ABC American Broadcasting Company; network
AC Adult contemporary format.
Account Executive Station or agency salesperson.
Actives Listeners who call radio stations to make requests and comments or in response to contests and promotions.
Actuality Actual recording of news event or person(s) involved.
ADI Area of Dominant Influence; Arbitron measurement area.
Adjacencies Commercials strategically placed next to a feature.
Ad lib Improvisation. Unrehearsed and spontaneous comments.
Affidavit Statement attesting to the airing of a spot schedule.
AFTRA American Federation of Television and Radio Artists; union made up of broadcast performers: announcers, deejays, newscasters.
Aircheck Tape of live broadcast.
Amortization The structure under which a loan is repaid; the structure of time payments and interest.
Amplification Electronically increasing the power of a signal.
AM Amplitude Modulation; method of signal transmission using Standard Broadcast band with frequencies between 535 and 1705 kHz.
Announcement Commercial (spot) or public service message of varying length.
AOR Album-Oriented Rock radio format. Also called Classic Rock.
AP Associated Press; wire and audio news service.
Arbitron Audience measurement service employing a seven-day diary to determine the number of listeners tuned to area radio stations.
ASCAP American Society of Composers, Artists, and Performers; music licensing service.
Ascertainment The formal process of determining a community's needs.
Attribution Statement of the source of information in a news item.
Audio Sound; modulation.
Audition tape Telescoped recording showcasing talents of air person; listen off-air.
Audition channel Monitoring point separate from program that allows for off-air listening.
Automation Equipment system designed to play prepackaged programming.
Availability Vacant air slot for commercial announcement.
Average quarter-hour (AQH) Rating measurement used to estimate the size of a station's audience during any fifteen minute period.
AWRT American Women in Radio and Television.
Back announce Recap of preceding music selections.
Balance sheet A summary of a station's assets and liabilities.
Barter Exchange of airtime for programming or goods.
BEA Broadcast Education Association.
Bed Music behind voice in announcement.
Bi-directional pickup pattern Microphone pattern that is sensitive to sound from the front and back but not the sides.
Blasting Excessive volume resulting in distortion.
Blend Merging of complementary sound elements.
Book Term used to describe rating survey document; "Bible."
BM Beautiful Music radio format. One of the first formats on FM.
BMI Broadcast Music Incorporated; music licensing service.
BPME Broadcast Promotion and Management Executives.
Bridge Sound used between program elements.
BTA Best Time Available, also Run of Schedule (ROS); commercials logged at available times.
Bulk eraser Tool for removing magnetic impression from recording tape.
Call letters Assigned station identification generally beginning with W east of the Mississippi and K west.
Capstan Shaft in recorder that drives tape.
Cardiod pickup pattern Microphone pattern where sound is picked up from front and rejected from the rear.
Cart Plastic cartridge containing a continuous loop of recording tape.
Cash flow Operating profit before taxes, depreciation and interest are subtracted.
Cassette Two reels of tape in a plastic housing.
CFR Code of Federal Regulations.
Chain broadcasting Forerunner of network broadcasting.
CHR Contemporary Hit Radio format.
Clock Wheel indicating sequence or order of programming ingredients aired during one hour.
Cluster Group of announcements; stop set. (see Spot set)
Cold Background (music bed) fade on last line of copy.
Combo Announcer operating own board, engineering show; also refers to co-owned AM/FM operation.
Commercial Paid advertising announcement; spot.
Compact disk (CD) Digital recording using laser beam to decode surface.
Compensation Combination of salary and fringe benefits paid to an employee.
Condenser microphone Microphone with a capacitative electrical element.
Console Audio mixer consisting of inputs, outputs, toggles, meters, sliders and/or pots; board.
Consultant Station advisor or counselor; "format doctor."
Control room Center of broadcast operations from which programming originates; air studio.
Cool out Gradual fade of bed music at conclusion of spot.
Co-op Arrangement between retailer and manufacturer for the purpose of sharing radio advertising expenses.
Copy Advertising message; continuity, commercial script.
Copywriter One who writes commercial or promotional copy.
Cost Per Point (CPP) Estimate of how much it costs an advertiser to reach one rating point worth of listeners.
