Chapter THREE

The Terrible

Profit Amid Depression

In the 1930s, the number of radio sets in use continued to increase. In 1930 an estimated 40% of America’s homes had radios. Considering the state of the economy, that was a large number. Listeners heard more and more vaudeville-type shows. As the Depression proved the beginning of the end for vaudeville theaters, or houses, as they were called, the performers tried to re-create their acts on radio, some successfully breaking into network radio and others settling for a job—any job—at a local station. Throughout this decade, many future entertainment stars got their start working for peanuts on small radio stations.

Successful network programs were given long-term renewals, establishing a star ...

Get The Broadcast Century and Beyond, 5th Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.