03-31-07Radio One wins one, loses one ... so now, I guess they're Radio Even. From the FCC: The Commission has before it the captioned application
of Radio One Licenses, LLC (the "Licensee") for renewal of its license for Station WFUN-FM, Bethalto, Illinois (the "Station"). In this Memorandum... we find that the Licensee apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section 73.3526 of the Rules by failing to retain all required documentation in the WFUN-FM public inspection file. Based upon our review of the facts and circumstances before us, we conclude that the Licensee is apparently liable for a monetary forfeiture in the amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000), and we grant the captioned WFUN-FM renewal application. With the influx over the past decade of real estate salespeople and failed mortgage bankers into radio management, I wonder how many understand the importance of the station's Public File? Do you know what to do if somebody knocks on your door and asks to see it? Comment here. 03-31-07Sad news to report ... WGNU Operation Director Joan Groceman suffered a massive stroke Monday evening (March 27th). Station staff is being asked to stay away from the hospital, as her condition is very serious. Prayers and best wishes from all STLMedia to Joan and her family. 03-30-07iPod Nano update ... I've been copying the '50's-'60's-'70's library to the player this evening (halfway thru 1961 so far) using iTunes(V7.1+ seems to have eliminated the objectionable issues); I'm amazed that I have over 450 songs almost 600 songs loaded so far in way less than just over a gigabyte. Looks like I'll be able to get more than 3000 songs on the 8g Nano, encompassing twenty+ years of Top 40 hits. Just hit "Shuffle" and then "Play" and be amazed. If only KLOU could sound like this...AND play the D-C Timesweep! Thanks to Matt Gordon for his expert assistance on setup. UPDATE: The RF xmtr plays the tunes from the Nano at full (MP3) fidelity in the Town Car's JBL system on FM107.5(and other freq's)... sweet! I may have to drive more, just to listen. But with gas climbing to $3 a gallon, maybe not. I can always sit in the driveway... Comment here. 03-29-07My former boss Jerry DelColliano ... continues to prove he's one of the two smartest people in the radio industry. Read his latest here, about repatriation of the 18-25 audience to broadcast (and there's nothing that his students suggest that doesn't apply to 45+, either); here's a taste: The next generation spreads the word virally in their online world. Because word travels fast with this crowd, start winning these listeners back one by one and who knows? Maybe your audience growth in this neglected but important demographic will become exponential. He also has some pretty amazing things to say about his "conflict" with Clear Channel...I'll let you dig around at his blog to find it. It's worth the hunt. Comment here. 03-29-07Blues back to KMOX ... the multi-year deal starts in 2008; hopefully Dave Ervin can figure out how to make money with the NHL. Comment here. 03-29-07More KMOX news ... Dana Daniels to do Sunday nights on KMOX from 10pm-1am starting this Sunday. Comment here. 03-29-07But wait: there's even more KMOX news ... KMOX Radio Takes Six Edward R. Murrow Regional Awards. Read the release. 03-29-07Ibiquity has raped your station once ... and now they'd like to rape your station again. The "next big feature" for HD-R is ...subscription channels! It's not bad enough that no one is buying HD Radios to listen to the free stuff; now the company that's hosing you for equipment and rights fees wants to use their technology to use "conditional access technology". Ibiquity wants you to SPEND MORE to actually, maybe, possibly, might could earn a buck or two. By subscription. This is horsehockey, Chapter Two. I don't care about the technology involved, I don't care about the programming they suggest for this magical fix and I don't care about how good this new stuff sounds. Nobody does. Standard broadcast or MP3 is good enough for the rest of us. The bottom line is that the consumer will have to buynew AM & FM radios to listen to any and all of it, and, well, they're just not gonna do that. And consumers won't pay five cents for any channels on broadcast radio, HD, AM or FM. Not with WiMax on the way. I'm almost 60 and my listening is centered on MP3's and streaming, with the occasional exception for emergency info on the broadcast channels. But what do you think kids listen to? And don't you think the fidelity will improve? Comment here. 03-29-07JibJab is back with a vengeance ... at last night's annual Radio & Television Correspondents' dinner in DC and right here:
Comment here. 03-29-07It looks like one of those big-deal types ... a national radio consultant, is presenting a minor victory he had here in the 90's as one of his current and ongoing successes, per his website. But from this guy I would expect nothing less than a misrepresentation of this magnitude. I worked with him years ago and it was, to say the least, a nightmare; we used his brand of snake oil for way too long. Thanks to youknowwho1 for the tip and youknowwho2 & 3 for the confirmation. 03-29-07My iPod Nano arrives today ... and my Griffin Tech accessories (iTrip Auto and iTalk Pro) are in the house. I'll wrap up the first part of the playlist (1955-1969) tonight and begin loading the Little Black Bucaroo sometime tomorrow evening. Road tests begin Saturday; tips on care and feeding are still welcome and appreciated. Comment here. 03-29-07 So I'm doin' my regular run ... through local radio-related websites last night. Click here to see what happens when I visited one of them (image only, not a link). "Dangerous spyware?" "Close your web browser window and do not reopen this website?" Looks like my anti-virus software is trying to make its own editorial comment. 03-29-07Closed circuit to the fine folks at Fitz ... the Grape Pop- and Root Beer-ola arrived yesterday afternoon! Thanks! Fitzis the Official Soft Drink of STLMedia! 03-29-07New Slaten producer ... The new producer for Kevin Slaten's KFNS show is Ryan Huff. Previously, he was the assistant producer for the Mike North Morning Show at WSCR/Chicago. Huff starts next week, replacing Iggy Strode. Comment here. 03-29-07Randy Raley ... who recently "hung up the headphones" after approximately 3,512 years on the air to join KMOX, has renamed his blog. What wasRadioRandy is nowSales Slug News Sleazy Sales Slug Report. Same content, different viewpoint. It's always a good read. 03-28-07Jay Philpott has too much time on his hands ... although he's considerably more productive than I am. Jay sent the link to this video, which actually is pretty cool.
03-28-07A little bandwidth bonus ... from Smilin' Bob via me to you. And, no, I haven't bought it...I just stumbled across it. Um, I mean... Just play it, loop it, have a big time with it. Ewwww...
