by PATTY TERHUNE
51 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019-6188
CBS Corporations holds the most watched television network in the U.S., CBS Broadcast Network, and is one of the largest players in creating global content (5). While the company’s holdings span nearly every medium (cable, publishing, radio, film and more), they play a particularly strong roll in television. They have 29 television holdings including CBS, CBS Sports Network, The Smithsonian Channel, The CW (a 50/50 joint venture with Time Warner’s Warner Bros.), Decades (a 50/50 joint venture with Weigel Broadcasting), Pop (a 50/50 joint venture with Lionsgate), and the Showtime Networks (6). The CBS Network is home to the #1 drama scripted program, NCIS, the #1 sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, the #1 newsmagazine, 60 Minutes, and the #1 daytime drama, The Young and the Restless (7).
CBS Corporation, often referred to as “The Eye Corporation” because of the company’s memorable logo, was founded in 1941. The company started as a radio heavyweight in 1927. The company was also formerly known as “The Tiffany Network” since the company maintained such a high quality of programming under its founder William S. Paley (9). The company has held many official names over time. However, in its time as a broadcast network it has only gone by three names. From 1928 until 1974 it held the name Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. In 1974 it was shortened to CBS Inc. As of 1997 the official company name is CBS Corporations (10).
In 2000 Viacom purchased CBS (11). This is particularly noteworthy as Viacom was originally created as a spin-off of CBS in 1971 (12). However, in 2005, Viacom split itself into two entities, keeping Viacom and CBS Corporation separate. Sumner Redstone, who is a heavy hitter in media as both the chairman of National Amusements and the Executive Chairman of Viacom, still currently owns CBS.
CBS is traded on the NASDAQ under the abbreviation CBS. As of April 16th, 2015 the stock was being traded for $61.78. At a record low on September 9th, 2009 the stock was being traded for $3.06. Since then the stock as been increasing and is currently within a dollar of its highest asking price ever (15). The fourth quarter revenues for 2014 were up 3% from last quarter, hitting $3.7 billion and the diluted earnings per share were up 8% to $.77. This was CBS Corporation’s best fourth quarter revenue and diluted EPS to date (16).
Television Network Brand of the Year in 2015 Harris Poll Equitrend Study
The Harris Poll Equitrend Study is an annual study conducted by Harris Poll on brand equity. The EquiTrend Brand Equity Index rates companies on their familiarity, quality and consideration. The Harris Polls have become a staple in the media industry – due to its ability to give relevant insights to the industry after comprehensive and precise public opinion polling. In its 27th annual study in 2015, CBS Corporations took home first place (7).
Bell Media and CBS Corporation Announce Long-Term Contract To Bring Showtime to Canada
For the first time, Showtime and the entirety of its media content will be brought the Canada. In an unprecedented deal between Bell Media and CBS Corporation, hundreds of hours of past, present and future Showtime programming will be brought the Canada and accessible on all Bell Media platforms. This will open up hundreds of thousands of new potential consumers for the already esteemed network (19).
CBS All Access Meets with Affiliates
In mid-April, CBS met with affiliates to discuss their over-the-top streaming service, CBS All Access. Among these affiliates was Steve Hammel, VP and general manager at Capital Broadcasting’s WRAL Raleigh. He, as well as other affiliates, was optimistic about the future of the service and seemed willing to work together to increase the reach of both themselves and the network. However, like many, he said that he would wait until more information was available to opt-in. As of last month, the service has 100,000 subscribers. Currently, a dozen station groups, as well as all stations owned-and-operated by CBS, are on board, representing 55% of all households (21).
CBS-Toyota Charity App
Viewers to Volunteers, or V2V, is a Toyota sponsored app run by CBS where viewers can give to charity without needing to open their wallet. Viewers watch short video clips, like a CBS news clip about Toyota or a documentary-type clip about a local area hospital, to gain credits. These credits can be exchanged for donations to causes like the Special Olympics or Meals on Wheels America, which CBS will make. CBS is advertising the application on four CBS owned-and-operated stations, as well as by collaborating with non-profit partners such as the Starlight Children’s Foundation to help expand reach. The application premiered nationally in April (24).
