Soon after World War I America began its love affair with radio, unaware of the hidden battles going on behind the scenes since its inception. Who should profit from radio? Who controls its content? Whose interests are threatened as it evolves? Therein lies the conflict that has raged in a dozen arenas over the past century.
A new, daring film explores the controversy behind the evolution of radio, those who strove to advance the medium, those who sought to turn it to their own benefit, and those who would have destroyed it. RADIO WARS takes audiences on the journey from radio’s beginnings to Sirius XM Satellite Radio’s modern day battle in the stars. This broadcasting clash turned traditional radio business models upside down, redefined free speech, and put a million investors on a billion dollar rollercoaster ride as the companies fought to survive. For a look behind the scenes, visit: http://RadioWars.com
This documentary tells the secret story of the “King of All Radio Wars” between Sirius and XM Satellite Radio before they became one company. RADIO WARS takes you deep into their conflict-ridden history, from its earliest days to its darkest hour, to its recovery and triumphant success.
“The entity that controls broadcasting also controls culture,” says director Sandra Mohr. “It’s time we looked closely at the RADIO WARS throughout history and I hope the film will help viewers to understand how radio’s transformations have had a powerful influence on our personal lives.”
Mohr begins the movie with the very first documented radio war. Many believe that radio technology owes its beginnings to genius inventor Nikola Tesla, who was largely ignored by history when his financier JP Morgan blackballed the inventor for wanting to offer services free of charge. Telsa’s rival Guglielmo Marconi was backed by business giants Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie, and eventually gained worldwide celebrity for the invention. When Marconi won the Nobel Prize in 1911, Tesla was furious.
The film investigates the media battle between the Associated Press and radio. In the early 1920’s, the newspaper industry dominated the field of newsgathering. Radio was becoming a free channel for the dissemination of information that people could engage in and listen to. Some newspapers got nervous. Print journalists spent nearly a decade trying to block the emergence of broadcast journalism, known as the press-radio war. In fact, in 1922, the Associated Press issued a notice to its members that AP news bulletins were not to be used for purposes of broadcasting. Radio shows were forced to find new ways of obtaining bulletins for their newscasts. CBS and NBC were born out of this battle.
Featured in the film are shock jock Howard Stern, satellite radio inventor Martine Rothblatt, and Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin.
Mohr has directed award winning films and documentaries and is also a published author based in Hollywood, CA. RADIO WARS will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD in the Fall 2011. Visit RadioWars.com for more information.