One man's view of America's TV history


It may be presumptuous of Lawrence H. Rogers II to title his book "History of U.S. Television," but he certainly was present to personally report on a good bit of that history. His personal account includes many of the details behind the FCC "freeze" on any new TV license grants in 1948 until the implementation of the Sixth Order & Report, which transformed TV transmission standards in 1953. That may not have begun a wild west-type shootout between the established TV powers and the new licensees, but it was certainly not the clearly regulated environment that we have today. Rogers, having previously been an artillery captain in Patton’s Third Army, was on the front lines of the battle, openly challenging the TV industry titans to sign on the first station in West Virginia, despite the refusal of some established stations to obey FCC orders to change channel assignments.

After heading WSAZ-TV Huntington, WV from its sign-on until 1956, Rogers became President and COO of Taft Broadcasting, taking it from being a troubled family-owned company to the largest single group operator – along the way moving most of its stations from CBS to ABC, which played a role in the firing of a CBS president. Following his Taft days, Rogers was later President and CEO of Omega Communications, which owned WOFL-TV Orlando, FL. (He’s writing a book about that Florida media battle as well.)

"History of U.S. Television: A Personal Reminiscence" is self-published by Rogers via AuthorHouse. It is available on in both print and electronic form.