William Samuel Paley

1901 – 1990


chief executive who built the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)

from a small radio network

into one of the foremost

radio and television network operations

in the United States of America.




born in

Chicago, Illinois

the son of Goldie and Samuel Paley.

His family was



 his father was an immigrant from Ukraine

who ran a cigar company.

As the company became increasingly successful,

Paley became a millionaire,

and moved his family to


in the early 1920s.


Western Military Academy

Alton, Illinois 

Wharton School 

University of Pennsylvania 

Zeta Beta Tau fraternity.

in expectation

that he would take an

increasingly active role running the


cigar business.


Samuel Paley, Leon Levy and some business partners

bought a

 Philadelphia-based radio network


16 stations called the

Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System.

Within a decade, William S. Paley

had expanded the network to

114 affiliate stations.



Paley changed

broadcasting's business modeI

 not only by

developing successful and lucrative broadcast programming

but also by viewing advertisers and sponsors

as the most significant element of the broadcasting equation. 

Paley provided network programming to affiliate stations at a nominal cost, thereby ensuring the widest possible distribution for both the programming and the advertising.

The advertisers then became the network's primary clients and, because of the wider distribution brought by the growing network, 

Paley's recognition of

how to harness the potential reach of broadcasting

was the key

to his growing CBS from a tiny chain of stations

into what was eventually one of the

world's dominant communication empires.


During his


 an uncanny sense for popular taste

and exploiting that insight to build the CBS network.

As war clouds darkened over Europe

in the late 1930s,

Paley recognized Americans' desire

for news coverage of the coming war

and built the news division

into a dominant force

just as he had previously

built the network's

entertainment division.

As early as


Paley envisioned

the creation of a network division within CBS tasked

with serving much of

South America.

Paley laid the foundation

for a chain of sixty-four stations

in eighteen countries

which would subsequently

be known

as La Cadena de las Americas

(The Network of the Americas).

By 1942,

Paley's innovative network

was broadcasting both news and cultural programming

live from New York City in cooperation

with the government's

Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs

under the direction of a young

Nelson Rockefeller.

During World War II, these broadcasts played a central role in promoting cultural diplomacy

and Pan Americanism as part of President Franklin Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy.

During World War II, Paley served as director of radio operations

of the Psychological Warfare branch in the Office of War Information

at Allied Force Headquarters in London, where he held the rank of colonel. 


While based in England during the war, Paley came to know and befriend Edward R. Murrow,

CBS's head of European news who expanded the news division's foreign coverage

with a team of war correspondents later known as the Murrow Boys.


CBS has owned the

Columbia Record Company

and its associated

CBS Laboratories since


 June 1948,

Columbia Records introduced the 33-1/3-rpm LP record,

which could hold more than 20 minutes' worth of music on each side, and became a standard recording format though the 1970s.

Also, CBS Laboratories and Peter Goldmark

developed a method for color television.

After lobbying by RCA President David Sarnoff and Paley in Washington, D.C.,

the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

approved the CBS system,

but later reversed the decision based on the CBS system's incompatibility

with black and white receivers.

The new, compatible RCA color system was selected as the standard,

and CBS sold the patents to its system

to foreign broadcasters as PAL SECAM.

CBS broadcast few color programs during this period,

reluctant to supplement RCA revenue.

They did, however,

buy and license some RCA equipment and technology,

taking the RCA markings off of the equipment,

and later relying exclusively on

Philips-Norelco for color equipment beginning in 1964,

when color television sets became widespread.

PAL or Phase Alternating Line,

an analogue TV-encoding system,

is today

a television-broadcasting standard

used in large parts of the world.


"Bill Paley 


two towers of power:

one for entertainment

and one for news,

" 60 Minutes

creator Don Hewitt 

"And he decreed that

there would be no bridge between them....

In short,

Paley was the guy

who put Frank Sinatra and Edward R. Murrow

on the radio

and 60 Minutes on television.”


Paley was not fond of one of the network's biggest stars.

In private, Paley and his colleagues despised Godfrey.

Arthur Godfrey

had been working locally

in Washington, DC + New York City

hosting morning shows.

Godfrey would, on occasion, mock Paley and other CBS executives by

name, on the air.

Godfrey's massive revenues

from advertising

on the popular morning programs and his two prime-time shows

protected him from any reprisals.



