The history of RKO Pictures–how it began life as Radio Pictures before merging with the Keith-Albee-Orpheum Vaudeville theater chain (thus the KO appended to the R)–is a fascinating one, involving dirty deeds, unsavory mergers, forced stock liquidations and–to top it off–the manipulations of one Joseph P. Kennedy, who was in his ‘Hollywood Player’ phase, shacking up with Gloria Swanson while his wife and dozen or so children remained parked in Massachusetts. I can’t begin to summarize it so I refer you to this excellent Wikipedia article to fill whatever gaps in knowledge you may have involving the business side of the formation of early motion picture studios.
What I can tell you, though, is the above logo–for RKO-Pathe which was briefly a semi-autonomous studio that ultimately became RKO’s umbrella distribution outlet for newsreels and shorts–was left out of yesterdays marvelous compilation of RKO logos. The rooster clearly is RKOs witty response to MGMs ‘Leo The Lion’. Or at least one hopes so. Many thanks to Leonard Maltin for noticing its absence and providing the video.