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THIS BUSINESS OF RADIO PROGRAMMING by Claude and Barbara Hall

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This review written by Dan O’Day

After years of being out-of-print,at last this classic book has been re-released in its entirety. Written in 1977, THIS BUSINESS OF RADIO PROGRAMMING offers a rich, full history of contemporary radio programming.

But it's more than just a look at radio's roots; the insights, genius and inspiration that fill this book will make any programmer smarter, hipper, and better equipped to create a great radio station.

You will hear first-hand from some of the giants who virtually created contemporary radio...including Bill Stewart, Chuck Blore, Bill Drake and Ron Jacobs.

You'll also get candid, in-depth interviews with legendary personalities including Don Imus, Robert W. Morgan, Gary Owens and Charlie Tuna.

The birth of Top 40....The creation of Boss Radio....Radio wars won & lost....

Promotional ideas that will be as powerful tomorrow as they were when first developed....

THIS BUSINESS OF RADIO PROGRAMMING is, quite simply, the best book on radio programming ever published.

Here is a partial listing of the radio greats featured in THIS BUSINESS OF RADIO PROGRAMMING.

Lee Abrams...Steve Allen...Herb Oscar Anderson...Jack Angel...Jack Armstrong...Roger Ashby...Ted Atkins...Bill Ballance...Buzz Bennett... Bob Berry...Dick Biondi...Jerry Blavat...Martin Block...Chuck Blore...Betty Breneman...Al Brady...Scott Brink...Ted Brown...Don Burden... Kent Burkhart...George Burns...Judy Burns...Bwana Johnny... Jack Carney...Dwight Case...Al Casey...Ron Chapman...Gene Chenault... Roger Christian...Dick Clark...Tom Clay...Jerry Clifton...Rege Cordic...Chick Crabtree...Les Crane...Frankie Crocker...Dan Daniel...Johnny Dark...Deano Day.... Dave Diamond... Tom Donohue...Bill Drake...Paul Drew...Harley Drew...Chuck Dunaway...George Duncan...Jim Dunlap...Erica Farber...Stan Freberg...Alan Freed...Paul Frees...James Gabbert...John Gambling (Sr. & Jr.)... Les Garland... Bill Gavin... John Gehron...Joannie Gerber...Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsberg...George Gobel...Arthur Godfrey...Bob Hamilton... Irv Harrigan, Robert E. Lee Hardwick...Dick Haynes, Aku Head...Cecil Heftel...Bob Henabery...Ed Hider...Jim Hilliard...Johnny Holliday...Bob Hudson..Dave Hull...Don Imus...Dan Ingram...Ron Jacobs...Al Jarvis...Bruce Johnson...Sis Kaplan...Stan Kaplan...Mel Karmazin...Casey Kasem...Murray The K...Shotgun Kelly...Don Keyes... Gene Klavan...George Klein...Chuck Knapp...Jay Lawrence...Hy Lit...Jim Lowe...Denny Luell...Larry Lujack...Ron Lundy...Steve Lundy...Jerry Lyman...Johnny Magnus...Wink Martindale...J. P. McCarthy...Coyote McCloud...Jack McCoy...Don McKinnon...Gordon McLendon...Sonny Melendrez...Tom Merryman...Paxton Mills...L. David Moorehead... Chucker Morgan...Robert W. Morgan...Rod Muir...Scott Muni...Joe Niagara...Eric Norberg...Pat Norman...Salty Brine...Bobby Ocean...Harry O'Connor...Pat O'Day...Bob Orben...Mike O'Shea...Gary Owens...Pat Patterson...Gerry Peterson...Wally Phillips... Jimmy Rabbitt...Johnny Rabbitt...Ted Randal...Bill Randle...B. Mitchell Reed...Joey Reynolds...Sam Riddle...Art Roberts...John Rook...Dr. Don Rose...Rosko...Tom Rounds...Scott Shannon...Rick Shaw...Lee Baby Sims...Rick Sklar...Michael Spears...The Real Don Steele...Gary Stevens...Jay Stevens...Kris Stevens...Shadoe Stevens...Bill Stewart...Sebastian Stone...Todd Storz...Bill Tanner...LeBaron Taylor... Jack Thayer...Jay Thomas...Bernie Torres...Charlie Tuna...Mary Turner...Charlie Van Dyke...Bill Wade...Robert W. Walker...Todd Wallace...Bill Ward...Bill Watson...Bill Weaver...Dick Whittinghill...William B. Williams...Big Wilson...George Wilson...Russ Wittberger...Wolfman Jack...J. Robert Wood...Bill Young...

