Celebrity Health

Former Head of PBS and NBC News Dies at 86 from Parkinson's and Throat Cancer

Grossman made PBS a controversial event and news network

Mr. Grossman was a former advertising executive before he moved on to PBS where he took the public broadcasting system from a seldom-watch programming concern to a significant news and event system. Although PBS was unwilling to spend money, it became the first broadcast network to bring programming to TVs across the nation via satellite.

Grossman revitalized the MacNeil/Lehrer news program by moving it to an hour, up from a half-hour. His topics were controversial at times, and his audience waited to learn more about Vietnam veterans, racism, drug abuse, life under apartheid, and human rights issues.

Grossman started the Frontline documentary series and the 13-part series “Vietnam: A Television History” in 1983. Grossman told the Christian Science Monitor in October 1983 shortly before NBC hired him, “I have never been more optimistic. PBS, despite reduced funding, is coming into a golden age of programming with probably its best season starting this month.”

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