Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)
History of CBS TV network. Programming, ratings, news, cable, competition, late-night wars, strategic options.
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CBS was once the leading television network in terms of ratings, and today it is in third place among the three major networks and in some weeks has even dropped below the much smaller Fox network. The network’s entertainment division is in disarray, with several programs that have long been popular slipping in the ratings because of changes in their time slot or new competition, and with no clear plan for the future. The news division has been slipping as well, with losses in viewership for its evening news broadcast and with various problems for its news magazine 60 Minutes, long one of the important money-making entities for the network. In part, CBS is being affected by changes in network television viewing across America, with new competition from cable and satellite television as well as from revitalized independent channels. Yet CBS seems to be facing…