When were forms of media created? When did advertising first show up? Who owns media?
Creation of various forms of media
Newspapers & Magazines ~ 1880 *
Movies ~ 1910 *
Television ~ 1945 *
Cable Television ~ 1980's *
Satellite Television, Internet, Digital Communication ~ End of 20th century
In 1920, radio was first developed, primarily for use by military, strictly for sendingHistory of Media - Old Radios messages from one location to another. David Sternoff, then-president of RCA, first had idea to sell radio sets to consumers, or what were then called radio receivers. However, consumers needed a reason to buy radios, so RCA was first to set up radio stations all over country. Between 1920 and 1922, 400 radio stations were set up, starting with KBKA in Pittsburgh. Stations were also set up by universities, newspapers, police departments, hotels, and labor unions.
By 1923, there were 600 radio stations across United States, and $83 million worth of sets had been sold.
The biggest difference in radio before and after 1923 was that first advertising was not heard on radio until 1923. RCA at time was made up of four companies:
General Electric *
United Fruit *
United Fruit was one of first global corporations, and one of first to advertise on radio. The AT&T division of RCA first thought about selling time on air to companies, which marked start of "toll broadcasting." WEAF was first station to operate this way, causing widespread outrage, and accusation of "polluting airwaves."
Because of this controversy, practice of selling advertising time was called "trade name publicity." Sponsors linked their name with a program on air, rather than advertising a specific product in a 30 second "commercial" as we know it today.
Why did AT&T decide to experiment with charging companies for air time?
AT&T was not making any money from broadcasting at time since they only made transmitters, not receivers. They only made money when new radio stations bought equipment required to broadcast. They did not make money from consumers buying radios.
AT&T also started practice of paying performers for their time on air, rather than only volunteers, which was standard practice for radio content up until that point.
The first radio network
In 1926, RCA set up first radio network, NBC. They decided it was more effective and efficient to produce shows in New York City, and then link main radio station with stations all across country, connected by AT&T (another RCA company) phone lines. (Now television networks are linked by satellite to their affiliates).
This was beginning of network affiliates system. The ideal network makes sure everyone in country is capable of listening to their signal. NBC at time had two philosophies:
Radio content was a "public service," whose function was to sell radios. *
Radio content was designed to generate income from advertising.
History of Media In 1927, second network was formed. It was CBS, started by William Paley. Paley was first to think that networks could make money strictly from advertising, not even getting involved in sales of radios. Like AT&T, CBS did not make radios. From start, they made their money from selling advertising.
The rising of radio networks caused Radio Act of 1927 to be passed, which established FRC, or what is now known as FCC, to allocate broadcast licenses. The need for such an organization was brought on by fact that airwaves are limited resources, and broadcasting itself is a scarce public resource. By 1930's, structure of radio have been set by commercial format, although advertising never dominated radio like it would television later on.
In 1920's and '30's, radio programs were divided into two groups. Sponsored shows, which had advertisers, and unsponsored shows, which did not. The radio station paid for unsponsored shows. The sponsored shows, on other hand, were created entirely by company sponsoring show; advertisers were totally in charge of radio station's content. The content became advertising. Radio set precedent for television, in that same companies that controlled radio early on went on to control television.
Soon thereafter, television inherited structure of radio. In '40's, during rise of television, RCA also held a monopoly on all television sets sold. By 1945-1955, advertising had taken over all of television. Television was organized around premise of selling things. The entire television industry was creating a political atmosphere of suspicion and fear. Senator Joseph McCarthy, founder of McCarthyism, which was based on fear of Communism, and HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee, began to question people involved in television about their beliefs and associations.
What affected television in its early stages?
Politics (McCarthyism / HUAC). *
Blacklists: From almost inception of television, many writers, directors, and actors were considered to be pro-Communist and/or un-American.
Certain topics were totally off-limits at time for television, particularly issues of race relations in 1960's. Overall, networks were not happy with political situation for television in 1960's, both in terms of blacklists, and of fact that when every show had one sponsor, that sponsor controlled entire program. Networks preferred to control program, by way of moving to multiple sponsors/advertisers, where networks would retain control of show, and advertisers would buy time in between programming.
In 1950's, networks decided to eliminate practice of sponsors controlling shows with a move to spot selling, or advertisements between programs, as we know it today. What caused move to spot selling?
Discovery of fraud in quiz shows on television. Quiz shows were extremely popular at time, and were liked by networks, sponsors, and viewers alike. It turned out, however, that quiz shows were largely fixed. Charles Van Doren on "21" became a huge star due to his repeated wins, until it came out that whole thing had been fixed. In case of "The $64,000 Question," owner of Revlon was personally hand-selecting winners and losers on show. 2.