Columbia News - History

Columbia News - History


In The News

Fighting in Colombia on last day of peace talks
Scores Reported Dead as Rebels and Militias Clash in Colombia

Announcement | Oral History Summer Institute canceled for the summer of 2021

It is with regret that the Columbia Center for Oral History and INCITE announce we will not hold next year’s Oral History Summer Institute, which we traditionally host on a biennial basis. With the lingering uncertainty of the pandemic, and the strong possibility that we would not be able to convene in person, we feel we would lose too much of the informal interaction and interpersonal connection among peers and faculty that is so important to the institute.

We strongly encourage those who may have been interested in the institute to stay engaged with our programming and look out for the many other workshops and events we will host remotely throughout the year!

Michael Falco

This Place Is Our History

Prior to being rounded up into the mix of Native peoples who make up the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, before we were called the Kah-milt-pa Band, before we were even Columbia River Indians, we were just people whose creation took place on NChi-Wana, the Columbia River.

Driving down I-84 on the Oregon side or SR-14 on the Washington side, you probably wouldn’t even notice the place we’re talking about. Sure, you'd see the John Day Dam, stretching across the Columbia River collecting its toll. Maybe you would notice some remnants of the old aluminum smelter site, though certainly not the contamination leached into the ground. If you were particularly astute one day, the wind turbines in the distance, sunlight glinting off of their rotating white blades, might catch your eye. Or perhaps the new pumped storage project, proposed by Rye Development and proclaiming in neon letters, GREEN DEVELOPMENT & JOBS, rattles through your mind. But by this time you have driven past the place, not even seeing the land, just what decades of development have left behind. What a shame to miss this sacred place.

Our stories talk to us about this land.

From the Columbia River all the way up to the ridge, we intimately know this place. We speak about the caretakers of all levels of the earth: like Porcupine, the chief of the four leggeds or Beaver, who takes care of the water, even the little tiny critters amongst the ground who burrow into the earth and their chief, White Weasel or the chief of all birds, Golden Eagle. Our ceremonies are tied to these stories, tied to this particular area, and tied to the timing of the foods that grow and we gather here. The women in our band gather food for subsistence and ceremonies from the bottom near the river to the top of the ridge. Here we find some of our first foods, like celery or desert parsley, signifying the beginning, connecting with our ceremonies and all of the sacred foods that follow on and on through the seasons. First foods, colors, timing and animals weave the web of lifeways and obligations inextricably tied to place and what it means to be a Columbia River Indian.

We know the history of this place and our songs are still with us.

This land surrounds us with culture, with landmarks that have a meaning and a story. Ridges, like the one found here above the John Day Dam, the so-called “empty ridge” that Rye Development wants to excavate and put a 60-acre reservoir on, is one of the places where our spirits go to take our last departure. These ridges are sacred to us. Without them, some spirits don’t make it out of this world and are sent back. We tell the story of this ridge and how it stood above the flooding waters. This ridge is our history, our beginning, our future. How can it be called empty?

Ours is a living culture and we are being cheated by progress. An unrelenting cultural extinction in the name of energy development. So when asked about a new industrial energy project proposal here, at our sacred site, please excuse our skepticism and a sincere No. No, there is no way to configure the project to avoid sacred sites. No, we do not want two massive 60-acre reservoirs dug into the sacred ground here. No, we do not support the Goldendale Energy Storage Hydroelectric Project. We continue to say No, even though history has shown that our voice falls on the deaf ears of progress.

When the John Day Dam was constructed, our fishing village was flooded. Unlike neighboring white towns, we were not provided with alternative housing or compensation, nor did we benefit from the new electricity generation. Our Mothers, Fathers, and Elders were told to leave and many were left homeless for the rest of their lives in the name of energy development progress.

Next, we experienced the wind turbines and the maze of private ownership and no trespassing signs and fences that came with them. One private owner in this area still honors the promises of his forebears, opening the gate of progress to allow us to gather on his land for our ceremonies, but aside from this we have experienced exclusion from gathering here in our home on this ridge down to the river. The next generation will be the first of our people to not be allowed to gather here.

These projects focus on Yakama Nation ceded lands, our usual and accustomed lands. With each new project proposed, we are losing the habitats where our first foods grow and our treaty rights and spiritual ways are being eroded.

Now the next phase of development is upon us, as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) considers licensing Rye Development’s proposed pumped storage project. Moving forward with building the largest pumped storage project in the Pacific Northwest will be the final energy development project that will destroy this area. We have already lost so much. To us, the loss of this place will be a feeling akin to losing Celilo Falls when it was flooded and the despair that followed, knowing that our future grandchildren will never have the experience of being in this sacred place, stepping in the footsteps of the generations of the past who have led us to today.

Respect our voices.

When you ask the question, you must hear the answer, even if you don’t like it. FERC, Rye Development, Washington state: our answer is No, do not build this project on our sacred site.

History Timeline

Columbia University School of Nursing's impact began over 125 years ago when it opened its doors in 1892. It was then that Anna C. Maxwell, the school's first dean, set the standard for nursing education and service that would become the foundation for Columbia Nursing's excellence for decades to come. It was Maxwell's pioneering spirit and unwavering belief in the power of nursing that opened new horizons for the profession and paved the way for today's nurse clinicians and scientists.

Today, this legacy lives on, as Columbia University School of Nursing continues to innovate, lead, and transform the education and profession of nursing.

Explore the timeline below to learn about Columbia Nursing's history and milestones.

If you would like to learn more about our rich history of excellence and leadership, historical documents, yearbooks, announcements, annual reports, student handbooks, and alumni magazines are available digitally at the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library of Columbia University Archives and Special Collections site.

Columbia News - History

The Columbia Falls School District 6 board voted Monday night to make masks for the upcoming.

Glacier National Park has released an environmental assessment on a new communications plan .

A new venture is bringing a treasure trove of historic and fine art photos to the Northwest .

The housing market in Columbia Falls continues to move at a blistering pace.

A coalition of groups has petitioned the Forest Service asking it to prohibit commercial hun.

Columbia News - History

Rashid Khalidi was featured on The Burn Bag Podcast, discussing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: “The History of the Palestinian People with Professor Rashid Khalidi”.

Mae Ngai was interviewed by CNN on Andrew Yang and Asian American identity: “Analysis: Why Andrew Yang did an abrupt U-turn on identity politics.”

Frank Guridy, Samuel K. Roberts, and Stephanie McCurry share their Juneteenth thoughts with Columbia News in “What Is Juneteenth, and How Do You Celebrate and Observe the Day?”.

Lien-Hang Nguyen wrote an article as part of a special report on the 50th anniversary of the Pentagon Papers: “ In Vietnam, the Pentagon Papers Are History Written by the Defeated”, published in The New York Times.


Few countries boast such striking physical variety as does Colombia. Its broken, rugged topography, together with its location near the Equator, creates an extraordinary diversity of climates, vegetation, soils, and crops. The Andean cordillera, one of the world’s great mountain ranges, dominates the landscape of the western part of the country, where most of the people live. North of the border with Ecuador the cordillera flares out into three distinct parallel ranges. Two great river valleys, those of the Magdalena and the Cauca, separate them and provide avenues of penetration from the Atlantic coastal lowlands into the heart of the country. Volcanic activity in the geologic past blocked the middle course of the Cauca River to form a great lake that once filled the western inter-Andean trough for some 120 miles (190 km) south of Cartago. The river eventually broke through the dam to leave the level floor of the Cauca valley at some 3,000 feet (900 metres) above sea level today it is one of the nation’s most productive agricultural areas.

The Colombian cordilleras belong to the northern portion of the great Andean mountain system, which extends along the Pacific coast of South America. The Andes are among the world’s most youthful mountain ranges and among the highest. The geologic history of this northern sector is less well understood than that of the central and southern parts. It is clear, however, that the entire cordillera has been thrust up through the subduction of the crumpled eastern margin of the Nazca Plate and, to the north, the Caribbean Plate under the more rigid but lighter South American Plate, which has been forced westward by the spreading Atlantic seafloor. These tectonic forces, similar to those found elsewhere around the Pacific Rim, continue to operate, as is evidenced by the high frequency of often destructive earthquakes. At the Pasto Massif, near the Ecuadoran border, the mountains divide into the Cordillera Occidental (“Western Range”), which runs parallel to the Pacific coast, and the Cordillera Central (“Central Range”), which, with its numerous volcanoes, forms the backbone of the system in Colombia and runs generally southwest to northeast. At the Great Colombian Massif of the Cordillera Central, near the San Agustín Archeological Park, the Cordillera Oriental (“Eastern Range”) branches off in a more decidedly northeasterly direction.

Of the three ranges, the nonvolcanic Cordillera Occidental, which forms the barrier between the Cauca valley and the rain-drenched Pacific coast, is the lowest and least populated. Two passes at elevations less than 5,000 feet (1,500 metres) between Cali and Buenaventura on the Pacific coast mark the lowest depressions in the range. Elsewhere the crest is much higher, reaching 12,992 feet (3,960 metres) at Mount Paramillo in the department of Antioquia. From there the Cordillera Occidental fingers north into the three distinct serranías of Abibe, San Jerónimo, and Ayapel, forested ranges that drop gradually toward the piedmont plains of the Caribbean littoral. A lesser topographic feature on the Pacific coast is the Baudó Mountains, separated from the Cordillera Occidental by the valley of the Atrato River, which empties into the Caribbean Gulf of Urabá the Baudó Mountains represent a southward extension of the Isthmus of Panama.

The Cordillera Central is the highest of the Andean ranges of Colombia, rising to an average height of 10,000 feet (3,000 metres). It is a continuation of the Ecuadoran volcanic structure. Crystalline rocks are exposed at several places on its flanks and are the foci of localized gold and silver deposits. Sandstones and shales of the Paleogene and Neogene periods (about 65 to 2.6 million years ago) are also a part of the older basement that has been capped by ash and lava derived from some 20 volcanoes of the Quaternary Period (the past 2.6 million years). Several of the latter reach well into the zone of permanent snow, above 15,000 feet (4,600 metres). The highest are Mount Huila (18,865 feet [5,750 metres]), southeast of Cali, and the Ruiz-Tolima complex (some 17,700 feet [5,400 metres]) between Manizales and Ibagué. The fertile ash from their eruptions has produced the high, cool plateaus of Nariño department and the often steep slopes to the north that support much of Colombia’s coffee production. In November 1985 Mount Ruíz erupted, melting the snow and ice that covered it and sending great mudflows downslope, destroying the city of Armero and killing more than 25,000 in one of the country’s greatest catastrophes.

North of Mount Ruíz, near Sonsón in the department of Antioquia, the volcanic Cordillera Central gives way to the deeply weathered, granitic Antioquia batholith (an exposed granitic intrusion), a tableland averaging some 8,000 feet (2,500 metres) above sea level. It is divided into two parts by the deep transverse cleft of the Porce River, which occupies the U-shaped valley in which is situated the expanding metropolis of Medellín, Colombia’s second city. The batholith contains gold-bearing quartz veins, which were the source of the placer gravels that gave rise to an active colonial mining economy. Beyond Antioquia the lower, remote San Lucas Mountains extend northward toward the confluence of the Magdalena and Cauca rivers.

The massive Cordillera Oriental, separating the Magdalena valley from the Llanos, is composed chiefly of folded and faulted marine sediments and older schists and gneisses. Narrow to the south, it broadens out in the high, unsettled massif of Sumapaz, with elevations up to 13,000 feet (4,000 metres). High plateaus were formed in the Quaternary Period by the deposition of sediments in depressions that had been occupied by lakes. The most important of these is the savanna area called the Sabana de Bogotá. Farther northeast beyond the deep canyons cut by the Chicamocha River and its tributaries, the Cordillera Oriental culminates in the towering Mount Cocuy (Sierra Nevada del Cocuy), which rises to 18,022 feet (5,493 metres). Beyond this point, near Pamplona, the cordillera splits into two much narrower ranges, one extending into Venezuela, the other, the Perijá Mountains, forming the northern boundary range between Colombia and Venezuela. The Perijás then descend northward toward the Caribbean to the arid La Guajira Peninsula, the northernmost extension of the Colombian mainland.

The isolated Santa Marta Mountains are an imposing fault-bounded granitic massif rising to 18,947 feet (5,775 metres) at the “twin peaks” of Cristóbal Colón and Simón Bolívar, the highest point in the country (for a discussion of the height of the Santa Marta Mountains, see Researcher’s Note: Heights of the “twin peaks” of the Santa Marta Mountains) the massif ascends abruptly from the Caribbean littoral to snow- and ice-covered summits. The Atlantic lowlands spread out southward behind it. Although it is a distinct geomorphic unit and not a part of the Andes, some geologists have suggested that it might be considered an extension of the Cordillera Central, from which it is separated by the Mompós depression in the lower Magdalena valley.

The steep and rugged Andean mountain masses and the high intermontane basins descend into plains that extend along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts and across the eastern interior toward the Orinoco and Amazon river systems. From the shores of the Caribbean Sea inland to the lower spurs of the three major cordilleras extends a slightly undulating savanna surface of varying width, generally known as the Atlantic lowlands (also called the Caribbean coastal lowlands). Dotted with hills and with extensive tracts of seasonally flooded land along the lower Magdalena and the Sinú rivers, it surrounds the inland portion of the Santa Marta Mountains. A much narrower lowland apron extends along the Pacific shoreline from the point of Cape Corrientes southward to the Ecuadoran border.

A wide range of features characterize the country’s two coastlines. Steep and articulated bays, inlets, capes, and promontories accentuate the shoreline on the Pacific side toward the Panama border and on the Caribbean side where the sea beats against the base of the Santa Marta Mountains. These features are interspersed with sandy beaches, along with barrier islands and brackish lagoons.

The eastern two-thirds of the country, lying beyond the Andes, differs from cordilleran Colombia in practically all aspects of physical and human geography. The eastern lowland extends from the Venezuelan boundary along the Arauca and Meta rivers in the north to the Peruvian-Ecuadoran border stream, the Putumayo, some 600 miles (1,000 km) to the south and from the base of the Cordillera Oriental eastward to the Orinoco-Negro river line, a distance of more than 400 miles (650 km). A region of great topographic uniformity, it is divided into two contrasting natural landscapes by a major vegetation boundary. In southern Colombia the Amazonian rainforest, or selva, reaches its northern limit. From the Guaviare River northward the plains between the Andes and the Orinoco River are mostly grass-covered, forming the largest savanna complex in tropical America. This part of the lowland is called the Llanos Orientales (“Eastern Plains”) or simply the Llanos.

In the central part of the plain, between the Guaviare and Caquetá rivers, the eroded rocks of the ancient Guiana Shield are exposed, producing a broken topography of low, isolated mountains, tablelands, and buttes with rapids in the streams. This slightly higher ground forms the watershed between the Amazon and Orinoco systems. Some 60 miles (100 km) south of Villavicencio the elongated, forested La Macarena Mountains rise 8,000 feet (2,500 metres) from the surrounding lowlands, an isolated tropical ecosystem.

Dive deep in the water with George Ezra in his video, “Hold My Girl.”


Colombia is bordered on the northwest by Panama, on the east by Venezuela and Brazil, and on the southwest by Peru and Ecuador. Through the western half of the country, three Andean ranges run north and south. The eastern half is a low, jungle-covered plain, drained by spurs of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers, inhabited mostly by isolated tropical-forest Indian tribes. The fertile plateau and valley of the eastern range are the most densely populated parts of the country.

Colombia shares borders with five neighboring countries. In order of shared border length, these are: Venezuela (2,050km), Brazil (1,643 km), Peru (1,496 km), Ecuador (590 km), and Panama (225 km).


Colombia is a unitary republic. The current constitution was adopted in 1991 it originally had a strict one-term limit for presidents, although this was revised to a two-term limit in 2004 due to the overwhelming popularity of President lvaro Uribe (and then reversed back to a one-term limit in 2015). Other major changes since the adoption of the constitution is the adoption of an adversarial model for Colombia's courts. The adversarial model will be most familiar to people who have watched courtroom dramas, where a prosecution and a defense argue their respective cases before an impartial court. This is in contrast to other models where the court takes an active role in the investigation.

Uribe and his party, the Democratic Center, continue to be leading forces in the Colombian political landscape. The current president, for example, comes from the same party. What might prove the biggest change to the current balance is the reformation of militant rebel group FARC (Fuerza Armada Revolucionaria de Colombia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) into the communist political party FARC (Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Comn, the People's Alternative Revolutionary Force). A major part of Uribe's popularity came from his unyielding operations against FARC. The communist party has been guaranteed electoral seats through 2026 as part of the peace agreement that ended their military actions.


In recent years Colombia (much like South Korea since the 1990s) has undergone major dedicated efforts to export their pop culture around the globe. In the early 2000s the government pass legislation encouraging the development of the country's film industry. Colombia hosts the Cartagena Film Festival, the oldest film festival in Latin America. Popular music is probably the country's best known export (with musicians like Shakira, Carlos Vives, and Juanes). Traditional music and classical music are also widely regarded.

