Course Description

An historical survey of US radio and television through an examination of their technologies, their institutions, and their programming forms: a study of their impacts on American culture and society. The course begins with the advent of broadcasting in the post–World War I era, the introduction of television in the post–World War II years, and the evolution of broadcasting in the post-network era at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Instructor

Juan Monroy

Office Hours

Office hours are held remotely. Sign up for an appointment at https://juanmonroy.com/officehours.

  • Remote via Microsoft Teams: I will email you a meeting link for you to join the meeting

Loaner Devices for Remote Instruction

Queens College offers loaner devices to students who need them for remote instruction. Contact Queens College ITS for how to request a device.

The G Building News

The Media Studies department has a newsletter. The newsletter aims to offer students an accessible platform to be informed about campus and departmental events, and hiring opportunities within the field. With all that happens throughout the semester, The G Building News overs the projects of students and faculty to inspire creativity and potential collaborations.

“The G Building News. Stay Informed. Stay Creative.”

Subscribe today at https://qcmediastudies.substack.com.

Counseling Services at Queens College

Counseling Services are available to any Queens College student. They assist students with personal concerns that can affect their enjoyment of and success in college. Services are free and confidential. All sessions take place on Zoom or by telephone, depending on student preference.

To make an appointment, students should call 718–997–5420 and leave a message with their phone number and CUNY ID. You can also e-mail counselingservices@qc.cuny.edu to set up an appointment.

Counseling Services Website

Microsoft Teams

We will use Microsoft Teams to submit your assignments. We will not be using Blackboard.

We’re using this because, no matter where you go after CUNY, you will probably never use Blackboard ever again. However, there’s a good chance you will have to use Microsoft Teams and Office 365, especially at work. This is to get you accustomed to this suite.

To access our course on Microsoft Teams, follow these steps:

  1. Go to https://teams.microsoft.com
  2. When you see the Microsoft Sign In page, enter your @login.cuny.edu username: firstname.lastname##@login.cuny.edu. Note: This is not the same as your qmail.cuny.edu username.
  3. When you see the CUNY Web Applications Login page, enter your CUNY Login username and password and complete the two-factor authentication.
  4. Locate our Team: History of Broadcasting, Spring 2024.

If you’re having trouble, note the following:

  • Make sure you’re logged into your @login.cuny.edu not your @qmail.cuny.edu account. 
* You can add another account to switch to the correct @login.cuny.edu account.
  • Microsoft Teams doesn’t work on Mac or iOS Safari. You can download the Microsoft Teams apps or use another browser, such as Chrome or Firefox.
  • Make sure you’re not signing in to live.com domain. Those are for personal accounts. The correct URL is https://login.microsoft.com for your CUNY account.

Modules

This course consists of twelve modules and two exams. The material from each module will be posted in the course schedule below and on Microsoft Teams.

You must complete the material for each module before our weekly discussion session.

Because this is a three (3) unit course, you’re expected to spend an average of nine (9) hours per week working on this course.

Readings

Each module requires you to read a chapter or two from the following textbook:

  • Michelle Hilmes, Only Connect: A Cultural History of Broadcasting in the United States, 4th ed. (Boston: Cengage, 2014).

Complete these readings first. Take notes and pay attention to the headings to help you understand how the chapter is organized.

The links on the course website and on Microsoft Teams are for the Vitalsource ebook.

Lectures

Each module requires you to watch a recorded lecture in multiple parts. The recorded lectures move through the course material quicker than an in-person lecture. As you watch each video, pause and rewind the video as necessary to take notes on the material. This will help ensure you’re ingesting the course material.

The videos are all captioned and a transcript is available on CUNY OneDrive.

Radio and Television Programs

Each module requires you to listen to a series of radio programs or to watch a series of television programs that are relevant to the course material for that module.

The programs are linked in the course schedule below and on Microsoft Teams.

Weekly Discussion Sessions

All students must participate in the weekly discussion session.

During the week discussion sessions, we will review the material covered in the module. We will also be working together on review questions in breakout rooms that you will submit during class on Microsoft Teams.

  • Section 1
    • Remote Online Synchronous
    • Wednesday, 6:30 PM
    • Join on Zoom

Zoom Meeting Information

  • Video policy: you’re welcome to have your video turned off during class, but you must participate in class and in breakout rooms
  • You must sign in to your CUNY Zoom account to participate in our weekly discussion sessions. Do not create an account or sign in with your qmail.cuny.edu address. Skip to the bottom and sign in with SSO and enter cuny.zoom.us as the company domain. Then sign in using your CUNY Login.
  • If you’re having trouble signing in, read this guide from Queens College Helpdesk
  • Each session will have live transcription and will be recorded for only students in our class
    • Recordings are available on Microsoft Teams under the respective module under the Coursework tab.
  • Attendance is mandatory
    • If you miss four or more sessions this semester, you will not be eligible to take the final exam.
    • Weight: 10%

Weekly Discussion Questions

Each week during class, I will post a set of discussion questions for you to complete during our Weekly Discussion Session. The questions are open-ended and due by the end of our meeting.

