Shaping radio today and tomorrow

March 1, 2002


Do you remember?

Walking the show floor at the NAB convention to see the newest equipment is the primary mission of most NAB attendees. The convention offers plenty of chances to see the latest innovations and equipment advances. With the convention just around the corner, this photo of a studio layout from a 1982 McCurdy Radio Industries ad that shows what was state-of-the-art for its day.

This studio layout features a 22-channel McCurdy SS8670 console flanked by two triple-deck and one recorder ITC SP cart machines, a Technics SP-15 turntable with Audio-Technica tonearm, and two Otari MX5050BII reel-to-reels.

The layout is typical of what you would have seen on the show floor of the 1982 NAB convention, which was held in Dallas. The hot topic of radio discussion that year was AM stereo. Systems from Motorola, Kahn, Harris and others were under constant debate on the show floor and in technical sessions.

That was then

The FM stereo standard was approved by the FCC in 1961. Stations were first allowed to transmit with a stereo subcarrier at 12:00 am on June 1, 1961. The first station to commence stereo operations was WEFM, Chicago, owned by the Zenith Radio Corporation. By December 1963, when this photo was on the cover of Broadcast Engineering, more than 200 stations were broadcasting in FM stereo.

The FM stereo system used by Zenith Radio during 1959 and 1960 was proposed by both Zenith and RCA to the FCC. The proposed stereo standard was first shown in May 1961 at the NAB convention in Washington, DC. On April 20, 1961, the FCC adopted the stereo standard.


Sample and Hold

A look at the technology shaping radio


Age distribution of radio engineers in North America

In our annual Salary Survey, BE Radio asks respondents to provide their age. Look for the results of the 2002 Salary Survey in the September issue.
Source: BE Radio Salary Survey 2001



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