The CB Boom

The CB radio boom really took hold in 1976 and America’s journalists took notice. My goal is to share the QSL artwork and the CB columns that appeared in America’s newspapers in the 1970s.

The following article by Don Oakley appeared in The Indiana Gazette on August 19, 1976:


THE HOTTEST TOPIC of public interest this years is not the Bicentennial or even the presidential election. Be advised, good buddy, that it’s Citizens Band (CB) radio.
CB has captured the fancy and imagination of Americans like almost nothing since the advent of home television three decades ago. Everyone, from truck drivers (who started the current boom during the 1973 gasoline shortage) to stay-at-homes, from school kids to the nation’s First Lady (known by her “handle” of First Mama) seems to want to communicate by radio.
One measure of this soaring interest is the number of applicants for CB licenses. The Federal Communications Commission’s issuing office in Gettysburg, Pa., is being swamped with half a million applications each month, compared to 30,000 a month a few years ago.
Another measure is the mushrooming appearance of new publications serving the CB market. There are now a least 40 magazines devoted to CB, according to Burson-Marsteller, the public relations-public affairs specialist, reporting on a just completed survey of the field. This time last year, there were only four. Another seven magazines, all of them less than a year old, deal with CB trade subjects such and marketing and retailing.

CB IS ALSO invading newspapers and finding a place alongside the crossword puzzles and bridge columns. Newspaper Enterprise Association, for one example, has just introduced a weekly column called “CB Convac.” (“Convac” is CB-ese for conversation.)
In addition, the wire services are producing and distributing CB features and interviews, and radio and TC are devoting more time to the subject.
Researchers at Burson-Marsteller predict that the CB boom will generate equipment and related sales of more than $1 billion this year and that the boom will continue unabated until 1979, especially since the FCC recently increased the number of channels from 23 to 40.
From 1979 on, they say, CB is likely to have the commonality of today’s television, with American’s tuning into CB as routinely as they turn on TV, both at home and on the road.Marconi, what hath thou wrought?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: