MARCH OF TIME
One of radios earliest news programs, The March of Time
was the brainchild of radio executive Fred Smith and Time
magazine circulation director Roy Larsen. Radio news reporting was
in its infancy when Smith suggested a show designed to dramatize
the news, utilizing voices and music to re-enact what radio could
not yet report live.
This radio newsreel debuted over CBS on March 6, 1931,
and initially focused on domestic stories. With the outbreak of
war in Europe, the shows coverage expanded to include international
Actors were asked to impersonate and directly quote the newsmakers
of the day, whether the subject was President Franklin D. Roosevelt,
Al Capone, Adolf Hitler or Fred Allen. The March of Times
repertory company included Agnes Moorehead, Art Carney and future
Radio Hall of Fame member Orson Welles. From 1933 onward, narrator
Westbrook Van Voorhis was heard as The Voice of Time.
In 1942, The March of Time became a straight news program,
relying on short-wave reports from Time correspondents around the
world. The show continued in this format until it left the air in
Westbrook Van Voorhis died on July 13, 1968.
The March of Time was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame
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