Fundamentals of Radio Broadcasting: Glossary/Bibliography

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  1. Actuality Voice of a person directly involved in a news story
  2. Ad lib Unprepared and spontaneous comments
  3. Affiliate A station that has contracted to carry network programs
  4. AFTRA American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
  5. Airwaves Popular term for radio transmission
  6. Ampere The measuring unit for current
  7. Amplitude The high and low points of a sine wave
  8. AOR Album -oriented rock
  9. Ascertainment The investigation made by a broadcaster to learn the needs of a community
  10. Attributive phrase The phrase at the end of a quotation that tells who said it
  11. Audio console See Console
  12. Audio equipment--Equipment that processes sound and sound voltages
  13. Audio feed A spoken message received via wire or radio transmission
  14. Audition A tryout of speech or other performance to determine acceptability
  15. Back announce To announce the name of a record after it has been played
  16. Back timing--Timing a record so that it will end exactly at the time desired
  17. BBC British Broadcasting Corporation
  18. Bidirectional mike A microphone that picks up sound on two sides
  19. Block programming Dividing the broadcast day into small segments--usually 15-, 30-, or 60 -minute blocks
  20. Board Audio console. See Console
  21. Board fade Using volume control to turn down the sound
  22. Book Periodic report prepared by audience survey companies
  23. Broadcast endorsement Authorization for an individual to operate a broadcasting station
  24. Broadcasting Sending radio messages to a broad, general audience
  25. Bulk eraser An electromagnet used for quickly removing all the sound patterns from magnetic tape
  26. Cardioid mike A directional microphone that picks up sound in a heart –shaped pattern
  27. Carrier Radio frequency signal upon which audio sound frequencies are transmitted
  28. Cart Abbreviation for tape cartridge
  29. Cart machine Cartridge tape recorder or player
  30. Chain break Station break or station identification given between programs
  31. Channel Designated frequency upon which a broadcasting station operates
  32. Citation A notice issued by the FCC that a broadcaster has violated a rule
  33. Class A time Preferred broadcasting time, when station has the most listeners
  34. Combo Combination announcer and engineer
  35. Communicaster Host on a radio talk show
  36. Composite week Days of the week selected by the FCC to determine the quality of programming done by the broadcasting station during the term of its license
  37. Condenser mike A type of microphone in which one or both plates of an electrical condenser vibrate to produce audio voltages
  38. Console The main section of audio control to which all other studio equipment is connected; also called a "board" or "mixer"
  39. Construction permit A document issued by the FCC permitting construction or modification of broadcast equipment
  40. CPB Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  41. Cross fade To fade out of one audio source and into another
  42. Cross talk Sound voltages picked up by induction from one channel that interfere with the sound voltages in another channel
  43. Cue An indication to start. Also, finding the point on a record or tape where the sound begins
  44. Cumes Abbreviation for cumulative ratings, indicating the number of people listening to a station in a given period of time
  45. Current The flow of electricity, measured in amperes
  46. Dead air A period of time when there is no sound being transmitted
  47. Decibel The measurement unit for sound level
  48. Demographics Sociological characteristics of a segment of the population
  49. Direct address Using radio transmission to talk directly to a particular individual
  50. Direct quote--Repeating the exact words spoken by another person
  51. Directional mike A microphone that picks up sound mainly from one direction.
  52. Same as unidirectional microphone
  53. Disclaimer An announcement to the effect that opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the station
  54. Distortion Any difference between the original sound and reproduced sound
  55. Double spotting Scheduling two spot announcements in immediate succession
  56. Drive time Morning and afternoon hours when people are commuting to and from work
  57. Dual operation Two -person operation, one announcing and one engineering
  58. Dubbing Duplicating sound, usually from one tape to another
  59. Dynamic mike A type of microphone in which a coil of wire vibrates to produce audio voltages
  60. EBS Emergency Broadcast System
  61. Enunciation Clarity in speaking
  62. ET Electrical transcription. Voice or music recorded on a disk in individual, separated tracks. Usually a series of short spot announcements
  63. Extemporize Elaborating spontaneously around a prepared message
  64. Fader Volume control. Also called a "pot"
  65. Fairness Doctrine Policy of the FCC that requires broadcasting stations to deal fairly with controversial issues
  66. FCC Federal Communications Commission
  67. Feedback Squeal or howl produced by sound coming from a loudspeaker, re-entering the microphone, and recirculating the chain of transmission to the speaker
  68. First Phone First Class Radiotelephone Operator's License
  69. Format Sequence of programs, recorded music, and announcements
  70. Free-speech message A message written and spoken by a private citizen expressing his own viewpoint
