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Original Victory Front header art

The Victory Front Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Victory Front

The United States Office of War Information (OWI) sponsored and provided the concept for Victory Front.
The United States Office of War Information (OWI) sponsored and provided the concept for Victory Front.



Background

Throughout American history, and in all fairness throughout the histories of most modern nations, when faced with political, economical, or State crises there emerge patriots and scoundrels. It's an immutable fact of world history in general. History can, of course be revised. Indeed, revisionist history has become something of a cottage industry among huge corporate interests, religious interests and political interests of the Post-World War II years. And it's only become even more elaborate and outlandish during each subsequent decade.

With America's entry into World War II, hoarders, war profiteers, and black marketers soon became a regrettable, yet prevalent fact of Life throughout America. Some of it was right out in the open. Most of it transpired via backroom deals, neighborhood-level black markets, and good ole American free-enterprise capitalism. The common aim of all these unpatriotic practices was, throughout time immemorial, to benefit the few at the expense of the many--yet another time honored American tradition finding fashion again in the 21st Century.

The rightness or wrongness of these practices has always been hotly debated--and continues to be so to this day. Thankfully, for the vast majority of Americans, the concept of free-enterprise has always been understood to have an underlying--and absolutely essential--moral component. On the opposing side, natural human greed has always been the bane of any society and only becomes even more pronounced in times of distress. America during the post-Depression era still had a strong moral component. Even more importantly, Radio, the most important communication medium yet to emerge, was still controlled by literally thousands of family owned, 'mom and pop' Radio stations across the nation.

Those thousands of independent 'voices' were still virtually impossible to squelch. Thus revisionists, profiteers, fact-spinners, and truth-benders might well succeed in a few small geographic pockets across the America, but the overwhelming number of Radio stations across the country simply told--and disseminated--the truth as they were told it, by whichever news bureaus to which they subscribed. Those stations affiliated with the three major networks and the seven to eleven other smaller networks of the era were naturally obliged to air their respective networks' points of view--or find another network with which to associate themselves. The other thousands of as yet unaffiliated stations and groups of stations were free to adopt their own standards, viewpoints and practices within their respective communities or broadcast range.

When it became obvious to the Government that hoarding, gouging, profiteering and black-marketeering were significantly affecting the War effort, it fell upon the Office of War Information's Office of Fact and Figures to undertake a national campaign to discourage such detrimental and unpatriotic practices. Newspaper, print media and poster campaigns were proving effective, but it was obvious that Radio could most effectively reach the widest audience with the most timely messages.

The messages were quite simple: hoarding, profiteering, black-marketeering and price-gouging were unpatriotic, un-American and illegal. While the O.W.I. understood that such messages would be lost on the violators themselves, the notion of the messages was to curtail the demand-side of the practices. If enough people were reminded that these illegal practices were not only unpatriotic, but were seriously constraining the War effort, demand for such illegal practices and supplies could be curtailed.

The Office of War Information's Office of Facts and Figures was responsible for approaching the broadcast networks with the idea of obtaining commitments of blocks of prime airtime to get out their various War messages. The first of the O.W.I. programs to take to the air was Victory Parade, over NBC. Beginning at 6 p.m Sunday night, the 7th of June, 1942 and running through August 23, 1942, NBC mounted a 12-week series of Victory Parade renditions of some of their most popular prime time Radio features, such as Baby Snooks, The Red Skelton Show, and The Jack Benny Program.

CBS' imposed contributions to the War effort were Victory Theater and Victory Front, produced in cooperation with and under the auspices of the Office of War Information. As with NBC's Victory Parade that preceded them, O.W.I. War messages were delivered in place of commercial announcements as a vehicle for disemminating messages of national importance to the wider public.

The O.W.I. taps CBS again. This time for their Daytime Serials

It's not surprising that the O.W.I. held such sway with the Columbia Broadcasting System in particular. Many of CBS' top executives had been drafted to man, manage and promote the Office of War Information's Office of Facts and Figures in an effort to help launch the O.W.I.'s Radio Bureau. And while there was undoubtedly some arm twisting involved in persuading CBS--and its soap and detergent sponsors--to give up a couple of months of their wildly successful daytime serials to the War effort, it was arm-twisting between friends.

