Previously on The Front Page...Oct/Nov/Dec 2004
12-25-04 NORAD's 50th anniversary of Santa Tracking ... too bad I missed getting this online in time...I've presented this on radio stations with which I've been associated since the early 1970's. Yup, the guvmint believes...and so should you! Plug it in for Christmas 2005.
12-25-04 Ummm, I think I mentioned this before ... privately created audio and video feeds sent via RSS to iPods, other MP3 players, PC's and MAC's. Get in line for presentation...there are a half-million Google links to them already! It's all about text, audio and video blogging...MSM is over, kaput, and Rather and his ilk are gone with it. Max Headroom has arrived!
12-25-04 The Secret Squirrel Rumor Wheel ... spins on WGNU and KTRS castaway Crane Durham...looks like he'll be joining Smash on KFTK for mornings. Prediction: a disaster when Crane's conservative whining crashes into Smash. Durham needs to brighten his viewpoint and quit sounding like he's better than the rest of us. He's not, even though his parents think he is and continue to pay for his career.
12-24-04 Al Franken re-ups at Air America Radio ... and Randi Rhodes, too, for three years each. RealNetworks founder and CEO Rob Glaser has been named chairman of Air America’s Board of Directors, presumably because of the loot he can deliver for net support. But the liberal net is still depending on investors rather than ad income. They may be getting more affiliates, thanks to CCU station signups, but their business model is still off the base path.
12-24-04 2005 media predictions ... blogs grow, movie ads go and product placement explodes.
|12-24-04 It's not that I don't like cats ... some of my best friends harbor these domestic terrorists, unwittingly, in their homes. Cats are known by both humans and dogs, although dogs express a basic distrust. Cat behavior includes cunningly allowing their "masters" to rub them, creating vast amounts of static electricity discharged at a later "touch" much to the discomfort of their humans or complete and utter refusal to notice any offered affection; "Allah Catbar," they meow as the static charge ripples through their victim! This one (pictured) has been convicted by a dual-species tribunal, even though it is young, and offered a final smoke and a blindfold. |
12-24-04 Back to the future ... Marketers are revving up the publicity machine to turn darlings of yesteryear into 21st century stars. What does this mean for media marketing?
12-24-04 I try to avoid books like this ... because they usually wind up creating silly faux-intellectual cults. But Malcolm Gladwell may have a positive winner with his book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Little, Brown, January 2005).
12-24-04 AdBlogging ... hits like a million-ton meteor. Agencies and freelancers are putting their best efforts online, for free, to impress potential clients. And political ads are getting the same attention. Even the phenomenally successful iPod is getting freebies.
12-24-04 What's the deal with ... a certain Post-Dispatch reporter who published a blog in which he spilled his guts about bad editors and assignments and is supposedly on suspension, without pay, from the Post for his comments? Of course, blogging and telling, especially with photos, is not always the best way to keep the current gig.
12-24-04 When I was in grade school in the '50's ... we all dreaded catching "the whooping cough" because it sounded so deadly. I managed to get by it then but have, for the past three weeks, almost learned to live with it: what I thought was a cold turned into about the most unpleasant experience I can remember since my cardiac surgery in '96. I'm running at about 75% for Christmas with an amazing assortment of meds that have caused me to do some incredibly stupid things...gotta love that drug interraction! I'm trying to get this site, my blog and my business up to date soonest. Merry Christmas from "Whooping Boy!"
12-23-04 Darlene Love ... on Letterman tonight singing the best Christmas song ever written or recorded. What a show!
12-11-04 Colin Farrell ... closed out his guest-host gig on NBC's Saturday Night Live by saying it was the best week he'd ever had, "I shit you not." Was FCC Commander Powell watching? Will there be enquiries and fines? I betcha CBS/Infinity/Viacom and Disney/ABC will be paying attention.
12-11-04 What a week I've had ... if you've called or emailed me and not gotten a reply, blame it on a rogue rinovirus that has had me down since Monday 12/06. The good news is I haven't had a smoke in a week! Happy Hannukah for now -- I just want to get a nap or two before the Christmas stuff kicks in!
12-11-04 This is great, inspiring work ... and with the exception of some modernized gear, these are the same pictures we took in RVN and our parents took in WW2. Which would seem to make all wars similar and in one way or another just as futile. That doesn't mean there aren't prizes to be won...but that conflict means both sides lose.
12-10-04 Secret Squirrel spins on ... Harrah's Lucky Break, which will be breaking away from Emmis and getting lucky somewhere else. Is that Clear?
