Friendly, Fred W.

Friendly, Fred W.

Friendly, Fred W., 1915–98, American broadcaster and author, b. New York City as Ferdinand Friendly Wachenheimer. He began his career at age 22 at a radio station in Providence where he wrote, produced, and narrated “Footprints in the Sands of Time,” a series of five-minute biographies. After army service in World War II, he went to New York City, where he and Edward R. Murrow produced “I Can Hear It Now,” a radio series, and “See It Now,” its television sequel, which included Murrow's famous documentary on Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Friendly was executive producer of “CBS Reports” (1959–64), and president of CBS News (1964–66). After resigning from CBS in a dispute over ratings, he became Edward R. Murrow professor of journalism at Columbia Univ. and was adviser (until 1980) to the Ford Foundation. He also produced a series of highly acclaimed public television programs that brought together distinguished scholars, public officials, and journalists to examine the U.S. Constitution and other public issues. His books include Due to Circumstances Beyond Our Control (1967); The Good Guys, the Bad Guys, and the First Amendment (1977); Minnesota Rag (1981); and, with M. J. Elliott, The Constitution (1984).


See biography by R. Engelman (2009).

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Friendly, Fred W. (b. Fred Wachenheimer)

(1915–  ) television producer; born in Providence, R.I. A broadcast journalist who helped develop the television documentary format, he worked with Edward R. Murrow on See It Now (1951–58) and produced CBS Reports (1958–64). He resigned as CBS News president in 1966 when the network refused to air Senate hearings on Vietnam. He thereafter produced various television specials and series on public affairs and became a journalism professor at Columbia University (1981).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.