We Interrupt This Broadcast

By Joe Garner

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Description

From six-time New York Times bestselling author Joe Garner, and based on his groundbreaking multimedia book, “We Interrupt This Broadcast,” comes a 12-episode, audio docu-series hosted by broadcast legend Bill Kurtis, and narrated by NBC’s Brian Williams. Each episode unfolds with the brisk pace and tone of a thriller while presenting an in-depth look into the reporting of, and reaction to, the extraordinary events that became the benchmarks of the American story. It is said that “breaking news” is the first draft of history. “We Interrupt This Broadcast” marks the first time the stories of these historical broadcast news events are told exclusively by the broadcasters and TV journalists whose work created those drafts in real-time.

Credits

Hosted by Bill Kurtis & Narrated by Brian Williams

Created, produced and directed by Joe Garner

Written by Mark Rowland, Brian Williams, Colin Madine, and Joe Garner

Sound engineering and design by Paul Bahr, Peachtree Sound

Additional audio engineering provided by Beowulf Rochlen, Two Squared Media Productions

Website and graphics designed by George Vasilopoulos, 921 Associates

Executive Producers are Brian Williams, Ron Hartenbaum, Scott Calka, and Joe Garner

A very special thank you to Donna LaPietra and Diane Anello

A Production of i4 Media Ventures, LLC

www.weinterruptthisbroadcast.org



Episode Date
The passing of the 19th Amendment - “Tennessee House gives women the right to vote” – (June 4, 1919)
00:18:29

As long and vast as the history of our country may seem to us, the right of women to vote is shockingly new. Many of us had parents or grandparents who were born before women’s voting rights were codified. In fact, you just heard the famous suffragette Alice Paul report the news: The State of Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution by just ONE VOTE.. and that deciding vote was cast on August 18th of 1920.


Cast:

Alice Paul, the Suffragette News Network (SNN) is played by Jillian Lee Garner

Representative Harry Burn is played by Jason Marsden

Anti-suffragist J.B. Sanford, Chairman of the Democrat Caucus in California is played by Wally Wingert

Suffragette Carrie Chapman Catt is played by Jennifer Cihi

Tennessee House Speaker Seth M. Walker is played by anonymous.

Rep. Joseph Hanover is played by Paul Bahr

Laura Jones, SNN correspondent is played by Michelle Schulman

Carol Tilson, SNN anchor is played by Kourtney Bell


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Jul 20, 2021
Apollo 11 Moon Landing - “One Small Step…” – (July 20, 1969)
00:39:33

It was the finale to a decade of turbulence and upheaval, but this time it was an event through which a nation could put aside its differences and stand together to marvel at the achievement. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy had pledged that before the sixties were over, an American would walk on the moon.

The enormity of the mission aside, one question remained, how to get a television signal 240 thousand miles from the lunar surface onto televisions in living rooms around the globe. Robert Wussler, Walter Cronkite's producer, called it "the world's greatest single broadcast" in television history.


Broadcast audio licensed from CBS News


Contributors:

  • Walter Cronkite, Former CBS anchor (Courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation Interviews. See the full interviews at TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews.)
  • Richard Nafzger, Former engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center responsible for getting the television signal from the lunar surface to Earth.
  • Danny Epstein - Music director for NBC (Courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation Interviews. See the full interviews at TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews.)
  • James Wall, Former CBS Stage Manager (Courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation Interviews. See the full interviews at TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews.)
  • Mike Russo, Walter Cronkite’s desk assistant
  • Joel Banow, Director of the Apollo 11 telecast for CBS News



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Jul 20, 2021
President Reagan shot - “The president was [not?] hit,” – (March 30, 1981)
00:39:28

When Ronald Reagan was elected president in November 1980, he hoped to defy an unusually grim circumstance of that office. In the seven previous even-numbered decades, every U.S. President had died in office - four times from assassin’s bullets. A few months later on March 30, 1981, as President Reagan strolled outside the Washington Hilton Hotel, he nearly met the same fate.



