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About the Authors
Book Preface
What's New
Broadcasting PowerWeb

Student Edition
Instructor Edition
Broadcasting, Cable, the Internet and Beyond: An Introduction to Modern Electronic Media, 5/e

Joseph R. Dominick, University of Georgia
Fritz Messere, State University of New York - Oswego
Barry L. Sherman, Deceased

ISBN: 0072493836
Copyright year: 2004

Book Preface

The fifth edition of Broadcasting, Cable, the Internet, and Beyond is the first edition to appear after the unfortunate death of Barry L. Sherman. Barry was a coauthor, colleague, and friend and it is fitting that this edition of the book is dedicated to his memory. He was a dedicated scholar who genuinely enjoyed the classroom and took great pride in his teaching. His contributions to the profession were immeasurable and we are pleased that this book allows at least part of his teaching legacy to live on. The authors hope that this edition lives up to Barry’s high standards.
Other, less-personal events, of course, have also had an impact on this edition. Both the recent war in Iraq and before that the terrorist attacks of September 11 have changed the mood of the country and have demonstrated the importance of the electronic media during a crisis. The economic downturn has forced media companies to downsize and cut costs. The failure of many dotcoms has taken some of the bloom off the optimism that surrounded the Internet. Moreover, the trend toward convergence between “new” media and “old” media companies is being rethought in the disastrous aftermath of the AOL Time Warner merger. And, against all this background, advances in electronic media technology continue to emerge. Personal video recorders, satellite radio, file-sharing pro-grams on the Internet, and interactive TV are just some of the things that have had an effect on the field since the last edition of the book.
These developments and others are reflected throughout this new edition.

New Additions
The opening history chapters have been updated to include the industry trend toward consolidation, the increasing popularity of streaming audio and video, and the trend toward digital audio and video. Chapter 3 (“Audio and Video Technology”) contains a discussion of several new advances including DVDs, MP3, digital TV and radio, desktop video, and streaming media. In every case, we have tried to explain how these technologies work without becoming overly technical.
Part Two (“How It Is”) contains new information on consolidation in the radio industry, the transition to digital TV, the growing popularity of interactive TV, peer-to-peer file-sharing on the Internet, streaming video, DBS, and the growing importance of the World Wide Web as a source of news.
Part Three (“How It’s Done”) introduces new material on such programming trends as voice tracking in radio, conventuring in TV news, news-on- demand, and global news networks. In addition, Chapter 9 (“TV Programming”) has an expanded discussion of the world of TV program syndication.
The biggest change in Part Four (“How It’s Controlled”) is a reorganized Chapter 10 (“Rules and Regulations”). This chapter also includes an update on the continuing impact of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the latest developments in the legal battles concerning file sharing on the Internet, and the new rules on drug advertising on TV. Chapter 11 (“Self-Regulation and Ethics”) has updated information on the V-chip and a discussion about the ever-changing standards of what’s acceptable in TV and radio.
Part Five (“What It Does”) contains several new items. There’s a section in Chapter 12 (“Ratings and Audience Feedback”) on the personal Peoplemeter. Chapter 13 (“Effects”) has been expanded to include a discussion of the impact of violent video games and an expanded section dealing with the social impact of the Internet. Chapter 14 (“The International Scene”) discusses China’s difficulties in regulating the Internet.

Boxed Inserts
The fifth edition continues the use of thematically organized boxed inserts in every chapter to present extended examples of topics mentioned in the text or interesting snapshots of industry leaders. Dozens of new boxes have been added. For example:

  • Has PBS become too commercial? A new box in Chapter 5 (“Broadcast and Cable TV Today”) looks at the impact of corporate underwriting on public TV.

  • A new Issues box in Chapter 9 (“TV Programming”) examines the unprecedented media coverage of the war in Iraq.

  • A new box in Chapter 9 (“TV Programming”) profiles the late Roone Arledge and analyzes his impact on TV sports and broadcast news.

  • Chapter 10 (“Rules and Regulations”) contains a new box describing the growing importance of direct-to-consumer drug advertising on TV (such as Dorothy Hamill and Vioxx) and why it may be controversial.

  • A box in Chapter 11 (“Self-Regulation and Ethics”) examines the debate sparked when TV news anchors started wearing flag lapel pins.

  • The growing influence of Al-Jazeera, the Qatari news channel, is examined in a new box in Chapter 14 (“The International Scene”).

Web Support

As with the fourth edition, each chapter of the book is supported by an interactive website that students can use to supplement the material found in the text. The site has been updated and includes a study guide, practice tests, chapter summaries, key terms, and links to other relevant sites. For more information, see the McGraw-Hill website at

Familiar Items

The fifth edition continues to use the same organizational structure that was introduced in the fourth edition.

  • Part One (“Foundations”) examines the history of the electronic media and introduces audio and video technology.

  • Part Two (“How It Is”) is an overview of the electronic media: radio, television, cable, and the Internet. Each of the three chapters in this section follows a common organization. Each surveys the structure of the media, looks at economic and social forces that influence their operation, examines current issues, and closes by looking at career options.

  • Part Three (“How It’s Done”) opens with a chapter that describes business aspects of each medium. Subsequent chapters concentrate on programming and how broadcasters and cable-casters select content that appeals to an audience that advertisers find attractive.

  • Part Four (“How It’s Controlled”) looks at the regulatory process. The first chapter in this section discusses the rationale behind regulation, examines the FCC and other forces that shape electronic media regulation, and reviews the key federal and local laws that influence the day-to-day operations in the industry. The next chapter looks at self-regulation and examines how industry practices and ethics influence what the audience sees and hears.

  • The final section, Part Five (“What It Does”) focuses on the audience. The first chapter in this section explains how ratings are determined while the following chapter examines the social impact of the electronic media. The book concludes with a look at the audiences in other countries. The last chapter in this section surveys international electronic media. Moreover, every chapter has been updated and revised to reflect changes to this dynamic area. Charts and tables contain the most-recent data. As has been our goal in the previous editions, we continue our attempt to create a book that is concise but still contains sufficient depth of coverage. Again, as before, we have tried to maintain a conversational writing style that students will find interesting. Finally, we reiterate our hope that the fifth edition fulfills the goal we first set when the first edition appeared: to produce a textbook that is informative and that captures some of the excitement, exhilaration, and immediacy that go with this industry.


We would like to acknowledge the efforts of those in the industry who helped with this edition: Dana Segal of Westwood One; Lou Borrelli at AOL Time Warner; WRVO’s John Krauss; Scott Jameson at WSEN-FM; Cathy Devine of M-Street Publications; and Ildiko Novak and Lee Abrams at XM Satellite Radio.
Book Cover Photo

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