Banff 1996

  • Gerald Pratley


THE DOMINANT PERSONALITIES at the 17th Banff TV Festival this year were, not surprisingly, British and American: Melvyn Bragg of the South Bank Show and Steven Bochco, writer and producer; the credits of these two creative celebrities hardly need repeating here. The most impressive presence, in numbers and intelligence, was the delegation from Boston's WGBH, the station chosen by the Festival to receive its Outstanding Achievement Award. With President and General Manager, Henry Becton Jr.; Vice-President for National Programming, Peter McGhee; and Vice-President for Special Telecommunications Services, Brigid Sullivan; and their associates including Rebecca Eaton, producer of Mystery and Masterpiece Theatre, here was a group of broadcasters dedicated to the principles of Public Broadcasting and fighting determinedly to maintain their place on U.S. television screens despite the reduction in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. "When we say" remarked Henry Becton, "that if PBS doesn't show most...