The ABC (short for American Broadcasting Company according to AbbreviationFinder) was born as a radio station in the 1920s, following an antitrust ruling by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against Radio Corporation of America (RCA) (owner of the companies that would later give rise to ABC) and it would not be until after the Second World War when he created a television division called ABC Television, more specifically on April 19, 1948.
Its founder was Edward John Noble, owner of Life Savers sweets and the Rexall pharmacy chain. To complete the transfer of licenses for the stations, Noble had to sell WMCA, his radio station in New York.
ABC Radio started slowly; With few hit series or older celebrities, he had to build an audience. Noble acquired more stations, including WXYZ in Detroit, an NBC Blue / ABC affiliate since 1935. Noble also bought KECA (now KABC) in Los Angeles, to give the chain a production base in Hollywood. Industrial policy prohibited the use of prerecorded programs; Adapting the advanced recording on tape brought in from Germany after its conquest, ABC attracted some older celebrities who wanted freedom from rigid schedules. Although still ranked fourth, by the late 1940s ABC had begun to move closer to the better established networks.
In September 1944, Noble acquired the rights to the names “American Broadcasting Company”, “American Broadcasting Corporation”, and “American Network”, clearing the way for the name change from American Broadcasting System to American Broadcasting Company, with the group Blue becoming “ABC.”
Faced with the costs of building a radio station, ABC was not in a position to bear the additional costs demanded by television. However, to secure a seat at the table, in 1947 ABC filed applications for licenses in the five cities where it owned radio stations.
The ABC television network aired on April 19, 1948. The network picked up its first major affiliates, WFIL-TV of Philadelphia and WMAL-TV of Washington before its main station, WJZ-TV in New York, signed in August of that year. The rest of the ABC network’s fleet of affiliated stations in major markets (in Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles), would sign in the next 13 months. For the next few years, ABC was a television network primarily in his name. With the exception of the largest markets, most cities had only one or two stations.
By 1951 the ABC was poorly spread and on the verge of bankruptcy. It had only nine full-time affiliates to augment its five owned and operated stations. Noble finally he found in United Paramount Theaters (UPT) in late 1949 to Leonard Goldenson who decided to seek investment opportunities. Excluded from the film industry, Goldenson saw broadcasting as a possibility, and in 1951, he discussed with Noble the possibilities of buying ABC. Noble was being approached by other suitors, so he was in no rush to accommodate Goldenson. After some difficult negotiations, the merger between ABC and UPT was finally agreed, and it was announced in the spring of 1951.
Edward Noble remained on the board of directors of the new ABC until his death in 1958. After its acquisition by UPT, ABC even had the means to offer a full-time television service on the scale of CBS and NBC. By mid- 1953, Goldenson had started a two-pronged campaign, asking his old mates at Hollywood studios to convince them to enter television programming (within a few years, he changed his television programming from shows predominantly broadcast live from New York to movies made for television in Hollywood). He also began courting station owners to convince them that a renovation was about to explode for ABC.
His two-part campaign paid off when the “new” ABC aired on October 27, 1954. Among the shows that brought record-breaking audiences was Disneyland, produced by and starring Walt Disney… the beginning of a relationship between the studio and the network that would eventually transform the two. While ABC-TV continues to languish in third place nationally, it frequently outperformed local ratings in the largest markets. With the advent of skillfully produced series in Hollywood, ABC began to catch on with the young, urban viewers whom advertisers wanted to reach.
The 23 as September as 1962, ABC began televising the animated series The Jetsons in color. Another animated series, The Flintstones, had been filmed in color since its debut in 1960 and was soon shown in color on the network. During the 1960s, ABC founded an indoor production unit, ABC Films, to create new material especially for the network. In 1968, the parent company changed its name from American Broadcasting-Paramount Theaters, Inc. to American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.In the early 1970s, ABC had formed its first theatrical division, ABC Pictures, later called ABC Motion Pictures.. In 1974 ABC acquired the broadcasting rights for the annual Oscar Awards ceremony. In 1984, ABC acquired majority control of ESPN, a cable television sports channel. ABC was acquired by Capital Cities in 1986 for $ 3.5 billion, changing its corporate name to Capital Cities / ABC.