Previously on The Front Page...Jul/Aug/Sep 2006
09-30-05 Abigail Pollay passes ... Shock and sadness at at least two broadcast companies, Emmis and Bonneville, tonight as longtime promotions and marketing pro, Abigail Pollay, died suddenly at her home Friday. After returning from corporate meetings in Utah Thursday night, the 43 year-old was found by Bonneville programming chief, Marty Linck, when she failed to show up at work. Abigail was single with no children. An autopsy was reportedly being conducted Friday night. She leaves behind many, many friends and admirers.
09-29-05 Secret Squirrel spins on Metro Networks ... Arbitration is set to begin at Metro Network's hq in Houston next week with former Metro Traffic Reporter Cary Crawford, who was fired twice (once in Miami and once in STL) by the company after being engaged in a personal dispute with Metro's Southeast Regional VP Christopher Leonard, whose office is in Atlanta.
09-29-05 After being summarily thrown off The Big 550's Sunday Morning Bus ... in favor of per-inquiry paid commercial programming, Kevin & Sue McCarthy's Travel Show has found a new home, Saturday afternoons on WGNU. The show is also on two stations at The Lake of the Ozarks and on one in Florida (which makes for a great tax break when they have to do those bi-annual affiliate visits! Me? I'm looking to set up barbadosmedia.net sometime soon.
09-29-05 Secret Squirrel spins en Espanol ... Is St. Louis about to get its first full time Spanish Language radio station? The frequency it ends up on could be a big surprise...
09-29-05 Secret Squirrel spins on Fox 2 ... After 10 years at Fox 2 News, Weekend Anchor/Reporter Nancy Pasternak is saying goodbye. Planning to "take a break" from TV News and be a stay-at-home to her 4-month old son Trey. Last day is October 10th.
09-29-05 Secret Squirrel spins on WGNU ...
With the addition of Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Californian Lyah Beth LeFlore to the schedule, insiders are saying that WGNU is working its way toward a Christian Talk format that will eventually wipe out most of their local programs. One has to wonder where that will leave Lizz Brown?
09-27-05 As we told you last week... Emmis' Red 104's been sold to Radio One for $20million.
Read it all here. "Red was a novel format that our staff in St. Louis executed well," Rick Cummings, President of Emmis Radio, said. "But after 18 months, the results have not been robust."
Guess not. We've seen this coming for a long time; Emmis just had to find a sucker with deep enough pockets to take on this partly-market signal.
How 'bout that? A station that the Zimmers bought in the '90's for less than two million is now traded at ten times that. Bill Viands, who made a pile when the Z-Boyz cashed out of STL, must be chewing through his lips, fingernails, toenails and foreskin trying to figure out how he can get a piece of this action.
Emmis says they'll keep Red's tunes streamed online and maybe run the music on their KFTK 97.1 on weekends. That still leaves a lot of talented folks on the beach.
The next question: Is Ms. Sneed thinking she can compete with Z107 on the CHuRban level with the 104 signal? Bet not. Mary Catherine is MUCH smarter than that. I bet she has something else up her sleeve.
09-23-05 Is it over for Air America? When a radio company has to resort to begging for dollars from listeners, it might as well be. Brian Maloney's Radio Equalizer has the story.
And now the odd little duck who was one of the original money men in the AAR mix, Sheldon Drobny, has launched NovaMRadio. From their website: Nova M Radio is seeking partners and the financing necessary to capitalize on this business opportunity to own, operate and broadcast progressive content from a conglomerate of stations in smaller markets across America.
Who the hell is advising these people?
This is EXACTLY the same wrong-headed business thinking that led Air America into its current financial crisis. The company should be in the software business, and leave the hardware to experienced owners.
By buying a pack of small-market stations, all that NovaM will accomplish is to drive out of business the only broadcast facilities that a lot of those "small markets" have. But if you'd like to invest in their effort, here's a link. Don't call me to tell me you're wondering where your loot is, though.
09-23-05 Secret Squirrel spins on Emmis ... "Emmis sells Red at 104.1 to Radio One. Terms not disclosed. Sale will be complete late next week. Formal announcement at 2:30 this afternoon. President of programming for Emmis, Rick Cummings, in town. No official word on what happens to the Red sales, programming and marketing staff.....but I wouldn't want to be any of them."
More from the Squirrel:
-- Rumor has it that Red@104.1 will become a Top 40/Rhythmic under the Radio One regime to attempt to take on KSLZ.
-- Word is that Bonneville is admitting their mistake of blowing up the wrong station, and will flip WVRV to Smooth Jazz "V101.1" next week. The sales on the River the last several months have been far less than that of "The Arch". No word on the staff, but let's just say with the demise of Red & The River within the course of the week, lots of good folks will be out of work.
And, of course, there's the human toll this sort of thing takes:
-- Hey...Just wanted to update you on the fact that I will no longer be with Emmis. My husband, Mark Anthony, is still there. I am actively looking for my next opportunity. I can be reached through my website. Thanks a ton, Dana Daniels
09-22-05 Wednesday was a pretty intense newsday ... what with the buildup of Hurricane Rita to a Category 5 storm, the evacuation of Houston (where we have relatives, who have evacuated to Dallas) and the hours-long drama of the JetBlue aircraft with the cockeyed nose wheel. Jason and I watched it, switching from one news channel to the next, totally entranced, and one thing kept coming to mind... Read the rest here.
09-21-05 I'm even later mentioning this ... Jonnie King forwarded The Wisdom of Silvio Dante: THAT'S WHERE ALL THE FUCKING MONEY IS! (laughter, applause) I mean ALL the fucking money. 35 to 65. Memo to sales team - SELL THEM SOMETHING! Read it here.
09-21-05 I'm a little late in mentioning this ... Tom Calhoun, who is a friend and a thoroughly vetted Old Dog, has written a piece at his blog that is absolutely imperative reading for (1) sports radio play-by-play wannabe's, (2) currently active small-market radio play-by-play broadcasters who want to improve their work, (3) and all currently active large-market and network radio play-by-play broadcasters (with the possible exceptions of Bob Costas and maybe Joe Buck). Calhoun should have kept his mouth shut and sold this on a consulting basis. Read it and comment here.
09-21-05 As of Wednesday morning ... it looks like Hurricane Rita will cross the warm waters of the Gulf, picking up steam as she goes, and smack into Texas late Friday or early Saturday. I hate to sound like the curmudgeon I truly am, but will we then be subjected to another round of begging on local radio and tv stations to support the various relief efforts? Continue reading here.
09-20-05 Somebody needs to filter the testosterone ... in sports radio types. Savard and Slaten had to be pulled apart yesterday, and what was it, a few months back when Hadley and McKenna went at it at Rams' Park? This is incredibly destructive to what remains of the image of a once dignified medium...and you can bet the Print Kidz will lap it all up and regurgitate it with glee. It is most definitely time to thin the sports herd. Radio here is wasting valuable bandwidth. Just how many sports monkeys do we really need?
09-20-05 Got an email I wasn't looking forward to today ... After several months of helping out family here, Jay Philpott is off to Milwaukee, to do PM Drive at 102.9 The Hog...it's sad that no STL station could find a place for this truly talented nearly-Old Dog.
09-20-05 Normally I don't have any problems with Mondays ... until yesterday. About 5PM I began noticing fits and starts in FTP access to the servers where most of my client sites (including this one) are stored. Turns out it was another DDOS attack, so I went on to local work and then upstairs to have dinner and watch a little TV. Ten minutes into the season premiere of Vegas, at the peak of the sudden wind and rain, the power went out...and stayed out until sometime after 2 Tuesday afternoon. Clearly, Karl Rove is pissed at STLMedia.net...but the good news is that the beer fridge in the office held its chill.
