I'm pleased to be starting up a brand-new "previously lost" series on the blog - it's so obscure that I haven't found out much about it, but I hope you can dig a bit and post what you find about the show in the comments as we go through the complete run of 26 episodes over the next six months.
Based on true crime stories, "The Police Reporter" was a fifteen minute dramatic series syndicated by Radio Release Limited. The earliest listing I found for it was in the December 10, 1933 issue of the "New York Times" where it showed up on WEAF's program grid on Friday, December 15, 1933 at 10:00 pm. There are also several listings in the "Los Angeles Times" in February and March 1936 for a fifteen minute "Police Reporter" program on KGPJ at 8:00 pm. Some of the discs in my set have penciled-in dates from 1935 on the labels.
The company that produced the series, Radio Release Limited is listed in the 1934 edition of "The Writer's Market", noting that they're "looking for anything with commercial value and will consider good scripts carefully. Pays good rates". The company is also listed in the 1935 edition of "Broadcasting: Yearbook-Marketbook Issue" on page 122.
Google Books turned up a reference to Radio Release Limited in a trade publication, "Printer's Ink", in Volume 167, page 70, with some type of article about the company being sold. I don't have access to the publication at Duke - does anyone else have access to see more of what this is about?
"The Police Reporter" is a quarter hour drama that might remind you a bit of "Front Page Drama" in its sensationalism and melodrama. What makes the series unique is that all the stories featured are true. "Gangbusters", the pioneering "true crime" series of the period, premiered in July 1935 on NBC as "G-Men" according to Wikipedia. So, "The Police Reporter" pre-dates the more famous network show by a couple of years - if not the first, it could be one of the earliest true crime shows on the air.
Program 1 of the series is about a man who has been missing for four days. A neighbor calls the police, thinking something may be wrong. It's the Lincoln murder case, which occurred in Aurora, Illinois in 1923. The program includes an announcement that this is the first program of the series.
The series uses real names, dates and locations, so it's easy to track down information on the real cases dramatized on many of the programs. You can see a summary of the "real" murder story in this week's show on a website devoted to true crime stories and check out a detailed May 13, 2007 newspaper article from the Aurora Beacon News about the murder.
Our program was transferred from original shellac Radio Release, Ltd transcription, pressed by Allied Recording in Hollywood, matrix number A-1068.
We're running through all 26 episodes in the series over the next few months - all the shows are previously lost, unheard since their original airing in 1933-34.
Next week: the case of the "Vampire of Dusseldorf".
My deepest thanks to an anonymous donor that provided the funding to purchase this set for my collection.