Friday was World College Radio Day, with a day dedication to the celebration of the innovation of those up and coming disk jockeys, who are going to college. beginning a career in the broadcast field is a unique and challenging experience, coming with necessity. Radio covers on air AM, FM, television, your Wi-Fi signal, or simply nuking food in your microwave oven. These days, in addition to on-air radio, the innovations of podcasts, over-the-web radio programming, YouTube, Rumble and a vast array of other newer radio programmers, make college for those individuals interested in becoming tomorrows radio programmers and DJ’s. Our hats are off to these persons in order to celebrate World College Radio Day!
Getting a certification to broadcast can make it much easier to be able to start a career in radio broadcasting. Sometimes it can even be necessary, in order to procure keeping it legal. Always make sure before broadcasting that all legal loopholes are covered, before your air debut. Contacting an attorney can also ease the mind of a future broadcaster, because paying proper attention to the logistics of proper certification is necessary as described by the law. A great looking resume gets the attention of local, national and international companies that own radio station and podcasting stations. Check your local area information, because broadcasting is only taught at highly refined colleges. Actually, I was going to become a DJ, among about three other professions, and it was not the selected career–but I was able to find a lot of information, and in Illinois in the early 1980’s, Columbia College in Chicago was a suitable college that you would attend at starting your career in those days. Always check to make sure that the curriculum matches your needs before paying any tuition. Broadcasting is not taught at the majority of colleges and universities. Good luck on finding a career starting college!
Radio is technology of modulating, signaling and/or communicating using a radio wave, which is an electromagnetic waves in the low frequency just above the sound wave between 30 Hz and 300 GHz. The electronic wave is generated by a transmitter connected to an antenna which radiates the wave, and tuned by a radio tuner connected to a receiving antenna. Radio is used in communication, television, radar, navigation, remote controls, remote sensing and other variety of other applications. In the whole spectrum of energy, it all starts on the low end with
- Sound/resonance waves
- Radio waves
Then the spectrum turns to rays as the perpendicular lines start to radiate in conjunction with the wave-fronts of the actual light or ray, and that points in the direction of the energy flow Leading into:
- Infrared rays
- Visible light rays
- Ultraviolet rays
- Gamma rays
- Cosmic rays
History of Radio
THE EARLY YEARS – INVENTION INTO THE 1940’S:
College radio has it’s own history to go along with the existence of radio since its implementation even before a commercial radio station was even on the air with its beginning in the form of a Radio Club was founded at Union College in Schenectady, New York in 1915 and it was one of the first student radio clubs to broadcast music over the radio. Students started airing regular music concerts by amateur radio in October, 1920, claiming to be the first commercial college radio station. The 1930s and 1940s are known as the Golden Age of Radio. The convergence of talent, advertising sponsorships, and technological advancements in radio receivers brought about this era.Radio was initially invented in 1895 by the shared 1909 Nobel Prize Guglielmo Marconi– an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, in the honor of physics (with Karl Ferdinand Braun). In the early years was developed experimentally the years 1905–1906 for transmission of talk, news and musical content, and in 1920 commercially available amplitude modulating stations started out broadcasting on the still unchanged AM band. In the late 1920’s, Edwin Armstrong invented frequency modulation and VHF stations started broadcasting in 1936 and commercially in 1940. The original FM band which was located between 42 to 50 MHz, and it was found that there was still of tropospheric and Sporadic E propagation, so in 1946 FM was moved to the current frequency band of 88-108 MHz. The original FM bandwidth was re-assigned to non government fixed and mobile plus original television’s start of channels 1-6, and channel 1 (44 to 50 MHz) was the end part of that frequency, still having quality issues whereby the channel was abandoned nationwide and never utilized in other countries. The original VHF Low TV band (50 MHz to 88 MHz) was located jut below FM from 1946 to 2009. Channel 6, depending on the city, has a sound channel that is on either of 87.7 or 87.9, depending on which main city guidelines are in use. These sound channels have still been used to show up at the beginning of most FM receivers as FM stations 87.7 or 87.9, but have until July 13, 2021 [have been granted more time] to figure out a digital plan to succeed continuing transmission, or cease completely as analog is being phased out completely for the original channel 6. FM practices the same selection whereby each main city is off by .4 MHz, so the cities can have the same amount of stations and the stations do not “bleed” over each other. All FM radio stations in the U.S. always broadcast on an odd 10th of a frequency (100.3, NOT 100.2 or 100.4). Originally commercial stations used to start out with 93.1 MHz all the way up to 107.9 MHz, and educational and not-for-profit radio was 88.1 to 92.9 MHz. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (a department of the U.S. Executive Branch) has still likes to issue these frequencies as being con-commercial, but exceptions have been known to emanate. Each market has 16 high powered stations and and equal portion of low powered stations on the in-between frequencies. The main stations are spaced exactly .8 MHz apart with low powered stations smack dab in the middle of the two high powered stations. Each market is spaced apart by .4 MHz to allow stations not to bleed. The FCC allows exceptions based on antennae being transmitted in a directional fashion, per station results. As you can see, the early years of radio sure had a great implementation of the happy medium of college radio
