Putting Canada 'On the Air'

DONALD E. BANKART November 15 1926

Putting Canada 'On the Air'

DONALD E. BANKART November 15 1926

Putting Canada 'On the Air'

DONALD E. BANKART

How does a radio broadcasting station operate? Who are the unknown chairmen of the air? How did they get their jobs? How do they select their artists? Who was the first broadcaster in Canada? How many stations has the Dominion now? Here is an article which answers all those questions and others of equal interest to the radio fans.

ON A bright July afternoon I sat in the wireless cabin of the steamer Midland King, tapping out our arrival at Sarnia, Ontario, with a load of coal. Suddenly, as I listened for the coast station’s reply, there came to me through the air—a voice. I turned from my key, thinking it was the skipper speaking.

There was no one in the room. I stood up and looked out of the port hole above my table, and though I had a clear view of the deck down to the after-house, not a soul was in sight. The men were making fast the lines at the dock.

Again the voice came, clear and plain. And then another voice; with it a vague wonder.

My pulses quickened as the conversation continued. Then the walls of the wireless cabin melted away as there came the realization of what was happening.

I was listening to one of the first radio conversations ever conducted in Canada.

That was seven years ago. To-night, by the mere twist of my hand,

I shall people my room with the inhabitants of a continent. Among my guests will be a symphony orchestra from Philadelphia, grand opera stars from New York, the Temple Choir from Salt Lake City, artists from Vancouver, the Boy Soprano from Winnipeg, a hotel dance orchestra from Ottawa, and, perhaps, the deliverer of a travelogue from Moncton, N. B. Even a nightingale, singing in the valleys of Surrey,

England, may join the company through Station 2 L.O.

Up at Shingle Point, on the barren shores of Herschel Island, beyond the arctic fringe, there is a little band of men who, to-night, with no more effort than I make in my city flat, are listening to the same stations, and even augmenting the list by many from Germany,

Holland, Spain and other distant points.

At the same time, hundreds of bedridden patients in hospitals and similar institutions at Hamilton, London, St. Catherines, Toronto, and throughout the West are having the monotony of their existence brightened by this modern Aladdin’s lamp.

Even as one travels across Canada in the comfort of a modern railway observation coach, one is in immediate touch with a ball game, prize fight, an opera. The trains are radio equipped. The prairies and the woods alike are robbed of their solitude. Radio broadcasting, in the short space of seven years, has become a dominant factor in the daily life of Canada and the rest of the world.

Canada’s First Broadcaster

D EGULAR, scheduled broadcasting originated in ^ Canada when, in January, 1920, Max Smith decided that, in order to create public interest in amateur radio phone apparatus, which was just coming on the market, the obvious thing to do was to give the prospective purchaser something to listen to. One morning, accordingly,

Chairmen of the Air. A few of the announcers whose Voices are heard from the fifty-five broadcasting stations now operating in Canada. Inset in the oval is Max Smith, who originated broadcasting in Canada in January, 1920. Below is Jacques Cartier, a lineal descendant of the Jacques Cartier who sailed up the St. Lawrence in 1534. Mr. Cartier is the announcer for CKAC, Montreal.

he invaded his general manager’s office and sprang his proposition. It was accepted. Max then and there became the first recognized radio ‘voice’ as director, announcer, operator and general factotum of the Marconi radio broadcasting station, at the offices of that company in Montreal. And at its next regular Friday evening radio concert, the programme which had consisted hitherto of a selection of gramaphone records, news items and facts concerning the new apparatus which was available were put ‘on the air’.

There had been some occasional broadcasting in England, New York, and, perhaps, Detroit, though exact chronological order is debatable.

Amateurs who used to look upon the Friday conc rts as the event of the week recall that sometimes the programmes were late and they would be told that the transmitter was giving trouble, but that all would be well shortly. At such times the announcer would invoke the good offices of the Brothers of the Jesuit College in Montreal, whose set was placed at his disposal. The transmitting apparatus was a curious collection of parts

brought by the four winds and built into a workable equipment by one of the professors and his pupils. Those who were down town at the time set for these programmes would foregather in a little store on McGill College Avenue, where the genial ‘Bill Hawes’ presided over a strange array of s.park coils, rotary gaps, head sets, keys, etc., and the then new ‘Audion’ (long since dead), the first of a noble race of radio vacuum tubes, which closely resembled a Tarantula spider.