As the home of the continent's oldest Spanish language academy, it should come as no surprise that Colombia is a major literary country. Colombia's national body of literature stretches back thousands of years, beginning with (still accessible!) longform poetry from the country's different indigenous groups. Colombian authors produced works of prose and poetry through the colonial era onward. Colombia's most famous author is Gabriel Garca Mrquez, whose body of work through the 1970s earned him a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. His novel 100 Years of Solitude is widely read around the world.

Colombia's visual arts scene has been garnering attention in the past few decades. Colombia's pre-Columbian art has always stood out, but during its tenure as a colony of Spain Colombia often followed the lead of European artists in terms of style. Colombian Baroque art mostly borrows from Spanish Baroque art, and so on. But since the 1950's, Colombian artists (especially those working in three dimensions) have made many bold, innovative leaps with their techniques and aesthetics. Art lovers will find plenty of interest at Colombia's museums and heritage sites.

International Affairs:

International Disputes: In December 2007, ICJ allocated San Andres, Providencia, and Santa Catalina islands to Colombia under 1928 Treaty but did not rule on 82 degrees W meridian as maritime boundary with Nicaragua managed dispute with Venezuela over maritime boundary and Venezuelan-administered Los Monjes Islands near the Gulf of Venezuela Colombian-organized illegal narcotics, guerrilla, and paramilitary activities penetrate all neighboring borders and have caused Colombian citizens to flee mostly into neighboring countries Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and the US assert various claims to Bajo Nuevo and Serranilla Bank.

Illicit Drugs: Illicit producer of coca, opium poppy, and cannabis world's leading coca cultivator with 188,000 hectares in coca cultivation in 2016, a 18% increase over 2015, producing a potential of 710 mt of pure cocaine the world's largest producer of coca derivatives supplies cocaine to nearly all of the US market and the great majority of other international drug markets in 2016, the Colombian government reported manual eradication of 17,642 hectares Colombia suspended aerial eradication in October 2015 making 2016 the first full year without aerial eradication a significant portion of narcotics proceeds are either laundered or invested in Colombia through the black market peso exchange Colombia probably remains the second largest supplier of heroin to the US market opium poppy cultivation was estimated to be 1,100 hectares in 2015, sufficient to potentially produce three metric tons of pure heroin.

Refugees and Displaced Persons:

Refugees: 182,529 (Venezuela) (economic and political crisis includes Venezuelans who have claimed asylum or have received alternative legal stay) (2018).
Internally Displaced Persons: 7,708,465 (conflict between government and illegal armed groups and drug traffickers since 1985 about 300,000 new IDPs each year since 2000) (2018).
Stateless Persons: 11 (2016).


Colombia's economy is the fastest growing in the world behind China the country has very large supplies of coal and petroleum (although the country itself is 70% powered by hydroelectric, making it a leader in renewable energy), and it has recently seen major upturns in electronics, information technology, shipbuilding, and tourism. Colombia has also become a major cultural exporter, now coming in second behind Mexico for most cultural exports in Latin America.


GDP/PPP: $712.5 billion (2017 est.)
Growth Rate: 1.7% (2017 est.)
Inflation: 4.3% (2017 est.)
Government Revenues: 27.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
Public Debt: 53% of GDP (2017 est.)

Labor Force

Working Population: 24.67 million (2017 est.)
Employment by Occupation: Agriculture: 17%, Industry: 21%, Services: 62% (2011 est.)
Unemployment: 9.3% (2017 est.)
Population Below the Poverty Line: 27.8% (2017 est.)

Total Exports: $36.79 billion (2017 est.)
Major Exports: Petroleum, coal, emeralds, coffee, nickel, cut flowers, bananas, and apparel.
Export Partners: US 33.5%, Panama 6.3% (2016).

Total Imports: $44.68 billion (2017 est.)
Major Imports: Industrial equipment, transportation equipment, consumer goods, chemicals, paper products, fuels, and electricity.
Import Partners: US 26.4%, China 19.1%, Mexico 7.5%, Brazil 4.7% (2016)

Agricultural Products: Coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables shrimp forest products.
Major Industries: Textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement gold, coal, emeralds.

Natural Resources: Petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, hydropower.
Land Use: Agricultural land: 37.5% (arable land 1.4% permanent crops 1.6% permanent pasture 34.5%), Forest: 54.4%, Other: 8.1% (2011 est.)


Fixed Lines: 7,115,984, 15 per 100 residents (2016 est.)
Cell Phones: 58,684,924, 123 per 100 residents, (2016 est.)
International Country Code: 57

Internet Country Code: .co
Internet Users: 27,452,550, 58.1% (2016 est.)

Broadcast Media

Combination of state-owned and privately owned broadcast media provide service more than 500 radio stations and many national, regional, and local TV stations (2007).

Transportation Infrastructure

Total Airports: 836 (2013)
With Paved Runways: 121
With Unpaved Runways: 715

Registered Air Carriers: 12
Registered Aircraft: 157
Annual Passengers: 30,742,928

Total: 2,141 km
Standard Gauge: 150 km (1.435-m gauge)
Narrow Gauge: 1,991 km (0.760-m gauge)

Total: 24,725 km (18,300 km navigable the most important waterway, the River Magdalena, of which 1,488 km is navigable, is dredged regularly to ensure safe passage of cargo vessels and container barges) (2012)
Ports and Terminals: Major Seaport(s): Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean) - Cartagena, Santa Marta, Turbo Pacific Ocean ? Buenaventura
River Port(s): Barranquilla (Rio Magdalena)
Oil Terminal(s): Covenas offshore terminal
Dry Bulk Cargo Port(s): Puerto Bolivar (coal)
Container Port(s) (TEUs): Cartagena (1,853,342)

Crossroads of the Americas

Humans have lived in Colombia for at least 11,000 years, and Colombia was a major channel for human migration to the rest of the continent. Although they are less widely known than, say, the Inca or the Nazca, we know a fair deal about the indigenous peoples of Colombia. With its connection to the isthmus of Panama, Colombia was a major center of migration between Central and South America. The different groups who settled what is now called Colombia include the Tairona, the Quimbaya, and the Muisca. By the time of the Spanish arrival in the 1500s, the Muisca were especially prominent in the area, having organized into a loose confederation that controlled a great deal of valuable land.

The different cultures that occupied Colombia shared much in common in terms of diet and material culture. Different amerindian groups from the area produced exceptional gold and ceramics, and they traded extensively. Then as now, Colombia was a major producer of coal and emerald (and still today is the world's leading exporter of emeralds). Most Colombian societies were agricultural, and practiced many different forms of social organization.

The Colonial Era

The Spanish, having begun their colonization of the Caribbean, expanded their empire onto the continental mainland at the start of the 1500s. In 1508, Vasco Nuez de Balboa reached Colombia alongside Martn Fernndez de Enciso. Two years later they would found Darien, the first permanent European settlement on the American mainland. In 1538 they established the colony of New Granada, the area's name until 1861.

As with most other Spanish conquests in the Americas, the Spanish conquistadors exploited local rivalries and tensions to their advantage in the case of the New Granada colony, they forged alliances with competitors to the Muisca Confederation. After conquering the Muisca and settling Bogot, Spain was largely uncontested in the region. These groups also experienced large-scale depopulation due to disease, as happened elsewhere.

Local amerindian populations formed an important part of the labor force and the economy, so their depopulation posed serious long-term problems to colonial authorities. This prompted the government to sell off large tracts of land to interested developers, which encouraged immigration.

Bolvar and Independence

After a 14-year struggle, during which time Simn Bolvar's Venezuelan troops won the battle of Boyac in Colombia on Aug. 7, 1819, independence was attained in 1824. Bolvar united Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and Ecuador in the Republic of Greater Colombia (1819?1830), but he lost Venezuela and Ecuador to separatists. Two political parties dominated the region: the Conservatives believed in a strong central government and a powerful church the Liberals believed in a decentralized government, strong regional power, and a less influential role for the church. Bolvar was himself a Conservative, while his vice president, Francisco de Paula Santander, was the founder of the Liberal Party.

Santander served as president between 1832 and 1836, a period of relative stability, but by 1840 civil war had erupted. Other periods of Liberal dominance (1849?1857 and 1861?1880), which sought to disestablish the Roman Catholic Church, were marked by insurrection. Nine different governments followed, each rewriting the constitution. In 1861, the country was called the United States of New Granada in 1863 it became the United States of Colombia and in 1885, it was named the Republic of Colombia.

In 1899, a brutal civil war broke out, the War of a Thousand Days, that lasted until 1902. The following year, Colombia lost its claims to Panama because it refused to ratify the lease to the United States of the Canal Zone. Panama declared its independence in 1903.

La Violencia

The Conservatives held power until 1930, when revolutionary pressure put the Liberals back in power. The Liberal administrations of Enrique Olaya Herrera and Alfonso Lpez (1930?1938) were marked by social reforms that failed to solve the country's problems, and in 1946, a period of insurrection and banditry broke out, referred to as La Violencia, which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives by 1958. Laureano Gmez (1950?1953) the army chief of staff, Gen. Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1953?1956) and a military junta (1956?1957) sought to curb disorder by repression.

The Colombian Conflict

Marxist guerrilla groups organized in the 1960s and 1970s, most notably the May 19th Movement (M-19), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), plunged the country into violence and instability. In the 1970s and 1980s, Colombia became one of the international centers for illegal drug production and trafficking, and at times the drug cartels (the Medellin and Cali cartels were the most notorious) virtually controlled the country. Colombia provides 75% of the world's illegal cocaine. In the 1990s, numerous right-wing paramilitary groups also formed, made up of drug traffickers and landowners. The umbrella group for these paramilitaries is the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC).

Belisario Betancur Cuartas, a Conservative who assumed the presidency in 1982, unsuccessfully attempted to stem the guerrilla violence. In an official war against drug trafficking, Colombia became a public battleground with bombs, killings, and kidnappings. By 1989, homicide had become the leading cause of death in the nation. Elected president in 1990, Csar Gaviria Trujillo proposed lenient punishment in exchange for surrender by the leading drug dealers. Ernesto Samper of the Liberal Party became president in 1994. In 1996 he was accused of accepting campaign contributions from drug traffickers, but the House of Representatives absolved him of the charges.

Andrs Pastrana Arango was elected president in 1998, pledging to clean up corruption. In Dec. 1999, the Colombian military announced that 2,787 people were kidnapped that year?the largest number in the world?and blamed rebels. The murder rate soared in 1999, with some 23,000 people reported killed by leftist guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries, drug traffickers, and common criminals. The violence has created more than 100,000 refugees, while 2 million Colombians have fled the country in recent years.

Joint Anti-narcotics Effort with the United States, Plan Colombia, Begins

In Aug. 2000, the U.S. government approved ?Plan Colombia,? pledging $1.3 billion to fight drug trafficking. Pastrana used the plan to undercut drug production and prevent guerrilla groups from benefiting from drug sales. In Aug. 2001, Pastrana signed ?war legislation,? which expanded the rights of the military in dealing with rebels.

Alvaro Uribe of the Liberal Party easily won the presidential election in May 2002. He took office in August, pledging to get tough on the rebels and drug traffickers by increasing military spending and seeking U.S. military cooperation. An upsurge in violence accompanied his inauguration, and Uribe declared a state of emergency within a week. In his first year, Uribe beefed up Colombia's security forces with the help of U.S. special forces, launched an aggressive campaign against the drug trade, and passed several economic reform bills.

President Uribe Makes Strides in the Face of Significant Domestic Challenges

In May 2004, the UN announced that Colombia's 39-year-long drug war had created the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere. More than 2 million people have been forced to leave their homes and several Indian tribes are close to extinction. Colombia now houses the third-largest displaced population in the world, with only Sudan and the Congo having more. Uribe has produced some impressive results in fixing his country's ills, however. According to his defense minister, during 2003 more than 16,000 suspected leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary vigilantes either surrendered, were apprehended, or were killed. Since 2003, the right-wing paramilitary group AUC has been involved in peace talks with the government, but despite demobilizing 4,000 troops, the vigilante group seemed as vigorous as ever in 2005. Although the two other major armed groups, left-wing FARC and ELN, continue to finance themselves through kidnapping and drug trafficking, governmental efforts have been successful in significantly reducing the kidnapping rate.

By 2006, the United States had invested $4 billion into Plan Colombia, the joint U.S.-Colombia coca antinarcotics plan begun in 2000. While officials say the program has eradicated more than a million acres of coca plants, Colombian drug traffickers are still managing to supply 90% of the cocaine used in the U.S. and 50% of the heroin?the same percentages supplied five years ago, when the program began. In 2006, a U.S. government survey acknowledged that coca production in the country had in fact increased by 26%, and that aerial spraying of the illegal crops?the primary strategy of Plan Colombia?was failing.

On May 28, 2006, President Uribe was reelected with 62% of the vote. Economic growth and a reduction in paramilitary violence were believed to be responsible for his landslide reelection. A controversy surrounding suspected ties between members of Uribe's government and paramilitary leaders dogged Uribe in late 2006 and into 2007.

In November 2007, the Colombian army captured FARC rebels who were carrying videos, photographs, and letters of about 15 hostages, some who have been held in jungle camps for nearly ten years. The Marxist-inspired FARC?the largest rebel group in Latin America?has been waging guerilla wars against the Colombian government for 40 years. Hostages included three American military contractors and Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian presidential candidate. Also in November, Uribe withdrew his support of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez?s attempts to negotiate with the FARC, escalating tension between the two countries. Chavez subsequently withdrew the Venezuelan ambassador to Colombia.

Venezuelan President Chavez Achieves Some Success in Releasing FARC-held Hostages

Months of negotiations between Chavez and FARC rebels over the release of three hostages came to an end on December 31, 2007, when the FARC refused to hand them over, saying the promised security conditions had not been met. On January 10, 2008, however, FARC rebels freed two hostages, Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez de Perdomo, in Guaviare, in southern Colombia. Rojas, a Colombian politician captured in 2002, and Perdomo, a Colombian lawmaker captured in 2001, were escorted out of the jungle by several guerillas. The release of the hostages was a triumph for Chavez, who coordinated the operation. On February 28, 2008, FARC rebels released four more Colombian hostages, all former members of Congress held in captivity for six years, after negotiations with President Chavez of Venezuela. The freed prisoners, three men and one woman, included Luis Eladio Perez, Orlando Beltran, Jorge Gechem, and Gloria Polanco de Losada.

On March 1, 2008, Colombian forces crossed into Ecuadorean territory and killed FARC rebel leader, Ral Reyes, and 23 other rebels. In response, Venezuela and Ecuador broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia and sent troops to the Colombian borders, although both countries denied any ties to FARC. In an attempt to help cool the diplomatic tension between the three countries, the Organization of American States approved a resolution, which declared that the Colombian raid into Ecuador was a violation of sovereignty. On March 6, Nicaragua broke off diplomatic relations with Colombia to demonstrate unity with President Rafael Correa of Ecuador. On March 7, 2008, during a summit meeting in the Dominican Republic, the leaders of Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Nicaragua ended their diplomatic dispute over Colombia's raid into Ecuador.

On July 2, 2008, after being held for six years by FARC rebels, 15 hostages, including three U.S. military contractors and French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, were freed by commandos who infiltrated FARC's leadership. Four more FARC-held hostages were released in February 2009, including three Colombian police officers?Alexis Torres, Juan Fernando Galicia, and Jose Walter Lozano?and a Colombian soldier, William Rodriguez.

Political Veteran Assumes the Presidency

Former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos handily won the second round of presidential elections in June 2010, taking 69% of the vote. He promised to maintain the policies of former president Uribe, including the campaign against FARC guerrillas and forging a close relationship with the United States. Santos was largely responsible for planning and carrying out the government's successful assault on FARC.

In May 2014, Santos ran for re-election. He came in behind his main opponent, the Democratic Center Party's scar Ivn Zuluaga in the first round when Zuluaga received 29.25% of the vote and Santos received 25.69%. Since neither had a majority, a run-off election was held the following month. During the run-off, Santos received support from the Conservative and Green parities as well as former rival, the Alternative Democratic Pole's Clara Lpez Obregn. The support was enough to propel Santos to a victory with 53.1% over Zuluaga's 46.9%.

FARC Halts Kidnapping and Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. Begins

In late February 2012, FARC announced an end to its long time practice of kidnapping civilians for financial gains. The announcement was made on FARC's website. FARC, the chief rebel group in Colombia, also said it would soon free the remaining ten prisoners of war. The ten security force members have been held in captivity for 14 years. Unknown was whether FARC, also known as Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, would release the kidnapped civilians they currently hold or whether the orders can be enforced among all the rebels in the group.

