Radio After the Golden Age

The Evolution of American Broadcasting Since 1960


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About the Book

What became of radio after its Golden Age ended about 1960? Not long ago Arbitron found that almost 93 percent of Americans age 12 and older are regular radio listeners, a higher percentage than those turning to television, magazines, newspapers, or the Internet. But the sounds they hear now barely resemble those of radio’s heyday when it had little competition as a mass entertainment and information source.
Much has transpired in the past fifty-plus years: a proliferation of disc jockeys, narrowcasting, the FM band, satellites, automation, talk, ethnicity, media empires, Internet streaming and gadgets galore… Deregulation, payola, HD radio, pirate radio, the fall of transcontinental networks, the rise of local stations, conglomerate ownership, and radio’s future landscape are examined in detail. Radio has lost a bit of influence yet it continues to inspire stunning innovations.

About the Author(s)

Jim Cox, a leading radio historian, is an award-winning author of numerous books on the subject. A retired college professor, he lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Bibliographic Details

Jim Cox
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 264
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7434-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1209-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface: The Nation’s Soundtrack 1

 1. The Best of Times 9

 2. The Goose, the Egg and the Evil Eye 23

 3. At Last, Wireless for Real 44

 4. From Victrola to Payola 57

 5. Power Shift Fuels Fine-Tuning 76

 6. Escalating the Continuum 87

 7. Narrowcasting: A Captive Audience 105

 8. Talk Is Cheap 116

 9. Theater of the Mind Déjà Vu 142

10. Satellites and Automated Dialing 159

11. Pillaging the Public Airwaves 169

12. Multicolored Radio 178

13. An Acoustical Smorgasbord 195

14. Tune in Again Tomorrow 207

Appendix: A Half-Century of Radio Evolution 215

Notes 227

Bibliography 245

Index 253

Book Reviews & Awards

“Author Jim Cox knows radio, how to research it and how to write about it. This time he takes readers on a journey of discovery with a book containing more detail on radio’s evolution than one could ever imagine”—Radio Recall; “historian Jim Cox just keeps on doing it”—Milwaukee Area Radio Enthusiasts.