12-09-04 KMOX' Paul Harris ... slips easily into the Infinity company song on his website when necessary. Paul's blog-style front page tells the story of the troops who questioned SOD Rumsfeld in Iraq, without telling the whole story, and even linking to the gloating CBS News version of the story (also incomplete). This wrap: "Rumsfeld's answer, a typical political non-reply, devoid of any empathy, did nothing to mollify the troops' fears." was so out of line I couldn't believe it. I alerted him to this in an email around 11:30 Thursday morning; no web change as of Friday morning. Following a show like Limbaugh, Paul has a higher duty and part of that duty is fact-checking and clear writing. UPDATE: Harris' website has been appropriately updated.
12-05-04 JC Corcoran's second book ... is in the stores. It's a good read, adding a lot to "the legend" begun in the first one. His excellent analysis of TV news is detailed and well-written and the "interview with himself" is pretty revealing. Radio these days ain't always a pretty story and JC's tale is gritty enough to open the eyes of anyone who's entered "the biz" since consolidation began. It's available in most bookstores; check the www.k-hits.com website for store book signing appearances.
|12-06-04 Target throws the Salvation Army out ... no more kettles at their stores, and other national retailers have done the same. I've believed for many years that the Salvation Army is the ONLY charity to donate to, the only charity that really spends the proceeds appropriately. If you can't find a bell-ringer, click here and donate online; DO NOT donate to the United Way or the Red Cross, both of which spend too much on administration and employ questionable tactics to collect. May I humbly suggest that any retailer that does not allow the Salvation Army to collect donations at their doorstep is not worthy of your business? |
12-05-04 Secret Squirrel spins on ... Tony Hubert of KFNS: Hubert interviewed with The Bull last week to become their Motorsports Director since they're picking up NASCAR next year. Hubert has been doing motorsports for years on KFNS and sees this as his opportunity to focus only on NASCAR.
12-03-04 You're aware of these guys, right? ... Media Monitors identifies radio station airplay of spots and songs in major US markets via its AirCheck service, and provides same-day online reports. See client spots on competing stations; generate a list of accounts NOT buying your station; show when clients' spots were broadcast; decide which buys could be bigger; learn what buys your stations are missing.
11-26-04 I've mentioned my addiction to "blogs" (weblogs) ... here's what I'd do, if I were you do: first thing, set up a free account at Bloglines (or any other RSS aggregator) and then do a Google search for blogs that match your interest (mine cross all political party lines and include other interests). Subscribe to them within your aggregator. Then read, learn and participate. This is the future of information, at least online.
||11-25-04 This chick makes me so proud ... to own an overpriced Blues' sweatshirt. Paige Laurie, after whom Mizzou's Arena was named, for $25mil, and whose Daddy owns The Blues and controls the WalMart empire has turned out to be a major league cheat who paid her roommate $20k to write papers and take tests at USC to falsely deliver Paige a 3.5GPA and a degree. Blogs around the web have declared her to be the best possible replacement for Paris Hilton as the premier bimbette of the New Millenium. Wanna bet she'll be spending a year or three in Europe? How many years did it take to pay back your college loans? Eat the rich! |
11-23-04 Forgot to add ... this link in my recent screed on PodCasting. Get ready, kids...make your own or find a favorite, it's all off the air. This supercedes SatRad and Howard has no idea. He's too busy whining about the FCC.
||11-25-04 We've never reviewed movies here ... but the NYT's review of Oliver Stone's Alexander was so brutal you needed to see part of it: ...it's brought out the worst in terms of the puerile writing, confused plotting, shockingly off-note performances and storytelling that lacks either of the two necessary ingredients for films of this type, pop or gravitas. After Stone's JFK, could anything be worse?|
11-23-04 Why Tivo is adding ads ... The online TV recorder is dropping many of the features, including ad-skip, that made it so appealing to subscribers and may be on the cliff with its partner DirecTV, because the company is losing money at a prodigious rate (-$26.4mm/Q3). Tivo is hoping for a VERY Merry Christmas sales season. Otherwise that box in your entertainment center will go blind.
11-23-04 The P-D addresses their availability ... Pulitzer is putting itself on the block and here's a story from the P-D that spells it out. Gannett and Belo, both of which own TV properties here and print properties elsewhere, are considered unlikely buyers because of guvmint regs.
11-22-04 Don't know what the Winter's gonna be like ... but we have had the occasional ice-storm power-out, and in the Spring, too, with thunderstorms. Wireless home phones ain't worth a hoot when there's no power to the base unit. I have a couple Sony M-10 corded two-line phones, powered by Telco line voltage, with hold and conferencing, one of which I keep plugged in in the downstairs WC. Got' em for less than $30 each a few years back. Always a good idea to grab up a phone like this for the "just in case" times. Sadly, they're getting harder and harder to find.
