In the 1970s, terrorist violence is the stuff of networks' nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS Television Network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way. We then see how this affects the fortunes of Beale, his coworkers (Max Schumacher and Diana Christensen), and the network. Written by
Bruce Janson <email@example.com>
Just after Beale announces his intention to commit suicide on the air, we see a row of TV screens showing how the story is being covered by the other channels. Playing a news anchor, John Gabriel claims that "something happened at one of our sister networks..." It should have been referred to as a "competitive" network - a "sister" implies the same corporate ownership, something prohibited by the FCC in 1976. See more »
This story is about Howard Beale, who was the news anchorman on UBS TV. In his time, Howard Beale had been a mandarin of television, the grand old man of news, with a HUT rating of 16 and a 28 audience share. In 1969, however, his fortunes began to decline. He fell to a 22 share. The following year, his wife died, and he was left a childless widower with an 8 rating and a 12 share. He became morose and isolated, began to drink heavily, and on September 22, 1975, he was fired, ...
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"Network" is the satirical movie written by Paddy Chayefsky, and directed by Sidney Lumet. The main character, Howard Beele, was a respected news anchor who hit a slump. When he's fired from his desk, he finally snaps. His ravings reveal the truth, and he is soon dubbed "The Mad Prophet of the Airwaves." Today, in the age of trash TV, "Network" still has significance. There are several aspects of the story that ring true today with TV news: the sacrifice of journalistic integrity in the scramble for ratings, and media bias fueled by sweetheart deals by rich special interests. Knowing that this exists in the world is enough to make anyone mad as hell.
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