The Tube

TV's Friendly Lion

Edward R. Murrow may have been the man in the spotlight, but Fred Friendly was the man running the show. In Friendlyvision, Ralph Engelman reconstructs the life of Fred Friendly, President of CBS News in the 1950s, who created television news as we know it. He was the “closest thing to force of nature at CBS News,” winning over politicians and power brokers with charm. In his heyday, President Lyndon B. Johnson even tried to recruit Friendly as media advisor to the White House. Engelman also retraces the steps of his controversial resignation, which, he says, Friendly brought upon himself by overplaying his own hand. Writes The Wall Street Journal: “As the audience for the news shifts away from network television and newspapers, toward cable and the Internet, here's hoping that Friendly's sense of get-it-right urgency endures.”