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Inventory of the Governor'S Office. Office of Information Services Records, November 1972-June 1976
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Governor'S Office. Office of Information Services Records,
    Date (inclusive): November 1972-June 1976
    Inventory: F3715
    Creator: Governor'S Office. Office of Information Services
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Governor'S Office. Office of Information Services Records, F3715, California State Archives.

    Agency History

    Governor Ronald Reagan established the Office of Information Services (OIS) in October of 1972 (Executive Order R 39-73) to improve communications with the public on the activities of state government. The main purpose of the office was to make the information systems of various state agencies, departments, and commissions more responsive to public needs. Prior to the establishment of the OIS, most of the forty-odd agencies in the executive branch of state government had their own information officers; but there was no overall coordination of the communications functions. Subsequently, most state agencies continued to employ communications personnel. The OIS was simply an attempt to systematize their activities.
    The Office of Information Services had three divisions. The first was the Office of the Chief, a position filled by Harvey F. Yorke from November 1972 through November 1975 and by Fred R. Epstein from December 1975 through June 1976. The chief's major duties were to provide direction for the agency and to coordinate the information activities of other agencies and departments in the executive branch of state government. Yorke also devoted a considerable amount of time to developing and participating in training programs designed to upgrade the professional skills of state information officers, and he served as the liaison between the California Bicentennial Commission and the governor's office.
    The Broadcast Services Division produced a series of tapes for radio stations which converted the press releases of various state offices into audio form. The staff of Broadcast Services received press releases from state agencies, wrote radio announcements based on them, and recorded these announcements on tape. In most cases the tape also included an actuality by an executive or information officer in the agency which produced the news release - i.e., a recording of that person's voice explaining the news item. Radio stations could call Broadcast Services over a number of toll-free telephone lines to listen to the tapes. There were three feeds each day (10 A.M., 2 P.M., and 5:30 P.M.), five days a week. The California Information Broadcast Service began its programs on December 11, 1972, and terminated on June 30, 1976. Bob McCafferty managed the Broadcast Services Division from November 1972 through September 1975. Larry Martz succeeded him and stayed with the program until its termination.
    The Southern Area Office, located in Los Angeles, acted as a field service center for agencies and departments of state government that did not have their own information officers in the Los Angeles area. In this capacity it helped them contact the news media about their programs and arranged news conferences and public meetings. It produced several weekly public service programs, both in English and in Spanish, for Southern California radio and television stations that described the various state government services and instructed individuals how to obtain them. In addition, it served as a contact point on the activities of state government for the news media in the southern part of the state. Simon Nathenson headed the Los Angeles office for all three and one-half years of its operation.
    The Office of Information Services went out of existence at the end of the 1976 fiscal year. Convinced that most of its activities were superfluous Governor Brown cut it out of the 1977 budget.