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H. Mitsy Wilson

Entertainment executive H. Mitsy Wilson was born on December 13, 1950 in Georgetown, Guyana. She grew up in New York, where she spent her formative years. Wilson graduated from the College of Mount Saint Vincent with her B.A. degree in sociology and social work.

In 1972, Wilson worked as a commercial coordinator for the New York broadcast station WPIX-TV. In 1973, she was hired as a social worker for the Seamen’s Society for Children and Families. Wilson went on to work for the New York Board of Education as director of counseling and special projects. In 1981, she was hired at New York Airlines, where she worked as both manager of training and consumer relations and manager of consumer affairs and baggage services until 1986. Continental Airlines acquired New York Airlines in 1986 and Wilson was promoted to director of consumer affairs and training.

In 1988, Wilson was hired as manager of management training and diversity at Times-Mirror Cable Television. She was promoted to director of leadership development and diversity at Times-Mirror Company in 1995; and, in 1999, she was named corporate vice president of leadership and organizational development. Then, in 2000, Fox Entertainment Group hired Wilson as senior vice president of diversity development, where she was responsible for development, execution and evaluation of all diversity initiatives. The appointment made her the highest-ranking African American female executive at the company. In 2005, she assumed responsibility for all diversity efforts for News Corporation. In 2011, Wilson became a founding partner of ForAfrica, an international consultancy firm specializing in leadership development solutions.

Wilson has received numerous awards, including the New York Governor’s Award in 1980, the Minorities in Broadcasting’s Phoenix Award in 2003, the 2006 NAACP President’s Award, and the 2010 Corporate Executive of the Year Award from the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. She is the Chairperson of Workplace Hollywood, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing, training and placing a diverse workforce in entertainment, and is a former member of the UCLA Medical Affairs Board, Nielsen Media Research African American Advisory Council, and Howard University School of Communications Board.

Wilson lives with her husband, Greg James, and has two daughters, Meisha and Alia; a stepdaughter, Shermian; and three granddaughters, Sherine, Shermika and Esther.

H. Mitsy Wilson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 20, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.355

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/20/2013

Last Name

Wilson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Common Law

Middle Name

Eloise

Schools

University of California, Los Angeles

Queens College, City University of New York

College of Mount Saint Vincent

St. Nicholas Of Tolentine High School

St. Nicholas of Tolentine Elementary School

P.S. 91- Bronx School

St. Philip's School

First Name

Hazel

Birth City, State, Country

Georgetown

HM ID

WIL70

Favorite Season

Christmas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Costa Rica

Favorite Quote

That's Phenomenal.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

12/13/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

Guyana

Favorite Food

Roti And Curry Chicken

Short Description

Diversity specialist H. Mitsy Wilson (1950 - ) was a founding partner of ForAfrica and worked in diversity management for over twenty-five years. She became the Fox Entertainment Group’s first senior vice president of diversity development in 2000.

Employment

ForAfrica

News Corp. Fox Entertainment

Times Mirror Company

Continental Airlines

New York Airlines

Board of Education

Society of Seaman's Children

Favorite Color

Bright Colors

Timing Pairs
0,0:2932,19:10452,222:20788,357:38020,619:44740,781:45300,790:54972,955:66290,1092:79978,1341:100234,1642:100538,1647:106542,1792:136926,2308:146279,2417:152160,2486$0,0:2236,81:8256,199:13432,274:21712,445:25261,507:25625,512:29902,641:37458,720:42925,857:43387,865:54380,990:55290,1020:56070,1035:57825,1071:61400,1185:61660,1190:64650,1273:80910,1436:83404,1481:99506,1711:99902,1748:100496,1759:103466,1816:103796,1822:105116,1859:106304,1891:114078,1977:116886,2042:119766,2122:137580,2444:143949,2485:145812,2536:150366,2655:152574,2709:153402,2738:164036,2861:179932,3133:181210,3158:181565,3164:184334,3231:184973,3242:185612,3278:187955,3336:195980,3360:197770,3399
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of H. Mitsy Wilson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of H. Mitsy Wilson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - H. Mitsy Wilson talks about her mother's career

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - H. Mitsy Wilson talks about her father's role in her upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her father's immigration to the United States

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers her paternal family's legacy in the sciences

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - H. Mitsy Wilson lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers moving with her family to the Bronx, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - H. Mitsy Wilson talks about her early experiences of religion

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers her early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - H. Mitsy Wilson recalls her athletic achievements during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her academic success

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - H. Mitsy Wilson recalls her favorite television programs

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers her social activities

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - H. Mitsy Wilson recalls her college applications

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her experiences at College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers her professors at College of Mount Saint Vincent

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her social activities at College of Mount Saint Vincent

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - H. Mitsy Wilson talks about her decision not to attend law school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - H. Mitsy Wilson recalls her position at WPIX-TV in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers working at the Seamen's Society for Children and Families in Staten Island, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - H. Mitsy Wilson talks about learning martial arts

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers working at a drug prevention program in Queens, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers working at a drug prevention program in Queens, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her role at New York Air in Queens, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers New York Air's merger with Continental Airlines

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - H. Mitsy Wilson recalls joining Times Mirror Cable Television, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - H. Mitsy Wilson recalls the start of her career in diversity development

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her work in management development at the Times Mirror Company

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers her promotion to corporate officer at the Times Mirror Company

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - H. Mitsy Wilson recalls the Times Mirror Company's hostile takeover by Tribune Media

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers becoming the senior vice president of diversity at Fox Entertainment Group

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - H. Mitsy Wilson recalls creating the diversity division at Fox Entertainment Group

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - H. Mitsy Wilson talks about Peter Chernin's support for diversity development

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - H. Mitsy Wilson recalls developing relationships with the presidents of Fox Entertainment Group

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers creating the diversity advisory board at Fox Entertainment Group

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes the diversity and development staff at Fox Entertainment Group

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her apprenticeship and mentorship programs

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - H. Mitsy Wilson recalls presenting her accomplishments to Rupert Murdoch

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers receiving the NAACP President's Award

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - H. Mitsy Wilson talks about her retirement from News Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - H. Mitsy Wilson recalls the start of her activism in Africa

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers founding ForAfrica

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - H. Mitsy Wilson recalls meeting with African leaders to develop programs for ForAfrica

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes ForAfrica's early leadership development programs

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - H. Mitsy Wilson remembers traveling to Africa with Ramsey Jay, Jr.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - H. Mitsy Wilson talks about ForAfrica's international studies program

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - H. Mitsy Wilson talks about ForAfrica's potential impact on African Americans

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - H. Mitsy Wilson reflects upon her life, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - H. Mitsy Wilson reflects upon her life, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - H. Mitsy Wilson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes her relationship with her second husband

