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Radio

Early Radio Timeline
  • 1895 - Guglielmo Marconi transmits first radio message
  • 1906 - Lee De Forest creates audio tube that transmits voice over radio
  • 1920 - KDKA Pittsburgh is the first commercial radio station
  • 1927 - Congress creates the Federal Radio Communications Commissioan (FRC) to regulate radio
  • 1934 - FRC becomes FCC
  • 1939 - First FM station
  • See a more detailed timeline here

    Listening to the Radio


    History of Radio Programming
  • Early 1920s - Hotel"Potted palm" music, public speeches
  • Later 1920s - Pre-recorded music, news, early narrative programming
  • 1930s - Syndicated comedy, drama and soap operas
  • 1950s - Shift to music formats
  • 1980s - Shift to niche formats



    The Shadow
  • Debuted in 1937
  • "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men...the shadow knows!""
  • The show was based on a popular comic book
  • Orson Welles played the lead for a while
  • Listen to an episode here:
    http://otr-reviews.com/the-shadow/


    The Hindenburg Disaster
  • May 6, 1937
  • Lakehurst, NJ
  • Herbert Morrison of WLS Radio (Chicago) reporting. Listen here:
    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/mp3clips/speeches/hindenburgcrash.mp3


    Edward R. Murrow
  • Gained notoriety for wartime broadcasts from London.
  • Reporting from Trafalgar Square during a bombing raid in August 1940:
    http://www.earthstation1.com/WWIIAudio/America/Morrow400824.mp3
    http://www.earthstation1.com/WWIIAudio/America/Morrow400922.mp3
  • Reporting from the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, April 15, 1945:
    http://www.earthstation1.com/WWIIAudio/America/Morrow450415.mp3

    Modern Radio History
  • 1950s - Shift to music formats
  • 1960s - First transistor (portable) radios developed by SONY
  • 1980s - Shift to niche formats
  • 1993 - First Internet radio stations
  • 2001 - First Satellite Radio stations

    Radio Qualities
  • Mobile Medium
  • Niche market medium
  • More people listen to radio drive time than tune in to TV for prime time
  • However, all radio stations have less in common than all TV stations
  • Content, advertising and audience in radio are all derived from a station's programming format.

    The Radio Audience
  • More than 98% of US households have radio
  • Radio reaches more than 95% of Americans 12+ each week
  • Radio reaches 99% of teens weekly
  • Average listener spends 22 hours per week listening to radio
  • A radio station's audience is mostly determined by its format.

    Radio Listenership
  • Weekday listenership peaks at 7am
  • Weekday listenership holds steady between 9am-4pm
  • Listenership drops off after 4pm
  • Men listen more than women
  • Men 25-34 listen most

    Radio Dayparts
    Radio programming is affected by the time of day that the programming airs. Different kinds of listeners are available at different times of day.
  • Morning Drive Time - 6am-10am - Commuters want news, weather, traffic
  • Midday - 10am-3pm - Homemakers want music and information
  • Afternoon Drive Time - 3pm-7pm - Teens return home and want entertainment, commuters want entertainment and news
  • Evening - 7pm-Midnight - Audience desires entertainment and relaxation
  • Overnight - Midnight - 6am - Shift workers, college students seek entertainment, People seeking companionship

    Radio Station Programming Formats
    Radio stations depend on their format to determine their programming content, the audience they hope to reach and the advertisers they want to attract.


    News/Talk Radio Listenership


    News/Talk Radio Growth


    Digital Audio Listenership


    Mobile Audio Listenership


    Radio Programming Sources
  • Local programming - both music (playlists) and information
  • Short-form syndicated programming- 60- to 90-second features.
  • Long-form syndicated programming - Dr. Laura, Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh
  • Syndicated formats - Stations insert local content to syndicated format
  • Network programming - Targeted news, music, talk. Some sporting events and special events.

    Top Radio Chains
  • Clear Channel - 1,190 stations, 136 news stations
  • Cumulus - 303 stations, 33 news stations
  • Citadel - 225 stations, 24 news stations
  • Infinity - 178 stations, 19 news stations
  • Educational Media Foundation - 143 stations, 0 news stations
  • Salem - 104 stations, 22 news stations
  • American Family Association - 120 stations, 0 news stations
  • Entercom - 103 stations, 14 news stations (based in Bala Cynwyd)
  • Saga - 86 stations, 13 news stations
  • Cox - 78 stations, 6 news stations

    US Radio Regulation
  • Scarcity Principle - Defunct as of 1987
  • Trusteeship Rationale - The airwaves are public property and broadcast licensees must serve the “public interest, convenience and necessity.”
  • Ownership Regulation - Greatly reduced in 1996. No one company may reach more than 50% of the nation’s population
  • Content Regulations - Radio and TV content is more regulated than print content

    US Radio Content Regulation
  • Equal Opportunity - Broadcasters must allow all legally qualified candidates for political office the same opportunity to air ads
  • False Advertising - Regulated by the FTC
  • Obscenity, Indecency, Profanity - In 1987, FCC defined indecency as “language or material that depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory activities or organs.”
  • Contemporary community standards are now those of the average broadcast viewer or listener
  • Comments

    July 2007

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