Mass media roles in promoting cardiovascular health in the context of lessons learned from major U.S. community studies, changing media technology, and emergent models of media-community partnerships are discussed. Three principal issues are explored: (1) implications of the current expansion, convergence, and harmonization of mass media technology;(2) recent trends in media coverage of heart disease and population practices; and (3) implications for the future relationship between the media and public health in cardiovascular health promotion. It is concluded that classic campaign models focusing on individual-level change have evolved to recognize environmental-level influences on behavior. Emergent public health campaign models have moved toward "agenda-building," in which the focus is on a more unified approach to influencing public and community agendas for social, behavioral, and policy change. Recent developments among the commercial mass media may offer new opportunities for public health partnerships to promote cardiovascular health.