Tuesday, January 31, 2006

RIP Dumont

OK, this post isn't about Radio, but it is about New York City's fascinating broadcast history, which I adore: here's a cool Hollywood Reporter article about the 50th Anniversary (sorta) of the demise of the Dumont Network.

Dumont, in the very very early days of network television (late '40s-early '50s), was the "fourth network" - a true competitor to NBC and CBS - and was probably ahead of ABC-TV in terms of programming and technology, at least in the beginning. The network's amazing history (best known as being the place where Jackie Gleason debuted his most legendary characters, and where Captain Video patrolled the universe) has been written about in a couple of recent books. (This Reason Magazine review of one of the books points out how times haven't really changed all that much at the good 'ol FCC.)

Dumont's flagship affiliate in New York was Channel 5. A few years back, I was able to get into the channel's studios on on 205 East 67th street, and I looked up into the rafters - and could still see some Dumont logos spray-painted onto the lights!

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