"You don't control the press. You might try to direct them and lead them, but you sure as hell are not gonna control them."
About This Interview
In his four-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Hank Rieger (1918-2014) speaks about starting his career with United Press. He describes his work as the Manager and subsequently Director of Press and Publicity at NBC, and recalls becoming the first Vice President of NBC's publicity department (1965-80). He discusses promoting color television at the network, and talks of doing publicity for several NBC stars, including Bob Hope, Danny Thomas, Dean Martin, and Milton Berle. He speaks of his time as President of the Television Academy (1977-80), as well as his handling of all press and publicity for The Emmy Awards. Rieger comments on his role in the launch of Emmy Magazine and his work as Editor of the publication from 1985-99. He also outlines starting his own business, landing ESPN as a client, and working for The Olympics for one year. Morrie Gelman conducted the interview on September 29, 1999 in San Diego, CA.