The Foote Files: Appreciating The CBS Eye
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – This will be a quick blog today so here goes: Two things about CBS that I am enamored with are the CBS Eye logo and the CBS Time Signal.
On October 20, 1951, the first CBS Eye, created by designer William Golden, appeared on the CBS Television Network. Many different versions have aired over the past 60 years.
On the DVD copies of I Love Lucy, the CBS eye is shown at the conclusion with the eyeball being a camera shutter that opens up, with copy both aural and video that says, “This is the CBS Television Network”. By the way, announcers back then sounded so very distinguished!
A later version was the eye with the background being the sky with clouds.
As TV transitioned to color, many different colors, designs, font styles, and position lines came along. Back in the 70
s, CBS’s position line was “Looking Good” and many stars of the day would appear in network promotional spots saying “Looking good” and then forming an eye with their thumb and index finger, with the other three fingers pointed straight up.
Up until a few years ago, at the moment the network was allowing its stations a local break, the final element would a CBS eye with an announcer saying, “This is CBS!” That also cued the local station’s master control operators to roll their local breaks before rejoining the network.
Time signals on radio were started originally so that people could set their watches and clocks correctly. The CBS Time Signal is the most distinctive one ever created.
This “bong”, sounding like a piano note at 440 Hertz, was used on the CBS Television Network in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It is still used on the CBS Radio Network today before their opening music sounder (dah-dah-dah……dadada!).
CBS’s other news/information station in New York City, 1010 WINS, uses a different time signal. With HD Radio signals, the time signal today is delayed a few seconds to stay in sync with the digital stream, some up to 17 seconds.