Before Oprah: Ruth Lyons, the Woman Who Created Talk TV

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9781933197494: Before Oprah: Ruth Lyons, the Woman Who Created Talk TV

She was an up-front, real woman who rose from humble beginnings. Her daily live television show drew millions of viewers. Her mere mention of a product could turn it into a household name.

This may sound like Oprah Winfrey, but it s a description of Ruth Lyons, a pioneering broadcaster whose audience in 1960 equaled that of Winfrey s today. With a mix of sentimentality and caustic commentary she ad-libbed her way through commercials and interviews with Hollywood stars. She ruled a broadcast empire and a famous charity all the while maintaining that she was simply a normal housewife and mother who happened to have a radio show. National magazines labeled her The most influential housewife in America.

Her fame was such that throughout the 1950s and '60s, tens of thousands showed up for her remote broadcasts and other personal appearances. 100,000 people tried to get tickets for a 1957 event in her honor.

Before Oprah: Ruth Lyons, The Woman Who Created Talk TV, is the first complete biography of this pioneering broadcaster and tough businesswoman. It includes her life story complete with fascinating events that even she didn t want the world to see. Follow Ruth through her days as a child growing up in Columbia Tusculum to her stretch on WLW, up to the death of her daughter. Find out who she was and how she became the hardest working and most philanthropic woman in the business.

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About the Author:

Michael A. Banks is the author of more than 40 books, among them several titles that deal with Internet topics, including The eBay Survival Guide; Web Psychos, Stalkers, and Pranksters; The Modem Reference; PC Confidential; and Welcome to CompuServe. He is coauthor of CROSLEY: The Story of Two Brothers and the Business Empire that Transformed the Nation (Clerisy, 2006), the biography of twentieth-century industrialist/entrepreneur and communications magnate Powel Crosley, Jr. (This book made the New York Times extended bestseller list, the Wall Street Journal hardcover business book bestseller list, and the Business Week bestseller list. Having sold 45,000 copies during its first three months of existence, it received a full-page writeup in the February 12, 2007, issue of Publishers Weekly.)

He has written hundreds of magazine articles and served as a contributing editor and columnist for Computer Shopper, Windows, and other magazines.

Banks has been online since 1979, when he caught his first glimpse of CompuServe. During the 1980s, he was involved in a number of Internet firsts, including online book promotion. He has helped maintain BBSs, was a SIG manager on DELPHI for a number of years, and worked in a consulting capacity for CompuServe and The Source. He wrote one of the first guides to online services, The Modem Reference (Brady/Simon & Schuster), which introduced hundreds of thousands of users to modems and the online world. Because of his reputation as a modem and telecommunications expert, GEnie and BIX (Byte Information Exchange) created special online forums for Banks--early blogs. He has also advised a number of businesses in the area of online marketing.

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