Progressive Broadcasting System
The Progressive Broadcasting System (PBS) was a short-lived radio network of the early 1950s. "[C]atering to smaller radio stations," the company had hoped to affiliate with around 1,000 radio stations in the United States which did not already have affiliation agreements with the "Big Four" national radio networks of those days: NBC, CBS, ABC, & Mutual, as well as LBS, second in size to Mutual.
Progressive planned to offer programming for 10hours of the day on as many as 350 radio stations. At a press conference August 10, 1950, Progressive President Larry Finley told reporters, "Advertising will be local, except for the night programs, and there will be no network option time." The network's flagship station was KGFJ in Hollywood.
Two hundred stations were needed for the network to break even. However, only "about 100 stations" joined, and the network folded at the end of its schedule on January 31, 1951.
After "nearly two years of planning and organization," PBS had capitalization of $1,500,000 and was incorporated in California.
Executives of the network included Miller McClintock, chairman and chief executive; Larry Finley, president; Donald Withycomb, executive vice president; Edgar H. Twalmley, vice president in charge of the eastern division; Robert B. White, vice president in charge of the central division; B.B. Robinson, vice president in charge of finance; Kolin Hagar, eastern district manager; and Nat Linden, chief of production.
Billing its offerings as "The world's greatest daytime network radio programming," PBS made programming ("aimed primarily at the housewife") available to affiliates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Programs offered were much like those of other networks, "including an array of soap operas, quiz shows, children's features, variety shows and audience participation programs."
On December 15, 1950, President Harry S. Truman proclaimed "the existence of a state of national emergency." Afterward, PBS officials sent a letter to approximately 60 agencies and departments of the federal government saying that "its program lines [would be] kept open until 11 p.m. and offering those evening hours to the government for any messages or programs which PBS can take to its member stations in support of defense and emergency activities."
Initial program lineup
The following is the lineup of programs with which PBS launched its operation.
|Grand Motel (soap opera)||Marc Lawrence||15 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|This Is Mine (soap opera)||Barbara Britton||15 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|Betty Carr, Detective (soap opera)||Hope Emerson||15 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|Cindy (soap opera)||Jeanne Cagney||15 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|Taylored Lady (fashion news)||Estelle Taylor||30 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|Mary Grove At Home (home economics)||Mary Grove||15 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|My Secret Desire (audience participation)||Ann Dvorak||30 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|Mel Tormé Time (music)||Mel Tormé||30 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|Our Best to You||Tom Hanlon||30 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|Hart of Hollywood (studio tours)||Maurice Hart||30 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|Great American Quiz||Hal Sawyer||30 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|Bar None Ranch||Cottonseed Clark||30 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|Movietown News||Charlotte Rogers||15 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|Uncle Remus (children's stories)||Jimmy Scribner||15 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|World of Sports||Lou Nova||15 minutes||Monday - Friday|
|Young Ideas||Harry Von Zell||30 minutes||Saturday|
|The Old Skipper||Captain Hix||15 minutes||Saturday|
|Club Time||Bob McLaughlin||3 hours||Saturday|
|Mindy Carson Show||Mindy Carson||15 minutes||Saturday|
|Vic Damone Show||Vic Damone||30 minutes||Saturday|
|Hugh Said It||Hugh Herbert||30 minutes||Sunday|
|Progressive Music||Stan Kenton||30 minutes||Sunday|
|Connie Haines Entertains||Connie Haines||1 hour||Sunday|
|Mel Torme Time (Sunday Version)||Mel Tormé||1 hour||Sunday|
|Frankie Laine Show||Frankie Laine||2 hours||Sunday|
|Page Pages You||Page Cavanaugh||30 minutes||Sunday|
- "Network of Small Stations Planned". Janesville Daily Gazette. August 11, 1950. p. 1. Retrieved September 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "(WLIO ad)". The Evening Review. November 20, 1950. p. 21. Retrieved September 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Coville, Gary (November 2011). "Now You Hear It . . . . Now You Don't". Radiogram. 36 (9): 8–13.
- "New Radio Network Suspends Operations". The Plain Speaker. February 1, 1951. p. 14. Retrieved September 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "PBS Opening" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 9, 1950. p. 28. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- "Personals . ." (PDF). Broadcasting. January 15, 1951. p. 71. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- "Name Robinson" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 18, 1950. p. 78. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- "Allied Arts" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 6, 1950. p. 71. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- "Air-casters" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 11, 1950. p. 56. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- "PBS ad" (PDF). Broadcasting. October 9, 1950. p. 19. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- "PBS Defense Plan" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 28, 1950. p. 28. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
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