Cooperative Analysis of Broadcasting, Inc., Reports, 1932-1946

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists entirely of reports on radio audiences produced for subscribers by Crossley, Inc., from 1932-1946. The data concerning major network programming and advertising were gathered by telephone interviews in selected cities throughout the United States. There are eight sets of reports: program, use of sets, set-user program comparison, sponsor identification, audience composition, station audiences, program audiences, and city reports. the reports represented here are fairly complete for the years listed, but for each type of report there are variations in the amount of information provided and the manner of its collection within the inclusive dates.

The PROGRAM REPORTS are semimonthly for the years 1932-1946. They divide programs by length and/or frequency per week. Based upon a telephone sample, the reports list the percentage of the national audience that listened to a particular program for the two week period. In addition, each report includes program reports for the previous three reporting periods, and supplies daily rating variations for programs heard three to five times per week.

The ANALYSIS OF THE USE OF SETS were compiled three times a year, 1934-1945, and break down the national audience by such factors as season, region, day of the week, time of day, and income group. REPORTS ON STATION AUDIENCES, 1934-1942, are annual reports, usually covering the months of October to April, that assess the relative listener strength in thirty-three selected cities. These reports are divided by city, then by station and time of day, showing the percentage of sets tuned in and the number of listeners for each network-related station. Similar, though less detailed information is supplied by the bimonthly CITY REPORTS, 1945-1946.

Detailed analysis of program popularity is contained in the reports on RADIO PROGRAM AUDIENCES, 1936-1944, issued semiannually. They rank programs by their popularity within geographical areas, among various income groups, and by month of the year; they also indicate the popularity of programs relative to others of the same type. Each report has an extensive index listing programs, talent, and sponsors.

The SET-USER PROGRAM REPORTS, 1941-1944, are monthly and allow easy comparison of a given program listened to vis-a-vis a competing program on another network. In addition, they provide figures relating to the percentage of radio set owners on which each commercial has “made a conscious impression.” Monthly surveys, 1943-1946, of audience ability to match a given program to its sponsor are contained in the SPONSOR IDENTIFICATION REPORTS. Listener responses are tabulated under the following categories: correct, inadequate, incorrect, and don't know. Each monthly report contains a comparison with the two previous months.

The AUDIENCE COMPOSITION REPORTS, 1944-1946, are quarterly breakdowns, based on a typical month, of the national audience listening to particular programs. The figures include indications of the number of listeners per family, as well as their sex and age (over or under seventeen).