Cost Per Thousand (CPM or Cost Per Mil) Estimate of how much it costs an advertiser to reach 1,000 listeners.
CPB Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Funds NPR and PBS.
Crossfade Fade out of one element while simultaneously introducing another.
Cue Signal for the start of action; prepare for airing.
Cue burn Distortion at the beginning of a record cut resulting from heavy cueing.
Cume Ratings measurement, the number of people who have sampled a radio station.
DAB Digital Audio Broadcasting. There are two competing systems. IBOC favored by the US. Eureka147 favored by Canada and Europe.
DAT Digital audio tape.
Dayparts Periods or segments of broadcast day: 6-10a.m., 10a.m. - 3p.m., 3- 7p.m.
Dead air Silence where sound usually should be; absence of programming.
Deejay Host of radio music program; announcer; "disk jockey."
Demagnetize remove magnetic impressions.
Demographics Audience statistical data pertaining to age, sex, race, income, and so forth.
Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) Powerful communications satellites that beam programming to receiving dishes at earth stations.
Directional Station transmitting signal in a preordained pattern so as to protect other stations on the same or adjacent frequency.
Donut spot A commercial in which copy is inserted between segments of music.
Double billing Illegal station billing practice in which client is charged twice.
Drivetime Radio's primetime: 6-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.
Dub Copy of recording; duplicate (dupe).
EBS Emergency Broadcast System.
(now EAS) Emergency Alert System.
Edit To alter composition of recorded material; splice.
ENG Electronic news gathering.
Erase Wipe clean magnetic impressions; degauss, bulk, deflux, demagnetize.
ERP Effective radiated power; tape head configuration: erase, record, playback
ET Electrical transcription.
Ethnic Programming for minority group audiences.
Eureka147 Digital Audio Broadcasting System being used by Canada and Europe.
Fact sheet List of pertinent information on a sponsor.
Fade To slowly lower or raise volume level.
FCC Federal Communications Commission; government regulatory body with authority over radio operations.
Fidelity Trueness of sound dissemination or reproduction.
Fixed position Spot routinely logged at a specified time.
Flight Advertising air schedule.
FM Frequency Modulation; method of signal transmission using 88-108 MHz band.
FMX System used to improve FM reception.
Format Type of programming a station offers; arrangement of material, formula.
Frequency Number of cycles-per-second of a sine wave.
Fulltrack Recording utilizing entire width of tape.
Gain Volume; amplification.
Generation Dub; dupe, tape-recording.
Grease pencil Soft-tip marker used to inscribe recording tape for editing purposes.
Gross impressions Total number of exposures to a schedule of announcements.
Gross Rating Points (GRP) Representation of the total number of exposures to a schedule of announcements, expressed as a percentage of all possible listeners.
Ground wave AM signal traveling the earth's surface; primary signal.
HD-Radio (see IBOC)
Headphones Speakers worn directly over the ears; headsets, cans.
Hertz (Hz) Cycles per second; unit of electromagnetic frequency. (named after Heinrich Hertz).
Hot Overmodulated. also uptempo AC.
Hot clock Wheel indicating when particular music selections are to be aired.
Hype Exaggerated presentation; high-intensity, punched.
IBEW International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; union.
IBOC In-Band On-Channel. System that would allow digital broadcasting over current AM and FM frequencies. Major companies promoting IBOC included Lucent and USADR USA Digital Radio, Inc. These companies have merged and are now know as Ibiquity. IBOC is now refered to as HD-Radio.
ID Station identification required by law to be broadcast as close to the top of the hour as possible; station break.
Input Terminal receiving incoming current.
Institutional Message promoting general image.
IPS Inches per second; tape speed: 1 7/8, 3 3/4, 7 1/2, 15, 30 IPS.
ITU International Telecommunications Union; world broadcasting regulatory agency.
Jack Plug for patching sound sources; patch-cord, socket, input.
Jingle Music commercial or promo; signature, aural-logo.
Jock see Deejay.
KDKA First radio station licensed by the Department of Commerce.
Key (keying) Turning a sound source on or off from the console.
Kilohertz One thousand cycles per second; AM frequency measurement, kilocycles.
Leader tape Plastic, metallic, or paper tape used in conjunction with magnetic tape for marking and spacing purposes.
