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."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Frank Stanton on broadcasting and the first amendment, and how it related to CBS Reports: "The Selling of the Pentagon"
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

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Frank Stanton on CBS Reports: The Selling of the Pentagon
Frank Stanton on the controversial CBS Reports: The Selling of the Pentagon in which he personally faced contempt charges
Frank Stanton on broadcasting and the first amendment, and how it related to CBS Reports: "The Selling of the Pentagon"

CBS Reports: "The Selling of the Pentagon"

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Frank Stanton on CBS Reports: The Selling of the Pentagon
Frank Stanton on the controversial CBS Reports: The Selling of the Pentagon in which he personally faced contempt charges
Frank Stanton on broadcasting and the first amendment, and how it related to CBS Reports: "The Selling of the Pentagon"

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

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

See It Now

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

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Frank Stanton on his relationship with Senator John O. Pastore, and dealing with censorship

Harry S. Truman

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Frank Stanton on his association with Harry S. Truman

Historic Events and Social Change

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

Hollywood Blacklist

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Frank Stanton on Edward R. Murrow's commentary on Senator Joseph McCarthy
Frank Stanton on the policies invoked at CBS during the blacklist period, and on the loyalty oath
Frank Stanton on CBS and the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Frank Stanton on Edward R. Murrow's commentary on Senator Joseph McCarthy
Frank Stanton on the policies invoked at CBS during the blacklist period, and on the loyalty oath
Frank Stanton on the Quiz Show Scandals
Frank Stanton on CBS and the Hollywood Blacklist
Frank Stanton on the quiz show scandals

John F. Kennedy

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Frank Stanton on his associations with John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, and on the Kennedy-Nixon debate

Kennedy-Nixon Debates

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Frank Stanton on his associations with John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, and on the Kennedy-Nixon debate

Lyndon B. Johnson

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Frank Stanton on his relationship with Lyndon B. Johnson

Media Consolidation

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Frank Stanton on the impact of media consolidation on programming
Frank Stanton on the downside of media consolidation

Network Creation

View Topic
Frank Stanton on CBS getting into television, and the CBS network coverage in the early days
Frank Stanton on the FCC issuing the original licenses to television stations around the country, and CBS' failed color system
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
Frank Stanton on the creation of CBS News for television, and Edward R. Murrow's reluctance to do television
Frank Stanton on the design and construction of CBS Television City in Los Angeles
Frank Stanton on the design and construction of CBS Black Rock in New York City
Frank Stanton on the design and construction of CBS Black Rock
Frank Stanton on the design and creation of the CBS eye logo
Frank Stanton on what he feels is the lack of adequate maintenance of CBS Black Rock
Frank Stanton on what CBS Black Rock meant to CBS
Frank Stanton on the creation of CBS News
Frank Stanton on CBS News' initial roster of correspondents

Quiz Show Scandals

View Topic
Frank Stanton on the Quiz Show Scandals
Frank Stanton on the quiz show scandals

Richard M. Nixon

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Frank Stanton on his associations with John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, and on the Kennedy-Nixon debate

Technological Innovation

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

Television Industry

View Topic
Frank Stanton on CBS getting into television, and the CBS network coverage in the early days
Frank Stanton on the FCC issuing the original licenses to television stations around the country, and CBS' failed color system
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
Frank Stanton on the creation of CBS News for television, and Edward R. Murrow's reluctance to do television
Frank Stanton on Edward R. Murrow's commentary on Senator Joe McCarthy
Frank Stanton on the policies invoked at CBS during the blacklist period
Frank Stanton on the Quiz Show Scandals
Frank Stanton on his relationship with Senator John O. Pastore, and dealing with censorship
Frank Stanton on how the networks have changed since he started
Frank Stanton on CBS spinning off Viacom for syndication purposes
Frank Stanton on the rise of cable television, and the then-future of new media
Frank Stanton on the impact of media consolidation on programming
Frank Stanton on the then-current state of television
Frank Stanton on broadcasting and the first amendment, and how it related to CBS Reports: "The Selling of the Pentagon"
Frank Stanton on the downside of media consolidation
Frank Stanton on the then-current state of broadcasting, and on what he felt was most important in broadcasting at the time
Frank Stanton on the creation on the CBS television network, alongside the CBS radio network
Frank Stanton on the news on public television, and on the then-current state of network news
Frank Stanton on the design and construction of CBS Television City in Los Angeles
Frank Stanton on the design and construction of Black Rock in New York City
Frank Stanton on the design and construction of CBS Black Rock
Frank Stanton on the design and creation of the CBS eye logo
Frank Stanton on what he feels is the lack of adequate maintenance of CBS Black Rock, and on what the building meant for CBS
Frank Stanton on what CBS Black Rock meant to CBS
Frank Stanton on the creation of CBS News
Frank Stanton on CBS News' initial roster of correspondents
Frank Stanton on CBS and the Hollywood Blacklist
Frank Stanton on the quiz show scandals

Television and the Presidency

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

Vietnam War

View Topic
Frank Stanton on CBS News' coverage of Vietnam

War

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

Executives

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

Game Shows

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Frank Stanton on the Quiz Show Scandals

News and Documentary

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

James T. Aubrey

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Frank Stanton on CBS President James T. Aubrey
Frank Stanton on the firing of CBS President James T. Aubrey

Walter Cronkite

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Frank Stanton on Walter Cronkite

Louis Dorfsman

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Frank Stanton on art director Louis Dorfsman

Fred Friendly

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Frank Stanton on the departure of Fred Friendly from CBS News

Arthur Godfrey

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Frank Stanton on Arthur Godfrey

Nikita Khrushchev

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Frank Stanton on the CBS News interview with Nikita Khrushchev, and on government's relationship with the news media

Bill Leonard

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Frank Stanton on CBS News President Bill Leonard

Joseph McCarthy

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Frank Stanton on Edward R. Murrow's commentary on Senator Joseph McCarthy

Newton N. Minow

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Frank Stanton on Newton N. Minow
Frank Stanton on Newton N. Minow

Edward R. Murrow

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Frank Stanton on the creation of CBS News for television, and Edward R. Murrow's reluctance to do television

William S. Paley

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Frank Stanton on his relationship with William S. Paley
Frank Stanton on his relationship with William S. Paley
Frank Stanton on William S. Paley's management style

Richard S. Salant

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Frank Stanton on CBS News President Richard S. Salant

David Sarnoff

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Frank Stanton on David Sarnoff

Eric Sevareid

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Frank Stanton on the early CBS News correspondents including Eric Sevareid and Paul White

Ted Turner

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Frank Stanton on Ted Turner and Adrian Murphy

Orson Welles

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Frank Stanton on Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" broadcast

Robert D. Wood

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Frank Stanton on CBS President Robert D. Wood

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