Listener Engagement: 1947 Style
"The Listener Talks Back, a program on which the radio listener will have an opportunity to voice his opinions on the broadcasting art, will make its bow at 9:15 PM Monday, October 27th, over the city's station, WNYC. The broadcasts will originate from Town Hall and will be part of the Radio Workshop course conducted by Gretta Baker. Three script writers, Peter Lyon, Priscilla Kent and Hector Chevigny, will be heard on the first program, after which a panel of listeners will have an opportunity to ask questions and offer such praise or criticism of radio as they may choose."
Source: The New York Times. October 9, 1947.
New York's Got Talent!
Long before the Greene Space's Battle of the Bands, WNYC
presented its first Civil Service Talent Hour
in May, 1935. Among the performers was the one-man band, Lawrence Miller, a laborer in the Highway Department. With his foot he tapped a bass drum With his hands he strummed a guitar and with his mouth he played a harmonica and kazoo. Met Opera star Mary Elizabeth Moore, who got her start at WNYC, sent a telegram calling the Civil Service Hour
a "grand idea." (Photo: NYC Municipal Archives)
The Quiz Show: It Started Here
On NBC radio on August 10, 1944 the "Dean" of network commentators H.V. Kaltenborn lauded WNYC for 20 years of public service saying:
"...WNYC has competed successfully for listener interest against the world's best radio programs...Some 18 years ago it was my privilege to put radio's first quiz program
on the air over our municipal station...In this, as in many other aspects of broadcasting, station WNYC has been a valiant pioneer...WNYC has been an example and an inspiration for the creation of non-commercial broadcasting stations all over the land. As the man upon whom the mere passage of time has conferred the title, 'Dean of Radio Commentators,' I salute WNYC, 'Dean of Municipal Radio Stations...' " (Photo: NYC Municipal Archives