By Dennis Abrams

Barbara Walters is the main unforeseen of tv pioneers. The daughter of a nightclub proprietor, she possessed a suggested Boston accessory and a moderate speech obstacle making her an not going candidate for a profession within the polished international of tv journalism, particularly at a time while jobs for girls in tv information have been few and much among. but, in her approximately 50-year occupation, Barbara Walters has damaged obstacles for ladies newshounds in all places. because the first woman cohost of the at the present time exhibit and the 1st coanchor of a nightly information express, she has helped to reshape not just the position of ladies in tv information but additionally the notion of ladies in society at huge. learn extra approximately this pioneering function version for generations of girl reporters in Barbara Walters: tv Host and manufacturer.

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Extra info for Barbara Walters: Television Host and Producer (Women of Achievement)

Sample text

Although she was becoming known for her celebrity interviews, she worked and reported on other kinds of stories as well. Her stories were as varied as her interests: For example, she attended Playboy magazine president Hugh Hefner’s “bunny school,” where aspiring young women went to learn the skills needed to work in his clubs. ) She reported from the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, where she could smell the tear gas used by Mayor Richard Daley’s police force to break up antiwar demonstrations.

But he and his • 59 60 • Barbara Walters company had recently been in the news after noted consumer advocate Ralph Nader attacked Ford’s company for unsafe practices in building its cars. Walters wrote one letter to Ford suggesting that an interview would allow him to tell his side of the story, then wrote a second letter strongly suggesting one. Needless to say, she got the interview. Her persistence and hard work paid off, and the stream of headline-making interviews continued. R. Haldeman sat down with Walters to tell their stories directly to the viewing audience.

Despite the success of her trip, it is possible her career would not have gone to the next level if there had not been another shake-up on Today. Faced with slumping ratings, NBC dropped John Chancellor, replacing him with Hugh Downs. Downs, a popular game-show host and former sidekick to The Tonight Show’s host Jack Paar, was one of NBC’s most popular talents. Downs, in turn, became one of Walters’s biggest allies and supporters. He urged the show’s producer to use her more often, substituting Walters for Today Girl actress Pat Fontaine.

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