Introduction to Mass Media/Radio

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Steven T. Austin Jr. is a first year graduate student. Mr. Austin is pursuing a degree in Media Management.

Who Invented the Radio?[edit | edit source]

  • The radio is the greatest invention on earth. The radio was discovered in 1904 by an Italian inventor named Guglielmo Marconi. Marconi was born in Bologna, Italy in 1874. He was a physicist, inventor, and Nobel Prize winner; credited for all technology relatable to the radio. The first effective radio communication was established by Marconi in the nineteen hundreds. By 1901, Marconi became the only person to successfully develop a sufficient wireless signal. After sharing his invention, Marconi won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1909.
  • “In 1894, Guglielmo Marconi, a twenty-year-old, self-educated Italian engineer, read Hertz’s work and set about trying to make wireless technology practical. Marconi understood that developing a way to send high-speed messages over great distances would transform communication, the military and commercial shipping. Although revolutionary, the telephone and the telegraph were limited by their dependence on wires. Marconi improved on Hertz’s experiments in a number of important ways. First, to the spark-gap transmitter he attached a Morse telegraph key, which could send out dot-dash signals. The electrical impulses traveled into a Morse inker, the machine that telegraphs operators used to record the dots and dashes onto narrow strips of paper. Second, Marconi discovered that grounding --- connecting the transmitter and receiver to the earth --- greatly increased the distance over which he could send signals. (J. Pavlik, S. McIntosh, 2013)”

Golden Age of Radio[edit | edit source]

  • Lasting until the 1930’s after World War II, radio was at its highest peak during the golden ages. During the time, radio was the most reliable source of information and news. Historic events that were present during the age of radio were World War II and The Great Depression. Society remained in the housing for majority of these events but the source of entertainment was various shows that were broadcasted on the radio. Great shows such as: Amos and Andy, the Shadow, The Long Ranger, etc. were popular during the time. However, the most monumental show that made history was The War of the Worlds.
  • The national broadcast of The War of the Worlds became the highest rated radio broadcast in history. The original broadcast aired on Sunday, October 30, 1938 grossing over a million listeners across the country. When listeners heard Martians were heading to earth, the nation panicked due to the broadcast and the imagery given in the broadcast. The listeners understanding were the Martians were monstrous and undetainable.
  • During World War II, the radio was an important component of communication and entertainment. Since the television wasn’t invented, society used the radio as a form of entertainment. Families would gather around the round the radio and listen to the various shows that would air. As for the soldiers, they used the radio for entertainment and communication. In the field, soldiers used walkie-talkies to communication during battle.
  • “Radio in this golden age was not the portable medium it would later become, however. Prior to transistors and solid-state integrated circuits, most radio sets required large glass tubes housed in heavy wooden pieces of furniture. Like television today, the radio commanded a central position in the most American living rooms in the 1930s and 1940s. At the time, only a handful of stations operated in most large radio markets, and popular stations were affiliated with either CBS or one of the two NBC networks. Many large stations employed their own in-house orchestras and aired live music daily. Listeners had favorite evening programs, usually fifteen minutes long, which they would tune in each night. Families gathered around the radio to hear such shows as Amos ‘n’ Andy, The Shadow, The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, and Fibber McGee and Molly, or one of President Franklin Roosevelt’s fireside chats. By the 1930s, studio-audience quiz shows – Professor Quiz and the Old Time Spelling Bee – Had emerged. Other quiz formats, used on Information Please and Quiz Kids, featured guest panelists. The quiz formats were later copied by television, particularly in the 1950s. (J. Pavlik, S. McIntosh, 2013)”

Acquiring a Station[edit | edit source]

  • If you want to start your own radio, you must register for an AM station or an FM station. The application must be submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (also known as FCC) electronically. Along with the submission of the application, there is a submission fee and several charges implemented during the application process. The FCC is a government operated company that develops regulations for radio, television, wire, satellite, cable, internet, and press. All forms of media are to follow the Title 47 rules and regulations. The Title 47 rules and regulations are divided into five sections, with a total of 199 parts. The registration application is the only application submitted electronically. The written applications are the construction permit and license. The construction permit is for the placement and construction of the station’s satellite. Both the license and construction permit can be obtained by the bidding process. After obtaining a station, license, and permit, a bid must be placed to obtain a radio frequency. This is the signal which the owner will broadcast a variety of entertainment and news.