Later, new and comparatively powerful apparatus known as the ‘Phonet radiophone sets (since become obsolete for broadcasting) arrived from England, and were set up in Montreal and Toronto, where the second Marconi station was located in the company’s offices on King Street. These sets in appearance resembled roll top desks more than anything else. They had one very notable difference, however. At least, the office manager at Toronto, C. R. Fraser, noticed it. ‘Charlie,’ as he was known, adopted Phonet as his special care, and his genial rubicund face would beam with delight as he caressingly set his set into action.

One day Charlie was coaxing the Phonet to perform for the edification of some rather influential friends, when his hand made contact across two exposed terminals. Possibly he had touched other wires before, but not on a Phonet. You cannot induce him to touch a bare wire now!

A feature of these early efforts to popularize this new science were the radio concerts which the Toronto Marconi station transmitted for patrons of the Canadian National Exhibition of 1921, and the introduction to the public of the song ‘When the Tide Comes In,’ the first to be brought to their notice via radio.

This was the beginning of radio in the East. Then there came a call from the West. Someone was needed to take charge of the Winnipeg Tribune radio station which was about to be installed. What young fellow would have refused such an offer? With chest swelling at the contemplation of the pioneering aspect of the task, I boarded the next train going West.

There was keen competition between the two rival papers, as the Manitoba Free Press was preparing for the installation of a large equipment of the Independent Telephone manufacture, but gave the race to the Tribune Station, CJNC, which went on the air on Monday, April 27th, 1922, with many prominent persons contributing to the programme, including the LieutenantGovernor, the mayor and a number of local artists.

The Free Press opened the ‘Mike’ at CJCC, just eleven days later, with due ceremony, its two aerial towers, illumined by varicolored lights, shining like beacon flares, visible for miles around.

And never does the writer hear Winnipeg mentioned but, even now, he casts furtive glances in a dark corner for a ‘Better ’Ole’ in which to fade away. For he re-

members a certain night in June, 1922, when he was in charge of the Tribune station. A certain young lady (now Mrs. B.) was in the studio when a slight pause occurred in the programme. Wishing to make a good impression and shine in the eyes of his ‘Juliet,’ he stepped to the microphone and acclaimed to the world. “This is Station CJCG, the Winnipeg Free Press!”—Ye Gods! What had he said? All eyes were upon him, but two only came within his vision. Shame and confusion! Why don’t floors open up at such times?

Quick Aerial Work

CHORTLY after the inauguration of CJNC,

^ the Government live-stock trains, one on the C.N.R. and one on the C.P.R., were due to commence their tour through the farming districts of northern and western Manitoba.

Someone suggested that they be equipped with radio-receiving apparatus as an added attraction to the farming population. This proved very successful, but before the scheme was in operation, several obstacles had to be surmounted. An aerial had to be strung on the car roof, so as to miss tunnels and bridges; ground facilities were developed and the sets shielded so as to reduce interference from lighting equipment, etc. Then, just as all was in readiness, a howl rent the air as one of the cars was accidentally backed up into the car sheds, tearing off the aerial. “One of Life’s little Comedies” coldly remarked the Tribune editor, cool as a cucumber. A newspaper, however, usually gets what it goes after. It was so in this case. A short council of war ensued. It was decided that for the honor of the station we should toil the night through, erecting another aerial, with the result that as the sun peeped over the city, all was in readiness again, just an hour before the time to pull out.

These were the first trains to be radio-equipped in Western Canada. It was a great achievement in those days, and received official recognition in that the Department of Agriculture sent a message to its representatives on the trains, by radio from CJNC.

About this time, the Toronto Daily Star commenced broadcasting, and later installed a station rated at one and a half kilowatt (input) in their own building under the direction of E. J. Bowers, who still remains the announcer and studio director of CFCA.

Such were the events leading up to the present status of radio broadcasting in Canada. At this point the road branches off in all directions, taking one across prairies, through cities and into back-woods, rendering a comprehensive study of individual developments impossible. Stations sprang up at various points right across Canada, so that for the one station in 1920, there are to-day fifty-five in all, serving a population of nine million persons, giving each station an average nightly audience of 165,450 persons.

Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver very soon witnessed the erection of more up-to-date and powerful plants, designed particularly for the purpose of broadcasting high quality music and speech—quite a different thing from the transmission of voice only, or voice and wireless code. The apparatus entering into the building of a present day radio broadcasting transmitter is of the very highest type possible at this stage of its development. Each year sees improvements in some direction because radio engineers of high standing think quality first, last and all the time. To hear them talk sometimes, one would almost be tempted to assume that

they aim to match the tones of the seraphs’ harps. As it is, Canadian-made apparatus ranks with the best produced anywhere in the world.

