TVNewsCheck: A new documentary traces the popularity of local TV news to one man, Al Primo

Journalism faculty Brian Calfano receives industry praise for documentary

Brian Calfano, professor of journalism at the University of Cincinnati, is receiving kudos for his recently released documentary: "Al Primo & His Eyewitness News Revolution." 

headshot of Brian Calfano

Brian Calfano, professor of journalism at the University of Cincinnati. Photo/provided.

“I highly recommend the film to everybody, especially those in the TV news business,” writes Paul Greeley of TVNewsCheck, a broadcasting trade publication. Greeley notes that the film has already won multiple film/documentary awards.

The documentary has been a passion project for Calfano, a veteran news reporter and UC faculty member since 2016, who established the Center for Local News in the College of Arts and Sciences in 2023.

The documentary focuses on Eyewitness News creator Al Primo (1935-2022). Primo was an American television news executive who is credited with creating the Eyewitness News format. Hundreds of markets took on the Eyewitness News name to label their own featured local newscasts and others continue to use Primo's concept under different names for their own formats.

Primo is also credited with discovering and mentoring Rivera, who rose to national prominence in 1975 for pushing for, and anchoring, the first public airing of “The Zapruder Film” — a 1963 home movie of the Kennedy assassination taken by bystander Abraham Zapruder — on ABC’s Good Night America.

Read more about Calfano and the documentary. 

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