"There's no way that I could have anticipated the little bitty cameras that people walk around with and use. It was all so big and bulky then and everything had these great coaxial cables you had to drag everywhere the camera went. The changes are just magical."
About This Interview
In her two-hour Archive interview, Frances Buss Buch (1917-2010) describes how a two-week temporary job at CBS led to an over decade-long association with the network, and her historic role as CBS' very first female director. She details her work at CBS before and after broadcasting was interrupted during World War II. She talks about her assistance creating maps for the news program on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. She describes several of the earliest commercial broadcasts on CBS which featured her on-camera, including The Country Dance, a monthly dance program by the American Country Dance Society; Children's Story, in which a story was read to a child, "illustrated" by an artist on camera; and the CBS Television Quiz, which featured such games as "Peanuts in the Bottle" in which a contestant attempted to spoon peanuts into an empty milk bottle that they held on their head. She talks about some of her earliest directorial efforts such as Sorry Wrong Number, an adaptation of the famed radio show. Buch talks about several of the key creative talents at CBS at the time including Worthington Miner and Gilbert Seldes. She speaks in great detail about other early CBS series including The Missus Goes A-Shopping, To the Queen's Taste with Dione Lucas, The Whistling Wizard, and Mike and Buff. She also talks about CBS' color experimentation and her role as a director of the first color broadcast for the network on June 25, 1951. (She says she directed the show's "live" commercials). She also discusses "Telecolor Clinics," a series of television documentaries done for the American Cancer Society. Karen Herman conducted the interview on June 16, 2005 in Hendersonville, NC.