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tutes a major problem-probably as difficult a one as the networks and stations have to meet.
And yet it is equally true that religious broadcasting has been subjected to a series of discriminatory and unfair practices :
1. Certain stations, fortunately definitely in the minority, have completely refused to grant time for the broadcasting of religious programs.
2: Certain stations have relegated religious broadcasting to distressingly poor broadcast time, when the available audience is small and comparatively little response may be expected. In certain instances it is altogether impossible to put a religious program on the air at an hour which will enjoy a maximum listening audience. · The segregation of religious broadcasts, for example, to the earlier hours of Sunday is offensive to millions of church members who believe that this day should be primarily dedicated to spiritual values, rather than to commercial exploitation.
3. Certain stations have restricted the total amount of religious broadcasting per week to a pitifully small percentage of total weekly broadcasting time. While thus rendering lip service to the cause of religious broadcasting they have unfairly reduced the amount of time available for religious programs to approximately the vanishing point.
4. Certain stations and networks have become discriminatory in the execution of the policy of "donating" religious program time.
In their approach to the question of "donating” time for religious broadcasting they have endeavored to find a solution by making arrangements for religious programs with central agencies representing the major faiths of the Nation, rather than by satisfying the requests of individual denominations or churches.
This procedure works reasonably well in handling Roman Catholic and Jewish broadcasts, because the problem presented by these groups is not nearly so involved.
The situation, however, is different in Protestant broadcasting. Because the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America has been the largest and, until recently, about the only central organization representing Protestant bodies, the networks naturally turned to it for assistance in arranging Protestant programs.
We do not intimate that the Federal Council in the beginning sought to establish a monopoly of the available free time, or that the network sought to exclude the more than 300 denominations not in the council. However, with the passage of time the Federal Council shows a definite disposition to maintain a monopoly.
The Federal Council now seeks to establish itself as a superorganization in control of Protestant religious broadcasting over the National Broadcasting Co. A confidential release sent to associated editors reporting a meeeting of the religious publicity conference at the Hotel Chalfonte, Atlantic City, March 19-20, 1929, where Dr. Charles S. Macfarland, general secretary of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, spoke on the radio ambitions of the FCCCA, declared (this abstract is a verbatim reproduction) :
“The Federal Council is now surveying the entire field of radio throughout the country and is signing up all available stations to carry their program. Mr. Goodman, of the New York Federation of Churches, is at present on an extensive trip through the central, western, and southern sections of the country. We believe that as a result of his tour, presenting the matter forcefully to local federations and local broadcasting stations, 59 or more additional stations will be signed up with ironclad contracts obliging them to use the Federal Council religious programs and none other.
In the future, no denomination or individual church will be able to secure any time whatever on the air unless they are willing to pay prohibitively high prices for brief periods of broadcast.”
The four major networks each have established a different system of handling Protestant broadcasting. The National Broadcasting Co. assigns its time exclusively through the Federal Council. The American Broadcasting Co. assigns its time principally through the Federal Council, but grants a limited amount to other organizations and individuals of its own choosing. The Columbia Broadcasting Co. has a national board of consultants to the Columbia Church of the Air, composed of seven Protestants (all from denominations of the Federal Council), two Catholics, one Mormon, one Jew and one Christian Scientist.
This, of course, amounts to virtual control by the Federal Council of sustaining time for Protestant broadcasting on all the larger networks.
While it gives sustaining time for religious programs, the Mutual System also sells time, between 8 a. m. and 1 p. m. on Sundays only, to other organizations,
5. Certain stations and networks have established the policy of declining to sell time and refusing even to responsible religious groups the right to purchase broadcasting opportunities.
The Mutual System is the only network selling time for religious programs, under three restrictions: (a) No program shall be allowed more than 30 minutes of time, (b) no time should be sold except on Sunday before 1 p. m., (c) there shall be no solicitation of funds.
The policy of refusing to sell time for religious programs, we believe, constitutes a major discrimination against religion to which other types or classes of programs are not subjected. Radio time can be purchased—usually at the best hours of the broadcasting day—for the selling of hair oil, hand lotion, chicken soup, soap powder, beer, tooth paste—but simultaneously restrictive discrimination is exercised against programs dedicated to the moral and spiritual upbuilding of our country. We believe that such discrimination is against the public interest, convenience, and necessity and should be discontinued. We feel that time should be sold, within reasonable limitations, because the networks and stations are not likely to provide sufficient sustaining time to satisfy the reasonable requirements of minority groups and the listening public. In actual fact, some of these programs have a wider appeal than the sustaining features,
We believe that a continuation of the policy of granting free time, and a return to the policy of selling time to responsible religious organizations, under reasonable restrictions, will bring a much more satisfactory relationship between the broadcasting companies, the religious broadcasters, and the listening public.
