CBS Issues Responsibility Rundown


CBS Thursday issued its third-annual "Social Responsibility" report, essentially an attractively packaged 122-page pitch for the network's trusteeship of its chunk--natoinal network and local stations--of public airwaves.

Among the highlights: The network estimates it aired $212 million worth of PSA's in 2004, though that is down a tad from the $224 million it estimated for 2003.

Heading the list of PSA's in the report were for the Viacom/Kaiser Family Foundation "Know HIV/AIDS" awareness campaign. Viacom, which owns CBS and UPN, is continuing that effort in 2005, including working the issue into the plot lines.

Kaiser on Thursday issued a release pointing out that next Tuesday's episode of UPN series Eve features an HIV/AIDS storyline, with star Eve and other characters getting AIDS tests and a cameo appearance by a Detroit AIDS counselor who briefed TV writers about the issue as part of the Viacom/Kaiser project.

As diversity initiative success stories, CBS pointed to: Henry Robles, who participated in the network's Writers' Mentoring Program and parlayed that into a slot on the writing team of drama Cold Case; Lourdes Colon, a Latino/Hispanic showcase participant who was featured in an episode of Without a Trace; and Grant Albrecht, a participant in the showcase for actors with disabilities who snagged a recurring role on CSI: NY.

CBS says it is captioning 90-95 hours of programming, making it already in compliance with FCC benchmarks that don't take effect until the beginning of next year.

The network also promoted the public service of its 2004 election coverage and 60 Minutes stories, though, not surprisingly, no mention was made of the National Guard story controversy, though the network's report was issued in 2005, which a CBS spokesman said was the reason it was not mentioned.

The report is distributed to the press, O&Os, community groups, and numerous other constituencies,  including Washington policymakers.