Edward R. Murrow, with whose career the name Fred Friendly was so closely linked, always believed that some issues are not equally balanced. Friendly, who in sixteen years at CBS probably produced more television documentaries than anyone else--and knew as many celebrities--explores here the conditions that make broadcasting itself an unbalanced issue: the enormous potential of the medium, the growth of corporate networks with stockholders, the staggering financial competition between ""unscheduled news"" and the soap-operas that always find sponsors, the long-line relay battle, the dilemma of the ratings, the history of the FCC. He looks back over the thrills (the McCarthy shows of the 'fifties; ""Biography of a Bookie Joint,"" blacked out in Boston) and the chills (""The Strange Death of See It Now""; the quiz scandals; the dark hours when CBS showed reruns instead of George Kennan's Vietnam Congressional testimony). His is the really inside story of how circumstances got ""beyond the industry's control""--of how the ""magic box"" became the ""boob tube""--and he tells it with passion tempered with a newsman's judgment. Final chapters are devoted to suggestions for the future of educational TV and communications satellites, and procedural revisions of the FCC. This should cause quite a crackle in the industry and among the viewers.