Media & Communications Law

Asked About Famous 1961 Speech, Ex-FCC Chair Says TV is No Longer a 'Vast Wasteland'

A former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission who became a household name after calling television a “vast wasteland” in a 1961 speech says he’s changed his opinion about the medium since then.

Speaking at a National Press Club event on the 50th anniversary of his famous remarks, Sidley Austin senior counsel Newton Minow, 85, was asked whether he still considers television a vast wasteland and said he doesn’t, reports the Legal Times in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

Explaining that he is “a television junkie.” Minow says his issue at the time he complained was a lack of viewing options. Now, however, “no matter what your interest is, you have a channel,” he notes.

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