I’ve learned so much about Radio’s history in this class. It’s origin is simple, yet extensive. Although I find the history of radio to be fascinating, it is somewhat difficult for me to remember every detail regarding this topic, especially for the upcoming test. Out of all the topics within the chapter, remembering the laws and regulations associated with radio has been the most difficult. This blog post is similar to a synopsis, including key points throughout radio’s history. I am hoping that this will help me with tonight’s exam.
In 1910, the Wireless Ship Act was passed, stating that all ships carrying more than fifty passengers and going over 200 miles off coast were required to have wireless equipment with a one hundred mile range. After the Titanic tragedy in 1912, the Radio Act of 1912 was passed requiring all radio stations to have licenses and call letters. The Radio Act of 1927 stated that licensees did not own channels, but could be used to serve the public’s interest. This also led to the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) which prevented too many stations running on the same frequencies. This Commission would soon transform into the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), covering radio, telephone, and the telegraph, eventually expanding to TV, cable, and Internet. In 1996, the Telecommunications Act allowed the FCC to eliminate some ownership restrictions on radio. The number of radio owners declined from 6,600 to approximately 4,400, giving individuals and companies the ability to buy an infinite amount of radio stations. Clear Channel and CBS Radio have benefited greatly from the act, becoming the two largest chain owners.