There will be a total of twelve discussion questions assignments. I will drop your two lowest scores. The remaining ten quizzes are collectively worth 12% of your final grade.

Quizzes

For each module, you will take two quizzes: one on the assigned readings and another on the recorded lectures.

Reading Quizzes

Each module requires you to take a quiz on the readings from the textbook. Each reading quiz consists of a mix of true-false and multiple-choice questions. The quiz will be available on Microsoft Teams as a Microsoft Form.

Note the quiz deadlines on Microsoft Teams. Quizzes will will not be accepted after they close on Microsoft Teams.

There will be a total of twelve quizzes. I will drop your two lowest reading quiz scores. The remaining ten quizzes are collectively worth 24% of your final grade.

Lecture Quizzes

Each module requires you to take a quiz on the lectures from the textbook. Each lecture quiz consists of a mix of true-false and multiple-choice questions. The quiz will be available on Microsoft Teams as a Microsoft Form.

Note the quiz deadlines on Microsoft Teams. Quizzes will will not be accepted after they close on Microsoft Teams.

There will be a total of twelve quizzes. I will drop your two lowest lecture quiz scores. The remaining ten quizzes are collectively worth 24% of your final grade.

Exams

You are required to complete two exams. Each exam will consist of objective questions, a mix of true-and-false and multiple-choice, and subjective questions, requiring answers in the form of explanations. Your answers to the exam questions should synthesize what you learned in the recorded lectures and the textbook readings.

Exams are available on Microsoft Teams as Microsoft Forms, based on the following course material:

  1. Exam 1: modules 1–5 on radio
  2. Exam 2: modules 6–12 on television. If you miss four or more weekly discussion sessions this semester, you will not be eligible to take this second exam.

Both exams are required and constitute 30% of your final grade:

  • higher exam score: 20%
  • lower exam score: 10%

All exams must be submitted by the deadline. Exams will not be accepted after each closes on Microsoft Teams.

Course Schedule

Complete all activities no later than the date posted on Microsoft Teams.

Getting Started

Before starting the class, you might find it helpful to orient yourself with some terms and concepts about the development of radio and of television. The following lectures are from my Media Technologies course and available CUNY OneDrive.

Think of these lectures as a prelude to this course: these lectures cover a broad overview of some of the material we will cover in more detail throughout the semester.

Module 1: Radio, 1880–1919: Wireless and Point-to-Point

Module 2: Radio, 1919–1926: Broadcasting, Feb 11

Module 3: Radio, 1926–1933: Network Broadcasting

Module 4: Radio, 1933–1940: The Invited Guest, Golden Age of Radio

Module 5: Radio, 1940–1945: Wartime Radio

Exam 1

Exam 1 covers the material for modules 1–5, on radio, and is available on Microsoft Teams

Module 6: Television, 1945–1955: “Radio with Pictures

  • Read Hilmes, Chapter 7, “At Last Television, 1945 to 1955”
  • Watch the recorded lectures on CUNY OneDrive:
    • Decline of Network Radio (9 min.)
    • Development of Television (16 min.)
    • Commercial TV Broadcasting (15 min.)
    • The Freeze, the Blue Book, and the Red Scare (13 min.)
    • Early TV Programming (12 min.)
  • Watch the television programs:
    • RCA Presents The Story of Television, 1939
      • Available on CUNY OneDrive (9 min.)
    • The Philco Television Playhouse, “Marty,” May 24, 1953
      • Available on CUNY OneDrive (52 min.)
    • Opening from Disneyland USA, October 27, 1954
      • Available on CUNY OneDrive (9 min.)
    • “Clear Picture,” an excerpt from Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (Frank Tashlin, 1957)
      • Available on CUNY OneDrive (2 min.)
  • Complete Reading Quiz 6 on Microsoft Teams
  • Complete Lecture Quiz 6 on Microsoft Teams
  • Join the Weekly Discussion Session
    • Sec 1 Wed: March 27, 6:30 PM EDT on Zoom

Module 7: Television, 1955–1965: The Golden Age and the “Vast Wasteland”

  • Read Hilmes, Chapter 8, “The Domesticated Medium, 1955 to 1965”
  • Watch the recorded lectures on CUNY OneDrive:
    • Radio and Top 40 (16 min.)
    • TV Network Age (16 min.)
    • TV Programming, 1955–1965 (17 min.)
    • Regulation and Self-Regulation, 1955–1965 (10 min.)
  • Watch the television programs:
    • Twenty-One, “Herb Stempel Loses to Charles van Doren,” December 5, 1956
    • Herbert Stempel discusses his loss years after the fact
    • Bewitched, “I, Darrin, Take This Witch Samantha,” September 17, 1964 (26 min.)
    • NBC White Paper, “Sit-In,” December 20, 1960
      • Available on CUNY OneDrive (55 min.)
  • Complete Reading Quiz 7 on Microsoft Teams
  • Complete Lecture Quiz 7 on Microsoft Teams
  • Join the Weekly Discussion Session
    • Sec 1 Wed: April 3, 6:30 PM EDT on Zoom

