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Chapter 1

HISTORY OF BROADCAST MEDIA

INNOVATIONS

The telegraph: the message sent by


wire from Washington to Baltimore in
1844, using Samuel Morse code made
up of dots and dashes.

The telephone: 34 years later,


Alexander Graham Bell invented a
telephone, a device that could send the
human voice through a wire.

INNOVATIONS

Their evolution anticipated many factors


that would shape radio:
1-Both businesses supported themselves
through commercial means.
2-Big corporation dominated both industries.
3-Both sent a message from one source to
one receiver.

INVENTORS

In the late 19th century, efforts were


under way to liberate electronic
communication from the wire.

Marconi Fessenden - De Forest.

MARCONI

In 1901, he successfully transmitted a


wireless signal across the Atlantic.
(Morse Code)
Ship to ship ship to shore
communication.
Great Britain granted him a patent in
1896, and he established his company
to manufacture and sell devices, and a
subsidiary in the United States.

FESSENDEN

Fessenden working with GE built up a


high-speed alternator.

In 1906, wireless operators on ships up


and down the eastern coast they heard
a human voice speaking to them.

DE FROST

For radio to become a mass medium,


they need a receiver that would boost
the level of weak signals and make
radio listening easier.
De Frost found the answer; his
invention was the audion.
Audion: a device looked like an
ordinary lightbulb, an amplifier that
boosted weak radio signals millions of
times.

The radio had been successfully


demonstrated.

Accordingly, the next phase of


broadcastings evolution was marked
by the activities of corporations more
than individuals.

LEGAL BATTLES

Marconis company dominated the


business.
Other companies were interested.
; GE, AT&T, Westinghouse each one
held patents on certain elements.
Each company produced its own
version of the inventions patented by
the others to enter the business
resulted in long costly legal battles
over patent infringements.

RADIO & WAR

US Navy equipped its ships with radio.


During the World War 1 the government gave
the navy complete control over all radio
operations, in the interest of national security:
1-Navy assumed responsibility for patent
infringement. Companies pool their discoveries to
improve radio communication.
2-Bills were introduced in congress to give navy
exclusive control over radios future.

BIRTH OF RCA

Commercial interests in USA were


opposed to any governmental intrusion
into the free enterprise system.
Bills were never brought to vote.
USA chose not to put radio under direct
governmental control.
Marconi sold its American subsidiary to
the Radio Corporation of America
(RCA.)

BIRTH OF RCA

To solve the patent problems, RCA entered


into a cross-licensing agreement with GE,
AT&T, and Westinghouse.
They divided the market: GE & Westinghouse
manufactured radio equipment, RCA would
sell it, and AT&T would build the transmitters.
The real radio future would be in
broadcasting-providing news and
entertainment to the general public.

BROADCASTINGS BEGINNINGS

Radio burst on the scene in the 1920s


and became a national craze because:
1- An audience of enthusiastic
hobbyists.
2- Improvements during the war.
3- business realized that broadcasting
make money.

In 1920 Frank Conrad began from his


garage.
Westinghouse noticed its population
and began manufacturing radio sets.
As sets sales increased, they moved
Conrad to a studio on the roof.

The new station was licensed by the


department of commerce (KDKA.)
The business boomed. The tremendous
growth brought problems.
The competing signals interfered with
one another.

FOR THE AUDIENCE

At the corporate level, the problem was


money. The cross-licensing agreement
did not anticipate broadcasting.
In 1923, RCA made $11 million from
selling radio sets and only $3 million
from its wireless telegraph operation.

After a four-year imbroglio, the parties


agreed to a plan;
AT&T left the broadcasting business and
sold its assets to the other companies, in
return it would be granted a monopoly
over the wire interconnections that were
used to link stations together into a
network. RCA manufacture radio sets and
acquire WEAF (New York City station.)

By the end of the decade, half of the


homes in USA had a radio.
The growth brought interference, few
frequencies gave good reception and
many were operating on them.

RADIO FAST TIMES

The three major developments of


1920s that helped to shape modern
radio were:
1- The development of radio ads.
2- The beginning of radio networks.
3- The evolution of radio regulation.

ADVERTISING
Early broadcasters were:
1. radio and electronics manufacturers.
2. Newspaper publishers.
3. department stores.

For them radio was a promotional


device.

ADVERTISING

To compete successfully, stations required


reliable equipment, special studios,
technicians and professional talent.
Rising costs forced many stations off the air.
The phone company AT&T came with the
answer; developed a system whereby anyone
who had a message to deliver would come to
its station, pay money, give the message, and
leave. Just like telephone booth (toll
broadcasting.)

ADVERTISING

Advertisers began to appreciate the


potential of this new arrangement.
This early experiment in commercial
broadcasting was resented by many
listeners, but they liked the improved
programming that came with
advertising.
By 1929, advertisers were spending
more than $20 M on radio ads.

