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KYW-TV (Philadelphia) I-Team Reports

1978 to 1984

This collection consists of video copies (on DVD) and transcripts of every investigative report broadcast by the I-Team during its six-year existence.

In the late 1970s, Westinghouse Broadcasting and Cable, Inc., established investigative reporting units at four of its owned and operated television stations in Boston (WBZ), San Francisco (KPIX), Baltimore (WJZ) and Philadelphia (KYW). The creator and principal backer of these units was Pat Polillo, vice president for news for Westinghouse during the late 1970s when the units were established. Polillo believed that local news operations could and should provide in-depth investigative reporting as part of their local news coverage and he persuaded Westinghouse Broadcasting management to support that concept.

The I-Team at KYW was by far the largest and longest lived of all of the investigative units at the Westinghouse stations. The company's substantial commitment to the concept was demonstrated by the size of the KYW unit (seven members including four reporters, a producer, a cameraman and a researcher) and the amount of broadcast time devoted to I-Team reports (the unit's first report ran 45 minutes). The companys commitment to serious journalism was further evidenced by the fact that all four reporters hired for the KYW I-Team were seasoned investigative reporters from newspapers.

During its six years in operation, KYW's I-Team produced scores of reports on subjects that included political corruption, government waste, environmental issues, housing for the poor and the criminal justice system. Between 1982 and 1984, the I-Team produced a series of reports on the failure of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to adequately enforce the liquor laws in problem bars in Philadelphia and across the state. These reports resulted in the passage of legislation in Harrisburg transferring enforcement of the liquor laws from the LCB to the Pennsylvania State Police.

The KYW I-Team was honored with 21 awards for excellence in broadcast journalism, including a silver baton and two citations from the DuPont-Columbia University Awards program.

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