  71. Frequency The number of cycles per second of a sine wave: also, colloquially, the "spot on the dial" where a station operates
  72. Frequency discount A discount given to an advertiser based upon the number of spot announcements purchased
  73. Fringe area Area where a broadcasting station is received only faintly
  74. Gain Volume
  75. High impedance High load resistance. Characteristic of non-professional audio equipment
  76. Hot clock The face of a clock labeled to indicate the times that certain types of records are to be played
  77. IBEW International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  78. IBS Intercollegiate Broadcasting System
  79. Impedance The electrical load imposed by one piece of equipment upon another to which it is connected
  80. Independent station A broadcasting station not affiliated with a network
  81. Indirect quote Paraphrase of the words spoken by another person
  82. Induction The generation of an electromotive force in a conductor from another conductor insulated from the first
  83. Initial sound--Sound at the beginning of a word
  84. Input Information or sound fed into a communications system; the electrical point in equipment at which signal voltage is applied
  85. Institutional promotion Campaign to publicize the name of an organization so that it will be recognized and remembered, with little or no effort to promote the sale of specific products or services
  86. IPS Inches per second
  87. Jack Female electrical connector. Socket
  88. Kill date Termination date of a spot announcement
  89. Kilo Thousand
  90. Kilocycle Thousand cycles per second. Same as kilohertz
  91. Lavalier mike--A microphone that is hung around the neck
  92. Lead The beginning paragraph of a news story
  93. Lead in The sentences that prepare the listener for a news report
  94. Level Volume of sound as indicated on a volume unit meter
  95. Line-in jack Input socket for high-level (amplified) signals
  96. Live copy--Copy that is read directly on the air rather than being prerecorded
  97. Load--A piece of equipment that draws electric current
  98. Logs--Daily records of programs or performance of broadcasting equipment
  99. Low impedance--Low load resistance. Characteristic of professional audio equipment
  100. Master control A room that contains all the audio equipment necessary for broadcasting
  101. Megahertz Million cycles per second
  102. Middle sounds The phonemes in the middle of a word
  103. Milliamp--One one-thousandth of an ampere
  104. Mixer A unit that can control individually the volume of microphones and other audio equipment connected to it. See Console
  105. Modulation Variation in frequency or amplitude of a radio frequency carrier by sound; voice, music, or sound that is amplified or reproduced by audio
  106. equipment
  107. Monitor To listen to and check program quality. Also, the speaker or headset
  108. used to hear the amplified sound
  109. MOR Middle-of-the-road. Pertaining to popular music
  110. Music under Music, usually recorded, played under the voice of the announcer
  111. NAB National Association of Broadcasters
  112. NABET National Association of Broadcast Engineers and Technicians
  113. National rep A representative contracted to a broadcasting station to obtain national advertising accounts
  114. Network Any arrangement made by several stations to broadcast programs simultaneously
  115. Non-directional mike A microphone whose sensitivity is the same from all directions
  116. NPR National Public Radio
  117. Off mike Speaking too far away from a microphone, or into a side that is not "live"
  118. Ohm The measuring unit for resistance
  119. Omnidirectional mike--Same as non-directional mike
  120. Out Communication is ended and no response is necessary
  121. Out cue The last word of a spoken message or report. A cue for the next program element to begin
  122. Output The information or sound that comes out of a communications system.
  123. Also, the point at which the sound comes out of the equipment
  124. Pacing Rate at which a message or program proceeds
  125. Participating advertiser--An advertiser who buys spot announcements on a broadcasting station but does not control the program content
  126. Patch cord A cord that connects two pieces of equipment in a communications system
  127. Patch panel--A bank of jacks used to interconnect pieces of equipment in a communications system by means of patch cords
  128. Payola--Money paid illegally to broadcast personnel in return for favors
  129. Peak--The high point registered by the needle on a VU meter
  130. Phone patch Device or circuitry that connects a telephone to an audio system for recording or further transmission
  131. Phonetic Alphabet, International The standard set of symbols representing the sounds produced in human speech
  132. Play list A list compiled by the disk jockey of the records played on the air
  133. Plug Male electrical connector
  134. Point-to-point communication--See Direct address
  135. Potentiometer A volume control device. Also called a "pot"
  136. Power The work that is done by an electric circuit, measured in watts
  137. Primer Document issued by the FCC to explain a rule or concept promulgated by the Commission
  138. Prime time The time of day when a broadcasting station has its largest listening audience
  139. Program log--Daily record of all programs and spot announcements broadcast by a station. Required by the FCC
  140. Project To speak with strong volume and clear enunciation
