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Radio's New Deal: The NRA and U.S. Broadcasting, 1933-1935
Unformatted Document Text:  5 leaders be held to decide on a "code of fair competition," that would in turn be adapted from the NAB code of ethics and standards of commercial practices. While most of this meeting revolved around the issue of stopping radio stations from violating established pricing policies for broadcast airtime, there was widespread interest in establishing a wage code for broadcast workers. This code limited maximum hours of work in order to forestall further government intervention in industry affairs. As Congress adjourned in June, without acting on any reform or recovery legislation, NAB managing director Philip G. Loucks and NAB president Alfred McCosker pledged their support to the Roosevelt administration. They promised to establish a special industry-wide committee to work out the details of industry compliance with any proposed labor measures. White House officials made it clear that radio broadcasting would play a central role in selling the NRA to the American people, despite formidable conservative opposition to the New Deal from major daily newspapers. Soon after, the NRA appointed McCosker to head an NAB advisory committee on radio broadcasting consisting of the following Washington insiders: Frank M. ("Scoop") Russell, NBC’s chief Washington lobbyist; Harry C. Butcher, general manager of CBS’s Washington radio station WJSV; Philip G. Loucks, NAB managing director; and Martin Codel, publisher of Broadcasting. On July 24, this committee met with the NRA’s radio czar, William H. Dolph. Dolph, a brother-in-law of Herbert I. Petter, secretary of the FRC, was formerly employed by RCA’s Photophone subsidiary in Oklahoma. 6 The same day, the NAB gave the National Recovery Administration unrestricted use of its member station airwaves to promote NRA recovery operations. McCosker issued a press release to reinforce the NAB’s pledge to cooperate with Roosevelt’s New Deal and the NRA, saying that "the President’s re-employment agreement has the complete endorsement of the National Association of Broadcasters. " 20 Not to be outdone, major national advertising organizations, coordinated through the Advertising Federation of America, also pledged their complete support. On July 25, McCosker appointed himself head of the NAB code compliance committee. This group also included: G.A. Richards, owner of radio stations WJR (Detroit) and WGAR (Cleveland), Russell, Butcher, and Loucks. The committee drafted a questionnaire that was later sent to all member

Authors: Mazzocco, Dennis.
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leaders be held to decide on a "code of fair competition," that would in turn be adapted from the NAB
code of ethics and standards of commercial practices. While most of this meeting revolved around the
issue of stopping radio stations from violating established pricing policies for broadcast airtime, there was
widespread interest in establishing a wage code for broadcast workers. This code limited maximum hours
of work in order to forestall further government intervention in industry affairs.
As Congress adjourned in June, without acting on any reform or recovery legislation, NAB
managing director Philip G. Loucks and NAB president Alfred McCosker pledged their support to the
Roosevelt administration. They promised to establish a special industry-wide committee to work out the
details of industry compliance with any proposed labor measures. White House officials made it clear that
radio broadcasting would play a central role in selling the NRA to the American people, despite
formidable conservative opposition to the New Deal from major daily newspapers.
Soon after, the NRA appointed McCosker to head an NAB advisory committee on radio
broadcasting consisting of the following Washington insiders: Frank M. ("Scoop") Russell, NBC’s chief
Washington lobbyist; Harry C. Butcher, general manager of CBS’s Washington radio station WJSV;
Philip G. Loucks, NAB managing director; and Martin Codel, publisher of Broadcasting. On July 24, this
committee met with the NRA’s radio czar, William H. Dolph. Dolph, a brother-in-law of Herbert I. Petter,
secretary of the FRC, was formerly employed by RCA’s Photophone subsidiary in Oklahoma.
6
The same day, the NAB gave the National Recovery Administration unrestricted use of its
member station airwaves to promote NRA recovery operations. McCosker issued a press release to
reinforce the NAB’s pledge to cooperate with Roosevelt’s New Deal and the NRA, saying that "the
President’s re-employment agreement has the complete endorsement of the National Association of
Broadcasters. "
20
Not to be outdone, major national advertising organizations, coordinated through the
Advertising Federation of America, also pledged their complete support.
On July 25, McCosker appointed himself head of the NAB code compliance committee. This
group also included: G.A. Richards, owner of radio stations WJR (Detroit) and WGAR (Cleveland),
Russell, Butcher, and Loucks. The committee drafted a questionnaire that was later sent to all member


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