11-22-04 Watch what you print ... 'cause for the last two decades your color laser printer has been including its own serial number in each image it turns out, making any offense committed easily trackable. How long before the ACLU gets into this?
11-22-04 Bonneville bumps John Kijowski ... to VP/GM of all STL properties, and moves Erik Hellum (who had been GM of WIL and WRTH) to VP/GM Phoenix. Kijowski, who has forbidden "his troops" to access this website and accompanying Message Board at work, will presumably extend that ban to WIL and WRTH staffers. What the heck, John...we're open 24/7.
11-22-04 Mr. Aircheck is "on the air" ... Russ Horton has been a broadcaster and aircheck collector for years with one of the largest aircheck collectors in the world and has finally put his two passions together: he's streaming his collection online. Russ says "You will always hear an aircheck from the month we're in...in December you'll hear airchecks from December 1959, 1966, 1975, 1988, 1993 and so on. Now everyone can enjoy my recordings. Remember the music, the news casts, the commercials, the DJ's and the great stations from the past...stations from North America and around the world!"
11-22-04 In the months before the election ... I started serious perusal of a few of the major political blogs. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of them "out there". Some of the most prominent include Little Green Footballs, The Daily Kos and a new blog, published locally, Gateway Pundit. The SJR is also building out their own blog, too.
11-21-04 I'm not a hunter ... haven't killed in 35 years, with the exception of the occasional ant or spider. But I almost did tonight, on a quick trip up to the grocery store. I came up on a herd of deer, seven of them, and stopped less a dozen feet from plowing right into them... Read it here
11-20-04 Buddy, can you spare a billion-five? Reuters is reporting that Pulitzer Inc, which owns the Post-Dispatch and Suburban Journals here, may be up for grabs for USD$1.5billion. Multi-media giant Gannett is mentioned as a leading bidder; they also own KSDK5 here.
11-19-04 I love MP3 players ... and the IPod has cemented their place in history. Most of them, with that handy USB cable and their multi-gig storage, can also be used to copy and transport all kinds of files other than music, maybe obsoleting thumb-drives. Now comes RSS and Podcasting and the capability to download scheduled radio shows and listen to them later. I've "radio-Tivo'd" talk shows on my Pogo but what's about to happen in the next few months is epochal. Radio stations need to prepare and present newscasts and talk shows for Podcast download right now (I told client stations to do this, in a different format, years ago)...and ratings services need to adjust their data collection for the delayed listening that will present itself in 2005 and beyond. This is as big an industry sea-change as the introduction of voice-tracking.
11-19-04 Secret Squirrel is being deprived of his nuts ... no Christmas Red yet. Humbug. But Squirrel has delivered the message that Red is supposedly going to continue in-format for at least two years from inception so that Emmis may continue using STL as a test market for the format. If it has legs Emmis presumably will expand it to other company stations and perhaps syndicate elsewhere.
11-19-04 Hasse off to TV ... KMOX' Clint Hasse is off to KSDK. Yes, he's leaving radio sales management for a tv sales position. Why? Ever compared the rate differences between radio and tv? 15% of a $3500 tv spot trumps 15% of a $1000 radio spot, even including management overrides. Good for you, Clint...and I promise I'll never tell the story of the dance you shared with (???) on that sales trip while you were at KIX104. Yeah, I've always bought the story that you "didn't know what kind of bar you were in"...
11-18-04 Secret Squirrel says ... it's Ho-Ho-Ho for Red@104.1 beginning Friday. Woo-hoo! Any money out there that says KEZK or Smooth steps into Christmas Thursday?
11-17-04 Secret Squirrel spins on ... Kevin Slaten: Looks like the kfns management may be reaching the end of their patience with slaten and his warner worship. tuesday's nonstop ranting about warner as well as his shots at brian burwel put slaten on probation at kfns with the warning if it doesn't tone down, kevin will be invited to leave 590.
11-17-04 Greg Marshall out at KPLW/Union ... as of right now. Greg's been there since '88, serving as Morning Guy, PD and Assistant Engineer for both AM and FM properties, along with part-time positions at KEZK AM (now KFNS AM), WIL, WRTH, and KIHT, and is currently an instructor at Broadcast Center in St. Louis.
11-16-04 Got Tivo? Watch out, because pretty soon a patch will automatically download and the rules are gonna change. PPV and VOD will be played back only in limited time frames and that IS NOT what we signed up for. Blame the copyright demons.
