First "wireless telegraph" newpaper message, relaying the results of a sailing competition, transmitted from a sea vessel to the newspaper the Daily Express.

Radio's first news broadcast provided to sailing ships.

The London Convention and the Radio Act both signed by President Taft, as well as the US Congress' ratification of the 1906 Berlin Convention, reflect the US government's growing involvement in regulating the radio industry, including requiring licenses for most private radio transmitters and operators.


At the start of US involvement in
World War I, by executive order private radio stations are either shut down or taken over by the government. The overturn of these wartime restrictions coincide with the war's end.


"Broadcasting Boom" occurs as technological advances in radio and the
industry's increasing popularity prove the medium to be a valuable
commercial tool.

Most radio programs are primarily entertainment-oriented, featuring music
or drama. Other programming involves limited coverage of high-profile
political events, sports, and instructional programs on a variety of ordinary
topics such as cooking.

General Electric and Westinghouse's joint corporation, The
Corporation of America (RCA)
, purchases AT&T's national radio network
to form the much more successful
National Broadcasting Company (NBC).

The advent of advertisements as a means to finance radio stations: very controversial at first but ultimately successful.

Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), a second national network, formed.

Ten-minute "NewsCasts," created by Time Magazine working in conjunction with radio executive Fred Smith are broadcast by various stations nationwide.

Dramatic re-creations of events, "NewsActing," incorporated into the NewsCasts. This concept later expanded into a more lengthy program, "March of Time."

"The University of Chicago Roundtable" broadcast by NBC. University scholars engage in intellectual discussion. Slightly resembles later phenomenon of talk radio.


Two-thirds of American households own at least one radio.

President Roosevelt addresses the nation in the first of a series of "
Fireside Chats" which occur sporadically throughout the following decade of FDR's terms in office.

   Federal Communications Commission
established to oversee
                                                                                     licensing, investigate monopoly charges,
                                                                                     and set guidelines regarding obscenity,
                                                                                     excessive advertising, and allocate radio

                                                                                      Purportedly to improve the overall quality
                                                                                      of radio reception, the FCC handed the
                                                                                      largest and most desired frequencies to
                                                                                      broadcasters with the best equipment, resulting in the consolidation of much of the radio industry into a handful of large corporations.


Radio broadcast journalism establishes itself as a significant national media force as it covers the daily events of
World War II.

New York DJ Barry Gray discovers interviewing celebrities on air garner higher ratings than playing music alone. Gray is unofficially dubbed the "Father of Talk Radio."

early 1960's
"All talk" radio programming becoming popular.

National Public Radio, a privtate, non-commercial network devoted to news, information, and "infotainment" founded. Programs are aired on local public radio stations nationwide.
TIMELINE: History of Radio & Politics