- From: "Halcombe" <halcombe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 17 Feb 2006 21:01:28 -0800
An extract from 'The Case Against Congress' (1968) by Drew Pearson and
Jack Anderson (p163ff) shows how things were done in the good old days.
It's the most comprehensive treatment I've seen of the way Johnson
became a mini TV mogul. (The rest of the book details the profitable
antics of some of his contemporaries whose names have mercifully
receded into well-deserved oblivion. Amusing and instructive.)
Enjoy a master at work:
'KTBC wasn't anyone's favorite spot on the radio dial in 1939. The
Austin, Texas, station had a low-power transmitter suitable for its
low-quality programs. it was a loser, and the three businessmen who
owned it were running out of patience.
No one faulted the owners for the station's history of failure. One was
Robert B Anderson, who was later to demonstrate his knowledge of high
finance when he became President Eisenhower's Secretary of the
Treasury. He knew how to reap a fortune from his big investments, but
he couldn't put the little radio station in the black. There were too
many obstacles. KTBC was a sundowner; its broadcast day was limited by
the Federal Communications Commission to the daylight hours. Part of
its programming time was taken by Texas A&M University's campus
station, which shared the wavelength.
Anderson and his partners began trying to unload the station, but they
had no more luck in finding a buyer than in selling broadcast
advertising. They finally received an offer from JM West, publisher of
the Austin 'Tribune', who bid $50,000 - nearly twice the investment in
KTBC equipment. He was promptly given an option to buy, provided the
FCC would grant him a license.
West received a new option when the station went back on the air in
1950 after a temporary shutdown. The new price, reflecting KTBC's
distress, was down to $20,000, with West also promising to pay off
$12,000 in the station's debts. Unhappily, a new FCC policy withheld
broadcasting licenses from newspaper publishers. West and the station
owners waited for two years while KTBC slipped further into debt like a
dinosaur in a tar pit. They were still waiting when West died in 1942.
That was the year Lyndon Johnson went to war as a Navy lieutenant
commander, and came home again, unscathed, with a Silver Star pinned on
him by General Douglas MacArthur. Johnson had left his seat in the
House of Representatives to go to the Pacific, but returned dutifully
to Washington after President Roosevelt decided the best war work for
Congressmen was in Congress. WHile Johnson was still in the Pacific, he
was nominated for a fourth term in the House, and there was no
opposition. So he came home, after a brief military career, to a
promising political career. The sting of a 1,511-vote defeat in the
special 1941 election for the Senate was gone. He was the protégé of
both Franklin Roosevelt and Sam Rayburn, and his post on the Naval
Affairs Committee gave him an opportunity to make his voice heard on
Young Congressmen are usually as obscure as file clerks, but Johnson
already had power. He had the backing of the Texas oil crowd, who not
only provided the wherewithal for his own campaigns but also used him
to funnel campaign cash to other worthy Democrats. Still, his personal
bank account was modest, and politics is an uncertain profession. He
was insecure. "We never really faced up to what would happen if I was
defeated in politics," Johnson told friends. "My wife had a degree in
journalism from the University of Texas. She always thought she could
get a job on a newspaper if she had to. I had taught school a little
while but I wasn't competent to go back to that. When I thought about
it at all, I figured I could make a living as a salesman."
Then suddenly the Johnson had money to invest. Lady Bird collected an
inheritance that the Johnsons hoped would buy the security politics
could not give. "Daddy had made about three forays to me about paying
me off - that is, pay me my share of my mother's estate," Mrs Johnson
explained. "He had remarried, and I think he didn't like to have it
hanging over his head." They looked over investment opportunities, with
particular interest in newspapers. "I figured that my wife could be the
editor, and I could sell the advertising," LBJ said. But they could not
find a paper to suit them.
Johnson, regrouping after his defeat in the Senate race, had become
more parochial in his outlook. Although his Washington activities were
global in scope, his Texas horizons were limited for the moment to the
parched hill country of the 19th Congressional District. The only Texas
papers that were for sale were too far from his political base. Lyndon
and Lady Bird continued their shopping.
After the death of JM West, another Austin businessman indicated an
interest in buying KTBC. He was EG Kingsbury, who had the amiable,
ambling personality of the slow-drawling, fast-drawing Texans in the
only cowboy novels. He had approached West with an offer for the option
on the station shortly before the publisher died. After the funeral,
Kingsbury continued his negotiation with the executor of West's estate.
