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B&C Helped C-SPAN Make History

Both C-SPAN  and the National Press Club were celebrating Wednesday the 35th anniversary of the public affairs channel's first call-in show, which featured a panel of media journalists assembled by C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb following a speech by then FCC chairman Charlie Ferris at the National Press Club.

C-SPAN aired an excerpt from the 1980 broadcast on Washington Journal Wednesday, while a few blocks away, the National Press Club was marking the anniversary of what it billed as the "first national regularly scheduled call-in show" with the installation of a framed photo of that first talk show panel outside the studio, The panel included Broadcasting & Cable (then Broadcasting) magazine managing editor Don West and Lamb as well as Michael Kelley of George Mason University and board member of Corporation for Public Broadcasting; Pat Gushman, Washington bureau chief, CableVision magazine; West; Tack Nail, executive editor, Television Digest, and Lamb.

The first call was from a Yankton, S.D., man who wanted to know whether he could build a dish in the back yard and grab the programming off a satellite (this was before DBS).

Lamb was also invited to attend an NPC luncheon Wednesday and to the day's historic significance.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.