09-19-05 WGNU's (former) Couch Potato ... busted for fraud.
From the SLBJ: A St. Louis City Circuit judge Friday shut down efforts by a St. Louis man who used Web sites to seek funds for hurricane relief but redirected money to anti-Semitic or racist groups.
Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon filed suit Sept. 8 against Frank Weltner, a white separatist, to prevent him from soliciting funds presumed to be for hurricane relief, but went to an account used to promote racist and anti-Semetic Internet sites. Nixon said Weltner had at least 10 Internet domain names with themes related to relief of hurricane victims. None of the sites were registered as charitable organizations and were not properly registered as tax-exempt. Nixon also said Weltner did not disclose that the donations were not tax-deductible.
Weltner is now prohibited from soliciting charitable donations in Missouri or acting as a professional fundraiser for charitable purposes. The ruling also placed a freeze on the accounts he used to collect funds from the Katrina-related Web sites. He was also ordered to disclose an account of all donations made and any withdrawals or disbursements.
09-19-05 Death of Reality TV? Deleese Williams, described by her own family as having "a deformed jaw, crooked teeth, droopy eyes and tiny boobs" is suing ABC because they kicked her off the Extreme Makeover bus. And, oh yeah, her sister committed suicide over it "with an overdose of pills, alcohol and cocaine". Read it here
09-19-05 Phase 2 of the STL Summer '05 Arbitron ... publishes Tuesday afternoon.
UPDATE 09-18-05: Casey Van Allen writes ... Thanks! My phone has been ringing off the wall! I got a call from a guy that does part time on WLS that wants to move to the lake. I was flattered that he knew who I was. I can’t afford him but he sure made me feel good. I know it takes a lot of work to keep your site current, and you do a great job. What you do does NOT go unappreciated. You perform a super service to the radio industry. I should have someone in place by October 1. Thanks again, Casey Van Allen.
09-11-05 Casey Van Allen needs a PM-drive talk host/production guy... right now! My afternoon drive talk show host and main production guy just got a real nice job in Columbia working for the Zimmers and I need to replace him. It’s a two hour daily talk show 5 day a week job with a lot of production. This is small market and the pay is not great but they’ll work with a bunch of real talented people in some cool stations. Pass the word along to anyone you know and tell them to call. They need to have experience. Thanks for your help and great website. Dennis Klautzer (Casey Van Allen); KOZQ, KFBD, KRMS-FM, KRMS-AM, WENG: 573-348-2772.
NOTE: Casey's a great guy to work for and, as the former KMOX production guy, has a unique and very positive perspective on the care and handling of his staff.
09-17-05 Secret Squirrel spins on MetroNews: Kathleen Englund was fired by Metro Friday. Management had been out to get her ever since she negotiated her own deal with Channel 5. They found an excuse when she was sick one day and instead of calling the new Director of Operations, she just called Rick Wallace and asked him to cover her stations. Nice. She stays with 5 since that's a seperate deal.
09-16-05 A sadness descends upon the industry ... as radio loses its longest running syndicated program at the end of 2005. Contact Radio began as the Sacred Heart Program almost 70 years ago and has been on stations worldwide ever since. The show morphed from an entirely religious presentation to a remarkably effective public affairs show over the years but lost its base during deregulation when stations were no longer required to account for the amount of public service they carried. Contact was snappily produced by a feisty and talented crew hq'd in St. Louis, employed by the Jesuits, and the cancellation leaves almost a dozen full- and part-time employees on the beach. I'm proud to say that I have worked with them since 2001, managing their website and providing audio streaming and marketing consultation. Look here for posting of their resumes...they are all good people who deserve your attention for further employment.
09-16-05 Once again, my apologies ... I've been buried with work on client newsletters and publications and so have had little time to post here or on my blog. Most of that work has been accomplished and so I can redirect my attention to those sites. NOTE: My deepest thanks to the unsung heroes who have contributed to the Message Board Fund...amazingly, they are all in the professions of Law and Medicine, and they are the ones who are keeping the Board online for the rest of you "media flunkies" to read and use. We're approaching 800 registered users, by the way.
08-31-05 Gordon Sinclair's "Americans" speech ... 1973 was not a good year for the US. Political turmoil, the end of the Vietnam War and natural disasters all took their toll. Then a Canadian broadcaster made a radio talk that rang the bells, wondering where the rest of the world was, when other nations would come to our aid...much like 2005.
UPDATE: 09-11-05: As the nations of the world come to their senses, we've dropped the audio file; please download, save and read the PDF, telling the whole story.
09-05-05 The NOLA disaster nothwithstanding ... my work on my '69 Vietnam site continues. I've published a few hundred photos as a Flash file (21megs, please trust when so prompted if you view with high-speed connection). The photos will follow as stills shortly, with commentary at the site. My plan is to have all of this done by Veterans' Day 2005.
UPDATE 09-08-05: I've had to discontinue the availability of the Flash file...I had no idea so many would download a 21meg file, chewin' up bandwidth at an amazin' rate! Thanks for taking a look, though. I'll step up the process of uploading the stills.
09-06-05 Companies with stations in NOLA ... what are they doing with their employees? We're hearing everything from fully-paid moves and job transfers to immediate and permanent dismissals. What are rebuild plans? Rumors have Citadel and Clear Channel dismissing employees in the distressed regions with no further assistance available. I hope that this is not true.
09-04-05 300 NOLA evacuees will be camped at the former Gumbo prison in Chesterfield Valley ... beginning Tuesday, sponsored by nearby Windsor Crossing Community Church. Everett Marshall says: "They'll need bedding, money for shopping, transportation for shopping, and other support. 100% of the money and supplies collected will be used for the direct support of these families. No percentage will be held back for 'admin fees' and any other ridiculous purposes." Contact Kim Plank at the church at 636-532-1212.
09-03-05 This is frightening ... and also patently untrue. Randall Robinson, who doesn't even live in the US (his home is on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts) is claiming that African-Americans in NOLA are engaging in cannibalism. His unsourced report is published at Arriana Huffington's website. It's one thing to present a rumor online; it's something else entirely to present a story as true when it's so radically inflammatory and completely unsupported by any fact.
09-03-05 For the first time ever ... the Jerry Lewis Telethon is sharing, giving up the first and last four-hour segments of the 21 1/2 hour telethon to Katrina relief.
09-02-05 Just about four years ago ... just before the charity scandals broke, I advised you not to give money to either the Red Cross or the United Way for relief to survivors of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington DC. I repeat my suggestion now as contributed money starts to find its way to various charities to help in the Katrina disaster. Both the Red Cross and the United Way are bloated, badly managed agencies and neither of them do anyone much good anymore; they exist solely to enrich themselves and their management. If you're planning on sending money to help, send it through the Salvation Army or your church.
08-29-05 All the kerfuffel about the difference between ... the KTRS and KMOX signals has brought this festering wound to mind: the sad back-engineering of AM receivers.
|09-01-05 KATZ-FM's new morning team ... DJ Syllli Earzz (left) and DJ BUG (Brother=Uncle=Granddad) come from WPCF (Parchman Correctional Facility's low-power station in Mississippi) on work release. CC Market Manager Lee Clear says "They're hip-hop maniacs! With an attitude!" |
In every car I rode in or bought before the 1980's and in every portable and desk-top AM radio I bought before then, the AM reception was crystal clear, the fidelity was outstanding and the tuning (even by a knob rolled across the dial) was precise.