On May 15, 2012, the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) went into effect. Signed back on November 22, 2006, the agreement was made to eliminate tariffs and other trade barriers for goods and services between Colombia and the United States. Both countries worked together on resolving issues such as sanitary barriers in agriculture, including safety inspection procedures on certain food items. The agreement granted duty-free treatment to farm products and a variety of foods. Colombia should benefit from the deal considerably with at least a 10% increase to their exports, while creating new jobs and economic growth.

On June 15, 2014, Juan Manuel Santos won reelection with 53.1% of the vote and Oscar Ivan Zuluaga 46.9%. Turnout was 47.9%.

Hostilities with FARC Cease, Group Reforms as Legitimate Political Entity

U.S. Department of State Background Note



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(Note: This backgroundpredates the de-escalation and end of hostilities with FARC in the 2010's)


Colombia is the third-most populous country in Latin America, after Brazil and Mexico. Thirty cities have a population of 100,000 or more. The nine eastern lowlands departments, constituting about 54% of Colombia's area, have less than 3% of the population and a density of less than one person per square kilometer (two persons per sq. mi.). Ethnic diversity in Colombia is a result of the intermingling of indigenous peoples, Europeans and Africans. Today, only about 1% of the people can be identified as fully indigenous on the basis of language and customs.


During the pre-Columbian period, the area now known as Colombia was inhabited by indigenous societies situated at different stages of socio-economic development, ranging from hunters and nomadic farmers to the highly structured Chibchas, who are considered to be one of the most developed indigenous groups in South America.

Santa Marta was the first permanent Spanish settlement founded in 1525. Santa Fe de Bogota was founded in 1538 and, in 1717, became the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Granada, which included what are now Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama. Bogota was one of three principal administrative centers of the Spanish possessions in the New World.

On July 20, 1810, the citizens of Bogota created the first representative council to defy Spanish authority. Full independence was proclaimed in 1813, and in 1819 the Republic of Greater Colombia was formed to include all the territory of the former Viceroyalty (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama). Simon Bolivar was elected its first president with Francisco de Paula Santander as vice president. Conflicts between followers of Bolivar and Santander led to the formation of two political parties that have since dominated Colombian politics. Bolivar's supporters, who later formed the nucleus of the Conservative Party, sought strong centralized government, alliance with the Roman Catholic Church and a limited franchise. Santander's followers, forerunners of the Liberals, wanted a decentralized government, state control over education and other civil matters, and a broader suffrage.

Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, each party held the presidency for roughly equal periods of time. Colombia maintained a tradition of civilian government and regular, free, elections. Notwithstanding the country's commitment to democratic institutions, Colombia's history also has been characterized by widespread, violent conflict. Two civil wars resulted from bitter rivalry between the Conservative and Liberal parties: The War of a Thousand Days (1899-1903) claimed an estimated 100,000 lives and La Violencia (the Violence) (1946-1957) claimed about 300,000 lives.

La Violencia (The Violence) and the National Front
The assassination of Liberal leader Jorge Eliecer Gaitan in 1948 sparked the bloody conflict known as La Violencia. Conservative Party leader Laureano Gomez came to power in 1950, but was ousted by a military coup led by General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla in 1953. When Rojas failed to restore democratic rule and became implicated in corrupt schemes, he was overthrown by the military with the support of the Liberal and Conservative Parties.

In July 1957, an alliance between former Conservative President Laureano Gomez (1950-53) and former Liberal President Alberto Lleras Camargo (1945-46) led to the creation of the National Front. It established a power-sharing agreement between the two parties and brought an end to "La Violencia." The presidency would be determined by regular elections every 4 years and the two parties would have parity in all other elective and appointive offices. This system was phased out by 1978.

Post-National Front Years
During the post-National Front years, the Colombian Government made efforts to negotiate a peace with the persistent guerrilla organizations that flourished in Colombia's remote and undeveloped rural areas. In 1984, President Belisario Betancur, a Conservative, negotiated a cease-fire with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Democratic Alliance/M-19 (M-19) that included the release of many imprisoned guerrillas. The National Liberation Army (ELN) rejected the government's cease fire proposal at that time. The M-19 pulled out of the cease-fire when it resumed fighting in 1985. The army suppressed an M-19 attack on the Palace of Justice in Bogota in November 1985, during which 115 people were killed, including 11 Supreme Court justices. The government and the M-19 renewed their truce in March 1989, which led to a peace agreement and the M-19's reintegration into society and political life. The M-19 was one of the parties that participated in the process to enact a new constitution (see below), which took effect in 1991. The FARC ended the truce in 1990 after some 2,000-3,000 of its members who had demobilized had been murdered.

A new constitution in 1991 brought about major reforms to Colombia's political institutions. While the new constitution preserved a presidential, three-branch system of government, it created new institutions such as the Inspector General, a Human Rights Ombudsman, a Constitutional Court and a Superior Judicial Council. The new constitution also reestablished the position of Vice President. Other significant constitutional reforms provide for civil divorce, dual nationality and the establishment of a legal mechanism ("tutela") that allows individuals to appeal government decisions affecting their constitutional rights. The constitution also authorized the introduction of an accusatory system of criminal justice that is gradually being instituted throughout the country, replacing the previous written inquisitorial system. A constitutional amendment approved in 2005 allows the president to hold office for two consecutive 4-year terms.

Colombian governments have had to contend with the combined terrorist activities of left-wing guerrillas, the rise of paramilitary self-defense forces in the 1990s and the drug cartels. Narco-terrorists assassinated three presidential candidates during the election campaign of 1990. After Colombian security forces killed Medellin cartel leader Pablo Escobar in December 1993, indiscriminate acts of violence associated with his organization abated as the "cartels" were broken into multiple and smaller trafficking organizations that competed against each other in the drug trade. Guerrillas and paramilitary groups also entered into drug trafficking as a way to finance their military operations.

Pastrana Administration
The administration of Andres Pastrana (1998-2002), a Conservative, faced increased countrywide attacks by the FARC and ELN, widespread drug production and the expansion of paramilitary groups. The Pastrana administration unveiled its "Plan Colombia" in 1999 as a strategy to deal with these longstanding problems, and sought support from the international community. Plan Colombia is a comprehensive program to combat narco-terrorism spur economic recovery strengthen democratic institutions and respect for human rights and provide humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons.

In November 1998, Pastrana ceded a sparsely populated area the size of Switzerland in south-central Colombia to the FARC's control to serve as a neutral zone where peace negotiations could take place. The FARC negotiated with the government only fitfully while continuing to mount attacks and expand coca production, seriously undermining the government's efforts to reach an agreement. Negotiations with the rebels in 2000 and 2001 were marred by rebel attacks, kidnappings and fighting between rebels and paramilitaries for control of coca-growing areas in Colombia. In February 2002, after the FARC hijacked a commercial aircraft and kidnapped a senator, Pastrana ordered the military to attack rebel positions and reassert control over the neutral zone. FARC withdrew into the jungle and increased attacks against Colombia's infrastructure, while avoiding large-scale direct conflicts with the military.

Uribe Administration
Alvaro Uribe, an independent, was elected president in May 2002 on a platform to restore security to the country. Among his promises was to continue to pursue the broad goals of Plan Colombia within the framework of a long-term security strategy. In the fall of 2002, Uribe released a national security strategy that employed political, economic and military means to weaken all illegal narco-terrorist groups. The Uribe government offered to negotiate a peace agreement with these groups with the condition that they agree to a unilateral cease fire and to end drug trafficking and kidnapping.

In December 2003, the Colombian Self-Defense Forces (AUC) paramilitary group entered into a peace agreement with the government that has led to the collective demobilization of over 31,000 AUC members. In addition, over 10,000 members of the AUC and other illegal armed groups have individually surrendered their arms. In July 2005, President Uribe signed the Justice and Peace Law, which provides reduced punishments for the demobilized if they renounce violence and return illegal assets, which are to provide reparations to victims.

The ELN and the government began a round of talks with the Colombian Government mediated by the Mexican Government in mid-2004. The ELN withdrew from the talks after the Mexican Government voted to condemn Cuba's human rights record at the United Nations in April 2005. In December 2005, the ELN began a new round of talks with the Colombian Government in Cuba that led to two more meetings, the latest one being held in July 2007. The dialogue is expected to continue.

As a result of the government's military and police operations, the strength of the FARC has been reduced in major areas. Since 2000, the FARC has not carried out large scale multi-front attacks, although it has mounted some operations that indicate it has not yet been broken. The FARC has rejected several government proposals aimed at bringing about an exchange of some 45 hostages. Three American citizens, who were working on counternarcotics programs, were captured by the FARC in February 2003. Their safe return is a priority goal of the United States and Colombia.

Colombia maintains an excellent extradition relationship with the United States. The Uribe administration has extradited more than 500 fugitives to the United States. Among those extradited in 2005 were Cali Cartel leaders Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela and his brother Miguel, and FARC leaders Juvenal Ovidio Palmera Pineda (aka "Simon Trinidad") and Omaira Rojas Cabrera (aka "Sonia").

In 2004, the Uribe government established, for the first time in recent Colombian history, a government presence in all of the country's 1,099 municipalities (county seats). Attacks conducted by illegally armed groups against rural towns decreased by 91% from 2002 to 2005. Between 2002 and 2006, Colombia saw a decrease in homicides by 37%, kidnappings by 78%, terrorist attacks by 63%, and attacks on the country's infrastructure by 60%.

Although much attention has been focused on the security aspects of Colombia's situation, the Uribe government also is making significant efforts on issues such as expanding international trade, supporting alternate means of development, and reforming Colombia's judicial system.

President Uribe was reelected with 62% of the vote in May 2006. In congressional elections in March 2006, the three leading pro-Uribe parties (National Unity, Conservative Party, and Radical Change) won clear majorities in both houses of Congress. In late 2006, the Supreme Court began investigations and ordered the arrest of some members of Congress for actions on behalf of paramilitary groups.

In January 2007, Colombian leaders presented a new strategy to consolidate and build on progress under Plan Colombia, called the "Strategy to Strengthen Democracy and Social Development." The new strategy continues successful Plan Colombia programs while increasing state presence by improving access to social services, and supporting economic development through sustainable growth and trade.


Colombia's Ministry of Defense is charged with the country's internal and external defense and security, and exercises jurisdiction over an army, navy--including marines and coast guard--air force, and national police under the leadership of a civilian Minister of Defense. Real spending on defense has increased every year since 2000, but especially so under President Uribe. Colombian spending on defense grew over 30% after inflation from 2001 to 2005, from $2.6 billion to more than 3.9 billion. Projected defense spending for 2006 was $4.48 billion. The security forces number about 350,000 uniformed personnel: 190,000 military and 160,000 police. President Uribe instituted a wealth tax in 2002, which raised over $800 million, with 70% used to increase 2002-2003 defense spending. A similar tax to be imposed from 2007-2011 is expected to raise up to $3.6 billion.

Many Colombian military personnel receive training in the United States or from U.S. instructors in Colombia. The United States provides equipment to the Colombian military and police through the military assistance program, foreign military sales and the international narcotics control program.

Narcotics and Terrorism
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that more than 80% of the worldwide powdered cocaine supply and as much as 90% of the powdered cocaine smuggled into the United States is produced in Colombia.

The Colombian Government is committed to the eradication of all illicit crops, interdiction of illegal drug shipments and financial controls to prevent money laundering. Between 2004 and 2006, Colombian security forces interdicted 562 metric tons of cocaine, coca base, and heroin. Coca cultivation decreased by 15% from 2001 to 2005, while opium poppy cultivation decreased by 68% from 2001 to 2004.

Terrorist groups in Colombia are actively engaged in narcotics production and trafficking. The FARC is believed responsible for more than half of the cocaine entering the United States.


Colombia is a free market economy with major commercial and investment ties to the United States. Transition from a highly regulated economy has been underway for more than 15 years. In 1990, the administration of President Cesar Gaviria (1990-94) initiated economic liberalization or "apertura," with tariff reductions, financial deregulation, privatization of state-owned enterprises and adoption of a more liberal foreign exchange rate. These policies eased import restrictions and opened most sectors to foreign investment, although agricultural products remained protected.

Unlike many of its neighboring countries, Colombia has not suffered any dramatic economic collapses. The Uribe administration seeks to maintain prudent fiscal policies and has pursued tough economic reforms including tax, pension and budget reforms. A U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) study shows that Colombian tax rates (both personal and corporate) are among the highest in Latin America. The unemployment rate in December 2006 was 11.4%, down from 15.1% in December 2002.

The sustained growth of the Colombian economy can be attributed to an increase in domestic security, the policies of keeping inflation low and maintaining a stable currency (the Colombian peso), petroleum price increases and an increase in exports to neighboring countries and the United States as a result of trade liberalization. The Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA), which has been extended through February 2008, also plays a pivotal role in Colombia's economic growth. Signing a free trade agreement in November 2006 portends further opportunity for growth once it is approved by the legislatures of both countries and implemented.

Industry and Agriculture
The most industrially diverse member of the five-nation Andean Community, Colombia has four major industrial centers--Bogota, Medellin, Cali and Barranquilla--each located in a distinct geographical region. Colombia's industries include textiles and clothing, leather products, processed foods and beverages, paper and paper products, chemicals and petrochemicals, cement, construction, iron and steel products and metalworking.

Colombia's diverse climate and topography permit the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. In addition, all regions yield forest products, ranging from tropical hardwoods in the lowlands, to pine and eucalyptus in the colder areas. Cacao, sugarcane, coconuts, bananas, plantains, rice, cotton, tobacco, cassava and most of the nation's beef cattle are produced in the hot regions from sea level to 1,000 meters elevation. The temperate regions--between 1,000 and 2,000 meters--are better suited for coffee, flowers, corn and other vegetables, pears, pineapples, and tomatoes. The cooler elevations--between 2,000 and 3,000 meters--produce wheat, barley, potatoes, cold-climate vegetables, flowers, dairy cattle and poultry.

In 2006, Colombia was the United States' fifth-largest export market in the Western Hemisphere behind Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Venezuela and the largest agricultural export market in the hemisphere after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) countries. U.S. exports to Colombia in 2006 were $6.9 billion, up 13.2% from the previous year. U.S. imports from Colombia were $9.6 billion, up 4%. Colombia's major exports are petroleum, coffee, coal, nickel, and nontraditional exports (e.g., cut flowers, gold, bananas, semiprecious stones, sugar, and tropical fruits). The United States is Colombia's largest trading partner, representing about 40% of Colombia's exports and 26.6% of its imports.

Colombia has improved protection of intellectual property rights through the adoption of three Andean Pact decisions in 1993 and 1994 as well as an internal decree on data protection. The United States remains concerned over deficiencies in licensing and copyright protection.

Mining and Energy
Colombia has considerable mineral and energy resources, especially coal and natural gas reserves. New security measures and increased drilling activity have slowed the drop in petroleum production, allowing Colombia to continue to export through 2010 or 2011, given current production estimates. In 2006, gas reserves totaled 7,349 billion cubic feet. Gas production totaled 680 million cubic feet per day. The country's current refining capacity is 299,200 barrels per day. Mining and energy related investments have grown because of higher oil prices, increased demand and improved output. Colombia has significantly liberalized its petroleum sector, leading to an increase in exploration and production contracts from both large and small hydrocarbon industries.

Colombia is presently the 16th-greatest coal producing country, accounting for about 1% of the world's total annual coal production, and the largest producer in Latin America (65.8 million tons in 2006). Colombia has proven recoverable coal reserves of about 7.4 billion short tons, the majority of which are located in the north of the country. Ferronickel production decreased from 116 million pounds in 2005 to 112.7 million pounds in 2006. Colombia historically has been the world's leading producer of emeralds, although production has fallen in recent years. Emerald production fell from 116.3 million carats in 2005 to 112.7 million carats in 2006. Colombia is also a significant producer of gold, silver, and platinum.

Foreign Investment
The United States is the largest source of new foreign direct investment (FDI) in Colombia, particularly in the areas of coal and petroleum. In 2006, new FDI totaled $6.3 billion, an increase of 294% from 2002. The bulk of the new investment is in the manufacturing, mining, and petroleum sectors. The only activities closed to foreign direct investment are defense and national security, and disposal of hazardous wastes. Capital controls have been implemented to reduce currency speculation and to keep foreign investment in-country for at least a year. In order to encourage investment in Colombia, Congress approved a law in 2005 to protect FDI.


In 1969, Colombia, along with Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, formed what is now the Andean Community. (Venezuela joined in 1973 and announced its departure in 2005 Chile left in 1976 and returned in 2006.) In the 1980s, Colombia broadened its bilateral and multilateral relations, joining the Contadora Group, the Group of Eight (now the Rio Group) and the Non-Aligned Movement, which it chaired from 1994 until September 1998. In addition, it has signed free trade agreements with Chile, Mexico and Venezuela. The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement was signed by President Bush in November 2006, and is awaiting congressional approval as of September 2007.

