CBS Broadcasting Inc. (CBS) is an American television network. The name is derived from the initials of Columbia Broadcasting System, its former legal name. The network is sometimes referred to as the Eye Network or more simply The Eye, in reference to the shape of the company's logo. It has also been called the Tiffany Network, which alludes to the high perceived quality of CBS programming during the tenure of its founder William S. Paley (1927–1990).[1] It can also refer to some of CBS's first demonstrations of color television, which were held in a former Tiffany & Co. building in New York City in 1950.

The network has its origins in United Independent Broadcasters Inc., a collection of 16 radio stations that was bought by William S. Paley in 1928 and renamed the Columbia Broadcasting System. Under Paley's guidance, CBS would first become one of the largest radio networks in the United States and then one of the big three American broadcast television networks. In 1995, CBS dropped its full name and became known simply as CBS, Inc. The Westinghouse Electric Corporation acquired the network in 1995 and eventually adopted the name of the company it had bought to become CBS Corporation. In 2000, CBS came under the control of Viacom, which coincidentally had begun as a spin-off of CBS in 1971. In late 2005, Viacom split itself and reestablished CBS Corporation with the CBS television network at its core. CBS Corporation and the new Viacom are controlled by Sumner Redstone through National Amusements, the parent of the two companies.

From the beginning of its existence to the present day, CBS has generally been the most watched network in the United States.
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History Edit

Early years Edit

The origins of CBS date back to the creation, on January 21, 1927 in Chicago, of the "United Independent Broadcasters" network. Established by New York talent agent Arthur Judson, United soon looked for additional investors; the Columbia Phonographic Manufacturing Company (also owners of Columbia Records), rescued the company in April 1927, and as a result, the network was renamed "Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System." Columbia Phonographic went on the air on September 18, 1927, from flagship station WOR in Newark, New Jersey, and 15 affiliates.

Unable to sell enough air time to advertisers, on September 25, 1927, Columbia sold the network for $500,000 to William S. Paley, son of a Philadelphia cigar manufacturer. With Columbia Phonographic's removal, Paley streamlined the corporate name to "Columbia Broadcasting System". Paley believed in the power of radio advertising; his family's company had seen their "La Palina" cigar become a best-seller after young William convinced his elders to advertise it on Philadelphia station WCAU, one of Columbia's affiliates.

In November 1927, Columbia paid $410,000 to A.H. Grebe's Atlantic Broadcasting Company for a small Brooklyn station, WABC, which would become the network's flagship station. WABC was quickly upgraded, and the signal relocated to a stronger frequency, 860 kHz. (In 1946, WABC was re-named WCBS; the station moved to a new frequency, 880 kHz, in the FCC's 1941 reassignment of stations.) It was where much of CBS's programming originated; other owned-and-operated stations were KNX Los Angeles, KCBS San Francisco (originally KQW), WBBM Chicago, WJSV Washington, DC (later WTOP, which moved to the FM dial in 2005; the AM facility today is WWWT, also a CBS Radio affiliate), KMOX St. Louis, and WCCO Minneapolis. These remain the core affiliates of the CBS Radio Network today, with WCBS still the flagship, and all except WTOP and WWWT (both Bonneville Broadcasting properties) owned by CBS Radio.

Later in 1928, another investor, Paramount Pictures (who ironically would eventually be co-owned with CBS, see below), bought Columbia stock, and for a time it was thought the network would be renamed "Paramount Radio". Any chance of further Paramount involvement ended with the 1929 stock market crash; the near-bankrupt studio sold its shares back to CBS in 1932.

As the third national network, CBS soon had more affiliates than either of NBC's two, in part because of a more generous rate of payment to affiliates. NBC's owner and founder of RCA, David Sarnoff, believed in technology, so NBC's affiliates had the latest RCA equipment, and were often the best-established stations, or were on "clear channel" frequencies. Paley believed in the power of programming, and CBS quickly established itself as the home of many popular musical and comedy stars, among them Bing Crosby, Al Jolson, George Burns & Gracie Allen, and Kate Smith. In 1938, NBC and CBS each opened studios in Hollywood to attract movieland's top talent to their networks – NBC at Radio City on Sunset and Vine, CBS two blocks away at Columbia Square.

In the hard times of the early 1930s, CBS radio broadened its offerings; having refused an AP franchise for news, Paley launched an independent news division, shaped in its first years by Paley's vice-president, former New York Times man Ed Klauber, and news director Paul White. Another early hire, in 1935, was Edward R. Murrow, brought in as "Director of Talks." It was Murrow's reports, particularly during the dark days of the London Blitz, which contributed to CBS News' image for on-the-spot coverage. As European news chief and later head of the news division, Murrow assembled a team of reporters and editors that propelled CBS News to the forefront of the industry.

On October 30, 1938, CBS gained a taste of infamy when Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre broadcast an adaptation of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. Its unique format, a contemporary version of the story in the form of faux news broadcasts, had many CBS listeners panicked into believing invaders from Mars were actually devastating Grovers Mill, New Jersey, despite three disclaimers during the broadcast that it was a work of fiction. CBS would later revive the format for television in the 1990s for Without Warning, which told the story of asteroids crashing to Earth, but the television format allowed for disclaimers to air at every commercial break, avoiding a replay of what happened in 1938.

Also in 1938, CBS bought American Record Corporation, the parent of its former investor Columbia Records.