03-28-07Life is over ... one more dead-tree pub switches to a web-only presence. Time Inc. announced that the final issue, now distributed as a newspaper supplement, will be April 20. CEO Ann Moore explained: "The market has moved dramatically since October 2004 and it is no longer appropriate to continue publication of Life as a newspaper supplement." The website will include "a new photographic portal making millions of Life photos available to the public." That's good news...the photos that Life published over the years are an incredible record of world history; their coverage of WW2 was truly amazing. Comment here.
03-27-07Secret Squirrel spins sadly on ... KFTK's Smash: Word in Tuesday is that the long-time STLRadio performer will be leaving the morning show he shares with Jamie Allman in a couple weeks to return to "performing music". It's also noted that it's contract renewal time for him and that Emmis' latest offer may have been unacceptable. Asher Benrubi is a real gentleman and from all accounts a great guy to work with. I remember his airwork well, as Adam Smasher, at DC101 years ago; he first appeared on the air here in 1988. His son, Abraham, has done a little work in movies and tv... Comment here.
03-26-07Finally bought an MP3 player ... an iPod 8-gig Nano that'll hook into the new car's Red Ride's audio system via RF and play most all of my favorite music. Plus one of these from Steve Mays' recommendation to record vt's. Yes, I have surrendered partially to the Apple demons. More on this later. Comment here. 03-26-07Iggy Strode out at KFNS ... He had been the producer for Kevin Slaten's PM drive show and occasionally did a show of his own. Word is that PD Jason Barrett canned him, left a memo to be distributed to the staff and then took off to the East Coast for a family visit. KFNS is simulcast on AM590/Wood River and FM100.7/Troy; the company also owns AM1190/DeSoto, a talk station that airs syndicated programming. This trio of marginal signals is owned by Big Leage Broadcasting out of Atlanta, who overpaid by millions for them in 2004, expecting to take the STL sports and talk audience by storm. They didn't. Damned (reversed) carpetbaggers. Comment here. 03-25-07So it looks like ... Mrs. A bought me a new car: a Lincoln Town Car. Leather seats and power everything, a car like I've never driven or owned before. Mine is veryRed(and red's really the most important thing about any new car purchase for a guy); I'll still need to call Crutchfield to upgrade the system to play MP3's and bought an iPod Nano to couple with the installed JBL audio. That will make the long .8 mile drive to the grocery store so much more bearable. As of now, I am seriously cool. Or a pimp.
O'REALLY: Bill O'Reilly raised a few eyebrows recently during his visit to St. Louis. The Fox News superstar was in town for a luncheon hosted by radio station KFTK (97.1 FM) and he stopped in at KTVI (Channel 2) to tape his talk show. While there, we were told he "demanded" the following: a chicken sandwich with the crusts cut off; a tuna salad sandwich on dry bread for his producer; total silence on the set; and that the camera operator look through the camera lens and not around the camera at O'Reilly directly. Ah, the perks of privilege …
03-24-07FNC's Bill O'Reilly ... beat up the STL P-D Monday night in his Most Ridiculous Item of the Day. Friday, Deb Peterson retaliated in her column with the snarkiness at left. Was Deb miffed because he didn't visit her radio-station-of-choice?
On his Friday show on FNC, O'Reilly responded by calling Ms. Peterson a liar and accusing Publisher Kevin Mowbray of letting the paper "degenerate". Listen. Wow! Us kids in flyover country are getting a spotlight treat! Will Deb's article disappear into the P-D'smemory hole? Don't think so. Will Mowbray be able to "regenerate" the paper? Will someone from KTVI/2 please let us know if they got Bill's sandwich order right?
I absolutely live for this stuff. Comment here.
03-24-07Get well wishes and prayers in order for ... 630KXOK/STL and WHB/KC legend Richard Ward Fatherley. Richard called Friday evening with the news that a recent bout with pneumonia had lapsed into congestive heart failure. He's on oxygen full-time and a long list of meds, and he sounds weak but upbeat and told me he has every intention of making it to the Hall of Fame doin's later this year in STL. Let's hope he's able to travel by then. Email Richard your get-well wishes and/or comment here.
03-23-07My Edit-All splicing blocks ... and all my single-edge razor blades may now officially be retired. RadioWorld tells the story of the shutdown of the last magnetic tape manufacturer (now Quantegy, was Ampex). For those of you who don't have an historical handle on this, Ampex was the company that took captured wire recording devices used by Germany in WW2 and moved the technology to the US and eventually re-developed and owned that market, in both hardware (multi-channel tape recorders) and software (1/8" cassette to 2" open-reel tape widths). I went through thousands of miles of their tape products over the years. Comment here. 03-23-07Consultant as terrorist ... there's a certain disturbing reality there. Read Lee Abrams' comments here and then comment here. 03-23-07Thanks to friend and reader Mary Morgan ...for her mention of STLMedia.net in the JavaJournal, a snail-mailed and retail-available newsletter. I'm not exactly sure where it's available, but you can contact them and ask. Or to advertise your business, which, I'm sure, they'd appreciate. 03-23-07UPDATE: Trying to touch base with an old friend ... I worked with Phil Robbins at WOSH Oshkosh/WI many years ago ... You guys are unbelieveable! Too many responses to count, and I spoke with Phil last evening. He's well and living in Door County/WI. Member of the local Rotary, even. Phil told me he has some tape of me from those days, and may eventually convert them to MP3, solely for the purpose of embarassment! 03-22-07WiFi/WiMax use grows hugely ... will TerRad stations which stream use this to their advantage? Read the Bridge Ratings study here. Just as I can carry my cell phone anywhere I travel and be reached by calling a local number, I can listen to my home-town radio station online wherever I go on any wireless device. But the results of the Bridge study may be meaningless if current plans to increase digital rights fees to online stations to draconian levels is allowed to pass into law. Comment here. 03-22-07Sirius and XM file with the FCC to merge ... and the industry yawns. SatRad is so 20th Century... Comment here. 03-22-07Kevin & Sue McCarthy's syndicated travel shows ... continue to add client stations and programming services: We are happy to announce the Travel Planners Radio Show is now heard on two stations in the Chicago area, WKKD and WMCW from 12N-2PM on Thursdays. We are also heard on The World Travel and Dining Channel presenting two features per hour plus travel news and a travel tips segment. Kevin and Sue also write travel columns for the Pulse News Service (click here and then click again on the Pulse newspaper link). Life is good when you get paid to travel and eat! Comment here. 03-22-07This'll probably come up at the next staff meeting ... trades are reporting that CBS Radio executive VP, Western region Brian Ongaro was among nine men indicted earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Justice's Arizona District. The nine were collectively charged with 33 counts of mail fraud, conspiracy and money laundering for a scheme that, prosecutors say, got people to invest in medical outpatient rehab and massage therapy centers. Ongaro is said to have personally pocketed $750,000 from the plan, which took in $40 million from 2000-2003.Comment here. 03-22-07Found this accidentally ... while I was playing with some video download software: almost a half-hour of classic '50's and '60's tv spots. I know it's not like you don't have a full load of spots already, but plugging in the audio from one of these now and then might be a radio taste treat, presuming your audience is of a certain age, or just as an off-beat element. But God forbid we should introduce something to a listener that they don't expect...