Colombia has traditionally played an active role in the United Nations and the Organization of American States and in their subsidiary agencies. Former President Gaviria became Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) in September 1994 and was re-elected in 1999. Colombia has participated in all five Summits of the Americas, most recently in November 2005, and followed up on initiatives developed at the first two summits by hosting two post-summit, ministerial-level meetings on trade and science and technology. In March 2006, Bogota hosted the Sixth Regular Session of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism.


In 1822, the United States became one of the first countries to recognize the new republic and to establish a resident diplomatic mission. Today, about 25,000 U.S. citizens are registered with the U.S. Embassy as living in Colombia, most of them dual nationals.

Currently, there are about 250 American businesses conducting operations in Colombia. In 1995-96, the United States and Colombia signed important agreements on environmental protection and civil aviation. The two countries have signed agreements on asset sharing and chemical control. In 1997, the United States and Colombia signed an important maritime ship-boarding agreement to allow for search of suspected drug-running vessels.

During the Pastrana administration, relations with the United States improved significantly. The United States responded to the Colombian Government's request for international support for Plan Colombia by providing substantial assistance designed to increase Colombia's counter-narcotics capabilities and support human rights, humanitarian assistance, alternative development and economic and judicial reforms.


Early radio years Edit

The origins of CBS date back to January 27, 1927, with the creation of the United Independent Broadcasters network in Chicago by New York City talent agent Arthur Judson. The fledgling network soon needed additional investors, and the Columbia Phonograph Company, manufacturers of Columbia Records, rescued it in April 1927. Now the Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System, the network went to air under its new name on May 18, 1927, with a presentation by the Howard L. Barlow Orchestra [7] from flagship station WOR in Newark, and fifteen affiliates. [8]

Operational costs were steep, particularly the payments to AT&T for use of its landlines, and by the end of 1927, Columbia Phonograph wanted out. [9] In early 1928 Judson sold the network to brothers Isaac and Leon Levy, owners of the network's Philadelphia affiliate WCAU, and their partner Jerome Louchheim. None of the three were interested in assuming day-to-day management of the network, so they installed wealthy 26-year-old William S. Paley, son of a Philadelphia cigar family and in-law of the Levys, as president. With the record company out of the picture, Paley quickly streamlined the corporate name to "Columbia Broadcasting System". [9] He believed in the power of radio advertising since his family's La Palina cigars had doubled their sales after young William convinced his elders to advertise on radio. [10] By September 1928, Paley bought out the Louchheim share of CBS and became its majority owner with 51% of the business. [11]

Turnaround: Paley's first year Edit

During Louchheim's brief regime, Columbia paid $410,000 to Alfred H. Grebe's Atlantic Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for the small Brooklyn station WABC (no relation to the current WABC), which would become the network's flagship station. WABC was quickly upgraded, and the signal relocated to 860 kHz. [12] The physical plant was also relocated to Steinway Hall on West 57th Street in Manhattan, where much of CBS's programming would originate. By the turn of 1929, the network had 47 affiliates. [11]

Paley moved right away to put his network on a firmer financial footing. In the fall of 1928, he entered into talks with Adolph Zukor of Paramount Pictures, who planned to move into radio in response to RCA's forays into motion pictures with the advent of talkies. [13] The deal came to fruition in September 1929 Paramount acquired 49% of CBS in return for a block of its stock worth $3.8 million at the time. [10] The agreement specified that Paramount would buy that same stock back for a flat $5 million by March 1, 1932, provided that CBS had earned $2 million during 1931 and 1932. [13] For a brief time, there was talk that the network might be renamed "Paramount Radio", but it only lasted a month as the 1929 stock market crash sent all stock value tumbling. It galvanized Paley and his troops, who had no alternative but to "turn the network around and earn the $2,000,000 in two years. This is the atmosphere in which the CBS of today was born." [13] The near-bankrupt film studio sold its CBS shares back to the network in 1932. [14] In the first year of Paley's watch, CBS's gross earnings more than tripled, going from $1.4 million to $4.7 million. [15]

Much of the increase was a result of Paley's effort to improve affiliate relations. There were two types of program at the time: sponsored and sustaining, i.e., unsponsored. Rival network NBC paid affiliates for every sponsored show they carried, and charged them for every sustaining show they ran. [16] 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: [15] 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. [16] CBS soon had more affiliates than either NBC Red or NBC Blue. [17]

Paley valued style and taste, [18] and in 1929, once he had his affiliates happy and his company's creditworthiness on the mend, he relocated his company to the sleek, new 485 Madison Avenue, the "heart of the advertising community, right where Paley wanted his company to be", [19] and where it would stay until its move to its own Eero Saarinen-designed headquarters, the CBS Building, in 1965. When his new landlords expressed skepticism about the network and its fly-by-night reputation, Paley overcame their qualms by inking a lease for $1.5 million. [19]

CBS takes on the Red and the Blue (1930s) Edit

Since NBC was the broadcast arm of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), its chief David Sarnoff approached his decisions as both a broadcaster and as a hardware executive NBC's affiliates all had the latest RCA broadcasting equipment, and were often the best-established stations, or were on "clear channel" frequencies. Yet Sarnoff's affiliates were mistrustful of him. Paley had no such split loyalties: his and his affiliates' success rose and fell with the quality of CBS programming. [15]

Paley had an innate sense of entertainment. David Halberstam wrote that he had "a gift of the gods, an ear totally pure", [20] and knew "what was good and would sell, what was bad and would sell, and what was good and would not sell, and he never confused one with another." [21] As the 1930s loomed closer, Paley set about building the CBS talent stable. The network became the home to many popular musical and comedy stars, among them Jack Benny ("Your Canada Dry Humorist"), Al Jolson, George Burns and Gracie Allen, and Kate Smith, whom Paley had personally selected for his family's La Palina Hour as she was not the type of woman to provoke jealousy in American wives. [22] When Paley heard a phonograph record of Bing Crosby, then a young unknown crooner, on a mid-ocean voyage, he rushed to the ship's radio room and cabled New York to sign Crosby immediately to a contract for a daily radio show. [23]

While the CBS primetime 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 salesmen recognized early on that this intimate connection could be a bonanza for advertisers of female-interest products. [24] 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 boxtop from sponsor Forhan's toothpaste. [25] The low-key murmuring of smooth-voiced Tony Wons, backed by a tender violin, "made him a soul mate to millions of women" [26] 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". [27] The most popular radio-friend of all was M. Sayle Taylor, the Voice of Experience, though his name was never uttered on air. [27] 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 M–O laxative enjoyed sales increases of several hundred percent in just the first month of The Voice of Experience ' s run. [28]

As the decade progressed, a new genre joined the daytime lineup: serial drama soap operas, so named for the products that sponsored them. These were usually in quarter-hour episodes and proliferated widely in the mid- and late 1930s. They all had the same basic premise, namely that characters "fell into two categories: 1) those in trouble and 2) those who helped people in trouble. The helping-hand figures were usually older." [29] At CBS, Just Plain Bill brought human insight and Anacin pain reliever into households Your Family and Mine came courtesy of Sealtest Dairy products Bachelor's Children first hawked Old Dutch Cleanser, then Wonder Bread Aunt Jenny's Real Life Stories was sponsored by Spry Vegetable Shortening. Our Gal Sunday (Anacin again), The Romance of Helen Trent (Angélus cosmetics), Big Sister (Rinso laundry soap), and many others filled the daytime ether. [30]

Thanks to its daytime and primetime schedules, CBS prospered in the 1930s. In 1935, gross sales were $19.3 million, yielding a profit of $2.27 million. [31] By 1937, the network took in $28.7 million and had 114 affiliates, [15] almost all of which cleared 100% of network-fed programming, thus keeping ratings, and revenue, high. In 1938, CBS acquired the American Record Corporation, parent of its one-time investor Columbia Records. [32] In 1938, NBC and CBS each opened broadcast studios on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood in order to attract the entertainment industry's top talent to their networks. [33]

CBS launches an independent news division Edit

The extraordinary potential of radio news showed itself in 1930, when CBS suddenly found itself with a live telephone connection to a prisoner called "the Deacon", who described, from the inside and in real time, a riot and conflagration at the Ohio Penitentiary for CBS, it was "a shocking journalistic coup". [34] Yet as late as 1934, there was still no regularly scheduled newscast on network radio "most sponsors did not want network news programming those that did were inclined to expect veto rights over it." [35] There had been a longstanding wariness between radio and the newspapers as well the papers had rightly concluded that the upstart radio business would compete with them in both advertising dollars and news coverage. By 1933, the newspapers began fighting back, many no longer publishing radio schedules for readers' convenience, or allowing their own news to be read on the air for radio's profit. [36] Radio, in turn, pushed back when urban department stores, newspapers' largest advertisers and themselves owners of many radio stations, threatened to withhold their ads from print. [37] A short-lived truce in 1933 even saw the papers proposing that radio be forbidden from running news before 9:30 a.m., and then only after 9:00 p.m., and that no news story could air until it was 12 hours old. [38]

It was in this climate that Paley set out to "enhance the prestige of CBS, to make it seem in the public mind the more advanced, dignified and socially aware network". [39] He did it by sustaining programming of the New York Philharmonic, Norman Corwin's drama, and an in-house news division to gather and present news, free of fickle suppliers such as the newspapers or wire services. [39] In the fall of 1934, CBS launched an independent news division, shaped in its first years by Paley's vice-president, former New York Times columnist Ed Klauber, and news director Paul White. Since there was no blueprint or precedent for real-time news coverage, early efforts of the new division used the shortwave link-up CBS had been using for five years to bring live feeds of European events to its American air. [40]

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 his boss White. [41] Murrow was glad to "leave the hothouse atmosphere of the New York office behind" [42] when he was dispatched to London as CBS's European Director in 1937, 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". [43] Murrow began assembling the staff of broadcast journalists who would become known as the "Murrow Boys", including such men as William L. Shirer, Charles Collingwood, Bill Downs, and Eric Sevareid. They were "in [Murrow's] own image, sartorially impeccable, literate, often liberal, and prima donnas all". [44] They covered history in the making, and sometimes made it themselves. On March 12, 1938, Hitler boldly annexed nearby Austria, and Murrow and the 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. [45] This bore the now-ubiquitous News Round-Up format.

Murrow's nightly reports from the rooftops during the dark days of the London Blitz galvanized American listeners. Even before Pearl Harbor, the conflict became "the story of the survival of Western civilization, the most heroic of all possible wars and stories. He was indeed reporting on the survival of the English-speaking peoples." [46] With his "manly, tormented voice", [47] Murrow contained and mastered the panic and danger he felt, thereby communicating it all the more effectively to his audience. [47] Using his trademark self-reference "this reporter", he did not so much report news as interpret it, combining simplicity of expression with subtlety of nuance. [48] [47] Murrow himself said he tried to "describe things in terms that make sense to the truck driver without insulting the intelligence of the professor". [47] When he returned home for a visit late in 1941, Paley threw an "extraordinarily elaborate reception" [49] for Murrow at the Waldorf-Astoria. This reception also served as an announcement to the world that Paley's network was finally more than just a pipeline carrying other people's programming and had now become a cultural force in its own right. [50]

When the war was over and Murrow returned for good, it was as "a superstar with prestige and freedom and respect within his profession and within his company". [51] He possessed enormous capital within that company, and as the unknown form of television news loomed large, he would spend it freely, first in radio news, then in television, first taking on Senator Joseph McCarthy, then eventually – and unsuccessfully – William S. Paley himself. [52]

Panic: The War of the Worlds radio broadcast Edit

On October 30, 1938, CBS gained a taste of infamy when The Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast a radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, performed by Orson Welles. Its unique format, a contemporary version of the story in the form of faux news broadcasts, told listeners that invaders from Mars were actually invading and devastating Grover's Mill, New Jersey, despite three disclaimers during the broadcast stating that it was a work of fiction. The flood of publicity after the broadcast had two effects: an FCC ban on faux news bulletins within dramatic programming, and sponsorship for The Mercury Theatre on the Air, becoming The Campbell Playhouse to sell soup. [53] Welles, for his part, summarized the episode as "the Mercury Theatre's own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying 'Boo!'" [54]

CBS recruits Edmund A. Chester Edit

Before the United States joined World War II, in 1940, CBS recruited Edmund A. Chester from his position as Bureau Chief for Latin America at the Associated Press to serve as Director of Latin American Relations and Director of Short Wave Broadcasts for the CBS radio network. In this capacity, 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 (chaired by Nelson Rockefeller), and the Voice of America as part of President Roosevelt's support for Pan-Americanism during World War II. [55] This network provided vital news and cultural programming throughout South America and Central America during the crucial World War II era, and fostered diplomatic relations between the United States and the other nations. It featured such popular radio broadcasts as Viva América, [56] which showcased leading musical talent from both North and South America, including John Serry Sr., as accompanied by the CBS Pan American Orchestra under the musical direction of Alfredo Antonini. [57] The post-war era also marked the beginning of CBS's dominance in the field of radio. [58]

Zenith of network radio (1940s) Edit

As 1939 wound down, Paley announced that 1940 would be "the greatest year in the history of radio in the United States". [59] Indeed, the 1940s would turn out to be the apogee of network radio by every metric. Nearly 100% of the advertisers who made sponsorship deals in 1939 renewed their contracts for 1940 manufacturers of farm tractors made radios standard equipment on their machines [60] wartime rationing of paper limited the size of newspapers and thus print advertisements, causing a shift toward radio sponsorship. [61] A 1942 act by Congress made advertising expenses a tax benefit, [61] which sent even automobile and tire manufacturers – who had no products to sell since they had been converted to war production – scurrying to sponsor symphony orchestras and serious drama on radio. [62] In 1940, only one-third of radio programs were sponsored, while two-thirds were sustaining by the middle of the decade, the statistics had swapped. [63]

CBS in the 1940s was vastly different from that of its early days many of the old guard veterans had died, retired, or simply left the network. [64] No change was greater than that in Paley himself, who had become difficult to work for, and had "gradually shifted from leader to despot". [64] He spent much of his time seeking social connections and in cultural pursuits his hope was that CBS "could somehow learn to run itself". [64] His brief to an interior designer remodeling his townhouse included a requirement for closets that would accommodate 300 suits and 100 shirts, and had special racks for 100 neckties. [65]

As Paley grew more remote, he installed a series of buffer executives who sequentially assumed more and more power at CBS: first Ed Klauber, then Paul Kesten, and finally Frank Stanton. Second only to Paley as the author of CBS's style and ambitions in its first half-century, Stanton was "a magnificent mandarin who functioned as company superintendent, spokesman, and image-maker". [66] He had come to the network in 1933 after sending copies of his Ph.D. thesis "A Critique Of Present Methods and a New Plan for Studying Radio Listening Behavior" to CBS top brass, and they responded with a job offer. [67] He scored an early hit with his study "Memory for Advertising Copy Presented Visually vs. Orally", which CBS salesmen used to great effect, bringing in new sponsors. [67] In 1946, Paley appointed Stanton as President of CBS and promoted himself to Chairman. Stanton's colorful but impeccable wardrobe – slate-blue pinstripe suit, ecru shirt, robin's egg blue necktie with splashes of saffron – made him, in the mind of one sardonic CBS vice president, "the greatest argument we have for color television". [68]

Despite the influx of advertisers and their money – or perhaps because of them – the 1940s were not without bumps for the radio networks. The biggest challenge came in the form of the FCC's chain broadcasting investigation, often called the "monopoly probe". [69] Though it started in 1938, the investigation only gathered steam in 1940 under new-broom chairman James L. Fly. [70] By the time the smoke had cleared in 1943, NBC had already spun off its Blue Network, which became the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). CBS was also hit, though not as severely: Paley's 1928 affiliate contract, which had given CBS first claim on local stations' air during sponsored time – the network option – came under attack as being restrictive to local programming. [71] The final compromise permitted the network option for three out of four hours during the daytime, but the new regulations had virtually no practical effect, since most all stations accepted the network feed, especially the sponsored hours that earned them money. [71] Fly's panel also forbade networks from owning artists' representation bureaus, so CBS sold its bureau to Music Corporation of America, and it became Management Corporation of America. [72]

On the air, the war affected almost every show. Variety shows wove patriotism through their comedy and music segments dramas and soaps had characters join the service and go off to fight. Even before hostilities commenced in Europe, one of the most played songs on radio was Irving Berlin's "God Bless America", popularized by CBS personality Kate Smith. [73] Although an Office of Censorship sprang up within days of Pearl Harbor, censorship would be totally voluntary. A few shows submitted scripts for review, but most did not. [74] The guidelines that the Office did issue banned weather reports (including announcement of sports rainouts), as well as news about war production or troop, ship, or plane movements, and live man-on-the-street interviews. The ban on ad-libbing caused quizzes, game shows, and amateur hours to wither for the duration. [74]

Surprising was the "granite permanence" of the shows at the top of the ratings. [75] The vaudevillians and musicians who were hugely popular after the war were the same stars who had been huge in the 1930s Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Burns and Allen, and Edgar Bergen all had been on the radio almost as long as there had been network radio. [76] A notable exception to this was relative newcomer Arthur Godfrey, who was still doing a local morning show in Washington, D.C. as late as 1942. [77] Godfrey, who had been a cemetery lot salesman and a cab driver, pioneered the style of talking directly to the listener as an individual, with a singular "you" rather than phrases like "Now, folks. " or "Yes, friends. ". [78] His combined shows contributed as much as 12% of all CBS revenues by 1948, he was making $500,000 a year. [77]

In 1947, Paley, still the undisputed "head talent scout" of CBS, [66] led a much-publicized "talent raid" on NBC. One day, while Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll were hard at work at NBC writing their venerable Amos and Andy series, Paley came to the door with an astonishing offer: "Whatever you are getting now I will give you twice as much." [79] Capturing NBC's cornerstone show was enough of a coup, but Paley repeated in 1948 with longtime NBC stars Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, and Red Skelton, as well as former CBS defectors Jack Benny, who was radio's top-rated comedian, and Burns and Allen. Paley achieved this rout with a legal agreement reminiscent of his 1928 contract that caused some NBC radio affiliates to jump ship and join CBS. [79] CBS would buy the stars' names as a property in exchange for a large lump sum and salary. [80] The plan relied on the vastly different tax rates between income and capital gains, so not only would the stars enjoy more than twice their income after taxes, but CBS would preclude any NBC counterattack because CBS owned the performers' names. [79]

As a result of this, CBS finally beat NBC in the ratings in 1949, [81] but it was not just to one-up rival Sarnoff that Paley led his talent raid he and all of radio had their eye on the coming force that threw a shadow over radio throughout the 1940s – television.

