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broadcast a total of eight (8) public service announcements for Armed Forces recruiting in December, 1970.
Mr. Coverly-Smith, please be assured that we will schedule spot announcements for recruitment purposes just as we carry messages for other public service entities, including the Navy and the Air Force. I suggest that you write or call Mr. Gene Filip to make the appropriate arrangements.
I will include that for the record. (The letters referred to follow :)
WGN CONTINENTAL BROADCASTING CO.,
CHICAGO, ILL., February 15, 1971. MR. JOHN COVERLY-SMITH, Broadcast Supervisor, N. W. Ayer & Sons, Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.
DEAR MR. COVERLY-SMITH: This is in reference to the sales order regarding the campaign by the United States Army to recruit volunteers to achieve an all-volunteer force by 1973.
While we appreciate the order on the amount of approximately $50,000, Mr. Coverly-Smith, I have advised our people not to accept it because WGN Radio as well as WGN Television has always given time for such messages free of charge and we will continue to do so as long as I am steward of these precious properties. The same is true of our stations in Duluth (KDAL and KDAL-TV) and Denver (KWGN Television). For example, WGN Television broadcast a total of eight (8) public service announcements for Armed Forces recruiting in December, 1970.
Mr. Coverly-Smith, please be assured that we will schedule spot announcements for recruitment purposes just as we carry messages for other public service entities, including the Navy and the Air Force. I suggest that you write or call Mr. Gene Filip to make the appropriate arrangements. All good wishes, Mr. Coverly-Smith, and I trust you understand our position. Very sincerely,
WARD L. QUAAL. N. W. AYER & SON, INC.,
Philadelphia, Pa., February 24, 1971. MR. WARD L. QUAAL, President, WGN Broadcasting Co. Chicago, Ill.
DEAR MR. QUAAL: Thank you for your letter of February 15 outlining the position of WGN Broadcasting Co. with regard to the U.S. Army paid broadcast test. We understand your decision to continue to classify our client as a public service advertiser. However, so you may fully understand our problem, let me spend a moment highlighting the events that have led the Army to undertake this test.
The problem today, is that the number of young men volunteering for the Army has declined. Besides an unpopular involvement of U.S. forces in South East Asia, the new lottery draft system has removed the "fear" of the draft from large numbers of eligible men 17-21. Both have had a depressing effect on enlistments.
X. W. Ayer's assignment is to reverse the current enlistment trend as the first step toward determining the feasibility of an all volunteer Army (or zero draft if you will). We respect the difficulty of the assignment.
In spite of the fine cooperation of WGN and hundreds of other broadcasters around the country in airing Army commercials on a public service basis the total “pressure" of the advertising, including the paid print effort is not meeting current enlistment goals. For this reason we as professionals would be remiss in not suggesting the testing of the full power of broadcast media on a sharply controlled and scheduled basis. I'm sure you would agree that to achieve maximum effectiveness in broadcast requires the purchase of time. This is what the test is all about.
We appreciate your offer to continue to air Army commercials on a public service basis during our paid test. It will help our overall effort. I will see
that our production people furnish the new commercials that we will be using starting March 1, 1971, to your stations as quickly as possible.
In this connection to give us and our client an indication of the total exposure given by your stations, it will be helpful to have monthly reports sent covering the number of spots by time period during March, April and May.
Thanking you again for your letter and best regards.
JOHN F. COVERLEY-SMITH.
WGN CONTINENTAL BROADCASTING CO.,
Chicago, IN., March 1, 1971, MR. JOHN F. COVERLEY-SMITH, N. W. Ayer & Son, Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.
DEAR MR. COVERLEY-Smith: Thank you for your good letter in regard to my comments on our policy position on the paid broadcast “test” of the recruiting service of the United States Army.
Certainly we respect your efforts in this regard, Mr. Coverley-Smith, and we understand the professional intent involved, but we cannot alter our policy to accept these spots on anything but a public service basis.
We are very happy indeed to supply you with a statement each month on the number of spots and their position in our schedule for March, April and May. Such reports will be furnished to you by Mr. Eugene Filip, Manager of Public Affairs, WGN and WGN Television, Chicago. With kindest personal regards and my gratitude for your understanding. Very sincerely,
WARD L. QUAAL Mr. VAN DEERLIN. Also I have had personal correspondence with Mr. Quaal and Mr. Donald McGannon of Westinghouse Broadcasting Co., Inc. I will include these letters for the record as well. In his letter addressed to me, Mr. McGannon says:
We were contacted by the Advertising Agency in this matter and, in turn, were asked to submit availabilities for announcements covering the subject area. It had long been policy that announcements concerning public service issues, and this includes certain public informational activities of government at all levels, should be handled on a non-payment public service basis. We follow this approach in the presentation of religious programming and also in the presentation of controversial issues.
