BW – EP97: Thanksgiving 1947—The Most Popular Season in Radio History

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In Breaking Walls Episode 97 we usher in the holiday season with the first of a three-part mini-series on the 1947-48 radio season. The 1947-48 season had the largest radio audience in history. Homes with radios jumped 6%, car radios 29%.

The major networks—NBC, CBS, ABC, and the Mutual Broadcasting System added 147 new affiliates. 97% of the nation’s AM stations were now linked to one of the big four. Network revenue topped $200 Million.


Famine in Europe; Anti-Communism at Home—The World is Changing
Boomer Babes Fuel a Ratings Increase
The Annual Hollywood Santa Parade
Happy Thanksgiving 1947
Breakfast with the Couples
Prepping With the Soaps
The Answer Man Takes to the Air
The Annual Elgin Thanksgiving Special
Juvenile Adventure At Dusk
Settling Into Prime Time
George Burns: French Crooner
Casey Gets His Turkey
Home is Where the Heart Is
Eddie Cantor Has Been Kidnapped
Late Night and Looking Ahead


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The reading material used in today’s episode was:
Frank and Anne Hummert’s Radio Factory – By Jim Cox
On the Air – By John Dunning
Network Radio Ratings, 1932-53 — by Jim Ramsburg
As well as articles from:
Broadcasting Magazine: January 20th, 1947; October 27th, 1947; December 1st, 1947

On the interview front:
Jackson Beck, Hans Conried, Staats Cotsworth, John Gibson, Tony Marvin, and Jan Miner were with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC’s The Golden Age of Radio. These interviews can be heard at

Chuck Schaden interviewed Ken Carpenter and Les Tremayne. Hear their full chats at

While SPERDVAC was with Betty Lou Gerson and Jack Johnstone. For more information, please go to

And Barbara Walters interviewed George Burns for 20/20.


Selected Music featured in today’s episode was:
“Over the River and Through The Woods” — by the US Airforce Band
“Holiday On Skis” – by Al Caiola & Riz Ortolani
“Joy” – by George Winston


“Star of Bethlehem” – by John Williams
Special thanks to our sponsors!

The Fireside Mystery Theater

Twelve Chimes, It’s Midnight

The Fireside Mystery Theater will be taping their next podcast on Sunday November 17th at the Slipper Room at 167 Orchard Street in New York City.

The theme is: Holiday Haunts. Doors open at 4:30PM and yours truly will be a member of the cast. Come out and support great, new audio drama.
I’d also like to thank Walden Hughes and John and Larry Gassman of SPERDVAC. Listen to their shows on the Yesterday USA radio network.

By the way, SPERDVAC – The Society To Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety and Comedy will be having their next convention this coming November 7th through 10th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 3131 Bristol St. in Costa Mesa, CA.

For more information, please go to


A Special Thank you to:
Tony Adams
Ryan Kramer
Barry Nadler
Christian Neuhaus
Aimee Pavy
Terry Wallace


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Social Media – @TheWallBreakers