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Previously on The Front Page...Oct/Nov/Dec 2006

12-31-06 Happy New Year 2007 ... may your next year be fulfilling, successful, profitable and in every way better than any year ever before. For Mrs. A. and me? It'll be shrimp-and-pasta salad, a couple pan-fried steaks and off to the sleep chamber as early as possible. I can't tell you how much I hated hosting New Years' shows for listeners at bars and restaurants for all the years I was "on the air" (loved the listeners, hated the events)...staying tucked into the womb of our little home when the roads out there are crowded with amateurs is so much better! Comment here.
12-31-06 Best 2006 quotes and stories ... from TVNewser's coverage of cable and broadcast tv. Comment here.
12-31-06 Maybe you can help Sean ... Dear Mr. Anderson, my name's Sean Ross. I'm 15 years old, and I've got austism, so it's hard for me to understand things. My question, Mike, is: was KSD's/KSDK's first TV newscast on 2-8-1947 at 6PM when it signed on? If not, then when was KSD's/KSDK's first TV newscast by using the 2-8-1947 at 6PM example? Thank you! Sean Ross. Answer Sean.
12-31-06 Is there an active AWRT chapter ... in the St. Louis region? If so, please contact me.
12-31-06 MSM refuses to show the complete Sadaam execution video ... but they've shown US troops and contractors being executed by terrorists, shot by snipers and lying gravely injured on the battlefield. Google has the phonecam video; be warned that this is graphic and shows an ugly end to the life of a murderous tyrant. Presumably the entire HD video will eventually wind up online. Comment here.
12-31-06 Occasionally Mrs. A and I go to Reynold's Roadhouse ... in Maryland Heights for breakfast. She has pecan pancakes and I have a meal that, well, requires an additional cholesterol pill. For years, they've played KLOU on their PA; yesterday morning it was EZ. I asked why...and was told it was because of "those damned fish oil commercials they play". CC, pay attention: by running those thoroughly obnoxious program-length ads, you blew off lotsa listeners in a very busy restaurant, and that's just at one listening spot. What's one listener's diary, a listener inside your target, who takes the station from the café into his/her vehicle and then maybe home, worth to you? More than the few hundred bucks you get for the fish oil thing, I bet. Comment here.
12-30-06 One last batch of 2006 Clear Channel/STL firings? Looks that way, and on the last work day of the year, too. Happy freakin' New Year. Secret squirrel says the traffic department got cleared out Friday. Comment here.
12-30-06 Retro rotation ... Back in the BC days (before computers) we used to use pre-printed 5x7" file cards to turn the tunes around and keep track of airplay. They looked like this. Song info was laboriously typed in by the PD or MD, usually using a traded, ancient IBM Selectric, a category-color dot was applied and you were off and running. DJ's, following a color-coded rotation pattern (green, yellow, red, blue, etc.), manually entered the date of play in the appropriate box and never played the song in the same hour two days running or in corresponding drive hours (go to work=come home: 6AM=3PM; 7AM=4PM; 8AM=5PM) on the same day. It was a simple, low-tech and almost foolproof way to play music (mostly from disc or tape cartridges or, if you had money or trade for a player and discs, on CD..."hard drive" was still a porno term back then), and allowed for a lot of personalization of each show. The cards were reviewed occasionally by the station's PD to ensure format compliance, presuming the DJ's honesty in entering playback info. Comment here.
12-28-06 Lotsa requests ... to see me with no hair. Why, well, I don't know. But here ya go. Gotta little stubble on top, may have to lather up (if Mrs. A allows...sfx:whipcrack).

12-28-06 So far HDRadio is hit-or-miss ... at least for me, on the Boston Acoustics set sent to me by Clear Channel to monitor the newest of the New Media. Sometimes the HD-2 channels are there, sometimes they're not. Daytime, nighttime, makes no difference...and it shouldn't, at least for FM-HD. And are there any FM-HD-3 channels? Does this radio get them or are they just not there? AM-HD is only available sunrise-sunset, of course, and what kind of sense does that make? But I'll keep listening and report again...
Mike Bush and Karen Foss hug at the finale of her retirement show December 28, 2006.
12-28-06 Karen Foss' retirement show ... I thought they were kind of tiptoeing through it all for a bit, but then the emotion really started to run. Mike Bush's farewell to his co-anchor was heartfelt and sincere. And his words..."for 27 years Karen was the face of St. Louis TV news"...will come to haunt the station. Yup, she was, and will remain, the newswoman of record for the Gateway City for a long time. It'll be a daunting legacy for the next generations to follow. Comment here.
12-28-06 I don't toss these out often enough ... on the other hand, it's not very often that air talent deserve recognition for seriously excellent work:
     Vic Porcelli has done a truly great job filling in for Dave Glover on 97.1FM. He's had to suffer through the agonies that every transitioning music-to-talk guy has, what with his former listeners trying to bring up the old days, but when he got to issues and current subjects, he did great. Emmis would be well advised to find a permanent place for Vic in their talk lineup. He made his bones quickly in the new arena and he deserves the shot. Yeah, we all miss The Deli, but Vic's got a lot of miles left on him. Comment here.
     Mike Claiborne is the best hire that KTRS has made in the past five years. He's immensely knowledgeable but makes what he knows accessible to sports idiots like me, he's more literate and less arrogant in his delivery than any other radio sports guy in the market and he sounds better on the air now than he has in any other radio incarnation I've heard him. And he plays well with others...in the environment in which he's immersed, I imagine that could be a challenge! Comment here.

12-28-06 97.1's Jamie Allman alerts us ... that his personal website address has changed with some revision to the KFTK site: catch up with Jamie and Smash's antics here.
12-28-06 Secret Squirrel started running early ... Rams Sales Manager Patrick Elsner quit Clear Channel today to assume a marketing director position with Ray Vinson. Could this have something to do with the rumor that the Rams are looking for a new radio flagship? Comment here.
12-28-06 Secret Squirrel spent some time in his lawyer's office ... and says Linda O'Connor, in fresh divorce proceedings with Clayton DIVORCE LAWYER, Justin Cordonnier, was spotted sniffing around Bonneville about a sales position earlier this month. Comment here.
12-28-06 Secret Squirrel spins on ... Onion Horton, who has worked out an arrangement to broker the 7am-10am daypart on AM1490 WESL...he'll do the show by himself and it'll begin January 15. Comment here.
12-28-06 Secret Squirrel watches TV, too ... and says KSDK "Show Me St. Louis" host, Heidi Glaus, is moving to Today in St. Louis as their "Tim Ezell," if you will, providing remote, live-shots for Art and Jennifer. No replacement named yet for Heidi on "Show Me." Comment here.
12-28-06 Secret Squirrel, he been a busy rodent ... The 'higher-ups' at CW-11 News announced Wednesday that Kathryn Jamboretz was being demoted to Weekend Anchor and that Melanie Moon was being promoted to Weekday anchor, to work along side Rick Edlund. Ms. Jamboretz left work upon receiving the news and her return is in question. Comment here.
12-27-06 Mike's Top 7 STLMedia stories of 2006 ... After reviewing the top stories presented here, I've come up with my Top 7 as the most important, IMHO. If you disagree with my choices, go here, choose your own and then comment here.
12-27-06 Top 30 STLMedia stories of 2006 ... I've drilled through the archives and come up with these as the top stories in the market, month by month, plus a few ongoing "Hitbounds". Choose one as the most important and then comment here.
12-27-06 Registration for the STLMedia MB is now closed ... for the time being. Over the last few days we've added dozens of new members. We'll do another "recruitment burst" soon; just keep an eye here to find out when.
12-26-06 DelColliano on CC's additional selloffs ... Clear Channel Liquidation Company: The latest news is that Clear Channel plans on selling an additional 75 grandfathered stations for an approximate $1.1 billion dollar minimum take. That's on top of what they will earn from their already announced strategy of selling 448 stations below the top 100 markets. Clear Channel is doing better getting out of the business than it did by being in it. Comment here.
12-26-06 UPDATE on the head-shaving incident ... When Mrs. A. saw what I had done, she threw a Stinkeye at me so painfully intense that it had married men throughout Lambert dropping to their knees, slapping the back of their neck and asking "What the heck was THAT?" The good news is that my hair will grow back. The bad news is that it will take far longer than I need it to. I am in very deep yogurt on the home front. Comment here.
12-25-06 Bad day for R&B, bad day for radio history ... Soul music pioneer and icon James Brown passed away early Christmas morning. He was 73; his doctor says it was a heart attack brought on by pneumonia. And today we lost Frank Stanton, who, for more than a quarter-century, ran CBS. He died at the age of 98 at his Boston home. Stanton was instrumental in developing the network into a media powerhhouse and developed one of the first effective research systems.
12-25-06 Better late than never seeing it ... Santa Bauer at work.
Darlene Love makes it official: Click on any of these magical links: (2005) (2004) (1995) (60's original) turn it up and revel in true musical genius. It's Christmas, baby...please come home! Back to mono! Q: Who'd win in a fight: God or Phil Spector? A: Trick question...Phil Spector IS God! Now go watch Christmas Vacation and laugh at the vaporized cat. If you don't play this song on your show twice an hour you should be brutally punished.
12-25-06 YOU GUYS ROCK!!! My request to you all for a copy of Singin' In Vietnam Talkin' Blues by Johnny Cash has so far stuffed my mailbox with about a dozen responses! Thanks so much...even after almost forty years the memories of that night still move me deeply.
12-24-06 I shaved my head ... I mean, right down to the scalp, for no particular reason, except that I really needed a haircut. Mrs. A. should know better than to go out of town and leave me to my own devices. Prediction: she will look at me when I pick her up at Lambert tomorrow and either laugh or grimace, and then, on the way home, she will advise me why I should never do such a thing again. Mrs. A will win the discussion. If you don't understand this, you're not married.
12-24-06 Richard Ward Fatherley's presentation ... on Radio's Top 40 Revolution at Kansas State University (37:00 MP3), April 28th, 2006. Spend your holiday learning what is was all about at the beginning. Listen here.
12-24-06 Mrs. A's in Virginia until Christmas Day with her Mom ... so I'm stayin' up late and watchin' crappy cable movies. It's sad to see how bad the Sci-Fi Channel has become; they're running a marathon of their home-brewed flicks, and it's really awful. The least they could do is run the series "V", ya know? Wasn't that all about Mel Karmazin or Tim Dorsey or some guys like that? Reptilian critters who ate human flesh?
12-24-06 In the Spring of 2005 ... I told you that the Card's games would be moving to KTRS for 2006 and everybody told me how wrong I was. Shortly thereafter, I told you that, when it happened, the team would be buying a partial stake in the station, and everybody told me how wrong I was. Now, I've become aware of something even more earthshaking. I won't go too far out on this, but I will say it involves a person of local prominence, that being a baseball fan sometimes skips a generation, and that the ownership of a pro sports team may be involved. You tell me if I was right or wrong a year from today, 'mmmkay? Comment here.
12-24-06 ADG is updating their talent list ... and it might improve your chances of landing a gig in 2007 to be part of their "bullpen". ADG has been around since 1993, they've got a pretty solid list of partners and claim some impressive successes. E-mail your demo and resumé to RobinsonRadio@aol.com.
12-24-06 A-hole of the Year Award ... goes to the 60-something, gray gospel-haired, late-model Cadillac driving, satin-sweatsuit wearing moron and his similarly attired wife I ran into last night who illegally parked backwards across two handicapped slots at the Maryland Heights Schnucks. Captain A-hole exploded obscenely and profanely at me when I mentioned to him that he had blocked access to parking for those who needed close access. And, boy, you should have seen and heard him when I took a cam-photo of his license plate! I bet he was somebody really important...once upon a time. The operative word for such a schmuck is...was. Comment here.
12-23-06 Congrats to JC Corcoran ... and the lovely Clarissa Clark, who became engaged last Monday night at dinner at The Top of the Riverfront at the Millenium Hotel. The wedding date is tentatively planned for late 2007.
12-23-06 A foggy evening on Thursday ... forced the KMOV Traffic chopper to land at the KTVI helipad on Hampton. For no apparent reason, they left it there unguarded and the KTVI folks helped "decorate" the "holiday bird", including several strategically placed MyFoxSTL bumper stickers. More photos here.
12-22-06 From JC ... Next Saturday (the 30th) we're running, in place of our usual Best Of show, every promo for the morning show that ran in '06. As these :45 second things run off in chronological order they present a very fascinating look at the year in review. It's going to take all three hours, 7 to 10 am.
12-22-06 Why the SJR will fail ... This week it was announced that Webster University was, for financial reasons, turning the St. Louis Journalism Review back to its founder, Charles Klotzer. I have a great deal of respect for Charles and wish him well with this. He has a fair amount of donated cash at hand to support the SJR, and he has the backing of former RFT owner Ray Hartmann, publisher of St. Louis Magazine, who can offer printing services at good rates.
     Ray his own bad self has a lot of money and he also has a lot to say about media (you've probably seen him on Donnybrook).
     The news articles published about this change have never once mentioned the SJR's website, which I have been working on monthly for almost six years. The articles have, in fact, essentially denied the existence of the site.
     Granted it's now just primarily an archive, but the SJR has had a website, and for a long time. I have tried time and again over the years to get Editor Ed Bishop and his associates to let me develop a website that includes not only current and past archives but also an area for regularly published new news and reviews.
     My idea was to make the new SJR online a must-see site that would not only archive past articles, but would provide an opportunity for columnists to get timely info online and available to paid subscribers right now. Like a "blog" but without reader comments (comments would always be available to enter at the STLMedia MB). To subscribe would get you to the new issue online on a daily basis.
     Unfortunately, ideological content, disposal of local writers and lack of vision got in their way. Editor Bishop and his minions never responded. They seemed to be more interested in carving a leftist and anti-religionist niche than providing an honest and balanced review of journalistic effort.
     So now that I've got the December2006/January2007 issue online, I give back doing the SJR website. I'm done with it.
     I own the copyrighted design elements of the website and I own the domain name (STLJR.org). I will close down the current site on February 1, 2007. I wish them well and I'm sure that they'll find a new way to go.
     Keep an eye here for a better, more balanced, more current STL Journalism Review in 2007. Comment here.

