National Broadcasting Company (NBC)
Type Broadcast television network
News radio network
Sports radio network
Branding NBC
Country United States
Availability National
Founded by David Sarnoff in 1926
Slogan Every Day is Full of Color.
We Comedy (Comedy Shows).
Headquarters GE Building
New York City
Owner RCA (1926-1986)
General Electric
(1926-1930, 1986-present)
NBCUniversal (2004-present)
Vivendi (2004-2011)
Comcast (2011-present)
Key people Steve Burke, CEO
NBC Entertainment
Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports
NBC News/
Launch date November 15, 1926 (radio)
July 1, 1938 (television)
Picture format HDTV)
Callsigns NBC
Callsign meaning National Broadcasting Company
Affiliates Lists:
Official website NBC.com

Alternate two-dimensional NBC logo. The wordmark was officially part of the logo from 1986 until 2011, but is still used for some divisions such as NBC News.

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City‘s Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago. NBC is sometimes referred to as the “Peacock Network,” due to its stylized peacock logo, created originally for its color broadcasts.

Formed in 1926 by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), NBC was the first major broadcast network in the United States. In 1986, control of NBC passed to General Electric (GE), with GE’s $6.4 billion purchase of RCA. GE had previously owned RCA and NBC until 1930, when it had been forced to sell the company as a result of antitrust charges.

After the 1986 acquisition, the chief executive of NBC was Bob Wright, until he retired, giving his job to Jeff Zucker. The network is currently part of the media company NBCUniversal, which is a joint venture of Comcast and General Electric since 2011 (and before that, jointly owned by GE and current Universal Music Group parent Vivendi). As a result of the merger, Zucker left NBC and was replaced by Comcast executive Steve Burke.

NBC has 10 owned-and-operated stations and nearly 200 affiliates in the United States and its territories.NBCUniversal Archives.


[edit] History

The GE Building in New York City is NBC’s headquarters.

[edit] Radio

[edit] Earliest stations: WEAF and WJZ

During a period of early broadcast business consolidation, the radio-making Radio Corporation of America (RCA) had acquired New York radio station WEAF from American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T). An RCA shareholder, Westinghouse, had a competing facility in Newark, New Jersey pioneer station WJZ (no relation to the radio and TV stations in Baltimore currently using those call letters), which also served as the flagship for a loosely structured network. This station was transferred from Westinghouse to RCA in 1923, and moved to New York.[3]

WEAF acted as a laboratory for AT&T’s manufacturing and supply outlet WCAP.

New parent RCA saw an advantage in sharing programming, and after getting a license for station WRC in Washington, D.C., in 1923, attempted to transmit audio between cities via low-quality telegraph lines. AT&T refused outside companies access to its high-quality phone lines. The early effort fared poorly, since the uninsulated telegraph lines were susceptible to atmospheric and other electrical interference.

In 1925, AT&T decided WEAF and its embryonic network were incompatible with AT&T’s primary goal of providing a telephone service. AT&T offered to sell the station to RCA in a deal that included the right to lease AT&T’s phone lines for network transmission.

[edit] Red and Blue Networks

RCA spent $1 million to buy WEAF and Washington sister station WCAP, shut down the latter station and merged its facilities with surviving station WRC, and announced in late 1926 the creation of a new division known as The National Broadcasting Company.[4] The new division was divided in ownership among RCA (fifty percent), General Electric (thirty percent), and Westinghouse (twenty percent). NBC launched officially on November 15, 1926.

WEAF and WJZ, the flagships of the two earlier networks, operated side-by-side for about a year as part of the new NBC. On January 1, 1927 NBC formally divided their respective marketing strategies: the Red Network offered commercially sponsored entertainment and music programming; the Blue Network mostly carried sustaining or non-sponsored broadcasts, especially news and cultural programs. Various histories of NBC suggest the color designations for the two networks came from the color of the push pins NBC engineers used to designate affiliates of WEAF (red) and WJZ (blue), or from the use of double-ended red and blue colored pencils. A similar two-part/two-color strategy appeared in the recording industry, dividing the market between classical and popular offerings.

Radio City West was located at Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Los Angeles until it was replaced by a bank in the mid-1960s.

On April 5, 1927, NBC reached the West Coast with the launch of the NBC Orange Network, also known as The Pacific Coast Network. This was followed by the debut on October 18, 1931, of the NBC Gold Network, also known as The Pacific Gold Network. The Orange Network carried Red Network programming and the Gold Network carried programming from the Blue Network. Initially the Orange Network recreated Eastern Red Network programming for West Coast stations at shortwave radio stations in the 1930s called the NBC White Network.

Prior to occupying its location at Rockefeller Center, NBC had occupied upper floors of a building at 711 Fifth Avenue developed by Floyd Brown, himself an architect.[5]

In 1930, General Electric was compelled by antitrust charges to divest itself of RCA, which it had founded. RCA moved its corporate headquarters into the new Rockefeller Center in 1933, signing the leases in 1931. RCA was the lead tenant at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the RCA Building (now the GE Building). The building housed NBC studios, as well as theaters for RCA-owned RKO Pictures. Rockefeller Center’s founder and financier John D. Rockefeller, Jr., arranged the deal with the chairman of GE, Owen D. Young, and the president of RCA, David Sarnoff.[6]

