Regulating the Future: Broadcasting Technology and Governmental Control

By W. A. Kelly Huff | Go to book overview

When the FCC finally did get around to taking the bull (double entendre intended) by the horns and select an AM stereo standard, it was the proverbial case of doing “too little too late.” By the mid-1990s the idea of two-channel sound on the AM band held little excitement for the listening public, especially those who had moved on to high-fidelity sound supplied by TV, VCRs, DVD, and so on. For those tuned to AM (about one in five radio listeners), it did not matter that the talk programs that they enjoyed could be split between a left and a right speaker. As one listener put it, “Who needs stereo on AM? All those talk guys speak with forked tongues anyway.” Another listener questioned the virtue of two-speaker sound when all that was available on AM talk stations were “right”-wing speakers.

In Regulating the Future, Huff does an exceptionally good job of sorting out the whole lurid conundrum of broadcast technology and government control. All right, maybe lurid is not the best or most appropriate adjective to describe how the government and its unwitting (is self-serving and stupid too strong?) subjects can turn a grain of sand into a quasar—or black hole.

Several years ago, I assembled a symposium on the state of AM radio for the Journal of Radio Studies. One of the people I called upon to contribute to this effort was the author of this book. His grasp of the AM stereo question made him the resident academic expert on the subject. Now, nearly a decade later, he has produced a comprehensive, book-length study that adds further information and understanding to what has become one of the great sagas in the electronic media field, and he has aptly and appropriately applied the AM stereo model to other broadcasting technologies such as DAB and DTV.

Michael C. Keith

-x-

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Regulating the Future: Broadcasting Technology and Governmental Control
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Learning from Broadcasting’s Past 5
  • Chapter 2 - Am Stereo and the Marketplace 17
  • Chapter 3 - Am Stereo: The Wrath of Kahn 39
  • Chapter 4 - Digital Audio Broadcasting: a New Kind of Radio 67
  • Chapter 5 - Border-To-Border Dab 87
  • Chapter 6 - Advanced Television from HDTV to DTV 111
  • Chapter 7 - The Grand Alliance and the Introduction of Dtv 145
  • Chapter 8 - The FCC’s Changing Regulatory Role 185
  • Index 223
  • About the Author 235
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