03-21-07UPDATE: This is pretty cool ... Kent Weissinger (O'Fallon IL HS, Class of '69), a practicing attorney and an actual grownup now living in Florida, is taking the time to rebuild the 'scoped airchecks from the KXOK tribute site with the original music and is presenting various dayparts, with all the dj chatter, ads, news and weather, at his Live365 area. Several segments are now up and running. Comment here. 03-21-07Before there was STLMedia.net ... there was "Broad" - Cast St. Louis, an enormously funny newsletter lampooning the "haps" of Karen Carroll's reign of terror during her transition from ARS GM to CBS GM. The issues I have just received by Secret Squirrel Courier Service are from 1998 and are presented here in PDF format. NOTE:If you weren't here in the '90's, find someone you work with who was, take them out for a beer and listen to the stories. Issue 3:Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4 Issue 4:Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4 Comment here. 03-20-07Damn... Eddie, the Beav and Wally got old. Me, too, but I guess I never realized how BIG the Beaver's head was...
03-20-07Grafman to the STL Walk of Fame ... when? One name that keeps coming up in any discussion of the history of radio in St. Louis is Shelley Grafman, who pretty much single-handedly put together the radio phenomenon that was/is KSHE. Anyone in the radio business in America in the 1980's who was paying the least bit of attention knew of KSHE. There was no other station, from Chicago down to Dallas, or from Denver across to, well, whatever big city East of STL would make sense here, did as much for the community or for their listeners, than did KSHE... Read the rest and comment here. 03-18-07Got a pointer in an email ... from InsideMusicMedia to read Kurt Hanson's article on CRB. Some excerpts: Satellite radio has to pay a royalty for the use of sound recordings, with a rate being set by an arbitration panel based on several criteria that are designed to be balanced to benefit, overall, the public. (That rate is not public knowledge, but is estimated by stock analysts to be about 3.5% of industry revenues.)
Internet radio also has to pay a royalty for the use of sound recordings, but its rate is set by a trio of judges based on a single criterion that can, in my reading, anyway, be interpreted as "almost whatever the labels feel like." And thus we end up with a situation in we're in right now, in which a trio of judges granted the copyright owners a royalty rate from Internet radio that is effectively, I believe, more than 100% of the total industry's revenues!
Clearly the process has spun off the rails. Particularly if the CRB decision drives Internet radio off the air, the public clearly doesn't benefit, meaning that the purpose of copyright law is not being served. Read it here and then comment here. 03-18-07Okay, okay, Google wins ... if you don't have a Gmail address, go set one upright freakin' now. It's free. And then set up a Google Home Page(calendars, Gmail access, maps, local weather, news...). It incorporates all of your Google accounts, including their new IM(anyone with whom you correspond who has a Gmail address is built in, if they''ve signed into Gchat -- mine is email@example.com). You can even add YouTube previews to email and chat. Google is building the ultimate online community...and it works. 03-18-07Will HD TV affect the coming elections? It's not a far-fetched concept at all. After all, Kennedy's win over Nixon in 1960 had as much to do with their televised debates as anything, and JFK came off looking a lot better physically on tv than did RMN. Almost a half-century later, we can see every pore and hair on the candidates' faces up-close-and-personal and, yes, that can make all the difference once you're in the voting booth with video memories locked in. Political snarkiness aside, JaneGalt.net has an interesting perspective and this article is good reading, too. Comment here. 03-18-07Should he stay or should he go ... him and his little brother, too? The New York Post and radio trades were all atwitter at the end of last week with the news that CBS Radio Chairman & CEO Joel Hollander is planning to step down before his contract expires at the end of 2007, and his brother, who oversees CBS/STL, might go with him. The reason: "he's said to be tired of battling with CBS CEO Les Moonves over the direction of the radio division. Hollander was also said to be unhappy with CBS' decision to sell 39 of its radio stations, which the company did recently at a profit of $668 million." And InsideMusicMedia publisher Jerry DelColliano(the guy who beat CCU at their own game of acquisition) has his own and very pointed perspective on this. Comment here. 03-18-07There's something eerily DaVinci Code about this ... Is The Triangular Hand Thing at the core of Katie Couric's ratings difficulties? This writer thinks so: "It's an on-camera device that's been driving me crazy lately because it's so overused -- and so contrived and stagy. The currently fashionable thing for reporters to do is to form his/her hands in the shape of a triangle, index fingers pointed toward the camera. It's a totally unnatural gesture, something you never see anyone do with their hands in real life. Only on TV. Which, of course, isn't real life. CBS anchor Katie Couric does this Hand Thing far too often -- which, I'd like to think, is one of the reasons her ratings have been so lousy."Comment here. 03-18-07KMOV's Savard to dabble in News ... for a few days this week and next. Dan Caesar had the story over the weekend. Steve is obviously being given the opportunity to spread his wings a bit by cooperative management. Whether or not it presages a Mike Bush-like move to a New World for the sports anchor, it's still a good thing. At least as long as Savard doesn't open a hot dog stand... Comment here. 03-17-07I like this ... but then I'm a sucker for '70's music and I've been listening here all night. Slacker is a website like others that offers tunes by format, preparing, I guess, for the coming World of WiMax Radio. But they went online before getting all of the necessary rights settled: But like many companies looking to create fresh uses for digital music that don't have an existing rights framework around them, there's a hitch in transforming vision to reality: The San Diego-based startup still must secure the contractual approval of labels and publishers for a never-before-issued interactive radio right that allows for portability.Comment here. 03-16-07In the 1970's ... we shuddered every time the teletype rang its bells more than once. Coulda been something bad, coulda just been the regular weekly system test. TM, one of the major jingle companies back then, produced a full-sing version of the EBS Test that was usually produced in cold-voice by the one of the jocks. The FCC decided that the musical version was entertainment and not information and it was not allowed for use. Listen here:
03-16-07So there I was, in the middle of the 1970's ... at WTRX/Flint/MI, returning to the studio from the little PMDriver's Room, to find Harry Chapin sitting in the air chair. He was in town to do a benefit concert for a local crisis intervention line run by a friend of mine. Best.interview.ever: all I had to do was open his mic and Harry was off and running; three hours later he had to split to do the show. BTW, the Flint Crisis Line was run by a guy who went on to make a few movies: Michael Moore. Moore no longer returns my phone calls or emails; he is a certified social a**hole, regardless of his politics.
