A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 04, 2011
Rip-and-Read

"Rip-and-read” is news that is “ripped” off a teletype machine and “read” on the air; the term was first used in radio and then used in television. “Rip-and-read” news is usually national news, not tailored to the local radio or television station’s specific market.

The term “rip and read” has been cited in print since at least 1952. Although “rip-and-read” news has been highly criticized, the process is essentially still used by many broadcast stations.


(Oxford English Dictionary)
rip-and-read adj. orig. and chiefly U.S. designating material to be read on radio or television which is supplied by teletype to local stations; (also) designating an organization supplying or making use of such material.
1958 Lowell (Mass.) Daily Sun (Electronic text) 19 Oct., The Radio-Television News Directors Assn. lashed out against ‘*rip and read stations’, and at the same time gave out awards for outstanding news performances.
1973 New Journalist (Austral.) July–Aug. 6 The ‘rip-and-read’ news service of Sydney’s labour [radio] station, 2KY.
1991 Vanity Fair Nov. 249/3 After graduating in 1939, he got a job for twenty dollars a week as a rip-and-read radio announcer for Wood Wash.
2004 N.Y. Rev. Bks. 16 Dec. 32/1 For the most part, he offered rip-and-read versions of US press releases.

Google Books
17 May 1952, The Billboard, pg. 21, col. 3:
JIM BORMANN
“Rip & Read”
Newscasting
NG, He Says

MISSOULA, Mont., May 10.—“News boosts ratings, revenue and reputation in stations large and small,” Jim Bormann, president of the National Association of Radio News Directors, told the BMI Clinic here last week. The majority of stations, he said, rely on a system called “rip-and-read” for their newscasting. This consists of having an announcer give the news as it comes off the teletype machine. But no wire-service editor can know just what news will be of most interest to local listener.

Google Books
Television News Handbook
By Baskett Pershing Mosse and Fred Whiting
Evanston, IL: Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University
1953
Pg. 34:
Most of us can remember the rip-and-read techniques used some years ago in radio. Is there anyone who would suggest a return to that kind of second rate operation?

Google Books
23 March 1957, The Billboard, Richard Pack column, pg. 77, col. 2: 
They rip-and-read the news. That’s all, and if they have sizable news audiences, it’s probably because the on-the-hour routine builds habits. But that isn’t enough.

Google Books
Workbook for Radio and TV News Editing and Writing
By Arthur (Arthur Cecil) Wimer and Dale Brix
Dubuque, IA: W.C. Brown
1959
Pg. 58:
Too many stations simply rip and read wire copy.

30 October 1960, Seattle (WA) Daily Times, “Whatever Happened to Radio Newscasts?” by C. J. Skreen, TV, pg. 11, col. 3:
Announcers of the rip-and-read school, with more important matters on their minds, have been trapped on occasion by their own inattention.

Google Books
14 April 1962, The Billboard, “Anti-Quality’ Radio Slammed,” pg. 15, col. 4:
“I’ve heard stations brag with echo chambers about their leadership in news coverage and a moment later present a rip-and-read ‘expert’ who couldn’t tell you the name of his own congressman.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRadio/Television • (0) Comments • Friday, March 04, 2011 • Permalink