American Broadcasting System

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American Broadcasting System, Inc. was the corporate entity created by Edward J. Noble to purchase the assets of the Blue Network, a radio network that was being divested by the National Broadcasting Company under pressure from anti-trust regulators.

On July 30, 1943, Noble reached a deal with RCA, the parent of NBC, to purchase the Blue Network for $8 million. The deal was approved by the Federal Communications Commission in October, 1943, at which time American Broadcasting System, Inc. in effect took over the network.

In early 1945, the rights to the use of "ABC" were purchased from two entities, and the Blue Network began to use the name "American Broadcasting Company" on the air. On June 15, 1945, the network formally launched itself as ABC, though the use of the Blue Network name continued in some markets for a few years.

American Broadcasting System, Inc. eventually changed its name to American Broadcasting Company, Inc.

For the history of the Blue Network as it was owned by NBC, including the reasons for its sale, see the entry for Blue Network; this entry also covers the period 1943-1945, when the Blue Network was owned by American Broadcasting System, Inc. For the history of ABC, focusing on the period after 1945, see the entry for American Broadcasting Company.

Earlier entity of the same name[edit]

A regional network named American Broadcasting System existed at least eight years before Noble's deal to acquire the Blue Network. An article in the January 1, 1935, issue of Broadcasting magazine reported on the addition to WCOL, Columbus, Ohio, to ABS and said that WCOL was the network's 21st outlet. The article added "It was learned that negotiations are going forward for alignment of other stations in the South and Middlewest [sic] in furtherance of plans to establish a nationwide system."[1]


  1. ^ "WCOL, WNBR Join ABS". Broadcasting. January 1, 1935. Retrieved 14 October 2014.