Friendly, Fred W.

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Radio and television journalist; interviewee b. 1915.

From the description of Reminiscences of Fred W. Friendly : oral history, 1968. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122362077

From the description of Reminiscences of Fred W. Friendly : oral history, 1967. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122513857

New York City native Fred W. Friendly (1915-1998) was a radio and television producer and former president of CBS News. A pioneer for public broadcasting and television journalism, Friendly produced numerous award-winning documentaries, including See It Now (1954), a program about the actions of Senator Joseph McCarthy, and Harvest of Shame (1960), concerning the trials of migrant workers. After his resignation from CBS in 1966, Friendly served as a professor of broadcast journalism at Columbia University and helped to establish the PBS network.

Pace, Eric. “Fred W. Friendly, CBS Executive and Pioneer in TV News Coverage, Dies at 82,” New York Times, March 5, 1998. Accessed on April 21, 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/05/arts/fred-w-friendly-cbs-executive-and-pioneer-in-tv-news-coverage-dies-at-82.html

From the guide to the Fred Friendly Oral History Interview 2011-090., 1994, (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin)

Fred Friendly (1915-1998) was born Ferdinand Friendly Wachenheimer in Manhattan, New York. Son of Samuel Wachenheimer, a jewelry manufacturer, and Therese Friendly Wachenheimer, he lived in New York until the family moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 1926. He graduated from Hope Street High School and then attended Nichols Junior College in Massachusetts, where he graduated with an associate's degree in 1936.

Wachenheimer began his broadcast career as a radio announcer in Providence, where he took his mother's maiden name and was thereafter known as Fred Friendly. He wrote and narrated a program on WEAN called "Footprints in the Sands of Time", a short radio documentary program that profiled historic persons.

Friendly served in the Army during World War II and worked as a correspondent for "CBI Roundup", an Army newspaper for the China-Burma-India Theater. He was present at the liberation of the Malthausen concentration camp in Austria. Following Victory in Europe Day (May 7, 1945) he was granted a three-month leave of absence to travel in Europe. There, he experimented with audiotape techniques while making a documentary about troops. While this documentary was never distributed, it taught him much about audio techniques and the power of original footage. By the time he was discharged in 1945, as a master sergeant, he had been awarded four battle stars, the Legion of Merit, and the Soldier's Medal, which he received after he rescued several persons from a dock fire in India.

Following the war, Friendly returned to New York City. He married Dorothy Greene, a researcher for Life magazine in 1947; they had three children and would later divorce. Friendly then began work on "I Can Hear It Now", the record album that provided an oral history of the years 1933 to 1945. The record used only original recordings, not recreations, and interspersed famous speeches by leaders with more personal touches. He convinced Edward R. Murrow, already a well-known voice, to narrate the album. Released in 1948, the album was more successful than anticipated and marked the beginning of their collaborative work.

In 1949 and 1950 Friendly created two successful radio series for NBC: "Who Said That?", a quiz show featuring panelists and topical news questions, and "The Quick and the Dead", a four-part documentary about the development of the atomic bomb. Friendly then left to join Murrow at CBS, where they worked on Hear It Now, a radio series based on their successful recording. Taking the leap into the new medium of television, they debuted "See It Now", which broke ground as a long-form news program. The program began as a half-hour show in 1951, but later expanded to an hour in 1953. Murrow was the face of the broadcast, while Friendly focused on production.

"See It Now" dealt with a wide variety of news-topics, but throughout 1953 and 1954 Murrow and Friendly created and broadcast several programs that concentrated on Senator Joseph McCarthy and his investigation of communists in America. The first show that raised the McCarthy issue was "The Case of Milo Radulovich, A0589839," broadcast in October 1953. Radulovich was an Air Force reservist who was discharged because of allegations of communism against his family members. Friendly would later state that they were actively looking for stories to better illuminate the methods of Senator McCarthy. With this in mind, they created the program, "Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy," broadcast in March 1954. It relied soley on footage of McCarthy in order to let his own words be the focus of the program. CBS did extensive customer surveys after this program ran and the barrage of phone calls and telegrams arrived were mainly in support of the program. As time went on, Friendly and Murrow produced many other provocative programs dealing with issues such as race and the tobacco industry. The show was cancelled in 1958 when both men became committed to other projects.

