Beautiful engraved RARE specimen Proof certificate from Capital Cities/ABC, Inc
. This historic document was printed by United States Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical woman.
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. It first broadcast on television in 1948. Corporate headquarters are in New York, while programming offices are in Burbank, California, adjacent to the Walt Disney Studios and the Walt Disney Company corporate headquarters. ABC is among the most successful networks as of 2006.
The formal name of the operation is American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., and that name appears on copyright notices for its in-house network productions and on all official documents of the company, including paychecks and contracts. A separate entity named ABC Inc., formerly Capital Cities/ABC Inc., is that firm's direct parent company, and that company is owned in turn by Disney. The network today, in fact, is the last of the Big Three broadcasting networks to keep its full name; the Columbia Broadcasting System adopted an initialism in 1974, and the National Broadcasting Company did so in 2004). The network is sometimes referred to as the Alphabet Network, due to the letters "ABC" being the first three Roman letters.
From the organization of the first true radio networks in the late 1920s, broadcasting in the United States was dominated by two companies, CBS and RCA's NBC. Prior to NBC's 1926 formation, RCA had acquired AT&T's New York station WEAF (later WNBC, now WFAN). With WEAF came a loosely organized system feeding programming to other stations in the northeastern U.S. RCA also took control of a second such group, fed by Westinghouse's WJZ in New York. These were the foundations of RCA's two distinct programming services, the NBC "Red" and NBC "Blue" networks. Legend has it that the color designations originated from the color of the push-pins early engineers used to designate affiliates of WEAF (red pins) and WJZ (blue pins).
After years of study the FCC in 1940 issued a "Report on Chain Broadcasting." Finding that two corporate owners (and the co-operatively owned Mutual Broadcasting System) dominated American broadcasting, this report proposed "divorcement," requiring the sale by RCA of one of its chains. NBC Red was the larger radio network, carrying the leading entertainment and music programs. In addition, many Red affiliates were high-powered, clear-channel stations, heard nationwide. NBC Blue offered most of the company's news and cultural programs, many of them "sustaining" or unsponsored. Among other findings, the FCC claimed RCA used NBC Blue to suppress competition against NBC Red. The FCC did not regulate or license networks directly. However, it could influence them by means of its hold over individual stations. Consequently, the FCC issued a ruling that "no license shall be issued to a standard broadcast station affiliated with a network which maintains more than one network." NBC argued this indirect style of regulation was illegal and appealed to the courts. However, the FCC won on appeal, and NBC was forced to sell one of its networks. It opted to sell NBC Blue.
The task of selling of NBC Blue was given to Mark Woods; throughout 1942 and 1943, NBC Red and NBC Blue divided their assets. A price of $8 million was put on the assets of the Blue group, and Woods shopped the Blue package around to potential buyers. One such, investment bank Dillon, Read made an offer of $7.5 million, but Woods and RCA chief David Sarnoff held firm at $8 million. The Blue package contained leases on land-lines and on studio facilities in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles; contracts with talent and with about sixty affiliates; the trademark and "good will" associated with the Blue name; and licenses for three stations (WJZ in New York, San Francisco's KGO, and WENR in Chicago - really a half-station, since WENR shared time and a frequency with "Prairie Farmer" station WLS).
Matchbook showing the Blue Network logo, circa 1942-5. Collection of E.O. Costello.RCA finally found a buyer in Edward Noble, owner of Life Savers candy and the Rexall drugstore chain. In order to complete the station-license transfer, Noble had to sell the New York radio station that he owned, WMCA. Also, FCC hearings were required. Controversy ensued over Noble's intention to keep Mark Woods on as president, which led to the suggestion that Woods would continue to work with (and for) his former employers. This had the potential to derail the sale. During the hearings, Woods said the new network would not sell airtime to the American Federation of Labor. Noble evaded questioning on similar points by hiding behind the NAB code. Frustrated, the chairman advised Noble to do some rethinking. Apparently he did, and the sale closed on October 12 1943. The new network, known simply as "The Blue Network," was owned by the American Broadcasting System, a company Noble formed for the deal. It sold airtime to organized labor.