How Broadcasting is Done

'T'HE station of yesterday was simplicity itself. One room, usually on the top floor of a tall building, sufficed for everything, and here an audience frequently assembled to witness what were novel performances. In this one room was to be seen the power equipment, transmitter and a maze of wires and the microphone. The microphone was nothing but a telephone with a horn attached to the mouth piece, which gaped at the artist like a cobra waiting for its prey to walk into its mouth. Here I recall the experience of one artist, well-known on the stage on both sides of the line, who was broadcasting for the first time. After much persuasion, he very nervously commenced to sing an impassioned selection from a famous opera. As the song proceeded, he almost forgot the presence of the horn and did extraordinarily well. But, as the last note died away, he momentarily paused, awaiting the applause. One second, two. His brow began to knit, and his mouth curled up at the corners. A frightful anger took possession of him. “Damned ungratefulness,” he snarled. “Take that!” And the horn lay in pieces under a shattering blow from his fist.

What a contrast there is in the well-appointed broadcasting station of to-day! Usually it consists of some six rooms, reception room, studio control room, radio room, power room and offices.

The artists first enter the reception room, where they can await in comfort their turn to broadcast. In the meantime, they are able to listen to the performance in

the studio, by the aid cía loud speaker which is placed in the reception room for their benefit. They may, however, smoke, read or chat with their friends without in any way disturbing the broadcast.

The announcer now enters the reception room and ushers the next group of artists into the Holy of Holies, the studio. This is a room in which it is comparatively difficult to speak because of the special acoustic treatment which is rendered necessary in order to subduethe echo caused by the hard surfaces of the ordinary room: Either a surface of stretched cloth fabric is built up to resemble the conventional appearance of a room, or a system of heavy plush hanging is suspended over the existing walls and ceiling, and a thick soft carpet covers the floor. This makes the room almost sound-proof. In the studio there are the musical instruments, the microphones and the announcer’s desk with the signalling equipment by which he keeps in touch with the control-room.

When the announcer presses a button, a red light appears, indicating that the ‘mike’ is open and that any sound now made in the studio will be picked up by the microphone and sent along the wires in the form of electrical impulses to the control room, which somewhat resembles a telephone exchange. Here, an engineer, trained to the task, sits all through the broadcasting with his hand on the switches before him, whilst he listens intently to each selection, keeping the tones of the various individual instruments in perfect balance, so that by amplifying this circuit or changing that one a little, he increases the softer notes and tones down the louder ones, so producing that smoothness which characterizes the best broadcasts of to-day. This is called monitoring.

From this, the impulses travel to the radio room, where they pass through a final stage of amplification and enter the transmitter itself, a million times stronger than when they left the microphone, and leave the aerial in the form of radio waves to be picked up in city, hamlet and lonely outposts of civilization.

All the power equipment, such as the electric fuse and switch boxes, the motor generators, batteries, etc., are kept in the power-room, generally a prison-like place, with cement floors and walls to make it fire-proof and a steel cage around the high tension generators as a precaution against accident. Such is the modern organization of a radio broadcasting station.

A Lloyd George Story

V/Í ANY of the larger stations these days often dispense with studio performances and pick up programmes from outside points. I vividly remember one ‘pick-up’ incident in connection with the Canadian tour of the Rt. Hon. David Lloyd George, in 1924. He was to address a mass meeting in one ot the largest auditoriums in Montreal. A system of amplifiers had been installed in the building, and his address was to be broadcast as well. It was a real shock to the ex-premier of Great Britain whose voice was already strained by overwork, when told that so large an audience would be his on the morrow. A fine story went the rounds the next day of how a catastrophe was averted.

The little Welshman’s committee had arranged everything carefully, and all was in readiness when Lloyd George heard someone remark that he would speak to

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PuttingCanada ‘On the Air’

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7,000 people in the building alone. “What’s this?” he snapped. “I won’t speak to any more than 1,200 people. I’m not going to strain my voice.” Considerable tact and patience on the part of the committee, however, and the timely production of photographs of the late President Harding at the microphone, speaking to 40,000 people in Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C., was thought to have quite convinced the man who had made a hobby of twisting parliaments around his little finger.

