20 Facts About Blue Network


Blue Network was the on-air name of a now defunct American radio network, which broadcast from 1927 through 1945.

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In 1943, the Blue Network formally became the American Broadcasting Company, but operated closely with NBC for another two years.

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Slightly later example of cooperation came on the evening of Sunday, December 1,1929, when the famed "Laird of the Music Halls", Sir Harry Lauder, appeared on a coast-to-coast hookup that originated from KFI in Los Angeles, but was distributed by WJZ, which, as noted, was the key station of the Blue Network; advertisements suggest that certain NBC Red stations, as well as stations in the Orange Network, supplemented the network.

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Ironically, even though the Blue Network generally was not given the more popular programs, it was the network that broadcast Amos 'n Andy at the height of its popularity in the early 1930s, when on average over half of the nation's radio audience would tune in to the show.

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On occasion, shows would make brief stops at NBC Blue Network before moving elsewhere, such as the Lux Radio Theatre and Will Rogers' program, both of which would move to CBS.

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At some level, the Blue Network was known in the late 1920s and early 1930s for its children's programming.

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Radio historian Elizabeth McLeod has suggested, aside from a brief period where NBC Red and NBC Blue had different chime-sequences in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the two networks were *not* differentiated for many years, which would certainly be consistent with the roster of shows described above.

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One season in the early 1940s, a high-profile sponsored program on the Blue Network was The Cavalcade of America, a show dramatizing historical events which was sponsored by DuPont.

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In 1943, after the Blue Network had been spun off, a promotional publication noted that:.

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One of the significant issues surrounding the sale of the Blue Network involved the network's practices regarding "controversial" topics and proponents.

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At the hearings held on September 10,1943, FCC Chairman James L Fly roundly denounced the policy of the Blue Network in refusing to sell airtime, but granting air time for free, to proponents of controversial broadcasts.

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Noble was forced to divest himself of New York station WMCA, which he had owned since 1940, but his American Broadcasting System, Inc, the entity formed to be the parent of the Blue Network, acquired WJZ, additional stations in Chicago and San Francisco, as well as land-line leases, certain studio facilities and leased studio facilities, and the affiliation system.

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The Blue Network retained the rights to broadcast the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts; Milton Cross was the host for NBC, Blue, ABC, CBS, and the opera's own broadcasts from 1931 through 1975.

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In certain respects, the Blue Network made attempts to grab the spotlight with unusual broadcasts.

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Several programs can be cited to show how the Blue Network was striving to reach beyond its previous reputation, and compete head-on with CBS and NBC as a stand-alone network.

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The Blue Network gave him and partner Don Prindle a comedy series, Niles and Prindle, which is referenced in the special as being scheduled for a debut the following month.

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Finally, a major priority of the Blue Network was to form a new identity, one that would mark a break with the past.

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On June 15,1945, the Blue Network formally changed its name to the American Broadcasting Company.

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The Blue Network applied for a construction permit for a TV station in the upper VHF band, but all such applications were shelved during the war years.

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The Southern Blue Network covered the Deep South, the Mountain Blue Group the Mountain states, the Pacific Coast Blue Network the Pacific Coast states, and the Southwestern Blue Group the Oklahoma-Texas region.

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