Arcadia Plugs Into Radio History
Do you love
radio history? Are you intimately familiar with how broadcasting developed in a
given city, and enjoy sharing that with others? Arcadia Publishing may want to
hear from you.
published its first history of a radio station in 2006, focusing on WNAX(AM) in
South Dakota. It was co-authored by Stan Ray — who “grew
up” in the transmitter building where his father worked as an engineer — and
freelance writer Marilyn Kratz.
quickly realized we’d hit on something special,” says Katie Kellett, Arcadia’s director
of sales for the North and MidAtlantic, of that book.
broadcast titles are an offshoot of a series of photo books about local towns. “As
the success of our ‘Images of America’ series has grown, we’ve been approached
by historians all across the country with new ideas,” Kellett said.
as a series of town histories developed to include sports, colleges and
universities, architectural landmarks, fairs and festivals, lighthouses and
other maritime interests, railroads and aviation, and the list goes on. … On a
local level, these books strike a chord with residents who remember their
favorite radio and television personalities from childhood. The covers of
the books often showcase a beloved local broadcaster or perhaps a favorite
program that aired on the station.”
I’m a fan;
I’ve mentioned the series here and on my blog at radioworld.com. Arcadia’s catalog now includes approximately 30
titles on radio and TV, with many more planned. These books essentially are
photo essays, heavy on visuals and supported with brief but informative text.
They’re wonderful to flip through.
A neat twist
for me is that some authors have contributed to Radio World as well.
The new title “Hartford Radio” is by John Ramsey, who grew up listening
to radio in Connecticut and has worked in the industry as an engineer since
1978. He’s GM of WWUH(FM) at the University of Hartford and chief engineer of
WCCC(FM); he’s also webmaster of a Hartford history website and is chairman of
SBE Chapter 14, as well as president of Torrington Community Radio Foundation,
licensee of WAPJ(FM) and founder of the CT Radio Alliance.
shared tips in Radio World’s Workbench,
and he wrote in RW in 2010 about visiting an unusual wind turbine.
out this month is “Bay Area Radio,” detailing the events and history of radio
in the San Francisco region. The book covers the period 1902–1960. It has
substantial coverage of NBC’s early activities on the West Coast, WWII
shortwave broadcasting and the beginnings of the VOA. This is co-authored by
radio historian John F. Schneider, whose historical broadcast pictures are well
known to RW readers. Schneider shares the book author credit with the
California Historical Radio Society and the Bay Area Radio Museum.
reading about “Doc” Herrold broadcasting in San Jose in 1909 or Bob Steele
doing school closing announcements on WTIC in the 1950s (that’s Steele on the
Hartford cover), you will enjoy these books, especially if you grew up in that
city or have an appreciation for how radio has connected to its communities
over the years.
Other titles feature broadcasting in Birmingham, Ala.;
Nashville and Chattanooga, Tenn.; Cincinnati; Harrisburg, Pa.; Philadelphia;
and Pittsburgh. Some mix radio and TV, others focus on one or the other. I
previously told you about Donna Halper’s “Boston Radio: 1920–2010.”
More cities are
planned. Just in New York state, Arcadia has titles pending for Albany,
Buffalo, New York City, Rochester and Syracuse. “Our next station-specific
title in the works will cover KIDO in Boise, Idaho, and should be available in
late 2012,” Kellett said. Stations with
their own books already include WLS in Chicago; WHO in Des Moines, Iowa; and
KMOX in St. Louis.
RW readers often have told me that too many radio stations
have forgotten their own history. If so, this series represents a lovely
counter to that trend.
And yes, Kellett
says Arcadia actively seeks radio and television historians, “to work with us
on photographic histories of their individual stations or on a more general
broadcasting history of their city. This is an exciting area of growth for
us.” Authors come
from a variety of backgrounds, and many are first-time writers.
books in particular, we are looking for someone with a passion for broadcasting
history and someone who is intimately connected to the field.” Sounds like a
Radio World reader to me.
If you are
interested in learning about how to write for Arcadia, visit Radio World’s
We’ll point you to the company’s info for potential authors.