History of Television

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Who invented the telegraph? Who invented the telephone? Who invented radio? Who invented television?

History of Television

Electronic media is important because:  We spend so much time with it. Only one more daily activity takes up more of our time.  It helps create and support icons of pop culture  It provides shared experiences  It is the primary ambassador of American culture  It shapes our language, our values, our political, social and religious beliefs, our fashion sense and our lifestyle.

History of Television We need to be media literate to understand its impact on our lives and to become discriminating consumers who can make good media choices. .

We live to express ourselves. Point-to-point communication refers to one signal sent to one receiver.History of Television Communication is an essential part of being human. We have always found ways to send messages to each other. Mass communication is sending one message to many different receivers. especially to each other. .

books and magazines? .History of Television Why do we call it broadcasting? How are television and radio different from newspapers.

In 1920. The five combined their patents to form RCA. Western Electric and the United Fruit Company to control radio. . “Messages” could now be sent to a large number of people simultaneously. Early radio was simply a means of point-to-point communication. setting the stage for radio broadcasting to become a commercial and entertainment enterprise. AT&T. Radio became America’s second mass medium.History of Television    Radio emerged as a maritime service during World War I. Congress allowed private citizens to use radio waves. Congress sanctioned a private monopoly – GE.

Government censorship is forbidden. Licensees must operate in the public interest. .History of Television  The Radio Act of 1920 set guidelines for the new industry and established three key components that still exist today: The Spectrum is a national resource – individuals do not own frequencies – they license their use from the federal government.

Car radios became standard equipment.broadcasting news of election returns. KDKA in Pittsburgh became the first commercial radio station on November 2. Radio entrepreneurs favored the “American Plan” over the European “Plan.5 million. In 1922. By 1940 that figure was 28.History of Television    Radio burst onto the scene and experienced incredible growth.” About 12 million U.S. Early radio stations were often owned by newspapers or department stores. nearly half of the population. 1920 -. . there were 28 commercial radio stations. Just six months later there were 378. homes had a radio in 1930.” American Plan proposed that radio stations would be supported by commercial revenue – European Plan relied on government financing as well as “control.

History of Television     The Communications Act of 1934 created the Federal Communications Commission. . screen and vaudeville flocked to this new medium that skyrocketed across the country. comedies and news. dramas. Stars of stage. soap operas. The concept of network programming emerged with NBC Blue. Early programming consisted of live music. NBC Red. CBS and Mutual leading the way as program providers.

.History of Television    Radio networks stimulated national advertising. brought “urban” entertainment to rural areas and changed American politics. Radio provided a diversion to the Great Depression. Radio continued to thrive during the ’30s and ’40s and especially during World War II. Franklin Roosevelt’s “fireside” radio chats enabled citizens to “hear” their president on a regular basis.

the head of RCA.History of Television   Television had been in development since the ’20s and there were experimental broadcasts in the ’30s. 10 television stations were on the air in 1945. TV was introduced to the public at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. David Sarnoff. became instrumental in the growth of the television industry. and William Paley. more than half the population had access to television. the head of CBS. . By the end of the decade. but development stalled during WWII.

the FCC issued the Sixth Report and Order which helped address the problems associated with the tremendous growth of television. A small black and white set cost $200. The median income in the United States was $3000. a console $2500. In 1953. – – – – A table of channel assignments provided TV service to all parts of the United States New UHF channels (14-69) were opened up to add to the old VHF channels (213) The Commission set standards for color television 242 channels were set aside for noncommercial (public) stations .History of Television   TV sets went on sale in 1946. TV grew so fast and the demand for station licenses was so great that the FCC declared a freeze on new stations.

CBS and NBC – dominated programming. In 1952 there were 108 TV stations. Videotape was also introduced late in the decade. more TV sets (70 million) were sold than children born (40 million).History of Television – The Fifties      The fifties became the golden age of television. variety shows and dramas. The first issue of TV Guide appeared April 3. Today there are about 1. Most programming was live. . children’s programming.S. sitcoms. The big three networks – ABC. game shows. 1953. at the cost of 15 cents. On any given night more than 90 percent of viewers were watching one of the big three. Early programming included news.600 stations in the U. sports. In the fifties. Ten years later there were 541.