In mid-1944, Noble renamed his network American Broadcasting Company. This set off a flurry of re-naming; to avoid confusion, CBS changed the call-letters of its New York flagship, WABC-AM 880, to WCBS-AM in 1946. In 1953, WJZ in New York took on the abandoned call-letters WABC.
ABC Radio began slowly; with few "hit" shows, it had to build an audience. Noble sprang for more stations, among them Detroit's WXYZ; one of the founding stations of the Mutual network. WXYZ was where The Lone Ranger, Sergeant Preston, Sky King and other popular daily serials originated. With this purchase, ABC instantly acquired a bloc of established daily shows. Noble also bought KECA (now KABC) in Los Angeles, to give the network a Hollywood production base. Counter-programming became an ABC specialty, for example, placing a raucous quiz-show like Stop the Music! against more thoughtful fare on NBC and CBS. Unlike the other networks, ABC pre-recorded many programs; advances in tape-recording brought back from conquered Germany meant that the audio quality of tape could not be distinguished from "live" broadcasts. As a result, several high-rated stars who wanted freedom from rigid schedules, among them Bing Crosby, moved to ABC. Though still rated fourth, by the late 1940s ABC had begun to close in on the better-established networks.
Enter Leonard Goldenson and ABC's entry into television
Faced with huge expenses in building a radio network, ABC was in no position to take on the additional costs demanded by a television network. To secure a place at the table, though, in 1947 ABC submitted requests for licenses in the five cities where it owned radio stations. All five requests were for each station to broadcast on channel 7; ABC executives thought at the time that the low-band (channels 2 through 6) TV channels would be discontinued, thus making these five stations broadcasting on VHF channel 7 the lowest on the TV dial and therefore the best channel positions. (Such a move never occurred in the analog era; though with the poor digital TV performance of low-band channels it could conceivably happen in the future, DTV's use of logical channel numbers will protect the lower dial positions.)
On April 19 1948 the ABC television network went on the air. Interestingly, the network picked up its first affiliate, WFIL-TV in Philadelphia (now WPVI-TV) before its first owned and operated station, WJZ-TV in New York (now WABC-TV) signed on in August.
For the next several years, ABC was a television network mostly in name. Except for the largest markets, most cities had only one or two stations. The FCC froze applications for new stations in 1948 while it sorted out the thousands of applicants, and re-thought the technical and allocation standards set down in 1938. What was meant to be a six-month freeze lasted until 1952, and until that time there were only 101 stations in the United States. For a late-comer like ABC, this meant being relegated to secondary status in many markets. ABC commanded little affiliate loyalty, though unlike fellow startup network DuMont, it at least had a radio network on which to draw loyalty and revenue. It also had a full complement of five O&Os, which included stations in the critical Chicago (WENR-TV, now WLS-TV) and Los Angeles (KECA-TV, now KABC-TV) markets. Even then, by 1951 ABC found itself badly overextended and on the verge of bankruptcy. It had only nine full-time affiliates to augment its five O&Os--WJZ, WENR, KECA, WXYZ-TV in Detroit and KGO-TV in San Francisco.
Noble finally found a white knight in United Paramount Theaters. Divorced from Paramount Pictures at the end of 1949 by Supreme Court order, UPT had plenty of money on hand and was not afraid to spend it. UPT head Leonard Goldenson immediately set out to find investment opportunities. Barred from the film business, Goldenson saw broadcasting as a possibility, and approached Noble about buying ABC. Since the transfer of station licenses was again involved, the FCC set hearings. At the heart of this was the question of the Paramount Pictures-UPT divorce: were they truly separate? And what role did Paramount's long-time investment in DuMont Laboratories, parent of the television network, play? After a year of deliberation the FCC approved the purchase by UPT in a 5–2 split decision on February 9, 1953. Speaking in favor of the deal, one commissioner pointed out that UPT had the cash to turn ABC into a viable, competitive third network. ABC considers 1953 to be its official birthdate.
