astronaut confronted by evil rival in 
romance wuh planet queen. 

Friday Powers of Mattkcw StarfNBC): Classmate can see into tht future, a fuiure 
fraught with danger for her. Kalgkl Rider: Michael assigned to stop Karr. an evil 
prototype of KJit programmed to survive at all cosU; ReaegadesfABC): Iz^ir. sets 
up sting to find out who is training prisoners to crack sophisticated saf'-s: GavUan: 
stalked by members of a Nazj faction who think he has mysterious cry^al pyTamid; 
EWlai: Hotly piots to destroy JR's mamage. Tata of tfec Gold MoosrjfABC): 
Reporter covering assassination attempt against Japanese defense minister tricks Jake 
into flying her to Princess Koji's Island. 


James A. Fellows 

5807 Massachusetts Avenue 
Bethesda, Maryland 20816 

March 14, 1983 

The Honorable Timothy Wirth, Chairman 
Subcommittee on Tel ecomuni cations. 

Consumer Protection and Finetnce 
The Rayburn Building B333 
Washington, D.C. 20515 

Dear Mr. Chairman: 

This week, as you convene hearings on the occasion of 
National Children and Television Week, we are writing 
to tell you about an important initiative for children 
and television - The Americcui Children's Television 

The idea grows from three sources: first, the focus 
you are providing through endorsement of this special 
%reek for children's television; second, from our many 
years of professional work associated with children's 
television; auid, third, from our role for several 
years as the United States Board members of the Prix 
Jeunesse International. 

The Prix Jeunesse is a serious, ongoing effort to 
bring together fr<»B around the world, producers, 
broadcasters, researchers and educators, who are 
making sustained efforts to advance the use of 
televison for children and young people. 

Prix Jeunesse is not just another television awards 
progreuB. it involves research, elaborate screening 
and evaluation, euid a conscientious effort to examine 
critical issues associated with children's television. 
It is a major international activity, housed in 
Munich, zmd spcnisored by civic and broadcasting 
organizations in West Germany. (Background 
information is attached.) 


We believe that this concept can be usefully adapted 
to the United States and might easily be broadened to 
include Canada. The Prix Jeunesse officials have 
expressed their willingness to assist in such a 
development . 

To this end, we have initiated discussions with 
several major educational groups, broadcasters and 
university leaders to seek their initial response and 
interest. The reactions have all been highly 
favorable . 

What we see emerging might look like this: 

- An American (possibly North American) 
Children's Television Festival, organized under 
the aegis of one of our leading universities. 

- Every second year, a screening and competition 
of programs submitted by public broadcasters, 
independent producers, commercial broadcasters, 
and cable programmers. Unlike many other awards 
competitions, the screening would be done by 
producers and specialists in children's 
television, educators, and parents, with full 
discussion and evaluation of programs. People 
and orgeuiizations whose programs receive high 
commendation would be given appropriate awards. 

- On an ongoing basis, the Festival would 
organize seminars and workshops for various 
professional interests associated with children's 
television programs: producers, researchers, 
writers, critics, legislators, teachers, parents, 
and psychologists. Some of these activities 
could result in publications. 

In short, we see the Festival serving as a focal point 
for the growing community of interest in advancing and 
exploiting all forms of television for the benefit of 
children and young people. 


We want it to include commercial emd non-coimnercial 
broadcasters as well as the cable industry. We think 
there is a great deal to be learned from each other 
and we think that a Festival framework, that centers 
attention and deliberation on the specifics of 
particular programs and series, is the most useful way 
to facilitate these exchanges. 

We are mindful of the effective work that other 
organizations are doing to focus public attention on 
children's televison and we are confident that an 
American Children's Television Festival will 
complement and enhance these important efforts. 

We shall keep you posted on the progress of these 
initiatives. We hope that you will find them a strong 
complement to your own personal interests in the 
steady improvement of efforts to use television wisely 
on behalf of children and young people. 

We are actively pursuing this idea. We would like to 
see it succeed. And, of course, we would very much 
appreciate any attention and support that you feel 
could be appropriately incorporated in the 
Sub-Committee's hearings this week. 

With personal regards. 


James A. Fellows Paul K. Taff 

Members of the International Advisory Board 
The Prix Jeunesse Foundation 

Attachments : 

Copies for Members of the Sub-Committee 

Prix Jeunesse Information Sheet 

Background information about Mr. Taff and Mr. Fellows 

[Whereupon, at 1:25 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned.] 


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