Primetime radio gives way to television (1950s) Edit

In the spring of 1940, CBS staff engineer Peter Goldmark devised a system for color television that CBS management hoped would leapfrog the network over NBC and its existing black-and-white RCA system. [82] [83] The CBS system "gave brilliant and stable colors", while NBC's was "crude and unstable but 'compatible'". [84] Ultimately, the FCC rejected the CBS system because it was incompatible with RCA's, along with the fact that CBS had moved to secure many ultra high frequency (UHF), not very high frequency (VHF), television licenses, leaving them flatfooted in the early television age. [85] In 1946, only 6,000 television sets were in operation, most in greater New York City where there were already three stations by 1949, the number had increased to 3 million sets, and by 1951, had risen to 12 million. [86] There were 64 American cities with television stations, though most of them only had one. [87]

Radio continued to be the backbone of the company in the early 1950s, but it was "a strange, twilight period" where some cities had often multiple television stations which siphoned the audience from radio, while other cities such as Denver and Portland had no television stations at all. In those areas, as well as rural areas and some entire states, network radio remained the sole nationally broadcast service. [76] NBC's venerable Fred Allen saw his ratings plummet when he was pitted against upstart ABC's game show Stop The Music! within weeks, he was dropped by longtime sponsor Ford Motor Company and was shortly gone from the scene. [88] Radio powerhouse Bob Hope's ratings plunged from a 23.8 share in 1949 to 5.4 in 1953. [89] By 1952, "death seemed imminent for network radio" in its familiar form [90] most tellingly, the big sponsors were eager for the switch.

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, where it 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 a year later. In 1956, CBS announced that its radio operations had lost money, while the television network had made money. [91] When the soap opera Ma Perkins went off the air on November 25, 1960, only eight series remained, all relatively minor. Primetime radio ended on September 30, 1962, when Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and Suspense aired for the final time. [92]

CBS's radio programming after 1972 Edit

The retirement of Arthur Godfrey in April 1972 marked the end of long-form programming on CBS radio programming thereafter consisted of hourly news summaries and news features, known in the 1970s as Dimension, and commentaries, including the Spectrum series that evolved into the "Point/Counterpoint" feature on the television network's 60 Minutes and First Line Report, a news and analysis feature delivered by CBS correspondents. The network also continued to offer traditional radio programming through its nightly CBS Radio Mystery Theater during week. This was the lone holdout of dramatic programming, which ran from 1974 to 1982, though shorter runs were given to the General Mills Radio Adventure Theater, The Zero Hour and the Sears/Mutual Radio Theater in the 1970s - early 1980s otherwise, most new dramatic radio was carried on public and to some extent religious stations. [93] The CBS Radio Network continues to this day, offering hourly newscasts, including its centerpiece CBS World News Roundup in the morning and evening, its weekend sister program CBS News Weekend Roundup, the news-related feature segment The Osgood File, What's in the News, a one-minute summary of one story, and various other segments such as commentary from Seattle radio personality Dave Ross, tip segments from various other sources, and technology coverage from CBS Interactive property CNET.

On November 17, 2017, CBS Radio was sold to Entercom, becoming the last of the original Big Four radio networks to be owned by its founding company. [94] Although the CBS parent itself ceased to exist when it was acquired by Westinghouse Electric in 1995, CBS Radio continued to be run by CBS until its sale to Entercom. Prior to its acquisition, ABC Radio was sold to Citadel Broadcasting in 2007 (and is now a part of Cumulus Media), while Mutual (now defunct) and NBC Radio were acquired by Westwood One in the 1980s. Westwood One and CBS were under common ownership from 1993 to 2007 the former would be acquired outright by Dial Global in October 2011.

Television years: expansion and growth Edit

CBS's involvement in television dates back to the opening of experimental station W2XAB in New York City on July 21, 1931, using the mechanical television system that had more or less been perfected in the late 1920s. Its initial broadcast featured New York mayor Jimmy Walker, Kate Smith, and George Gershwin. The station boasted the first regular seven-day broadcasting schedule in American television, broadcasting 28 hours a week.

Announcer-director Bill Schudt was the station's only paid employee all other talent was volunteer. W2XAB pioneered program development including small-scale dramatic acts, monologues, pantomime, and the use of projection slides to simulate sets. Engineer Bill Lodge devised the first synchronized sound wave for a television station in 1932, enabling W2XAB to broadcast picture and sound on a single shortwave channel instead of the two previously needed. On November 8, 1932, W2XAB broadcast the first television coverage of presidential election returns. The station suspended operations on February 20, 1933, as monochrome television transmission standards were in flux, and in the process of changing from a mechanical to an all-electronic system. W2XAB returned to the air with an all-electronic system in 1939 from a new studio complex in Grand Central Station and a transmitter atop the Chrysler Building, broadcasting on channel 2. [95] W2XAB transmitted the first color broadcast in the United States on August 28, 1940. [96]

On June 24, 1941, W2XAB received a commercial construction permit and program authorization as WCBW. The station went on the air at 2:30 p.m. on July 1, an hour after rival WNBT (channel 1, formerly W2XBS and now WNBC), making it the second authorized, fully commercial television station in the United States. The FCC issued permits to CBS and NBC at the same time, and intended WNBT and WCBW to sign on simultaneously on July 1, so no one station could claim to be the "first".

During the period of the USA's participation in World War II, commercial television broadcasting was reduced dramatically. Towards the end of the war, however, it began to ramp up again, with an increased level of programming evident from 1944 to 1947 on the three New York television stations which operated in those years: the local stations of NBC, CBS and DuMont. As RCA and DuMont raced to establish networks and offer upgraded programming, CBS lagged, advocating an industry-wide shift and restart to UHF for their incompatible (with black and white) color system. The FCC putting an indefinite "freeze" on television licenses that lasted until 1952 did not help matters. 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 City) in Los Angeles, Chicago, and other major cities. Up to that point, CBS programming was seen on such stations as KTTV in Los Angeles, in which CBS – as a bit of insurance and to guarantee program clearance in that market – quickly purchased a 50% interest, partnering with the Los Angeles Times. CBS then sold its interest in KTTV (now the West Coast flagship station of the Fox network) and purchased outright Los Angeles pioneer station KTSL in 1950, renaming it KNXT (after CBS's existing Los Angeles radio property KNX), later to become KCBS-TV. In 1953, CBS bought pioneer Chicago television station WBKB, which had been signed on by former investor Paramount Pictures (and would again become a sister company of CBS decades later) as a commercial station in 1946, and changed that station's call sign to WBBM-TV, moving the CBS affiliation away from WGN-TV.

WCBS-TV would ultimately be the only station (as of 2013 [update] ) built and signed on by CBS. The rest of the stations would be acquired by CBS, either in an ownership stake or outright purchase. In television's early years, the network bought Washington, D.C. affiliate WOIC (now WUSA) in a joint venture with The Washington Post in 1950, only to sell its stake to the newspaper in 1954 due to tighter FCC ownership regulations. CBS would also temporarily return to relying on its own UHF technology by owning WXIX in Milwaukee (now CW affiliate WVTV) and WHCT in Hartford (now Univision affiliate WUVN). However, as UHF was not viable for broadcasting at the time (due to the fact that most television sets of the time were not equipped with UHF tuners), CBS decided to sell those stations off and affiliate with VHF stations WITI and WTIC-TV (now WFSB).

In Milwaukee alone, CBS has gone through several affiliation changes since 1953, when its original primary affiliate WCAN-TV (now defunct) first signed on the air. Prior to WCAN's sign-on, selected CBS programming aired on WTMJ-TV, an NBC affiliate since 1947. In February 1955, when WCAN went off the air for good, CBS moved its programming to WXIX, which it had purchased several months earlier. In April 1959, CBS decided to move its programming to WITI, the city's newer VHF station at the time. In turn, CBS shut down WXIX, sold its license to local investors, and returned to the air that July as an independent station. The first WITI-CBS union only lasted exactly two years, as the network moved its programming to WISN-TV on April 2, 1961, with WITI taking the ABC affiliation the two stations reversed the network swap in March 1977, with WITI returning to the CBS station lineup. CBS was later forced back onto UHF in Milwaukee due to an affiliation agreement with New World Communications in 1994 it is now affiliated with WDJT-TV in that market, which has the longest-lasting relationship with CBS of any Milwaukee station that carried the network's programming.

More long-term, CBS bought stations in Philadelphia (WCAU, now owned by NBC) and St. Louis (KMOX-TV, now KMOV), but would eventually sell these stations off as well. Before buying KMOX-TV, CBS had attempted to purchase and sign on the channel 11 license in St. Louis, now KPLR-TV. [97]

CBS did attempt to sign on a station in Pittsburgh after the freeze was lifted, as it was the sixth-largest market at the time, but had just one commercial VHF station in DuMont-owned WDTV, while the rest were either on UHF (the modern-day WPGH-TV and WINP-TV) or public television (WQED). Although the FCC turned down CBS's request to buy the channel 9 license in nearby Steubenville, Ohio and move it to Pittsburgh (that station, initially CBS affiliate WSTV-TV, is now NBC affiliate WTOV-TV), CBS did score a major coup when Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric, co-founder of NBC, bought WDTV from struggling DuMont and opted to affiliate the now-recalled KDKA-TV with CBS instead of NBC (like KDKA radio) due to NBC extorting and coercing Westinghouse to trade KYW radio and WPTZ (now KYW-TV) for Cleveland stations WTAM, WTAM-FM (now WMJI), and WNBK (now WKYC) the trade ended up being reversed by order of the FCC and the Department of Justice in 1965 after an eight-year investigation. [98] Had CBS not been able to affiliate with KDKA-TV, it would have affiliated with eventual NBC affiliate WIIC-TV (now WPXI) once it signed on in 1957 instead. [99] This coup would eventually lead to a much stronger relationship between Westinghouse and CBS.

Programming (1945–1970) Edit

The mid-1940s "talent raid" on NBC had brought over established radio stars, who became stars of CBS television programs as well. One reluctant CBS star refused to bring her radio show My Favorite Husband to television unless the network would recast the show with her real-life husband in the lead. I Love Lucy debuted in October 1951, and was an immediate sensation, with 11 million of the 15 million total television sets watching (a 73% share). [100] Paley and network president Frank Stanton had so little faith in the future of Lucille Ball's series that they granted her wish and allowed her husband Desi Arnaz to take financial control of the comedy's production. This was the foundation of the Ball-Arnaz Desilu empire, and is now considered a template for series production it also served as the template for some television conventions that continue to exist including the use of multiple cameras to film scenes, the use of a studio audience, and the airing of past episodes for syndication to other television outlets. [101] The phenomenal success of the primetime, big-money quiz show The $64,000 Question, propelled its creator Louis G. Cowan, first to an executive position as CBS's vice-president of creative services, then to the presidency of the CBS television network itself. When quiz show scandals involving "rigged" questions surfaced in 1959, he was fired by CBS.

CBS dominated television, now at the forefront of American entertainment and information, as it once had radio. [ citation needed ] In 1953, the CBS television network would make its first profit, [103] and would maintain dominance on television between 1955 and 1976. [103] By the late 1950s, the network often controlled seven or eight of the slots on the "top ten" ratings list with well-respected shows such as Route 66.

Under James T. Aubrey (1958–1965), CBS was able to balance prestigious television projects (befitting the "Tiffany Network" image), with more low culture, broad appeal programs. As such, the network had challenging fare like The Twilight Zone, The Defenders, and East Side/West Side, as well as The Andy Griffith Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and Gilligan's Island. [104]

This success would continue for many years, with CBS being bumped from first place only due to the rise of ABC in the mid-1970s. Perhaps because of its status as the top-rated network, CBS felt freer to gamble with controversial properties like the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and All in the Family (and its many spinoffs) during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Programming: "Rural purge" and success in the 1970s and early-mid 1980s (1971–1986) Edit

By the end of the 1960s, CBS was very successful in television ratings, but many of its shows, including The Beverly Hillbillies, Gunsmoke, Mayberry R.F.D., Petticoat Junction, Lassie, Hee Haw, and Green Acres, were appealing to older and more rural audiences, rather than to the young, urban, and more affluent audiences that advertisers sought to target. Fred Silverman, who would later head ABC and later NBC, made the decision to cancel most of those otherwise hit shows by mid-1971 in what became colloquially referred to as the "rural purge", with Green Acres cast member Pat Buttram remarking that the network canceled "anything with a tree in it". [105] [106] CBS also cancelled the variety shows of Red Skelton, Ed Sullivan and Jackie Gleason not only because of aging demographics but also reportedly due to the escalating expenses of these programs.

While the "rural" shows got the axe, new hits like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, All in the Family, The Bob Newhart Show, Cannon, Barnaby Jones, Kojak, and The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour took their place on the network's schedule and kept it at the top of the ratings through the early 1970s. The majority of these hits were overseen by then-East Coast vice president Alan Wagner. [107] 60 Minutes also moved to the 7:00 p.m. slot on Sundays in 1975, and became the first ever primetime television news program to enter the Nielsen Top 10 in 1978.

One of CBS's most popular shows during the period was M*A*S*H, which ran for 11 seasons from 1972 to 1983, and was based on the hit Robert Altman film of the same name. The 2 1 ⁄ 2 -hour series finale, in its initial airing on February 28, 1983, had peak viewership of up to 125 million Americans (77% of all television viewership in the U.S. that night), which established it as the most watched television episode in the United States. It also held the distinction of having the largest single-night primetime viewership of any television program in U.S. history, until it was surpassed by the Super Bowl, which has taken the record consistently since 2010 (through the annual championship game alternates between being broadcast by CBS and rival networks Fox and NBC).

Silverman also first developed his strategy of spinning new shows off from established hit series while at CBS, with Rhoda and Phyllis spun from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Maude and The Jeffersons from All in the Family, and Good Times from Maude. After Silverman's departure, CBS dropped to second place behind ABC in the 1976–77 season, but still rated strongly, based on its earlier hits and some new ones, including One Day at a Time, Alice, Lou Grant, WKRP in Cincinnati, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Dallas, which was the biggest hit of the early 1980s and holds the record for the most watched non-series finale television episode in the U.S. – the primetime telecast of the resolution episode of the internationally prominent "Who Shot J.R.?" cliffhanger on November 21, 1980.

By 1982, ABC had run out of steam and NBC was in dire straits, with many failed programming efforts greenlighted by Silverman during his tenure as network president. CBS nosed ahead once more thanks to the major success of Dallas (and its spin-off Knots Landing), as well as hits in Falcon Crest, Magnum, P.I., Simon & Simon, and 60 Minutes. CBS also acquired the broadcast rights to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament in 1982, which it now broadcasts every March since. CBS bought Emmy-winning documentary producer Dennis B. Kane's production company and formed CBS/Kane Productions International. The network managed to pull out a few new hits over the next couple of years, including Kate & Allie, Newhart, Cagney & Lacey, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and Murder, She Wrote. However, this resurgence was short-lived, as CBS had become mired in debt as a result of a failed takeover effort by Ted Turner, which CBS chairman Thomas Wyman successfully helped to fend off. The network sold its St. Louis owned-and-operated station KMOX-TV, and allowed the purchase of a large portion of its shares (under 25 percent) by Loew's Inc. chairman Laurence Tisch. Collaboration between Paley and Tisch led to the slow dismissal of Wyman, with Tisch taking over as chief operating officer and Paley returning as chairman. [108]

Programming: Tiffany Network in distress (1986–2002) Edit

By the end of the 1987–88 season, CBS had fallen to third place behind both ABC and NBC for the first time. In 1984, The Cosby Show and Miami Vice debuted on NBC and immediately garnered high ratings, allowing NBC to rise back to first place by the 1985–86 season with a slate that included several other hits such as Night Court, Family Ties, Cheers, The Golden Girls, The Facts Of Life, L.A. Law, and 227. ABC had also rebounded with hits such as Dynasty, Who's the Boss?, Hotel, Full House, Growing Pains, The Wonder Years, and Roseanne.

