As I began this assignment I expected to find some drastic differences in each of the mediums during this five-year period. While many of the changes that I anticipated did occur, there were many more that came as a surprise. From 1948 until 1952 there was a freeze on licenses being issued by the FCC. Thus, I expected to see a large growth in the number of television stations and anticipated a slight decline in the number of radio stations.
However, as I examined the radio listings I was shocked to discover that the number of radio stations increased from 12 AM and 12 FM stations in 1949 to 21 AM stations and 14 FM stations in 1954. The total number of hours that local radio stations aired programming per day extended from 17 hours in 1949 to 22 hours in 1954. There was a large variety of programs being broadcast on radio in 1949; including short news bulletins, hour-long news broadcasts, sitcoms, sketch comedies, dramas, quiz and game shows, and recorded music.
The total amount of space, or column inches, devoted to radio in 1949 was 210 and 194 in 1954. It is interesting to note that while the number of radio stations and the number of broadcast hours increased significantly between this period, the number of column inches devoted to radio listings actually decreased slightly from 162 to 160. The number of reviews for radio decreased dramatically over the period, dropping from 8 in 1949 to only 2 in 1954. The total amount of space devoted to radio in the New York Times for Sunday, May 15, 1949, was 210 column inches. For the same time in 1954, Sunday May 16th, the total space was 194 column inches.
During this period the number of television stations, 6, remained...