The Leonard H. Goldenson collection documents the activities of the American Broadcasting System network in the United States
and its interests outside of the country. The collection includes memoranda, correspondence, reports, speeches, reports, policy
statements, scant photographs, and a small amount of legal and financial papers. Although incomplete at several levels, the
collection offers representative coverage of operations in advertising, programming, research, sales, television, and news
and public affairs broadcasting and the expansion of the network into the movie industry primarily from the 1950's through
the late 1960's.
Beginning with his takeover in 1953 of the fledgling American Broadcasting Company, Leonard Goldenson became one of the most
famous pioneers of television history. After being hired to assist in the successful reorganization of near-bankrupt Paramount
Pictures, Goldenson then turned to Hollywood in the early 1950s. Competing against broadcasting giants NBC and CBS, Goldenson
engineered such successful ABC ventures as American Bandstand, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and The Mickey Mouse Club. Convincing Warner Brothers and the Walt Disney Company to partner with ABC and produce TV shows proved to be another successful
move for Goldenson, who saw ABC continue to gain ground in the network ratings through the turbulent 1960s. Under Goldenson's
leadership, ABC soon emerged as the premier network for sports broadcasting with the addition of ABC's Wide World of Sports, coverage of the Olympic Games, and Monday Night Football. ABC introduced new, innovative ideas to the television landscape such as the TV movie and the miniseries (including 1977's
highly awarded Roots). Seeing his once humble enterprise reach the pinnacle of financial success, Goldenson retired in 1986 after selling ABC
to Capital Cities, Inc.
254.563 Linear Feet
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