Despite the television's explosion in popularity shortly after its introduction in the late 1940s, many people still give preference to the radio shows, seen as the great way to express a point of view on topical issues. The majority of radio shows feature a host, whose task is to interview many different guests. Generally talk radio includes listener participation by means of broadcasting conversations among listeners and programs guests. Most frequently radio shows are arranged in segments, separated by advertisements.
The origins of the talk radio date back to the mid-1940s with the Old Time Radio and the Golden Age of Radio, used to broadcast American radio programs and old radio shows. The end of the Old Time Radio Era is marked by the final broadcasts of Yours Truly and Suspense in September 1962. Prior to radio's invention, the creation of records was considered state-of-the-art, when "wax recordings" were introduced during the period of the 1880-1890s.
Despite the fact that very little radio drama and comedy airs currently in the United States, it is at full strengths on major Irish and British stations and at some stations of Canada. Australia, New Zealand and South Africa also claim to have regular broadcasts of radio plays.
In the early 1990s the United States witnessed essential growth in the popularity of radio shows with the most successful pioneer in this movement - the politically conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, followed by a
number of nationally syndicated hosts, like Lars Larson, Ben Ferguson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Ken Hamblin and Larry Elder.
Some success was achieved by libertarians, many of them publishing books, giving public lectures and appearing on television in addition to hosting politically liberal radio shows. Established in 2004, as a progressive
alternative to right-wing talk, Air America Radio is an example of liberal talks on radio.
Such liberal hosts as Alan Colmes in New York City, Stephanie Miller in Los Angeles and Bernie Ward in San Francisco have existed in some markets for many years. Some of the earlier syndicated broadcasting programs were hosted by outstanding Democrats, including Jerry Brown, Jim Hightower, Alan Dershowitz and Mario Cuomo. In addition to political talks other topics of discussion on talk radio include relationships on shows like the Satellite Sisters and Loveline; ethics and morality, medicine and health, automobiles, computers, consumer advocacy, movies, personal finance and more.
With a vast choice of nationwide talk stations, including BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Radio 4 and Talk Sport, talk radio in the United Kingdom enjoys wide popularity, providing the listeners with the opportunity to express
their viewpoints on a number of vital issues.
With the end of BBC monopoly on radio broadcasting in the 1970s and launch of the Independent Local Radio, talk radio has seen dramatic expansion. Commercial talk stations include LBC of London, operating currently two services. Among the prominent presenters are Steve Allen, Clive Bull, Daisy Sampson, Simon Mayo and Nicky Campbell.