Types of applications:

  • Facilities Desired
  • Engineering-Technical Data
  • Ownership Information
  • Financial Qualifications
  • Proposed Programming Policy
  • Construction Permit
  • License

AM, FM, and TV Rules including LPFM, Class A TV

  • Subpart A -- AM Broadcast Stations
  • Subpart B -- FM Broadcast Stations
  • Subpart C -- Digital Audio Broadcasting
  • Subpart D -- Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Stations
  • Subpart E -- Television Broadcast Stations
  • Subpart G -- Low Power FM Broadcast Stations (LPFM)
  • Subpart H -- Rules Applicable to All Broadcast Stations
  • Subpart I -- Competitive Bidding Procedures
  • Subpart J -- Class A Television Broadcast Stations
  • Subpart K -- Application and Selection Procedures on Reserved Noncommercial Educational Channels
  • Subpart L -- Incorporation by Reference
  • These rules are updated to once a year to correlate with the rules and regulations

Radio Acts of the Early 20th Century[edit | edit source]

  • Established in 1912, the first Radio Act (of 1912) was created by the federal law that required all ships at sea to conserve a 24 hour radio connection with any nearby coastal station. This act was constituted after the sinking of the historic ship; the Titanic. During its voyage up the North Atlantic, the Titanic met its demise when it made contact with an iceberg prior to reaching its destination. Implementing this act would help maintain contact with ships at sea and to avoid any severe accidents. The Titanic was the largest ship known to man and sits at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Another act that was implemented was Radio Act of 1927, which was created to cease havoc on the radio waves. “This act set up the Federal Radio Commission (FRC), a regulatory body that issue licenses and try to clean up the chaos. (J. Dominick, 2013)” FRC is a five member operated organization formed by the government. The FRC has the power to provide license to applicants, grant or deny any request, and so on. “The commission defined the AM broadcast band, standardized channel designations, abolished portable stations, and move to minimize interference.
  • By 1929 the situation had improved, and the new radio medium was prevented from suffocating in its own growth. Thus, by the end of the 1920s, the framework for modern radio broadcasting was in place. It would be a commercially supported mass medium dominated by networks and regulated by an agency of federal government. (J. Dominick, 2013)” Involved in the process of develop the F.C.C., President Roosevelt wanted to create a government run division responsible for monitoring the media. The Communications Act of 1934 was created to combine the responsibility of wire and broadcast rules and regulations under a seven member board organized by the F.C.C.
  • The FRC is also responsible for distributing station frequencies to the owners. FM (frequency modulation) radio frequency was developed by Edwin H. Armstrong. Armstrong was born in the city of New York during 1890. He improved the FM frequency after Marconi invented the radio applying his knowledge to modify the audio. This enabled him to control the noise static produced by the equipment. “At the time, Sarnoff was more interested in promoting the development of television and, despite the technical advantages of FM, was not interested in backing Armstrong’s creation. Armstrong tried to develop FM on his own. He set up his own transmitter for demonstrations and by 1940 had sold the rights to manufacture FM receiving sets to several companies. Sarnoff then offered Armstrong $1 million for a license to his invention, but Armstrong, probably still angry over Sarnoff’s earlier rejection, refused. FM’s further development was interrupted by the start of World War II. (J. Dominick, 2013)”

Pirates on the Seas of Broadcast[edit | edit source]

