From Publishers Weekly
While commercial radio has become increasingly formulaic, Phillips says, the radio audience has established an intimate connection with public radio hosts: "This voice-to-ear relationship is a startlingly radical one in an era when image is everything." The SUNY journalism professor, who has worked at six public radio stations in five states, is passionate about her field, and her fervor is evident throughout these 43 profiles of public radio personalities, her "broadcasting heroes." Blending research with in-depth interviews, she divides the portraits into three categories. "Music" ranges from the spontaneity of Nic Harcourt (on the free-form Morning Becomes Eclectic
) to "deliciously polite" Marian McPartland (on the long-running Piano Jazz
). "News and Information" covers Susan Stamberg (NPR's "founding mother"), Daniel Schorr, Bob Edwards, Nina Totenberg and others. Finally, the 16 profiles in the "Talk and Entertainment" section include Tavis Smiley, Garrison Keillor and quipster Michael Feldman (Whad'Ya Know?
). Phillips praises the narrative style of Ira Glass (This American Life
) and the conversational approach of Fresh Air
's Terry Gross, although Glass and Gross both declined to be interviewed. Phillips is a gifted journalist, able to draw out her subjects' vibrant presence on the printed page. 16-page b&w photo insert not seen by PW
. (Apr. 18)
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Phillips, a former public radio reporter with six stations in five states, brings her own considerable fascination to this look at the personalities behind the voices heard on a variety of public radio programs from news to music. Drawing on interviews or secondary research, Phillips offers a glimpse at the personalities and paths to public radio of figures from "Founding Mother" Susan Stamberg to unabashedly Afrocentric Tavis Smiley to the Car Talk
Magliozzi brothers, who break the mold of expectations for high-brow intellectual fare. Phillips notes the now celebrated women reporters, including Cokie Roberts and Nina Totenberg, who joined in the early days when the pay at public radio was modest. The section on news and information also includes portraits of Bob Edwards, Daniel Schorr, and Robert Siegel. Part 2 focuses on talk and entertainment shows, including Ira Glass, Terry Gross, and Garrison Keillor. Part 3 focuses on music, featuring portraits of Marian McPartland, Nick Spitzer, and Korva Coleman, among others. Public radio fans will enjoy this personal look at their favorite personalities. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved