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The television operation as it now stands is operating less than 25 percent of its capacity, indications are that we should have its use at least tripled next year. Most of the Members have not had time to consider television. I think we will get into that a little later on, but we have not attempted to discuss it with Members of Congress to any extent as yet.
A typical example is that of Congressman Norblad who indicated he did not use television because he did not know of the facilities. Most of the Members, especially those who have been using radio and as a result of that have watched the growth of the motion-picture facilities have indicated they plan to use film next year.
The cost of the film operation is not much more than the radio but the difficulty is that where we charge a Member $4.40 for a 1-minute film spot the gross profit after the cost of that material is taken out is one-half of that. So that we have to have quite a few of these 1-minute spots to break even. As long as a large number of the Members are not familiar with the film operation its use will of course not be great.
I think that many who now use it will change to 5 minutes, and perhaps even 10 or 12 minutes, as more Members become familiar with it, just like Mr. Keating, who does a byweekly 15-minute program. That is a very good piece of business, and we realize more profits from that 15-minute period than the 1 minute films.
All major equipment has now been purchased, with the exception
Senator Bridges is using three prints in that way. Sneator Mundt uses this film in South Dakota.
But the point I want to make is that there is a net profit on each one of these inaugural prints to the Congress of something in the order of $60. We have reached the point now where we have not quite amortized the original cost. We do have sufficient inquiries which indicate we will break even on the original investment.
We have had requests from the State Department, which have been referred to the Joint Inaugural Committee, and from the Bureau of Education, to make prints available for schools, and use in foreign countries. Since this film was prepared originally for the use of the Members of Congress, until such time as they have had opportunity to make use of it, I do not think it wise to make it available even to the Office of Education or the State Department.
Another request has come in from Mr. Brownell for its use in the naturalization program. He would like to use the film to show the groups that appear before the Department on Americanization, because the film does portray, he feels, two political parties getting together, and living together, and an orderly transfer of control.
That is about all I have at the moment, unless there are questions which I would be glad to attempt to answer.
USE OF THE TELEVISION FACILITY
Mr. Busbey. I would like to ask you a question at this point, if I may, Mr. Coar.
Mr. COAR. Yes.
Mr. BUSBEY. Is it the fact that most of the use is made by Members of Congress representing rural communities, rather than large cities? For instance, I happen to live in Chicago, and my congressional district is wholly within the city limits of Chicago.
Now I have for some time been trying to figure out a way where not only myself but other Members of Congress who live in large cities can make use of these facilities to advantage. I certainly have nothing against those from rural districts using the facilities. I think that is fine.
Mr. Coar. I think I can answer the question very simply by saying that as a result of my discussions with the NARTB-the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters—the organization which represents a large number of radio and TV stations, indications are that member's 15-minute films cannot be used in metropolitan areas as readily as they can in the rural stations, primarily because most of the metropolitan stations are 100 percent booked up. They have to view it as a commercial operation.
But they are glad to get short statements, and will give to Members as much time as they can, and they will provide that time at no charge provided the program material is such that the average listener will not switch to another program nor is controversial. Particularly you have a situation such as that in Chicago, where you have a highly competitive market, and when you put on a program of a discussion type-the average rating is about 3.5.—which is very, very low, so that a listener would probably switch to another program.
In the city of Chicago, Senator Dirksen and Senator Douglas are both putting on programs on one of the major television stations of 6 minutes each.
Mr. BUSBEY. Is that in the form of a debate?
Senator Douglas, ordinarily, will have Mrs. Douglas on with him, and they will have a discussion on some subject such as the budget, or some other live topic.
Senator Dirksen has a distinctly different type of program. He has a direct personal style, and he can sit down in front of a camera, as if he were sitting in the viewer's living room talking directly to him.
Those two particular programs, I believe, have the highest rating of any public service program carried on in the city of Chicago. That is because the program is of a regional character, and with a discussion of matters of particular interest at the moment, to the people in the Chicago area.
The program is also going into a second television area, at the request of the station.
Another typical example under the spot heading is that used in Jacksonville and Miami, Fla., where they have used 2-minute films dealing with questions of vital interest to the people in those areas; one question being an amendment to the McCarran Act in the Miami area.
Mr. Busbey. Right, but you are talking now about Senators who cover the whole State, whereas Members of Congress represent only one district, which in some instances is quite small.
Mr. Coar. That is true.
