Cleveland TV legend Fred Griffith passes away at 90

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CLEVELAND–  Fred Griffith, who helped revolutionize morning television as host of the “Morning Exchange,” has died at the age of 90.

When Griffith started on the “Morning Exchange” at WEWS-TV in Cleveland, it was suppose to be a temporary gig.

Twenty-seven years later, he had helped change how morning TV was done nationwide, including on network television.

Griffith’s show did away with the news desk as a barrier between the hosts and their audience. His combination of a folksy charm and a fierce intellect made for a powerful combination.

The show invited viewers in for conversations that could be fun, intelligent or both. It was one of the first shows to feature cooking segments and easy banter between its hosts.

When ABC was preparing to launch “Good Morning America” in the 1980s, the network looked to Griffith’s “Morning Exchange” as a model.

He later spent 12 years at WKYC-TV. His TV career spanned more then half a century.

Griffith died in Solon on Friday morning surrounded by his family.

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