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - H. Mitsy Wilson talks about her second husband's relationship with her daughters

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes the challenges faced by African Americans in Corporate America

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - H. Mitsy Wilson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - H. Mitsy Wilson narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - H. Mitsy Wilson narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

7$8

DATitle
H. Mitsy Wilson recalls her position at WPIX-TV in New York City
H. Mitsy Wilson remembers becoming the senior vice president of diversity at Fox Entertainment Group
Transcript
I have a note here that you worked at WPIX-TV [New York, New York]?$$Yes (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) In--okay.$$(Laughter) Channel 11. I know, like, I did- didn't even know anything then. I, you know, graduated from school [College of Mount Saint Vincent, Riverdale, New York] and went in this for interview. And there was a woman who was heading up commercials at the time. And she needed an assistant, and they were only taking college grads. And she interviewed me and said, "Fine." The wonderful thing about it is--and who is the African American woman that was on Channel 11? Alma, oh, Alma Johnson, I think it was. She actually had a program on Channel 11 ['Black Pride'], and I had a wonderful opportunity to meet her. She kind of mentored me along the way in terms of understanding TV. But I, you know, I started out typing, you know, being an assistant to the head of commercial insertion. And then one day, I looked at the folks that were working and said, "Look, I can do more than this." So I became a commercial inserter. And that was interesting at that point because everything was done by typewriter. So you'd get a show, and they'd say the show is twenty-three minutes. And you'd have to fill the rest with commercials and public service announcements. So they tell you, "Okay, the show starts at eight o'clock, and the first break is at 8:01, 8:07." So then I'm typing in 8:07:00:00 to eight--and if it's ten seconds, fifteen seconds, it's got to be exact. So, and you're doing this by--manually. You know, you're not, there's no program there to help you do it. And I would sit back--and they were kind enough to give me the daytime programs because you couldn't screw up the evenings. If you screwed up the evenings with commercials, you were in trouble. So I got the daytime programs. And on Channel 11, I did kid programs, 'Howdy Doody' ['The Howdy Doody Show'] and all of that, Captain Joe Bolton and, so it wasn't that bad if you, you know, you were blank in those areas. But I will tell you, I used to sit there and watch, and my heart used to pound. Because if it went to black, it meant you messed up, and you didn't, you didn't allow enough time, or you may--had too much time in there. And the next day you'd just have your ops meeting, and, "What happened?" So I did that for a while. I enjoyed it, but my heart wasn't into it. And again, I didn't know what opportunities they had at TV. Had I known, I would have stayed.$So I got a phone call. Bonnie Hill [Bonnie Guiton Hill], who was corporate vice president of com- community and public affairs for Times Mirror [Times Mirror Company], a ver- a wonderful woman--she worked in the Reagan [President Ronald Wilson Reagan] White House and then came to us--called me on the phone and said, "Mitsy [HistoryMaker H. Mitsy Wilson], I just got a phone call from a headhunter. You know, Fox [Fox Entertainment Group] is looking for a head of diversity for their company. They have just signed an MOU, a memorandum of understanding with the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]. And I think you'd be perfect for the job." And I said, "Fox, the Fox," (laughter)? That was the only thing I could say. "Rupert Murdoch's Fox," (laughter)? And I said, "(Makes sound)." She said, and she was so good. This is where it helps to have mentors and people who can help you move through your journey. The first thing she said to me is, "I hear what you're saying. But before you sit back and say, 'I don't think so,' I think what you need to do is hear them out. Find out what the company's about, find out, find out what they want they want you do to. I think you'd be great at it, anyway." So I said, "Okay, I'll do that." I met with the headhunter and went through a series of interviews. I then went to Fox and had about eight interviews at Fox--legal, the president of this company, president here--I mean I was, I was meeting everyone. And then I finally got a phone call saying that my--I'm a finalist and that I will now meet with the president of Fox, who was Peter Chernin at the time, and I might also be meeting with Rupert Murdoch. And at that point, they said to me, "And if you're not interested, please let us know now. Because I don't, we don't want to put you up for this and then have you go into, you know, the president and you know, the chairman, and say no." So I spent quite a bit of time to looking at, you know, what's this organization about, you know? What are some of the things they're doing, you know? And I had to separate--at that point, Fox Entertainment was its own stand alone company, and it was not connected to News Corp [News Corporation; News Corp]. So Peter ran Fox Entertainment as their chairman. And then Rupert ran News Corp. Peter was the CEO of News Corp, but they were stand alone units. So I sat back and I said to myself, "If it's Fox, I can do it." You know, and I looked at what the memorandum of understanding was asking for, and it's everything I've done in my career. So I felt comfortable with that. Now it was just a matter of going in and meeting with Peter Chernin and see do we agree? How is this going to work? I went in, met with him, had a wonderful interview, wonderful meeting with him. I was so impressed with him, and I think part of it is because he was a New Yorker (laughter). So you've got to understand, you know, the New York [New York] mentality. But he sold me on the job. Gail Berman, who I reported to when I got there--a go getter, definitely another New Yorker, who saw things outside of the box. You could tell she was committed to diversity in some of the work she'd done before she came to Fox. But Peter was the one that sold me on that, on, on the position. So I took the position as senior vice president of diversity and development.

June Baldwin

Television executive June M. Baldwin graduated from Stanford University with her B.A. degree in psychology. She went on to receive her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1975.

Following graduation, Baldwin served as clerk for the jurist Luther Swygert on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, Illinois. She then moved to Los Angeles and was hired as an executive for NBC, where she was responsible for, among other things, the day-to-day business transactions for The Tonight Show and Carson Productions, the television and motion picture production company founded by the late talk show host, Johnny Carson. At NBC, Baldwin became one of the first African Americans to enter the executive ranks of the entertainment industry. She then worked for Norman Lear, Quincy Jones and Aaron Spelling, where she held the position of head of business affairs at their independent production companies.

Baldwin went on to be hired as vice president of business affairs at United Paramount Network. She also worked in a similar capacity at Columbia TriStar Television from 2000 until 2001. In 2004, Baldwin was hired as director of business and legal affairs at KCET, the nation’s largest independent public television station. Then, in 2010, she was promoted to vice president and general counsel of KCET. Baldwin has negotiated a variety of production deals, and has worked on such critically acclaimed productions as Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State, A Place of Our Own, Los Ninos En Su Casa, Wired Science, and SoCal Connected.  In addition, for seven years she managed business and legal affairs for the PBS late-night talk show Tavis Smiley, and the primetime series Tavis Smiley Reports.

