"The main purpose of The Academy is to recognize excellence in television. The challenge long term is we have more television and more organizations producing television. It's a fact of life today that we face these multiple cable outlets and satellite transmissions and all kinds of things. The Academy looks forward to how to best cope with that and the judging structure."
About This Interview
In his three-hour Archive interview, Dr. James L. Loper (1931-2013) talks about his early influences in broadcasting and his first work in the field as a weekend announcer at KTAR, Phoenix Arizona's NBC radio affiliate. He describes his rise through academia, earning his doctorate in 1967 from the University of Southern California. He details the creation of public television station KCET, the history of channel 28, its initial programming, and the funding of the station. Loper then discusses his work at KCET, serving as the station's Vice President and General Manager (in 1967), President and GM (through 1971), and President and CEO (through 1982, when he left the station). He recalls the Federal government's decisions regarding public television throughout the 1960s, and comments on the landmark Carnegie Commission Report, the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, the creation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the emergence of PBS. He talks about the programming that was shown on PBS and the network's satellite distribution (which pre-dated the use of satellites by the commercial networks). He also outlines the contributions to public broadcasting of such figures as FCC chairman Newton Minow, CPB president Hartford Gunn, and NET president James Day. Finally, Loper recalls his long tenure with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and tells of the creation of the Academy Foundation's Archive of American Television. He also comments on his then current-work at the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. Michael Rosen conducted the interview on September 19, 2003 in Pasadena, CA.