There are two types of radio network currently in use around the world: the one-to-many (simplex communication) broadcast network commonly used for public information and mass-media entertainment, and the two-way radio (duplex communication) type used more commonly for public safety and public services such as police, fire, taxicabs, and delivery services. Cell phones are able to send and receive simultaneously by using two different frequencies at the same time. Many of the same components and much of the same basic technology applies to all three.
The two-way type of radio network shares many of the same technologies and components as the broadcast-type radio network but is generally set up with fixed broadcast points (transmitters) with co-located receivers and mobile receivers/transmitters or transceivers. In this way both the fixed and mobile radio units can communicate with each other over broad geographic regions ranging in size from small single cities to entire states/provinces or countries. There are many ways in which multiple fixed transmit/receive sites can be interconnected to achieve the range of coverage required by the jurisdiction or authority implementing the system: conventional wireless links in numerous frequency bands, fibre-optic links, or microwave links. In all of these cases the signals are typically backhauled to a central switch of some type where the radio message is processed and resent (repeated) to all transmitter sites where it is required to be heard.
In contemporary two-way radio systems a concept called trunking is commonly used to achieve better efficiency of radio spectrum use and provide very wide-ranging coverage with no switching of channels required by the mobile radio user as it roams throughout the system coverage. Trunking of two-way radio is identical to the concept used for cellular phone systems where each fixed and mobile radio is specifically identified to the system controller and its operation is switched by the controller.
The broadcast type of radio network is a network system which distributes programming to multiple stations simultaneously, or slightly delayed, for the purpose of extending total coverage beyond the limits of a single broadcast signal. The resulting expanded audience for radio programming or information essentially applies the benefits of mass-production to the broadcasting enterprise. A radio network has two sales departments, one to package and sell programs to radio stations, and one to sell the audience of those programs to advertisers.
Most radio networks also produce much of their programming. Originally, radio networks owned some or all of the stations that broadcast the network's radio format programming. Presently however, there are many networks that do not own any stations and only produce and/or distribute programming. Similarly station ownership does not always indicate network affiliation. A company might own stations in several different markets and purchase programming from a variety of networks.
Radio networks rose rapidly with the growth of regular broadcasting of radio to home listeners in the 1920s. This growth took various paths in different places. In Britain the BBC was developed with public funding, in the form of a broadcast receiver license, and a broadcasting monopoly in its early decades. In contrast, in the United States various competing commercial broadcasting networks arose funded by advertising revenue. In that instance, the same corporation that owned or operated the network often manufactured and marketed the listener’s radio.
Major technical challenges to be overcome when distributing programs over long distances are maintaining signal quality and managing the number of switching/relay points in the signal chain. Early on, programs were sent to remote stations (either owned or affiliated) by various methods, including leased telephone lines, pre-recorded gramophone records and audio tape. The world's first all-radio, non-wireline network was claimed to be the Rural Radio Network, a group of six upstate New York FM stations that began operation in June 1948. Terrestrial microwave relay, a technology later introduced to link stations, has been largely supplanted by coaxial cable, fiber, and satellite, which usually offer superior cost-benefit ratios.
Many early radio networks evolved into Television networks.
Almost all radio stations in New Zealand are part of a radio network, and most are network-owned.
Air1 is an American Christian radio network. Owned by the Educational Media Foundation (EMF), it primarily broadcasts contemporary worship music, and is a sister to the EMF's K-Love network.Arkansas Radio Network
Arkansas Radio Network (often abbreviated ARN) is a statewide radio network serving radio stations in the state of Arkansas. ARN is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas operating from its flagship station KARN-FM and is under the ownership of Cumulus Media.Australian Radio Network
The Australian Radio Network is a group of commercial radio stations around Australia. It includes the Pure Gold, KIIS Network, The Edge and iHeartRadio brands.
