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					The History of Radio

  Davie & Upshaw, 2006
Straubhaar & LaRose, 2006
                   General
• In the United States, government may fund
  electronic-media experiments, but it’s up to
  business to apply the results.
• The key to telecommunications is that
  electromagnetic energy can be transmitted
  between two points.
• The early stage of media development is a
  process to which many people contribute.
                  History
• The 1800s: Earliest Broadcasting
  – Bell transmitted sounds by telegraph in 1877.
  – Hertz invented the “spark-gap detector” which
    verified the existence of electromagnetic
    waves.
  – Marconi invented radio in 1895.
  – De Forest invented the vacuum tube allowing
    for sound, voice, and music transmission.
                    History
1900-1930: The Industry Gets
 Started
 – KDKA was the first broadcasting station in 1920.
 – David Sarnoff of NBC broadcasts the World Series in
   1922.
 – The New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia
   Symphony orchestras join with the Columbia
   Phonograph Company to form the Columbia
   Broadcasting System.
 – William S. Paley is the head of CBS.
          Early Regulation
• The Radio Act of 1927 created the Federal
  Radio Commission (FRC) to assign
  frequencies and issue liscences.
• Communications Act of 1934: Federal law
  bringing all telecommunications under the
  oversight of the Federal Communications
  Commission (FCC).
          Early Regulation
• The FCC issued a chain broadcasting
  rule in 1941 that prevented networks from
  forcing affiliate stations to air network
  programs.
• In 1943, the FCC forced NBC to sell off
  the “NBC blue” network, which became
  ABC (American Broadcasting Company).
        Depression & War
1930-1945: Pivotal Historical
 Period
 – “During the Great Depression that had
   descended in 1929, with more than one-
   third of the work force jobless, a growing
   number of Americans tuned in their
   radios for relief and psychological
   support.
 – Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “fireside chats”
            Media Effects!
War of the Worlds
• “Actor Orson Wells narrated a 1938
  Halloween tale of Martians landing in New
  Jersey, based on H.G. Welles’ War of the
  Worlds. The show’s disclaimer failed to
  register with Americans already primed for
  disaster on the eve of world war.”
             Media Effects!
• Why did the War of the Worlds broadcast
  caused about one million people to panic?
  – People had faith in radio broadcasts.
  – The broadcast took place as war World War II
    raged in Europe.
  – The program was extremely well produced
    and acted.
  – Many people tuned into the broadcast late
    and missed the narration at the start.
           The Golden Age

1945-1960: The “Golden” Age
• AM Radio – Still Thriving
  – 78 and 33 1/3 RPM Records
  – Transistors Make Radios Smaller
  – Formats – Rotating Blocks to “Top 40”
     Frequency Modulation

1960-1980: Radio’s Transformation
 – FM Increases Popularity
   • April 1961: FCC approval of Zenith-GE standards
     for FM broadcasting. The FCC mandates that
     stations needed to generate new content for FM
     bands.
          Public Broadcasting

1960-1980: Radio’s Transformation
• Public Radio Act of 1967
  – “After the adoption of the Public Broadcasting Act of
    1967, the FCC licensed more than 1,500 radio
    stations as “noncommercial educational”…. Many of
    these stations would receive federal money
    distributed through the Corporation for Public
    Broadcasting – a fact that annoyed commercial
    broadcasters envious of such subsidies.”
                Modern Times
1980-Present: Radio Challenges
• Talk Radio
     • A Chance to Talk Back
     • Personalities
  – Relaxed Rules on Ownership
     • 1980 Deregulation
     • More Stations per Owner
     • Localism and Profits
     • Satellite Radio
            Modern Times
• The Telecommunications Act of 1996
  deregulated ownership rules and permitted
  large companies, such as Clear Channel
  Communications to purchase thousands of
  small stations across the country. The
  effect has been a reduction of content
  diversity, loss of jobs, and massive profits
  for Clear Channel Communications.
             Modern Times
The Digital Future
• Radio
  – Digital Broadcasts
  – Internet Streaming
                 Terms
– Electromagnetic Wave: Wave produced by
  accelerating an electric charge, manipulating
  the charge by changing the intensity of nearby
  electric or magnetic fields.
– Spark-gap detector: (Hertz) Device that
  revealed electromagnetic radiation by making
  a spark jump a gap, emitting waves that
  triggered another jump some distance away.
                 Terms
– Hertz: A cycle of a radio wave (e.g. kiloHertz
  = 1,000 waves per second).
– Broadcasting: Originally from agriculture
  (distribution of seed); redefined by the
  Communications Act of 1934 as
  dissemination of radio communications to the
  public.
                  Terms
– Crystal Set: Early radio receiver that makes
  use of a silicon crystal connected to a wire
  coil, antenna, and headset. Used primarily by
  early radio “hobbyists.”
– Call letters: Broadcast station letters of
  identification. Stations west of the Mississippi
  River have call letters beginning with K; those
  east of the river begin with W.
                  Terms
– Frequencies: Means for counting
  electromagnetic waves by counting the
  number of times per second they pass a
  particular point.
– Network: Group of radio or television stations
  (affiliates) connected by contract to a central
  source of programming.
                Terms
– AM: Amplitude modulation; a way of adjusting
  radio waves to carry sound by changing their
  height and depth but not their width.
– FM: Frequency modulation: a way of adjusting
  radio waves to carry sound by changing their
  width.
                 Terms
– Spectrum: The array of electromagnetic
  “airwaves” (identified by wavelength) that
  broadcasters harness to transmit radio
  signals.
– Syndication: Licensing out programs to other
  stations.
– Public Broadcasting: Stations that serve the
  public interest with news, talk, and culture
  without advertising sponsorship.
                 Terms
– Transistor: (William Shockley) Wafer-thin
  silicon crystal that amplified radio signals.
  Transistors replaced tubes and let to the
  portable radio and later digital revolution.
  Transistors have special importance in terms
  of their role in “personalizing” electronic
  media. Before transistor radio, families
  gathered around large radio sets and listened
  to the same content.
                  Terms
– Vacuum Tube: Amplifies and modulates
  signals by controlling the flow of electrical
  charges inside a glass tube.
– Affiliates: Stations that contract to use network
  programming.
– Format: Content aimed at a specific audience.
– Top 40: Radio format that constantly replays
  the top 40 hit songs.

				
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posted:10/4/2011
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