Face the Nation

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Face the Nation
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen gives an interview to John Dickerson during the CBS news program Face the Nation in Washington, D.C., July 5, 2009 090705-N-TT977-156.jpg
Admiral Michael Mullen, the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is interviewed by John Dickerson during the July 5, 2009 episode of Face the Nation
Genre Public affairs/political talk program
Created by Frank Stanton
Presented by John Dickerson
(for past moderators, see section)
Narrated by John Hartge
Theme music composer Score Productions (1991–2002)
Peter Fish (2002–present)
Composer(s) Peter Fish
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 63
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 network CBS
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
1080i (HDTV)
Original release November 7, 1954 (1954-11-07) – present
External links
Website www.cbsnews.com/face-the-nation/

Face the Nation is an American Sunday morning political interview show 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 current moderator is John Dickerson, who in 2015 replaced Bob Schieffer after 24 years in the position.


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

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), 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, and in the late afternoon on C-SPAN's Washington area radio station WCSP-FM (which is also easily accessible online nationwide).


Eleanor Roosevelt and Margaret Chase Smith on the November 11, 1956 episode of Face the Nation
Bob Schieffer

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]

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).

Bob Schieffer, the longest-serving moderator in the show's history, retired in 2015 after 24 years.[2]


The following is the list of moderators for Face the Nation

Bill Shadel 1954–1955
Stuart Novins 1955–1960
Howard K. Smith 1960–1961
Paul Niven 1961–1965
Martin Agronsky 1965–1968
George Herman 1968–1983
Lesley Stahl 1983–1991
Bob Schieffer 1991–2015
John Dickerson 2015–present

Program length[edit]

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.[3][4] 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;[5] 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.[6][7] 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, 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.[8]

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. ^ ""Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer to retire this summer". Face the Nation. CBS News. April 8, 2015. 
  3. ^ Bob Schieffer (July 29, 2012). "'Face the Nation' to continue as hour-long show". CBS News. Retrieved September 23, 2013. 
  4. ^ "'Face the Nation' to remain hour-long permanently". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "CBS Press Express – Face The Nation". www.cbspressexpress.com. 
  6. ^ "CBS News 'Face the Nation' is the #1 Public Affairs Show for Three Straight Weeks". TV by the Numbers. February 6, 2009. 
  7. ^ "CBS Face the Nation – all stations and times". TuneIn. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Face the Nation: Local Listings". CBS News. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 

External links[edit]