The company operates the ARN News service in Australia, which uses international correspondents and source news stories from AAP in Australia, CNN from the United States and Sky News and IRN from the United Kingdom. ARN has newsrooms in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Originally ARN was a joint venture of Australian media conglomerate APN News & Media and United States radio company iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel Communications). On February 19, 2014, it was reported that APN News & Media had agreed to purchase Clear Channel's 50% stake in the Australian Radio Network. As a result, the Australian Radio Network is now fully owned by Here, There & Everywhere (formerly APN News & Media). The company continues to operate the Australian version of iHeartRadio.Until 2014, ARN also included New Zealand radio networks Newstalk ZB, Classic Hits FM, ZM, Radio Sport, Radio Hauraki, Easy Mix, Flava and Coast. These are now part of the New Zealand Media and Entertainment, another branch of Here, There & Everywhere.Boston Red Sox Radio Network
The Boston Red Sox Radio Network consists of 61 stations (39 A.M., 22 F.M. and 7 F.M. translators) in the 6 New England states, along with New York, and Florida. The primary English-language announcer is Joe Castiglione and a group of co-hosts, who alternate play-by-play and color commentary. In 2015, Rob Bradford and Lou Merloni filled in for former announcer Dave O'Brien when he called Monday Night Baseball for ESPN. Mike Mutnansky serves as pre- and post-game host.
In addition to the English-language network, there is a 2-station Spanish-language network (both A.M.) with affiliates in italics. This brings the total number of stations carrying Red Sox baseball to 63. The "Red Sox Radio Network" specifically refers to the English-language network originating at WEEI-FM. The Spanish-language network, with Uri Berenguer announcing, is called the "Spanish Beisbol Network".
Shaw's and Star Market Supermarkets, a grocery store chain which serves much of New England, is the primary promotional sponsor of Red Sox' English-language radio broadcasts. Thus, the announcers refer to the "Shaw's and Star Market WEEI Red Sox Radio Network" when entering into commercial spot breaks during the broadcast.Bott Radio Network
The Bott Radio Network is a network of Christian radio stations in the United States, broadcasting Christian talk and teaching programs.
Programs heard on the Bott Radio Network include Love Worth Finding with Adrian Rogers, In Touch with Charles Stanley, Turning Point with David Jeremiah, Back to the Bible with Woodrow Kroll, Truth for Life with Alistair Begg, Jay Sekulow Live, and Running to Win with Erwin Lutzer.Capital (radio network)
Capital is a network of eleven independent contemporary hit radio stations in the United Kingdom, broadcasting a mix of local and networked programming. Nine of the stations are owned and operated by Global, while the other two are owned and operated by Communicorp UK under franchise agreements.As of June 2018, the stations serve a combined weekly audience of 7.4 million listeners and target a core audience in the 15–34 age group; 57% of all listeners are within this demographic.Capital FM has a narrow playlist with only a few changes per week, featuring songs from the last one or two years. Unlike BBC Radio 1, Capital does not play rock, classic hits or alternative music.Chicago Cubs Radio Network
The Chicago Cubs Radio Network comprises 30 stations in six states.Pat Hughes has been the play-by-play announcer since 1996. From 1996 to 2010, Hughes was partnered with Ron Santo. After Santo's death, Keith Moreland took over as color analyst, lasting three seasons (2011–13). Ron Coomer became the color analyst in 2014. Zach Zaidman handles the Cubs Central pre- and post-game shows, and takes over the play-by-play for the fifth inning of most games. Cubs television play-by-play announcer Len Kasper joins the radio network to call the fifth inning of nationally televised games featuring the team, such as Sunday Night Baseball and postseason contests.
All 162 regular season baseball games, some spring training games, and all postseason games are broadcast by the network, though not all affiliates distribute the entire slate. The games are transmitted to stations via C-Band satellite service on AMC-8.
From 1925 to 2014 (continuously from 1958 to 2014), the Cubs' flagship station was WGN, 720 AM, the lone radio station of the Tribune Company (which for many years simultaneously owned the Cubs, TV station WGN-TV and its national superstation, and the local newspaper from which it gets its name, the Chicago Tribune). When it was part of the Tribune Radio Network, the network's non-sports programming included the National Farm Report, a farm news feature hosted by Orion Samuelson; Samuelson Sez (a weekly commentary hosted by Samuelson); and Farming America, a farm news feature hosted by Steve Alexander (previously by Max Armstrong).
