Though the youngest of the major national networks, ABC went on to become one of the 'Big Three' to make a successful transition to television. ABC was the product of a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. NBC had operated two-parallel networks for almost 15 yrs, and very successfully, as well. This caught the attention of the Justice Department, who alledged that RCA Corporation (NBC) was specifically employing the two parallel Networks (referred to as the 'Red' Network and the 'Blue' Network) in a conscious effort to stifle competition in the fast growing network radio and radio advertising markets. RCA Corporation (NBC) was ordered to 'divorce' itself from the 'Blue' Network, which at the time consisted of three wholly owned radio stations, and over 200 network affiliates.
Transitional logo from The Blue Network to ABC circa 1944
American Broadcasting Company early logo circa 1946
ABC retained 'The Blue Network' name for about 3 yrs in some markets, primarily for continued name recognition. This created a problem for Golden Age Radio collectors. Most collectors who are aware of the timing of the transfer of NBC Blue to ABC tend to retain the 'Blue Network' desgination on shows that ran both before and after the changeover. Many collectors now find ABC programs during the period 1943 - 1947 labelled either ABC or The Blue Network. In this case, use the broadcast date(s) to resolve the network source(s).
ABC's Key Stations became KGO San Francisco, KECA Los Angeles, WENR Chicago and WJZ New York
Adding even further to Golden Age Radio collectors' confusion is the fact CBS's flagship station since its inception was WABC in New York. The call-sign and name were finally changed to WCBS in 1945, more than a year after the creation of the American Broadcasting Company. ABC's flagship station 'WJZ' in New York, then assumed the 'WABC' call-letters and name thereafter.
ABC Radio, Hollywood ca. 1944
1942: The NBC Blue network was reincorporated as The Blue Network Inc. by RCA in anticipation of its being spun off under FCC orders.
1943: The Blue Network Inc. was purchased by Edward Noble, of Lifesavers fame, in 1943 for about $8 million. He bought the rights to the name American Broadcasting Company in 1945 from George Storer.
1953: Merged with United Paramount Theatres Inc. (spun off from Paramount Pictures Corporation in 1950) after a 20 month set of FCC hearings which, combined with the Paramount Pictures/Dumont Network issues, determined the future of television for 30 years.
1962: United Paramount-American Broadcasting Company, Inc. changed its name to American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. and adopted the now-famous circle logo.
1986: Acquired by Capital Cities Communications becoming Capital Cities/ABC Inc.
1996: Acquired by The Walt Disney Company.
By 1948 ABC was touting a prize-winning line up of Radio features