Baldwin has served on numerous boards, including the Hollywood Women's Political Committee, the Hollywood Policy Center, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the California Women's Law Center, Planned Parenthood, the Archer School for Girls, Women in Film, Women in Film Foundation, Artists For A New South Africa, The Coalition for At-Risk Youth, NBC Credit Union, the Minority Health Institute, and the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association.

June M. Baldwin was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 18, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.310

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/20/2013

Last Name

Baldwin

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Michelle

Schools

St. Madeline Sophie

Ancilla Domini Academy

Shipley School For Girls

Stanford University

Harvard Law School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

June

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

BAL04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Everything In Its Time

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/4/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Vegetables

Short Description

Television executive June Baldwin (1950 - ) became one of the first African Americans to enter the executive ranks of the entertainment industry when she worked for NBC.

Employment

KCET

Columbia Tri Star TV

United Paramount Network

Spelling Television

Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment

NBC

Favorite Color

Blue, Greens

Timing Pairs
0,0:5476,133:6064,141:6820,153:13605,184:15345,198:17820,208:18124,213:18808,223:19644,235:20252,246:20632,252:21696,266:22304,275:22836,284:23140,289:38964,416:39332,421:39884,429:40620,440:41080,446:41540,458:49811,539:50523,551:54617,619:58358,654:59320,669:59690,677:62730,715:63490,730:65300,735:69150,812:69430,817:69990,826:73490,934:74190,947:75520,982:76640,1012:77410,1025:78670,1047:82730,1059:83185,1069:83575,1076:88902,1151:89286,1158:90118,1178:91270,1205:94004,1215:94872,1249:95926,1271:103425,1385:103899,1393:104689,1404:105005,1409:106032,1430:106348,1435:106743,1441:107296,1449:109113,1486:109587,1494:114549,1528:115713,1543:128328,1775:130264,1801:131672,1820:132112,1825:138308,1899:142137,1955:143532,1978:143997,1984:147523,2027:148282,2043:149386,2065:150076,2081:153244,2147:153678,2156:153988,2162:155834,2172:157044,2184:159464,2208:163361,2245:164025,2256:164523,2264:164855,2269:165270,2275:173040,2312:173502,2324:175504,2360:175812,2365:176120,2370:176505,2376:176890,2382:179970,2395:180410,2400:186382,2456:186994,2468:190532,2512:191140,2522:191520,2528:193260,2536:193900,2546:194300,2552:194860,2561:195180,2566:200996,2632:202004,2648:204002,2669:204206,2674:204461,2680:204818,2689:205124,2697:205379,2703:205583,2708:207317,2775:215410,2822:220563,2888:223960,2917$0,0:5152,111:5888,130:6532,139:6992,145:7820,160:12492,183:14156,202:19044,276:19980,284:28924,464:40605,602:44368,641:46290,695:46848,705:47654,729:48832,759:50568,800:52676,874:53172,885:53730,895:54598,918:54846,923:58810,938:59290,945:61050,986:65012,1006:65740,1015:67142,1053:67646,1062:68006,1068:68870,1082:70958,1179:72758,1226:73334,1240:74342,1307:75062,1324:75494,1331:78302,1395:78878,1404:79886,1426:80318,1434:80966,1445:81470,1453:81830,1459:88126,1526:88470,1531:91566,1589:105392,1764:105784,1769:107156,1785:107842,1794:108332,1800:112530,1848:113234,1860:113586,1865:113938,1870:114554,1877:115082,1884:117546,1919:118074,1929:128986,2046:132770,2075:133640,2086:135293,2111:135815,2118:138427,2131:140389,2150:140825,2155:146234,2202:147296,2225:148299,2253:150069,2306:151249,2341:159058,2484:159594,2489:160532,2498:163810,2526:164290,2535:165686,2545:173813,2636:174643,2652:175058,2658:175556,2665:176220,2674:180619,2758:181864,2807:186400,2828:187318,2838:193835,2913:198247,2973:203654,3040:204694,3055:206566,3078:207294,3102:207710,3107:217324,3226:220882,3255:235454,3567:236882,3586:237806,3599:239066,3618:239402,3623:240662,3652:249765,3732:250105,3737:256920,3796:259608,3815:261576,3854:270443,4012:270687,4017:273124,4034:274068,4061:276664,4138:281888,4203:282192,4208:282724,4217:286738,4276:292432,4398:295552,4456:309223,4618:315471,4676:315763,4681:318330,4732
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of June Baldwin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - June Baldwin lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - June Baldwin describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - June Baldwin talks about her mother's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - June Baldwin describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - June Baldwin talks about her father's young adult years

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - June Baldwin describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - June Baldwin talks about her parents' civic activities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - June Baldwin describes her early household

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - June Baldwin describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - June Baldwin describes the sights and sounds of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - June Baldwin remembers the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - June Baldwin talks about her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - June Baldwin recalls her decision to attend the Shipley School for Girls in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - June Baldwin describes her early interest in acting

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - June Baldwin remembers race relations at the Shipley School for Girls

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - June Baldwin describes her religious experiences at the Shipley School for Girls

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - June Baldwin talks about the prominent figures who inspired her

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - June Baldwin recalls developing her racial identity during the late 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - June Baldwin remembers her teachers and guidance counselor at the Shipley School for Girls

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - June Baldwin reflects upon her time at the Shipley School for Girls in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - June Baldwin talks about creating a scholarship at the Shipley School for Girls

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - June Baldwin recalls attending the March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - June Baldwin remembers studying psychology at Stanford University in Stanford, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - June Baldwin talks about Eldridge Cleaver and Timothy Leary

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - June Baldwin recalls visiting the Black Panther Party in Algeria

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - June Baldwin talks about the Black Power movement at Stanford University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - June Baldwin recalls her decision to attend Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - June Baldwin remembers her classmates and experiences at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - June Baldwin remembers her challenges at Harvard Law School

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - June Baldwin recalls clerking for Judge Luther M. Swygert

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - June Baldwin talks about her early legal career

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - June Baldwin describes her experiences at Morrison and Foerster LLP

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - June Baldwin recalls working for Silverberg, Rosen, Leon and Behr

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - June Baldwin talks about joining Women In Film

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - June Baldwin recalls her entry into the entertainment industry

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - June Baldwin describes her initial experiences at NBC

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - June Baldwin recalls working on 'The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson'

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - June Baldwin remembers the black television executives in the 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - June Baldwin talks about Michael Jackson's award at the NAACP Image Awards

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - June Baldwin recalls her proudest moments as a television business affairs executive

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - June Baldwin remembers working at Norman Lear's company, Act III Productions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - June Baldwin talks about working for Quincy Jones Productions, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - June Baldwin recalls working with Aaron Spelling Productions

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - June Baldwin remembers her music publishing venture with George Butler

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - June Baldwin recalls working at United Paramount Network