12-22-06 Alrighty, then ... The problems that I experienced with the Gmail system seem to have been theirs, as they changed some of the functionality of their address books. As a result, I won't be moving the STLMedia Newsletter to a Google Group. That's good news, because, IMHO, the GG's are too messy for common folk like us to handle. I ran a test late last evening and all seems to be well on the Gmail front, so, for now, it'll stay the same. Sorry for any confusion.
12-22-06 So I'm pushing the cart thru Schnucks last night ... and I almost run down STL DJ Emeritus Jonnie King! Spent about a half-hour trading lies, blocking aisles and discovering what JK's been up to since the Smooth Jazz debacle. (HINT: he's got a LOT on his plate!) and I gave him a few more things to mull over. Look for a few announcements from him (and us) during the first quarter of 2007.
12-21-06 Quick updates ... Deanne Lane has been officially named as KSDK's replacement for the immediately-retiring Karen Foss in weekday 5PM and 10PM 'casts; Lane will also have some responsibilities with SD Rene Knott during Cardinal pre- and post-game shows next season (all 20 of them); Kay Quinn has been promoted to Sunday-Thursday 6PM anchor, joining Mike Bush. Jay Randolph will be returning to KSDK next season to do the play-by-play of its new 20-game package of Cardinals telecasts. Webster University turns the STL Journalism Review back over to the paper's original owner, Charles Klotzer. Fox 2's Corinna Sullivan (formerly Corrina Collins) is leaving to become primary anchor at WOFL/Fox35 in Orlando.
12-20-06 STL well represented ... at the the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Awards: The NSSA conducts separate award competitions in each of the 50 states for sportscasters and sportswriters. The finalists for this year's NSSA Missouri Sportscaster of the Year are Frank Cusumano of KSDK-TV and KFNS-AM in St. Louis...Jay Murry of KWRE-AM/KFAV-FM in Warrenton...and John Rooney, play-by-play voice of the St. Louis Cardinals. On the sportswriter side, the Missouri finalists are Vahe Gregorian and Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Bill Battle of the Washington Missourian. Winners will be honored at an awards dinner April 30th, at the NSSA headquarters in Salisbury, North Carolina. Comment here.
12-20-06 From the STLMedia Message Board ... Insiders are buzzing: Steve & DC have been in serious talks with Tim Dorsey about taking over mornings at KTRS, while continuing their lucrative syndication deal. Look for the Dynamic Duo and some prior partners to launch yet another St. Louis morning show within 90 days on The Big 550! You can't possibly pay their PR people enough money to come up with crap like this! They just like to see their names here. Ludicrous is not a strong enough word. Is Dorsey really that stupid? Oh, wait... Comment here.
12-20-06 Thanks to CC/STL President/GM Dennis Lamme ... who has provided me with a Boston Acoustics Recepter HD Radio to test this new service. I'm still not convinced that HD is the wave of the future for TerRad broadcasters, but over the next few months I'll be listening to local digital main and sub-channels and letting you honestly know here what I think of the new content, the coverage and the quality. Comment here.
12-20-06 LA Radio listeners name Noory as #1 ... overnight personality. In a survey at LARadio.com, former local boy George comes in on top in Los Freakin' Angeles! Bet that's a huge audience...Noory, you still owe me a lunch!
12-19-06 I've been warned ... and I accept the challenge: Mike - Make sure when you are wrong about Steve & DC's return this time that you let everybody know you were clueless. You were blindsided by their Bonneville return. You will be blindsided again too. I hate seeing you look foolish another time. What a bitter, old fart, out of the business fella you are! PS. Hang on to your rear when their new syndication deal is announced too. Yup, yup, bitter, old fart, out of the business, whatever you say, okay, if the Teflon Twosome wind up on a mainstream STL station, I was wrong. I bit the bullet on their Bonneville deal, but it lasted less than a year, and if there's a new local deal coming, well, all I can do is shake my head and wonder what the owners were thinking. No comment necessary.

12-19-06 Bad day for cartoonists: Chris Hayward, an Emmy-winning tv writer who helped develop the bumbling animated Canadian Mountie Dudley Do-Right and other characters for the Rocky and Bullwinkle TV show, has died at 81. Hayward contributed satire, wordplay and puns for "Rocky and His Friends," a cartoon that built a large adult following. Joe Barbera, half of the Hanna-Barbera animation team that produced such cartoon characters as Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and the Flintstones, has died at 95. "Their strengths melded perfectly," Leonard Maltin wrote in Of Mice and Magic. Barbera brought the gags and skilled drawing, while Hanna brought warmth and a keen sense of timing. Comment here.
12-19-06 I've been unofficially and unexpectedly brought into the loop ... regarding Karen Foss' "sudden" retirement from KSDK/NBC5. Without betraying confidences, I'll let it rest by saying that Ms. Foss, for many years a well-respected and highly-rated member of the STLMedia community, was absolutely right in her decision and Gannett, the owner of the station, was absolutely wrong in theirs. I wish Karen well in her retirement, but I'm not so sure we've seen the last of her work in St. Louis. Comment here.
12-18-06 MSNBC's Keith Olbermann ... is like the three-year old who shouts out the scatalogical word he learned from his "bad" uncle and then grins when all the grownups laughs at how "cute" he is. Eventually, the little boy is shown the error of his ways. Olbermann, basic cable's version of that three-year old boy, has for months been demonizing those who disagree politically with him in terms just short of the scatalogical. Now, it appears that there was method behind the three-year old's madness. Will it work? Well, a lot of grownups have been amused by his antics. Whether or not they hang around is something else. And asking for a big raise at the beginning of a new budget period often backfires. Comment here.
12-18-06 Arbitrends Phase 2, Fall 2006 ... 12+ numbers are available for your review here; take a moment to look them over and then comment here.
12-18-06 Secret Squirrel spins on ... KTRS' John Hadley: I am not sure what John Hadley (550) said this (Sunday) morning but he ripped into the Blues Alumni Association and when I came back in the room he said he had to apologize and also publicly apologize to Rob Rammage who called in. Comment here.
12-18-06 Secret Squirrel spins on ... KSDK's Karen Foss, who will be announcing her retirement today...to be leaving at end of year. Comment here.
12-17-06 WOW! I can't wait ... From Steve & DC: The guys are so pumped about being back on in St. Louis!! 2007 begins the 17th year for SDC in St.Louis. The latest report is that the contractual fine print is being worked out (as well as contractual commitments with 101.1 The River) and everything is on track for Steve & DC to return to a radio station with full coverage of the St Louis market in the first days of '07!! All BS. Nobody at any station here wants these two. But you gotta love their PR, huh? Comment here.
12-17-06 Well, dang it all ... Mrs. A. has caught my three-day cold. Bless her heart, she's even crankier about it all than I was and that was plenty cranky. We had to bag her company's Christmas party this weekend, she still has a full week of work ahead and then a plane to catch to Virginia for a wedding over the Christmas weekend. I don't fly so I'll stay here at the homestead with the old dogs sending my happiness for the couple by wireless.
12-16-06 A friend of mine ... dropped off a DVD package that includes all charted Top 40 hits 1955-1969, about 7500+ tunes. Imagine that...the entire core of pop music, and stations that play oldies try to get it done with 300 songs. I've been playing the DVD's for hours and screaming "Oh, YEAH!" a LOT! Mrs. A. has banished me to the office while I play. I may eventually wind up working in the garage unless I quit chair dancing (these old feet have failed me now). The tunes on these discs would make such a great weekend show...none of that "expert commentary" syndicated crap, just personal memories, phone calls, occasional requests and playback of the hits-that-have-been-ignored. Why has no oldies station here ever done this? Who do I call? Comment here.
12-15-06 KTRS' Bill Handel explodes ... from LARadio.com: Bill Handel's daughters were in the KYSR/LA studios this morning. Apparently Jamie White needed her producer to do something and the producer was looking for a soft ball that the Handel twins had lost. Jamie asked the girls to leave.
     Minutes later, in a rage Bill Handel stormed into the KYSR studio and live on the air screamed at Jamie White: "Don't you ever talk to my kids that way again, Jamie, I'm going to kick your ass."
     "Bill, I tell them they can't be right there," Jamie yells back.
     (Screaming louder) "You have such goddam losing numbers on this loser show. Don't you talk to my kids that way."
     Someone may have attempted to touch Bill, because he responded, "Don't you touch me!"
     Jamie: "Get out of here."
     Bill: "F**k you. Go f**k yourself."
     Jamie: "You're nuts."
     Drama is still going on at KYSR, KFI and KTLA/Channel 5.

     Apparently, anger management is an ongoing issue even with KTRS syndication providers. Bill Handel provides a Sunday evening legal show to the Big 550 (he's the class act who replaced Dave Strauss). Listen here at the Utah Radio Guide.