03-16-07The progress of HDRadio/STL ... one of our readers has put together a well-researched observation of the state of the digital broadcast medium into which many companies are investing big bucks. It's not an entirely pretty picture. Read it and then comment here. 03-16-07A reader has a question ... and I bet you can answer it: I have a 33-1/3 LP Record by a musican named Ian Matthews (of Fairport Convention?) that I got in a box of records at a yard sale a couple of years ago. This is a picture disc with the artists image, name and background scene on one side and the KXOX logo in very large print on the other side, both molded into the vinyl in color.
I don't know if this is a station promotional item or maybe a demo or promotion from the artist or label. There was no jacket for the record, just the plain paper sleeve, and there are no paper labels at the spindle hole or evidence that there evers were any labels.
I've never played the record and it looks to my 52 year old eyes like it might never have been played, it is in pristine condition.
Any information on how common a picture disc like this is would be welcome. Respond to him here. 03-16-07NPR claims 26.5 million listeners nationwide ... a +4 percent increase in the Fall 2006 Arbitron vs Spring 2006. National Public Radio's member stations experienced a similar jump, according to this press release. "The stations’ performance is particularly notable in light of general declines in audience for commercial radio, television news and newspapers. In particular, over the past three years, commercial news/talk radio has dropped -7 percent while listening to public radio news-talk stations has risen +3 percent." NOTE: Arbitron is expected to include non-commercial ratings in their published surveys beginning with the Spring 2007 rating period. Comment here. 03-16-07Secret Squirrel spins on ... the frequency formerly known as KIX104: Looks like Radio One's WHHL Jerseyville/St. Louis is going to (somehow) get an upgrade to a Class B signal. Now this woulda been damned handy back when I was playing Conway and Merle and Hank Jr. and the rest of their pals on 104.1. Comment here. 03-16-07It's Video Friday at The Big STLMedia ... Jay Philpott sends along this link and a cryptic description: Strongbad from Homestarrunner.com and his "radio" email. Trust Jay on this one. Just watch it. 03-16-07Anchorman meets Mary Tyler Moore ... Video Friday continues with an actual promo for an Eyewitness News tv station from the dreaded 1970's. I can smell the polyester love from here.
Comment here. 03-15-07Fitz's Grape Soda ... oh, wow! Kinda expensive, but it is the grape soda from Heaven. Uses cane sugar rather than high fructose syrup so the aftertaste is purely grape. I'll drink maybe one of these a week, and the time spent doing so will be savored and most gratifying. This is Teh Stuff! And their Root Beer ain't too shabby, either. NOTE: This is not a product placement ad, but I'd be happy to accept a few cases of each of the above and make it so. Just sayin'. 03-15-07Global warming makes me cry ... Here's absolute, incontrovertible photographic evidence of global warming and the havoc it has wrought among the polar bear population. I do so luv dem polar bears. 03-15-07Big day for Anderson's radio friends ... whose names begin with "B": Mike Berlak has opened a company positioned about halfway between local PD and consultant. It's called OffSitePD and his idea makes a lot of sense. Berlak's an enormously talented programmer who has responded to the call of family and plans to run his business where he can pay attention to that most important aspect of life. Call 916-521-3559 for info. David Bernstein, with whom I worked in Richmond, is the new PD at Air America. Bernstein's broad experience programming talk radio includes WOR/NYC and extensive consulting work. If any PD can pull the liberal rabbit out of the hat, it'll be Bernstein. If he fails, my suggestion to investors is another "B" word: "Bail!" Tad Griffin(OK, he's a "G", not a "B") has some interesting InterNet marketing ideas we'll be telling you about soon. I watched Tad grow from a part-timer at WHBQ to a respected country music PD. Tad's smart, he's street-savvy and I just bet that he's got a great plate to set, yet, for the radio industry. Yeah, I know...he's old and outa shape and all, but give him a break. 03-15-07Movin's HD-2 channel ... "Mike, Speaking of HD-2 innovations, check out WMVN's HD-2. No more River rehash, it is now "iChannelmusic.com playing unsigned independent artists. LIVE jocked for most shifts (though they don't talk much either). Probably a little too alt-rock for your personal tastes, but truly something different."Comment here. 03-15-07You read about it on the MB ... here's the fact, Jack: Kelly Jackson from KSDK in St. Louis will join KXTV Channel 10's morning newscast in Sacramento/CA. Our loss. Comment here. 03-14-07So I've been listening to The Bull's HD channel ... since about 6:30 this morning (it's now quarter 'til eight) and I've heard exactly three dj tracks. I might have missed one, but none of them were memorable. One every half hour, at about :04 and :34 is what it seems to be. Erin Austin is just an average jockette, but nothing special, and she certainly isn't putting a lot of energy or effort into her voice tracking. If this is what CCU means by "adding dj's" to their HD channels, well, it sucks. Yo, Billy Greenwood: thanks for the help on the PI deal. But now you might want to get your HD jocks tightened up and a little more involved, huh? Comment here. 03-14-07Secret Squirrel got a pretty unlikely email ... regarding significant changes at CBSRadio's local KYKY and KEZK supposedly locked in and coming soon, maybe by this weekend. In the parlance of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, DON'T PANIC! We're tracking the info for confirmation and will let you know what the CBSRadio reality is soonest. UPDATE from inside CBS: None of that is true except for the client party which is in fact designed to do nothing more than spoil client's dinners with champagne and chocolate. Y98 is doing exceedingly well in revenue, and KEZK is way too strong as a heritage giant to alter its format in any way. Pretty much as I thought: CBSRadio stays stable here. And, yes, I know who sent the "poison pen" email...they've been doing it for years. 03-14-07Finally the photos ... not enough of them, of course, but a few from the STLMedia Conclave on 10 February 2007. Take a look. 03-14-07Got some morning numbers ... from the first Winter Trend; read 'em here. 03-14-07You can never have too many flashlights ... I picked up some of these at Sam's Club for about $25 a pair and they cover our little backyard like a lantern with many times the lumens of a regular light source. Three AAA batteries power them for almost a full day's use. I've gotten kinda paranoid about light sources since the last two power failures, so I've been stocking up... 03-14-07STLMedia readers come through ... on that PI's investigation referred to a bit down this page. Turns out that voiceover wizard Dave Morris and Bull PD Billy Greenwood were the guys on the air on KIX106 back then, and both have checked in. I was able to forward a viable lead to the investigator as a result. I'll keep you posted if I hear more on the case. I'm now working on a teleplay for Law & Order based on this and asked Billy who should play the dj's. His reply? "Brad Pitt plays me and Norm from Cheers can portray Dave." Bet we'll hear from Dave on this issue... 