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Masters In Media

Feb 18, 2022

Michael Harrison
One of the most influential radio broadcasters of the modern era, Michael Harrison is a pioneer and innovator in both the medium’s talk and music formats as well as being a driving force in the industry’s trade publication field.

Harrison has served as the editor and publisher of Talkers, the leading trade publication in the American talk media industry, for the past 32 years.  He is widely recognized as one of America’s leading authorities on radio, communications, and public opinion as it is expressed in the media as well as being director of the annual iconic Talkers Convention held in New York for the past 24 years.

Sean Hannity describes Harrison as “the single most important voice for the talk radio industry.” On the music side he is often referred to as “the father of AOR radio.”

Harrison graduated from Hofstra University in 1971.  He is a charter inductee in the Hofstra Radio Hall of Fame and sits on the university’s prestigious Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Dean’s Advisory Board. 

He is also a member and jurist on the UN’s International Radio Academy and the New York Festivals Awards advisory boards.

Harrison has been an air personality or on-air program director at some of the biggest and most legendary radio stations in New York (WNEW-FM, WLIR-FM, WCBS-FM, WPIX-FM) Los Angeles (KMET-FM), San Diego (KPRI-FM), Boston (WZLX-FM) and Hartford (WTIC-AM). He owned and operated WSPR in Springfield, MA whose innovative “Supertalk” format in 1986 was one of the first of news/talk’s post-Fairness Doctrine era.
During his colorful career he coined the radio industry term “AOR” (Album Oriented Rock) and was the first program director to use it as he originally developed the format – the next iteration of “Progressive Rock” and predecessor of “Classic Rock” – at KPRI, San Diego in the early 70s.

He hosts a national weekly radio show, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” heard on more than 70 news/talk stations across the US and the UK, syndicated by Talk Media Network. 

And his award-winning podcast, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” presented by PodcastOne, is one of the most popular among those covering new media in the broadcasting industry.  
For the past half-century, he has written about, defined, predicted or engaged in hands-on programming of major movements in radio’s evolution from coining new format terms to the development of music and talk-topic chart methodology.

He has advised three U.S. Presidents on their relationships with the American radio industry.

He has hosted and produced national radio programs syndicated by ABC Radio Networks, Westwood One, CBS Radio, MJI Broadcasting, RKO Radio and more. 

Harrison served as the first managing editor of Radio & Records during its formative years in the 1970s and radio columnist/record chart consultant for Billboard in the early 1980s.
He was one of the first media analysts to predict the rise of podcasting before the term was widely known, as well as program director of the first radio station to have its own website.

He is also a member (vocals and writing) of the classic rock group Gunhill Road that has roots going all the way back to the late 1960s/early1970s and is currently working on the band’s fifth album due for release this summer. His song “I Know You’re Real” ( with the band is a tribute to one of his personal passions, animal welfare.

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