BW – EP109: Thanksgiving 1948—The Changing Radio Landscape

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In Breaking Walls episode 109 we continue our mini-series on the 1948-49 radio season by focusing on news and programming from Thanksgiving Day, 1948.



• Tex and Jinx for WNBC with photographer Robert Capa
• John Nesbitt’s Passing Parade for WOR while CBS broadcasts the Macy’s parade
• Cornell vs. Penn in the Turkey Bowl Game
• Norma Young’s Happy Homes for KHJ in Los Angeles
• Let’s Get Married with Bride and Groom on KECA
• The Elgin Thanksgiving Special with Don Ameche
• Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis with Vera Vague
• Jack Benny Gets a Turkey on the Cheap — Signs A Big Contract with CBS
• David Sarnoff Overplays his Hand
• Fulton Lewis Jr. with the News from Mutual Broadcasting
• Henry Aldrich’s Turkey Run
• Burns and Allen Loose a Wedding Ring
• Pre-teen Margaret O’Brien Stars on Suspense
• Casey, Crime Photographer’s Holiday
• James Hilton Hosts The Hallmark Playhouse with Free Land
• Virginia Gregg and Willard Waterman Guest-Star on The First Nighter Program
• Thanksgiving Leftovers and Looking Ahead to Christmas


The WallBreakers:
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The reading material used in today’s episode was:

• On the Air — By John Dunning
• Network Radio Ratings, 1932-53 — By Jim Ramsburg
• The fantastic work by Doctor Joseph Webb on
Suspense —

Casey Crime Photographer —

As well as articles from the archives of
• Broadcasting Magazine
• Radio Daily
• The New York Times
I’d also like to thank Mark Greenspan for supplying the audio from Penn vs. Cornell.


On the interview front:

• Virginia Gregg, Barbara Luddy, Margaret O’Brien, Olan Soule, Ezra Stone, Willard Waterman, and Don Wilson, were with Chuck Schaden. Hear their full chats at

• Don Ameche, Hans Conried, Staats Cotsworth, John Gibson, Jan Miner, and Vincent Price were with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC’s The Golden Age of Radio. Hear these at

• Cedric Adams spoke with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin in 1952.

• Jack Poppele spoke with Westinghouse in 1970.

• Jack Benny was interviewed for a 1972 PBS Documentary on Great Radio Comedians.

• Barbara Walters spoke with George Burns in 1979.

• Virginia Gregg spoke with SPERDVAC on August 14th, 1982. For more information, go to


Selected music featured in today’s episode was:

• Sleigh Ride and Jingle Bells — By Al Caiola, Riz Ortolani & Jimmy McGriff
• Thanksgiving — By Michael Silverman
• Greensleeves — By Steve Erquiaga
• Night Pt. 1 – Snow — By George Winston
• Deck The Halls — By J.P. Torres


Subscribe to Burning Gotham—the new audio drama set in 1835 New York City. It’s available everywhere you get your podcasts and at


Special thanks to:

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society

Twelve Chimes, It’s Midnight

The Fireside Mystery Theatre
A special thank you to Ted Davenport and Jerry Haendiges: two radio show collectors who helped supply material for this episode. They’re who the large retailers go to.

Ted’s got a Facebook group –
For Jerry, please visit

I’d also like to thank Walden Hughes and John and Larry Gassman of SPERDVAC –


Thank you to:
Tony Adams
Steven Allmon
Orson Orsen Chandler
Briana Isaac
Thomas M. Joyce
Ryan Kramer
Barry Nadler
Christian Neuhaus
Aimee Pavy