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  • CBS

    CBS (an initialism of the network's former name, the Columbia Broadcasting System) is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network that is a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City (at the CBS Broadcast Center) and Los Angeles (at CBS Television City and the CBS Studio Center).

    Much of the increase was a result of Paley's second upgrade to the CBS business plan improved affiliate relations. There were two types of program at the time: sponsored and sustaining, i.e., unsponsored. Rival NBC paid affiliates for every sponsored show they carried and charged them for every sustaining show they ran. It was onerous for small and medium stations, and resulted in both unhappy affiliates and limited carriage of sustaining programs. Paley had a different idea, designed to get CBS programs emanating from as many radio sets as possible: he would give the sustaining programs away for free, provided the station would run every sponsored show, and accept CBS's check for doing so. CBS soon had more affiliates than either NBC Red or NBC Blue.

    While the CBS prime-time lineup featured music, comedy and variety shows, the daytime schedule was a direct conduit into American homes and into the hearts and minds of American women; for many, it was the bulk of their adult human contact during the course of the day. CBS time salesmen recognized early on that this intimate connection could be a bonanza for advertisers of female-interest products. Starting in 1930, astrologer Evangeline Adams would consult the heavens on behalf of listeners who sent in their birthdays, a description of their problems and a box-top from sponsor Forhan's toothpaste. The low-key murmuring of smooth-voiced Tony Wons, backed by a tender violin, "made him a soul mate to millions of women" on behalf of the R. J. Reynolds tobacco company, whose cellophane-wrapped Camel cigarettes were "as fresh as the dew that dawn spills on a field of clover". The most popular radio-friend of all was M. Sayle Taylor, The Voice Of Experience, though his name was never uttered on air. Women mailed descriptions of the most intimate of relationship problems to The Voice in the tens of thousands per week; sponsors Musterole ointment and Haley's MO laxative enjoyed sales increases of several hundred percent in just the first month of The Voice Of Experience's run.

    A key early hire was Edward R. Murrow in 1935; his first corporate title was Director of Talks. He was mentored in microphone technique by Robert Trout, the lone full-time member of the News Division, and quickly found himself in a growing rivalry with boss White. Murrow was glad to "leave the hothouse atmosphere of the New York office behind" when he was dispatched to London as CBS's European Director in 1937, a time when the growing Hitler menace underscored the need for a robust European Bureau. Halberstam described Murrow in London as "the right man in the right place in the right era". Murrow began assembling the staff of broadcast journalists including William L. Shirer, Charles Collingwood, Bill Downs, and Eric Sevareid who would become known as the "Murrow Boys". They were "in [Murrow's] own image, sartorially impeccable, literate, often liberal, and prima donnas all". They covered history in the making, and sometimes made it themselves: on March 12, 1938, Hitler boldly annexed nearby Austria and Murrow and Boys quickly assembled coverage with Shirer in London, Edgar Ansel Mowrer in Paris, Pierre Huss in Berlin, Frank Gervasi in Rome and Trout in New York. This bore the News Round-Up format, which is still ubiquitous today in broadcast news.

    The CBS of the 1940s was vastly different from that of the early days; many of the old guard veterans had died, retired or simply left the network. No change was greater than that in Paley himself: he had become difficult to work for, and had "gradually shifted from leader to despot". He spent much of his time seeking social connections and in cultural pursuits; his "hope was that CBS could somehow learn to run itself". His brief to an interior designer remodeling his townhouse included a requirement for closets that would accommodate 300 suits, 100 shirts and had special racks for a hundred neckties.

    Gradually, as the television network took shape, radio stars began to migrate to the new medium. Many programs ran on both media while making the transition. The radio soap opera The Guiding Light moved to television in 1952 and would run for another 57 years; Burns & Allen, back "home" from NBC, 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 Program ended its radio run 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 lay. When the soap opera Ma Perkins went off the air on November 25, 1960, only eight, relatively minor series remained. Prime time radio ended on September 30, 1962, when Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and Suspense aired for the final time.

    CBS News programming includes CBS This Morning from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. weekdays and Saturdays; nightly editions of CBS Evening News, the Sunday political talk show Face the Nation, early morning news program CBS Morning News. and the newsmagazines 60 Minutes, CBS News Sunday Morning, and 48 Hours. Late nights feature the weeknight talk shows The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Late Late Show with James Corden. All of these animated specials, from 1973 to 1990, began with a fondly remembered seven-second animated opening sequence, in which the words "A CBS Special Presentation" were displayed in colorful lettering (the ITC Avant Garde typeface, widely used in the 1970s, was used for the title logo). The word "SPECIAL", in all caps and repeated multiple times in multiple colors, slowly zoomed out from the frame in a spinning counterclockwise motion against a black background, and rapidly zoomed back into frame as a single word, in white, at the end; the sequence was accompanied by a jazzy though majestic up-tempo fanfare with dramatic horns and percussion (which was edited incidental music from the CBS crime drama Hawaii Five-O, titled "Call to Danger" on the Capitol Records soundtrack LP). This opening sequence appeared immediately before all CBS specials of the period (such as the Miss USA pageants and the annual presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors), in addition to animated specials (this opening was presumably designed by, or under the supervision of, longtime CBS creative director Lou Dorfsman, who oversaw print and on-air graphics for CBS for nearly 30 years, replacing William Golden, who died in 1959).