Before the onset of World War II, CBS recruited Edmund A. Chester from his position as Bureau Chief for Latin America at Associated Press to serve as Director of Latin American Relations and Director of Short Wave Broadcasts for the CBS radio network (1940). In this capacity, Mr. Chester coordinated the development of the Network of the Americas (La Cadena de las Americas) with the Department of State, the Office for Inter-American Affairs (as chaired by Nelson Rockefeller) and Voice of America. This network provided vital news and cultural programming throughout South America and Central America during the crucial World War II era and fostered benevolent diplomatic relations between the United States of America and the less developed nations of the continent. It featured such popular radio broadcasts as Viva America [3] which showcased leading musical talent from both North and South America accompanied by the CBS Pan American Orchestra under the musical direction of Alfredo Antonini. The post war era also marked the beginning of CBS's dominance in the field of radio as well [3]

As long as radio was the dominant advertising medium, CBS dominated broadcasting. All through the 1950s and 1960s, CBS programs were often the highest-rated. A much-publicized "talent raid" on NBC in the mid-1940s brought Jack Benny, Edgar Bergen and Amos 'n' Andy into the CBS fold. Paley also was an innovator in creating original programming; since broadcasting's earliest days, time had been sold to advertising agencies in half- or full-hour blocks. The ad agencies, not the networks, would then create the program to fill the time, thus it was " 'The Johnson's Wax Program', with Fibber McGee & Molly", or " 'The Pepsodent Show', with Bob Hope." At Paley's urging, beginning in the mid-1940s, CBS began creating its own programs; among the long-running shows that came from this project were You Are There (born as CBS Was There), My Favorite Husband (starring Lucille Ball; the show proved a kind of blueprint for her big CBS television hit I Love Lucy), Our Miss Brooks (whose star, Eve Arden, was encouraged personally by Paley to try out for the title role), Gunsmoke and The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet. In time this idea was carried further, selling ad time by the minute, so ad agencies no longer had complete control over what went out over "Paley's air".

CBS moved at a deliberate pace into television; as late as 1950 it owned only one station; radio continued to be the backbone of the company. Gradually, as the television network took shape, big radio stars began to drift to television. The radio soap opera The Guiding Light moved to television in 1952 and still airs today; Burns & Allen made the move in 1950; Lucille Ball a year later; Our Miss Brooks in 1952 (though it continued simultaneously on radio for its full television life). The high-rated Jack Benny radio show ended in 1955, and Edgar Bergen's Sunday-night show went off the air in 1957. When CBS announced in 1956 that its radio operations had lost money, while the television network had made money, it was clear where the future lie. When the soap opera Ma Perkins went off the air November 25, 1960 only eight, relatively minor series remained. Prime-time radio ended on September 30, 1962, when the legendary Suspense aired for the final time.

After the retirement of talk-show pioneer Arthur Godfrey in 1972, CBS radio programming consisted of hourly news broadcast and an extensive schedule of news features, known in the 1970s as Dimension, and commentaries, including the well received Spectrum series of commentaries which evolved into the Point/Counterpoint feature on the television network's 60 Minutes and First Line Report, a well-regarded news and analysis feature delivered by CBS correspondents and offered to the CBS radio stations. The network also continued to offer traditional radio programming through its nightly "CBS Mystery Theater", the lone holdout of old-style programming. The CBS Radio Network continues to this day, but offers primarily its well-regarded newscasts, including its centerpiece World News Roundup in the morning and evening and news-related features like "The Osgood File" and "Harry Smith Reporting" as well as other talk properties like "Opie and Anthony"

The television years: expansion and growth Edit

CBS's first television broadcasts were experimental, often only for one hour a day, and reaching a limited area in and around New York City (over station W2XAB channel 2, later called WCBW and finally WCBS-TV). To catch up with rival RCA, CBS bought Hytron Laboratories in 1939, and immediately moved into set production and color broadcasting. Though there were many competing patents and systems, RCA dictated the content of the FCC's technical standards, and grabbed the spotlight from CBS, DuMont and others by introducing television to the general public at the 1939 New York World's Fair. The FCC began licensing commercial television stations on July 1, 1941; the first license went to RCA and NBC's WNBT (now WNBC); the second license, issued that same day, was to WCBW, (now WCBS). CBS-Hytron offered a practical color system in 1941, but it was not compatible with the black-and-white standards set down by RCA. In time, and after considerable dithering, the FCC rejected CBS's technology in favor of by RCA.

During the World War II years, commercial television broadcasting was reduced dramatically. Toward the end of the war, commercial television began to ramp up again, with an increased level of programming evident in the 1945–1947 period on the three New York television stations which operated in those years (the local stations of NBC, CBS and DuMont) But as RCA and DuMont raced to establish networks and offer upgraded programming, CBS lagged, advocating an industry-wide shift and re-start to UHF for their incompatible (with black and white) color system. Only in 1950, when NBC was dominant in television and black and white transmission was widespread, did CBS begin to buy or build their own stations (outside of New York) in Los Angeles, Chicago and other major cities. Up to that point, CBS programming was seen on such stations as KTTV Channel 11 in Los Angeles, which CBS--as a bit of insurance and to guarantee program clearance in Los Angeles--quickly purchased a 50% interest in. CBS then sold their interest in KTTV and purchased outright Los Angeles pioneer station KTSL (Channel 2) in 1950, renaming it KNXT (after CBS' existing Los Angeles radio property, KNX), later to become KCBS. The "talent raid" on NBC of the mid-forties had brought over established radio stars; they now became stars of CBS television as well. One reluctant CBS star refused to bring her radio show, "My Favorite Husband", to television unless the network would re-cast the show with her real-life husband in the lead. Paley and network president Frank Stanton had so little faith in the future of Lucille Ball's series, re-dubbed I Love Lucy, that they granted her wish and allowed the husband, Desi Arnaz, to take financial control of the production. This was the making of the Ball-Arnaz Desilu empire, and became the template for series production to this day.

