History of Media: Televison and Radio

Do you know when the different forms of media were created? Are you aware of when advertising first showed up or who owns the media? ...

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Rise of television:

The 1940s marked the rise of television. RCA held a monopoly of the TVs sold during the time.

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History of Media: Televison and Radio

Do you know when the different forms of media were created? Are you are aware of when advertising first showed up or who owns the media? In this article, you are going to learn full details about the history of TV, Radio and Media.

The radio was developed in the year 1920. During this time, it was primarily used by the military for sending messages from one location to another. RCA president, David Sternoff came up with the idea of selling radios to consumers. The only challenge was coming up with something that would convince customers to buy radios. Therefore, RCA set up a number of radio stations to motivate customers to purchase radios. In just 2 years about 400 stations had been set up. Hotels, universities, police departments, labour unions and newspapers also participated by setting up radio stations.

By the year 1923, $83million worth of radio sets had been sold and about 600 radio stations had been set up. The first advertisement was heard on radio in 1923. At the time, the RCA was made up of four different companies: Westing House, United Fruit, General Electric and AT&T. United Fruit was one of the first companies to advertise on radio. AT&T came up with the idea of selling time on air to different companies. This marked the beginning of toll broadcasting. WEAF was the first company to engage in this. However, they received a lot of opposition and were accused of "polluting the airwaves".

As a result, sponsors would only link their name to programs on air rather than advertise specific products like it happens today.

In 1926, the first radio network, NBC was set up by the RCA. RCA decided that it was more efficient and effective to produce shows in New York City then link the main station to different stations across the country which would be connected through AT&T phone lines. This marked the beginning of network affiliate systems.

In 1927, William Paley set up the second network, CBS. William was among the first people to think that networks could make money strictly from advertising. Therefore, CBS did not make any radios. They made all their money from advertisements.

Due to the rising popularity of radio networks, the Radio Act of 1927 was passed. This established the FRC to allocate broadcasting licenses. This was a necessity because airwaves are limited resources.

In the 1920s and 1930s, radio programs were divided into two: sponsored and non-sponsored. The sponsored programs had advertisers but the non-sponsors did not. The radio station was responsible for all the unsponsored shows while the company sponsoring the sponsored shows were entirely responsible for the sponsored programs.

The rise of television

Between the year 1945 and 1955, advertising had moved all over television. The television was organised around the idea of selling different things.

The television industry created a political atmosphere of fear and suspicion that really affected television during the early stages. In the 1960s, most networks were not pleased with the political situation of television in terms of the blacklists and the fact that sponsors normally controlled the entire program. The networks preferred to keep control of the shows by offering different air time to different sponsors during the programming.

To achieve this, the networks moved to spot selling in order to eliminate sponsor control of shows. This is how spot selling as we know it today started.

The 1950s are considered to be the "Golden Age of Television". It is during this period when the Anthology Series was introduced. This is where different actors would play different roles each week in a show that gained a lot of popularity among all except the advertisers. The advertisers were not pleased with the show because it provided content with psychological confrontations that made it difficult for customers to buy the advertised products. The show contained information that made it seem like the products were fraudulent. This is what discouraged customers from purchasing the products.

This made network executives to start thinking about what they wanted different shows to do.

The goal was not to excite or make people laugh but to make them watch television for set period of time.

Since so many shows were being proposed, standard were created guiding shows on what they could and couldn't do.

The programs were tested out on different audiences to see how they responded before being put on radio and television. The result was similar elements and themes being repeated over and over in different shows.

This marked the beginning of the recombinant television culture. This is why it is normally referred to as watching television and not shows. However, even with the repetition, TV ratings were not very affected but remained quite stable.

Since then, there have been numerous improvements. Today, networks provide different channels with different and unique content. Although it is possible to find similar TV shows, there is a significant difference from how things used to be in the past. We have definitely come a long way since the recombinant television culture era.

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