On the morning of December 23, 1942, Austin's postmaster, who owed his
appointment to Lyndon Johnson, telephoned Kingsbury and told him that
Johnson was eager to speak to him. There was little that Kingsbury
wouldn't do for his Congressman. After all, Johnson had appointed
Kingbury's son to the Naval Academy.
Kingsbury dropped by Johnson's Austin office that afternoon, and the
two men chatted amicably as they sipped eggnog that LBJ whipped up. It
was a pleasant, relaxed meeting. When the conversation got around to
KTBC, Johnson was firm about wanting to buy it for Lady Bird. Kingsbury
was not only agreeable, but he offered to help. He called to set up an
appointment for Johnson with the executor of West's estate.
Even before talking to Kingsbury, Johnson made certain that his
ownership of the station would not be a political liability. He wrote
to the owners of Austin's two daily newspapers and asked whether they
had any objections to his purchasing the station. They gave the
transaction their blessing.
During Christmas week the owners of KTBC agreed to sell their station
to Lady Bird. SOme sources say that Johnson himself took part in the
negotiations, dickering over the details at the West ranch on Christmas
Day. Others claim that all the details of the sale were handled by a
trusted Johnson friend, attorney Alvin J Wirtz. FCC records show that
the purchase price was $17,500 with an agreement that Mrs Johnson would
pay off the station's debts, which had risen to between $40,000 and
$50,000. The station's losses in 1942 alone were $7,321 after gross
revenues of $26,795.
Mrs Johnson made her formal application for a license to the FCC on
January 23, 1943, listing her net financial worth at $64,332.50 and
promising "full-time and energetic efforts to engage new accounts." The
application was approved in mid-February. What happened after the
acquisition has been investigated and exposed in two Presidential
campaigns. Reporters and politicians have sifted through FCC files in
vain for evidence of hanky-panky. Yet the growth of the Johnson
radio-TV empire stands as a a classic case of how a power in Congress
was enriched by the decisions of a regulatory agency that he, in turn,
helped to regulate.
Lady Bird began her operation literally with a new broom. She looked in
the corners and under the rugs and at the dirty window-panes in the
second-floor offices of KTBC. "I don't know much about radio, but I do
know about cleaning house," she said as she started one of her first
beautification projects. Jesse Kellam, who worked for Johnson while he
headed the Texas office of the National Youth Administration and
campaigned for him when LBJ turned to elective politics, came to the
station as its manager. Kellam marveled at Lady Bird's industry. "She
bought a pair of coveralls, a bunch of brooms and mops and some soap,
and for a solid week she worked in that little walk-up, two-room radio
station until it fairly sparkled," he said. "It was my job to go around
town and pay all the bills that had piled up in the name of KTBC. The
bankers were glad to see me coming."
When her cleaning was done, Mrs Johnson displayed other talents that
were to help revive the station. She was able to master an accountant's
balance sheet faster than most women can fathom a cookbook. She did not
need experts to tell her that radio stations made money by selling
advertising and that advertisers came to stations with the most
listeners. KTBC was not in a competitive position; Lady Bird set out to
make it so. "She worked eighteen hours a day for five months before we
brought the station into the black," Jesse Kellam remembered. By the
end of August, KTBC earned a profit - $18. Although she was already two
months pregnant with Lynda, Lady Bird kept trying to improve the
station's ratings. She applied to the FCC for unlimited broadcasting
hours - necessitating a wavelength change - and an upgrading of its
transmitter power from 250 to 1,000 watts. The previous owners had
found their relations with the FCC difficult, but for the wife of an
influential Congressman the regulatory body seemed most understanding.
Both requests were granted.
During the war years radio was gaining stature in a new dimension. It
was already established as a family entertainment medium, but now names
like Elmer Davis, Edward R Murrow, Morgan Beatty, HV Kalterborn and
Lowell Thomas, describing the latest moves of the Allied armies,
suddenly became as popular as Ma Perkins and Fred Allen. The big news,
like the big entertainment, came from the networks, and the big
advertisers flocked to the network affiliates. KTBC went searching for
affiliation. NBC at first agreed, then backed out with regrets after
its outlet in San Antonio objected. But CBS, seeing no harm in
improving its Congressional relations, gladly accepted KTBC as part of
its network. For KTBC, affiliation with any network meant more
advertising and more profits.