In the late 1940s, CBS offered imaginative and historic live television coverage of the proceedings United Nations General Assembly(1949). This journalist tour-de-force was under the direction of Edmund A. Chester, who was appointed to the post of Director for News, Special Events and Sports at CBS Television in 1948. The broadcast clearly underscored CBS's long term commitment to excellence in broadcast journalism in the post World War II era.

As television came to the forefront of American entertainment and information, CBS dominated television as it once had radio. In 1953, the CBS television network would make its first profit [4], and would maintain dominance on television between the years 1955 and 1976 as well[4] By the late 1950s, the network often controlled seven or eight of the slots on the "top ten" ratings list. This would continue for many years, with CBS bumped from first place only by the rise of ABC in the mid-1970s. Perhaps because of its status as the top-rated network, during the late 1960s and early 1970s CBS felt freer to gamble with controversial properties like the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and All in the Family and its many spinoffs during this period.

One of CBS's most critically acclaimed and popular shows at that time was M*A*S*H, a dramedy based on the hit Robert Altman film. It ran from 1972-1983, and was set, like the film, during the Korean War in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. The final episode aired on February 28, 1983 and was 2½ hours long. It was viewed by nearly 106 million Americans (77% of viewership that night) which established it as the most watched episode in United States television history, a record which still stands.

CBS "Eye" Logo in 1965, shown before shows presented in colorWilliam Paley was a buyer of art, and a backer of New York's Museum of Modern Art. CBS offices were filled with original works. Paley shared this interest with Frank Stanton (1908-2006), CBS President (1946–1971), who carried this belief over into the design elements surrounding the network. When CBS bought Los Angeles station KNX in 1936 for a west-coast production headquarters, Frank Stanton demanded that architect William Lescaze be hired to create Columbia Square, a distinctive, modern broadcasting center on Sunset Boulevard. Similarly, when CBS commissioned Eero Saarinen to design a new corporate center in New York in the 1960s, Stanton supervised every aspect of the project, even dictating what could be displayed in employee offices and on desktops. This belief in art, graphics and branding carried over to such things as the CBS Television's logo, the unblinking eye logo (designed by William Golden and introduced in 1951). An example of CBS's graphic-design particularity: on all official CBS letterhead, a tiny dot (at most a point in diameter) was pre-printed to indicate to a secretary where the typewriter carriage should be positioned for the salutation of a letter. Golden's successor as Creative Director, Lou Dorfsman, worked with Dr. Stanton to develop the CBS Inc. corporate look that survives to this day.

Color telecasts Edit

Although CBS-TV was the first with a working color television system, they lost out to RCA in 1953, due in part because the CBS color system was incompatible with existing black-and-white sets. Although RCA (parent company of NBC) made its color system available to CBS, the network was not interested in boosting RCA's profits and only televised a few specials in color for the rest of the decade. The specials included the Ford Star Jubilee programs (which included the first telecast ever of the 1939 film classic The Wizard of Oz), the 1957 telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Cole Porter's 1958 musical version of Aladdin, and Playhouse 90's only color broadcast, the 1958 production of The Nutcracker. Beginning in 1959, The Wizard of Oz, now telecast as a family special in its own right (after the cancellation of Ford Star Jubilee), became an annual tradition on color TV.

By the early 1960s, CBS-TV was void of transmitting anything in color—save for a few specials and only if the sponsor would pay for it. Red Skelton was the first CBS host to telecast his weekly programs in color, using a converted movie studio, in the early 1960s; he tried unsuccessfully to persuade the network to use his facility for other programs, then was forced to sell it. Color was being pushed hard by rival NBC. Even ABC-TV had several color programs in 1962. One famous CBS-TV special made during this era was the tour of the White House with First Lady Jackie Kennedy. It was, however, shown in black-and-white. This would all change by the mid-1960s, when market pressure forced CBS-TV to add color programs to the regular schedule for the 1965–66 season. By 1973, all of CBS's TV programs were being shown in color, as they were on NBC and American Broadcasting Company (ABC).

1971-1986: The "Rural Purge" and (temporary) Fall From the Top Edit

By the end of the 1960s, CBS was broadcasting much of its schedule in color, but it was felt that many of its shows (including The Beverly Hillbillies, Mayberry RFD, Petticoat Junction, Hee-Haw and Green Acres) were appealing more to older and more rural audiences and less to young, urban and more affluent audiences that advertisers sought to target. Fred Silverman (who would later head ABC, then NBC) made the decision to cancel most of those shows by mid-1971 in what became colloquially referred to as the “Rural Purge,” with Green Acres star Pat Buttram remarking that the network cancelled “anything with a tree in it.”

While the “rural” shows got the axe, new hits like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Bob Newhart Show, the Waltons, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, Kojak and The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour took their place and kept CBS at the top of the ratings through the early 70's. Also, 60 Minutes moved to 7PM ET on Sundays and became an unexpected hit.

Fred Silverman also first used his talent for spinning off shows at CBS, with Rhoda and Phyllis from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Maude and The Jeffersons from All in the Family and Good Times from Maude (ironically, he would later have to “save” Happy Days from Good Times, on assuming the presidency of ABC in 1975.)

After Silverman's departure, CBS dropped behind ABC in the 1976-77 season, but still rated strongly, based on its earlier hits and new long-running hits One Day at a Time, Alice, WKRP in Cincinnati, The Dukes of Hazzard (somewhat harkening back to the “rural” days) and, the biggest hit of the early 80's, Dallas.

By 1982, ABC had run out of steam and CBS was again ruling the airwaves with Dallas (and its spin-off Knots Landing,) Falcon Crest, Magnum PI, Simon & Simon and 60 Minutes, along with many of its long-running hits from the mid-70's. But, despite a few new hits (Kate & Allie, Newhart, Crazy like a Fox, Scarecrow and Mrs King, Murder, She Wrote) the resurgence was short-lived.