Shortly after the ABC–UPT merger, Goldenson approached DuMont with a merger offer. DuMont was in financial trouble for a number of reasons, not the least of which was an FCC ruling that barred it from acquiring two additional O&Os because of two stations owned by Paramount. However, DuMont's pioneering status in television and programming creativity gave it a leg up on ABC, and for a time appeared that DuMont was about to establish itself as the third television network. This all changed with the ABC-UPT merger, which effectively placed DuMont on life support. Goldenson and DuMont's managing director, Ted Bergmann, quickly agreed to a deal. Under the proposed merger, the merged network would have been called "ABC-DuMont" for at least five years. DuMont would get $5 million in cash and guaranteed advertising time for DuMont television receivers. In return, ABC agreed to honor all of DuMont's network commitments. The merged network would have had to sell either WJZ-TV or DuMont flagship WABD-TV (now WNYW) as well as two other stations in order to comply with the FCC's five-station limit. However, Paramount vetoed the sale. A few months earlier, the FCC ruled that Paramount controlled DuMont, and there were still lingering questions about whether the two companies were truly separate. By 1956, the DuMont network had shut down.
After its acquisition by UPT, ABC at last had the means to offer a full-time television network service. By mid-1953 Goldenson had begun a two-front campaign, calling on his old pals at the Hollywood studios (he had been head of the mighty Paramount theater chain since 1938) to convince them to move into programming. And he began wooing station owners to convince them that a refurbished ABC was about to burst forth. He also convinced long-time NBC and CBS affiliates in several markets to move to ABC. His two-part campaign paid off when the "new" ABC hit the air on October 27 1954. Among the shows that brought in record audiences was "Disneyland", produced-by and starring Walt Disney. MGM, Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century-Fox were also present that first season. Within two years, Warners was producing ten hours of programming for ABC each week, mostly interchangeable detective and western series. The middle 1950s saw ABC finally have shows in the top-10 including Disneyland. However, it still had a long way to go. It was relegated to secondary status in many markets until the late 1960s, and in some cases well into the 1980s.
While ABC-TV continued to languish in third place nationally, it often topped local ratings in the larger markets. With the arrival of Hollywood's slickly-produced series, ABC began to catch on with younger, urban viewers. As the network gained in the ratings, it became an attractive property, and over the next few years ABC approached, or was approached, by GE (which would have had to sell its stake in RCA, owner of NBC), Howard Hughes, Litton Industries, GTE and ITT. ABC and ITT agreed to a merger in late 1965, but this deal was derailed by FCC and Department of Justice questions about ITT's foreign ownership influencing ABC's autonomy and journalistic integrity. ITT's management promised that ABC's autonomy would be preserved. While it was able to convince the FCC, antitrust regulators at the Justice Department refused to sign off on the deal. After numerous delays, the deal was called off on January 1 1968.
By the early 1960s, ABC Radio found its audience continuing to gravitate to television. With a decline in network listenership and far less network programming, ABC's owned local stations (like WABC and WLS) became wildly successful playing popular music. But by the mid-1960s, hourly newscasts, commentaries and a few long-running serials were all that remained on the network schedule. Lawrence Welk's musical hour (simulcast from television), and Don McNeill's daily "Breakfast Club" variety show were among the offerings. On January 1 1968, ABC's radio programming service split into four new "networks," each one with format-specific news and features for pop-music-, news-, or talk-oriented stations. The "American" Contemporary, Entertainment, Information and FM networks were later joined by two others - Direction and Rock.
During this period of the 1960s, ABC founded an in-house production unit, ABC Films, to create new material especially for the network. Shortly after the death of producer David O. Selznick, ABC acquired the rights to a considerable amount of the Selznick theatrical film library, including Rebecca and Portrait of Jennie (but not including Gone with the Wind, which Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had acquired outright in the 1940s).
