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A Word from Our SponsorAdmen, Advertising, and the Golden Age of Radio$
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Cynthia B. Meyers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823253708

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823253708.001.0001

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“Who Owns the Time?”

“Who Owns the Time?”

Advertising Agencies and Networks Vie for Control in the 1930s

(p.78) 4 “Who Owns the Time?”
A Word from Our Sponsor

Cynthia B. Meyers

Fordham University Press

This chapter discusses the battles for control over programming and advertising standards between national networks and advertising agencies. During the 1930s, the networks provided advertisers access to mass audiences, and the agencies provided the programming to attract those audiences. Concerned that advertising excesses would endanger the essence of broadcast advertising, the agencies expected the networks to set and enforce standards, as publishers of magazines would. However, having been handed responsibility for programming, or editorial content, agencies resented network interference in their own programs and advertising. The two major networks—National Broadcasting Company (NBC) and Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)—differed in their attitudes toward advertising. NBC adhered to a public utility ideal of broadcasting, providing a public service to all program producers without discrimination. On the other hand, CBS made advertisers and their needs the main part of its business.

Keywords:   national networks, advertising agencies, advertising standards, broadcast advertising, programming standards, National Broadcasting Company, Columbia Broadcasting System

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