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Eyewitness Newsman [Kindle Edition]

Albert Primo
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99

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Book Description

Creator of Eyewitness News and Peabody Award recipient Al Primo has authored a dynamic book that looks at the television news business from the inside. Eyewitness Newsman chronicles the history of the Eyewitness News concept, showing how one man with a vision challenged the journalistic establishment to create a newscast format that is the industry standard to this day. The New York Daily News said that Primo Almost single handedly changed the face of television news.
Primo literally worked his way up from a Pittsburgh television station mailroom to the position of network executive. Along with way he turned the white male dominated news business on its ear, creating a beat system that featured a culturally diverse news team. Along the way he discovered people like Geraldo Rivera and helped turn Tom Snyder into a household name. Eyewitness Newsman takes you behind the scenes and offers a unique look at broadcasting legends like Peter Jennings, Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford, Roger Grimsby, Bill Beutel, Frank Gifford, Bill Burns and Rona Barrett.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Albert T. Primo is recognized worldwide as the creator and author of the Eyewitness News format. His current popular series, Teen Kids News, in its sixth year, is seen on 200 Local TV stations and is shown in 7,700 schools each week.

He was appointed News Director for WABC-TV in 1968 where he launched his Eyewitness News concept that he created at KYW-TV in Philadelphia. The station became the number one rated station in New York and has maintained that position for three decades.

He received a coveted Peabody award as Executive Producer of Willowbrook, The Last Great Disgrace, for a series of reports by Geraldo Rivera that exposed the poor treatment of the mentally challenged. He joined ABC News as Executive Producer of the Reasoner Report in 1974. He obtained the first and only exclusive interview ever conducted at Camp David with President Gerald Ford.

He founded Primo Newservice, Inc. after 10 years with ABC as Vice President of News in 1977. He provides consulting services for networks, local stations, Internet companies and cable systems. He has worked on projects for the New York Times, Hearst, US Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Time Warner New Media and USA Today.

He frequently appears on the major networks, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News as a media expert.


Product Details

  • File Size: 2744 KB
  • Print Length: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Primo News Services (January 6, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004IARUN8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,351 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Look at TV News September 19, 2008
By Paul S.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Al Primo is one of the "founding fathers" of television news. He's the man who invented (Created? Founded? Shaped? Fashioned? Formed? Molded? Planned? Instituted?) the "Eyewitness News" format. Forget what you've heard about "happy talk." It was Al Primo who first said, Let's stop writing newspaper-style stories hoping we have some pictures that might fit. Let's use the unique tools available to us to take our viewers by the hand and transport them to the scenes of stories. Let's work on their behalf, so that through us they can be "eyewitnesses" to the day's news. Long before Fox said "We Report, You Decide" Al Primo was determined to give viewers more than just a recitation of the facts, he wanted them to feel the story--or rather, to come away from the TV set with the same feeling they'd have had if they had been at the event themselves. He wanted stories told BY real people FOR real people in a way real people could understand, not by deep-voiced anchors pontificating from on high. It was the people's news.

Today, forty years after he brought his genius from KYW in Philadelphia to WABC in New York, all television news is rooted in his concepts. And it's not just TV. Anyplace you see moving pictures and the spoken word used to tell news stories you can see Al Primo's guiding hand.

The book is the personal history of a kid who worked his way up out of the mail room in a Pittsburgh TV station to become a guiding force for all of broadcast journalism. Along the way he introduces his cast of characters: men and women who believed what Al taught, that watching TV news should be an experience. It could move you--and anger you--and tickle you--and inform you--and make you indignant, all in the space of a half-hour. And it should be delivered by a recognizable cast of "real people" characters, like Roger Grimsby, Bill Beutel, Geraldo Rivera, Howard Cosell, Joan Lunden and many, many more.

A remarkable book by a remarkable man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant tale of how television news was formed February 10, 2011
By Hilary
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There are countless books on the shelves that explore the early formation of the news business; however, they so often focus on print journalism rather than the early years of television news.
In "Eyewitness Newsman" Primo and Tatano dive into the progression of television news as we know it today. The book provides a fresh account of its puppy years. With that, comes its earliest, often quite humorous mistakes, accompanied by its earliest glimpses of light and star-making qualities.
Al Primo is one of the few, true visionaries of his time who saw what something "could be" and surpassed the bottom line managers can easily get trapped with. He saw potential in television news and helped mold it into a brilliant, enjoyable medium we all rely on today.

Any aspiring journalist or history buff should read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking (literally) outside the box January 11, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I was very young and living in the New York television market, local news was drab. Black and white tv was the name of the game and the broadcasts were as dry as toast. In 1968, the year of monumental change in the United States, a major change in how television news was presented occurred, and thanks to Al Primo, it will never be the same again.

The concept of Eyewitness news, one which includes co-anchors and people on the set actually talking to each other, was such a simple but stunning happening that the first few times I saw it I thought it was a little unsettling. And after a while, what was a Puerto Rican man and a black woman doing on a newscast? It didn't take long, though, to see that Al Primo's ideas were genius and just as color tv was taking hold in America, he added the "color" to the news.

"Eyewitness Newsman" charts the fast rise of Al Primo...from his salad days in Pittsburgh through the years he guided the ABC news department. It's a walk down memory lane for me as I used to eat up Roger Grimsby and Bill Beutel every night along with my own dinner. Names that are also long forgotten have come back to take their place in his book.....Milton Lewis, Melba Tolliver, and one of my favorites...Jim Bouton....who used to have me in stitches when he would talk about the Head Coach of the NY Jets..."Weeb Eubank...or is it Youb Weebank", he would intone. Yet one of the most eye-popping days was when Rose Ann Scamardella came to my church to cover a musical event...until that time I didn't think any New York station had ever broadcast anything from Connecticut.

Al Primo's book is a great read and for someone who knows the industry inside and out, it's terrific. I highly recommend "Eyewitness Newsman" for the history it provides, not to mention the humorous side stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll love it. November 12, 2008
Format:Paperback
This book is fantastic. The inside story of the remaking of TV news (for the better!) by Primo would alone be worth the time, but it is the stories and anecdotes about the reporters that makes this book impossible to put down. With many laugh out loud moments along the way, you will be sorry when this one ends.

Eyewitness Newsman is a pleasure. I've been recommending this book to everyone I know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun reading October 28, 2008
Format:Paperback
I have enjoyed reading about how the most copied news format ever was born. The chapter on Geraldo was real insight into how he came to be so famous. Anytime I can read about the ego maniac Howard Cosell, I take advantage.
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