  141. Promo An announcement promoting a program or activity of the station
  142. Proof of performance Measurements of power and frequency verifying that a station has been operating within its designated parameters
  143. Protection Separating commercial announcements that are in competition with each other so that they are not heard too close together
  144. PSA Public service announcement
  145. Public file A compilation of license applications, construction permits, ascertainment reports, correspondence with the FCC, letters from the public, proof of performance, and other matter pertaining to the operation of a broadcasting station which the public is entitled to inspect
  146. Quadraphonic Sound picked up through four different channels and transmitted simultaneously on one FM carrier
  147. Radiotelephone Communications system in which a radio frequency carrier is modulated by sound; a wireless system which uses a microphone rather than a telegraph key for communication
  148. Rate card Brochure printed and distributed by a broadcasting station which lists the costs of advertising at various times of the day
  149. Rating Statistical percentages indicating the size of a station's listening audience
  150. Remote A program originating away from the broadcasting studio
  151. Residuals Payment to an announcer or other performer, made on the basis of the number of times a recorded spot announcement is aired
  152. Resistance A load put upon an electric circuit, measured in ohms
  153. Résumé A summary of an individual's qualifications for employment
  154. Ribbon mike A type of microphone in which a thin strip of metal, vibrating in a magnetic field, produces sound voltages.
  155. Rip -and -read Derogatory term referring to the practice of reading copy from a wire service with little or no rephrasing or editing
  156. Rules and Regulations Publication issued in three volumes by the FCC to provide legal parameters for broadcasting stations
  157. Saturation In broadcast advertising, the practice of making a large "buy" of air time, usually on several stations, for a short period of time, to promote a sale or activity
  158. SC Station continuity. Announcement promoting an activity of the station
  159. Segue (SEG-way) To go from one program item to another without an announcement in between
  160. Set A group of records segued together
  161. Share Statistical percentage indicating the size of a station's listening audience
  162. in proportion to that of the other stations in the area
  163. Shotgun mike A highly directional microphone (having a very narrow pickup
  164. pattern) that will focus on sound coming from a point a considerable distance away
  165. Signal The radio frequency emission of a broadcasting station. Also sound voltages and currents
  166. Simulcasting Broadcasting the same program on two stations simultaneously,
  167. as by an AM and an FM station operated by the same owners, or as a collaboration between a television station and an FM station, to provide a telecast-of a symphonic concert, for example-with stereo sound
  168. Sine wave A curve that represents the flow of alternating current
  169. Sound In broadcast jargon, program content and overall style of a broadcasting station. May also be called the "format"
  170. SP Station promotion. See SC
  171. Sponsor Advertiser who provides financial backing for all or part of a broadcasting program
  172. Spot An announcement, either commercial or public service
  173. Standard broadcast AM radio
  174. Stringer Part-time news reporter who gets paid by the story or by the word
  175. Tag Live ending to a recorded spot. Additional information, usually of a local or timely nature
  176. Talent fee Payment to an announcer or other performer
  177. Target audience Specific population segment which a broadcasting station attempts to reach
  178. Telescoping Squeezing together words or music. In speaking. the contracting of sounds of words. Also, cutting out the middle portion of a musical selection to shorten the time of the music
  179. TFN Till further notice
  180. Top 40 The forty most popular records of the current week. Also a station that plays only the most popular records
  181. Trade journal Periodical serving a particular industry or profession
  182. Trade -out Exchanging advertising for products or services
  183. Traffic director The person responsible for putting into the log all the programs and spot announcements scheduled for every broadcast day
  184. Underwriting--The granting of funds to a noncommercial station to aid in its financial support. FCC policy permits a simple, noncommercial, on -the –air acknowledgment of such grants
  185. Unidirectional microphone A microphone that picks up sound mainly from one direction. Same as directional microphone
  186. Union scale A rate of pay for specified work agreed to by a union
  187. Voice-over Talking over music or sound
  188. Volt The measuring unit for voltage
  189. Voltage Electromotive force, measured in volts
  190. VU meter Volume unit meter. A meter that registers the volume of sound in modulation percentage and in decibels
  191. Watt The measuring unit for power
  192. Windscreen A sound -transparent cover placed over a microphone to minimize the distorting effect of wind and certain speech sounds
  193. Wire service An organization that distributes news and other written copy to subscribers by means of teletype
  194. Wood shedding--Reading over the copy prior to the time it is to be read on the air
  195. Zero level--One hundred percent modulation, as measured by a VU meter


