Public Interest and the Business of Broadcasting

These businesses and professions have special obligations to the public — and most have limited permits — but no content regulation . Only broadcasters are burdened with the “ public interest standard ” over and above technical ...

Public Interest and the Business of Broadcasting

Public Interest and the Business of Broadcasting

This volume offers 16 essays, most original, offering varied broadcast industry views on the role of the public interest in changing business. Editors Powell and Gair, respectively a long-time member of the Northern Illinois University communications faculty and an Illinois broadcaster, provide a brief contextual introduction to each contribution and give the background of each author. The book, according to the preface, is intended to offer `candid and genuine descriptions of what the public-interest obligation actually means to the practitioner [broadcaster]'. . . . The volume is best seen as an indicator of the changing public-interest perceptions of broadcasters amid a rapidly changing marketplace. As such, it is useful for undergraduates interested in today's communications industry. Choice This volume presents a broad cross-section of views on an issue of central importance to the broadcast industry: Can the broadcast industry serve both the public interest and corporate and stockholder interest? How do the leaders and successful professionals of the broadcast industry interpret and implement the public interest obligation? A cross-section of American broadcasters--from network executives to small market radio station managers, from the president of the National Association of Broadcasters to a former FCC Chairman, from communications attorneys to retired broadcasters--offer personal interpretations of these and other questions on the public interest issue. Among the contributors are Arthur C. Nielsen, the retired Chairman of the A. C. Nielsen Company, which has been the arbiter of American network television success or failure since the advent of the medium; Edward O. Fritts, a small market radio group owner who became President of the National Association of Broadcasters; Newton N. Minow, a communications attorney who is perhaps the best remembered FCC Chairman because of his vast wasteland speech; broadcast pioneer and innovator Ward Quaal; and network insider Gene Jankowski, President, CBS broadcast group.

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