The Mayor Isn't Happy With Announcers
In September, 1937 Mayor F. H. La Guardia wrote to NBC and CBS seeking advice and guidance regarding the selection of WNYC announcers. He wrote:
"The city has provided a salary of $1800 a year for radio announcers. Frankly, I am dissatisfied with the talent available after a competitive civil service test. Can we expect a good type of announcer for the salary we have established? Would it be asking too much of you to have some of your experts listen in on WNYC and give me your frank opinion of the quality and type of announcers we now have?..."
The networks replied, with CBS providing an in-depth critique of six announcers. In sum, CBS Production Manager John S Carlile wrote:
"I think the staff as a whole should be complimented on their restraint and naturalness. Undoubtedly, someone has urged them to avoid adopting a professional style. There are occasions, however, when I think they can impart a little more enthusiasm for programs that warrant that mood, not by raising their voices but by being themselves genuinely and happily interested and conveying that in their voices. There are times when they seem to give the impression that it's all a little dull."
Source: Correspondence of Mayor F. H. La Guardia, August, 1937 to December, 1937, La Guardia and Wagner Archives CUNY.