Just Another Fad

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Vice-president of the National Broadcasting Company, one of the founders and later president of the National Association of Broadcasters, William S. Hedges came into radio through journalism. As president of the Radio Pioneers in 1949–50, he helped Columbia launch the radio history project. He appears in this excerpt as a young reporter on the Chicago Daily News .

In January, 1922, I got into radio, and this is how it happened. I was called into Henry Justin Smith’s office one day and he tossed a radio section of the New York Globe to me and said, “Take a look at that.”

I said, “What for?”

He said, “Do you think we should have a section like that?”

I smelled trouble and so I said, “No.”

He said, “Very well, now that you are on record, you are in charge of the radio activities of the Chicago Daily News . You’ve just been made director of the Daily News radio service.”

I said, “Well, what does that include?”

“Anything that you think we should do in the field of radio.”

“Does this have to interfere with my regular assignments?” I asked him.

He said, “No, you can do this new column in the afternoons. However, this may not last long. It may be just another fad like mahjong.”