Blue Network

NBC Blue NetworkNBC BlueBlueNBCNBC-BlueNBC RadioNBC-Blue NetworkABCABC Radio Networkbasic Blue
The Blue Network (previously the NBC Blue Network) was the on-air name of the now defunct American radio network, which ran from 1927 to 1945.wikipedia
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NBC

National Broadcasting CompanyNBC-TVNBC Television
Beginning as one of the two radio networks owned by the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), the independent Blue Network was born of a divestiture in 1942, arising from antitrust litigation, and is the direct predecessor of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC)—organized 1943–1945 as a separate independent radio network and later TV broadcaster.
On January 1, 1927, NBC formally divided their respective marketing strategies: the "Red Network" offered commercially sponsored entertainment and music programming; the "Blue Network" mostly carried sustaining – or non-sponsored – broadcasts, especially news and cultural programs.

WABC (AM)

WABCWJZWABC-AM
The Blue Network dates to 1923, when the Radio Corporation of America acquired WJZ Newark from Westinghouse, which had established the station in 1921. A 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 (later an NBC Red station, but at this time part of NBC's West Coast "Orange Network"), 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. "TWO BIG NETWORKS: The network to be used for the first concert will consist of a combination of chains of stations affiliated with WEAF and WJZ, New York. It is also announced that this opening Victor program inaugurates a new chain system to be operated by the National Broadcasting Company, with WJZ as the "key" station. This new chain, which will be known as the "blue" network, will allow simultaneous broadcasting from WJZ through WBZ, Springfield and Boston, KDKA, Pittsburgh, and KYW, Chicago. For broadcasting of the first program, therefore, the "blue" network will be joined with the "red" network, as the WEAF chain is designated, as well as other stations in various cities. Following the New Year's night program, the concerts will be given bi-monthly, through the "blue" network "
For much of its history, the station had served as the flagship for the original ABC Radio Network (and their direct predecessor, the Blue Network) and ABC's radio news service.

NBC Radio Network

NBC RadioNBC Red NetworkNBC
This first broadcast on November 15, 1926 marked NBC's de facto formation of the NBC Red Network from the WEAF network assets, using WEAF as the "key station"; this network in eventual popular image tended to broadcast the most popular entertainment programming.
Along with the NBC Blue Network it was one of the first two nationwide networks established in the United States.

WFAN (AM)

WFANWEAFWFAN-AM
Nevertheless, the WJZ network sought to compete toe-to-toe with the AT&T network, which was built around a different New York station, WEAF (today's WFAN).
The company decided to keep the Red Network, and it was rebranded as the NBC Radio Network after the Blue Network was divested to Edward J. Noble, which was later renamed the American Broadcasting Company (ABC).

WTEM

WRCESPN 980WRC-AM
When RCA commenced operations of WRC, Washington on August 1, 1923, the root of a network was born, though it did not operate under the name by which it would later become known.
NBC's other radio chain, the Blue Network, had no affiliate in the national capital until RCA entered into a lease agreement with WMAL in 1933.

RCA

Radio Corporation of AmericaRCA CorporationRCA Astro
The Blue Network dates to 1923, when the Radio Corporation of America acquired WJZ Newark from Westinghouse, which had established the station in 1921.
NBC formed two radio networks that eventually expanded nationwide: the NBC-Red Network, with flagship station WEAF, and NBC-Blue, centered on WJZ.

WNBC (AM)

WNBCWEAFWNBC-AM
Nevertheless, the WJZ network sought to compete toe-to-toe with the AT&T network, which was built around a different New York station, WEAF (today's WFAN).
The other chain was the NBC Blue Network, whose programming originated at WJZ (now WABC), also owned by RCA.

The Magic Key of RCA

RCA Magic Key
At least as late as January 1939, in spite of the fact that by this time NBC was seeking to differentiate the images of its NBC Red and NBC Blue networks (see below), it would still arrange for special, joint broadcasts, such as a special two-hour presentation of "The Magic Key of RCA" musical program (normally an NBC Blue program, sponsored by RCA's Victor records division) entitled "Salute to 1939."
It was on the NBC Blue Network from September 29, 1935, until September 18, 1939.

The Collier Hour

A description of this broadcast is contained in a 1930 pamphlet put out by the Enna Jettick Shoe Company; Enna Jettick sponsored the first of Lauder's performances that night on its "Enna Jettick Melodies" show, which was followed later by another performance during the time ordinarily used by The Collier Hour.
The Collier Hour, also known as Collier's Radio Hour, broadcast on the NBC Blue Network from 1927 to 1932, was radio's first major dramatic anthology.

