A Word from Our SponsorAdmen, Advertising, and the Golden Age of Radio

A Word from Our SponsorAdmen, Advertising, and the Golden Age of Radio

Cynthia B. Meyers

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780823253708

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Abstract

In this book the author repositions the advertising industry as a central agent in the development of broadcasting in the USA and challenges conventional views about the role of advertising in culture, the integration of media industries, and the role of commercialism in broadcasting history. It describes the “golden age” of radio, from roughly the late 1920s until the late 1940s, when advertising agencies were arguably the most important sources of radio entertainment. The book is based largely on archival materials from academics, advertising agencies and contemporaneous trade publications and on the voluminous correspondence between NBC and agency executives held in the NBC Records at the Wisconsin Historical Society. It shows how admen combined “showmanship” with “salesmanship” to produce a uniquely American form of commercial culture. In recounting the history of this form, the author enriches and corrects our understanding not only of broadcasting history but also of advertising history, business history and American cultural history from the 1920s to the 1940s.