Newton Minow and the Vast Wasteland Speech, May 9, 1961

Here is my wonderful dad, Newton Minow, on his famous “vast wasteland” speech, delivered to the National Association of Broadcasters on May 9, 1961, 54 years ago today.

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On Tuesday night, Chicago PBS station WTTW celebrated its 60th anniversary and presented Dad with their Diamond Celebration award. On Thursday, they broadcast a wonderful one-hour documentary about him, which is now available online. It includes many of our favorite stories: Eleanor Roosevelt’s call to ask Dad to intervene on behalf of Reverend Robert L.T. Smith, a black candidate in Mississippi who was not allowed to buy commercial time, LBJ yelling at him about Vietnam, his now unclassified role during the Cuban missile crisis, telling JFK why a communications satellite would be more important than putting a man on the moon. And it has some of our favorite family memories, too.

Originally published at

Movie critic, corporate critic and shareholder advocate, critic/editor at @ebertvoices @moviemom, and #corpgov #movies and editor at @miniverpress

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