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American Radio History:
The First Hundred Years

by Alex Cosper


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Read about American Radio History of several major cities. Learn about how politics and technology influenced radio stations across America. Many people think about radio's heyday as the freeform era of the late sixtes or the AM top 40 era of the sixties and seventies. Alternative radio also stood out as memorable in the 1990s. Playlist Research has researched the radio dial of these major cities and points out stations that made a huge impact in their markets.

The major turning points in the history of American radio were FCC regulations and technological advances that ushered in new eras. For example, in the 1940s the FCC brought clarity and uniformity to the AM dial after years of stations operating on multiple frequencies. Then in the mid-sixties the FCC made rulings that encouraged the development of experimental programming on the FM band. By the end of the seventies new technology made it possible to market FM to the mainstream.

In the 21st century radio is in a completely different world, riddled with massive debt and uncertainty about the future due to new technology. The main focus of Playlist Research's report on American radio history is how the medium rose to greatness throughout the 20th century and was shaped by creativity and a community spirit.








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