Warning: THIS BUSINESS OF RADIO PROGRAMMING is a wonderful book. At 360 pages, it will keep you up for quite a few nights. It's crammed with brilliant insights & inspiration.

But it was written in 1977.

You won't find anything about voice tracking or DBS or digital editing or multiopoly or Internet strategies...or even Howard Stern.

Here's the best analogy I can give you:

I have a mild interest in Magic. On my bookshelves, I have 20 or so books on the subject. And my most treasured of those -- the ones from which I've learned the most -- are the long out-of-print books that introduced me to magic performers about whom I knew little if anything.

Why read about Kreskin when you can read Dunninger himself (the guy whose act Kreskin based his career on)? Why read the words of David Copperfield when you can read Annemann?

In those books, you won't find a single mention of Penn & Teller (whom I like) or David Blaine (whom I've never seen).

But....

You will find the ideas & techniques that inspired their careers.

And what I really learned from those old magic books is this:

1. There are fundamentals of magic performance that you must learn if you wish to be great...or even good.

And Here's The Biggie

2. An "old" idea that is not being used by performers today will be new to any contemporary audience.

Back to radio....

I guarantee you'll be wowed by how much great, usable material you'll find in THIS BUSINESS OF RADIO PROGRAMMING.

If there's even the slightest possibility that you'll complain to me that MTV isn't even mentioned (nor Selector nor Facebook nor iPods), do not buy this book.

But if you're an ever-growing, lifelong student of the art & science of radio programming, please order your copy right now.

360 pages


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Product Reviews

  1. A Mad Man would have Ogilvy...

    Posted by Ed.K

    Re-read it every year. I love it! A Mad Man/Woman would have Ogilvy and Bernbach on their desk. In radio, it's This Business of Radio Programming.


  2. Dan's not kidding.

    Posted by K.M. Richards

    This IS the best book on radio programming ever written. I still have the copy I bought when it was relatively new in 1978 as I began my first PD gig. At age 22, I figured I needed all the help I could get, and already being a devotee of Claude Hall's column in Billboard I knew I couldn't go wrong having his wisdom (and that of the others interviewed for the book).

    I was right, and even though the dust jacket on my old hardcover copy is faded and the pages are frayed around the edges from frequent reference, it still stands up today because a good PD is still a good PD, even as the industry and its technology have changed. (In fact, you'll find that much of the time you'll forget it was originally written and published in the late-1970s.)

    This book will help make a new PD good ... and a good PD better.


  3. This book is awesome

    Posted by Paul K Saunders

    Without a doubt this book will make you think about the way you approach programming or format creation - for me the fact it was 1977 was no probelm after all it was the best of times for radio. I learned a lot and more importantly I felt a new respect for the classic formats - take the time to read it you will love it


  4. Fascinating read!

    Posted by Paul Easton

    The only problem with my order is that I've been so engrossed in reading THIS BUSINESS OF RADIO PROGRAMMING that some of my other duties have sometimes been ignored. It's a fascinating read!


  5. Probably the most important book any PD or future PD can read

    Posted by Steve Marshall

    Probably the most important book any PD or future PD can read, I have been waiting to own this book for over 20 years. Although the book was written many years ago, the lessons for radio are still very contemporary. As someone who works as a PD for a variety of stations across Europe, and in a business where you never stop learning, I also learned a lot from this book! reading the words of such legends as Chuck Blore, Gary Owens, and Bill Drake. In a world where we are always told about something being "a good investment," make the life changing investment of buying this book, it will truly change the way you look at radio (plus it will keep you up late at night for a few nights too!)


  6. So much which is relevant to the industry today

    Posted by Alex Boyd

    I was really pleased at how quickly you got the book out to me. I'm about halfway through (I did cheat slightly because I just had to read the Robert W. Morgan interview first as he's my all time hero!) but I have to say that so far I have found it to be really interesting. Despite it being written more than 20 years ago, there is so much which is relevant to the industry today and already I have picked up some really useful ideas from the book. It's good to know you provide such a reliable source for such quality material.



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