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - June Baldwin describes her work at Columbia TriStar Television

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - June Baldwin describes her position at KCET in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - June Baldwin talks about the merger of KCET and Link TV

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - June Baldwin describes the growth and changes at KCETLink

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - June Baldwin talks about her board memberships, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - June Baldwin talks about her board memberships, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - June Baldwin shares her plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - June Baldwin reflects upon her career

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - June Baldwin reflects upon her legacy in the entertainment industry

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - June Baldwin talks about her dating life

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - June Baldwin describes her family

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - June Baldwin talks about her international travels

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - June Baldwin describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - June Baldwin narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

1$6

DATitle
June Baldwin reflects upon her time at the Shipley School for Girls in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
June Baldwin recalls visiting the Black Panther Party in Algeria
Transcript
Well, tell us the Shipley [Shipley School for Girls; The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania] story.$$So obviously Shipley was a seminal event in my life. And for all of the, the challenges, I developed some wonderful friendships with a few girls there who are lifelong friends, like sisters. And they saw me; they--it didn't matter to them that I came from a different background or that I was black. And so they were my rocks, and we're still very, very close today. Also in 2003, Shipley gave me the distinguished alumna award, which was a huge shock to me because I had not had much contact at all with the school since I left. And I had an opportunity to tell my story, which I had never done. But I wanted them to know that I loved and appreciated the education that I got and that I saw it as a very positive thing. It was very difficult for my mother [Audrey McLaughlin Harris] to decide to send to me to Shipley. That was not something that we did in the black culture. You don't send your daughter off during her adolescent years to be part of a social experiment. And I'd never really realized how much that had weighed on my mother because, of course, that shaped the rest of my life. So they gave me the award, which was very lovely, and they honored and acknowledged my mother. And the school official said, "I don't think I would have had the courage to send my child away like that." And so I was very happy because although it's been my journey it was also my mother's. So fast forward, I ran into a Shipley classmate at Stanford [Stanford University, Stanford, California] whom I hadn't even been friends with at Stanford. Again, when I left Shipley I sort of didn't wanna have anything to do with Shipley. Fast forward, I run into this classmate, and she's a, a writer for The New York Times and she said, "I ha- it's great to see you. I have an idea and I'm wondering if you'd be interested." And the idea was to create a school sca- a class scholarship for an underprivileged girl of color. And she wondered if I thought that was a good idea, and if I would work with her on it. And I said oh, I think that's a great idea. So last May we went to our forty-fifth reunion, and we proposed this to the class, and that is what we're going to do. And sh- they have said that it was because of knowing me, and it was a time when their lives changed that that inspired her to want to do this scholarship. And so it just was so overwhelming for me to come out of the blue after all these years. Because I think when you make personal sacrifices--I mean I did it willingly and gratefully. I appreciated the opportunity. But at some point when you look at where race relations are today, and you say was it worth it--you know, was it worth it? And so this validates that. It was worth it. I mean, I decided it was worth it, but this is a, a, a really gratifying validation.$Now who was in the Panther [Black Panther Party] entourage, I guess, in Algeria besides Eldridge Cleaver?$$The names of the other people I don't know. I don't remember. What--I was very excited to be there. Eldridge Cleaver was extremely nice to me, very respectful. As I said he wanted to--me to stay on because I spoke French and be a translator. And I think as a result of my Shipley [Shipley School for Girls; The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania] experience and my own sense of identity, I had the big Afro, very much wanting to claim my identity, and wanting to have a quote, unquote revolutionary experience. I was a big supporter of the Panthers. You know, they were doing wonderful work; they were feeding children; they were educating children; they were providing healthcare services. I mean, they were being portrayed as terrorists, but they were doing many wonderful things. And they were just really seeking social justice for a lot of oppression that was going on. And so I wrote my mother [Audrey McLaughlin Harris]. I also was still interested in being the actor, so I had tried out for 'Hair' ['Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical']. There was a--in Marseille [France]. And I was finished with school [Stanford University, Stanford, California], and so I was a quarter ahead of myself because I had gone a year straight through. And I didn't wanna graduate early, so I wanted to stay in Europe for another three months. And I thought I'll try out for this play. Maybe I'll get this role. And then I went to Algeria and was asked to be the translator and it--and at first really wanted to do that. And so I said to him, "Well, you'll have to write my mother." And so he did, and my mother still has the letter in pale blue stationary with the Black Panther insignia that jumps out at you. And he wrote her a very nice letter asking permission for me to stay on for a couple of months and be a translator. And by day three, there used to be--everyone would be upstairs in a room and listening, talking, and the--there were concentric circles and I was in the second circle. And someone got up and went down to do kitchen duty, and I--who was in the first circle--and so I moved up to be in the first circle. And then the person came back, and I wasn't aware the person was going to come back, and so I said, "Oh, I'm sorry I took your seat." And he said, "Oh no, sister, you didn't take my seat; it's the people's seat." And in that moment I realized, hm, everything is communal here, and there weren't--there weren't any women. I wasn't seeing any women. And all of a sudden I realized, hm, I might become communal property (laughter) if I didn't affiliate or associate with someone. And of course that wasn't what I was wanting. You know, I was wanting to have this political experience. And so I decided that I didn't wanna stay, and so I did not. Meanwhile, I would have come--had I gone back--I would have still gone back to France and then come back. In the meantime, my mother got the letter, and she and my brother [William James] were quite horrified. And they admired the Panthers. It's not that they, they didn't, but they didn't want their daughter there in Algeria with--$$Now this is--$$--Eldridge Cleaver.$$I mean 'Soul on Ice' [Eldridge Cleaver] had been published in 1960 [1968]--well, I know I read it in '67 [1967], so it was already out. And he was--he made some remarks about women that weren't really very--$$Misogynistic.$$--encouraging.$$Yes, yes, but that's what I'm saying. That's what was so fascinating, because he was not like that at all with me. He was just this amazing gentleman and intelligent and just lovely, lovely. Now I was only there three days, but that was my experience. And when my mother decided--my brother was, "You tell her to get on a plane and come home." And my mother was like, "No, no, I'm just going to use the truth and, and add something." And so she told me she was going to have to have surgery, and she really would like me to be there for the surgery and so would I mind coming home. I still hadn't heard about the play. And she said, "And if you get in the play, then I'll send you back;" so I went home. And she was having surgery, but it wasn't, you know, as serious as I had thought (laughter), and they just wanted to get me home so. And then I did not get into the play so I did not go back.$$Now did you--did you happen to talk to Timothy Leary?$$No, I did not.$$Or see him even?$$I got a glimpse, but no.$$And was he (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) They, they had him in a room. You know, we were staying at a hotel, and we would come over and be there during the days and the evenings.

