Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS)
was an American radio network, in operation from 1934 to
In the golden age of U.S.
, MBS was best known as the original network home of
The Lone Ranger
The Adventures of
and as the long-time radio residence of
. For many years, it
was a national broadcaster for Major League Baseball
including the All-Star Game
, and for Notre Dame football
the mid-1930s and for decades after, Mutual ran a highly respected
news service accompanied by a variety of popular commentary shows.
Toward the end of its run as a major programmer, it introduced the
country to Larry King
Of the four national networks of American radio's classic era,
Mutual had for decades the largest number of affiliates
but the least certain financial
position. For the first eighteen years of its existence, MBS was
owned and operated as a cooperative
setting the network apart from its competitors: Mutual's members
shared their own original programming, transmission and promotion
expenses, and advertising revenues. From December 30, 1936, when it
debuted in the West, the Mutual Broadcasting System had affiliates
from coast to coast. Its business structure would change after
assumed majority ownership
in 1952 through a series of regional and individual station
Once General Tire sold the network in 1957, Mutual's ownership was
largely disconnected from the stations it served, leading to a more
conventional, top-down model of program production and
distribution. Not long after the sale, one of the network's new
executive teams was charged with accepting money to use Mutual as a
vehicle for foreign propaganda
network was severely damaged, but soon rebounded. Mutual changed
hands frequently in succeeding years—even leaving aside
larger-scale acquisitions and mergers, its final direct corporate
parent, Westwood One
, which purchased
it in 1985, was the seventh in a string of new owners that followed
1934–1935: The launch of Mutual
Attempts at establishing cooperatively owned radio networks had
been made since the 1920s. In 1929, a group of four radio stations
in the major markets of New
York City, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Detroit organized into a loose
confederation known as the Quality Network
years later, a similar or identical group of stations founded the
Mutual Broadcasting System. Mutual's original participating stations were
WOR–Newark, New Jersey, just outside of New York (owned by the Bamberger Broadcasting Service, a
division of R.H.
Macy and Company), WGN–Chicago (owned by WGN Inc., a subsidiary of the
Chicago Tribune), WXYZ–Detroit
(owned by Kunsky-Trendle Broadcasting), and WLW–Cincinnati
(owned by the Crosley Radio Company).
The network was
organized on September 29, 1934, with the members contracting for
telephone-line transmission facilities and agreeing to collectively
enter into contracts with advertisers for their networked shows.
WOR and WGN, based in the two largest markets and providing the
bulk of the programming, were the acknowledged leaders of the
group. On October 29, 1934, the Mutual Broadcasting System was
incorporated, with Bamberger and WGN Inc. each holding 50 percent
of the stock—five each of the ten total shares.
The three national radio networks already in operation—the Columbia Broadcasting System
and the National Broadcasting Company
's NBC Red
and NBC Blue
—were corporate controlled: programming
was produced by the network and distributed to affiliates, most of
which were independently owned. In contrast, the Mutual
Broadcasting System was run as a true cooperative venture, with
programming produced by and shared between the group's members. The
majority of the early programming, from WOR and WGN, consisted of
musical features and inexpensive dramatic serials. WOR had
The Witch's Tale
, a horror
anthology series whose "hunner-an'-thirteen-year-old" narrator
invited listeners to "douse all [the] lights. Now draw up to the
fire an' gaze into the embers ...gaaaaze into 'em
... an' soon ye'll be across the seas, in th' jungle land
of Africa ... hear that chantin' and them savage drums?" WGN
contributed the popular comedy series Lum and Abner
. Detroit's WXYZ provided
The Lone Ranger
, which had
debuted in 1933 and was already in demand. It is often claimed that
MBS was launched primarily as a vehicle for the Western serial, but
Lum and Abner
was no less popular at the time. What WLW
brought was sheer power; billing itself as "The Nation's Station,"
in May 1934 it had begun night broadcasting at a massive 500,000
watts, ten times the clear-channel
On May 24, 1935, the network aired its inaugural live event—the
first-ever night baseball game, between the Cincinnati Reds
and the Philadelphia Phillies
. In September,
WXYZ dropped out to join NBC Blue, though contractual obligations
kept The Lone Ranger
on Mutual, airing three times a week,
through spring 1942. The hole in the Detroit market was
immediately filled by CKLW in Windsor,
Ontario, just across the river.
In October, the
network began a decades-long run as broadcaster of baseball's World
Series, with airtime responsibilities shared between WGN's Bob Elson
and Quin Ryan and WLW's Red Barber
(NBC and CBS also carried the series
that year; the Fall Classic would air on all three networks through
1938). Mutual broadcast its first Notre Dame football game that
autumn as well, beginning another relationship that would last for
decades. As an income-generating business, the Mutual network was a
modest endeavor at the start: in the first eleven months of 1935,
the cooperative garnered $1.1 million in advertising, compared to
NBC's $28.3 million and CBS's $15.8 million.
Late 1930s: National expansion
In the fall of 1936, Mutual lost another of its founding members
when WLW departed. The network, however, was in the midst of a
major expansion: the first outside group of stations to sign on
with Mutual was John Shepard's
Colonial Network with its Boston flagship station, WAAB, and
thirteen affiliates around New England. Cleveland's WGAR also became an affiliate, as did five
Midwestern stations: KSLG–St. Louis, Mo.;
KSO–Des Moines, Iowa; WMT–Cedar Rapids, Iowa; KOIL–Omaha, Neb.;
Neb. The big prize came in December, when the Don Lee Broadcasting System, the
leading regional web on the West Coast, left CBS to become a
central participant in Mutual.
Don Lee brought its four
–Los Angeles, KFRC
–San Francisco, KGB
–San Diego, and KDB–Santa Barbara—along with six
California affiliates and, via shortwave
hookup, two more in Hawaii. Mutual now had a nationwide presence.
During 1936, as well, an offer by Warner
to purchase the network was apparently made and
1937, ownership of WAAB was consolidated with that of another
Boston station controlled by Shepard: WNAC was flagship
of the Yankee Network, a circuit of
New England radio stations whose membership partially overlapped
with that of Colonial.
The Texas Network soon added
twenty-three more stations to the MBS affiliate roster. WGAR
dropped out, but the United Broadcasting Company, part of the
business, joined with its lead station, WHK
. Within a few years, this new Ohio participant would
become one of the network's central members, a shareowner in MBS.
By the end of 1938, Mutual had 74 exclusive affiliates; though the
two leading radio network companies discouraged dual hookups,
Mutual shared another 25 affiliates with NBC and 5 with CBS. The
total of 104 affiliates put Mutual not far behind the leaders.
Because of the corporate strength behind NBC and CBS, however, and
the fact that the lion's share of the most powerful stations in the
country had already signed with them before Mutual's emergence (the
exceptional, and soon departed, WLW aside), the cooperative network
would be at a permanent disadvantage.
Programming: The Shadow and diverse political
On the programming front, 1936 saw Mutual launch the first network
advice show, The Good Will Hour
, hosted by John J. Anthony
and sponsored by physical culture
guru Bernarr Macfadden
program was a new take on Ask Mister Anthony
, which had
aired on a local New York station in 1932, "dedicated to helping
the sufferers from an antiquated and outmoded domestic relations
code." Anthony, whose real name was Lester Kroll, brought a wealth
of relevant experience to his work—he had once been jailed for
failing to make alimony payments. In July 1937 came the premiere of
a seven-part adaptation of Les
, produced, written, and directed by Orson Welles
and featuring many of his Mercury Theatre
appearance on the air. September 26, 1937, proved a particularly
momentous date: that evening, The
came to Mutual. The show would become a mainstay of
the network for more than a decade and a half and one of the most
popular programs in radio history. For the first year of its Mutual
run, Welles provided the voice of The Shadow and his newly created
alter ego, Lamont Cranston. He played the part anonymously at
first. But, as one chronicler put it, "nothing to do with Welles
could remain a secret for very long."
In April 1938, the network picked up The Green Hornet
from former member
WXYZ. Mutual gave the twice-a-week series its first national
exposure until November 1939, when it switched to NBC Blue. (The
series would return very briefly to Mutual in the fall of 1940).
MBS also provided the national launching pad for Kay Kyser and His Kollege of Musical
Kyser's enormous success at Mutual soon allowed his
show to move to NBC and its much larger audience. By May 1939, MBS was
broadcasting the Indianapolis 500.
That autumn, Mutual won exclusive broadcast
rights to the World Series. As described in a 1943 Supreme Court
ruling upholding the regulatory power of the Federal Communications
, Mutual "offered this program of outstanding
national interest to stations throughout the country, including NBC
and CBS affiliates in communities having no other stations. CBS and
NBC immediately invoked the 'exclusive affiliation' clauses of
their agreements with these stations, and as a result thousands of
persons in many sections of the country were unable to hear the
broadcasts of the games." This was the first example given in the
ruling of "abuses" perpetrated by the two leading broadcast
Mutual also began building a reputation as a strong news service,
rivaling the industry leaders in quality if not budget.
broadcasts of WOR reporter Gabriel
Heatter from the Lindbergh kidnapping "trial of the century" in 1935, heard over Mutual,
were highly regarded; Heatter soon had his own regularly scheduled
newscast, aired nationally five nights a week.
In 1936, also
via WOR, Mutual began broadcasting the reports of news commentator
Raymond Gram Swing
, who became
one of the country's leading voices on foreign affairs. In November
1937, conservative commentator Fulton Lewis
, heard five nights weekly from Mutual affiliate WOL
, became the first national news personality to
broadcast out of Washington, D.C.; he would remain with the network
until his death almost three decades later. In 1938, Mutual started
rebroadcasting news reports from the BBC
English-language newscasts from the European mainland. The network
also began employing its own reporters in Europe as the continent
headed toward crisis, including John Steele, Waverly Root, Arthur
Mann, and Victor Lusinchi. Among these was Sigrid Schultz
, the first accomplished female
foreign correspondent to appear on American news radio.
1940s: One of the "Big Four"
Early in 1940, the corporate organization of Mutual became even
more inclusive, as described by scholar Cornelia B. Rose:
Until January, 1940, six groups bore the expense of the
network operation in varying degree: stations WGN and WOR owned all
the stock of the corporation and guaranteed to make up any deficit;
the Colonial Network in New England, the Don Lee System on the
Pacific Coast, and the group of stations owned by the Cleveland
Plain Dealer, participated in responsibility for running
expenses. A new contract effective February 1, 1940, provides for
contributing membership by all the above group[s] plus station CKLW
in Detroit-Windsor. These groups now agree to underwrite expenses
and become stockholders in the network.... An operating board for
the network is comprised of representatives from each of these
groups, together with additional representation appointed by other
The new cooperative structure was also joined by the owners of
in Cincinnati, which had replaced
Mutual cofounder WLW in that market. The MBS corporation now had
100 shares, apportioned as follows:
In 1941, WOR's official city of license was changed to New York.
two years, the Colonial Network's affiliate roster and shares in
Mutual had been fully absorbed into the Yankee Network by John Shepard III; WNAC was the sole
flagship, WAAB having been moved to Worcester, in central Massachusetts, to avoid duopoly
restrictions.With WBZ taking over
the slot as the NBC Red affiliate in Boston, WNAC switched to
In January 1943, the Federal Communications
(FCC) approved the sale of the Yankee Network—with
WNAC, its three other owned-and-operated stations, its contracts
with 17 additional affiliates, and its Mutual shares—to the
Ohio-based General Tire
and Rubber Company
Already by 1940, MBS was on a par with the industry leaders in
terms of affiliate roster size. Still, because Mutual affiliates
were mostly in small markets or lesser stations in big ones, the
network lagged way behind in advertising revenue—NBC took in eleven
times as much as Mutual that year. In 1941, the FCC, calling for
NBC to divest one of its two networks, observed that the company
"has utilized the Blue to forestall competition with the
Red .... Mutual is excluded from, or only lamely admitted to,
many important markets." On January 10, 1942, Mutual filed a
$10.275 million suit against NBC and its owner, RCA
, alleging a conspiracy "hindering and restricting
Mutual freely and fairly to compete in the transmission in
interstate commerce of nation-wide network programs." The FCC's
Supreme Court victory in 1943 led to the sale of the Blue Network
and Mutual dropping its lawsuit. These developments appear to have
been of more symbolic than practical value to MBS—the transfer of
the NBC Blue stations to the new American Broadcasting
did little to help Mutual's competitive position. In
1945 it reached 384 affiliates, and by December 1948, Mutual
Broadcasting was heard on more than 500 stations in the United
States. But this growth did not reflect any ability on Mutual's
part to attract leading stations from the corporate-controlled
networks. Rather, the FCC had eased its technical standards for
local stations, facilitating the establishment of new outlets in
small markets: between 1945 and 1952, the number of AM stations
rose from around 940 to more than 2,350. It was these new,
relatively weak stations Mutual kept picking up. Though by now it
had many more affiliates than any other U.S. radio network, for the
most part they remained "less desirable in frequency, power, and
coverage," as the Supreme Court had put it. For instance, in the
postwar era CBS and NBC covered all of North Carolina each with
only four stations. MBS needed fourteen affiliates to deliver
comparable statewide coverage.
Late in the decade, there was a brief exploration into the idea of
launching a Mutual television network, serious enough to prompt
talks with MGM
as a potential source of
programming talent. The plans never got off the ground and Mutual
thus became the only one of the "Big Four" U.S. radio networks not
to start (and eventually be dominated by) a television network.
While there was no Mutual TV network, this did not mean the group
did not have an influence over commercial television's early
development. The cooperative held the rights to a number of
valuable radio properties that made the transition to the new
medium, including two of the era's most popular variations on what
would later become known as the tabloid talk show
and "reality" programming
: the crabby gabfest
Leave It to the
and, in particular, Queen for a Day,
which both started on
Mutual radio in 1945. Referred to by some as a "misery show,"
Queen for a Day
"awarded prizes to women who could come up
with the most heart-stabbing stories told by the sick and the
downtrodden .... On one show, a mother of nine requested a
washing machine to replace one that broke when it fell on her
husband and disabled him—and who, by the way, also needed heart
surgery." In May 1947, a simulcast version began
airing on the Don Lee system's experimental TV station in Los
Angeles, W6XAO (later KTSL).
was a smash hit, and by the turn of the decade TV stations all
along the coast were broadcasting it to high ratings. In the 1950s,
Mutual would stare down NBC for four years as the mighty network
sought to take control of the show.
Programming: World War II and Superman
Offscreen, Mutual remained an enterprising broadcaster. In 1940, a
program featuring Cedric Foster joined Mutual's respected schedule
of news and opinion shows. Foster's claim to fame was as the first
daytime commentator to be heard nationally on a daily basis. The
network aired that year's NFL Championship Game
8, the first national broadcast of the annual event. Over the
following half decade, Mutual's war coverage held its own with that
of the wealthier networks, featuring field correspondents such as
Henry Shapiro and Piet Van T Veer and commentators such as Cecil Brown
, formerly of CBS. At 2:26 p.m.
time, on Sunday, December 7, 1941, Mutual flagship WOR interrupted
a football game broadcast with a news flash reporting the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor.
It was the initial public announcement of
the attack heard on the U.S. mainland. The first bombs had dropped
63 minutes earlier. In May 1945, Sigrid Schultz reported from
one of the last Nazi
concentration camps to be discovered, Ravensbrück.
The following month, Meet the Press
premiered with Martha Rountree
as moderator. For a year and
a half in the late 1940s, William
came over from CBS to do current events commentary after
his famous falling out with Edward
. In 1948, Mutual's four-part series To Secure These
, dramatizing the findings of President Truman
's Committee on Civil
, outraged many politicians and the network's own
affiliates in the segregated
In the field of entertainment, Mutual built on the incomparable
success of The Shadow
. WGN's The Theater of the
, featuring hour-long opera and musical theater productions
before a live audience, was broadcast for the first time in May
1940. By 1943, the weekly show was being recorded in front of
houses 4,000 strong, gathered to see performances featuring a full
orchestra and chorus. The Theater of the Air
would run on
Mutual through March 1955. Mutual provided an early national outlet
for the influential, iconoclastic satirist Henry Morgan
, whose show Here's
began its network run in October 1940. Though The
moved over to NBC Blue in May 1942, within a few
months Mutual had another reliable, and no less famous, action
Adventures of Superman
, picked up from WOR, would run on
the network from August 1942 to June 1949. In April 1943, Mutual
launched what would turn into one of its longest-lasting shows:
debuting as The
Return of Nick Carter
and later retitled Nick Carter,
, it would be a network staple through
September 1955. From May 1943 through May 1946, Mutual aired
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
, starring Basil Rathbone
and Nigel Bruce
. An earlier incarnation of the show
had run briefly on the network in 1936; a less starry version would
return to MBS from September 1947 through June 1949. The Mysterious Traveler
anthology series, aired every week on Mutual from
December 1943 until September 1952.
In February 1946, MBS introduced a quiz show, Twenty Questions
, that would run for
more than seven years. In October, the detective series
Let George Do It
starring Bob Bailey, launched as a Mutual/Don Lee presentation; it
would also run into the mid-1950s. For two years, starting in 1946
as well, Steve Allen
got his first
network exposure on the Mutual/Don Lee morning show Smile
, out of Los Angeles's KHJ
February 1947, the religiously oriented Family Theater
premiered; with frequent
appearances by major Hollywood stars, the series aired on Mutual
for ten and a half years. That March, Kate
, a major star on CBS since 1931, moved over to Mutual.
During most of her initial run at the network, which lasted until
September 1951, she had two distinct weekday shows, each 15 minutes
long: Kate Smith Speaks
, at noon, and Kate Smith
, later in the hour. The network gave an outlet to radio
dramatist Wyllis Cooper
and his highly
regarded suspense anthology Quiet,
, which ran on Mutual from June 1947 to September
1948. It also aired actor Alan Ladd
similarly lauded drama about a crime-solving mystery novelist,
, which ran for precisely a
year. Its 52 episodes, which aired every Sunday beginning August
22, 1948, were produced by Ladd's own company, Mayfair
1950s: New ownership
Toward the end of 1950, the executors of the estate of Thomas S.
Lee (the son of Don Lee, who had died in 1934) decided to liquidate
the estate's interests in the broadcasting field. The Don Lee
Broadcasting System, with its major station groups KHJ in Los
Angeles and KFRC
in San Francisco and
its shares in the Mutual Broadcasting System, was sold to General
Tire (which already had a stake in Mutual via its Yankee Network
holdings). Around the same time, MBS acquired the television
broadcast rights to the World Series and All-Star Game for the next
six years. Mutual may have been reindulging in TV network dreams or
simply taking advantage of a long-standing business relationship;
in either case, the broadcast rights were sold to NBC in time for
the following season's games at an enormous profit.
Early in 1952, General Tire purchased the Bamberger Broadcasting
Service from R.H. Macy and Company. With the deal, General Tire acquired the
WOR radio and TV stations and the rights to the name General
Teleradio, under which the company merged its broadcasting
interests as a new division (Bamberger had previously sold its TV
station in the nation's capital, WOIC, to CBS and
Most importantly, as far as the future of the
Mutual Broadcasting System was concerned, WOR's founding shares in
the network, when added to the Yankee and Don Lee holdings, gave
General Tire majority control of MBS. That same year, NBC began its
attempts to win the television rights to Queen for a
from Mutual. As a measure of the afternoon show's
success, its audience at its new Los Angeles home, General
Teleradio/Don Lee's KHJ-TV, was triple
that of the city's six other stations combined.
not have had a TV network, but it controlled one of the most
profitable properties in the early history of commercial
Mutual was at this point the largest U.S. radio network in
affiliate numbers, by far—it had 560, almost three times as many as
its most powerful competitors, CBS (194) and NBC (191). In 1955,
General Tire expanded its media holdings by acquiring RKO Radio Pictures
from Howard Hughes
, only to close the movie studio
a year and a half later (General Teleradio, renamed RKO Teleradio
after the acquisition, would soon be known as RKO General
). General Tire also decided to spin
off its holdings in Mutual and sell it as a programming service
even as it retained the stations that had given it control. Indeed,
in 1956, General purchased a governing interest in yet another
Mutual shareholder, Western Ontario Broadcasting, and its station
in Windsor, CKLW. In July 1957, General Tire sold the Mutual
Broadcasting business to a group led by Dr. Armand Hammer
The network soon changed hands again: in September 1958, it was
acquired by the Scranton Corporation. Scranton was under the
control of the F.L. Jacobs Company, whose chairman, Alexander
Guterma, envisioned a media empire uniting Mutual with another
recent purchase, the Hal Roach
studio. After being questioned by federal investigators in February
1959 about financial improprieties, Guterma stepped down. Mutual,
by this point, was floundering. For some years it had been run by
owners who were either uninterested (General Tire, Armand Hammer)
or now, as a growing amount of evidence would show, criminal.
Mutual was also confronted with the situation the entire industry
was facing: major advertisers were abandoning radio for television.
Commercial rates had been cut. Limited sponsorship packages had
been introduced, in which an advertiser could back a show for an
abbreviated period rather than an entire season—but there was no
reversing the trend. The networks were left with the bills for an
increasing number of nonsponsored programs, known as "sustaining"
shows in the industry. The loss of mainstay advertisers was
accompanied by what historian Ronald Garay describes as the "mass
desertion of network radio talent, management and technicians for
television .... [T]hese people were taking with them the
programming that had popularized the radio networks."
Under its new chairman, Hal
, F.L. Jacobs put Mutual into Chapter 11
bankruptcy. In September 1959,
Guterma, Roach, and Garland Culpepper, a Scranton Corp. vice
president, were indicted for failing to register as "foreign
agents"; they were charged with secretly accepting money from
Republic dictator Rafael
Trujillo that previous January in return for favorable coverage
of the country and its government on Mutual news programs.
was never proven that Guterma, who was identified as the primary
player on Mutual's side and pleaded no contest to the charge,
actually fulfilled his part of the deal and arranged for slanted
coverage. Nonetheless, the incident led to a reported 130 stations
cutting their affiliation with Mutual. Whether precipitated by the
scandal or not, among the stations cutting its ties with Mutual in
1959 was one of the network's two original flagships, WOR.
Businessman Albert G. McCarthy, meanwhile, had taken over the
network, arranging to settle its debts while seeking an owner
interested in running it on an ongoing basis.
Programming: Korean War and original drama's decline
Before the Guterma fiasco, the network had maintained its
reputation for running a strong news organization. As the conflict
on the Korean peninsula began to heat up in mid-1950, Mutual
started airing two special reports nightly on the situation,
featuring the commentary of Major George Fielding Eliot, military
analyst for CBS during World War II. By August, Mutual was
represented by six correspondents in Korea, more than ABC or NBC.
In June 1958, just a few months before the Scranton takeover, the
network had launched a nightly 25-minute newscast, The World
, hosted by Westbrook Van Voorhis, famous as the voice of
The March of Time
occasion, Mutual's commentary programs made the news: On March 11,
1954, Fulton Lewis Jr. featured Senator
as his guest, two days after the senator's
ethics had been called into question on the TV show See It Now
, hosted by Edward R.Murrow
. In his radio interview, McCarthy
dismissed Murrow as "the extreme left-wing, bleeding-heart element
By the end of the 1950s, Mutual had forsworn original dramatic
programming. Early in the decade, however, it picked up the
adventure series Challenge of
, which had originated at MBS cofounder WXYZ in
1938 after the station's departure from the network. The show,
subsequently renamed Sergeant Preston of the Yukon
, ran on
Mutual from January 1950 until its finale in June 1955. In 1950 as
well, Mutual introduced radio listeners to adult science fiction
with 2000 Plus
, which first aired
on March 15, almost a month before the premiere of NBC's similarly
themed Dimension X
s long run finally ended in December 1954. In November
1957, Mutual aired the final episodes of its last two remaining
half-hour original dramatic shows, Counterspy
and Gang Busters
, both picked up from other
networks earlier in the decade. It would be almost sixteen years
before the network again aired a new dramatic series. In 1955, the
famous comedy team Bob and Ray
from NBC for a five-day-a-week afternoon show. Kate Smith returned
in 1958 for her final radio series, which ran from January to
August. Sports began to occupy an increasing portion of Mutual's
schedule: the network began regularly airing a Major League
Baseball Game of the Day,
every day except Sunday. This
expansion into daily sports programming would run well into the
1960s. While baseball's World Series and All-Star Game would go to
rival NBC in 1957, Mutual secured exclusive national radio rights
the following year to Notre Dame football, which would remain a
cornerstone for the rest of the network's existence.
1960s–1970s: Narrowed focus
In the spring of 1960, the 3M
stepped in, purchasing Mutual and restoring much-needed
stability to the operation. Despite the recent scandal, MBS still
had 443 affiliates, easily the most of any network. By this time,
as historian Jim Cox describes, both Mutual and ABC "had largely
wiped their slates clean of most of their network programming—save
news and sporting events and a few long-running features". This
would characterize Mutual's essential approach for the next three
and a half decades, through a further series of ownership
In July 1966, 3M sold the network to a privately held company
headed by John P. Fraim. The following month, after the death of
Mutual stalwart Fulton Lewis Jr., his son Fulton Lewis III took
over his Monday-to-Friday, 7 p.m. slot. When ABC Radio
"split" into four demographically
targeted networks on January 1, 1968, Mutual unsuccessfully sued to
block the move. Four years later, under new president C.Edward Little
, Mutual began
its own niche programming services, taking advantage, like ABC, of
the prevailing FCC
requirement that all radio
stations, of whatever primary format, regularly air news and public
affairs (a responsibility that would be eliminated in the early
1980s). On May 1, 1972, the network launched the Mutual Black Network
(MBN) and Mutual
Cadena Hispánica (aka the Mutual Spanish Network); each provided
100 five-minute-long news and sports capsules a week, along with
other programming. While the Spanish-language service would be
short-lived, by 1974 MBN had 98 affiliates. It was eventually spun
off and acquired by the Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation, leading
to the creation of American Urban Radio Networks
Additional targeted services, such as the Mutual Southwest Network
and Mutual Lifestyle Radio, followed from MBS.
On September 30, 1977, Amway
network. Soon after the purchase, Mutual began developing what
would become the first nationwide commercial broadcast satellite
network, leading to the end of decades of reliance on telephone
lines for the broadcast industry's transmission capacity.
Amway purchased WCFL from the
Chicago Federation of
Labor to serve as Mutual's flagship.
For the first time,
the network that had been founded by radio stations directly
controlled a station of its own, and in one of the country's
largest markets. Mutual also reached its greatest number of
affiliates that year—950. This was fewer than ABC, whose
multipronged approach had proven very successful, but far in front
of NBC and CBS. It appeared that Amway was ready to pose a major
challenge to the industry leaders.
Programming: Rise of the call-in talk show
One of the few primary network programs outside of news and sports
that Mutual initiated during this era became one of the most
successful in its history: the first nationwide, all-night call-in
show, which launched on November 3, 1975, with Herb Jepko
as host. Jepko, who had run a
telephone talk show out of KSL in Salt Lake
City for years, so determinedly avoided controversy that some
callers simply talked about the weather where they
Jepko was briefly succeeded by Long John Nebel
, before Mutual tapped a
local talk show host at WIOD in Miami. Larry
made his network premiere on January 30, 1978; by the turn
of the decade, he was being carried by 150 stations and credited
with attracting many new affiliates to Mutual. King continued his
MBS call-in show for years, even as he began appearing on
television in the mid-1980s. From 1970 through 1977, Mutual was the
national radio broadcaster for Monday Night
1980s–1990s: The end of Mutual
In 1980, Amway purchased WHN
in New York, giving
Mutual a second major-market owned-and-operated station
On a Country Road
, a music show hosted by WHN's Lee
Arnold, was introduced and given national distribution. At the
beginning of the year, MBS had started airing Mutual Radio
, a renamed version of Sears Radio Theater
, which it had
just picked up. A number of well-regarded dramas were produced as
part of the anthology series. In 1981, Mutual launched Dick Clark's National Music Survey
three-hour-long weekly program combining music and interviews.
Despite these developments and the fact that its satellite network
was now fully on line, Amway was making little if any profit out of
MBS. The network's corporate parent began backing out of the radio
business. Mutual Radio Theater
, the network's last ever
original dramatic series, had its final show on December 19, 1981.
In November 1983, Amway sold off Mutual's WCFL flagship to
Statewide Broadcasting. A year later, a deal was struck for the
sale of WHN to Doubleday
. In 1985, a suitor came calling for the network
, a major radio production
company and syndicator
network, in short—was looking to expand its operations. Westwood
and Mutual were a good match: The demographics of Mutual affiliates
tended to be adult; most of the stations that bought Westwood's
programming, much of it in the pop music field, had substantially
younger audiences. Mutual had the news operations that Westwood
lacked. And there was Mutual's size; though down from its peak, it
still commanded 810 affiliates, a strong second among the Big Four.
In September 1985, Amway sold the network to Westwood One for $39
million. "It's a perfect fit," declared Westwood head Norman J.
Pattiz. Referring to the united company's ability to give
advertisers access to a broad demographic sweep, he called it "a
classic case of two plus two equaling five." In 1987, the number
got even bigger: Westwood One snapped up Mutual's long-time
competitor, the NBC Radio Network
for $50 million. Mutual was now part of a much larger programming
service, and its identity was slowly phased out. In 1993, when
Larry King switched his radio show to the daytime a year before
giving it up, the late-night call-in slot went to WCFL alumnus
; within a few years, it
was a Westwood One–branded show. Westwood One was itself taken over
by Infinity Broadcasting
in 1994. In a deal
announced in June 1996 and completed that December, CBS's new
parent company, Westinghouse
, acquired Infinity
for just shy of $5 billion. The direct descendants of the three
original U.S. network companies had merged.
At this point, Mutual was little more than a brand name for certain
news and sports programming provided by the new conglomerate's
Westwood One division. Mutual and NBC Radio newscasters sat back to
back in the Westwood One studio, the former main MBS facility in
In April 1999, Westwood One announced it was
dropping the Mutual brand in favor of CNN Radio, which it began
distributing through a deal with Turner Broadcasting System
former member of the news team described the end: "Official time of
Mutual Radio's death was Midnight 4/17/99. No tribute, no mention
it was the last newscast ... it just died." The Crystal City
facility was closed in March 2001, and Westwood's primary
operations were transferred to the CBS Broadcast Center in New York
As of 2007, some Westwood One programming can still trace its
lineage directly to Mutual. Jim Bohannon remains on the air,
hosting a call-in show tracing directly back to Herb Jepko's 1975
launch on MBS as well as a morning news magazine, America in
. A simulcast of TV's Larry King Live
continues to run.
, founded as a Mutual program after the Westwood One
purchase, still airs in its original form.
