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Prof. Jeff McCall '76 Discusses Legacy of Radio's Paul Harvey

March 4, 2009

DSC_5791.JPGMarch 4, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — Legendary radio broadcaster Paul Harvey, who passed away last Saturday at age 90, was notable for a number of things, notes a story in San Diego, California's North County Times. Harvey's inimitable style included resorting to long pauses, ignoring the broadcast industry's unwritten edict that "dead air" is a bad thing. "He didn't need sound effects or sound bites to tell a story," Jeffrey McCall, professor of communication at DePauw University, tells the newspaper.

The professor adds, "Given the length of his radio career, it is plausible that he reached more people via radio than anybody else in American history. Paul Harvey was clearly a person devoted to family, country and faith. Few media personalities today are so obvious in their commitments to those values."

In his column today, the Times' Randy Dotinga writes, "Harvey, whose commentaries were most recently heard here in San Diego on KFMB-AM, had his share of critics who thought he was more of a huckster than a hero. He certainly was as much of a salesman as a storyteller, Radio Microphone.gifeternally hawking a blizzard of pills and potions to his listeners, and he seemed to never meet a great story he didn't like, no matter whether it was true or not. (More on that in a moment.) But even his detractors have to hand it to him: Harvey outlasted everyone of his generation, and he was extraordinarily successful."

Read the complete text at the newspaper's Web site.

A 1976 graduate of DePauw, Jeff McCall authored Viewer Discretion Advised: Taking Control of Mass Media Influences. He has been cited in articles published by more than 80 newspapers and appeared seven times on FOX News Channel's' O'Reilly Factor. The professor recently wrote of the television networks' "tired and unimaginative formulas." Access his op-ed on that topic -- which was published in the Providence Journal and Indianapolis Star -- in this January 17 article.

Source: North County (Cal.) Times

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