BIOGRAPHY OF DONNA L. HALPER author, educator, media historian, radio consultant
Donna Halper is a respected and experienced media historian, whose research has resulted in appearances on
both radio and TV. These include Chronicle (WCVB, Channel 5 in Boston), Voice of America, PBS/NewsHour,
CTV News (Toronto), National Public Radio/Weekend America, New England Cable News, History Channel,
ABC Nightline, WBZ Radio (Boston), WBZ-TV, WGBH-FM (Boston), WGBH-TV, WBUR-FM (Boston), WRKO
(Boston), WATD-FM (Marshfield MA), WSCA-FM (Portsmouth NH), WIBC (Indianapolis), and WNYC-FM (New
York). She has also been quoted in a number of newspapers, magazines, and text-books. Ms. Halper often
writes about media history for encyclopedias—for example, she has six essays in the Biographical
Encyclopedia of American Radio, about pioneering women and minorities in early broadcasting.
Ms. Halper is the author of six books, the most recent of which is a newly revised and expanded second edition
of “Invisible Stars: A Social History of Women in American Broadcasting,” published in March 2014. She is also
the author of “Boston Radio 1920-2010,” a history of Boston radio in words and pictures, published in 2011.
Her other books include “Icons of Talk: The Media Mouths that Changed America,” a history of talk shows
(2008); and the first edition of “Invisible Stars: A Social History of Women in American Broadcasting” (2001). In
addition, she has written about baseball history for several SABR books, including “Opening Fenway Park in
Style: The 1912 World Champion Red Sox,” and “The Miracle Braves of 1914.” Ms. Halper has written book
reviews for academic journals, and she also writes occasional free-lance articles for magazines and
newspapers. One of her essays, about the importance of fact-checking, was the #5 most-shared article of 2013
on Skeptic Magazine website.
Donna Halper attended Northeastern University in Boston, where she was the first woman announcer in the
school’s history, broadcasting a nightly show on the campus radio station beginning in October 1968. She
completed a BA (English), M.Ed (Counseling), and MA (English) at Northeastern; she received her doctorate in
Communication from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst in May 2011, writing her dissertation on how
early radio changed American society.
Ms. Halper has had a successful career in broadcasting, including more than 29 years as a radio programming
and management consultant in markets of all sizes, both college and commercial stations, all over North
America. She has hired and trained staffs, worked with and developed talent, helped to choose or improve
formats, conducted music and market research, and helped her client stations to get better ratings. Prior to
becoming a consultant, she spent thirteen years as an announcer, music director and assistant program
director in four major markets. In addition to Ms. Halper’s long career in both radio and print, she is well-known
for discovering the rock group Rush, who dedicated their first two albums to her. She is seen four times in the
2010 documentary about the band, “Beyond the Lighted Stage.”
In 2008, Ms. Halper was hired as an Assistant Professor of Communication at Lesley University, Cambridge MA,
where she has been helping to build a new media and communication major; she also advises the student
newspaper, the Lesley Public Post, which she helped to create. In 2012, she was promoted to Associate
Professor. Prior to Lesley, she spent 18 years as an instructor at Emerson College in Boston, where she taught
in the Journalism Department and in the Institute for Liberal Arts. Her expertise is in training future journalists
and broadcasters, as well as in teaching about ethics, media stereotypes, and social history. In 1995, she was
named Emerson’s Instructor of the Year.
Ms. Halper is a frequent public speaker, giving presentations on such topics as the history of broadcasting,
ham radio history, women’s history, and popular culture to interested groups at museums, schools, civic
organizations, and historical societies. Since 1984, she has been the advocate for an adult with autism, and has
also worked as a mentor, a tutor, and a Big Sister.
Contact information. phone: 617-786-0666; cell: 617-653-9321; fax: 617-786-1809; e-mail
DLH@donnahalper.com; Skype: Donna.Halper; website: www.donnahalper.com