Data-Driven Initiative for Network Advertisers
CBS has introduced a new-data driven style to analyzing the effectiveness of advertising. They are called it the Campaign Performance Audit or CPA. They have been trialing this technique on specific advertisers since last fall. However, they are now opening it up to all advertisers that are looking to take advantage of Nielsen analytics to make sure that they get the best return on investment in the company (26).
David Rhodes Extends Contract as President of CBS News through 2019
CBS News President David Rhodes who has held the position since 2011, will continue as president of the news division of CBS until 2019. Rhodes was one of the creators of CBS This Morning and also helped to expand Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer and is credited with helping it become the #1 Sunday Public Affairs Show. In addition to his work in broadcast, he also spearheaded CBSN, which is the first digitial streaming news network and has made major contributions the news on CBSNews.com and on CBS News Radio (28).
CBS Corporation and CBS Radio being Sued By Former Intern
Former CBS Radio intern Camille Demere, who was an intern into 2009-2010, filed a class-action-seeking complaint in January of 2015 for unfair treatment as an intern by being “excluded from minimum wage.” In March the company responded by saying that they want the entire case thrown out. They also requested that the court deny every request that the Plaintiff (Demere) had, and reimburse the Defendant (CBS Corp.) for all costs spent in defending the law suit (30).
(1) “CBS Logo,” Imgrarcade, RT: 4/17/15
(2) “Sumner Redstone,” CBS Corp, RT: 4/17/15
(3) “Leslie Moonves,” CBS Corp, RT: 4/17/15
(4) “Anthony G. Ambrosio,” CBS Corp, RT: 4/17/15
(5) “About CBS,” CBS Corp, RT: 4/17/15
(6) “Who Owns The Media?” FreePress, RT: 4/17/15
(7) “2015 Brand of the Year,” CBS Corp, RT: 4/17/15
(8) “CBS Eye,” Logos.wikia, RT: 4/17/15
(9) “Creator: CBS,” TVTropes, RT: 4/17/15
(10) “CBS Corporation,” Encyclopedia Brittanica, RT: 4/17/15
(11) “Viacom Set to Acquire CBS,” Partners.NYTimes, RT: 4/17/15
(12) “Viacom Inc. History,” FundingUniverse, RT: 4/17/15
(13) “Viacom Makes Split Official,” CBSNews, RT: 4/17/15
(14) “Transaction in Own Shares,” Article.wn, RT: 4/17/15
(15) “CBS,” Nasdaq, RT: 4/17/15
(16) “Investor Relations,” CBS Corp, RT: 4/17/15
(17) “Harris Polls,” Whatsupwiththat, RT: 4/17/15
(18) “Showtime,” Sho, RT: 4/17/15
(19) “CBS, Bell Media Pact,” Deadline, RT: 4/17/15
(20) “CBS All Access,” Slashgear, RT: 4/17/15
(21) “CBS Station Chiefs Ponder All Access Offer,” BroadcastingCable, RT: 4/17/15
(22) “Judge Throws Out Fraud Claim,” Onelip, RT: 4/17/15
(23) “Turning Viewers into Volunteers at CBS,” CBS Altitude Group, RT: 4/17/15
(24) “CBS Unveils Charity App,” Wall Street Journal, RT: 4/17/15
(25) “US Nielsen,” Evigo, RT: 4/17/15
(26) “CBS Introduces New Data-Driven Initiative,” CBS Corp, RT: 4/17/15
(27) “David Rhodes,” CBS News, RT: 4/17/15
(28) “CBS Announces New Agreement,” CBS Corp, RT: 4/17/15
(29) “CBS Sued Over Unpaid Internships,” Red-Pr, RT: 4/17/15
(30) “CBS Spurns Intern Lawsuit,” Deadline, RT: 4/17/15