  • Pirates are known for causing havoc where ever they go. Pirates such as Black Beard and Captain Hook are well known pirates in the entertainment industry. Imagine the radio waves as the sea and the pirates interrupting your favorite station, these interruptions are due to pirates on radio. Pirate’s illegal in any environment; on land, sea, air, and on radio waves. A pirate station may broadcast as a normal station with the same entertainment and news. However, unlike other stations that are regulated and monitored by the F.C.C., a pirate station has no regulation, license, permit, and so on. Pirate stations have illegal equipment that enables it to transmit over another station or on a non-registered station.
  • Two pirate cases are: (1) in the city of Houston, Texas, “the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has issued a $10,000 forfeiture order to Radhames Severino for operating a pirate station at 101.5 FM in Houston. Severino was sent a notice of apparent liability in May in which the FCC said it detected unlicensed, broadcasts in 2006, 2008, and April 2009. He did not respond to the NAL, so the commission has affirmed the fine. (” (2) “On May 13, 2011, federal officials executed a warrant, which was unsealed yesterday, for the seizure of the radio transmission equipment of a pirate radio station broadcasting in Boston without a license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The radio equipment, used to broadcast for "Datz Hits Radio 99.7 FM," was located at a residential building at 25 Outlook Road, in the Mattapan area of Boston. A civil action has been brought seeking forfeiture of the equipment. According to an affidavit filed with the civil complaint, the radio broadcasting equipment was first discovered by FCC officials at another address in Boston. After FCC officials warned the operators they were broadcasting illegally and asked them to shut down the station, the equipment was moved to 25 Outlook Road where the illegal broadcasting resumed. Proceedings were then brought to seize and forfeit the radio broadcasting equipment. (”
  • “The Communications Act of 1934 (the Act) makes it unlawful to operate radio broadcasting equipment above certain low-intensity thresholds without having a license issued by the FCC. The Act authorizes the seizure and forfeiture of any electronic or radio frequency equipment used with willful and knowing intent to broadcast without an FCC license. The number of available radio frequencies is limited, and unlicensed broadcasting can interfere with the broadcasting of legitimate licensed radio stations, potentially causing chaos in the radio spectrum. The forfeiture action was brought after complaints were received from a licensed broadcaster about interference with its radio signal, and from the Federal Aviation Administration who complained of interference with radio communications at Logan Airport. "It is easy to take for granted the variety and quality of sound we enjoy in local radio stations. Underlying this is the licensing authority of the FCC, which ultimately ensures that legitimate stations can operate without interference from pirate stations," said U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. (”

Companies and Networks[edit | edit source]

  • The radio has become a popular source of entertainment and news over the years. Various stations specialize in a specific genre. A company notoriously known is Clear Channel Communications, Inc. Clear Channel Communications, Inc is one of the biggest mass media company in the world with over 100+ stations purchased stations. They are known for specializing in gone-from-home. More companies that are well known are: Radio One, Sirius XM Radio, World Radio Network, Citadel Broadcasting, CBS Corporation, National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Cox Radio, Urban Radio Broadcasting, and so on. World Radio Network is the parent network for National Public Radio (NPR). NPR is known for “great storytelling and rigorous reporting. (” When their reporters deliver the news or a story, it’s one of a kind reporting and production that is taking place. “We’ll go to the ends of the earth to bring you the heart of the story. Often we break news. But always we dig, question, examine and explore. We never settle for obvious answers and predictable stereotypes. We look to connect history and culture to breaking news. (”
  • “According to management, format radio had another big advantage over deejays who simply played their favorite music: It helped curb payola, the practice by which record promoters paid deejays to play particular records. When management took control of programming, however, individual deejays has less impact on what records would be played and became less susceptible to bribery. In response to this situation, record promoters often turned their attention to a few influential, high-profile deejays, whose backing could make or break a record nationally, or to key program managers in charge of Top 40 formats in large urban markets. (J. Pavlik, S. McIntosh, 2013)”
  • Most deejays utilize a universal program known as Protools. Protools is one the most commonly used audio software in the entertainment industry; it is also used when editing visual footage. Deejays do not broadcast live shows anymore. Most broadcast have a few second delay or pre-recorded, and then aired. In order to hear the deejays voice, they must lay down their voice-overs.

Present Day[edit | edit source]

