Sat May 23 18:29:34 EDT 2009
At 01:03 PM 5/23/2009, 'iraapple' wrote:
>My understanding is and has always been that KDKA was the first COMMERCIAL
>station, that is, the first station to broadcast commercials.
Not true. A "commercial station" back then was still NOT allowed to
broadcast what was called "direct advertising." Herbert Hoover, then
head of the Dept. of Commerce, forbade such advertising. He wanted
radio to be public service and educational. The word "commercial"
was merely a word to differentiate between that sort of station and a
ham radio station. Regarding paid commercials though... by 1922,
many stations were in need of ways to pay the bills to keep the
lights on, phone service active, etc., and they disagreed with Hoover
and the DOC. Some stations quietly began airing paid advertisements
(1XE/WGI among them) -- and they got in trouble for doing so. The
experiment with "toll broadcasting" in August 1922 in New York was
not the first, but it was the first to be permitted...
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