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Radio's New Deal: The NRA and U.S. Broadcasting, 1933-1935
Unformatted Document Text:  9 should have been a leader in wages and benefits simply based on its ever expanding revenue base of advertising dollars. Comparing 1933 income levels (boosted by New Deal social legislation) with those from 1930 (pre-New Deal) only served to confuse the issue further in the public mind, much to the advantage of the U.S. broadcasting industry. After the NAB submitted its proposed code structure on August 29, James W. Baldwin was appointed as broadcast industry advisor for the NRA, guaranteeing another comforting presence. As a paid employee of the NRA, Baldwin’s chief function was to report to Deputy NRA administrator Sol A. Rosenblatt in order to oversee industry approval and enforcement of the codes. Baldwin was widely heralded in industry circles. Prior to serving on the Hoover FRC until the Roosevelt election in 1932, Baldwin had also served as a government auditor, chief clerk and administrative assistant in the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover administrations. Baldwin had also been a major player in the NAB’s defeat of noncommercial and educational broadcasters from 1930-1933. 10 To mitigate potential criticism from organized labor groups, though, the NRA also named Edward N. Nockels of the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) as its labor advisor. Nockels had long opposed the NAB in its campaign to maintain a privately-owned, commercial U.S. broadcasting system. 29 Nockels, well-known at the NAB and in labor circles for his opposition to a commercial broadcast monopoly, was general manager of the CFL’s Chicago radio station, WCFL. A few years before, Nockels had been the legislative representative of the American Federation of Labor. Opposition to Nockel’s presence on the Radio Code Broadcasting Authority (RCBA) helped to close ranks among large and small broadcasters. While NAB membership grew in 1933, there were continuing whispers about network domination of the NAB leadership, and its steerage of NRA policy control during the code drafting process. NAB officials continued to discount such rumors, promising that soon the NAB would enjoy a total membership of 400 to 500 radio stations (out of the 604 total stations then operating throughout the U.S). 11

Authors: Mazzocco, Dennis.
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9
should have been a leader in wages and benefits simply based on its ever expanding revenue base of
advertising dollars. Comparing 1933 income levels (boosted by New Deal social legislation) with those
from 1930 (pre-New Deal) only served to confuse the issue further in the public mind, much to the
advantage of the U.S. broadcasting industry.
After the NAB submitted its proposed code structure on August 29, James W. Baldwin was
appointed as broadcast industry advisor for the NRA, guaranteeing another comforting presence. As a
paid employee of the NRA, Baldwin’s chief function was to report to Deputy NRA administrator Sol
A. Rosenblatt in order to oversee industry approval and enforcement of the codes.
Baldwin was widely heralded in industry circles. Prior to serving on the Hoover FRC until
the Roosevelt election in 1932, Baldwin had also served as a government auditor, chief clerk and
administrative assistant in the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover administrations. Baldwin had also
been a major player in the NAB’s defeat of noncommercial and educational broadcasters from
1930-1933.
10
To mitigate potential criticism from organized labor groups, though, the NRA also named
Edward N. Nockels of the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) as its labor advisor. Nockels had long
opposed the NAB in its campaign to maintain a privately-owned, commercial U.S. broadcasting
system.
29
Nockels, well-known at the NAB and in labor circles for his opposition to a commercial
broadcast monopoly, was general manager of the CFL’s Chicago radio station, WCFL. A few years
before, Nockels had been the legislative representative of the American Federation of Labor.
Opposition to Nockel’s presence on the Radio Code Broadcasting Authority (RCBA) helped
to close ranks among large and small broadcasters. While NAB membership grew in 1933, there
were continuing whispers about network domination of the NAB leadership, and its steerage of
NRA policy control during the code drafting process. NAB officials continued to discount such
rumors, promising that soon the NAB would enjoy a total membership of 400 to 500 radio stations
(out of the 604 total stations then operating throughout the U.S).
11


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