"The highlight of my career at NBC, was building a close knit and very efficient organization on the West Coast that served NBC very well for many years."
About This Interview
Of his work as a television executive, Thomas W. Sarnoff says, "the highlight of my career at NBC, was building a close knit and very efficient organization on the West Coast that served NBC very well for many years." In his three-hour Archive interview, Mr. Sarnoff discusses growing up in the shadow of his father, NBC founder David Sarnoff, and how television was a constant topic of conversation at home, and how he was even involved in an early signal test. In 1949, instead of joining NBC, he became a floor manager at ABC in Los Angeles. He was hired at NBC in 1952, as an Assistant to the Director of Finance and Operations and in 1957, he was promoted to Vice President, Production and Business Affairs. He discusses the contracts and negotiations he was involved with including negotiating land for the Burbank facility, and negotiating contracts for Bob Hope, Colonel Parker (Elvis Presley's manager), and for shows such as Gumby, Matinee Theater, and Bonanza. He concludes by talking about his longtime involvement with the Television Academy and its Foundation. Morrie Gelman conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on June 10, 1999.