Anton Savage: So much more than a rabble rouser, Jerry Springer changed the face of modern TV
The subject matter of Springer’s show may have featured a cast of deadbeat dads, closeted sexuality and love-triangles, but making ordinary folk celebrities made possible the likes of Big Brother, Love Island, the Kardashians and even YouTube and TikTok content
Many people have been credited with changing TV. Usually this translates as ‘they did it for a long time and we liked them’. Letterman didn’t ‘change TV’, he just did it very well. Same for Oprah, Paxman, Parkinson, Cronkite and Carson. They were masters of their craft. But not change agents.
Springer was a change agent. He made a difference. He both personified and catalysed one of the biggest shifts in the history of broadcasting.