1986-2002: Tiffany Network in distress Edit

In 1984, The Cosby Show debuted on NBC and grabbed high ratings immediately, bringing that network back to first place by the 1985-1986 season. By the 1988-1989 season, CBS had fallen to third place behind both ABC and NBC, and had some major rebuilding to do.

Ironically, some of the groundwork was already laid, with hits Murder, She Wrote, Kate & Allie and Newhart still on the schedule from the early 1980s, and future hits Designing Women and Murphy Brown having recently debuted. Plus, CBS was still getting decent ratings from 60 Minutes, Dallas and Knots Landing.

Under network president Jeff Sagansky, The network was able to get strong ratings from new shows Diagnosis: Murder, Touched by an Angel, Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman and a resurgent Jake and the Fatman during this period, and CBS was able to reclaim the first place crown briefly, in the 1992-1993 season, though its demographics skewed older than ABC, NBC or even Fox, with its relatively limited presence at that time.

With Fox's acquisition on the NFL and the resulting affiliation changes (along with an ill-fated effort to court younger viewers) CBS dropped to second-place in the ratings in the 1994-1995 season behind a resurgent NBC (with Seinfeld, Friends, and other “Must-See TV” shows,) and in 1999 behind a briefly-resurgent ABC (fueled by Who Wants to be a Millionaire.)

Still, CBS was able to produce some hits, such as Cosby, The Nanny, and Everybody Loves Raymond.

2002-Present: Top Dog Edit

Another turning point for CBS came in the summer of 2000 when it debuted the summer reality show Survivor, which became a surprise summer hit for the network. In January 2001, CBS debuted the second season of the show after its airing of the Super Bowl and scheduled it Thursdays at 8PM ET, and moved the police procedural CSI (which had debuted that fall Fridays at 9PM ET) to Thursdays at 9PM ET and was both able to chip away at and eventually beat NBC's Thursday night lineup, and attract younger viewers to the network.

CBS has had additional successes with police procedurals Cold Case, Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, NCIS, and The Mentalist, along with CSI spinoffs CSI: Miami and CSI: NY, and sitcoms Everybody Loves Raymond, The King of Queens, Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and The New Adventures of Old Christine.

During the 2007-2008 season, Fox ranked as the top-rated network, primarily due to its reliance on American Idol which wasn't affected by the writer's strike. However, it's likely that CBS will be the top-rated network for the 2008-2009 season, based on its season-to-date and weekly leads over Fox as of March 2009. [7]

The conglomerate Edit

During the 1960s, CBS began an effort to diversify, and looked for suitable investments. In 1965, it acquired electric guitar maker Fender from Leo Fender, who agreed to sell his company due to health problems. The purchase also included that of Rhodes electric pianos, which had already been acquired by Fender. This and other acquisitions led to a restructuring of the corporation into various operating groups and divisions.

In other diversification attempts, CBS would buy (and later sell) sports teams (especially the New York Yankees baseball club), book and magazine publishers (Fawcett Publications including Woman's Day, and Holt, Rinehart and Winston), map-makers, toy manufacturers (Gabriel Toys, Child Guidance, Wonder Products), and other properties.

As William Paley aged, he tried to find the one person who could follow in his footsteps. Over the years any number of accomplished, successful businessmen were recruited, loudly praised to the press, only later to be summarily dismissed. By the mid-1980s, the investor Laurence Tisch had begun to acquire substantial holdings in CBS. Eventually he gained Paley's confidence, and then his blessing, taking control of CBS in 1986. But Tisch had no dreams of quality or of "Tiffany" networks; he expected a return on his investment.

When CBS faltered, under-performing units were given the axe. Among the first properties to go, and among the most prestigious, was the CBS Records group, which had been part of the company since 1938. Tisch also shut down in 1986 the CBS Technology Center in Stamford, CT, which had started in New York City in the 1930s as CBS Laboratories and evolved to be the company's technology R&D unit.

CBS Records group Edit

CBS Records was a record label group (as Columbia Records in the US and Canada) owned by CBS since 1938. CBS sold CBS Records to the Japanese conglomerate Sony in 1988 initiating the Japanese buying spree of US companies (MCA, Pebble Beach, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, et al.) that continued into the 1990s and the record label company was re-christened Sony Music Entertainment in 1991, as Sony had a short term license on the CBS name. Eventually the entity known as Sony Music Entertainment would become Sony BMG Music Entertainment when Sony and BMG merged in 2004.

Sony purchased from EMI its rights to the Columbia Records name outside the US, Canada and Japan. Sony BMG now uses Columbia Records as a label name in all countries except Japan, where Sony Records remains their flagship label.

CBS Corporation revived CBS Records in 2006.

CBS Musical Instruments division Edit

Forming the CBS Musical Instruments division, the company also acquired Steinway pianos, Gemeinhardt flutes, Lyon & Healy harps, Rodgers (institutional) organs, Gulbransen home organs, Electro-Music Inc. (Leslie speakers), and Rogers drums. The last musical purchase was the 1981 acquisition of the assets of then-bankrupt Arp Instruments, developer of electronic synthesizers.

Between 1965 and 1985 the quality of Fender guitars and amplifiers declined significantly. Encouraged by outraged Fender fans, CBS Musical Instruments division executives executed a leveraged buyout in 1985 and created FMIC, the Fender Musical Instrument Corporation. At the same time, CBS divested itself of Rodgers, along with Steinway and Gemeinhardt, all of which were purchased by Steinway Musical Properties. The other musical instruments properties were also liquidated.

