Home   Contact   Archives    MB   Subscribe   Newstips   Support   TOS   Advertise

Previously on The Front Page...Jan/Feb/Mar 2004

03-31-04 A memo from CCU's Andy Levin ... says that the company is "absolutely not" suppressing free speech and blames "an organized web-based effort to discredit" the company for the image that it is "attempting to stifle free speech by taking HOWARD STERN off the air ... in an effort to protect our listeners from offensive content. The truth is that this decision was not driven by any moral or political agenda. It was driven solely and exclusively by the need to comply with federal law and FCC regulations ... It is not about censorship, it is about compliance with the law and protecting our broadcast licenses." Well, duhh.
03-31-04 CCU seeks another rating service? Could be. So far, they've signed eight exclusive market agreements with Eastlan. If any company can bust the Arbitron monopoly, it'd be CCU. But how long until they buy the company?
03-31-04 Howard, Howard, Howard ... he's supposedly considering his own pay-radio venture in which he'd buy bandwidth from a satellite company and sell subscriptions to his show directly to listeners for a buck a month. But he's got two years left on his Infinity contract and Mel wants to keep him. But it's more important for him to be the poster boy for bad-behavior radio, even though it's passed him by.
03-30-04 Working with a handicap ... I got a wee bit too agressive Sunday while cleaning the ol' system and I managed to whack a file or two I needed to make the connections online. So while that's getting a bandaid, I'm on one wing...no email and on sneakernet for file transfer. But one of the last messages I grabbed was from one Linda Cortez, the woman who was at the center of the Woody controversey a while back. She says that she'll go after Steve & DC if they show up on a St. Louis radio station. It came in through the Rumors mailbox, so I have no idea if it's for real.
03-27-04 I still don't understand the draw ... of XM and Sirius. I get almost a hundred TV channels on the cable ($60 a month), whatever's out there online ($15 a month), all of the AM and FM broadcast bands on radios scattered throughout the house and cars (free), music and movies from thousands of CD's, DVD's, LP's, audio cassettes and VHS and Beta video tapes (even more if I rent 'em), alert info from scanners and portable entertainment from a couple multi-gig players. That's way more than I need to hold my limited attention span and plenty enough to spend. Why should I spend ten or twelve bucks a month more and the hundreds it costs to buy another player-receiver for more noise? Because XM & Sirius now offer local news, weather and traffic info or even Howard Stern? I don't think so. SatRad is all hat and no cattle. Renewals will make them successful and I have serious doubts on this issue.
03-25-04 Memo from Infinity's Beth Davis ... Effective immediately, Mark Edwards will assume the duties and responsibilities of KYKY Program Director. As he takes on these duties, he will also continue as the Program Director for KEZK. Mark has been very successful working with multiple stations before and we look forward to continued success for Y98 and KEZK as we move into the future. UPDATE 03-31-04: Major trade mags have been calling this an "interrim" position, but the memo faxed to us, on company letterhead, never mentioned that.
03-25-04 I've spoken to this before ... Non-commercial stations have a huge gap in their real-world knowledge...here's an email from a newsgroup to which I'm subscribed:
We in public radio subscribe to RRC (Radio Research Consortium) which publishes Arbitrons with us (invisible) public stations and non-coms included.
Comment: Arbitron ratings are made available thru the RRC at a greatly reduced rate because of their non-com status. Commercial and non-commercial numbers are sold seperately.
The Arbitrons are looked on about as real as Middle Earth, but our underwriters want to know, so we pay attention to them.
Comment: Then why subscribe? Why not sell the qualitative data you should be able to develop on your own?
One thing perhaps missed by most commercial GMs is that the top demographics are commonly held by the public stations. Folks don't become well-to-do by being uninformed. From whom do you learn?? Diane Rehm or Howard Stern?
Comment: Here's 12+ for STL for Fall 2003 non-coms (the red R indicates a religious station)...make your own jokes:
Station
KDHX
R KFUO-A
R KSIV-F
KWMU
R WBMV
R WIBI/WSCT
WSIE
WTSG
AQH (00)
24
11
26
93
0
4
24
0
AQH (%)
0.7
0.3
0.8
2.9
0.0
0.1
0.7
0.0
Cume (00)
620
181
624
1649
0
118
362
0
Cume (%)
2.8
0.8
2.8
7.5
0.0
0.5
1.6
0.0
03-25-04 Karmazin reps for Stern ... The Infinity boss says to the Wall Street Journal, "We absolutely stand up for what Howard Stern is doing and if he was interested in renewing today, I would renew it today." Well, I guess he would, considering the fact that Stern brings Infinity over $70million a year. Compared to that, what's an occasional million in fines? But (as I've said before) if the FCC revokes a license or three, Karmazin's song will change.
03-25-04 Edison/Jacobs Indecency research project ... Conducted recently, this study says that rough content is not a problem for listeners. Unfortunately, even though it generated almost 14,000 responses (a pretty substantial sample base), it was conducted only on Rock stations. Am I the only guy who sees a problem with the interp and methodology? You are what you eat...and what you've listened to all your life.
