in radio communication and in December 1922 was appointed general
manager of the British Broadcasting Company, an organization
was set up by a group of executives from radio manufacturers.
the government decided to establish the British Broadcasting
Corporation (BBC) as a broadcasting monopoly operated by a board
of governors and director general. The BBC was funded by a licence
fee at a rate set by parliament. The fee was paid by all owners
of radio sets. The BBC therefore became the world's first public-service
broadcasting organization. Unlike in the United States, advertising
on radio was banned.
appointed director-general of the BBC. Reith had a mission to
educate and improve the audience and under his leadership the
BBC developed a reputation for serious programmes. Reith also
insisted that all radio announcers wore dinner jackets while
they were on the air. In the 1930s the BBC began to introduce
more sport and light entertainment on the radio.
began the world's first regular television service in 1936.
Two years later Reith left the BBC to join Imperial Airways.
On the outbreak
of the Second World War the prime minister, Neville Chamberlain,
invited Reith to join his government. Elected to the House of
Commons for Southampton, Reith was appointed as Minister of
Information in January 1940.
Churchill replaced Chamberlain in May 1940 he appointed Reith
to the post of Minister of Transport. Five months later he was
given a peerage and given the job of Minister of Works and Buildings.
war Reith served as chairman of the Commonwealth Telecommunications
Board (1946-50). He also wrote two volumes of autobiography,
Into the Wind (1949) and Wearing Spurs (1966). John Reith died