In 2015, the Cubs' broadcast rights moved to CBS Radio after Tribune Co. declined to renew its longstanding broadcast rights. The 2015 season was broadcast by WBBM. After sister station WSCR's loss of radio rights to broadcast the Chicago White Sox games to WLS in July 2015, it was widely expected that the Cubs would move to WSCR as a replacement. This move was confirmed by CBS Radio on November 11, 2015 and finalized before the start of the 2016 Cubs season. Through WSCR, the games also air on the FM dial via HD Radio through WSCR's subchannel on WBMX (104.3-HD2).Cumulus Media Networks
Cumulus Media Networks was an American radio network owned and operated by Cumulus Media. From 2011 until its merger with Westwood One, it controlled many of the radio assets formerly belonging to the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), which was broken up in 2007; Cumulus owned the portion of the network that was purchased by Citadel Broadcasting that year.
The network adopted its final name in September 2011, following Cumulus's acquisition of Citadel; prior to this, it had been known as Citadel Media Networks since April 2009, after licensing the "ABC Radio Networks" name from The Walt Disney Company for nearly two years. ABC now operates a revived ABC Radio Network that owns no stations but produces mostly short-form audio content.
It was also (as ABC Radio Networks) the penultimate of the major radio networks to still be owned by its original founding company until 2007, CBS Radio being the last. Mutual Broadcasting Network was dissolved in 1999, and then NBC Radio Network, after selling all of its stations in 1988, followed suit in 2004.
Prominent hosts carried by Cumulus Media Networks included Don Imus, Geraldo Rivera, Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Jim Brickman, Adam Bomb, Kix Brooks (American Country Countdown), and Tom Kent.ESPN Radio
ESPN Radio is an American sports radio network. It was launched on January 1, 1992, under the original banner of "SportsRadio ESPN". ESPN Radio is located at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. The network airs a regular schedule of daily and weekly programming as well as live coverage of sports events including Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, National Basketball Association, Army Black Knights football, College Football Playoff, Championship Week, and UEFA Champions League games.
ESPN Radio is broadcast to hundreds of affiliate stations as well as to subscribers of Sirius XM Radio in the United States and Canada. The network's content is also streamed online and via mobile applications and other media devices via TuneIn, and several affiliates and owned stations are also available through the service. In 2014, ESPN partnered with TuneIn to create 24/7 streams of its most popular programming including Mike & Mike and SVP & Russillo. Select iHeartMedia-owned ESPN Radio affiliates are available through iHeartRadio.
ESPN Radio currently has four company-owned stations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas, and operates an additional New York City station under a local marketing agreement (LMA) with its owner. Each station (including the second New York City station) is partnered with an ESPN local website named for the city and featuring a completely separate staff of sportswriters and reporters for each market who give their local viewpoints of local sports (for example, espnnewyork.com for New York). Most other markets have ESPN Radio affiliates, whether they be part-time or have their entire format dedicated to ESPN Radio. The Walt Disney Company did not include the ESPN Radio network or the Radio Disney network in the 2007 sale of ABC Radio to Citadel Broadcasting.Evolution (radio network)
Evolution is a radio station platform on iHeartRadio and on Clear Channel's HD2 & HD3 radio and FM translators across the United States that plays commercial free Dance/EDM music 24/7. Clear Channel is now known as iHeartMedia, Inc. as of 16 September 2014.Fox Sports Radio
The Fox Sports Radio Network, based in Los Angeles, California, is a division of Premiere Networks in partnership with Fox Sports. With studios also in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Tampa, Phoenix, Tulsa, Cincinnati, and Las Vegas, the Fox Sports Radio Network can be heard on more than 400 stations, as well as FoxSports.com on MSN and iHeartRadio.
Clear Channel Communications sold its stake in Sirius XM Radio in the second quarter of fiscal year 2013. As a result, nine of Clear Channel's eleven XM Satellite Radio stations, including Fox Sports Radio, ceased broadcast over XM on October 18, 2013. Fox Sports Radio returned to the Sirius XM radio lineup on January 20, 2017.