Mutual founding stations WOR and WGN now each have radio networks
of their own. The WOR Radio
syndicates general interest programs, while WGN's
smaller Tribune Radio
, a division of Tribune
, broadcasts Orion
's farm reports and Chicago
games. In addition, WLW syndicates many of its in-house
hosts through its parent company, Clear Channel
Broadcasting System LLC, based in Spokane, Washington, uses the Mutual and Liberty names on its two
stations, KTRW AM 970
Spokane, and KTAC FM 93.9 Ephrata,
These stations have no connection with the
original network. They present adult
, nostalgia, and some Christian programming, using the
Mutual name as part of their old-time
(Run dates on Mutual are per Dunning ,
checked against Lackmann . Note that Dunning does not list
The Sea Hound
as ever running
on Mutual, but Lackmann does. Neither lists Skyroads
- Abbott Mysteries (June
10, 1945 – August 31, 1947)
- Adventure Parade
- The Adventures of
- The Adventures of
Father Brown (June 10 – July 29, 1945)
- The Adventures of
Maisie (January 11 – December 26, 1952)
- The Amazing Nero
Wolfe (early 1946 – December 15, 1946)
Mediation Board (January 11, 1943 – April 11, 1952)
Andrews (January 17 – June 2, 1944)
- Arch Oboler's Plays
(April 5 – October 11, 1945)
- The Black Museum
(January 1 – December 30, 1952)
- Blackstone, the
Magic Detective (October 3, 1948 – April 3, 1949)
- Captain Midnight
(September 30, 1940 – July 3, 1942; September 24, 1945 – June 17,
1949; September 20 – December 15, 1949)
- Charlie Chan
(September 17, 1936 – April 22, 1938; August 11, 1947 – June 21,
Carter, Boy Detective (July 5, 1943 – July 6, 1945)
- The Cisco Kid
(October 2, 1942 – February 14, 1945; 1946 [regional])
- The Couple Next Door
(April 12 – September 16, 1937)
- The Crime Club (December
2, 1946 – October 16, 1947)
- Crime Does Not
Pay (January 7 – December 22, 1952)
- Dick Tracy (September
30, 1935 – March 24, 1937)
- Hopalong Cassidy
(January 1 – September 24, 1950)
- Hop Harrigan (October 2,
1946 – February 6, 1948)
- I Love a Mystery
(October 3, 1949 – December 26, 1952)
- It Pays to Be
Ignorant (June 25 – November 1942; March 29, 1943 –
February 28, 1944)
- Johnny Modero, Pier
23 (April 24 – September 4, 1947)
- Land of the
Lost (October 14, 1945 – July 6, 1946)
- Mandrake the
Magician (November 11, 1940 – February 6, 1942)
- Mark Trail (January 3,
1950 – June 8, 1951)
- Martin Kane, Private
Eye (August 7, 1949 – June 24, 1951)
- Red Ryder (May 20 –
September 9, 1942; 1942–49 [regional])
Saint (July 10, 1949 – May 28, 1950)
- The Sea Hound (1946–47
- The Sealed Book (March
18 – September 9, 1945)
- Sky King (September 12, 1950 –
June 3, 1954)
- Skyroads (February 13
– May 19, 1939)
- Vic and Sade (June 27 –
September 19, 1946)
- Voyage of the
Scarlet Queen (July 3, 1947 – February 14, 1948)
- The Zane Grey Show
(September 23, 1947 – February 24, 1948)
- All available sources concur that MBS cofounders WOR–Newark,
N.J./New York, WXYZ–Detroit, and WLW–Cincinnati were also founding
members of the Quality Network. Sources differ on whether
WGN–Chicago, MBS's fourth original member, or another Chicago
station, WLS ,
represented the city in the Quality Network. In addition, there is
no consensus on the fundamental matter of the degree of connection
involved: some sources claim the Quality Network had ceased to
exist by the end of 1929; others that it carried on and simply
changed its name and formalized its structure in 1934. As scholar
James Schwoch puts it, "The origins of the Mutual Broadcasting
System are somewhat murky and open to dispute." Indeed, a claim
Schwoch makes just two sentences later—that "the permanent
establishment of the Mutual network is bound up in the popularity
of a single radio program, 'The Lone Ranger'"—is disputed by
several scholars. See Schwoch (1994).
- Robinson (1979), 28; Cox (2002), 177; Some
History of the Mutual Broadcasting System extensive discussion
of the network's history and organization by historian Elizabeth
McLeod. Note that the lead content on this individually maintained
webpage (not written by McLeod) gives September 15, 1934, as the
network's organizational date, apparently based on a 1999 newspaper
article reproduced at the bottom of the page. All authoritative
sources, including McLeod, give September 29. (The newspaper
article also incorrectly states that the network featured
commentator Drew Pearson; it never did. His
shows appeared on NBC and NBC Blue/ABC. See, e.g., Nimmo ,
271. The article also incorrectly suggests that when The Lone
Ranger "rode into the radio sunset in 1954," it directly
affected the network. The show hadn't been on Mutual since 1942.)
- Dunning (1998), 724.
- For argument that MBS was primarily a vehicle for The Lone
Ranger, see, e.g., Olson (2000), 173; Head (1976), 142;
Schwoch (1994). For counterargument and popularity of Lum and
Abner, see, e.g., Hilmes (1997), 107–108; Hollis (2001), 41;
Some History of the Mutual Broadcasting System
electronic correspondence from historian Elizabeth McLeod dated
"Mon, 12 APR 99." Retrieved 1/25/07.
- Whitaker (2002), 537–538 (available online).
- Gorman et al. (1994), 105.
- Kirkley (1979), 39; Adcraft advertorial in Advertising
Age, December 5, 2005; Lone
Ranger Episode Log part of Jerry Haendiges' Vintage Radio
Logs website. Retrieved 11/21/06.
- "M. B. S.," Time, January 4, 1937 (available online). Note that this article, all of whose
data appears reliable, never mentions WXYZ in its history of
- Alexander (2002), 110; Gorman et al. (1994), 89.
- See, e.g., Patterson (2004), 90.
- "M. B. S."
- The Colonial Network part of BostonRadio.org.
- Cleveland Broadcast Radio Archives Project: WGAR-AM
historical database maintained by Mike Olszewski and Pete Motz.
Retrieved 10/29/09; "Radio's Version of 'Who's on First?'"
Broadcasting, November 2, 1970 (available online). Note that the latter source incorrectly
states, for its September 1, 1936, entry (magazine cover date, not
event date), "WLW(AM) Cincinnati turns in its MBS stock but remains
as outlet." WLW, in fact, never had any MBS stock and it left
Mutual to become an NBC affiliate (see, e.g., Schramm , 51).
Given the egregiousness of this error, too much weight must not
rest on this source for any reported data; there is anecdotal
support and, to date, no contravening evidence for its list of five
Midwestern MBS affiliates.
- "M. B. S."; The History of KFRC Radio—The Mutual–Don Lee Network
part of the Bay Area Radio Museum website. Retrieved
- Clarke (1996), ch. 11 (available online).
- The Boston Radio Timeline part of
BostonRadio.org. Retrieved 11/21/06.
- Cox (2002), 178.
- Cleveland Broadcast Radio Archives Project: WHK-AM.
- National Broadcasting Co., Inc., et al. v. United
States et al. U.S. Supreme Court ruling, May 10, 1943.
- Brady (1989), 78.
- Hilmes (1997), 99–100; Jaker et al. (1998), 129.
- Callow (1995), 321.
- Green Hornet Episode Log part of Jerry Haendiges'
Vintage Radio Logs website. Retrieved 11/21/06.
- McDougal (2001), 68.
- Highway Traveler vol. 11, no. 2 (April–May 1939), 27.
There are anecdotal suggestions that the network aired the
Indianapolis 500 in previous years, but to date no concrete
evidence has been found. For later MBS coverage of the race, see
1949 Indianapolis 500 part of the Speedway
Audio website archived via the Wayback Machine. Retrieved
- National Broadcasting Co., Inc., et al. v. United
States et al. Retrieved 11/22/06.
- Bliss (1991), 34, 36.
- Bliss (1991), 60–61.
- Nimmo and Newsome (1997), 173.
- Brown (1998), 180; Bliss (1991), 97–98.
- Rose (1971), 68.