Broadcast audio licensed from ABC News Video Source


Contributors:

  • Sam Donaldson, Former Chief White House correspondent, ABC News
  • Susan King, Former White House correspondent, ABC News reporter.
  • Ross Simpson, Former correspondent, Mutual News
  • David Prosperi, Former Assistant Press Secretary to President Ronald Reagan


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Jul 20, 2021
JFK Assassination - “In Dallas Texas, three shots were fired…” – (November 22, 1963)
00:32:37

He was a man in the prime of life when he traveled to Dallas, Texas in November 1963, on a routine political fence-mending mission to help shore up his chances for re-election as president the following year. At about twenty five minutes past noon on November 22, he was riding in an open convertible with his wife through downtown Dallas, waving to cheering crowds, when the unthinkable occurred - an unforgettable event that would haunt and define the turbulent decade to come.


Broadcast audio licensed from CBS News


Contributors:

  • Don Hewitt, Former CBS News producer (Garner Audio Archive)
  • Walter Cronkite, Former CBS News anchor (Courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation Interviews. See the full interviews at TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews.)
  • Dan Rather, Former CBS News anchor, KRLD Dallas reporter (Courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation Interviews. See the full interviews at TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews)
  • Gary DeLaune, Former reporter for KLIF Radio
  • Robert MacNeill, Former correspondent for NBC News (Courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation Interviews. See the full interviews at TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews.)   


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Jul 20, 2021
9-11: America Under Attack - “This has to be deliberate” – (September 11, 2001)
00:50:06

September 11, 2001 dawned crisp and blue in New York City. The gathering hum of a seemingly ordinary workday began taking shape in lower Manhattan. Then the ‘ordinary’ was shattered by the extraordinary. The world changing event that unfolded that morning was unimaginable and unprecedented. It was a sneak attack of epic proportions on American soil, terrifying the nation while thrusting the news media into uncharted territory. Not even the most seasoned news director or reporter at the time had anything in their arsenal of experiences that could have prepared them for their task that day.


Broadcast audio licensed from CNN/WarnerMedia, NBC News, and courtesy of WINS and WOR Radio.



Contributor(s):

  • Tom Brokaw, Former anchor for NBC News (Courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation Interviews. See the full interviews at TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews.)
  • Dan Rather, Former anchor for CBS News (Courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation Interviews. See the full interviews at TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews.)
  • David Bohrman, Former executive producer at CNN
  • Aaron Brown, Former anchor for CNN (Garner Audio Archive)
  • Ari Fleischer, Former Press Secretary to President George W. Bush
  • Marcy McGinnis, Former Senior Vice President, Special Events News Coverage, CBS News
  • Shelley Ross, Former Executive Producer of Good Morning America
  • David Bernknopf, Former CNN Vice President, News Planning, 1980 – 2001
  • Mara Rubin, Former Assistant News Director and reporter for WOR Radio New York
  • John Montone, Former reporter for 1010 WINS, New York
  • Beth O’Connell, Former Executive Producer, NBC News Special Events.




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Jul 20, 2021
The Columbine tragedy - “Shots fired at Columbine High School” – (April 20, 1999)
00:41:48

It was the darkest nightmare of every parent come to life - and it happened in the land of “It can’t happen here.” The setting was Littleton, Colorado, a comfortably middle-class suburb of Denver, a place where people come to raise a family, and where the arch over a hallway at local Columbine High School is inscribed with the motto: “The finest kids in America pass through these halls.” But on April 20, 1997 - the halls of Columbine suddenly became the scene of a murderous reign of terror. Coverage of the shootings was intensified by the ubiquity of 24-hour cable news, and its constant need to come up with fresh information - often incorrect. The media quickly realized they simply had no protocols for a mass casualty incident of such dimensions.


