The Onion Radio News has been the most highly regarded broadcast news source in the world since visionary Onion publisher T.Herman Zweibel made the bold move in 1922 to shut down the popular Onion Telegraph News and focus on the then embryonic medium of radio. From day one Zweibel intended to employ this new technology for the public good, and for the first two years he devoted much of his airtime to denouncing silent film actress Louise Brooks.
Overnight, Zweibel’s vitriolic attacks gained sufficient listenership to attract wealthy sponsors like Campbell’s Liquid Beef and Spotto potato detergent. The financial success of the Onion Radio News led Zweibel to hire professional “pronouncers,” as they were called then, who were charged with the important task of reading items from the printed version of The Onion to fill time between Zweibel’s marathon anti-flapper rants.
In 1947, a polyp the size of a Concord grape on Zweibel’s vocal cords forced him to stop his nightly rants, allowing the Onion Radio News to finally become one of the first 24-hour news outlets.
Today the Onion Radio News, anchored by Doyle Redland, continues to inspire and inform millions of listeners around the world and has become the living embodiment of the power of the spoken news word.