I Media Main I Media by Decade I Media by Genre I Media Timeline I
Television was poised to dominate the media industry in 1950. There were 3.1 million television sets in American homes, and over 100 television stations operating in 38 states across the USA. Apart from being known as "The Golden Age of Television", the Fifties were also remembered as the Cold War, when fear of nuclear destruction and takeover by the Communist was strong. Cinema, radio and print media was to compete with television that seemed to give the best of both worlds: pictures and sound. With the advent of television in the 1950s, print media, radio and film were forced to rethink their approaches towards news and entertainment.
Television fitted well into the home, as a simpler, cheaper, and more convenient family leisure activity. Popular sitcoms became a part of television fare. Programs like I Love Lucy, Father Knows Best, Our Miss Brooks and Burns and Allen, enjoyed long runs. Live performances continued to dominate television programming through the mid-1950s, but broadcasters soon realized the efficiency of filming programs for later broadcast. Film was the primary recording method until the early 1960s, when the video tape became more widespread.
NBC first developed television news in the 1940s, combining the dramatic visual images of newsreels and announcer techniques of radio news. However in 1952-1953, while NBC encountered financial difficulty and reduced its news programming, CBS expanded its news operations. Television networks sought new anchors with star quality that would attract a loyal audience. The host of CBS's first thirty minute public affair documentary series named "See It Now", Edward R Murrow, famous for his radio news broadcasts during World War II, and with his deep voice and handsome features, was a good choice. From its debut in November 18, 1951 to its last show in July 7, 1958, "See It Now" reported news that was relevant, in a truthful and accurate manner. Veteran newsmen remember the Edward R Murrow days as the Golden Age of Television News. By the mid-1950s, television was firmly entrenched in the world of news and information as well as election coverage.