Film production Edit

CBS made a brief, unsuccessful move into film production in the late 1960s, creating Cinema Center Films. This profit-free unit was shut down in 1972; today the distribution rights to the Cinema Center library rest with Paramount Pictures for home video (via CBS DVD) and theatrical release, and with CBS Paramount Television for TV distribution (most other ancillary rights remain with CBS). It released such films as The Reivers (1969), starring Steve McQueen, and the musical Scrooge (1970), starring Albert Finney.

Yet ten years later, in 1982, CBS was talked into another try at Hollywood, in a joint venture with Columbia Pictures and HBO called Tri-Star Pictures. Their first release, in 1984, was The Natural. Their second movie was a flop remake of the 1960 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer picture Where the Boys Are. CBS dropped out of the venture in 1984.

In 2007, CBS Corp. announced its desire to get back into the feature film business slowly launching CBS Films and hiring key executives in the Spring of 2008 to startup the new venture. The name CBS Films was actually used once before in 1953 when the name was briefly used for CBS' distributor of off-network and first-run syndicated programming to local TV stations in the United States and abroad.

Home video Edit

CBS entered into the home video market, when joined with MGM to form MGM/CBS Home Video in 1978, but the joint venture was broken by 1982. CBS joined another studio: 20th Century Fox, to form CBS/Fox Video. CBS's duty was to release some of the movies by Tri-Star under the CBS/Fox Video label.

Gabriel Toys Edit

CBS entered the video game market briefly, through its acquisition of Gabriel Toys (renamed CBS Toys), publishing several arcade adaptations and original titles under the name CBS Electronics for the Atari 2600 and other consoles and computersand also a one of the first karaoke recording/players called Star Studio model # 55000 (1985). CBS Electronics also distributed all Coleco-related video game products in Canada, including the ColecoVision. CBS later sold Gabriel Toys to View-Master.

New owners Edit

By the early 1990s, profits had fallen as a result of competition from cable companies, video rentals, and the high cost of programming. About 20 former CBS affiliates switched to the rapidly rising FOX Television Network in the mid 1990s, with many television markets across the country (e.g. KDFX in Palm Springs, California and KECY in Yuma, Arizona reportedly the first to do so in August 1994) lost their CBS affiliate for awhile. CBS ratings were acceptable, but the network struggled with an image of stodginess. Laurence Tisch lost interest and sought a new buyer.

CBS's Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan, home to the Late Show with David Letterman.

Westinghouse Electric Corporation Edit

In 1995, Westinghouse Electric Corporation acquired CBS for $5.4 billion. As one of the major broadcasting group owners of commercial radio and television stations (as Group W) since 1920, Westinghouse sought to transition from a station operator into a major media company with its purchase of CBS. This was followed in 1997 with the $4.9-billion purchase of Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, owner of more than 150 radio stations. Also that year, Westinghouse began the CBS Cable division by acquiring two existing cable channels (Gaylord's The Nashville Network and Country Music Television) and starting a new one (CBS Eye on People, which was later sold to Discovery Communications).

Following the Infinity purchase, operation and sales responsibilities for the CBS Radio Network was handed to Infinity, which turned management over to Westwood One, a company Infinity managed. WWO is a major radio program syndicator that had previously purchased the Mutual Broadcasting System, NBC's radio networks and the rights to use the "NBC Radio Networks" name. For a time, CBS Radio, NBC Radio Networks and CNN's radio news services were all under the WWO umbrella.

As of 2008, Westwood One continues to distribute CBS radio programming, but as a self-managed company that put itself up for sale and found a buyer for a significant amount of its stock.

CBS also owned CBS Telenoticias, a Spanish-language news network.

In that same year of 1997, Westinghouse changed its name to CBS Corporation, and corporate headquarters were moved from Pittsburgh to New York. And to underline the change in emphasis, all non-entertainment assets were put up for sale. Another 90 radio stations were added to Infinity's portfolio in 1998 with the acquisition of American Radio Systems Corporation for $2.6 billion.

In 1999, CBS paid $2.5 billion to acquire King World Productions, a television syndication company whose programs include The Oprah Winfrey Show, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. By the end of 1999, all pre-CBS elements of Westinghouse's industrial past (beyond retaining rights to the name for brand licensing purposes) were gone.

Viacom Edit

By the 1990s, CBS had become a broadcasting giant, but in 1999 entertainment conglomerate Viacom (1971-2005), a company created years earlier to syndicate old CBS series, announced it was taking over CBS in a deal valued at $37 billion. Following completion of this effort in 2000, Viacom was ranked as the second-largest entertainment company in the world.

CBS Corporation and CBS Studios Edit

Having assembled all the elements of a communications empire, Viacom found that the promised synergy was not there, and at the end of 2005 it split itself in two. CBS became the center of a new company, CBS Corporation, which included the broadcasting elements, Paramount Television's production operations (renamed CBS Paramount Television), Viacom Outdoor advertising (renamed CBS Outdoor), Showtime, Simon & Schuster, and Paramount Parks, which the company sold in May 2006.

The second company, keeping the Viacom name, kept Paramount Pictures (a former shareholder in CBS, see above, also owned a stake in the DuMont Television Network, whose Pittsburgh O&O is now CBS-owned KDKA-TV), assorted MTV Networks, BET, and, until May 2007, Famous Music, which was sold to Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

As a result of the aforementioned Viacom/CBS corporate split, as well as other acquisitions over recent years, CBS (under the moniker CBS Studios) owns a massive television library spanning over six decades; these include not only CBS in-house productions and network programs, but also programs aired originally on competing networks. Shows in this library include I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, The Honeymooners, Hawaii Five-O, Gunsmoke, The Fugitive, Little House on the Prairie, Star Trek, The Brady Bunch, Cheers, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Evening Shade, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, among others.