Programming in the 1960s and 1970s: Success at last
Wide World of Sports debuted April 29, 1961 and was the creation of Edgar J. Scherick through his company, Sports Programs, Inc. After selling his company to the American Broadcasting Company, Scherick hired a young Roone Arledge, to produce the show. Arledge would eventually go on to become the executive producer of ABC Sports (as well as president of ABC News). Arledge helped ABC's fortunes with innovations in sports programming, such as the multiple cameras used in Monday Night Football. By doing so, he helped to make sports broadcasting into a multi-billion-dollar industry
Despite its relatively small size, ABC found increasing success with television programming aimed at the emerging "Baby Boomer" culture. It broadcast American Bandstand and Shindig!, two shows that featured new popular and youth-oriented records of the day.
The network ran science fiction fare, a genre that other networks considered too risky: The Time Tunnel, Land of the Giants, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. It also ran the Quinn Martin action and science fiction series The F.B.I. and The Invaders. Continuing the network's upswing in the 1960s were highly rated primetime sitcoms such as My Three Sons, That Girl, Bewitched and The Brady Bunch. Edgar J. Scherick was Vice President of Network Programming and responsible for much of the line up during this era.
ABC's daytime lineup became strong throughout the 1970s and 1980s with the soap operas General Hospital, One Life to Live, All My Children, and Ryan's Hope and the game shows The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, Let's Make a Deal, The $20,000 Pyramid and Family Feud.
By the early 1970s, ABC had formed its first theatrical division, ABC Pictures One of its few moneymaking films was Bob Fosse's Cabaret. They also started a new innovation in television, the concept of the Movie of the Week. This series of made for TV films aired once per week on Tuesday nights. Three years later, Wednesday nights were added as well. Palomar Pictures International, the production company created by Edgar J. Scherick after leaving ABC, produced several of the Movies of the Week.
The network itself, meanwhile, was showing signs of overtaking CBS and NBC. Broadcasting in color from the mid-1960s, ABC started using the new science of demographics to tweak its programming and ad sales. ABC invested heavily in shows with wide appeal, especially situation comedies such as Happy Days, Barney Miller, Three's Company and Taxi. Programming head Fred Silverman was credited with reversing the network's fortunes by spinning off shows such as Laverne & Shirley and Mork and Mindy. He also commissioned series from Aaron Spelling such as Charlie's Angels.
ABC also offered big-budget, extended-length miniseries, among them QB VII, and Rich Man, Poor Man. The most successful, Roots, based on Alex Haley's novel, became one of the biggest hits in television history. Combined with ratings for its regular weekly series, Roots propelled ABC to a first-place finish in the national Nielsen ratings for the 1976–1977 season— this was a first in the then thirty-year history of the network. In 1983, via its revived theatrical division, ABC Motion Pictures, Silkwood was released in theaters, and The Day After (again produced in-house by its by-then retitled television unit, ABC Circle Films) was viewed on TV by 100 million people, prompting discussion of nuclear activities taking place at the time.
In 1984-85, ABC-TV began the transition from coaxial cable/microwave delivery to satellite delivery via AT&T's Telstar 301. ABC maintained a West Coast feed network on Telstar 302 and in 1991 scrambled feeds on both satellites with the Leitch system. Currently, with the Leitch system abandoned, ABC operates digital feeds on Intelsat Galaxy 16 and Intelsat Galaxy 3C. ABC Radio began using the SEDAT satellite distribution system in the mid-1980s, switching to Starguide in the early 2000s.
ABC purchased a majority stake of the ESPN networks and franchises in 1984.
Capital Cities (1985 until the Disney Merger)
ABC's dominance carried into the early 1980s. But by 1985, veteran shows like The Love Boat had lost their steam; a resurgent NBC was leading in the ratings. ABC shifted its focus to situation comedies. During this period, ABC seemed to have lost the momentum that once propelled it; there was little offered that was innovative or compelling. Like his counterpart at CBS, William S. Paley, founding-father Goldenson had withdrawn to the sidelines. ABC's ratings and the earnings thus generated reflected this loss of drive. Under the circumstances, ABC was a ripe takeover target. However, no one expected the buyer to be a media company only a tenth the size of ABC, Capital Cities Communications. The corporate name was changed to Capital Cities/ABC.