03-25-04 AirAmerica's schedule ... is posted here. I'm particularly interested in hearing Robert F. Kennedy, Jr's weekend show...sometimes, public presence skips a generation (you have heard him on the talk shows, right?). I'll post a link to their stream as soon as they do and we can all listen to their debut together.
03-24-04 Murrow Award winners ... for Region 5 (including radio and television stations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska) include locals KMOX-AM (6), KWMU-FM (4), KMOV-TV (3) and KSDK-TV (1). KMOX and KSDK each won the award for Overall Excellence, for radio and television, respectively. KWMU and KMOV won the Best Website category. National award winners will be announced in June.
03-24-04 Secret Squirrel spins more on ... WB11: The first little squirrel got it somewhat wrong: Hint - Kay Quinn's KSDK contract expires in September. Hint - An hour at nine before sweeps. At least one additional newscast before September. Hint - Two reporters out, and several more in. This includes some familiar faces to St. Louisans. Looks like Tribune is serious. God forbid we get another REAL news station...or maybe 11 will suddenly replace 5 in the food chain. With the anchor team I'm hearing, it could happen. Radio affils will change - how quickly will Tim Dorsey move KTRS from KSDK to KPLR? It's a new morning for TV in St. Louis.
03-23-04 It must be true ... Jerry Berger said it: Steve and DC (Terrence Trawick and Isaiah Wilhelm, respectively) are in negotiations with Erik Hellum, GM of WIL-FM (92.3), to re-enter the St. Louis market in morning drive on that station. Said Hellum, "And, we're speaking to 30 others." The duo was dropped from the morning show on WMLL-FM (104.1) last year "in favor of around-the-clock Christmas music."
03-23-04 Free music rotation software ... Arrakis has offered this since 2001. SonicArt is from Great Britain. WinAmp5.02 is also a great ap. All work nicely on the air and in home systems. SonicArt probably has the performance edge
03-22-04 Secret Squirrel spins on ... Steve & DC: On the Steve & DC message board, Steve claims they have a meeting later this week at WIL. I guess we have to ask ourselves now -- WWJSD? That's "What would Joseph Smith do?" I cannot imagine a world in which Bonneville would bring these two and the unsavory baggage they carry into The Palace Near Ballas.
03-22-04 Secret Squirrel spins on ... KPLR: The Tribune station is pursuing KSDK's Deanne Lane, and for a record price. This likely means an expansion of the 9PM news, as well as the addition of early evening broadcasts to accommodate Lane. Before her non-compete expires, look for an outsourced graphics revamp, the addition of new reporters and a new chief meteorologist. Christine Buck may take over as interim female anchor to stabilize ratings. UPDATE: It's not just Deanne they're after...WB11 is seeking out Jamie Allman from Channel 4 too.
03-20-04 I thought this was decided weeks ago ... Linda O'Connor (whom you may remember from her '90's days at Sinclair) has been named Sales Manager at KEZK.
03-18-04 Marc Elliot ... nights on KLOU and weekends on The Bull, got a nice hit Wednesday on AllAccess NetNews. Turns out he's also a cop with a questionable driving record in Holts Summit. Plus he's got a legal gun and that's not good for radio people.
03-17-04 RetroCountry in the wind ... Over the past couple months, downloads of our suggested RetroCountry music list have jumped from a few dozen to hundreds, with the Excel spreadsheet the most popular version. And phrases using the words "country oldies" have risen quickly in this site's search rankings. I'm no wizard, but I'm willing to bet that a lot of this ignored music is finally going to be reheard on a lot of stations. It only makes sense. I did the initial research and laid the groundwork for this in 1994 and have made the list available free online since 1995.
03-17-04 On the decency front ... Stations are purging their websites of potentially offensive material and reviewing promotional efforts; they're also taking a long look at night-time "advice" shows; and the FCC's fines of CCU's Elliot Segal's show will also include EACH BROADCAST on EACH STATION of material deemed offensive, including promotional announcements (at the current rate of $27.5k per it could get mightily expensive). But there's more...and it could cost Bush the election, believe it or not.
03-17-04 RetroCountry in the wind ... Over the past couple months, downloads of our suggested RetroCountry music list have jumped from a few dozen to hundreds, with the Excel spreadsheet the most popular version. And phrases using the words "country oldies" have risen quickly in this site's search rankings. I'm no wizard, but I'm willing to bet that a lot of this ignored music is finally going to be reheard on a lot of stations. It only makes sense. I did the initial research and laid the groundwork for this in 1994 and have made the list available free online since 1995.
03-15-04 Told ya so ...Howard Stern has presented himself as the suffering Jesus on his website, with a long list of text links wherein he blames everyone for the current return to decency but himself. It's just another ploy to draw attention, trying to prove that he's the most accused, that all of the uprising for decency is because of him. Howard really wants to get out of his two-year-more Infinity contract and move on to SatRad...and it just might work. Stern is over on broadcast, he knows it, and he wants to go out in flames...he'll make more money at the next turn, of course. What a country!