  • In today’s society, radio is at its peak with new shows and forms of entertainment to capture a larger audience. Radio is not only found in vehicles but they can be found in homes, offices, school, nature, and so on. Although radio networks require antennas, a new form of radio was discovered and has grown over the years. Satellite radio has become the most popular form of radio today. Popular companies such as Sirius satellite radio and XM satellite radio became popular amongst households in the early 2000s. Both companies have gross over millions listeners over the years making both companies the biggest satellite radio companies known to man.
  • As both companies reach their peak of success, as of February 19, 2007, the merge began, giving birth to SiriusXM radio, and becoming the largest satellite/internet radio and company in the world; grossing over $1.6 billion. After lessening the competition between both companies, an investigation was made on SiriusXM radio by The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. The Division released a statement Monday, March 24, 2008 stating, “after a careful and thorough review of the proposed transaction, the Division concluded that the evidence does not demonstrate that the proposed merger of XM and Sirius is likely to substantially lessen competition, and that the transaction therefore is not likely to harm consumers. The Division reached this conclusion because the evidence did not show that the merger would enable the parties to profitably increase prices to satellite radio customers for several reasons, including: a lack of competition between the parties in important segments even without the merger; the competitive alternative services available to consumers; technological change that is expected to make those alternatives increasingly attractive over time; and efficiencies likely to flow from the transaction that could benefit consumers. (” The birth of SiriusXM received its stamp of approval from the FCC on July 25, 2008.
  • “After more than 16 months in regulatory limbo, the planned merger between XM Satellite Radio (XMSR) and Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) finally got the go-ahead. Late on July 25, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to approve the deal without imposing many conditions that might have reduced the appeal of the merger. A green light from the top communications regulator was the last government approval needed before combining the satellite radio pioneers. Regulators fretted that a merger of the two principal satellite radio companies would create a monopoly that could raise prices and freeze out competitors. But digital music delivered over the Internet has revolutionized how people get and listen to songs, and helped flood the market with competition. (”
  • Since the growth and development of SiriusXM, new internet radio industry began to flourish over the cyber universe. New companies such as: Pandora, iHeart, Itunes radio, Slacker, TuneIn, Music Unlimited (Sony), Xbox music, Spotify,, Windows Media, and so on. Internet radio is streamed from the internet to a computer, cell phone, MP3 player, license device, tablet, iPad, and so on. Another form of internet radio is live streaming, which enables the listener to listen to a live broadcasting from any station in any city. Radio companies have adjusted to the new generation and created mobile apps for easier access to the company’s service.
  • Another form of broadcasting audio would be podcast. Podcast are usually downloaded through itunes and uploaded to a computer and/or Apple, Inc. product (i.e. iPad, iPod, Mac, MacBook, Apple TV, iPhone, etc.). “Podcasts provide radio stations with greater flexibility in delivering content to listeners. No longer does a listener have to be listening at the time of a certain report, nor do they have to get online and visit the website to download an audio file. Now they can simply subscribe to receive podcasts and are able to listen at their convenience on their computer or mobile device. Podcasts have proved popular not only for talk-based radio, such as NPR features, but also for sports and music. In an interesting twist that harkens back to the earliest days of radio, when it was primarily used to provide weather and farm news, several companies have been created in recent years that specialize in podcasting farm news, giving farmers information on weather, commodity prices, and other news of interest to them. (R. Campbell, C. Martin, B. Fabos, 2013)”

Future of Radio[edit | edit source]

  • Furthermore, “the shift to an in-demand media environment will become more important. This is one shift that satellite radio has signaled already, along with the various music subscription services or personal radio stations. A service like Pandora, Slacker, or Spotify may well be where the future of radio lies: a highly personalized system that not only responds to your musical tastes but uses special algorithms and collaborative filtering to suggest new artists who play similar styles of music. These kinds of changes may so drastically alter how radio stations think of their programming that the term “radio” may technically become obsolete or come to mean something very different. (R. Campbell, C. Martin, B. Fabos, 2013)” As the radio industry continues to grow, new ideas and convenient ways of accessing a radio service is opening.
  • Samsung recently released a smart watch that has the capability of making phone calls, playing music, streaming radio, internet, and so on. As technology continues to evolve, new devices are being release that has the capability to do everything a customer needs it to do. Car radios are able to stream Pandora, SiriusXM, and iTunes radio now. Technology, specifically radio, is at its highest peak as of 2013. As radio continues to expand, listeners have already been given the option to listen to broadcast in other states; next, providers will give listeners the option to listen in hi-definition just they can watch shows in hi-definition.

Glossary[edit | edit source]

1. FM (frequency Modulation)- Broadcast that use frequency modulations

2. AM (Amplitude Modulation)-Broadcast that use amplitude modulations

3. Call Letters-FCC's designation of three or four letters to identify a station

4. Clear Channel Station-A mass media company that owns over a 100+ companies. They are known for specializing in gone-from-home. More companies that are well known are: Radio One, Sirius XM Radio, World Radio Network, Citadel Broadcasting,

5. Copyright-A legal agreement permitting usage, sells, or license of other works.

6. FCC-Federal Communications Commission. A government ran agency that regulates, monitors, and records all broadcastings.