12-15-06 Speaking of a handful of websites ... there are only a few of us who have the sack to really cover the media markets we're in. NYC, Philly, LA and a few multi-market message boards cover the biggest markets locally and nationally. And then there's STLMedia, the smallest market so covered. Thanks for your attention over the past six+ years. We'll get backatcha after the first of the year, with updates here and in email as warranted inbetween. Comment here.
12-15-06 There are only a handful ... of websites across the nation that offer a critique of media from an academic perspective: the Online JR from USC Annenberg, the Columbia JR, and the American JR, from Phillip Merrill College of Journalism. The St. Louis JR, published at Webster University, stands alone as the only locally-oriented journalism review in the US. I have developed and maintained the SJR's website and archives for a number of years at almost no cost to them because I believe that the paper provides a valuable service. Now I understand that the SJR is experiencing financial difficulty and may be in peril of future publication. Corporate and personal donors who understand the importance of the SJR to the community and the industry should email me and I will put you in touch with appropriate contacts. Comment here.
12-15-06 So how was your 2006? This was a bizarre year for almost everyone I know; for me, it was The Year of the Lost Four Months, while I went through the weirdness of burned feet, vascular surgery and a long recuperation. Others also had unexpected medical issues, changed careers or marital status, unexpectedly lost family members or long-term jobs, or suddenly found their jobs encompassing the duties formerly held by several others. I don't remember a year so fraught with deep personal change for so many in decades. But, hey...the Cards won the Series! Tell your story here.
12-15-06 Just wonderin' ... Boomers (that's us greybeards and other assorted old folk) have oldies-formatted stations that play stuff from the 50's thru the 70's. BB (before boomers) there were oldies stations for their parents, in the form of "Music Of Your Life" stations. So why are there no oldies stations for 80's or 90's generational segments? I was out of pop music by then, so I don't have but a marginal feel for those two decades of pop music. Was the music so bad that it simply doesn't bear replay? Could it have possibly been worse than the crap that passes for pop in the oughts? Were those two decades so bad socially that those who matured through them just don't want to remember? Comment here.
12-15-06 Debb Peetersenn ... strikes at the English language: SOLID GOLD: Not one, but two, hit movies that St. Louis native Michael Beugg worked on are among the five movies nominated Thursday for the Golden Globe Best Comedy. Beugg was executive producer of "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Thank You For Smoking." His parents are Dick and Ann Bugg (same name, different spelling) of Chesterfield. Right, Debb. Just like "Peetersenn" and "Peterson" are the same name. And now third-graders everywhere are in debt to Li'l Debb. Comment here.
12-15-06 For a guy who never gets a cold ... I spent Tuesday thru Thursday flat on my back with one heck of a whatever-it-was. I have many phone calls and email messages to return, but the good news is that I made it two-thirds of the way through 24's Season 5. Sorry for any interruption in service here.
12-13-06 Word on the street ... is that the Rams are looking for a new home for their radio games. And word from CC/STL insiders is that while KLOU might miss whatever money comes in, they'd certainly be happier not putting any money out. NFL on radio is for people who don't have access to TV; while the games themselves may generate a few points, the additional programming baggage (coach's shows, press conferences, etc.) are cume-killers and add nothing to the oldies format (or, for that matter, any music format). I can think of only one station that might benefit from Rams' football...and CBS has made it clear over the past year or so that they have little or no interest in paying extortionate rights fees for radio sports events. Comment here.
12-12-06 Why KTRS has no national-level talent ... on the air, in sales or in management: would you come to work for a company, move a thousand miles or more, at your expense (or even theirs), to work for a company that has chewed through two complete airstaffs in as many years and who knows how many salespeople? I can think of only a half-dozen of their staff who would rank nationally...and they're all from here! Comment here.
12-12-06 Just in case something happens ... this PDF file -- the Army Training Manual on Survival (FM 21-76) -- tells you everything you need to know to get by in just about any adverse environment. Copy it and make it available as well to your listeners, from your own server, please.
12-12-06 KTRS fires ABL ... what's that all about? Read the weirdness here.
12-11-06 Al Brady Law ... O-U-T as PD at KTRS. And allegedly it had to do with Law's temper: last Thursday, during one of their regular 2-hour post-morning-show meetings, Al is said to have exploded at sports reporter Tim "Monty" Montemayor. I'm told that while anger was not unusual in the meetings, Thursday's outburst was way beyond anything previous; GM Tim Dorsey got involved, saying that was the straw that broke the camels back and dismissed Law. No word yet on a successor. Law began at the station on Halloween 2005 and on December 16 executed the "Christmas massacre", during which nearly all of the station's talk and sports talents were given their walking papers. Through 2006, Al Brady Law subsequently fired all of the air talent brought in as replacements for the original crew. Comment here.
12-11-06 From Jeff Hallazgo ... host of The Big Bang on KDHX: Just wanted to bring your attention to the Reelradio website, where this week’s featured aircheck is of vintage Guy Phillips & Mike Wall from KSLQ in 1980. Hard to believe it’s from 26 years ago. Comment here.
12-11-06 From Richard Ward Fatherley ... (classic KXOK-er) I will be interviewed tomorrow, Monday (12/11/2006) at 6pm (CST) on KKFI-FM (90.1) about "Radio's Revolution". Tune in and call-in: (816) 931-5534. For internet audio streaming access go to KKFI.org
12-10-06 I've added a WiMAX forum ... to the General category of the STLMedia MB. It's a place where you can discuss the coming wide-area network access to broadcast and streaming radio. Comment here.
12-10-06 The Bull's HD-2 channel ... has been on the air and online since 12/07/06. "Old school" classic country works for me. Presumably this is one of the CCU packages (the "cc-common" part of the URL is a dead giveaway). I like the hell out of it, but I won't be buying an HD radio while the format's online. Waitin' for WiMAX, boss. Comment here.
12-10-06 The key to success for HD radio ... is simplicty. Read what Mark Ramsey has to say and then comment here.
12-10-06 I believe I've mentioned this before ... At CES 2007, Cambridge Consultants will launch a platform design which rewrites the economics of the emerging internet radio market. Based on just two ICs, the Iona Wi-Fi portable radio can be built with an electronic bill-of-materials (eBOM) costing less than $15. The retail price will be around $50. Intel also has a pot on the stovetop. WiMAX is the wave we should look to be riding... Comment here.
12-10-06 Registration for the STLMedia MB is now closed ... for the time being. Over the last two days we've added dozens of new members. We'll do another "recruitment burst" soon; just keep an eye here to find out when.
12-09-06 Maybe after the first of the New Year ... when the Dems have taken over the House and the Senate, they'll reinstate a Fairness Doctrine that will allow LibTalk nets and stations to survive. I'd welcome that.
     They'll just have to include in the 2007 FD that a certain percentage of local and national advertisers will, by law, have to spend money there, and that a certain percentage of citizens will have to, by law, listen.
      Because, otherwise, they'll have to rely on left-wing gazillionaires to piddle money down their pants into the LibTalk coffers to keep them on the air (and there seems to be no lack of piddlers).
     AirAmerica's financial troubles are well known and they're losing affiliates right and left; other lib shows are getting shifted to recorded replay rather than live presentation. Why doesn't left-wing radio work, even in markets like Madison, Portland and Boston?
     I don't get it. If the tenor of the nation has turned left, why hasn't the radio listening? Comment here.

12-08-06 Google Radio Ads wrapup ...
     The big national story at the end of this week seems to be that the Google Audio project is underway on a beta release. At first blush, this might seem to be another consolidation evil, but the reality is that this is likely a blessing for stations with unsold inventory and for creative types who want to make extra income. If I owned a station, I'd have been the first in line to sign up for this and other, similar services. I like this idea a lot.
     Seattle Post Intelligencer: For now, at least, Google will lag well behind other radio advertising placement services like Softwave Media Exchange, which says it has enlisted more than 1,500 stations with a combined daily audience of more than 9 million listeners.
     Google's blog: Over the last year, we've been working hard to integrate the dMarc advertising platform into Google AdWords. We're happy to announce that the integration is now complete and we've recently begun a U.S. beta test of Google Audio Ads with a small group of AdWords advertisers.
     Mark Ramsey: -- In many smaller markets, I'm often told that ratings don't count. Relationships do. Small business owners often evaluate their advertising relationships based on how those relationships make them feel. Not on the kinds of metrics that are central to Google's model.
     News.com: The radio ads are running in more than 260 metropolitan markets, covering about 87 percent of the country.
     Hollywood Reporter: "What everybody's expecting is that Google will get involved with a big radio player on a wider scale," Bank said, adding that is talking with a number of major radio operators.
     Radio & Records: In his end of the week note to investors on Friday (Dec. 8), Banc of America Securities media analyst Jonathan Jacoby writes that “CBS might be the most natural fit for a large distribution arrangement with Google or others.” Jacoby figures that as Google or others look to expand into brokering offline media, “it might view CBS as an attractive partner.”
     AllAccess: SWMX COO BILL FIGENSHU told ALL ACCESS, "Until we see the platform it would be hard to comment. It is becoming clear that the differences between GOOGLE and SWMX are vast. Their limited audience and remnant focus make for tough comparisons. Advertisers expect wide distribution across many types of media. Our 10 million radio listener advantage over them gives advertisers the choice they need to plan their radio media. This advantage extends beyond remnant to a full run of leading broadcasters nationwide. We already feature a local cable, political, Spanish, and, soon, full access to local broadcast TV. We are all about advertiser choice and listener/viewer diversity. SWMX is MEDIA. But we love GOOGLE MAPS to plot our 10 million listener advantage over GOOGLE audio!"
     Some links via Steve Mays; STLMedia has a contractual online advertising relationship with Google. Comment here.

12-08-06 The other big national story ... has folks in radio and music running around like the zombies are at the gates:
     The Telecom Act Has Backfired (and the sky is falling)! I even got an email this morning from a guy whom I greatly respect taking me to task for not coming out against all of it. I'm tired of all the crying, frankly.
      Fact is, that consolidator-divestment has begun. With any luck, the stations sold off will wind up in the hands of smaller, more community-responsive groups, maybe even a handful of Mom'n'Pop-type companies.
     I told you years ago that consolidation would fail for two reasons: the finances are faulty and by dusting off the older, more experienced and thus more expensive talent and management, the new owners lost all corporate and industry heritage and culture. It happened but now we have an opportunity to get it right again. Don't blame the FCC or the Repubs or Demos...blame the greedy local owners who saw an opportunity to cash out big when Clear Channel and its ilk came calling.
     And as for this quote, "Commercial radio now offers musicians fewer opportunities to get airtime and offers the public a narrow set of overlapping and homogenized programming formats," well, think about it. If the music industry was producing anything more than the recycled, tinny, soundalike crap it is, then maybe truly talented new artists would have a chance.
     Some links:
     Adweek: A consortium of broadcasters Wednesday sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging the regulatory body to loosen the ownership rules currently under review.
     Nashville City Paper: On the other hand, the potential for the further consolidation of radio stations has many area artists worried that radio will lose any semblance of local flavor if the same company – which already owns multiple stations in a multitude of cities – operates too many stations here.
Comment here.

12-08-06 There goes my weekend ... Season Five of 24 arrived today, Merry-early-Christmas to me, and I'll see ya sometime soon, after Day 5. Comment here.
12-07-06 Who'd have thought ... that Silly String had a combat application: Before entering a building, troops in Iraq squirt the plastic goo, which can shoot strands about 10 to 12 feet, across the room. If it falls to the ground, no trip wires. If it hangs in the air, they know they have a problem. The wires are otherwise nearly invisible. Comment here.
12-07-06 A SatRad news wrapup ...
     Forbes: A merger of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. with larger rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. would "be in the interests of shareholders," Sirius' chief financial officer said Wednesday.
     BridgeRatings: Retail sales continue to pace behind 2005 for satellite radio as this week' retail traffic in satellite radio departments around the country was down slightly from last week's improved activity. Sirius continues its dominance of what retail interest there is though XM has improved its brand scores over the last few weeks primarily due to solid advertising and market support and clever stealth marketing.
     Seattle PI: Earlier this week, Sirius announced that it is lowering its estimate of year-end customer counts to between 5.9 million and 6.1 million, down from an earlier prediction of 6.3 million.
     Chicago Tribune: A salesman since his teens, Mel Karmazin will make his best pitch to a lunch crowd Wednesday in New York, where the Sirius Satellite Radio chief executive is scheduled to talk at the Credit Suisse Media Week Conference. But going into the holiday sales rush, things aren't going quite as well as hoped.
     New York Post: The slice of Sirius Satellite Radio owned by Howard Stern and his agent got $11 million lighter yesterday, as investors sheared nearly 8 percent off the stock on news it had cut customer-growth projections.
Comment here.

