Full Service

Full service stations feature popular music, news, sports and weather. In the past they were called "MOR" (middle of the road) in order to differentiate them with top 40 rock on the one hand and beautiful music on the other. Usually full service stations are on the AM band and have a long-standing reputation for dependability, generally conservative personalities and small doses of well known popular music. Full service stations are extinct in most major markets, but they survive in small and medium ones. Talk and news-oriented FM stations which play some rock music on the weekends are reviving the format and adapting it to maturing "baby boomers."

Talk, Hot/Talk, Sports/Talk and News/Talk

These formats have exploded into national prominence in the last four years. Listener participation call-in shows were first heard in the remote corners of the broadcast day of top forty stations (usually after 11 P.M..) In 1962, KABC, Los Angeles became the first all talk station in the country, dubbing itself "The Conversation Station." Some stations try to retain the original concept, with a "balanced" presentation of views and a relatively impartial hosts. Recently, "hot talk" has brought highly charged political advocacy to the airwaves in ways that were once unthinkable. (Conservative intellectuals argue that since radio is no longer "scarce", the Fairness Doctrine is out of date). Rush Limbaugh is the epitome of the confrontational, openly biased, type of presentation. His strident confrontational style earns him high ratings in hundreds of radio markets around the country

When all news radio began in the sixties, it raised many eyebrows in the broadcasting community. Many were skeptical of radio's ability to gather enough news to fill twenty-four hours and doubted whether the anchors could handle the gruelling four hour shifts. Yet the hyper competitive top forty music stations had already laid the groundwork with the use of mobile reporters and by gearing their programming to a twenty minute cycle of listening. Radio news departments were already providing on the scene coverage of breaking stories before the TV cameras arrived and well before the newspapers went to press. News stations decided that they could recycle the same stories by establishing twenty minute news segments geared to the average time the typical listener tuned in. Group W Radio turned the idea into a famous slogan used by their all news stations around the country: "you give us twenty-two minutes, we'll give you the world." Radio's unique ability to provide low cost and timely news coverage still makes it extremely valuable to listeners.