Following the FCC's mandate that every radio over a certain price point had to include an FM section, the AM receivers were ignored and ways were found by manufacturers to downgrade their manufacture, in favor of better FM sound. Presumably that decision was made with the help of the NAFMB (with a little encouragement from the NAB).
As a result, AM reception in cars and in home receivers is crap. Sadly, with enhanced FM reception in the same devices, the transmitted program quality is also crap due to the ignorance by new-era FM managers of the technical standards needed to provide quality broadcast signals.
Now Clear Channel engineers are calling for bandwidth reduction for AM stations as the industry lays on its back and spreads its collective legs for what is laughingly referred to as "HD radio", which will further denigrate a once-useful radio band.
If the engineering monkeys at Clear Channel and Ibiquity have their way, you can say goodbye to AM entirely. THEN you can bitch about not being able to hear the Cards' games!
08-27-05 The-tipster-who-must-not-be-named ... sent this along: Twin Cities turning deaf ear to political talk radio shows: Twin Cities listeners have been tuning out political talk radio. Some problems with the story: first, the Twin Cities are a Demo stronghold and their print media is less than trustworthy; second, it's an "inbetween" year...no elections; third, there's an overwhelming stock of syndicated shows on the air there when local is what really works; and fourth, we need to compare ratings from two years ago, rather than the last trend or the last year. Is talk radio dying? Probably not. It's just in a slump. Conclusion: Politics, not war, drives talk radio and politics are driven by elections. Watch for a jump in this format in the Winter/Phase 1 Spring 2006 Arbitron as it heats up.
08-27-05 Secret Squirrel spins on ... KFNS: Bernie Miklasz, with Kevin Slaten's approval, is set to replace Mike Claiborne on KFNS's 2-6pm show.
08-27-05 Secret Squirrel spins on ... Metro Networks: Anti-AFTRA Jill Endraske has been named Bureau Chief.
08-26-05 Why is this reporter's work ... not available in a newspaper near you? Michael Yon is a published author and a former Special Forces soldier who is, at his own expense, embedded with American troops in the Iraq theater of operations. His images and stories are compelling; he writes of the GWOT and American participation, warts and all. Read his material and see if you don't agree that he presents the story in a way unlike any other writer who has covered the war since the initial invasion.
08-24-05 Secret Squirrel spins on ... a female tv news anchor who-shall-not-be-named: Word from the salon is that (name redacted) is sporting a wig due to alopecia areata. Would love to know why no story on this? Are they waiting for November sweeps or something? Nothing to be ashamed of - you just get it - it's not bad hygiene or anything.
08-24-05 Summer Phase 1 Arbitron numbers ... published today. 12+ is here; (keep in mind that 12+ numbers are essentially meaningless, useful for only the broadest comparisons).
08-23-05 No room for grads? Got this in the email: I know several Communications undergrads who are being told by fellow industry members that consolidation is the name of the game...no full-time jobs available in the St. Louis radio market - esp. in news. Can we get some comments or discussion on this? What's the future of the industry if young people get turned away before they've even begin their careers?
08-22-05 One of the Evil Geniuses ... who spawned Jacor-cum-Clear Channel is profiled in the Cincinnati Enquirer. But the big news, as pointed out by a tipster-whose-name-must-not-be-mentioned, is this: Bobby Lawrence is the new chairman at KTRS-AM in St. Louis. KTRS just signed a broadcast deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, who will buy a 50 percent interest in the station. Lawrence brokered the deal between the station's owners and Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt, a Cincinnatian with long ties to Lawrence, who is also taking an equity stake in the station. Gosh. So who else has a piece of The Big 550 that we don't know about? First it was Lee Publishing, now Lawrence...Bueller? Bueller?
08-22-05 This horse has been dead so long ... even the French wouldn't eat it. I don't know what it is about people who keep cats, but they don't seem to be able to let go when the lettin's good. STLToday's Pat Gauen writes more on the lack of signal that Cardinal fans will allegedly face next season.
08-21-05 Brian Maloney's Radio Equalizer ... has the most frightening radio story of the month online now at his site.
08-20-05 Message Board Useage ... In the first ten days this new MB was online, we exceeded 50,000 page views and have registered nearly 400 users, with both numbers growing every day. The useage is right online with that of the previous Board, which averaged about 150,000 page views a month, but with about twice as many registered users and who-knew-how-many unregistered lurkers. Thanks for making the STLMedia Message Board the most used media information and opinion-sharing facility online in the market.
08-17-05 Isn't this interesting ... STLMedia has received a tip that a radio station manager here has been skimming big gobs of cash from events at Spruill's, the Ambassador and other clubs, using business associates as bank tellers. We hear that the IRS has expressed interest in "unreported income"...and that there may be a RICO prosecution in the wind.
UPDATE: 08-19-05 More folks are coming out of the woodwork with horror stories and details of financial irresponsibility at a non-profit, shakedowns of an annual charity event and venue, money laundering through a relative's company and flat-out theft. This is beginning to look like the Air America scandal unearthed by Brian Maloney and Michelle Malkin. I just hope this local scandal isn't ignored by commercial media too. Stay tuned.
08-18-05 Thanks to board users/supporters like this ... STLMedia can continue online. Your occasional financial assistance will keep the site, including the MB, demos for unemployed STL air talents, the 630KXOK website and various tutorials and archives alive and healthy. This all chews up an enormous amount of bandwidth and that's really what costs. You can help; contact me to find out how. I hate to sound like Channel 9 but every little bit you send helps. I've poured a lot of time, energy and money into this thing and all I ask is that you occasionally chip in. Thanks in advance. And, no, we don't have any tote bags...
08-17-05 Secret Squirrel spins on ... Salem Communications: Salem has been kicking around town, looking to enter the market in a big way. They are in the market for at least two AM
stations in the market, and perhaps an FM, as well. Apparently, one of the stations that they have set their sights upon is WGNU, which has been largely in turmoil since the death of its infamous owner Chuck Norman.
|08-17-05 My first radio gig out of the Army ... was at WMID Atlantic City/NJ in 1971, and one of my co-workers was Mike Kelly (that's his photo at left). He was a truly great DJ in the Drake style; Kelly's aircheck wound up at CKLW Windsor/Detroit and so did he, at the legendary Big 8. Back then it was one of the best gigs in Top40 radio. And, damn, the Kelly kid sounded great on the station that rang the bells all over North America. Mike would occasionally call me with a playlist tip from CK's legendary MD, Rosalie Trombley. He passed away at 53 recently in LA after several years of not being able to make an industry connection. |
08-17-05 You may remember that we told you about ... the potential replacement for the morning show at KATZ-FM: the syndicated Star & Buc Wild. Here's a story on the show from NBC12 in Richmond VA: The NAACP is planning a protest of a local radio show, calling the show offensive. The 106.5 radio station’s new syndicated morning show, “Star and Buc Wild” caused several NBC12 viewers to call and complain about the show’s content. Now Virginia’s NAACP is launching a protest against the radio station’s management, Clear Channel Broadcasting, Inc. The “Star and Buc Wild Show” is taped in New York. Virginia’s NAACP and several other groups plan to hold a press conference on the issue later today.
08-16-05 Two-part Message Board Poll ... Now that the dust has settled, let's see how registered Message Board users feel about this: KATZ-FM fired the two DJ's who made what seemed to be inflammatory statements regarding citizen-police interraction. Was the station, owned by Clear Channel, doing the right thing when they fired them? and this: If you voted NO in the first poll, please continue by voting here. Please note that you may only vote once.