The ad revenue expanded like a Texan's boast. With the end of the war,
KTBC was able to hire eager young salesmen to fill its time schedules
with commercials. Among them were two Navy veterans who had campaigned
for Johnson in his 1941 bid for the Senate - John Connally, later to
become Governor of Texas, and James J (Jake) Pickle, who worked in
LBJ's Washington office while Johnson was away in the Navy, and
eventually was elected 10th District Representative himself. Walter
Jenkins, Johnson's administrative assistant in Washington, doubled as
the station treasurer.
The change in KTBC's fortunes was symbolized by changes in its
corporate structure. Its old corporation disappeared in 1945 and
ownership was vested in Lady Bird's name. Two years later there was
another change and the stock was transferred to a new corporation, the
Texas Broadcasting Company, expanding upon the station's call letters.
Johnson signed the transfer agreement as phrased by Lady Bird's
lawyers, "joined by her husband...as required," since Texas community
property laws gave him a half interest in Lady Bird's profits.
Booth Mooney, who worked in Johnson's Washington office before and
after he produced the biography 'The Lyndon Johnson Story', wrote that
Johnson grew "restless" while Lady Bird's station prospered. "He
wanted to make money, which he knew he would never be able to do in
politics," Mooney said. "Johnson felt that, with the inhibition of his
official position removed to give him a few hand at promoting the
station, he could help with its continued development. He was thinking
about a television station, too. He wanted to get in on the material
possibilities of the new world he had predicted was going to open up
once the war was finished."
The material as well as the political possibilities of the new world
did indeed quickly open up for him. After some hesitation, he ran for
the Senate again in 1948; this time he won the primary by 87 votes,
squeaked through the state Democratic convention, and was elected in
November. In the SEnate, he was appointed at his own request to the
Commerce Committee, which has authority over the FCC. His enormous
abilities were quickly recognized, and in 1951 he became the SEnate
Democratic Whip, a demanding job that made him a powerful national
Not long after his rise to eminence, his hope of acquiring a television
station became a reality. The FCC declared a freeze on new TV stations
between 1948 and 1952, while it studied the saturation pattern of
existing television coverage. On April 14, 1952, the ban was lifted and
Austin was assigned three TV channels. Only one was to be
very-high-frequency - VHF - the kind that could be picked up on most TV
sets. The VHF station would be Channel 7.
Anticipating the end of the ban, Lady Bird applied for a television
license a month in advance. Her application included a financial
statement showing the assets of KTBC at $488,116 with net profits in
1951 of $57,983. In those days, TV stations were not the gold mines
they have become today. Perhaps this was the reason that other Austin
applicants did not fight for the VHF channel. One of them, however,
later explained, "Lyndon was in a favorable position to get that
station even if somebody had contested it. Politics is politics."
In the middle of 1952 the FCC began processing the flood of
applications from across the country. On July 11 it announced approval
of several new licenses. Two were for ultrahigh-frequency stations in
Austin. Another was for KTBC-TV, Channel 7. It began broadcasting in
October with the network facilities of NBC, CBS and ABC, a market area
of 45,000 to 50,000 homes, and no competition. The UHF channel, lacking
both networks and audience, couldn't get going.
LBJ surged ahead in politics as well as broadcasting. In 1953, the
first year of the Eisenhower Administration, the Republicans had a
one-vote majority in the Senate, and the Democrats elected Johnson the
Minority Leader. He won a reputation - often to the dismay of liberals
- of being able to get along with the Eisenhower Administration better
than the Republican leadership could. The balance of power in the
Senate shifted two years later, and Johnson, at forty-six, became the
youngest Majority Leader in history. he was one of the most powerful
men in government.
Four weeks after the election turned control of the Senate over to the
Democrats, the FCC granted Lady Bird Johnson's Texas Broadcasting
Company permission to purchase KANG, a TV station in Waco, about 100
miles north of Austin. The price was $134,000, with $109,000 earmarked
to pay off the station's creditors.
Just like KTBC when the Johnson purchased it in 1943, KANG was a
station with seemingly impossible problems. It was a UHF station, and
few of Waco's citizens had TV sets equipped to receive UHF pictures,
nor did they have much reason to do so. A standard-wave station in
Temple, 30 miles away was beaming NBC's programs into Waco, and another
standard-wave station was planned for Temple.