RADIO NETWORKS

3 reasons for chain or network broadcasting in


the mid-1920s:
1- primarily economic, it was less expensive to
produce a program and broadcast it
simultaneously on 3 or 4 stations.
2- the audience of local stations in rural areas
wanted better programs.
3- the desire of advertisers to increase the
range of their programs beyond the receivers of
local stations and thus multiply potential
customers.

RADIO NETWORKS

RCA, headed by David Sarnoff, set up a new


company in 1926 to separate the parent
company from the broadcasting operation.
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC)
was to oversea two broadcasting networks
(the red & the blue.)
By 1933 NBC had 88 stations in its network.
Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) was
formed in 1927. and started with 16 stations.

RADIO NETWORKS
Radio networks forever changed American
society:
1. stimulated national advertising.
2. brought to rural areas entertainment
previously provided to urban areas.
3. they stimulated a national popular culture.
4. changed American politics as campaigns
became truly national in scope (Franklin
Roosevelt.)

RULES

After the Titanic, the Radio Act of 1912


required sending stations to be licensed
by the Secretary of Commerce. Who
could assign wavelengths and time
limits.

RULES

Congress passed the Radio Act of 1927:


1- the radio spectrum was a national
resource. Individuals could not own
frequencies, but they could be licensed
to use them.
2- licensees would have to operate in
the public interest.
3- government censorship was
forbidden.

RULES

A five-member Federal Radio


Commission (FRC) was established to
enforce the new law.

Congress passed the Communications


Act of 1934, which replaced the FRC
with a seven-member Federal
Communications Commission (FCC.)

GROWTH

The years from 1930-1948 can be


termed the radio years because of the
skyrocketing growth despite worldwide
depression and another world war.

GROWTH
year

Number
of
stations

Percenta
ge of
homes
with
radio

Numbers ads
of
employee
s

network
affiliates

1930

46%

6,000

$40 M

131

1950

618
2,867

95

52,000

506 M

1,104

1970

6,889

99

71,000

2010

14,420

99+

105,000

FM BROADCASTING

Invented by Edwin Armstrong, was first


publicly demonstrated in 1933.
FM (frequency modulation) had two big
advantages over AM (amplitude
modulation) :
1- FM was less prone to statics.
2- had better sound reproduction
quality.

FM BROADCASTING
FM struggled for 20 years:
1. AM radio was doing fine.
2. RCA wanted to get a return on its
investment in AM rather than
developing a new competitor.
3. Sarnoff saw TV technology as more
important.
4. World War 2 intervened and halted its
development.

RADIO IMPACT

Radio became part of the social fabric.


Radio news reports had a sense of
immediacy.
The social power of radio was
demonstrated. (Franklin Roosevelt used
his informal fireside chats to help push
his legislation through congress.)

RADIO IMPACT

Radio took advertising revenue away


from the newspaper and magazine
industries.
Early radio networks refused to play
recorded music, and the recording
industry was reluctant to permit
records to be played on radio.
The recording industry nearly died
during 1930s; it survived thanks to
better marketing efforts and the

PROGRAMS

Radio programs during this period were diverse.


Almost every program genre now available on
contemporary television first appeared on the
radio. (comedies, crime shows CSI, dramatic
shows ER, and soap operas.)
The events of the 1930s gave newscasts a
boost (timely reports on the wars progress.)
After the war, the future of the radio never
looked brighter. Americas number one source
of news and entertainment.

TELEVISION

The idea of TV goes back to the 1880s. The


elements of a visual scene could be scanned
and broken down into a series of tiny
electrical signals able to be transmitted and
reassembled in a receiver, a viewable
television picture would result.

RCA, NBCs parent company had chosen the


New York World Fair opened in 1939 to make a
public demonstration of the television.

TELEVISION

TV benefited from the existing radio


industry; it came into being with an
organized pattern (networks and local
stations) and a support system
(commercials.)

The development of a commercial TV


system was interrupted by the war.

TELEVISION

The World War 2 accelerated the


technology behind TV. Scientists
involved in perfecting TV went into the
military and studied high-frequency
electronics. (RADAR)
When the war ended, the broadcasting
industry made immediate preparation
to shift its emphasis from radio to TV.
Popular radio shows made the
transition to TV.

FREEZE

The growth of TV during 1948 was


phenomenal. Set manufacturers
couldnt keep up with the demand.
Every town wanted a TV station.
As a result, FCC declared a freeze on
new station applications while it
studied the future of TV.

FREEZE
The freeze thawed in 1952 when the FCC produced
the Six Report & Order:
1- a table of channel assignments was constructed,
structuring the provision of TV service to all parts of
USA.
2- to accommodate hundreds of applicants, FCC
opened up new channels in the ultra-high
frequency (UHF.)
3- The commission set standards regarding color TV.
4- 242 channels were set aside for noncommercial TV
stations.