In 1960, Friendly became the executive producer of the news documentary program, "CBS Reports". The show had a large staff and was able to handle long and large-scale investigative reports. Friendly was appointed the president of CBS News in 1964. This was to be a short-lived position, as he resigned in 1966. His decision to show Senator Fulbright's hearings on American involvement in the Vietnam War in the United States Senate was over-ridden, and a re-run of "I Love Lucy" was broadcast instead. He resigned in protest.

After his resignation, Friendly was invited to work at the Ford Foundation as the adviser to the President on Communications. His plan to fund a public television network with the profits from a communications satellite paid for by commercial networks met with opposition, and was not put into place. However, the idea did spur Congress to pass the Public Broadcasting Act in 1967, which created the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). With his previous work still fresh in his mind, Friendly penned "Due to Circumstances Beyond Our Control", a memoir about his time at CBS.

In 1968, Friendly married Ruth Mark, a former schoolteacher and widow. Each having three children from previous marriages, they raised their six children together. He began teaching at Columbia University as the Edward R. Murrow Professor of Journalism the same year. Bringing more life experience than degrees to his teaching career, his time in the Journalism School at Columbia University had a lasting impact. He created and instituted the Summer Program in Broadcast and Print Journalism for Members of Minority Groups (later renamed the Michele Clark Fellowship Program for Minority Journalists), which ran from 1968 to 1974. In 1974, he began the Media and Society Seminars, a series of conferences and round-table discussions that brought lawyers, politicians, doctors, and journalists together to talk about ethical issues. These later evolved into "The Fred Friendly Seminars", which are still in production today under the auspices of Ruth Friendly.

In 1976 Friendly published "The Good Guys, the Bad Guys and the First Amendment", which dealt with the history of the Federal Communications Commission's Fairness Doctrine, a regulation which required networks to provide equal time for opposing opinions on issues presented during a public broadcast. Upon ending his time at the Ford Foundation in 1980, Friendly had more time to devote to his "Media and Society Seminars" and also to his private speaking engagements. In 1981 he published "Minnesota Rag: The Dramatic Story of the Landmark Supreme Court Case that Gave New Meaning to Freedom of the Press", which delved into an influential court case.

Springing from personal and professional interest, Friendly's final book "The Constitution, That Delicate Balance" was published in 1993 as a companion to two "Media and Society Seminar" series, "The Constitution, That Delicate Balance" (1984), and "That Delicate Balance II: Our Bill of Rights" (1991). For his many contributions to television, Fred Friendly was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 1994. He died in New York in 1998.

From the description of Fred Friendly papers, 1917-2004 [Bulk dates: 1950-1990]. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 299029819

