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Face the Nation is a weekly news and morning public affairs program airing Sundays on the CBS radio and television network. Created by Frank Stanton in 1954, Face the Nation is one of the longest-running news programs in the history of television.

Face the Nation
Inside the Face the Nation control room.jpg
GenrePublic affairs/political talk program
Created byFrank Stanton
Directed byAlison Hawley[1]
Presented byMargaret Brennan (for past moderators, see section)
Narrated byJohn Hartge
Jim Bohannon (substitute)
Theme music composerScore Productions (1991-2002)

Peter Fish (2002-2018)

Man Made Music (2018-present)[2]
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons64
Production
Executive producer(s)Mary Hager
Producer(s)Ed Forgotson, Catherine Reynolds
(senior producers)
Jillian Hughes, Jake Miller
Production location(s)CBS News Washington Bureau, Washington, D.C.
Camera setupVideotape; Multi-camera
Running time30 minutes (1954–2012)
60 minutes (2012–present)
Production company(s)CBS News
Release
Original networkCBS
Picture format480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseNovember 7, 1954 (1954-11-07) – present
External links
Website

Typically, the program features interviews with prominent American officials, politicians and authors, followed by analysis from a panel of journalists. Margaret Brennan is the current moderator of Face the Nation, though former host John Dickerson has substituted during Brennan's maternity leave.[3][4]

The show's full hour broadcasts live from the CBS News Washington, D.C., bureau at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, though some stations delay or abbreviate episodes to accommodate local and sports programming.[5]

In 2017, Face the Nation's audience was the largest of all Sunday public affairs programs, with an average of 3.538 million viewers. NBC competitor Meet the Press has closely competed for the title in 2018, besting Face the Nation's audience for several months.[6][7]

Contents

FormatEdit

 
The current Face the Nation title card, which began use in 2018. The title card appears during the show's first minute, in the "tease" segment.

Similar to its Sunday morning competitors, Face the Nation begins each episode with a short "tease" segment recapping the week's events and teasing the day's guests, set to the show's theme music.

The remainder of the program's first half-hour typically features interviews of prominent politicians, often lawmakers and cabinet or White House officials, responding to issues from the week's news.[8]

The program's second-half hour transitions to more discussion-oriented segments, including interviews of notable authors with forthcoming books and a weekly roundtable discussion, with a rotating cast of panelists.

Unlike some of their competitors, Face the Nation and NBC's Meet the Press generally book only journalists and columnists for their panel discussions, omitting current and former politicians from providing punditry.[3]

During major news events or breaking news, the program will often feature reports from various CBS News correspondents before the day's interviews, to allow guests the opportunity to respond to the latest news.

DistributionEdit

Face the Nation's first half-hour airs on CBS television stations throughout the United States, typically in the morning. In 2018, the CBS News digital streaming network CBSN began re-airing the program's full hour at 11:00 a.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

Many of the network's affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone air Face the Nation at 8:30 a.m. local time, serving as a lead-in to the CBS Sports program The NFL Today during the football season.[9]

A delayed audio broadcast of the program is also carried on a handful of radio affiliates through the CBS Radio Network,[3] and in the late afternoon on C-SPAN's Washington area radio station WCSP-FM. CBS Radio also edits and distributes a slightly abbreviated version of the program as a weekly podcast.[10]

HistoryEdit

 
Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Chase Smith on the November 11, 1956 episode of Face the Nation

Face the Nation premiered on November 7, 1954, and was originally broadcast on Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Bill Shadel was then the Washington, D.C. bureau chief for CBS News. On that first program, his guest was Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy.[11] Guests were rarely scheduled far in advance in order to keep on top of current news stories.[12]

Lesley StahlEdit

As the first female host of Face the Nation, Stahl became one of the most recognizable female faces on television. She held the position for eight years before stepping down to focus on 60 Minutes.[13]

Under SchiefferEdit

In 1991, Bob Schieffer took over as moderator for Lesley Stahl who held the position for eight years. Under Schieffer, ratings boomed and the program extended its half-hour time frame to a full one-hour. Ratings soared to over 3 million viewers every Sunday, as Face the Nation surpassed all competitors in the ratings.[14] Schieffer won numerous awards with the program, including two Emmy's for Outstanding News Discussion & Analysis, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and the Overseas Press Club Award.[15]

In July 2011, Face the Nation became the last Sunday morning talk program to begin broadcasting in high definition (leaving only CBS' overnight news program Up to the Minute as the only American news program on the major broadcast networks and cable news channels that continued to broadcast in standard definition, until it converted to HD in late November 2012). Another big change came for the program in December 2011 when they permanently extended the half-hour broad cast to a full one-hour. The move came after Face the Nation's competitors, NBC's Meet the Press, ABC's This Week, and Fox News Sunday all extended their programs to one-hour.[16] The delay came from dispute among the network's affiliate stations.