Taking the close-up picture of Harding looking very cheerful in front of two microphones, Lloyd George remarked; “So this is Harding—40,000 people did you say?” “Yes, sir, and everyone heard perfectly,” hopefully asserted the committee man. “Yes,” said the ex-Premier, “and Harding died the next day.”

When the committee recovered, the Welshman and his family had retired for the night.

The sequel of this story, however, was a most enthusiastic supporter of both Canadian broadcasting and public address amplifying systems, and now Lloyd George uses these systems whenever he speaks to large audiences.

The Broadcasters Themselves

THE men who, night after night, carry on radio broadcasting throughout Canada are a distinctive set of fellows whose personality characterizes the stations over which they' preside. In one respect, however, many announcers, past and present, have something in common -—their professional Alma Mater. They received their training in the sea-going steamship—Tramp.

D. P. R. Coats is one of these. Mr. Coats came to Canada as ‘Sparks’ in the Marconi Service, took charge of the wireless school, and finally became secretary of the company. But, feeling the call of the West, he went to Winnipeg, little realizing that in a short while he would be the only and very popular announcer of ‘Manitoba’s Own Radio Station.’ Mr. Coats is familiarly known among his intimates as ‘Drip,’ but to his invisible audi-

ence he is known as ‘The Man with the Cheerful Voice.’ ‘Drip’ has introduced many novel features into his programmes, some of which have now become standard practice, such as educational addresses, province and city boosting, advertising of the country’s natural resources, etc. Mr. Coats has gone further, and he himself gives lessons in Ilo and Esperanto, to say nothing of astronomical talks. Elocution, however, is this announcer’s second nature, so that one is not surprised to hear of him in the guise of Santa Claus or Uncle for the benefit of his younger audience.

W. W. Grant, of CFCN, Calgary, whose ‘shack on the hill’ has been heard ‘way down ’n Gorgia,’ is another prominent figure. The locality of the station seems to be almost ideal. There’s a good joke told about W.W.G., who is fond of experiments. Perhaps his figurative leg was being pulled when, in order to ascertain the minimum of power required to span the Rockies, one night he reduced the power output of his station lower and lower and still reports came from Vancouver “You’re still coming in (QSA) go lower.” Grant replied “I can’t, or I won’t be on the air at all. I’ve only a dry cell tube power on now.” Then came a flock of queries by mail, wire and radio, “Were you really transmitting on a dry cell tube?” Evidently the night had many ears, for W.W.G. and his dry cell transmitter are still the open sesame to many an amateur pow-wow.

Calgary, however, is not a one man town. Fred Carleton also claims a share in its renown as the ruling spirit of CKCK, the Daily Herald Station. Mr. Carleton was a wireless operator in the early days. Freddie, as he is familiarly known, like all Irishmen, has a well-developed sense of humor and can take a joke as well as spring one. His remarks frequently cause a smile in many a distant ranch and home-

J. Rice, of CJCA, the Edmonton Jcurnal station, being situated 300 miles North of 53 deg. latitude, has the distinction of being Canada’s most northerly broadcasting manager and announcer.

Mr. Rice is also the engineer. He is a young Englishman, and another Sparks. He is very much in favor of advertising by radio, and believes that this manner of reaching larger numbers of people can be made just as attractive from the point of view of entertainment as the regular programme. For instance, he would cite the travelogues, so frequently broadcast by transportation firms in various Canadian cities.

No roll call of the colorful figures in the Canadian broadcasting world would be complete without the name of R. H. Combs, the genial guiding genius of CKNC, the Canadian National Carbon Company’s station at Toronto. Mr. Combs has been a radio enthusiast since away back in 1904 when, as a newspaper reporter in St. Louis, he played a part in the first transmission of news by wireless. He was one of the first to build a radio set in Toronto. In 1924 he organized the Toronto Radio Research Society whose station, CHNC, has since spread its gospel of better music over most of the Dominion. Apart from the fact that he is president and general manager of the company which owns CKNC and refuses to allow any one else to do his announcing for him, Combs is a man of extraordinarily varied interests. He’s an ex-president of the American Society of Automotive Engineers; he holds a marine engineer’s certificate, is a licensed sailing master and an accomplished musician, being the owner of an exceptionally fine pipe organ which is installed in his own home and at which he spends many pleasant moments snatched from a very busy life.

Ouebec in the Van

QUEBEC always has been in the van of radio development, e/en when spark transmission was in vogue, so it is little wonder that while things were booming in the West, the La Presse Publishing Company, of Montreal, was preparing what was then the most elaborately and efficiently appointed broadcasting plant on the North American Continent.

