Patricia Gates Lynch Ewell, U.S. ambassador and broadcaster at the Voice of America (VOA), a tax-funded U.S. government media outlet for foreign audiences where she was known as Pat Gates, was a remarkable radio personality. She may have had more listeners to her English-language programs than Willis Conover’s VOA jazz programs in English, although various foreign language versions of Conover’s broadcasts probably made him the most listened to broadcaster at VOA. Pat Gates’ interviews with American cultural and political figures were also translated for use by multiple VOA language services.
Pat Gates’ famous sign-off at the end of each VOA Breakfast Show was: “If you meet someone without a smile, give him one of yours.” In 1969, she took a leave from her VOA job and served as a press aide to First Lady Pat Nixon. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan nominated her to serve as U.S. ambassador to Madagascar and the Comoros Islands, a post she held until 1989. After her diplomatic career, she worked as Director of Corporate Affairs for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).
Pat Gates died in 2011. See her obituary in The Washington Post.
A photo from the Voice of America 1980-1981 Program Guide shows Pat Gates with her VOA Breakfast Show co-hosts, Phil Irwin and Alan Silverman.
The Voice Of America takes pleasure in announcing the NEW Breakfast Show! A new sound, a new feel, a new immediacy, BUT WITH THE SAME OLD FRIENDS! Changing with the times, the Breakfast Show has adopted a format to enable us to bring our growing and increasingly important morning audience even closer to the latest developments. Interviews by Phil, Pat and Alan will be about TODAY’S issues with TODAY’S people, about significant trends in American life. Then, on the alternate hour, catch the Breakfast Show’s new companion. It’s called Daybreak and it is a full hour of in-depth coverage of the news, sports and cultural events. Check your schedule for time and frequency for the New Breakfast Show, TODAY’S BREAKFAST SHOW, and for its new companion, DAYBREAK.
In 1980, the Voice of America was known for quickly updating its radio newscasts and observing the VOA Charter.
A deadline every half-hour—in one or more of VOA’s thirty-nine language broadcasts. The senior editor keeps watch on a news operation that never sleeps, seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Correspondents stationed around the world bring eyewitness accounts, while the VOA news staff, supported by the largest array of wire services and news agencies avail- able, checks and double-checks to make sure that VOA news is “accurate, objective, and comprehensive.”*
*Mandated by Public Law 94-350,1976.
In 1980, VOA’s parent federal agency was briefly called the United States International Communication Agency (USICA). The name was changed from the United States Information Agency (USIA), but later the USIA name was restored. After USIA was dissolved in 1999, VOA was placed under the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) which changed its name this year to the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM).
Each year approximately 12,000 visitors tour the headquarters of the Voice of America in Washington. They come from all continents to see and hear live broadcasts in 39 languages from the VOA’s 25 studios, to see the VOA Newsroom and the “Bubble,” and to view an exhibit about the other activities of the United States International Communication Agency, of which VOA is a part.
EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT
The pace of life in the United States changes on the weekend, and so does the pace on the Voice of America. Only on Saturday, VOA broadcasts a 60-minute program designed to keep listeners in touch with many of the events occurring on the weekend. The WEEKEND program is an opportunity to participate in the fun, and keep up with the news, with contemporary American music and the reports of Voice of America correspondents around the world.
At the heart of each WEEKEND is a team of VOA specialists. Critic-at-large Walter Guthrie comments each Saturday on some aspect of American life. He may lament the status of the American hamburger, praise the passing of a by-gone decade or aim his sharpened pen at the foibles of a neglected institution. He can be outrageous. News Editor Elaine Johansen spends her week in conversation with correspondents around the world and on Saturday night may discuss prime issues with correspondents in Asia, or Europe or the Americas.
NEW PRODUCTS USA — Reports on new American consumer and industrial products appearing on international markets — Sundays.
CONCERT HALL — Concert music of all periods presented by leading American musical artists and orchestras of today along with interviews of the artists, conductors and composers—Sundays.
The MAGAZINE SHOW heard five evenings a week, offers many things to many listeners about science, the arts, education, religion, agriculture, medicine and folkways. Running the gamut from topical reports to interviews, from retrospective views to personality profiles, the Magazine Show brings to its listeners a picture of the ever changing fabric of American society. And to keep you the listener in closer touch, and we hope better informed about our country, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we answer a question that one of you has sent to our program.
Special English news brings you major world happenings spo- ken at a reduced speed, in words that help make our English language presentation on short-wave radio easier to receive. The science and technology report gives you an explanation of new developments in agriculture, chemistry, medicine, nutrition, etc., things that affect our everyday lives and work.
The feature following the news varies with the day of the week and includes “People in America,” “The Making of a Nation,” “Space and Man,” “The Living Earth” and “American Short Stories.”
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