Success Was Not Enough

www.nytimes.com

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references In All His Glory on 2/4/2020, 7:00:40 PM

references William S. Paley on 2/4/2020, 7:00:40 PM

excerpt His greatest genius lay in programming, an instinct he had apparently developed while spending summer months selling candy in a Chicago movie theater and observing hits and flops, what worked and what bombed. In time CBS would become known as the "Tiffany" network -- that is, synonymous with quality; but in fact his feel for popular culture -- and his obsession with the bottom line -- acted like Gresham's law on radio and later on television: bad programming drove out the good. on 2/4/2020, 7:00:40 PM

excerpt "While NBC had opened the door to light entertainment by signing 'Amos 'n' Andy' in 1929," Ms. Smith observes, "it was Paley who flooded his network with escapist fare and strident commercials. NBC had little choice but to follow suit." To be sure, there was quality programming, but it functioned as a facade behind which was a great deal of junk. In this sense, William S. Paley was one of the master architects of modern popular culture, a colossally dubious achievement. on 2/4/2020, 7:01:00 PM