Winifred Neisser

Television executive Winifred White Neisser received her B.A. degree with honors from Harvard University’s Radcliffe College in 1974. She received her M.A. degree in Elementary Education from Lesley College. Neisser also completed further graduate work in Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Upon graduation, Neisser was hired at NBC where she headed several major divisions. While there, she served as Vice President of Family Programming, Director of Movies for Television and Vice President of Television Movies, NBC Productions. As vice president of family programming at NBC, Neisser oversaw special programming for children and families, including the award-winning miniseries titled, “Jim Henson’s The Storyteller.” Neisser then joined Sony Pictures Television where she served as Senior Vice President of Movies for Television and Miniseries.

Neisser has served on the board of directors for several academic and non-profit institutes. At Harvard University, Neisser was appointed to the Harvard Board of Overseers as well as the Radcliffe Institute’s Advisory Board. She served as Trustee on the board of the Otis College of Design and The Center for Early Education. Neisser was a member of the Television Academy’s Board of Governors for several years. She also served on the boards of Planned Parenthood and the National Guild of Community Arts Schools.

Neisser’s award-winning projects include “A Raisin in the Sun” for ABC, which was nominated for three Emmy Awards and won the Humanitas Award; “Broken Trail,” a western for AMC, which won four Emmy Awards including “Best Miniseries”; “The Company,” a miniseries about the CIA which won the DGA Award and the WGA Award; “Having Our Stay: The Delaney Sisters First 100 Years,” which won a Christopher Award and a Peabody Award; “The Crossing” for the Arts and Entertainment Channel (A & E), which won the Peabody award; “The Beach Boys: An American Family,” which was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Best Miniseries; and “Call me Claus,” a Christmas movie which starred Whoopi Goldberg and featured music by Garth Brooks.

Neisser is married to Ken Neisser. They live in Los Angeles and have two children, Nick and Alexis.

Winifred White Neisser was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 17, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.299

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/17/2013

Last Name

Neisser

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

White

Schools

Radcliffe College

Homestead High School

Emanuel L. Philipp Elementary

Lesley University

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Winifred

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

NEI01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere

Favorite Quote

Use Common Sense

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

3/23/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shrimp

Short Description

Television executive Winifred Neisser (1953 - ) served as Vice President of Movies and Miniseries and Vice President of Family Programming for NBC Productions, and went on to become Senior Vice President of Movies for Television and Miniseries for Sony Pictures Television.

Employment

Sony Pictures Television (Columbia Tri-Star Television)

NBC

WMTV

Caribbean School

Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Winifred Neisser's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Winifred Neisser lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Winifred Neisser describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Winifred Neisser describes her maternal grandfather's education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Winifred Neisser describes her maternal grandparents' move to Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Winifred Neisser talks about her maternal family's emphasis on education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Winifred Neisser describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Winifred Neisser talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Winifred Neisser recalls her parents' decision to move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Winifred Neisser describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Winifred Neisser describes her mother's community involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Winifred Neisser lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Winifred Neisser describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Winifred Neisser remembers Emanuel L. Philipp Elementary School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin].

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Winifred Neisser recalls moving to Mequon, Wisconsin, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Winifred Neisser recalls moving to Mequon, Wisconsin, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Winifred Neisser describes her experiences at Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Winifred Neisser describes her academic and extracurricular involvement in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Winifred Neisser describes her early exposure to black media

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Winifred Neisser talks about her early experiences of religion, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Winifred Neisser talks about her early experiences of religion, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Winifred Neisser remembers her college applications

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Winifred Neisser recalls her start at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Winifred Neisser recalls her start at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Winifred Neisser describes her experiences at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Winifred Neisser describes her extracurricular activities at Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Winifred Neisser remembers hearing Reverend Jesse L. Jackson and Alice Walker speak at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Winifred Neisser talks about the black student movement at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Winifred Neisser remembers the influential figures at Harvard University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Winifred Neisser recalls her graduation from Radcliffe College

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Winifred Neisser remembers teaching at the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Winifred Neisser remembers teaching at the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Winifred Neisser remembers moving to Puerto Rico, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Winifred Neisser remembers moving to Puerto Rico, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Winifred Neisser talks about her transition to the broadcast industry

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Winifred Neisser recalls her work at WMTV-TV in Madison, Wisconsin, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Winifred Neisser recalls her work at WMTV-TV in Madison, Wisconsin, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Winifred Neisser remembers moving to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Winifred Neisser recalls working with Phyllis Tucker Vinson Jackson

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Winifred Neisser describes her work as NBC's vice president of family programming

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Winifred Neisser talks about her collaboration with Jim Henson

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Winifred Neisser recalls her transition to the television movie division of NBC

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Winifred Neisser describes her role in the Danielle Steel movie franchise

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Winifred Neisser describes the changes in the television industry

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Winifred Neisser talks about the regulations on broadcast networks

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Winifred Neisser remembers joining Columbia TriStar Pictures

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Winifred Neisser describes her career at Sony Pictures Entertainment, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Winifred Neisser describes her career at Sony Pictures Entertainment, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Winifred Neisser remembers producing 'Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story'

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Winifred Neisser recalls producing 'Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Winifred Neisser remembers producing 'Broken Trail'

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Winifred Neisser talks about the importance of stories that resist racial stereotypes

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Winifred Neisser describes her current projects

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Winifred Neisser talks about Amy Biehl, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Winifred Neisser talks about Amy Biehl, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Winifred Neisser describes what she may do in the future

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Winifred Neisser talks about African Americans in broadcast media

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Winifred Neisser describes a story that she likes

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Winifred Neisser describes her advice to aspiring broadcasters

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Winifred Neisser reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Winifred Neisser reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Winifred Neisser describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Winifred Neisser talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Winifred Neisser talks about balancing life and work

