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William Tankersley

  • Birthplace: Tankersley, Texas
  • Birthday: January 28
Date of passing: 
February 05, 2016

Obituary

Obituary: 

William Tankersley was the head of Program Standards & Practices for CBS. He defined the network's broadcast standards from the mid-1950s until 1972, when he left the company to become head of the national Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Tankersley worked for CBS at a volatile time for television and America as a whole. He served largely as a content censor, working to ensure that programs and advertisements were not offensive to audiences, and to protect the reputation of the network in general.

He famously went to battle with both producer Norman Lear and the Smothers Brothers regarding their content and upheld CBS's strict, “Tiffany Network” standards, for which it was known. Tankersely upheld the Code of Practices, monitoring profanity, sexual references, disparagement of religion, drug use and drunkenness.

William Tankersley was the head of Program Standards & Practices for CBS. He defined the network's broadcast standards from the mid-1950s until 1972, when he left the company to become head of the national Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Tankersley worked for CBS at a volatile time for television and America as a whole. He served largely as a content censor, working to ensure that programs and advertisements were not offensive to audiences, and to protect the reputation of the network in general.

He famously went to battle with both producer Norman Lear and the Smothers Brothers regarding their content and upheld CBS's strict, “Tiffany Network” standards, for which it was known. Tankersely upheld the Code of Practices, monitoring profanity, sexual references, disparagement of religion, drug use and drunkenness.

His career with the company in 1950, when he joined CBS Radio in Los Angeles as the manager of program promotion and merchandising for the regional network. He later became director of program operations for the national network and eventually made the move to television in 1955.

Tankersley died February 5, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 98.

 

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