• U.S.

Publisher’s Letter, Nov. 26, 1956

3 minute read

Dear TIME-Reader:

IN Milwaukee last week, the Radio Television News Directors Association presented the first annual Paul White* Memorial Award for “the most significant contribution to radio and television journalism during the past year.” The winner: Hugh B. Terry, president of TIME’S radio-TV station KLZ in Denver.

Terry and KLZ won the award for their successful editorial fight against a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that would have barred news photographers and broadcasters from one of the year’s most dramatic murder trials. In Denver Jack Graham was about to go on trial, charged with placing a time bomb aboard an airliner that blew up in midair, killing his mother and 43 other passengers and crewmen (TIME, Nov. 28). The court invoked longstanding Canon 35 of the American Bar Association code, which bans cameras from courtrooms. “I was home ill that day,” recalled Colorado Supreme Court Justice O. Otto Moore. “I happened to be listening to the radio and heard Hugh Terry come on the air objecting to the ban. It was a radio editorial, the first I had ever heard.” Im pressed, Justice Moore joined KLZ in the fight for a hearing before his fellow justices. As a result, Colorado’s Supreme Court was the first in the U.S. to sanction radio and television coverage of court trials.

Since he became boss of KLZ in 1941, Terry, a University of Missouri journalism graduate arid onetime advertising salesman, has let nothing stand in the way of his devotion to what he calls “electronic journalism.” Terry’s news staff, headed by Sheldon Peterson, gives KLZ listeners the most extensive coverage in the Rocky Mountain area. A KLZ news editor once led a search party into a mountain blizzard to rescue seven persons marooned in the Rockies. When President Eisen hower suffered his heart attack, KLZ supplied the early coverage for the entire CBS network. And KLZ’s mobile unit got to the wreckage of the time-bombed airliner, 32 miles from Denver, before many of the investigators, had pictures of the crash on the air within a few hours. Terry took a recorder on his Mediterranean vacation early this year, brought back four taped Sunday shows of recorded interviews called “KLZ Visits the Middle East.” From these interviews came warnings that war would come to the Middle East within the year.

Aside from its news coverage, KLZ has been honored often for general programming. Under Terry, the station has won four Variety “Show-management” and 14 Billboard awards, plus numerous other citations from universities and foundations. Last year, Terry’s alma mater hailed him for his “tireless devotion to the overall betterment of the broadcasting industry.”

But the honor he prizes most is a letter dated Aug. 24. 1954. the day after an interim report to the nation by the President: “Just a note to thank you and your staff for the extraordinary cooperation that you gave to my staff and me in the telecast from your studio last evening. It was a distinct pleasure to have the opportunity to meet you. Very sincerely, Dwight D. Eisenhower.”

* CBS radio news pioneer and author (News on the Air ), who died last year.

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