After SchiefferEdit

In 2015, Bob Schieffer, the longest-serving moderator in the program's history, retired after 24 years.[13] He was replaced by John Dickerson on June 7, 2015.

On February 22, 2018, CBS announced Margaret Brennan as the new host, replacing John Dickerson who served as moderator for less than three years to let him focus on his anchor duties on CBS This Morning.[17] Brennan is the second female host in the program's history, after Lesley Stahl.

She conducted numerous interviews with members of the Trump administration, including former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy. Margaret Brennan also serves as the network's senior foreign affairs correspondent. Brennan interviewed Vice President Mike Pence in her last episode before maternity leave.[18]

ModeratorsEdit

The program has been hosted by ten moderators to date, beginning with Bill Shadel. The current moderator, Margaret Brennan has hosted since February 2018.[17]

The following is the list of moderators for Face the Nation:

Bill Shadel 1954–1955
Stuart Novins 1955–1960
Howard K. Smith 1960–1961
Paul Niven 1961–1965
Martin Agronsky 1965–1968
George Herman 1968–1983
Lesley Stahl 1983–1991
Bob Schieffer 1991–2015
John Dickerson 2015–2018
Margaret Brennan 2018–present

Program lengthEdit

The program ran 30 minutes for much of its history. It expanded to 60 minutes for a preliminary 20-week period in April 2012 and was extended to that time length permanently on July 29, 2012.[19][20] There is a deliberate break between the first and second half of the program, to allow local affiliates to begin airing another program if they wish to do so.

Approximately 81% of the stations affiliated with CBS air the second half-hour contiguously with the first;[21] the remainder either do not air the second half-hour at all or air that portion of the program on a tape delayed basis, because of station commitments to other programming (mainly station-produced NFL pregame shows leading into The NFL Today, along with E/I commitments and advertorial or outdoors programming).[22][23] Other stations choose to air the second half-hour after primetime following their late local newscasts or in a later time slot as part of their late night schedule, though the number of stations carrying the full hour in pattern has increased over time with the end of former commitments as of 2017, from 64% in 2012.[24]

Face the Nation was the last Sunday public affairs program to extend their length to a full-hour. The move came as a way to draw viewers away from competitors.[25]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Face the Nation - About Us - CBS News". CBS News. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "Face the Nation Theme Song by Face the Nation Free Listening on Soundcloud".
  3. ^ a b c "About Us". Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  4. ^ "margaret brennan on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  5. ^ "Why Face the Nation Is Only Rated for Its First 30 Minutes". www.adweek.com. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  6. ^ "Sunday Show Ratings: Sept. 16". www.adweek.com. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  7. ^ "Sunday Show Ratings: Q4 2017". www.adweek.com. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  8. ^ "Face the Nation Full Episodes - CBS News". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  9. ^ "Face the Nation: Local listings and live stream". Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  10. ^ "CBS News Podcasts Page News, Headlines and Video - CBS News". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  11. ^ Bob Schieffer. Face the Nation: My Favorite Stories from the First 50 Years of the Award-Winning News Broadcast. New York City: Simon & Schuster. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-0641658730.
  12. ^ Face the nation : the collected transcripts from the CBS radio and television broadcasts. Columbia Broadcasting System, inc. CBS Radio Division., CBS Television Network. New York: Holt Information Systems. ISBN 0030914302. OCLC 32458186. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  13. ^ a b ""Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer to retire this summer". Face the Nation. CBS News. April 8, 2015.
  14. ^ Koblin, John (2015-05-29). "Bob Schieffer of 'Face the Nation' Prepares to Sign Off". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  15. ^ "CBS News' Bob Schieffer to retire". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  16. ^ Stelter, Brian (2011-12-12). "MEDIA DECODER; 'Face the Nation' Will Run an Hour". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-01.
  17. ^ a b "Margaret Brennan named Face the Nation moderator". Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  18. ^ "Full transcript: "Face the Nation" on September 9, 2018". Retrieved 2018-09-30.
  19. ^ Bob Schieffer (July 29, 2012). "'Face the Nation' to continue as hour-long show". CBS News. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
  20. ^ "'Face the Nation' to remain hour-long permanently". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  21. ^ "CBS Press Express – Face The Nation". www.cbspressexpress.com.
  22. ^ "CBS News 'Face the Nation' is the #1 Public Affairs Show for Three Straight Weeks". TV by the Numbers. February 6, 2009.
  23. ^ "CBS Face the Nation – all stations and times". TuneIn. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  24. ^ "Face the Nation: Local Listings". CBS News. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  25. ^ Stelter, Brian (2011-12-12). "MEDIA DECODER; 'Face the Nation' Will Run an Hour". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-01.

External linksEdit