First President, National Broadcasting Company

Merlin H. Aylesworth, as the first president of the National Broadcasting Company, which was also the only national network operating in the country at the start of his tenure in 1926, had the responsibility of formulating policies and standards for this pioneer network.

Previously, an advertising medium such as a national network had never existed, so it fell to Aylesworth’s lot to establish fundamental policies with no precedent on which to base his judgment. The soundness of his decisions is verified by the solid foundation upon which network broadcasting has been built for years.

It was his keen intellect, vision and knowledge of the desires of the American public that helped to carry the infant industry through its first 10 tempestuous years to its present position as an indispensable part of American communication.

Aylesworth was not only a pioneer in the art of radio communications but also one of the most dramatic and effective advertising salesmen of his time. His services were in demand as managing director of the National Electric Light Association (1919-1926), president of the Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation (1932-1938) and publisher of the New York World-Telegram for Scripps-Howard in later years.

Honored by a listing in Who’s Who, Merlin Aylesworth left a powerful impression on the advertising and sales philosophies of America.