BW – EP110: Christmas Week 1948—The CBS Talent Raids

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In Breaking Walls episode 110 we continue our mini-series on the 1948-49 radio season by focusing on news and programming during Christmas week, 1948.


• Jack Benny: Leaving for CBS
• A northeast blizzard starts holiday week
• Edgar Bergen: Also leaving NBC
• Walter Winchell’s big new ABC deal
• Soaps, Queens, and the Chesterfield Supper Club
• Monday night belongs to CBS
• Lunch with WOR while NBC still owns Tuesday evenings
• Fred Waring and Yukon King Gear up For Xmas
• Blackie, Gildy, Duffy, and Bing
• Abbott, Costello, and Jolson fade, while Suspense soars on Thursday
• ABC wins Friday while Skelton gets ready to leave NBC too
• Merry Christmas from the Royal Roost in Manhattan
• Mary Lee, Grand Central, and Elgin Celebrate Xmas
• Sinatra’s up-and-down 1948
• Benny and Bergen say goodbye to NBC


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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

As well as articles from:
• Broadcasting Magazine
• The Los Angeles Times
• The New York Daily News
• Radio Daily


On the interview front:

• Edgar Bergen, Mel Blanc, Himan Brown, Ken Carpenter, Gale Gordon, Jim Jordan, Harold Peary, Alan Reed, Lurene Tuttle, and Don Wilson were with Chuck Schaden. Hear their full chats at

• Edgar Bergen, Hans Conried, John Gibson, Jim Jordan, and Jan Miner were with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC’s The Golden Age of Radio. Hear these at

• Ralph Bell, Himan Brown, and Jack Johnstone were with SPERDVAC. For more information, go to

• Bing Crosby and John Scott Trotter were with Same Time, Same Station

• Eve Arden was with John Dunning

• Phil Harris with Jack Carney

• Bob Hope with Johnny Carson

• Jo Stafford with Michael Feinstein

• Frank Sinatra with Larry King

• Red Skelton was with Dini Petty


Selected music featured in today’s episode was:

• It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year — By Andy Williams
• Christmas Dreaming — By Frank Sinatra
• Somewhere in My Memory and Star of Bethlehem — By John Williams for Home Alone
• Christmas Blues — By Washboard Pete
• Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day — By The Marlborough Cathedral Choir
• Christmas Carols for 1928 — By Elsie Holt
• White Christmas — By Bing Crosby
• Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas — By Mel Torme
• Ya Viene La Vieja — By JP 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

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


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