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This story is about Howard Beale,
the "Network News" anchorman on UBS TV.

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In his time, Howard Beale had been
a mandarin of television...

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the grand old man of news...

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with a HUT rating of 16
and a 28 audience share.

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In 1969, however, his fortunes
began to decline.

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He fell to a 22 share.

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The following year, his wife died,
and he was left a childless widower...

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with an 8 rating
and a 12 share.

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He became morose and isolated,
began to drink heavily.

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On September 22, 1975,
he was fired...

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effective in two weeks.

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The news was broken to him
by Max Schumacher...

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who was the president
of the News Division at UBS.

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The two old friends
got properly pissed.

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I was at CBS
with Ed Murrow in 1951.

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Must've been 1950.

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I was at NBC.
Associate producer.

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Morning news.
I was just a kid... 26 years old.

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Anyway, they were building the lower
level of the George Washington Bridge.

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We were doing a remote from there.

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And nobody told me.

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7:00 a.m., I get a call.

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"Where are you? You're supposed to be
on the George Washington Bridge?"

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I jump out of bed,
throw my raincoat over my pajamas.

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I run downstairs
and out into the street...

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hail a cab and say to the cabbie...

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"Take me to the middle
of the George Washington Bridge."

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The cabbie turns around and says...

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He says, "Don't do it, buddy.

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You're a young man. You've got
your whole life ahead of you."

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Didn't I tell you that before?

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I'm gonna kill myself.

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Shit, Howard.

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I'm gonna blow my brains out
right on the air...

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right in the middle
of the seven o'clock news.

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You'll get a hell of a rating,
I'll guarantee that.

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Fifty share easy.

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- You think so?
- Sure.

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We could make a series out of it.
"Suicide of the Week."

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Why limit ourselves?
"Execution of the Week."

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"Terrorist of the Week."

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They'll love it.

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Suicides. Assassinations.

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[...]
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