Radio Wars Documentary: A Wild Ride Through the History of Broadcasting

Leading Paragraph: 
For almost 100 years Radio has entertained and influenced us. But who is in control of the airwaves?

North Hollywood, CA, January 30, 2012 /PressReleasePing/ -- For nearly 100 years, America has had a love affair with radio. But, has there been an unseen war going on among its ranks since its inception? Who invented radio? Who controls its content? Therein lies the controversy that has raged in a dozen arenas over the past century. A daring film "RADIO WARS" takes a real look at the evolution of radio and America’s relationship with music and communication.

It is difficult to look at radio and its history without giving a nod to money and politics.  Technology means change which typically means current winners are about to become tomorrow's wiener's.

Radio begins when Nikola Telsa discovers how to modulate electrons so that beeps can be used to communiat through the wireless telegraph.  It doesn't take long before this is expanded to reproduce music and human voice.

This is done by varying the signal strength of a particular frequency.  We call this Amplitude Modulation (AM).  While AM is prone to static interference, under some conditions that radio waves can bounce off the upper atmosphere and return to earth.  This made it could be possible to be driving in the desert in the middle of the night, and the listening to a radio station from Chicago, Illinois.

The established news media of the day, newspaper was not thrilled with this new development.  They fought it tooth and nail.

“The entity that controls broadcasting also controls culture,” says director Sandra Mohr. “It’s time we looked closely at the RADIO WARS throughout history and I believe the film will help viewers to understand how radio’s transformations have had a powerful influence on our personal lives.”

Technology Marches on, and a new form of radio comes along known as FM (Frequency Modulation). It the waves are shorter between the peaks and do not bounce off the upper atmosphere.  It is also not prone to static as AM is. The misnomer is tuning to a particular radio station frequency on FM. It works by selecting a center point and varying modulation of the frequency from the center point to carry the broadcast.

Of course, the AM radio industry fights tooth and nail against FM.

And radio is staunchly against a new RF (Radio Frequency) called television. TV is FM with pictures to accompany the sound.  As an FM signal  cannot follow the curvature of the earth, its range is limited by how high an antenna can be. So TV becomes limited to about 60 miles (or 30 miles if the antenna is near the ground). The early cable companies picked up the signals by antennas on the ground, carried the signals through a cable to areas that could not get a signal.

Satellites become important in radio as well. Sirius and XM copy the model of pay for (not free) content, freeing the listener from far more than geographical boundaries.  Since the content is paid for and controlled, the FCC (Federal Trade Commission) is unable to restrict content (for example vulgarity) < think Howard Stern>.

This did not happen overnight, the FCC fought it tooth and nail.

On December 23, 2011 on page B3, in the Wall Street Journal the headline reads: " FCC Aims to Ease Media Rule".

This is because with newspaper readership declining, a corporation's ability to shape public opinion by controlling what is released in a market has been seen as less of an issue.

Historically, the incumbent will always fight  against the new technology appearing on the radar.  This excellent movie  "Radio Wars: The Historic Battles that Redefined Radio" explores these important issues.  I encourage you to ask your local library to put a copy on their shelves.

Contact :
Denise Hubbard
Mohr Publicity
11559 La Maida Street North Hollywood, CA 91601

MB Publishing is built and powered by Web Design Falmouth Company Registration Number: 6528264 © All rights reserved. Audana Ltd 2014