WCFL, Chicago's Voice of Labor, 1926-78

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University of Illinois Press, 1997 - Business & Economics - 390 pages
Chicago radio station WCFL was the first and longest surviving labor radio station in the nation, beginning in 1926 as a listener-supported station owned and operated by the Chicago Federation of Labor and lasting more than fifty years. The station emphasized popular entertainment and labor and public affairs programming, seeking during its early decades to help organize workers, increase public awareness and support for the union movement, and enhance working-class consciousness and culture.
Nathan Godfried analyzes labor's challenge to the dominant media by examining the station's history and its dialectical relationship with the organized labor movement, the corporate radio world, and the federal government from 1926 to 1978. The station's story will be of interest to both labor and broadcast historians, showing how WCFL's development paralleled important changes in the organized labor movement and in the movement's interaction with business and government.
 

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Contents

The Creation of WCFL 192526
19
The Promise of Labor Radio 192728
46
ClearChannel and Other Battles 192932
79
Something Different into Our Lives Programming 192932
106
Tangled Web 193237
136
Labor Radio and WorkingClass Culture 193237
166
Labor Radio without Nockels 193746
195
Showmanship 193746
216
William Lee and Commercial Success 194666
239
The Fall of Labor Radio 196778
273
The Mixed Legacy of Labor Radio
291
Appendix
301
Notes
305
Selected Bibliography
375
Index
381
Copyright

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Page 10 - Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.
Page xv - A federation of approximately 130 autonomous national and international unions created by the merger of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in December, 1955.
Page xiii - The central value of historical understanding is that it transforms historical givens into historical contingencies. It enables us to see the structures in which we live and the inequality people experience as only one among many other possible experiences.

About the author (1997)

Nathan Godfried is associate professor of history at the University of Maine, Orono.

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