Originally published in On Line Opinion on August 23, 2011

In 1922 Herbert Hoover, United States Secretary of Commerce, declared at the first National Radio Conference in Washington, D.C: “It is inconceivable that we should allow so great a possibility for service, for news, for entertainment, for education, and for vital commercial purposes to be drowned in advertising chatter.” By the time Hoover became President just seven years later, the newly created Federal Radio Commission (FRC) had divided up the radio spectrum in ways which favoured established commercial interests, and which ensured that advertising would become the most lucrative way for broadcasters to make money.

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