And so it was, that following the success of Victory Theater, CBS undertook to repeat that success in a similar promotion with thirteen weeks of its most identifiable daytime serial programming. CBS and the O.W.I. contemplated the following special presentations for CBS' Monday to Friday morning lineups:

  • Week 01 Our Gal Sunday
  • Week 02 Big Sister
  • Week 03 Life Can Be Beautiful
  • Week 04 Aunt Jenny's Real Life Stories
  • Week 05 Young Doctor Malone
  • Week 06 We Love and Learn
  • Week 07 Program Unknown
  • Week 08 Bright Horizon
  • Week 09 The Goldbergs
  • Week 10 Joyce Jordan, M.D.
  • Week 11 Second Husband
  • Week 12 Give Us This Day (Special O.W.I. serial)
  • Week 13 Program Unknown

The casts, crew and production facilities were, as with Victory Theater, donated by the respective parties.

Series Derivatives:

The Goldbergs; Life Can Be Beautiful; Our Gal Sunday; Aunt Jenny's Stories; Young Doctor Malone; We Love and Learn; Joyce Jordan, M.D.; Second Husband
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Serial Melodrama
Network(s): CBS [and any other radio stations that wished to air the O.W.I.-syndicated programs.]
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 42-10-12 01
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 42-10-12 to 43-01-08; CBS; Sixty-five, 15-minute programs; First runs, M - F, 9:45am EWT.
Syndication: The Office of War Information's Radio Bureau
Sponsors: The Office of War Information
Director(s):
Principal Actors:
Recurring Character(s):
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Writer(s)
Music Direction:
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s):
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
65
Episodes in Circulation: 6
Total Episodes in Collection: 6
Provenances:

Billboard review of 2nd Our Gal Sunday installment of Victory Front from October 24 1942
Billboard review of 2nd Our Gal Sunday installment of Victory Front from October 24 1942
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide, Movie Radio Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were magazine and newspaper listings.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


OTRisms:

Much in the fashion of the times we live in, vintage Radio history revisionists are making money hand over fist rewriting the Radio history of the 1920s through 1960s -- the Golden Age of Radio. As we've demonstrated--and supported--within hundreds of our own Radio articles, the cottage industry in 'OTR Books' continues to exponentially disseminate all manner of unsupported revisionism regarding many of the more interesting Radio programs of the era. Apparently Victory Front hasn't escaped theses OTR authors' fanciful musings. One 'author' in particular makes the absolutely absurd claim that the first five contemplated weekly series' of Victory Front never even aired. And yet we have the Billboard review in the sidebar and the numerous newspaper and magazine listings below to support our proof that the entire contemplated 13-week series did actually air. This, let alone the notion that with the O.W.I.'s exensive ties to CBS management, CBS would refuse to actually air what CBS had so painstakingly helped to produce for them. This is what passes for 'OTR scholarship' these days.

We don't know what to make of this latest spate of revisionist phenomena. The "OTR community" in particular has reset the bar of integrity so low as to negatively affect the entire vintage Radio collecting pastime throughout the world. The OTRR and its OTTER logs don't seem to care a whit about historical accuracy and the "credentialed OTR experts" of that community, seeing how low the bar has been set, are cleaning up with all manner of vanity books on Radio history and programs of the era. They offer no proof whatsoever of their assertions other than citing the demonstrably inaccurate commercial catalogues of vintage recordings vendors. And so the rampant misinformation continues to spread like lymphatic cancer throughout the vintage Radio hobby.

Just as the O.W.I. attempted to do with the Victory Front series, the only way to stop this revisionist nonsense in its tracks is to curtail the demand. To that end, we continue to cite the more blatant revisionists wherever we can--and we'll continue to do so. As long as the demand for revisionist OTR misinformation continues, the usual suspects will continue to supply it. If the demand ceases, the supply will cease with it.


What you see here, is what you get. Complete transparency. We have no 'credentials' whatsoever--in any way, shape, or form--in the 'otr community'--none. But here's how we did it--for better or worse. Here's how you can build on it yourselves--hopefully for the better. Here are the breadcrumbs--just follow the trail a bit further if you wish. No hobbled downloads. No misdirection. No posturing about our 'credentials.' No misrepresentations. No strings attached. We point you in the right direction and you're free to expand on it, extend it, use it however it best advances your efforts.

We ask one thing and one thing only--if you employ what we publish, attribute it, before we cite you on it.