Both CBS Corporation and the new Viacom are still owned by Sumner Redstone's company, National Amusements. As such, Paramount Home Entertainment continues to handle DVD distribution for the CBS library.

Corporate tidbits Edit

A.C. Nielsen estimated in 2003 that CBS can be seen in 96.98% of all American households, reaching 103,421,270 homes in the United States. CBS has 204 VHF and UHF affiliated stations in the U.S. and U.S. possessions. CBS is currently the most watched television network in the United States, with the prime draws being the CSI and Survivor franchises. It was the number one network until the Fox Network overtook it in 2008 for 2 weeks.[8]

Logos and slogans Edit

v • d • eTV Network logos[hide] American television network logos ABC · CBS · FOX · NBC · PBS · A&E · AMC · Cinemax · CNBC · Discovery · Disney · Ion · Lifetime · MSNBC · SHOW · TBS · TMC · TruTV · USA · TWC

Canadian television network logos CBC · SRC · CTV · Global · TQS · E!

Early CBS Color TV logo, from 1946 CBS' original "block text" oval logo CBS eye logo, popularly known as the "CBS Eye" or "Eyemark". CBS' older logo, with Serif font letteringCBS unveiled its Eye Device logo on October 17, 1951. Before that, from the 1940s through 1951, CBS Television used an oval spotlight on the block letters C-B-S.[9] The Eye device was conceived by William Golden based on a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign as well as a Shaker drawing. (While commonly attributed to Golden, there is speculation that at least some design work on the symbol may have been done by another CBS staff designer, Georg Olden, one of the first African-Americans to achieve some notoriety in the postwar graphic design field.)[10] The Eye device made its broadcasting debut on October 20, 1951. The following season, as Golden prepared a new ident, CBS President Frank Stanton insisted on keeping the Eye device and using it as much as possible.

An example of CBS Television Network's imaging (and the distinction between the television and radio networks) may be seen in a video of the Jack Benny Program (undated) which aired on the television network. The video appears to be converted from kinescope, and "unscoped" or unedited. One sees the program as very nearly one would have seen it on live television. Don Wilson is the program announcer, but also voices a promo for "Private Secretary", which alternated weekly with Jack Benny on the television network schedule. Benny continued to appear on CBS radio and television at that time, and Wilson makes a promo announcement at the end of the broadcast for Benny's radio program on the CBS Radio Network. The program closes with the "CBS Television Network" ID slide (the "CBS eye" over a field of clouds with the words "CBS Television Network" superimposed over the eye). There is, however, no voiceover accompanying the ID slide. It is unclear whether it was simply absent from the recording or never originally broadcast.[11]

The CBS eye is now an American icon. While the symbol's settings have changed, the Eye device itself has not been redesigned in its entire history. In the network’s new graphic identity created by Trollback + Company in 2006, the eye is being placed in a “trademark” position on show titles, days of the week and descriptive words, an approach highly respecting the value of the eye. The eye logo has frequently been copied or borrowed by television networks around the world, notable examples being the Austrian Broadcasting System (ORF) which used to use a red version of the eye logo, Associated TeleVision in the United Kingdom and Frecuencia Latina in Peru. The logo is alternately known as the Eyemark, which was also the name of CBS's domestic and international syndication divisions in the mid to late 1990s before the King World acquisition and Viacom merger.

1980s Edit

Through the years, CBS has developed several notable image campaigns, and several of the network's most well-known slogans date from the 1980s. 1981's "Reach for the Stars" used a space-themed campaign to capitalize on both CBS's stellar improvement in the ratings and the historic launch of the space shuttle Columbia. 1982's "Great Moments" juxtaposed scenes from classic CBS programming such as "I Love Lucy" with scenes from the network's then-current classics such as "Dallas" and "M*A*S*H". From 1983 through 1986, CBS (by now firmly atop the ratings) featured a campaign based on the slogan "We've Got the Touch". Vocals for the campaign's jingle were contributed by Richie Havens (1983–1984 and 1984–1985), Aaron Neville (1984–1985) and Kenny Rogers (1985–1986). The 1986–1987 programming season ushered in the "Share the Spirit of CBS" campaign, the network's first to use full-out computer graphics and DVE effects. Unlike most network campaign promos, the full length version of Share the Spirit not only showed a brief clip preview of each new fall series, but also utilized the CGI effects to map out the entire fall schedule by night. The success of that campaign led to the 1987–1988 "CBSpirit" campaign. Most CBSpirit promos utilized a procession of show clips once again. However, the new graphic motif was a swirling (or "swishing") blue line, that was used to represent "the spirit". The full length promo, like the previous year, had a special portion that identified new fall shows, but the mapped-out fall schedule shot was abandoned.

For the 1988–1989 season, CBS unveiled its new image campaign, officially known as "Television You Can Feel" but more commonly identified as "You Can Feel It On CBS". The goal was to convey a more sensual, new-age image through distinguished, advanced-looking computer graphics and soothing music, backgrounding images and clips of emotionally-powerful scenes and characters. However, it was this season in which CBS began its ratings free fall, the deepest in the network's history. CBS ended the decade with "Get Ready for CBS". The 1989–90 version was a very ambitious campaign that attempted to elevate CBS out of last place (among the major networks); the motif was network stars interacting with each other in a remote studio set, getting ready for photo and TV shoots, as well as for the new season on CBS. The high-energy promo song and the campaign's practices saw many variations across the country as every CBS affiliate participated in it, as per a network mandate. Also, for the first time in history, CBS became the first broadcast network to team with a national retailer to encourage viewership, with the CBS/Kmart Get Ready Giveaway.