12-07-06 I've added a SatRad category ... to the STLMedia Message Board, specifically for discussion of the two existing flavors of the "new" medium.
12-07-06 New member registrations have been re-opened ... for the next 48 hours only at the STLMedia Message Board (all new registrations must be approved by the moderator). Now's a great time to join in the "protected" discussion areas and have your say on what's happening in (and beyond) STLMedia! Click here to get started.
12-06-06 Nothing to do with media ... but it's still funny when a plane fills up with farts.
12-06-06 HD radio ... or not. Click here to see what HD technology owner Ibiquity says is on the air at STL stations (17 stations on 22 HD channels). Bullroar. Bought an HD Radio recently? In fact, found a place to buy one? How impressed are you with all those -2 and -3 channels? Oops! Can't hear anything there? I continue to predict this technology will die faster than Kahn AM stereo..and he had the best idea! Comment here.
12-05-06 Anybody remember the legend of Diogenes? The guy who carried a lantern for years, searching for an honest man? This might be as difficult a task. Edison Research is looking for the "Top 30 Under 30", 30 broadcasters, employed in radio in any capacity, under age 30 with exceptional achievements. Edison VP Tom Webster says, "Radio lore has numerous stories of phenoms who were major-market PDs or managers by their mid-20s in the '70s and early '80s, but who are today's phenoms? Today, it has gotten vastly harder to cite cases of 'young blood' that have advanced within our industry. Radio's managers have story after story about the 15-year-old who would rather work at Pizza Hut because it pays more." Comment here.
12-05-06 Media Monitor's Christmas Top Ten ... read the article here. After, turn this up and revel in true musical genius. Face it: any list of Christmas songs that doesn't include Darlene Love is at best suspect and probably entirely bogus. Comment here.
12-05-06 Radio One's New Guy ... from AllAccess: RADIO ONE has tapped MICHAEL DOUGLAS to be the cluster GM of its ST. LOUIS stations, which include Urban AC WFUN (FOXY 95.5) and Urban WHHL (HOT 104). DOUGLAS was most recently GM of SHERIDAN BROADCASTING’s radio group, based in PITTSBURGH. Prior to that, he spent six years as Pres./CEO of CLARK BROADCASTING, as well as serving as VP/GM or WTOP and WASH in WASHINGTON, DC. He also worked for RKO GENERAL and CAPITOL CITIES COMMUNICATIONS. RADIO ONE regional manager DOUGLAS ABERNETHY said, “MICHAEL has an incredible track record of growing stations and his people. I am very confident that he will continue this tradition at RADIO ONE’s WHHL and WFUN." Comment here.
12-05-06 HD Radio questions ... from today's email: What happened to the HD2 Deep Cuts channel from the Arch? It was excellent, but they aren't doing HD on the station anymore. Also, it's weird to hear the HD2 channel at 101.1 branded as "101.1 The River's New Music Channel". Also, I was told that KSHE would have a KSHE Klassics channel, but that hasn't appeared....nor is there an HD transmission on KIHT (although KFTK and KPNT have them). Anyone got answers and/or an updated list of HD-STL? Comment here.
12-04-06 The first promotion I did at WIL ... was, believe it or not, a celebration of the 1986 30th Anniversary of the release of the US version of the movie Godzilla. The station had a Promotions Director who didn't do much and this was about the best I could come up with on my own. We held a "screening" at the Bubble Cafe (owned by the Miss Hulling's folks) on a weekday afternoon. Of course, nobody showed. The good news is that the original version of my favorite monster movie, in the original Japanese cut (no Raymond Burr), was released last week on DVD. Yes, I have a personal copy. Tasty!
12-03-06 Former KTRSer Keith Kramer ... about whose lack of radio skills I have ranted for the past year has a delightful review of his family's experience with the recent storm on his website. If Keith had only done his show this way (excluding the profanity), he'd still be on the air. And I probably wouldn't have been as critical of his work. This is the tack he should have taken; he missed the local wind. I hope that he does well at his next Great Adventure. No question, he's a natural. This way. Not that way. He's pretty good in video, too. Comment here.
12-02-06 Secret Squirrel yawns ... about once a year, SS reads unmitigated crap like this and goes on to bury his nuts:
     "BREAKING NEWS! -12/01/06-THE BOYS ARE BACK!
     The Steve & DC Show will return to St Louis airwaves in 2007!
     Steve & DC met with St Louis broadcast execs on Wednesday, November 29th, 2006 and began finalizing a deal to return to the St Louis radio market on or about January 1, 2007!
     They are thrilled with the aggressive attitude of the management they will will be working with...they want to form a partnership with Steve & DC in St Louis.
     A formal announcement with all the details is coming VERY soon! We will have more news by the first week of December.
     2007 will be a great year for those faithful to Steve & DC... in the home of the World Champion St Louis Cardinals!!!!"

     Well, hmmm, unh, I'll bet against this. These two white-trash loser-monkeys have their own little syndi-net in mini-markets, make their own kinda money (it helps when one of them is a trust-funded Fortunate Son), but will likely never be heard from again on a real STL player. And if any STL station ever does bring them onboard again, they should be ashamed.
     Steve & DC are not news -- they're radio garbage.
No comments necessary.

12-02-06 Secret Squirrel ... recovering from the 2006 Winter Storm, ponders the following whilst chewing on his nuts: Is a major radio player here pondering a return to an "energetic" Midwest market where he/she spent years, citing professional and personal issues? Will the decision come before Christmas? Comment here.
12-02-06 Yesterday, KMOX' Debbie Monterrey persisted... in telling her listeners that there were 2.4 million area folks without electric. I'm pretty sure that was a bad number. As of 3AM Saturday morning, according to the Ameren website there were 461,142 outages, which I presume to include household and business accounts, representing a chunk of their 2.4million total customers. (FYI: Arbitron says there are 2.3million souls in the MSA and Ameren covers a lot more territory than the Arbitron MSA.) I know the numbers are confusing, but I'm almost positive that Debbie's representation was incorrect. As a utility, Ameren is one of the Great Satans, of course, but they do what they can. I think we would have been seriously aware if everyone in the market had been without electric. Comment here.
12-02-06 Regarding the KFNS help-wanted ad... I received this email Friday: Mike, I received a few emails stating that you had an ad I posted elsewhere on your website. I checked it out and saw the part which says “replacement or addition”. Just to be clear on that front, I am looking to add to our bench not replace anybody currently on the air. If you could make sure that’s understood so there isn’t any confusion I’d appreciate it. Thanks, Jason Barrett. Happy to clarify, Jason. Comment here.
12-01-06 And the winners are (IMHO)... for best coverage, major Winter storm 2006: TV, hands down, KTVI, followed by KSDK and then KMOV. I just felt like they were always there when I needed info. Radio: KMOX, with KTRS a distant second (I thought George Woods did an exceptional job Friday AM). I didn't spend a lot of time with the music stations, because they're not the stations I'd expect to provide me with the in-depth info I wanted, although I presume that many of them went above and beyond in their coverage. Comment here.

Secret Squirrel presents cheesy Winter Storm 2006 photos from the Anderson experience...
12-01-06 2006 Winter Storm progression ...
3AM Thursday morning, nothing going on.
6 hours later, the "uh-oh" begins at 9AM.
12 hours into it, 3PM Thursday afternoon.
18 hours in, 9PM Thursday night.
This could be a major problem, as of 2AM Friday morning. All sleet continues, no snow and these branches are right over the power line to the house.
Believe it or not, we found an all-night tree guy. By 3:30AM, the threatening branches were no longer an issue. Power tools roaring in the middle of the night...$150. Making the neighbors hate us even more...PRICELESS!!!
The snow ended here sometime in the morning of Friday the 1st. Thankfully, we experienced no electrical problems, although those will persist through the STL market for days. Now to find a kid to shovel the walks and the driveway...
11-30-06 Replacement or addition? From AllAccess:
     590 The Fan Seeks On-Air Talent
     Are you the type of talent who can walk into a room and get everyone to take notice? Can you be entertaining, compelling and opinionated on a daily basis, even when the days events don’t leave you with much to work with? Do you live and breathe sports, understand the sports radio format and how to relate to men in the 25-54 demographic and have a proven track record of success? If you are creative, can tell good stories, are well versed in sports and pop culture, you like incorporating sound into your show and understand how it benefits your program plus you possess a strong work ethic and can make an audience react in a positive and negative fashion on a daily basis, then we need to talk.
     590 The Fan, KFNS in St. Louis is a proven winner with a track record of success and we are looking for On-Air talent to bolster our already dynamic lineup. I'm looking for hosts with mid-major market experience who are ready to step in immediately and hit the ground running. If you feel you fit the bill then please send me a few samples of your work so I can evaluate. Please don’t send show clips, edited material or the best interview you’ve ever done. Send me what I am likely to hear today when I put the radio on and you’re sitting in the hosts chair.
     For further consideration please send your resume and on-air work to me via email at JBarrett@kfns.com. No phone calls will be accepted.
Comment here.

11-30-06 Jacober steps down ... A story somewhat overwhelmed by the weather unpleasantness hit today: KMOX Sports Director Ron Jacober, who's been in the STL market covering sports for 37 years and at KMOX for 20 of them, has decided to retire, at least partially. Comment here.
11-30-06 God loves the Blue(tooth)Man ... I always hated those guys who blabbed on their cell phones with that little, almost-invisible earpiece and microphone. One guy I saw some years back sitting in front of the old Wilbur & Gil's at Westport was flapping his lips and waving his hands and I figured he was way overdue for his meds. Now I walk around with a tiny earpiece 24/7 and think it's all normal. I just tap a button and I'm talking on a networked phone tucked into a pocket. Now, what I really need to do is get all the phone stuff physically implanted. Squeeze an earlobe and say hello. Now, THAT would be cool! Comment here.
11-30-06 I spent a couple years ... teaching radio, drama and MassComm stuff at Lewis & Clarke CC in Godfrey IL. I enjoyed the work, but the three-day-a-week drive became too much. One of my favorite students there was Andy (Drew) Kirby, who had enormous drive but needed to develop his skills. Looks like he has. Kirby has recently debuted BigSlickProductions, an imaging and production outfit. Check 'em out.
11-30-06 Secret Squirrel watches TV, too ... Sinclair gets greedy, demands millions for local cable carriage. Can this happen here? Will ABC stand losing market reach? Will Charter just laugh and walk away? This subject was broached here over a year ago and has been in the "bubbling under" category of industry problems ever since. Comment here.

More than Slim Whitman, even!
11-29-06 They sold a third of a billion records ... from Yahoo!: An ABBA museum dedicated to the music, clothing and history of the legendary Swedish pop group will open in Stockholm in 2008. The museum will feature original outfits and instruments used by the group, handwritten song lyrics, and a display of awards. Comment here.

