CBS Evening News is the flagship nightly television news program of the American television network CBS. Overseas Sky News and Sky News Australia also broadcasts the program in the mornings, usually with a 7 or 8 hour time delay. CBS has broadcast this program since 1948, and has used the CBS Evening News title since 1963.
CBS began broadcasting full-length news shows on Saturday nights, expanding to two nights a week in 1947. On August 15, 1948, CBS launched its nightly 15-minute news show as CBS Television News
at 7:30 p.m., anchored by Douglas Edwards; it was broadcast in five eastern cities. The show was later sponsored by Oldsmobile. In 1950 its name changed to Douglas Edwards With The News
. When in 1951 it became the first news program to be broadcast on both coasts, thanks to a new coaxial cable connection, Edwards started using the greeting "Good evening everyone, coast to coast." The program competed against the Camel News Caravan
on NBC, launched in 1949. Edwards attracted more viewers during the mid-1950s, but lost ground when Chet Huntley and David Brinkley were teamed up by NBC on the Huntley-Brinkley Report
. The Edwards broadcast was the first television program to use videotape, which was used to time delay broadcasts to the western U.S. on November 30, 1956. However, none of these early recordings is known to survive. Walter Cronkite gained the anchor chair in 1962 and on September 2, 1963, CBS Evening News became network television's first half-hour weeknight news broadcast, lengthened from its original 15 minutes to 30 minutes. During most of the 1960s, the CBS Evening News lagged behind the Huntley-Brinkley Report in terms of viewership levels. The beginnings of corporate ossification at RCA, the parent company of NBC, set in and Cronkite helped guide the broadcast to ratings wins in the summers of 1968 and 1969. In 1970, upon Huntley's retirement, the CBS Evening News began a period of domination in terms of viewership unmatched in American television. In the process, Walter Cronkite became an American icon.
Dan Rather, a CBS news correspondent since the early 1960s, took over the program in 1981. Rather had been co-host of the successful investigative news program 60 Minutes for some years. At first, Rather was not well-accepted by Cronkite's audience. Viewership levels dropped. This came to CBS News management as a shock. Within months, the off-camera staff was reshuffled, and correspondents reassigned to suit Rather. Further corporate resources were devoted to the CBS Evening News, at the expense of other CBS News programs. The CBS Evening News regained viewership, but a tone had been set within the news division in favor of Rather's preferences and biases, which would last through the remainder of his tenure on the broadcast. Rather retired from the Evening News on March 9, 2005, at 7:00 eastern time, exactly 24 years after succeeding Cronkite. He was succeeded on an interim basis by longtime CBS News correspondent Bob Schieffer. At the time Schieffer took over, it was uncertain how long he would host the broadcast, or whether it would retain its current shape or instead adopt some kind of multiple-host or other alternative format.
In the months following Rather's departure, the program has come to emphasize live exchanges between Schieffer and the various CBS News correspondents around the world. In contrast to traditional network-news practice, these exchanges are unrehearsed as part of an effort to make the language on the broadcast sound more "natural," according to Schieffer. Viewership levels increased over this period of time. It has been the only news broadcast to gain viewers during 2005. On April 1, 2006, Couric officially signed the deal to become the anchor of the CBS Evening News, and took over the chair on September 5th. With a brand new look and theme, she also brought with her new ideas for segments and features including Couric & Co.
, Assignment America
, and FYI
. She also introduced the segment Free Speech
, showcasing opinion and commentary from a wide range of Americans, but only lasted until January 2007.
10/10 (1 Vote cast)