Julian Goodman, a former president of NBC who tussled often with the Nixon administration and signed Johnny Carson to a record-breaking contract to remain on The Tonight Show, died Monday in Florida. He was 90. The NY Times said he died of kidney failure. Goodman became NBC’s president in 1965 and with other network bosses worked to end the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to give equal time to opposing political opinions. He also was the network chief who advocated for David Brinkley and Chet Huntley to anchor the 1956 Democratic and Republican national conventions, a team that went on to anchor NBC’s newscasts for 14 years. Goodman also had to apologize to viewers after NBC cut away from a national broadcast of an NFL game so the network could air the movie Heidi as scheduled — the network cut away from a game the Oakland Raiders won in the final minutes, angering sports fans watching the contest. Goodman also produced the second televised Nixon-Kennedy debate in 1960, and he eventually was considered a political opponent of Nixon. (The LA Times says Goodman was proud to be on the president’s “enemies list”.)
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