Fox2's weather map, as presented on-air and online Tuesday evening. Critique STLMedia's performance at the link at right.
11-29-06 Looks like we might get some serious weather on Thursday the 30th ... so I've set up this Open Thread for your comments and observations as to how radio and tv stations handle the coming "crisis". My buds at the local Schnucks tell me they're not looking forward to today; buy beer now and go home, that's my suggestion. Presuming the electric stays on, I plan on broiling steaks and watching movies interspersed with wx reports. Comment here.
11-28-06 And now, the word from Randy Raley ... I have accepted a position as the afternoon personality/imaging director/APD of WRQQ in Nashville TN. I will be reunited with one of my favorite people, Al Brock. My first day is today and my first day on the air will be Monday. This is a former oldies station that is making the transformation into an oldies/classic hits format. I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work. Hopefully, Randy will continue the RadioRandy blog and we'll be able to keep track of his success there.
11-28-06 Kevin Slaten blows up real good, again ... by Bill Bryan from today's Post-Dispatch: St. Louis police are investigating a complaint made by a man who said St. Louis radio talk-show host Kevin Slaten assaulted him with a bottle — although witnesses told police it was a purse — Sunday night in the Dubliner, a restaurant and bar at 1025 Washington Avenue. The man, 30, was treated for a corneal abrasion of his left eye at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and police photographed the injury. Sheesh. How can Slaten ever live down the fact that he hit a guy with a purse? Comment here.
11-28-06 The last time I got fired was in 1992 ... and in the weeks after, I received over 300 emails from listeners who also shared my Prodigy network. In '92, that was a pretty incredible number of responses. For the next year or so, I faded into the background noise but began to build an online presence on, first, Prodigy, and then, Compuserve. I never asked "fans" to vote for a new radio home for me or to vote for me for a political office. By 1995 I was building the first generation of websites and making money. I just got on with the business of business and it's led me to where I am today. May I humbly suggest that any recently dismissed air talents do the same? Real estate or auto sales might fit the bill... Comment here.
11-28-06 The award for the first office Christmas card of the year ... goes to STL and KC radio legend Richard Ward Fatherley! Thanks, Richard!
11-28-06 NBC News experiments with ... a dramatically reduced commercial load, at least for a week:
     Stuart Elliott writes in the NYT: A week from tonight, viewers of the “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams” will be able to watch more news — and fewer commercials — as a result of a sponsorship deal with the Philips Electronics North America Corporation.
     The sponsorship is part of a weeklong, $2 million agreement between Philips and the NBC Universal division of General Electric that includes “Today,” two cable shows and a feature on NBC’s digital weather channel. The deal is the latest element in a campaign that seeks to drive home the Philips advertising theme “sense and simplicity.”
     “By taking the interruptions out,” said Eric M. Plaskonos, director for brand communications at Philips, “it’s our demonstration of the gift of simplicity.”
     Philips will be the only national advertiser during the “Nightly News” broadcast, Mr. Plaskonos said, running three commercials that will total one minute and 15 seconds. A typical “Nightly News” carries 14 national commercials totaling seven minutes. NBC News plans to add one or more longer segments to the newscast to take advantage of the reduced commercial load.
     “We’ve had a recent request to do something similar” from a second advertiser, said John R. Kelly, senior vice president for NBC News Networks. “We’re quite interested.”
     The sponsorship is the second for Philips involving a news show. In October 2005, the company sponsored an episode of “60 Minutes” on CBS with fewer commercials than usual. The NBC Universal deal also includes a provision for Donny Deutsch, the host of “The Big Idea” on CNBC, to read a Philips commercial live during his show. It will be the first such delivery of a spot by Mr. Deutsch, who has some familiarity with commercials: he is also the chairman of Deutsch, an advertising agency owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies.

     Huh. Almost four decades ago, Bob Hamilton wondered in his radio trade if one sponsor, say, Coca Cola, might be the sole sponsor for an hour on a music radio station, one spot and then a few live mentions. Everything old is new again. Channeling Harry Chapin and Joni Mitchell...
Comment here.

11-28-06 Graphic artists, pay attention ... I'm in the process of redesigning this site (nothing major, just graphics and a fresher look) for debut shortly after the first of the year. If you've got an idea for a spiffy new banner for the top of the page, I'd be interested in talking with you about it. Pretty much anything goes...new color combos, cartoons, media image montages, logotypes, just no animation. Contact me at your earliest convenience.
11-27-06 My thanks to all of you who ... over the holiday weekend took the time to send me either a link to or a sound file of the 24 phone ring that I wondered about last week.
11-27-06 Mel Karmazin wants to merge Sirius with XM ... Well, of course he does. It will end his competition (there are only two SatRad licenses) and it gives him another toy to break. Karmazin is a wizard at making money but he'd better hope to God that none of the people he's destroyed ever wind up as his boss. A few telling words from the Smart Money article: I tried wearing your portable headset radio during my commute, but I had to point my head out the window to make it work and it hurt my neck. When you go back the other way, turn your head to the other side (laughs). You're dealing with satellite. The service is very good in markets that have lots of [ground-based signal boosters]. I got 100% perfect service driving for one and a half hours today. With time, the products will improve. I repeat Mel's words: The service is very good in markets that have lots of [ground-based signal boosters]. Just in case you missed them. Comment here.
11-26-06 Deb Peterson slams KTRS' Al Lady Bra ... But KTRS was not without a turkey or two of its own. First, there's Al Brady Law. The so-called programming genius stormed into town and cleaned house at KTRS, sending some of St. Louis' favorite household names packing. Gone were Bill Wilkerson, Wendy Wiese, Randy Karraker, McGraw Milhaven and Jim Holder, among others. In less than a year, only one person Law brought in during the shake-up remains. Radio fans around town have taken to comparing the programming at KTRS with the weather ... you know, if you don't like the shows, wait five minutes. Comment here.
11-26-06 Had a great long lunch yesterday ... with Mr. Raley. Swapped war stories, told lies, and Randy filled me in on his new opportunity. Gotta say I envy him the chance to bust open a whole new market. You'll get the details in a few days, but for now, know that he's stepping into a cutting-edge format that might show up everywhere before you know it...and he'll be in the thick of the development. Best of luck, Randy.
Click here to see larger image
Mike does another wedding....
11-25-06 Remember that wedding I performed ... back on 20 October? Here's a photo of the groom taking the bullet (that's "the Rev" - me - in the middle). The pix came in the mail today and Mrs. A. and I are grateful to be included in their memories.

11-24-06 KEZK goes All-Christmas ... and the listeners yawn, although research shows otherwise. There's an annoying sign-in process to be able to listen to their stream online. Isn't this gag getting old? In the day, I'd add one Christmas song per hour in the first week after Thanksgiving and then pepper in a few more each hour depending on how the calendar weeks worked, ending in 4 per hour up until Christmas Eve. All themed music through 12N on Christmas Day while the kids unwrapped their gifts and then back to regular programming. But that was then... Comment here.
11-24-06 You may have noticed ... the Google ads that show up here. Somewhere, something or someone examines the contents of this page and then inserts ads that are relevant - it's called "context sensitive". I have no idea how it's done, probably some sort of witchcraft. But what I've found amusing is one ad that's been running for the past day or so. Yup, it's the holidays, media people are getting "dismissed" to enhance the '07 budget and they'll need movers. Google's way smarter than me.
11-24-06 Gerald Boyd passes ... A St. Louis native, Boyd was most recently the Managing Editor of the New York Times, which he joined in 1983 after serving as the White House correspondent for the STL P-D. He and Executive Editor Howell Raines were forced out of their NYT jobs during the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal. Boyd was 56. Comment here.
11-23-06 Happy Thanksgiving 2006! The plan here is to lay low for a few days, cook and eat big, watch movies and start it all up again online Monday (but I will be checking email regularly). May your weekend be stuffed with holiday goodness!
11-23-06 Looking for a special ringtone ... Specifically, the phone ring from the CTU office phones from "24". If you've got it as an MP3 or WAV, please let me know by email.
11-22-06 Dobbs' surrenders ... took me four visits and several days of them having the truck, plus one phone call this morning, but they came and got the S-10, replaced everything they replaced before, ran it through diagnostics and returned it at 3PM Wednesday. No additional charges, of course. It drives well, at least on the short run I made this evening. But I won't be going back. Why couldn't they have done it right the first time around? Comment here.
11-21-06 Today Dobbs' Auto Center ... makes its bones with me. A week or so ago I spent $1100 and change to replace, essentially, the entire electrical system in my S-10. Last night, no electric at all. None. No lights, no spark, no start. The truck is dead in the driveway. They made one major mistake in the repair job that I let them get away with and it may have been the key element in the system failure. I'll let you know how Dobbs' deals with this. Good luck to them. I know I've always got you to depend on... Comment here.
11-21-06 It's all my fault ... the guy most recently fired by KTRS serial-holiday-dismisser PD Al Lady Bra seems to think that what's been written here about him over the last year led to his firing...read this unbelievable it's all Mike's fault piece, with screen shot backup. Comment here.
11-20-06 Not that there's anything wrong with it ... but did any other committed heterosexuals feel a little uncomfortable watching the current crop of TV spots for Movin' 101? Is it just me or are there a lotta guys in decorated jeans shakin' their junk? Mrs. A. and I just kinda looked at each other in quiet contemplation of the weirdness of it all. Don't tell me that their primary target is Women. I think the LDS stations finally get it. 'Bout damned time, too. Comment here.
11-20-06 Fall Phase 1 ratings are out ... you can see 12+ here and then post your comments here.
11-19-06 I've asked about this before ... but I've never gotten a satisfactory answer: I have a box of old analog and digital cell phones and I know there are places that can use them. Previous responses have almost always included resellers; I'd prefer that these go to non-profit military or abused women's facilities. Any suggestions? Comment here.
11-18-06 What with Clear Channel selling out ... and the inevitable holiday "staff reductions" there's likely to be a few more "inbetween gigs" radio folk on the beach. NASA has the job offer of a lifetime...and, boy, do I have a recommendation (or more) for them!
11-17-06 Raley resigns at The Arch ... Long-time STL vet Randy Raley has accepted a position in another market (can't say which one just yet, until all the "considerations" at the other end are done). Randy's final day at The Arch will be the Friday following Thanksgiving. Believe me, it's Bonneville's loss. Hey...let's all call him on the air that day, ask for impossible requests, make him do his famous "dead-air" thing... Comment here.
Click here to see a larger image11-16-06 How not to produce a station music album ... In late 1981 it occurred to me that our little country station in regional-artist-rich Richmond VA might make a few bucks by producing a record of the best local music. This was non-traditional revenue to be collected before there was non-traditional revenue to collect. I'd been overwhelmed by tapes and records from local artists once the format broke on the station and we even played a few of them ... Read the story.
11-15-06 Riverport Amphitheater UMB Bank Pavilion is now ... Verizon Wireless Amphitheater St. Louis, necessitating the production of tens of thousands of new t-shirts and roadie jackets. This new partnership will bring about definite enhancements to the outdoor concert experience, according to Mark Crumpton, president - Kansas/Missouri Region, Verizon Wireless and Maureen Ford - President, Local Alliances for Live Nation. Comment here.
11-14-06 KLOU news ... PM drive at the market's oldies station is now live-and-no-longer VT'd from 2-6PM. The best part of the news is that STL radio vet Paul Arca is doing it. Seems like CCU Market Manager Dennis Lamme is partial to old dogs. Live radio? Sounds great!
11-14-06 Whoa ... Since Young Keith and I had this exchange my email trashcan has been flooded with more subscription-based spam than ever before. Is there a connection? Probably, yes. To his listeners: KK was fired by his boss because he couldn't deliver an audience. Not my fault. Get a life. End of the song. And, yes, it sucks to be out of work at the end of the year. But it happens. Cute graphic, though.
11-14-06 Secret Squirrel asks ... Is Bonneville is having their EEO hiring practices challenged federally? Dunno why anyone would do that. Here's their online EEO file.
11-14-06 Secret Squirrel spins merrily ... Got a KLOU about who is going to beat KEZK to the Christmas music punch? And what's in store after the football season?
11-13-06 Secret Squirrel sez ... Beth Davis is coming back to St. Louis after less than a year as Director of Sales for Clear Channel in Chicago. She was GM of CBS' KEZK and Y98 before going to Chicago. Nobody is commenting on why she was forced out of her Chicago position, but Clear Channel gave her a place to land. There's more to this story. This move reunites Davis with Roy Anderson and a number of other ex-CBSers who are now with Clear Channel. Anderson was briefly Clear Channel's DOS and was recently pushed back to being the stations' contoller. The open DOS position gave Davis a chance to remain employed by Clear Channel. She must have been under a contract that Clear Channel needed to honor, so she was exiled here. Comment here.
11-13-06 Speaking of CCU ... from MediaBistro: Two consortiums of private equity firms are expected to submit final bids today for Clear Channel Communications, the nation's largest radio company, worth about $18 billion, according to people involved in the auction. Bidders were making last-minute adjustments to their offers last night, these people said, after the deadline was moved from Friday to noon today. Presumably, numbers will be available tomorrow, although the company has been appraised at $16-17billion. Comment here.
11-13-06 Just a reminder ... STL Arbitrends Phase 1, Fall 2006 publish 11/20. We'll have 'em here.
11-12-06 Speaking of The Point ... (as we were below) KTRS' most recent Lost Boy, Keith Kramer, claims somewhat obtusely on his Message Board that Monday he's talking with the Emmis station's PD. If true, this is a good placement for young Keith. But it's all starting to smell like the aftermath of any one of the Steve & DC (remember them?) station dismissals: a flash-bang grenade, with lots of noise, smoke and bright lights, but not much in the way of concussion. Comment here.
11-11-06 FLASH! According to his message board, Keith Kramer is "COMING SOON to an FM dial near you"...it's good to know that he hasn't wasted any time nailing down re-employment.
   But Keith HAS been sending some email he shouldn't have...last evening I sent him a heartfelt message (I've been fired, too, and more than once):
   Keith: My sympathies to you and your family. We've all been there, and I know how crushing this can be emotionally. Best of luck in the future.
   He replied to me twice: Shut your mouth you stupid c**k and Go SCREW yourself. If you wanted a fight, you now have one.
   Yup, if I had me an FM here, I'd hire the guy. Foul-mouthed and violent is just how I'd want my AT's to present themselves. That's a winner! Comment here.