08-16-05 What's wrong with the MSM? From Townhall: Mark Yost, an editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, wrote a column questioning the quality of mainstream media reporting on the War in Iraq. Yost, a Navy veteran himself, was getting a jarringly different picture of the war from friends returning from combat than he was seeing in the pages of his own paper. You really need to read this article.
08-15-05 Over the next week or so ... I'll be putting together a slick new feature here: a series of pages with constantly and automatically updating news service, blog and podcast links in a wide variety of categories. The information provided is primarily intended for show prep but will be equally useful for anyone who wants easy right-now access to everything that's going on. The service will initially be open to all but will eventually become a password-protected area available only by (free) subscription.
08-15-05 Great piece on the Cards-to-KTRS deal ... by Christopher Tritto of the St. Louis Business Journal and republished at MSNBC.com.
08-14-05 It's a bit after the fact ... but we've finally gotten the transcript of the "event" on KATZ-FM on July 13th that precipitated the firing of DJ's Kaos and SyllliAsz.
08-14-05 Effective immediately ... all users of the STLMedia Message Board, whether posting, replying or just reading, will be required to be registered users (registration is painless and free). The primary reason I've done this is because of certain bandwidth limitations inherent in the ProBoard system. Registration benefits include immediate notification of breaking news within the STL Media community via the embedded Personal Messaging utility or by e-mail. Sorry for any inconvenience.
08-13-05 Jay Philpott's Arbitron market report ... Inside Radio is reporting Arbitron's new market rankings, effective with the Fall 2005 book: St. Louis is now #20 - Tampa slipped by with 900 more people to become #19; Atlanta bumps Boston out of the Top 10 and Las Vegas zooms from #38 to #32.
08-13-05 Claibs, Claibs, Claibs ... First, what are these "puppy" names all about? God, I hate it when sports guys add a "y" or truncate their name. It's SO "where did you go to high school". KFNS' Mike Claiborne stood tall last week, like a real man (with a puppy name), and took on nearly-ninety-year old HOF baseball and WW2 vet Bob Feller. Feller is known for having opinions and Claiborne clearly set the trap, finally calling Feller a racist. Shabby work, "Claibs", and you should be ashamed. Sit! Stay! But at least it got your attention-starved overblown ego a story in USA Today.
08-13-05 Secret Squirrel spins on ... KSLZ's PD Tommy Austin, now also PD of KLOU. The reason why there is no officially named PD at 103.3 is because even the Rams see that the Oldies format is on its last legs. In order for 103.3 to remain the Rams flagship, a change could take place, in the form of rock, or talk.
08-13-05 Secret Squirrel spins on ... The new man about town, none other than Robert "Bobby" Lawrence. (FYI: He received $28million when Jacor was bought by Clear Channel.) Question: As chairman, what role will he have over the Dorseys? Question:
Was it really $2.0 million to garner 50% of KTRS? Question: Who will run KTRS?
Apparently KMOX sales members are scrambling as no one at upper
management had a solid contigency plan (translation: arrogance). The watch
08-13-05 In between Message Boards ... I moved Sid Dither's pungent commentaries to a blog format. Sid's blog has been done away with and the thirteen pieces he wrote there have been moved to the new MB. He's also published a few new "works of Sid". Take a look and catch up with some you may have missed. Read here.
08-12-05 Message Board contributors have ... been writing about the previous partial ownership by Pulitzer of the Cardinals. Lee's website seems to indicate that that share of the team passed to them when the purchased the paper. This raises some interesting questions, not the least of which is whether or not this means that the Post-Dispatch
now has will have a teeny, tiny share of KTRS. This might be an FCC issue that could only be resolved by Lee divesting themselves of any ownership stake in the Birds.
UPDATE: The cross-ownership rules were changed in June 2003. I musta missed the memo! But apparently it's not just me...a communications attorney consulted this evening said that nobody really understands the status of the cross-ownership situation. Good to know our valiant FCC is on top of the situation.
As a friend wrote: So you have to ask how many of our "radio sports experts" would have the balls to slam the team on a station the team is running. Better yet, how much slamming is the team willing to take on "its station" before pulling someone's plug?
With newspaper writers and reporters working not only for the P-D, but, to a lesser extent, the P-D's "subsidiary" through its stock in the ball club, and KTRS reporters and analysts responsible up the corporate ladder to the station, the ball club and the P-D...and then there's the whole issue of P-D folk who are on KMOX...
Talk about a quagmire!
08-11-05 The newspaper rode the signal ... and has come to the conclusion that the KTRS signal is more than adequate to broadcast Cardinal games. Now, see the above story.
08-10-05 The new board is up and running ... and the forums have been fleshed out. No major problems noted so far. In the first full day of operation, we've registered 60 users. And my sincerest thanks are in order for the few "donations" that have come in already. Everything helps, folks. If you're still interested in helping to support, email me.
08-09-05 New message board ... Yup, we've got us a new one. Click on Message Board above to play with the prototype. The STLMediaBlog will continue, for now. The new MB is enormously feature rich and allows for all sorts of cool stuff...private messaging, avatars, personal info, redirects, all the good stuff.
08-09-05 I've deleted all of the old MB from ... the STLMedia server. The files for the last couple years were unreadable and unuseable and that's sad...there was a lot of wisdom there. I have only thanks and praise for the guy who helped me make it happen in the first place. But when it went bad and neither of us could bring it back to life, well, it's time to C/A/D and move on. Please give the new MB a whirl. Yes, you have to register and, yes, you have to use a working email address if you want to do so. But the net benefit is well worth it.
08-09-05 Tom Calhoun ... blogs on the Cards-to-KTRS deal.
08-09-05 Emmis agrees to pay $300,000 ... to settle the investigation over Hot 97's "Smackfest." Eliot Spitzer got involved in this - and that leads to a $240,000 payment to the state of New York, and another $60,000 check to community service group Safe Horizon. Read & Comment here
08-08-05 Air America misses making payroll ... and it's not the first time, either. Brian Maloney's excellent resource, Radio Equalizer, has the story. Looks like the LibNet might be on the way out, and very soon.
08-07-05 Jennings is gone ... ABC News Anchor Peter Jennings passed away Sunday evening and the Net and the Blogs are buzzing with the news. I was never a fan of Jennings, whom I considered effete, elitist and a Lefty. But Jennings was well-spoken and, although born a Canadian, he had the good grace to become an American citizen. He never finished High School or ever attended college but managed nonetheless to make it to the top of his profession. Jennings announced his illness in April and had not been seen on camera since. To ABC's credit, they kept his name on the video masthead to his final day.
08-06-05 This may be a new world's record ... Six, count 'em, six stories in the current issue of STLToday.com that prove beyond all reasonable doubt that anal retentiveness is apparently caused by the smell of printer's ink.
Bill Smith generates a boo-hoo'er about the long, hard fall of KMOX. Get your tissues handy! Jeffrey Tomich and Tim McLaughlin write a story that's headlined Internet broadcasts, satellite radio outstrip local radio and TV but reports just the opposite. Bernie Miklasz hedges his part-time KMOX bets by saying it's all about the fans. Bill McClellan likens the deal to the decline of authenticity at Strassenfest and the sale of the newspaper for which he writes! Dan Caesar actually writes one story that seems pretty fairhanded...until the snarkiness starts about a third of the way through. And in his second turn at bat,
Caesar digs deeply enough to find the last man standing in the "Please get in line here to bitch" queue. So exactly how many Post-Dispatch writers does it take to change a lightbulb? So far, six. One to change the bulb and five to...