FREEZE

television programming developed and


flowered during the freeze period.

I Love Lucy was significant not only


for its popularity but also because it
was filmed in Hollywood, marking the
beginning of the Hollywood
involvement in TV.

RADIOS PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT

Radio managed to adjust and prosper. It made the


adjustment that enabled it to prosper in an era that to
be dominated by TV:
1- It completely changed network broadcasting, massmarket advertising moved to TV. Once-powerful radio
networks were reduced to providing 10-minute
newscasts on the hour and some daytime programs.
It would take network radio nearly 30 years to
recover.

RADIOS PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT


2- television made radio turn to
specialized audiences through the
development of particular formats. The
networks cut back on their programs,
looked for an inexpensive way to fill the
time. Disc jokey (DJ) and recorded
music. Abandoning the long-standing
antagonism against playing records on
the air.

RADIOS PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT


3- the advent of TV brought the radio
and record industries closer together.
The record companies kept radios
programming costs to a minimum by
providing the latest hits free to the
stations. In return, they gave the record
industry what amounted to free
advertising. Record sales nearly tripled
from 1954 to 1959.

RADIOS PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT

television forced radio to become more


dependent on local advertising
revenue. Since they were no longer
conduits for material produced by the
networks, local stations became more
responsive to their markets. Increase
radios appeal to local advertisers,
radio redefined its advertising base.

TVS GROWTH CURVE: 1953-1962


year

Number of
stations

Percentage of
Number of
homes with TV employees

1950

98

9,000

1970

862

95

58,400

2010

1,782

99

205,000

NEW WRINKLES

The Ampex Corporation introduced videotape


recording in 1956. this invention made it
possible to store TV programs in a highquality format that could be used again and
again.
Tape also made program production cheaper
and would ultimately replace film in the
production of many situation comedies.
Tape helped kill off live drama on TV. News
and sports were broadcast live.

NEW WRINKLES

RCA introduced color TV sets in 1954.


UHF stations got off a slow start
because their signals did not go so far
as VHF signals, and TV sets were not
equipped with the special antenna
needed to pick up UHF broadcasts. In
1961 the FCC persuaded Congress to
pass the All-Channel Receiver Bill to
receive all TV channels.

NEW WRINKLES

A rocket roared off in 1962 carrying Telstar


the first active communication satellite
capable of relaying signals across the
Atlantic ocean.
People who lived in mountainous areas could
not get good reception. They would put an
antenna on top of one of the tall peaks and
run wires down to their homes and pay fee
to receive over cable (community antenna
TV CATV) or cable TV.

HOLLYWOOD & NEW YORK

Two factors were responsible for


Hollywood's lack of influence:
1- FCC indicated that post-freeze
applications for TV stations from movie
studios would not be favorably
received, preventing studios from
competing with networks in NY.
2- Therefore they did not cooperate
with TV industry by providing content.

HOLLYWOOD & NEW YORK

However economic conditions brought the


two industries closer.
Major film studios discover that they could
make money by producing series for the new
medium.
By 1960, 40% of network programming was
produced by big movie studios.
Hollywood desire to compete directly was
fulfilled in 1980s when big studios established
their own networks.

STABILITY ERA 1963-1975

Technology:
1- The slow but steady growth of cable TV began
to capture the attention of the broadcasting
industry.
UHF stations got a boost from cable to carry all of
the local stations in a market, to increase its
audience reach.
Communication satellites became more important
to TV, they maintained their position relative to a
point on earth and could serve as relays for
ground stations.

PUBLIC TV

In 1967 the Carnegie Foundation recommended


a plan for what it called public broadcasting.
A shift in philosophy: noncommercial TV would
no longer be limited to programs stressing
formal instruction and education. Instead , it
would provide an alternative to commercial
programming.
Congress never provided enough funds for
public TV to establish any long-range plans.
A search for a purpose.

NEW REGULATIONS

In 1971, Congress passed a law


prohibiting the advertising of cigarettes
on TV, which costed them $200 M in
revenue.
Prime Time Access Rule (PTAR) in
1970, it gave the 7:30-8:00 p.m. back
to local stations to program.

CHANGES FORM 1975-1999

The growing popularity of cable TV, siphoned


viewers away from broadcast TV networks.
Videocassette recorders VCRs became
increasingly common in American households.
In addition cable channels, the Internet, video
games, and prerecoded videocassettes attracted
TV audience.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 made
the television business even more competitive by
allowing telephone companies to offer TV series.

