Stop the Presses!

Steve Wilson
Created by Jerry McGill

"Freedom of the press is a flaming sword. Use it justly; hold it high; guard it well."
- Steve's call to arms served as the show's tag line.

STEVE WILSON was the fiercely-idealistic and hard-nosed editor of The Illustrated Press who'll get his own stories, thank you, if that's what it takes. He ran a tight ship on the popular (it ran for fifteen years) and critically-acclaimed radio series Big Town. Aidding and abetting Steve in his never-ending quest for justice were society editor Lorelei Kilbourne and District Attorny Miller. Radio Spirits catalogue refers to it as "radio drama at its best."

The show actually went through several incantations. Originally (according to John Dunning, in both Tune in Yesterday and his more recent revised edition On the Air), the series starred Edward G. Robinson and was broadcast from Hollywood until 1942. In 1943, a New York-produced version starring Edward Pawley began, and lasted until 1952.

One of the more intriguingly-titled episodes was from the Robinson run: "The Chicken Inspector Cracks the Poultry Racket." The patriotic Robinsone evidently turned the regular weekly radio dramatic show into a soap box in favor of the American way, earning the program a citation from the American Legion for his "outstanding contribution to Americanism through his stirring patriotic appeals . . ."

Of course, all that generosity came back to bite him in the ass for a time -- during the fifties Communist witch hunt, Robinson was linked with eleven different Communist organizations. Robinson appeared before the House Un-Amercan Activities Committee and eventually won a clean bill of health.

But witch hunts or not, Big Town proved to be a successful franchise, even spawning a string of popular B-movies, with Philip reed as "Radio's Fighting Editor" aqnd Hillary Brooke as glamorous star reporter Lorelei Kilbourne.




Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to Andrew Leal and Ron DeSourdis for helping me get it straight.

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