Module 8: Television, 1965–1975: Consolidation and the Network Era

  • Read Hilmes, Chapter 9, “The Classic Network System, 1965 to 1975”
  • Watch the recorded lectures on CUNY OneDrive:
    • Ascendance of FM Radio (6 min.)
    • Network TV Programming, 1975–1985 (21 min.)
    • Cable Television (8 min.)
    • Satellite Cable (12 min.)
    • Public Television (8 min.)
  • Watch the television programs:
    • Public Broadcast Laboratory, November 12, 1967
    • Dragnet 1967, “The LSD Show,” January 12, 1967
      • Available on CUNY OneDrive (25 min.)
    • The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, “Harry Belafonte, Cass Elliott, Rosie Grier,” September 29, 1969
      • Harry Belafonte excerpt available on CUNY OneDrive (15 min.)
      • Entire program available on CUNY OneDrive
    • The Mary Tyler Moore Show, “Love is All Around,” September 19, 1970
      • Available on CUNY OneDrive (26 min.)
    • All in the Family, “Meet the Bunkers,” January 12, 1971
      • Available on CUNY OneDrive (26 min.)
  • Complete Reading Quiz 8 on Microsoft Teams
  • Complete Lecture Quiz 8 on Microsoft Teams
  • Join the Weekly Discussion Session
    • Sec 1 Wed: April 10, 6:30 PM EDT on Zoom

Module 9: Television, 1975–1985: Competition and the End of the Big Three Networks

  • Read Hilmes, Chapter 10, “Rising Discontent, 1975 to 1985”
  • Watch the recorded lectures on CUNY OneDrive:
    • Regulation and Deregulation (18 min.)
    • Competition at Home (12 min.)
    • TV Programming, 1975–1985 (19 min.)
    • The End of the Big Three (10 min.)
  • Watch the television programs:
    • Dallas, “A House Divided,” March 21, 1980
    • Hill Street Blues, “Hill Street Station,” January 15, 1981
    • MASH*, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” February 28, 1983
    • The Cosby Show, “Pilot Presentation,” September 20, 1984
  • Complete Reading Quiz 1 on Microsoft Teams
  • Complete Lecture Quiz 1 on Microsoft Teams
  • Join the Weekly Discussion Session
    • Sec 1 Wed: April 17, 6:30 PM EDT on Zoom

Module 10: Television, 1985–1995: Multichannel TV

  • Read Hilmes, Chapter 11, “The Big Change, 1985 to 1995”
  • Watch the recorded lectures on CUNY OneDrive:
    • Regulation and More Deregulation (9 min.)
    • Multichannel Television (11 min.)
    • The Fourth Network (12 min.)
    • New Broadcast Networks (8 min.)
    • Big Three Synergy (7 min.)
    • TV Programming, 1985–1995 (10 min.)
  • Watch the television program:
    • Married…with Children, “The Camping Show [A Period Piece],” December 11, 1988
    • Law & Order, “Subterranean Homeboy Blues,” September 20, 1990
    • Seinfeld, “Opposite,” May 19, 1994
    • Roseanne, “We’re Going to Disney World, Part 1” and “Disney World War II,” February 20 and 27, 1996
    • Anatomy of a “Homicide: Life on the Street”, November 4, 1998
      • Available on CUNY OneDrive
  • Complete Reading Quiz 10 on Microsoft Teams
  • Complete Lecture Quiz 10 on Microsoft Teams
  • Join the Weekly Discussion Session
    • Sec 1 Wed: May 1, 6:30 PM EDT on Zoom

Module 11: Television, 1995–2005: TV and Digital Convergence

  • Read Hilmes, Chapter 12, “Entering the Digital Age, 1995–2005”
  • Watch the recorded lectures on CUNY OneDrive:
    • Telecommunications Act 1996 (11 min.)
    • What is Digital? (8 min.)
    • Digital Radio (5 min.)
    • Digital Television (11 min.)
    • TV Programming, 1995–2005 (7 min.)
  • Watch the television programs
  • Complete Reading Quiz 11 on Microsoft Teams
  • Complete Lecture Quiz 11 on Microsoft Teams
  • Join the Weekly Discussion Session
    • Sec 1 Wed: May 8, 6:30 PM EDT on Zoom

Module 12: Television, 2005 and After: TV3 and Beyond

  • Read Hilmes, Chapter 13, “Baby, It’s You: Web 2.0, 2005 – Present”
  • Read Hilmes, Chapter 14, “Conclusion: TV after TV”
  • Complete Reading Quiz 12 on Microsoft Teams
  • Complete Lecture Quiz 12 on Microsoft Teams
  • Join the Weekly Discussion Session
    • Sec 1 Wed: May 15, 6:30 PM EDT on Zoom

Exam 2

Exam 2 covers the material for modules 6–12, on television, and is available on Microsoft Teams