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Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift

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Published by mfavre1
A research paper on the history behind the shift in mainstream media from the radio to the television
A research paper on the history behind the shift in mainstream media from the radio to the television

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: mfavre1 on May 05, 2014
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The Rise of Television 1
Max Levine CAS 137H Paradigm Shift The Rise of Television By any standard, television ranks as one of the essential technological and cultural developments of the twentieth century (Opposing Viewpoints, 2010). Television was one of the fastest growing mediums of media in our history, out growing that of even radio or  print. This is an industry that produced fewer than ten thousand sets in 1946, but in a mere two years later, was approaching eight hundred thousand (Patch, 1949). By 1962, almost forty nine million households
that’s ninety percent – 
 owned at least one television (tvhistory). But just how powerful was this growth? I will show, that by the
1960’s television had all but
seized the once dominating power of the radio, and became the central medium of home entertainment/information gathering, along with the impact of that domination. The age of television began in modest in 1946 when the DuMont network  premiered. In just two years, there were four national networks. Almost automatically, companies recognized the potential of the TV as a sales medium, and advertising began
funding most of the material sent over the airwaves in the spirit of the rampant 1950’s
American consumer society. Sitcoms, soap operas and drama shows like
 I Love Lucy
Guiding Light 
, and
The Tonight Show
 lit up these boxes that sat in living rooms.
By the 60’s, the television became the premiere medium for news. As the 70’s arrived,
VCR became popular and Cable television began to penetrate the once monopoly held by  broadcast networks. All of this leads to the television we know and love today.  Now, this is not to say that radio programs were losing money. On the contrary, radio made more money t
hroughout the 1950’s. Total FM radio income jumped from 2.6
The Rise of Television 2
million in 1952 to 9.4 million in 1960 (Sterling and Kittross, 333). What did decline for radio stations was the power of national advertising on networks, along with the power of the national networks. These national networks (NBC, CBS) went from holding 25  percent of radio advertising revenues in 1952 to 6 percent in 1960. At the same time, local advertisements jumped up to 62 percent of ad revenues (Sterling and Kittross, 333). This is due to the change of when most radio listeners tuned in. The formerly popular
evening “prime time” gave way to the morning and evening “drive time,” when people
were on the commute to and from their jobs (Sterling and Kittross, 333). In the same time  period, advertising in television increased astonishingly. By 1960, television garnered 13  percent of all advertising revenue. In this same year, television began earing twice the ad revenue of radio (Sterling and Kittross, 333-4). This is our first proof that television  began its surpassing of radio as the central medium of media.
By the late 1950’s, network radio was seeing its end. Networks were switching
over to television. The first signs were the simulcasting of popular shows on radio and television, followed by the eventual transitions to just television broadcasting. Another sign of the death of network radio was the end of the radio soap opera. What once was the leader of daytime radio, the soap opera ended its run on the end of November in 1960 (Sterling and Kittross, 336-7). Now that local stations were on their own for the first time
since the 1920’s they began doing radio broadcasts more as we know them today, with
their broadcasts consisting of mostly music and news. With the rise of rock and roll, along wit
h country music, radios developed the “top 40” programs, which led to music
 becoming dominant in the field of music (Sterling and Kittross, 340). Meanwhile, on the
The Rise of Television 3
TV front, networks were churning out roughly 46 new programs each season, with only about 20 making it past their first run.
 Now, let’s look at television as a news outlet. Throughout the 50’s, television had the news, but was not a forefront in the field. It wasn’t until 1963 that newscasts were
lengthened to a half hour. The exception to this was in the field of politics. CBS TV newsman Edward Murrow used the television to expose the underhanded fear mongering of McCarthyism. Television captured the rise of Fidel Castro in Cuba. The American  people in their livings were able to see the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II along with the actions of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev (Sterling and Kittross, 348-9). Perhaps more important the all of these however, is the Great Debates of 1960. The debates of the presidential campaign of 1960 were the first to be watched nationwide on television. 70 million adults watched the first debate
 two thirds of the adult population
 while half of all adults watched all four of the debates on television. This increased viewership led to record turnout at the polls and arguably, part of the reason why Kennedy won the election (Donaldson, 110). John F. Kennedy went into this election with several disadvantages: he was too young, too inexperienced, and he was catholic. Yet, following the first debate, James Reston from the
 New York Times
“Kennedy stands to gain from these confrontations … so long as he remains alone before the TV cameras … he stands out like a youthful Harvard don at a boilermaker’s picnic,”
(Donaldson, 111). It helped of course that Kennedy took the debate more seriously than  Nixon. He grilled the producer on how the debate would run and brought in a brain trust to put together his responses, while Nixon worked alone behind closed doors. When the time came, Nixon
 who was sick at the time
 had his men slap on some concealer that

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