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Unrotten Tv

January 06, 1985

Regarding "Why Is TV So Rotten?" (by Jonathan Miller and Bill Steigerwald, Dec. 16), it has long been a tradition at this time of year to draw up lists. Consider this one:

"A Christmas Carol," "The Master of Ballantrae," "Silence of the Heart," "Hear Me Cry," "Dead Wrong," "Special People," "Second Sight," "Master of the Game," "George Washington," "Mistral's Daughter" and "Ellis Island."

"Gone With the Wind" and "Star Wars." The Tonys, Emmys and Grammys. The People's Choice and Country Music Awards. The American Film Institute Salute and the Kennedy Center Honors. The Super Bowl, the Masters, the Belmont Stakes, the NBA and NCAA Basketball Championships and U.S. Open Tennis. The Primaries, Conventions, Elections, Debates and the full 300 days of Campaign '84.

Add to this list the more than 5,000 hours of other CBS programs that were enjoyed by millions of people every month of 1984--like "60 Minutes" and "Dallas" and their companions in prime time, "The CBS Morning News" and "The CBS Evening News"; the daytime games and serials; children's series and specials; the regular sports schedules and the late night and late late night programs too.

Nor does it count the community and public service efforts we provided, on and off the air. Or similar services by our affiliates in hundreds of communities across the nation. In addition, consider the range of fine programs and community service provided by NBC and ABC and their affiliates.

All of this is simply the accepted tapestry of American broadcasting--the most abundant medium that has ever existed, anywhere. Events, information and entertainment of every kind, in every form, flow out, night and day, in such profusion that even those of us who work in the industry can hardly keep track of it all.

In any other country in the world it would be a source of wonder. Here it seems as natural as the calendar it fills--and that is something to reflect on. GENE JANKOWSKI President, CBS Broadcast Corp.

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