03-15-04 Cure for radio biz layoffs ... If you've got superior computer or language skills, you could enlist right now or you could hang around and wait for the guvmint to call...it is, after all, your duty as an American.
03-13-04 WIL's David Craig ... will be leaving the station in April. David's been there since 1988, when he signed on to work with Debbie Connor, with whom I declined to work. New PD Ray Massey spent some time with Debbie (make your own jokes) and then hired Craig to replace himself while I went on to KIX104. UPDATE: David Craig was pushed out of the nest. He IS NOT leaving by his own choice. Bad decision by Bonneville management.
Al Franken & Friends Radio Network:
Hoo-ah!


Al starts dancing 3/31, but not in STL.
03-10-04 Air America debuts March 31 ... The newly birthed "progressive" radio net goes up with the "O'Franken Factor" and a herd of Al's close buds, including Public Enemy rapper Chuck D. Initial markets include New York, LA and Chicago; San Francisco, Boston and Philadelphia affiliates will be named soon. No net sponsors have been named, though. The programming will be streamed and archived and the company is looking for satellite affils as well. Programming honcho Jon Sinton says that the shows will not rely on call-ins but will expect hosts to "speak extemporaneously for long periods of time and not put us to sleep", a glowing recommendation. The network's name might ring a bell for those of us who remember the CIA's misadventures in Southeast Asia...
03-22-04 Free WiFi Access ... New laptops offer high-speed wireless access to many commercial "hot spots", but you can't get there without a subscription and that can run up to $30 or $40 a month or confiscatory hourly fees on top of your home or business access fees. HINT: rather than using wireless systems in hotels or coffeee shops like T-Mobile and Boingo (the two largest), drop into a local public library and sign on. High-speed access there is almost always free. You just have to work within their hours...and what do you have to say after 8PM anyway?
03-20-04 Digital media software ... For the past couple years I've used Nero V.5 as my primary CD-burning ap. Nero's V.6 Ultra Edition provides capture, editing, playback and recording utilities for audio and video and CD and DVD production. If you've been using PowerPoint for presentations, consider dropping off a DVD instead, with full motion, video effects and Dolby 5.1 audio. About $100 by mail, cheaper by download and in stores, multiple site licenses available. NOTE: Does NOT rip protected DVD's.
03-19-04 Sorry, but ... it's gotten so weird online, what with the harvesting of email addresses by all of the virii and Trojans that fill your mailbox with junk. I'll no longer be providing a page that makes this possible. As of now, I'm dropping the email addy page. Hope we've gotten your email out of the target area in time. I'll keep your email in a file offline, if you want, and pass it along only with your permission.
03-19-04 InsideRadio reports ... The feds are leaning on radio groups like Infinity and Clear Channel to snub online gaming ads. Prosecutors can't directly attack the illegal offshore-based gambling companies -- so they're squeezing the American vendors who take their advertising and provide other services. Conundrum: does this continue on to radio station websites? And to sites linked from there, like station personality sites? KTRS' Paul Harris' website has a link to a gambling site...is this going to become an issue? Harris has never made a secret of his fondness for gaming. And you can bet that the link is not there as a favor to the site's proprietors. Why should such links be forbidden?
03-19-04 Don't you wish you had this deal ... Philadelphia jock Paul Barsky sues Beasley after it flipped formats last Fall. Barsky's been off the air since then-80s WPTP went rhythmic CHR - and the Philadelphia Inquirer says he's suing for $1.75+milion, the unpaid balance of his five-year contract, signed a year back. He claims that Beasley breached their agreement by requiring him to play 12 songs an hour instead of the three songs an hour in his deal.
03-10-04 If Paul Harris fought George Noory ... who'd win? According to psychic debunker The Amazing Randi's website, KTRS' Harris is demanding that C2CAmerica's George Noory retract an on-air statment. Hey, these two guys used to sleep in the same bunkhouse...and, occasionally, still do, when Noory is back here for a visit. Will it be dueling pistols in front of Jimmy's On The Park? Or is Harris just getting too impressed with his own bad self?
03-09-04 WIL's David Craig ... will be leaving the station in April. David's been there since 1988, when he signed on to work with Debbie Connor. Paul Jeffries will join the show until a permanent replacement is named. CD&R's to Greg Mozingo, PD, WIL, 11647 Olive Blvd., St. Louis 63141.
02-28-04 Good news and bad news ... Entercom's David Field predicts "we'll see shorter commercial lengths" as consumer behavior changes. He says radio's reliance on 60's is "dated" and forecasts that "we'll see more 10's and 15's". That's good news if stations can hold rates up and stick to a strict unit count; bad news if they continue running big minute loads. 32 units in a break?
