Steve Friedman is a builder of television programs and TV stations. He began his career at WBBM radio in Chicago in 1969. In 1970, he began his television career at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. There, along with the Tom Snyders, Tom Brokaws and Bryant Gumbels of the world, he made KNBC the number one station in the city. In his seven years at KNBC, he wrote and produced the local news, created an Emmy Award winning magazine show and ran the special projects unit. In 1977, he was named associate producer of NBC's Today show based in Los Angeles.
In 1979, Friedman was named producer of NBC's Today show in New York. In 1980, he became executive producer of Today. There he pioneered the Today trips to the Vatican, China and Russia. From 1979 to 1987, Today beat back David Hartman's Good Morning America and regained the top spot in the ratings.
After a stint with Grant Tinker's GTG, Friedman returned to NBC in 1990 and was reunited with Tom Brokaw as executive producer of NBC's Nightly News. There, Friedman and Brokaw rebuilt the franchise and established a more user friendly network newscast. While doing the Brokaw program, Friedman created Dateline NBC - NBC's first successful news magazine after 17 previous failures.
In 1993, Friedman solved another NBC problem. Today had fallen back to second place behind Good Morning America after the 1992 election. He immediately began construction on his dream of 20 years at an indoor, outdoor studio on the street at Rockefeller Plaza. That studio on 49th street turned the morning and New York upside down. Today regained the lead and it has not given it up.
After two years as president of television at Savoy Pictures, in 1997, Friedman went to WCBS-TV, where he was vice president and station manager and achieved more ratings success in news and sports programming.
In 1999, Friedman began working on an indoor-outdoor studio for a new CBS morning show. The Early Show premiered in November 1999, and Friedman was senior executive producer until June 2002. A winner of five national Emmys, Friedman lives in Manhattan with his wife, Beverly.