The Golden Years of Radio 1934-1935
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(There are many more fascinating facts and stories beyond these headlines)
The Seasons
GOld Time Radio chronicles each of the 21 broadcast seasons, (September through June), from Network Radio’s Golden Age, 1932 to 1953.  The lengthy and informative profiles of each season are concluded with an exclusive review of their Top 50 Prime Time Programs, as determined by Crossly, Hooper or Nielsen rating services.).
Each synopsis links to the full and detailed article.

1934-1935 Season
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THE 1934-35 SEASON
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An almanac of Network Radio's
 third season of its Golden Age,
Includes a listing and details the
year's Top 50 Programs
  • Despite the tough economic times, over 65% of American homes had invested in radios by 1934 and after a one-year lapse, radio revenues again resumed their healthy growth with a 21.7% gain led by the networks‘ 26.0% jump. The three radio networks with their combined 184 affiliates - just 32% of the total number of stations - collected a cool $42.6 Million during the year. That kind of money led three very independent broadcasters to think about a new, station-owned network of their own.
  • Bamberger Department Stores’ WOR/Newark, The Chicago Tribune’s WGN and WXYZ/Detroit had all had been one-time  CBS affiliates who objected to relinquishing the time and control that network affiliation required.  Yet, they wanted the advantages that a network could provide - the programming and more importantly, the revenue ... WXYZ station manager H. Allen Campbell organized their effort and recruited WLW/Cincinnati to become the network’s fourth charter station. The Mutual Broadcasting System began operations on October 2,1934, with The Lone Ranger as its first program.
  • Eddie Cantor, (above with Ted Husing), became the first major star to jump from NBC to CBS.  He began the season hosting NBC’s Sunday night Chase & Sanborn Hour, averaging a whopping 47.0 Crossley rating in October and November.   He left the show in December and reappeared on CBS in February in the same Sunday 8:00 timeslot - with his show reduced to half an hour.  Although he lost 25% of his NBC audience in the switch,  the comedian still generated an enviable  37.1 average rating during his first three-months on CBS. 
  • Led by Sunday night’s Jack Benny and Joe Penner shows, Blue placed 16 programs in the season’s Top 50.  It would be an all time high for the WJZ-anchored network, whether known as Blue or ABC ...  General Foods hired Jack Benny in October and moved him from NBC’s Friday schedule to Sunday evenings at 7:00 on Blue.   A network nomad for two seasons, Benny found a home in the time period and wouldn’t leave it for the next 24 years. He never finished out of the Annual Top Ten while he occupied it.
  • Will Rogers bid his final farewell to the CBS Gulf Headliners audience on June 9, 1935. It was more final than anyone could have imagined.  Ten weeks later he was dead - killed with aviator Wiley Post in a plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska.
  • NBC continued to lead the network race with 21 programs in the Annual Top 50.  Blue followed with 16 and for the last time CBS finished in third place with only 13 shows among the nation’s favorites.   That situation would change dramatically over the following season.