02-06-04 Uncopyable CD's... CD copy protection company SunnComm Technologies says it has agreed to buy Darknoise Technologies, which claims to be able to guard against people copying CDs in even the most old-fashioned ways. Darknoise actually modifies the audio of the songs slightly. If those songs are then copied--even by holding a tape recorder in front of a stereo speaker--the formerly inaudible Darknoise addition becomes audible and makes the copy unlistenable, the company claims. Darknoise's technology functions no matter how the music file is being copied. This will (1) kill new music use for our MP3 players; (2) kill any transfer of new music to radio station HD's; (3) kill any contemporary formats on "HDRadio" and, in fact, may kill the entire radio industry (including no more airchecks); and (4) kill web streaming of contemporary formats. Smart move, RIAA. Chew off your other foot.
02-28-04 Sirius takes two giant steps ... Shortly after announcing a retail alliance with Radio Shack, Sirius Satellite Radio goes local (from InsideRadio): Sirius will offer traffic and weather, too -- using Westwood One. Sirius Stream 150 will offer traffic and weather for New York and L.A. starting Sunday, with additional top 20 markets rolling out later. Rival XM unveiled plans for its own traffic and weather service at the CES in January.
02-28-04 Taking it back ... Starting this season and continuing for at least the next five years, the New York Jets are bringing the team's radio rights in-house: they're producing the games, selecting the announcers, and selling the ads. They say they're "taking a step forward to control their brand exclusivity in the marketplace." Presumably as many stations as want to may air the games, for an appropriate fee. Look for this to spread thru the NFL...
02-26-04 Emmis... is also drawing a line in the sands of common decency: here's the story from the Indianapolis Star.
02-26-04 What "bad" radio's all about ... is pretty easily defined at this website. It's a fan's journal of what happens on Stern's radio show. This is not an issue of freedom of speech; it's an issue of the flagrant and continuing disposal of social decency.
02-26-04 I cannot wait to hear ... The World Poker Tour on the radio. A guy named Dan Forth is going to develop, produce and market a complete roster of audio poker programming for radio, which may be about as compelling on radio as magic tricks, juggling and ventroliquism.
02-25-04 Clear Channel changes contracts... to make air talent assume financial responsibility for FCC fines. CEO John Hogan says "From now on, every contract that Clear Channel enters into with on-air talent will include this provision. While that won't relieve Clear Channel from our responsibility as a broadcast licensee, we believe it will have a significant deterrent effect on indecent content." Problem: it's also probably not allowable under current FCC regs.
02-25-04 Clear Channel sweeps clean... Literally hours after CCU dumped Bubba The Love Sponge, the company declares a Responsible Broadcasting Initiative which swears they'll suddenly become responsible members of the community...goodbye to the Randy Michaels/Jacor school of radio, I guess. And this afternoon, CCU stations carrying Howard Stern have droppedhis show, effective immediately, based on some pretty offensive comments aired today, from six markets, including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Rochester, Louisville, San Diego and Pittsburgh. Stern himself has a meeting set with Mel Karmazin on March 8th. To quote Flounder in Animal House..."This is gonna be GREAT!"
02-25-04 Smash back on the air... for a bit: Deb Peterson writes in the STLP-D that "The St. Louis radio veteran will be on the air for at least a week starting Monday at KFTK (97.1 FM), says Emmis chief John Beck. He'll partner with Jamie Allman from 6-9AM weekdays."
02-24-04 Al Casey is gone... Al passed away in Seattle following a long battle with cancer; he's survived by his wife Janie and the many friends he'd made over the years. His work included programming positions at legendary RKO and Bartel stations, including KSLQ here. He was just 60.
02-22-04 Middle America called ... and they want their moral values back©; the saga continues: companies scramble to appoint "watchdogs" and orders for delay units go flying, along with orders not to do live interviews until they're in place. Following a conference call with station execs, Infinity's Chairman/CEO John Sykes and President/COO Joel Hollander send a memo that says, in part:
-- "The urgent need to exercise extreme caution in making decisions relating to programming that could conceivably be considered indecent by the FCC."
-- "Both houses of Congress are now vigorously engaged in the crusade against indecency, particularly after the recent Super Bowl halftime show, and are actively working on legislation that will increase maximum fines ten-fold. It all adds up to an environment in which no Infinity station or employee can afford to take any risks in this area..."
-- "Any station airing programming that has any sexual or excretory content to take whatever steps are necessary to make sure that the programming is not even arguably indecent."
-- "The overriding rule is 'when in doubt, leave it out."

Butts are puckering at Black Rock, you bet. I wonder if recently appointed Infinity President/Programming Steve Rivers is having second thoughts about saying yes...can you say "sacrificial lamb?"

02-22-04 Went to a corporate-industry function last evening... and the music was provided by one of the local DJ-for-hire services. Hint to mobile DJ's: Just tracking a couple Norah Jones and Michael Bublé CD's is not enough for drinks, seating and dinner music. Consider a blend of what 106 and 104 play...with the emphasis on familiar instrumentals. Occasionally ID a tune, especially the vocals from new artists...I ran into a lot of folks wondering what it was they were hearing.