The relationship

between Paley and his news staff was not always smooth. 



The implication

was that the

network's sponsors

were uneasy

about some of the controversial topics

leading Paley to worry about lost revenue

to the network as well as

unwelcome scrutiny during the era of McCarthyism

In 1955,

Alcoa withdrew its sponsorship of See It Now,

and eventually the program's weekly broadcast

on Tuesdays was stopped, t

hough it continued as a series of special segments until




James T. Aubrey Jr.

became the president of CBS.

Under Aubrey,

the network became the most popular on television

with shows


The Beverly Hillbillies Gilligan's Island Gunsmoke;



Paley ordered the shortening of a second installment of a two-part CBS Evening News series on the Watergate scandal,

based on a complaint by Charles Colson,

an aide to President Richard Nixon.

And later,

Paley briefly ordered the suspension of instant and often negatively critical analyses by CBS news commentators which followed presidential addresses.

Over the years, Paley sold portions of his family stockholding in CBS. At the time of his death,

he owned less than 9 percent of the outstanding stock


five years after Paley's death,

CBS was bought by Westinghouse Electric Corporation 


by Viacom,

which itself was once a subsidiary of CBS. Today,

CBS is owned by ViacomCBS,

after merging with the "new" Viacom in 2019.

National Amusements

is the majority owner of ViacomCBS.



William Paley and his brother-in-law, Leon Levy

formed Jaclyn Stable,

which owned and raced a string of thoroughbred race horses.

 Paley formed a modern art collection

with as many as 40 major works,

and he enjoyed photographing Picasso in Cap d'Antibes.

Like Picasso, Paley drove an exotic French Facel Vega Facel II,

the fastest four-seater car in the world in the early 1960s.



CBS purchased

the New York Yankees from

Del Webb.


the storied baseball team

fell into mediocrity,

not making the postseason for the next ten years.


Paley sold the team at its low ebb

for $8.7 million

to Cleveland shipbuilder

George Steinbrenner and a group of investors.

 Under the Steinbrenner regime,

the Yankees grew in value to what,

in April 2006,

Forbes magazine estimated was $1.26 billion,

or about $280 million in 1973 dollars.





Encouraged by Paley's avid interest in modern art

and his outstanding collection,

the Rockefeller family's Museum of Modern Art

made Paley a trustee in the 1930s;


he was tapped by then-chairman David Rockefeller to be its president.


he joined a syndicate with Rockefeller

and others to buy six works by Picasso

for the museum from the notable Gertrude Stein collection.



Paley dedicated the second building at the

S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at

Syracuse University.

He also personally dedicated

the Samuel L. Paley library at

Temple University named in honor of his father.

The Paley Center for Media was founded by Paley in New York City

in 1976

as the Museum of Broadcasting.


Paley met

Dorothy Hart Hearst

(while she was married to John Randolph Hearst,

the third son of William Randolph Hearst.

Paley fell in love with her, and,

after her Las Vegas divorce from Hearst,

she and Paley married on May 12, 1932, in Kingman, Arizona.

Dorothy called on her extensive social connections

acquired during her previous marriage to introduce

Paley to several top members of

President Franklin Roosevelt's government.

She also exerted

a considerable influence

over Paley's political views. 



Paley married

divorcée, socialite and fashion icon

Barbara "Babe" Cushing Mortimer 

 the daughter of

renowned neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing. William and Babe Paley,

in spite of their successes and social standing,

were barred from being members of country clubs on Long Island because he was Jewish.

As an alternative, the Paleys built a summer home,

"Kiluna North,"

on Squam Lake

in New Hampshire

and spent the summers there for many years,

routinely entertaining their many friends,

including Lucille Ball, Grace Kelly, frank Sinatra  David O. Selznick.




was a



his en-tire life.

35 of the passengers

were students

from Syracuse University,

who participated in the


Division of International Programs Abroad

DIPA Program"

"Syracuse University Abroad"

"Syracuse Abroad"

"Study Abroad Program"


were returning home for Christmas

following a semester in

Syracuse's London and European campuses.

IO of these students were from other universities and colleges

(including but not limited to

Colgate University and University of Colorado)

which partnered with Syracuse in order for them to be allowed to study overseas by enrolling in the said program.


Many of their bodies were found at

Rosebank Crescent,

1⁄2 mi from Sherwood Crescent.


