Newswire: R.I.P. Joe Franklin, talk show pioneer

Television pioneer Joe Franklin, credited as the creator of the modern TV talk-show format, died on Saturday, January 24, in his longtime home of New York City. He was 88.

A New York institution, Franklin began his permanently local broadcast career as a teenager during the golden age of radio, writing skits for The Kate Smith Hour. He soon jumped from radio to television, landing his own talk show on WJZ-TV (later WABC-TV) in 1950. In 1962, he moved to WOR-TV (later WWOR-TV), where he stayed for more than three decades. He was listed in the Guinness Book Of World Records for having the longest continuous television talk show in history.

Franklin was a nondescript character who was happy to have all of his many guests take center stage. He hosted performers like Woody Allen, Julia Roberts, Bruce Springsteen, Robin Williams, and Richard Pryor in their earliest TV appearances. The …

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