CLS: 100 Years of Radio

From its start to its evolution, and regulation to its entertainment value, join others in understanding the impact of radio in our lives.


Dr. Max Grubb

While it might have gone unnoticed, radio celebrated a milestone event in the U.S., the 100th Anniversary of the first recognized licensed radio ‘broadcast.’ Organizations, such as the Broadcast Educators Association (BEA), delayed commemorating this event due to the COVID Pandemic until this year. This week’s lecture series will follow the development and evolution of radio, from its conceptual stage to the present. Observing radio’s development, we will explore its impact on society along the way.

Dr. Max Grubb is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication at Youngstown State University where he teaches courses in electronic media programming, media performance, media entrepreneurship, communications and media promotion and sales, including faculty-led student media studies in London and Paris.

Dr. Grubb has a BSC in broadcast management from Ohio University, MA in media management from Kent State University, and a PhD at Ohio University in mass communication. He has over 25 years of professional experience in commercial, public and community media.

In addition, Dr. Grubb has served as an international communications/media development consultant. He has worked with government officials and media professionals in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Egypt, Russia, Nigeria, Republic of Georgia, Great Britain and France, including countries from the Asia, South American and African continents. He has various publications, including subjects in media management, international broadcasting, sports broadcasting and media management regulation.

“From Conception through the Golden Age”
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Monday, July 18 | Orchestra Hall

Today, radio is everywhere. Many wake up to it and listen to it on their way to work. However, it would not exist if not for early theorists James Clerk Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz. But it was pioneers like Guglielmo Marconi who pursued what originally was referred to as “the wireless” and evolved to what we call radio. As radio developed in the 1920s, it has impacted us throughout our history. This lecture examines the early development of radio through its Golden Age.

“From the End of the Golden Age to the Present”
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Tuesday, July 19 | Orchestra Hall 

Radio evolved with the changing technology and times. For the last 50 years, the radio industry in the U.S. saw AM radio struggle to maintain and keep its audience. With experiments in Quadrophonic broadcasts, FM radio grew to overtake AM with its stereophonic broadcasts. The FCC approved more station licenses. Radio programming evolved with niche broadcasting. During this era, the U.S. experienced the growth of satellite radio, HD broadcasts and internet radio.

“Empire of the Air”
3:30-5 p.m., Tuesday, July 19 | Orchestra Hall 

For 50 years, radio dominated the airwaves and the American consciousness as the first “mass medium.” In “Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio,” Ken Burns examines the lives of three extraordinary men who shared the primary responsibility for this invention and its early success, and whose genius, friendship, rivalry and enmity interacted in tragic ways.

“The Evolution of Policy, Regulation & Administrative Rules that Influenced Radio in the Last 100 Years”
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Wednesday, July 20 | Orchestra Hall 

Early radio regulation developed slowly as the demand for licenses and audiences grew. In the first 70 years, radio experienced significant oversight as licensees were considered Trustees of the Airwaves. In the 1980s, under the Reagan Administration, a shift took place as licensees were now considered Marketplace participants. This shift created major changes in the radio industry and its relationship to audiences.

“Radio’s Development in Various Countries in the Last 100 Years”
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Thursday, July 21 | Orchestra Hall 

The development of radio in other countries was different, depending on geography, the political system, the economy and cultural values. This discussion will examine the development of radio in various countries. One focus will be on Great Britain since it served as a model for the colonies.

“War of the Worlds”
3:30-5 p.m., Thursday, July 21 | Orchestra Hall

On Halloween Eve, 1938, a news bulletin reported that Martians had landed in a tiny New Jersey town. Although most listeners understood that the program was a radio drama, thousands of others plunged into panic, convinced that America was under a deadly attack. “War of the Worlds” explores how Orson Welles’ ingenious use of radio struck fear into an already anxious nation.

“World War II, the Cold War & Radio in International Development”
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Friday, July 22 | Orchestra Hall 

During WWII, radio served as a propaganda tool for the Axis countries and as a resistance tool for the Allies. After WWII, radio served as a Cold War mechanism by the West in reaching audiences behind the Iron Curtain. Finally, radio serves a tool in International Development projects. For each of these uses, we will examine particular cases where radio served specific agendas.

The event is finished.


Jul 18 - 22, 2022

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/Denver
  • Date: Jul 18 - 22, 2022


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