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Morris S. Novik Papers

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1599

Abstract

Title:
Morris S. Novik Papers
Author/Creator:
Novik, Morris S.
Collection number:
NPBA 91-1990
Size:
5.00 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1949-1964
Inclusive dates:
1940-1992
Collection Area:
Mass Media and Culture
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

Morris S. Novik entered the field of broadcasting in 1932 when he took over the management of the radio station WEVD in New York. During this period he founded the University of the Air. In 1938, he accepted a position as director of communications for the city of New York, and director of station WNYC. While in this post, Novik coined the term "Public Broadcasting". He also became involved in the genesis of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters, serving as its first executive secretary from 1941 to 1948. After leaving WNYC in 1946, Novik helped establish radio stations in Detroit and Cleveland. The collection focuses on Novik's career in public broadcasting.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

This collection is open for research use.

Preferred citation:

Morris S. Novik Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials page for more information. Queries regarding publicatioght status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Morris S. Novik was born in Nevel, Russia in 1903. He came to the United States when he was eleven years old with his mother and his two younger brothers. It was in New York City where the family settled that Novik first met his father who had come to the United States years earlier. He was educated at a Yeshiva in the city but after graduating decided that he did not want to continue his religious education so at the age of fourteen he was sent to public school.

At this time Novik became involved with the social-political changes of 1917 engendered by the Russian Revolution. He headed a local chapter of the Young People's Socialist League while he was working at the Daily Record, a newspaper covering issues relating to the manufacture of clothing. He then received a scholarship to the Rand School which Novik described as a "right-wing socialist school of learning". During this time he became very involved in the socialist movement, starting a magazine called The Monthly Free Youth and serving as its editor.

In the early twenties Novik became involved with the Discussion Guild, arranging lectures and debates of well known writers and lecturers. The first speaker he engaged was noted British philosopher Bertrand Russell, who subsequently asked for Novik to represent him in future United States engagements. Through his work with the Discussion Guild Novik also became the manager for Clarence Darrow.

Novik entered the field of broadcasting in 1932 when he was asked to take over the management of the radio station WEVD in New York. He served as associate manager and program director. It was during this period that he founded the University of the Air.

Novik entered the field of broadcasting in 1932 when he was asked to take over the management of radio station WEVD in New York. It was during this time that he also founded the University of the Air. He was recruited by New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia to run radio station WNYC. Novik declined until Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938. He realized it was more important now to keep democracy over the airwaves than to promote socialism and labor interests as he was doing at WEVD. He became director of communications at WNYC (1938-1946) and it while it was at this position that he coined the term "Public Broadcasting." It was also during this time that he became involved in the genesis of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters. Novik claimed he was one of the seven men who met in Ames, Iowa in 1939 to plan the permanent organization of this association. He then served as its first executive secretary from 1941 to 1948. Subsequently, Novik was involved in buying or establishing radio stations in Detroit, Cleveland, and the New York area.

After leaving WNYC in 1946 Novik helped establish radio stations in Detroit and Cleveland. In 1950 he bought the station WLIB in New York on which he established negro programming. He kept this station for 5 years, selling it to his brother Harry in 1955 when he then bought the Italian station WOV. He kept the Italian language format at WOV during his ownership but upon selling this station in 1959 this format was abandoned by the new owners.

Novik maintained a long relationship with the labor movement, serving as a communications consultant for the American Federation of Labor and later for the merged American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). His career also included some presidential appointments. In 1952 President Truman appointed him to be delegate to the UNESCO conference in Paris. In 1953 he participated in the UNESCO London conference on TV, advising Europeans on how to establish television stations. He was also selected by President Kennedy to serve on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Information in 1962. President Johnson reappointed him to that body.

Morris S. Novik died in 1996.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Papers of Morris S. Novik cover the years 1940 to 1992. The bulk of the material ranges from 1949 to 1964. The collection focuses mainly on Novik's career in public broadcasting. Types of documents include correspondents, reports, hearings, newsclippings, program materials, conference materials, speeches and writings, newsletters, and press releases.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The Morris S. Novik Papers was donated to the National Public Broadcasting Archives, University of Maryland Libraries by Morris S. Novik in January of 1991 and in April of 1992.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Thomas J. Connors, December 1993

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Karen E. King, April 2005.

