Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Networks used to air short news updates during prime time programming, usually just before the top of the hour. Of course, they don't do it anymore, because that's sixty seconds they can use to sell advertising, rather than educate and inform their viewers.

Since the anchors had less than a minute to tell their stories, they had to do it succinctly and smoothly. It wasn't an easy job. One of the best at it was Tom Snyder, who was also hosting THE TOMORROW SHOW on NBC and local newscasts on the network's NBC affiliate. He later hosted talk shows on CNBC and CBS, where David Letterman signed him to host THE LATE, LATE SHOW before Craig Kilborn took it over (and Craig Ferguson has it now).

Here's one of Snyder's NBC NEWS UPDATEs from 1976. I love the snappy delivery and particularly the sharp writing. The final story is a great kicker, a short, punchy light news bit with a terrific button.

YouTube has posted several NBC NEWS UPDATEs, and I find them fascinating to watch, if only out of curiosity to see what was happening in the world back then. NBC's approach to the news, as well, because you know that if it still did these updates, they would be laced with "news stories" about Angelina Jolie and Lindsay Lohan.

Also, speaking of Snyder, come over sometime and watch the half-hour interview Snyder did with Howard Stern when he guest-hosted LATER WITH BOB COSTAS in the late 1980s. It's one of the most amazing--and human--television interviews I've ever seen, as you watch two guys who neither understand nor like each other being completely open and honest in their hostility.

1 comment:

Nostalgia Kinky said...

I really miss Tom Snyder. He's one of the most charismatic and likeable television personalities in history. I wish more of his work would hit dvd...this clip is great. Thanks for posting.