Minority Access to Radio“If you
don’t have access and ownership and control of a media system, you really don’t exist. You don’tmatter 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
Early Technology and the Development
of Radio• Nikola Tesla • His work preceded Marconi’s, but was overshadowed by Italian inventor. • Died in 1943, months before U.S. Supreme Court deemed him inventor of radio
Marconi and the Inventors of
Wireless Telegraphy• Received first patent on wireless telegraphy (1894)— used code, not voice • Built upon the work of Hertz • Established British Marconi (1897) and American Marconi (1899)
Wireless Telephony: De Forest and
Fessenden• De Forest wrote the first Ph.D. thesis on wireless technology in 1899.• De Forest’s biggest breakthrough was the development of the Audion, or triode, vacuum tube.• Fessenden is credited with first voice broadcast.
Regulating a New Medium• 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
The Evolution of Radio• 5
stations in 1921, 600 in 1923• 5.5 million radio sets by 1925• 1922: AT&T starts first station, WEAF, that sells ads.• 1923: AT&T creates first network— WEAF and WNAC(Boston).• By 1924, AT&T has 22 stations linked and denies rival RCAphone rights.
Sarnoff and NBC: Building the
“Blue” and “Red” Networks• 1921: David Sarnoff becomes RCA’s general manager.• Independent stations affiliate with NBC networks for programming.• Network radio: • Radio goes from point-to-point to mass medium. • Centralizes costs and programming • Makes news national, not local • Larger budget buys better talent
CBS and Paley: Challenging NBC•
First attempt at CBS fails• William S. Paley buys controlling share in company, launches new concepts and strategies: • Option time lures affiliates • Hires PR guru Bernays• By the 1930s, CBS competitive with NBC
Bringing Order to Chaos with
the Radio Act of 1927• Radio Act of 1927 defines broadcast regulations. • Too many stations and poor reception • Act created the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) to monitor airwaves for “public interest, convenience, or necessity.”
Bringing Order to Chaos with
the Radio Act of 1927(cont.) • Communications Act of 1934 • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) monitors radio, telephone, and telegraph. • Today FCC covers television, cable, and the Internet.
The Golden Age of Radio•
Shapes television’s programming future • Sitcoms • Anthology dramas • Quiz shows • Soaps• Radio pioneers single-sponsor programming.• Amos ‘n’ Andy was the most popular radio series in history.
The Authority of Radio• War
of the Worlds, Orson Welles’s radio broadcast (1938) • 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
Radio Reinvents Itself• AM vs.
FM• Format radio • Top 40 format • The idea of rotation • Expansion of FM allowed for experimenting with other formats.• Portability improved with transistor radios.
The Sounds of Commercial Radio•
Most programming locally produced • Heavily dependent on music industry • Some national personalities• Specialized stations with particular formats • E.g. news/talk/information, adult contemporary, country• Heaviest listening occurs during drive time.
Nonprofit Radio and NPR• Established
by Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) in 1960s• Nonprofit, heavily government subsidized• NPR: distinctive niche in radio news• PBS: educational and children’s programming
New Radio Technologies Offer More
Stations• Satellite radio • XM and Sirius merged to become Sirius XM Radio in 2008. • Financial problems continue.• HD Radio • Broadcasters can multicast additional digital signals within their traditional analog frequency.
Radio and Convergence• Internet radio
• Broadcast radio stations now have an online presence. • Online-only radio stations like Pandora growing in popularity• Podcasting • Popular way to listen to programs, music on computer or portable music device
Local and National Advertising• 8%
of media advertising goes to radio.• Industry revenue has dropped, but number of stations keeps growing.• Only 20% of budget goes toward programming costs because content from recording industry is free.
Radio Ownership: From Diversity to
Consolidation• Telecommunications Act of 1996 eliminated most ownership restrictions in radio.• As a result, two large conglomerates, Clear Channel and CBS Radio, now control the majority of radio stations.
What Clear Channel OwnsRadio Broadcasting
(U.S.) Advertising • Clear Channel• 894 radio stations • Clear Channel Communications News• Premiere Radio Network Outdoor Networks(syndicates 90 radio Advertisingprograms, including The (billboards, Marketing/VideoGlenn Beck Program, Keep airports, malls, taxis) ProductionHope Alive with Reverend – North American • Twelve Creative DivisionJesse Jackson, On Air with – InternationalRyan Seacrest, and Fox Division Broadcast SoftwareSports Radio) • RCS Sound Software• iheartradio.com Media Representation Radio Research andInternational Radio • Katz Media Group Consultation• Clear Channel International • Broadcast ArchitectureRadio (Joint Partnerships) Satellite–Australian Radio Network Communications Trade Industry–The Radio Network (New • Clear Channel Publications Satellite • InsideRadio.comZealand) • TheRadioJournal.com Information Services • The Radio Book • Clear Channel Total Traffic Network
Alternative Voices• In the 1990s,
activists set up “pirate” stations to protest large corporations’ control over radio.• 2000: FCC approved noncommercial low-power FM (LPFM) stations.• Prometheus Radio Project
Radio and the Democracy of
the Airwaves • Will consolidation of power restrict the number and kinds of voices permitted to speak over public airwaves?