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Sports-Talk Radio in America: Its Context and Culture (Contemporary Sports Issues) 1st Edition

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0789025906
ISBN-10: 0789025906
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"This book's addictive mixture of sports-talk radio history, communication theory, and research makes it A Hard-To-Put-Down, Entertaining Read."

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Product Details

  • Series: Contemporary Sports Issues
  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (October 13, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789025906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789025906
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,279,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
Edited by John Mark Dempsey, Ph.D., Sports-Talk Radio in America: Its Context and Culture is an anthology of essays by learned authors and field professionals about major, medium, and small-market stations across America with an all-sports format. Each is presented with an eye toward the individual programming strategies and charismatic personalities that made them successful. Written in mostly plain terms (and some sports-specific terminology), Sports-Talk Radio in America is as accessible to the casual sports-talk radio fan as it is to a prospective sports-talk radio station owner or professional. From WFAN and the inception of all-sports radio to WHB Kansas City "World's Happiest Broadcasters", Sports-Talk Radio in America is part history, part tribute, part testimony, and entirely enjoyable. Recommended for anyone with an interest in the field.
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By WDX2BB on February 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here's a different idea: an academic look at sports-talk radio.

Your first reaction to that might be something along the lines of "Boy, they'll study almost anything at universities these days."

There may be some truth in that. For our purposes, the question, though, is whether "Sports-Talk Radio in America" might be more interesting to a more general audience.

Probably not.

Sports-talk radio is about 25 years old right now, and it's certainly had an impact on the medium and sports. Most big cities have at least one such station on the dial.

After a brief introduction, editor J.M. Dempsey jumps into 10 case studies of successful stations. The size of the cities goes from New York down to Omaha, so it's quite a cross-section. Dempsey gets the first chapter, devoted to Dallas.

The stories are pretty striking in their similarity. While there are some national syndicators, such as ESPN, most of the biggest stations prefer local talk. Each city gets a station history, with a few profiles of memorable personalities and incidents thrown in. Some stations try to go over the top in terms of programming, jumping to non-sports topics deemed interesting to the demographic (young males, mostly) when there are dead spots on the sports calendar.

Fine. The catch is that most of the stories read the same way. After finishing a couple of chapters, most readers will get the idea. But the personalities of the on-air staff members don't really come through here most of the time, and that's too bad.

One of the few chapters to break the mold had a local connection for me. Bill Raffel does a good job of examining the battle between Buffalo's two sports talk stations. (Heck, it's why I bought the book in the first place.
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