- Nimmo and Newsome (1997), 178.
- Robinson (1979), 29.
- Jaker et al. (1998), 93; "Rubber Yankee," Time,
January 18, 1943 (available online; The
Boston Radio Timeline. Retrieved 11/21/06.
- The two available authoritative sources differ widely on the
figures for the year. Smith et al. (1998), 43, gives MBS—140,
NBC—113 (53 with Red, 60 with Blue), and CBS—112. Schwoch (1994)
gives NBC—182, MBS—160, and CBS—122. It is unclear what different
methodologies were employed to produce these varying results.
- For the advertising time sales of NBC, CBS, and MBS in 1940,
see Robinson (1979), 26, 27, 29. For the first eight months of
1941, see "Happy Birthday MBS," Time, September 15, 1941
(available online). NBC's take was now less than eight
times as much as MBS's. All available reports suggest that the gap
did not close much further during the decade.
- Quoted in Robinson (1979), 116. See also "Chains Unchained?"
Time, May 12, 1941 (available online).
- Quoted in Robinson (1979), 74.
- "Mutual Seeks to End Action Against RCA; Official Says Transfer
of Blue Network Will Solve Issue," New York Times, October
- Smith et al. (1998), 43; AM
Network-Affiliated Radio Stations, 1949 detailed affiliate
listing maintained by Jeff Miller—information based on the 1949
Broadcasting-Telecasting Yearbook and provided by the
DuMont project. Retrieved 11/21/06.
- Leblebici et al. (1991), 17 (online pagination).
- Schwoch (1994).
- Segrave (1999), 22. For more on the evaporation of Mutual's TV
plans, see Schwoch (1994).
- Nachmann (2000), 350.
- Cassidy (2005), 40–43, 187–188. Cassidy also refers to Mutual's
wish-fulfillment show Heart's Desire as one of those that
"made the shift to local or regional television" (41), but it has
not been possible to confirm this. For a detailed account of this
model of radio art, see Kovacs v. Mutual Broadcasting System (1950) 99 CA2d 56
California 2d District Court ruling, August 18, 1950. Retrieved
- Bliss (1991), 65.
- History: Chronology (1940 to 1959) part of the
official site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved
- Brown (1998), 183, 190.
- Bliss (1991), 135; America Attacked: Radio Coverage of December 7–8, 1941
part of the Authentic History Center website. Retrieved
- Crook (1998), 206–207.
- Nimmo and Newsome (1997), 311.
- Bliss (1991), 202–203.
- Savage (1999), 345 n. 123.
- WGN Radio Timeline: 1940s–1950s part of the WGN
Gold historical website; Chicago
Theater of the Air Episode Log part of Jerry Haendiges'
Vintage Radio Logs website. Retrieved 11/21/06.
- Sherlock Holmes Episode Log part of Jerry
Haendiges' Vintage Radio Logs website. Retrieved
- Dunning (1998), 382.
- Cassidy (2005), 20.
- "Don Lee Sale Approval Asked," Los Angeles Times,
November 21, 1950; "Sale of Don Lee System Approved: Cash Payment
of $12,320,000 Involved in FCC Decision," Los Angeles
Times, December 28, 1950. A scholarly journal article claims
that the Don Lee purchase brought with it a "19 percent interest in
the Mutual Broadcasting System," which would be down from the 25
percent of the 1940 restructuring. However, the reliability of this
source is questionable, as it incorrectly claims in the same
paragraph that the "East Coast-based Yankee Network ... was also
acquired at this time" by General Tire (Crane, Marie Brenne, "Radio
Station KGB and the Development of Commercial Radio In San Diego,"
Journal of San Diego History, vol. 26, no. 1 [winter 1980]
(available online)). As detailed above, General Tire in fact
acquired Yankee in 1943.
- Marshall (1998), 384; Day (2004), 230–231. Note that Marshall
and Day describe the details of the original deal very differently,
agreeing only that it was for six years at $1 million a year.
Marshall says that a contract was signed on December 26, 1950,
between baseball's major leagues, in the person of Commissioner
Chandler, on one side and MBS and the Gillette Safety Razor
Company on the other for the television rights. Day says
baseball's contract was solely with Gillette, that it was for both
radio and television rights, and that Gillette "[l]ess than a year
after acquiring the broadcast rights ... transferred" them to
Mutual. They also characterize the original contract rather
differently. Marshall calls it "one of the outstanding achievements
of the Chandler commissionership." Day credits Chandler with
"deftly avoid[ing] a financial crisis," but agrees with the
prevailing opinion of the players that Chandler "vastly
underestimated the value" of the rights. The fact, which Day
provides, that Mutual sold the package to NBC for $4 million a year
lends support to his position.
- "Radio-TV Merger Approved By F.C.C.; Deal Covers Macy's
Transfer of WOR Interests to General Tire's Don Lee System",
New York Times, January 18, 1952; "Earnings Fall 5% for
Macy System; Television's High Cost for Subsidiary, General
Teleradio, Cuts Consolidated Net," New York Times, October
11, 1950; Howard (1979), 150–152.
- "General Tire Gets Control of M. B. S.; Shareholders at Meeting
Vote 2-for-1 Stock Split—Company Buys More TV Stations," New
York Times, April 2, 1952.
- Cassidy (2005), 41.
- Mutual does have a TV network in the realm of imagination.
Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by novelist
Chabon, refers to The Escapist, a show starring
Peter Graves that ran from 1951 to 1955
on the Mutual Television Network (596).
- Cox (2002), 178. See also Cox, 127–128, for the 1950 and 1960
figures for the four major networks. Note that in August 1951, the
low-powered, baseball-oriented Liberty Broadcasting System
(LBS) had 431 affiliates (Garay , 32).
- "Sale of Mutual Expected Today; Radio Network Is Going to Group
From West Coast," New York Times, July 17, 1957.
- "Mutual Network Brings 2 Million; Radio System Is Purchased by
Scranton Corporation in Move for Expansion," New York
Times, September 12, 1958.
- See Bareiss (1998), 379–382; in particular, 381, for the
development of limited sponsorship.
- Garay (1992), 64.
- Ward (2005), 152–155; "The Price of Publicity," Time,
September 14, 1959 (available online).
- Cox (2002), 127.
- Jaker et al. (1998), 155.
- "Mutual Network 3 Million in Debt; Files Petition in U.S. Court
Seeking Settlement While Continuing in Control," New York
Times, July 2, 1959; "News of TV and Radio," New York
Times, July 5, 1959.
- Bliss (1991), 258, 259.
- Doherty (2003), 184.
- Griffith, Benjamin, "Bob and Ray" entry in the St. James
Encyclopedia of Pop Culture (2002).
