Frank Stanton

Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his six-hour Archive interview, Frank Stanton (1908-2006) discusses his early years at CBS and his eventual rise to the network's presidency. He recalls the founding and fomation of CBS News, and his relationships with the major players including Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, and Fred Friendly. He recounts many of the other CBS executives he worked with, including James T. Aubrey, Robert D. Wood, and John A. Schneider. He chronicles the many technical developments he oversaw in his years at CBS including the invention of television itself, and the advent of color. He speaks candidly about CBS chairman William S. Paley and the rise of CBS network television. Dr. Stanton retired from his post in 1973, but continued as a director of the company. In 1986, he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Don West conducted the interview  (in two sessions) in New York, New York and Boston, Massashusetts. on May 22, 2000 and May 14, 2001.  A previous two hour audio-only interview was conducted on November 16, 1999.

"I don't see that kind of leadership putting aside the impact it would have had on the stock prices in favor of a principle like the First Amendment. Newspapers are still standing their ground on the First Amendment. I don't know what's going to happen in broadcasting."

Highlights
Frank Stanton on broadcasting and the first amendment, and how it related to CBS Reports: "The Selling of the Pentagon"
06:55
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his early interest in radio
On going to work for CBS doing market research in 1935, and on his day-to-day activities in that 10 year era; on CBS radio's programming in the '30s and '40s; on the CBS radio network in the '30s and '40s, and on CBS' profitability in that era

Chapter 2

On Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" broadcast; on CBS getting into television, and the CBS network coverage in the early days
On the FCC issuing the original licenses to television stations around the country, and CBS' failed color system; on CBS' early programming, including the talent raids on NBC, and The Ed Sullivan Show; Stanton on where CBS stood in relation to NBC in the earliest days of television, and on eventually surpassing them with I Love Lucy

Chapter 3

On the creation of CBS News for television, and Edward R. Murrow's reluctance to do television; on the early CBS News correspondents including Eric Sevareid and Paul White; on Edward R. Murrow's commentary on Senator Joseph McCarthy
On the policies invoked at CBS during the blacklist period, and on the loyalty oath; on the CBS News interview with Nikita Khrushchev, and on government's relationship with the news media
On advocating the repeal of section 315 of the Communications Act, and on Presidential debates; on CBS Reports: The Selling of the Pentagon

Chapter 4

On the controversial CBS Reports: The Selling of the Pentagon in which he personally faced contempt charges; on his relationship with Senator John O. Pastore, and dealing with censorship
On the Quiz Show Scandals; on CBS' involvement with the home video recorder, and with inventor Peter Goldmark; on his relationship with William S. Paley

Chapter 5

On how the networks have changed since he started; on CBS spinning off Viacom for syndication purposes; on the rise of cable television, and the then-future of new media
On the impact of media consolidation on programming; on his interests outside of broadcasting; on his favorite architects and artists

Chapter 6

On his fondness for dogs and interest in cars; on his association of Harvard University; on avoiding public office
On his association with Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, and on the Kennedy-Nixon debate; on CBS News' coverage of Vietnam; on CBS President James T. Aubrey

Chapter 7

On the firing of CBS President James T. Aubrey; on the departure of Fred Friendly from CBS News; on the then-future of television

Chapter 8

On broadcasting and the first amendment, and how it related to CBS Reports: "The Selling of the Pentagon"; on the downside of media consolidation; on the then-current state of broadcasting, and on what he felt was most important in broadcasting at the time
On the creation on the CBS television network, alongside the CBS radio network; on the news on public television, and on the then-current state of network news
On the design and construction of CBS Television City in Los Angeles; on the design and construction of CBS Black Rock in New York City

Chapter 9

On the design and construction of CBS Black Rock; on the design and creation of the CBS eye logo; on what he feels is the lack of adequate maintenance of CBS Black Rock
On what CBS Black Rock meant to CBS; on the creation of CBS News; on CBS News' initial roster of correspondents

