NYPR Archives & Preservation
November 13, 2015 - Volume 14  Issue 45
Edition # 683


1954: Media critic Gilbert Seldes asks his listening audience how they feel about a slogan: "Morons of the world unite, you're being treated like idiots." And, "Halfwits of the world unite, you're being treated like morons."

1954: Theodore White and Deems Taylor headline the New York Herald Tribune Books and Authors Luncheon. Taylor talks about his biography of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Some Enchanted Evening. White speaks on his book, Fire in the Ashes, about Europe since the end of World War II.

February 17, 1925

Narcotics Expert and Closet Fly Fisherman on WNYC
Special Deputy Commissioner of the NYPD Narcotics Division Dr. Carleton Simon speaks over WNYC on "The World War on Narcotics." Trained as a psychiatrist, Simon (1871-1951) examined President McKinley's assassin, Leon Czolgosz, as well as the water torture techniques used by the U.S. Army against Philippine prisoners following the Spanish-American War. His study led to the end, at least officially, of this procedure. He founded the International Criminal Narcotic Identification Bureau.

Simon was a  special advisor to the Hays Commission, which produced the movie codes and later was a co-developer of the process used for photographing the pattern of blood vessels of the retina as a method of identification, the precursor to retinal ID scans. He was also big in the world of fishing and was known as the "Father of Casting." He wrote about fish and fishing under the pseudonyms 'Baron Munchausen,' 'Grape Juice,' and 'John O'Neill.' (Photo: World Wide Studios and courtesy of Carleton Simon Papers. Special Collections & Archives, University at Albany , SUNY.)
Radio World - October 25, 1924

WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)

The Station That Breaks the Rules

"The fact of the matter is--it's the strangest broadcasting station in the United States. It's name is WQXR, it's located in New York City and it rates the title of 'strangest in the United States' because it has systematically smashed every one of radio's pet rules and still makes money.  It dictates to sponsors, instead of letting sponsors dictate to it.

"WQXR's boss is John V. L. Hogan, a middle-aged radio engineer who never intended to run a commercial station at all. Since he is running one, he runs it the way he likes it. His attitude toward sponsors is sheer heresy. Hogan contends that people don't like to have a musical number interrupted while a salesman struts his stuff about the sponsor's product....

"WQXR is different. It believes that it has a special audience, and it edits its programs as carefully as any magazine publisher edits his magazine...WQXR uses a special method of broadcasting, one that differs from that of most stations in that it broadcasts all the sounds the ear can hear, not just the middle range of sound...."

Source: Weart, Edith L., "The Station That Breaks the Rules," Radio Mirror, August, 1941, pg. 89.
WNYC celebrated its 91st anniversary in July. Just think, less than 9 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: Fighting American Anti-Semitism After the Holocaust.

The WNYC Facebook page has a station timeline (1922-present) with more than 600 milestones, photos, and links to audio. (Right hand column). Note: We're in the process of moving this timeline to to and it will be expanded significantly.
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