Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Hugh Cowdin


Nine years after deregulation became policy in commercial radio broadcasting, a study of the effects of the provision in the deregulatory position the Federal Communications Ccmnission took in 1981 which eliminated any restrictions on the amount of commercial time a station could air in a given hour was conducted on 13 radio stations in five Nebraska markets. Because the logging requirements to which broadcasters had to adhere were eliminated with deregulation, the data in this survey was collected by tape recording, then analyzing by 195 hours of actual radio broadcasts. Of the 13 stations surveyed during the peak hours of the day (drive times), the peak days of the week (Wednesday through Friday) and at different times of the year, two stations, both in small, non-ccmpetitive markets were found to have exceeded the previous limit of 18 minutes per hour. The research found that the foundation of the marketplace model, upon which deregulation is based, is potentially flawed when projected on those markets which are not served by multiple radio properties. Further, the research advocates the direct methodology of monitoring not only the effects of deregulation on overcommercialization, but on any monitoring research conducted on broadcast content because the researcher has much more control over the data collection process. Finally, the research is meant to stimulate more study of the effects of deregulation, particularly on the pervasive medium of radio.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communciation and the Facutly of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1990, Thomas A. Birk