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A History of Broadcasting in the United States: The Image Empire
A History of Broadcasting in the United States: The Image Empire
Volum Iii - from 1953

During the iQSo's, in a frontier atmosphere of enterprise and sharp struggle, an American television system took shape. But even as it did so, itspioneers pushed beyond American borders and became programmers to scores of other nations. In its first decade United States television was already a world phenomenon. Since American radio had for some time had international ramifications, American images and sounds were radiatingfrom transmitter towers throughout the globe. They were called entertainment or news or education but were always more. They were a reflection of a growing United States involvement in the lives of other nationsan involvement of imperial scope. The role of broadcasters in this American expansion and in the era that produced it is the subject matter of The Image Empire, the last of three volumes comprising this study.


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authored-by Erik Barnouw on 4/24/2019, 7:27:43 PM

excerpt The 1950's had seen new developments in "executive compensation" to counteract the rising tax bite. A much-desired benefit was stock options. Thus Aubrey as CBS-TV president acquired options to buy a number of shares of CBS stock at a fixed price. A rise in the CBS stock quotation could put him in a position to make instant money. With such a policy, an executive could hardly eliminate awareness of stock prices from programming decisions. Stock prices were increasingly sensitive to success like that of the Untouchables. Stocks could be nudged up or down, it seemed, by shifts in Arbitron, Nielsen or Videodex ratings. 150 on 1/21/2020, 6:09:58 PM

excerpt It also happened to be a moment when network chiefs acquired powers they had not had before. The quiz scandals had brought this on. Networks had promised to take firmer control of programming. CBS, said corporation president Frank Stanton, would be absolute master in its own house. No longer would sponsors control time periods and determine how they would be used. The network would do the scheduling and let the sponsor know what was available. 150 on 1/21/2020, 6:09:58 PM

excerpt "Your job is to produce shit" 244 on 1/21/2020, 6:09:58 PM

excerpt Station Executive "We lose audiences every time we have to put that stuff in the place of entertainment. Take that nonsense of extending the Huntley-Brinkley program from fifteen minutes to a full half hour. That alone costs us way over $100,000." 244 on 1/21/2020, 6:09:58 PM

excerpt "On the basis of ratings, fortunes rose and fell, and heads rolled with unnerving suddenness. … The machine had its momentum; the stakes were huge." 307 on 1/21/2020, 6:09:58 PM

excerpt "The multiplicity of sponsors was also credited with a homogenizing effect. BY 1968, the single sponsor series had almost vanished; many had a dozen sponsors." 309 on 1/21/2020, 6:09:58 PM