La Guardia Keeps WNYC Alive Despite Original Campaign Pledge
""The Mayor sent word that he wanted to talk to me. I saw him this noon and it is his desire for certain reasons, instead of selling the City-owned Station WNYC, to keep it and build up its prestige. He wants me to coordinate the thing for him along with Bill Paley and possibly Alfred J. McCosker of WOR - a committee of three. He knows the present management is poor and he isn't satisfied with Christie Bohnsack (confidential).* Also, he wants to know if he can put just enough commercials on the station to meet their overhead, which is about $50,000 or $60,000 per annum, and if this would compete with WOR or the networks.
"He is sending up a man by the name of Siegel with the books containing the records of the station. After seeing the books, I should like to have you advise me on the situation. The Mayor said the New York Evening Post has been causing him trouble and it made him all the more determined to build up the station and make it successful."**
Source: A confidential June 25, 1934 memo from Richard C. Patterson Jr., the Chairman and Executive Vice President of NBC to NBC attorney Mark J. Woods. (Thanks to the Wisconsin Historical Society, NBC papers collection).
*When La Guardia first came into office in 1934, Christie Bohnsack was programming WNYC, a position he'd been in since the station went on the air ten years earlier.
**Mayor La Guardia originally came into office believing he was going to save the taxpayers money by shutting down WNYC. A young Seymour N. Siegel (WNYC's new Assistant Program Director) helped to persuade him otherwise. La Guardia appointed an investigative committee of the three network radio executives. They studied the station and made recommendations to La Guardia for what was needed to put WNYC in a more stable position.