It's News to Me

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It's News to Me
John Daly It's News to Me 1952.JPG
John Daly as the host, 1952.
Genre Panel game
Created by Mark Goodson
Bill Todman
Directed by Jerome Schnurr
Presented by John Charles Daly (1951-1953)
Walter Cronkite (1954)
Voices of Art Hannes (announcer)
Bill Hamilton (announcer)
Bob Sherry (announcer)
Bob Dixon (announcer)
Country of origin USA
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
Executive producer(s) Mark Goodson
Bill Todman
Location(s) Mansfield Theatre; New York City, NY
Camera setup Multi-Camera
Running time 30 min.
Production company(s) Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions
CBS Television
Distributor CBS Television
Original network CBS
Picture format Monochrome
Audio format Mono
Original release May 11, 1951 – August 27, 1954
Preceded by Who's Whose (One Broadcast, 1951)

It's News to Me was a weekly panel game show produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman for CBS Television. It was a derivative of Goodson-Todman's own panel show What's My Line?. Originally aired as a one-time special on May 11, 1951; It debuted as a series July 2, 1951 and ran until September 12, 1953. The show returned July 9 – August 27, 1954 as a summer replacement for Person to Person.[1]

Host and panelists[edit]

The original series was hosted by veteran radio and television newsman John Charles Daly, concurrent with his regular hosting duties on What's My Line. CBS newsman Walter Cronkite would eventually host the 1954 version.

Among the celebrities who would appear as panelists were actresses Anna Lee and Nina Foch, journalist Quincy Howe, TV hostess Robin Chandler, radio host and storyteller John Henry Faulk, New York Yankees play-by-play announcer Mel Allen, and writer Quentin Reynolds.

Game play[edit]

Each typical episode contained two contestant rounds, followed by a newsmaker round, and occasionally followed by an additional contestant round.

Contestant round[edit]

Each round was a bluffing game where contestants attempted to determine if an answer that was given by one of the panelists was true or false.

The contestant was staked to $25 at the beginning of the game. The contestant and panelists were then shown an item or items including props, drawings, photographs, or motion picture/newsreel footage. Sometimes a dramatic performance (example: Goodson-Todman staffer Frank Wayne appears giving part of a speech) was presented. A panelist chosen by the emcee would then supply a story that would tie the item to a news event, past or present. The contestant would then decide if the panelist's story was true or false. The contestant earned $5 for a correct decision and $5 was deducted for an incorrect decision. Play continued until all four panelists had played and the contestant kept whatever money that was earned at the end.

Newsmaker round[edit]

In this round, eyewitnesses or participants involved with news events in the past or present would play a game similar to "I've Got a Secret". The panelists would question the newsmaker to determine the identity of the news event. If the panel failed to identify the event, the newsmaker would receive $100.


When It's News to Me began its run, it was sponsored by General Foods.[2] It was later sponsored by Alcoa, and the 1954 edition by Amoco.

Episode status[edit]

Like other live broadcast series of the time, It's News to Me was recorded via kinescope onto film and the status of most of the episodes is unknown. As of summer 2009, only two John Daly-hosted episodes have aired on GSN as part of its black and white programming blocks, and a portion of a Walter Cronkite-hosted episode exists as part of a 1992 birthday tribute tape for producer Mark Goodson.[3]

On September 15, 2017, BUZZR aired an episode as part of their "Lost and Found" series.


  1. ^ David Schwartz, Steve Ryan & Fred Wostbrock, The Encyclopedia of TV Game $hows, Checkmark Books, 1999, pp. 106-107
  2. ^ "Radio-TV Notes". New York Times. 1951-06-29. p. 27. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  3. ^ Mark Goodson Birthday-1992, The Television Production Music Museum