08-01-05 Old dog Paul Arca ... spent a few days resting and testing at MO Baptist Hospital, after experiencing headaches and chest pains. I spoke with him last Monday afternoon, he sounded great and was in good spirits, expecting to be back to the salt mines by the end of the week.
UPDATE: 08-06-05 True to his word, Paul was back at work last Thursday. The problem was essentially stress-related and with a little rest he's better than ever and rarin' to go!
08-06-05 I'll wait until the license transfer is posted at fcc.gov ... to make a final determination on this (and you'll have a link to examine the deal for yourself, of course) but I keep hearing a confusing bit of news about the Cards-to-KTRS deal. The team, as we all know, invested itself 50% in the station. Their investment, according to every source I've heard from, was $2million. This just cannot be correct. No radio station in a Top 20 market, especially a station with the signal that KTRS has, and with the future profit potential the station now has, sells 50% of itself for $2million. Interestingly, that's the exact figure that a principal investor needs to clear accounts. There's either something very, very strange with this deal or this number is way off the mark. I'll keep you posted as we follow the money.
08-06-05 KDNL needs salespeople ... and Mars Needs Women, but that's something else entirely. The only time I watch Sinclair's STL ABC affiliate is to see whether or not they're running a Simpson's episode I've missed. And during that 6-7PM block I've seen a lot of ads for themselves, looking to hire salespeople. Using your own air to recruit is a great idea, of course. My question is this: would a TV station really want to hire someone glued to the Simpson's for an hour a day? And by the way, their website is pretty bad, or I would have linked to it. If you're interested in that sales gig, keep in mind that Sinclair is the Employer of Choice in the broadcast industry. But don't go to their site looking for a phone number. Not a local number anywhere to be found. Guess you'll just have to watch the Simpson's.
08-05-05 New to KATZ-FM? AllAccess is reporting that the new morning show at Clear Chanel Urban KATZ/STL may turn out to be the syndicated Star & Buc Wild. They would assume the morning duties formerly held by the two DJ's who were recently fired over comments made on-air about how to fight police officers.
08-05-05 Unger makes a U-turn ... KTRS Ops Manager Craig Unger, who had been set to take a similar position at Infinity's WXYT/Detroit, will stay at KTRS. Station insiders tell STLMedia that GM Tim Dorsey sweetened Unger's deal sufficiently to get him to stay.
08-04-05 Of all the Cards-to-KTRS stuff that went down today ...
I find one thing most curious, and that's the appointment of Robert Lawrence (referred to in the press conference by his "puppy name", Bobby) as Chairman.
Trust me on this: to most KTRS employees, he will be Mr. Lawrence, not Bobby.
KTRS Board of Directors President and GM Tim Dorsey referred to Lawrence, along with the Board, as his "boss", adding another layer of management.
Why would this move be necessary? Lawrence, wealthy beyond belief from cashing out as President and COO of the Randy Michael's-inspired JACOR-to-Clear Channel evil megacorp merger, doesn't need a job.
He is a buddy, though, of Cards' ownership and he does have some spare time.
So why has "Bobby" Lawrence been brought into the game here? My conjecture is that he's to be a watchdog over current station management. And if current station management makes one misstep...
Do JACOR rules still apply? One can only hope so.
08-04-05 Highlights from the Cards-to-KTRS press conference ...
-- The Cardinals will own 50% of the station, current investors see their shares halved; deal is for eight years.
-- Robert L. Lawrence (formerly President and COO of JACOR, the predatory company that morphed into Clear Channel) joins the new company as KTRS Chairman; KTRS will move to Ballpark Village, leaving WestPort Plaza, probably for the 2007 season.
-- New XM deal allows Cards fans discounts on satellite subscriptions.
-- New local affiliate announced: 106.1 WSMI-FM Litchfield, IL; other (unannounced) stations reportedly will be 98.5 KTJJ in Farmington, 102.1 KJFM Louisiana, MO, and 100.7 KFNS-FM in Troy, MO.)
-- Equity investment in KTRS was a move to build value of franchise; ticket prices will go up.
-- Dorsey says contractual precedence on the air is: Blues, Cardinals, and Rams (also on KLOU); Cards' conflict with Blues would result in Blues being heard elsewhere.
-- Discussing all the new media access to game broadcasts, Lamping said "The flagship station is today not as important as it was when I was growing up." Quite a recommendation for KTRS!
08-04-05 I don't usually go digging deep through ... station websites, unless there's a good reason. But I thought it'd be interesting to see what KMOX has reported on the Cards-to-KTRS story. I discovered that even the big kids can yell for help from Mommy and make sure that "mean widdle Timmy" is represented, well, just a hair away from the actual fact...
08-04-05 A tale of two polls ... Two big media stories hit this week, the Cards moving to KTRS and the KATZ Morning Show disgrace. Each touched nerves within and without the media community and the Post-Dispatch felt compelled to do online polls at STLToday.com. Here are screenshots of the results of those polls as of 3PM, Thursday, August 4, 2005...
08-04-05 Secret Squirrel spins on ... Entercom and Infinity: Was that Entercom CEO David Field seen entering One Memorial yesterday? Has an Entercom purchase of Infinity's St. Louis properties been sealed by the loss of the Cardinals? Is Entercom kicking the tires at the Mighty MOX? Who might have the hots for KYKY and/or KEZK?
08-04-05 Howard Stern moves his TV show ... from E! to the pay-per-view In Demand Networks, where there will no longer be video censorship. Oh boy! Boobies! Real boobies on your TV! Good grief...Stern is 51 years old this year. Isn't it about time he grew up?
08-04-05 Secret Squirrel spins on ... ???. "A cold spring book and "Hot" summer days will dry up a local river. The new PD may come from upstream with a raft of rhythmic records."
Told Ya So: Cards To KTRS!
08-03-05 After months of speculation ... STL TV stations are leading their late news tonight with the story we broke first. Expect an official announcement as early as Thursday, but first reports indicate that the deal is for eight years and includes the team assuming a 50% or greater interest in the station. We'll have license updates for you once they're filed. By and large, the folks at the STL Sports Lounge are not happy, a sentiment echoed at Bernie's Pressbox at STLToday.com.
Read it at KSDK.
DJ's KAOS & SYLLLIASZ are toast!
08-03-05 Two down, three to go ... Scott Sherman, an attorney for DJ Kaos, said his client intends to fight the dismissal. Sherman said the incident "was blown out of proportion" and called the firing "unfair." Clear Channel Market Manager Lee Clear, and KATZ OM Chuck Atkins and PD Dwight Stone should be fired next. From Clear Channel today: The on-air personalities of the Kaos Morning Show are no longer with the station. KATZ-FM does not advocate violence of any kind. We at KATZ-FM have the utmost respect for the men and women in law enforcement who risk their lives everyday to serve our community.
Screenshot of the website / Archives.
08-01-05 Blog contributor Merle tips us ... to the reappearance, after way too long, of Davie Lee on Bonneville's Country Legends 1430, WIL-AM. Davie, a STL Radio Hall of Fame member, is doing mornings. To our knowledge, Davie Lee, Bob Hamilton and Ron Elz are the ONLY STLRHOF'ers currently on the air locally and regularly. Paul Harvey is also heard here via syndication. Listen and learn, radio pups.
