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Things You Don’t See On TV Or Radio Anymore

By Ken Foote, Director of Programming for CBS 11

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I was reflecting the other day that next year will be the 80th anniversary of the passing of the Communications Act Of 1934, which Congress passed and signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This act also established the Federal Communications Commission which replaced what had been the Federal Radio Commission.

And as I was going back into history, I started thinking about those little tidbits of sound, voice, words, and delivery thereof that we don’t hear anymore. So here is my list of things you don’t hear or see on radio and TV:

“The next voice you will hear…”  Early radio used this phrase but rarely utilized today.

“Shakespearean announcers…in vogue years ago but no longer necessary a requirement for announcers!

“This is so and so speaking to you through the courtesy of…”  Used to announce and promote the sponsors of early network radio and TV shows, typically one sponsor per show

“Ladies and gentlemen one moment please…”  A phrase used by an announcer on an live entertainment show to inform the audience of a news alert…would continue on as “we’ve just received this news bulletin…we take you live via shortwave radio to London…take it away Robert Trout.”

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, live on the Columbia Broadcasting System…”  The full name of our company was used from 1927-1945 but after that its use was decreased and it just became CBS. This would be an introductory announcement before a show started.

“Time signals. For years CBS used a “bong” that signaled to its radio listeners and TV that it was the top of hour and people could set their watches by it. Today that bong is only heard on the CBS Radio Network and due to digital radio it is on a  17 second delay. The bong was also a cue to stations down the network line to join the network.

*Direct from our newsroom in New York…..” a common open for the network early news…..now it’s just “This is the CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley”…some for example will occasionally say, “substituting for Brian Williams, here’s so and so…”

*The NBC “chimes”…… consisting of three distinct pitches: G3, E4, and C4 (middle C). Designed originally to help local stations stay in compliance with FCC rules regarding station identification.  I occasionally still hear the NBC chimes but played by different instruments.

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