Bill Henry at CBS, circa 1942
Henry describes the competitive press scene in London during the Second World War, evoking a moment in which radio began to gain popularity over newspapers. Note that as a “lone wolf newspaperman,” he was unable to secure a position in the American press pool in the British Army under the Los Angeles Times alone, and that requests for “special representation” by CBS and NBC allowed him to continue reporting in support of Edward R. Murrow for CBS.
From 1943-1954, Henry produced a five-minute news show entitled "Bill Henry and the News,” which was sponsored by the home insulation manufacturer Johns-Manville. This 1948 report discusses how the show’s move from CBS to MBS might effect public perception of the company, demonstrating the importance of radio to commercial advertising and the rising influence of network broadcasting over the American public.
Radio effectively nationalized the culture of news consumption in America. The radio industry expanded after World War II, and what were once local issues became news of national importance. Middle-class culture broadened as Americans were exposed to arts, theater, music, and politics like never before, and advertising became an increasingly profitable industry.