Seattle sees McCarthy hearing hard way

April 23, 1954–Glenna M Lowes/[Seattle Times] - Switchboard operators and program directors at local TV stations had their headaches yesterday. Viewers were clamoring for a look at the Army-McCarthy hearings on their home screens and station officials waded through yards of red tape in an effort to comply with the public demand.
As it turned out, KOMO TV offered the better coverage yesterday by carrying the morning session in its entirety and the last half-hour of the afternoons proceedings “live” over the cable. Geoffrey Harwood, KING TV news commentator, gave frequent summaries and analysis of the hearings and KTNT TV carried the CBS 45-minute “capsule” program last night at 11:15 over the cable.
It should be pointed out that the local media outlets did their best to supply complete coverage of the controversial hearings. Cable facilities and commitments and incomplete network coverage were to blame.
But the crowning blow came at high noon, when viewers across the nation were watching one of the best new stories of the day, Seattleites had to settle for “The Big Payoff” and “Bride and Groom.” Here was one of TVs big moments, but what happens? Mink coats and sticky commercialism won out.
KOMO 4 hooked up with NBC at 7:30 yesterday morning to carry the first session. Only the last half-hour of the afternoon session was seen on KOMO TV because KTNT TV, the CBS affiliate here, had the lone cable allocation from noon to one o’clock.
The surprising feature of the day was CBS’s decision not to carry the hearings in their entirety. Instead, the network settled for a 45-minute review of the highlights carried here by Channel 11 at 11:15 last night, a time when all good video viewers should be in bed.
This decision was particularly surprising in view of the network’s recent show of confidence in Edward R Murrow, the CBS news commentator who attacked McCarthy.
mccarthyismCondensation served some viewers purposes but most TV fans, particularly those who want to make a comprehensive evaluation of the situation, prefer the complete text of the event.
Later yesterday afternoon, it was disclosed that the NBC television station in Portland had attempted early yesterday for noon to clear the cable of regularly scheduled CBS shows so that they hearings could be carried on both NBC and CBS stations. KTNT TV willingly agreed to drop “The Big Payoff” and the Bob Crosby show in return for sharing McCarthy. But it is up to the network offices in Hollywood to make those decisions final and somewhere behind a mahogany desk in Beverly Hills the issue got stuck to a piece of red tape and the order never came through.
Both KOMO TV and KTNT TV carried all that their respective networks offered with KOMO TV coming out in the lead.
Meanwhile, the ABC TV network announced it would not feed the Army-McCarthy hearings West of Omaha. So KING TV, the ABC affiliate here, decided to go it alone. Channel 5 made an ingenious move late yesterday afternoon and made arrangements to show this for news session at 10:15 tonight. It negotiated with the ABC network and made an agreement to have the hearings kinescope in Chicago, rushed to Seattle by air and processed here in the KING studios. It was the public-service move of the day and deserves a hearty round of applause.
Today, KOMO TV scheduled the hearings for 7:30 and 11:30 this morning and one o’clock this afternoon. KTNT TV will show the days highlights at 11:15 tonight and KING TV will carry the morning session at 10:15 tonight.
What happens when the sessions resume Monday is undecided. Any network coverage seen here will be one hour earlier beginning Monday, because of daylight-saving time.
A few facts emerged with clarity out of yesterday’s confusion. Seattle television cannot it along in a crisis with only one cable facility. The viewing public will grow indignant if the networks permit commercialism to crowd out public-service. If technical facilities hamper operations, the networks must pool their resources in the public interest.
As for yesterday’s efforts on the local and national video horizon–KING TV disregarded technical limitations and saw a chance for public-service, while the CBS television network and its 46 vice presidents played ostrich.

Soloists and Orchestral Music Features Today on KFOA

KFOAJune 30, 1925 -Music lovers are looking forward to a splendid studio program tonight, presented by The Times through KFOA. This program is being sponsored by Kirk Towns, who is one of the most prominent local teachers in the Northwest. Many splendid voices, more than a score of his students having launched on to stage careers. Mr. Towns, recently inaugurated the idea of a residential studio and he has promised his many admirers that he will sing a group of songs tonight as a special feature of the program.
The assisting artist on the program tonight will be Mrs. Hazel Olson, well-known piano teacher, who will offer a group of piano solos. Ms. Gladys Wheeler, soprano soloist, will offer several of the lighter numbers… Also on KFOA this afternoon, William Hoffmans Olympic Hotel Orchestra will give a concert, broadcast by remote control from the Palm Room of the hotel…other features include The Times news bulletins, the weather forecast, and “Today’s Recipe.”
Tacoma radio features tonight:
KGB (249.7m) -7 to 9 p.m. Studio program
KMO (249.7m) – 9 to 12 p.m. Ingleside Garden dance orchestra.

*Not a typo – Some stations shared frequency/air time for a period of time until more frequencies were allowed for use by the Commerce Department.

The WEEKENDER

Seattle, WashingtonDue to scheduling and obligations, regular posting to this blog will occur on Saturday and Sunday only, beginning July 26th. This cutback was announced in a yellow sticky reminder to myself yesterday toward the end of a long day of work and studies. No lay-offs are scheduled and the complete SEATACMEDIA staff of one will be retained. No other changes are planned. With 2,712 posts at this time, SEATACMEDIA remains a one-of-a-kind historical archive for Seattle-Tacoma radio. Averaging 690 hits per day, SEATACMEDIA combines historical information, audio, video and a FORUM for conversation about current radio-TV-newspaper-new media happenings. Spend your weekday browsing the archives at SEATACMEDIA. There is plenty of reading and listening entertainment to get you through your workday. And it’s all SFW!

By Remote Control – News of Stations Near & Far

old radio dialOrgan recitals played by Paul Cowan will be a new feature of the programs from KMO Tacoma. A one–hour concert of pipe organ music will be broadcast by KMO every Tuesday evening from 7 to 8. The series of concerts will be sponsored by the Pioneer Company Incorporated, Tacoma printers and bookbinders.
Another new radio feature which will start Tuesday is the KJR Shopping Service, which will go on the air every morning from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Seattle station KOMO will be silent all day tomorrow, except for a campaign speech by W. H. Sears at 8 PM.
Those who missed the “Hoot Owl” program last Friday night are advised to tune in this Friday at 10:30 p.m. and enjoy one of the best “garlic” programs on the air. The fund originates in the KTW studio in Portland, but is also broadcast by KFOA and KHQ.
Licenses for two new Seattle radio stations have been issued by the Department of Commerce recently. These are KGBS (227 meters), issued to A. C. Dailey, and KGCL (230.6 meters), issued to Louis Wasmer. Both stations have been on the air recently with test programs.
Molly Baldwin will describe the gowns at Livingston Brothers fashion show Tuesday evening for the benefit of the shut-ins. Ms. Baldwin’s description of the latest models will be broadcast by KJR from 8 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Howard Osborne’s Stewart-Warner Orchestra from WBBM Chicago, will present a second concert from KFOA tomorrow night at 10 o’clock, following the program of the Kirkland Serenaders. This will give the fans a solid night of dance music Monday.