Colleagues of William Paley, the founder of CBS Inc. who died Friday at age 89, praised him as a creative and brilliant pioneer.
"He was a giant of 20th century business, a man committed to excellence," CBS News anchor Dan Rather said in a statement."Among his many accomplishments was being present at the creation of broadcast journalism, and he remained passionately interested in the news up to the time of his death," Rather said.
"Bill Paley was obviously one of the great giants in the broadcasting field," said Daniel Schorr, who worked for CBS from 1953 to 1976 and now works for National Public Radio in Washington.
"He created an atmosphere at CBS where one could feel that one doesn't have to worry about ratings or the cost of putting on the news and documentaries," he said.
Laurence Tisch, president of CBS Inc., said: "Bill Paley was an imposing leader who wove his boundless energy and taste into the very fabricof the company he created. He was a man of profound grace and intel
lect, as well as one of the most astute businessmen of our time."
Fred Friendly, president of CBS News from 1964 to 1966, worked for Paley for 16 years.
"I think that broadcast journalism as it exists today would not be here if it had not been for Paley," he said.
Friendly said Paley led coverage of three important eras at CBS: the rise of Hitler and the start of World War II, which was covered by up to 20 hours at a time of straight news; the McCarthy era in the 1950s; and the tumultuous 1960s.
Paley helped make broadcasting "what it was in the days before there were takeovers and people who were only interested in where the profits were," Schorr said.
Schorr said when Edward R. Murrow told Paley in the late 1950s he was worried about whether his weekly documentary news show "See It Now" would make money, Paley told Murrow, ` "We make our money from Jack Benny, don't worry about it."'