Columbia Workshop

The Columbia Workshop, a sustaining program (ie: no commercials or sponsor), was was created in 1936 by the Columbia Broadcasting System (now CBS) as a prestige program and a laboratory for the best that the audio medium had to offer. Needless to say, there is no equivalent being broadcast today.

As a workshop, the doors were thrown open to new playwrights (Norman Corwin made his auspicious debut here in 1938 with "The Plot to Overthrow Christmas", as well as established authors interested in experimenting with the medium (Archibald MacLeish's "The Fall of The City") . There was an emphasis on high production values and creative sound patterns. Not everything was a success. Listening today, some programs are electric, others dated. But in its day it was something to talk about.

Broadcasts became sporadic during and after World War II. A new version returned for one season in 1956 as The CBS Radio Workshop. In case you wondered, yes, it was this that inspired the name for our radio production company, the Generic Radio Workshop.