Arrangement of Collection

Organized as one series.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Subject Files, 1940-1992 (5.00 linear feet)

This collection was arranged into one subject series, covering all aspects of Novik's career in public broadcasting. Important topics include the Joint Council on Educational Television (JCET), the National Association of Educational Broadcasters (NAEB), the Federal Communications Commission and FM radio. The subjects are arranged alphabetically by folder heading.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
American Federation of Labor, American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1950, 1966-1970 series 1box 1folder 1
Association for Education by Radio, Association for Education by Radio-Television, 1947-1965 series 1box 1folder 2
Educational Television -- Notes and Correspondence, 1952-1954 series 1box 1folder 3
Educational Television -- Reports, 1951-1954 series 1box 1folder 4
Educational Television -- Re: various stations, 1952-1954 series 1box 1folder 5
Educational Television -- Newsletters, 1948-1957 series 1box 1folder 6
Educational Television -- Printed matter, 1951-1963 series 1box 1folder 7
Educational Television -- Newsclippings, 1951-1956 series 1box 1folder 8
Educational Television -- Newsclippings, 1957, undated series 1box 1folder 9
Federal Communications Commission -- Hearings, 1940-1947 series 1box 2folder 1
Federal Communications Commission -- Hearings -- Mayflower Decision-Correspondence and clippings, 1947-1948 series 1box 2folder 2
Federal Communications Commission -- Hearings -- Mayflower Decision-Testimony, February-April 1948 series 1box 2folder 3
Federal Communications Commission -- Hearings -- Mayflower Decision-Testimony, undated series 1box 2folder 4
Federal Communications Commission -- Hearings -- Reserving channels for educational purposes, undated series 1box 2folder 5
Federal Communications Commission -- Hearings -- Daytime skywave transmissions, 1954 series 1box 2folder 6
Federal Communications Commission -- Hearings, 1962-1963 series 1box 2folder 7
Federal Communications Commission -- Commissioners -- Correspondence and speeches, 1952, 1968 series 1box 3folder 1
Federal Communications Commission -- Newsclippings, undated series 1box 3folder 2
FM Broadcasting -- Correspondence, 1945-1947 series 1box 3folder 3
FM Broadcasting -- Correspondence, 1948 series 1box 3folder 4
FM Broadcasting -- Correspondence, 1949-1951, 1965, 1968, undated series 1box 3folder 5
FM Broadcasting -- Reports, 1944, 1950, 1951 series 1box 3folder 6
FM Broadcasting -- Promotional materials, 1945-1948, undated series 1box 3folder 7
FM Broadcasting -- Publications, 1944-1946, undated series 1box 3folder 8
FM Broadcasting -- Newsclippings, 1945-1951, 1965, undated series 1box 3folder 9
FM Association -- Correspondence, 1947-1948 series 1box 4folder 1
FM Association -- Correspondence, 1949-1950 series 1box 4folder 2
FM Association -- Press releases, bulletins, organizational materials, 1947-1949 series 1box 4folder 3
FM Association -- Expenses, 1951 series 1box 4folder 4
FM Association -- Newsclippings, undated series 1box 4folder 5
Institute for Democratic Education, 1948 series 1box 4folder 6
Institute for Education by Radio, 1947-1949 series 1box 4folder 7
Institute for Education by Radio -- Television -- Correspondence, 1950-1951 series 1box 4folder 8
Institute for Education by Radio -- Television -- Correspondence, 1953-1956 series 1box 4folder 9
Institute for Education by Radio -- Television -- Program materials -- 17th annual meeting, May 1947 series 1box 5folder 1
Institute for Education by Radio -- Television -- Program materials -- 17th annual meeting -- correspondence, February-August 1947 series 1box 5folder 2
Institute for Education by Radio -- Television -- Program materials and correspondence -- 27th annual meeting, January-May 1957 series 1box 5folder 3
Institute of Communications Research (Allerton House), University of Illinois -- meetings, 1949, 1950 series 1box 5folder 4
Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, 1946-1948 series 1box 5folder 5
Joint Committee on Educational Television -- General Correspondence, 1950-1954 series 1box 5folder 6
Joint Committee on Educational Television -- Correspondence -- KTHE (Los Angeles), 1954 series 1box 5folder 7
Joint Committee on Educational Television -- Correspondence -- KQED (San Francisco), 1954 series 1box 5folder 8
Joint Committee on Educational Television -- Correspondence -- KUHT (Houston), 1954 series 1box 5folder 9
