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Encyclopedia of Radio 3-Volume Set by Christopher H. Sterling

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T

TALENT RAIDS

In 1948 Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) Chairman William S. Paley initiated a raid on the National Broadcasting Company's (NBC) top radio talent in order to compete with the better-fortified network. This bold move changed the balance of power in radio and affected key programming strategies in radio and later in television.

Background

Throughout the 1930s and much of the 1940s, NBC reigned as the dominant radio network. NBC had the financial backing of a wealthy corporate parent in the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), boasted a larger number of affiliated stations than CBS, and had a popular roster of vaudeville-trained comedians. CBS initially tried to even the standings in the mid-1930s by capturing some of NBC's key ...

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