Network Radio Ratings, 1932–1953

A History of Prime Time Programs Through the Ratings of Nielsen, Crossley and Hooper

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About the Book

Network radio from 1932 to 1953 was a high-stakes competition embracing technology, industry, government and advertising, ruled by dollars and dictated by ratings. This comprehensive reference work provides a fascinating account of broadcasting’s most colorful era, when four nationwide networks dominated American media as no concerted communications force ever had.
Introductory sections chronicle the development of the broadcasting, advertising and entertainment industries, with an explanation of the ratings systems and their evolution. Twenty-one substantial sections follow, each covering a specific year of radio’s golden age, with industry statistics, daily program ratings and a chart of the year’s 50 top programs. A summary lists the era’s most successful programs within the five major formats. Three appendices and a full index conclude the work.

About the Author(s)

Jim Ramsburg spent 50 years in radio and advertising, including top-level positions with prestigious radio stations KLAC in Los Angeles and KSTP in Minneapolis–St. Paul. In 2006 he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame at Minnesota’s Museum of Broadcasting. He lives in Estero, Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Jim Ramsburg
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 378
Bibliographic Info: tables, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4558-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8608-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. Facts Never Broadcast      3

2. Spinning the Webs      4

3. If You’ve Got the Money, I’ve Got the Time      12

4. Radio’s Rulers      14

5. The 1932–33 Network Season      22

6. The 1933–34 Network Season      32

7. The 1934–35 Network Season      40

8. The 1935–36 Network Season      48

9. The 1936–37 Network Season      55

10. The 1937–38 Network Season      63

11. The 1938–39 Network Season      72

12. The 1939–40 Network Season      81

13. The 1940–41 Network Season      91

14. The 1941–42 Network Season      100

15. The 1942–43 Network Season      110

16. The 1943–44 Network Season      121

17. The 1944–45 Network Season      131

18. The 1945–46 Network Season      141

19. The 1946–47 Network Season      151

20. The 1947–48 Network Season      160

21. The 1948–49 Network Season      171

22. The 1949–50 Network Season      182

23. The 1950–51 Network Season      192

24. The 1951–52 Network Season      204

25. The 1952–53 Network Season      215

26. Network Radio’s All Time Favorites      226

Appendices

A: Year-by-Year Monthly and Annual Ratings of All Prime-Time Programs      229

B: Rated (13+ Weeks per Season) Prime-Time Programs, 1932–1953      304

C: Rated (Less Than 13 Weeks per Season) Prime-Time Programs, 1932–1953      347

Bibliography      355

Index      357

Book Reviews & Awards

“valuable…recommended”—Choice; “the author knows his stuff”—Classic Images; “wonderful”—ARBA; “Mr. Ramsburg is a born writer who has done his homework and has a seemingly bottomless collection of fascinating anecdotes about the early and glory days of network radio. Mr. Ramsburg has a delightful sense of the amusing and the absurd…a well-told story chock full of delightful anecdotes…eminently readable”—Radio Recall; “Ramsburg tracks the nightly, monthly, and annual ratings of oldtime radio programs”—Reference & Research Book News; “one of the most intriguing books”—Radiogram; “Ramsburg, tracks the nightly, monthly, and annual ratings of oldtime radio programs”—SciTech Book News.