On This Day … 28 September [2022]


Events

  • 1951 – CBS makes the first colour televisions available for sale to the general public, but the product is discontinued less than a month later.

People (Births)

  • 1901 – William S. Paley, American broadcaster, founded CBS (d. 1990).
  • 1916 – Peter Finch, English-Australian actor (d. 1977).

William S. Paley

William Samuel Paley (28 September 1901 to 26 October 1990) was an American businessman, primarily involved in the media, and best known as the chief executive who built the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) from a small radio network into one of the foremost radio and television network operations in the United States.

CBS

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.

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.

Peter Finch

Frederick George Peter Ingle Finch (28 September 1916 to 14 January 1977) was an English-born Australian actor. He is best remembered for his role as crazed television anchorman Howard Beale in the 1976 film Network, which earned him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor, his fifth Best Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and a Best Actor award from the Golden Globes.

Finch was the first person to win a posthumous Academy Award in an acting category. As of 2022, the only other person to have done so was fellow Australian Heath Ledger.

War Service

Finch enlisted in the Australian Army on 02 June 1941. He served in the Middle East and was an anti-aircraft gunner during the Bombing of Darwin.

During his war service Finch was given leave to act in radio, theatre and film. He appeared in a number of propaganda shorts, including Another Threshold (1942), These Stars Are Mine (1943), While There is Still Time (1943) and South West Pacific (1943), the latter for Ken G. Hall. He also appeared in two of the few Australian feature films made during the war, The Rats of Tobruk (1944) and the less distinguished Red Sky at Morning (1944).

Finch produced and performed Army Concert Party work, and in 1945 toured bases and hospitals with two Terence Rattigan plays he directed, French Without Tears and While the Sun Shines. He narrated the widely seen documentaries Jungle Patrol (1944) and Sons of the Anzacs (1945).

Finch was discharged from the army on 31 October 1945 at the rank of sergeant.

  • The Power and the Glory (1941).
  • Another Threshold (1942).
  • South West Pacific (1943).
  • These Stars Are Mine (1943).
  • The Rats of Tobruk (1944).
  • Jungle Patrol (1944).
  • Sons of the Anzacs (1945).
  • The Wooden Horse (1950).
  • The Battle of the River Plate (1956).
  • Windom’s Way (1957).
  • Operation Amsterdam (1959).
  • The Red Tent (1969).
  • Bequest to the Nation (1973).
  • Raid on Entebbe (1976).

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