ABC “News Around the World”, American Information Radio Network, Saturday, August 10, 1974, 6:00 A.M. EDT (14:18)
Richard Milhaus Nixon’s letter of resignation from the Presidency of The United States was tendered to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Friday, August 9, 1974, at 11:35 A.M. Nixon had announced his intention to resign the night before on live TV from the Oval Office.
At 12:03 P.M., twenty-eight minutes into his only term as President, Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. took the oath of office, administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, who was flown back from a trip to the Netherlands for the occasion. President Ford then addressed the country, “. . . My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over . . .”
(As a sidelight, the May 20, 2015 series finale of the Late Show with David Letterman was introduced by archival footage of Ford’s speech and cameos of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all saying, “Our long national nightmare is over”.)
Just as now, every special interest wanted a hand in choosing Ford’s Vice President. Best friends who’d become mortal enemies through the crisis were bosom buddies once again.
Because of the previous day’s big news, I stayed around for an hour after my KAYO air shift and dubbed this newscast live (3:00 A. M. Pacific) from the network line onto reel-to-reel tape at 7.5 ips.
In those days, ABC Radio News had four separate networks and was open from 5:59:30 A.M. until 11:59:30 P. M. Eastern Time. KOMO was Seattle’s American Information Radio Network affiliate. KAYO, where I worked at the time, was affiliated with The American Entertainment Radio Network. The two other networks were American FM (KETO-FM) and American Contemporary (KQIN). The four shared the same equalized phone line and we could listen at any time by putting the net pot in “cue”. When there was no programming, the line was filled with tinny orchestral piano music, obviously not run through the equalizer. The line would go dead thirty seconds before a broadcast began and they would send a one-second 500kc cue tone ten seconds before “on air”. It was a courtesy to let your relief know how far off the control room clock was so he could hit the net. When I first went to work at KAYO the notoriously inaccurate studio clock was leased from Western Union and automatically set itself every hour on the hour. It might jump ahead 10 or 15 seconds.
Information Radio ran hourly news from 00:00-05:00, except 00:00-14:30 for shows such as “News Around the World” or “Paul Harvey”; FM Radio ran hourly news from 15:00-18:00; Entertainment Radio ran hourly news from 30:00-35:00 except no feed at 05:30 when Information Radio fed “Paul Harvey”; Contemporary Radio ran hourly news from 54:30-59:30. On Sunday afternoons, Entertainment Radio Sports ran from 45:00-48:00. The rest of the hour might be closed circuit calls for affiliates, transcribed programs on the various networks, bulletins etc. . . and that tinny orchestral piano music.
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