Chapter 10

on CBS and the Hollywood Blacklist; on the quiz show scandals; on his day-to-day duties as the President of CBS
on his relationship with William S. Paley; on the people who followed him as CBS President; on Ted Turner and Adrian Murphy

Chapter 11

On David Sarnoff; on CBS getting into the recording business with Columbia Records; on Peter Goldmark and the invention of the long playing record
On the creative aspects of being an executive; on CBS News President Richard S. Salant; on Newton N. Minow

Chapter 12

On Newton N. Minow; on CBS executive Joseph H. Ream; on CBS News President Bill Leonard
On Arthur Godfrey; on art director Louis Dorfsman; on CBS President John A. Schneider
On William S. Paley's management style; on Walter Cronkite

Chapter 13

On CBS President Robert D. Wood; on J. Leonard Reinsch and George Gallup; on his relationship with Lyndon B. Johnson
On designers he admired; on his most important decision at CBS, and on the then-future of broadcasting; on how he feels looking back over his time at CBS, and his hopes for the then-future of the network
Shows

CBS Reports

View Show Page
Frank Stanton on CBS Reports: The Selling of the Pentagon
02:51
Frank Stanton on the controversial CBS Reports: The Selling of the Pentagon in which he personally faced contempt charges
08:13
Frank Stanton on broadcasting and the first amendment, and how it related to CBS Reports: "The Selling of the Pentagon"
06:55

CBS Reports: "The Selling of the Pentagon"

View Show Page
Frank Stanton on CBS Reports: The Selling of the Pentagon
02:51
Frank Stanton on the controversial CBS Reports: The Selling of the Pentagon in which he personally faced contempt charges
08:13
Frank Stanton on broadcasting and the first amendment, and how it related to CBS Reports: "The Selling of the Pentagon"
06:55

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Frank Stanton on CBS' early programming, including the talent raids on NBC, and The Ed Sullivan Show
06:21

I Love Lucy

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Frank Stanton on where CBS stood in relation to NBC in the earliest days of television, and on eventually surpassing them with I Love Lucy
04:23

See It Now

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Frank Stanton on Edward R. Murrow's commentary on Senator Joseph McCarthy on See it Now
04:51
Topics

1939-40 World's Fair

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Frank Stanton on his early awareness of television, and the introduction of television at the 1939 Worlds Fair
01:44

Censorship / Standards & Practices

View Topic
Frank Stanton on his relationship with Senator John O. Pastore, and dealing with censorship
04:58

Harry S. Truman

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Frank Stanton on his association with Harry S. Truman
08:11

Historic Events and Social Change

View Topic
Frank Stanton on his early awareness of television, and the introduction of television at the 1939 Worlds Fair
01:44
Frank Stanton on his associations with John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, and on the Kennedy-Nixon debate
04:32
Frank Stanton on CBS News' coverage of Vietnam
01:07

Hollywood Blacklist

View Topic
Frank Stanton on Edward R. Murrow's commentary on Senator Joseph McCarthy
04:51
Frank Stanton on the policies invoked at CBS during the blacklist period, and on the loyalty oath
04:33
Frank Stanton on CBS and the Hollywood Blacklist
07:44

Industry Crossroads

View Topic
Frank Stanton on Edward R. Murrow's commentary on Senator Joseph McCarthy
04:51
Frank Stanton on the policies invoked at CBS during the blacklist period, and on the loyalty oath
04:33
Frank Stanton on the Quiz Show Scandals
01:35
Frank Stanton on CBS and the Hollywood Blacklist
07:44
Frank Stanton on the quiz show scandals
03:10

John F. Kennedy

View Topic
Frank Stanton on his associations with John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, and on the Kennedy-Nixon debate
04:32

Kennedy-Nixon Debates

View Topic
Frank Stanton on his associations with John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, and on the Kennedy-Nixon debate
04:32

