Thursday, August 17, 2017

Only 52 years ago.

I have been purging unnecessary  things which includes photos, ID cards, licenses and other documents which do no longer have any use other than instantly having the ability to bring me back to the years and location where those cards and ID's represented.
I have found a couple of them, and this one goes back to 1965, which is the Mutual Broadcasting ID card.
Does anyone even remember who the Mutual Broadcasting Network was?

I got that while I was working at a radio station in Santa Rosa, California in the summer of 1965 doing what was called vacation relief.  In those days prior to automation and everything programmed on a computer, you had to actually take records out of their dust jackets and play them on the turntable.  The radio station was KHUM and it was located in studios adjacent to the swimming pool at the El Rancho Tropicana hotel.
The owners of the radio station had the studios located in several rooms that were part of the hotel, that was called a trade out. They would trade  out advertising for the rent of the studios.  And in tern  we would have to ID the station by saying  " This is KHUM, 1580 on your dial, located in the beautiful El Rancho Tropicana Hotel".  Every 30 minutes, and occasionally when the management of the hotel, would doubt the value of the advertising, through in a few 60 second spots now and then throughout the day.

We were an affiliate of Mutual Broadcast which meant that we would broadcast their new feed  on the top of every hour. The audio came from a phone line, which we would coordinate to turn on at the top of the hour, which would then bring 5 minutes of national news.  We also had a teletype machine stuck in a closet that we used for local new, along with stealing the news from a local newspaper  in order to make it look like we actually had a news department when the whole department was anyone who would be reading the news on the half hour.

Doing vacation relief I had hours to cover for other people as they went on vacation. Sometimes I would turn the station on at 5:30 in the morning, other times I would be turning it off at sunset.
The station was a daytime only station which allowed for that frequency to be used by more powerful stations in other parts of the country.  I don't think there are many of those stations still around, most of them either went broke back in the 80's  or 90's when FM overpowered the airways.

In those days, there were still NBC, CBS and ABC networks that provided audio feeds of networks. In addition AP, UPI also provided feeds, at the same time they were doing teletype feeds.

Radio networks started declining in the early 60's. Mutual and NBC both closed down their radio operation in the 90's. ABC lasted until 2007 when it was bought out by Citadel Broadcasting which later merged with Cumulus Media in September of 2011.

Not sure if they are still providing any feeds or not, as of November of 2013 , Mutual, ABC and NBC's radio assets are now owned by Cumulus Media's Westwood One.

CBS still operates its network and as of 2016 which is expected to close down in the next few years. It is in talks with Entercom which will then gobble up the last viable network.

When I was a kid I remember listening to the network radio programs, that were on during the day.  There was Arthur Godfrey and another program I remember was Don McNeals Breakfast Club*.  Both of those had audiences,  in the glory days of radio.   Now the only networks are the ones your computer is connected to.

How things have changed,  Radio to TV, TV to streaming now news on the Internet from a multitude of service providers.
Now anyone with an smart phone can do what audio recorders, tv film cameras, TV video recorders do and then feed it to local or national outlets via the Internet.
Now anyone can be a news correspondent. It was much more prestigious in the 60's though.

And in the words of a famous newscaster,  And that's how it is today on August 15, 2017.

 * Curiosity made me look it up, and this is what I found.

Don McNeill's Breakfast Club was a long-run morning variety show on NBC Blue Network/ABC radio (and briefly on television) originating in Chicago, Illinois. Hosted by Don McNeill, the radio program ran from June 23, 1933 through December 27, 1968. McNeil's 35½-year run as host remains the longest tenure for an M.C. of a network entertainment program, surpassing Johnny Carson (29½ years) on The Tonight Show and Bob Barker (34⅔ years) on The Price Is Right, albeit split between radio and television, whereas the latter two were television only.

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