CBS is one of the most iconic names in the broadcasting industry. With a history dating back to radio in the late 1920s, it went on to become one of the original three television stations in 1951. Over the next 65 years, the station would continue to set the bar in broadcasting with groundbreaking programming in game shows, daytime television, sitcoms, dramas, news and reality television. Off and on, it has been the most watched station for its entire run. Read on to find out more about CBS and its history.
Number Ten: CBS Was the First to Experiment With Color Television
CBS did its first color experiment on August 28, 1940, nearly six months before NBC started doing theirs in February 1941. The “color wheel” system was successful, although it was not compatible with existing black-and-white television sets. In 1951, they aired their first color program, a musical variety show called Premiere.
Number Nine: WCBS-TV Is Currently the Only CBS Station Built by the Network Itself
While CBS owns stations all over the country, only their New York station is originally theirs. All other stations were either acquired through the sale of the network, sale to the network or are dually owned with another previously existing station.
Number Eight: They Have the Longest Running Daytime Game Show Ever
The Price is Right has been running on CBS continuously since 1972, making it the longest-running daytime game show ever. If you consider the game show’s prior incarnation, it has been on for 53 years, however, those nine years were not with CBS. It is also the only game show that has aired on all three major television networks.
Number Seven: The Eye Logo Was Based Off a Shaker Drawing
CBS’ eye logo has been with the station for nearly 65 years and has become one of the most iconic images in television history. It was created by the network’s creative director, Bill Golden, after seeing drawings Shakers made on their buildings to ward off the evil eye. The logo was first used on the station in 1951.
Number Six: You Can’t Watch New Episodes of Their Shows on Hulu
CBS is the only broadcast channel that does not put their current programming on the free streaming service. In 2012, they finally made a deal with Hulu, but it is only for their back catalogue and you need a Hulu Plus subscription to watch it.
Number Five: They Have the First 24-Hour Live-Streaming News Network
Started in 2014, CBSN live streams 24-hours a day online. A mix of live, anchored newscast and packaged stories, CBS is the only network to have such an online news station to compete with traditional television broadcasts.
Number Four: They Do Good With Their Advertising
EcoMedia, started in 2002 and acquired by CBS in 2010, sells advertisements in order to raise money for nonprofit organizations in areas of environmental, education, wellness and volunteer work. For their unique business model, the company has earned several awards, including Edison Awards for Social Innovation and Social Impact in both 2012 and 2013.
Number Three: They Were the Only Station Able to Operate During 9/11
WCBS-TV in New York was the only station that did not lose their broadcast when the planes hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 2001. After the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, they invested in a backup transmitter in the Empire State Building. CBS ended up loaning other stations their broadcast until they were able to get themselves back into operation.
Number Two: All Their Stations Have a Similar Name
Known by the names the “CBS Mandate” and the “Viacom Mandate,” most of their stations follow the same naming pattern. With the exception of five of their stations, all names are “CBS” plus the station number. For example, WCBS-TV is called CBS 2.
Number One: There are Only Three States That Do Not Have a CBS Affiliate
New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Delaware are the only states that do not have their own CBS station. However, this is more an effect of where they are located, as New Jersey gets the feeds from New York and Philadelphia, New Hampshire gets the feeds from Boston and Vermont, and Delaware gets the feeds from Maryland. Thank you for reading our list of 10 interesting facts about CBS. We hope you enjoyed it!