Tuesday, September 18, 2007

80 Years Ago Today

...inaugurated the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System.

Sixteen stations were on board for the 3:00 P.M. opening show:

WEAN Providence
WNAC Boston
WFBL Syracuse
WMAK Buffalo-Lockport
WCAU Philadelphia
WJAS Pittsburgh
WADC Akron
WAIU Columbia
WKRC Cincinnati
WGHP Detroit
WMAQ Chicago
KMOX St. Louis
WCAO Baltimore
KOIL Council Bluffs
WOWO Fort Wayne

The Opening Day program featured a performance of "The King's Henchman" by a cast from the Metropolitan Opera. Other programs featured classical selections by members of the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Weren't those the days? But record and phonograph sales were on the decline, so the young broadcasting company run by Arthur Judson struggled. From everything2: "However, with most major advertisers firmly committed to NBC, Judson and Columbia were losing money and sold the network to three men, Jerome Louchheim, Ike Levy, and Leon Levy. The three turned around and sold the network to William Paley, who happened to be Leon Levy's fiancee's brother. The Paley family had made its money as owners of the La Palina cigar company, and William Paley became interested in radio as a result of buying advertising time on various local radio stations."