Variety (May 1939)

Record Details:

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Wednesday, Maj 3, 1939 RADIO VARIETY 21 'Sponsored Fan' Hint Heard On Hoor of Congress as Further Attacks on Industry Are Made Washington, - May 2. Indignation about asserted visit of FCC members to a New York Joy joint at the expense of Industry members flared in the House last weelc during renewed discussion of the need for a Congressional probe of the business and the regulators. Tut-tutting caused the Commlsh to discuss the' Incident, without taking any action, at' a subsequent session; Gossip about lively night activi- ties was brought up. by Rep.. Sam Massingale, Democrat, of Oklahoma, . during another tirade by Connery, Massachusetts Democrat, who has been leading the crusade for an In- vestigation. While the Bay Stater was repeating his complaints about profiteering,. Massingale Inquired about a reported 'drunken brawl' which occurred 'in some hot spot in New York City* while the television bglers were on the road a fortnight ago. . Said he had been told 'some woman was hurt—her arm twisted.' Although the cloakroom loungers had discussed the report with Inter- est for several days, Connery said he had no verification and coidd not state whether the incident actually occurred. The Oklaboman, observ- ing 'no real investigation of good can be had by sending out men of that type to Investigate a monopoly In the radio business,' said he feels the rumor should be checked. Critical remarlcs about the activi- ties of the television group were passed around the Capitol during the week, but nothing else came Into the open. 'Various lawmakers reflected disapproval of Commissioners' wlU- Inepiess to accept hospitality of the industry while on ofticial business, and -fairly complete report of the group's comings and goings was dis- cussed in the cloakrooms. Support for an investigation was voiced by two members—Earl C. Michener, Republican, of Michigan, and John M. Houston, Democrat, of Kansas—as Connery traced once more the complaints which have been cited as reason for an inquiry. Houston recalled ttiat the House Ap- propiations Committee still has done nothing about giving the FCC money for operations beyond July 1 and In- quired what has been done about cleaning house.- In addition to the familiar squawks—the high price paid for KNX, Los Angeles; the alleged In- flated value on CBS properties, the remarks about 'big monopolistic owners ol these radio chains'—Con- nery fired a new blast at the Com- mish. Complained about establish- ment of booster stations, which, he said, provide 'practically no employ- .ment for those in the community' and furnish unfair competition' for local newspapers. Permits, for such plants originally were issued on the theory that experimental operation might advance the art, the Bay Stater said, but the FCC allows hold- ers Ho exploit the field covered and to most unfairly compete commer- cially with those who were de- pendent upon local advertising for their support. Not Improved Recalllhg last year's promises , that conditions would be rectified, Con- nery said the FCC situation has not improved. Chairman Frank R. Mc- Ninch received another panning, with unfriendly remark that 'more secrecy surrounds their actions, except to the privileged few, than ever be- fore.' Congress should take steps to see that the 'radio monoply' does not dump television receivers on 'an un- suspecting public,' he said. Passing reference to the sudden wind-up of the FCC chain-monopoly probe and Mutual's attempt to have the Commlsh prevent the other chains from extending their present contracts with affiliates, Connery re- marked.^that 'a former general coun- sel of th6 Commission only recently placed before the Federal Comratmi- ' cations Cominissilon a request that- an injunction be Issued restraining the networks and their affiliated stations from a continuation of pres- ent contrasts which are contrary to the public ihterest*^ Gny Hickok sent by NBC to -ad- dress annual meet of the Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs at the Sherman hotel last night (Monday) Can't Clear .Tune& Iiincoln, May 2. Jack Hanssen,' KFOR program director, about to marry, found ASCAP isn't the only music problMn. Of music picked for wedding ceremony, all but one ditty was disapproved by the £^iscopalian rector. RADIO - PRESS REUMS EASED While there were the usual de- nunciations' against the Inroada of radio on local and national advertis- hig budgets and the granting tot free program- listing space, the conven' tion of the American Newspaper Publishers Association at the Hotel Waldorf-Astoria last week was marked by a more conciliatory at- titude toward broadcasting. It was obvious that the publishers as a whole were gravitating toward a two-sided policy. The press may use the left hand to clip radio when it tries to cut in on advertising but the right hand must always be ex- tended to make broadcasting an ally in fighting for 'statutory guarantees against coercion by government offi- cials.' Report of the ANPA's radio com- mittee, as submitted by J. S. Gray, publisher of the Monroe (Mich.) Evening News, on the one hand ex- pressed appreciation of radio's ap- preciation for the press' cooperation for public service in matters of news coverage during emergencies and on the other hand gloated over the cir- cumstances that more papers than ever now exclude program listings Unless they are paid for. The report described this shift as a 'striking change.' 