03-14-07Viacom sues YouTube for a billion ... that was the big media news Tuesday. Bottom line is that the lawsuit, the biggest challenge to date to Google's ambitions to make YouTube into a major vehicle for advertising and entertainment, accuses the web search leader and its unit of "massive intentional copyright infringement." Viacom contends that almost 160,000 unauthorized clips of its programming have been uploaded onto YouTube's site and viewed more than 1.5 billion times and that negotiations with Google have been unproductive. InsideRadio asks the really big question: Does this suggest that Sumner Redstone’s other big media company – CBS – probably isn’t going to be announcing an ad-sales alliance with YouTube parent Google? Ya think? Comment here. 03-13-07SatRad horsehockey ... from RadioWorld03-09-07: If the two satellite radio companies merge, they would need to support two separate technology platforms until about 2016. This is key, as Wall Street analysts have been debating how much money Sirius and XM might save by merging and how far down the road those benefits would be realized. The 2016 date is from Sirius President/CEO Mel Karmazin, who testified before the House Telecom and Internet Subcommittee this week in a hearing about the future of radio. The satcasters don't want to make current receivers obsolete: Sirius signals can't transmit and be received by XM radios and vice versa. This is crap. All they have to do is match their bit rates, delete duplicated channels for the sake of bandwidth and send the same signals to both services' sats. How tough is that? This is 2007, right? We have the technology, etc., etc., etc. The real answer: Karmazin wants all the bandwidth for both channels for his own, some of which will be used for the combined SatRad channels and the rest which will be sold for other, commercial, use.
The good news is that Mel understands the value of bandwidth.
The bad news is that Mel understands the value of bandwidth. Comment here. 03-13-07McVay Media's Holland Cooke ... shills for HD Radio, but wisely holds the door open for WiMax: Anyone with files on a server is tantamount to a radio or TV station. Before you scoff that listeners prefer professionally produced content, know this: CNN.com delivers 50 million downloads a month. YouTube will deliver 100 million today.Read it here and then comment here. 03-13-07Attention STLMedia Newsletter subscribers ... please make sure that your ISP will accept email from firstname.lastname@example.org. We've received a few kickbacks in the last few days and don't want you to miss anything. If you want to unsubscribe, click here and then re-subscribe by clicking here. Just make sure that the GMail account from which we send is acceptable to whichever email provider you choose to use. Or you can just get a free GMail account and never have to worry about it again! 03-13-07Reuters gets it wrong again ... just another bogus oldies group: Members of pop band The Drifters, Peter Lamarr, Victor Bynoe, Rohan Turney and Patrick Alan, were said to be lucky to be alive after a serious car crash on the way back from a concert in northern England. The band, whose line-up has changed many times since its formation in the United States in 1953, claims to be the longest running group in pop history to still be performing live. Look, sorry they were hurt and all that but these guys have NOTHING to do with the Drifters. Just another soundalike group, making a few bucks on the backs of the pioneers. Here's Bill Pinkney's website for the closest-to-the-bone version of the group. At least Pinkney was there at the beginning. These guys were screwed out of most of their royalties back when they had hits and the originals deserve to be accorded more than their fair share of the loot now. Don't believe everything you saw in the movie Ray about the altruistic motives of Atlantic Records producers and execs. Comment here. 03-13-07Aarrgh! What to do with those promo shots of all the cute little kids shoving their fingers in our faces? KMOV and KSDK tied with 16.6/25 at 10pm in February. Neilsen adjusted the numbers to account for people who use a DVR to watch the newscasts. They're BOTH number one. Best MB comment so far: If you tie for third, both are considered 4th place. With that logic, wouldn't the two stations tied for first actually both be #2?Comment here. 03-13-07NBC/TV-ABC/Radio-Paul Harvey fill-in guy ... might run for US President. Fred Dalton Thompson, former TN Senator and current actor and radio commentator, says he'll "leave the door open" and "I’m going to wait and see what happens. I want to see my colleagues on the campaign trial, what they say, what they emphasize, whether they can carry the ball next November...I think people are somewhat disillusioned. A lot of people are cynical out there. They’re looking for something different." Check out this cagey devil's qualifications (eg: "If Fred Thompson had been at Thermopylae the movie would have been called '1' and we'd all be wondering if Persia really ever existed.") and then comment here. This bucaroo gets my vote... 03-13-07This is pretty cool ... Kent Weissinger (O'Fallon IL HS, Class of '69), a practicing attorney and an actual grownup now living in Florida, is taking the time to rebuild the 'scoped airchecks from the KXOK tribute site with the original music and will be presenting various dayparts, with all the dj chatter, ads, news and weather, at his Live365 area. He expects to have the first segments online this weekend (it's currently country). Listen then and then comment here. 03-13-07Law & Order SVUCI KIX106 ... Spoke with a PI recently who's looking for anyone who has copies of the music logs for or airchecks of KIX106/STL for the hours of 10AM-5PM on December 31st, 1999, or who might have been on the air there between those hours on that day. Contact me and I'll pass your name and contact info along. You will incur no legal liability nor is there a reward for the information. But you might be helping someone out of a jam. 03-13-07I've known a passel of salesfolk over the years ... but I could count on the fingers of one hand the number who rise to the professionalism and work ethic of Greg Kornfeld, whose birthday was yesterday (the 12th). "Korny's" been with KTRS for just over ten years and is one of the hardest working, most organized guys I've ever met, even though he keeps his client records on a stack of tattered 3x5 index cards held together with a rubber band. He's a good guy, a great family man, and a good friend to those fortunate enough to count him as such. Happy belated birthday, Greg! Comment here. 03-12-07Fred Zielonko goes home ... As noted below, Randy Raley has joined KMOX in sales, and now we learn that former KTRS Station Manager and Jack Carney Show producer Fred Z. is apparently headed in the same direction. Fred's a great guy and he'll do well in sales, I think, especially at the station for which he worked for so many years. Comment here. 03-10-07I have a pretty rigid network tv viewing schedule ... and