Madeline Amgott Dead: Pioneering Female TV News Producer Dies at 92

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Madeline Amgott, who was one of the only women to produce TV news programming in the 1950s and ’60s, died of lymphoma on Saturday in Manhattan. She was 92.

But Amgott’s achievements went beyond just successfully penetrating a male-dominated arena. She produced what was likely the first network-affiliate news program independent of network resources: “The Big News,” which aired on New York City’s WABC in the early ’60s.

Amgott also produced episodes of CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” and a children’s version, “30 Minutes,” which aired on Saturdays. She earned three Daytime Emmys for the latter program.

During the 1970s Amgott produced episodes of NBC’s issues-oriented discussion series “Not for Women Only,” hosted by Barbara Walters, among others.

She produced Bill Moyers’ 1987 series “In Search of the Constitution” on PBS. She also produced segments of CBS’ “Morning News.”

Madeline Rochelle Barotz was born in the Bronx and graduated from Brooklyn College. She worked for the Washington bureau of the San Diego; later she moved back to New York and joined CBS News in 1955.

At CBS she helped devise a daytime news program aimed at women: “Calendar,” hosted by Harry Reasoner, aired in the early ’60s.

She left “Calendar” when there was an opening for a producer but she didn’t get the job.But her subsequent job as a producer with WABC was perceived, the New. York Times said, “as a feminist breakthrough.”

Amgott later helped oversee PR for the National Organization for Women when it was founded in 1966. In 2003 she produced a film about the artist Hans Hofmann for PBS.

She is survived by two sons, a daughter and a stepdaughter; six grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

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  1. John Clark says:

    Dear old Madeline. Lost touch with her. She came into our lives when she replaced NBC’s “Not For Women Only” Barbara Walters with my wife Lynn Redgrave, and it was there that Lynn found her voice (with a little help from me and Madeline.) My condolences to her son Seth.

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