How can discriminations against religion broadcasting best be eliminated? How can religious programs be given their rightful place in the picture of of American radio?
We respectfully suggest to the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce of the United States Senate the inclusion in S. 1333, a bill to amend the Federal Communications Act of 1934, of the following proviso:
“In the sale of broadcast time by radio stations and networks there shall be no discrimination against religious programs, and no restrictions shall be applied to such programs that are not applied equally with respect to all other types or classes of programs."
The public interest, convenience, and necessity require the elimination of restrictive policies against religious broadcasting, and the dedication of more and better broadcasting time for programs designed to promote the moral and spiritual upbuilding of this Nation. Radio broadcasting in the United States urgently needs an increased, positive presentation of the fundamental claims of religion upon mankind.
STATEMENT BY A. J. MOSBY
WASHINGTON, D. C., June 28, 1947. The Honorable WALLACE WHITE, Chairman, Senate Interstate Commerce Committee,
Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR WHITE: Because of my inability to get to the hearing before it closed I am submitting a proposal for station option time that has met with enthusiastic approval from independent stations affiliated with various networks. It is especially meritorious in that equal facilities of comparable value are allocated to all stations in all time zones.
I ask that the networks eliminate from their contracts the right to 25 percent of the operating hours of their affiliates' which should be ample for most local needs and on the following basis. The indentical quarter-hour out of each hour of the day throughout and by all the networks. This would permit of guarantei time for local sponsored or public-service programs or permit simultaneous programs of regional or State interest on stations within the same State or region but affiliated with different networks. The different time zones wouli! have no effect on such operation because the identical quarter-hour out of each hour would be reserved in all time zones providing Nation-wide clearance for 15 minutes out of each hour of the broadcast day. The situation working out
1 Except for symphonys, football, baseball, and other long programs of public interest or special merit.
like this in case the third quarter-hour out of each hour were exempt from network claims:
This would give each affiliate a guaranteed hour from 6 to 10 p. m. for his own use during the prime audience period of each day. It would also be an equitable and equal deal for each and every affiliate as far as time reservations are concerned. The only drawback to such a proposal would be that it would reduce the relatively few network 1-hour program to three-quarters of an hour, which might, after all, be for their betterment, i. e., the shows might be benefited rather than injured thereby. Very truly yours,
A. J. MOSBY, Manager, Sto ns KGVO, KANA, KGFM, in Montana. Under the 1-hour-out-of-3 proposal not equitable for CST and MST local 1-hour programs are hard for local stations to produce, while one-fourth programs are comparatively simple. News, national and local, stock and market, women's interest programs, man-on-street interviews, etc., readily fit into periods 1 hour apart under Mosby plan.
The vast majority of the Nation's stations are in towns of 50,000 and under where local-interest programs are of great value.
Regardless of network affiliation local originations of State or regional interest could be handled during the affiliate period without network clearance trouble.
Except for metropolitan centers, American farmers and workers are home for lunch and dinner and depend upon their radios for news and information. Every station, everywhere, would have access to its home audience, city and farm for stock and market reports, weather reports, frost warnings, local news. This, regardless of time zones or network affiliation. No other affiliation scheme can make this statement where local programs of more than one-fourth hour duration are desired. They would be possible as of now by replacing network sustainers or other open local fill periods.
HOW TO MAKE TIME STAND STILL
Your time can stay put on your station. Local or national spot shows never need be switched to accommodate network time changes. The reason—the Mosby plan of time allocation. And your local advertisers can be guaranteed the same period out of each hour every hour of the day because one quarter hour of each hour belongs exclusively to you, the affiliate three quarters of an hour to your network. This means during choice time periods your show sits alongside the best on your network—and stays there-regardless of daylight saving time changes. Urge your network to adopt this plan of option time now! KGVO
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION,
Washington, D. C., May 29, 1943. Mr. A. J. MOSBY,
Manager, Station KGVO, Missoula, Mont. DEAR MR. MOSBY: I have received your letter of May 17, 1943, and the accompanying memorandum in which you suggest a plan for the equitable and uniform allocation of time between local and network programs. As I understand your plan, it is designed to assure time at all hours of the broadcast day, including the most desirable periods, for local programs, with the assurance that they would not be displaced by the exercise of network options, and similarly to assure uniform periods of time in all portions of the broadcast day for network programs.