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Winifred Neisser describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Winifred Neisser narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Winifred Neisser recalls moving to Mequon, Wisconsin, pt. 2
Winifred Neisser remembers joining Columbia TriStar Pictures
Transcript
Yeah, so here we were, so we were moving into foreign territory. Now, you know, I was twelve years old and I didn't wanna move anyway 'cause all my friends were back in Milwaukee [Wisconsin]; I had gone to the same school from kindergarten through eighth grade; most of my friends in school were going off the Rufus King [Rufus King High School; Rufus King International High School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin], so I was like, if they can do it why can't I? And my parents [Winifred Parker White and Walter White, Sr.] said well, you're not old enough. You're not old enough to understand why we--why we're making this move, and we promise that we will bring you back to visit your friends in Milwaukee. Now the drive from Milwaukee to Mequon [Wisconsin] is about fifteen minutes, but to me it was like moving to the moon because it was so different. And, and, and I didn't wanna do it, and I didn't even know what my parents were going through because they really kept it--kept it very quiet from, from us. The, the first real inkling that I got that we were moving into hostile territory was when we actually moved into the house, and my mother said to us, "Don't answer the phone," (laughter). And (unclear), "What are you talking about don't answer the phone?" She said, "I'm--until I tell you differently, do not answer the telephone." So--and it was because they were getting all kinds of threatening phone calls from people. So we moved in the middle of the school year--or not in the middle but towards the end of the school year. We mu--we must have moved in March or April, and my mother drove us into Milwaukee everyday so we could continue--so we could finish our school years at Philipps School [Emanuel L. Philipp Elementary School, Milwaukee, Wisconsin]. And, and, and the only reason I bring this up is because, even though there were the neighbors who were hostile and, and nasty, one day towards the end of the school year my mother locked her car keys inside the house just as she was supposed to come and pick us up. And so she, she didn't know what to do in the days before cell phones and all of that. So she went--she went to our next door neighbor, who was actually a Jewish doctor, who was actually very nice, Dr. Finkelstein [ph.]. He wasn't home. So then she went to the next house, and she knocked on the door. And this is a woman she actually didn't know very well, and her name was Mrs. Kenop [ph.]. And she explained her situation to Mrs. Kenop, and Mrs. Kenop said--she--and my--and my mother said, if you could just call my husband and tell him that he needs to go pick up the children, or if you would let me come in and I would, you know, call him. I just need somebody to know that I can't get there. And Mrs. Kenop said, "Take my car," and gave my mother the keys to her car. So I re- I have--I just have this very vivid memory of standing there waiting for my mother and my mother driving up and going, "Where did you get this car?" It wasn't a particularly nice car, but it was--it was not her car. And that was--and that was one of the first signs to the family that things were gonna be okay, that there were--there were really decent people in the neighborhood who were, you know, willing to help us out. And, and, and things did sort of start to turn around a little bit after that.$Your career at NBC basically ends in '95 [1995], is that--?$$ Yeah, basically NBC Productions went through a major restructuring. The people that had hired me and put me in that position were replaced, and they didn't fire me. They actually said, "What would you like to," you know, "would you like to stay on or would you like to leave?" But I realized I was kind of out of sync with this new group that was there, and at this point I had two kids. I had--let's see; this was, like, the end of '94 [1994], so Nick [Nicholas Neisser] was two and Alexis [Alexis Neisser] was four. And I thought: I don't mind taking a little time off here and regrouping and trying to figure out what I wanna do next. So I said--so I came to the end of my time there, and I was really planning on taking time off. And went to a cocktail party for a friend of mine who was an agent, and--I, I can't remember if she was being promoted or something. And I ran into a woman who worked at what was then Columbia TriStar [Columbia TriStar Television] and who had been my--who had sold movies to me. The--basically, when you were at the network, there were certain producers--you were assigned certain producers and they would always bring their projects to you. And this woman and I had worked on a few projects together, and I ran into her at this cocktail party--Helen Verno. And she said, "What are you up to?" Because since I'd been at NBC Productions I hadn't been dealing with, with her anymore because we were now competitors. And I said, "Oh, I'm just leaving NBC Productions," and she said, "Oh, my god, my development person is just leaving. Would you think of--would you consider coming to work for me?" So I was--my leave of absence was I think three weeks before I was back (laughter) working again. And I went to work at what was then Columbia. This was before Sony [Sony Pictures Entertainment] bought the studio.$$Okay, okay, all right, so, so at Columbia, which, which becomes Sony later on--$$ Right.$$Yeah--$$ Now I will say that part of way that I did--part of the reason I took the job was because she said to me--you know, she said, "I don't think I can pay you what NBC was paying you." And I said, "Well, look, I was really planning on taking time off, so if you tell me I can go home every night at six o'clock and, and that you're not going to ask questions if I take off to go on a fieldtrip at my kids' school, and give me, you know, a certain amount of flexibility, then I don't mind working for less money." It wasn't that much less, but it was still less. And she said, "Fine," and so that was--that was my compromise of going back to work.$$Okay, that was a good move for--$$ It was. It, it actually was--it was a great move. And it turned--and you know, and it was just lucky that the studio was ten minutes from my house, so (laughter). Whereas NBC had been like a forty-five minute commute.

Hamilton Cloud, II

Television producer and talent agent Hamilton Cloud, II, was born on November 30, 1952, in Los Angeles, California. His father, Hamilton Cloud, Sr. was one of a few African Americans trained at the Northwestern University Dental School at the time of his graduation. Cloud grew up in Los Angeles but pursued his education at Yale University, where he earned his B.A. degree for his studies in “Communications: Mass Media and Black America,” a concentration that he originated.

Working with radio programs in Los Angeles for fifteen years, Cloud established himself within the media industry. His interests then turned to television programming, producing children’s and public affairs programs. In 1978, Cloud joined the network programming department at the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and he became the vice president of Current Comedy Programs in 1982. In this role, he supervised the weekly production of a number of well-known comedy series, including Cheers and Family Ties. Cloud began his work in producing the NAACP Image Awards in 1987. The 19th Annual NAACP Image Awards, when broadcasted on NBC, marked the first time the show was aired on a national television network. Cloud served as the producer of the annual show for fourteen more years.

In 1990, Cloud supervised and developed programming for Playboy Entertainment Group’s cable, home video and television divisions. Within three years, he was chosen serve as the vice president of Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment (QDE), supervising first-run television, special events and interactive programming. After creating Thundercloud Productions in 1995, Cloud became the senior vice-president of Letnom Productions the following year. He continued to produce television shows such as The Montel Williams Show and events like Game of the Century<./i>, a baseball event to recognize the legacy of the Negro Baseball Leagues.

Cloud has served on a number of boards, including the Hall of Fame and the Prime Time Emmy Award Committees of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He has also been a member of the WGA and The Caucus of Producers, Writers and Directors.

Cloud is married to Fukue Yamaguchi. The couple has one daughter.

Hamilton Cloud was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 29, 2011.

Accession Number

A2011.036

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/29/2011 |and| 4/30/2011

Last Name

Cloud

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

S.

Schools

Yale University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Hamilton

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

CLO03

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Herb and Sheran Wilkins Media Makers

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Maui, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Everything's going to be alright.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

11/30/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peanut Butter

Short Description

Talent agent and television producer Hamilton Cloud, II (1952 - ) produced the NAACP Image Awards from 1987 to 2000. In 1987, the Image Awards were broadcast on a national television network for the first time. Cloud has worked with a number of other companies, including NBC, Playboy Entertainment Group, and QDE.