[edit] Chimes

GE Building entrance

The famous three-note NBC chimes came about after several years of development. The three note sequence G-E’-C’ were heard first over Atlanta’s WSB.[7] The chimes outline what is known to musicians as a second inversion C Major triad. Someone at NBC in New York heard the WSB version of the notes during the networked broadcast of a Georgia Tech football game and asked permission to use it on the national network. NBC started to use the three notes in 1931, and it was the first audio trademark to be accepted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.[8][9] A variant sequence was also used that went G-E’-C’-G, known as “the fourth chime” and used during wartime (especially in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor), on D-Day, and disasters. The NBC chimes were mechanized in 1932 by Richard H. Ranger of the Rangertone company; their purpose was to send a low level signal of constant amplitude that would be heard by the various switching stations manned by NBC and AT&T engineers, and thus used as a system cue for switching different stations between the Red and Blue network feeds. Contrary to popular legend, the three musical notes, G-E’-C’, did not originally stand for NBC’s previous parent corporation, the General Electric Company; although GE’s radio station in Schenectady, New York, WGY, was an early NBC affiliate, and GE was an early shareholder in NBC’s founding parent RCA. General Electric did not own NBC outright until 1986. G-E’-C’ was incorporated into John Williams‘ theme music for the NBC Nightly News, and is still used on NBC-TV. A variant with two preceding notes is used on the MSNBC cable television network. NBC’s radio branch no longer exists.

[edit] New beginnings: The Blue Network becomes ABC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had, since its creation in 1934, investigated the monopolistic effects of network broadcasting. The FCC found that NBC’s two networks and its owned-and-operated stations dominated audiences, affiliates and advertising in American radio. In 1939 the FCC ordered RCA to divest itself of one of the two networks. RCA fought the divestiture order, but in 1940 divided NBC into two companies in case an appeal was lost. The Blue Network became NBC Blue Network, Inc. and NBC Red became NBC Red Network, Inc. Both networks formally divorced operations on January 8, 1942,[10] and the Blue Network was referred to on the air as either Blue or Blue Network, with official corporate name Blue Network Company, Inc. NBC Red, on the air, became known simply as NBC.

After losing its final appeal before the George Storer. The Blue Network became ABC officially on June 15, 1945, after the sale was completed.

NBC Tower in Chicago

[edit] Defining radio’s golden age

The front entrance of the NBC Tower at 454 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL.

NBC became home to many of the most popular performers and programs on the air. clear-channel national frequencies, reaching many hundreds or thousands of miles at night.

In the late 1940s, rival Frank Sinatra) jumped to CBS.

In addition, NBC stars began moving toward television, including comedian Milton Berle, whose Texaco Star Theater on NBC became television’s first major hit. Conductor Arturo Toscanini conducted ten television concerts on NBC between 1948 and 1952. The concerts were simulcast on both TV and radio, perhaps the first such instance in which this was done. Two of them were historic firsts – the first complete telecast of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and the first complete telecast of Verdi‘s Aida, performed in concert rather than with scenery and costumes. The Aida telecast starred Herva Nelli and Richard Tucker.

Aiming to keep classic radio alive as television matured, and to challenge CBS’s Sunday night radio lineup, much of which had jumped from NBC with Jack Benny, NBC launched Ella Fitzgerald. But The Big Show’s initial success did not last despite critical praise, as most of its potential listeners were increasingly becoming television viewers. The show endured two years, with NBC losing perhaps a million dollars on the project (they were only able to sell advertising time during the middle half-hour every week).

NBC’s last major radio programming push, beginning June 12, 1955, was Monitor, a creation of NBC President Sylvester “Pat” Weaver, who also created the innovative NBC television programs Today Show, The Tonight Show, and Home. Monitor was a continuous all-weekend mixture of music, news, interviews and features, with a variety of hosts including well-known television personalities Dave Garroway, Hugh Downs, Ed McMahon, Joe Garagiola and Gene Rayburn. The potpourri show tried to keep vintage radio alive by featuring segments from Jim and Marian Jordan (in character as Fibber McGee and Molly); Peg Lynch‘s dialog comedy Ethel and Albert (with Alan Bunce); and iconoclastic satirist Henry Morgan. Monitor was a success for a number of years, but after the mid-1960s, local stations, especially in larger markets, were reluctant to break from their established formats to run non-conforming network programming. One exception was Toscanini: The Man Behind the Legend, a weekly series commemorating the great conductor’s NBC broadcasts and recordings which began in 1963 and ran for several years.[12] After Monitor went off the air January 26, 1975, little remained of NBC network radio beyond hourly newscasts and news features, and The Eternal Light on Sunday mornings.

[edit] Last years of NBC Radio

Beginning on June 18, 1975, NBC launched the NBC News and Information Service (NIS), which provided up to 55 minutes of news per hour around the clock to local stations that wanted to adopt an all-news format. NBC aired the service on WRC in Washington and on its owned-and-operated FM stations in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. NIS attracted several dozen subscribing stations, but by the fall of 1976 NBC determined that it could not project that the service would ever become profitable and gave the subscribers six months’ notice that it would be discontinued. NIS operations ended on May 29, 1977. In 1979, NBC started The Source, a modestly successful secondary network providing news and short features to FM rock stations.

The NBC Radio Network also pioneered personal advice call-in national talk radio with a satellite-distributed talk show in the evening entitled TalkNet, featuring Bruce Williams (personal financial advice), Bernard Meltzer (personal/financial advice) and Sally Jesse Raphael (personal / romantic advice). While never much of a ratings success, TalkNet nonetheless helped further the national talk radio format. For affiliates, many of them struggling AM stations, TalkNet helped fill the evenings with free programming, allowing the stations to sell local advertising in a dynamic format without the cost associated with producing local programming. Some in the industry feared this trend would lead to ever-more control of radio content by networks and syndicators.

