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Re: Yankee Network and Mutual

Donna Halper wrote:

> According to
> Broadcasting (1 July 35), up until June of 1935, Mutual had no ability to
> send programming to stations other than their original outlets.  But in
> June, they began to make arrangements with other stations, and one such
> arrangement was made with the Yankee Network.
As mentioned earlier this week, I'm still looking into Mutual's early
days, but this sounds correct.  MBS was formed in October 1934 to share
programming among WOR, WGN, WLW, and WXYZ.  There was no key station.  A
Variety article (12/25/34, p. 37) mentions an agreement between Mutual
and WNAC but says no permanent connections were expected until early
1935.   It's quite possible that early '35 turned into June before MBS
had a permanent link to New England, but in the meantime special
arrangements were made when sponsors were willing to pay the extra
bucks.  Such was the case with the Mary Sothern program in January
1935.  The sponsor wanted to have Boston in the lineup in addition to
the basic Mutual stations so arrangements were made with WNAC.  I
believe land lines were hired for the occasion, although I'm not
positive of that.

More than a year later (9/16/36) Variety reported the following:
"'Affiliates' are frequently such in name only.  Mutual has four basic
stations and tacks on 'affiliates' as desired by the advertiser.  Some
'affiliates' get several programs, while others receive only a singleton
and may not be repeated after expiration.  Lure to tentative
affiliation, however, is a strong one, since Mutual pays the station
rate card less 30% (15% to the agency, 15% to Mutual sales recompense).
Wire charges are absorbed by the station."

Mutual finally became a nationwide operation at the end of 1936 with the
addition of California's Don Lee network.  WAAB was one of the
originating stations providing material for MBS's inaugural
coast-to-coast extravaganza on 12/29/36.