11-16-04 Increasing marketing spend is the last frontier ... The NYT reports Coca-Cola is joining a growing number of blue-chip companies that are reversing years of cutbacks to not only defend the market shares they have but to finally start stimulating growth. "At some point you realize you can't cut your way to greatness," said John Freeland, the global leader of the customer relationship marketing practice at Accenture in New York. Wow...what an insight! Spending money on advertising in media might result in product growth. Spread the word...
11-16-04 Product placement ... has been a fact of life for years in movies and has slammed into commercial TV like a tornado. Read about it here. How long before radio takes it seriously? And if you think that product placement can't work in radio, you're wrong!
11-16-04 Hokey smoke ... It's the week before Thanksgiving and we don't have a full-time Christmas music station yet! Red? Smooth? KEZK? Bueller?
11-15-04 Speaking of hockey ... The Secret Squirrel donned a facemask and told me recently of the layoffs and paycuts in the Blues' front office. The league-wide impasse between players and managers has impacted hundreds of local behind-the-scenes people, as well as severing a critical part of KTRS' revenue stream (only the fact that it was an Election year kept the station's fat out of the fryer). NHL players need to understand that hockey is NOT anywhere near MLB or NFL status, that US broadcasts don't draw squat for an audience, and that they oughta take paycuts and just be glad they have any kind of a job, especially one that provides them with dental insurance.
11-15-04 From Monday's P-D ... Gateway International Raceway and local country radio station KSD (93.7 FM) have teamed up to bring NASCAR on radio to the St. Louis area for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Left-only turns and incredible noise levels notwithstanding, MRN produces a pretty compelling package. A few years ago I tried to get KTRS interested in running the races...they said it was "too Southern to work here." Good that that hockey thing worked out, huh? That's bumped the ol' numbers, fer sure! Oh wait...
11-14-04 Sunday night Carney Show ... John wraps up the 10PM hour with a live spot for Delmar Gardens Retirement Communities...and the CBS News that immediately follows leads with a small plane slamming into a Texas retirement home. Some days a guy just cannot get a break.
11-08-04 It appears that Beth Davis is out ... as Infinity Market Manager and back to "just" GM of KYKY and KEZK. Now she and Tom Langmyer (KMOX VP/GM) report on an equal footing to corporate.
11-08-04 Honors for Arca ... Ol' buddy Paul Arca racked up another one when he received the Bob Hardy Memorial Media Award for Veteran's Advocacy last Saturday at Union Station, following the annual STL Veteran's Day Parade. The award has previously been bestowed on Jack Buck, Harry Levins, Charles Jaco, George Noory and others. Paul is a good, honorable and enormously talented man; why he is not on the air somewhere completely befuddles me. His CD duplication and voiceover businesses are chugging right along, but this guy really should be on the radio.
11-07-04 Almost everyone I know with broadband access ... has set up their home for Wi-Fi or at least has the capability to do so. Most laptops now come with Wi-Fi reception built-in and I've always felt that paid subscription Wi-Fi was a doomed effort. Now the industry's figured out how to plug in location-specific ads so that any business can offer it free. This is a good thing for road warriors and we can teach you how to get around the ads when you log on at remote locations.
11-07-04 My apologies ... for my seeming inattention to this area of the website. Son Jason went through some surgery and complications following and I've been paying attention there rather than anywhere else. After a week of at-home grief and a week-long followup stay at St. Luke's, he seems to be well on the way to recuperation. None of us male Andersons handle pain worth a hoot; good thing we're not responsible for child-bearing.
11-02-04 Best coverage of the election coverage ... is on Paul Harris' website. Harris, the KMOX PM'er, is an avid fan and student of media and has some right-on-the-money observations (especially about Larry King and Shep Smith) in his front-page "blog".
11-01-04 Carney back tonight ... John Carney returns to the air tonight, resuming his regular airshift on KMOX.
San Francisco ... wants to provide free city-wide WiFi. Philadelphia already has this in the planning stage.
Sinclair's Big Broadcast a non-event ... The much-anticipated showing of the POW documentary Stolen Honor net-wide on Sinclair stations washed out to a pretty mild discussion of the events, with Sinclair asking viewers to write the FCC and say they (viewers) approved the broadcast. Here's one story from the AP.
Jeff Hallazgo's Big Bang ... on KDHX will present a special show coming up Wednesday 10/27: from 4-6PM, just ahead of Game 4, Jeff'll playback the greatest hits of 1967, the last year in which Da Boids faced Da Sox in Da Series.
