American Radio Networks

A History

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About the Book

This history of commercial radio networks in the United States provides a wealth of information on broadcasting from the 1920s to the present. It covers the four transcontinental webs that operated during the pre-television Golden Age, plus local and regional hookups, and the developments that have occurred in the decades since, including the impact of television, the rise of the disc jockey, the rise of talk radio and other specialized formats, implications of satellite technology and consolidation of networks and local stations.

About the Author(s)

Jim Cox, a leading radio historian, is an award-winning author of numerous books on the subject. A retired college professor, he lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bibliographic Details

Jim Cox
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: 10 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4192-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5424-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface: Fascination      1

1. The Net Rewards of Radioland: With the Twist of a Wrist      3

2. The Proceeds of Experimentation: Getting Ready to Play for Real      8

3. National Broadcasting Company: The House That Sarnoff Built      16

4. Columbia Broadcasting System: The House That Paley Built      45

5. Mutual Broadcasting System: The Network for All America      72

6. American Broadcasting Company: A Nobleman’s Dream      89

7. The Regional Hookups: Local Radio Gone Wide      101

8. Washington Watchdogs: Safeguarding the Airwaves      116

9. Remuneration: The Hardest Nut to Crack      122

10. Czar Wars: The Empire-Builders Fight Back      132

11. Halcyon Days: A Showtime Sampler      139

12. Sight Radio: No Renaissance for Imagination      169

13. The Spinmeisters: Rancor Among the Ranks      178

14. Raconteurial Resurgence: The Spielers Have Their Say      184

Epilogue: When You Wish Upon a Star      188

Appendix. Ex Chains: Webs of Extinction      191

Chapter Notes      203

Bibliography      215

Index      219

Book Reviews

“an entertaining, informative history of the major radio networks and their programming. Recommended”—Choice; “Begun with 2002’s Say Goodnight Gracie, and continue with 2008’s Sold on Radio, the medium’s best modern historian has capped the most well-written and informative history of radio in recent memory with this tome. This triumvirate of books should stand for some time as the definitive history of classic radio’s beginning, maturation, and demise”—Old Time Radio Digest.