Bill Kunz, Ph.D.

Director of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences; Associate Professor ; Graduate Faculty

Specialty: Political Economics of Communication and Sports Broadcasting

Kunz, Bill

Contact information

Dept: Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Room: WCG 424D
Phone: 253-692-5638
Email: bkunz@uw.edu

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Communication and Society, University of Oregon, 1998.
  • M.S., Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon, 1994.
  • B.A., Political Science, University of California Berkeley, 1984.

Biography

Two different but related experiences in my life inform my research and teaching. I started working for ABC Sports in the mid-80s 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. Those 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 and cable television. I focus on the impact of media conglomeration and the role that policies and regulations assume in what we see on television and in movie theaters. That was the focus of my first book, Culture Conglomerates: Consolidation in the Motion Picture and Television Industries. 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 three 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, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Research

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 Motion Picture and Television Industries, was an analysis of how changes in regulations and policies resulted in fewer and fewer voices in the television and film marketplace. I have published a series of articles that focus on related questions in broadcast and cable television. I am now turning my focus to sports television through a book length project that focuses on the analysis of national and regional sports networks, broadcast and cable, and the regulations and policies that impact on ownership, distribution and carriage rates.

Teaching

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 Political Economy of the Media at the 400-level.

  • Skills-based Courses:
    • TCOM 347 -- Television Application & Criticism
    • TCOM 348 -- Nonfiction Writing for Television
    • TCOM 351 -- Video Production
    • TCOM 470 -- Documentary Production & Critique
  • Theory-based Courses:
    • TCOM 201 -- Media & Society
    • TCOM 480 -- Political Economy of the Media
    • TCOM 481 -- Communication Regulation & Policy

Selected Publications

  • Kunz, William M. Culture Conglomerates: Consolidation in the Motion Picture and Television Industries. Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., June 2006. 272 pp.
  • Kunz, William M. FCC Studies of the Television Marketplace under George W. Bush: Flawed Measurements and Invalid Conclusions. Democratic Communique (2012), pp 1-21.
  • Kunz, William M. Prime Time Island: Television Program and Format Importation into the United States. Television and New Media 11:4 (2010), pp 308-324.
  • Kunz, William M. Prime Time Television Program Ownership in a Post-Fin/Syn World. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 54:4 (2009), pp 636-651.
  • Kunz, William M. "Diversification in Media Markets. In The International Encyclopedia of Communication. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2008. Revised and updated, 2010.

Affiliations

  • International Association for Media and Communication Research
  • Union for Democratic Communication

Professional Service

  • Producer, NBC Sports, 2004-2012 Olympic Games

Honors and Awards

  • Six-time National Sports Emmy Award recipient