We continue to provide honest research into these wonderful Golden Age Radio programs simply because we love to do it. If you feel that we've provided you with useful information or saved you some valuable time regarding this log--and you'd like to help us even further--you can help us keep going. Please consider a small donation here:

We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

All rights reserved by their respective sources. Article and log copyright 2009 The Digital Deli Online--all rights reserved. Any failure to attribute the results of this copywritten work will be rigorously pursued.

[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]







The Victory Front Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
42-10-12
1
Our Gal Sunday Ep. 1
N
42-10-06 Sandusky Register Star
Turn The Dial
NEW YORK, Oct. 6 (Wide World)—Like the night-time programs
did last summer by joining in the Victory Parade of NBC and the Victory Theater of CBS, the daytime serials of the two networks are to contribute to the war effort through a special series of morning broadcasts. The programs are in cooperation with
the Office of War Information. The series on NBC will be called Victory Volunteers at 10 a.m. and that on
CBS the Victory Front at 9:45 a, m., Mondays through Fridays.

42-10-10 Clearfield Progress
Monday Expectations
Two war-effort series by
daytime serials—-CBS 9:45 a. m.
Victory Front, "Our Gal Sunday;" NBC 10 a. m. Victory Volunteers, "Stella Dallas."

42-10-10 Mason City Globe-Gazette 
CBS Serial Shows to Air on 'Victory Front' 
     Uncle Sam is borrowing the characters of Columbia's daytime serial dramas for "The Victory Front," a new 13-week series of daytime programs to be heard Mondays through Fridays beginning next Monday on KGLO-CBS from 8:45 to 9 a.m.
     Through this series the office of war information presents important messages to KGLO-CBS' daytime audience.  According to the OWI, "the government hopes in this way to supplement the fine work already being done by the daytime programs in the presentation of war information through the medium of entertainment."
     The Columbia Broadcasting System supplies the facilities, while the agencies, sponsors, casts, producers and directors give their services to "The  Victory Front."
     Each week the principal characters, familiar as neighbors to listeners through their daily adventures on a CBS daytime drama, come to "The Victory Front," to appear in a specially written drama in which they face wartime problems and meet them with fortitude.
     The cast of "Our Gal Sunday" is heard on "The Victory Front"  the week beginning Monday, to be followed on successive weeks by the casts of "Big Sister," "Life Can Be Beautiful" and "Aunt Jenny."
42-10-13
2
Our Gal Sunday Ep. 2
N
42-10-14
3
Our Gal Sunday Ep. 3
N
42-10-15
4
Our Gal Sunday Ep. 4
N
42-10-16
5
Our Gal Sunday Ep. 5
N
42-10-19
6
Big Sister Ep. 1
N
42-10-20
7
Big Sister Ep. 2
N
42-10-21
8
Big Sister Ep. 3
N
42-10-22
9
Big Sister Ep. 4
N
42-10-23
10
Big Sister Ep. 5
N
42-10-26
11
Life Can Be Beautiful Ep. 1 The Nature of the Enemy
Y
42-10-24 Mason City Globe-Gazette 
'VICTORY FRONT' IN
NEW DRAMA
 
'Life Can Be Beautiful'
Cast to Be Featured
 
     Alice Reinheart, Ralph Locke, John Holbrook and other members of the cast of the CBS daytime drama, "Life Can Be Beautiful," are heard in a five-episode drama under the auspices of the office of war information on the "Victory Front" series beginning Monday over KGLO-CBS from 8:45 to 9 a.m.
     "Life Can Be Beautiful" is the third CBS serial drama whose cast, director, agency and sponsor give their services to the OWI for "Victory Front."  CBS supplies the facilities for the program, which carries messages of national importance from the government.
     The five episodes are based on the theme, "the nature of the enemy."  The scene is a book shop operated by Papa David (Ralph Locke).  A young girl, Chichi (Alice Reinheart), and a cripple, Stephen (John Holbrook), assist Papa David.  Chichi has a dream in which the country is ruled by a dictator.  She dreams that, because Papa David has Bibles for sale, he is sentenced to death, Stephen is sent to an "institution" from which he can never return and Chichi kills an officer in defending herself.
     The series demonstrates what may happen unless the home front fights as relentlessly as the military front in this war.
42-10-27
12
Life Can Be Beautiful Ep. 2 The Nature of the Enemy
N
42-10-28
13
Life Can Be Beautiful Ep. 3 The Nature of the Enemy
N
42-10-29
14
Life Can Be Beautiful Ep. 4 The Nature of the Enemy
Y
42-10-30
15
Life Can Be Beautiful Ep. 5 The Nature of the Enemy
N
42-11-02
16
Aunt Jenny Ep. 1 The Three Musketeers
N
42-10-31 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Monday, Nov. 2 8:45 The Victory Front,
Aunt Jenny, CBS

