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Episode # 207

Mastering the Art of Effective Communication with Hugh Downs

Joe Polish interview with Hugh Downs that was previously published as a Genius Network Interview

About Hugh Downs:

HughDowns Hugh Downs is a long-time American broadcaster, television host, news anchor, TV producer, author, game show host, and music composer. He is perhaps best known for his roles as co-host of the NBC News program Today from 1962 to 1971, host of the Concentration game show from 1958 to 1969, and anchor of the ABC News magazine 20/20 from 1978 to 1999. In addition, he’s served as announcer/sidekick for Tonight Starring Jack Paar, host of the PBS talk show Over Easy, and co-host of the syndicated talk show Not for Women Only. Joe Polish interview with Hugh Downs was previously published as a Genius Network Interview

Watch the video of this Hugh Downs Interview


  • What Makes a Good Communicator: Establishing a rapport with another human being in a way that is honest and as powerful as you can make it.
  • “My first allegiance was to the person tuned in. Then after that, to the product or the network or whatever.”
  • Change Is Not Always Good: “Competition got so fierce that in order to get better ratings, and better circulation for print, you had to lean toward going toward that arena audience that tunes in for blood and dirt.”
  • Too Much: So much info is available on the internet that if a person gravitates only toward that ideology or the source that he wants to believe in, then he misses out on the balancing perspective.
  • It’s important to keep active mentally. “I admire people who are single-purposed. But that makes them more vulnerable.”
  • Longevity Tips: You can mitigate hazards. You can influence your longevity and your comfort by habits that you clean up.
  • On Capitalism: “Free enterprise is still the best way, but a proper regulation of free enterprise.”
  • On Hate: You don’t have to hate anybody. You may deplore and hate something they’ve done that is wrong, but you don’t hate the person. “Hate is a weapon we wield by the blade.” You just hurt yourself if you hate. Stress is not bad. Distress is.
  • The Secrets to Marital Longevity: Determine to stay together. Learn to ventilate irritation without rancor. Laughing together is very important.
  • On Dealing with Children: You’ve got to give honest answers.
  • Business Advice: Make sure that if you’re an honestly-run business, that the public knows that you’re an honestly-run business. Do not lose patience, because some things take time.

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