EARLY RADIO
• Outgrowth of 'wireless'
• Marconi and Fessenden
Station XWA in Montreal (later CFCF)
became first radio station in Canada (1918)
• CKAC in Montreal, first french-language
station (1922)
• Proto-broadcasting
Radio Days
• Titanic in 1912 showcased importance of
radio as a transmissions device
• 1920's spread quickly
• But, early radio content borrowed from
earlier media (phonograph)
• Could radio signals=life on other planets???
Radio News
• During the Depression radio news was
trusted while newspaper news wasn't.
• --on the spot news
• --bulletins
• --commentary
• Which politicians were radio men?
Golden Age of Radio
• 1935-40's
• music: pre-recorded; symphony orchestras,
Big Bands (live & recorded)
• drama: soap operas, serials, ‘prestige’
dramas
• political: use in campaigns
Canadian Radio
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Federal Involvement: 1905-32
commercial device
1913 Radiotelegraph Act
July 1928 Diamond Jubilee (50th
anniversary) highlighted
Canadianizing Airwaves
• 80% of Canadians spent time listening to
American radio
• 1929 Royal Commission on Radio
Broadcasting (Aird Commission)
• urban concentration of Canadian radios
• commercialization
• mediocrity
Aird Report
• Federal government should take over
private radio
• Public broadcasting system would be
nationalistic-Canadian programs for and by
Canadians
• Led by Canadian Radio League and
Graham Spry: "the state or the United
States"
1932 Canadian Radio
Broadcasting Act
• Created the Canadian Radio Broadcasting
Commission (CRBC)
• PUBLIC ownership of radio
1936 Broadcasting Act
• CRBC replaced by CBC
• Mandate to establish national broadcasting
service
• Licences issued to private broadcasters
• Mixed public and private ownership
1957 Royal Commission on
Broadcasting
• Also known as Fowler Commission
• Recommended integration of private with
public
Broadcasting Act of 1958
• Put private & public sector on equal footing
• Tension between regulatory role of CBC
and main player in radio
• Board of Broadcast Governors (BBG)
initiated - role to regulate CBC and private
broadcasters
• Later BBG=CRTC (1968)
CRTC…
• Independent public agency
• Reports to Parliament through Canadian
Heritage
• Governed by Broadcasting Act of 1991 and
Telecommunications Act of 1993
• Awards and renews broadcast license
• Sets standards and quotos for broadcasting
industry
CRTC…
Tries to act on behalf of the public interest
Tries to ensure that broadcasting meets needs
of all Canadians - multicultural, bilingual
etc.
• Controversial
CANCON – private broadcasters
• At least 35% of pop music selections played
by commercial AM and FM stations each
broadcast week must be Canadian
• Minimum of 35% of airplay must be
between 6am-6pm M-F and be Canadian
CBC Cancon
• Minimum of 50% of general music and
20% of traditional and special interest
selections during broadcast day (6ammidnight) must be Canadian
• More rigorous for french-language radio
MAPL-must meet at least 2:
• M - music composed entirely by a Canadian
• A - artists or lyrics must be performed
principally by a Canadian
• P - production - live performance that is a)
recorded entirely in Canada, or b)
performed entirely in Canada and broadcast
live in Canada
• L - lyrics written entirely by a Canadian
What’s a Canadian Musical
Artist?
• CAN CANADIAN MUSICIANS "MAKE IT"
in CANADA, OR DO THEY NEED THE
GLOBAL MARKET?
• WHO ARE THE GATEKEEPERS OF THE
MUSIC INDUSTRY?
• DO AWARD SHOWS LIKE THE GRAMMY
& JUNO PROMOTE EXCELLENCE?
• DO THEY PROMOTE WHAT IS BEST &
DISTINCT IN ONE YEAR?
Has Canadian radio been
successful in nurturing Canadian
culture?
• CanCon rules
• CBC support waning
• Howard Stern ‘Problem’
Community Radio
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rural...cooperative...
participatory...free...
alternative...popular... educational
rural to urban
musical to militant
signals from 1 km. >country>shortwave
Trends in Radio
• Digital Audio broadcasting
• Pirate radio
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RADIO - University of Ottawa