Johnson had personal knowledge of Waco's TV picture. Ironically, his
office had received a letter from a group in Waco seeking a VHF
franchise. The letter was forwarded to the FCC with a printed "buck
slip," requesting a reply for the constituents. A second letter was
also referred to the FCC with a routine request that the commission
give "serious consideration to the problem, based on its merits." The
FCC heeded Johnson's suggestion and finally licensed the new station -
KWTX-TV - on the same day, it turned out, that Mrs Johnson received the
go-ahead to buy the older, impoverished KANG.
The promoters of KWTX-TV felt confident that they could make their
station pay. They had already been dickering with CBS and expected to
become the network affiliate. With their license in hand, the KWTX were
ready for serious negotiations with CBS, but learned to their chagrin
that CBS had decided to make KANG its link for Waco. ABC made the same
decision, even though it would have to share KANG's uncertain charms
with CBS. Not long afterward, in March 1955, the Johnson station in
Austin was given FCC permission to increase its power and beam programs
into part of the Waco market.
Realizing that their apparent gold mine was producing only gravel, the
KWTX-TV owners complained to the Justice Department's Antitrust
Division, as well as to the FCC, about the competition of the
Johnson-owned stations. Its lawyers were also instructed to prepare a
civil antitrust suit.
Suddenly, on May 15 1955, KWTX-TV's proprietors changed their minds,
explained to the FCC that they had learned "certain facts," and
withdrew their complaints. Simultaneously, ABC let it be known that it
was switching its allegiance from KANG to KWTX, effective in September.
The manoeuvering that led to these decision was as long and convoluted
as some of the compromises Johnson effected in the Senate. Wilfred
Naman, one of the KWTX owners and its attorney, said that Johnson
appeared personally in the settlement of the TV dispute. "I visited
with him both in his office at the Capitol and at his home in
Washington," Naman said. "I also recall once during these negotiations,
I had a conference with him down on his ranch. I believe that his
lawyer first suggested that I talk with Mr Johnson." The evidence is
that the conversations leading to the settlement were amicable, if
afflictive. Texas Broadcasting wanted the antitrust action dropped, and
it wanted a controlling interest in the KWTX corporation. This included
an established radio station besides the unestablished TV station. "One
of us was offering less, the other was asking more. Each of us was
sparring for position," Naman said.
The conversations between the rival TV operations were at an impasse
when Johnson had a heart attack in July 1955. Later that year the talks
were resumed, and an agreement was finally reached. On New Year's Eve,
Waco viewers could watch the mobs in Times Square only on KWTX-TV.
Besides "Auld Lang Syne," KWTX-TV picked up KANG's CBS affiliation and
physical assets. In return, Texas Broadcasting Company received 29
percent of the KWTX television and radio stock.
No new competitors have been licensed on the Waco scene, and the
enterprise has prospered. It has expanded its holdings to include 78.9
percent of a radio station in Victoria, 75 percent of a TV station in
Sherman and half of a TV station in Bryan. The Bryan station was
originally set aside by the FCC as an educational channel; it was
allowed to change to commercial programming, which both the CBS and ABC
networks happily provided.
"I know it looks bad in the circumstances," one of the KWTX
stockholders admitted. "But I'm sure that Mr Johnson had nothing to do
with it, at least I'm as sure as I can be. We were just lucky.
Actually, the Johnson people were against the Bryan station. They
thought it might threaten their station in Austin."
Lyndon Johnson, meanwhile, thrived on the therapy of the relaxed but
opulent life at his ranch. His heart recovered; he was back in
Washington when Congress met in January 1956. He resumed his duties as
Majority Leader, and if his pace slackened, it was not noticeable in
his performance. It was a presidential election year, and a busy one
The bustle at KTBC continued, too. Its corporate name was changed, in
keeping with the Johnson custom, to the LBJ Comapny. Thus branded, it
became the Austin supplier of Muzak and discovered another foundering
Texas TV station. Lady Bird put in her bid for the station, KRGV-TV in
Westlaco, a dusty southern Texas border village between the Gulf of
Mexico and the Rio Grande. KRGV-TV had started broadcasting in 1954,
but its income had not justified the investment of its owner, OL
Taylor. Nor had its prospects sufficiently intrigued businessman HL
Cockburn, who since 1953 had held an option to buy 25 percent of the
station for $100,000 but had never exercised his privilege.
