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Robert J. Thompson
is an American educator and media scholar.
Thompson is the Trustee Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...
of Television and Popular Culture at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private research university located in Syracuse, New York, United States. Its roots can be traced back to Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1832, which also later founded Genesee College...
and founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture
His areas of research are television history, Popular Culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...
, media criticism, and TV programming. Thompson's various soundbites have been dubbed by the Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...
On February 4, 2009 Jon Hein
Jon Hein is an American radio personality and former webmaster. He created the now-defunct website jumptheshark.com and currently works for The Howard Stern Show. Hein is an alumnus of the University of Michigan where he appeared in the sketch comedy troupe Comedy Company with Jon Glaser...
of the Howard Stern Show announced that Thompson is his "arch nemesis," referring to popular culture trivia.
He holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...
and an M.A. and Ph.D. in radio, television and film from Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....
Thompson has authored, co-authored, or edited six books and textbooks: Television Studies: Textual Analysis
with Gary Burns (1989), Making Television: Authorship and the Production Process
with Gary Burns (1990), Adventures on Prime Time: The Television Programs of Stephen J. Cannell
(1990), Prime Time, Prime Movers
(1992), Television's Second Golden Age
(1997), and Television in the Antenna Age: A Concise History