As a consequence, we declined the schedule for the reason stated and indicated to the agency that we would carry an adequate number of recruitment announcements for the Army but on a no-charge public service basis.
This is a new element now introduced by Mr. McGannon's letter about which I would like to question you. He says:
A new and additional element of this program which subsequently developed, but was not controlling in our decision, was the fact that the agency indicated that it did not plan to purchase time on our three all-news radio stations in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia because they did not want these announcements to be in proximity to casualty reports. (The letters referred to follow:) GROUP W, WESTINGHOUSE BROADCASTING Co., Inc.,
New York, N.Y., April 20, 1971. Hon. LIONEL VAN DEERLIN, Member of Congress, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR CONGRESSMAN VAN DEERLIN: I have received correspondence from your office and have had a telephone conversation with your Administrative Assistant concerning H. Con. Res. 215 and especially concerning the recent undertaking by the United States Army to purchase time on radio and television stations for recruitment purposes.
We were contacted by the Advertising Agency in this matter and, in turn, were asked to submit availabilities for announcements covering the subject area. It had long been our policy that announcements concerning public service issues, and this includes certain public informational activities of government at all levels, should be handled on a non-payment public service basis. We follow this approach in the presentation of religious programming and also in the presentation of controversial issues.
As a consequence, we declined the schedule for the reason stated and indicated to the Agency that we would carry an adequate number of recruitment announcements for the Army but on a no-charge public service basis.
A new and additional element of this program which subsequently developed but was not controlling in our decision, was the fact that the Agency indicated that it did not plan to purchase time on our three all-news radio stations in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia because they did not want these announcements to be in proximity to casualty reports. A similar condition was placed on the purchase of time on our standard format radio stations requiring a 15 minute separation from any news broadcast in presenting the recruitment announcements.
We also had a concern that an imbalance would be created if one of the services had a substantially larger campaign than the other three because of the availability of a budget. Our public service announcements will be the same for all 4 services in frequency and placement.
I regret that I could not present these views to you and the Committee in person but a commitment to be out of town on both hearing days, undertaken several weeks ago, prevented this.
If I or our company can be of any further help to you in this connection, please advise. Kindest regards. Sincerely,
DONALD H. McGANNON, President and Chairman of the Board.
WGN CONTINENTAL BROADCASTING Co.,
Chicago, Ill., April 23, 1971. Hon. LIONEL VAN DEERLIN, Washington, D.C.
MY DEAR MR. VAN DEERLIN : In recent weeks you and I have had an opportunity to discuss by phone and through the mails, the policy decision of WGN Continental in regard to the Army recruitment spots.
Mr. Van Deerlin, our policy in refusing commercial acceptance of same is really nothing new in the way of a business posture at our company, but rather an extension of a theme of operations which are of long standing.
Mr. Van Deerlin, we are licensed to serve the public and, indeed, everything we do comes within the general "framework" of that rather vague phrase mentioned in Section 303 and thirteen other times in the Communications Act of 1934 as amended. I refer to "the public interest, convenience and necessity."
It would seem to me, Mr. Van Deerlin, as one who loves his country, that one of our responsibilities is to keep America "strong" and that means from "within" and "without" and that includes military preparedness and all that is associated with it. Therefore, I just can not see the propriety of taking dollars from the taxpayers to recruit men to wear the uniform of our beloved land.
I am enclosing herewith, my exchange with Mr. John Coverly-Smith of the N. W. Ayer agency, Philadelphia. Kindly note that in refusing to accept these recruitment spots on a commercial basis I offer to present them in the public interest, free of charge. Not only have I kept this promise but I have seen to it that my people, at each of our broadcasting properties, have given prominent position throughout the broadcast schedule to these Army recruitment messages. Also, we will report to Mr. Coverly-Smith on a monthly basis as to the frequency and the position of these spots in behalf of the U.S. Army.
Finally, let me say, as the president of several prominent broadcasting companies, that if the efforts of the U.S. Army are to be emulated by other ele
ments of government, federal, state and local, and paid announcements are to be implemented on station schedules, we will soon have competition for "position" in broadcasting as is true today with the manufacturers of soaps, dentifrices, automobile tires, chewing gum and petroleum products. This, to mę, doesn't make very much sense.
