Broadcast History - May 19

Broadcast History - May 19

Postby jon » Wed May 18, 2022 8:49 pm

Nothing exciting in Canadian radio history on this day in history, so we look elsewhere around the world:

In 1930, the U.S. Supreme Court dismisses an appeal of a case between the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) and General Electric over the FRC's right to impose restrictive terms on the license of WGY in Schenectady, New York.

In 1943, German radio covers the Nazis' declaration that Berlin has been cleansed of Jews ("Judenfrei").

In 1960, formal charges were laid against the late Alan Freed and a half dozen or so other DJs. Many would argue that this was the pivotal moment in the biggest change that ever occurred in Rock & Roll Radio and the R&R record business in North America: the Payola Scandal. Rock Radio started sounding tamer and smaller record labels had a tougher time getting airplay. It may well have paved the way for the British Invasion three and a half years later. Up to that point, Alan had worked, beginning in 1943, at WKST New Castle (Pennsylvania), WKBN Youngstown (Ohio), WAKR Akron, WJW Cleveland, WINS New York and was currently working at WABC New York.


In 2006, Law writer Jeffrey Kanige had this to say about 1960: "Radio DJ Alan Freed—The Father of Rock 'n' Roll—is arrested and charged with 26 counts of commercial bribery as part of the government's payola investigation. Payola represents perhaps the earliest recognition on the part of the music industry that most of what it foists upon the listening public is crap. In fact, the word 'payola' is derived from the Latin phrase meaning 'You’d have to pay me to listen to that crapola.' Freed, the most prominent radio personality of his day, actually got off with just a fine, but his career was ruined. The music industry, however, changed its wicked ways and instead began paying promotion fees to radio stations, a practice that differs from payola in that it is not called 'payola.' In 2005, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer cracked down on the system and again forced the industry to clean up its act. Big record companies now use their cash for more productive pursuits, such as acquiring smaller labels and snuffing out what little creative freedom remains in the business."

In 2001, CNN's Inside Africa airs a report that shows evidence that Radio XK, a service of The South African Broadcasting Corporation, is helping to keep indigenous languages alive.
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