When the LBJ Comapny made its intentions known, Cockburn suddenly
evidenced renewed interest and sought to block the sale with a
complaint to the FCC. His claim was disallowed, and Lady Bird purchased
50 percent of KRGV-TV for $5,000 plus a loan of $140,000 to the station
at 7 percent interest and another loan of $100,000 to a radio station
owned by Taylor.
The professionals from the LBJ Comapny quickly revamped the Westlaco
station. With FCC permission, its broadcasting power was also more than
tripled, and the station affiliated with both NBC and ABC. Advertising
increased, and Taylor merged his radio station with the television
company. In 1957, he sold his share of the venture outright to the LBJ
Company for $100,000. Taylor said this price did not reflect Mrs
Johnson's total investment, which - with loans forgiven, debts assumed
and a consulting fee - totaled nearly $600,000. Three years later the
Weslaco TV-radio operation was sold for $1.4 million.
The Federal Communications Commission was uncommonly generous to Lady
Bird's prospering interests in other ways. On two occasions it truned
down competitors' proposals that the Bryan station be moved closer to
Austin. This would have put LBJ-brand stations in competition with one
FCC rulings also helped the LBJ television station to fight off the
only serious challenge ever made against its monopoly status. In the
early 1950s Community Antenna (CATV) operations began to bring network
programs to small isolated towns across the nation. CATV outlets built
high antennas to trap television signals from distant cities, then
piped them into homes for a subscription fee, much like Muzak. CATV
quickly outgrew the original purpose of bringing television to areas
without their own facilities, and began invading the sacrosanct
territories of TV broadcasters.
Early stirrings were heard in Austin, where the city council began
receiving requests in 1957 for a CATV franchise to bring competing
broadcasts into KTBC's exclusive area. One of the applicants was KTBC
itself, which thereby sought to join a trend that might be too big to
fight. Another was Midwest Video Company, a Little Rock, Arkansas,
corporation that had already organized CATV outlets in New Mexico,
Mississippi and elsewhere in Texas. One of the Midwest Video
stockholders was none other than Arkansas's fiercely stern Senator John
McClellan, who had built a reputation in Washington as a racket buster.
Two other stockholders were his son and son-in-law, who were also law
partners of the late C Hamilton Moses, the president of Midwest Video.
There were conferences between the competitors, and both applications
were withdrawn, to be replaced by a combined offer by a new
corporation, Capital Cable. If this had the earmarks of a Lyndon
Johnson compromise, there was no record of a summit meeting between the
two Senators. Midwest Video's late president, Ham Moses, said only that
the merger was initiated "by the mayor and some prominent citizens."
The mayor was the late Tom Miller, and ally and friend of Johnson's.
The deal was complicated. Midwest Video agreed to pay the costs of
bringing Austin into the world of CATV, also to pay KTBC $1,000 a month
rental for use of its broadcasting antenna atop Mt Barker to intercept
the four stations in San Antonio. Wihtout raising any funds whatsoever,
KTBC was granted an option to buy 50 percent of Capital Cable within
three years of the date it began its transmissions. KTBC was in no rush
to have the programs from San Antonio cutting into its market, so the
bid for the Austin CATV franchise languished. By 1962, however, other
bidders had come on the scene, and voters began pressuring the city
council for the broader range of programs offered by CATV. The decision
wqas finally announced on January 28 1963, amid the hoots and jeers of
the losers. To no one's great surprise, Capital Cable was the council's
The anger of the losers continued to swell until the mayor, at the next
city council meeting on February 9, told them that it was not the
city's intent to increase the power of a monopoly. To prove his
sincerity, he said a second CATV had been awarded to an outfit known as
TV Channel of Austin. This would make Austin the first city in America
to authorize CATV competition.
Bothoperations filed applications with the FCC to use microwave
transmissions from their interceptor antennas to their distribution
points, the most practical manner of feeding the captured TV signals to
the city. A stumbling block for both CATV firms was a notice published
by the FCC the previous December. It was planning a rule to compel CATV
firms to black out programs that local stations intended to use in the
future. In a broadcasting situation such as KTBC enjoyed, there is not
time enough to show all the fare offered by the three affiliated
networks. Many programs are taped for delayed broadcast. To protect the
local broadcaster, the FCC wanted CATV stations to hold up the relayed
programs for up to 15 days.