Broadcast audio courtesy of KOA Radio, Denver, CO, ABC News Video Source, CBS News


Contributors:

  • David Bernknopf, Former VP CNN, A founding employee of CNN
  • Jayson Luber, Former KOA Radio and KUSA TV Traffic reporter
  • Kathy Walker, News Director, KOA Radio, Denver
  • Marcy McGinnis, Former Senior Vice President News Coverage, CBS News
  • Jerry Bell, KOA NEWS Radio Managing Editor


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Jul 20, 2021
The Nat Turner slave uprising of 1831 - “Band of rebels on a killing spree” (dramatization) – (August 21, 1831)
00:22:48

A 31-year-old enslaved man named Nathanial “Nat” Turner, who was both literate and a preacher in the Virginia slave community, led a bloody two-day uprising in Southampton, Virginia. Known as both “preacher Nat” and “general Nat” to his followers, Turner and six other hatchet-wielding disciples began their rebellion by killing Turner’s own master, Joseph Travis, along with his wife, nine-year-old son, and a hired hand -- all as they slept in their beds. They secured guns and horses and set off across the countryside in a murderous rampage. His initial group, along with an estimated 75 followers, murdered at least 55 citizens in the area. After the insurrection, Nat Turner was on the run for over 6-weeks, a fugitive from the authorities. While they were searching for him and his accomplices, the terrible details of the insurrection came to light through news reports and witness statements.



Cast:

Nyah Pierson, reporter for the Liberator News Network (LNN) is played by Nyah Pierson

William Lloyd Garrison, Founder & Publisher of the The Liberator (newspaper) is played by Wally Wingert

Johnny Dixon, news reporter from One Virginia News (OVN) is played by Beau Bridgland

Mary Blackford is played by Jillian Lee Garner

Nathaniel "Nat" Turner is played by Gregory Eagles



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Jul 20, 2021
The Death of Princess Di - “Princess Diana has died…” –(August 31, 1997)
00:43:05

She was a princess who never lived happily ever after - and the world loved her for it. Diana Spencer became a global celebrity when she wedded England’s Prince Charles in July 1981. But the fairy tale marriage soon unraveled, and, after no end of adulterous revelations and public separations, finally ended in divorce. But Diana remained a princess in the hearts of her millions of fans - and of the mass media, who faithfully chronicled her every move. Ultimately, it was the pursuit of an image with the highest bounty that lead to her tragic death. The lingering legacy of the death of Princess Di is how media must operate within this ambiguous territory, without overstepping perceived notions of privacy, yet also serving the insatiable appetite of editors and the public.


Broadcast audio licensed from CNN/WarnerMedia, BBC


Contributors:

  • David Bernknopf, Former CNN Vice President, News Planning, 1980 – 2001
  • Kevin Connolly, BBC on-scene reporter in Paris
  • Jim Bittermann, CNN on-scene reporter in Paris
  • Patricia Kelly, Former CNN Brussels Bureau Chief
  • Marcy McGinnis, Former SVP, Special Event News Coverage, CBS News
  • Beth O’Connell, Former Producer of Special Programming at NBC News
  • Dickie Arbiter, Former spokesperson for Buckingham Palace


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Jul 20, 2021
D-Day Invasion “…about to embark up on a great crusade” – (June 6, 1944)
00:32:33

It was the biggest overseas military operation in the biggest war in world history - and its best kept secret as well. D Day demonstrated radio’s ability to carry news with clarity and immediacy. And while reporters like Robert Trout, Edward R. Murrow, and Richard C. Hottelet became household names, it was the ingenuity of an NBC stringer reporter named Wright Bryan, who finagled his way aboard a flight of paratroopers and became the first to report the landing.

