"About two years ago, a few institution-owned, non-profit radio stations began an experimental exchange of recorded programs. Out of this experiment, there has grown the National Association of Educational Broadcasters Tape Network.
"The philosophy behind the Tape Network was evolved at a conference of 22 educational broadcasters who met for a two-week round table at the University of Illinois in July 1949. There they discussed the ways and means of economically advancing their efforts towards the improvement of educational radio stations...
"After the seminar, Mr. Seymour Siegel
, director of New York City's Station WNYC, conferred with Mr. Richard Hull, director of the University of Iowa's Station WOI. At that time Mr. Hull was president of the NAEB. Mr. Siegel recommended the use of magnetic tape as an economical means for the 'interchange of resources.' The cost of telephone lines prohibited the actual establishment of a network similar to those used in commercial radio practices...Some funds were granted and the tape network began operations. The recorded programs were 'bicycled' around from one station to another. Each broadcaster paid only for the postage involved in mailing the programs to the next station on the NAEB itinerary...
"The tape network grew rapidly. Whereas early in 1950 only 4 or 5 stations were using the taped programs, six months later almost 40 stations were on the mail itinerary. It was a dramatic development. The stations were thirsty for good programs and more of them. The catalogue grew to include such things as a series of We Human Beings
which originated at the Lowell Institute in Boston, Music For The Connoisseur
moderated by David Randolph
, and, adding an international note, a series of concerts from Canada, and the BBC's World Theatre.
"Almost 90% of WNYC's resources were being devoted to the tape network.This was becoming too big a project to be handled on a part-time basis by WNYC's small staff. In January 1951, the Tape Network headquarters were moved to the University of Illinois...
"In June 1951, through Seymour Siegel's efforts, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan, donated $250,000 to the NAEB Tape Network. The Ford Foundation then donated $300,000...To date, 900 commercial radio stations have requested that the Tape Network permit them to use some of these recorded programs."
Source: "News, Trends, and a Review of Magnetic Tape Recording," Radio and Television News,
May 1952, p. 132.