8a. Inside radio

RADIO LINGO  – Drew Pearson, April 18, 1937

Mercury Theater radio, 1937

Most readable of recent government publications is one which goes  to the heart  of the radio industry with definitions of drooling,   ‘dead spot , ‘ ”in the mud,” and “schmalzing it.

The Department of Interior has gotten out a glossary of the vernacular growing up in the radio industry.   In this lively pamphlet,  you may learn that:

  • “Drooling” means padding a program with talk in order to fill out the allotted time.
  • A “dead spot,” also known as “white space,” is a period of silence when a program is supposed to be on the air.
  • “In the mud” is what they say of a lifeless delivery with an< uninteresting quality of voice.
  • “Schmalz it” is what the production director says to the orchestra conductor when he wants the music played in a sentimental style
  • Any word that is mispronounced or distorted in meaning is said to have “fluff” or ”beard,”
  • A program scheduled five days a week at the same hour is booked “across the board,
  • A program which, while on the air, appears to be on time to the second is “on the nose.”