Though [Orson] Welles was a theater man, he thought that radio should draw its material not from plays but from prose narrative, which he could introduce in the guise of an uncle in your home living room, beginning a story that would then be dramatized. Whereas American radio drama before Welles consisted largely of dialogue, often performed before a live audience (all to preserve the convention of theater), Welles customarily performed in an otherwise silent studio. This bias accounts for why all his major radio programs were based upon fictions—not only an H. G. Wells novel for his War of the Worlds but a Booth Tarkington novel for The Magnificent Ambersons.

—“Orson Welles’s Radio Books ” (1989)