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Interview with Ray Moore, April 23, 2013

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:22 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: I'm Bob Short, and this is Reflections on Georgia Politics, sponsored by the Richard B. Russell Library at the University of Georgia and Young Harris College.

Segment Synopsis: Interviewer Bob Short introduces interviewee Ray Moore.

00:01:01 - Early life, employment, and military service

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Partial Transcript: Let's see now, Ray: from North Carolina to Ohio, then overseas in the Army, to Columbia University, and finally, to Atlanta, Georgia.

Segment Synopsis: Moore recalls his youth in North Carolina and Ohio, telling how he worked for his father's newspaper before being drafted into the army.

Keywords: Asheville, North Carolina; Chiggers; Cleveland Indians; Cleveland Plain Dealer; College education; Devil boy; Editor; Elizabeth City, North Carolina; Fort Gordon, Georgia; Journalism; Journalist; Military draft; Newspaper; Reporter; Southerner; Tennessee Maneuver Area; U.S. Army; U.S. Marine; World War I; Yankee

00:05:52 - Broadcasting education at Columbia

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Partial Transcript: Then Columbia University.

Segment Synopsis: Moore recalls some of the courses and professors he studied with at Columbia.

Keywords: Atlanta, Georgia; Broadcast professionals; Bulova Watch Company; Bulova Watch Time; Caesar Serchinger; Gloria Crow; Gloria Lane; High society; NBC; Pat Kelly; Pauline Frederick; Rockefeller Plaza; Seasons Magazine; WSB

00:08:15 - Early broadcasting work

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Partial Transcript: Before we do that, let's talk about your first job.

Segment Synopsis: Moore describes finding his first job in Tennessee after initial discouragement, then pursuing an opportunity at WSB in Atlanta.

Keywords: Alcoholic; Audition; Bill Hale; Biltmore Hotel; Bob Watson; Broadcast Magazine; Bud Collier; Jerry Vandeventer; Johnson City, Tennessee; Mark Bartlett; New York City; Radio broadcasting; Station break; Station manager; The Platter Party; WOR Radio; WSB Radio

00:13:47 - Radio work v. journalism

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Partial Transcript: You came from a newspaper background; why did you choose radio?

Segment Synopsis: Moore explains that he preferred the theatrics of radio broadcasting to journalism and describes some of the programs on which he worked in Johnson City.

Keywords: AP; Associated Press; Country music; Edward R. Murrow; High School Jump Music; Hillbilly Hit Parade; J.M. Smucker; June Carter Cash; Little Theater; Music of the Masters; Orville, Ohio; Smuckers Preserves; Theatrical performance

00:17:16 - Live television commercials

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Partial Transcript: Now to WSB.

Segment Synopsis: Moore tells of breaking into television broadcasting by presenting commercials on live television, telling several anecdotes about gaffes he made on live TV.

00:21:32 - Breaking into newscasting

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Partial Transcript: Well, television newscasts in that day are not as long as they are today and really didn't go into all the depth that they do today.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses moving from commercials to weather and, eventually, newscasting.

Keywords: CBS News; Dave Galloway; Don McClellan; Doug Edwards; Glenn Burns; High pressure center; Local news; Low pressure center; Meteorology; Network news; Shell Oil; Teleprompter; Television studio; Weather forecast; Weatherman

00:29:00 - Past notable WSB employees

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Partial Transcript: Okay, you're in the news now, and then you become news director and you had to build a staff.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses some of the notable figures he hired while news director of WSB, including Tom Brokaw.

Keywords: Civil rights; Cox Media Group; Dave Riggs; Don Heald; Frank Gaither; Fred Briggs; George Page; Glottal stop; John Pruitt; Kennedy Jones; Los Angeles, California; NBC affiliate; NBC feeds; Nature (television series); Tom Brokaw; Tom Pettit; Vietnam War; White House news correspondent

00:34:44 - Coverage of the assassinations of JFK and MLK

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Partial Transcript: Well, as news director, I'm sure it was essential that you monitor, at least, politics and government.

Segment Synopsis: Moore recalls interviewing Dr. King following Kennedy's assassination, and subsequently covering Dr. King's assassination.

Keywords: Assassination; Capitol Homes housing project, Atlanta; Civil agitation; Civil rights; Crime; Dora McDonald; Dr. Martin Luther King; Ebenezer Baptist Church; Ed Clayton; FBI; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Ford Mustang; I Have a Dream speech; James Earl Ray; John F. Kennedy; Legislative stories; Lorene Manus; Orator; Race relations; SCLC; Southern Christian Leadership Conference; The Atlanta Voice; Trinity Methodist Church

00:43:23 - Documentaries on desegregation

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Partial Transcript: You did several documentaries during that period.

Segment Synopsis: Moore tells of producing news documentaries on the desegregation of Atlanta's public schools, comparing and contrasting with the desegregating of schools in New Orleans and Charlotte.

Keywords: Atlanta public schools; Bill Monroe; Brown v. Board of Education; Charlotte, North Carolina; Civil rights; Democrats; Desegregation; Film developing; Film processing; Georgia Institute of Technology; Georgia Tech; Herman Talmadge; John Chancellor; Meet the Press; New Orleans, Louisiana; Paul Shields; Richard B. Russell; Segregation; The Today Show; WAGA-TV; WDSU; William B. Hartsfield

00:49:06 - Racial unrest at UGA during desegregation

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Partial Transcript: We had Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes, two very good-looking, very bright, very hand-picked students...