GE acquired RCA in 1986, and with it NBC, signaling the beginning of the end of NBC Radio. There were three factors that led to its demise. First, GE decided that radio did not fit its strategy. Second, the radio division had not been profitable for many years. Finally, FCC rules at the time prevented a new owner from owning both a radio and TV division. In the summer of 1987, GE sold NBC Radio’s network operations to Mutual Broadcasting System, which Westwood One had acquired two years earlier, met the same fate, and essentially merged with NBC Radio.

It should be noted that GE’s divestiture of NBC’s entire radio division was the first cannon shot of what would play out in the national broadcast media, as each of the Big 3 broadcast networks were soon acquired by other corporate entities. The NBC case was particularly noteworthy in that it was the first to be bought—and was bought by a corporate behemoth outside the broadcast industry as GE is a manufacturer. Prior to the acquisition by GE, NBC operated its radio division partly out of tradition, and partly to meet its then-FCC-mandated requirement to distribute programming for the public good. (The broadcast airwaves are owned by the public, that broadcast spectrum is limited, there are only so many broadcast stations to go around which was/is the basis for broadcast regulation requiring certain content for the public good.) Syndicators such as Westwood One were not subject to such rules as they owned no stations. Thus did GE’s divestiture of NBC Radio – “America’s First Network” – in many ways mark the “beginning of the end” of the old broadcasting era and the ushering in of the new, largely unregulated industry that we see today.

By the late 1990s, Westwood One was producing NBC Radio-branded newscasts, on weekday mornings only. In 1999, these were discontinued, and the few remaining NBC Radio Network affiliates began to receive CNN Radio-branded newscasts around the clock. But in 2003, Westwood One began distributing a new service called NBC News Radio, consisting of one-minute news updates read by television anchors and reporters from NBC News and MSNBC. The content, however, is written by employees of Westwood One – not NBC News.

[edit] Restoration of NBC Radio

On March 1, 2012 Dial Global announced that CNN Radio would be discontinued and replaced by an expansion of NBC News Radio on April 1, 2012. This marks the first time since Westwood One bought NBC Radio and its properties that NBC would have round the clock presence on radio. A previous NBC program “First Light” placed new emphasis on the NBC brand after diminishing it over the years.

NBC News Radio will offer 2 hourly full-length newscasts 24/7. Previously, it had only offered 60 second updates during weekdays.

[edit] Television

High frequency tubes in the tube room. They were used for the NBC television transmitter, 1936. NBC kept 220 tubes in reserve for their transmitter.

For many years NBC was closely identified with David Sarnoff, who used it as a vehicle to sell consumer electronics. RCA and Sarnoff had captured the spotlight by introducing all-electronic television to the public at the 1939–40 WNBC-TV channel 4) and was seen by about one thousand viewers within the station’s roughly 40-mile (64 km) coverage area from their Empire State Building transmitter location.

The next day, May 1, four models of RCA television sets went on sale to the general public in various New York City department stores, promoted in a series of splashy newspaper ads. It is to be noted that DuMont (and others) actually offered the first home sets in 1938 in anticipation of NBC’s announced April 1939 start-up. Later in 1939, NBC took its cameras to professional football and baseball games in the New York City area, establishing many “firsts” in the history of television.

Actual NBC “network” broadcasts (more than one station) began about this time with occasional special events – such as the British King and Queen’s visit to the New York World’s Fair – being seen in Philadelphia (over the station which would become WPTZ, now KYW) and in Schenectady (over the station which would become WRGB), two pioneer stations in their own right. The most ambitious NBC television “network” program of this pre-war era was the telecasting of the Republican National Convention in 1940 from Philadelphia, which was fed live to New York and Schenectady.[13] However, despite major promotion by RCA, television set sales in New York in the 1939–1940 period were disappointing, primarily due to the high cost of the sets, and the lack of compelling regular programming. Most sets were sold to bars, hotels and other public places, where the general public viewed special sporting and news events.

30 Rockefeller Center, also known as the GE Building, is the world headquarters of NBC.

Television’s experimental period ended, and the FCC allowed full commercial telecasting to begin on July 1, 1941. NBC’s New York station W2XBS received the first commercial license, adopting the call letters WNBT (later WNBC-TV, now simply WNBC). The first official, paid television commercial on that day broadcast by any station in the United States was for Bulova Watches, seen just before the start of a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball telecast on NBC’s WNBT, New York. A test pattern, featuring the newly assigned WNBT call letters, was modified to look like a clock, complete with functioning hands. The Bulova logo, with the phrase “Bulova Watch Time,” was shown in the lower right-hand quadrant of the test pattern. A photograph of the NBC camera telecasting the test pattern-advertisement for that first official TV commercial can be seen at this page. Among programming on the opening weekend of WNBT’s programming was amateur boxing at Jamaica Arena, the Eastern Clay Courts tennis championships, programming from the USO, a spelling bee-type game show called “Words on the Wing,” a few feature films, and the television debut of the game show Truth or Consequences.[14]

Limited programming continued until the U.S. entered World War II. Telecasts were curtailed in the early years of the war, then expanded as NBC began to prepare for full service upon the war’s end. Even before the war ended, a few programs were sent from New York to affiliated stations in Philadelphia (WPTZ) and Albany/Schenectady (WRGB) on a regular weekly schedule beginning in 1944. On V-E Day, May 8, 1945, WNBT broadcast hours of news coverage, and remotes from around New York City. This event was pre-promoted by NBC with a direct-mail card sent to television set owners in the New York area.[15] At one point, a WNBT camera placed atop the marquee of the Hotel Astor panned the crowd below celebrating the end of the war in Europe. The vivid coverage was a prelude to television’s rapid growth after the war ended.