The rear fuselage of the plane,

where many of them sat,

destroyed one of the houses of

Rosebank Crescent,

71 Park Place,

the home of Lockerbie resident

Ella RamsDen,

who survived.

The bodies of two of these students

were never recovered.






among the passenger victims

was the


UN Commissioner for Namibia

(then South West Africa),

Bernt Carlsson, who would have attended the signing ceremony of the New York Accords at the UN headquarters the following day.

James Fuller,

an American automotive executive who worked for Volkswagen,

was returning home from a meeting with Volkswagen executives in Germany.

Irish Olympic sailor Peter Dix

rock musician Paul Jeffreys and his wife.



Matthew Gannon,

the Central Intelligence Agency's deputy station chief in Beirut, Lebanon,

was sitting in seat 14J, which is located in the business class (branded as "Clipper Class") cabin.


A group of US intelligence specialists was on board the flight.

Their presence gave rise to speculations and conspiracy theories, that one or more of them had been targeted.


Eleven Lockerbie residents on Sherwood Crescent were killed when the wing section hit the house at 13 Sherwood Crescent

Derek Anthony West

Before Uber,

West was Associate Attorney General of the United States

and general counsel of PepsiCo.

West previously served as the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division,

the largest litigating division in the Department of Justice.



West was also involved in efforts

by the Department

to reclaim

$37 billion from large financial institutions



On August 21, 2014

West announced


$16.65 billion settlement

with Bank of America to

resolve federal and state claims against Bank of America

and its former and current subsidiaries,

including Countrywide Financial Corporation and Merrill Lynch.


West is the brother-in-law of Vice President Kamala Harris.

David M. Zaslav

born January 15, 1960

president and chief executive officer of

Discovery Inc

since January 2007.


Under his leadership,

Discovery began trading as a public company in 2008,

became a Fortune 500 company


acquired Scripps Networks Interactive,

in 2018


Most recently,

Discovery entered into an agreement

with AT&T to combine

WarnerMedia's entertainment assets with Discovery's nonfiction and international entertainment and sports business.

The proposed combined company, to be called Warner Bros.

Discovery, will be run by Zaslav.

He was previously an executive at NBCUniversal



Zaslav born to a

Polish and

Ukrainian Jewish family

in Brooklyn, New York.

At the age of 8, he moved to Rockland County (NY) where he graduated from Ramapo High School.

He was captain of the varsity tennis team.


Binghamton University.


Boston University School of Law

started his career as an attorney with

LeBoeuf, Lamb, Lieby and MacRae in New York.


NBC Universal

Zaslav joined NBC


As president

of Cable and Domestic TV and New Media Distribution,

he oversaw content distribution

to all forms of TV, n

egotiated for cable and satellite carriage of NBC Universal networks and

forged media partnerships.


His responsibilities extended to


CNBC World





Telemundo Puerto Rico



Universal HD

USA Network

NBC Weather Plus

the Olympics on cable.


Zaslav also oversaw

NBC Universal's interests in


The History Channel

The Biography Channel

National Geographic International

the Sundance Channel and TiVo





CEO of Discovery Communications

in January 2007.


instigated a shift in strategy

by the company,

aiming to see itself

as a "content company"

rather than a "cable company" by


its main networks

as multi-platform brands.


Zaslav oversaw the development

and launch of new networks such as

Planet Green or Destination America

The Hub

Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)


Investigation Discovery



acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive

 expansion of its

digital education operations,


current emphasis on streaming services.



May 2021

it was announced that

Zaslav would serve as CEO of a proposed merger of Discovery with a spin-out of AT&T's WarnerMedia.


Boards and other activities

Zaslav serves on the boards of

Sirius XM


the NCTA

The Cable Center

Center for Communication

Grupo Televisa

Partnership for New York City

Syracuse University


USC Shoah Foundation.


He also is a member of the Board of

Trustees for the Paley Center for Media and the Mt. Sinai Medical Center.

He is chair of the Auschwitz: The Past Is Present Committee which promotes awareness of the Holocaust.



Zaslav was awarded the Fred Dressler Leadership Award by Syracuse University's S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.


David Zaslav was awarded the Susan Newhouse & SI Newhouse Award of Hope for his support of the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) in September 2016.


In 2017, Zaslav was inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame