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Frank Magid, TV 'news doctor,' dead at 78

Frank Magid, the television "news doctor" whose survey research and advice to local television stations in the 1970s resulted in co-anchors who chatted between stories, fast-paced graphics, sports tickers and live shots, and a heavy reliance on both crime coverage and feel-good segments, died of lymphoma Feb. 5 in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 78.

"Action News," as Magid dubbed his format, revolutionized broadcast news operations. At a time when most local TV news shows featured a single anchorman reading the news from a sheet of paper in front of a static background, "Action News" demonstrated both the untapped possibilities of the medium and the opportunity to devolve into "happy talk" between serious segments.

Magid's research recommended CBS News feature Walter Cronkite as the solo anchorman on its evening news program. Magid also helped develop ABC's "Good Morning America," which in 1975 defined the modern morning show format.

- The Washington Post

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