WCBW Schedule, Week of June 29th, 1941

Here’s the schedule for WCBW, the CBS station in New York City, for the week starting Sunday, June 29th, 1941, straight from daily television listings printed in The New York Times. The station first signed on in 1931 under the call letters W2XAB. Tuesday, July 1st marked the start of commercial broadcasting in the United States and W2XAB changed its call letters to WCBW but didn’t actually transition to commercial status. Only NBC’s WNBT was ready to make the switch to commercial broadcasting.

The FCC required commercial stations to broadcast 15 hours of programming each week, including two hours daily between 2PM and 11PM. Five days a week at least one hour had to fall between 7:30PM and 10:30PM. Despite not operating on a commercial basis, WCBW stuck to that schedule. The station was off the air on Sunday and Monday but kept to a fairly regular schedule Tuesday through Friday, with a children’s story from 3:15-3:30PM and news from 8-8:15PM. The rest of each day’s programming was a mix of sports, songs, interviews, and even a variety program.

Sportscaster Bob Edge was seen several times throughout the week. Trailblazing female journalist Helen Sioussat had her own interview series on Wednesdays. Several sources give the name of the show as Table Talk with Helen Sioussat (you can read more about Sioussat here).

WCBW and the Metropolitan Museum of Art presented a series of programs featuring art from the museum’s huge collection. The museum’s director, Francis Henry Taylor, appeared on the first program on July 1st.

Sunday, June 29th, 1941
No Programs Scheduled

Monday, June 30th, 1941
No Programs Scheduled

Tuesday, July 1st, 1941 [1]
2:00PM – Test Pattern
2:30PM – Dancing Lessons
3:15-3:30PM – Children’s Story
7:30PM – Test Pattern
8:00PM – News
8:15PM – Joan Edwards, Songs
8:30PM – Metropolitan Museum of Art: Speaker, Francis Henry Taylor
9:00-9:30PM – Bob Edge Interviews Paul Schreiber, Yankee Pitcher; Mrs. Gwendolyn Bloomingdale

Wednesday, July 2nd, 1941 [2]
2:00PM – Test Pattern
2:30PM – News Report
2:45PM – Helen Sioussat Interviews Mrs. Fay Gillis Wells, Quincy Howe and Clark Eichelberger
3:15-3:30PM – Children’s Story
7:30PM – Test Pattern
8:00PM – News
8:15PM – Joan Edwards, Songs
8:30-9:30PM – Quiz Program

Thursday, July 3rd, 1941 [3]
2:00PM – Test Pattern
2:30PM – News Reports
2:45PM – Metropolitan Museum of Art Program
3:15-3:30PM – Children’s Story
7:30PM – Test Pattern
8:00PM – News
8:15PM – Sports-Bob Edge
8:30-9:30PM – Country Dance and Swedish Folk Dance Society

Friday, July 4th, 1941 [4]
2:00PM – Test Pattern
2:30PM – News Reports
3:15-3:30PM – Children’s Story
7:30PM – Test Pattern
8:00PM – News
8:15PM – Talk, Clifton Reed of OPM
8:30PM – Test Pattern
9-9:30PM – Sports, Bob Edge

Saturday, July 5th, 1941 [5]
2:30-4:30PM – Test Pattern

Note: Television listings published in newspapers were based on information provided by stations and were subject to change at the last minute. They may not be an accurate representation of what actually aired.

Works Cited:

1 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 1 Jul. 1941: 44.
2 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 2 Jul. 1941: 44.
3 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 3 Jul. 1941: 38.
4 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 4 Jul. 1941: 26.
5 “Radio Today.” New York Times. 5 Jul. 1941: C22.


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