BW – EP82: Depression, War, And The Birth of ABC (1932 – 1946)

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In Breaking Walls episode 82 we focus on the state of the radio broadcasting industry in the late 1930s and early 1940s, as Broadcasting booms while the world goes to War.

• Early days at NBC’s Radio City in New York
• How Press Associations caused NBC and CBS to launch a news service
• The Birth of the Mutual Broadcasting System and their Struggles
• NBC Red and NBC Blue
• The FCC and US Justice Department Get Involved with Radio
• The Murrow Boys and Encroaching War in Europe
• The War Comes Home
• NBC sells The Blue Network
• Norman Corwin and His World War II Work
• Bing Crosby, Philco Radios, and Network Transcription
• The Talent Raids of 1949

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The reading material used in today’s episode was:
• The General: David Sarnoff & The Rise of the Communications Industry – by Kenneth Bilby
• The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio – by John Dunning
• Beating The Odds: The Untold Story Behind the Rise of ABC – by Leonard H. Goldenson with Marvin J. Wolf
• Empire: William S. Paley & The Making of CBS – by Lewis J. Paper
• The Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia of Radio – by Christopher H. Sterling

As well as four articles from the archives of TIME Magazine:

• HAPPY BIRTHDAY MBS – September 15, 1941
• Old Law v. New Thing – January 12, 1942
• Black & Blue – January 11, 1943
• Network Without Ulcers – April 21, 1947
Norman Corwin was with Chuck Schaden on August 8th, 1976. You can stream this interview and many others for free on Chuck’s site,

Selected Music featured in today’s Episode was:

• Rudy Vallee – Brother Can You Spare A Dime
• Jaqueline Schwab – The Minstrel Boy & The Battle Cry for Freedom
• Bing Crosby – Blues in the Night & Don’t Fence Me in with The Andrews Sisters
I’d like to especially thank Larry and John Gassman as well as Walden Hughes for continued help and support. They host a program on the Yesterday USA Radio Network, which you can visit at The three gentleman are also members of SPERDVAC – The Society To Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety and Comedy.

They’re having their next convention this coming November 1st through 3rd at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 3131 Bristol St. in Costa Mesa, CA for more information, please go to
A Special Thank you to:
Ron Baron
Ryan Kramer
Christian Neuhaus
Aimee Pavy
Rebecca Shield
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