02-19-04 Win some, lose some ... The FCC lets KWMU off the hook on an $8k fine for EEO violations alleged by Jessee Jackson's Rainbow-Push Coalition; Emmis' Petition for Reconsideration of a $21k indecency fine for 2001 broadcasts on WKQX Chicago gets denied and the station gets an additional $7k indecency fine for another incident. Both fines were based on material aired by Mancow Muller.
02-11-04 Mel v. the FCC ... So while I'm watching Mel and his buds on C-SPAN doing their "we're so sorry" tap-dance, KMOX lets a "Goddam" slip thru in a network newscast. It wasn't a local problem...but the network should have been on the button, considering, eh?
02-11-04 KTRS comes clean ... Heard a long and confusing promo on The Big 550 this afternoon, wherein they allowed that the station had screwed up a couple or three of their plays of Hi-Lo. According to the promo, the station made good to the would-be winners. Good for the station. Nice to hear someone actually hold themselves accountable.
02-11-04 1979 in Memphis ... and I was working part-time at RKO's WHBQ when we got the memo that our morning guy, Rick Dees (the first guy to make $100k a year in the market), was on his way to the company's KHJ/LA. Dees was, for the first time in his career, a failure at the left coast gig. But he held on and wound up at KIIS a few years later. For over two decades his morning show dominated daypart revenue (his show was the first place a $1000 spot was sold in the industry's history) and, for many of those years, market ratings. Until yesterday when CCU pushed him out in favor of the eternally lightweight Ryan Seacrest. Now I know it's gone too far. Here's Rick's goodbye, from 5:10AM 02/10/04.
02-11-04 Never used Vicodin ... until a recent fall on the ice in my driveway. An orthopedic surgeon prescribed it for the pain and after a couple of doses, I have no earthly idea what recreational users see in it. I'm not one to always tough out the pain, but the aftermath of this is unbearable. A couple, three beers puts me to sleep just as well, and without the daylong fog that follows. How in the heck could anyone get addicted to this crap?
02-07-04 Middle America called ... and they want their moral values back©. Over 200,000 complaints have been registered with the FCC over NippleGate. The FCC will HAVE to make a punitive ruling. Bad on Radio for making this pig the Most Added Song on R&R's CHR/Pop chart. Stations should have avoided this song like the Plague. But I guess they have no respect for their audience...
02-07-04 You can't advertise sports betting on the radio, right? And that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Then why can licensed broadcast stations offer paid airtime and website mentions to "commentators" who make much of their living from the skim off gambling sites? Why hasn't anyone turned KTRS and KFNS (et al) over to the FCC? State lotteries are legal to advertise but sports books are not, on broadcast stations, and I've never understood why.
02-05-04 From Inside Radio... More evidence of bottom-line thinking about big-dollar sports deals. If they don't pay off, more executives are walking away from them. Infinity was willing to let the Knicks and Rangers leave WFAN/NYC after 16 years --and watch them stroll over to ABC's ESPN Radio 1050. Presuming this could happen in STL, where might the Rams' and the Blues' rights wind up if they left KLOU and KTRS? Hockey especially draws no numbers of consequence on radio...are ads there just vanity buys? Baseball's a moneymaker and isn't likely to leave KMOX unless the cost of the new stadium gets out of hand and right's fees rise.
02-05-04 More changes at KMOX... Former Promotions Manager Jackie Paulus returns as Marketing Director, from a position at Harris Stowe College and Laura Hobson is appointed Promotions Manager.
02-05-04 Hadley picks a scab... KTRS' John Hadley reopens his "Summit at Rams' Park" with Brian McKenna at his website, telling the world that he (Hadley) finally has a "slow week" and will use his spare time to pursue "the event" legally. Hadley's column is written in his typical semi-literate, "forget-a-word-or-two" style (he seems to be not a very bright guy but it's good to see "special people" at work doing something else than bringing shopping carts back to the store). Hey, John: proof your work before you post it (I've saved it for posterity). Hey, Brian: You're all that, without the bag of chips. The two of you need to just shut up; both of you are idiots and neither of you are victims. Take a nap, sober up and when you wakey-wakey, it'll be all over. Guess who doesn't care about your tiff? HINT: All of us!
02-04-04 Sales changes at The Mighty MOX... ... Florida Gators Network's Bobby Bohn assumes the position of Sports SM on 2/17 and KEZK-KYKY NTR Director Tricia Fabian becomes LSM on 2/9.
02-04-04 Quizno's new TV ad campaign ... creeps me out. Some kind of furry, four-legged, bug-eyed creatures singing an incomprehensible jingle. One more viewing and they might take over Vietnam and my ex-wife in my nightmares. Maybe it's time for the company to stage an ad agency review?
