CBS Tallies $200M in Positive Initiatives

Fourth annual social-issues report adds "green" projects

CBS says it aired more than $200 million worth of public service announcements in 2007. That's according to the company's annual Social Responsibility Report, which is being released this week. For the first time, the company is breaking out its "green" initiatives in a separate publication.

It is the company's fourth annual report on its investments and returns in good corporate citizenship via public service announcements, diversity initiatives, local station public service, and network programming across its TV, radio, print and outdoor advertising businesses for calendar year 2007.

The report (several thousand hard copies and an online version) is distributed internally to advocacy groups, legislators, regulators, journalists and anyone else the various CBS divisions want to tell about the company's socially responsible activities. In this case, there are some 124 pages worth in the two documents, according to early copies obtained by B&C.

Besides listing numerous awards and local station initiatives from food drives to hospital fund-raisers, CBS outlined some of its issues-oriented themes on CBS, The CW and its syndicated shows. These include Cold Case episodes that deal with date rape, neo-Nazism and racism; a CSI episode on dog fighting; Dr. Phil episodes on teen drinking and autism; and Girlfriends (on The CW) shows on domestic abuse and the environment.

Among the highlights in the report, CBS was the first, and it says the only, media company to certify its greenhouse gas emissions via the California Climate Action Registry. CBS also cited WCCO, its Minneapolis owned-and-operated station, for the use of people power to generate the electricity for its newscast from the Minnesota state fair.