TV directorFrances Buss Buch

Buch originally studied acting, and in July 1941 helped pay for acting classes by taking a temporary job as a receptionist for the CBS television network. It was just two weeks after the FCC started to allow commercial TV broadcasting. “I guess I had seen TV at the World’s Fair,” she said in an interview years later, “but I had no idea this existed in New York — CBS was a radio network!” With her acting experience, she was quickly put in front of the camera — as a scorekeeper for the first TV game show, The CBS Television Quiz. TV broadcasting was quickly shut down again (for World War II), and Buch went into directing, making Navy training films. When TV started back up, she rejoined CBS — and became the first female TV director. When CBS got the go-ahead to broadcast in color in 1951, she directed that, too — the first color broadcast (Premiere). She retired from TV in 1954 to be a full-time homemaker, and “I had no regrets,” she said. She died at a rest home on January 19 at 92.

From This is True for 24 January 2010