it doesn't include a lot of programming like 30Rock, The Office, Scrubs, The Unit, Jericho, Bones, Prison Break, Justice, Cold Case and Grey's Anatomy. I'd like to watch 'em all first-run, but a man has to have priorities. So I watch them as they are available at my convenience online, on one monitor, while I work on the other. I have to wonder how this affects tv ratings, since neither of my 'puter monitors is attached to a Nielsen box. ConnectedDVR recording numbers can be included, I guess, but this must still leave a lot of viewers uncounted. So how does this work? How do the nets know I'm there? Comment here. 03-10-07I must be a smart guy ...'cause even the kids at Harvard are agreeing with me about SatRad: While Wall Street may not have realized it, it’s perfectly obvious why satellite radio is not making money: no one wants to pay for radio, especially radio with generic programming.Comment here. 03-10-07Anything you can sell ... I can sell better (from InsideRadio): For years it wasn't an issue between the two sales forces - but as demand for :10's, :15's and :30's has taken off CBS station reps have sold more and more of them. Now Westwood is "seeking to resolve a dispute" over whether CBS stations can sell those spots under the non-competition provision of their management agreement. Now spot length is proprietary? Gimme a break. Sell the spots. See spots run. Damned spots better run! Then collect the money. Comment here. 03-10-07The world gets smaller every day ... I was going through a few blogs that interest me tonight when I came across a reference that set me back a bit. James Lileks, a columnist in Minneapolis, wrote of listening to a guy named Bob Davis doing a talk show on KSTP(you'll have to scroll pretty far down the page). Davis was the PD at Alice when that amazingly bad station existed here in the same office spaces at KTRS at Westport Plaza; he was also the MD at WRXL in Richmond/VA when I was PD/OM at the AM there, WRNL, in the first half of the 1980's.
And here's another one! Holy cats! This dancin' little man was a teenaged jingle freak in 1971 when I was at WMID/AC and now he owns stations in Pennsylvania and freelances in NYC. You shoulda heard him on the air at WPEN/Philadelphia...what an incredible talent.
The wired world is just one big high school reunion that runs at full power 24/7/365. What are your experiences? Who have you caught up with in this kind of oblique contact?
I'd tell you the story of a high school girlfriend who touched base online, wanting to pick up where we left off, but Mrs. A is listening. Comment here. 03-10-07Weathermeister Ben Abell retiring ... The meteorologist announced Thursday that his final forecast on KWMU will be April 27th. His weather reports have been a part of KWMU ever since the station went on the air, in 1972. Abell, 75, said he wants to spend more time writing and researching. He also quipped that he's only at the beginning of a "five-year" retirement, as he will take a few more years to leave SLU, where he teaches meteorology. Comment here. 03-10-07STLMedia defers to Great Britain's media ... for a little bit:
Comment here. 03-10-07Because we love you ... and because we know some guys, here's the Katie Couric tune currently in rotation at WPLJ/NYC. Abba never sounded so good!
Comment here. 03-10-07UPDATE: Frequent flyer Secret Squirrel ... Metro and Helicopters Inc. are in the middle of contract renewal negotiations. They are currently operating on a contract that is technically expired. Apparently Metro had been paying some expenses to Helicopters Inc. that they weren't contractually obligated to pay. They decided to stop paying the extra expenses. Helicopters Inc. threw a tantrum and grounded their biggest markets (plus St. Louis, their headquarters) for one morning drive shift. An agreement was reached and they were back in the air by afternoon. I have no idea if Metro decided to pick up the tab on the extra costs or not.Comment here. 03-10-07Raley leaves Nashville, joins the Dark Side ... Randy Raley is comin' home: I have found out that the "business" I missed no longer exists. I am not a liner card reader, I am much too old for that. I have realized that what I have to offer isn't what the radio companies are looking for. So, with that in mind, I am thrilled and overwhelmed to be added to the sales staff at KMOX. I will be trading in my headphones for a three piece suit...Read the rest and comment on Randy's blog. 03-09-07First to stream radio online in STL ... was probably KTRS. It was the mid-to-late 90's when a Frank O. Pinion fan and advertiser at A-Z Used Computers set up a radio with a mic next to the speaker and fed the audio into a T-3 pipeline they owned so the world could hear TLMSITA. You could occasionally hear discussions with customers in the background! I got CE Mike Breitenstein to hardwire the audio and Station Manager Fred Zielonko began a search for a stream provider. I'm almost positive that KTRS was the first radio station in the market to stream their signal on a regular basis, and back in the days of 28.8kbs modems, it was quite a treat! Comment here. 03-09-07Shelley Grafman's spot on the STL Walk of Fame ... why hasn't it become a reality yet? Grafman built a little Crestwood radio station into a media giant that influenced the entire music and radio biz and has, for three decades, dominated STLRock radio: KSHE95. Even that dope-smokin' pig Sweetmeat has something to say about this. More coming. 03-09-07Is it just me ... or is CBS' anchor Katie Couric the most blatantly unsexy woman on television? Not that female TV anchors have to be sexy, and I don't mean that sexy has to incorporate sex, but, well, I don't know, there's just something about Couric that puts me off. She's not authoritative, she doesn't seem to be in charge, she seems unsure of herself (the way she tilts her head is a dead giveaway), she's not "hot", she's just "not." Katie's just blah. Maybe it was that high colonic she went through on tape. I'm married to and desperately in love with the smartest, most kickass woman on Earth, so it's not any sexist disdain here. But I think in-charge babes are sexy. Women, like Mrs. A, with gumption, rule, and get my respect. It's just, well, I dunno...Katie's got no gumption. Feh. Comment here. 03-09-07Frequent flyer Secret Squirrel ... hears that, after six months of no payment from Metro Traffic, Helicopters Inc. grounded its flight services in several markets, including St. Louis, Houston, Dallas, and New York. That lasted about two air shifts before Metro coughed up the cash and wired payment. Metro services are used locally by KSDK/5, KMOX, KEZK and KTRS; Metro is part of Westwood One, which "provides a broad range of programming and information services, which deliver audience to advertisers and also deliver traffic, news, talk, sports and entertainment programs to its affiliate stations. Westwood One is managed by CBS Radio, a division of CBS Corporation."Comment here. 03-08-07A2IM Releases 'Rules Of Engagement' For Radio ... AllAccess has published the press release from A2IM that outlines the agreement between that organization of independent music labels and the radio companies that reached a consent decree with the FCC in which the stations agreed to go forth and do payola no more.