Segment Synopsis: Moore describes covering the conflicts on UGA's campus following the enrollment of its first African-American students.

Keywords: Athens Police Department; Basketball; Bell and Howell; Civil agitation; Dick Goss; Ernest Vandiver; Fire truck; Georgia State Patrol; Horace Ward; John Furman; Law school; Myers Hall; Race riot; Tear gas; UGA; University of Georgia

00:55:39 - Integrating public schools under Vandiver

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute about him--he had run on a platform of no, absolutely no, school integration.

Segment Synopsis: Moore recalls the climate in the state following Governor Vandiver's decision to integrate public schools rather than close them.

Keywords: "No Not One"; Educational standards; Jimmy Carter; Joe Fain; Judge Samuel Sibley; Private schools; Sibley Commission

00:59:08 - End of the county unit system / Redistricting

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Partial Transcript: Let's go back--in the very beginning, I said that you covered the most historical political and economic period in Georgia history.

Segment Synopsis: Moore describes Georgia's transition from the Old South to the New South via the end of the county unit system and redistricting.

Keywords: Augusta, Georgia; County unit system; Eugene Talmadge; Fulton County, Georgia; Howard Baker; Oliver Healy; One Man, One Vote; Redistricting; Roy Harris; Segregationist; Stump speech; Supreme Court; Tennessee; The New South; U.S. Senate; Watergate hearings

01:05:11 - Atlanta's growth after civil rights struggles / Coverage of city's civil rights events

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Partial Transcript: At that time, Birmingham and Atlanta were sort of rivals, both about the same.

Segment Synopsis: Moore opines that Atlanta's willingness to desegregate, along with the foresight of Mayor Hartsfield to build an airport, helped distinguish Atlanta from Birmingham, once a comparably sized city.

Keywords: Atlanta student movement; Aviation; Birmingham, Alabama; CBS; Candler Field; Candler Park; Civil Rights Act; Commentaries; Editorials; Ivan Allen Jr.; Lonnie C. King; Race relations; The Magnolia Room

01:11:00 - Jimmy Carter's campaigns

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk for a minute about President Jimmy Carter.

Segment Synopsis: Moore suggests that Carter was much tougher as a politician than his soft public image indicated.

Keywords: Anchorman; Carl Sanders; Chief of staff; Christian mafia; Democratic nomination; Georgia legislature; Gubernatorial campaign; Jim Axel; Presidential campaign; Shenandoah

01:15:05 - Interviewing Bobby Jones and Bobby Kennedy

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Partial Transcript: You have interviewed a lot of famous people.

Segment Synopsis: Moore recalls his interviews with golfer Jones and politician Kennedy, also mentioning his reaction to the latter's assassination.

Keywords: Bobby Jones; British Open; Disability; Grand Slam; John F. Kennedy; Loading dock; Peachtree Street, Atlanta; Robert F. Kennedy; U.S. Open; University of Alabama; Washington, D.C.; White Columns

01:19:03 - Departure from WSB

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Partial Transcript: Somewhere in your career you decided to change stations.

Segment Synopsis: Moore describes how a dispute over an editorial led to his resignation from WSB and his start at TV-5.

Keywords: Atlanta Constitution; Channel 11 (Atlanta); FCC; Federal Communications Committee; Investigative reporter; Ken Goodnight; Miami mafia; Miami, Florida; Paul Jones; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Pornography; Resignation; TV-5; Television ratings; WAGA-TV

01:25:53 - Campaign to host the 1996 Olympics

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Partial Transcript: Well, lest we forget, let's talk about the Olympics.

Segment Synopsis: Moore discusses some of the presentations and strategies presented to the IOC in an attempt to lure the Olympics to Atlanta.

Keywords: 1996 Summer Olympics; Billy Cane; Boxing; Equestrienne; Fred Dyer; Greek goddesses; Helicopter; IOC; Interactive television; International Olympic Committee; John Crecine; Juan Antonio Samaranch; Marriott hotel; Maynard Jackson; Microsoft; Mike Sinclair; Mohammed Ali; Newnan, Georgia; Princess Margaret; Stone Mountain, Georgia; Tokyo, Japan

01:33:33 - Producing a documentary on Georgia religious practices

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Partial Transcript: One other thing I'd like to talk about, one of your documentaries entitled "The Search."

Segment Synopsis: Moore speaks about producing a documentary on various Georgia religious groups and practices, which aired to great success despite resistance from the station and advertisers.

Keywords: Christianity; Dale Smith; Dr. Ben Johnson; Episcopal; First Baptist Church; Ford Motor Company; Jazz mass; Jean Hendrix; Jim Golden; Lay witness mission; Mills Lane; Preacher; Primitive Baptists; Rhapsody; Snake handlers; Speaking in tongues; West Point, Georgia

01:39:58 - Job offers from NBC

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Partial Transcript: But before we leave, I want to ask you one other question: why did you not accept a position with NBC after being offered one or two?

Segment Synopsis: Moore explains why he turned down several job offers from NBC to stay in Atlanta.

Keywords: Chicago, Illinois; John Chancellor; Lake Michigan; NBC News; NBC affiliates; Reuben Frank

01:42:13 - Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: Well, thanks for being with us.

Segment Synopsis: Short and Moore conclude the interview.