As the network concentrates on sports news, highlights, analysis and opinion at any time of the week, many of its affiliates opt out to air their own local show or provide live coverage of play-by-play games. As a result, several shows that these affiliates simulcast may not be full-length.Heart (radio network)
Heart is a radio network of 33 adult contemporary local stations operated by Global in the United Kingdom, broadcasting a mix of local and networked programming. Nineteen of the Heart stations are owned by Global, while the other three are operated under franchise agreements.Los Angeles Dodgers Radio Network
The Los Angeles Dodgers Radio Network is a network that consists of 27 radio stations that air Major League Baseball games of the Los Angeles Dodgers in parts of seven states and one U.S. territory and in three languages. As of June 2012, 20 stations broadcast games in English, while another six broadcast them in Spanish. In 2013, Korean broadcasts were added, making it the only tri-lingual network in Major League Baseball.NBC Radio Network
The National Broadcasting Company's NBC Radio Network (known as the NBC Red Network prior to 1942) was an American commercial radio network, founded in 1926. Along with the NBC Blue Network it was one of the first two nationwide networks established in the United States. Its major competitors were the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), founded in 1927, and the Mutual Broadcasting System, founded in 1934.
In 1942, NBC was required to divest one of its national networks, so it sold NBC Blue, which was soon renamed the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). After this separation the Red Network continued as the NBC Radio Network. In 1987 NBC sold its remaining radio network operations to Westwood One, which continued using NBC identification for some of its programming until 2014. Beginning in 2016, NBC Radio News has been distributed in conjunction with iHeartMedia.NBC Sports Radio
NBC Sports Radio is a sports radio network that debuted on September 4, 2012. The network content is produced by NBC Sports Group and distributed by Westwood One, which is the corporate successor to the remains of the original NBC Radio Network that was dissolved in the 1980s. NBC Sports Radio is available through over 300 affiliates throughout the United States as of September 2013, as well as through live streaming on NBCSportsRadio.com, NBCSports.com, WestwoodOneSports.com, and the affiliates' websites. Its launch made NBC the last major broadcast network with a sports radio network to complement its sports division. On January 1, 2019, NBC Sports Radio switched from a 24/7 full-time network feed to a service featuring sports newsfeeds and syndicated offerings.Philadelphia Phillies Radio Network
The Philadelphia Phillies Radio Network is a network of 21 radio stations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey that air Major League Baseball games of the Philadelphia Phillies. The lead announcers are Scott Franzke with play-by-play and Larry Andersen with color commentary. The flagship station is WIP-FM 94.1 in Philadelphia. The broadcasts were discontinued on the former AM flagship station WPHT 1210 in 2016.WTTM in Philadelphia and WIBG in Atlantic City, New Jersey also airs a separate broadcast in Spanish. Angel Castillo is the play by play announcer, while Bill Kulik provides color commentary.Titans Radio Network
The Titans Radio Network is the radio and television network of the National Football League's franchise in Nashville, Tennessee, the Tennessee Titans. The network consists of almost 70 AM and FM radio stations in Tennessee, along with nearby areas of Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, eastern Arkansas, and far southern Illinois.Westwood One
Westwood One, owned and operated by Cumulus Media, is an American mass media company headquartered in New York, New York, specializing in radio syndication and audio content.
Westwood One, the national-facing arm of Cumulus Media, offers iconic, nationally syndicated sports, news and entertainment content to 245 million listeners each week across an audio network of 8,000 affiliated broadcast radio stations and media partners. Westwood One is the largest audio broadcast network in America, home to premium content that defines the culture, including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, the Olympics, Westwood One Backstage, the GRAMMYs, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the Billboard Music Awards. The rapidly growing Westwood One Podcast Network delivers popular network and industry personalities and programs. Westwood One connects listeners with their passions through programs and platforms that have everyone listening.
The company was, at various times, managed by CBS Radio, the radio arm of CBS Corporation and Viacom. It was later purchased by the private equity firm The Gores Group and then sold to Dial Global in 2011. In September 2013, Dial Global rebranded under the name Westwood One and announced a merger agreement with Cumulus Media; the transaction was closed on December 12, 2013.
Westwood One now includes the combined network of Westwood One and Cumulus Media Networks, the former radio network of Cumulus.
The company takes its name from an earlier network also named Westwood One, a company founded in 1978 before merging with Dial Global in 2011.
Westwood One delivers content and services to thousands of radio stations and digital partners across the U.S., including music and entertainment; talk; and sports programming, including coverage of the NFL on Westwood One Sports.