The NBC television network grew from its initial post-war lineup of four stations. The 1947 World Series featured two New York teams (Yankees and Dodgers), and local TV sales boomed, since the games were telecast in New York. More stations along the East Coast and in the Midwest were connected by coaxial cable through the late 1940s, and in September 1951 the first transcontinental telecasts took place.

The early 1950s brought success for NBC in the new medium. Television’s first big star, Wide Wide World, left the network in 1955 in a dispute with its chairman David Sarnoff, who subsequently named his son Robert Sarnoff as president.

In 1951, NBC commissioned Italian-American composer Three Wise Men and is miraculously cured when he offers his crutch to the newborn Christ Child. It was such a stunning success that it was repeated every year on NBC from 1951 to 1966, when a quarrel between Menotti and NBC ended the broadcasts. However, by 1978, Menotti and NBC had patched things up, and an all-new production of the work, filmed partly on location in the Middle East, was telecast that year.

[edit] Color television

While rivals CBS and The Marriage.

  • In 1955, on the television anthology Captain Hook. The broadcast drew the highest ratings for a television program up to then. It was so successful that NBC restaged it live a mere ten months later, and in 1960, long after Producers’ Showcase had ended its run, Peter Pan, with most of the 1955 cast, was restaged again, this time as a TV special on its own, and videotaped so that it would no longer have to be done live on television.
  • In 1956 during a National Association meeting in Chicago, NBC announced that its Chicago TV station WNBQ (now WMAQ-TV) was the first color TV station in the nation (at least six hours of color broadcasts a day).
  • The television edition of the radio program The Bell Telephone Hour premiered in color on NBC in 1959, where it continued for nine more years.
  • In September 1961, the Walt Disney anthology television series moved from ABC to NBC, where the show continued its very long run, this time in color. As many of the Disney programs shown in black-and-white on ABC had actually been filmed in color, they could easily be repeated on the NBC edition of the program.
  • The 1962 Rose Bowl was the first color television broadcast of a college football game.

By 1963, much of NBC’s prime time schedule was in color, although some popular programs like Days of our Lives was the first soap opera to premiere in color.

In 1967, NBC acquired The Wizard of Oz after CBS, which had televised the film beginning in 1956, refused to meet MGM’s increased price for more television showings. Oz had been, up to then, one of the few programs that CBS had telecast in color, but by 1967, color was the norm on TV, and the film became another in the list of color specials telecast by NBC. The network showed the film annually for eight years, beginning in 1968, after which CBS, realizing that they may have committed a colossal blunder by letting this then-huge ratings success go to another network, now agreed to pay MGM more money so that the rights to show the film could revert to them.

Two distinctive features of the film’s showings on NBC were:

  1. the film was shown for the first time without a host to introduce it as had always been previously done,
  2. the film was slightly cut to make room for more commercials. Despite the cuts, however, it continued to score excellent television ratings in those pre-VCR days, as audiences were generally unable to see the film any other way at that time.

The late 1960s brought big changes in the programming practices of the major TV networks. As baby boomers reached adulthood, NBC, CBS, and ABC began to realize that much existing programming had not only been on for years, but had a superannuated audience. The large youth population was highly attractive to advertisers and the networks moved to clean house of a number of long-in-the-tooth shows. In NBC’s case, this included programming like The Bell Telephone Hour and Sing Along With Mitch which were found to have an average viewer age of 50. During this period, the networks came to define 18-49 as their main target age, although depending on the show, this could be subdivided into 35-45 or 18-25 or 18-35. Regardless of the exact target demographic, the general idea was appealing to any viewers who were not close to retirement age and that TV programming was overall stuck in a 1950s mentality and had to be updated to resemble contemporary American society more.

[edit] 1970s doldrums

The 1970s started strongly for the network thanks to hits like Saturday Night Live, in a time slot previously held by reruns of The Tonight Show.

In 1978, Schlosser was promoted to executive vice presidency at RCA,[17] and a desperate NBC lured Fred Silverman away from number-one ABC to turn the network’s fortunes around. With the notable exceptions of Diff’rent Strokes, Real People, The Facts of Life, and the mini-series Shogun, he could not find a hit. Failures accumulated rapidly under his watch (such as Hello, Larry, Supertrain, Pink Lady and Jeff, and The Waverly Wonders). Ironically many of them were beaten in the ratings by shows Silverman had greenlighted at CBS and ABC.

Also during this time, NBC suffered the defections of several longtime affiliates in markets such as: Atlanta (KYMA). The stations in Baltimore, Dayton and Jacksonville, however, have since rejoined the network.

When U.S. President [18]

The press was merciless towards Silverman, but the two most savage attacks on his leadership came from within. The company that composed NBC’s on-air Proud as a Peacock promo music created a spoof of the ad campaign called “Loud as a Peacock.” Radio host Don Imus at WNBC in New York played the parody on-air. This angered Silverman and he ordered all remaining copies of the parody destroyed, though some copies remain. On Saturday Night Live, series writer and occasional performer Al Franken satirized Silverman in an SNL sketch titled “Limo for a Lame-O.” As a result, Silverman admitted he “never liked Al Franken to begin with,” and the sketch ruined Franken’s chance of succeeding Lorne Michaels as executive producer of SNL.[19]

[edit] Tartikoff’s turnaround

In the summer of 1981, Fred Silverman resigned. [21]

In February 1982, NBC canceled Late Night with David Letterman proved much more successful.

