BIAGI Chapter 6.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
St. Michael's College Courses
Steve Hoselton

BIAGI Chapter 6 - Radio: Riding the Wave Radio Sounds are Everywhere  Radio is everywhere, but what we hear today is diff and diff in meaning than heard decades ago. Today they are an accessory rather than a once necessary technology. Radio Takes a Technological Leap  Telegraph  Telephone  Wireless Telegraphy (radio signals)  Morse  Bell  Hertz  Radio waves were Hertzian waves when he discovered it. Broadcasting is Born  4 pioneers of radio broadcast: (1) Wireless Breakthrough: Guglielmo Marconi  Msg should travel without wire – thus invented wireless messaging (2) Experimental Broadcasts: Reginald Aubery Fessenden (Canadian)  Sending voices by radio waves  Fessenden’s 1906 experiment is the first voice and music broadcast (3) Detecting Radio Waves: Lee de Forest  1907: He perfected a glass bulb called the Audion, which could detect radio waves  Audion became the foundation of modern broadcasting (4) Radio for the People: David Sarnoff  To bring music into home by wireless  He made RCA nation’s primary radio distributor Federal Government Regulates the Airewaves  Congress passed the Radio Act of 1912 to license people wanting to broadcast or receive msgs.  Military took over radio waves during WWI, but this ceased after the war Government Approves Commercial Broadcasting  RCA was formed by private monopoly; it dominated for a while until other smaller operations formed Experimental Stations Multiply  Charles D. Herrold founded a voice radio station KDKA Launches Commercial Broadcasting  KDKA is nation’s first commercial radio station (from Pittsburgh, by Frank Conrad) – 1920  Made radio an easy-to-use medium for all Radio Audience Expands Quickly  Government expanded regulation of broadcasting.  Developments: Blanket licensing agreement, decision that radio would accept commercial sponsors, and Radio Act of 1927. Blanket Licensing  An arrangement whereby radio stations become authorized to use recorded music for broadcast by paying a fee  By paying blanket licensing fee, stations can use all ASCAP-licensed music on air.  ASCAP and BMI are licensing organizations Commercial Sponsorship  WEAF started selling advertising time. Advertisers paid for programming, and consumers indirectly paid Federal Radio Commission  Radio Act of 1927: found there was shortage of air space; thus federal gov licensed the stations for 3 yrs, and the commission required the stations to operate “as a public convenience, interest or necessity requires”  1934: Congress established Federal Communications Commission (FCC): to regulate expanding wireless medium Radio Grows into a Powerful Force  1930s-40s, radio provided cultura/political force. It mixed entertainment, culture, and public service.  More radio is listened in car and work, than at home. “War of the Worlds” Challenges Radio’s Credibility  War of the Worlds was a play aired on radio, without many people knowing about it. Thus, its info misled many Americans to misinterpret Radio Networks Expand  Network: collection of stations (radio/TV) that offers programs, usually simultaneously, throughout the country, during designated times  Networking was easier than creating own local programs David Sarnoff Launches NBC  RCA, GE, and Westinghouse formed the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) in 1926.  NBC formed Red network and Blue network William S. Paley Starts CBS  Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS); nemesis of NBC Edward Noble Buys ABC  Bought the NBC-Blue network, which became the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) Radio Adapts to Television  1940s  1960s (Radio prospered despite TV) 1. FM radio frequency accepted by public 2. Disc jockeys hold music show 3. Radio formats streamline broadcasts 4. People start buying clock and car radios 5. The payola scandals focus on broadcast ethics Inventor Edwin H. Armstrong Pioneers FM  To eliminate static radio sounds, Armstrong applied to FCC in 1936, the Frequency Modulation (FM) – it offered truer transmission than AM.  Armstrong battled RCA’s Sarnoff for royalties; RCA was claiming they owned FM Licensed Recordings Launch Disc Jockeys  Early radios refused to play recordings to avoid ASCAP royalties  Martin Block: America’s first disc jockey – played records btw his newscasts.  BMI charged less for recordings artists than ASCAP, thus aided in creating disc jockey Clock and Car Radios Make Radio Portable  Clock Radios were introduced in 1950s, waking people up with news  Radio station owner coined the term, Drive-Time Audiences – people who listen to radio in their cars during 6-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. Gordon McLendon Introduces Format Radio 
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