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Top 10 Significant Milestones in Modern Radio


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Satellite Radio - 1992
Top 10 Significant Milestones in Modern Radio
Graphic Credit: © Corey Deitz

When I began mulling over what milestones might be considered the most important ones in Radio’s modern development, it took some time to distill the list down to these ten. Of course, this is simply my opinion - and you may disagree.

This list is not in order of importance. Rather, it’s as chronological as I could make it. I thought that presentation would go further in helping the reader see the bigger picture of how technology, and the synthesis of technology, created the synergy of what we now refer to as Radio.

For the purpose of definition, I am operating on the premise that what we now call “Radio” is less defined by the methodology of its delivery and more defined by the final result of it’s aural properties. To say it another way, I think people - the consumers and end users - are the ones defining what “Radio” is today, not the inventors, software developers, or engineers who create technology that furthers it.

You will also notice I did not include HD Radio on this list. Proponents of HD Radio will strongly disagree with me. But, I personally do not think its development is as significant as the other technologies on this list in terms of where Radio is headed.

So, with those caveats, here’s what I think are the Top 10 Significant Milestones in Modern Radio:

Satellite Radio - In 1992, the F.C.C. allocated a portion of the radio spectrum for a nationwide digital radio service via satellite. XM eventually launched on September 25, 2001. SIRIUS went live on July 1, 2002.

Significance: Although initially and arrogantly scoffed at by some commercial AM and FM operators during it’s infancy, Satellite Radio is proving people will pay for Radio programming and it is slowly becoming a formidable competitor.

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