11-10-06 Keith Kramer O-U-T at KTRS ... five weeks shy of his first anniversary (12/24) with the station, along with his producer, Laurie. In all fairness, Kramer was woefully miscast in middays and constant meddling by management with his "style" hurt his chances of success badly. He'll be replaced in the 12N-3PM slot by Mark Christopher, who was dismissed from WLAC/Nashville in September and has spent the past few months trying out at talk stations around the country. KTRS PD Al Brady Law hired Christopher after just one such tryout on The Big 550. The Mark Christopher Show on KTRS begins this coming Monday and will presumably originate in Nashville for the foreseeable future. Comment here.
11-10-06 For those of you who care (Part 2) ... Mrs. A. is in Texas at a professional meeting until Saturday evening; I'm at home watching mostly dvd zombie, grisly monster and sci-fi movies, at audio levels that will make the neighbors sterile. Dolby 5.1 was a very good idea; so was da Bose!
11-10-06 For those of you who care (Part 1) ... the vascular surgeon who restored the blood supply to my legs and feet declared the burns incurred in July and the incisions made to correct healed earlier this week. Now all I have to do is walk, to get the strength back into my legs after having them up and "off the hoof" for the few months I was laid up.
11-10-06 All your ad commissions are belong to us ... Google is launching advertising initiatives that will involve the online purchase and placement of newspaper and radio advertising; they're hiring experienced salespeople at premium salaries by the boatload to make this happen. InsideMusicMedia publisher Jerry DelColliano has this to say about that.
-- I say this, with apologies for altering the words of Martin Niemöller:
First they came for the disk jockeys, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a dj and had never read a liner live on the air.
Then they came for the station managers and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't a manager and didn't know how to guide a staff.
Then they came for the office workers, and I didn’t speak up,
because I didn't know how to schedule spots or answer the phones.
Then they came for the engineers, and I didn’t speak up,
because I didn't even know how to change a battery.
Then they came for the salespeople, and I didn’t speak up,
because there was no one left to sell my gig to Google.
So Clear Channel made me a Market Manager!
Comment here.

Click here to see the website and listen
11-09-06 So what exactly ... is good for listeners when a radio station puts its music list "on shuffle"? A lot of stations say this and I don't know what it means. Does it mean anything at all other than the station is glomming onto a magic word from iPod users? Doesn't it mean that they're playing exactly the same 350-song music list they always play, in the same order, and calling it something that's essentially unsupportable by the facts? If you have some inside info that this is more than just a bulls**it image thing, please comment here.
11-09-06 I upgraded my cell phone ... and for no good reason, I went to a Radio Shack rather than a Cingular store to do it. The RatShack on Dorsett in Maryland Heights was a total loss: they couldn't bring up our account, couldn't determine that I was due a free upgrade, ánd had no knowledge of Cingular's service anyway. A second visit there found a herd of multiply-pierced, surly young men watching TV and hanging on the store phone, happily expressing their ignorance of any Cingular product. Their store on Olive was marginally better initially but on a second visit couldn't set up email or make a Bluetooth earpiece stay online. And, oh yeah, most of their employees think HD Radio is the same thing as that satellite thingie. Never again. Maybe for cables, but not for anything more complicated. What happened? Did CCU buy the company and fire everyone with knowledge and experience? Comment here.
11-09-06 Programming changes at Emmis' Point ... from R&R: Midday guy Scott Rizzuto adds MD stripes and marketing & promotions director Kyle Guderian took on additional APD duties. They fill the gaps made when MD Jeff Frisse left in September. Comment here.
11-09-06 KEZK congratulates STL for being #1 ... for all the wrong reasons. Listen here. This is a keeper. Our thanks to the STLMedia MB poster known as Jester for the file. Comment here.
11-09-06 Secret Squirrel spins on ... Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns KDNL/ABC-30 in the Saint Louis market, is soliciting GM candidates for "all locations". Is this a tactic initiated by ownership intended to intimidate current GM's, or are they truely looking to clean house? Go to the SBG homepage and click on "Employment" to view the listing, or follow this link. Comment here.
11-07-06 Wendy Wiese back on mornings ... just not here: Mike, just wanted to pass on some info from my network. Wendy joined us back in April as afternoon news anchor. As of this past Monday, she's back to mornings as network news anchor and co-host of "Morning Air" which airs on our network from 6-9am, CST. She still broadcasts from her studio in St. Louis. Matt Beardsley, Relevant Radio.
11-06-06 The cuts go on ... Secret Squirrel hears this from WGNU: WGNU has lost it's most tenured employee as Asst. Chief Engineer and Gospel Music Director Joe Garcia jumps ship and signs on with KXEN. Joe spent more than 30 years in dedicated service to the ol' Gnu, keeping the place running with bailing wire and electrical tape some times. He was the voice of WGNU. Is there even a station left, now that he's gone? Comment here.
11-05-06 This is the saddest week of the year for me ... this coming Saturday is the official Veteran's Day, honored nationally on Monday the 13th. I know that this song particularly commemorates Vietnam, but it's appropriate to remember all those who have honorably served and given their best for their country in a time of conflict. Jimmy Fortune wrote it and he and the Statler Brothers perform it. Charlie Daniels wrote and sang of Vietnam PTSD in 1973; coming home from a war and adjusting to polite society is just as difficult today as it was in any war. Please pray for our brothers and sisters and sons and daughters currently under arms as you listen. Send letters and gifts and make their homecoming comfortable. Comment here.
11-03-06 Earlier this year the R'n'R Hall of Fame ... honored local-boy-made-good, Bob Heil, with a permanent exhibition of his amazing contributions to 20th Century music. Kevin McCarthy produced and narrated the accompanying video honoring King Bob.
Watch it here: (10:52, WMV or AVI)

11-03-06 Congrats to KMOX Auto Show host Greg Damon ... KMOX Auto Show Host Greg Damon hit the jackpot in Las Vegas when he competed against top mechanics from across the country to take top prize in the BP search for the 2007 Amoco Ultimate “Golden Mechanic.” Damon, from St. Charles, MO, who is also lead tech and shop manager at Sant Automotive, won based on his superior auto repair skills, community involvement, environmental consciousness and of course, winning personality. Damon took home the grand prize of $25,000, a year’s worth of Amoco Ultimate® fuel at BP, and will serve as an Amoco Ultimate national spokesperson in 2007. Greg Damon is the host of the KMOX Auto Show Saturdays 3-5pm on News/Talk 1120 KMOX.
11-03-06 It's Friday, so the Secret Squirrel is chattering away about ... Clear Channel: A very sad week at Clear Channel Radio. Chuck Atkins, long time Operations Manager and programmer of the urban radio stations, has been let go. Atkins, who has worked for URBAN A/C KMJM FM (MAJIC 104.9) and it's local, urban sister stations, (KATZ-FM) (KATZ-AM) for well over 20 years was replaced by by Tommy Austin, PD at Clear Channel CHR/top 40 KSLZ (Z107.7). The recently promoted Austin will now function as director of programming and operations for Clear Channel's St. Louis cluster. The departure of Atkins has left an uneasy feeling among many on the programming side. If Atkins, a seasoned veteran and industry favorite is dismissed, no one is safe from the ax. Previous firings have included newsreaders, Michelle Holliday and Deneen Busby, Assistant to the GM, Janice Ingram and Production Engineer, Kent Hall. After the final ax falls, it will be very interesting to see who will survive at Clear Channel. God Bless them all... Comment here.
11-02-06 So which STL radio exec was trashing his/her staff ... on a recent commercial flight, talking loudly about everyone he/she was going to get rid of? One of his/her seatmates was listening discretely and taking notes...and then passed them along to us. Interesting reading.
11-01-06 Labor troubles at KSDK? ... Secret Squirrel spins on Channel 5: The IBEW union photographers at Channel 5 are up in arms about a series of slaps from management. First, photographers' names were intentionally left off this year's Emmy nominations so the station would not have to pay for them. Now, the station is examining the use of "one man bands" or "backpack journalists" -- reporters who shoot and edit their own stories. The union photogs are refusing management's attempt to hand their jobs off. The KDSK-IBEW contract expires in the middle of the crucial November ratings period and there is talk the photographers may walk out right in the middle of sweeps. Comment here.
10-31-06 It was the late 1970's and I was on my way to WKZL ... regrettably leaving Memphis and hoping for better things in Winston-Salem/Greensboro. I recommended a buddy to replace me as the weekender/production backup at WMC-FM, a guy who had worked for me in Wisconsin and with me at Tanner, who had succeeded me at WHBQ when I moved on to FM100. Steve Conley has been there ever since, almost thirty years. Until yesterday, that is, when corporate radio struck and put an enormously talented guy with a long, successful history in the market on the beach. Historical note: Gary Guthrie hired Steve for FM100 via extremely long distance while Steve sat and sipped a beer in a bar in Africa.
10-30-06 Congrats to KFTK's Jamie Allman ... for his appearance this evening on FNC's Bill O'Reilly show. Jamie's rant on Amendment 2 was passionate and well-spoken...for an FM guy, I mean. All kidding aside, Jamie, well done. Comment here.
10-29-06 Get well wishes to Boeing exec Jim Jones ... Jim's a buddy and the husband of Shari Jones, former STL radio sales giant and currently owner of Sound Image, Inc.; Jim went through a cardiac procedure late last week and is recuperating nicely at their Creve Coeur home.
10-29-06 Paul Harris on FNC ... According to his website, Paul was on Fox News Channel earlier this afternoon with Brian Wilson; a cursory search of YouTube found no archived video. But if Harris is the self-promoter I know he is, there'll be a clip eventually. Comment here.
10-29-06 Linda O'Connor O-U-T ... as Radio One/STL Market Manager. It happened late last week; I expect Ms. O'Connor to come out of this looking better than the company. Comment here.
10-29-06 They hate us, they really hate us ... the numbers are in and this year's World Series ratings hit a new low. I mean, who didn't expect a repeat of the ratings for the Rams-Titans Superbowl? Fox remained pleased, though: they won all five nights against the other broadcast nets 18-49. Comment here.
"...for us to poop on!" TLR, October 2006:
10-27-06 My first year out of the Army ... I wound up working in 1971 at cripple-signaled WIFI in Philadelphia. PD Jerry Del Colliano had an idea that everybody else in the industry eventually heard and used; FM could be more than a passive medium for a radio format. Damn! What a concept! He ran away as fast as he could after that and created a trade rag called Inside Radio that he subsequently sold to CCU. These days, he's a prof at USC and, believe it or not, regularly reads this site. He and I still laugh about the tiny little minds of the bosses we shared back then. Jerry writes here and you need to read what he has to say.
Comment here.