Lyndon B. Johnson

View Topic
Frank Stanton on his relationship with Lyndon B. Johnson
08:00

Media Consolidation

View Topic
Frank Stanton on the impact of media consolidation on programming
02:02
Frank Stanton on the downside of media consolidation
01:42

Network Creation

View Topic
Frank Stanton on CBS getting into television, and the CBS network coverage in the early days
03:44
Frank Stanton on the FCC issuing the original licenses to television stations around the country, and CBS' failed color system
05:57
Frank Stanton on where CBS stood in relation to NBC in the earliest days of television, and on eventually surpassing them with I Love Lucy
04:23
Frank Stanton on the creation of CBS News for television, and Edward R. Murrow's reluctance to do television
05:48
Frank Stanton on the design and construction of CBS Television City in Los Angeles
04:30
Frank Stanton on the design and construction of CBS Black Rock in New York City
05:51
Frank Stanton on the design and construction of CBS Black Rock
02:07
Frank Stanton on the design and creation of the CBS eye logo
04:17
Frank Stanton on what he feels is the lack of adequate maintenance of CBS Black Rock
07:22
Frank Stanton on what CBS Black Rock meant to CBS
03:12
Frank Stanton on the creation of CBS News
04:42
Frank Stanton on CBS News' initial roster of correspondents
05:22

Quiz Show Scandals

View Topic
Frank Stanton on the Quiz Show Scandals
01:35
Frank Stanton on the quiz show scandals
03:10

Richard M. Nixon

View Topic
Frank Stanton on his associations with John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, and on the Kennedy-Nixon debate
04:32

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Frank Stanton on the FCC issuing the original licenses to television stations around the country, and CBS' failed color system
16:41
Frank Stanton on CBS' involvement with the home video recorder, and with inventor Peter Goldmark
06:28

Television Industry

View Topic
Frank Stanton on CBS getting into television, and the CBS network coverage in the early days
03:44
Frank Stanton on the FCC issuing the original licenses to television stations around the country, and CBS' failed color system
05:57
Frank Stanton on where CBS stood in relation to NBC in the earliest days of television, and on eventually surpassing them with I Love Lucy
04:23
Frank Stanton on the creation of CBS News for television, and Edward R. Murrow's reluctance to do television
05:48
Frank Stanton on Edward R. Murrow's commentary on Senator Joe McCarthy
Frank Stanton on the policies invoked at CBS during the blacklist period
04:33
Frank Stanton on the Quiz Show Scandals
01:35
Frank Stanton on his relationship with Senator John O. Pastore, and dealing with censorship
04:58
Frank Stanton on how the networks have changed since he started
01:45
Frank Stanton on CBS spinning off Viacom for syndication purposes
02:53
Frank Stanton on the rise of cable television, and the then-future of new media
07:38
Frank Stanton on the impact of media consolidation on programming
02:02
Frank Stanton on the then-current state of television
01:51
Frank Stanton on broadcasting and the first amendment, and how it related to CBS Reports: "The Selling of the Pentagon"
06:55
Frank Stanton on the downside of media consolidation
01:42
Frank Stanton on the then-current state of broadcasting, and on what he felt was most important in broadcasting at the time
01:54
Frank Stanton on the creation on the CBS television network, alongside the CBS radio network
04:15
Frank Stanton on the news on public television, and on the then-current state of network news
02:53
Frank Stanton on the design and construction of CBS Television City in Los Angeles
04:30
Frank Stanton on the design and construction of Black Rock in New York City
05:51
Frank Stanton on the design and construction of CBS Black Rock
02:07
Frank Stanton on the design and creation of the CBS eye logo
04:17
Frank Stanton on what he feels is the lack of adequate maintenance of CBS Black Rock, and on what the building meant for CBS
07:22
Frank Stanton on what CBS Black Rock meant to CBS
03:12
Frank Stanton on the creation of CBS News
04:42
Frank Stanton on CBS News' initial roster of correspondents
05:22
Frank Stanton on CBS and the Hollywood Blacklist
07:44
Frank Stanton on the quiz show scandals
03:10

