The Best 10 Years of Radio magazine

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10 Years of Radio magazine
1998 & 1999

Continuing our retrospective of the past 10 years of Radio magazine, we look at the years 1998 and 1999. Since our first issue in January 1994, the radio industry has changed in many ways. Through these installments we will recall the changes in technology, FCC rules and our industry in general. These changes have made radio what it is today, and Radio magazine has been there all along — and we will continue to be there.

Time Line


  • Radio

    magazine is the first publication to launch a radio-industry website.

  • High-speed data connectivity, such as DSL, sees early acceptance.

  • Popularity of POTS codecs booms.

  • Low Earth-orbit satellite usage threatens RPU usage in the 455MHz band.

  • Flat-screen computer monitors reduce space needs in control rooms.

  • DRM forms in China.

  • IP Multicast continues efforts to become preferred format for Internet broadcasts.

  • Radio station webcasting starts to be considered a practical effort; Internet audio processors introduced.

  • The Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association releases a report on digital radio that endorses Eureka 147 and condones IBOC and IBAC systems.

  • Digital Radio Express publicly announces its plans to develop an IBOC standard. Lucent Digital Radio is also formed when Lucent's partnership with USADR ends.

  • FCC takes first steps at creating LPFM.

  • Radio

    magazine technical editor John Battison receives NAB's Radio Engineering Achievement award.

  • USB and Fire Wire standards are introduced.

  • Tower registration rules take full effect.

  • The American Radio Manufacturers Association (ARMA) forms and holds its first convention.

  • CD Radio (now Sirius) begins deploying its terrestrial repeater network.


  • The FCC makes construction permits valid for three-year periods.

  • LPFM service is proposed.

  • DVD-A (audio) standard is introduced.

  • Quad Dimensions files claims for patent infringement from EAS.

  • The Cart Chunk standard is proposed.

  • SBE and NFL begin Game-day Coordinator program.

  • CEMA proposes Mobile Multimedia Broadcast Service as DAB alternative.

  • Radio

    magazine begins daily online news updates and weekly e-mail newsletters.

  • FCC issues NPRM on IBOC standards-setting.

  • Final preparations are made for Y2K readiness.

  • Digital Radio Express and USA Digital Radio combine efforts on an IBOC system.

More online

See the Pick Hits from 1998 and 1999 and a gallery of past covers. Click here.

You read it in Radio magazine

By 1998, the Internet had shown its value as an important part of a radio station's operation. Today, it is inconceivable to operate a business without some kind of online presence. In 1998, stations were just getting comfortable with their efforts. In the February 1998 issue, our cover story looked at the various ways an Internet presence could be used to a station's best advantage.

“There also may be significant business value in creating separate online audio content. Although it may take a bit more work than simply repeating the air signal, a number of such alternate opportunities for online audio can leverage and repurpose the existing assets of a radio broadcaster.”

While the Internet was growing in popularity and function, Radio magazine had already recognized the potential of the new medium. Our website,, was launched in March 1998, making it the first radio industry publication website. From the beginning we have posted the entire contents of each issue of Radio magazine, but we also have developed unique content that is only available online.

Since the initial launch, the site has been revised to provide better organization and enhanced features. Shown here are screen captures from the site as it appeared when it first launched and today.

When 1999 began, consolidation of ownership was in full swing, but consolidation of facilities was just getting underway. With the ink dry on station transfers and the business details clarified, many stand-alone stations found themselves facing a studio move to become part of a multistation facility operation. Our January 1999 cover story investigated the process of consolidating facilities, and more importantly, how to integrate a technical staff to install and maintain the new headquarters.

“If you have not already done so, take time to examine the quality of your work and the state of your facility. You will soon be working with others in your chosen field on a day-to-day basis. This means you will be dealing with more than one individual working on the same project or task.”

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