I repeat, Mr. Van Deerlin, that I feel it is the responsibility of a licensee to give time free of charge, either in the form of spots or programs, for those areas of activity that are meaningful to the constituency we have the good fortune to serve with our transmitters. With this statement I am not suggesting an outflow of government "propaganda” on any area of activity and I am certainly not suggesting promotion by one or more political parties but where the public interest is involved, such as the recruitment of military personnel, this certainly falls in the public service area and should not be something to be considered "commercial” from the standpoint of a broadcast operation.
It is respectfully suggested that these comments be made a part of the Record of hearings pursuant to the introduction of H. Con. Res. 215. Respectfully submitted,
WARD L. QUAAL. Mr. Vax DEERLIX. Would you comment on the policy that was established here, whether it was imposed by the agency or by the Army?
Mr. REATH. I would like to answer that, yes, sir. It is part of our responsibility in the media area to set down for our clients and propose to our clients certain buying guidelines. One of the guidelines we established for this campaign was in terms of our buying of network and also radio and television when we bought it locally, that we did not want positions in news programs or adjacent to them.
Further, we went on to say that our guidelines called for buying positions, not in certain types of programing, a good example being where there is a movie on the network that may have been counterproductive to the message that we were trying to deliver.
The same reasoning was followed in the news position. And we did not feel that positions in such broadcasts or adjacent to them was in keeping with what we were trying to do and, in fact, was counterproductive and tended to neutralize our advertising.
Mr. VAN DEERLIN. So, to have any of these spots appearing within a short range of time with news accounts from Vietnam might run counter to the suggestion of a volunteer that will serve in Germany or in much pleasanter points than Vietnam?
Mr. REATH. Yes, sir.
Mr. Van DEERLIN. How were the stations that were included on the schedule you are going to provide the committee, how were they selected and what was the basis of what stations were to participate and which would be omitted from the campaign?
Mrs. Reati. In television and radio, the program draws an audience. That audience is measured by a number of rating services and networks, such as Neilsen, and at the local market radio level it is Pulse, and local market television it is ARB, and these are services that we buy as an agency, as do all major agencies.
They break down the audiences of shows by size and type and in terms of demographic figures and man versus woman, by age ranges. and so forth. So a given program will draw a certain type of audience in television.
In radio it is the format of the station that determines the type of audience it draws, an all-news format, an all-news format in
radio all day long will have a certain balance of people within their audience. A "top 40,” which is an inside term in our business, it is a rock station or contemporary music station, will automatically, because of its programing content, draw an audience of younger people, men and women,
So, setting up our target audience of 17 to 21 years of age, young men, and then also including the parts of the total public that can influence or counsel a young man in his decision on a career as our secondary audience, we can go into every market in terms of radio and local television and look at the programing and buy into the programing that delivers the highest number of young people that we are after and/or their parents and uncles and aunts for the best price.
Those are the ground rules that we set up as we went in to make the buy, and stations were bought accordingly. Basically our stations were the best-rated stations in every market, the No. 1, 2, or 3 stations in some markets in the contemporary programing area and in the middle-of-the-road programing area, which is the kind of station that most parents would listen to.
In network television we selected shows that delivered a large audience, one; and, No. 2, a high percentage which is relative to other shows for young men in our target audience.
Mr. VAN DEERLIN. Were there other considerations that went into the selection of outlets?
Mr. REATH. No, those are the buying guidelines and we think we bought the entire program especially, well, not especially, but entirely on that basis.
Mr. VAN DEERLIN. As one who has been rather close to the whole business, with the discussion that it aroused since the campaign began, I suppose that an article appearing in the Wall Street Journal on March 15 by John E. Cooney, came to your attention. The paragraph that I wish to mention from that story concerns a broadcaster in Burns, Oreg., who is quoted as saying: "When I heard about the campaign, I was burnt up and sent a letter to the Department of the Army," says Howard McDonald, coowner of station KRNS in Burns, Oreg. "They sent me a letter back saying we would be part of the campaign. I think they only included us because I jumped up and yelled."
Now, I have established contact with Mr. McDonald, who related that they were indeed omitted from the first schedule of stations, that he complained loudly about this, and that on or about February 12 sent a letter to the Army recruiting command, protesting the fact that they, having given considerable public service time in the past, were being omitted now that the Army was paying for what they had received free before.
He savs that 4 days later he got a phone call assuring him he would share in the schedule, that the tapes on order, which were dated February 15, actually reached him there in Oregon on February 27, 2 or 3 days before the campaign began.
Now, the witness for the Army this morning testified they had left entirely to the judgment of the agency the selection of stations to participate in the campaign. What I would like to ask you is this: Who called Mr. McDonald in Burns, Oreg?