Radio–There’s a Method to the Madness
Radio broadcasting in the United States has always been different from that in other parts of the world. Unlike in other countries, broadcast radio in America is primarily conducted by privately owned corporations who are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.
Today marks the anniversary of the first broadcast by a commercial radio station in the U.S. On November 2, 1920, KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, signed on as the first commercially licensed radio station in America.
For years radio was the primary mass medium in this country. Families would gather around the "wireless" to listen to scripted programs like The Shadow, Amos n' Andy, and Red Ryder. Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his famous "Fireside Chats" on radio during World War II.
In the 1950's television came into prominence and many pundits said that radio was doomed. Instead radio stations across the country embraced a new form of music that was sweeping the nation. Soon the sounds of Chuck Berry, Bill Haley & The Comets, and a hip-shaking young man from Memphis could be heard emanating from radios all across the country. Rock 'n' Roll had arrived and radio would enter a new golden era as the vanguard in a musical revolution.
Then at the turn of the century other competitors arose to try to take a bite out of broadcast radio's audience. Many declared that satellite radio and the Internet would be the death of radio. And yet here we are.
Today there are over 10,000 broadcast radio stations in the U.S. and radio has the highest audience reach of any medium. 271 million Americans age 6 and over listen to radio each week. Radio reaches 93% of the population age 12 and over every week.
In all these years broadcast radio has always been free-to-air (FTA). That means it's available free to anyone who has the appropriate receiving equipment. Today you can listen to radio free on a standard radio set, and through the many digital iterations now available including web sites, apps, and, most recently, in-home devices like Amazon Echo.
We in the broadcast radio industry work hard every day to bring you the best product we possibly can. Many of these professionals are the ones you hear on the air every day--the d.j.'s, news anchors, and talk show hosts. But it takes many more people working without fanfare to bring our daily programming to you. Today we honor those behind-the-scenes professionals who keep the entertainment, talk shows, news and commercials flowing.
Today is National Broadcast Traffic Professionals Day. Referred to as "Traffic Directors" and "Continuity Directors" in everyday radio parlance, these individuals work diligently with programs, announcements, and much more. They ply their trade with little acknowledgement, yet without them, radio stations could not function. So, today we here at Townsquare Media in Shreveport/Bossier City thank our Traffic/Continuity Directors Dee, Tina, and Tyler. Though we don't say it enough, we appreciate you and all the work you do to keep our radio stations rolling.