RADIO AND THE ORIGINS

OF BROADCASTING
Source:
http://www.uni.edu/fabos/mcs
/week4_files/week4.ppt

Novelty Stage

1.Samuel Morse

Telegraph (wires)
Morse Code

Novelty Stage
2. James Maxwell
His equations theorized that
electricity, magnetism and
even light are all
manifestations of the same
phenomenon: the
electromagnetic field.

Novelty Stage
3. Heinrich Hertz
◦ Proved Maxwell’s theories
◦ Identified Electromagnetic waves

Novelty Stage
Hertz (Hz) can be used to measure any periodic
event; the most common use for hertz is to describe
frequency of rotation, in which case a speed of 1 Hz
is equal to one cycle per second.

Novelty Stage
4.

THREE GUYS WHO INVENTED
THE DEVICE TO TRANSMIT A
SIGNAL THROUGH THE AIR (1894)

A. Guglielmo Marconi vs.
B. NiKola Tesla vs.
C. Alexander Popov

◦ Who invented Wireless telegraphy?

Novelty Stage
MARCONI

Marconi’s Invention (Dramatization)

HAD IMPLICATIONS FOR SHIP TO SHORE TRAVEL

Tesla

Novelty
Stage
POPOV
(Dramatization)

Novelty Stage
5. Reginald Fessenden
 Wireless telephony:
 transmitted voice and sound

Novelty Stage
6.

Lee De Forest
 Wireless telephony:
amplified sound

Entrepreneurial Stage

Entrepreneurial Stage
 Ship-to-shore communication

Entrepreneurial Stage
 David Sarnoff and the Titanic

Entrepreneurial Stage
 “Wireless” became a huge hobby

Some Key Developments…

Radio Act of 1912

◦You need a LICENSE to operate a
radio

WWI

Radio is an important war tool
U.S. wants to control Global radio

Some Key Developments…
1915: Over 20 companies selling point-to-point radio equipment:
e.g.



(transmitters)
General electric (U.S.) (Receivers)
American Marconi (Britain) (both)
AT&T

(marconi was the biggest and best)

Some Key Developments…
U.S. develops a “plan” to ensure powerful radio technology
would fall under U.S. control.
1. Establish new company, anchored by GE, called RCA (Radio
Corporation of America), To pool patents. RCA is a privatesector monopoly.
2. Using GE, weaken British Marconi by not selling them key
components, and then BUY its american assets (american
Marconi)
3. Use RCA to oversee radio patents from GE, AT&T,
Westinghouse, American Marconi and the navy.
Standardization.
=The beginning of American domination over communication technology

Some Key Developments…
◦ THE UK MODEL: In 1904, Great Britain decides to develop A
state-supported broadcasting system.
◦ The UK Funds the BBC
(British Broadcasting Corporation)

Mass Medium Stage

Mass Medium Stage
◦ KDKA, Pittsburgh, 1920. “First” station to broadcast music and
talk

(disputed)

◦ BROADCASTING
vs. POINT-to-POINT
◦ First ads, 1922

Radio: a DEMOCRATIC
medium
◦Education
◦Religion
◦Workers
◦Businesses (jewelry stores)
◦Entertainment
◦News
(VIDEO “Radio Network Broadcasting”)

Tufts University, 1922

Mass Medium Stage
◦KDKA, Pittsburgh, 1920. First
commercial radio station
◦First ads, 1922

Assembling Radios, 1925

2 KEY NETWORKS
1.

AT&T creates network of stations, linking together
with long distance lines

= BCA (Broadcast Corp. of
America)
◦ AT&T SEES RADIO AS A WAY TO ENHANCE TELEPHONE BUSINESS

2. RCA creates a network as subsidiary, linked with
(INFERIOR) Western Union lines
= Radio Group (w/ GE and Westinghouse)

Mass Medium Stage

◦Government cracks down on AT&T FOR MONOPOLIZING
RADIO COMMUNICATIONS, forces it to sell network
◦RCA organizes two networks as

◦NBC Red (AT&T lines)
◦NBC Blue (Western Union lines)
=NATIONAL BROADASTING CORPORATION (NBC)

Mass Medium Stage
◦CBS, 1928. William Paley uses option
time to woo affiliates from NBC.
◦ABC, 1941. FCC outlaws option time.
forces RCA to sell one of its NBC
networks, which becomes ABC.
◦By 1940s, NBC, CBS, and ABC
established as Big 3 networks.

Radio Rules
◦Radio Act of 1912: required a license
◦Radio Act of 1927: Establishes FRC and
standard of operating in the “public
interest, convenience, or necessity”
(PICON)
◦Communications Act of 1934:

◦Establishes FCC, keeps PICON standard.
◦Congress endorses commercial radio.

Radio Culture: 1930s
golden age of radio
◦People across America were sharing the
same stories (creating consensus
narratives)
◦E.g., Inner Sanctum
◦Amos N’ Andy
◦Roosevelt fireside
chats
◦War of the Worlds

Hindenburg Disaster, 1937

(video)

Radio Culture
 Radio’s survival in the wake of TV
 Format radio
Todd Storz,Omaha, Top 40 format
Radio Deejays/Payola

Radio Culture today
There evolved a variety of formats: each one
geared to a SPECIFIC target audience
News/Talk, 18%
Adult Contemporary, 14%
CHR, 11%
Hispanic, 10.2%
Urban, 9.9%
Country, 9%
Rock, 8.2%
Oldies, 5.7%
Other, 14%

Radio OWNERSHIP
FCC OWNERSHIP CONSTRAINTS
 1950-80: 7 AM, 7 FM, 7 TV Stations
 Late 1980s: 20 AM, 20 FM, 12 TV Stations
 1996 Telecommunication Act:
You can’t reach 35% of national audience
 2003: You can’t reach 45%

FCC used to enforce BROADCAST DIVERSITY
(NOT ANYMORE)

Radio ownership
◦ Clear Channel owns:
Over 1,190 stations
Premiere Radio network (syndicates programs to 6,500 other stations
240 international stations
40 TV stations
Largest Billboard/outdoor sign business
Largest live event promoter
SFX (talent and sports star agency)
Broadway, Cable, network, films

Radio ownership
Empire of the air/video (7:40)

Radio Culture
Internet radio services
PANDORA
Last.fm
Launchcast (yahoo)
Rhapsody (Realnetwork)
Guideposts
Pitchfork
Emusic

If Pandora and other customizable services take
off (and so far that’s a big if), they could shift
the balance of power not just in how music is
consumed, but in how it is made. “You now
have music fans that are completely enabled as
editorial voices,” said Michael Nash, senior vice
president for digital strategy and business
development at Warner Music Group, one of the
four major music conglomerates. “You can’t fool
those people. You can’t put out an album with
one good single on it. Those days are over.”

But if fans become their own
gatekeepers, the emerging question is
what sort they will be. Will they use
services like Pandora to refine their
choices so narrowly that they close
themselves off to new surprises? Or will
they use the services to seek out mass
shared experiences in an increasingly
atomized music world?