Columbia Square opened in 1938 as the most modern broadcasting facility in the world. It was designed by architect William Lescaze in the international style. The interiors were stunning in their art deco “moderne” design. Colors were striking in reds and blues. William Paley, the founder and president of CBS loved the building and the people who worked there did so as well.
From 1938 until August of 2006 CBS-KNX operated out of the studios and CBS Television (network and local) programs originated there from 1950 until April 2007. It appears that the building will be saved from demolition and be the cornerstone of a new development but it will no longer be a creative hub of production and home to the creative spirit that occupied it for almost 70 years.
Event at the Plaza
Remembering Columbia Square will be a program dedicated to the
wonderful, exciting and imaginative programs and people who worked in this
The program will be built around the inaugural
broadcast of 1938 This is Columbia Square and will include reminiscences
with Radio and Television personalities as well as writers, producers, directors
and technicians who worked at Columbia Square.
The Jack Benny Show
The program focuses primarily on the “golden days” of radio when such
programs as “The Jack Benny Show", Burns and Allen, “My Friend Irma”, “The
Whistler”, “Suspense”, “Lux Radio Theatre”, “Gunsmoke” , “Lum & Abner”,
“The CBS Radio Workshop”, Norman Corwin’s “On A Note of Triumph”, “Art
Linkletter’s House Party”, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and so many more
were produced in the studios at Sunset and Gower.
Meet Corliss Archer
Among those appearing: Norman Corwin, Herb Ellis, Ray Erlenborne,Art Gilmore, Jim Hawthorne, Marvin Kaplan, Art Linkletter, Janet Waldo, Marie Wilson, Alan Young, , Harry Shearer, Gil Stratton, Jr., Mel Baldwin, Jack Benny, and George Burns.
Mel Baldwin narrates Remembering Columbia Square . Mel worked at CBS/KNX Columbia Square from 1951 until 1991 as a staff announcer and is most remembered for hosting American Airlines Music 'til Dawn
from 1953 until 1968.
He has also written and directed as well as announced many programs including Meet Millie, Opinion Please (the first telephone talk show in Los Angeles), Baldwin & Walsh in the Morning , contributing to Stan Freberg's radio shows, and having his own short lived network show The Mel Baldwin Show .
Remembering Columbia Square: An Homage to a Palace of Broadcasting was produced by Gerald Zelinger.