7. Federal Radio Commission-Issues rules and regulations specifically for the radio industry. It was replaced by the FCC.

8. Frequency-The average number of times the same person will hear a commercial.

9. Internet Radio- Radio that is streamed using the internet.

10. Guglielmo Marconi- a physicist, inventor, and Nobel Prize winner; credited for all technology relatable to the radio.

11. Radio Act of 1912 - federal law that required all ships at sea to conserve a 24 hour radio connection with any nearby coastal station.

12. Radio Act of 1927- created to cease havoc on the radio waves. Communications Act of 1934- created to combine the responsibility of wire and broadcast rules and regulations under a seven member board organized by the F.C.C.

13. President Roosevelt- 32nd president of America.

14. SiriusXM satellite radio- Satellite Radio Company that requires a subscription. It is one of major satellite companies in the nation. XM satellite radio and Sirius satellite radio merged to lessen the competition in the satellite radio industry; becoming the biggest brand in the satellite radio industry.

15. World War II- Allied forces were at war against Germany, Italy, and Japan.

16. The Great Depression-Began when the stock market crashed in 1929. It known to be the worse economic crossroads.

17. Walkie-talkies- A device that uses shortwaves to communicate back-and-forth.

18. Title 47 rules and regulations- 199 rules and regulations made by the FCC.

19. Payola-Under the table payments for the DJ to play a song; Bribery.

20. Podcast-Broadcast using Apple Inc. that can be distribute through Itunes to computers or Apple products.

21. Radio- A form of communication use to deliver news and entertainment on-the-go.

22. Satellite Radio-Radio obtained using satellites and broadcasted to vehicles and/or satellite compatible devices. Delivering multiple stations worldwide by subscriptions or free trial.

23. National Public Radio (NPR) - Radio network that produces stories and in-depth news.

24. Bidding process-The owner must place a bid.

25. Edwin H. Armstrong-The inventor of frequency modulation.

26. Pirate Station-A station that is not authorized by the FCC.

27. Protools-popular recording software that is universal in the entertainment industry.

28. Podcast-Programming that can be downloaded from itunes, and uploaded to a computer or Apple, Inc. device (i.e. iPad, iPod, iPhone, etc.)

29. Streaming-A live broadcast accessed using the internet.

References[edit | edit source]

1. "About NPR." N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <>.

2. Campbell, Richard, Christopher R. Martin, and Bettina Fabos. Media & Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2013. Print.

3. "Commission Document Print Email." Enforcement Bureau Works with U.S. Marshals to Seize Equipment Used by Pirate Operators. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <>.

4. Dominick, Joseph R. "Chapter 8/Radio." The Dynamics of Mass Communication: Media in Transition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. N. pag. Print.

5. "FCC Encyclopedia Print Email." Pirate Broadcast Stations. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <>.

6. "FCC Encyclopedia Print Email." Rules & Regulations for Title 47. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <>.

7. "Forms Print Email." Forms. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <>.

8. "Guide Print Email." How to Apply for a Radio or Television Broadcast Station. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <>.

9. Kharif, Olga. "The FCC Approves the XM-Sirius Merger." BusinessWeek,com. N.p., 25 July 2008. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <>.

10. Pavlik, John V., and Shawn McIntosh. Converging Media: A New Introduction to Mass Communication. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.

11. "Radio Broadcast Rules in 47 CFR Part 73 Audio Division (FCC) USA." Radio Broadcast Rules in 47 CFR Part 73 Audio Division (FCC) USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <>.

12. "SIRIUS and XM to Combine in $13 Billion Merger of Equals - SiriusXM Radio." Http:// N.p., 19 Feb. 2007. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <>.

13. "Statement of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division on Its Decision to Close Its Investigation of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.'s Merger with Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. - Evidence Does Not Establish That Combination of Satellite Radio Providers Would Substantially Reduce Competition." Statement of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division on Its Decision to Close Its Investigation of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.'s Merger with Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. - Evidence Does Not Establish That Combination of Satellite Radio Providers Would Substantially Reduce Competition. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. <>.

14. "What We Do |" What We Do | N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2013. <>.