I think, among ARSC members, the "Hear It Now" series should be especially revered. This was an 
early (1950-51) use of tape production and editing, with source material from such divergent devices 
as optical-film field recorders, disk recordings from shortwave radio, a portable recorder (forgot 
the name) that etched optical patterns on black film, and magnetic wire. You can imagine the efforts 
it took to produce a lively hour-long weekly news magazine, and the time/effort and costs involved 
killed the show after about 7 months. The show was different from other "news roundup" shows like 
"The March of Time" because it was all based on actual from-the-field audio rather than re-creations 
or dramatizations of events. Some of the battlefield from Korea is downright hair-raising.

For some background of the program, hear Fred Friendly's testimony before the FCC, in segment 2 of 
the May 19, 2005 show here:
here is just that audio segment's MP3:

And this website has information about the program (I can't vouch for the truth content):

Also worth noting -- the ubiquitous splicing block was invented by CBS News editor Joel Tall 
(Editall blocks). Tall was one of the tape editing pioneers who pieced together the original "I Can 
Hear It Now" album. The 12" 78RPM album includes text detailing the production process that is not 
on the back of the LP jackets.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mark Durenberger" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 11:45 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: Old-time radio convention meets in Newark for last time -

> Some thoughts in tune with what Tom Fine suggests...tho I'm not in 'resonance' with the suggested 
> distribution model.
> There are probably three markets still semi-viable.  One is the 'sampler' market...those who want 
> to know what all the 'Golden Age' fuss was about. These folks are served by casual harvesting of 
> shows that are available at low or no price all over the Internet.  The sampler tends to download 
> one or two of the shows, out of interest in the writing and performing of the day.
> Another is the pure-entertainment market.  OTR enthusiasts who keep one foot in the present seek 
> well-written shows whose delivery holds up today.  There are a few Suspense shows that can still 
> grip you (Donovan's Brain, A Shipment of Mute Fate, Three Skeleton Key come to mind) and the 
> comedy writing on some Fibber McGee and Molly shows can still make you laugh.  On the other hand, 
> the Jack Benny/Fred Allen type of humor sounds pretty corny and the 'sitcoms' (Archie Andrews/Our 
> Miss Brooks etc) are dated.  So that market is also limited.
> That leaves news and 'Public Affairs'.  I've always been a news junkie and the Murrow/CBS efforts 
> are worth seeking.  On the other hand, Norman Corwin makes me yawn.
> Wait...I DO have a bottom line.  Taken together, these three markets, even when collated with 
> nostalgia, probably would not sustain an iTunes model...even if the audio was well-mastered.  And 
> the minute you tried such resale, the guys with the syndication rights would be all over you.
> Regards,
> Mark Durenberger
> (In broadcasting since 1955)
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2011 8:58 AM
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Fwd: Old-time radio convention meets in Newark for last time - 
>> I think the point you are making is that Radio Yesteryear and then Radio Spirits charge too much 
>> for sometimes poor audio quality and overly-large box sets. But what about outlets like OTRCat, 
>> which offer dirt-cheap, terrible-sounding CDR full of programs? I would say both are equally bad. 
>> OTR is SO prime for an iTunes model -- it's a niche market that's pretty commoditized (and, come 
>> on, how much did any of the people releasing OTR programs pay per program source?). So why not 
>> sell individual programs as decent-quality downloads (192kbps MP3 is just fine for almost all OTR 
>> content), for say a quarter (25 cents) per hour? My bet is, it's a very "long tail" model and 
>> there would be enough sales volume to make it viable if not wildly profitable (is Radio Spritis 
>> wildly profitable? I doubt it. What about OTRCat? It seems like it costs him as much to produce 
>> and mail a CDR as he's charging, if his time is worth anything). A friendly, accessible, 
>> super-easy-to-order and instant-download/instant-gratification website is what's needed to 
>> attract new listeners. No kid in his 20's is going to wait for a Radio Spirits catalog, order a 
>> 50-CD set for $100 when he only wants 1 or 2 programs, and then wait days for it to arrive, then 
>> rip it to his iPod. Talk about totally outmoded and last century! And then look at the CDR 
>> sellers' website, who can navigate those? Someone needs to team up with Amazon or iTunes, make 
>> the descriptions and listening samples standardized and easy like music is on those websites, and 
>> sell the content cheap enough that people will take a chance on something older than their 
>> grandparents.
>> And here's another issue. For someone of my generation, and certainly for younger people, OTR is 
>> very remote like old black and white movies. Sure, some acting and some story-telling is so good 
>> and so compelling that it still resonates today, but most of it comes off as stilted, antique and 
>> irrelevant, because the culture has moved on. And yet, the OTR sellers concentrate most of their 
>> marketing on ancient radio dramas or radio re-enactments of movies that even Grandpa would admit 
>> were stilted and boring. What about old news events? Old ground-breaking news shows like came out 
>> of "Murrow's Boys" consistently in the 40's and 50's? Yes, Norman Corwin celebratory 
>> victory-casts get more than fair marketing, but I know of only one seller who's collected most of 
>> the ground-breaking "Hear It Now" weekly news magazine shows, and I've asked numerous times on 
>> this list (which includes some heavy-duty OTR collectors and accumulators) about various CBS news 
>> specials and year-end summaries, and no one seems to own a copy or know where one can buy one. I 
>> think there may be longer-term interest in actual real-world history than "The Shadow" or "Fibber 
>> McGee and Molly," or a Bing Crosby show, but maybe that's just me.
>> I'm sure this will get some dander up in the OTR world! ;)
>> -- Tom Fine