|Face the Nation|
|Genre||Public affairs/political talk program|
|Created by||Frank Stanton|
|Directed by||Alison Hawley|
|Presented by||Margaret Brennan (for past moderators, see section)|
|Narrated by||John Hartge|
Jim Bohannon (substitute)
|Theme music composer||Score Productions (1991-2002)|
Peter Fish (2002-2018)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||64|
|Ed Forgotson, Catherine Reynolds|
Jillian Hughes, Jake Miller
|Production location(s)||CBS News Washington Bureau, Washington, D.C.|
|Camera setup||Videotape; Multi-camera|
|Running time||30 minutes (1954-2012)|
60 minutes (2012-present)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV),|
|Original release||November 7, 1954 -|
Face the Nation is a weekly American news and morning public affairs program airing Sundays on the CBS radio and television network. Created by Frank Stanton in 1954, Face the Nation is one of the longest-running news programs in the history of television.
Typically, the program features interviews with prominent American officials, politicians and authors, followed by analysis from a panel of journalists. Margaret Brennan is the current moderator of Face the Nation, though former host John Dickerson has substituted during Brennan's maternity leave.
The show's full hour broadcasts live from the CBS News Washington, D.C., bureau at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time, though some stations delay or abbreviate episodes to accommodate local and sports programming.
In 2017, Face the Nations audience was the largest of all Sunday public affairs programs, with an average of 3.538 million viewers. NBC competitor Meet the Press has closely competed for the title in 2018, besting Face the Nations audience for several months.
Similar to its Sunday morning competitors, Face the Nation begins each episode with a short "tease" segment recapping the week's events and teasing the day's guests, set to the show's theme music.
The remainder of the program's first half-hour typically features interviews of prominent politicians, often lawmakers and cabinet or White House officials, responding to issues from the week's news.
The program's second-half hour transitions to more discussion-oriented segments, including interviews of notable authors with forthcoming books and a weekly roundtable discussion, with a rotating cast of panelists.
Unlike some of their competitors, Face the Nation and NBC's Meet the Press generally book only journalists and columnists for their panel discussions, omitting current and former politicians from providing punditry.
During major news events or breaking news, the program will often feature reports from various CBS News correspondents before the day's interviews, to allow guests the opportunity to respond to the latest news.
Face the Nation's first half-hour airs on CBS television stations throughout the United States, typically in the morning. In 2018, the CBS News digital streaming network CBSN began re-airing the program's full hour at 11:00 a.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. Eastern 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. CBS Radio also edits and distributes a slightly abbreviated version of the program as a weekly podcast.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2015)
Face the Nation premiered on November 7, 1954, and was originally broadcast on Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Bill Shadel was then the Washington, D.C. bureau chief for CBS News. On that first program, his guest was Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy. Guests were rarely scheduled far in advance in order to keep on top of current news stories.
As the first female host of Face the Nation, Stahl became one of the most recognizable female faces on television. She held the position for eight years before stepping down to focus on 60 Minutes.
In 1991, Bob Schieffer took over as moderator for Lesley Stahl who held the position for eight years. Under Schieffer, ratings boomed and the program extended its half-hour time frame to a full one-hour. Ratings soared to over 3 million viewers every Sunday, as Face the Nation surpassed all competitors in the ratings. Schieffer won numerous awards with the program, including two Emmy's for Outstanding News Discussion & Analysis, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and the Overseas Press Club Award.
In July 2011, Face the Nation became the last Sunday morning talk program to begin broadcasting in high definition (leaving only CBS' 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). Another big change came for the program in December 2011 when they permanently extended the half-hour broad cast to a full one-hour. The move came after Face the Nation's competitors, NBC's Meet the Press, ABC's This Week, and Fox News Sunday all extended their programs to one-hour. The delay came from dispute among the network's affiliate stations.
On February 22, 2018, CBS announced Margaret Brennan as the new host, replacing John Dickerson who served as moderator for less than three years to let him focus on his anchor duties on CBS This Morning. Brennan is the second female host in the program's history, after Lesley Stahl.
She conducted numerous interviews with members of the Trump administration, including former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy. Margaret Brennan also serves as the network's senior foreign affairs correspondent. Brennan interviewed Vice President Mike Pence in her last episode before maternity leave.
The following is the list of moderators for Face the Nation:
|Howard K. Smith||1960-1961|
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. 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; 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 (mainly station-produced NFL pregame shows leading into The NFL Today, along with E/I commitments and advertorial or outdoors programming). Other stations choose to air the second half-hour after primetime following their late local newscasts or in a later time slot 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.
Face the Nation was the last Sunday public affairs program to extend their length to a full-hour. The move came as a way to draw viewers away from competitors.
Face the Nation has been mentioned by Stephen Colbert using the nickname "The Nation Face" on several occasions.