08-01-05 Secret Squirrel spins on ... KPLR-TV. "Five people
have turned in their resignation within 10 weeks with more to come shortly. At least two of those that resigned have left without any jobs lined up to go to. If this doesn't speak volumes, I don't know what does....but is management listening?"
UPDATE 08-03-05:"Resignation count now stands at six."
UPDATE 08-04-05: "On Monday approximately 20 employees
walked an informational picket-line in front of the station. Non-union
workers scurried past in their cars with smirks on their faces as they
headed to lunch. Other members of management were seen taking down
names of those walking. Getting ugly."
08-01-05 Ray Hartmann finally gets a job ... Hartmann, who at one time was the owner and publisher of the Riverfront Times, has been elected board president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri.
Read it here
08-01-05 Here's how you don't announce ... the passing of a friend and colleague: "He was found last evening in the Men's Room." This is an excerpt from Lee Clear's memo on the passing of our friend JC Hall. Clear's final official memo included misspellings and grammatical errors. Apparently sensitivity is not something taught by CC. Dump Clear!
07-31-05 Secret Squirrel spins ... on The River: "With a record low amount raised in the river of tears begathon and ratings going through the floor, expect major personnel and
sound changes at the River in August. Bonneville blew up the wrong station, and now they're going to try and make it right." Comment here
07-31-05 Sam Prainito does it again ... THE PRICE IS RIGHT, hosted by Sam Prainito: Sunday, August 7, 6PM at Brewskeez Sports Club, 1792 New Florissant. Admission, $5, proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society. Contestants will be drawn from the audience. The show runs 6-10PM, the Brewskeez kitchen will be open for dinner.
07-30-05 Now it's getting silly ... Dan Caesar, who clearly dislikes everything about KTRS, has written a series of mind-numbing columns in the Post, telling us... Read more here / Comment here
07-28-05 Randy Wachter's KNSX ... chews a marked-down $18k FCC fine. The Steelville MO rimshot had a number of problems; the final resolution was less than the original accusations. (Hat tip: SuperMax)
07-28-05 R.I.P. J.C. Hall ... Longtime STL engineer J.C. Hall, working currently as CE for Clear Channel, died from an apparent heart attack last night while at work. I knew Hall when I was associated with KTRS; he was one of the few engineers competent in all of the engineering disciplines, including IT. I particularly remember JC's on-air work with Bruce Bradley on WIBV. He was a great guy who was always willing to share his skills and knowledge.
UPDATE: Visitation on Friday, July 29th, 4pm-8pm at Renner Funeral Home, 120 North Illinois St., Belleville IL; Funeral at 11:00am Saturday, July 30th, at Renner Funeral Home, burial follows at Walnut Hill Cemetery, Belleville IL
Write your memories of JC here
07-28-05 Infinity has stated that they're looking to divest their smallest markets ... could STL be on the list? If the Mighty MOX does lose the Cardinals, would that be the final blow? Secret Squirrel spins thusly this eve: Look for Bonneville to pick up the MOX and maybe one of the two FM's, and spinning the other and WVRV to Radio One. Nah. Doesn't sound credible. Too much cash involved. Plus what would Mary Catherine Sneed do with two more FM's? R1 is an urban group and there's plenty enough of those formats in place. But a local sale could be up for Infinity; if so, look for Entercom or Cumulus to enter the market. Comment here
07-28-05 Is dismissal near for Kaos and Syllli Asz? An article posted late Wednesday evening at STLToday.com, written by Emily Dulcan, intimates that an announcement is imminent.
Read here / Comment here
07-27-05 Lee Clear needs to be fired ... Lee Armstrong Clear has shown his disinclination over the past few weeks to be responsive to the needs of the communities which his radio stations serve. He does not answer nor does he return phone calls concerning the furor he has allowed to continue.
Read here / Comment here
07-27-05 The National FOP writes to Clear Channel ... President Chuck Canterbury writes: I anticipate an argument of First Amendment rights and I agree that these gentlemen have the right to their own opinions but if this reflects the corporate opinion from Clear Channel Communications then I feel that law enforcement officers and their families and supporters should be made aware of this. They have the right to decide if they should sell their stock, drop your cable service, and stop listening to your stations.
Read here / Comment here
07-27-05 Air America might have a little problem ... Brian Maloney's Radio Equalizer did the first digging and Michelle Malkin has carried it on. Comment here
07-25-05 The Spring Book published today ... and an anonymous market veteran provides some interesting thoughts. Read it here / Comment here
07-25-05 Sid Dithers ... waxes not eloquently so much as incredulously on the MTV phenom Andy Milonakis. (Caution: adult language ahead!)
07-24-05 STL FOP calls for a Clear Channel boycott ... The St. Louis Fraternal Order of Police (5000 members strong) has stepped up to the plate and sent strongly worded letters to both Lee Armstrong Clear, demanding immediate termination of Kaos and Syllli Asz, and to St. Louis Police Chief Mokwa, asking that neither DJ be allowed a ride-along unless "they are a victim, witness or suspect in a crime". Read here / Comment here
07-24-05 The KXOK tribute website has been moved ... read the words and listen to the airchecks at 630kxok.stlmedia.net.
07-23-05 Jay Philpott ... has launched a freelance voiceover and narration business; his website, with demos and other pertinent stuff, is here.
07-23-05 The worm turns ... Well, now. Dan Caesar, who has been slamming KTRS and that station's likelihood of getting the rights to Cardinal game broadcasts (as well as a big bag of money from the team) jumps on the 550 Express. Or at least he jumped as soon as two second-generation gentlemen named Hyland and Buck seemed to be feeling that way too. Way to stay ahead of the curve, Dan. Now we just have to wait until Mr. Dorsey returns from this year's abbreviated vacation in the Michigan woods to see what obtains.
07-22-05 Newspaper communists/2 ... Whoops. Once again, I meant to type columnists. Sorry. With Mink, at least I was forewarned. All I know about Sylvester Brown, Jr., is what I've read of his work. And from it, I've learned that he's...
07-22-05 I've maintained for a long time ... that STL sports radio is an obese, overgrown beast, that we could do without 75% of it and the available ad revenue simply will not support it. But I guess many of my comments on this issue are discarded because I'm not a Big Time Sports Fan. Sid Dithers, on the other hand is a Big Time Sports Fan. And, wonder of wonders, he finally agrees with me! (Caution: adult language ahead!)
07-21-05 The St. Louis American ... weighs in on The Beat affair with a well-written and very fair article. The link below will also lead to the American's story.
07-21-05 My favorite place for breakfast ... I'm not often awake when this place is buzzing for breakfast business. But when I am, it's where I go at 7AM... so let's get together then...
07-21-05 Newspaper communists ... Oops... I meant newspaper columnists. Sorry. One of the very first things a DJ should do when they enter a new market at a new station is to find out about who writes what about the broadcast media in the local fishwrap...
UPDATE 07-20-05 Will the last person leaving Metro... please turn out the lights? Secrert Squirrel spins in his cage thusly: Maria Keena is leaving Metro.
Rumor has it She's headed to KTVI and starts Monday. Comment here
07-20-05 The Spring Book publishes... next Monday at 10:30AM. Reserve your space in Demoville now... Comment here
UPDATE 07-20-05 Another one bites the dust... Craig Unger gave notice today at KTRS.
