On This Day … 18 September [2022]


Events

  • 1927 – The Columbia Broadcasting System goes on the air.

People (Births)

  • 1907 – Leon Askin, Austrian actor (d. 2005).
  • 1946 – Nicholas Clay, English actor (d. 2000).

People (Deaths)

  • 1968 – Franchot Tone, American actor, singer, and producer (b. 1905).

Columbia Broadcasting System

CBS Broadcasting, Inc., an abbreviation of its former legal name Columbia Broadcasting System and commonly shortened to CBS, is an American commercial broadcast television and radio network. It is the flagship property of the CBS Entertainment Group division of Paramount Global. The network’s headquarters are at the CBS Building in New York City, with major production facilities and operations at the CBS Broadcast Centre and Paramount headquarters One Astor Plaza also in that city and Television City and the CBS Studio Centre in Los Angeles.

It is also sometimes referred to as the Eye Network, in reference to the company’s trademark symbol, in use since 1951. It has also been called the Tiffany Network, alluding to the perceived high quality of its programming during the tenure of William S. Paley. It can also refer to some of CBS’s first demonstrations of colour television, which were held in the former Tiffany and Company Building in New York City in 1950.

The network has its origins in United Independent Broadcasters Inc., a radio network founded in Chicago by New York City talent agent Arthur Judson in January 1927. In April of that year, the Columbia Phonograph Company, parent of the Columbia record label, invested in the network, resulting in its rebranding as the Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System (CPBS). In early 1928, Judson and Columbia sold the network to Isaac and Leon Levy, two brothers who owned WCAU, the network’s Philadelphia affiliate, as well as their partner Jerome Louchheim. They installed Paley, an in-law of the Levys, as president of the network. With the Columbia record label out of ownership, Paley rebranded the network as the Columbia Broadcasting System. Under Paley’s guidance, CBS would first become one of the largest radio networks in the United States, and eventually one of the Big Three American broadcast television networks. In 1974, CBS dropped its original full name and became known simply as CBS, Inc. The Westinghouse Electric Corporation acquired the network in 1995, renaming its corporate entity to its current name CBS Broadcasting, Inc. two years later, and eventually adopted the name of the company it had acquired to become CBS Corporation. In 2000, CBS came under the control of the original incarnation of Viacom, which was formed as a spin-off of CBS in 1971. In 2005, Viacom split itself into two separate companies and re-established CBS Corporation through the spin-off of its broadcast television, radio and select cable television and non-broadcasting assets, with the CBS network at its core. CBS Corporation was controlled by Sumner Redstone through National Amusements, which also controlled the second incarnation of Viacom until 04 December 2019, when the two separated companies agreed to re-merge to become ViacomCBS. Following the sale, CBS and its other broadcasting and entertainment assets were reorganized into a new division, CBS Entertainment Group.

CBS operated the CBS Radio network until 2017, when it sold its radio division to Entercom (now known as Audacy since 2021). Before this, CBS Radio mainly provided news and features content for its portfolio of owned-and-operated radio stations in large and mid-sized markets, as well as its affiliated radio stations in various other markets. While CBS Corporation shareholders were given a 72% stake in the combined Entercom, CBS no longer owns or operates any radio stations directly; however, it still provides radio news broadcasts to its radio affiliates and to the new owners of its former radio stations, and licenses the rights to use CBS trademarks under a long-term contract. The television network has over 240 owned-and-operated and affiliated television stations throughout the United States, some also available in Canada via pay-television providers or in border areas over-the-air. CBS was ranked 197th on the 2018 Fortune 500 of the largest American corporations by revenue.

Leon Askin

Leon Askin (born Leon Aschkenasy, 18 September 1907 to 03 June 2005) was an Austrian Jewish actor best known in North America for portraying the character General Burkhalter on the TV situation comedy Hogan’s Heroes.

Nicholas Clay

Nicholas Anthony Phillip Clay (18 September 1946 to 25 May 2000) was an English actor.

Clay was born in Streatham, London on 18 September 1946, the son of a professional soldier in the British Army’s Royal Engineers. The family settled in Kent, where Clay became interested in acting, performing at the Little Medway Theatre Club.

Clay had a small role in Zulu Dawn (1979). In 1981 he gave his most widely seen screen performance, as Lancelot in the 1981 film Excalibur. He followed it playing the title role in The Search for Alexander the Great (1981). He had a supporting part in Lionheart (1987) and appearances in the TV mini series The Odyssey (1997).

Franchot Tone

Stanislaus Pascal Franchot Tone (27 February 1905 to 18 September 1968) was an American actor, producer, and director of stage, film and television.

He was a leading man in the 1930s and early 1940s, and at the height of his career was known for his gentlemanly sophisticate roles, with supporting roles by the 1950s. His acting crossed many genres including pre-Code romantic leads to noir layered roles and many World War I films. He appeared as a guest star in episodes of several golden age television series, including The Twilight Zone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour while continuing to act and produce in the theatre and movies throughout the 1960s.

Tone was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Midshipman Roger Byam in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), along with his co-stars Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, making it the only film to have three simultaneous Best Actor nominations, and leading to the creation of the Best Supporting Actor category.

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