Contributors:

  • Howard K. Smith, correspondent, anchor, and original member of “Murrow’s boys”
  • Daniel Schorr, three-time Emmy winning correspondent, Senior News Analyst for National Public Radio, and part of the later generation of “Murrow's Boys.”
  • Michael Freedman, Former General Manager of CBS Radio Network News. Professorial Lecturer, GWU School of Media and Public Affairs; Immediate Past President of The National Press Club
  • Dr. Michael Biel, Renowned broadcast historian.


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Jul 20, 2021
The 2000 presidential election - “…Nobody knows for a fact who has won Florida” – (November 8, 2000)
00:33:00

It was the election that did not decide the presidency, and the biggest media debacle since “Dewey Defeats Truman.” The 2000 campaign between presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore was shaping up as a cliffhanger. Pundits predicted that its outcome would hinge on results from a few key states - Ohio, Michigan, and most of all, Florida. On election night, television news organizations staged a collective drag race on the crowded highway of democracy, recklessly endangering the electoral process, the political life of the country, and their own credibility.


Broadcast audio licensed from CNN/WarnerMedia, CBS News, NBC News


Contributors:

  • Tim Russert, Washington Bureau Chief and Senior Vice President at NBC News (Garner Audio Archive)
  • David Bernknopf, Former CNN Vice President, News Planning, 1980 – 2001
  • Marcy McGinnis, Former Senior Vice President, Special Events News Coverage, CBS News
  • Bill Schneider, CNN senior political analyst
  • Beth O’Connell, former Executive Producer, NBC News Special Events


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Jul 20, 2021
The Hindenburg explosion – “Oh, the Humanity!” – (May 6, 1937)
00:32:11

The Hindenburg was an engineering masterpiece, an airship as large and as grand as the Titanic - and as doomed. On May 6, 1937, a young radio reporter named Herbert Morrison was on hand to record the Hindenburg’s arrival at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Instead, Morrison helped radio to broadcast one of modern history’s great disasters, as it suddenly unfolded in all its terrible glory. But even as Morrison’s eyewitness report chronicled the end of one era, it signaled the beginning of another - an age in which electronic media would routinely report shocking events in the moment that they occurred. In addition to the story of the Hindenburg, this serves as a preview of Season 1.

Broadcast audio courtesy of Marc Garabedian, Mark 56 Records

Contributors:

  • Herbert Morrison
  • Dr. Michael Biel, renowned broadcast historian.
  • Mike Freedman, President of National Press Club, Professor at GWU –
  • Don Hewitt, former CBS News producer (Garner Audio Archive)
  • Aaron Brown, former CNN anchor(Garner Audio Archive)
  • John Montone, former reporter for 1010 WINS Radio, New York


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Jul 20, 2021
L.A. Riots following the Rodney King verdict - “Can we all get along?” – (April 29, 1992)
00:38:15

The first reports from Los Angeles had an all-too familiar ring - a black motorist who had been stopped by police for drunk driving was pulled out of his car and beaten by several white officers. But this time, the entire incident was captured on a bystander’s video camera, then broadcast via television around the world. When the offending officers went on trial, an all-white jury saw things differently. After announcing a deadlock on a single assault charge and acquitting the four police officers, the city erupted in an eerie replay of the Watts riots thirty years before which had left much of Los Angeles’ inner-city community in ruins. It all began with a hand-held video camera and ended with the whole world watching a great city going up in flames. And just how much had television’s wall-to-wall coverage fanned those flames.


Broadcast audio licensed from NBC Radio; KTLA/Nexstar, Inc.


Contributor:

  • Bob Brill, Former stringer radio reporter for NBC Radio
  • Carl Stein, Former KCBS video journalist
  • Mark Coogan, Former KABC-TV reporter
  • Warren Cereghino, Former News Director at KTLA TV Los Angeles
  • Tony Fote, Video editor at KTLA TV, Los Angeles
  • David Bohrman, Former executive producer of ABC’s World News Now


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Jul 20, 2021
Trailer
00:02:25

Coming July 20th, 2021

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Jun 18, 2021