Radio stars (Dec 1938)

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RADIO STARS DO YOUR EYES safely in your purse at all limes. Ask for Camille Cream Mascara at department, drug and 5 & 10c stores —10c. Black, Brown or Blue. Camille Inc., New York. cimti MASCARA ith Duily Pink and Ebony Vanity POWER BEHIND THE THRONE AT NBC (Continued from page 21) ,yel 9 stl 39*1 "I used to almost cry about my hands. They chapped so easily. Then a nurse suggested Frostilla. I use it regularly ... a little goes far . . . and now my skin is soft and satiny." Use Frostilla yourself every time you've had your hands in water. Made with costlier ingredients, you can feel the difference. 35c, 50c, $1.00 sizes in U. S. and Canada. Travel size in better 10c stores. FROSTILLA for Lovely Hands 68 having the dean of the local reporters pat him on the back, tell him they "ought to work together on these things." At twenty-four Royal was assistant city editor, and later acting city editor for two years. In his reportorial career Royal covered the first radio story—the classic exploit of Radio Operator Jack Binns' C Q D distress signal at the sinking of the 5. 5. Republic. He still has photostatic copies of his signed story on that and other yarns. 1910 was a big year in Royal's life. He had gone to Europe for his paper, inter- viewed fifteen opera stars in their homes and watched Maissant try to fly the English Channel. When he came home there was an argument over salary, and he went to work for the vaudeville magnate, B. F. Keith, as publicity man. Keith wanted more advertising through the New England territory and he was assigned to write copy for cards to be posted about the territory. Word came that there was no appropriation for a bill- poster's salary and Royal, reasoning shrewdly that this might be one .of Keith's famous "tests" of loyalty, offered to get the cards up himself. He bought boat and train tickets all over the territory, put himself into a natty new pair of overalls and slapped B. F. Keith poster cards all over stations, fences and walls in the territory—even to slapping them on the top of Mt. Washington, which desecration aroused plenty of indignant comment. Keith liked Royal's ideas and zeal and he was made manager of a Cincinnati theatre. Shortly afterward he shifted to the Cleve- land Hippodrome, one of the most import- ant houses on the circuit. Managers, in 1916, were more than mere figureheads waiting for main office orders, and Royal was more than an average manager. The best was never too good for Royal's house, and the standards of the New York Palace, key house of the circuit, were his. Bookers who sent him shows he thought inferior heard from him in no uncertain terms ; his reports on acts—many of them now famous performers—are still preserved and furnish chuckles today to the stars who were blistered or damned with faint praise by Royal. And a good report really meant thing. When the Cleveland Palace was built, >yal superintended the job. Still the Stormy Petrel of the circuit, he burned the wires with bitter complaint at weak bills, insisted on the same quality as the New York Palace. And not long after that the new medium, radio broadcasting, came into being as another outlet for Royal's show- manship. On a local station he presented one of the first radio variety bills, comparable to the star-filled shows today. Came a letter from B. F. Keith that he'd have to stop fooling with radio—which Keith considered opposition—or be fired. The general con- sensus was that Royal was crazy, fooling with radio, and perforce he gave up his air shows, retaining his interest in broadcasting nevertheless. As time went on and the Keith organization had a shakeup, Royal, who was then head of the Mid-Western di- vision, became increasingly dissatisfied. He was approached by the head of WTAM who asked him if he'd like to go into the station as program director. "I don't know anything about it," he said. "I didn't ask you that—do you want to?" was the answer. He did, and when NBC bought the station Mr. Aylesworth. then President, suggested that Royal come to New York. He didn't like New York much ; thought the town was phony. But one day in October, 1931, while there on a business trip, he saw crowds on Broadway staring through telescopes at a flagpole sitter. He went to a telephone and called Aylesworth, said he'd take the job. "Why," Aylesworth asked, "did you change your mind ?" "If New Yorkers are small-town enough to pay ten cents to look at a man sitting on a flagpole, it's okay with me," he said. When he came to work at NBC he ar- rived cold. Department heads, anticipating a "purge" and shakeup, were amazed to dis- cover that he arrived without stooges, without a retinue of "Royal men." He still hates "yes men." At this first meeting of department heads he said: "I'm new here. You've all been doing a grand job. Just keep it up." Those who anticipated having to teach him his job soon found that they were drawing upon him for ideas, decisions and support. A hell-raiser and whirlwind in his own department he will, however, toler- ate no criticism against it from the outside and will valiantly defend his own people from it, in purely Irish fashion. All his associates agree that he would have made a wonderful prosecutor. No one gets by with anything when Royal begins a cross- examination. He pins down every fact, drags out of a prodigious memory every detail of a conversation held weeks or months before to bolster his point, and batters down defenses, evasions and alibis. He hates lying or double crossing, but his witness-stand tactics are not for purposes of intimidation. He merely wants the facts —and he gets them. He has no use for compromise. In dif- ferences of opinion he may say: "Very well, then—do it jus! the way you want to." And if all works out nothing more is said. But heaven help the one who turns out to be wrong! His storms, however, are as mercurial as his many faceted personality, leaving no aftermaths. Most of his associates agree that much of his raging is a shield for the kindest, softest Irish heart in the world. But he'd throw anyone out of his office who suggested such a thing. Royal, too, is unable to say "I'm sorry." But he apologizes for a mistake in his own fashion. One very competent woman head of a department was on the receiving end of a devastating blast from Royal, by tele- phone, which happened to be unjustified. Later in the day Royal discovered this, but saying nothing about it, invited the woman to have luncheon with him. He supplied an excellent meal, from cocktails to cham- pagne and fine foods in between, with, how- ever, no word of the recent storm. Finally