Your plan appeals to me as an imaginative and thoughtful effort to reconcile the conveniences of business practices with the aim maximum service to the community.
I am deeply interested in learning of the reactions of broadcasters and advertisers to your suggestion. Sincerely yours,
JAMES LAWRENCE FLY, Chairman.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS,
Washington, D. C., May 29, 1943. Mr. A. J. MOSBY,
Manager, Radio Station KGVO, Missoula, Mont. DEAR ART: Thank you very much for sending me a copy of the Mosby Plan of Time Division or Option Between All Affiliates and Their Networks. Someone described this plan to me very enthusiastically in New York a few weeks ago, so that I was fairly familiar with it even before your concise and convincing description arrived.
There is a great deal of merit in the allocation you propose, and it certainly deserves serious study, it would seem to me, by the FCC, the networks and their affiliates. I am planning to route your proposal to my associates here at NAB, and you may receive other comments regarding it. Best personal regards. Sincerely yours,
LEWIS H. AVERY, Director of Broadcast Advertising.
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., May 31, 1943. Mr. ART MOSBY,
Manager Radio Station KGVO, Missoula, Mont. DEAR ART: This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 22d. I read the Mosby plan with a great deal of interest and it appears to me that it could be workable. I certainly feel that the affiliates should be given every possible break because they are a far greater influence in molding public opinion than a great many people think. I am going to take the plan and show it to some people who are interested in radio to get their reaction to it, and will communi. cate with you again. With best personal wishes, Sincerely,
BURN-SMITH CO., INC.,
New York, N. Y. Mr. A. J. MOSBY,
Radio Station KGVO, Missoula, Mont. DEAR ART: I was very glad to receive recently the copy of your plan for equitable time division between networks and their affiliates. I think the plan has considerable merit, and I would like to know some time at your convenience what the reaction has been at CBS to it. The problem of guaranteeing desirable time periods to both network anal national spot advertisers has been a headache to all network-affiliated stations, and your plan seems to be a step toward providing a practical solution. With kindest personal regards. Cordially yours,
BURN-SMITH CO., INC.,
Washington, D. C. June 12, 1943. Mr. A. J. MOSBY,
Manager, Radio Station KGVO, Missoula, Mont. DEAR ART: A beautiful bunch of posies on your time-option plan. I am impressed particularly with the comments that it is too simple, sensible, and logical to get anywhere. Best regards. Sincerely,
BROADCASTING PUBLICATIONS, INC.,
Chicago, June 11, 1943. Mr. A. J. MOSBY,
Station KGVO, Missoula, Mont. DEAR MR. MOSBY: I appreciate very much your kindness in sending us the interesting information enclosed with your letter of May 22.
This will have the careful attention of our editorial department. In the meantime, please accept my congratulations upon a very careful and thoughtful analysis of the problem. Sincerely,
G. D. GRAIN, Jr.,
June 10, 1943. Mr. A. J. MOSBY,
KGVO, Missoula, Mont. DEAR MR. MOSBY: My own personal opinion is that the plan seems like a good one. I hope you have success in furthering it. Thank you for letting us hear from you. Sincerely yours,
CONSTANCE ST. ONGE
(For the editors).
NORTH CENTRAL BROADCASTING SYSTEM, INC.,
June 10, 1943. DEAR MR. MOSBY: I think your plan for the division of option time between affiliates and their networks is excellent. I feel that you have shown considerable foresight in planning it, and hope that it will receive favorable consideration from the networks and other stations.
If there is anything that I can do further in assisting you, please do not hesitate to advise. Sincerely yours,
NORTH CENTRAL BROADCASTING SYSTI M, INC.,
NBC RED NETWORK,
New Orleans, La., June 17, 1943. Mr. A. J. MOSBY, Radio Station KGVO,
Missoula, Mont. DEAR MR. MOSBY: Thanks for your letter of the 11th enclosing your plan for, what I consider, a very fine solution of the local time optional-time matter. I think something of this type was presented the networks before, but was turned down for reasons obscure to me; but I would like to see you keep plugging because the plan has so much merit. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day, and the networks usually take a long time to change their minds, but it can be done. With best wishes, I am, Yours very truly,
H. WHEELAHAN, Manager.