1990s Edit

For the 1990–91 season, the campaign featured a new jingle—The Temptations offered an altered version of their hit "Get Ready". The early 1990s featured less-than-memorable campaigns, with simplified taglines such as "This is CBS" (1992) and "You're On CBS" (1995). Eventually, the advertising department gained momentum again late in the decade with Welcome Home to CBS (1996–1997), simplified to Welcome Home (1997–1999) and succeeded by the spin-off campaign The Address is CBS (1999–2000).

2000s Edit

Throughout the 2000s, CBS's ratings resurgence was backed by their "It's All Here" campaign, and their strategy led, in 2005, to the proclamation that they were "America's Most Watched Network". Their most-recent campaign, beginning in 2006, proclaims "We Are CBS".

Programming Edit

Further information: List of programs broadcast by CBS CBS presently operates on an 87½-hour regular network programming schedule. It provides 22 hours of prime time programming to affiliated stations: 8–11 p.m. Monday to Saturday (all times ET/PT) and 7–11 p.m. on Sundays. Programming will also be provided 11 a.m.–4 p.m. weekdays (game show The Price Is Right and soaps The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, As the World Turns and Guiding Light); 7–9 a.m. weekdays and Saturdays (The Early Show); CBS News Sunday Morning, nightly editions of the CBS Evening News, the Sunday political talk show Face the Nation, a 2½-hour early morning news program Up to the Minute and CBS Morning News; the late night talk shows Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson; and a three-hour Saturday morning live-action/animation block under the name KEWLopolis.

In addition, sports programming routinely appears on the weekends, although with a somewhat unpredictable schedule (mostly between noon and 7:00 p.m. ET).

Prime time Edit

Returning comedies are in red; new comedies are in pink; returning dramas are in green; new dramas are in blue; returning reality shows are in yellow; new reality shows are in gold; returning game shows are in orange; new game shows are in beige; news programming is in brown; sports programming is in purple.

All times are Eastern and Pacific (subtract one hour for Central and Mountain time).

7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 8:00 p.m. 8:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m. 9:30 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 10:30 p.m.

Monday The Big Bang Theory How I Met Your Mother Two and a Half Men Rules of Engagement CSI: Miami Tuesday NCIS The Mentalist Without a Trace Wednesday The New Adventures of Old Christine Gary Unmarried Criminal Minds CSI: NY Thursday Survivor CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Harper's Island Friday Ghost Whisperer Flashpoint NUMB3RS Saturday Crimetime Saturday Crimetime Saturday 48 Hours Mystery Sunday † 60 Minutes The Amazing Race Cold Case The Unit

The weeknight late night schedule comprises talk shows Late Show with David Letterman followed by The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and the CBS News overnight news program Up to the Minute. † The Sunday schedule in the East and Central time zones may be delayed by sports programming (NFL and golf) ending late. Unlike Fox, CBS does not usually preempt programming for late-ending sports events, instead delaying the entire schedule for overruns.

Daytime Edit

Currently, CBS Daytime airs four daytime soap operas each weekday: The Young and the Restless (1973– ), The Bold and the Beautiful (1987– ), As the World Turns (1956– ), and Guiding Light (which debuted on radio in 1937 and moved to TV in 1952). While most CBS affiliates air the soaps in this order, some do not.

Notable daytime soaps that once aired on CBS include Love of Life (1951–1980), Search for Tomorrow (1951–1982), which later moved to NBC, The Secret Storm (1954–1974), The Edge of Night (1956–1975), which later moved to ABC, and Capitol (1982–1987).

CBS' daytime schedule is also the home of the popular long-running game show The Price Is Right. The Price is Right, which began production in 1972, is notable as the longest (and last) continuously running daytime game show on network television.

Notable daytime game shows that once aired on CBS include Match Game (1973–1979), Tattletales (1974–1978 and 1982–1984), The $25,000 Pyramid (1982–1988), Press Your Luck (1983–1986), Card Sharks (1986–1989) and Family Feud (1988–1993). CBS games that also aired in prime time include Beat the Clock (1950–1958 and 1979–1980), To Tell the Truth (1956–1968) and Password (1961–67, and a 2008 prime time revival). Two long-running primetime-only games were the panel shows What's My Line? (1950–1967) and I've Got a Secret (1952–1968, 1976).

Children's programming Edit

CBS broadcast the live action series Captain Kangaroo on weekday mornings from 1955 through 1982, and on Saturdays through 1984. From 1971 through 1986, the CBS News department produced one-minute In the News segments broadcast between other Saturday morning programs. Otherwise, in regards to children's programming, CBS has aired mostly animated series for kids, such as the original version of Scooby-Doo, Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, Garfield and Friends and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In 1997, CBS began broadcasting Wheel 2000, and was broadcasting it simultaneously with GSN.

By 1998, CBS began contracting out to other companies to provide programming and material for their Saturday morning schedule, The first of these special blocks was The CBS Kids Show, which featured programming from Canada's Nelvana studio. It aired on CBS Saturday mornings from 1998 to 2000, with shows like Anatole, Mythic Warriors, Rescue Heroes, and Flying Rhino Junior High. Its tagline was, "The CBS Kids Show: Get in the Act."

In 2000, CBS's deal with Nelvana ended; the CBS Kids Show block was replaced with another block of programming from a network which, at the time, was in the same family as CBS — Nick Jr. on CBS.