In 1984, the huge success of Bob Wright became chairman of NBC. In the 1988–1989 season, NBC, which was home to an astonishing 18 of the 30 highest-rated programs, won every week in the ratings for more than 12 months, an achievement that has not been duplicated before or since.

In the fall of 1987, NBC conceived a syndication package called Prime Time Begins at 7:30; consisting of five sitcoms, each of which aired on a different night of the week: Hollywood Squares, before the experiment was discontinued altogether at the end of the 1987-1988 season.

NBC aired the first of seven consecutive Summer Olympic Games broadcasts when it covered the 2012 London Games.

[edit] “Must See TV”

In 1991, Tartikoff left NBC to take a position at Paramount Pictures. In one decade he had taken control of a network with no shows in the Nielsen Top 10 and left it with five. Warren Littlefield took his place as president of NBC Entertainment. His start was shaky due to the end of most of the Tartikoff-era hits. Some blamed him for losing David Letterman to CBS after giving The Tonight Show to Jay Leno following Johnny Carson‘s May 1992 retirement. Things turned around with hit series Friends, Mad About You, Frasier, ER, and Will & Grace. One of Tartikoff’s late acquisitions, Seinfeld, initially struggled, but became one of NBC’s top-rated shows after it was moved into the timeslot following Cheers. The Must See TV tag line was applied to Thursday night’s strong lineup. After popular show Seinfeld ended its run in 1998, Friends became the most popular sitcom on NBC. It dominated the ratings, never leaving the top 5 watched shows of the year in its second through tenth season and landing on the number 1 spot in season eight (2001–2002 season). Frasier was also popular and, despite not being as highly rated as Friends, still usually landed in the top 20 and won numerous Emmy Awards.

By the mid-1990s, NBC’s sports division, headed by Dick Ebersol, had rights to three of the four major professional sports organizations (NFL, Major League Baseball and NBA), the Olympics, and the national powerhouse Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team. The NBA on NBC enjoyed great success in the 90s due in large part to the Chicago Bulls‘ run of six championships with superstar Michael Jordan. NBC Sports would suffer a major blow in 1998, however, when it lost the NFL to CBS, which itself had lost rights to FOX four years earlier.

In 1998, Littlefield left NBC.[25] Scott Sassa replaced him as president of NBC Entertainment. Sassa oversaw the development of such shows as The West Wing, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Fear Factor. Sassa then named Garth Ancier as his replacement in 1999. Ancier was responsible for putting The West Wing on the air. Jeff Zucker replaced Ancier as president of NBC Entertainment in 2000.

NBC’s Must See TV declined after Friends and Frasier ended their runs in 2004. Friends spin-off Joey (despite a relatively good start) started to fail during its second season.

[edit] New century, new problems

At the start of the 2000s, NBC’s fortunes took a rapid turn for the worse. In 2001, CBS chose its hit reality series PGA Tour golf and a floundering Notre Dame football program. NBC’s ratings fell to fourth place. CBS led for most of the decade, followed by a resurgent ABC, and Fox (which would eventually become the most watched network for the 2007–08 season). During this time, all of the networks faced shrinking audiences due to increased competition from cable, home video, video games and the Internet, with NBC being the hardest hit.

Logo of Telemundo, which was purchased by NBC in 2002.

In October 2001, NBC made a deal with [27]

With the beginning of the 2004–2005 season, NBC became the first major network to produce its programming in widescreen, hoping to attract new viewers; however, the network saw only a slight boost.

In 2004, Zucker was promoted to the newly created position of president of NBC Universal Television Group. Kevin Reilly became the new president of NBC Entertainment.

In December 2005, NBC began its first week-long primetime game show event, The CW.

However, NBC did gain success in its summer schedule, despite its falling ratings within the regular broadcast season. Nick Cannon, and continues to garner high ratings throughout its summer seasons.

In 2007, Ben Silverman replaced Kevin Riley as president of NBC Entertainment, while Jeff Zucker succeeded Bob Wright as CEO of NBC. No new primetime hits emerged in the 2008–2009 season (despite NBC’s rare good fortune to have both the Super Bowl and the Beijing Olympic Games in which to promote their new offerings), while Heroes and Deal or No Deal both collapsed in the ratings, and both have since been cancelled. NBC Universal President/CEO Jeff Zucker had previously said that NBC no longer believed that they could be No.1 in prime time.[28]

In March 2007, NBC announced that it would offer full-length prime-time television shows like The Office and Heroes on-demand to play on mobile phones. This was a first for the United States, as the market shifts away from traditional television.[29]

In 2009, Jeff Gaspin replaced Ben Silverman as president of NBC Entertainment.

[edit] 2010 and beyond

NBC aired the Gunsmoke for the record for longest-running scripted drama.

Supporters of Conan O’Brien’s hosting duties at The Tonight Show stage a protest outside Los Angeles.

When TBS starting in November 2010.

Despite the removal of The Jay Leno Show in prime time, the change had almost no impact on the network’s ratings. The increases NBC noticed in the 2010 season compared to 2009 were almost entirely attributable to increased ratings for [40]

Jeff Zucker announced on September 24, 2010 that he would step down as CEO of NBC Universal once Comcast’s purchase of NBC was completed at the end of the year. After the purchase was complete, Steve Burke became the new CEO of NBC Universal and Robert Greenblatt replaced Jeff Gaspin as chairman of NBC Entertainment.

The network completed its full conversion to an all-HD schedule (outside of the Saturday morning hours leased by the Last Call with Carson Daly in the format.

By midseason 2010-2011, NBC was able to find some success with its legal drama Smash, has made NBC become number one on Monday nights, although ratings for both decreased substantially over the course of the season. NBC renewed several new series for a second season, although none proved to be large ratings successes.

