Celebrating the Birth of Radio: A Conversation with Don Mullally

January 13, 2003
 

January 13, 2003 is as good a date as any for the 100th anniversary of this thing we now call Radio. The actual date depends on who's counting, and what you call it. Because back in the earliest days, we didn't think of it as "broadcasting." Visionaries and entrepreneurs like Lee DeForest and David Sarnoff saw the potential of "point to point" radio technology as a mass medium and consumer market for news, culture...and eventually advertising. In this interview, Don Mullally takes us back to the foundations of broadcasting and radio as we've come to know it. Along the way, we revisit debates about who pays for radio, who owns it, and what it's good for. 

Don also shares his research into early radio advertising, and some recordings of true gems from the golden age: early cigarette ads extolling the health benefits of smoking. 

A true scholar and visionary leader in public broadcasting, Dr. Don Mullally served as General Manager of the WILL stations from the mid-1960s and well into the Internet Age.