Joint Committee on Educational Television -- Correspondence -- WQED (Pittsburgh), 1954 series 1box 5folder 10
FCC Hearings -- Reservation of channels -- proposed order of testimony, November 27, 1950 series 1box 6folder 1
FCC Hearings -- Assignments, rules, Docket 11401, 1955 series 1box 6folder 2
JCET Round-up, 1953, 1954 series 1box 6folder 3
JCET Fact Sheet and Box Score, 1954-1958 series 1box 6folder 4
JCET Reports, 1952-1955 series 1box 6folder 5
Press releases, statements, reports, 1951-1956 series 1box 6folder 6
National Association for Better Broadcasting, 1980 series 1box 7folder 1
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- General Correspondence, 1943-1945 series 1box 7folder 2
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- General Correspondence, 1946-1950 series 1box 7folder 3
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- General Correspondence, 1953-1955 series 1box 7folder 4
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- General Correspondence, 1956 series 1box 7folder 5
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- General Correspondence, 1957-1959 series 1box 7folder 6
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- General Correspondence, 1960-1962, 1964, 1965 series 1box 7folder 7
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Executive Secretary -- Correspondence, 1946-1947 series 1box 8folder 1
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Executive Secretary -- Correspondence, January-May 1948 series 1box 8folder 2
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Executive Secretary -- Correspondence, June-December 1948 series 1box 8folder 3
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Conferences -- TV production workshop -- Michigan State University, August 1954 series 1box 8folder 4
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Conferences -- TV engineering workshop -- Michigan State University, September 1955 series 1box 8folder 5
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Conferences -- ETV management seminar -- University of Illinois, July 1957 series 1box 8folder 6
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Conferences -- Region I -- Amherst, MA, April 1955 series 1box 8folder 7
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Conferences, miscellaneous, 1944-1953 series 1box 8folder 8
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Convention materials, 1947-1962 series 1box 8folder 9
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- FCC Hearings -- Clear channel hearings, 1947 series 1box 8folder 10
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Annual reports, 1945-1946, 1959-1960 series 1box 8folder 11
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Surveys and reports, 1943-1948, 1959 series 1box 9folder 1
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Organizational materials, 1949, 1954, undated series 1box 9folder 2
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Membership materials, 1947-1963 series 1box 9folder 3
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Newsletter, 1944-1947 series 1box 9folder 4
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Newsletters, 1948-1951 series 1box 9folder 5
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Re various educational radio stations, 1947-1949 series 1box 9folder 6
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Miscellaneous notes, speeches and writings, 1947-1961 series 1box 9folder 7
National Association of Educational Broadcasters -- Newsclippings, reprints, 1946, 1961, 1964, undated series 1box 9folder 8
National Citizens Committee for Education Television, 1954-1955 series 1box 10folder 1
National Educational Radio Network, 1966, 1970 series 1box 10folder 2
National Educational Television and Radio Center, 1954-1961 series 1box 10folder 3
New York Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters, 1955 series 1box 10folder 4
Novik, Morris S., 1946-1992 series 1box 10folder 5
Novik, Morris S., 1945, 1946, 1966 series 1box 10folder 6
Novik, Morris S., 1947-1968 series 1box 10folder 7
Parker, Everett C. -- Correspondence, 1949-1971 series 1box 10folder 8
Public radio and television stations: WBOE, WILL, WNYC, WOI, KUSD, 1946-1986, undated series 1box 10folder 9
Southern Regional Educational Board -- newsletters, 1956-1958 series 1box 10folder 10
Transcripts: radio and television programs, 1953, 1958, 1975, undated series 1box 10folder 11

Related Material

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

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Subjects