– – – – Networks expanded their nightly newscasts to 30 minutes. Television journalism came of age thanks to several significant events in American and broadcasting history. . Technology enhanced TV’s ability to go “live.History of Television – The Sixties   The sixties brought significant changes to the television landscape.” FCC suspended its equal time requirement for presidential and vice presidential candidates. Kennedy began televising his press conferences. paving the way for the four televised “Great Debates” between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy.

History of Television – the Sixties – – – – The “space race” heated up and networks routinely covered each launch. An estimated 93 percent of American homes watched the president’s funeral and burial. Americans were presented nightly images of the escalating war in Vietnam. “the most trusted man in America. Networks suspended their regular programming and commercials for four days.” . student demonstrations against the war and the increasingly violent civil rights movement. In 1963 President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. CBS anchor Walter Cronkite earned the title.

Two years later. FCC chairman Newton Minow called television “a vast wasteland. Late in the decade. CPB created PBS.History of Television – The Sixties     In 1961. . The Broadcasting Act of 1967 created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.” Cable television enabled residents in outlying geographical areas to receive television signals and programming. Vice President Spiro Agnew used a series of speeches to accuse the media of a “liberal” bias –a tag still used today. which channeled money into programming and station development.

Ted Turner began using satellite to distribute the signal of his Atlanta UHF station.” Broadcasting using satellite technology gave news organizations the ability to go “live” from almost anywhere in the world.History of Television – The Seventies    HBO. . to national cable systems as a “superstation. WTGG. President Richard Nixon’s trip to China was televised live by all three networks in 1972. extended its service from the Northeast to nationwide via satellite. one of the first cable companies.

History of Television – The Seventies     Congress banned cigarette advertising despite complaints from broadcasters that the new regulation would cost them more than $200 million in revenue. Many programs focused on socially relevant issues. Network programming continued to dominate primetime. Syndicated programming continued to expand and the number of locally produced television programs fell significantly. . The FCC instituted the Prime Time Access Rule to try to rein in the networks and give independent television stations a boost.

In 1980 cable penetration stood at 20 percent. cable operators began to offer alternative programming. 60 percent of American homes received cable. No longer just a “relay” service. CNN signed on the air on June 1. Networks faced tough financial times and significantly cut staff and news resources to save money. Other cable networks soon followed. 1980. . Cable networks began to take a significant percentage of viewers and advertising dollars from the dominate Big Three networks. By the end of the decade.History of Television – The Eighties    Cable television began to dramatically change the landscape of the industry.

History of Television – The Eighties     Remote controls and VCRs changed the way people watched television. Fox entered the fray as the fourth “network. . Deregulation became the mode of operation at the Federal Communications Commission.” Primetime soap operas riveted large audiences and Bill Cosby singlehandedly revived the sitcom genre.

History of Television – The Eighties  The switch from analog to digital transmission begins in earnest. High-definition television begins a slow. . but steady growth in programming.

In 1999 the cap was eliminated.History of Television – The Nineties   In 1989. Inc. The FCC raised its ownership cap on radio stations from 12 to 18 to 20 and allowed duopolies. Later in the decade the FCC removed its cap on the number of TV stations an owner can own. Disney bought ABC/Cap Cities. but instituted a cap on national audience reach. That set the stage for more media mergers in the nineties. . and Warner Communications merged to create the world’s largest media and entertainment company. Time. Time-Warner purchased Turner Broadcasting (and then later merged with AOL) and Westinghouse bought CBS and then sold it to Viacom.

Entertainment programmers continued to push the envelope. regained their status as powerful television influences. the traditional broadcast networks. In 1996. .History of Television – The Nineties    In 1995 the WB and UPN began offering primetime programming. News programming became a constant presence and programming source. the Telecommunications Act eliminated cable-rate regulation and allowed telco-cable competition. while still losing audience share. Thanks to deregulation and the repeal of financial syndication rules.

Ipods. etc. Digital television (“high def”) becomes more prevalent. .Television History – The 21st Century     Corporate mergers continue to reduce the number of “voices” heard in the television marketplace. cell phones. TV programming becomes available through the internet. Reality programming becomes TV's favorite programming genre.