Level Amount of volume units; audio measurements.
Licensee Individual or company holding license issued by the FCC for broadcast purposes.
Line Connection used for transmission of audio; phone-line.
Line-of-sight Path of FM signal; FM propagation.
Liner cards Written on-air promos used to ensure adherence to station image; prepared ad-libs.
Live copy Material read over air; not prerecorded.
Live tag Postscript to taped message.
Local channels Class IV AM stations found at high end of band: 1200-1600kHz.
Make-good Replacement spot for one missed.
Market Area served by a broadcast facility; ADI.
Master Original recording from which dubs are made.
Master control see Control room.
MBS Mutual Broadcasting System; radio network.
Megahertz (MHz) Million cycles per second; FM frequency measurement, megacycles.
Mixdown Integration of sound elements to create desired effect; production
Monitor Studio speaker; supervise on-air sound; aircheck.
Mono Single or fulltrack sound; monaural, monophonic.
MOR Middle-of-the-Road radio format.
Morning Drive Radio's most listened-to daypart: 6:00-10:00 a.m.
MSA Metro Survey Area; geographic area in radio survey.
Multiplexing Impressing two or more signals on one carrier as in FM stereo.
Multitracking Recording sound-on-sound; overdubbing, stacking tracks.
Music sweep Several selections played back-to-back without interruption; music segue.
NAB National Association of Broadcasters.
Narrowcasting Directed programming; targeting specific audience demographic.
NBC National Broadcasting Company; the first radio network.
Network Broadcast combine providing programming to affiliates: CBS, ABC, Mutual, etc.
Network feed Programs sent to affiliate stations.
News block Extended news broadcast.
NPR National Public Radio
Omnidirectional pickup pattern Microphone pickup pattern that picks up sound equally well from all directions.
O and O's Network or group owned and operated stations.
Off-mike Speech outside normal range of microphone.
Out-cue Last words in a line of carted copy.
Output Transmission of audio or power from one location to another; transfer terminal.
Overdubbing see Multitracking.
Overmodulate Exceed standard or prescribed audio levels; pinning VU needle.
Packaged Canned programming; syndicated, prerecorded, taped.
Passives Listeners who do not call stations in response to contests or promotions or to make requests or comments; the silent majority.
Patch Circuit connector; cord, cable.
Patch panel Jack board for connecting audio sources: remotes, studios, equipment; patch bay.
Payola Undercover illegal payment to a disc jockey or radio station programmer for playing or plugging a record.
Persons using radio (PUR) Measurement of the number of persons listening to stations in a market.
Pinch roller Rubber wheel that presses recording tape against the capstan.
Playback Reproduction of recorded sound.
Playlist Roster of music for airing.
Plug Promo; connector.
Popping Breakup of audio due to gusting or blowing into mike; blasting.
Positioner Brief statement used on-air to define a station's position in a market.
Pot Potentiometer; volume control knob, gain control, fader, attentuator, rheostat.
PSA Public Service Announcement; noncommercial message.
PRI Public Radio International.
Production The use of studio equipment to combine sounds into a finished product. See Mixdown.
Psychographics Research term dealing with listener personality, such as attitude, behavior, values, opinions, and beliefs.
Punch Emphasis; stress.
Quadraphonic four speaker/channel sound reproduction; surround sound.
RAB Radio Advertising Bureau.
Rack Prepare or set up for play or record: "rack-it-up"; equipment container.
RADAR Nationwide measurement service by Statistical Research, Inc.
Rate card Statement of advertising fees and terms.
Rating Measurement of the total available audience.
Reach Measurement of how many different members of an audience will be exposed to a message.
RCA Radio Corporation of America; NBC parent company.
Recut Retake; re-record, remix.
Reel-to-reel Recording machine with feed and take-up reels.
Remote Broadcast originating away from station control room.
Reverb Close echo; redundancy of sound.
Rewind Speeded return of recording tape from take up reel.
Ride gain Monitor level; watch VU needle.
Rip 'n' read Airing copy unaltered from newswire.
rpm Revolutions per minute: 33 1/3, 45, and 78 rpm.
RTNDA Radio and Television News Directors Association.