42-11-02 San Antonio Light

Musketeers
Is 4th CBS
Serial Drama

The Three Musketeers," a story based on the formula of Columbia's Aunt Jenny's Real Life Stories program, is-the title of the "Victory Front" drama to be Heard Monday through Friday, 8:45 a. m., KTSA.
This is the fourth CBS serial drama to which the talent, agency, irector and sponsor give their serices to the Office of War Information for the "Victory Front" series. Facilities are supplied by CBS. Bex Stout speaks for the O.W.I. in "Victory Front."

42-11-03
17
Aunt Jenny Ep. 2 The Three Musketeers
N
42-11-04
18
Aunt Jenny Ep. 3 The Three Musketeers
N
42-11-05
19
Aunt Jenny Ep. 4 The Three Musketeers
N
42-11-06
20
Aunt Jenny Ep. 5 The Three Musketeers
N
42-11-09
21
Young Dr. Malone Ep 1 Home Nursing
N
42-11-07 Mason City Globe-Gazette 
"Young Doctor Malone"
Is Next on "Victory Front"
 

Will Present Fifth Serial in Interest of War Information Office 
     Characters familiar to KGLO-CBS listeners on the daytime serial drama, "Young Doctor Malone," are heard in a special five-episode drama of home nursing on "The Victory Front" beginning Monday, on KGLO-CBS from 8:45 to 9 a.m.
     This is the fifth CBS serial of which talent, agency, director and sponsor give their services to the office of war information for "Victory Front."  Facilities are supplied by CBS.
     "The Victory Front" drama tells of Ann Malone, wife of the doctor, who teaches a nurses' aide course, and a Miss Collier, whose desire for life stopped when she received a war department notice that her fiancée had been killed.  Ann Malone persuades the listless girl to accompany her to a tenement in New York's lower east side, where women who do home nursing and have learned first aid are helping the war effort by helping in their own community.
     Miss Collier is finally interested after she sees the efficiency of the nurses' aides in an accident and at a childbirth and determines to become a home nurse herself.
     The five-episode drama is another in the OWI series designed to acquaint KGLO-CBS daytime listeners with important phases of the United States war effort.

42-11-09 Charleston Daily Gazette
WCHS)—
Young Doctor Malone takes over Victory Front at 9:45, will also be heard regularly at 2:00 (Post Toasties)
42-11-10
22
Young Dr. Malone Ep 2 Home Nursing
N
42-11-11
23
Young Dr. Malone Ep 3 Home Nursing
N
42-11-12
24
Young Dr. Malone Ep 4 Home Nursing
N
42-11-13
25
Young Dr. Malone Ep 5 Home Nursing
Y
42-11-16
26
We Love and Learn Ep. 1 Combating Inflation
Y
42-11-14 Mason City Globe-Gazette
 KGLO Story to Be Aired
on OWI Spot
 