General Background and Information

Cole, Barry and Mal Oettinger, Reluctant Regulators (Reading, Mass.: Addison -Wesley, 1978)

Coleman, Howard, Case Studies in Broadcast Management: Radio and TV (New York: Hastings House, 1978)

Foster, Eugene S., Understanding Broadcasting (Reading, Mass.: Addison -Wesley, 1978)

Head, Sydney W., Broadcasting in America, 2d ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1972)

Kahn, Frank J. (ed.), Documents of American Broadcasting (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice -Hall, 1973)

Johnson, Joseph S. and Kenneth K. Jones, Modern Radio Station Practices (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1972)

Robinson, Sol, Broadcast Station Operation Guide (Blue Ridge Summit: Tab Books, 1968)

Broadcast Journalism

Bittner, John R. and Denise A. Bittner, Radio Journalism (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice -Hall, 1977)

Bliss, Edward Jr. and John M. Patterson. Writing News for Broadcast (New York: Columbia, 1971)

Smeyak, Paul G., Broadcast News Writing (Columbus: Grid, Inc., 1977) Tankard, Jr. and Michael Ryan, Basic News Reporting (Palo Alto: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1977)

Studio Production

Hybels. Saundra, and Dana Ulloth, Broadcasting: An Introduction to Radio and Television (Princeton: Van Nostrand, 1978)

Seidle, Ronald J. Air Time (Boston: Holbrook Press, 1977) Announcing Hyde, Stuart W., Television and Radio Announcing (Boston: Houghton Mifflin 1971)

License Handbooks

Broadcast Operator Handbook (Washington: Federal Communications Commission Field Operations Bureau, 1976)

McKenzie, Alexander A., Radiotelephone Examination Key and Answers (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972)

Noll, Edward M., Third Class Radiotelephone License Handbook (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1976)

Schwartz, Martin. Commercial Radio Operator's License Guide (Williston Park, N.Y.: Ameco Publishing Corporation, 1975)


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