10-27-06 I get the coolest stuff in the mail ... What you see at left is the jacket of the "Preview Record" delivered by KXOK advertising salesmen to potential clients for their revolutionary new Top 40 format..."back in the day". My thanks to John Dewey for preserving this valuable artifact of radio's history and to Don Corey for converting it to a digital format that will soon wind up exclusively on the KXOK website. A record..."what's a record, Daddy?" Listen here: WMA or MP3 (4:32)
10-27-06 Dixie Chicks: no ads for you, NBC and CW, one year ... the Drudge Report is exclusively reporting that the two TV nets have refused to air ads for the Chicks' upcoming theatrical documentary about their 2003 fall from political grace; their reps are considering legal action. What nobody else is considering, apparently, is that most of us are tired of hearing the whining of rich, spoiled performers who demand their own way no matter what. Seems to me there are a lot more important things to consider leading up to the mid-term election. And don't ever think that the timing of the release of this flick has nothing to do with the election. I say good for NBC and CW for their position. Comment here.
10-27-06 Clear Channel rumors and confirmations ...
A few of the comments on the blockbuster news from last Wednesday:
-- (from AllAccess) According to a report on CNBC, CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS is considering a leveraged buyout to take the company private. Shares of the stock rose 42 cents TUESDAY to $32.20 after the report.
-- (from AllAccess) A day after CNBC reported that CLEAR CHANNEL was considering a leveraged buyout to take the company private, the company today confirmed that its board of directors is "evaluating various strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value" and that the board has retained GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO. as its financial advisor.
-- (from MarketWatch) The Mays family "looks like it lost patience with the public equity markets to realize the value of Clear Channel's businesses," research firm CreditSights wrote in a note. Clear Channel's statement Wednesday confirming its strategic review cautioned "there could be no assurance that this process will result in any specific transaction." In the meantime, Clear Channel said it won't comment publicly until any potential moves are confirmed by the board. CreditSights said Clear Channel's radio business could be worth less in three to five years than today, "which might give private equity buyers pause."
-- (from R&ROnline) Among the private equity firms reported to be interested in buying out Clear Channel are Providence Equity Partners, Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, which have formed a bidding consortium. The Wall Street Journal reported that a second group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners could also be circling.
-- (from R&ROnline) “While the Mays’ are likely frustrated with their stock price, we do not believe that they are interested in giving up control of the company that their father founded in 1972. We think a more likely scenario could be asset sales (i.e., small market radio stations and television assets) so as to utilize its $1.5 billion capital loss or partial spinoff of Clear Channel Outdoor,” wrote Marci Ryvicker, a senior analyst with Wachovia Capital Markets.
-- (from Mike) If these 1200 stations and the rest of CCU's holdings go private, into any hands, the raping and pillaging that Carl Icahn performed on TWA will look like a Cub Scout pack meeting. This time it won't be just a herd of greedy, generally broadcast-ignorant bastards who figured that consolidation could render unimaginable profits through the use of centralized functions; it'll be a herd of greedy ignorant bastards, period. And they'll kill off the weak ones before they sell them just to take the loss on their corporate 1040's. Before CCU's allowed to do this, they should be made to sell off a given number of their properties, into the hands of individual owners or, in CCU-financed deals, to the radio veterans whose careers they have destroyed in the past decade. Comment here.

10-26-06 Austin Upped To Dir./Prog. & Ops For CC/STL ... (from R&ROnline): Tommy Austin, PD at Clear Channel CHR/top 40 KSLZ (Z107.7)/St. Louis, has been upped to director of programming and operations for Clear Channel’s St. Louis cluster. In his new role, he will oversee oldies KLOU, country KSD, urban AC KMJM, urban KATZ-FM and gospel KATZ-AM. Austin will continue to program KSLZ, which he joined as PD in May 2005. “I’ve been in this business since I was a teenager, and this is a dream come true for me,” he told R&R. Comment here.
10-26-06 Why I like Classic Country ... (from STLToday): Country singer marries again: Billy Joe Shaver has tied the knot — again. Shaver, who wrote "Georgia on a Fast Train" and "I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I'm Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)," married Wanda Lynn Canady in Las Vegas on Friday, according to a statement from Compadre Records, his label. It was Shaver's second marriage to Canady. The first marriage was annulled. The 67-year-old country singer was married three times to his wife, Brenda, who died in 1999. Their first two marriages ended in divorce. Shortly after the latest wedding, Shaver cracked a vertebra while wrestling with a friend. Not his new wife; a friend. God, I love these guys!
10-26-06 Good luck with this, FCC ... (from the Baltimore Sun, by way of RDN): Citing widespread interference on broadcast frequencies used by its member stations, National Public Radio has asked the Federal Communications Commission to order recalls of millions of FM modulators that drivers use to play satellite radios and iPods through their car stereos. A field study by NPR Labs found that nearly 40 percent of those devices have signal strengths that exceed FCC limits, enabling them to break into FM broadcasts in nearby cars with unwanted programming. I can just imagine some peace-loving All Things Considered listener driving to work on Highway 40, pulling up at a slowdown next to a Marauding Nihilist in a 1985 Oldsmobile beater... Comment here.
10-26-06 Looks like Classic Hits won't be the only thing not repeating ... As of this coming weekend, KHITS will be switching to automation/voicetracking for the entire day on Sundays. Sunday/Weekend jocks Shelly James (2-6PM) and Mark Richter (6AM-10AM) were let go earlier today. Comment here.
10-26-06 Secret Squirrel spins on KMOV/CBS4 ... KMOV newsroom layoffs have begun--all orders from corporate. Reporter Jeff Lea is gone this week. More to follow. Still, no news director in sight after six months of searching. Several candidates got offers, all have turned them down. And sweeps are just days away. I wonder if this has anything to do with the free news slots for McCaskill a few weeks back? Comment here.
10-25-06 Earlier Wednesday afternoon ... (the day of The Rainout) FNC's greasy-haired weather diva Janice Dean confidently predicted that that would be so, as she pointed to her national map, saying that strong storms would be coming and they'd wind up this evening "right here". Unfortunately, she was also pointing confidently to the city of Topeka. These national nitwits have an O&O here, right? Dontcha think they'd know where a chunk of their profit sharing comes from? It's why I love living in Flyover Country... Comment here.
10-23-06 Downloaded Internet Explorer V7 ... and I'm still playing with it. Lots of new stuff. Fixed my Yahoo email grief.
10-21-06 It may be that I was just late to the show ... but I haven't heard the National Anthem once during the Playoffs or in the first game of the World Series. Yup, I heard Bob Seger sing America The Beautiful and some untalented chick screech God Bless America during the stretch Saturday night...but no Star Spangled Banner. What gives? Comment here.
10-20-06 It's been a while since ... I've performed one of these: this evening I get to "do" a wedding, this time in the "upper room" of a popular St. Charles restaurant. For almost no reason, some folks remember "Reverend Mike". I have just a few hours to remember how to tie a tie. Wish me luck remembering all the magic words. Comment here.
10-20-06 Yadi catches a break! Yadi, Yadi, Yadi...Bird's catcher Yadier Molina's homer got beyond Chavez' reach and it, along with Jeff Suppan's superior pitching, took us to the Series. Listen to the games starting Saturday night via paid links at MLB.com, on your XM SatRad subscription, on 1380ESPN here, if you can catch the signal, or on the Card's radio home, 550AMKTRS, according to The Big 550's website. Series TV coverage is on Fox (KTVI-2 here). I still don't completely understand who's got which rights for what medium. Comment here.
10-20-06 Got prep? Check here, every day. Good stuff, updated hourly, comprehensive topics, and free. We'll be adding to the pages soon, too.
10-19-06 Y98 dj changes ... Kelly Corday moves from evenings to mid-days and Kerrie Mondy takes over 7PM-12M. Comment here.
10-18-06 Summer Arbitron publishes ... Summer is the "softest" book (Winter follows, of course, for other reasons), when listening habits are most out of whack, what with vacations and, in many markets, baseball. That may or may not be the reason for the Arch's continuing 12+ slide. And interestingly, both KTRS (with baseball) and KMOX (without) each jump a half point overall. Read it here and comment here.
10-17-06 Secret Squirrel spins on the STL CCU cluster ... Clear Channel is laying off workers and no one department is immune. 5 have lost their jobs in two days with more to come. Dennis Lamme is trying to right Lee Clear's ship...it is a mess. Dennis is in a tough situation having to make even tougher choices. Layoffs include newsreaders, a secretary and KLOU's production guy, Kent Hall. Additionally, dj's will be doing their own production in most instances, and that will be a distinct change for many of the less experienced employees. And speculation continues as to which of the smaller, nonproductive markets CCU bought in their easrlier days of wanton acquisition will be next to go. The money crunch is becoming very real at the company. Comment here.
10-17-06 And now there are two and a half ... liberal talk nets on the air! Along with the half that's NPR and the financially-ailing Air America, Sheldon and Anita Drobny and friends have launched NovaM Radio, a rival group of (two) O&O's that are currently running AA programming but will soon switch to proprietary shows. How in the world will there be sufficient advertiser support for both nets? Oh, wait...there isn't any ad support! And magically, a new corporation has sprung up like a field of mushrooms after a Spring rain and AA claims it's there to keep them funded as long as necessary. You'd think that listeners, employees and investors alike would be embarassed by all the financial shell games and infighting to claim a non-tenable position. Comment here.
10-13-06 Friday the 13th ... an appropriate day for AirAmerica to file Chapter 11. The rumors have been "out there" for weeks and denials have flown wildly, but today was the day the money died. There are no saviors in sight, this time, either. Although ya never know when George Soros will whip it out and fund them at least thru the middle of November...remember that Chapter 11 is used most often as a stopgap measure to clear out the clutter (like unpaid bills in the amount of $20million+). Brian Maloney's Radio Equalizer has been on top of this all along. I'm waiting patiently now for the South Park version of this story, starring Eric Cartman as Al Franken.... Comment here.
10-13-06 Game 2 NLCS tonight from New York ... and Randy Raley has provided some background noise from games (and radio stations) gone by: here and here and here. Lotsa Jack Buck. Thanks, Randy, and y'all enjoy! Go Cards! Comment here.
10-13-06 This is a mystery to me ... The Card's website, designed and hosted by MLB, has no mention of KTRS running the NLCS games, which they do. What's going on here? Comment here.
10-12-06 Saturday night at Nick's in Dogtown ... it's the KSD Classic Rock Reunion. Anyone who worked at KSD is welcome to attend, according to organizer Mary Contorno Roth (with whom I worked briefly at KTRS in 1998). Download this PDF as a reminder and for directions. While you're there, say hi to my son, Jason...he'll be tending bar on the patio.
10-11-06 I don't get it ... I've received a few emails recently that have told me, allegedly, of personnel changes at KTRS. Some of them (like the recent "Monte has been fired" note) were easily proven wrong and so noted here. But some of them have included disturbing personal information, not the kind of thing that is regularly reported here.
   The messages have included information about personal and family situations, health issues and conflicts within the station. I have been able to track most of them down to having come from within KTRS. This leads me to believe that the station is either overrun with leaks or that one or two people "inside" have a serious grudge against those who are more successful than they are.
   It appears that the latter is most likely...sure, there are always leaks within any company. But the extreme nature of the messages leads me to believe that a grudge or grudges is what's bringing the most recent reports to my doorstep.
   It looks like, to me, that there are "haters" within KTRS who are willing to shoot themselves in the foot or worse to dislodge others there who are more successful. Sales v. sales, programming v. programming, sales v. programming, however it stacks up, I can only conclude that the atmosphere within 638 Westport Plaza is so hate- and jealousy-filled that it is almost uninhabitable.
   It's one thing to establish a controlled healthy, competitive environment inside a company; it can develop a positive return. To allow hate and jealousy to overwhelm and control the feelings of the staff is ultimately and competely destructive. The only return from that is failure. Comment here.

