Person to Person developed out of Edward R. Murrow's belief that human beings are innately curious. That curiosity was intense regarding the private lives of public people, or visiting the extraordinary in the most ordinary environment--the home. For his television program, then, Murrow, sitting comfortably in the studio, informally greeted two guests a week, in fifteen minute interviews in their homes, talking about the everyday activities of their lives. The interviews avoided politics, detailed discussion of current events, and a line of questioning that delved deeper into one or two issues. The more general the question, and frequent the change of topic, the more satisfying the process of revealing different facts of the private figure. On Person to Person, people conversed with Murrow, and, starting in the Fall of 1959, with Charles Collingwood, as host. Almost every year, for nine years, informal chats positioned the show in the top ten network programs. But the series increasingly became the battleground, inside and outside CBS, over the function of television news, the ethics of peering into private lives for profit, Murrow's journalistic integrity, and the organizational control of the network's image.
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