Harry Matthei’s article gave me a pang of pride. I think I can lay claim to selling the first sponsor on “Today.” When the visionary NBC president Pat Weaver walked into our sales meeting to announce a new program from 7:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. called “Today,” we listened in disbelief. Network programming started late in the afternoon; who would watch TV at 7:00 A.M. ? And what kind of name was that? Still, when I presented the concept to the agency for Clearasil, they bought it.
I was there in November 1951 for the first show with emcee Dave Garroway (already a friend from his “Garroway at Large” show, with my client Congoleum Nairn), and I believe it was Jack Lescoulie who did the live commercial for Clearasil.