As the 1990s began, one could conclude the company was more conservative than at other times in its history. The miniseries faded off. Saturday morning cartoons were phased out. But the network did acquire Orion Pictures' television division in the wake of the studio's bankruptcy, later merging it with its in-house division ABC Circle Films to create ABC Productions. Shows produced during this era included My So-Called Life, The Commish, and American Detective (the latter co-produced with Orion before the studio's bankruptcy). In an attempt to win viewers on Friday night, the TGIF programming block was created. The lead programs of this time included America's Funniest Home Videos, Full House, Family Matters, Home Improvement, and Step by Step. This programming was hardly controversial: good parenting, abstinence, and maintaining a nuclear family were common themes.
Acquisition by Disney
In 1996, The Walt Disney Company acquired Capital Cities/ABC, and renamed the broadcasting group ABC, Inc., although the network continues to also use American Broadcasting Companies, such as on TV productions it owns.
ABC's relationship with Disney dates back to 1953, when Leonard Goldenson pledged enough money so that the "Disneyland" theme park could be completed. ABC continued to hold Disney notes and stock until 1960, and also had first call on the "Disneyland" television series in 1954. With this new relationship came an attempt at cross-promotion, with attractions based on ABC shows at Disney parks and an annual soap festival at Walt Disney World. The former president of ABC, Inc., Robert Iger, now heads Disney.
Despite intense micro-managing on the part of Disney management, the flagship television network was slow to turn around. In 1999, the network was able to experience a brief resurgence with the hit game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. However, WWTBAM became overexposed, appearing on the network sometimes five or six nights during a week. ABC's ratings fell dramatically as competitors introduced their own game shows and the public grew tired of the format. Alex Wallau took over as president in 2000 , and in 2001, ABC was able to find its niche in dramas such as Alias, Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal and Lost, followed shortly by Grey's Anatomy and in 2006, the dramedy Ugly Betty (the latter being based on a popular international telenovela), which are all popular among viewers and critically acclaimed. However, their reality television programming has not been as successful; despite successes with Dancing with the Stars, the mishandling of The Mole (and the creation of its subsequent spinoffs Celebrity Mole Hawaii and Celebrity Mole Yucatan) and the continued failures of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are of note. Despite this, ABC is currently the United States' second-most watched network. Also of note is ABC's attempted rebuttal of Fox's enormously popular American Idol, The One: Making a Music Star, which attempts to splice a talent competition with a traditional reality show. The show comes in response to 5 years of utter dominance by American Idol over even ABC's most popular shows. However, The One pulled some of the lowest ratings in TV history and was cancelled after only two weeks.
Borrowing a proven Disney formula, there have been attempts to broaden the ABC brand name. In 2004, ABC launched a news channel called ABC News Now. Its aim is to provide round-the-clock news on over-the-air digital TV, cable TV, the Internet, and mobile phones.
Through the 1980s and 1990s, as radio's music audience continued to drift to FM, many of ABC's heritage AM stations -- the powerhouse properties upon which the company was founded, like WABC New York and WLS Chicago -- switched from music to talk. ABC Radio Networks currently syndicates conservative talk show hosts such as Sean Hannity, Larry Elder, and Mark Davis. In addition to its most popular offerings, ABC News Radio and Paul Harvey News and Comment, ABC also provides music programming to automated stations, along with weekly countdown and daily urban and hispanic morning shows.
While many of ABC's radio stations and network programs remain strong revenue producers, growth in the radio industry began to slow dramatically after the dot-com boom of the early 2000s and the consolidation that followed the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In 2005, Disney CEO Bob Iger sought to sell the ABC Radio division, having declared it a "non-core asset." On February 6, 2006, Disney announced ABC Radio would be spun off and merged with Citadel Broadcasting Corporation, to form a new company named Citadel Communications. More than a year later, the complex merger and tax plans still await federal approval. But once the $2.5 billion merger is completed, reportedly sometime in the summer of 2007, Disney shareholders would own a majority of the new radio company's stock. ABC/Disney would have no control over Citadel operations, however. Disney is not selling its dozens of ESPN Radio or Radio Disney stations, as the company still sees much value in their branding and cross-promotional opportunities. ABC News -- a unit of the ABC Television Network -- will continue producing ABC News Radio, which Citadel has agreed to distribute for at least ten years.