630KXOK Featured on XMRadio ... Every Friday afternoon, XM's Sixties Channel spotlights one of the great Top 40 stations of that era...and this Friday, it's KXOK's turn, from 4-8PM (Eastern time). If you've got XM, enjoy. An edited version is available at 630kxok.com.
Just in case you don't understand ... the Electoral College thing, here's an article that might make it all a little clearer.
Money talks, Sinclair walks ... Read it here. Sinclair's shares have fallen amid the Kerry controversy and uncertain advertising revenues. Its stock has fallen almost 17 percent since its plans to air the show were first reported more than a week ago. The shares are down 58 percent in the year to date, and were off 3.5 percent to $6.26 on Tuesday.
Sinclair HQ negotiating with their stations ... to avoid a significant financial hit when they air the Kerry documentary. The broadcast could hurt Kerry, but it could hurt Sinclair even more. They better hope Kerry doesn't win...
MP3, WMA or AAC ... If you rip or download music, your format of choice may be experiencing a shift in the balance of power.
Lesson learned ... John Stewart's show on Comedy Central has dropped significantly in the ratings, even with the promotion of his book, probably due to his recent Kerry endorsement and behavior on CNN's Crossfire. I've also noticed a drop in access to this site since I politicized the Front Page. Please note that this space will no longer contain any endorsement of a candidate or any mention of political issues unless they relate to media; I'll reserve that for the Political Forum on the associated Messsage Board.
Polling is, at best ... an inexact science. Just like radio ratings. This site offers comparisons of all of the major polls...make your own jokes.
STL TV ... appears to not be part of the buy for the last gasp of the Swift Boat vet's 527 ad campaign. Since you won't see it on your television, you can see it here. It's pretty strong.
Sinclair ... is apparently continuing their plan to air the anti-Kerry documentary on their 62 stations the night before the election and the FCC says they have no grounds to stop them from doing so; PPV supplier InDemand has decided NOT to run Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, citing business and legal decisions, and, of course, Moore's suing them. See, Mike, the deal is, first, the FCC has no standing in local broadcast programming decisions and, second, there is no longer a Fairness Doctrine to keep the table level.
Ron Elz' 50th anniversary on the air ... coincides with the flip of his Bonneville-owned AM1430 WRTH from Oldies to Standards...right back where they started from. It happens Wednesday 10/13. Will this affect Red@104? Probably as much as Real Oldies 1430 affected KLOU; after all, WRTH has as much gas as a 60 watt lightbulb. But Red is still a potential for change after the holidays...Emmis publicly says they're happy with the station but privately we hear a different song.
A copy of this book sells for up to $850 online ... I paid $4 for mine in 1970-something and I'll never let it go. If you've ever read it, you know why. In it, the Presidential candidate condemned those of us who served in RVN to a lifetime of misrepresentation when he said before Congress: The country doesn't realize it yet but it has created a monster in the form of thousands of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence; and then he said: We are probably angriest about all that we were told about Vietnam and about the mystical war against Communism. Mystical, indeed. And there's more, much more. His public statements, along with those of Jane Fonda, made life intolerable for POW's held in prison camps run by the NVA. If you had a family member in military service from WW2 on you'll want to take a look at some of these links, all from the first page of a Google search for John Kerry, The New Soldier...|
Just before the election ... The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Sinclair Broadcasting (owners of ABC30 here) is planning on airing Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal, a film that attacks Sen. John Kerry's activism against the Vietnam War, on their 62 O&O or affiliated stations; not to be outdone, Michael Moore is in negotiations to screen his Bush-bashing documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, on pay-per-view tv the night before the presidential election, according to a Friday story in Variety. What, CBS turned him down?
Who'll be the first ... to go all-Christmas-music? Count on more than one STL station to make the leap sometime in mid-November...but the really big question is which one will flip the format once the holidays are done? Bonneville's SmoothJazz (106.5), Emmis' Red (104.1) and Infinity's Y-98 are all candidates. Is there a "Jack" in our future?
Still the one ... I first read this years ago -- Sun Tzu's The Art Of War (about 2500 years out of copyright) remains the classic text on any kind of strategy, whether you're fighting terrorists or the country station the next town over. I-13 and I-14 are extremely important.
If you're gonna fire or demote a guy ... at least have the guts to look him in the face when you do it. No fewer than four station insiders have related essentially the same story: KTRS' GM Tim Dorsey had Station Money Guy Steve House and newly-minted Station Manager Craig Unger deliver the bad news to Fred Zielonko rather than do it himself. Insider comments: "Gutless." Unbelievable." "About what I'd expect." Fred has worked with or for Dorsey for nearly thirty years.