I have a copy of a late 40's or very early 50's Radio & TV News magazine where the cover show's
ABC's facility in Chicago. A room of then very costly tape machines (Ampex 200's) would record
material coming from Hollywood or NY across the network line and then send it out for
delay-broadcast to the different time zones so affiliates could move away from on-site disk
transcriptions. The tape era solved many problems.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Lennick" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 1:37 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] "Aircheck" history
> By 1951, I'm sure a great many shows were being "transcribed", following Bing
> Crosby's lead in 1947 and ABC's having ignored the self-imposed ban of the
> other two networks on using recordings. Tape made everything easier by that
> time and the networks were pouring production money into television.
> The CBC seems to have had no problem in using transcriptions for the west and
> mountain regions..they had a delay center in Winnipeg which recorded programs
> off the line and re-fed them an hour or two later. Vancouver even recorded
> programs off the line (complete with horrible hum and whistle and amplification
> noises) and sent them up to Prince Rupert for broadcast the following WEEK,
> which is why a lot of programs exist in the Archives at all.
> Rod Stephens wrote:
>> I just checked a number of our Family Theater radio shows that
>> originated on the Mutual Network from Hollywood (KHJ) and found several
>> different conditions as far as delayed broadcasts. In 1948, probably
>> due to scheduling difficulties, a show opened with "A program
>> transcribed from Hollywood" which meant they didn't play the show live,
>> and instead had recorded it earlier to transcription disks. Usually,
>> "transcribed" meant that it had been recorded at previous time to be
>> used for a later or delayed broadcast. Later that year, the announcer
>> just said,"Transcribed" at the beginning of one of the shows, so I guess
>> that meant that my set of disks were made from a previous set of
>> Of course, maybe all of my disks were made and used for Hollywood
>> rebroadcasts while the shows went out live over the network to New York
>> and the east. Or, maybe they did the show twice (not as likely) for the
>> two time zones. I think I've heard of that being done. I don't have
>> any direct information on that. If anyone does know what Mutual
>> actually did, we at Family Theater would like to know to add to our
>> database and archival background.
>> On 8-29-51, the show opened with "The following feature was transcribed
>> from Eastern Mutual". I would guess something happened to our
>> transcription masters in Hollywood, so they rerecorded the show in
>> Hollywood from the disks made and fed from New York. That reinforces my
>> idea that the shows were done live and fed to New York (who recorded
>> them for protection) and also recorded in Hollywood at the same
>> (earlier) time for feeding later for west coast air time.
>> On 12-19-51, the show opened with "The following is transcribed", so it
>> would seem these were special situations, since none of the other shows
>> had this disclaimer at their opening.
>> Of course, there were a few rebroadcasts via transcription (reruns) of
>> earlier shows to periodically fill the schedule, since the show went
>> year round without any hiatuses; quite an accomplishment considering
>> they were done with a new music score and script every week without
>> So, I guess these were all delayed broadcasts in some way or another.
>> My hat's off to those people of "yesteryear".
>> Rod Stephens
>> Family Theater Productions
>> Tom Fine wrote:
>> > Now here's a followup question. If an affiliate recorded a program off
>> > the network feed line for delayed broadcast, is that an air-check or
>> > something else?
>> > -- Tom Fine