TelePrompTer Corporation was a media company that existed from approximately 1950 until 1981. The company was named after the teleprompter, a display device invented by Hubert Schlafly which scrolls text to on-camera talent instead of cue cards or scripts.
The company started around 1950 by businessman Irving B. Kahn; Fred Barton, Jr., a Broadway theatre actor; and Schlafly, an electrical engineer.
During the course of the corporation, in the 1950s, Schlafly invented the teleprompter, in order to help a soap opera actor who could not remember his lines. Schlafly unveiled the teleprompter on the set of the CBS soap opera, The First Hundred Years, in 1950. PR men handled the teleprompters. Schlafly invented the idea of actors in soap operas reading their lines by prompters, not scripts as they had been.
TelePrompTer itself sold its eponymous business in the 1960s and invested in cable and satellite broadcast services.
Schafly went on to cooperate with Hughes Aircraft Company to develop microwave video transmission services.
TelePrompTer's Kahn was convicted in 1971 and federally imprisoned for 20 months for trying to bribe members of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania city council to award his company a local cable franchise. He was also convicted of perjury. Mr. Kahn had stepped down as chairman of TelePrompTer several months before his conviction. Kahn maintained, before and after his 20-month prison term, that the issue was extortion by the officials and not bribery by Teleprompter.