Despite having the most-watched U.S. television broadcast in history (Up All Night) surviving for a second season. However, this broke their losing streak of being in 4th place for the previous 8 seasons.

In the fall of 2012, under the tagline “Got Revolution” and continued success with “Sunday Night Football” and “The Voice” allowed the network to rise to 1st place in the 18-49 demographic.

[edit] NBC News

NBC News Washington Bureau

News presentation has long been an important part of NBC’s operations and public image, dating to the network’s radio days. Notable NBC News productions include:

The expansion of the news division to cable has seen the launch of the channels The Weather Channel. Key anchors from NBC News are also used during NBC Sports coverage of the Olympic Games.

[edit] Programming

NBC presently operates on an 87-hour regular network programming schedule. It provides 22 hours of prime time programming to affiliated stations: 8-11pm (ET/PT)/7:00-10:00 pm (CT, MT, AT)/6-9 pm (HT) Monday through Saturday and 7–11 pm on Sundays. Programming is also provided 7–11 am weekdays in the form of Today, which also has a two-hour Saturday and one-hour Sunday edition; the one-hour weekday drama Days of our Lives; nightly editions of NBC Nightly News; the Sunday political talk show Meet the Press; weekday early-morning news program Early Today; late night talk shows The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Last Call with Carson Daly; sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live; and weeknight replays of the fourth hour of Today and CNBC program Mad Money; and a three-hour Saturday morning animation block under the NBC Kids banner. In addition, sports programming is also provided weekend afternoons any time from 12–6 pm. ET, or tape-delayed PT.

[edit] Daytime programs

NBC is currently the home of only one daytime soap opera, Days of our Lives, which has been broadcast on the network since 1965.

Long-running Texas (1980–1982).

Notable daytime game shows that once aired on NBC include Caesars Challenge, which ended in January 1994.

[edit] Children’s programming

Children’s programming has played a part in NBC’s programming since its initial roots in television. In 1947, NBC’s first major children’s series was “Buffalo” Bob Smith. Howdy Doody spent most of its run on weekday afternoons.

In 1956, NBC abandoned the children’s programming lineup on weekday afternoons, relegating the lineup to Saturdays only with Howdy Doody as their marquee franchise for the series’ remaining four years. From the mid-1960s until 1992, the bulk of NBC’s children’s programming was derived from re-runs of H.R. Pufnstuf.

From 1984 to 1989, One to Grow On PSAs were shown after the end credits of every show or every other children’s show.

In 1989, NBC premiered The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show in its first season.

NBC abandoned the animated series in August 1992 in favor of a Saturday edition of Today and more live-action series under the name TNBC (Teen NBC). Most of the series on the TNBC lineup were series produced by Peter Engel such as City Guys, Hang Time, California Dreams, One World and the Saved by the Bell spinoff, Saved by the Bell: The New Class.[41] NBA Inside Stuff was also a part of the TNBC lineup during the duration of the NBA season.

In 2002, NBC began a deal with Discovery Communications’ Discovery Kids channel to air their original FCC-mandated educational programming under the banner Discovery Kids on NBC.[41] The schedule originally consisted of only live-action series, including a kid-themed version of Trading Spaces and J. D. Roth‘s Emmy-nominated reality game show Endurance, but later expanded to include some animated series such as Kenny the Shark, Tutenstein, and Time Warp Trio.

In May 2006, in order to replace the Discovery Kids Saturday Morning block, NBC announced plans to launch a new children’s block on Saturday mornings starting in September 2006 as part of the Ion Television, as well as a 24/7 digital broadcast kids channel, video on demand services and a branded website.

The “Discovery Kids on NBC” block aired for the final time on September 2, 2006. On Saturday, September 9, 2006, NBC started airing the following qubo programs: Jacob Two-Two.

On March 28, 2012, it was announced that NBC, with assistance from [46]

[edit] NBCi

NBCi’ redirects here.

In April 2000, NBC purchased a company that specialized with search engines that learned from the users’ searches for $32 million, called GlobalBrain.

In 1999, NBC briefly changed its web address to “NBCi.com,” in a heavily advertised attempt to launch an [49] Starting in 2010, NBCi.com began to redirect to NBC.com.


NBC has used a number of logos throughout its history; early logos were similar to the logo of its then parent company, RCA, but later logos included stylized peacock images.

[edit] International broadcasts

[edit] Canada

NBC broadcasts from the United States can be received throughout most of Canada, primarily through cable television and satellite television providers, but also over the air in areas close to the Canada – United States border (coverage was somewhat reduced after the 2009 digital switchover due to less power required to transmit digital signals). Aside from simultaneous substitution (a practice that requires paid-TV companies to switch the signal of an American station to a Canadian station when that network is syndicating a program on the American station to protect advertising revenues), the programming and broadcasting are the same as in the United States.

[edit] Europe, Latin America and the Middle East

NBC Nightly News and Mexico – United States border region can easily receive NBC on-the-air, as well as cable and satellite subscribers across Mexico, especially in the Mexico City area.

[edit] NBC Super Channel becomes NBC Europe

In 1993, the Pan-European cable network NBC Europe, but was, from then on, almost always referred to as simply “NBC” on the air.

Most of NBC Europe’s prime time programming was produced in Europe due to rights restriction associated with US primetime shows, but after 11 pm Central European Time on weekday evenings, the channel aired The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Later, hence its slogan “Where the Stars Come Out at Night.” Many NBC News programs were broadcast on NBC Europe, including Dateline NBC, Meet the Press and NBC Nightly News, which was aired live. The Today Show was also initially shown live in the afternoons, but was later broadcast the following morning instead, by which time it was more than half a day old.