With the sale of ABC Radio, ABC becomes the second heritage American television network to sell its original radio properties. NBC dismantled its radio division in the late 1980s. CBS is now the only broadcast television network with its original radio link, though both Fox News and CNN have a significant radio presence.
A 2003 Nielsen estimate found that ABC could be seen in 96.75% of all homes in the United States, reaching 103,179,600 households. ABC has 10 VHF and UHF owned-and-operated television stations and 218 affiliated stations in the U.S. and U.S. possessions.
Since the 1950s, ABC has split "live" production between east- and west-coast facilities; ABC Television Center West in Hollywood, (once the Vitagraph film studios) accommodates sets for the daily soap operas; and the ABC Television Center East, once clustered around a former stable on West 66th Street, and now split between several soundstages in the same New York neighborhood. (ABC's corporate headquarters and TV news studios are located on the north side of West 66th, while some of its soap facilities are across the street. The stages for The View and "All My Children" are in the same building as ABC News Radio, further west on 66th St. near the Hudson River.) Some ABC News programs such as Good Morning America are broadcast from ABC's studios in Times Square. ABC's west coast corporate offices are located in Burbank, California adjacent to the Walt Disney Studios and the Walt Disney Company corporate headquarters.
In 2002 ABC committed over $35 million to build an automated Network Release (NR) facility in New York to distribute programming to its affiliates. This facility is not equipped to handle HDTV so it was obsolete before it was built. As of early 2007 it is three years behind schedule and fails several times a week. Building a standard definition facility today is like building a black and white studio in 1967; it will meet the minimum current requirement but will soon be out of date. NR's major accomplishment to date was the airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas in December 2006 with several acts in the wrong order. NR is considered to be one of the greatest blunders in broadcast engineering history.
Today, ABC owns nearly all its in-house television and theatrical productions made from the 1970s forward, with the exception of certain co-productions with producers (for example, The Commish is now owned by its producer, Stephen Cannell). Also part of the library is the aforementioned Selznick library, the Cinerama Releasing/Palomar theatrical library and the Selmur Productions catalog the network acquired some years back, and the in-house productions it continues to produce (such as America's Funniest Home Videos, General Hospital, and ABC News productions), although Buena Vista handles international distribution.
Most of the in-house ABC shows produced prior to 1973 are now the responsibility of CBS Paramount Television (via its acquisition of Worldvision Enterprises in 1999).
ABC.com was the first network website to offer full length episodes online from May-June 2006. Beginning with the 2006-2007 Television Season, ABC.com has regularly begun airing Full Length episodes of some of its popular and new shows, such as Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, The Knights of Prosperity, Brothers & Sisters, What About Brian, Six Degrees, Day Break, and The Nine on its website the day after they aired on ABC, with some advertisements (though less than when broadcast for television). This is assumed to be a response to the popularity of digital recording devices and piracy issues that major network broadcasters are facing.
Before its early color transmissions, the ABC identity was a lowercase 'abc' inside a lower case 'a'. That logo was known as the "ABC Circle A." The logo was modified in the fall of 1962 when ABC started using the current "ABC Circle" logo (designed by Paul Rand) with ultra-modern (for its time) lower case 'abc' inside. The typeface used is a simple geometric design inspired by the Bauhaus school of the 1920s; its simplicity makes it easy to duplicate, something ABC has taken advantage of many times over the years (especially before the advent of computer graphics). It does not correspond to a particular font; however, several common geometric typefaces (including Avant Garde and Horatio) are close, and a recently developed typeface is inspired by it. A variation of ABC's logo is used by Brazilian TV network SBT. A radio station in Mexico's Federal District, XEABC, duplicates the 'abc' lettering as its logo.
