Radio's Most Popular Programs Of The Golden Age
Today's television program sponsors prefer popular programs. More popular programs have more viewers, and thus expose the sponsor's product to more people. The same logic is (and was) applied to radio programs. Popular radio shows had more listeners, and radio show sponsors wanted their products associated with those shows. In turn, the radio networks could demand higher sponsor dollar amounts per minute for their more popular shows. How were these shows rated? Who would act as a "neutral" rating service for both the sponsor and the network?
Beginning with the 1930-1931 radio season, the popularity of all network radio programs were ranked by various ratings systems. Three different companies performed these rankings:
Danny Goodwin, who also contributed most of the material in our Radio Commercials pages, has compiled these various ratings into easily-read tables for several years of the Golden Age of Radio. You can see the ratings by individual season, or by radio network ("best of the best").
- The Cooperative Analysis of Broadcasting was the first organization to monitor the popularity of the radio programs. The C.A.B. did this from the 1930-1931 season to the 1934-1935 season.
- C. E. Hooper, Inc. monitored the ratings throughout the majority of the golden age. It began its services during the 1935-1936 season and monitored the numbers until the 1948-1949 season.
- The A. C. Nielsen Company, the same outfit that monitors the TV ratings today, took over the final years of radio's golden age. It began during 1949-1950 season and continued until the 1955-1956 season.
You may contact Danny at his hotmail address.