Ralph M. Baruch

Executive


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his three-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Ralph M. Baruch (1923-2016) recounts his childhood in Germany and his family's flight to France during World War II. He recalls his first job in sales at the Du Mont Network and his later transition to CBS' International Division. He discusses the formation of CBS Films and Cinema Center Films, as well as the constant disharmony between the various divisions of the network. Baruch explains the need for CBS Films to spin-off from CBS and become a separate entity known as Viacom. He outlines Viacom's syndication, production, and local station and cable acquisitions, which built the company into a media conglomerate. He speaks of his ouster as CEO of Viacom after Sumner Redstone's takeover, and describes CBS' subsequent acquisition of the company. Baruch sums up with his vision of the then-future of television, syndication and cable. Jenni Matz conducted the interview on November 2, 2010 in New York, NY.

"To make it in television takes persistence… and starting at the bottom. And friends. It's connections."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Ralph M. Baruch on the distinction between CBS Network and CBS Television
Ralph M. Baruch on the creation of Viacom
Ralph M. Baruch on Viacom acquiring cable channels
Ralph M. Baruch on acquiring Cable Health Network and Sumner Redstone's takeover of Viacom
Ralph M. Baruch on establishing the Cable Ace Awards
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his family's experiences in World War II in Germany and France
On the first time he saw television and getting a job as a salesman at the Du Mont Network; on his duties as a salesman for the Du Mont Network and the shows he sold time for; on leaving the Du Mont Network to work at CBS' International Division
On syndicating shows for CBS internationally; on seeing Arturo Toscanini conduct; on becoming Head of International Sales at CBS and dealing with sales in Australia
On becoming Head of International Sales at CBS and dealing with sales in Australia; on the distinction between CBS Network and CBS Television; on the FCC's regulation of syndication

Chapter 2

On the formation of CBS Films and the organization's problems; on how CBS Films impacted his job selling shows 
On CBS dealing with FCC regulations and the creation of Cinema Center Films; on disharmony between the various CBS divisions
On the creation of Viacom; on his first actions at the then-newly spun off Viacom
On former CBS executive Jack Schneider; on Viacom's early television station acquisitions and original productions; on Viacom acquiring cable channels

Chapter 3

On Viacom acquiring cable systems and lobbying the FCC and Congress, and being sued by the Justice Department; on the continued growth of Viacom in the early '70s with original productions and syndication; on Viacom's biggest syndicated programs
On Viacom suing the FCC; on the creation of Showtime and MTV Networks
On acquiring Cable Health Network; on Sumner Redstone's takeover of Viacom
On his feelings about being forced out of Viacom, and being on the Carnegie Hall Board of Directors

Chapter 4

On his lack of programming ability; on his success at Viacom and the then-current state of television; on the then-future of television and cable
On television reaching its potential; on establishing the Cable Ace Awards; on the buyout of CBS by Viacom; on the then-current state of syndication
On the then-current state of television news; on his longevity and regrets; on advice to aspiring television executives; on his legacy
Topics

Advice

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Ralph M. Baruch on advice to aspiring television executives

Historic Events and Social Change

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Ralph M. Baruch on his family's experiences in World War II in Germany and France

Media Consolidation

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Ralph M. Baruch on the buyout of CBS by Viacom

Network Creation

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Ralph M. Baruch on the creation of Showtime and MTV Networks

Television Industry

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Ralph M. Baruch on syndicating shows for CBS internationally
Ralph M. Baruch on becoming Head of International Sales at CBS and dealing with sales in Australia
Ralph M. Baruch on dealing with various European countries as Head of International Sales at CBS
Ralph M. Baruch on the distinction between CBS Network and CBS Television
Ralph M. Baruch on the FCC's regulation of syndication
Ralph M. Baruch on the formation of CBS Films and the company's problems
Ralph M. Baruch on how CBS Films impacted his job selling shows
Ralph M. Baruch on CBS dealing with FCC regulations and the creation of Cinema Center Films
Ralph M. Baruch on disharmony between the various CBS divisions
Ralph M. Baruch on the creation of Viacom
Ralph M. Baruch on his first actions at the then-newly spun off Viacom
Ralph M. Baruch on running Viacom day-to-day
Ralph M. Baruch on Viacom's early television station acquisitions and original productions
Ralph M. Baruch on Viacom acquiring cable channels
Ralph M. Baruch on Viacom acquiring cable systems and lobbying the FCC and congress, and being sued by the Justice Department
Ralph M. Baruch on the continued growth of Viacom in the early '70s with original productions and syndication 
Ralph M. Baruch on Viacom's biggest syndicated programs
Ralph M. Baruch on Viacom suing the FCC
Ralph M. Baruch on the creation of Showtime and MTV Networks
Ralph M. Baruch on acquiring Cable Health Network and Sumner Redstone's takeover of Viacom
Ralph M. Baruch on his feelings about being forced out of Viacom and being on the Carnegie Hall Board of Directors
Ralph M. Baruch on the greatest success stories of Viacom
Ralph M. Baruch on the then-current state of television
Ralph M. Baruch on the then-future of television and cable
Ralph M. Baruch on television reaching its potential
Ralph M. Baruch on the buyout of CBS by Viacom
Ralph M. Baruch on the then-current state of syndication
Ralph M. Baruch on the then-current state of television news
Ralph M. Baruch on advice to aspiring television executives

War

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Ralph M. Baruch on his family's experiences in World War II in Germany and France

World War II

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Ralph M. Baruch on his family's experiences in World War II in Germany and France
Professions

Executives

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Ralph M. Baruch on advice to aspiring television executives

Television Executive

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Ralph M. Baruch on advice to aspiring television executives
People

Sumner Redstone

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Ralph M. Baruch on acquiring Cable Health Network and Sumner Redstone's takeover of Viacom
Ralph M. Baruch on his feelings about being forced out of Viacom and being on the Carnegie Hall Board of Directors

Frank Stanton

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Ralph M. Baruch on the formation of CBS Films and the company's problems
Ralph M. Baruch on how CBS Films impacted his job selling shows
Ralph M. Baruch on CBS dealing with FCC regulations and the creation of Cinema Center Films
Ralph M. Baruch on disharmony between the various CBS divisions
Ralph M. Baruch on the creation of Viacom

Arturo Toscanini

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Ralph M. Baruch on seeing Arturo Toscanini conduct

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