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12 J. Broad. 327 (1967-1968)
The Short Unhappy Life of Transit Radio

handle is hein.journals/jbem12 and id is 337 raw text is: RICHARD L BEARD

The Short Unhappy Life
of Transit Radio
This past spring, the Mayor of New York vetoed a proposition
to permit the broadcasting of commercials in subways saying: The
broadcasting of commercials in subways, even short ones, would be
an unconscionable invasion of privacy that could not be justified
as a revenue measure. This was but the latest chapter in the
story of an advertising medium that was hailed at one time as the
savior of FM, but foundered on the dislike of its involuntary
Richard L. Beard is associate professor of business administration
at the University of Alberta, Edmonton. He earned his Ph.D. in
Communication from the University of Illinois, and previously
taught at the Universty of Texas.
N UMEROUS events have been discussed in terms of their
effects on public opinion, and vice versa, but seldom has
there been an instance where the public opinion was so clearly
observable, and so demonstrative of its power, as in the case of
transit radio. A significant portion of the American public quickly
formed an opinion of transit radio, and the voicing of that opin-
ion caused an early demise of the industry.
When it existed in the United States, transit radio was the
broadcast of commercial FM radio programming in vehicles used
for public transportation. The Federal Communications Commis-
sion writes:
The transitcasting operation closely resembles storecasting except
that its programs are designed to reach transit passengers in pub-
lic vehicles. This programming is also similar to that utilized in
storecasting and may be generally characterized as consisting of
background music interrupted at fairly short intervals by short

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