'Of the newspapers reporting last year,' wrote the committee, '235 not owning radio stations Or not affili- ated with stations stated their pol- icies relating to the printing of pro- grams and program publicity. Total of 33 of the 235, or 14%, reported ex- clusion of radio programs except as paid matter. Of new^apers report- ing this year (995 not owned or af- filiated with stations), some 387, or 37%, stated that they published radio programs as paid matter also.' Sale of News After hailing the cooperation be- tween the press and radio on big news events, the report states that 'less assuring from the viewpoint of the press has been the continued sale of time by broadcasters to ad- vertisers for news features of all sorts and kinds. 'Whether broad- casters eventually will come to share the newspaper view that sponsorship of news reports constitutes a ques- tionable practice adverse to the pres- tige and. larger interests of the me- dium indulging in it, is a question yet to be answered.' The cpmmlttee's report then sol- emnly regrets that 'it seems appar- ent, however, that the failure to date of broadcasters to accept presenta- tion of the news as a public service purely, to be held separate and apart from the sale of their time to adver- tisers, constitutes a weakness in their otherwise strong claim for greater constitutional security and for in- creased freedom from bureaucratic control' Highlight of meeting at Waldorf was J. M. Bunting, general manager of the Bleomington (111.) Panta- graph, denunciation of practice of giving free space to radio. 'You publishers who have no connection 'with radio are annually donating $4)564,000 In national space—to a competitor,' Bunting told the assem- bled .publishers. Bunting's paper carries no radio logs or news col- umn, and claims to be prospering just the same. John S. McCarrens, general laza- ager of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, elected prez of the ANPA, succeed' ing James G. Stahlman. UNION CITES KYW CIO CompUins 'Westlnghonse Bef uses to Sign Collectively Philadelphia, May 2, Charges of refusal to bargain and refusal to enter into a written con- tract were filed with the National Labor Relations Board on Friday (28) by the American Communica- tions Association, CIO, against West- inghouse Electric Co. as operators of KYW. Charges were filed by at- torney Saul C. Waldbaum in behalf of the KYW panelmen, who are members of Local 26 and who 'since SepL 10, 1937, have been endeavor- ing to obtain a written contract cov- ering wages, hours and general working conditions- at the station.' ACA has a written termer with every other kilowatter in the city, KYW being the only outlet refusing to sign up. NBC, which leases and operates KYW, has nothing to do with the engineers, who, under the terms of the lease, are provided by 'Westing- house, which owns the station. Negotiations were held with West- inghouse for 10 months, Waldbaum claims, concluding on April 19, 1939, when Walter C. Evans, company exec, declared 'that he could not see any sense of a written contract, that It was just an academic question.' FiUng of charges by the ACA fol- lows by a few weeks the action of the national office of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Work- ers of America, representing 40,000 employees) in making complaint to the NLRB on a national scale aigainst WesUnghouse on' the same grounds: refusing to enter into a written con- tract and refusing to enter into genuine collective bargaining negotiations. FRANCHOT TONE ELIMINATES HIMSELF Franchot Tone Is completely out of the picture for the 'Prosecuting Attorney' series which Pepsodent is considering as a summer pinchhitter for its Tuesday alsht spot on NBC. He tilted his asking price by $750 last week, or a matter of $1,750 per broadcast, and thereby lifted himself beyond the salary budget proposed for the 13-week series. Lord Sc Thomas, agency on the account, Is conferring with the ac- count this week on another name prospect Agency tried to get John Garfield, but learned from Warner Bros, that his many film assignments would make him tmavailable for radio this summer. Coy, Sassafras and Sug:ar Foot Join KCMO, K. C. Kansas City, May 2. Station KCMO, has appointed James Coy as director of special events. Talent staff has added Sassafras and Sugar Foot, comedy team, and Tucson Ted and Yodeling Bobbie, hill billies, formerly with KMMJ at Clay Center, Nebraska. Manager Larry Sherwood expects station will shift to its new wave- length and increased wattage within fortnight as equipment has already passed prelim tests. More Liberal Pickup Rules Due; Industry Has Cayd Commish Stooge for Telephone Company Versatile Vallee Hollywood, May 2, Going radio's triple-threaters one better, Rudy Vallee last week wrote the dramatic skit, acted in it, emceed the sho\y and directed the music. 