I write and speak  about the advertising industry in the history of radio and television, particularly the role of ad agencies in creating radio and television programs and how the ad industry helped shape commercial broadcasting  and American culture from the 1920s through the 1960s. I also comment on current issues in the advertising and media industries.

I am the author of A Word from Our Sponsor: Admen, Advertising, and the Golden Age of Radio (2014), winner of the 2016 Broadcast Historian Award from the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation. I have published  articles in Journal of American History, Business History Review,  Cinema Journal, American Journalism, Advertising & Society Quarterly, and other journals. I have chapters in book collections, including Films that Sell and Media Industries: History, Theory, and Method. My current book project is tentatively titled Sell-e-vision: Madison Avenue and 1950s-60s Television.

My PhD is in Radio-Television-Film, from the University of Texas at Austin.

Advertising agencies used to produce sponsored programs, what today we might call  "branded content."  Entertainment shaped the brand image, as when Jack Benny joked about his sponsor Jell-O on his 1930s radio comedy show, or when cheese recipes were demonstrated between scenes of the 1950s live drama anthology Kraft Television Theater. Today we see influencers pitching vitamins on social media as content becomes advertising once again.

Areas of expertise include 1950s-60s television; "old time radio" (1930s-40s); 20th c advertising; ad agencies (JWT, BBDO, B&B, Y&R, FCB, Ted Bates, McCann-Erickson); 1940s-50s broadcast blacklisting; the Creative Revolution; LSD and drugs in 1960s advertising agencies; docudramas; news dramatizations; anthology dramas; soap operas; family vloggers;  sponsorship; influencers; tv commercials; streaming television; the Kardashians;  Ozzie Nelson & family;  integrated advertising; and branded entertainment.

I research the advertising of companies such as  Kodak, Kraft, Wrigley, Time, DuPont, General Motors, General Electric, Armstrong Cork, US Steel, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and AT&T.

I post old ads at wordfromoursponsor on Tumblr.

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