CBS TV Trivia Questions
In the world of television, what is CBS?
A: CBS is an American English-language commercial broadcast television and radio network.
Where is the company headquartered?
A: At the CBS Building in New York City.
It has major production facilities and operations in
New York City (at the CBS Broadcast Center) and where else?
A: Los Angeles (at CBS Television City and the CBS Studio Center).
CBS is sometimes referred to as the what?
A: The eye Network, in reference to the company's symbol, in use since 1951.
It has also been called the "Tiffany Network", alluding
A: The perceived high quality of CBS programming during the tenure of William S. Paley.
It can also refer to some of CBS's first demonstrations
A: Color television, which were held in a former Tiffany & Co. building in New York City in 1950.
The network has its origins in United Independent
Broadcasters Inc., a collection of what?
A: 16 radio stations purchased by Paley in 1928 and renamed the Columbia Broadcasting System.
Under Paley's guidance, CBS would first become one of
the largest radio networks in the United States, and eventually one of the
A: The Big Three American broadcast television networks.
In 1974 CBS dropped its former full name and became
known as what?
A: Simply as CBS, Inc.
When did the Westinghouse Electric Corporation acquire
A: In 1995.
In 2000 CBS came under the control of the first Viacom,
which was formed as a what?
A: A spin-off of CBS in 1971.
In late 2005, Viacom split itself into two separate
companies and re-established CBS Corporation through the spin-off of its
A: Its broadcast television, radio, and select cable television and non-broadcasting assets, with the CBS television network at its core.
The origins of CBS date back to January 27, 1927, with
the creation of what?
A: The "United Independent Broadcasters" network in Chicago by New York City talent-agent Arthur Judson.
The fledgling network soon needed additional investors
though, and who rescued it?
A: The Columbia Phonograph Company, manufacturers of Columbia Records, rescued it in April 1927.
As a result, the network was renamed what?
A: The "Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System" on September 18 of that year.
Columbia Phonographic went on the air on September 18,
1927, with a presentation by what?
A: The Howard L. Barlow Orchestra from flagship station WOR in Newark, New Jersey, and fifteen affiliates.
Operational costs were steep, particularly the payments
to AT&T for use of what?
A: Its land lines, and by the end of 1927, Columbia Phonograph wanted out.
In early 1928, who did Judson sell the network to?
A: 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 did what?
A: 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 what?
A: "Columbia Broadcasting System".
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 do what?
A: To advertise on radio.
By September 1928, Paley did what?
A: He bought out the Louchheim share of CBS and became its majority owner with 51% of the business.
Paley's management saw a twentyfold increase in what?
A: Gross income in his first decade.
Much of the increase was a result of Paley's improved
A: Affiliate relations.
Rival NBC paid affiliates for every sponsored show they
carried and charged them for what?
A: Every sustaining show they ran.
It was onerous for small and medium stations and
resulted in what?
A: Both unhappy affiliates and limited carriage of sustaining programs.
Paley had a different idea, designed to do what?
A: To get CBS programs emanating from as many radio sets as possible.
He would give the sustaining programs away for free
A: That the station would run every sponsored show and accept CBS's check for doing so.
CBS soon had what?
A: More affiliates than either NBC Red or NBC Blue.
Paley relocated his concern to where?
A: To sleek, new 485 Madison Avenue, the heart of the advertising community, right where Paley wanted his company to be.
Since NBC was the broadcast arm of radio set
manufacturer RCA, its chief David Sarnoff approached his decisions as what?
A: Both a broadcaster and as a hardware executive.
Sarnoff's affiliates were what?
A: Mistrustful of him.
Paley had no such split loyalties: his – and his
affiliates' – success rose and fell with what?
A: The quality of CBS programming.
As the 1930s loomed, Paley set about building what?
A: The CBS talent stable.
The network became the home of many popular what?
A: Musical and comedy stars, among them Jack Benny, Al Jolson, George Burns & Gracie Allen, and Kate Smith.
When, on a mid-ocean voyage, Paley heard a phonograph
record of a young unknown crooner, he rushed to the ship's radio room and
"cabled" New York to sign whom?
A: Bing Crosby immediately to a contract for a daily radio show.
While the CBS prime-time lineup featured music, comedy
and variety shows, the daytime schedule was what?
A: A direct conduit into American homes and into the hearts and minds of American women.
For many women it was what?
A: The bulk of their adult human contact during the course of the day.
CBS time salesmen recognized early on that this
intimate connection could be a bonanza for whom?
A: Advertisers of female-interest products.
When Charlie Chaplin finally allowed the world to do
“what” after 20 years of mime, he chose CBS's airwaves to do it on?
A: Hear his voice.
As the decade progressed, what new genre joined the
A: Serial dramas – soap operas, so named for the products that sponsored them.