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No Commercials
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5 of 10 people found this post helpful
Posted 01/20/04 - 9:25 PM:

I was wondering why is it that there are no commercials in the QP episodes.
Except for the hyping of another Mutual or ABC show at the end, there seems to be no break in any of the storylines for a commercial interruption. I am not complaining, just mystified by this.
Some episodes run almost a full 30 minutes so that there is not even any time to put them in.
Any one have any thoughts on this?
MS
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quote post #2 - Permalink
5 of 10 people found this post helpful
Posted 01/21/04 - 11:26 AM:

QP was what what was known as a "sustainer," that is, an unsponsored program that was sustained by the network. In the American OTR era, network radio programs that drew small audiences had trouble getting sponsors and the networks would have to sustain them until a sponsor could be found. Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre series was sustained until the famous "War of the Worlds" broadcast led Campbell Soups to sign on as the sponsor and turn the show into the Campbell Playhouse. Often, the most sophisticated, groundbreaking and prestigious shows had to be sustained for lack of sponsor interest: CBS' Columbia Workshop or NBC's Radio Guild, for example. Cooper pointed out in that Writer's Digest article that he "has done fewer commercial shows than any other writer in his class" -- meaning he worked on a lot of unsponsored, sustained programs: The Army Hour, Arthur Hopkins Presents, QP, etc.

Also, Mutual and ABC were not as powerful as, say, NBC or CBS and had trouble finding sponsors. Radio historian Elizabeth McLeod once wrote:

'... by the late forties, Mutual was, in terms of affiliate count, the largest network in the US. But many - in fact, probably most of its affiliates during this era were small, local stations of 250-to-1000 watt variety. While it did include such powerhouses as WOR, WGN, and KHJ, most Mutual stations had small signals, limiting the network's reach -- and its appeal to advertisers.

'In terms of its advertising revenue and its corporate set-up, Mutual was a very small operation compared to NBC and CBS. During the OTR era, the network was unique in that it was the only network owned by its stations -- with most of the stock controlled by WOR and WGN, and smaller shares owned by the Don Lee Network in California, and the Colonial Network in New England. There was no "Mutual Broadcasting System Building," and the network owned no stations or studios, nor did it actually produce any programming. Mutual shows were produced by the stations on a cooperative basis, and the stations paid the productions costs and furnished the facilities, not the network. This setup was radically different from that used by the Major Networks, so in that sense, one could call Mutual "small." ...

'Given that all of its shows were produced by its stations -- and most of its shows were produced by WOR or WGN -- the emphasis was on low budget programming. Mutual never had much success in attracting Big Time Advertisers, and tended to include a lot of sustaining or regional programming. ... It was possible to produce dramas for very little money, so Mutual had a very heavy schedule of low-budget dramatic shows. Most of these were produced at WOR, using a repertory company of New York actors.'

Guest
quote post #3 - Permalink
5 of 10 people found this post helpful
Posted 02/10/04 - 3:35 AM:

Orginally posted by

I was wondering why is it that there are no commercials in the QP episodes.
Except for the hyping of another Mutual or ABC show at the end, there seems to be no break in any of the storylines for a commercial interruption. I am not complaining, just mystified by this.
Some episodes run almost a full 30 minutes so that there is not even any time to put them in.
Any one have any thoughts on this?
 
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