75 million viewers watch the first debate in Chicago.
MELJUN CORTES History of Television
History of TelevisionElectronic 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 g ood media choices.
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History of Television Why do we call it broadcasting? How are television and radio different from newspapers, books and magazines?
History of Television Radio emerged as a maritime service during World War I. Early radio was simply a means of point-to-point communication. In 1920, Congress allowed private citizens to use radio waves, setting the stage for radio broadcasting to become a commercial and entertainment enterprise. Congress sanctioned a private monopoly – GE, AT&T, Western Electric and the United Fruit Company to control radio. The five combined their patents to form RCA. “Messages” could now be sent to a large number of people simultaneously. Radio became America’s second mass medium.
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. Licensees must operate in the public interest. Government censorship is forbidden.
History of Television Radio burst onto the scene and experienced incredible growth. KDKA in Pittsburgh became the first commercial radio station on November 2, 1920 -- broadcasting news of election returns. In 1922, there were 28 commercial radio stations. Just six months later there were 378. Early radio stations were often owned by newspapers or department stores. Radio entrepreneurs favored the “American Plan” over the European “Plan.” American Plan proposed that radio stations would be supported by commercial revenue – European Plan relied on government financing as well as “control.” About 12 million U.S. homes had a radio in 1930, nearly half of the population. By 1940 that figure was 28.5 million. Car radios became standard equipment.
History of Television The Communications Act of 1934 created the Federal Communications Commission. The concept of network programming emerged with NBC Blue, NBC Red, CBS and Mutual leading the way as program providers. Stars of stage, screen and vaudeville flocked to this new medium that skyrocketed across the country. Early programming consisted of live music, dramas, soap operas, comedies and news.
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. Franklin Roosevelt’s “fireside” radio chats enabled citizens to “hear” their president on a regular basis. Radio continued to thrive during the ’30s and ’40s and especially during World War II.
History of Television Television had been in development since the ’20s and there were experimental broadcasts in the ’30s. TV was introduced to the public at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, but development stalled during WWII. David Sarnoff, the head of RCA, and William Paley, the head of CBS, became instrumental in the growth of the television industry. 10 television stations were on the air in 1945. By the end of the decade, more than half the population had access to television.
History of Television TV sets went on sale in 1946. A small black and white set cost $200, a console $2500. The median income in the United States was $3000. TV grew so fast and the demand for station licenses was so great that the FCC declared a freeze on new stations. In 1953, the FCC issued the Sixth Report and Order which helped address the problems associated with the tremendous growth of television. – 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 (2-13) – The Commission set standards for color television – 242 channels were set aside for noncommercial (public) stations
History of Television – The Fifties The fifties became the golden age of television. In the fifties, more TV sets (70 million) were sold than children born (40 million). In 1952 there were 108 TV stations. Ten years later there were 541. Today there are about 1,600 stations in the U.S. Early programming included news, sports, game shows, sitcoms, children’s programming, variety shows and dramas. Most programming was live. Videotape was also introduced late in the decade. The big three networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – dominated programming. On any given night more than 90 percent of viewers were watching one of the big three. The first issue of TV Guide appeared April 3, 1953, at the cost of 15 cents.
History of Television – The Sixties The sixties brought significant changes to the television landscape. Television journalism came of age thanks to several significant events in American and broadcasting history. – Networks expanded their nightly newscasts to 30 minutes. – Technology enhanced TV’s ability to go “live.” – FCC suspended its equal time requirement for presidential and vice presidential candidates, paving the way for the four televised “Great Debates” between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy. – Kennedy began televising his press conferences.
History of Television – the Sixties – The “space race” heated up and networks routinely covered each launch. – In 1963 President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Networks suspended their regular programming and commercials for four days. 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, student demonstrations against the war and the increasingly violent civil rights movement. – CBS anchor Walter Cronkite earned the title, “the most trusted man in America.”
History of Television – The Sixties In 1961, FCC chairman Newton Minow called television “a vast wasteland.” Cable television enabled residents in outlying geographical areas to receive television signals and programming. The Broadcasting Act of 1967 created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which channeled money into programming and station development. Two years later, CPB created PBS. Late in the decade, Vice President Spiro Agnew used a series of speeches to accuse the media of a “liberal” bias –a tag still used today.
History of Television – The Seventies HBO, one of the first cable companies, extended its service from the Northeast to nationwide via satellite. Ted Turner began using satellite to distribute the signal of his Atlanta UHF station, WTGG, to national cable systems as a “superstation.” Broadcasting using satellite technology gave news organizations the ability to go “live” from almost anywhere in the world. President Richard Nixon’s trip to China was televised live by all three networks in 1972.
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. The FCC instituted the Prime Time Access Rule to try to rein in the networks and give independent television stations a boost. Syndicated programming continued to expand and the number of locally produced television programs fell significantly. Network programming continued to dominate primetime. Many programs focused on socially relevant issues.
History of Television – The Eighties Cable television began to dramatically change the landscape of the industry. No longer just a “relay” service, cable operators began to offer alternative programming. In 1980 cable penetration stood at 20 percent. By the end of the decade, 60 percent of American homes received cable. CNN signed on the air on June 1, 1980. Other cable networks soon followed. Cable networks began to take a significant percentage of viewers and advertising dollars from the dominate Big Three networks. Networks faced tough financial times and significantly cut staff and news resources to save money.
History of Television – The Eighties Remote controls and VCRs changed the way people watched television. Deregulation became the mode of operation at the Federal Communications Commission. Fox entered the fray as the fourth “network.” Primetime soap operas riveted large audiences and Bill Cosby single- handedly 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.
History of Television – The Nineties In 1989, Time, Inc. and Warner Communications merged to create the world’s largest media and entertainment company. That set the stage for more media mergers in the nineties. Disney bought ABC/Cap Cities, Time-Warner purchased Turner Broadcasting (and then later merged with AOL) and Westinghouse bought CBS and then sold it to Viacom. The FCC raised its ownership cap on radio stations from 12 to 18 to 20 and allowed duopolies. In 1999 the cap was eliminated. Later in the decade the FCC removed its cap on the number of TV stations an owner can own, but instituted a cap on national audience reach.
History of Television – The Nineties In 1995 the WB and UPN began offering primetime programming. Thanks to deregulation and the repeal of financial syndication rules, the traditional broadcast networks, while still losing audience share, regained their status as powerful television influences. News programming became a constant presence and programming source. Entertainment programmers continued to push the envelope. In 1996, the Telecommunications Act eliminated cable-rate regulation and allowed telco-cable competition.
Television History – The 21st Century Corporate mergers continue to reduce the number of “voices” heard in the television marketplace. Digital television (“high def”) becomes more prevalent. Reality programming becomes TVs favorite programming genre. TV programming becomes available through the internet, Ipods, cell phones, etc.