Bill Kunz, Ph.D.
Two different but related experiences in my life inform my research and teaching. I started working for ABC Sports in the mid-80’s and watched first-hand the impact of the combination of Capital Cities and ABC in 1986. While I understood media conglomeration on one level from my time at ABC, it was not until graduate school that I was able to take this analysis to new depths and sophistication. The aftermath of the merger of Time Warner Inc. and America Online Inc. in 2001 after I returned to the television industry with Turner Broadcasting Inc. furthered those lived experiences. The dual components of my work, and my life, continue to this day. As a scholar, I am grounded in the critical political economy of communication and examine ownership and regulation in media industries, with a focus on broadcast, cable and streaming television. I focus on the impact of media conglomeration and the role that policies and regulations assume in what we see on television. While the end result of the Capital Cities/ABC merger was my introduction to conglomeration, it was not my last experience with big-time media. I have worked in sports television for four decades, spending time within three of the largest media corporations in the world: Disney, Time Warner, and NBC Universal. And I continue to dabble in this field, serving as a day-part producer for NBC Sports at the 2004-2012 Olympic Games and 2006-2014 Olympic Winter Games, and serving as a coordinating/supervising producer for NBC since the 2016 Olympic Games.
My research is grounded in the critical political economy of communication and examines ownership and regulation in media industries. My first book, Culture Conglomerates: Consolidation in the Moti on Picture and Television Industries (2008), is an analysis of how changes in regulations and policies resulted in fewer and fewer voices in the television and film marketplaces. My second book, The Political Economy of Sports Television (2020), is an assessment of contemporary sports television and its evolution, with an analysis of a range of platforms, networks, and sports and a focus on how ownership is now concentrated in five conglomerates: Comcast, Discovery (formerly AT&T/Warner Media), Disney, Fox Corp. and ViacomCBS. My current research is focused on media rights to the Olympic Games and the creation of film and television production incentives at various levels, such as national, state and/or provincial governments, and the impact of such programs on television on various platforms, including streaming services. My current research is focused on media rights to the Olympic Games and the creation of film and television production incentives at various levels, such as national, state and/or provincial governments, and the impact of such programs on television on various platforms, including streaming services.
I contribute to two different areas of the Communication curriculum, offering both skills-based courses and theory-based courses. The skills-based courses include our video production sequence as well as a course on nonfiction writing for television. The theory-based courses range from Media & Society at the 200-level to Media Industry Studies: Political Economy of Television at the 400-level.
• Skills-based Courses:
o TCOM 347 – Television Application & Criticism
o TCOM 348 – Nonfiction Writing for Television
o TCOM 351 – Video Production
o TCOM 470 – Documentary Production & Critique
• Theory-based Courses:
o TCOM 201 – Media & Society
o TCOM 380 – Political Economy of the Media
o TCOM 480 – Critical Media Industry Studies
o TCOM 481 – Communication Regulation & Policy
International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR)
International Academic Forum (IAFOR)
Interim Direction, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (2013-14)
Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (2014-2016)
SIAS Faculty Council Chair (2022-2023)
Seven-time National Sports Emmy Award recipient
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|Publication Date||Bibliographic Citation|
Kunz, William M. The Political Economy of Sports Television. New York, NY: Routledge, May 2020.
Kunz, William M. Culture Conglomerates: Consolidation in the Motion Picture and Television Industries. Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., June 2007.