When I first came to Beloit, most of the people who knew the history of the radio stations associated with Beloit College had gone on to other jobs or places. I would meet someone who could bring me part of the story, but I never got a full appreciation of the length or scope of the history of the radio activities at Beloit College until now.
This book represents a real service to the College by bringing together the history and people involved with radio at Beloit. The current students will benefit from reading this because they will see the flow of history, struggle, background that got them to the point they enjoy now. They will also see that some issues do not go away - such as record theft, quality news operation, etc.
The College will benefit from this book also. They will be able to point with pride to the long and significant history of radio at Beloit. There is always a question as far as historians are concerned as to who was on the air first with a "broadcast" signal. This book documents that Beloit College was clearly among the first radio operations in the nation. Certainly the role of Beloit's faculty is clear in the early development of radio signals.
Radio enjoyed its "golden years" as the medium of choice to bring the best entertainment, news and public affairs to all of America. When Television arrived around 1948, the public turned some of its attention to this new medium. But they never turned away from radio completely. The public still needed radio for entertainment and news. Radio can go places that television has a hard time going. The radio in your shirt pocket, car, at the beach, in your bedroom still is a vital part of the communication system of this country. The public knows that when something happens in their community, it is radio that will have it on first.
The future of radio is unclear. Some say that AM radio will be talk only, that FM radio will be used for music. However, with the new digital systems being developed, radio as we know it will change completely. All radio stations are starting now looking to the future to determine the kind of service they will offer to the public and how they are going to support that service. It is my hope that Beloit College will again be in the forefront - giving the public a needed service and helping students develop the skills and interest to use radio effectively. Radio is still exciting - so as they say "Stay tuned".
Carl G. Balson
Faculty Advisor - March 1993