Monday, July 30, 2007

Tom Snyder: Progenitor of Cable and YouTube

A note to mark the passing of Tom Snyder into the realm of the ultimate rerun. He died on July 29, at age 71.

Synder was of course best known for his work on NBC's Tomorrow show, from 1973-1982. Synder was brilliantly spoofed by Dan Akroyd on Saturday Night Live, did lots of work on radio, and even showed for a while on local TV news here in New York.

He was easy to laugh at, but, in his own way, was probably more important than Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley, and any of those classic network news guys. This was because Snyder showed, on The Tomorrow Show, that there was a powerful appetite for new news and cutting edge interviews in the middle of the night - or after Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.

If that sounds familiar, or commonplace now, that's because you see it every night on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC - not to mention ABC's Nightline. All of that and more are the progeny of what Tom Snyder brought into being.

Indeed, by stretching the notion of the possible in television news and interviews, Synder not only set up our world for cable, but for YouTube, Obama Girl videos and all that makes our current news world so vibrant.

God speed, Tom. My wife and I saw you on the first Tomorrow show in 1973, and we'll all be poorer for your leaving.

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