Today in media history: CBS TV network news begins

Three events that happened on this date and a trivia question.

August 15, 1896
William Allen White, editor of the Emporia (Kansas) Gazette, writes his famous editorial: “What’s the Matter with Kansas?

August 15, 1948
Although a local version began earlier, the network edition of the “CBS Television News” began on this date in 1948. Douglas Edwards served as the first anchor.

Only five stations belonged to the CBS television network when Edwards began broadcasting the network evening news in 1948. Walter Cronkite replaced Douglas Edwards as the anchor of the program on April 16, 1962. The 15-minute program expanded to 30 minutes on September 2, 1963.

Here is a partial list of “CBS Evening News” network anchors (1948-2014):

Douglas Edwards
August 15, 1948 — April 1962

Walter Cronkite
April 16, 1962 — March 6, 1981

Dan Rather
March 9, 1981 — June 1993

Dan Rather and Connie Chung
June 1993 — May 1995

Dan Rather
May 1995 — March 9, 2005

Bob Schieffer
March 10, 2005 — August 31, 2006

Katie Couric
September 5, 2006 — June 3, 2011

Scott Pelley
June 6, 2011 –

(Video: “CBS Douglas Edwards Retires 1988″)

August 15, 1965
The media reports on a Beatles concert at New York’s Shea Stadium. The band played in front of more than 55,000 fans in one of the first major stadium concerts. The Beatles returned to Shea Stadium a year later and here is a link to unedited TV news footage about the concert.

Media History Trivia Question
Fictional television anchor Ted Baxter started his career at a small 5000 watt radio station in Fresno, California. He later became anchorman for WJM-TV in Minneapolis. What CBS show did he appear on from 1970-1977?
(Walter Cronkite says the answer in the following video.)

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