Television and the Presidency

View Topic
Frank Stanton on his association with Harry S. Truman
08:11
Frank Stanton on his associations with John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, and on the Kennedy-Nixon debate
04:32
Frank Stanton on his associations with John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, and on the Kennedy-Nixon debate
04:32
Frank Stanton on his relationship with Lyndon B. Johnson
08:00

Vietnam War

View Topic
Frank Stanton on CBS News' coverage of Vietnam
01:07

War

View Topic
Frank Stanton on CBS News' coverage of Vietnam
01:07
Professions

Executives

View Profession
Frank Stanton on his day-to-day duties as the President of CBS
03:09
Frank Stanton on the people who followed him as CBS President
02:30
Frank Stanton on the creative aspects of being an executive
01:42
Frank Stanton on his most important decision at CBS, and on the then-future of broadcasting
04:25
Frank Stanton on how he feels looking back over his time at CBS, and his hopes for the then-future of the network

Television Executive

View Profession
Frank Stanton on his day-to-day duties as the President of CBS
03:09
Frank Stanton on the people who followed him as CBS President
02:30
Frank Stanton on the creative aspects of being an executive
01:42
Frank Stanton on his most important decisions at CBS, and on the then-future of broadcasting
04:25
Frank Stanton on how he feels looking back over his time at CBS, and his hopes for the then-future of the network
04:33
Genres

Game Shows

View Genre
Frank Stanton on the Quiz Show Scandals
01:35

News and Documentary

View Genre
Frank Stanton on the founding and history of CBS News
29:02
Frank Stanton on the controversial CBS Reports: The Selling of the Pentagon in which he personally faced contempt charges
08:13
Frank Stanton on the creation of CBS News
People

James T. Aubrey

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Frank Stanton on CBS President James T. Aubrey
04:22
Frank Stanton on the firing of CBS President James T. Aubrey
05:26

Walter Cronkite

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Frank Stanton on Walter Cronkite
03:25

Louis Dorfsman

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Frank Stanton on art director Louis Dorfsman
02:06

Fred Friendly

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Frank Stanton on the departure of Fred Friendly from CBS News
03:05

Arthur Godfrey

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Frank Stanton on Arthur Godfrey
03:07

Nikita Khrushchev

View Person Page
Frank Stanton on the CBS News interview with Nikita Khrushchev, and on government's relationship with the news media
03:58

Bill Leonard

View Person Page
Frank Stanton on CBS News President Bill Leonard
03:27

Joseph McCarthy

View Person Page
Frank Stanton on Edward R. Murrow's commentary on Senator Joseph McCarthy
04:51

Newton N. Minow

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Frank Stanton on Newton N. Minow
01:37
Frank Stanton on Newton N. Minow
04:29

Edward R. Murrow

View Person Page
Frank Stanton on the creation of CBS News for television, and Edward R. Murrow's reluctance to do television
05:48

William S. Paley

View Person Page
Frank Stanton on his relationship with William S. Paley
07:37
Frank Stanton on his relationship with William S. Paley
08:49
Frank Stanton on William S. Paley's management style
02:38

Richard S. Salant

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Frank Stanton on CBS News President Richard S. Salant
09:13

David Sarnoff

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Frank Stanton on David Sarnoff
04:33

Eric Sevareid

View Person Page
Frank Stanton on the early CBS News correspondents including Eric Sevareid and Paul White
03:25

Ted Turner

View Interview Page
Frank Stanton on Ted Turner and Adrian Murphy
03:29

Orson Welles

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Frank Stanton on Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" broadcast
06:51

Robert D. Wood

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Frank Stanton on CBS President Robert D. Wood
02:09

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