This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The year 1938 saw a number of significant events in radio broadcasting.
- 3 January – The BBC Empire Service, begun in 1932, transmits its first programme in a foreign language: Arabic.
- 13 March – CBS carries the first-ever point-to-point news roundup, including Edward R. Murrow's first live report, as part of its coverage of the Anschluss in Austria. Over the next few months, the daily programme will evolve into the CBS World News Roundup, a fixture on the CBS network to this day.
- 15 March – The BBC begins its Portuguese and Spanish service for Latin America.
- 14 April – Fireside chat: On Economic Conditions
- 24 June – Fireside chat: On Party Primaries
- 12 September – Commentator H. V. Kaltenborn begins his famous marathon of news bulletins on the CBS network covering the intensifying Czech Crisis over the Sudetenland. The first bulletin is a summation of Hitler's closing address to the Tenth (and, as it would prove, last) Party Congress of the Nazi party in Nuremberg. Kaltenborn would eat and sleep in the studio, making periodic updates, until the signing of the Munich Agreement on 29 September.
- 30 October – Orson Welles's radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds is broadcast on CBS as an episode of The Mercury Theatre on the Air. As the program was self-sustaining and had no commercial interruptions, Welles centered the first two-thirds of the broadcast in the serious style of a series of news bulletins interrupting a live musical broadcast. This approach resulted in panic in various parts of the United States.
- 10 November – Kate Smith sings God Bless America for the first time on her radio show, a day before Armistice Day.
- 3 January – The soap opera Woman in White (1938–1948) debuts on NBC Red.
- 3 January – Terry Regan, Attorney at Law debuts on NBC Blue.
- 3 January – Quiz program True or False debuts on Mutual.
- 17 January – Stepmother (1938–1942) debuts on CBS.
- 18 January – Alias Jimmy Valentine debuts on the Blue Network.
- 3 February – Challenge of the Yukon (later renamed Sergeant Preston of the Yukon) debuts on WXYZ. *12 February – Howie Wing debuted on the Don Lee Network in the western United States.
- 26 February – Great Plays debuts on the Blue Network.
- 28 April – Adult Education Series (1938-1957) debuts on CBS.
- 2 May – Adventures in Reading debuts on the Blue Network.
- 30 May – Joyce Jordan, Girl Interne debuts on CBS.
- 11 July – The Mercury Theatre on the Air debuts on CBS.
- 22 July – Curtain Time debuts on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
- 4 September – The Fitch Bandwagon debuts on NBC.
- 8 September – Art Baker's Notebook debuts on KFI. It will be syndicated to other stations via electrical transcription.
- 20 September – Battle of the Sexes (not to be confused with the Australian Battle of the Sexes (radio contest) debuts on NBC.
- 1 October – Avalon Time debuts on NBC.
- 3 October – Her Honor, Nancy James debuts on CBS.
- 5 October – The Ask-It Basket debuts on CBS.
- 13 November – Americans All, Immigrants All debuts on CBS.
- 21 November – Central City debuts on NBC Blue.
- 25 February – Beatrice Fairfax ends its run on network radio (Mutual).
- 2 May – Brave New World ends its run on network radio (CBS).
- 13 June – The Witch's Tale ends its run on network radio (Mutual).
- 26 June – The Baker's Broadcast ends its run on the NBC Blue network.
- 2 December - Hollywood Hotel ends its run on network radio (CBS).
- 1 January – Clay Cole (died 2010), American radio disk jockey and television host, best known for his dance program, The Clay Cole Show.
- 1 January – Norma Jean Nilsson, American actress who played Kathy Anderson in the radio version of Father Knows Best.
- 21 January – Wolfman Jack (died 1995), famed American disc jockey, television personality and film actor.
- 3 August – Terry Wogan (died 2016), Irish-British broadcaster.
- 8 September – Adrian Cronauer, American lawyer and former radio disc jockey who inspired the film Good Morning, Vietnam.
- 16 December – Frank Deford, American senior contributing writer for Sports Illustrated, author, and sports commentator for NPR's Morning Edition.
- DATE UNKNOWN – Ron Della Chiesa, Boston-area radio personality.
- Cox, Jim (2008). This Day in Network Radio: A Daily Calendar of Births, Debuts, Cancellations and Other Events in Broadcasting History. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-3848-8.
- Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3.
- "Network Accounts" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1 March 1938. p. 65. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
- Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
- "The Definitive Avalon Time Radio Log". Archived from the original on 9 February 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2015.