While I have long been an advocate of zero-tolerance and maximum punishment for payola violations, I have a hard time with what appears to me to be blackmail by indie labels and a collusive FCC to control your station's playlist. An excerpt: "We have taken a free-market approach to fixing an imbalance in the marketplace -- a self-correction without government interference," says PETER GORDON, A2IM board member and lead negotiator in this matter.
This most certainly IS government interference and it should not be tolerated. Read the release here and then comment here. 03-08-07Winter '06-'07 Phase 1 ... Here are the 12+ numbers and here's a free preview: The Arch is flat and KSHE sneaks past them with a nice little bump. KMOX continues their #1 streak and KEZK jumps .7. The Bull and KTRS suffer similar drops, from 4.1 to 3.4.Comment here. 03-08-07Radio One cans two ... from AllAccess: Cluster OM and Urban AC WFUN PD Garth Adams is out, as is Urban WHHL PD and morning host Craig Black. Sources say Boogie D, who recently left as Director/Rhythm-Crossover Promotion for Virgin Records, is headed to STL but there's no official word on exactly what his new position will be. Prior to joining Virgin, Boogie was MD for CBS Top 40/Rhythmic WPGC/Washington, when Radio One SVP/Programming Jay Stevens was in charge of programming. Comment here. 03-07-07Message Board update ... I've deleted the Personalities forum. Entries there were sporadic and would be better served in any case by posting them in the appropriate Formats or Local Groups forums. I have also removed the archives from Columns/Commentary written by former presenter LottaTalk. I'm currently looking for two someones, one from each side of the aisle, who might be interested in writing regularly in their own forum. Contact me if you're interested and willing to invest the time needed to write and moderate. Anonymity is guaranteed. 03-07-07The Air America sale has gone through ... As much as I'd like to see them succeed, I say these guys will get out of their deal within 18 months. The LibNet is a moneypit that no one can survive or fund for much longer. Comment here. 03-07-07Kramer's back ... for better or worse. Keith Kramer, the former KTRS midday guy, has built himself a home studio, bought the bandwidth, sold some sponsors and is online 24/7, with a live show starting at 1PM weekdays. His content is still a little raw for my taste...I think he's better than that but maybe he has to work it out of his system. In any case, he's a damned sight better online than he was on The Big 550. Give him a listen. 03-07-07Five new chunks of STLRadio history ... stories about the old days at KMOX, WEW, WIL and KSD are online now at Frank Absher's STLRadio history website. Some great photos, too. 03-07-07Another oldie-but-goodie ... The best voiceover guys in the world in one four and a half minute burst, in a limo. Yeah, this could happen. But if a bomb hit their car maybe I'd get some work...I can do Don LaFontaine better than he can: "In a world..." 03-07-07This has been around for a while ... but it bears reposting. Sometimes I can't help myself and just have to talk up a song Mrs. A and I hear on the radio. I'm always fearful she'll pull the .38 out of her purse, but then I hit the vocal and all is well...she does have respect for craftmanship, after all. 03-07-07It's been too quiet, for too long ... something's bound to pop soon. Phase 1 of the Winter Book(for the four weeks commencing January 11th) is due today, but nobody with any sense at all would make any changes based on just that. No KTRS jokes, please. Send newstips here. 03-06-07ACMs Ain't Whistlin' Dixie (Chicks) ... (from E!Online) They swept the Grammy Awards, but apparently the Dixie Chicks don't fly with the Academy of Country Music. Nominations were announced Monday for the annual ACM Awards and there was nary a Chick to be found despite the Texas trio's five Grammys for Taking the Long Way. The Chicks have won 10 ACMs in their career, including Entertainer of the Year in 2000, but have been shunned by the Nashville establishment since their President Bush-bashing comments in 2003. Is this a nanny-nanny-boo-boo moment or what? Comment here. 03-06-07Daylight Savings Time comes early this year ... (2AM, this coming Saturday night/Sunday morning) and it may be an issue for broadcast stations. Because the change in DST implementation was a congressionally-mandated decision, event scheduling software may not have workarounds or fixes in place. XP, I'm told, is safe; Windows2000 may not be, nor may be the various software packages that radio and televion stations use to schedule commercials and music. I'm in receipt of a memo from ProphetSys.com outlining the changes that need to be made to CCU workstations, and it's a long list; I presume that other companies which use proprietary software have issued something similar. I suggest you pay attention to this issue and get your IT Manager on it right now. Comment here. 03-06-07Somebody at the FCC loves dem Indie labels ... It appears that part of the $12.5 million FCC payola settlement/consent decree reached Monday with CBS, Clear Channel, Citadel and Entercom also requires the four broadcasters to provide 8,400 half-hour segments of free airtime for independent record labels and local artists.
As they say, just more mush from the wimp. The fine, spread between the four groups, is peanuts, and those 8400 half-hours dedicated to indie music works out to less than three hours per each station owned. Thirty or so indie-spins and they've paid their debt to society.
Here's what some trades are reporting:
From R&R: The Future of Music Coalition said it is "pleased" that broadcasters accepted the deal and have voluntary embraced the "Rules of Engagement," which it characterizes as guidelines "that spell out how independent labels and commercial broadcasters can work together in the future."
Michael Bracy, the coalition's policy director, said, "For seven years, FMC has worked to document and combat the practice of payola. We have urged the FCC to work with artists and labels to build a basic framework for how the local independent music community can interact with the commercial radio industry."
From AllAccess: FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein told AP, "I love music and I want radio to sound fresh, dynamic and real. But payola gets in the way of authenticity because money drives the music, not its quality. Taking payola out of the system will lead to more interesting programming."
