Back at the dawn of the old millennium


MoneyHow would you like to buy a radio spot in New York for $100? And how would you like it if that piece of heavy-stock paper featuring an engraving of Ben Franklin got you ten full minutes of airtime? That is exactly what happened some 92 years ago on radio station WEAF.

So actually, that makes it more like mid-morning than dawn, but we had to take into consideration the wordflow of the headline.

According to a historical note from the US Census Bureau, the topic of the ad was the availability of space in a Queens apartment complex.

Corporations seeking airtime had a limited choice of outlets back then. There were only 30 stations nationwide at the time, and number of citizens who had a receiver and could actually tune in one of them was a mere 60,000.

The dial is just a fraction more crowded to day.

RBR-TVBR observation: We’d like to think that the comforting folksy tones of Tom Bodett were featured in the spot assuring us that apartment building management would leave a light on for us. But he was still three decades and change away from being born at the time. Oh, well.