Re: CBS, Fox Show Different Approaches to Tech

By David Bauder, AP Television Writer

> PASADENA, Calif. --In the fast-moving world of technology, > Fox is the tortoise and CBS is the hare.... > CBS doesn't want to be caught on the sidelines -- like the > music industry once was -- if a new form of content > distribution catches fire with the public.

Or like CBS itself was back in 1986-1995 when Larry Tisch [1] was running things. CBS had had a disastrous experience with a programming venture called "CBS Cable," and Tisch -- logically -- didn't want to repeat the experiment. But he went to the opposite extreme, refusing to invest in any non-broadcast programming for the cable industry. He even sold off CBS's only cable holding, a one-third interest in "SportsChannel." It was not until 1997 -- two years after Tisch's departure -- that CBS finally re-entered the cable programming business, with the launch of something called "Eye on People." [2] Apparently that experiment wasn't successfully either; at any rate, CBS sold "Eye on People" to Discovery Communications two years later.

Of course, CBS' current owner, Viacom, owns numerous non-broadcast programming channels: MTV, MTV2, Nickelodeon, BET, Nick at Nite, TV Land, NOGGIN, VH1, Spike TV, CMT, Comedy Central, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Flix, Sundance Channel. [3]

------------ References --------------

[1] Douglas Gomery. "TISCH, LAURENCE, U.S. Media Mogul." The Museum of Broadcast Communications.
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[2] David Zurawik et al. "Saving CBS News." American Journalism Review, April 1997, 16-23. [3] Columbia Journalism Review. "Who Owns What: Viacom."
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Neal McLain
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Neal McLain
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