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A History of Broadcasting in the United States

ISBN: 978-1-4051-2282-5
376 pages
April 2008, ©2007, Wiley-Blackwell
A History of Broadcasting in the United States (140512282X) cover image

Description

This powerful history of broadcasting in the United States goes beyond traditional accounts to explore the field’s important social, political, and cultural ramifications. It examines how broadcasting has been organized as a business throughout much of the 20th century, and focuses on the aesthetics of programming over the years.

  • Surveys four key broadcasting periods from 1921 to 1996, drawing on a range of new sources to examine recent changes in the field, including coverage of the recent impact of cable TV and home video
  • Includes new data from collections at the Library of Congress and the Library of American Broadcasting
  • Ideal for anyone seeking a readable history of the field, offering the most current coverage available
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi

Preface: Why a History of Broadcasting in the USA? ix

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction: Broadcasting’s Beginning: The Big Bang 1

Part I: The Network Radio Era, 1921–1950 1

1. Industrial Innovation and Diffusion: The Radio Networks 13

2. Radio’s Social, Cultural, and Political Impact: The First Mass Medium 38

3. The Development of a New Aesthetic: Sounds 71

Part II: Transition, 1945–1957 105

4. TV Replaces Radio in the Living Room 107

5. Radio Reinvents Itself: Top 40 and Beyond 142

Part III: Network Television Dominates, 1958–1982 165

6. CBS, NBC, and ABC Covering the USA 167

7. Network TV’s Social, Cultural, and Political Impact 197

8. The Genre Machine: From Maverick to M*A*S*H 231

Part IV: Contemporary History, 1982–1996 279

9. Radio: The FM Era 281

10. Television: Remote Control Paradise 299

Epilogue: Still a Broadcasting Nation: 1996 and into the Future 338

Appendix: Sorry, Wrong Number 346

Index 353

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Author Information

Douglas Gomery is Resident Scholar at the Library of American Broadcasting, University of Maryland. His credits include 19 books and more than a thousand articles. He won national book awards for his Shared Pleasures and Who Owns the Media? and he has recently been declared the winner of the distinguished scholar award from the Broadcast Education Association.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • A powerful history of broadcasting in the United States that goes beyond traditional accounts to explore the field’s important social, political, and cultural ramifications
  • Considers how broadcasting has been organized as a business throughout much of the twentieth century, and focuses on the aesthetics of programming over the years
  • Surveys four key broadcasting periods from 1921 to 1996, drawing on a range of new sources to examine recent changes in the field, including coverage of the recent impact of cable TV and home video
  • Includes new data from collections at the Library of Congress and the Library of American Broadcasting
  • Ideal for anyone seeking a readable history of the field, offering the most current coverage available
See More

Reviews

"The book is wonderfully punctuated with rare photographs from the Library of American Broadcasting. The organization easily guides the reader through the narrative. A lot of reference source material comes from the periodicals and publications of the time. In addition to the rich collection at the Maryland Library of American Broadcasting collection, Gomery ventured into other national archives." (Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, September 2010)

"Douglas Gomery is a master of the historical archive. This is a thoroughly researched, eminently readable book, written in a very accessible and entertaining style that holds the attention of readers, while also providing new information and documentation for scholars. A must read for media historians and media history courses." Richard Butsch, author of The Making of American Audiences

 

“At once more expansive and finely detailed than almost any other book out there on the subject, this work will appeal to both experts in the field and those new to this history. A "must have" for media historians." Susan Murray, New York University

“Gomery [is] a leading historian … .Here’s a history worth reading. Producers, undergraduates in media studies, and fans of media history should be avid readers." Television Quarterly

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