- Paperback: 254 pages
- Publisher: iUniverse, Inc (February 4, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0595213952
- ISBN-13: 978-0595213955
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,970,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Monitor: The Last Great Radio Show
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About the Author
Dennis Hart teaches Mass Communication at California State University, Fresno. He spent 20 years in broadcasting in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Atlanta, Phoenix and Fresno. He won numerous awards, including an Emmy, plus awards from the Associated Press, United Press International and the San Francisco Bay Area Press Club.
Top customer reviews
Monitor aired every weekend for 20 years. The first few years, it was broadcast 40 hours a weekend; later it was cut back to 16 and then to 12. But, in the beginning, if you were on the Monitor Beacon, you were one of 30 million listeners going places and doing things each weekend. You were hearing Dave Garroway, Henry Morgan, David Brinkley, Mel Allen, Joe Garagiola, Hugh Downs, Ted Brown, Gene Rayburn, Brad Crandall and many more. Bob and Ray were at Radio Central most of the weekend. Nichols and May were there too, as was Jonathan Winters. Weekends were different and so was Monitor.
So, why am I writing about Monitor 30 years later? Well, I was quite a devotee of Monitor. I listened every weekend. A year ago, it was a weekend, I was looking up a site on a search engine and, on a whim, I typed in "Monitor" to see what I'd find. To my surprise, I found an elaborate Web Site devoted entirely to Monitor with history, audio, pictures, reminiscences: ... Until then, I thought I was the biggest Monitor aficionado in the country. No, Dennis Hart is truly Mr. Monitor. This site was his brainchild. But he has more material than could ever fit on a Web site. Hence, the book.
This is a great book, easy to read and well-documented. Dennis actually interviewed Mr. Weaver. Mr. Weaver's comments demonstrate how much he thought of Monitor and how disappointed he was to see it end and why it did. Dennis also has interviewed other Monitor personnel, both on-the-air and behind the scenes. The book's packed with inside information.
When you go to the Web site, read the comments in the guestbook. See how many messages express hope that Monitor will return. I hope it will too. But until then, we have Monitor, the Book, and Monitor, the Web site, thanks to Dennis.
That show was Monitor on NBC radio, a program that not only ran every weekend for nearly twenty years, but in doing so, saved the NBC radio network from early extinction at a time when television was robbing network radio of its audience.
So what was Monitor? The brainchild of the late, great Pat Weaver, Monitor was a true magazine of the air--an intelligent, lively, exciting mixture of news, comedy, music, sports, interviews, and live remotes from around the world, all packaged into an ever changing format hosted by radio greats like Gene Rayburn, Dave Garroway, Henry Morgan, Bill Cullen, and many others. There was simply nothing else like it when it began in 1955. And really nothing else like it when it fell victim to the changing times and was finally cancelled in January 1975.
Hart deftly chronicles Monitor's creation, and breathes life into the story of its long run--longer than any other radio program. From the famous hosts, to the intense work it took for the show's producers and writers to actually create on a weekly basis, hours of live programming at a time when broadcasting technology was primitive by today's standards, to the Monitor Beacon itself, Hart reminds Monitor's fans why they spent so many of their weekend hours listening to the program.
I was a fan for years in the '60s and early '70s, but you don't have to remember the show to appreciate this affectionate history. And given the state of commercial radio today, you may come away wondering why Monitor is still not running every weekend "going places and doing things" and once again delighting millions of listeners.