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Steven H. Scheuer

  • Birthplace: New York City, New York
  • Birthday: January 09
Date of passing: 
May 31, 2014

Steven H. Scheuer was a journalist who changed coverage of television by introducing preview listings to alert viewers of the content of upcoming programs.

The New York City native graduated from Yale University and went on to study at the London School of Economics. In the early 1950s, during the era of live television, he worked at CBS as an assistant director on Theater OneThe Fred Waring Show and other programs.

Steven H. Scheuer was a journalist who changed coverage of television by introducing preview listings to alert viewers of the content of upcoming programs.

The New York City native graduated from Yale University and went on to study at the London School of Economics. In the early 1950s, during the era of live television, he worked at CBS as an assistant director on Theater OneThe Fred Waring Show and other programs.

At the time, television was covered in much the same manner as plays and books — reviews and commentary were published after a program aired. One night, Scheuer had something of an epiphany: the system was backward. In order for a TV show to be watched and appreciated, the public should be given a brief description before it aired.

The idea took hold, and in 1953 Scheuer left CBS to pursue making it a reality. Using his industry relationships and access to scripts, he eventually launched the syndicated column "TV Key," which was carried by hundreds of publications. Over time, television previews became a staple of entertainment journalism.

He later published a book of capsule reviews, TV Movie Almanac & Ratings. Eventually retitled Movies on TV,  updated editions were published for many years. With the advent of the VCR, it was given yet another title, Movies on TV and Videocassette. The last edition was published in 1993.

In addition to his work as as a journalist and author, Scheuer appeared on the air as producer and host of All About TV, a show broadcast on New York public television station WNYC. Later, in 2002, he produced Television in America: An Autobiography, an eight-part program that aired on CUNY-TV in New York. On the program, he interviewed such influential figures as Don Hewitt, Mike Wallace, Andy Rooney and Walter Cronkite.

Scheuer died May 31, 2014, in New York City. He was 88.

 

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