In 2001, CBS began a deal with Nickelodeon (owned by CBS's former parent company Viacom, which at one time was a subsidiary of CBS) to air its original programming under the banner Nick on CBS. In 2004, CBS changed the lineup by going for the somewhat undercourted preschool market by switching its lineup from programming from Nickelodeon back to Nick Jr. In 2006, after the Viacom-CBS split (as described above), CBS decided to discontinue the Nick Jr. lineup in favor of a lineup of programs produced by DiC, as part of a three-year deal which includes distribution of selected Formula One auto races on tape delay.

In 2006 the Nick on CBS block was replaced with KOL Secret Slumber Party on CBS. In the inaugural line-up, two of the programs were new shows, one aired in syndication in 2005 and three were pre-2006 shows. In mid-2007, KOL withdrew sponsorship from CBS's Saturday Morning Block and the name was changed to KEWLopolis on CBS. Complimenting CBS's 2007 line-up was Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, and Sushi Pack.

Animated primetime holiday specials Edit

CBS was the original broadcast network for the animated primetime holiday specials based on the comic strip Peanuts, beginning with A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965. Over thirty holiday Peanuts specials (each for a specific holiday such as Halloween) were broadcast on CBS from that time until 2000, when ABC acquired the broadcast rights. CBS also aired several primetime animated specials based on the work of Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel), beginning with How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 1966. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, produced in stop motion animation by the Rankin/Bass studio, has been another annual holiday staple of CBS since 1972, but that special originated on NBC in 1964.

All of these animated specials, from about 1972 until about the early 1990's, began with a fondly remembered opening animated logo which showed the words "A CBS Special Presentation" in colorful lettering. The word "SPECIAL", in multiple colors, slowly zoomed out from the frame in a spinning counterclockwise motion against a black background, and rapidly zoomed back into frame at the end; the logo was accompanied by a jazzy yet majestic up-tempo fanfare (believed to be incidental music from the CBS crime drama Hawaii Five-O) with dramatic horns and percussion (this appeared at the beginning of all CBS specials of the period (such as the Miss USA pageants and the annual Kennedy Center Honors presentation), not just animated ones).

International broadcasts Edit

CBS is shown outside North and Central America on a channel in its own right, it even began terrestrial coverage in the Philippines on October 1, 2006, and has affiliates in the country (the Philippines contains a simulcast from KCBS-TV in Los Angeles being broadcasted from Makati City). However, CBS News is shown for a few hours a day on satellite channel Orbit News in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The CBS Evening News is shown in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Italy on Sky News, despite the fact that Sky is part of News Corporation (owners of Fox News).

In Australia, Network Ten has an output deal with CBS Paramount giving them rights to carry the programs Jericho, Dr. Phil, Late Show with David Letterman, NCIS and NUMB3RS as well access to stories from 60 Minutes (the rights of which have been sold to the Nine Network which broadcasts their own 60 Minutes).

In Bermuda, there is a CBS affiliate owned by the state-run Bermuda Broadcasting Company using the callsign ZBM.

In Canada, CBS, like all major American TV networks, is carried in the basic program package of all cable and satellite providers. The broadcast is shown exactly the same in Canada as in the United States. However, CBS's programming on Canadian cable and satellite systems are subject to the practice of "simsubbing", in which a signal of a Canadian station is placed over CBS's signal, if the programming at that time is the same. As well, many Canadians live close enough to a major American city to pick up the over the air broadcast signal of an American CBS affiliate with an antenna.

Criticism Edit

In 1982, the network aired the documentary The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception, asserting General William Westmoreland deliberately misled the public about the Vietnam War in order to maintain public support. Westmoreland filed a 120 million dollar libel suit that was ultimately settled in exchange for an on-air clarification. However, an internal study found that the documentary had violated CBS News Standards.[13]

In 1995, CBS refused to air a segment of 60 Minutes that would've featured an interview with a former president of research and development for Brown & Williamson, the nation's third largest tobacco company. The controversy raised questions about the legal roles in decision making and whether journalistic standards should be compromised despite legal pressures and threats. The decision nevertheless sent shock waves throughout the television industry, the journalism community, and the country.

In 2001, Bernard Goldberg, who was a reporter with CBS for 28 years, had his book, Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News. This book heavily criticized the media, and some CBS reporters and news anchors in particular, such as Dan Rather. Goldberg accused CBS of having a liberal bias in most of their news.

In 2004, the FCC imposed a record $550,000 fine on CBS for its broadcast of a Super Bowl half-time show (produced by then sister-unit MTV) in which singer Janet Jackson's breast was briefly exposed. It was the largest fine ever for a violation of federal decency laws. Following the incident CBS apologized to its viewers and denied foreknowledge of the event, which was broadcast live on TV. In 2008 a Philadelphia federal court annulled the fine imposed on CBS, labelling it "arbitrary and capricious".

CBS suffered another embarrassment in September of that year, when the network aired a controversial episode of 60 Minutes, which questioned U.S. President George W. Bush's service in the National Guard. Following allegations of forgery, CBS News admitted that documents used in the story had not been properly authenticated. The following January, CBS fired four people connected to the preparation of the news-segment.[17] Former network news anchor Dan Rather has filed a $70 million lawsuit against CBS, contending the story, and his termination, were mishandled.

In 2006, CBS announced it would air only three of its NFL games per week in high definition. The move created some outrage among fans, with some accusing the network of being "cheap."[18] See main article: NFL on CBS HDTV coverage

In 2007, retired Army Major Gen. John Batiste, consultant to CBS News, appeared in a political ad for critical of President Bush and the war in Iraq. Two days later, CBS stated that appearing in the ad violated Batiste's contract with them and the agreement was terminated.

Partnership Edit

CBS is partner with Wetpaint, a wiki farm company.

CBS also has engaged in "egg-vertising", a campaign in the Fall of 2006 which etched television advertisements in 35 million eggs across North America.