william s. paley

Born in Chicago in 1901, William S. Paley entered radio in 1928, when he became President of the struggling United Independent Broadcasters and its Columbia Network of Stations. Paley renamed this enterprise the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and guided the network as President and Chairman for over 50 years.

Under Paley’s guidance, CBS broke ground and established practices which eventually became standard for radio. In the 1930s, CBS became the first network with its own full-time newsgathering service. It was quickly recognized as one of the finest news organizations in the world, providing regularly scheduled reports and analysis from Edward R. Murrow, H. V. Kaltenborn, William L. Shirer and others.

CBS radio also served as a breeding ground for young talent. Shows like The Mercury Theatre on the Air and Columbia Workshop brought exposure to Orson Welles, Norman Corwin, Arthur Miller, William N. Robson and many other writers and directors. In the late 1940s, Paley launched network radio’s first programming department. The result was the creation of several hit shows, including Our Miss Brooks, My Favorite Husband and Gunsmoke.

William S. Paley died on October 26, 1990.

He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988.