02-04-04 The NFL plays it safe ... They've replaced J.C. Chasez as half-time entertainment at the ProBowl with hula dancers, drummers and conch shell blowers. And Janet Jackson's out of the Grammy show. Powell DID call Mel at home after the Super Bowl show. Even the VFW is piling on, based on Kid Rock's US Flag serape. News groups and Message Boards are humming with discontent over the crotch-grabbing and sexual and violent lyrics. Middle America is crying for a return to a baseline value system. This is gonna be VERY messy. CBS-TV might wind up the sacrificial lamb.
02-04-04 Looks like a couple rough weather days ... comin' up in STL. UPDATE 02/05: Busted! Bad weathercasters, bad! Sit! Stay! Nonetheless, trades have been quoting this website as the one with all the answers for disaster prep...what you and your station should do to be ready for any contingency. Unfortunately, what they recommend costs $$ and my bet is that very few stations would be willing to pony up the cash to be as ready as they ought to be. Check in anyway to read the dream sheet. Might do you some good down the road.
01-31-04 Secret Squirrel spins the wheel on ... Emmis! (1) In a cost saving measure, Emmis has released Jason Mack from KFTK in favor of syndicated programming... (2) KFTK has more than once approached John Hancock -- GOP Political Guru -- to take a show of his own. He was offered the 1PM slot before Jason Mack. Maybe he's thinking about the AM slot there? Remember -- it's a rumor!
01-31-04 How big is your TV? ... KRNV TV/ Reno is reporting that the Palms Hotel Casino in Las Vegas planned a super-sized party for Super Bowl Sunday, with the game to be shown on theater-sized big screens. But the NFL is barring the casino from showing the game on the big screens. The hotel's GM says it's all about copyright laws. "Laws quoted by the NFL allow us to show it on big screen TV's up to 55 inches in diagonal but forbid showing it on any kind of a screen larger than that or any kind of commercial screen." Years ago, in Richmond VA, a friend of mine got busted by CBS-TV for showing their mid-day and PM soaps on multiple small screens set up around his lunchroom. Everything old is new again.
01-30-04 WJBM ... Godfrey IL and WBBA in Pittsfield are finally under new ownership. Longtime GM David Fuhler and partner Jack Hull have formed D.J. Two Rivers Radio and have purchased the assets and aquired the license from the estate of Gary Brown. The e-mail addy remains wjbm@wjbmradio.com. New phone number: 618.498.TALK(8255); new fax number is 1.618.498.8265.
01-30-04 Rob Walker ... does Michigan. Rob's been appointed OM for CCU's Ann Arbor cluster, overseeing 4 stations: WWWW (W4 Country), WQKL (Kool 107/Gold AC), WHNE (Honey Radio, playing 50's and 60's oldies) and WTKA (Sports Radio Ticket 1050). In addition, Rob handles the day to day programming of the AC and Country stations. And his personal baby, Part 15 Q105 is still on the air and online.
01-30-04 Interns twisting in the wind ... Is this problem endemic to the whole intern-at-a-morning-show landscape, industry wide? In the STL market, some interns of the Steve & DC show have been sent to stunt, and wound up facing legal issues as a result. And this occurs at stations nationwide on a fairly regular basis. Typically, interns are unpaid and do not receive any benefits, including indemnification or legal assistance. In a consolidated industry that seems to rely more and more on low- and unpaid help this is an issue that needs to be addressed. Two or three hours of college credit is not an even trade for a criminal record.
01-30-04 Once, 103 was something else ... Used to be CHR -- KMOX-FM and KHTR. Yup, once upon a time, the station sounded good. Listen to this one-minute memory jolt, courtesy of Rob Walker.
01-29-04 Batchelor in business ... MissouriRadio.net proprietor Mike Batchelor has opened One Stop Computers & Electronics, in Bowling Green MO, selling "new & used computers, as well as consumer electronics. Kind of like a cross between A-Z Used Computers & a Radio Shack." If you're in the neighborhood or feel like a road trip, stop in and spend some money!
01-28-04 I updated my computer security this week ... and TrendMicro Internet Security 2004 is astounding. I've used a combo of services for the last few years but this covers all the bases in one package: anti-virus, file scanning, spam ID (on any e-mail ap), spyware control, URL filters, private data protection and a firewall to boot, for local, network and wireless use; updates are automatic. These guys are the best.

Acousticore player J-Dogzz
01-28-04 Secret Squirrel spins on ... MY SON! "The band Helliphino has your son in it....I was at BB's Soups and Blues and saw the band and the drummer called him Mr. Anderson and his reply was "I'm not Mike". Anyway they were "rockin" Christmas tunes and did one of their originals (which was so good in fact I tried to find mp3's). His name was Jason...is that your boy? Can I find mp3's? When do they play one of their normal sets and where?" The band will have a CD soon; dl's will be available here. Helliphino's website is a little rough but they are, after all, musicians. Their original music is, to say the least, unique.
01-28-04 Dana leads the all-chick martini brigade ... Dana Daniels moves from KFTK to Red@104 mornings starting Monday; word is still out there that they want an all-female cast on the station. Hey, Jeff - call Michelle Kent! So what's the weekend male-mess all about? And, oh yeah, looks like the new calls will be WRDA.
