logo

Video encyclopedia

09/05/1961 'When TV is bad, nothing is worse.' JFK's TV watchdog gives famous speech

4:14

Newton Minow on his 1961 "Vast Wasteland" speech to TV broadcasters - EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG

7:55

‘Vast wasteland:’ Former FCC Chair Newt Minow shares memories of television, presidential debates

27:35

The Open Mind: The ‘Vast Wasteland’... A Half Century Later

In the speech, Minow referred to American commercial television programming as a "vast wasteland" and advocated for programming in the public interest. In hindsight, the speech marked the end of a Golden Age of Television that had run through the 1950s, contrasting the highbrow programs of that decade with what had appeared on American television.