Bookshelf: Telecast Magazine (Volume 1, Number 1)

Bookshelf is a monthly column examining printed matter relating to television. While I love watching TV, I also love reading about it, from tie-in novels to TV Guides, from vintage television magazines to old newspaper articles. Bookshelf is published on the second Thursday of each month.

Telecast (Volume 1, Number 1)
First Published November 1949
Published by G & E Publishing Co., Inc.
64 Pages

I’ve been interested in Telecast magazine for years, ever since I bought a copy of the very first issue on eBay. The magazine billed itself as “The National Television Picture Magazine” and was first published in November 1949. I don’t know how long it stayed in print but at least five issues were published, perhaps more. I also have a copy of the third issue from January 1950.

Telecast was published monthly by G & E Publishing Co., Inc. out of New York. The cover price was 25 cents and a year’s subscription cost $2.50. Earl S. Peed served as editor; Charlotte Winter as art director; Judy Shepard as assistant editor; Meryl Kay Parker as associate editor; Irwin Rosten as contributing editor; and William Martin advertising manager.

Front cover to Telecast Magazine Volume 1, Number 1
Front cover to Telecast Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 – Copyright 1949 G & E Publishing Co., Inc.

The table of contents reveals a mixture of stories, features and departments. Several of the stories and features were written by those in the industry, including Irwin Rosten, Candy Jones, Bob Cooke and Kyle MacDonnell. Despite being the first issue, there is a letters to the editor page filled with well wishes from television’s top talent: Fibber McGee & Molly, Kate Smith, Tex and Jinx McCrary, Morey Amsterdam, Ben Grauer and Sammy Kaye, among others.

There is also a letter from the editor to readers of the new magazine:

a letter to our readers

Along with more than 2,000,000 other people who own television sets today, we think TV is just about the most important thing that’s happening in America right now. We think it’s so important, in fact, that a national magazine devoted exclusively to the new entertainment medium is needed. With the first issue of Telecast we are offering you that magazine.

Television is still a youngster, but it’s the fastest-growing youngster in the country. Experts have predicted that within a few years television will be one of the 10 biggest industries in America. We think that’s one of the safest predictions anyone could make.

This first issue is, frankly, an experiment, just as television itself is still something of an experiment in its programming and presentation. We’ll need our readers’ help to do that, so please write and let us know what you think of Telecast’s first try.

the editors

Among the stories included in the issue are a look at the families of comedians Olsen and Johnson as seen on NBC’s Fireball Fun for All; a profile of John Cameron Swayze; the future of color television; and a fascinating examination of DuMont flagship WABD’s pioneering daytime schedule, said to be the first in the country to offer programming from 7AM to 11PM when it was introduced on November 1st, 1948.

The features range from a profile of 13-year-old actor Johnny Stewart to an overview of football on television to a short history of television in Philadelphia.

Love That Commercial, Telecast Magazine Volume 1, Number 1
Love That Commercial, Telecast Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 – Copyright 1949 G & E Publishing Co., Inc.
DuMont Daytime Pioneer, Telecast Magazine Volume 1, Number 1
DuMont Daytime Pioneer, Telecast Magazine Volume 1, Number 1 – Copyright 1949 G & E Publishing Co., Inc.

In addition to the letters to the editor page, the regular departments include Telecast news, an editorial, a peek at new shows (The Ed Wynn Show, ‘Lil Abner, Martin Kane, Private Eye and Front Row Center) and television fashions — six dresses appropriate for all manner of television viewing opportunities.

Advertisements in this first issue include U.S. savings bonds, Lord Abbott imported briar pipes, Chatmoor Garment Company, Joggins Inc., Adam J. Young Jr. Radio & Television Consultants, Package Shows Inc., Simplex movie projectors and Silent Night perfume.

On the very last page there is a subscription order form followed by an appeal to potential subscribers on the inner back cover:

telecast
tells the television story from every angle

As the first national television magazine, Telecast will be your means of getting an inside look at a great new medium and industry. Telecast will cover all phases of television we think will interest you–behind the scenes problems, previews of forthcoming events, technical phases and improvements. We’ll tell the personal stories of all the people who bring television into your home–entertainers, directors, producers, cameramen and film packagers. Telecast is directed toward every city, every family in each city, and every member of the family. Telecast is written for you whatever your age and wherever you live. We hop you like it and

rush your subscription in now

If anyone has information on how long Telecast magazine stayed in print, please contact me or hit the comments.


2 Comments

  • Garry Berman says:

    I have the same issue! I don’t remember if I got it on e-Bay also, at a flea market, or wherever. I’d love to see one of the other issues, too. Quite a mystery as to why and when this magazine ceased publication.

  • Jeff Gold says:

    I have the Deember 1949 issue. It’s not in great shape. Perry Como is on the cover.

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