01-27-04 But how long before the RIAA gets involved? ... RipDigital has a better idea and it's one I wish I had come up with. They'll rip your CD's in any one of three formats and send 'em back on DVD or a portable HD, ready to load to your player. About a buck a disc, $99 additional for the HD. If you've got a big music collection and value your time, this is worth it. Wired has the story.
01-25-04 Hacker takes over request and contest lines ... You've probably read headlines about this horror story. Here's the article. VERY scary. UPDATE 1/27 -- Mike McCann (formerly of KLOU and now with WCBS-FM/NYC) wrote to tell us they caught the guy.
01-22-04 Secret Squirrel spins on ... Charles Jaco. Jaco turned in his resignation Wednesday and plans on leaving KFTK the first week of February, presumably to concentrate on his expanded role at Fox2.
01-21-04 Sam Prainito has a good idea ... but he needs some help:
Mike:
-- Do you know of any independent video production companies that would be interested in helping me with a fundraising event for the American Heart Association?
-- I'm planning a "pilot" taping for a game show I've created about St. Louis, called "Arch Rivals." The event will be held this spring at a local theater. Everyone in the audience would have a chance to be chosen as a "contestant." Admission would be charged, and all the proceeds from the tickets would benefit the American Heart Association.
-- If you know of anyone that might be interested in helping me, please let me know. E-mail me or call 314-368-1231.
STLGameShow@aol.com

01-20-04 Mark Edwards returns to STL ... The former River PD will join the Infinity cluster in mid-March, probably as PD at Y98. Good thing, too...he took a gig in Denver after being blown out of Bonneville here by an unappreciative staff, distinguished himself with Entercom, and is now returning to the city where he parked his family. Bless him for making that sacrifice to earn a living. I've had to do that and it ain't easy or fun. Welcome home, Mark...best of luck.
01-18-04 Big news for Sid Dithers fans ... he's not only got his own playground on the STLMedia Message Board, now he's got his own email address: siddithers@stlmedia.net. He may or may not respond, being the sort of guy he is. But you can now message him off-Board.
01-14-04 Keep an eye on this one: I've been "approached" by a "major metropolitan radio group" and asked to disclose the IP address of someone whom they say posted "proprietary information." Here's my response to them:
-- I've compared the post to which you refer to the press release that your station sent me on the day of the station's debut and, frankly, I don't find much difference between the two. The station released pretty much the same information voluntarily (over the signature of your Market Manager, XX) before the post in question went online.
-- The Message Board posting's claimed "confidential and proprietary" nature seems to have been trumped by your company's press release.
-- Therefore, I respectfully decline to provide you with the Message Board user IP information you have requested.
-- For your future reference, if this had been a criminal investigation regarding the safety and security of an individual, family or place of business, I would have happily and fully cooperated with the relevant law enforcement agencies. But I will not involve the confidentiality presumed by my site and Message Board users in a punitive corporate witchhunt.
-- I have left my phone number on your service; you may call me to discuss this if you need to any weekday after 12N.
Best regards,
Mike Anderson
Publisher, STLMedia.net

01-14-04 Secret Squirrel spins: on EmmisJacoFox2 ... "Will Jaco have time for radio now that he's starting a weekly Saturday 5:30pm show on Fox 2, in addition to being signed on for a full five-day-a-week in-depth reporting stint?" Or is this an easy way out of the KFTK radio debacle?
01-14-04 Good news-Bad news ... Good news: FCC Chairman Michael Powell wants huge increases in indecency fines and a reversal of the FCC's ruling that Bono's use of the "F-word" at the Golden Globes on CBS TV did not violate indecency rules. Bad news: He's promoting the conversion of analog radio stations to iBIQUITY's HD Radio system.
01-14-04 Haven't we been thru this before? InsideRadio reports that Michigan and Arkansas look like the next battleground states over a tax on advertising. Governors and legislators are desperate for new revenue sources. Broadcasters defeated ad tax proposals in Texas and Connecticut last year.
01-14-04 Liberal Radio looms ... Central Air (which name may change at any moment) signed Al Franken to roll against a broken-winged Rush, Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead and now they've brought Robert "I'm scared of everything" Kennedy Jr. aboard. Kennedy will do a show with attorney Mike Papantonio called Champions of Justice, a show that AllAccess says will "talk about the evils of corporations". The LibNet has signed WTND-AM/Chicago as their first affiliate; hardly a market-covering signal. Their biggest problem will be to convince stations that have major signals to carry LibTalk, which has been proved in the past to be unsellable to major sponsors. Maybe Mom-and-Pop sponsors, by the thousands, can get this off the ground. But will they line up to spend their money on such an unsure thing? It's gonna take a lot of guaranteed bucks to get this net on the Big Guns. Of course, when it fails, the libs'll cry foul.