TV Channel of Austin agreed in its application to comply with the FCC's
request. Capital Cable refused, causing an agonizing review inside the
FCC. Both applications gathered dust while the FCC screwed up its
courage. The verdict was finally handed down in July 1963, against
Capital Cable and the LBJ interests. Capital immediately spent an extra
$100,000 and brought its programs into Austin by wire - and strategy
that put it, for the moment, beyond the clutches of the FCC. Unlike its
competition, Capital was not using the airwaves, so it was immune from
the blackout. It was able to relay network programs into Austin at the
same time they were being shown in San Antonio and Waco.
TV Channel, though it had a two-month head start in signing up
subscribers, realized it was selling second-class merchandise. It
appealed to the FCC for relief from the blackout. This brought a
warning from Capital Cable's parent, Midwest Video, that it would be
compelled "to enlist the aid of our delegation in Congress, if TV
Channel received a favorable ruling." The FCC needed no reminding of
Capital Cable's political connections, certainly not after the
consolidation of the Johnson-McClellan interests. The commission turned
down TV Channel, whose position continued to worsen. Perhaps unfairly,
and certainly unwisely, its newspaper ads contained thinly veiled
attacks on Johnson. Despite the ads, TV Channel went out of business in
1965. During these encounters, the Johnson interests held no actual
stock in Capital Cable, which was run by the Little Rock crowd.
Not until the following year did KTBC exercise its option, gaining half
of the surviving Capital Cable. Although the company's books showed a
loss of $881,824 for its operations in Austin, most of which came from
equipment purchases, the business was valued at $3.5 million as of
August 1966. With TV Channel out of the way, Capital Cable was bringing
in $766,260 a year and continuing to gain new subscribers.
Meanwhile, the LBJ broadcasting empire had to face competition in
February 1965 from still another source in Austin. One of the allocated
UHF stations, KHFI-TV, began broadcasting on the ultrahigh band. A year
after KHFI-TV went on the air, the American Broadcasting Company agreed
to switch its affiliation to the new station, then flip-flopped the
next day. "It was all highly questionable," said Dan Love, the manager
of KHFI. "They were unable to give me details when I asked why. They
only said some problems had arisen." KHFI did wangle the right to show
programs from the three networks that KTBC wasn't interested in
screening. It was still left in an impossible marketing position,
however, by Capital Calbe's piped-in programs from other cities. KHFI
asked the FCC to compel the CATV firm to black out programs it intended
to use. The station charged it was "being whipsawed in a crudely
transparent attempt to undercut any degree of effective competition in
the Austin television market...We've tried to be gentlemen for the last
two and a half years, but it's been a study in frustration," said Love
in mid-1967. "Being a decent, honest competitor doesn't do the job
when you're dealing with the LBJ people."
The LBJ people have pushed up the market value of the Johnson broadcast
holdings from $17,500 in 1943 to an estimated $10 million today. This
growth process has been nourished by the frequent consent of the FCC,
an agency beholden to Congress and subject to the Senate Commerce
Committee. There is no evidence that Johnson, while he was a power on
Capitol Hill and a member of the Commerce Committee, ever applied the
slightest pressure on the FCC to benefit his family holdings. There is
not a single recorded instance when KTBC invoked Johnson's name to get
special consideration. Once it asked the FCC to expedite a move of its
radio transmitter site because its lease was about to expire, but the
FCC refused to consider the KTBC application out of turn. The LBJ
interests, clearly, benefitted from a fantastic growth in the radio-TV
industry. They got into TV in its infancy and rode the crest of the
wave. They also had smart lawyers who knew their way around the FCC.
Said a top FCC official, "I've never once had anybody pressure me in
behalf of Lyndon Johnson. The pressure there is an obvious one, though.
It simply stems from the position occupied, particularly when you have
a company name the LBJ Company." No one is more aware than Johnson that
political pressure can be exerted more safely, but just as surely, by
being exerted subtly.
As President, Johnson now has the power to reject or reappoint the FCC
commissioners. He has followed the precedent of past Presidents of
putting the family holdings into trusteeship. The First Family, in
theory at least, is completely divorced from dealings with their
broadcasting interests. When special telephone lines were installed,
linking the White House and the LBJ ranch with the ranch of the trustee
for the Johnson broadcasting empire - AW Moursand - the Secret Service
took responsibility for ordering the direct lines because of the
President's frequent visits to the Moursand ranch.
And apparently somebody in the White House still had enough influence
with the LBJ Comapny to arrange a job at KTBC for a young man named
Patrick Nugent after he married the President's daughter.'