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Fred Friendly (1915-1998) was born Ferdinand Friendly Wachenheimer in Manhattan, New York. Son of Samuel Wachenheimer, a jewelry manufacturer, and Therese Friendly Wachenheimer, he lived in New York until the family moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 1926. He graduated from Hope Street High School and then attended Nichols Junior College in Massachusetts, where he graduated with an associate's degree in 1936.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Wachenheimer began his broadcast career as a radio announcer in Providence, where he took his mother's maiden name and was thereafter known as Fred Friendly. He wrote and narrated a program on WEAN called "Footprints in the Sands of Time", a short radio documentary program that profiled historic persons.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Friendly served in the Army during World War II and worked as a correspondent for "CBI Roundup", an Army newspaper for the China-Burma-India Theater. He was present at the liberation of the Malthausen concentration camp in Austria. Following Victory in Europe Day (May 7, 1945) he was granted a three-month leave of absence to travel in Europe. There, he experimented with audiotape techniques while making a documentary about troops. While this documentary was never distributed, it taught him much about audio techniques and the power of original footage. By the time he was discharged in 1945, as a master sergeant, he had been awarded four battle stars, the Legion of Merit, and the Soldier's Medal, which he received after he rescued several persons from a dock fire in India.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Following the war, Friendly returned to New York City. He married Dorothy Greene, a researcher for Life magazine in 1947; they had three children and would later divorce. Friendly then began work on "I Can Hear It Now", the record album that provided an oral history of the years 1933 to 1945. The record used only original recordings, not recreations, and interspersed famous speeches by leaders with more personal touches. He convinced Edward R. Murrow, already a well-known voice, to narrate the album. Released in 1948, the album was more successful than anticipated and marked the beginning of their collaborative work.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1949 and 1950 Friendly created two successful radio series for NBC: "Who Said That?", a quiz show featuring panelists and topical news questions, and "The Quick and the Dead", a four-part documentary about the development of the atomic bomb. Friendly then left to join Murrow at CBS, where they worked on Hear It Now, a radio series based on their successful recording. Taking the leap into the new medium of television, they debuted "See It Now", which broke ground as a long-form news program. The program began as a half-hour show in 1951, but later expanded to an hour in 1953. Murrow was the face of the broadcast, while Friendly focused on production.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED "See It Now" dealt with a wide variety of news-topics, but throughout 1953 and 1954 Murrow and Friendly created and broadcast several programs that concentrated on Senator Joseph McCarthy and his investigation of communists in America. The first show that raised the McCarthy issue was "The Case of Milo Radulovich, A0589839," broadcast in October 1953. Radulovich was an Air Force reservist who was discharged because of allegations of communism against his family members. Friendly would later state that they were actively looking for stories to better illuminate the methods of Senator McCarthy. With this in mind, they created the program, "Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy," broadcast in March 1954. It relied soley on footage of McCarthy in order to let his own words be the focus of the program. CBS did extensive customer surveys after this program ran and the barrage of phone calls and telegrams arrived were mainly in support of the program. As time went on, Friendly and Murrow produced many other provocative programs dealing with issues such as race and the tobacco industry. The show was cancelled in 1958 when both men became committed to other projects.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1960, Friendly became the executive producer of the news documentary program, "CBS Reports". The show had a large staff and was able to handle long and large-scale investigative reports. Friendly was appointed the president of CBS News in 1964. This was to be a short-lived position, as he resigned in 1966. His decision to show Senator Fulbright's hearings on American involvement in the Vietnam War in the United States Senate was over-ridden, and a re-run of "I Love Lucy" was broadcast instead. He resigned in protest.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED After his resignation, Friendly was invited to work at the Ford Foundation as the adviser to the President on Communications. His plan to fund a public television network with the profits from a communications satellite paid for by commercial networks met with opposition, and was not put into place. However, the idea did spur Congress to pass the Public Broadcasting Act in 1967, which created the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). With his previous work still fresh in his mind, Friendly penned "Due to Circumstances Beyond Our Control", a memoir about his time at CBS.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1968, Friendly married Ruth Mark, a former schoolteacher and widow. Each having three children from previous marriages, they raised their six children together. He began teaching at Columbia University as the Edward R. Murrow Professor of Journalism the same year. Bringing more life experience than degrees to his teaching career, his time in the Journalism School at Columbia University had a lasting impact. He created and instituted the Summer Program in Broadcast and Print Journalism for Members of Minority Groups (later renamed the Michele Clark Fellowship Program for Minority Journalists), which ran from 1968 to 1974. In 1974, he began the Media and Society Seminars, a series of conferences and round-table discussions that brought lawyers, politicians, doctors, and journalists together to talk about ethical issues. These later evolved into "The Fred Friendly Seminars", which are still in production today under the auspices of Ruth Friendly.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED In 1976 Friendly published "The Good Guys, the Bad Guys and the First Amendment", which dealt with the history of the Federal Communications Commission's Fairness Doctrine, a regulation which required networks to provide equal time for opposing opinions on issues presented during a public broadcast. Upon ending his time at the Ford Foundation in 1980, Friendly had more time to devote to his "Media and Society Seminars" and also to his private speaking engagements. In 1981 he published "Minnesota Rag: The Dramatic Story of the Landmark Supreme Court Case that Gave New Meaning to Freedom of the Press", which delved into an influential court case.

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Springing from personal and professional interest, Friendly's final book "The Constitution, That Delicate Balance" was published in 1993 as a companion to two "Media and Society Seminar" series, "The Constitution, That Delicate Balance" (1984), and "That Delicate Balance II: Our Bill of Rights" (1991). For his many contributions to television, Fred Friendly was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 1994. He died in New York in 1998.

From the guide to the Fred Friendly Papers, 1917-2004, [Bulk Dates: 1950-1990], (Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library, )

