The first issue of Radio magazine (originally titled BE Radio) was published in January 1994, but its roots go back much farther. In 1959, Broadcast Engineering magazine was launched to cover the technology of radio and television. By 1994, it was realized that while the two services are related broadcast efforts, the needs of their specific audiences warranted splitting the content into two publications.
Radio magazine, now part of the NewBay Media group of publications, continues to cover the technology of radio broadcasting. Now in our 20th year, we'll look back at the first year of publication, which had six issues.
Here are some highlights from the November 1994 issue.
■ Our cover story looked at ways radio could profit from new technology being developed. Computer-based programming operations and datacasting were the two primary areas of focus. In 1994, we were still learning to accept everything being recorded, stored, manipulated and played back from a computer. Today, it's hard to imagine doing it any other way. The datacasting aspect dealt with high-speed subcarriers on the analog channel with services from Digital DJ (on 76kHz), Mitre (on 72kHz and Seiko (on 66.5kHz). The opening image (shown here) from that article showed one concept of the dashboard of the future that included navigation and other data displays fed from radio broadcast signals.
■ Our second feature outlined the current state-of-the-art in satellite technology. While analog SCPC and MCPC were still quite common, digital transmission systems, including SEDAT, were being used. The article also presented several satellite downlink maintenance tips.
■ Testing of the various digital radio broadcast systems were nearing completion at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland. We overviewed the parameters of the systems from AT&T (IBAC), AT&T/Amati (IBOC), TCE (COFDM), USA Digital Radio (IBOC, two FM systems and one AM system) and VOA/JPL (DBS on 2.3GHz). The systems were also being tested over the air. The AT&T had also been tested on-air in Princeton, NJ. USA Digital Radio provided mobile demonstrations of its system in Cincinnati and Chicago for NAB and NRSC members. Additional field tests were planned to be held in San Francisco in early 1995.
■ New products from the World Media Expo included the Otari B-10 on-air console, Crown Broadcast's AirForce program automation system, the Denon DN-995R Mini-disc cart machine, Sony PRMD-74 recordable Mini-discs, the Eventide DSP3000B Ultra-Harmonizer effects processor, the RE America RE660/662 codec with Musicam, the Audioarts Engineering MR-40 production console and the Soundcraft RM100 on-air console.
■ After six issues of the magazine being a supplement, it had been decided to launch BE Radio on it own. There was a teaser noting that something was coming in January. The first-stand-alone issue of what is now Radio magazine was issued in January 1995.
The Next 20 Years
Radio magazine has followed the progress and evolution of radio for the past 20 years, and we will continue to do so into the future. But there are questions about what radio will be like in the future.
Will radio continue to hold its place with consumers? Will the stand-alone listening appliance continue to be the primary device for consumer use? What does the future hold for radio on cell phones, HD Radio, Internet streaming and other forms of delivery? How long will it be until we carry a ubiquitous device that will automatically find your chosen content regardless of the delivery system?
We know you have your own views on these and other questions. Share them with us at radio@RadioMagOnline.com.