THE CHANGING YEARS – 40’S THROUGH THE 60’S:
College radio stations became popular in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, with the first college radio station being founded by David Borst and George Abraham at Brown University in the year 1940. They also created the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS), maximizing resources of the college stations abroad. College radio broadcasts have been said to happen before licensed broadcast stations, with campus-only carrier current radio stations. In the early 1940’s, radio broadcasts became more popular for entertainment purposes, creating a new field of study for college students. Radio in general, was taken to new avenues and limits in the years of the 40’s through the 60’s. In World War II FM Doppler radar was used to replace inferior AM radar for obvious reasons, interference and a lot of severe limitations. In 1945 the FCC moved the FM broadcast band from the 42–50 MHz to 88–106 MHz band, though later extended to be 108 MHz, making the existing radios useless unless a converter was purchased. By the 50’s, television began to get more popular whereby people tended to have someone “on the block” who had one towards the beginning, and by the end of the decade more and more families were adding one to the household. Networks took off with 4 main networks on both radio and television. FM was still not beginning to catch on and in fact didn’t become greatly popular until the late 70’s. The changeover is slated to be one of the reasons the setback stunted the early growth of FM. Other reasons for the change vary in opinion, but those times it was hard just to get equipment modifications in a changeover, as compared to out somewhat disposable lifestyle we lead these days. The new band offered far less interference, as the original FM band was before the missing channel “1” before the original channel 2 on analog television, and we all know how badly that station came in, as a revisit to the past! Channel 1 was dropped due to the fact that it just could not handle the quality needed to render the video signal. Radio went through various changes in the playlists, but Top-40 mastered the dial infusing different styles “all on one” station. FM really began to take off by the mid to late 70’s with the disco era in full swing, but AM kept it’s clientele until a little later–in the 80’s era. The whole way, college radio was there, to bring in new and lively persons seeking a career in the media of radio broadcasting.
THE BUILDING UP OF FM – 70’S TO THE 90’S:
In the 1970’s, college radio was a popular place to break new material., including playlists that were often broken down by a genre or rotation type with artists in refined classic rock to punk being were mainstays of college radio charts. With college radio stations in the 1970’s, the protocols of the putting of notes on the front of each record with comments from other DJs at the station. Other changes continued into the 1980’s as punk became “college rock” into the mid to later decade. Some media introducing talk radio was introduced as the 1980’s became the 1990’s. The 1990’s particularly became the playing place of songs and artists that were ceasing to be played throughout commercial radio and MTV. Also as MTV began to stop playing its original 24-hour music video format, the music formats it played had disappeared, to be continued over at the college radio stations abroad. In general, throughout the 1960s and 1970s, all broadcast radio turned from its original purpose to the new role of specialist, in which each station catered solely to the taste of a certain. As radio stations increasingly became oriented toward playing music, many stations took their signals to the FM band, which offered much higher sound quality. Radio taken to even more new heights in the 70’s and 80’s. At the beginning of the 70’s, the record industry went through dramatic changes in the quality of recordings, with introduction of 4 track recording. The whole aura of the 70’s was better and best…the re-mastering of records, and also a great improvement of the quality of the vinyl used to press a record. All this led to a great turnover to the FM dial from the AM. Every year throughout the decade showed a dwindling on the AM and a surge of persons going FM, with full realization that the audio on the AM dial was only to 5 KHz, and hearing goes to 20 KHz, so there was a substantial muffled effect on the sound quality, as demonstrated by a fas.org report on AM radio. The amount of ratings went way over the persons listening to AM. More and more people liked to hear that awesome stereo sound they had going on even though the FM bands statistics are still the same as they were in the hey days- going up to only 15 KHz. still to this day transmits from 50 Hz to 15 KHz, which is demonstrated by a fas.org report on FM radio. The whole stereo still works the same way, The two channels left and right are transmitted through one channel and at the 19 kHz pilot signal from the center of the carrier frequency, which in the day was the little red light on FM dials. If you ever noticed when they made stereos with the red light, when the light went out, the stereo faded. It takes a lot of power to have the pilot light decode the multiplexing of the channel separation. Other formats that came and gone were the introduction of quadraphonic FM in the mid 70’s, but never went far because of the whole 8-Track tape fad, costs and technical problems. Then there was AM stereo…with no improvement to the muffled 5 KHz sound by the mid to late 80’s. The whole deal with that was that you needed two radios, one tuned to the left of center tuning and one to the right of center. They were trying to get listeners back to listening and reviving the listenership, but the poor quality muffled to popularity, and by 2001 the last AM stereo station ceased such broadcasting. FM always came out on top throughout the whole era in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, until HD AM/FM came out. College radio continued to be a complementary medium throughout the period, and continued to progress!
