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Radio, Broadcast

Broadcast radio was one of the first mass mediums when it emerged in the early 20th century. It enabled immediate access to news and entertainment and encouraged a sense of community through programs such as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats. This entry discusses the history of broadcast radio and its current challenges.

History

The first voice and music radio signals were transmitted in December 1906 by Reginald Fessenden from Brant Rock, just south of Boston, MA. The broadcast was only about an hour, and although many others experimented with radio broadcasts over the next couple of years, none of these experiments led to any continuing or scheduled services. It was not until 1908 that Charles “Doc” Herrold provided regularly scheduled voice and music programs to a ...

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