Some of the groundwork had been laid as CBS fell in the ratings, with hits Simon & Simon, Falcon Crest, Murder, She Wrote, Kate & Allie, and Newhart still on the schedule from the most recent resurgence, and to-be-hits Designing Women, Murphy Brown, Jake and the Fatman, and newsmagazine 48 Hours all debuting in the late 1980s. The network was also still getting decent ratings for 60 Minutes, Dallas, and Knots Landing. During the early 1990s, the network would bolster its sports lineup by obtaining the broadcast television rights to Major League Baseball from ABC and NBC, and the Winter Olympics from ABC, despite losing the National Basketball Association to NBC after the 1989–90 NBA season.

Under network president Jeff Sagansky, the network was able to earn strong ratings from new shows Diagnosis: Murder, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Walker, Texas Ranger, Picket Fences, Northern Exposure, Evening Shade and a resurgent Jake and the Fatman. CBS was briefly able to reclaim first place during the 1992–93 season. However, the network's programming slate skewed toward an older demographic than ABC, NBC, or even the fledgling Fox network. In 1993, the network made a breakthrough in establishing a successful late-night talk show franchise to compete with NBC's The Tonight Show when it signed David Letterman away from NBC after the Late Night host was passed over as Johnny Carson's successor on Tonight in favor of Jay Leno.

Despite having success with the Late Show with David Letterman, CBS as a whole suffered in 1993. The network lost the rights to two major sports leagues it terminated its rights to MLB after losing approximately $500 million over a four-year span, and the league reached a new contract with NBC and ABC. On December 17, 1993, in a move that surprised many media analysts and television viewers, Fox – then a fledgling network which had begun to accrue several popular programs in the Nielsen Top 20 during its seven years on air – outbid CBS for the broadcast rights to the National Football Conference, stripping CBS of National Football League telecasts for the first time since CBS began broadcasting games from the pre-merger NFL in 1955. Fox bid $1.58 billion for the NFC television rights, significantly higher than CBS's reported offer of $290 million to retain the contract. [109]

The acquisition of the NFC rights, which took effect with the 1994 NFL season and led to CBS being nicknamed "Can't Broadcast Sports", [110] resulted in Fox striking a series of affiliation deals with longtime affiliates of each of the Big Three networks. CBS bore the brunt of the switches, losing its Phoenix, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Detroit, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Wilmington, North Carolina, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Yuma and Atlanta affiliates to Fox eight of those stations were owned by New World Communications. [111] Most of the stations with which CBS ended up affiliating to replace the previous affiliates it lost to Fox were former Fox affiliates and independent stations, but had limited local news presence prior to joining CBS. The network attempted to fill its loss of the NFL by going after the rights to the National Hockey League, which it again lost to Fox. [112] In early 1995, CBS would begin to rebuild its sports division by acquiring the rights to additional NASCAR races. However, the network would be stripped of its contract with NASCAR in December 1999, and Fox and NBC acquired the rights in 2001. [113]

The loss of the NFL, along with an ill-fated effort to court younger viewers, led to a drop in CBS's ratings. One of the affected shows was the Late Show with David Letterman, which saw its viewership decline in large part due to the affiliation switches, at times even landing in third place in its timeslot behind ABC's Nightline. As a result, NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, which had previously been dominated by the Late Show, became the top-rated late-night talk show. [114] However, CBS was able to produce some hits during the mid-1990s such as The Nanny, JAG (which moved to the network from NBC), Chicago Hope, Cosby, Cybill, Touched by an Angel, and Everybody Loves Raymond.

During this time, several longtime affiliates beside the ones that were defected to Fox also defected from CBS in markets such as Anniston (WJSU-TV), Bakersfield (KERO-TV), Baltimore (WBAL-TV), Boston (WHDH-TV), Cincinnati (WCPO-TV), Denver (KMGH-TV), Eureka (KIEM-TV), Evansville (WEHT-TV), Fairbanks (KTVF), Flint (WEYI-TV), Fresno (KFSN-TV), Green Bay (WBAY-TV), Huntington (WCHS-TV), Jacksonville (WJXT), Knoxville (WBIR-TV), Louisville (WHAS-TV), Marquette (WLUC-TV), Miami (WTVJ), New Bedford (WLNE-TV), Omaha (WOWT), Philadelphia (WCAU-TV), Raleigh (WTVD-TV), Rochester (WHEC-TV), Salt Lake City (KSL-TV), Sacramento (KXTV), Seattle (KIRO-TV), Tucsaloosa (WCFT-TV) and West Palm Beach (WTVX). Most of these stations were wooed away by NBC, which had lifted out of last place to become the #1 network between the late 1980s and early 2000s, while WGWW, KERO-TV, WCPO-TV, KMGH, WEHT-TV, KFSN, WBAY, WCHS, WHAS, WLUC, WLNE, WTVD, KXTV and WCFT went to ABC, WJXT and WTVX went to independent stations and KIRO and WYLH went to UPN. Ironically, WBAL was a NBC affiliate prior to swapping stations with WMAR-TV in 1981 and WBAL became a CBS affiliate, only to return to NBC in 1995. [115] In the case of WTVD and KFSN, both station remain ABC owned and operated stations, while WCAU and WTVJ becoming NBC owned and operated stations. KIRO-TV had since rejoined the network, [116] while WHDH became an independent station. [117] In case of the two Alabama stations, it became Howard Stirk-owned stations. [118] [119] [120]

During the 1997–98 season, CBS attempted to court families on Fridays with the launch of a family-oriented comedy block known as the CBS Block Party. This block consisted of shows like Meego, and The Gregory Hines Show, all but the last coming from Miller-Boyett Productions. The lineup failed to compete against ABC's TGIF lineup, as Meego and Hines were canceled by November. That winter, CBS aired its last Olympic Games to date with its telecast of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano.

In 1997, CBS regained the NFL through its acquisition of the broadcast television rights to the American Football Conference, effective with the 1998 season. [121] The contract was struck shortly before the AFC's emergence as the dominant NFL conference over the NFC, spurred in part by the turnaround of the New England Patriots during the 2000s. With the help of the AFC package, CBS surpassed NBC for first place in the 1998–99 season, although it was beaten by ABC the following year. The network gained additional hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s with series such as The King of Queens, Nash Bridges, Judging Amy, Becker, and Yes, Dear.

Programming: Return to first place and rivalry with Fox (2002–present) Edit

Another turning point for CBS came in the summer of 2000, when it debuted the summer reality shows Survivor and Big Brother, which became surprise summer hits for the network. In January 2001, CBS debuted the second season of Survivor after its broadcast of Super Bowl XXXV, and scheduled it on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time it also moved the investigative crime drama CSI (which had debuted that fall in the Friday 9:00 p.m. time slot) to follow Survivor at 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays. The pairing of the two shows was both able to chip away at and eventually beat NBC's Thursday night lineup.

During the 2000s, CBS found additional successes with a slew of police procedurals, several of which were produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. These included Cold Case, Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, NCIS, and The Mentalist, along with CSI spinoffs CSI: Miami and CSI: NY. The network also featured several prominent sitcoms like Still Standing, Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Rules of Engagement, and The Big Bang Theory, as well as the reality show The Amazing Race. The network's programming slate, buoyed largely by the success of CSI, briefly led it to retake first place in the ratings from NBC during the 2002–03 season. The 2000s also saw CBS finally make ratings headway on Friday nights, a perennial weak spot for the network, with a focus toward drama series such as Ghost Whisperer and the relatively short-lived but acclaimed Joan of Arcadia.

CBS became the most watched American broadcast television network once again in the 2005–06 season. The next year, Fox overtook CBS for first place, becoming the first non-Big Three network to earn the title as the most watched network overall in the United States. Fox's first-place finish that season was primarily due to its reliance on American Idol (the longest reigning number-one primetime U.S. television program from 2004 to 2011) and the effects of the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike. CBS retook its place as the top-rated network in the 2008–09 season, where it has remained every season since. [122] Fox and CBS, both having ranked as the highest rated of the major broadcast networks during the 2000s, tend to nearly equal one another in the 18–34, 18–49, and 25–54 demographics. NCIS, which has been the flagship of CBS's Tuesday lineup for much of its run, became the network's highest-rated drama during the 2007–08 season.

The 2010s saw additional hits for the network, including drama series The Good Wife police procedurals Person of Interest, Blue Bloods, Elementary, Hawaii Five-0, and NCIS spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles reality series Undercover Boss and sitcoms 2 Broke Girls and Mike & Molly. The Big Bang Theory, one of several sitcoms from veteran writer/producer Chuck Lorre, started off with modest ratings, but saw its viewership skyrocket, earning ratings of up to 17 million viewers per episode. It became the top-rated network sitcom in the U.S. by the 2010–11 season, as well as the second most watched U.S. television program by the 2013–14 season, when the series became the anchor of the network's Thursday lineup. Meanwhile, Two and a Half Men saw its ratings decline to respectable levels for its final four seasons following the 2011 firing of original star Charlie Sheen and the addition of Ashton Kutcher as its primary lead.

Until 2012, CBS ranked in second place among adults 18–49, but after the ratings declines Fox experienced during the 2012–13 season, CBS was able to take the top spot in the demographic, as well as in total viewership (for the fifth year in a row) by the start of 2013. At the end of the 2012–13 season, the tenth season of NCIS took the top spot among the season's most watched network programs, giving CBS its first top-rated show since the 2002–03 season, when CSI: Crime Scene Investigation led Nielsen's seasonal primetime network ratings.

The strength of CBS's 2013–14 slate led to a surplus of series on its 2014–15 schedule, with 21 series held over from the previous season along with eight new series, including moderate hits in Madam Secretary, NCIS: New Orleans, and Scorpion. The network also aired midseason hits The Odd Couple and CSI spinoff CSI: Cyber. CBS also expanded its NFL coverage through a partnership with the NFL Network to carry Thursday Night Football games during the first eight weeks of the NFL season. [123]

On September 29, 2016, National Amusements, the owner of both CBS's parent company CBS Corporation and its sister company Viacom, sent a letter to both companies, encouraging them to merge back into one company. [124] The deal was called off on December 12. [125] However, on January 12, 2018, it was reported that both CBS and Viacom were re-entering talks to merge. [126] On August 13, 2019, CEO Shari Redstone announced that Viacom and CBS agreed to a merger which would reunite the two media giants after 14 years. [127]

The two companies have also been reported as in talks to acquire Lionsgate, following the proposed acquisition of 21st Century Fox and its assets by the Walt Disney Company. [128] Amazon, Verizon, and Comcast (the owner of NBC) have also shown interest in acquiring Lionsgate. [129] [130] Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns stated in an interview with CNBC that Lionsgate was mostly interested in merging with CBS and Viacom. [131]

CBS television news operations Edit

Upon becoming commercial station WCBW in 1941, the pioneer CBS television station in New York City broadcast two daily news programs, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. weekdays, anchored by Richard Hubbell. Most of the newscasts featured Hubbell reading a script with only occasional cutaways to a map or still photograph. When Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, WCBW, usually off-the-air on Sundays to give the engineers a day off, took to the air at 8:45 p.m. that evening with an extensive special report. The national emergency even broke down the unspoken wall between CBS radio and television. WCBW executives convinced radio announcers and experts such as George Fielding Elliot and Linton Wells to come down to the station's Grand Central Station studios during the evening and to give information and commentary on the attack. Although WCBW's special report that night lasted less than 90 minutes, that special broadcast pushed the limits of live television in 1941, and opened up new possibilities for future broadcasts. As CBS wrote in a special report to the FCC, the unscheduled live news broadcast on December 7 was "unquestionably the most stimulating challenge and marked the greatest advance of any single problem faced up to that time". Additional newscasts were scheduled in the early days of the war.

In May 1942, WCBW, like almost all television stations, sharply cut back its live program schedule and canceled its newscasts, as the station temporarily suspended studio operations, resorting exclusively to the occasional broadcast of films. This was primarily because much of the staff had either joined the service or had been redeployed to war-related technical research, as well as because it was necessary to prolong the life of the cameras, which were now impossible to repair due to the lack of parts available during wartime. In May 1944, as the war began to turn in favor of the Allies, WCBW reopened its studios and resumed production of its newscasts, which were briefly anchored by Ned Calmer and then by Everett Holles. [132] After the war, WCBW, which changed its call letters to WCBS-TV in 1946, introduced expanded news programs on its schedule. These were first anchored by Milo Boulton and later by Douglas Edwards. On May 3, 1948, Edwards began anchoring CBS Television News, a regular 15-minute nightly newscast on the rudimentary CBS television network, including WCBS-TV. Airing every weeknight at 7:30 p.m., it was the first regularly scheduled, network television news program featuring an anchor the nightly Lowell Thomas NBC radio network newscast was simulcast on television locally on NBC's WNBT (now WNBC) for a time in the early 1940s, and Hubbell, Calmer, Holles and Boulton on WCBW in the early and mid-1940s, but these were local television broadcasts seen only in the New York City area. In contrast, the NBC Television Newsreel, the NBC television network's offering at the time which premiered in February 1948, was simply film footage with voice narration to provide illustration of the stories. In 1949, CBS offered the first live television coverage of the proceedings of the United Nations General Assembly. This journalistic 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.

In 1950, the nightly newscast was retitled Douglas Edwards with the News, and became the first news program to be broadcast on both coasts the following year, thanks to a new coaxial cable connection. As such, Edwards used the greeting "Good evening everyone, coast to coast". The broadcast was renamed the CBS Evening News when Walter Cronkite replaced Edwards in 1962. [133] Edwards remained with CBS News as anchor/reporter for various daytime television and radio news broadcasts until his retirement on April 1, 1988.

Color technology (1953–1967) Edit

Although CBS Television was the first with a working color television system, the network lost out to RCA in 1953, in part because its color system was incompatible with existing black-and-white sets. Although RCA – then the parent company of NBC – made its color system available to CBS, the network was not interested in boosting RCA's profits, and televised only a few specials in color for the rest of the decade.

The specials included the Ford Star Jubilee programs (which included the first ever telecast of The Wizard of Oz), as well as the 1957 telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Cole Porter's musical version of Aladdin, and Playhouse 90 ' s only color broadcast, the 1958 production of The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker telecast was based on the famous production staged annually since 1954 in New York, and performed by the New York City Ballet. CBS would later show two other versions of the ballet, a one-hour German-American version hosted by Eddie Albert, shown annually for three years beginning in 1965, and the popular Mikhail Baryshnikov production from 1977 to 1981.

Beginning in 1959, The Wizard of Oz became an annual tradition on color television. It had been the success of NBC's 1955 telecast of the musical Peter Pan, which became the most watched television special of its time, that inspired CBS to telecast The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, and Aladdin.

From 1960 to 1965, the CBS television network limited its color broadcasts to only a few special presentations such as The Wizard of Oz, and only if the sponsor would pay for it. In the early 1960s, Red Skelton was the first CBS host to telecast his weekly programs in color using a converted movie studio. He tried unsuccessfully to persuade the network to use his facility for other programs, and was forced to sell it. Rival NBC was pushing for the use of color at the time. Even ABC had several color programs beginning in the fall of 1962, although those were limited due to financial and technical issues the network was going through. One particularly notable television special aired by CBS during this era was the Charles Collingwood-hosted tour of the White House with First Lady Jackie Kennedy, which was broadcast in black and white.

Beginning in 1963, The Lucy Show began filming in color at the insistence of its star and producer Lucille Ball, who realized that color episodes would command more money when they were eventually sold into syndication. Even this show, however, was broadcast in black and white through the end of the 1964–65 season. This would all change by the mid-1960s, when market pressure forced CBS Television to begin adding color programs to its regular schedule for the 1965–66 season and complete the transition to the format during the 1966–67 season. By the fall of 1967, nearly all of CBS's television programs were in color, as was the case with those aired by NBC and ABC. A notable exception was The Twentieth Century, which consisted mostly of newsreel archival footage, but even this program used at least some color footage by the late 1960s. CBS, which had reluctantly purchased a handful of the early RCA color cameras from its archrival in the 1950s, began deploying the new color studio cameras from Philips by 1965, which bore the Norelco brand name at that time. [134]

In 1965, CBS telecast a new color version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. This version, starring Lesley Ann Warren and Stuart Damon in the roles formerly played by Julie Andrews and Jon Cypher, was shot on videotape (at its Television City complex in Los Angeles) rather than being telecast live, and would become an annual tradition on the network for the next nine years.