No word on future plans. Word is that young Mr. Unger is off to the Motor City to be a Big Monkey at WXYT, an AM talker there that also airs the NFL Lions and NHL Red Wings (inbetween strikes and lockouts). Comment here
07-19-05 I'm told by some little CCU birdies... that their Great Leaders have sanitized the KATZ-FM skim drive, where programming is recorded, of the offending segment of The Beat's Morning Show from July 13th. Now, if someone were to bring suit against the station for what was said, or if the Police were to charge the DJ's with some criminal action, which their chatter was, then this action, deleting the material, might be considered Obstruction of Justice. People go to jail for destroying evidence, Mr. Clear. Comment here
07-19-05 Randy Raley's Blog... is coming along nicely. It's linked on this page (at left) and you might want to bookmark it for more from this class act Old Dog. Read it here
07-19-05 Secret Squirrel spins wildly on ... many things, in a multi-part report:
-- Jeff Stone, in as GSM at KFNS (left Metro Networks); Tim Meagher leaves WIL (former GSM at KMOX); Laura
Steele leaves on her Maserati from KEZK GSM for Viacom Outdoor (way to retain your seniority). Note to Beth: Is this number 3 GSM in less than 12 months? Note to Joel: Yes to previous question.
-- Heard on the street: KMOX sellers are fit to be tied over GSM Matt Saunders excessive use of company baseball tickets. One staffer lamented that maybe Matt's kids will be in the broadcast booth in 2006 alongside Mike and Wayne.
-- On the Cardinals rights agreement: It's about trust. The team doesn't believe KMOX/Infinity will be truthful about revenue sharing numbers. Both parties better recognize their mutual need and work it out.
-- Follow-up: the June 15 date for KTRS was either a wish date for Tim Dorsey to have the deal done on the start of the 60 day no-negotiation clause with KMOX. Probably the latter...then circle August 15 on your calendar. Comment here
07-18-05 Old friend Jim Althoff... checks in with some good news: Only one radio station in the market received an NAB Marconi award nomination this
year. May be the best station in town, year in, year out. Naturally, it's
Classic99/KFUO-FM. Congrats to the staff there. Haven't heard from Jim or his wife Andee in a dog's age. Good people who got a raw deal at KTRS. But who hasn't? Comment here
07-18-05Word on the street has Dallas Mavericks owner ... Mark Cuban interested in buying the St. Louis Blues. He wouldn't comment, but he's the only one, according to the STL Business Journal.
Hey, if the Cards deal falls through maybe whoever buys the Blues could throw in a tattered AM station for a few bucks more, huh?
Actually, this may be a good deal for The Blues. Cuban has several tons of money and understands promotion (although he's occasionally a little too loud in the stands).
Hockey needs to do a lot to get fans back in the seats. Stadium attendance is low in the Lower 48, where the money is, and radio and tv ratings for hockey suck.
The game needs laser lights and big-breasted cheerleaders in t-shirts on the ice and bloody violence. Until we add knives and handguns to play in the NFL, what Rollerball taught us about sport is the only chance real men have for entertainment. The NHL is rested and ready! Comment here
07-18-05 From clearcareers.com via Secret Squirrel... It appears that Clear Channel has posted a morning show opening at The Bull. Take a look. The position currently held by Old Dog Craig Cornett is now open to anyone with two years experience! Comment here
07-16-05 Mark Lamping may be the smartest businessman ever... In this P-D article (which is actually pretty much recycled stuff) there are two salient points:
Young Dan Caesar REALLY doesn't like KTRS;
Lamping is using this whole so-called negotiating process to get KMOX and Infinity to acquiesce to exactly what the Cardinals want, through the use of the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth of heritage Cards/KMOX fans who see the two as joined at the hip through Eternity.
If KMOX buys into that, they're not nearly as bright as I thought...and not looking to the future the way they should. But...
I'm starting to believe that Lamping is tugging Tiny Tim Dorky's KTRS along as a straw man, planning on using the station only as a last resort if KMOX doesn't come up with the requisite loot. If they do, KTRS goes on the trash heap of discarded partners...and that won't be good news for Dorsey and his investors. They need the cash infusion badly.
Let's get this deal done, guys. Comment here
07-15-05 Closed circuit to George Noory ... Lunch, September, yes.
07-14-05 With your kind cooperation... I think I'm going to stick with The Blog as a conference area for this site, at least for a while. Why? Because it offers response to published articles and open threads as well as other capabilities I haven't investigated yet. We'll learn the possibilities together. Plus I've already paid for it and that's an important consideration since I've learned that not a lot of participants want to contribute funds to the effort. That means that I'll be the Little Red Hen who bakes the bread for this site. As you join and add your comments, please be careful to be polite, accurate and truthful. My editing rules are still in effect. See ya on The Blog!
07-14-05 Traci Wilde out at The Point ... replaced by Point nighttimer Rizzuto. Traci needs to contact me for a free spot in Demoville to help her find the Next Big Gig.
07-13-05 The STLMedia Yahoo!Group has been deleted... all props to Tony Renner, who suggested it in the first place, and my heartfelt thanks to all of you who registered, but it just did not prosper. We'll hold on to the blog until we get a new Message Board in place and continue to post daily open threads there, where you may post any comment on any subject.
07-13-05 More cellphones than landlines? InsideRadio reports: The FCC says there were 181.1 million mobile wireless phone subscriptions at the end of 2004 - compared to 178 million landlines. That adds urgency to Arbitron's mission to include cellphones - and it's a splash of cold water in the face for anybody doing phone-based research. No, Arbitron, don't call me on my wireless number. When it costs me money to participate, I have to draw the line. Comment here
07-13-05 KMOX "pretty much done with us,'' Lamping says... Cardinals President Mark Lamping, unhappy with what KMOX has called its final offer to the team to retain its radio rights beyond this season, said the club no longer is focusing on that bid. Instead, the team is concentrating its efforts on deciding whether buying into KTRS and moving the broadcasts there, as has been discussed for months, is feasible.
And I continue to hear what I wrote previously: the big hangup is the continued employment of the Dorsey brothers.
Plus, we hear that the Cardinals are already contacting affilliates in the
far reaches of the metro area about affiliation next year.
If the club can get the Dorseys to a reasonable employment deal, it's done. But wouldn't it be a hoot if the deal was a goner because two losers whined so much they blew it? How would the rest of the shareholders feel about that development?
How would the fans feel? Read the rest / Comment here
07-13-05 Crane Durham goes live at nights for KFTK ... does that mean he's dead at days? He will be, once Jamie Allman rejoins Smash in the morning August 1. Suggestion to Crane: record your shows and offer them on your website for playback at a more reasonable time, as Podcasts or as otherwise downloadable audio. And quit yelling. Sheesh.
07-12-05 Frank Absher asks ... me to remind everyone with St. Louis Radio Hall of Fame ballots that the deadline for voting is the end of this month. Anything received after July 31 will not be counted.
07-11-05 The listeners hate it... and write to the P-D: The possible move of Cardinals radio broadcasts from KMOX to KTRS next season continues to generate much reader response, especially from those who figure to lose access to free broadcasts of the games because KTRS' nighttime signal lacks the reach of KMOX's...
Read the rest.
07-09-05 Casear writes again ... Read it here.
07-09-05 Elaine Everett update ... Former WIL morning co-host Elaine Everett inks a multi year deal to lead mornings at WTDA, Columbus, Ohio. "Ted-FM" is a Jack style station with plenty of emphisis on personality. Elaine becomes the only solo female morning drive anchor in Columbus. Joining Elaine will be news director Kelly Quinn and sports dude Mark
07-08-05 Secret Squirrel spins on ... KSLZ: Curt Copeland (formerly of KDWB in Minneapolis) will be named shortly as the new afternoon drive jock at Clear Channel's KSLZ. The move reunites Copeland and KSLZ Program Director Tommy Austin, as Copeland was formerly an intern at KDWB while Austin was there. Great. This guy better be good; otherwise, laughs ensue. Austin's already got his wife working here. Nice little family business. Any other buddies/brothers/sisters you need to move along, Tommy?
