New York City Hooper Ratings, November 1948

Here are the Top Ten sponsored programs broadcast during November of 1948 in New York City according to C.E. Hooper. The article in The New York Times pointed out that the top show, Texaco Star Theatre (The Milton Berle Show) on WNBT, drew an 80.7 rating, “the highest rating ever released for either a television or radio program.” I’m surprised at how well the hour-long NBC Symphony concert, conducted by Arturo Toscanini (the third of his ten televised concerts), fared on Saturday, November 13th. For comparison, here are the New York City Hooper ratings for October of 1948. They are quite similar.

1. Texaco Star Theatre (The Milton Berle Show) (WNBT)
2. Toast of the Town (WCBS)
3. We, the People (WCBS)
4. Small Fry Club (Thursday) (WABD)
5. Amateur Hour (WABD)
6. Kraft Television Theatre (WNBT)
7. The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre (Chevrolet on Broadway) (WNBT)
8. Americana (Americana Quiz) (WNBT)
9. The Bigelow Show (WNBT)
10. NBC Symphony (WNBT)

“Radio and Television: ‘Your Lucky Strike’ Program to Reward Top Contestants With Show Billings.” New York Times. 29 Nov. 1948: 42.

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4 Replies to “New York City Hooper Ratings, November 1948”

  1. If you notice the NBC station had six of the top ten which is no surprise because at that time radio was still popular and NBC was the favorite radio network…as for the Symphony being rated high remember back then TV executives weren’t catering to all age demographics just the adult who back then had most of the buying power in the home, teens didn’t have much buying power til probably the mid 50s (that’s just my guess)

  2. Two DuMont shows did extremely well in New York, but since there were probably only a handful of other stations that aired them, the national rating was undoubtedly quite low.

  3. NBC Symphony Orchestra conductor Arturo Toscaninni was a very popular figure in music during the 1930’s, 1940’s, and early 1950’s (until his retirement), and his presence was probably the reason the NBC Symphony Orchestra concerts did so well in attracting listeners, and later, viewers.

    1. During Toscaninni’s run with the NBC Symphony, he was by far the biggest “name” in classical music.

      Although I suspect that tickets to Toscaninni’s broadcasts in NBC’s Studio 8-H in New York were free of charge, they were probably the hardest-to-get tickets for any radio (or later TV) show originating in New York during his stint with the orchestra.

      I don’t know how many kinescopes exist of Toscaninni telecasts, but if there are such kinescopes that exist, NBC should digitally remaster them (both sound and picture) and release them on DVD.

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