Lux Radio Theatre

Lux Radio TheaterThe Lux Radio TheatreLux Summer Theatre
On occasion, shows would make brief stops at NBC Blue before moving elsewhere, such as the Lux Radio Theatre (1934–35) and Will Rogers' program (1933), both of which would move to CBS.
Lux Radio Theatre, sometimes spelled Lux Radio Theater, a classic radio anthology series, was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934–35) (owned by the National Broadcasting Company, later predecessor of American Broadcasting Company [ABC] in 1943 /1945); CBS Radio network (Columbia Broadcasting System) (1935-54), and NBC Radio (1954–55).

Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel

Flywheel, Shyster and FlywheelBeagle, Shyster, and BeagleEmmanuel Ravelli
The marquee show in this cycle was Flywheel, Shyster, and Flywheel, which starred Groucho Marx and Chico Marx.
The series was originally broadcast in the United States on the National Broadcasting Company's Blue Network beginning November 28, 1932, and ended May 22, 1933.

WBZ (AM)

WBZWBZ radioWBZ-AM
The core stations of the "Radio Group" were RCA's stations WJZ and WRC; the Westinghouse station WBZ, then in Springfield, Massachusetts; and WGY, the General Electric station in Schenectady, New York. "TWO BIG NETWORKS: The network to be used for the first concert will consist of a combination of chains of stations affiliated with WEAF and WJZ, New York. It is also announced that this opening Victor program inaugurates a new chain system to be operated by the National Broadcasting Company, with WJZ as the "key" station. This new chain, which will be known as the "blue" network, will allow simultaneous broadcasting from WJZ through WBZ, Springfield and Boston, KDKA, Pittsburgh, and KYW, Chicago. For broadcasting of the first program, therefore, the "blue" network will be joined with the "red" network, as the WEAF chain is designated, as well as other stations in various cities. Following the New Year's night program, the concerts will be given bi-monthly, through the "blue" network "
This paved the way for the station to become a charter affiliate of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) on November 15, 1926, carrying the WJZ-originated NBC Blue Network beginning on January 1, 1927.

Five-Star Theater

Five Star TheaterFive Star Theatre
During the 1932–1933 season, Standard Oil of New Jersey (Esso) sponsored an unusual program, the Five-Star Theater, which each weeknight presented a show in a different format.
Five-Star Theater (also written as 5-Star Theater) is an American radio series that premiered on Monday, November 28, 1932, on NBC's Blue Network, sponsored by the Standard Oil Companies of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Louisiana and the Colonial Beacon Oil Company.

America's Town Meeting of the Air

America's Town MeetingTown Meeting of the Air
In a similar vein, one of the Blue Network's longest running programs was America's Town Meeting of the Air, a current-affairs discussion program.
America’s Town Meeting of the Air was a public affairs discussion broadcast on radio from May 30, 1935, to July 1, 1956, mainly on the NBC Blue Network and its successor, ABC Radio.

KFI

KFI AM 640KFI-AMKFI 640 AM
A 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 (later an NBC Red station, but at this time part of NBC's West Coast "Orange Network"), 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.
From the time of its inception in 1926, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) operated two networks, the Red Network and the Blue Network.

Mutual Broadcasting System

MutualMutual Radio NetworkMutual Network
In 1938, Mutual had 107 affiliates, and CBS had 114; the Blue Network, by contrast, was not able to blanket the United States when NBC Red sold out its time, with the result that during 1937–1938, the Blue Network's revenues were generally falling, while NBC Red's increased.
The three national radio networks already in operation—the Columbia Broadcasting System and the National Broadcasting Company's NBC Red and NBC Blue—were corporate controlled: programming was produced by the network (or by advertising agencies of program sponsors that purchased airtime on the network) and distributed to affiliates, most of which were independently owned.

Amos 'n' Andy

Amos and AndyAmos 'n AndyThe Amos 'n' Andy Show
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. This point can said to be reinforced firstly by a memorandum dated September 18, 1935, in which the Blue complained about its lack of access to broadcasts of the World Series, and secondly by a letter dated shortly after that, on October 5, 1935, which is a communication from Hearst Radio complaining that Amos 'n Andy and the Al Pearce programs had been moved from the Blue Network to the Red Network, and complaining in general about the weakness of the Blue's programming.
With the listening audience increasing in spring and summer 1928, the show's success prompted sponsor Pepsodent Company to bring it to the NBC Blue Network on August 19, 1929.