Run-of-station (ROS) Bulk commercial buying plan where station's traffic department will fit the commercials into available time locations. See BTA
Satellite Orbiting device for relaying audio from one earth station to another; DBS, Comsat, Satcom.
SBE Society of Broadcast Engineers.
SCA Subsidiary Communication Authority; subcarrier FM.
Secondary service area AM skywave listening area.
Segue Uninterrupted flow of recorded material; continuous.
SESAC Society of European Stage Authors and Composers; music licensing service.
SFX Abbreviation for sound effects.
Share Percentage of station's listenership compared to competition; piece of audience pie.
Signal Sound transmission; RF.
Signature Theme; aural logo, jingle, ID.
Simulcast Simultaneous broadcast over two or more frequencies.
SIRIUS One of two national satellite radio services. (See also XM)
Sky wave Radio wave that bounces off the ionosphere.
Sound bite Audio portion of interview. See Actuality.
Sound hour Term referring to the programming strategy with an hour of broadcasting.
Spectrum Range of frequencies available to broadcasters.
Spec tape Specially tailored commercial used as a sales tool to help sell and account.
Splice To join ends of recording tape with adhesive; edit.
Splicing bar Grooved platform for cutting and joining recording tape; edit bar.
Sponsor Advertiser; client, account, underwriter.
Spots Commercials; paid announcements.
Spot set Group or cluster of announcements; stop set.
Station Broadcast facility given specific frequency by FCC.
Station identification Station call letters immediately followed by city of license. for example: WVUD Newark
Station log Document containing specific operating information as outlined in Section 73.1820 of the FCC Rules and Regulations.
Station rep company acting in behalf of local stations to national agencies.
Stereo Multichannel sound; two program channels.
Stinger Music or sound effect finale preceded by last line of copy; button, punctuation.
Straight copy Announcement employing unaffected, nongimicky approach; institutional.
Stringer Field or on-scene reporter; freelance reporter.
Subliminal Advertising or programming not consciously perceived; below normal range of awareness, background.
Sweep link Transitional jingle between sound elements.
Syndication Programs sent to a network of users.
Syndicator Producer of purchasable program material.
Tag Postscript to taped message.
Talent Radio performer; announcer, deejay, newscaster.
Talk Conversation and interview radio format.
TAP Total Audience Plan; spot package divided between specific dayparts; 1/3 AAA, 1/3 AA, 1/3 A.
Tape speed Movement measured in inches per second. See IPS.
Telescoping Compressing of sound to fit a desired length; technique used in audition tapes and concert promos, editing.
TFN Till Further Notice; without specific kill date.
Time spent listening (TSL) Measurement of average amount of time spent by average listener tuned to a station.
Toll broadcasting Precursor to commercial radio.
Total Survey Area (TSA) Geographic area in radio survey.
Trade-out Exchange of station airtime for goods or services.
Traffic Station department responsible for scheduling sponsor announcements.
Transmit To broadcast; propagate signal, air.
Turnover Measurement of how often listenership changes from time period to time period.
Turntable Ancient device used to play records :-)
Underwriter Program sponsor; noncommercial financial sponsor.
Underwriting Method by which noncommercial stations seek financial support from commercial sponsors.
Unidirectional mike Microphone designed to pick up sound in one direction; cardiod, studio mike.
VOA Voice of America. U.S. International broadcast service.
Voice-over Talk over sound.
Voice-track Recording of announcer message for use in mixdown.
Volume Quality of sound; audio level.
Volume control Pot; fader.
VU Meter Gauge measuring units of sound.
WARC World Administrative Radio Conference; international meeting charged with assigning spectrum space.
Wheel Program tool indicating sequence or order of programming ingredients aired during one hour.
Windscreen Microphone filter used to prevent popping and distortion.
Wireless telegraphy Early radio used to transmit Morse code.
Wire service News gathering organization; for example:AP.
Wow Distortion of sound created by inappropriate speed; miscue.
XM One of two national satellite radio services. (See also Sirius)
Zone I Region of the country where class B FM stations are located.
O'Donnell, L. M., Hausman, C., Benoit, P. (1989) Radio station operations: Management and employee perspectives. Wadsworth: Belmont, CA.
Keith, M. C. and Krause, J. M. (1989). The Radio Station Focal Press: Boston.