In 1999, NBC Europe stopped broadcasting to most of Europe. At the same time the network was relaunched as a German language computer channel, targeting a young demographic. The main show on the new NBC Europe was called NBC GIGA. In 2005, the channel was relaunched once again, this time as a free-to-air movie channel under the name “GIGA Television started an own digital channel then, which could be received via satellite and many cable networks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The Tonight Show and NBC Nightly News continue to be broadcast on CNBC Europe.

[edit] Canal de Noticias

In 1993, NBC began production of CNN en Español.

[edit] Caribbean

In the Caribbean, many cable television and satellite television providers air local NBC affiliates, or the main network feed from SAP option.

[edit] Bahamas

NBC programming is shown on cable via over-the-air affiliates in the United States.

[edit] Bermuda

NBC’s full program lineup is carried by local affiliate VSB-TV, received from the network’s East Coast satellite feed.

[edit] Netherlands Antilles

In PJA-TV (ATV) 15, cable 8.

[edit] Asia Pacific

[edit] Guam

Guam and carries the full NBC program lineup via satellite.

[edit] American Samoa

Seattle as well.

[edit] Federated States of Micronesia

NBC is carried on cable in the KHNL.

[edit] NBC Asia and CNBC Asia

In 1994, NBC launched a channel in Asia called NBC Asia available in Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Republic of China, Thailand and Republic of the Philippines like of NBC Europe, NBC Asia featured most of NBC’s news programs as well as The Tonight Show and Late Night. Like its European counterpart, it could not broadcast United States-produced primetime shows due to rights restrictions. It also had NBC Super Sports for the latest action in selected sporting events. During weekday evenings, NBC Asia had a regional evening news program. It occasionally simulcast some programs from CNBC Asia and MSNBC. In July 1998, NBC Asia was replaced by the National Geographic Channel. As is the case with NBC Europe, however, selected Tonight Show and Late Night episodes and Meet the Press can still be seen on CNBC Asia during weekends. CNBC Asia shows NFL games and also brands them as Sunday Night Football.

[edit] Regional partners

Through regional partners, NBC-produced programs are seen in some countries in the region. In the Philippines, Solar Entertainment’s Jack TV airs Will & Grace and Saturday Night Live, while TalkTV airs The Tonight Show and NBC News programs like Today Show, Early Today, Weekend Today, Dateline and NBC Nightly News. Solar TV used to air The Jay Leno Show. In Hong Kong, TVB Pearl, the English free-to-air channel operated by Television Broadcasts Limited, airs NBC Nightly News live, as well as selected NBC programming.

[edit] Australia

The Australia. Seven News will sometimes also incorporate an NBC News Report into its National bulletins.

Seven rebroadcasts some of NBC’s news and current affairs programming between 3am-5.am, including:

In 2009, NBC and Like it Like That for their summer station promo.

[edit] Affiliate world broadcasters of NBC

[edit] Library

Through the years, NBC has produced many shows in-house, in addition to airing content from other producers such as Revue Studios and its successor Universal Television.

Notable in-house productions of NBC included CBS Television Distribution, though NBC still owns the copyrights to the episodes.