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Chamberlin, Ward B., Jr. [Interview with Ward Chamberlin] [videorecording] / Ward Chamberlin [Interviewed by] Steven Scheuer, New York City, 12/11/96 and 12/--/96. Syracuse University
referencedIn Beck, Jack. [Interview with Jack Beck] [sound recording] / Jack Beck ; [interviewed by] Bernie Cook, Encino, CA, July 24, 1997. Syracuse University
creatorOf Davis, David M. (David McFarland), 1926-2007. Papers. University of Maryland Libraries, UMD Libraries
creatorOf Ranville, Michael, 1943-. Michael Ranville sound recordings, 1993-1995 and undated. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Wright, J. Skelly. Papers, 1933-1987 (bulk 1948-1986). Library of Congress
referencedIn Schickel, Richard. Papers, 1953-1986. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn New York Times Company records. A.M. Rosenthal papers, 1955-1994, 1967-1986 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Trout, Robert, papers 2000-69; 2000-254; 2001-011; 2009-300., 1930-2003 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn Papers, 1921-2000 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Day, James, 1918-2008. [Interview with James Day] [sound recording] / James Day ; [interviewed by] Les Brown, 6-20-96 and 6-21-96. Syracuse University
creatorOf Hertzberg, Sidney. Sidney Hertzberg papers, 1924-1984. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Robert Manning papers, 1938-1993. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Drain, Margaret. [Interview with Margaret Drain] [sound recording] / Margaret Drain ; [interviewed by] David Marc, Boston, March 1, 1998. Syracuse University
referencedIn Mickelson, Sig. [Interview with Sig Mickelson] [sound recording] / Sig Mickelson ; [interviewed by] David Marc, San Diego, 6 Sept. 1996. Syracuse University
referencedIn Honeyman, Nan Wood, 1881-1970. Nan Wood Honeyman papers, 1935-1962. Oregon Historical Society Research Library
creatorOf Friendly, Fred W. Footprints on the sands of time : Abraham [and] Mary Todd Lincoln. Brown University, Brown University Library
creatorOf Oregon State University. Media Services. Media Services moving images, 1957-2002 (bulk 1960-1995). Oregon State University Libraries
referencedIn Carnegie Commission on the Future of Public Broadcasting. Records, 1969-1980. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Chamberlin, Ward B., Jr. [Interview with Ward Chamberlin] [sound recording] / Ward Chamberlin ; [interviewed by] James Day, New York City, 11/20/96. Syracuse University
creatorOf Buchanan, Christopher. Christopher Buchanan papers, 1971-1977. University of Maryland Libraries, UMD Libraries
referencedIn Minow, Newton N., 1926-. Papers, 1954-1965. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Friendly, Fred W. Fred Friendly papers, 1917-2004 [Bulk dates: 1950-1990]. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Records of the Community Services Administration. 1963 - 1981. Moving Images Relating to Anti-Poverty Programs. 1964 - 1979. Harvest of Shame
referencedIn Ben Shahn papers, 1879-1990, bulk 1933-1970 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
referencedIn Trout, Robert. Trout, Robert, papers, 1930-1999. University of Texas Libraries, University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn David M. Davis Papers, 1956-1980, and undated, 1968-1979 Mass Media and Culture
creatorOf Records of the National Park Service. 1785 - 2006. Moving Images Relating to National Parks. 1970 - 1990. Statehood for Alaska and Hawaii?
referencedIn Day, James, 1918-2008. James Day papers, 1952-1996 and undated^ (bulk 1969-1992) University of Maryland Libraries, UMD Libraries
referencedIn Leiser, Ernest, 1921-. [Interview with Ernie Leiser] [sound recording] / Ernie Leiser ; [interviewed by] Mort Silverstein, Nyack, New York, 5/5/98 and 5/11/98. Syracuse University
referencedIn John Mason Brown papers, 1922-1967. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Wershba, Joseph. [Interview with Joseph Wershba] [sound recording] / Joseph Wershba ; [interviewed by] Morton Silverstein, Great Neck, N.Y., November 18, 1996. Syracuse University
referencedIn Nolan, Michael, 1941-. Michael Nolan papers, 1967-1969. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969. Ben Shahn papers, 1879-1990 (bulk 1933-1970). Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Wright, J. Skelly. J. Skelly Wright papers, 1933-1987 (bulk 1948-1986). Library of Congress
referencedIn Sidney Hertzberg papers, 1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Records of the National Park Service. 1785 - 2006. Moving Images Relating to National Parks. 1970 - 1990. Statehood for Alaska and Hawaii?
referencedIn Papers of Robert Graves: Critical prose and journalism, 1927 to 2003 St John's College, Oxford
referencedIn Michael Ranville papers, 1953-2008 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn WCBS/WCBS-TV (New York, N.Y.). Records, 1965-1978. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967. A conversation with J. Robert Oppenheimer [motion picture] / CBS ; edited and produced by Edward R. Murrow and Fred W. Friendly ; 1954 Dec 16. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn March, Fredric, 1897-1975. Papers, 1899-1970. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Friendly, Fred W. Reminiscences of Fred W. Friendly : oral history, 1967. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn James Day Papers, 1952-1996 and undated, 1969-1992 Mass Media and Culture