10-11-06 A week from today ... I may be cleared to drive again, after almost three months of being house-bound. Two painful procedures on my legs at the hands of a magnificently skilled vascular surgeon later, the burns on my feet are finally healing rapidly and well with plentiful blood supply. Just having the recent burns heal and the pulse back strongly at my ankles after ten+ years is a miracle; while it may be wishful thinking, I may be getting some sensation back in my calves as well. This whole thing has been a horrible experience and it looks like it's finally coming to a conclusion a lot sooner than I expected. I feel like the luckiest boy in the world. Hint to you: when it's 100+ degrees outside, keep yer freakin' shoes on!
10-11-06 The KTRS Speakers' Bureau ... is now open and ready to provide your organization or business meeting with a witty, urbane presentation on a wide variety of subjects from any one of several of the Big 550's friendly, experienced and well-prepared and rested radio personalities. One of their presenters, Kramer, is a self-described "professional public speaker, comedian, and overall entertainer", even though in the photo at left he is not wearing his overalls. At your request, he will arrive in a cheap cowboy hat and faux gold chains for maximum audience impact. Hot! Comment here.
10-09-06 Kudos to Kramer ... for actually adding age checking to his on-MB porn. From a recent email: Dane Cook & Jessica Simpson sex tape! That's right, we've acquired the video of Jessica Simpson and Dane Cook in a Malibu hotel room. You have to verify that you are 21 or older, but this is worth that ten seconds. The video is 33 minutes long. At the beginning, Jessica is dancing for Dane Cook. At the 9 minute mark, notice Dane drinking from a bottlle. We thought it looks like tequila. Then the action starts. We're still trying to figure out if someone is holding the camera. Check it out and let us know what you think. Comment here.
10-08-06 I'm thinking some major changes are due here ... and I'll need your input for the implementation.
   Since June 2000, there has been this website and an accompanying Message Board (spread out over several providers). The MB has provided an area for response and, mostly, reading by "lurkers"...those who register to read but rarely contribute anything of consequence.
   It might be more effective to combine the two elements into one, into a blog that allows both my entries initially and then your comments to follow.
   This would, of course, also include access to info pages, audio and video, and subsites; it would also make RSS feed notification available for new posts. That's a big plus.
   Commentary by Sid Dithers, LeftUpToMe and others would be continued at individual blogs, all linked here and all available for notification by RSS.
   In other words, nothing would change except for the presentation of my new entries and the way that you publish your responses. You won't have to change your bookmark for the website, but you will have to download an RSS reader if you don't already have one. They're free and easy to use and I can help you with that.
   The intellectual clutter would be cut considerably and the delivered message would be enhanced by that simplicity.
   What are your thoughts? If I make a change, I'd like to do it at the turn of the year, just after Christmas. I've already reserved several Blogger sites for this project. Comment here.

10-08-06 And the "Next Progressive Talk Star" is ... maybe you. Radio trades are all atwitter with the news of this event: Clear Channel and a host of other organizations, mostly left-wing, are launching a five-week competition to find the "Next Progressive Talk Radio Star." The contest begins this Monday, October 9, with local promotions at participating stations with a final broadcast in front of a live studio audience in Washington DC on Thursday, November 16.
   An "at large" portion of the contest will run on TalkProgress.com, an offshoot of the Center For American Progress' ThinkProgress.org. Jones - P1 syndicated host Ed Schultz will be on the panel of judges for the contest, which will award a nationally syndicated show to the winner.
   Here's another article about the competition from the San Antonio Business Journal; unfortunately it is fraught with errors and inaccuracies.
   **Sigh**
   I firmly believe that talk radio needs the challenge and the balance that a left-wing "star" might provide. But once again, the left proves it has no idea of how to make it happen. I presume that this competition is not smoke and mirrors and that a winner has not already been determined; but if you plan on entering, best of luck. Keep me posted on your progress.
Comment here.

10-08-06 Several folks have sent me a link ... to this story: Emmis Classic Rock WLUP/Chicago (The Loop) has severed ties with weekend/swing jock Cara Carriveau, apparently because of her letter to the Chicago Sun-Times that appeared in Robert Feder's column of reader mail recently. Characterizing the letter as "the last straw" in a deteriorating relationship (Carriveau was replaced in middays at The Loop last March), VP/GM Marv Nyren told Feder, "I don't think Cara is a fan of what's happening here. I have no problem with my people talking to you, but I want to have people here who believe in our industry and believe what we're doing is right."
   Bottom line is that Cara Carriveau got herself canned. And well she should have.
   Carriveau is now questioning whether free speech exists in the industry, noting that she "did not speak negatively about any person or company." AFTRA's CHICAGO local has taken up the case, saying, "We are investigating the situation, and we are in communication with the company's attorneys."
   As those of us who have been AFTRA members over the years know all too well, their involvement will sure make a difference!
   Look, kids, the deal is pretty simple. You can set up your soapbox in Kiener Plaza and hoot away about whatever you want. Unless you're disturbing the peace, you can hoot on forever. But start hooting about what a sumbitch your boss is and you WILL pay a price.
   The Constitution is clear on this: the Congress will make no laws etc. Until your employer's name is included in the Bill of Rights, you speak your mind publicly at your own professional risk. Comment here.

10-07-06 Uploaded a bunch of pictures ... I've moved 77 photographs, taken digitally and with insty-cams left on the tables, back on the KIX104 10th anniversary in 2001, up to Flickr. Have a big time looking through them.
10-07-06 A new info resource ... In the early 1970's, just out of the Army and a few minor league stations, I wound up working at WIFI 92.5FM Philadelphia for Jerry Del Colliano. JDC had had a brief career in radio news in Philly, and had glommed on to a $210 a week gig as PD at WIFI, then owned by General Cinema. He had a good idea and he and I and a few others (including Bill Figenshu) fleshed it out, wound up leaving the station in a stupid dispute, and went our separate ways. DelColliano soon began a trade rag called Inside Radio that was bought by CCU in 2002. Currently, he's a prof at USC and unimaginably wealthy. He's still a pretty smart guy and he has a blog you need to put on your reader list.
10-07-06 Remaining rep firms better watch their backs ... Google says they have a better idea. And considering Google's track record, they just may be right. Google's plans to begin placing radio ads by the end of this year remain on schedule, contradicting recent talk within the industry that the company had postponed the project. "The tests are going extremely well," said CEO Eroc Schmidt, who added Google eventually plans to employ about 1,000 workers in its radio division. Comment here.
10-06-06 Kramer to KTRS mornings? Heaven forfend...but Secret Squirrel, who spent almost all of today outside in perfect weather trying to find a Girl Squirrel with whom to make Little Squirrels (it's that time of the year, y'know) came in shaking with fear for the future about 5PM with this news: Kramer's site and his insiders seem to be alluding to his becoming a morning show soon. There are friends of his calling Laurie 'the boss" and other terms (Wacky) in not affectionate ways -- Sooo 3 of the 'new' people could be gone in one swoop if this is true ... GW, Monty and Dana? Way to go, ABL. Transfer that diminishing midday share to mornings. That'll fix everything. I think I'll infiltrate Keith's Saturday night MB convention to see what's the haps... Comment here.
10-06-06 Friday night bears:
10-05-06 Whatever happened to radio station Speaker Bureaus? For many years, as part of their public service effort, radio stations provided the presence of their air personalities at organizational events and meetings as a guest speaker. The AP's would deliver a quick 15-20 minute address at no charge (the AP was compensated by the station) to enhance the station's community image. A quick survey of local station and personality websites indicates that this seems to be no longer the practice. Some AP's make themselves available to MC events, of course, but that's not the same as hearing a talk on a relevant current topic by someone you listen to on the radio. Why do you think this practice has been seemingly done away with? Comment here.
10-04-06 Parody interview with KTRS' Kramer on 09/11/06 ... Oddly, he's wiped the page of his "I Believe" comments clean...but we've saved them for your edification. Scroll down for the source material. Now, Kramer's excessively-violent and sexually-oriented website message board material is hidden behind a registration wall that doesn't provide for positive age verification. I won't go there...should you or your children? Why do the Cards allow this garbage on a website associated with the baseball team? Comment here.
10-04-06 In loving memory of ... our 20-year old, 60-pound, $500+ Quasar microwave/convection oven, which gave up the ghost as I prepared my lunch yesterday. It was used daily and even as our primary oven for the year and a half that I squabbled with the manufacturer of my regular oven over a defective circuit board. It's being replaced today with a unit with all the same features (and more) that costs less than $100. Gotta love that technology never gets more expensive...
10-04-06 Clear Channel blinks ... and not much else happens. The Wall Street Journal says that CCU's two-to-five second "blink" spots have been sold to about 12 national advertisers so far, at rates 18% to 21% of a standard 60 second spot for a 5 second "blink" (about $800, in a major market) and 10% for a 2 second "blink" (roughly $80). Reaction is mixed: Zenith Media SVP for Radio Matt Feinberg says that the extremely short versions are "the dumbest thing I have ever heard" and CCU Radio RVP/Sales Bob McCurdy says that "with one-second-ad, there is a lot you can't communicate. You really need one and a half to two seconds to get that point across," although he says he has not abandoned the possibility of selling one-second "blinks." Comment here.
10-03-06 Maybe they're waiting for HD Radio ... From AllAccess: Bridge Ratings latest study of satellite radio subscribers calls the retail market for receivers "sluggish" and notes that sales have been light enough in recent weeks that the company has had to use more locations nationwide to achieve its target sample of 4,000 respondents. Sales are off 29% from Labor Day weekend; 30% of retail buyers said they would not renew their subscriptions when they expire (15% were undecided) and 48% of OEM car radio subscribers would not resubscribe (10% undecided). Bridge also released a study of podcasting use that you really need to look at if your station is using this relatively new medium. Four words: the trends are down. Comment here.
10-02-06 Winds of change at Westport Plaza? Secret Squirrel has been chattering all weekend that one of the three remaining FNG's at the Big 550 is about to walked off the plank. Comment here.
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