Title page for ETD etd-07072004-220634

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Williams, Wayne Wynn,III
URN etd-07072004-220634
Title A Historical Perspective of Governor Mike Foster's "Live Mike" Radio Program
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
David D. Perlmutter Committee Chair
Ronald Garay Committee Member
T. Wayne Parent Committee Member
  • Baton Rouge Advocate
  • David Tyree
  • Louisiana Radio Network
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • WJBO
  • WWL
  • Times Picayune
  • Huey Long
Date of Defense 2004-06-29
Availability unrestricted
Louisiana Governor Mike Foster took to the airwaves on August 10, 2000 with the launch of “Live Mike,” his weekly radio program that would air for 41 weeks during Foster’s second term. Foster, a Republican, served as Governor of Louisiana from January 1996 until January 2004.

This study historically chronicles Governor Mike Foster’s weekly radio program, “Live Mike” during and prior to its four years on the air. This historical narrative illustrates how Foster intermingled radio, politics and his personal life to create a weekly radio program that he attempted to use during his second term to relay his message to listeners.

By examining the 41 weeks of the show through newspaper accounts, personal interviews and experience, and Governor’s Office records and call logs, the study found some evidence that Foster was able to take his message directly to the people at times without the filter of the media. In doing so, the show caused Foster to leave his introverted tendencies for an hour each week. The show brought Foster down to a human level for the public, but also opened the Governor’s vulnerability to be seen by listeners.

The study also shows that while some saw the 8 p.m. time slot as an advantage for Foster by not providing reporters enough time to recheck facts or obtain opposing views before going to print, the late time of the show eventually led to a decreased audience and a lack of news coverage of the program. While the desired audience and impact was not what Foster first envisioned for the 8 p.m. show, it served as a training ground for the governor that allowed him, at the launch of the 2 p.m. show, to portray confidence from behind the microphone and be more effective in reaching out to his listeners.

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