Radio stars (Dec 1938)

Record Details:

Something wrong or inaccurate about this page? Let us Know!

Thanks for helping us continually improve the quality of the Lantern search engine for all of our users! We have millions of scanned pages, so user reports are incredibly helpful for us to identify places where we can improve and update the metadata.

Please describe the issue below, and click "Submit" to send your comments to our team! If you'd prefer, you can also send us an email to with your comments.

We use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) during our scanning and processing workflow to make the content of each page searchable. You can view the automatically generated text below as well as copy and paste individual pieces of text to quote in your own work.

Text recognition is never 100% accurate. Many parts of the scanned page may not be reflected in the OCR text output, including: images, page layout, certain fonts or handwriting.

T-HE POWER BE-HIND BY JACK HANLEY ■■jjjj^HHH^HI Here is John F. Royal, dynamo in human form and one of the busiest men in the world Tall, white-haired a ruddy-faced, John Roy is an ex-newspaperm and ex-theatre manager. AT NBC's transmitter in Long Island, huge generators produce the electrical current that keeps their signal on the air. And perhaps equally important to the chain's opera- tion is their dynamo in human form, John F. Royal. It's hard to coin a descriptive phrase about John Royal. He doesn't fit any pattern, unless one might make the pattern a cross between a whirlwind and a high-tension power line. As program director of the NBC chain, Royal is the supershowman of the world, presenting not one, but seventy-odd shows a day to an audience of millions. On his word, oceans and continents are bridged by radio; when emergencies arrive he makes the split-second de- cisions ; whips together a whole new show in an hour or so when a star is too ill to "feed" the waiting network. One of the busiest men in the world, three hundred phone calls a day come to his desk, and his day is a fourteen- hour one with every hour geared to a pace that would wear down an ordinary man. But there's nothing ordinary about John Royal. The tall, white-haired, ruddy-faced ex- newspaperman, ex-theatre manager is a tough man in a tough job. His friends—and you'll find them not only at Radio City but in prac- tically every corner of the globe—may swear at him occasionally but they all swear by him. The breeze that zips past you in the office corridors at NBC is probably Royal on the way to one of his innumerable conferences or ^ meetings; the telephone receiver that roars, JgfLfe smokes and crackles against the ear of some 1^^^^ luckless department head, likewise, is probably drijj^^ ' John Royal expressing his disapproval in his ^i^K °wn characteristic way that leaves the victim a shaken and gasping thing. And two hours later you may see the same victim at lunch with Royal, the perfect host, providing fine food and drink, a man of infinite charm, blue eyes sparkling and a friendly grin lighting his full Irish face. He can roar like the Bull of Bashan, and coo in practically the same breath. There's an awful impersonality about his raging storms, but they're never grudges. Once the calm has come, it's all forgotten and he is his usual pleasant self. But when Royal really is mad he grows very white and very quiet. Those are the times that anything can happen, but they don't occur very often. Speaking from the standpoint of experi- ence, John F. Royal is perhaps the only real showman in radio. He's an authority on opera, on sports, on the legitimate stage and vaudeville, on aviation. He can judge, with equal appreciation and competence, a Tos- canini symphony broadcast, a popular crooner or a boxing match. Former division head and theatre manager for B. F. Keith, his approach to entertainment problems is that of the trained show- man ; his newspaper and publicity experience has given him a nose for news, and makes him equally valuable to news and Special Events departments. He has, too, an almost uncanny sense in auditions; the ability to pick out the one thing that's wrong, to hit upon the idea or personality that has potential possibilities, land on it and bring it out.