"My advice to aspiring television news producers? Make sure you're not telling any lies, and that your sources are correct. Don't let vanity get in the way of your reporting. And try to find another career. How about fashion?"
About This Interview
In his two-hour Archive interview, Perry Wolff talks about his early life and experiences, including his service during World War II and the novel he wrote about it. He describes his early career, first on WBBM radio and later as a writer on Guiding Light. He chronicles his early days at CBS News where he worked on the 1952 political conventions and met President Dwight Eisenhower. Wolff recounts working on two news documentary series in the '50s; Adventure, and Air Power hosted by Walter Cronkite. He details producing the groundbreaking A Tour of the White House, led by Jacqueline Kennedy, which was the first time television cameras were allowed inside the White House. He discusses his time as a producer of CBS Reports, which aired the controversial "The Selling of the Pentagon" episode. He outlines being ousted from CBS News at the behest of William S. Paley and transitioning to PBS, where he produced documentaries, including The Vanishing Family. He concludes by giving his thoughts on the then-current state of television news and documentaries. Jenni Matz conducted the interview on February 27, 2015 in Westwood, California.