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Nixon-Frost Nearly Lost

April 27, 1977

By Hugh Davis
Spokane Daily Chronicle

The local television industry grapevine almost prevented the David FrostRichard Nixon interviews from being shown in Spokane.

KREM Television yesterday negotiated a show schedule for the interviews with Syndicast, Inc., the production firm distributing the shows.

According to programming director for KREM, Bill Hall, the four 90-minute specials will be shown at 7:30 p.m. May 4, 12, 19 and May 25.

“We had heard that KHQ had secured local programming options on the interviews,” said Hall, “and we didn’t know until Friday that the specials were available.”

KXLY station manager Wayne F. McNulty said he inquired about getting the programs “months ago.” He said he also was told that KHQ would handle the shows locally.

J. Birney Blair, KHQ station manager, said, “We notified them (Syndicast) April 4 that we did not wish to carry the specials.” Of the industry rumor that KHQ had already secured local options on the specials, he said, “We were never committed to it.”

Asked why KHQ elected not to carry the Nixon interviews, Blair said, “They are six hours of prime time programming that we were not sure were worth six hours of prime time.

“They (Syndicast) have most of the commercial slots filled, and did not offer very many slots for local support.”

Hall said KREM also is not sure about the commercial value of the series or that it “would be a marvelous ratings attraction.

“Regardless of how one feels about the Nixon administration, there is some interest in whether the man (Nixon) is going to tell us more of the truth,” Hall said.

McNulty said KXLY was interested in the Nixon interviews but did not pursue it after “we were told KHQ had committed for the specials.”

Radio station KSPO will air the audio portion of the interviews.

Wednesday, April 27, 1977



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