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Engineering the Public Interest, 1922-1925: Technological Rationality and Institutionalization of American Broadcasting
Unformatted Document Text:  10 After cementing Class B privileges, a number of Class B stations expressed the desire to use 5,000 watts as the next logical step. Right after the Second Conference, the Class D license was established, allowing holders to broadcast experimental programming in excess of 1,000 watts. Immediately, Westinghouse received two Class D licenses, and RCA and AT&T each obtained one. 24 The Super-powered Public Interest In October 1924, sixteen months after the Second Conference, Hoover convened the Third Radio Conference. Hoover was faced with several controversial issues, such as station censorship of speakers, program quality, monopoly in ownership, broadcasting finance, and organization of national broadcasting. By that time, the radio industry had already proved its potential for the national economy. It employed over 200,000 men, and the radio audience was estimated more than 20,000,000 people. 25 Since the Conference was drawing much public attention, Hoover increased the number of delegates to 90. They ranged from engineers, business leaders, government officials, to individuals representing the broadcast listeners. Hoover converted the complex issues into two policy measures: a new allocation scheme to meet the increasing demand for Class B wavebands and development of a few number of superpower stations (between 5,000 and 50,000 watts) for national broadcasting service. In that process, the public interest was becoming the crucial language. Class B, Progress or Foil? By the Third Conference, there were 57 Class B, 387 Class A, and 86 Class C stations in the total of 530 stations. Among the 57 Class B, 44 stations were commercial. These had direct interest in publicity and/or selling radio sets. Only 7 Class Bs were owned by educational

Authors: Baek, Misook.
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10
After cementing Class B privileges, a number of Class B stations expressed the desire to
use 5,000 watts as the next logical step. Right after the Second Conference, the Class D license
was established, allowing holders to broadcast experimental programming in excess of 1,000
watts. Immediately, Westinghouse received two Class D licenses, and RCA and AT&T each
obtained one.
24
The Super-powered Public Interest
In October 1924, sixteen months after the Second Conference, Hoover convened the
Third Radio Conference. Hoover was faced with several controversial issues, such as station
censorship of speakers, program quality, monopoly in ownership, broadcasting finance, and
organization of national broadcasting. By that time, the radio industry had already proved its
potential for the national economy. It employed over 200,000 men, and the radio audience was
estimated more than 20,000,000 people.
25
Since the Conference was drawing much public
attention, Hoover increased the number of delegates to 90. They ranged from engineers, business
leaders, government officials, to individuals representing the broadcast listeners.
Hoover converted the complex issues into two policy measures: a new allocation
scheme to meet the increasing demand for Class B wavebands and development of a few number
of superpower stations (between 5,000 and 50,000 watts) for national broadcasting service. In
that process, the public interest was becoming the crucial language.
Class B, Progress or Foil?
By the Third Conference, there were 57 Class B, 387 Class A, and 86 Class C stations in
the total of 530 stations. Among the 57 Class B, 44 stations were commercial. These had direct
interest in publicity and/or selling radio sets. Only 7 Class Bs were owned by educational


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