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Jeff Stein is an author, historian and broadcaster. A 2011 recipient of The National Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History, he is recognized as the foremost broadcast historian in Iowa. His daily radio feature on Iowa history, “Iowa Almanac”, airs on 30 stations statewide. A past member of the State Historical Society of Iowa board of trustees, Stein taught at the college level for 25 years, including at Iowa State University, Buena Vista University-Marshalltown Center, William Penn University and Wartburg College. His book Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting is the only comprehensive history ever published of radio and television and their impact on the state of Iowa, while One Week in June: The Iowa Floods of 2008 was a Barnes & Noble #1 best seller. His latest book is The Floppy Show, telling the story of the iconic Iowa children's television program. Stein has also produced a number of award-winning radio and television documentaries, including "From the Battlefront to the Homefront: Iowa Broadcasters Go To War," which was produced with HI support. His daily interview program can be heard weekday mornings on News/Talk 1540 KXEL, a legendary 50,000-watt radio station based in Waterloo, where he serves as news and program director.
Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting
Radio and television exploded onto the scene in the 20th century and completely changed our lives. Today, we can hardly imagine a day without broadcasting. The development of radio and TV in Iowa was groundbreaking, and became the model followed by the rest of America. In his presentation “Making Waves: The People and Places of Iowa Broadcasting”, based on his book by the same name, broadcaster and educator Jeff Stein takes us back to the earliest days of both radio and television, highlighted by original broadcasts, photos and memorabilia. The presentation is also specifically tailored for different geographic areas of the state, and is designed to allow audience members to recall special memories and shared experiences.
From the Battlefront to the Homefront: Iowa Broadcasters Go To War
The bravery of American military members has been well-documented, often due to the unique reporting done by Iowa-based broadcasters on the scene. This presentation includes segments from a documentary by the same name, featuring vintage broadcasts and interviews with the journalists who covered conflicts from World War II to the first Gulf War: a 50-year span. Iowa broadcast historian Jeff Stein, the documentary producer, tells of the challenges the reporters faced in doing their jobs relaying information to a waiting audience and, at times, reassuring them of the safety of Iowans serving thousands of miles away.
Where’s Floppy? Celebrating an Iowa Television Icon (new in 2021)
For 30 years, from 1957-1987, Duane Ellett and his puppet Floppy delighted audiences of all ages on WHO-TV in Des Moines and at the Iowa State Fair. Children would call out “Where’s Floppy?”—and ventriloquist Ellett would bring his alter ego to life. From cartoons to riddles (“Why did the man put his car in the oven? Because he wanted a hot rod.”)…celebrity guests to banter with wide-eyed children…“The Floppy Show” was must-watch television, and wearing a Floppy t-shirt was the height of fashion. Broadcaster and historian Jeff Stein has produced a series of “Duane & Floppy” DVDs, and shares favorite moments from the television series and photos from his book, “The Floppy Show”.
Iowans You Should Know: Stories from the Iowa Almanac (new in 2021)
Did you know that the Eskimo Pie® was invented in Iowa? So was the electric razor, the clip-on bow tie, and the self-filling fountain pen. Iowa was also the childhood home of four Academy Award®-winning performers, and three different Iowa-born musical acts had national #1 pop songs in the 1950s alone. In his presentation “Iowans You Should Know: Stories from the Iowa Almanac”, broadcaster, historian and author Jeff Stein tells the stories of the famous and not-so-famous. From elected officials who prevented presidential impeachment, to record-setting athletes…from famous firsts to displays of strength and grace under pressure…these biographical stories are as inspirational as they are informative. Stories are culled from Stein’s daily “Iowa Almanac” radio segments, which air on 30 stations across Iowa. The presentation is also specifically tailored for different geographic areas of the state, to enhance the connection with audiences.