Employment

NBC

Imaginary Entertainment

Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment

Letnom Productions

Thundercloud Productions

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Hamilton Cloud's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his maternal grandmother's Moravian cookies

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his mother's aspirations, and how his parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Hamilton Cloud describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Hamilton Cloud talks about tracing his paternal ancestry to Nashville, Tennessee, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Hamilton Cloud talks about tracing his paternal ancestry to Nashville, Tennessee, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Hamilton Cloud talks about meeting a relative in Knoxville, Tennessee, and visiting his great-grandparents' graves

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his paternal great-grandfather, Peter Cooper Cloud's death

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his paternal grandparents, Lillian Strawbridge and Frank Herman Cloud

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his father's service in World War II and the Korean War and his training to become a dentist

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud talks about HistoryMaker Leo Branton, who was his father's friend

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his father's and African American service in the Korean War, and his father's anti-war sentiment during the Vietnam War

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his birthplace home of Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his siblings, and his likeness to his parents

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his family's interest in music and dance

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his favorite memory of his maternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his paternal grandfather's photography

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Hamilton Cloud talks about the neighborhood where he grew up in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his home and neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Hamilton Cloud describes his experience in school in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Hamilton Cloud talks about race relations in Los Angeles, California while he was growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Hamilton Cloud talks about the Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD) reputation in the black community in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his interest in television and radio, and his parents exposing he and his siblings to the arts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his parents' involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and playing football near Ray Charles' home in Los Angeles

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his mentors in school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his favorite movie as a child, 'The Magnificent Seven'

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Hamilton Cloud talks about high school and his decision to attend Yale University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his extracurricular activities in high school and graduating in 1970

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Hamilton Cloud describes his experience at Yale University in the 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Hamilton Cloud talks about prominent African Americans who studied at Yale University while he was there

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud describes his experience working at WYBC radio station at Yale University and the programming that it offered

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud talks about Yale University's radio station, WYBC, as a cultural focal point in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Hamilton Cloud talks about how he got his first job at a mainstream radio station in New Haven, and later in television at NBC in Los Angeles

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Hamilton Cloud talks about taking a semester off from Yale University, his father's skill and income as a dentist, and paying his way through college

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his experience working at radio stations and teaching in Los Angeles, and his move to television at KABC, Channel 7

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his experience at NBC in Los Angeles, California and his involvement with the production of 'Shogun'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Hamilton Cloud talks about the Japanese American community's reception of the television mini-series, 'Shogun'

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Hamilton Cloud describes his involvement in the production of the television movie, 'Grambling's White Tiger'

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his mentor at NBC, Brandon Tartikoff, and his experience as Vice President of Current Comedy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Hamilton Cloud talks about the popular sitcoms that aired on NBC in the 1980s

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud talks about why he left NBC in 1984

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud describes how the NAACP Image Awards began, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Hamilton Cloud describes how the NAACP Image Awards began, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Hamilton Cloud describes his experience producing the NAACP Image Awards

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Hamilton Cloud talks about the honorees of the NAACP Image Awards

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Hamilton Cloud talks about planning a tribute to Oprah Winfrey as part of the NAACP Image Awards

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Hamilton Cloud talks about introducing 'Name that Tune' at the NAACP Image Awards

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud talks about why he left the NAACP Image Awards, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud talks about why he left the NAACP Image Awards, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his responsibilities as the producer of the NAACP Image Awards

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Hamilton Cloud discusses some of his proudest moments as the producer of the NAACP Image Awards

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Hamilton Cloud talks about the NAACP Image Awards demographics

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his production and personal management company, Imaginary Entertainment

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating of Hamilton Cloud's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud talks co-founding Imaginary Entertainment, and having Miriam Makeba as a client

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his work with Paul Simon's 'Graceland' tour, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his work with Paul Simon's 'Graceland' tour, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Hamilton Cloud talks about Paul Simon's 'Graceland' tour, and the initial reception that it received from anti-Apartheid activists

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Hamilton Cloud talks about Paul Simon and other prominent artists giving credit to artists who worked with them, and inspired their work

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Hamilton Cloud talks about Miriam Makeba and Nelson Mandela's birthday concert in London

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Hamilton Cloud talks about Nelson Mandela's release from prison, and working with Stevie Wonder to create the Martin Luther King Day Holiday

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Hamilton Cloud talks about working with Jon Hendricks of the vocalese group, 'Lambert, Hendricks and Ross'

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his radio show, 'Innervisions', pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his radio show, 'Innervisions', pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his radio show, 'Black Spectrum'

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Hamilton Cloud talks about going to Bob Marley's concerts in California in the 1970s and honoring him posthumously at the NAACP Image Awards

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Hamilton Cloud talks about organizing a gala for President Bill Clinton and the Heads of States of the western hemisphere, with Quincy Jones, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Hamilton Cloud talks about organizing a gala for President Bill Clinton and the Heads of States of the western hemisphere, with Quincy Jones, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his work on the mockumentary, 'The Compleat Al'

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his work with Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment (QDE), pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his work with Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment (QDE), pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his decision to work at Playboy Entertainment

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Hamilton Cloud describes his experience working at Playboy Entertainment

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Hamilton Cloud talks about how he met his wife, and their marriage

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Hamilton Cloud talks about working with Montel Williams, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Hamilton Cloud talks about working with Montel Williams, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Hamilton Cloud talks about Montel Williams and Montel's struggle with multiple sclerosis (MS)

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his former assistant, Stacy Milner, her husband Ted Milner, and their business

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his work with 'Game of the Century', a salute to the Negro Baseball Leagues at Dodger Stadium, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his work with 'Game of the Century', a salute to the Negro Baseball Leagues at Dodger Stadium, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud talks about organizing a beauty pageant show for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Hamilton Cloud talks about the success of the beauty pageant show for HBCUs and the step-dance competition, "Stomp"

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Hamilton Cloud talks about producing a tribute to Maynard Jackson at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Hamilton Cloud talks about producing a tribute to African American organizations at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Hamilton Cloud talks his interest in producing a record album with the artist, D Knowledge

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Hamilton Cloud talks about producing a record album with the artist, D Knowledge, and working with him on other projects

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his involvement in the opening of the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud describes his role as the Director of Special Projects for Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud talks about age discrimination in the entertainment industry

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Hamilton Cloud talks about the shortsightedness of attempts to abolish unions, and age discrimination

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Hamilton Cloud talks about Congressman Maxine Waters

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Hamilton Cloud reflects upon his life and career

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Hamilton Cloud reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Hamilton Cloud reflects upon the African Americans community

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud reflects upon African American ownership of their community, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud reflects upon African American ownership of their community, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Hamilton Cloud reflects upon dwindling African American representation in Hollywood

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Hamilton Cloud talks about not having political ambitions