01-14-04 Why broadcast radio will survive: I've had the Freeplay radio since 1999, along with an assortment of scanners, flashlights and CB radios, all on hand in case of power-outages or other emergencies. Now, the company is directing their efforts, profits and your donations toward the information-starved Third World.
1-06-04 Secret Squirrel spins the Wheel on KFTK: "David Glover has all but demanded a morning air shift. His ego is so large that, given enough marketing, he believes his show (even with Tom Terbrock) could outdo Bob & Tom's numbers. Don't believe it? Just ask him. Oh, by the way, the Emmis braintrust wants Jaco gone."
01-08-04 Secret Squirrel spins: on Red@104.1 ... As we've been telling you they would since 12-30-03 Emmis debuted multi-generational adult standards Red@104.1 today at 12N with a moderately clever introduction (aircheck courtesy Rob Walker). Read their press release; the website is being developed as we speak.
1-08-04 Ever hear of these guys? ... Eastlan Ratings is positioning itself as The New Ratings Guy. Their website offers some interesting info but no mention of methodology. Cumulus is using them in a couple markets, though.
1-06-04 KLOU Kasualties ... it's widely reported and emailed that Smash and Karen are out as of yesterday. Also out is Paul Arca, who was promised lobster and sirloin but wound up getting table scraps from hands-tied local management. Al Brock and Dodie Rahlman survive. Word is that Corporate Guy Mike Wheeler is really the defacto PD; everything Al does has to be run past Wheeler first. Most shifts will be Prophet VT'd by out-of-towners. No word yet on the morning show replacements. Way to save money, CC!
1-06-04 Speaking of Prophet ... CCU uses this proprietary software to VT their stations. CCU jocks who "track" shows on their own and other stations may use the software at no charge if they can fit their studio needs into the cluster's production needs (and, of course, with all the VT work going on, that's not always possible, let alone convenient); if they want to cut the VT's in their home studios they have to BUY the software, at around $2000 a pop. Kinda like a carpenter being told he can work for a home remodeling company but first he has to buy a whole new set of tools from his employer...and at market price.
1-05-04 Thursday at 12N ... that's when Emmis is saying they'll flip 104.1 to the new format...and InsideEmmis voices are whispering Martini Music over and over.
1-04-04 AAAArrrgh! ... KLOU and Big Al Brock, PLEASE play more tunes. I've had KLOU on in my office for the past ten hours and I've heard EVERY stinkin' oldie on your twenty CD's over and over. I'm going to bed now and when I wake up, having made my wish on the first star I saw tonight, I'll hear a mix of thousands of songs. I know it's after Chrstmas, but please...just a little gift, huh?
1-04-04 Secret Squirrel spins: on KTRS and Kevin Slaten ... "Kevin Slaten is considered to be a part-timer at 550, paid as such, and is not eligible for medical insurance even though other part-time employees have been in the past. Unfair, but it's a favorites game inside the station." Unfair is too weak a word. How can a middle-aged single parent work without medical coverage? How can the radio station conscionably allow an air talent that makes them hundreds of thousands a year in profits let this go on? SUGGESTION to Tim: Add Slaten to the company plan -- make his fully-paid medical coverage a belated Christmas present. What'll it cost for Kevin and his son, $5-6k a year out of the millions you're declaring to your investors? Let us know you did it and we'll sing your praises here with a big ol' internet huzzah!
1-03-04 With KLOU's recent format revision ... comes a new jingle package. Produced by TM, these cuts (and others) should hit the air soon. You heard 'em here first!
1-02-04 Secret Squirrel spins: on KFTK/97.1 ... the talk format seems to be in jeopardy and there's some talk in The Powerhouse regarding reclaiming the KXOK calls. The only reference I could find to this at FCC.gov is that there is a KXOK-LP callsign registered to "Media Manics Inc." in Enid OK and there's a BIG RED notice that KXOK is NOT available. No info as to whom it's reserved or assigned for.
1-02-04 Don't know how we missed this: ... congrats are overdue to esteemed KTRS/AM550 Programming Consultant Todd Wallace. Seems he's recently assumed the role of KTRS Program Director, has an office there and everything! Todd's a long-time radio PD, who probably invented call-out research in the 70's and was the publisher of the first multi-media radio newsletter (Programmers' Digest included both print and an LP..very cool for the time). Is it a promotion to go from Programming Consultant to Program Director? Maybe he should have "consulted" with Steve Moore or Kipper McGee first...
1-1-04 104.1, 103.3 and 550 make some moves ... The station formerly known as The Mall quit Christmas and began spinning the "Wheel of Music", playing music from a wide variety of formats. KLOU returned to its roots, slipping music from the 50's back in and re-taking the "Oldies" designation it dropped. KTRS shuffles morning players, bringing Wendy into the morning show with Bill Wilkerson; WW does one hour after with Kevin Slaten and then he's on his own for the 10-11AM hour.

Original content ©Mike Anderson 2000-2007; everything else ©original sources.
No electrons were harmed in the creation of this website. Thanks for respecting intellectual property.