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Sport-talk radio has been recognized, along with other forms of sports media, as a masculine space where women’s value as athletes and fans is diminished. Little is known, however, about the gendered dynamics of sport-talk-radio production. This study used a survey of programming directors from across the United States to explore issues around the employment of women and coverage of women’s sport by local stations. Results suggest that many stations do not employ any women, although more than half do. Still, leadership positions belong primarily to men. Programming directors see little value in women’s sport for their listeners and make decisions that reinforce their vision of an audience that also sees little value in women’s sport. Using a feminist lens, the authors speculate on the impact that women in positions of power could have on programming if their representation moved beyond token status, while acknowledging the realities of the sport-media workplace.
The authors are with the College of Communications, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.