James Day (journalist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
James Day
Born(1918-12-22)22 December 1918
Died24 April 2008(2008-04-24) (aged 89)
EducationSacramento City College
UC Berkeley
Notable credit(s)Kaleidoscope
Day at Night
SpouseBeverley Hare (1943–1999)
PartnerJeanne Alexander

James Day (December 22, 1918 – April 24, 2008) was an American public television station and network executive and on-air interviewer, and professor of television broadcasting at Brooklyn College. Day was a co-founder, and the founding president and general manager, of pioneer San Francisco public television station KQED, and in 1969 became the final president of National Educational Television (NET) before it closed operations in 1970, making way for its successor, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Day then became general manager of NET's now-former flagship, New York PBS member station WNET. Day was an original PBS board member, and was also a founding board member of the Children's Television Workshop, creators and producers of Sesame Street, which quickly became a "flagship" children's program for public television.

Day was born in Alameda, California and died in New York City.[1][2]

One of Day's innovations at KQED was the local news program Newsroom, developed in response to a strike in early 1968 by San Francisco newspaper workers; Newsroom launched the careers of several broadcast journalists, and as the first nightly news program on a public television station, was considered a primary influence and forerunner to what is now PBS NewsHour. (The program still airs, in slightly different form, on KQED to this day under the name KQED Newsroom.)[3]

Day was also considered one of the originators of long-form, one-on-one interviews with various celebrities and public figures. He hosted two programs: Kaleidoscope while at KQED, and Day at Night, which he independently produced and syndicated after his 1973 resignation from WNET. Among the numerous figures interviewed by Day were Eleanor Roosevelt, Aldous Huxley, Irving Howe, Eric Hoffer in 1963,[4][5] philosopher and author Ayn Rand in 1974 [6] and Noam Chomsky.


  • Day, James (1995). The Vanishing Vision: The Inside Story of Public Television. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-08659-7.


  1. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (2008-05-01). "James Day, Public Television Host, Dies at 89". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  2. ^ Berton, Justin (April 30, 2008). "James Day - co-founder of KQED TV - dies". www.sfgate.com. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  3. ^ Wiegand, David (July 11, 2013). "'KQED Newsroom' with Thuy Vu replacing 'This Week'". www.sfgate.com. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  4. ^ Day, James (1995). The Vanishing Vision: The Inside Story of Public Television. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 50-51. ISBN 0--5200-8659-7.
  5. ^ "Register of the Eric Hoffer papers". Online Archive of California. California Digital Library / Hoover Institution. Retrieved December 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Video on YouTube