creatorOf Kuh, Katharine. Katharine Kuh papers, 1875-1994, bulk, 1930-1994. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Fred Friendly Papers, 1917-2004, [Bulk Dates: 1950-1990] Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Katharine Kuh papers, 1875-1994, bulk 1930-1994 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
creatorOf Friendly, Fred W. Reminiscences of Fred W. Friendly : oral history, 1968. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn University of Wisconsin. School of Journalism. Sound recordings [sound recording], 1967. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Papers, 1918-1993 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Media Services Moving Images, 1957-2002, 1960-1995 Oregon State University Libraries University Archives
referencedIn Ford Foundation. Office of the President. McGeorge Bundy office files, 1966-1979. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Records, 1946-2000 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn J. Skelly Wright Papers, 1933-1987, (bulk 1948-1986) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Christopher Buchanan Papers, 1971-1977, 1973-1974 Mass Media and Culture
creatorOf Friendly, Fred W. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1958-1966. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Fred Friendly Oral History Interview 2011-090., 1994 Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin .
referencedIn Ranville, Michael, 1943-. Michael Ranville papers, 1953-2008. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Barnouw, Erik, 1908-2001, person
associatedWith Beck, Jack. person
associatedWith Berger, Raoul, 1901- person
correspondedWith Brown, John Mason, 1900-1969 person
associatedWith Buchanan, Christopher. person
associatedWith CARE (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith Carnegie Commission on the Future of Public Broadcasting. corporateBody
associatedWith CBS News corporateBody
associatedWith CBS Radio Network. corporateBody
associatedWith CBS Records (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith CBS Television Network. corporateBody
associatedWith Chamberlin, Ward B., Jr. person
associatedWith Columbia Broadcasting System, inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Columbia College (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Columbia Univeristy. Graduate School of Journalism. corporateBody
associatedWith Columbia University corporateBody
associatedWith Columbia University. School of Journalism. corporateBody
associatedWith Connell, Sally Fly, person
associatedWith Davis, David M. (David McFarland), 1926-2007. person
associatedWith Day, James, 1918-2008. person
associatedWith Drain, Margaret. person
associatedWith Fly, James Lawrence, 1898-1966. person
associatedWith Ford Foundation. Office of the President. corporateBody
associatedWith Graves, Robert Ranke, 1895-1985 person
correspondedWith Harvard Law School Forum corporateBody
associatedWith Hertzberg, Sidney person
associatedWith Hertzberg, Sidney. person
correspondedWith Honeyman, Nan Wood, 1881-1970. person
associatedWith Kuh, Katharine. person
associatedWith Leiser, Ernest, 1921- person
associatedWith Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 person
associatedWith Lincoln, Mary Todd, 1818-1882 person
associatedWith Manning, Robert, 1919- person
associatedWith March, Fredric, 1897-1975. person
associatedWith Media and Society Seminars. corporateBody
associatedWith Mickelson, Sig. person
associatedWith Miller, Arthur Raphael, 1934- person
associatedWith Minow, Newton N., 1926-. person
associatedWith Murrow, Edward R. person
associatedWith Nolan, Michael, 1941- person
associatedWith Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967. person
associatedWith Oregon State University. Media Services. corporateBody
associatedWith Paul A. Freund person
associatedWith Public Broadcasting Service (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Ranville, Michael, 1943- person
associatedWith Rosenthal, A. M. (Abraham Michael), 1922-2006 person
associatedWith Schickel, Richard. person
associatedWith Shahn, Ben, 1898-1969. person
associatedWith Trout, Robert. person
associatedWith Trout, Robert. person
associatedWith United States. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Federal Communications Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Wisconsin. School of Journalism. corporateBody
associatedWith WCBS/WCBS-TV (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Wershba, Joseph. person
correspondedWith Wright, J. Skelly. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Television programs
Journalists--United States
Radio--History
Television--History
Authors, American
Artificial satellites in telecommunication
World War, 1939-1945--Journalism, Military
Radio journalists
Broadcast journalism--United States--History--20th century
Radio journalism--History--20th century
Journalists--Interviews
Radio journalism--United States--History--20th century
Journalists
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1915-10-30

Death 1998-03-02

Americans

English

Information

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