NBC continues to own its post-1973 productions, through sister company Wagon Train.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ “Company Overview”. NBC Universal. http://www.nbcuni.com/About_NBC_Universal/Company_Overview/overview02.shtml. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  2. ^ “List of United States over-the-air television networks”. Entomology. http://www.myinfo24.com/index.php?vc=2&visilex_key=List_of_United_States_over-the-air_television_networks_0dca.html. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  3. ^ Allan Sniffen. “Why Did WABC Have Such a Great Signal?”. http://www.musicradio77.com/transm.html. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  4. ^ “Announcing the National Broadcasting Company, Inc.”. United States Early Radio History. http://earlyradiohistory.us/1926nbc.htm. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  5. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/realestate/21streets.html?8dpc. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  6. 0-684-18936-4.
  7. ^ See the article on WSB, the origination station for a 1930 broadcast of Charles Davis Tillman which spread the appeal of Southern Gospel to NBC listeners network wide.
  8. ^ “NBC Chimes Museum”. NBCchimes.info. http://www.nbcchimes.info/. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
  9. ^ Harris, Bill. “Three Famous Notes of Broadcasting History-The NBC Chimes”. Radio Remembered. http://www.radioremembered.org/chimes.htm. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
  10. ^ Swift, Thomas P. “Red and Blue Networks of NBC To Be Split; WJZ May Be Sold,” The New York Times, Friday, January 9, 1942.
  11. ^ “Approves Buying of Blue Network,” The New York Times, Wednesday, October 13, 1943.
  12. ^ Explore Toscanini: The Man Behind the Legend: List View UNT Digital Library
  13. ^ “W3XE Broadcasting the 1940 GOP Convention (KYW-TV)”. Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia. http://www.broadcastpioneers.com/40gop.html. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  14. ^ June 30 WNBT program schedule
  15. WNBT card mailed to set owners announcing the impending coverage of V-E Day.
  16. ^ “Struggling to Leave the Cellar”. TIME. May 14, 1979. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,916805,00.html. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  17. http://www.cedmagic.com/mem/whos-who/schlosser-herbert.html. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  18. ^ “NBC’s Retreat From Moscow”. TIME. May 19, 1980. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924130-1,00.html. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  19. 0-316-73565-5.
  20. ^ Corliss, Richard (September 16, 1985). “Coming Up From Nowhere”. TIME. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,959821-5,00.html. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  21. ^ The nine new shows of 1983–1984 were Bay City Blues, Boone, For Love and Honor, Jennifer Slept Here, Manimal, The Rousters, Mr. Smith, We Got it Made, and The Yellow Rose.
  22. ^ Los Angeles Times September 14, 1987 October 17, 2012
  23. ^ Los Angeles Times September 14, 1987 Accessed October 17, 2012
  24. ^ New York Times August 11, 1987. Accessed October 17, 2012
  25. ^ New York Daily News, October 27, 1998: It’s Production for Littlefield
  26. ^ James, Meg. NBC tacks on Telemundo oversight to Gaspin’s tasks. Los Angeles Times, July 26, 2007. Retrieved on May 14, 2010.
  27. ^ “NBC pays $2.7bn for Telemundo”. Marketing Magazine. 12 October 2001. http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/news/14751/NBC-pays–27bn-Telemundo/www.nbc.com. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  28. ^ David Goetzl (March 18, 2009). “Zucker Weighs In On Leno, NBC’s Future”. Media Daily News. http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=102392. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
  29. ^ “NBC to Offer On-Demand Mobile TV Service”. NewsMax Media. March 14, 2007. http://newsmax.com/archives/articles/2007/3/14/155802.shtml. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  30. ^ Ariens, Chris (February 14, 2010). “NBC’s Capus Tells Staff No More Luger Death Video”. WebMediaBrands Inc.. http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/nbc/nbcs_capus_tells_staff_no_more_luger_death_video_152076.asp. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  31. ^ Bauder, David (February 13, 2010). “Networks’ Use of Luge Video Disturbs Some”. ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory?id=9830095. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  32. ^ “NBC’s Olympic challenge”. Los Angeles Times. February 16, 2010. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-nbc16-2010feb16,0,5449882.story. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  33. ^ Gorman, Bill (May 28, 2010). “It’s Over! Final Broadcast Primetime Network Ratings For 2009-10 Season”. TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.com/2010/05/28/its-over-final-broadcast-primetime-network-ratings-for-2009-10-season/52692.
  34. ^ Schneider, Michael. “NBC unveils primetime plansVariety, May 4, 2009.
  35. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/business/media/05adco.html?pagewanted=print.
  36. ^ Storm, Jonathan (August 7, 2009). “Jonathan Storm: NBC outlines its plans for 5-night ‘Jay Leno Show'”. The Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&title=Jonathan+Storm%3A+NBC+outlines+its+plans+for+5-night+%27Jay+Leno+Show%27&expire=&urlID=408165395&fb=Y&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.philly.com%2Finquirer%2Fcolumnists%2Fjonathan_storm%2F20090807_Jonathan_Storm__NBC_outlines_its_plans_for_5-night__Jay_Leno_Show_.html&partnerID=166466.
  37. ^ Poniewozik, James. “Jay Leno: New Show a Gamble for NBCTime, September 3, 2009.
  38. ^ Levin, Gary (January 10, 2010). “NBC to give Leno 30-minute show at old time slot”. USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2010-01-10-leno10_N.htm. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  39. ^ Gorman, Bill (January 5, 2011). “Thanks To The Football Gods, NBC Is Ahead Of Last Season’s Ratings”. TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/01/05/thanks-to-the-football-gods-nbc-is-ahead-of-last-seasons-ratings/77351.
  40. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (Friday, January 20, 2012). “Ouch! NBC Finishes 8th At 10 PM Thursday”. DeadLine. http://www.deadline.com/2012/01/ouch-nbc-finishes-in-8th-place-thursday-10-pm/.
  41. ^ http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117856766.html?categoryid=1201&cs=1&query=. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  42. ^ Crupi, Anthony (March 16, 2006). “Discovery, NBC to End Sat. Kids Block”. Mediaweek. Archived from the original on February 7, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080207021249/http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/recent_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002198189. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  43. ^ “NBC Will Launch NBC Kids, a New Saturday Morning Preschool Block Programmed by Sprout®, Saturday, July 7”. MarketWatch. March 28, 2012. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nbc-will-launch-nbc-kids-a-new-saturday-morning-preschool-block-programmed-by-sprout-saturday-july-7-2012-03-28. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  44. ^ Weisman, Jon (March 28, 2012). “NBC to launch Saturday kids block”. Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118052022?refCatId=14. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  45. ^ Rubino, Lindsay (March 28, 2012). “NBC, With Assist From Sprout, to Launch Saturday Morning Preschool Block”. MultiChannel. http://www.multichannel.com/article/482478-NBC_With_Assist_From_Sprout_to_Launch_Saturday_Morning_Preschool_Block.php. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  46. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 28, 2012). “NBC Launches Preschool Saturday Block Programmed By Sprout”. DeadLine. http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/nbc-launches-preschool-saturday-block-programmed-by-sprout/. Retrieved March 29, 2012.
  47. ^ “NBCi agrees to acquire AllBusiness.com”. CNET News. February 1, 2000. http://news.com.com/2100-1017-236384.html. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  48. ^ “NBC to take NBCi back in-house”. CNET News. April 9, 2001. http://news.com.com/2100-1017-236384.html. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
  49. ^ “Archives of http://NBCi.com”. Wayback Machine. Internet Archive. http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://NBCi.com. Retrieved March 15, 2008.

[edit] Further reading

  • Hilmes, Michele (2007). NBC: America’s Network. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-25081-8, 9780520250819.
  • Robinson, Marc (2002). Brought to You in Living Color: 75 Years of Great Moments in Television and Radio from NBC. Wiley.

[edit] External links

Source: Wikipedia