UPDATE 07-09-05: I stand corrected ... Jay Philpott waxes: I worked with Curt in Minneapolis...he is VERY good. Extremely talented jock and production whiz. While I was at active rock WRQC, Curt was middays at the oldies station KOOL 108 doing middays as Johnny Rocket...and even though in his early 20's at the time, he was very believable, prepared and he pulled it off. At the same time, he was also doing the major vacation fill-in and swing for KDWB all while being the Production Director for Kool!! Later, he took over afternoons at KDWB and sounded even better. I can't wait to hear him on Z.
07-08-05 Looks like another Old Dog may be biting the dust ... we hear that The Bull will be letting Craig Cornett's contract lapse. This does not mean, of course, that Craig will be released from the station...but if he is he's sure a prime candidate for the Creative Services Director position open at KMOX. Just sayin'...
07-07-05 Dan Caesar says it may be over ... in this article in the P-D. But I do take exception to one of his statements: If the Cardinals stay at KMOX ... Broadcasts will remain on a station available not only in the St. Louis market but also across the country on most nights. Nope. All due respect to Paul Grundhauser and his crack staff of engineers but, sorry, kids, it's been a long time since KMOX has been that dominant. That depended on KMOX' frequency to be alone "out there"...and it's not. There's now a whole passel of stations on 1120 (check fcc.gov) and everything from computers to flourescent lighting to LED/LCD traffic lights and steel and concrete interferes with AM skywave. Does KMOX have a kickass signal? You betcha. But it's just not as kickass as it used to be.
07-06-05 A recommendation has driven us to... Yahoo Groups for what will be at least a temporary solution for the MB problem. Give it a whirl! It includes chat and lots of other stuff. Just go there! Hopefully I've set it up properly...many of you have already been invited to join. Comment here
07-05-05 This guy has some brass, um, ones.... He's created what amounts to a consolidated list of worldwide radio and online station streams...and then charges you $40 a year to be able to record them or direct them to your MP3 player. Notice on the first page how he suggests that you'll be able to pick up the stream of an MLB game from a broadcast signal. I guess this guy has never heard of software like this. And I wonder how the folks at Clear Channel, Infinity, Bonneville (I found all of their STL properties that stream available) and on and on like that their programming is being repackaged and resold? Comment here
07-03-05 Dan Caesar writes ... in the P-D about the Cards/KMOX/KTRS deal. My favorite quote: Says one KTRS source: "We're as much KMOX as KMOX is itself," because the bulk of KTRS' on-air personnel has worked at KMOX. "We've got more experience working at KMOX than their staff does." No offense to these KTRS folks, many of whom I've worked with, but if that were the case, the ratings numbers (latest trend shows KMOX at #1 12+ and KTRS tied for 14th) would be a bit closer. It goes to show that KMOX is considerably more than the sum of its parts. And Dan, anytime you want a little insight into the Cards deal, feel free to contact me. Comment here
07-02-05 Why waste a good idea? A regular visitor to the Windy City tells us that former KMOX GM Tom Langmyer is now using "The Voice Of Chicago" to refer to his new station, WGN-AM. I'm pretty sure that the sobriquet "The Voice of St. Louis" dates back to the Hyland days at KMOX, but if you're gonna lift an idea, at least lift a good one, huh?
UPDATE: STLRadio historian Frank Absher corrects us: the slogan goes back to the original licensees who wanted the calls KVSL but had to settle for KMOX. Good thing, too. "The Mighty Vissle" just doesn't have the same ring... Comment here
07-02-05 Back in the middle of May ... I was invited to join Frank Absher and Dick Ulett on a John Carney Radio Roundtable on KMOX. Here are the photos, finally developed from a throwaway camera from Walgreens. Comment here
07-02-05 Forgot to mention this ... a couple days back I came across an LA CraigsList casting call for a new kid for the Quizno's commercial. Seems the baby is growing too rapidly. Within it, it was disclosed that the current "Bob"...is a GIRL! Comment here
07-02-05 As a public service to journalists ... STLMedia offers this link to the Department of Justice's PDF translation of the al-Qaida training manual, in which captured
terrorists murderers insurgents are required to make outrageous claims of abuse (scroll down to p.16). Maybe this can bring to an end the deliberate politically motivated unfortunate errors on the part of some writers and reporters regarding the subject of prisoner abuse. Comment here
07-01-05 I don't do radio much anymore ... but, boy howdy, when KTRS' Frank O. Pinion asked me to sit in today, I jumped. I had intended to just drop off a CD of this tune from 97-year old Hawaiian uke player Bill Tapia, but wound up playing with TLMSITA for an hour or so...and even got to break some "super-secret news" accidentally (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Always fun to be on the show. Comment here
07-01-05 Cards 550 ... is, by all accounts, just around the corner, with the announcement to be made just as soon as the lawyers sign off on the deal, maybe to coincide with the All-Star game on July 12th. An LMA is set to go into effect with the announcement and Dorsey Bros. participation is unconfirmed but expected for a short period. Insiders from both participants say they'd "be amazed" if this didn't come off. Don't expect a station move to the new ballpark before the 2007 season, at which point all station employees become eligible for a further 1% earnings tax. Ain't it great to work in the City? Comment here
07-01-05 Just One Top left ... I can think of fewer than a half-dozen groups that stoked my teenage fires the way the Four Tops did. "Larry, Levi, Duke and Renaldo," Hy Lit called them when he played their songs on WIBG. Sadly, the years took their toll and the group had fewer and fewer hits, eventually leaving Motown but continuing their concert rounds. I saw them at The Latin Casino in Cherry Hill NJ and it was a couple of the most magical hours ever in my life. Larry Payton was the first to pass away, Levi Stubbs (also the voice of Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors..."feed me, Seymour!") fell ill and was replaced and today we receive the news that Renaldo Benson is gone, leaving Duke Fakir as the sole surviving original member. Tonight there are Seven Rooms of Gloom in the Anderson manse. Comment here
07-01-05 End of an era ... For many years, Fred Zielonko worked alonsgide Tim Dorsey at KMOX, moving with Tim to the New World when Dorsey led the purchase of WIBV in Belleville and then on to CH Holding's acquisition of KSD-AM, soon to be renamed KTRS. Fred worked tirelessly from the beginning, handling all of the responsibilities of Program Director and Operations Manager and many of the responsibilities that a GM would normally handle. Apparently, Mr. Dorsey was not an ordinary GM, though, because late last year he unceremoniously removed Mr. Zielonko from his position and cut his pay for no other purpose than as a cost-cutting measure. Today was Fred's final day at KTRS. I enjoyed working with Fred while I was associated with KTRS, and I sincerely like the guy, although I always felt that his work load was unconscionably heavy. Fred, you have my word that whatever resources I can muster here are always at your disposal. Just call or email and we'll jump into active mode. Comment here
07-01-05 Country Legends 1430 ... Whoa! WIL-AM 1430 flipped overnight and suddenly everything old is new again. Wasn't this where I came in, in 1985? Don Williams, Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, Freddie Hart, Gary Morris and Hank Sr. all sound great but Ron Elz, who's been shifted to 10AM-3PM, just doesn't sound convinced. American Music is back on the radio, just in time for the 4th. Comment here