THE PRESENT DAYS:
College radio became a great and innovative place for radio in the early millennium, with implementing of Low Power FM (LPFM) radio on January 20, 2000. Students and community DJ’s turned to college radio to defy the mainstream/commercial radio. The availability of college radio stations being popular with students disrupted popular music and commercial radio. As media deregulation and political conflict over obscenity and censorship are being transformed, the business and politics of culture, students and community DJs turned to college radio to defy the mainstream — and they ended up disrupting popular music and commercial radio in the process. These days, there are at least 600 college radio stations throughout the United States. Present day radio continues to take the largest change in the history of it’s existence in the new millennium. Sirius-XM still continues to offer so many stations that, despite monthly price increases, still has a major pull of ratings. And to make matters worse, internet companies like Google’s YouTube, Spotify and other apps are able to be streamed into a lot of newer cars right in a USB port, which powers the phone enough to have it not lose too much power, while a stream, yet needing a subscription to port into without using too much cellular memory up from a monthly plan. Also, stay-at-home orders from the government and work-at-home orders from jobs have made commuting an all time low, and the place where radio has been known to be for everyone is at the workplace and while commuting. Even while people work at home, people opt to keep television on over the radio counterpart. Radio contests are not new, and I have seen movie skits, television shows and writings all over featuring radio contests and the like. I have been contesting for years (since the late 80’s) and I won a contest in the summer of 2020 from a major radio station and the prize was to have my name read on the air, so I know this present environment that radio is experiencing is very seriously troubled.. Therefore competition isn’t always another station, which makes the Nielsen ratings way more worthless, as they don’t measure the anti-radio competition. Most presently, the radio dial had celebrated it’s 100th anniversary on November 3, 2020, and as you can see, college radio is at least five years older than that first commercial broadcast. College radio continues to be a vital asset to broadcasting abroad. College radio has always been there throughout the history of radio transmission, and also looks as though it is here to stay!
Sources of College Radio
The FM dial is covered with both college radio and commercials radio, with stions typically from the frequency of 88.1 MHz to 92.9 MHz. That frequency is only a guideline, not set in stone, so you must check with the locality and the FCC. There are known instances of commercial stations in those frequencies, and also instances of college radio between 93.1 MHz and 107.9 MHz. There are also college radio stations transmitting on Low Power FM (LPFM) radio. The rules for such transmission are similar to any typical Low Power transmission such as the the operator of a drive-in theatre, a personal speaker system and your own house, or a Christmas or Holiday display. There are also a host of college AM transmitters nationwide, and with the further decay and demise of AM, it is a welcomed availability of all sorts of college radio to sprawl, but unfortunately it is still not become a highly popular media, despite continued trial.
Future of Radio
This is still the biggest and most trying time for radio, including for college radio. There is definite hop for the future of radio. Steering around the vast array of variety other than standard broadcast radio makes it even more viable to remain aligned with a career in broadest. Live for today, and don’t get too caught up in the politics of imposition to becoming tomorrows possible star. College radio is a must for the career and stay of the radio dial. I have always loved radio and my hope is that radio can continue for the next generation and beyond . . .
Radio & World College Radio Day