Face the Nation is an American Sunday morning political interview show broadcast on the CBS television network. The show is currently moderated by Margaret Brennan. Created by Frank Stanton in 1954, Face the Nation is one of the longest-running news programs in the history of television. The program hosts guests, such as congressmen and Washington insiders, and includes debates regarding current issues in American politics.
|Face the Nation|
|Genre||Public affairs/political talk program|
|Created by||Frank Stanton|
|Presented by||Margaret Brennan (for past moderators, see section)|
|Narrated by||John Hartge|
|Theme music composer||Score Productions (1991–2002)
Peter Fish (2002–present)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||63|
|Executive producer(s)||Mary Hager,|
|Producer(s)||Ed Forgotson, Catheryn Reynolds
|Location(s)||CBS News Washington Bureau, Washington, D.C.|
|Camera setup||Videotape; Multi-camera|
|Running time||30 minutes (1954–2012)
60 minutes (2012–present)
|Production company(s)||CBS News Productions|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV),
|Original release||November 7, 1954 – present|
Each Sunday, the program's moderator interviews newsmakers on the latest political and socioeconomic issues, and delivers a short topical commentary at the end of the broadcast. The program generally broadcasts from CBS News' bureau in Washington, D.C. Guests include government leaders, politicians, and international figures in the news. CBS News correspondents and other contributors often engage the guests in a roundtable discussion focusing on current topics.
The program is broadcast live at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time/9:30 a.m. Central Time (immediately following CBS News Sunday Morning). Most CBS affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone air it at 8:30 a.m. local time, serving as a lead-in to The NFL Today during the autumn season. Local affiliates are free to air the show at the time of their choosing, usually before noon local time.
A delayed audio broadcast of the program is also carried on a handful of radio affiliates through the CBS Radio Network, and in the late afternoon on C-SPAN's Washington area radio station WCSP-FM (which is also easily accessible online nationwide); the program is also broadcast on a half-hour delay on CBS News's Internet service CBSN.
As of 2017, Face the Nation is the most watched Sunday public affairs show with an average of 3.538 million viewers. However, the show attracts an older audience compared to NBC competitor Meet the Press who receives, on average, more viewers between the age of 25-54.
Face the Nation premiered on November 7, 1954, and was originally broadcast on Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The program's original host was Bill Shadel, then the Washington, D.C. bureau chief for CBS News. On that first program, his guest was Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy.
In July 2011, Face the Nation became the last Sunday morning talk show to begin broadcasting in high definition (leaving only CBS' overnight news program Up to the Minute as the only American news program on the major broadcast networks and cable news channels that continued to broadcast in standard definition, until it converted to HD in late November 2012). Another big change came for the show in December 2011 when they permanently extended the half-hour broad cast to a full one-hour. The move came after Face the Nation's competitors, Meet the Press, This Week on ABC, and Fox News Sunday on Fox all extended their programs to one-hour. The delay came from dispute amongst CBS affiliate channels.
In 2015, Bob Schieffer, the longest-serving moderator in the show's history, retired after 24 years at the desk. He was replaced by John Dickerson on June 7, 2015.
On February 22, 2018, CBS announced Margaret Brennan as the new host, replacing John Dickerson who served as moderator for less than three years. Brennan is only the second female host in the program's history.
In 1991, Bob Schieffer took over as moderator for Lesley Stahl who held the position for eight years. Under Schieffer, ratings boomed and the show extended its half-hour time frame to a full one-hour. Ratings soared to over 3 million viewers every Sunday, as Face the Nation surpassed all competitors in the ratings. Schieffer won numerous awards with the show, including two Emmy's for Outstanding News Discussion & Analysis, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and the Overseas Press Club Award.
The following is the list of moderators for Face the Nation
|Howard K. Smith||1960–1961|
|Lesley Stahl||1983–1991||As the first female host of Face the Nation, Stahl became one of the most recognizable female faces on television. She held the position for eight years before stepping down to focus on 60 Minutes.|
|Margaret Brennan||2018–present||As of February 2018, Brennan was the second female moderator in Face the Nation's history. She has conducted numerous interviews with members of the Trump administration, including former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy. Margaret Brennan also serves as a senior foreign affairs correspondent for CBS.|
The program ran 30 minutes for much of its history. It expanded to 60 minutes for a preliminary 20-week period in April 2012 and was extended to that time length permanently on July 29, 2012. There is a deliberate break between the first and second half of the program, to allow local affiliates to begin airing another program if they wish to do so.
Approximately 81% of the stations affiliated with CBS air the second half-hour contiguously with the first; the remainder either do not air the second half-hour at all or air that portion of the program on a tape delayed basis, because of station commitments to other programming (mainly station-produced NFL pregame shows leading into The NFL Today, along with E/I commitments and advertorial or outdoors programming). Other stations choose to air the second half-hour after primetime following their late local newscasts or in a later time slot as part of their late night schedule, though the number of stations carrying the full hour in pattern has increased over time with the end of former commitments as of 2017, from 64% in 2012.
Face the Nation was the last Sunday public affairs show to extend their length to a full-hour. The move came as a way to draw viewers away from competitors.