NYPR Archives & Preservation
January 1, 2016 - Volume 15  Issue 01
Edition # 690


1926: Olympic swimmer Joe Ruddy starts the year off with a fitness regimen.

1939: New York Advances:
A series of dramatized re-enactments summarizing  the activities of the city government during the past year (1938) by the Mayor and his staff.

1948: Health Commissioner Harry Mustard radiates post-war optimism in this New Year's Day message to New Yorkers. 

1962: William Schuman emcees the swearing in ceremonies at City Hall with a call for more art and the completion of Lincoln Center.

Variety reports WNYC flop with silent star Bebe Daniels

March 25, 1925

The trade paper reports, "Radio was no wide exploitation medium for Bebe Daniels in her recent address from WNYC, the Municipal broadcasting station. Following her talk, her autographed photo was offered to the first 50 responses by mail. The replies totaled but 15 over a period of three days."

In the 1920s, Daniels was under contract with Paramount Pictures. She became an adult star by 1922 and by 1924 was playing opposite Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire. Following this she was cast in a number of light popular films. (Photo: Bebe Daniels in 1925, Wikimedia Commons/Library of Congress)

March 25, 1985


The U.S. Supreme Court lets lower court decision against WNYC-AM stand.

SCOTUS refuses to accept station petition that sought to overturn 1982 FCC decision involving the station's right to broadcast until 10 p.m. Station Director Mary Nichols calls the ruling unfortunate and says WNYC will pursue an application pending at the FCC for a frequency change from 830 to 820 AM. Station has 90 days to revert to daytime hours only.
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)

Only the Best Become WQXR Announcers

“WQXR announcers are picked through auditions from among hundreds of applicants. A candidate is never seen by the selection committee until it is decided that his voice and his reading ability meet station requirements.

"The voice must be calm, never blaring nor blatant.  It must carry no foreign or provincial accent, no Southern drawl nor Midwest twang.  It must not betray emotionalism (this quality is especially important in news broadcasts where reports might be colored by voice inflection).  At the same time, the voice must not be flat, blasé or monotonous.  While an announcer need not be a linguist (though, actually, several are), he must have a knack for proper foreign pronunciations…

"One candidate in about 200 gets by, for the auditions are rather exacting…”

From an unidentified magazine article about WQXR and its announcers, circa 1955.
WNYC celebrated its 91st anniversary in July. Just think, 8-and-a-half short years to the big centennial. In this space we'll be linking to various historical WNYC champions and milestones celebrating nearly a century of broadcasting in the public interest.This week: The Man Without a City.

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