Frank, Reuven, 1920-2006

Alternative names
Birth 1920-12-07
Death 2006-02-04

Biographical notes:

Born in 1920 in Montreal, Quebec, Reuven Frank helped transform the world of television journalism when radio still dominated the airwaves. A graduate of Columbia University's prestigious Graduate School of Journalism, Frank also served in the U.S. Army for four years during World War II, two of them in Europe. Frank joined NBC in 1950 as a writer after spending three years at Newark Evening News (Newark, N.J.). As an executive at NBC News for much of the latter half of the twentieth century, Frank helped to solidify the importance of the medium with his emphasis on the visual power of television. As producer of such news shows as The Huntley-Brinkley Report, which later became NBC Nightly News, Frank also was the first to pair two anchors together in a broadcast. Putting different journalists in different cities talking to each other on television, as this show did with Huntley in New York and Brinkley in Washington, also helped set standards for television news broadcasts. Frank oversaw the transition of the nightly news from a standard 15-minute format to a half-hour format. His documentary-style of news making was revolutionary for the 1950s and allowed Frank to hone his skills in writing commentary, editing, and creative visuals. He won an Emmy Award for his documentary, The Tunnel. Frank also won numerous awards throughout his career and was named a Poynter Fellow by Yale University in 1970. He was the first individual from the field of television to receive that honor. His later achievements included two Peabody Awards for his efforts as executive producer of the critically acclaimed nightly news program, Weekend. Reuven Frank forged new ground with the method of coverage used during political conventions. His technique has become standard. Frank was seminal in developing some of the most influential news programs on television, and was appointed president of NBC News in 1968. After being producer, Vice President, Executive Vice President and finally President of NBC News from 1968 until 1973, he again worked on special programs and documentaries for the next nine years. After Robert E. Mulholland took over for Frank in 1984 as President of NBC he said, "Reuven wrote the book on how television covers the political process in America, has trained more top broadcast journalists than anyone alive, and simply embodies the very best professional traditions of NBC News."

From the description of Reuven Frank papers, 1940-2008. 1940-2008. (Tufts University - Tisch Library). WorldCat record id: 503450994


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  • Presidential candidates
  • Television producers and directors--Interviews
  • Reporters and reporting--Interviews
  • Television broadcasting of news--History
  • Quiz shows--History
  • Broadcast journalism--History


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  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Press coverage--United States (as recorded)