MERGERS
From 1975 to present mergers
reshaped the broadcasting landscape
with two main strategies:
1- diversification: branching out into
other business GE & Westinghouse.
2- vertical integration: expanding into
related businesses at different points in
the production process - Rupert
Murdochs News Corporation

MERGERS

Many critics have argued that


continued mergers will severely limit
number of diverse social and cultural
voices. They suggest that as the
number of competitors decreases, so
does the number of different
viewpoints, types of artistic expression,
and alternative information outlets,
tastes, and attitudes are homogenized.

PROGRAMMING

Prime-time continuing episode series, primetime soaps, such as Dynasty and Dallas.
The shift back to warm and wholesome family
situation comedy.
CNN began in 1980 and prompted the
broadcast networks to expand their own news
programming by adding late-night and earlymorning programs.
News programs flourished for economic
reasons, it cost less than sitcoms and dramas.

TECHNOLOGY

In 1970s, TV production equipment became


smaller and easy to carry.
Electronic News Gathering (ENG) using
portable cameras and tape recorders, reporters
no longer had to wait for film to be developed.
Satellite News Gathering (SNG) vans
equipped with satellite up-links made it
possible for reporter to travel virtually
anywhere on earth and to send back a report.

TECHNOLOGY

The Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) made its


appearance during the 1990s. It uses highpowered communication satellite to send
programming to umbrella-sized dishes
mounted on rooftops.
The emergence of the Internet during 1990s
enabled station and networks were quick to
established Web sites as promotional devices,
source of audience feedback about programs.
Web sites could complement their programs.

RADIO IN THE VIDEO AGE

Radio has carved out a new niche for


itself.
Because of the transistor, producing
small lightweight and inexpensive
radios.
The invention of printed and integrated
circuits shrank radio sets even further.
The Sony corporation marketed the
Walkman, a miniature radio-cassette
player.

RADIO IN THE VIDEO AGE

Satellite radio debuted in 2001.


FM radio and FM sound as good as a
CD.
By 2005 many traditional radio stations
began broadcasting their signals on the
Internet. They were joined by Internetonly stations.

FM

FM was able to broadcast in stereo.


This enhanced sound gave it a distinct
advantage over Am among the many
consumers who valued improved audio
quality.
Am stations were hard to come by.
The new FM stations developed new
formats, such as progressive rock and
easy listening, that drew listeners.

CONSOLIDATION

The 1996 Telecommunications Act lifted


the national ownership limits on radio
stations, prompting an unprecedented
wave of consolidation in the industry.

RECENT TRENDS-ECONOMICS

The recession in 2008 profoundly


affected the electronic media, as a
result, many organizations eliminated
jobs.

It also reflected in prime-time television


programming, they turned to relatively
inexpensive reality programs.

RECENT TRENDS-ECONOMICS

Local stations negotiated new deals with


cable and satellite companies that
compensated them for retransmission fees
for their owned and operated stations, the
networks were also attempting to get a share
of the fees collected by their affiliates.
Nontraditional sources, such as sponsoring
concerts and other community-related
events; and some stations are exploring ways
to use text messaging as an advertising too.

RECENT TRENDS-TECHNOLOGY

Television broadcasting went to an all-digital


system in 2009. Digital TV allows clearer
pictures and better sound quality.
DTV makes it possible to broadcast highdefinition television (HDTV.)
Digital signals are compressed and take up
less space in the electromagnetic spectrum.
Consequently broadcasters can subdivide the
digital channel and offer several different
programs in the same space.

RECENT TRENDS-TECHNOLOGY

The DVR (digital video recorder) has changed


the way many Americans watch TV. Rather
than watching a program when it airs, viewers
record the show for viewing at a more
convenient time.
Broadcasters and cable companies have also
turned to new distribution channels.
Many broadcasters and cable networks let
viewers watch full episodes of their shows on
their Web sites.

RECENT TRENDS-TECHNOLOGY

Local TV stations also upgraded their Web sites,


adding video clips, breaking news stories, and
information about community events.
Full-length programs from Apples iTunes store.
Cell phone users can pay a monthly subscription
fee and get a line-up of preselected channels from
their call phone provider.
Several TV manufacturers unveiled D TV.
Networks aired some sports events in 3-D in 2010.

RECENT TRENDS-BUSINESS

The trend toward mergers that began


in the early years of the first decade of
the new century continued at the
decades end.
The second merger involved a cable
company and a broadcast network. In
late 2009 Comcast, the nations biggest
cable company, announced plans to
acquire NBC Universal.

RECENT TRENDS-LEGAL

A 2009 ruling by the Supreme Court


upheld the right of the FCC to fine
stations for airing certain expletives
during a live broadcast but did not
address the question of whether the
FCCs policy was constitutional.

RECENT TRENDS-CONVERGENCE

The move toward convergence


continues to grow.
Standardized stream of digital content,
consumers will ultimately have one big
screen in their homes where they will
watch TV, play back digital movies, surf
the Internet, send e-mail, play video
games, and run their usual computer
software.