Face the Nation

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This article is about the newsprogram on CBS. For the 4Him album, see Face the Nation (4Him album). For the Kid 'N Play album, see Face the Nation (Kid 'n Play album).
Face the Nation
Genre Public affairs/political talk program
Created by Frank Stanton
Presented by Bill Shadel (1954–1955)
Stuart Novins (1955–1960)
Howard K. Smith (1960–1961)
Paul Niven (1961–1965)
Martin Agronsky (1965–1969)
George Herman (1969–1983)
Lesley Stahl (1983–1991)
Bob Schieffer (1991–present)
Narrated by John Hartge
Theme music composer Score Productions (1991–2002)
Peter Fish (2002–present)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 60
Executive producer(s) Mary Hager
Producer(s) Rob Hendin
(senior producer)
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
Original channel CBS
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original run November 7, 1954 (1954-11-07) – present
External links

Face the Nation is an American Sunday morning political interview show that is broadcast on the CBS television network. Created by Frank Stanton in 1954, it is one of the longest-running news programs in the history of television. The show has been moderated by Bob Schieffer since 1991.


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 Tedd Koop, then the Washington, D.C. bureau chief for CBS News. On that first program, his guest was Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy.[1]

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 usually broadcast at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time (immediately following CBS News Sunday Morning), although most CBS affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone air it at 8:30 a.m. local time. 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.

Face the Nation title card, used from 2011 to 2013.

Face the Nation became the last Sunday morning talk show to begin broadcasting in high definition in July 2011 (leaving only CBS's 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).

The program ran 30 minutes (approximately 21½ without commercials) for much of its history, eventually making Face the Nation the shortest of the Sunday talk shows and the only half-hour Sunday morning talk show on the four major broadcast networks (ABC's This Week and Fox's Fox News Sunday have been one hour long since their debuts, while NBC's Meet the Press expanded to one hour in 1992). 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, although some CBS-affiliated stations still choose to air only the first 30 minutes of the program.[2][3] 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 64% 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 local or syndicated programming (such as religious programs, children's programming, local news or public affairs programming, local pre-game programming leading into CBS's The NFL Today, college football coaches shows recapping game action from the day before or already sold infomercials) or carry that half-hour on a co-owned/co-managed sister station instead. Most radio stations only air the first half-hour.[4][5] Other stations choose to air the second half-hour after primetime following their late local newscasts or in a later timeslot as part of their late night schedule.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bob Schieffer. Face the Nation: My Favorite Stories from the First 50 Years of the Award-Winning News Broadcast. New York City: Simon & Schuster. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-0641658730. 
  2. ^ Bob Schieffer (July 29, 2012). "'Face the Nation' to continue as hour-long show". CBS News. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ "'Face the Nation' to remain hour-long permanently". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "CBS News 'Face the Nation' is the #1 Public Affairs Show for Three Straight Weeks". TV by the Numbers. February 6, 2009. 
  5. ^ "CBS Face the Nation - all stations and times". Tune In. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Face the Nation: Local Listings". CBS News. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 

External links[edit]