NYPR Archives & Preservation
February 12, 2016 - Volume 15  Issue 07
Edition # 696


1941: Leadbelly has a jam session with Albert Ammons and Sam Price in the studio with host Ralph Berton on the opening day of WNYC's 2nd annual American Music Festival.

1952: The Kousseuvitzky Music Foundation presents its first award for "public service in music"  to WNYC at the opening of the 13th annual WNYC American Music Festival at Town Hall. The award cites WNYC's "distinguished service to American composers, and its outstanding contribution to the cause of contemporary music."

 Way Before Cell Phones  

"New-style pack transmitter containing receiving as well as transmitting facilities to enable the announcer to get his cues orally instead of visually, as was necessary with the old style packs, will be used by WNYC New York, to cover the World's Fair this summer. The station has received permission from the FCC to operate two of these transmitters, each with 3 watts of power on 2150 and 2058 kc. Pack sets were designed by James Berry, WNYC engineer, under the direction of Isaac Brimberg, chief engineer, and were built by Link Radio Laboratories." (Photo courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives)

Source: Broadcasting magazine,  May 1, 1939, pg. 58.

November 1945
Post-War Return to Norway
"Gladys Petch, Norwegian news commentator on WNYC and producer of the the station's informational show The Spirit of the Vikings, left a month ago to visit her native land for the first time in six years. Station officials were informed last week by the Norwegian Information Center that their traveling reporter will have an audience with King Haakon in appreciation for her work here."

Source: "Will Visit Royalty," Radio Daily, November 7, 1945, pg. 10.

The Test!
"WNYC has just completed a series of Civil Service examinations to fill four vacancies in the announcing staff. Forty-nine men took examinations with 11 surviving. Test given was composed of written and oral quizzes, and an investigation test is now under way to determine which four men shall land the jobs. Others will be placed on waiting lists of WNYC and Dept. of Parks. Pay scale offered new men is $1800 for WNYC and $2100 for Department of Parks. Latter, however, do not work entire year."

Source: "Civil Service Exams for WNYC Positions," Radio Daily, September 3, 1937,
pg. 2

WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)
WQXR Angers the Distilled Spirits Institute!
"WQXR New York, which is drawing fire from the National Association of Advertisers and other groups for announcing plans to accept liquor advertising, reported late last week that all its time periods made available for liquor commercials have been sold out...about $70,000 in time purchases...

"In announcing WQXR's decision to carry liquor commercials after 10:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, the station's general manager, Elliott M. Sanger, Sr., said the move does not actually represent any great change in policy...He added: 'The reason for this long-established policy is that the programming of WQXR attracts a mature audience and we have always recognized that these people are sophisticated.'...

"The NAB [National Association of Broadcasters] was prompt to voice its opposition...And, Howard H. Bell, NAB code authority director, said that moral persuasion would appear to be NAB's only recourse to bring about a reversal of WQXR's position and in line with the gentlemen's agreement that since the 1930's has virtually kept liquor commercials off radio and TV.  Another important negative vote was cast by the Distilled Spirits Institute, long a foe of such advertising..."

Excerpts from: "WQXR's Schedule Runneth Over," Broadcasting, March 23, 1964, pg. 42.
WNYC celebrated its 91st anniversary last 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: Leadbelly at the 1949 WNYC American Music Festival - 10 months before his death.

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