Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc.

Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc.
Item# 491


Stock Certificate, issued/canceled
American Bank Note Company
The item shown is representative of the piece you will receive




CBS started on January 27, 1927, as United Independent Broadcasters, Inc. Even before United got started, the Columbia Phonograph Co. had become interested in the venture. The Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System, which was to act as sales agent for United, was organized in April of 1927. United contracted to pay each of the original 16 stations $500 per week for 10 hours of radio time. Soon the Sales agent could not sell enough air time and the network was near collapse after only a few months.

The Columbia phonograph company then withdrew from the project with the sale of all capital stock which United bought and then renamed the company the Columbia Broadcasting System. William S. Paley and his family then bought the majority of CBS stock and the network began to grow.

On Sunday, September 18, 1927, CBS made its first network broadcast at 3 PM EST. 16 stations were on board for Opening Day. The originating station was WOR Newark (the first control room was in the men's room). The other stations were:

WEAN Providence
WNAC Boston
WFBL Syracuse
WMAK Buffalo-Lockport
WCAU Philadelphia
WJAS Pittsburgh
WADC Akron
WAIU Columbia
WKRC Cincinati
WGHP Detroit
WMAQ Chicago
KMOX St. Louis
WCAO Baltimore
KOIL Council Bluffs
WOWO Fort Wayne

On December 15, 1928 WABC New York (O&O;) replaced WOR.

CBS featured its own 22 piece symphony orchestra, led by conductor Howard Barlow (this appears to be pictured on the vignette of this certificate!). Master of Ceremonies on opening day was Major J. Andrew White, who also served as Vice President of the new chain. The Opening Day programming featured a performance of "The King's Henchman", performed by a cast of performers from the Metropolitan Opera. Other programs featured classical selections by members of the New York Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Columbia was known as the "Purple Network" (from the color coding on the AT&T; diagrams).

Other interesting events in the CBS timeline:

January 1941, CBS started a Latin American net of 39 longwave and 25 shortwave stations in 18 countries.

1946: Flagship AM station in New York City changes calls to WCBS.

1975: along with the other networks, CBS sought the youth market with RadioRadio. These newscasts ran at :50.

November 1995: Acquired by Westinghouse.

June 1996: CBS Radio was made part of newly acquired Infinity Broadcasting, and then "spun off" as a CBS subsidiary.

December 1997: Westinghouse is officially renamed CBS Corporation.

2000: Acquired by Viacom.

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All certificates are sold only as collectible pieces, as they are either canceled or obsolete. Certificates carry no value on any of today's financial indexes and no transfer of ownership is implied. Unless otherwise indicated, images are representative of the piece(s) you will receive.