Mar 012017
Blacked Out, Whited Out, and Jewed Out

At WBBM I was also assigned public interest “sustainers” or unsponsored programs. In the 40’s the commercial broadcasters were required to do public interest programming or face the threat of their license being given to someone else. A license to broadcast was a license to print money. Nevertheless almost nothing was spent on “sustainers.” I Read More

Jan 192017
Writing a Novel and Starting Radio

I had done a script or two for WHA, the University of Wisconsin’s radio station.  Live radio production was exciting. Tape had not been invented, and everything was done to precise time. The programs had to be exactly twenty-nine minutes and thirty seconds long. I liked the anxiety, the deadlines, and writing scripts for children. Read More

Jul 272016
Cloud Nine

I was the Chief Musical Producer at WBBM from 1948 – 1950. The musicians union required that WBBM keep forty full-time musicians on staff. Because I could read an abbreviated score, I became a pet of the musical conductor, Caesar Petrillo, brother of James Petrillo, the head of the American Federation of Musicians. Caesar had Read More

Jun 272016
How I was Fired from WBBM

The year I joined WBBM in 1947 was the same year the station bought tape recorders. The earliest machines could be carried from place to place, but they weighed over twenty pounds. It took some time to see that tape was not like vinyl records. Unlike discs, which simply recorded sound, tape could be edited. Read More