NBC History Trivia Questions

Throwback Thursday: CBC History

The more we delve into the history of NBC, the more we discover how innovative the network has been in technology, programming, sports and news. It appears that NBC and WRAL have similar DNA.  See how much you know about our new network partner.

  1. “Meet the Press” premiered on November 6, 1947. It is the longest running program in television history. Name the creator and first host of “Meet the Press.”

a) Lawrence Spivak
b) Chet Huntley
c) Martha Rountree
d) Barbara Walters

2. The “Today” Show debuted on January 14, 1952. Name the first host.

a) Hugh Downs
b) Steve Allen
c) Barbara Walters
d) Dave Garroway

3. What kind of animal frequented the set of the “Today” show during the early years?

a) Kangaroo
b) Chimpanzee
c) German Shepherd
d) Peacock

4. The “Tonight” show premiered in 1954. Name the first host.

a) Ernie Kovaks
b) Steve Allen
c) Jack Paar
d) Milton Berle

5. The first live telecast of the Olympic Games came in 1964. Name the host city.

a) Tokyo, Japan
b) Sapporo, Japan
c) Montreal, Canada
d) Rome, Italy


1. c) Martha Rountree

Meet the Press

Meet the Press, logo from 1947

“Meet the Press” was created by Martha Rountree who also served as its first host, and the program’s only female moderator to date. The first guest was James Farley, who served as Postmaster General, Democratic National Committee chairman and campaign manager to Franklin Delano Roosevelt under the first two terms of the New Deal Administration.

Although some sources credit Lawrence Spivak with the program’s creation, Rountree developed the idea on her own, and Spivak joined as co-producer and business partner in the enterprise after the show had already debuted.

2. d) Dave Garroway

Dave Garroway

Dave Garroway on the set of Today.

Garroway was the first host of “Today” and was one of the early broadcasters who brought a conversational style to television. On occasion he would open the “Today” show by saying, “…and how are you about the world today? Let’s see what kind of shape it’s in; there is a glimmer of hope.” Garroway was host of “Today” from 1952-1961.

3. b) Fred Muggs, the Chimpanzee with Dave Garroway

Dave Garroway with J. Fred Muggs

Dave Garroway with J. Fred Muggs

4. b) Steve Allen

Steve Allen

Steve Allen

Steve Allen was incredibly gifted with quick wit. He was also an accomplished musician and composer. In June, 1953 he created a local late-night New York talk-variety program on WNBT-TV, now WNBC-TV. The following year, on September 27, 1954, the show went on the full NBC network as The Tonight Show.  Allen told his nationwide audience that first evening: “This is Tonight, and I can’t think of too much to tell you about it except I want to give you the bad news first: this program is going to go on forever… you think you’re tired now. Wait until you see one o’clock roll around!” Back-in-the-day, The Tonight Show aired from 11:30pm – 1:00AM.

5. a) Tokyo

Olympic/NBC logo for 1964

Olympic/NBC logo for 1964

NBC televised its first Olympic Games in 1964 from Tokyo, Japan. NBC’s telecast of the opening ceremonies marked the first color broadcast televised live via satellite back to the United States.

The Olympic competition itself was broadcast in black-and-white. Through its use of the Syncom 3 satellite, daily highlights packages could be seen a few hours after the events took place; otherwise, film canisters were flown across the Pacific Ocean and were broadcast to American viewers the following day.

Thanks to Corp’s Pam Allen for this capcom story. Pam Parris Allen is a former WRAL newscast producer/director who now works as a researcher and producer on the CBC History Project.

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