- Garay (1992) says MBS launched its Game of the Day in 1949
(50). Gorman et al. (1994) say it was 1950 (91, 105). Garay
indicates that the concept was picked up from the Liberty Broadcasting System,
founded in 1947. Yet the National Baseball Hall of Fame lists among
famed broadcaster France Laux's credits "Mutual Game of the Day
(1939–41, '44)." Retrieved 11/23/06.
- "Irish Looks To Continue Ten-Game Home Win
Streak" detailed report on Notre Dame Fighting Irish, The
Official Athletic Site, September 13, 1999. Note that this
source refers to "Mutual/Westwood One" months after Mutual's
dissolution had been announced. Retrieved 1/11/07. See also
"The Irish Football Network" excerpt from
Notre Dame Odyssey, by Herb Juliano; part of the Irish
Legends website. Retrieved 1/11/07.
- "Mutual Network to Be Sold Again; Minnesota Mining Expected to
Close Deal This Week," New York Times, April 18,
- Cox (2002), 128.
- "Mutual Network Changes Owners; 3M Company Sells System to
Newly Formed Group," New York Times, July 10, 1966.
- Bliss (1991), 62–63.
- 1973 World Book (1973), 479.
- Thompson (1993), 192 n. 85.
- American Urban Radio Networks/Company
Profile—Leadership. Retrieved 11/24/06.
- For more on Zero Hour, see, e.g., Zero Hour 1973–1974; Submitted for Your Perusal: The Zero Hour; Zero
- New York State Tax Commission ruling August 27, 1981.
- "Mutual Radio Applies to F.C.C. to Be First All-Satellite
Network," New York Times, November 22, 1977; U.S.
Congress, House Committee on Appropriations, Departments of
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Appropriations for 1986, 198.
- "Radio's Latest Boom: Late-Night Talk Shows, New York
Times, May 2, 1982 (available online); "TV Mailbag—About Radio Talk Shows,"
New York Times, June 20, 1982 (available online).
- Mutual Radio Theater Log part of Old Time
Radio Program Logs. Retrieved 2/3/07.
- "Network Radio Is Tuning into Satellites," New York
Times, August 2, 1981; "Radio Networks: New 'Golden Age,'"
New York Times, May 1, 1982; "Bringing 'Turnkey' Radio
into Everybody's Backyard," New York Times, June 13,
- Dunning (1998), 603.
- "Radio Station WCFL Sold to Religious Group," Chicago
Tribune, November 4, 1983.
- "Doubleday to Buy Mutual's WHN," New York Times,
October 2, 1984.
- Westwood One, Inc.—Company History part of the
Funding Universe website. Retrieved 11/24/06.
- "Westwood to Buy Mutual Network," New York Times,
September 17, 1984; "Business People; Head of Westwood One Elated
by Mutual Deal," New York Times, September 18, 1984; Cox,
- Quoted in Westwood One, Inc.—Company History. Retrieved
- Lucier (1998).
- "Company News; Westwood One Completes Purchase of Unistar
Radio," New York Times, February 5, 1994 (available
- "To Infinity and Beyond: Is a Radio Deal Too Big?; Westinghouse
Would Own 32% of Top Markets," New York Times, June 21,
1996; "Two Radio Giants to Merge, Forming Biggest Network," New
York Times, June 21, 1996; "F.C.C. Approves Merger of
Westinghouse and Infinity," New York Times, December 27,
1996 (available online); "Company Briefs," New York
Times, January 1, 1997 (available online).
- Cox (2002), 178–179. See also "Mutual's Riding Off Into Radio
Sunset," New York Daily News, April 7, 1999 (reproduced
 see bottom of webpage). While this article is
useful for its 1999 reportage and quotes, it is filled with errors
about MBS history. Please see the note above at the end of the
first paragraph of the 1930s section for details. The current
online edition of the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia
mistakenly states that "[i]n radio, where the networks are no
longer dominant, there is also [i.e., in addition to ABC, CBS, NBC]
the Mutual Broadcasting System." Aside from the fact that NBC
Radio, CBS, and MBS merged in the 1990s, there has not
been Mutual for years. See broadcasting entry. Retrieved 11/29/06.
- WAVA 10 Year "Death Anniversary" e-Reunion testimonial
of Westwood One employee Fee Lee. Retrieved 11/24/06.
- Jim Bohannon: America In The Morning About The
Show, part of The Jim Bohannon Show website.
- Skyroads part of Don Markstein's
Toonopedia website. Retrieved 12/28/06.
Note: Start and end dates for
original dramatic and quiz series given in the main text are based
on the standard and most comprehensive reference work, On the
Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, by John Dunning (New
York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).
Dunning's detailed information has
been checked, where available, against the even more detailed
reports of Jerry Haendiges' Vintage Radio Logs
and against the much less detailed but more recently published
The Encyclopedia of American Radio: An A–Z Guide to Radio from
Jack Benny to Howard Stern
, by Ron Lackmann (New York: Facts
on File/Checkmark, 2000).
Dunning and Haendiges agree in almost
all cases where they both cover a show.
In the few cases where they differ
slightly, a specific citation is given to the one whose data
appears better supported, internally and/or by reference to
- Leblebici, Huseyin, Gerald R. Salancik, Anne Copay, and Tom
King (1991). "Institutional Change and the Transformation of
Interorganizational Fields: An Organizational History of the U.S.
Radio Broadcasting Industry," Administrative Science
Quarterly (September). ISSN 0001-8392 (available online).
- Lucier, James P. (1998). "Jim
Bohannon On Air—Radio Talk Show Host," Insight on the News
(February 9). ISSN 1051-4880 (available online).
- Schwoch, James (1994). "A Failed Vision: The Mutual Television
Network," Velvet Light Trap 33 (spring). ISSN 1542-4251
(available online, with free membership).
- How Far Should the Government Control
Radio? text of G.I. Roundtable pamphlet with details on
MBS in first section ("Who Is It That Fills The Air With Radio
Waves?"), ca. 1945; part of American Historical Association
- Reporters' Roundup Transcript radio
broadcast transcript of group interview with guest U.S. Senator
Everett M. Dirksen on weekly MBS news program,
September 16, 1957; part of Everett Dirksen Center website
- Truman Library—Charter Heslep Papers summary
introduction to and listing of archive holdings of MBS
broadcaster's papers (note that the Collection Description text
incorrectly states that Chicago station WLS was an
original member of MBS; while it may have been involved in the
predecessor Quality Network, it was not part of Mutual); part of
Truman Presidential Museum and Library website
|Don Lee Network
|Western Ontario Broadcasting
|MBS general manager