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William Tankersley

Executive

William Tankersley on how CBS Program Practices handled pregnancy storylines on TV shows in the 1950s

01:00

Everything that appears on this network shall be what it purports to be. 

About this interview

In his two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, William Tankersley (1918-2016) discusses his start in CBS promotions and merchandising and his rise to Head of Program Standards & Practices. He recalls CBS' rules about violence, drug use, and political views in television programs. He outlines specific problems Standards & Practices had with The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, All In the Family, and Route 66. Tankersley talks of the differences between his positions in New York and Los Angeles, explains the intricacies of working with program sponsors and advertisers, and comments on what he believes the government's role in broadcasting should be. He talks about what he looked for in his editing staff, recounts working with fellow CBS executives Frank Stanton and Jim Aubrey, and shares stories of some of his favorite entertainers, including Red Skelton and Dick Van Dyke. Don Carleton conducted the interview on May 17, 2001 in Wharton, VA.

Everything that appears on this network shall be what it purports to be. 

Interview Highlights

Embedded thumbnail for Television Industry ^^ Censorship / Standards & Practices

William Tankersley on how CBS Program Practices handled pregnancy storylines on TV shows in the 1950s

Television Industry ^^ Censorship / Standards & Practices01:00
Embedded thumbnail for William Tankersley on William S. Paley's 1948 raid to bring NBC talent to CBS

William Tankersley on William S. Paley's 1948 raid to bring NBC talent to CBS

William Tankersley on William S. Paley's 1948 raid to bring NBC talent to CBS02:12
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William Tankersley on the incidences of violence in The Wild, Wild West

Wild, Wild West, The01:09
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William Tankersley on the Nixon White House's suggestions for storylines in TV shows

Television and the Presidency03:41
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William Tankersley on the CBS loyalty oath and the Hollywood Blacklist

Television Industry ^^ Industry Crossroads04:59