Mr. COAR. That is true.
Mr. Coar. Yes. Los Angeles, Calif., has a 15-minute program, a
Mc Busbey. You would have to have at least one member of each party on the program, or they will complain of it being a political program,
Mr. Coar. Most of the programs are of a nonpolitical nature. We do not run into much criticism in that area.
I can cite, for instance, Mr. Keating in Rochester, who has had many Democratic and Republican guests on his TV programs. Mr. McCormack at one time, and Mr. Martin another. There are no politics involved in his program.
Mr. Busbey. I have participated in debates both on radio and television, where visitors were invited to some program, like the American Forum of the Air.
Mr. Coar. Of course, the Member has to use some initiative. The
So, they want to get a good program.
Most of the Members regard the film facility as a very valuable
day or more for that purpose. You can, at a very small expense, prepare a film for these groups on timely subjects of interest.
I can cite the instance of President Eisenhower, who was requested to speak in Detroit. It happened that he used closed circuit television in that particular case, and his message was delivered direct to the group in Detroit.
Mr. Chairman, it takes time to acquaint the Members of Congress with the various uses that can be made of this facility, not only the method of distribution of the film, but in the radio field, as well.
This has not been done. We are perfectly agreeable, to the best of our ability, to sit down with Members to try to work out a program for them
I can cite a typical example, that of Congressman Hruska, who wanted to work out a TV program, as a result of our discussions a TV program was worked out with two Members of Congress who participated in a program with him.
Mr. Bow. Cleveland is some 60 miles from Youngstown. Those are two cities close by that have television stations. I made inquiry of the stations at Cleveland and Youngstown, whether they would be interested in 1-minute news spots, if I sent them. They replied that they would like very much to have them, and said they would like to have the 1-minute spots as a part of their regular news program.
RATES FOR TELEVISION
Mr. Gary. What is your schedule of rates for television broadcasts?
Mr. Coar. This is the schedule of rates that was set up the first of the year by Mr. Snader and Mr. Trice. Based on the cost of material, so that the Congress would not be paying money out of pocket to the taxpayer, for a 60-second film, using one camera, $2.44.
Two minutes is $5.55; 3 minutes, $7.03; 4 minutes, $8.51; 5 minutes, $9.99; 6 minutes, $11.98; 7 minutes, $13.97; 8 minutes, $15.96; 9 minutes, $17.95; and 10 minutes, $19.95.
And to go on up to the maximum for a period of any segment--14 minutes, $27.93.
That includes the cost of the positive, the negative, and the cost of developing, and leaves us a profit of 50 percent of the billing price.
Now, if we use 2 cameras, where we have a panel discussion, and there are several members of the panel, we find it is better to make use of 2 cameras, the price would be double the rate, because it would involve double the cost of negative and development, and so on.
Mr. Horan. This is a joint facility and, as I understand it, is under the Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate. Do you have any comment you would like to make on any problems in connection with the facility, Mr. Snader?
Mr. SNADER. Mr. Chairman, I would only make the general comment, without going into details, and I made the statement at the opening of the hearings, that I wanted to do everything possible within the law and within the money appropriated to give the Members of Congress every service possible, and to make use of every possible facility.
I have that same view regarding the joint radio and recording
OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY BROADCASTS
Jr. Snader. However, I am not satisfied with the operation of
As you may all know, this facility has never been placed- actually authorized by legislation. The audit reports for the last several years have always recommended that that be done, and I feel that it should be done. However, legislation to cover this facility would, of course, come from the House Administration Committee and they have not as yet indicated their desire to go into it. I believe at one time legislation was pending, but due to some unhappy incidents, the legislation died without having been brought to the attention of the House or the Senate, either one.
That is my only comment on this operation. I trust that the next time that I appear before this committee I will be able to say that it is once again making money, rather than spending it.
I am charged, jointly with the Secretary of the Senate, with signing of checks in payment of vouchers for the operation of this facility, but that is about as far as my control goes. I believe as of this date that the radio portion of the facility is the only one that is making
At the time this operation was started, it was the claim, and testimony was given at the time, that it would be self-sustaining, and of course the audit as of January 3 showed that during the year prerious they had several amounts to be taken in to offset expenditures plus salaries. However, that is not the case today. If we were to take the salaries that are charged against this operation and consider them in our calculations, you would be showing a serious deficit as
of this moment.