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Popular Radio and the Origins of Broadcasting

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  1. Popular Radio and the Origins of Broadcasting Chapter 4

  2. “If you don’t have access and ownership and control of a media system, you really don’t exist. You don’t matter in terms of being citizens in a democracy who are entitled to the ability to tell, and have a conversation about, your own stories.” — Loris Taylor, executive director of Native Public Media, an advocacy group for the country’s thirty-three American Indian–owned public stations

  3. Figure 4.1

  4. Forerunners • Telegraph (1840s) and telephone (1870s) • Marconi • Invented wireless telegraphy (1894)—used code, not voice • Built upon the work of Hertz • Established British Marconi (1897) and American Marconi (1899)

  5. Lee De Forest • Wrote the first Ph.D thesis on wireless technology in 1899 • Biggest breakthrough was the development of the Audion, or triode, vacuum tube. • Tube detected radio signals and then amplified them. • Invention greatly improved ability to hear speech, music on receiver set.

  6. Congress Acts • Radio Act of 1912 • Limits amateur radio operators • Standardizes radio procedures in crisis • WWI: Congress gives radio to navy • Navy drafts/hires young technicians • Consolidates patents • Controls frequencies • U.S. domination • Formation of RCA monopoly

  7. The Evolution of Commercial Radio 5 stations in 1921 600 in 1923 550,000 sets 1922: WEAF (NYC) operates “toll” station. An “ad” is the first income-producer. Herbert Hoover decries. But nobody wants to pay a license fee. In 1923 AT&T broadcasts simultaneously to WEAF and WNAC (Boston). Creates first “network” By 1924, AT&T has 22 stations linked and denies rival RCA phone rights.

  8. “I believe the quickest way to kill broadcasting would be to use it for direct advertising.”—Herbert Hoover

  9. NBC Red and NBC Blue • David Sarnoff • First network as we know it (affiliate contracts) • Network: • Moves radio from point-to-point to mass medium • Creates programming cost effectiveness • Makes news national, not local • 1927: 30 million hear Lindbergh’s triumph on one of 6 million radios. • Larger budget buys better talent.

  10. Competition for Sarnoff • First attempt at CBS failed. • William S. Paley bought CBS. • New concepts and strategies • Option time lured affiliates. • Paley hired PR guru Bernays. • By the 1930s, CBS competitive with NBC

  11. Frequency Chaos • 1927 Radio Act defines broadcast regulations. • Too many stations and poor reception • Act created commission to monitor airwaves for “public interest, convenience, or necessity.” • 1934 Federal Communications Act • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) monitors radio, telephone, and telegraph. • Today FCC covers television, cable, and the Internet.

  12. Radio’s Golden Age • Shapes television’s programming future • Sitcoms • Anthology dramas • Quiz shows • Soaps • Radio pioneers single-sponsor programming.

  13. Orson Welles • War of the Worlds, Welles’s radio broadcast 1938 • Radio version of H. G. Wells’s novel • Shows power of radio to compel • Created mass panic along the Northeast coast • New Jersey citizens shot up a water tower thinking it a Martian weapon. • Welles forced to recant before Congress

  14. Radio Reinvents Itself • AM vs. FM • Niche marketing • Programming specialization • Talk radio • Format music (Top 40) • Deals with record companies • Better, cheaper technology • Portability • Efficient network alliances

  15. Figure 4.2

  16. Figure 4.3

  17. Radio Today • Most programming locally produced • Local deejays are the stars. • Some national personalities • Ex. Adam Corolla, Rush Limbaugh • Secondary, or background medium • Specialized stations with particular formats • Ex. News/talk, adult contemporary, country • Heaviest listening hours drive time

  18. Figure 4.4

  19. PBS and NPR • Established by Public Broadcasting Act and Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1960s • Nonprofit, heavily government subsidized • NPR: distinctive niche in radio news • PBS: educational and children’s programming • Under constant attack from conservatives

  20. “NPR has transformed itself from rag-tag alternative radio into a mainstream news powerhouse with more bureaus worldwide than the Washington Post and 26 million listeners a week – twice as many as a decade ago.” -Washingtonian, 2007

  21. Radio Goes Digital • Internet radio • Small and nonprofit stations pay smaller royalty fees. • Satellite radio • XM and Sirius • Podcasting • Free content, mostly spoken word • HD Radio • Broadcasters can multicast additional digital signals within their traditional analog frequency.

  22. The Return of Payola • Payola rampant in 1950s • Alternative, pay-for-play, emerged in 1998 • In 2007, four of the largest broadcasting companies agreed to pay $12.5 million to settle a payola investigation by the FCC.

  23. Radio Ownership since 1996 • Telecommunications Act of 1996 eliminated most ownership restrictions in radio. • As a result, from 1996 to 2004, the number of radio station owners declined by 34 percent.

  24. What Clear Channel Owns Media Representation • Katz Media Group Satellite Communications • Clear Channel Satellite Information Services • Clear Channel Total Traffic Network • Clear Channel Communications News Networks Marketing Video Production • Twelve Creative Broadcast Software • RCS Sound Software Radio Research and Consultation • Broadcast Architecture Trade Industry Publications • InsideRadio.com • TheRadioJournal.com • The Radio Book 6418 Radio Broadcasting (U.S.) • Over 1,100 radio stations (275 stations were for sale in 2008) • Premiere Radio Network (syndicates radio programs) • Format Lab International Radio • Clear Channel International Radio (Joint Partnerships) – Australian Radio Network – The Radio Network (New Zealand) – Grupo Acir (Mexico) Advertising • Clear Channel Outdoor Advertising – North American Division – International Division

  25. Will consolidation of power restrict the number and kinds of voices permitted to speak over public airwaves? Democracy and Radio