"Just being in on the start of television, that was the luckiest break I ever had in my life. Even though it was DuMont, it was still television in all its forms and facets and I was able to polish them and learn about them and be equipped to handle any kind of show."
About This Interview
In his five-hour Archive interview, Ted Bergmann (1920-2014) talks about his early years breaking into the business at NBC radio, working as a page before World War II, then as an announcer/ producer after the war. He then describes in great detail his primary association in television, working for the DuMont Television Network. Bergmann talks about his work rising through the ranks at DuMont, as a staff member in the Sales Department up until becoming the Managing Director of the Broadcast Division. Bergmann describes in detail several series that appeared on the network (many of which he was responsible for selling), including: The Original Amateur Hour, Fashions on Parade, Captain Video and His Video Rangers, The Arthur Murray Party, Cavalcade of Stars, and Life Is Worth Living. He also talks about sports on the DuMont network— one of their staples in programming. Bergmann reminisces about Dr. Allen B. DuMont, who ran the network, and Thomas Goldsmith, the Chief of Research who pioneered such innovations as the color tube in television. Bergmann describes the FCC rulings regarding UHF and VHF stations that greatly contributed to the network's downfall. Bergmann also talks about his later work as an advertising executive, as well as his association on an executive-producing level for The Best on Record specials (the first Grammy Awards shows) and the hit sitcom Three's Company. B-roll consists of over a dozen photographs from his days at the Dumont network as well as a few from Three's Company. Gary Rutkowski conducted the interview on March 17, 2004 in Pacific Palisades, CA.