'Versatility also runs to picture acting. JAP DIRECTOR JAMSHAWAUAN STATIONS Washington, May 2. - Permits for continued operation of two Hawaiian transmitters were held up last week while FCC Investi- gated part ownership in the control- ling corporation by a Japanese sub- ject Plants received '60-day tem- porary licenses when Commlsh— acting under provisions of Sec. 310 (a) (5) of the Communications Act —ordered a hearing regarding the status of S. Sawamxira, vice-presi- dent and director of the Pacific The- atres & Supply Co, Ltd., which owns both stations. Law provides that no officer, nor more than one- fourth of the directors of a control- ling corporation, shall be aliens. Stations affected are KGMB, Hono- lulu, and KHBC, Hilo, operated by the Honolulu Broadcasting Co., Ltd, a subsid of . Pacific Theatres outfit Must be satisfied with temporary tidets until an arrangement satis- factory to the Commish can be ar- rived at Resignation of Sawamura and di^osal of his Interest in the stations to persons of American citi- zenship believed the only way out PAPPY CLARK LUTHER FOSTERS HILLBILLIES Wichita, May 2. KFH here has been adding a num- ber of hiU-bllly acts since the arrival of Clark Luther as general manager. Has them on two 15-mlnute strips in the morning and a full 30-mInute across the board in the afternoon. Also has organized a Bam Dance Frolic gang, which is now playing to an audience of approximately 3,- 000 people each Saturday night from 7-to-midnight at 25c a head. Started the affair a few weeks ago in the audience studio seating about 800 people. It outgrew this spot quickly and was moved to the Rose Room which handles twice as many people. And now has shifted to the Forum which is the biggest building in the State of Kansas. Benay Venuta's WOR, N. Y., sus- talner, shifts back to its 0 p. m. Sun- day spot this week. It's the fourth time change for the program, which recently was moved dowii to 5:30 p. m. Sunday to avoid confllction with a commercial. Red Tavored' by Audit Change Last fall NBC adopted its present bookkeeping system concerning the crediting of supplementary stations on a basis of their (the stations) status, red or blue, regardless of whether the program Involved was on the basic red or the basic blue. It was all pretty foggy to those not mathema- ticians to start with. Columbia at the time did not fancy the change, see- ing It as throwing the existing footrules into obsolesence. Since then CBS has charted the differences from Publishers Information Bureau data. Point CBS makes is that billings, 'rightly belonging* to the blue are not properly credited through the new supplementary auditing. It goes like this; Month Bed Network Blae Network Benefit to Bed October Old $2,798,739 $975,225 $73,849 New 2,872.588 901,376 November Old 2,878,261 1,020,658 70,593 New 2,948,854 950,065 December Old 2,852,735 1,034.337 75,446 New 2,928,181 958,891 January Old 2,932,267 1,101,633 103,244 New 3,035,511 998,389 February Old 2,738,889 1,009,806 84,608 New 2,823,497 925,198 March Old 3,035,372 1,135,480 07,480 New 3,132,832 1,038,020 Washington, May 2. Ground-work laid Monday (1) for change in the existing rules which prevent rebroadcasting of programs of international stations by non- commercial transmitters. FCC has designated Commissioners Norman S. Case, George Henry Payne, and T. A. M. Craven as committee to consider plea for liberalization, sug- gested by Mayor LaGuardIa of New York after WNYC was blocked, be- cause of present regulations, from picking up microphoned versions of the Harvard tercentenary fiesta two years ago. Present rules have ired many sta- tion operators on frequent occasions, bringing charges the FCC is stooging for the telephone Industry by re- stricting the privllegt of rebroad- casting. As things stand, wire lines must be used to relay programs from remote points if a land link Is available or can be installed In time or without excessive cost Permits to pick up other stations' signals are granted only rairely, on theory that a more lit>eral rule would cause air- wave congestion. Hearing due in the near future at v'hich complaints and suggestions will be entertained. DURHAM LIFE STAYS IN WPTF Charlotte, K C, May 2. . Durham Life Insurance Co. and NBC have agreed to call off their deal on WPFT, Raleigh, and the for- mer will continue to operate and manage the station. The insurance company will now on its own apply to the FCC for an increase in power and permission to operate after 11 p.m. Agreement to withdraw a joint application to the FCC for approval of WPFTs sale to NBC ends the dif- ferences which arose between the insurance company and the network when the latter sought to exercjse its option to acquire all of the sta- tion's capital stock. Shortly after the network had acted, a group of North Carolinians formed the North Carolinian Radio Corp. for the pur- pose of teking over the outlet when and if the deal between NBC and the insurance company were approved. The group within the NCRC wanted to make sure that the stetion wasn't moved out of the stete. Basebafl Annoancers Form Cfob to Exchange Data on Snndry Teams Oklahoma City, May 2. Baseball announcers covering games for stations located in the Texas League have organized a Tex- League Baseball Broadcasters As- sociation for promotion and protec- tion of their mutual interests. In- formation of each announcer's home team is monthly filed with the asso- ciation secretary and reported to all other announcers for information in broadcasting games when players come to town. It is also planned that each man will broadcast an inning of the Texas League All-Star game at San An- tonio, Texas, this summer. Charlie Jordon of WRR, Dallas, Was elected president of th^ new as- sociation and Zack Hurt of KFJZ, Fort Worth, has been named secre- tary. Other members are Ted An- drews of KOCY, here; Jerry Boze- man of KWKH, Shreveport; Vic Rugh of KTUL, Tulsa, Okla.; Dave Young of KABC, Houston, and A. B. Carroll of KFDM, San Antonio. Decatur Team Airing Decatur, 111., May 2. Team owners themselves and local merchants are jointly sponsoring the broadcasts of all home and road games of the Decatur Commies of the Three I League this season. Season openc'' Sunday (30^). ■