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November 02, 2006

Producer Martin Hoade Passes

Pioneered Religious Programming

Martin Hoade, a renowned producer of religious television series, died on September 26 at the age of 90.

A pioneer of religious programming, Hoade began his career at NBC, where he his work included newsreels and political conventions. He moved into religious programming as producer and director of NBC’s Sunday morning program wheel—Frontiers of Faith, The Catholic Hour and The Eternal Light.

On November 23, 2002, in New York City, Hoade was interviewed by the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television. Over the course of more than three hours, he discussed his early career as well as the craft of producing religious programming and the issue of proselytizing on television in general.

“Was I interested in religious issues?” Hoade remarked at one point during his Archive interview. “No, I was just interested in the human condition. As far as religion illuminates or instructs the human condition. Since the vehicle is drama or commentary or conversations, I found that more interesting than the commercial work. As the dramas progressed, I asked if we could drop the visual identification, The Catholic Hour or The Frontiers of Faith or The Eternal Light, superimposed over the opening scene of a drama. I felt that if we could do that, what was to follow, the word was in the drama, not in that title, and so it was agreed that we would drop the titles over those dramas and only at the end of the program we said this program has been produced ‘in association with.’ So those titles were lost early on when we went into the dramas, because it seemed to diminish our access. And that was agreeable, they understood that. Because the faith groups were interested in getting out the word as they saw it contained in that script, which they approved.”

In Martin Hoade's Own Words

The interview, which was conducted by Michael Rosen, executive producer of the Archive of American Television, may be viewed at the Television Academy headquarters in North Hollywood, CA. Martin Hoade was also featured as an interviewee in author Jeff Kisseloff’s book The Box: An Oral History of Television 1920-61.

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