How did Game Shows Kill Rock and Roll Music?

The radio quiz show had long been a staple of radio. The appeal to listeners had many levels. There was the drama of competition, it was easy for listeners to identify with the contestants, and the colorful hosts were exceptionally entertaining. They were appealing to the advertising agencies and sponsors as well. Their popularity ensured great return on advertising dollars, they were relatively cheap to produce, and they offered remarkable opportunities for "Product Placement". They were the precursors to "Reality Television" programs.
This attractiveness to advertisers eventually lead to scandal. When the upstart television industry becam the dominant advertising and entertainment medium, the Radio Quiz Program was a natural fit. The relationship between shows and sponsors and shows is fundamentally different today; the broadcaster sells time during a program that the advertisers fill with their commercials, it is the role to the producer to make a high rated show that can demand higher rates for its commercial time. Formerly, using the model that had been used on radio, the show belonged to the sponsor. This resulted in a number of happy arrangements through the years, such as Johnson Wax and Fibber McGee and MollyBob Hope and Pepsodent, and Jack Benny and Jello. The problem came because the sponsor became invested in the rating success of the program., and the producer put his efforts into keeping the sponsor happy.
Prime-time Quiz Shows became incredibly popular on TV during the mid 1950s, their popularity and cultural impact can be compared to the early Amos 'n' Andy broadcasts of the late '20s and early '30s.One of the most popular was the $64,000 Question, which was an update of the radio program, Take It Or Leave It. The game play of the Question and other Quiz Shows was such that winning contestants would come back week after week. The scandal did not start with Question, but it was revealed during Congressional investigations that it was one of the shows that had been "fixed" in order to increase ratings.
As the scandal over the radio game show fixing eventually began to die down, investigators shifted their focus to other "unsavory" broadcast practices. The light was now shone upon the practice of "Payola" to disk jockeys.
Payola, a combination of the words payment and Victrola for the recording connection, was the practice of paying the disk jockey to play certain records to increase their popularity. This was thought to be an especially pervasive practice among promoters of the new form of music, Rock and Roll.
For the Establishment there were a number of things wrong with Rock and Roll music. Its most ardent adherents were part of an increasingly powerful youth culture, while there was a perceived increase in Juvenile Delinquency. Even worse, Rock and Roll was greatly influenced by African-American and Southern artists who had been excluded by the New York based union.
Payola had long been practiced by ASCAP for years, and there was actually nothing illicit about the practice, although it was actually intrinsically dishonest; listers expected that a record received increased air time because it was a hot tune, not because the DJ had received payment to push it.
The two biggest names to testify before Congress in association with the Payola scandal were Alan Freed and Dick Clark. Alan Freed admitted to receiving payola payments; Clark denied payola but conceded that he did have a financial interest in many of the records he played. Freed appeared before the committee as a paranoiac young man who had incited riots in the past; clean cut Dick Clark's story was hard to believe but was told by the committee he was a "fine young man".
Freed passed away soon afterwards, broke, bitter, and alone.
Decades later Dick Clark would be known as the World's Oldest Teenager.
During the early 60s FCC regulations would be changed to prevent paying for increased airplay of records without acknowledging the payment, as well as to prevent tampering with the results of prize-giveaways on TV.
Reality programs are more popular every season, and Rock and Roll isn't going anywhere.