In 1967, NBC outbid CBS for the rights to the annual telecast of The Wizard of Oz, and the film moved to NBC beginning the following year. However, in 1976, CBS reacquired the television rights to the film, with the network continuing to broadcast it through the end of 1997. CBS aired The Wizard of Oz twice in 1991, in March and again the night before Thanksgiving. Thereafter, it was broadcast the night before Thanksgiving.

By the end of the 1960s, CBS was broadcasting virtually its entire programming lineup in color.

Prior to the 1960s, CBS's acquisitions, such as American Record Corporation and Hytron, had mostly related to its broadcasting business. During the 1950s and early 1960s, CBS did operate a CBS-Columbia division, which manufactured phonographs, radios, and television sets however, the company had problems with product quality, and CBS never achieved much success in that field. In 1955, CBS purchased animation studio Terrytoons from its founder Paul Terry, not only acquiring Terry's 25-year backlog of cartoons for the network, but continuing the studio's ongoing contract to provide theatrical cartoons for 20th Century Fox well into the 1960s.

During the 1960s, CBS began an effort to diversify its portfolio and looked for suitable investments. Their acquisitions eventually led to a restructuring of the corporation into various operating groups and divisions. In 1965, CBS 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. The quality of the products manufactured by these acquired companies fell dramatically, resulting in the terms "pre-CBS" to refer to products of higher quality and "CBS" for mass-produced products of lower quality.

In other diversification attempts, CBS would buy and later sell a variety of other properties. This included sports teams, especially the New York Yankees baseball club book and magazine publishers, such as Fawcett Publications, which included Woman's Day, and Holt, Rinehart and Winston) map-makers and toy manufacturers like Gabriel Toys, Child Guidance, Wonder Products, Gym Dandy, and Ideal X-Acto [135] and distributors of educational films and film strips, namely Bailey Films Inc. and Film Associates of California. CBS eventually merged the two film companies into a single company, BFA Educational Media. CBS also developed an early home video system called EVR (Electronic Video Recording), but was never able to launch it successfully.

William Paley attempted to find the one person who could follow in his footsteps. However, numerous successors-in-waiting came and went. By the mid-1980s, investor Laurence Tisch had begun to acquire substantial holdings in CBS. Eventually, he gained Paley's confidence and, with his support, took control of CBS in 1986. Tisch's primary interest was turning profits. When CBS faltered, underperforming units were given the ax. Among the first properties to be jettisoned was the Columbia Records group, which had been part of the company since 1938. In 1986, Tisch also shut down the CBS Technology Center in Stamford, Connecticut, which had started in New York City in the 1930s as CBS Laboratories and had evolved to become the company's technology research and development unit.

Through its CBS Productions unit, the company produced a few shows for non-CBS networks, like NBC's Caroline in the City.

Columbia Records Edit

Columbia Records was acquired by CBS in 1938. In 1962, CBS launched CBS Records International to market Columbia recordings outside of North America, where the Columbia name was controlled by other entities. In 1966, CBS Records was made a separate subsidiary of the Columbia Broadcasting System. [136] CBS sold the CBS Records Group to Sony on November 17, 1987, initiating a Japanese buying spree of American companies, including MCA, Pebble Beach Co., Rockefeller Center, and even the Empire State Building, which continued into the 1990s. The record company was rechristened as Sony Music Entertainment in 1991, as Sony had a short-term license on the CBS name.

Sony purchased its rights to the Columbia Records name outside the United States, Canada, Spain and Japan from EMI. Sony now uses Columbia Records as a label name in all countries except Japan, where Sony Records remains their flagship label. Sony acquired the Spanish rights when Sony Music merged with Bertelsmann subsidiary BMG in 2004 as Sony BMG Sony bought out BMG's share in 2008. CBS Corporation formed a new record label named CBS Records in 2006.

Publishing Edit

In 1967, CBS entered the publishing business by acquiring Holt, Rinehart & Winston, a publisher of trade books and textbooks, as well as the magazine Field & Stream. The following year, CBS acquired the medical publishing company Saunders and merged it with Holt, Rinehart & Winston. In 1971, CBS acquired Bond/Parkhurst, the publisher of Road & Track and Cycle World. CBS greatly expanded its magazine business by purchasing Fawcett Publications in 1974, bringing in such magazines as Woman's Day. In 1982, CBS acquired British publisher Cassell from Macmillan Inc.. [137] In 1984, it acquired the majority of the publications owned by Ziff Davis.

CBS sold its book publishing businesses in 1985. The educational publishing division, which retained the Holt, Rinehart & Winston name, was sold to Harcourt Brace Jovanovich the U.S. trade book division, renamed Henry Holt and Company, was sold to the West German publisher Holtzbrinck. Cassell was sold in a management buyout. [138] CBS exited the magazine business through the sale of the unit to its executive Peter Diamandis, who later sold the magazines to Hachette Filipacchi Médias in 1988, forming Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.

CBS Musical Instruments division Edit

Forming the CBS Musical Instruments division, the company also acquired Fender (1965–1983), Electro-Music Inc. (Leslie speakers) (1965–1980), Rogers Drums (1966–1983), Steinway pianos (1972–1985), Gemeinhardt flutes, Lyon & Healy harps (in the late 1970s), Rodgers (institutional) organs, and Gulbransen home organs. The company's last musical instrument manufacturer purchase was its 1981 acquisition of the assets of then-bankrupt ARP Instruments, a developer of electronic synthesizers.

It is widely held that the quality of Fender guitars and amplifiers declined significantly between 1965 and 1985, outraging Fender fans. Because of this, CBS Musical Instruments division executives executed a leveraged buyout in 1985, and created Fender Musical Instruments Corporation. At the same time, CBS divested itself of Rodgers, along with Steinway and Gemeinhardt, all of which were purchased by holding company Steinway Musical Properties. The other musical instrument manufacturing properties were also liquidated.

Film production Edit

CBS made a brief, unsuccessful move into film production in the late 1960s, when they created Cinema Center Films. The studio released such films as the 1969 Steve McQueen drama The Reivers and the 1970 Albert Finney musical Scrooge. This profitless unit was shut down in 1972 the distribution rights to the Cinema Center library today rest with Paramount Pictures for home video (via CBS Home Entertainment) and theatrical release, and with CBS Television Distribution for television syndication most other ancillary rights remain with CBS.

Ten years after Cinema Center ceased operations, in 1982, CBS tried again to break into the film industry by co-founding TriStar Pictures, a joint venture with Columbia Pictures and HBO. Despite releasing box office successes such as The Natural, Places in the Heart, and Rambo: First Blood Part II, CBS felt the studio was not making a profit, and sold its stake in TriStar to Columbia Pictures' then-corporate parent The Coca-Cola Company in 1985. [139]

In 2007, CBS Corporation announced its intent to re-enter the feature film business, slowly launching CBS Films and hiring key executives in the spring of 2008 to start up the new venture. The CBS Films name had been used previously in 1953, when it was briefly used as CBS's distributor of off-network and first-run syndicated programming to local television stations in the United States and internationally.

Home video Edit

CBS entered into the home video market when it partnered with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to form MGM/CBS Home Video in 1978. The joint venture was dissolved in 1982, after MGM purchased United Artists. CBS later partnered with 20th Century Fox to form CBS/Fox Video. CBS's duty was to release some of the film titles released by TriStar Pictures under the CBS/Fox Video label.

CBS Toys Division Edit

The CBS Toys Division of CBS Inc. purchased Child Guidance, Creative Playthings of Framingham, Massachusetts and Hagerstown, Maryland Gilbert Gym-Dandy of Bossier City, Louisiana Hubley Ideal Kohner and Wonder Products of Collierville, Tennessee. [140] [141]

CBS entered the video game market briefly through its acquisition of Gabriel Toys (renamed CBS Toys). It published several arcade adaptations and original titles under the name CBS Electronics for the Atari 2600 and other consoles and computers it also produced one of the first karaoke players. CBS Electronics also distributed all Coleco-related video game products in Canada, including the ColecoVision. CBS later sold Gabriel Toys to View-Master, which eventually ended up as part of Mattel.

New owners Edit

By the early 1990s, profits had fallen as a result of competition from cable television and video rentals, as well as the high cost of programming. About 20 former CBS affiliates switched to the rapidly rising Fox network in the mid-1990s, the first of which were reportedly KDFX in Palm Springs, California, and KECY in Yuma, Arizona, which made the switch in August 1994. Many other television markets lost their CBS affiliate for a while. The network's ratings were acceptable, but it struggled with an image of stodginess. Laurence Tisch lost interest and sought a new buyer.

Westinghouse Electric Corporation Edit

In the mid-1990s, CBS formed an affiliate relationship with the Westinghouse Electric Corporation partially in reaction to a 1994 agreement between Fox and New World Communications, which resulted in the loss of many of CBS's longtime affiliates owned by New World.

In response, CBS began affiliating with UHF stations in Detroit and Cleveland, namely former Fox affiliate WOIO and low-rated ethnic independent WGPR-TV (now WWJ-TV), which CBS eventually purchased. This was, however, only after CBS failed to woo WXYZ-TV and WEWS-TV, the respective longtime ABC affiliates in those markets (the latter of which had been a CBS affiliate from 1947 to 1955), to replace departing affiliates WJBK and WJW-TV. The E. W. Scripps Company actually used this situation as leverage to sign a group-wide affiliation deal with ABC that kept the network on WXYZ and WEWS. [142] [143]

Included in the Scripps deal was Baltimore NBC affiliate WMAR-TV, which had been affiliated with CBS from 1948 to 1981. With this agreement, WMAR-TV was able to displace longtime ABC affiliate and Westinghouse-owned WJZ-TV, which had long been the Baltimore market's dominant station, while WMAR-TV had been in a distant third and had even nearly lost its broadcast license in 1991. [144] WMAR-TV's loss of popularity did not sit well with Westinghouse. Even before the New World deal, the company had been seeking a group-wide affiliation deal of its own, but it accelerated the process after the Scripps–ABC agreement. [145]

In July 1994, Westinghouse signed a long-term deal to affiliate all five of its television stations, including WJZ-TV, with CBS. [146] [147] KPIX in San Francisco and KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh were already longtime affiliates of the network, while KYW-TV in Philadelphia and WBZ-TV in Boston were longtime affiliates of NBC. The network decided to sell off its Philadelphia owned-and-operated station WCAU to NBC, even though it was rated much higher locally than KYW-TV at the time. While WJZ-TV and WBZ-TV switched to CBS in January 1995, the KYW-TV swap was delayed after CBS discovered that an outright sale of channel 10 would have resulted in massive taxes on the proceeds from the deal. [148] To solve this, CBS, NBC, and Westinghouse, known also as Group W, entered into a complex ownership/affiliation deal in November 1994 (which was scheduled to take effect in the fall of 1995). NBC traded KCNC-TV in Denver and KUTV in Salt Lake City (which had been acquired by NBC earlier that year) to CBS in return for WCAU, which, for legal reasons, was considered an even trade. CBS then traded controlling interest in KCNC and KUTV to Group W in return for a minority stake in KYW-TV. As compensation for the loss of stations, NBC and CBS traded transmitter facilities in Miami, with the NBC-owned WTVJ moving to channel 6 and the CBS-owned WCIX moving to channel 4 as WFOR-TV. [149]

On August 1, 1995, Westinghouse announced it was acquiring CBS outright for $5.4 billion [150] the deal was completed on November 24. [151] Under the name Group W, it had been one of the major broadcasting group owners of commercial radio and television stations since 1920, and was seeking to transition from a station operator to a major media company with its purchase of CBS. Except for KUTV, which CBS sold to Four Points Media Group in 2007 and is now owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, all of the stations involved in the initial Westinghouse deal as well as WWJ-TV remain owned-and-operated stations of the network to this day.

Westinghouse's acquisition of CBS turned the combined company's all-news radio stations in New York City (WCBS and WINS) and Los Angeles (KNX and KFWB) from bitter rivals to sister stations. While KFWB switched from all-news to news/talk in 2009, WINS and WCBS remain all-news stations. WINS, which had pioneered the all-news format in 1965, generally restricts its news coverage to the five core New York City boroughs, while WCBS, with its much more powerful signal, covers the surrounding tri-state metropolitan area. In Chicago, Westinghouse's WMAQ began to feature long-form stories and discussions about the news. It often focused on business news so as to differentiate itself from WBBM. This lasted until 2000, when an FCC ownership situation resulted in CBS Radio's decision to move its all-sports network WSCR to WMAQ's signal and to sell off the former WSCR facility.

In 1997, Westinghouse acquired the Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, which owned more than 150 radio stations, for $4.9 billion. Also that year, Westinghouse created CBS Cable, a division formed upon the acquisition of the Nashville Network (now Spike) and Country Music Television from the Gaylord Entertainment Company, and the creation of CBS Eye on People, which was later sold to Discovery Communications. CBS also owned the Spanish-language news network CBS Telenoticias.

Following the Infinity purchase, operation and sales responsibilities for the CBS Radio Network were handed to Infinity, which turned management over to Westwood One, a major radio program syndicator that Infinity managed. Westwood One 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 Westwood One umbrella. As of 2008 [update] , 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. The same year the company purchased Infinity, Westinghouse changed its name to CBS Corporation, and its corporate headquarters were moved from Pittsburgh to New York City. 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 included The Oprah Winfrey Show, Jeopardy!, and Wheel of Fortune. By the end of 1999, apart from the retention of rights to the name for brand licensing purposes, all pre-CBS elements of Westinghouse's industrial past were gone.

Viacom Edit

By the 1990s, CBS had become a broadcasting giant. However, in 1999, entertainment conglomerate Viacom, which had been created by CBS in 1952 as CBS Films, Inc. to syndicate old CBS series and was eventually spun off under the Viacom name in 1971, announced it was taking over its former parent in a deal valued at $37 billion. The takeover was completed on May 4, 2000, upon which Viacom became the second largest entertainment company in the world. Incidentally, Viacom had purchased Paramount Pictures, which had once invested in CBS, in 1994.

CBS Corporation Edit

Having assembled all the elements of a communications empire, Viacom found that the promised synergy was not there. As such, in 2005, Viacom announced it would split the company into two separately operated but commonly controlled entities, [152] with CBS becoming the center of CBS Corporation. As the legal successor to the old Viacom, the company's properties included the broadcasting entities (CBS and UPN, the latter of which later merged with Time Warner-owned WB to form the CW the Viacom Television Stations Group, which became CBS Television Stations and CBS Radio) Paramount Television's production operations (now known as CBS Television Studios) Viacom Outdoor advertising (renamed CBS Outdoor) Showtime Networks Simon & Schuster and Paramount Parks, which the company sold in May 2006. The other company, which retained the Viacom name, kept Paramount Pictures, assorted MTV Networks, BET Networks, and Famous Music, the last of which was sold to Sony/ATV Music Publishing in May 2007.

As a result of the Viacom/CBS corporate split and other recent acquisitions, CBS (under the moniker CBS Studios) owns a massive film and television library spanning nine decades. These include acquired material from Viacom and CBS in-house productions and network programs, as well as programs produced by Paramount and others originally aired on competing networks such as ABC and NBC. Series and other material in this library include I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Twilight Zone, Hawaii Five-O (both the original and current remake), Gunsmoke, The Fugitive, The Love Boat, Little House on the Prairie (U.S. television rights only), Cheers, Becker, Family Ties, Happy Days and its spin-offs, The Brady Bunch, Star Trek, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (distribution rights on behalf of copyright holder Lucasfilm), Evening Shade, Duckman, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and its spin-offs, the CBS theatrical library (including My Fair Lady and Scrooge), and the entire Terrytoons library from 1930 forward.

ViacomCBS and CBS Studios Edit

ViacomCBS is owned by National Amusements, the Sumner Redstone-owned company that controlled the original Viacom prior to the split. Paramount Home Entertainment continues to handle DVD and Blu-ray distribution for the CBS library.

In August 2019, Viacom and CBS reunited to invest in more films and television and to become a bigger player in the growing business of streaming video. The deal was completed on December 4, 2019. ViacomCBS has a combined library with over 140,000 TV episodes and 3,600 film titles, including the Star Trek and Mission: Impossible franchises. [153]

The network also provides daytime programming from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. weekdays, including a half-hour break for local news and features the game shows The Price Is Right and Let's Make a Deal, soap operas The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, and talk show The Talk.

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. On weeknights, CBS airs the talk shows The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Late Late Show with James Corden.

CBS Sports programming is also provided most weekend afternoons. Due to the unpredictable length of sporting events, CBS occasionally delays scheduled primetime programs to allow the programs to air in their entirety, a practice most commonly seen with Sunday Night Football. In addition to rights to sports events from major sports organizations such as the NFL, PGA, and NCAA, CBS broadcasts the CBS Sports Spectacular, a sports anthology series which fills certain weekend afternoon time slots prior to (or in some cases, in lieu of) a major sporting event.

Daytime Edit

CBS is the only commercial broadcast network that continues to broadcast daytime game shows. Notable game shows that once aired as part of the network's daytime lineup include Match Game, Tattletales, The $10/25,000 Pyramid, Press Your Luck, Card Sharks, Family Feud, and Wheel of Fortune. Past game shows that have had both daytime and prime time runs on the network include Beat the Clock, To Tell the Truth, and Password. Two long-running primetime-only games were the panel shows What's My Line? and I've Got a Secret.

The network is also home to The Talk, a panel talk show similar in format to ABC's The View. It debuted in October 2010 and is hosted by moderator Carrie Ann Inaba with Elaine Welteroth, Amanda Kloots, and Sheryl Underwood).

Children's programming Edit

CBS broadcast the live-action series Captain Kangaroo on weekday mornings from 1955 to 1982, and on Saturdays until 1984. From 1971 to 1986, CBS News produced a series of one-minute segments titled In the News, which aired between other Saturday morning programs. Otherwise, CBS's children's programming has mostly focused on animated series such as reruns of Mighty Mouse, Looney Tunes, and Tom and Jerry cartoons, as well as Scooby-Doo, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, Garfield and Friends, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In 1997, CBS premiered Wheel 2000, a children's version of the syndicated game show Wheel of Fortune which aired simultaneously on the Game Show Network.

In September 1998, CBS began contracting the time period out to other companies to provide programming and material for its Saturday morning schedule. The first of these outsourced blocks was the CBS Kidshow, which ran until 2000 and featured programming from Canadian studio Nelvana [154] such as Anatole, Mythic Warriors, Rescue Heroes, and Flying Rhino Junior High. [155]

After its agreement with Nelvana ended, the network then entered into a deal with Nickelodeon to air programming from its Nick Jr. block beginning in September 2000, under the banner Nick Jr. on CBS. [154] By the time of the deal, Nickelodeon and CBS were corporate sisters through the latter's then parent company Viacom as a result of its 2000 merger with CBS Corporation. From 2002 to 2005, live-action and animated Nickelodeon series aimed at older children also aired as part of the block under the name Nick on CBS.

Following the Viacom-CBS split, the network decided to discontinue the Nickelodeon content deal. In March 2006, CBS entered into a three-year agreement with DIC Entertainment, which was acquired later that year by the Cookie Jar Group, to program the Saturday morning time slot as part of a deal that included distribution of select tape-delayed Formula One auto races. [156] [157] [158] [159] The KOL Secret Slumber Party on CBS replaced Nick Jr. on CBS that September, with the inaugural lineup featuring two new first-run live-action programs, one animated series that originally aired in syndication in 2005, and three shows produced prior to 2006. In mid-2007, KOL, the children's service of AOL, withdrew sponsorship from CBS's Saturday morning block, which was subsequently renamed KEWLopolis. Complementing CBS's 2007 lineup were Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, and Sushi Pack. On February 24, 2009, it was announced that CBS would renew its contract with Cookie Jar for another three seasons through 2012. [160] [161] On September 19, 2009, KEWLopolis was renamed Cookie Jar TV. [162]

On July 24, 2013, CBS entered into an agreement with Litton Entertainment, which already programmed a syndicated Saturday morning block exclusive to ABC stations and would later produce a block for CBS sister network The CW that would debut the following year, to launch a new Saturday morning block featuring live-action reality-based lifestyle, wildlife, and sports series. The Litton-produced CBS Dream Team block, aimed at teenagers 13 to 16 years old, debuted on September 28, 2013, replacing Cookie Jar TV. [163]

Specials Edit

Animated primetime holiday specials Edit

CBS was the original broadcast network home of the animated primetime holiday specials based on the Peanuts comic strip, beginning with A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965. Over 30 holiday Peanuts specials (each for a specific holiday such as Halloween) were broadcast on CBS until 2000, when the broadcast rights were acquired by ABC. CBS also aired several primetime animated specials based on the works of Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), beginning with How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 1966, as well as several specials based on the Garfield comic strip during the 1980s (which led to Garfield getting his own Saturday morning cartoon on the network, Garfield and Friends, which ran from 1988 to 1995). Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, produced in stop motion by Rankin/Bass, has been another annual holiday staple of CBS however, that special first aired on NBC in 1964. As of 2011 [update] , Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman are the only two pre-1990 animated specials remaining on CBS the broadcast rights to the Charlie Brown specials are now held by ABC, The Grinch rights by NBC, and the rights to the Garfield specials by Boomerang. [164] [ citation needed ]

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). [165]

Classical music specials Edit

CBS was also responsible for airing the series of Young People's Concerts, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. Telecast every few months between 1958 and 1972, first in black-and-white and then in color beginning in 1966, these programs introduced millions of children to classical music through the eloquent commentaries of Bernstein. The specials were nominated for several Emmy Awards, including two wins in 1961 and later in 1966, [166] and were among the first programs ever broadcast from the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Over the years, CBS has broadcast three different productions of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker – two live telecasts of the George Balanchine New York City Ballet production in 1957 and 1958 respectively, a little-known German-American filmed production in 1965 (which was subsequently repeated three times and starred Edward Villella, Patricia McBride and Melissa Hayden), and beginning in 1977, the Mikhail Baryshnikov staging of the ballet, starring the Russian dancer along with Gelsey Kirkland – a version that would become a television classic, and remains so today (the broadcast of this production later moved to PBS). [ citation needed ]

In April 1986, CBS presented a slightly abbreviated version of Horowitz in Moscow, a live piano recital by pianist Vladimir Horowitz, which marked his return to Russia after over 60 years. The recital was televised as an episode of CBS News Sunday Morning (televised at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time in the U.S., as the recital was performed simultaneously at 4:00 p.m. in Russia). It was so successful that CBS repeated it a mere two months later by popular demand, this time on videotape, rather than live. In later years, the program was shown as a standalone special on PBS the current DVD of the telecast omits the commentary by Charles Kuralt, but includes additional selections not heard on the CBS telecast. [ citation needed ]

In 1986, CBS telecast Carnegie Hall: The Grand Reopening in primetime, in what was then a rare move for a commercial broadcast network, since most primetime classical music specials were relegated to PBS and A&E by this time. The program was a concert commemorating the re-opening of Carnegie Hall after its complete renovation. A range of artists were featured, from classical conductor Leonard Bernstein to popular music singer Frank Sinatra.

Cinderella Edit

In order to compete with NBC, which produced the televised version of the Mary Martin Broadway production of Peter Pan, CBS responded with a musical production of Cinderella, with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Based upon the classic Charles Perrault fairy tale, it is the only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical to have been written for television. It was originally broadcast live in color on CBS on March 31, 1957 as a vehicle for Julie Andrews, who played the title role that broadcast was seen by over 100 million people. It was subsequently remade by CBS in 1965, with Lesley Ann Warren, Stuart Damon, Ginger Rogers, and Walter Pidgeon among its stars the remake also included the new song "Loneliness of Evening", which was originally composed in 1949 for South Pacific but was not performed in that musical. [167] [168] This version was rebroadcast several times on CBS into the early 1970s, and is occasionally broadcast on various cable networks to this day both versions are available on DVD. [ citation needed ]

National Geographic Edit

CBS was also the original broadcast home for the primetime specials produced by the National Geographic Society. The Geographic series in the U.S. started on CBS in 1964, before moving to ABC in 1973 (the specials subsequently moved to PBS – under the production of Pittsburgh member station WQED – in 1975 and NBC in 1995, before returning to PBS in 2000). The specials have featured stories on many scientific figures such as Louis Leakey, Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall, that not only featured their work but helped make them internationally known and accessible to millions. A majority of the specials were narrated by various actors, notably Alexander Scourby during the CBS run. The success of the specials led in part to the creation of the National Geographic Channel, a cable channel launched in January 2001 as a joint venture between the National Geographic Society and Fox Cable Networks. The specials' distinctive theme music, by Elmer Bernstein, was also adopted by the National Geographic Channel.

Other notable specials Edit

From 1949 to 2002, the Pillsbury Bake-Off, an annual national cooking contest, was broadcast on CBS as a special. Hosts for the broadcast included Arthur Godfrey, Art Linkletter, Bob Barker, Gary Collins, Willard Scott (although under contract with CBS's rival NBC) and Alex Trebek.

The Miss USA beauty pageant aired on CBS from 1963 to 2002 during a large portion of that period, the telecast was often emceed by the host of one of the network's game shows. John Charles Daly hosted the show from 1963 to 1966, succeeded by Bob Barker from 1967 to 1987 (at which point Barker, an animal rights activist who eventually convinced producers of The Price Is Right to cease offering fur coats as prizes on the program, quit in a dispute over their use), Alan Thicke in 1988, Dick Clark from 1989 to 1993, and Bob Goen from 1994 to 1996. The pageant's highest viewership was recorded in the early 1980s, when it regularly topped the Nielsen ratings on the week of its broadcast. [169] [170] [171] Viewership dropped sharply throughout the 1990s and 2000s, from an estimated viewership of 20 million to an average of 7 million from 2000 to 2001. [172] In 2002, Donald Trump (owner of the Miss USA pageant's governing body, the Miss Universe Organization) brokered a new deal with NBC, giving it half-ownership of the Miss USA, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA pageants and moving them to that network as part of an initial five-year contract, [173] which began in 2003 and ended in 2015 after 12 years amid Trump's controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants during the launch of his 2016 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. [174]

On June 1, 1977, it was announced that Elvis Presley had signed a deal with CBS to appear in a new television special. Under the agreement, CBS would videotape Presley's concerts during the summer of 1977 the special was filmed during Presley's final tour at stops in Omaha, Nebraska (on June 19) and Rapid City, South Dakota (on June 21 of that year). CBS aired the special, Elvis in Concert, on October 3, 1977, [175] nearly two months after Presley's death in his Graceland mansion on August 16.

CBS has 15 owned-and-operated stations, and current and pending affiliation agreements with 228 additional television stations encompassing 51 states, the District of Columbia, two U.S. possessions, Bermuda and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. [176] [177] The network has a national reach of 95.96% of all households in the United States (or 299,861,665 Americans with at least one television set). Currently, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Delaware are the only U.S. states where CBS does not have a locally licensed affiliate (New Jersey is served by New York City O&O WCBS-TV and Philadelphia O&O KYW-TV Delaware is served by KYW and Salisbury, Maryland affiliate WBOC-TV and New Hampshire is served by Boston O&O WBZ-TV and Burlington, Vermont affiliate WCAX-TV).

CBS maintains affiliations with low-power stations (broadcasting either in analog or digital) in a few markets, such as Harrisonburg, Virginia (WSVF-CD), Palm Springs, California (KPSP-CD) and Parkersburg, West Virginia (WIYE-LD). In some markets, including both of those mentioned, these stations also maintain digital simulcasts on a subchannel of a co-owned/co-managed full-power television station. CBS also maintains a sizeable number of subchannel-only affiliations, the majority of which are with stations in cities located outside of the 50 largest Nielsen-designated markets the largest CBS subchannel affiliate by market size is KOGG in Wailuku, Hawaii, which serves as a repeater of Honolulu affiliate KGMB (the sister station of KOGG parent KHNL).

Nexstar Media Group is the largest operator of CBS stations by numerical total, owning 49 CBS affiliates (counting satellites) Tegna Media is the largest operator of CBS stations in terms of overall market reach, owning 15 CBS-affiliated stations (including affiliates in the larger markets in Houston, Tampa and Washington, D.C.) that reach 8.9% of the country.

Video-on-demand services Edit

CBS provides video on demand access for delayed viewing of the network's programming through various means, including via its website at the network's apps for iOS, Android and newer version Windows devices a traditional VOD service called CBS on Demand available on most traditional cable and IPTV providers and through content deals with Amazon Video (which holds exclusive streaming rights to the CBS drama series Extant and Under the Dome) and Netflix. [178] [179] [180] [181] Notably, however, CBS is the only major broadcast network that does not provide recent episodes of its programming on Hulu (sister network The CW does offer its programming on the streaming service, albeit on a one-week delay after becoming available on the network's website on Hulu's free service, with users of its subscription service being granted access to newer episodes of CW series eight hours after their initial broadcast), due to concerns over cannibalizing viewership of some of the network's most prominent programs however, episode back catalogs of certain past and present CBS series are available on the service through an agreement with CBS Television Distribution. [182] [183] [184]

Upon the release of the app in March 2013, CBS restricted streaming of the most recent episode of any of the network's program on its streaming app for Apple iOS devices until eight days after their initial broadcast in order to encourage live or same-week (via both DVR and cable on demand) viewing programming selections on the app were limited until the release of its Google Play and Windows 8 apps in October 2013, expanded the selections to include full episodes of all CBS series to which the network does not license the streaming rights to other services. [185]

Paramount+ Edit

On October 28, 2014, CBS launched CBS All Access, an over-the-top subscription streaming service – priced at $5.99 per month ($9.99 with the no commercials option) – which allows users to view past and present episodes of CBS shows. [186] [187] [188] Announced on October 16, 2014 (one day after HBO announced the launch of its over-the-top service HBO Now) as the first OTT offering by a USA broadcast television network, the service initially encompassed the network's existing streaming portal at and its mobile app for smartphones and tablet computers CBS All Access became available on Roku on April 7, 2015, and on Chromecast on May 14, 2015. [189] [190] In addition to providing full-length episodes of CBS programs, the service allows live programming streams of local CBS affiliates in 124 markets reaching 75% of the United States. [191] [192] [193] [194] [195]

CBS All Access offers the most recent episodes of the network's shows the day after their original broadcast, as well as complete back catalogs of most of its current series and a wide selection of episodes of classic series from the CBS Television Distribution and ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks program library, to subscribers of the service. CBS All Access also carries behind-the-scenes features from CBS programs and special events. [186]

Original programs expected to air on CBS All Access include a new Star Trek series, a spin-off of The Good Wife, and an online version of Big Brother. [196] [197] [198]

In December 2018, the service was launched in Australia under the name 10 All Access, due to its affiliation with ViacomCBS-owned free to air broadcaster Network 10. Due to local programming rights, not all content is shared with its US counterpart, whilst the Australian version also features numerous full seasons of local Network 10 shows, all commercial-free.

It was announced in September 2020 that the service will be rebranded as Paramount+ in early 2021, and will feature content from the wider ViacomCBS library following the re-merger between CBS and Viacom. The name will also be extended to international markets and services such as 10 All Access. [199]

It rebranded on March 4, 2021 as Paramount+.


CBS's master feed is transmitted in 1080i high definition, the native resolution format for CBS Corporation's television properties. However, seven of its affiliates transmit the network's programming in 720p HD, while seven others carry the network feed in 480i standard definition [176] either due to technical considerations for affiliates of other major networks that carry CBS programming on a digital subchannel or because a primary feed CBS affiliate has not yet upgraded their transmission equipment to allow content to be presented in HD. A small number of CBS stations and affiliates are also currently broadcasting at 1080p via an ATSC 3.0 multiplex station to simulcast a station's programing such as WNCN through WRDC in Durham, North Carolina, WTVF through WUXP-TV in Nashville, and KLAS-TV through KVCW in Las Vegas, Nevada.

CBS began its conversion to high definition with the launch of its simulcast feed CBS HD in September 1998, at the start of the 1998–99 season. That year, the network aired the first NFL game broadcast in high-definition, with the telecast of the New York Jets–Buffalo Bills game on November 8. The network gradually converted much of its existing programming from standard definition to high definition beginning with the 2000–01 season, with select shows among that season's slate of freshmen scripted series being broadcast in HD starting with their debuts. The Young and the Restless became the first daytime soap opera to broadcast in HD on June 27, 2001. [200]

CBS's 14-year conversion to an entirely high definition schedule ended in 2014, with Big Brother and Let's Make a Deal becoming the final two series to convert from 4:3 standard definition to HD (in contrast, NBC, Fox and The CW were already airing their entire programming schedules – outside of Saturday mornings – in high definition by the 2010–11 season, while ABC was broadcasting its entire schedule in HD by the 2011–12 midseason). All of the network's programming has been presented in full HD since then (with the exception of certain holiday specials produced prior to 2005 – such as the Rankin-Bass specials – which continue to be presented in 4:3 SD, although some have been remastered for HD broadcast).

On September 1, 2016, when ABC converted to a 16:9 widescreen presentation, CBS and The CW were the only remaining networks that framed their promotions and on-screen graphical elements for a 4:3 presentation, though with CBS Sports' de facto 16:9 conversion with Super Bowl 50 and their new graphical presentation designed for 16:9 framing, in practice, most CBS affiliates ask pay-TV providers to pass down a 16:9 widescreen presentation by default over their standard definition channels. This continued for CBS until September 24, 2018, when the network converted its on-screen graphical elements to a 16:9 widescreen presentation for all non-news and sports programs. Litton Entertainment continues to frame the graphical elements in their programs for Dream Team within a 4:3 frame due to them being positioned for future syndicated sales, though all of its programming has been in high definition.

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