Jack Benny

The Jack Benny ProgramBennyThe Jack Benny Show
Bob Hope (in 1935 and again in 1937), Jack Benny (in 1932), Fibber McGee and Molly (in 1935), and Information, Please! (in 1938) are all examples of shows that debuted on the Blue Network before eventually transitioning over to larger audiences on the Red Network.
With Canada Dry ginger ale as a sponsor, Benny came to radio on The Canada Dry Program, on May 2, 1932, broadcast on Mondays and Wednesdays on the NBC Blue Network, featuring George Olsen and his orchestra.

The Voice of Firestone

The Voice of Firestone TelevuesVoice of FirestoneFirestone Hour
She points out, with some justice, that NBC Red also broadcast a number of high-brow programs such as The Voice of Firestone, The Atwater Kent Hour, and the Cities Service Concerts.
The program was sponsored by the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and aired on the "Blue Network" of NBC Radio on Monday nights at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time from its 1928 inception.

CBS

CBS TelevisionColumbia Broadcasting SystemCBS-TV
(Compare and contrast this with the way the Harry Lauder broadcast of 1929 was handled, above.) There also exists an October 1938 sales force memorandum, which contains talking points on how to differentiate the Blue Network from the Red Network and CBS.
CBS soon had more affiliates than either NBC Red or NBC Blue.

KDKA (AM)

KDKAKDKA-AMKDKA radio
"TWO BIG NETWORKS: The network to be used for the first concert will consist of a combination of chains of stations affiliated with WEAF and WJZ, New York. It is also announced that this opening Victor program inaugurates a new chain system to be operated by the National Broadcasting Company, with WJZ as the "key" station. This new chain, which will be known as the "blue" network, will allow simultaneous broadcasting from WJZ through WBZ, Springfield and Boston, KDKA, Pittsburgh, and KYW, Chicago. For broadcasting of the first program, therefore, the "blue" network will be joined with the "red" network, as the WEAF chain is designated, as well as other stations in various cities. Following the New Year's night program, the concerts will be given bi-monthly, through the "blue" network "
Westinghouse, along with RCA and General Electric, was a co-founder in 1926 of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), which created two national radio networks: the NBC Red Network and the NBC Blue Network.

Walter Winchell

WinchellWalter WinchelWalter Winchell’s Journal
Both Lowell Thomas and Walter Winchell's news programs were also broadcast over the Blue Network.
He switched to WJZ (later renamed WABC) and the NBC Blue (later ABC Radio) in 1932 for the Jergens Journal.

KYW (AM)

KYWKYW radioKYW-AM
"TWO BIG NETWORKS: The network to be used for the first concert will consist of a combination of chains of stations affiliated with WEAF and WJZ, New York. It is also announced that this opening Victor program inaugurates a new chain system to be operated by the National Broadcasting Company, with WJZ as the "key" station. This new chain, which will be known as the "blue" network, will allow simultaneous broadcasting from WJZ through WBZ, Springfield and Boston, KDKA, Pittsburgh, and KYW, Chicago. For broadcasting of the first program, therefore, the "blue" network will be joined with the "red" network, as the WEAF chain is designated, as well as other stations in various cities. Following the New Year's night program, the concerts will be given bi-monthly, through the "blue" network "
In 1927, Westinghouse affiliated its four radio stations (KYW, KDKA in Pittsburgh, WBZ in Springfield and WBZA in Boston) with the National Broadcasting Company's (NBC) Blue Network, originating from WJZ in New York City, which had been transferred from Westinghouse to the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in 1923.

WGY (AM)

WGYWGY-AMsister radio station
The core stations of the "Radio Group" were RCA's stations WJZ and WRC; the Westinghouse station WBZ, then in Springfield, Massachusetts; and WGY, the General Electric station in Schenectady, New York.
In the Albany market, WABY (now 1400 WAMC) affiliated with the NBC Blue Network, which later became ABC Radio, while WOKO (now 1460 WOPG) became a CBS affiliate.

Al Pearce

The Al Pearce ShowAl Pearce and His GangThe Happy-Go-Lucky Hour
This point can said to be reinforced firstly by a memorandum dated September 18, 1935, in which the Blue complained about its lack of access to broadcasts of the World Series, and secondly by a letter dated shortly after that, on October 5, 1935, which is a communication from Hearst Radio complaining that Amos 'n Andy and the Al Pearce programs had been moved from the Blue Network to the Red Network, and complaining in general about the weakness of the Blue's programming.
The musical-variety show scored such a success in San Francisco from 1928 until 1932 that it moved to the Blue Network on January 13, 1934, airing Saturdays at 6 p.m. until September when the 30-minute series split into two 15-minute shows heard Mondays and Fridays at 5 p.m. It continued in those timeslots until March 29, 1935.