ABC was the first television network to air programs produced by Walt Disney. In 1954 , the Disney anthology television series, under the title Disneyland, began showing not only programs made exclusively for television by the Disney studio, but also edited versions of some of the studio's theatrical films, such as Alice in Wonderland (1951 film). Occasionally, a full-length film would be shown, such as Treasure Island (1950 film), but these would be divided into two one-hour episodes. Disneyland, which premiered in conjunction with the impending opening of Disney's theme park of the same name, changed its name to Walt Disney Presents in 1958, and switched from ABC to NBC in 1961, changing its name again - this time to Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. It became one of the longest-running TV series of all time.
With the prime time success of The Flintstones and The Bugs Bunny Show, ABC became the first television network to show an animated cartoon series in that time period.
In 1948, ABC aired the first live telecast of a full-length opera, from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House. The opera was Giuseppe Verdi's Otello, starring Ramón Vinay in the title role.
ABC provides programming in supermarkets in an agreement with InStore Broadcasting Networks
After having scarcely covered the campaigns of Dennis Kucinich, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton, ABC officially pulled its coverage of these candidates considerably prior to them having ended their campaigns. On December 10, 2003, one day after a democratic presidential debate hosted by ABC News' Ted Koppel, in which Koppel suggested that the campaigns of Kucinich, Moseley Braun and Sharpton were merely vanity campaigns, and Koppel and Kucinich exchanged uncomfortable dialogue, ABC announced the removal of its correspondents from the Kucinich, Moseley Braun and Sharpton campaigns.  Kucinich, being the most extreme example, didn't end his campaign until July 22, 2004, more than six months later. This disclosed ABC's role in the 2004 election as more of a kingmaker than a news reporter.
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ABC comes under fire for alleged partisan slant in 9/11 miniseries
ABC aired the controversial two-part miniseries "The Path to 9/11" in the US on September 10, 2006, at 8 p.m. EDT and September 11, 2006, at 8 p.m. EDT. The extensive pre-broadcast controversy over the film has included disputes over the accuracy of its dramatization of key events, as well as calls by historians and from former Clinton and Bush administration officials for ABC to re-edit part of the film or not broadcast it at all. According to the official statement released by ABC on September 7, 2006, the film is "a dramatization, not a documentary, drawn from a variety of sources, including The 9/11 Commission Report, other published materials, and from personal interviews."
The main source of the controversy stems from alleged inaccuracies in the portion of the film concerned with the Clinton administration in the 1990s. Critics say that certain scenes tend to suggest that blame for the events that took place on September 11, 2001 lies with Clinton and his cabinet. One example cited is a scene in which then National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, does not approve of the order to take out a surrounded Osama bin Laden and tells the squad in Afghanistan that they will have to do the job without official authorization and then hangs up the phone. According to Sandy Berger and others—including conservative author and Clinton critic Richard Miniter—this absolutely never happened. Screenwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh has now admitted that the abrupt hang-up was not in the script and was improvised.
American Airlines reportedly threatened to pull its advertising from ABC after this program aired. The liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America named ABC its' third annual "Misinformer of the Year" award in 2006, not only for the miniseries, but for the alleged conservative pandering of ABC News director Mark Halperin and for allegedly biased claims on news programs such as ABC World News and Good Morning America.
ABC presently operates on a 92½-hour regular network programming schedule. It provides 22 hours of prime time programming to affiliated stations: 8-11pm Monday to Saturday (all times ET/PT) and 7-11pm on Sundays. Programming will also be provided 11am-4pm weekdays (currently the talk show The View and soaps All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital); 7-9am weekdays (Good Morning America) along with one-hour weekend editions; nightly editions of ABC World News, the Sunday political talk show This Week with George Stephanopoulos, early morning news programs World News Now and America This Morning and the newsmagazine Nightline; the late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live; and a four-hour Saturday morning live-action/animation block under the name ABC Kids.
In addition, sports programming is also provided weekend afternoons any time from 12-6pm (all times ET/PT).
History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com.
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates we made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that grown in popularity over the past several years.