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his staff's role as Congresswoman Maxine Waters' media representative

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Hamilton Cloud describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Hamilton Cloud describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Hamilton Cloud talks about his family

Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Hamilton Cloud talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Hamilton Cloud describes his photographs

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$6

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Hamilton Cloud describes his experience working at WYBC radio station at Yale University and the programming that it offered
Hamilton Cloud talks about introducing 'Name that Tune' at the NAACP Image Awards
Transcript
My favorite professor is still there [Yale University], a gentleman by the name of Willie Ruff who you guys should interview cause he's, he's a treasure trove. He--yeah he's fantastic, music professor and jazz musician. Spends half the year teaching at Yale and the other half traveling the world as a jazz musician. And he exposed us to so many things. I, I literally got to, to meet Duke Ellington and I hosted a radio broadcast of a concert that Willie Ruff organized with Ellington and his orchestra. He, he funded the Ellington Fellowship at Yale, and that was the kickoff of that and I actually hosted the radio broadcast of it. Just brought through Honi Coles and B.B. King and, and, and just incredible folks that you know, I was exposed to while I was there. And, and yeah, great time, great time to, to be there. And so I, I fell in love with radio. I walked in the radio station and it was like the lightning bolt. I knew that's what I wanted to do and ended up--Yale had a commercial FM license. And so we broadcast to all of New Haven [Connecticut], and it was a very rare for a college radio station to have a commercial license. And so we could sell commercials and support the radio station that way. And we weren't paid but we were able to you know keep the electricity on and, and all of that. So the university didn't pay for the radio station, it was self supporting. So we had a program called 'Black Spectrum' that was on the air five hours a day and then most of the weekends. I forget what the total number of hours were per week. And I became the program director of Black Spectrum and it was the number one radio station in New Haven at, at the time. Because New Haven had this sizable African American population that didn't have its, its own radio. So we became that and before Black Spectrum there was a, a, a group of pioneering folks who did a program called 'Soul Sessions'. And they created that programming in the '60s [1960s] and then we carried forward with Black Spectrum and we were so far ahead of our time in terms of mixing genres of, of black music and, and Latin music. Because back then you know, you couldn't mix R&B [rhythm and blues] with jazz or gospel or Latin. But that's what we did. And--$$I've always found that curious that, that black people will, will you know--$$Yeah, well, well--$$--well that's not you know--$$Exactly.$$R&B was all you heard on most of the black radio stations around the country.$$Yes.$$And that was it and if you put jazz or anything else on it--$$Which, that always struck me as very strange too because it, it all comes from the same roots. And you know I suppose there are purists, but we created a format where we did mix all the music and it worked. And we were really proud, and we were following the lead of WHUR in, in Washington, D.C. [District of Columbia] which is again, a very pioneering--$$I was going to mention them as that's the only other station I've heard that mixed the genres like that.$$Yes.$$WHUR.$$And, and we were following their lead. And I got to meet Tony Brown and, and, and go to some conferences in D.C. and, and we were really inspired by what they did. And so we did this programming in New Haven that people still remember and, and you know I, I've met and heard from people who you know, still remember the programming that we did and, and the show, Black Spectrum, lived on for many years.$$Did you intersperse some political content as well?$$Yes.$$Like Malcolm's [Malcolm X] speeches and Dr. [Martin Luther] King.$$Yes, yes, yes. That's exactly what we did. So we would play snippets of King and of Malcolm and there was a great album called "Guess Who's Coming Home?" about black fighting men in Vietnam [war] that we would pull snippets out of that. I'm glad you mentioned that cause again, that's what WHUR was doing. And so we--it was, it was really culturally rich and sophisticated and, and musically, and we were very, very proud of it.$All right. Now, we were talking about the [NAACP; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] Image Awards, some of the stories, and you have a Roger Ebert story.$$Yes. And what made me think about it was when--I feel that throughout my career and my life I've been really blessed with a higher power, you know, looking out for me. And in the Image Awards, during the fourteen years that I did them, we put a lot of time and energy into thinking about how we would honor people. And, as I said, we try to do it in a way that would be very memorable. But I also know that we had some great luck along the way, because some things broke our way that you just couldn't have predicted. So, one example is we were going to honor the Isley Brothers one year, and we were in the production office with--I had a large writing staff, and the reason I did that is that the brainstorming process in my mind was as valuable as the actual writing. And so, I made sure to have a diverse writing staff; you know, age-wise, experience-wise, background-wise. And so, my policy was that any idea was welcomed and--which I learned from Brandon Tartikoff--and that anybody could throw out an idea and we would bat it around. And I always felt that my skill was determining the good ideas from the bad ones, and then maybe taking the good ideas up a notch. So, we were in the office and we were brainstorming about what could we do to pay tribute to the Isley Brothers. And we were just--I had bought a 'Greatest Hits' package, and we were bouncing through 'The Greatest Hits' package, and I'd play the first fifteen seconds of a song, and my writers would shout out the name of the song, you know, just naturally, because it would bring back so many memories for us. So, I said, "Wow, what if we did 'name that tune,' you know, and did it with the audience?" And so, one of the members of the staff said, "Well, why don't we use Steve Harvey to do this segment?" And we said, "Okay. Let's have Steve Harvey go into the audience and we'll play 'Name that Tune' with the audience, and we'll see if it works. And if it doesn't work, that's okay," because then the Image Awards wasn't live, it was videotaped. So I knew that if it didn't work, you know, I could cut it out. But, we picked, you know, four or five songs, and we told Steve, who was going to be in the audience, but we didn't tell him necessarily who to pick. And we didn't' tell the audience it was going to happen. So, he goes down into the audience, and I remember Chris Rock was one of the people that he asked, and you know, you could tell they were reluctant because he was literally picking him up out of the audience and they didn't know what was going to happen. So Chris Rock got all of the answers correctly, and then we picked somebody else, I can't remember who it was. But Steve was doing a great job with it. And he--by the way, before we did it, he wasn't even sure it was going to work. He said, "You're sure you want to try it?" And I was like, "Yeah. And you're so good on your feet that, you know, you'll make it work even if the person doesn't get the right answer." So, I don't what made him decide to go to Roger Ebert. And, you know, I guess he thought Roger Ebert, who has this image of being, you know, pretty square. And none of us knew that Roger happened to be married to an African American woman and that she was sitting next to him. But none of us knew that at the time. And so, Steve goes over to Roger Ebert and we play the song and we'll all thinking, "Oh, boy. He's never going to get this." And Roger turns to his wife and, of course, she gets the answer right away. And Steve turned it into a really funny bit. So that to me was an example of how, you know, pure luck, and sort of, I guess, good karma would be the best way to describe it. Things almost always worked for us on the Image Awards.$$Okay.