A Word from Our Sponsor: Admen, Advertising, and the Golden Age of Radio

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9780823253715: A Word from Our Sponsor: Admen, Advertising, and the Golden Age of Radio

The behind-the-scenes story of how admen and sponsors helped shape broadcasting into a popular commercial entertainment medium.

During the "golden age" of radio, from roughly the late 1920s until the late 1940s, advertising agencies were arguably the most important sources of radio entertainment. Most nationally broadcast programs on network radio were created, produced, written, and/or managed by advertising agencies: for example, J. Walter Thompson produced "Kraft Music Hall" for Kraft; Benton & Bowles oversaw "Show Boat" for Maxwell House Coffee; and Young & Rubicam managed "Town Hall Tonight" with comedian Fred Allen for Bristol-Myers. Yet this fact has disappeared from popular memory and receives little attention from media scholars and historians. By repositioning the advertising industry as a central agent in the development of broadcasting, author Cynthia B. Meyers challenges conventional views about the role of advertising in culture, the integration of media industries, and the role of commercialism in broadcasting history.

Based largely on archival materials, A Word from Our Sponsor mines agency records from the J. Walter Thompson papers at Duke University, which include staff meeting transcriptions, memos, and account histories; agency records of BBDO, Benton & Bowles, Young & Rubicam, and N. W. Ayer; contemporaneous trade publications; and the voluminous correspondence between NBC and agency executives in the NBC Records at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Mediating between audiences' desire for entertainment and advertisers' desire for sales, admen combined "showmanship" with "salesmanship" to produce a uniquely American form of commercial culture. In recounting the history of this form, Meyers enriches and corrects our understanding not only of broadcasting history but also of advertising history, business history, and American cultural history from the 1920s to the 1940s.

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About the Author:


Cynthia B. Meyers is an Associate Professor of Communication at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York City. She received her Ph.D. in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin.

Review:


"This is a terrific and much-needed book. Cynthia Meyers tells the compelling story of one of the most productive yet hidden cultural forces of the twentieth century."--Michele Hilmes, University of Wisconsin, Madison


"Meyers has produced an important work that properly explains the place of the ad agency in the history of the OTR programs and genres we love, as well as the evolution of American advertising in general. . . [it] deserves a place in the book collection of all hobbyists with a thirst for OTR knowledge." --Radio Recall, Michael j. Hayde


"Reading Meyers, you begin to appreciate how fluid the advertising business is, sometimes demanding complete control from networks and publishers, sometimes retreating from the public eye to avoid associating itself with networks and entertainers who might embarrass the corporate client." --Jack Shafer


"'A Word From Our Sponsor' is not for the casual OTR hobbyist. It is a scholarly reference tome that is exhaustively researched, impeccably sourced and contains a smattering of helpful illustrations." --Radio Recall


"Well written and organized, this book is a welcome addition to a growing number of revisionist studies of the broadcasting industry. . . Highly Recommended."--Choice Magazine


"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. During the golden age of radio, from roughly the late 1920s until the late 1940s, advertising agencies were arguably the most important sources of radio entertainment. Most nationally broadcast programs on network radio were created, produced, written, and/or managed by advertising agencies: for example, J. Walter Thompson produced Kraft Music Hall for Kraft; Benton Bowles oversaw Show Boat for Maxwell House Coffee; and Young Rubicam managed Town Hall Tonight with comedian Fred Allen for Bristol-Myers. Yet this fact has disappeared from popular memory and receives little attention from media scholars and historians. By repositioning the advertising industry as a central agent in the development of broadcasting, author Cynthia B. Meyers challenges conventional views about the role of advertising in culture, the integration of media industries, and the role of commercialism in broadcasting history. Based largely on archival materials, A Word from Our Sponsor mines agency records from the J. Walter Thompson papers at Duke University, which include staff meeting transcriptions, memos, and account histories; agency records of BBDO, Benton Bowles, Young Rubicam, and N. W.Ayer; contemporaneous trade publications; and the voluminous correspondence between NBC and agency executives in the NBC Records at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Mediating between audiences desire for entertainment and advertisers desire for sales, admen combined showmanship with salesmanship to produce a uniquely American form of commercial culture. In recounting the history of this form, Meyers enriches and corrects our understanding not only of broadcasting history but also of advertising history, business history, and American cultural history from the 1920s to the 1940s. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780823253715

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. During the golden age of radio, from roughly the late 1920s until the late 1940s, advertising agencies were arguably the most important sources of radio entertainment. Most nationally broadcast programs on network radio were created, produced, written, and/or managed by advertising agencies: for example, J. Walter Thompson produced Kraft Music Hall for Kraft; Benton Bowles oversaw Show Boat for Maxwell House Coffee; and Young Rubicam managed Town Hall Tonight with comedian Fred Allen for Bristol-Myers. Yet this fact has disappeared from popular memory and receives little attention from media scholars and historians. By repositioning the advertising industry as a central agent in the development of broadcasting, author Cynthia B. Meyers challenges conventional views about the role of advertising in culture, the integration of media industries, and the role of commercialism in broadcasting history. Based largely on archival materials, A Word from Our Sponsor mines agency records from the J. Walter Thompson papers at Duke University, which include staff meeting transcriptions, memos, and account histories; agency records of BBDO, Benton Bowles, Young Rubicam, and N. W.Ayer; contemporaneous trade publications; and the voluminous correspondence between NBC and agency executives in the NBC Records at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Mediating between audiences desire for entertainment and advertisers desire for sales, admen combined showmanship with salesmanship to produce a uniquely American form of commercial culture. In recounting the history of this form, Meyers enriches and corrects our understanding not only of broadcasting history but also of advertising history, business history, and American cultural history from the 1920s to the 1940s. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780823253715

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Book Description Fordham University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, A Word from Our Sponsor: Admen, Advertising, and the Golden Age of Radio, Cynthia B. Meyers, This is the behind-the-scenes story of how admen and sponsors helped shape broadcasting into a popular commercial entertainment medium. During the "golden age" of radio, from roughly the late 1920s until the late 1940s, advertising agencies were arguably the most important sources of radio entertainment. Most nationally broadcast programs on network radio were created, produced, written, and/or managed by advertising agencies: for example, J. Walter Thompson produced "Kraft Music Hall" for Kraft; Benton & Bowles oversaw "Show Boat" for Maxwell House Coffee; and Young & Rubicam managed "Town Hall Tonight" with comedian Fred Allen for Bristol-Myers. Yet this fact has disappeared from popular memory and receives little attention from media scholars and historians. By repositioning the advertising industry as a central agent in the development of broadcasting, author Cynthia B. Meyers challenges conventional views about the role of advertising in culture, the integration of media industries, and the role of commercialism in broadcasting history. Based largely on archival materials, A Word from Our Sponsor mines agency records from the J. Walter Thompson papers at Duke University, which include staff meeting transcriptions, memos, and account histories; agency records of BBDO, Benton & Bowles, Young & Rubicam, and N. W. Ayer; contemporaneous trade publications; and the voluminous correspondence between NBC and agency executives in the NBC Records at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Mediating between audiences' desire for entertainment and advertisers' desire for sales, admen combined "showmanship" with "salesmanship" to produce a uniquely American form of commercial culture. In recounting the history of this form, Meyers enriches and corrects our understanding not only of broadcasting history but also of advertising history, business history, and American cultural history from the 1920s to the 1940s. Bookseller Inventory # B9780823253715

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