     Characters heard in the daytime KGLO-CBS drama, "We Love and Learn," are scheduled for the office of War information's "Victory Front" for the week beginning Monday from 8:45 to 9 a.m.
     Price control is the theme of the five-episode drama.  Claudia Morgan as Andrea Reynolds; Don McLaughlin as Kit Collins and Larry Robinson as Tommy Fields head the cast.
     The story concerns Andrea Reynolds, small town school teacher in Beechmont who tries to combat the menace of inflation.  Her worry brings a dream in which she "sees" what will happen if inflation comes.  This convinces her that the townspeople must do everything they can to stop inflation, and she shows them what must be done to avoid having her dream come true.
     The cast, agency, sponsor and director of "We Love and Learn" give their services and CBS supplies the facilities to the office of war information for the program.
42-11-17
27
We Love and Learn Ep. 2 Combating Inflation
N
42-11-18
28
We Love and Learn Ep. 3 Combating Inflation
N
42-11-19
29
We Love and Learn Ep. 4 Combating Inflation
N
42-11-20
30
We Love and Learn Ep. 5 Combating Inflation
N
42-11-23
31
Title Unknown
N
42-11-24
32
Title Unknown
N
42-11-25
33
Title Unknown
N
42-11-26
34
Title Unknown
N
42-11-27
35
Title Unknown
N
42-11-30
36
Bright Horizon Ep. 1
N
42-11-29 Wisconsin State Journal
Monday 8:45 a.m.--Victory Front: cast of "
Bright Horizon"--WBBM.
42-12-01
37
Bright Horizon Ep. 2
N
42-12-02
38
Bright Horizon Ep. 3
N
42-12-03
39
Bright Horizon Ep. 4
N
42-12-04
40
Bright Horizon Ep. 5
N
42-12-07
41
Title Unknown
N
42-12-08
42
Title Unknown
N
42-12-09
43
Title Unknown
N
42-12-10
44
Title Unknown
N
42-12-11
45
Title Unknown
N
42-12-14
46
Joyce Jordan M.D. Ep. 1 Women in the War
N
42-10-14 Movie Radio Guide
9:45 am--Victory Front: WABC WABI WBRY WGAN WDRC WOKO. Today's program
features the cast of "Joyce Jordan, M.D." in a story entitled "Women in the War"
42-12-15
47
Joyce Jordan M.D. Ep. 2 Women in the War
N
42-10-15 Movie Radio Guide
9:45 am--Victory Front: WABC WABI WBRY WGAN WDRC WOKO
42-12-16
48
Joyce Jordan M.D. Ep. 3 Women in the War
N
42-10-16 Movie Radio Guide
9:45 am--Victory Front: WABC WABI WBRY WGAN WDRC WOKO
42-12-17
49
Joyce Jordan M.D. Ep. 4 Women in the War
N
42-10-17 Movie Radio Guide
9:45 am--Victory Front: WABC WABI WBRY WGAN WDRC WOKO
42-12-18
50
Joyce Jordan M.D. Ep. 5 Women in the War
N
42-10-18 Movie Radio Guide
9:45 am--Victory Front: WABC WABI WBRY WGAN WDRC WOKO
42-12-21
51
Second Husband Ep. 1 Christmas Eve
Y
42-12-22
52
Second Husband Ep. 2 Christmas Eve
N
42-12-23
53
Second Husband Ep. 3 Christmas Eve
N
42-12-24
54
Second Husband Ep. 4 Christmas Eve
N
42-12-25
55
Second Husband Ep. 5 Christmas Eve
N
42-12-28
56
Give Us This Day Ep. 1 Food For Freedom
N
42-12-28 The Deming Headlight
Some of America's greatest literary figures will appear on CBS Victory Front radio series, beginning December 28. They will include Stephen Vincent Benet (Monday), Maxwell Anderson (Tuesday), Norman Corwin (Wednesday), Carl Cramer (Thursday) Sinclair Lewis (Friday).
42-12-29
57
Give Us This Day Ep. 2 Food For Freedom
N
[With Maxwell Anderson]
42-12-30
58
Give Us This Day Ep. 3 Food For Freedom
N
[With Norman Corwin]
42-12-31
59
Give Us This Day Ep. 4 Food For Freedom
N
[With Carl Cramer]
43-01-01
60
Give Us This Day Ep. 5 Food For Freedom
Y
[With Sinclair Lewis]
43-01-04
61
Title Unknown
N
43-01-04 Chicago Daily Tribune
4:45--WJJD--Victory Front
43-01-05
62
Title Unknown
N
43-01-06
63
Title Unknown
N
43-01-07
64
Title Unknown
N
43-01-08
65
Title Unknown
N






The Victory Front Radio Program Biographies




United States Office of War Information
(Sponsor)

Government War Information agency
(1942-1947)

Founded: Washington, D.C., U.S.A., Under Executive Order 9182 of June 13, 1942.

Radiography:

1942 Victory Theater
1942 Victory Parade
1942 Victory Theatre
1942 Victory Volunteers
1942 An American In England
1943 An American in Russia
1942 You Can't Do Business With Hitler
1943 A Passport for Adams
1943 Words At War
1945 Alice In America
1945 America Views the News
1945 Meet The Army
1947 One World Flight


The United States Office of War Information (OWI) sponsored and provided the concept for Victory Theater

William B. Lewis circa 1942
William B. Lewis circa 1942

Former CBS News Director Elmer Davis sits at his typewriter as Director of the Office of War Information circa 1942
Former CBS News Director Elmer Davis sits at his typewriter as Director of the Office of War Information circa 1942

Elmer Davis before all major network mikes in his role as Director of the OWI
Elmer Davis before all major network mikes in his role as Director of the OWI

The OWI's Comprehensive Homemaker's War Guide from 1942 (OWI Poster No. 20)
The OWI's Comprehensive Homemaker's War Guide from 1942 (OWI Poster No. 20)

The OWI's famous It's A Woman's War Too! poster
The OWI's famous It's A Woman's War Too! poster

The OWI's famous Four Freedoms Poster by Norman Rockwell (OWI Poster No. 47)
(OWI Poster No. 47) This is what was at stake once we entered the War. The OWI's famous Four Freedoms Poster by Norman Rockwell.
This is the poster and the idea that every right-wing organization or party in America has denounced as a legacy of The FDR Years. The irony is that it wasn't FDR's brainchild. It was the OWI's--a 'homeland security' organization.
The implementing charter for the Office of War Information was established with FDR's Executive Order 9182 of Jun 13, 1942. Insofar as Radio is concerned, it's first precept best informs its eventual influence over Radio between 1942 and 1947:

"a. Formulate and carry out, through the use of press, radio, motion picture, and other facilities, information programs designed to facilitate the development of an informed and intelligent understanding, at home and abroad, of the status end progress of the war effort and of the war policies, activities, and aims of the Government."

It was William B. Lewis and the radio group he'd assembled within the government to air the joint, four-network broadcast of the This Is War programs who caught the attention of the Office of War Information. After the success of the This Is War broadcasts, the OWI established a Radio Bureau in July 1942, and appointed Lewis as its first director. The OWI Radio Bureau became the OWI's domestic branch and main government organ at home.

As head of the Domestic Radio Bureau of the Office of Facts and Figures (OFF), then later as head of the Radio Bureau of the Office of War Information, Lewis became the point man to reassure an anxious radio industry that the commercial structure of American radio would ''remain unchanged.'' William Lewis argued that ''radio was valuable only because of the enormous audiences it created."

It was Lewis' prinicipal aim to make use of radio's popularity without unduly disrupting its structure and schedule. Lewis was instrumental in populating the Radio Bureau with men and women from radio stations, the networks, and advertising agencies alike. In Jan 1943 he was promoted to Assistant Director of the OWI's Domestic Branch, further extending his influence to other media such as ''motion pictures, graphics and magazines.''

In the case of commercial radio, Lewis' office developed a simple, but initially effective plan for radio's participation in the war. He helped develop the Network Allocation Plan (NAP), by which radio programming would integrate war messages on a ''rotating schedule''--twice a month for weekly programming and once a week for daily programming. Lewis' overarching dictum was that "Radio propaganda must be painless."

Lewis' OWI Radio Bureau suggested and set in motion a CBS drama project to be produced by Edward R. Murrow and written and directed by Norman Corwin. It was initially produced in England in cooperation with the BBC and titled An American In England. It may come as no surprise that both William B. Lewis and Elmer C. Davis, the Director of the O.W.I., had prominent positions with CBS before and after World War II.

The OWI itself was becoming entangled in a deepening morass of problems with both the Networks and their commercial sponsors. The understandable demands for more and more of these patriotic propaganda programs, while clearly raising public interest in the War effort, its progress, and the extraordinary demands it was making on the American economy, were placing commercial Radio programming at a distinct disadvantage.

Commercial Radio had been a seemingly limitless cash cow for sponsors and the networks alike--prior to America's official entry in The War. While America's performers were unstinting in their willingness to volunteer for all manner of patriotic anthologies of one sort or another, America's commercial sponsors weren't quite as philanthropic or altruistic as a group--to put it mildly.

While it was certainly true that for some industries, the War was clearly a boon, many other industries were suddenly experiencing shortages of what had once been a free-flowing logistics and raw materials supply. The dramatic rationing that was at first suggested for these industries, then imposed upon them--since very few of them actually complied with suggested guidelines--caused as many industries to founder as to thrive.

Those industries that were foundering began demanding all manner of price supports, tax incentives and offsets, union-organizing sanctions, and government subsidies. Kinda rings a familiar bell, doesn't it? Network Radio, as an industry, was no exception. In the final analysis, despite the endless stream of patriotic anecdotes regarding Network Radio's contributions to The War Effort, the ugly reality was quite a different story. The pressures being exerted on the networks from government agencies such as the Office of War Information's Radio Bureau, the Office of Price Administration and the War Department were playing the devil with both their commercial sponsors and the 'business' of Network Radio. These were undercurrents that Network Radio--and Television--wouldn't soon forget.




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