BW – EP111: NBC Answers the CBS Talent Raids (1949)

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In Breaking Walls episode 111 we resume our mini-series in January of 1949. CBS is now the nation’s number one network, and NBC is left to come up with programming answers. We’ll focus on the shows they launched in the spring and summer of 1949.


• Jack Benny: Now on CBS
• First The News
• Network Radio Opens 1949 with Record Earnings
• John Wayne, Claire Trevor, John Ford, and Ward Bond Open The NBC Theater
• David Sarnoff and the Mass NBC Exodus
• It’s the Martin and Lewis Show!
• Alan Young and Henry Morgan
• Richard Diamond
• Jack Webb Launches Dragnet
• Fred Allen Finally Has Enough
• William Conrad, The Killers, and The Four Star Playhouse
• Dangerous Assignment
• San Francisco’s YUkon 3-8309 Lady Detective
• Looking Ahead to the Fall of 1949


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

As well as articles from:
• Billboard Magazine
• Broadcasting Magazine
• Radio Daily


On the interview front:
• Virginia Gregg, Lurene Tuttle, Herb Vigran, Mike Wallace, Don Wilson were with Chuck Schaden. Hear their full chats at

• Parley Baer, Lilian Buyeff, Herb Ellis, Betty Lou Gerson, Virginia Gregg, and Peggy Webber were with SPERDVAC. For more information, go to

• Arnold Stang was with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC’s The Golden Age of Radio. Hear these at

• Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin were with Cedric Adams

• Fred Allen was on Tex and Jinx

• Donald Vorhees was interviewed for Allen’s Biography In Sound

• Jack Kruschen was with Jim Bohannon

• John Dehner was with Neil Ross

• William Conrad was with Chris Lambesis

• E. Jack Neuman was with John Dunning

• Frank Sinatra was with Walter Cronkite


Selected music featured in today’s episode was:
• Takin’ A Chance on Love — By Helen Forrest
• The Pavane — By Steve Erquiaga
• Lenore Overture Number 3 — By Ludwig Van Beethoven
• And Fly Me To The Moon — By Frank Sinatra

Special thanks to

The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
The Fireside Mystery Theatre

Terror on the Air


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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