TV and radio talk shows have become powerful influences on the way adults, teens, and children think and interact. Besides providing information on what is happening in the world today, many programs sensationalize and intensify our personal or social dysfunctions, and many stir up feelings of anger or frustration for ratings or media attention. The Talk Show Revolution explores the talk show genre and how it affects society. Dr. Scott, a noted expert on social issues and a sometime radio talk show host, provides a savvy overview of how and why today's talk shows and their hosts have become so compelling, powerful (especially if they own part or all of their own show), and often controversial. The first half of the book focuses on radio talk shows, the second on television talk shows. These two sections start with detailed histories of how talk shows began with the birth of each of these media over a half a century ago. Subsequent chapters highlight the big movers and shakers in these arenas, with brief looks at how top hosts, e.g., Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Larry King, Howard Stern, David Letterman, and Rush Limbaugh, found professional and financial success. The author devotes other chapters to questions such as:
What are the "hot" topics preferred by hosts and the networks
What do radio and TV hosts say about their shows and the overall industry
What is it like to watch a week of TV talk shows
How offense are so-called "trash" TV or radio talk shows?
What kind of power comes with high ratings
The Talk Show Revolution is a fair and balanced look at this industry, which has been the focus of extensive talk and controversy over such issues as the conflict between free spec and advocates for privacy or family values. Anyone interested in talk shows and their impact on society, as well as social scientists, behavior therapists, and psychologists, will benefit from this book.
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