While the Station is owned and operated by the largest French newspaper in Canada, the personality is that of its director and announcer, Jacques Cartier, a lineal descendant of the great explorer.

The point of contact between a broadcasting station and the listening public is the announcer. Cartier knows how to establish contact and is a good mixer. His sauve, diplomatic manner, his ready wit, pleasing personality and bilingual talent combine to make Jacques Cartier an ideal announcer for that section of Canada where the two great races mingle in every daily transaction.

Jacques Cartier and CKAC are doing more to cement the two peoples of Eastern Canada than an army of diplomats could accomplish, and, more than this, CKAC keeps alive the memories of childhood’s home in the hearts of the great masses of French Canadians who seek their fortunes in the northern cities of the United States.

Poetical justice was meted out to the family of Cartier in September, 1923, when the voice of Jacques, from Station CKAC was the first from Canada to be heard in England. W. S. Stevenson, general manager of the General Radio Company, of London, England, clearly heard Mr. Cartier’s announcements, and later sent the receiving set by which this was accomplished to Jacques as a memento, remarking at the same time upon the peculiar coincidence that allotted to this popular scion of the intrepid voyageur the honor of being the first to send back tidings by word of mouth from those in the country which his forefathers so valiantly labored to establish. The set is now in a school in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, where the announcer was once a pupil.

Cartier believes in fair play. He is known to have broadcast in the same evening an address in support of prohibition and a programme from a well-known firm of brewers, comprising French Canadian music and English and Scotch airs, together with American jazz; the National Anthem bringing to the close the entertainment. No prejudice there!

His announcements are always in French and English.

C. W. Darling would probably be the first to deny the statement that the voice of CFCF has captivated the ladies of Montreal with its cultured manner of expression, directness and accuracy of statement. “I could listen to Mr. Darling for hours,” listeners have been known to remark. This is probably due to a certain

timbre and method of expression which is distinctly individual and characteristic of the reserved, though popular, announcer a’top the Canada Cement Building, Montreal. Mr. Darling is among the announcers who find time for Children’s Bedtime Stories in their programmes.

With the advent of Canada’s National Railway system in the radio field, G. A. Wright comes into the picture as the veteran announcer for the chain of C.N.R. radio stations across Canada, having officiated from the first at all three of the system’s own stations.

From Ottawa, CNRO, he was transferred to Moncton, CNRA, from which point his voice reached out to those who, in far away English homes, were burning the midnight candle into the small hours of the morn. Many acknowledgments have reached him from across the Atlantic.

When CNRV was opened at Vancouver, Mr. Wright was again transferred, and here also he has spanned an ocean, having made himself heard in Honolulu and New Zealand.

Broadcasting Humor

BROADCASTING has its dash of

humor as well as its serious side. F. W. Johnson, one time broadcasting manager of CHYC, Montreal, tells of the man who, on the morning following the night of a severe storm which had blown down that station’s aerial, called on him to know what was the matter with the broadcasting the previous night as he was not receiving it very well. “Well, sir,” replied Mr. Johnson hesitatingly, “Er—-I’m very sorry indeed if you did not receive us well, but the fact is, for the first time in our history our antenna caused us a little trouble. The wind blew it down.” “Ay—er—blew it down, did it? Then why did you not come on the air and tell us so, instead of keeping us waiting?” There is one on the announcer I remember very well. It occurred at Winnipeg at CJCG when, announcing an intermission in the programme, he said;— “There will now be an intermission of ten or twelve minutes. Just a moment please!” Another time the joke was on the assistant announcer, F. E. Rutland, a great favorite with the listeners-in. The evening was sultry, and the programme long. F.E.R. thought aloud “Manitoba is dry and so am I.” The mail brought from a Roblin doctor a ‘per’ for one quart.

Humor prompted Mr. Cartier of CKAC, Montreal, at the moment of the famous earthquake shock of February, 1925, to announce the cessation of the broadcast owing to an earthquake which was then in progress. “The programme will be continued later if we are still alive,” he said, and the microphone clicked upon a period of suspense as the rumbling continued, only to cease a few minutes later, when the broadcast was resumed.

CKAC ranks with Nottingham and two other British Broadcasting Company stations in that a mouse once caused it to close down for a time by being too inquisitive around the current-carrying sections of the apparatus. The carbonized form of the ‘wee puir timorous beastie’ was found across a contact only after a long search through the transmitting apparatus.

Some Queer Quirks

THERE are many queer things about radio. In some localities, on one side of the street almost any of the ‘A’ class stations in Canada and the United States come in like the proverbial ‘ton of bricks,’ yet across the road even experienced radio men cannot hear such stations as WEAF or WBZ, which, generally speaking, in Montreal are considered almost as local, and this cannot always be explained as the result of a tall steel building near by, there being none in the vicinity.

Speaking of stations to the south, it is an acknowledged tact that reception is very much better north and south than east and west, except near the West Coast. The theory is that radio waves follow the earth’s magnetic field, which tends toward the south and north rather than east and west. It is a common occurrence for listeners-in on the Pacific Coast to hear Calgary stations, and some have even enjoyed the Maori melodies from Auklandor Christ church in New Zealand. The New Zealanders and Australians quite frequently listen to programmes from Vancouver, B.C.

This peculiarly favorable conductivity on the Pacific Ocean has been known as long as the ‘Necromantic Bottle’ (as the

radio vacuum tube has, been dubbed, on account of its many wonderful uses) has been employed in the transmission of radio waves. Members of the Amateur Radio Relay League have for several years regarded the ‘Ausie Hams’ as neighbors with whom they regularly converse in wireless code on small fifty watt sets, about a tenth of the average power of a broadcasting station.

Fading is a very exasperating attendant upon broadcast reception. It falls without warning upon the listener, and often completely obliterates reception, rising again as suddenly to allow the programme to pour in louder than before.

This phenomenon, so scientists tell us, is caused by the ionization of dust particles in our atmosphere. This may be so, but it is not much use passing this information along to friends you have invited in for the evening to hear a prima donna from London or New York. Even this problem,

I however, is now being grappled with at the broadcasting stations, and fading will ! have less influence on hubby’s temper in ! the future than it has had of yore.

Another queer thing about radio is the presence of localities where programmes do not come through, or come only from certain directions. These are known as ‘pockets,’ or dead spots, and somewhat resemble the air pockets so dreaded by the airmen before planes were brought to the high degree of pe; lection which characterizes them to-day. These pockets are very difficult to overcome, in fact no adequate exolanation for them has been I found. Al. that modern skill can do is to erect a broadcasting station in the centre of, or near by, these dead spots.

A Costly Business

BROADCASTING ÍS a costly business. The initial cost of the equipment is j high, running anywhere between $30,000 i and $50,000 for the average station. The 1 upkeep of such a plant involves a further sum of from $10,000 to $15,000 a year where much pick-up broadcasting is done from points other than the studio.

When a programme is picked up, a pair (sometimes two pairs) of telephone wires must be held open at a tremendous relative cost. Permission to broadcast must be obtained from proprietors and artists, tests carried out to insure perfect working, j and an additional operator must be on hand to manipulate the amplifying apparatus. All this costs money.

On the other hand, studio programmes are expensive luxuries when they include notable local or foreign talent. The worthwhile artists to-day demand the recognized renumeration for each performance, and rightly so. Why should it be otherwise? They are selling their talent just as the radio dealer is selling his receivers. Both are the stock-in-trade of j the respective individuals. Then, there is the constant overhead expense of salaries,

I maintenance, taxes, etc.

Many people, judging by the letters received from listeners by various stations are of the opinion that the programmes are gratuitously presented to the announcer, all ready made. On the contrary, the average studio entertainment is the result of careful selection by the director or his deputy.

This process of selection (and initiation where the artist has not previously met the tyrant microphone) necessitates tact, patience, resourcefulness and a knowledge I of music and literature. Quite often the I announcer receives many requests for a ! certain number of selections. He does his i best to include these on future pro¡ grammes, but it is often difficult to accomplish this. Each broadcast brings its j own sheaf of acknowledgments, and these I mean more than car be described, to both I announcer and artists, as only by this j means can the approval or otherwise of ! the audiences be ascertained. To be ; successful, the announcer must possess a I clear voice, he must not hesitate for a word when speaking. And it must be the right word. Nothing irritates a listener more than to hear an announcer use bad grammar, mispronounce words, whether they be English or foreign, or falter. On the other hand, the announcer is unable to gauge the appeal of his programme by applause. His is a silent audience. He can be guided only by the card of thanks, the request for certain items, a written or telephoned criticism. To the extent that he so co-operates does the listener play a part in the operation of a broadcasting station.