As part of the separate agreement with the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT MUSIC, a set of "rules of engagement" will guide how label reps and radio programmers interact. Broadcasters will more closely monitor their dealings with labels, including setting limits on gifts, promising to keep track of all items of value supplied by those companies, hiring independent compliance officers to make sure the rules are followed, and establishing a "payola hot line" for employees to report when rules are broken. Comment here. 03-06-07RIAA eager to eat your lunch ... If you offer a streaming internet "radio station" or if your station streams its programming, the whole thing suddenly just got more expensive. A lot more expensive.
One writer at TechDirt runs the math that will affect his company:
Have you considered who will be paying the most? This year, every Clear Channel station in the top 100 markets will be simulcast streaming. That's on the order of 1,300 stations, +/- 100 or so. Since I've already done the math, I'll clue you in.
Using an average of one song per four minutes, each station will be playing 131,400 songs per year. That's $144.54 per station per listener. TFA quotes 500 listeners as average; that works out to:
100 listeners: $14,454 --- 500 listeners: $72,270 --- 1,000 listeners: $144,540
At 1,300 stations or so, that means this ruling will cost Clear Channel:
100/station: $18.8m --- 500/station: $94m --- 1,000/station: $188m
I can tell you firsthand they are not making that kind of revenue on their streaming side. Clear Channel stands to lose on the order of $100m this year. Ad revenue might help offset it next year, but we're still looking in the range of $100m or so for 2008 as well. CC most definately did not sign up to lose $150-300m in the next two years; it's really not a good time.
From R&R: The rates, which are back-dated to 2006 and run through 2010, will almost double during the span. According to the Broadcast Law Blog the minimum fee is $500 per channel per year. There is no clear definition of what a "channel" is for services that make up individualized playlists for listeners. BLB reports that the new rates are as follows:
2006 - $.0008 per performance
2007 - $.0011 per performance
2008 - $.0014 per performance
2009 - $.0018 per performance
2010 - $.0019 per performance
From Mike: There are only two ways to get around this extortion: one is to run your streaming servers from an off-shore location where these schmucks cannot legally reach you; the other is to go "bareback" and just ignore the RIAA and hope you never get caught. I know guys who are doing one or the other of these and guys who believe in doing the "right thing" and paying the royalties. I believe in paying fair royalties for streaming your signal or programming online, but this is unconscionable. This, along with ASCAP's latest decision (scroll down), may kill domestic music streams and end the WiFi potential for broadcast radio that I and so many others have promoted over the past few years. Thanks to catfishal for the tip. Comment here. 03-05-07Top 40 sez it all ... here's the hooks from the greatest Top 40 hits of all time. 45 minutes of the music of your life; it's a bandwidth gift from STLMedia, unless you abuse it. (You'll need a Flash player)
03-03-07My apologies to the STL Journalism Review ... for unintentionally misrepresenting their under-their-old-ownerFebruary issue (cover at left, issue designed and printed by the new owner) as their under-the-new-ownerMarch issue (to come soon). This motif carries thru the issue and would appear to be a preview of the new design...a little klunky, I think. Heavier paper is a plus, as is the additional color within. They should place the address label on the back cover to preserve the integrity of the cover artwork, carving that page into two ad spaces and an area for the label (if the label was placed upside down the issue could still go thru the postal system bound-edge first). Comment here.
03-02-07A guy you might want to consider ... when you're looking to hire: Michael Grafman. He's got an MBA from Maryville, long-term success in syndication as a COO and at local and regional sales, but is willing to look outside broadcasting to advance his career. It probably doesn't hurt that he's the son of Shelley Grafman, who created the STL AOR legend KSHE, and so has been involved in media sales all his life. Michael would rather stay here than move to accept other offers; you know how effective the impact of a legendary STLMedia name can be in local sales. Reach Michael at MRGinvests@aol.com 03-02-07Arbitron bids "Adios" to Mexico ... from InsideRadio: That ends years of spadework that begin with the launch of Mexico City in September 2001. Then came Guadalajara and Monterrey. So what's the problem? Answer: Not enough financial support from broadcasters. Or maybe Arbitron realized that they could get sufficient listener data from "immigrants" already in the US? Now we learn from an Edison study performed for Country Radio Broadcasters, Inc. that country music stations need to be aware that Hispanics love their stuff and so need to cater to that audience. Does this mean that we'll hear more accordians on WIL and The Bull? Larry Rosin, President of Edison Media Research says, “You reap what you sow. Country music only needs to make itself available to Hispanics, and then court them. Listening will almost assuredly go up.”Comment here. 03-02-07Trouble in Paradise Nashville ... the annual Country Radio Seminar wraps up this weekend in Nashburg and the local fishwrap is covering it. This article caught my eye, especially this: Universal Music Group Nashville Chairman Luke Lewis kicked things off when he declared in less-than-delicate terms that the industry should applaud secondary radio markets that can't afford research for their stations and whose programmers are instead left to play music they believe in.
This is where Mike calls bulls**t. Nothing has changed in this regard since the Playlist Renovation Days of the early 1960's, when PD's finally took control of their music away from the DJ's. A few trade-reporting radio stations in BIG markets took their cues (and the money) from record promoters as to which of the tunes released that week were going to be hits. The next week, MEDIUM market reporting stations studied the trades to see what the BIG stations had added and followed suit. By the third week, the SMALL market stations were onboard and the record was climbing the Billboard Hot 100.
Remember, back then, all this was being done by snailmail.
There was no phony music research and there was none of that "I believe in it" crap. One PD followed another and station after station climbed on the Hitbound Bandwagon.
If they didn't play the game, the station would lose service and promotional support from the label and in the days of the "Rip us off for an LP/t-shirt" contests, that could be crippling. And, God forbid, it could cost the PD his family's annual trip to LA or the Bahamas.
By the late 1980's the addition of a record to a playlist was being orchestrated by labels openly in trade ads: "This is the week for you to add (fill in the blank)." Because of the way that hitlists were compiled in trade mags, the gravitas of multi-station adds was critical. So critical, in fact, that the loss of just one trade-mag-reporting station could tank the whole project.
I managed to do just that in the early 1990's, while I was PD/MD at KIX104 here: I was in the middle of a dispute between KIX, Ray Massey's WIL and RCA over presentation rights to a Riverport concert (I forget which artist). KIX lost and in a fit of pique I refused to advance an Oak Ridge Boys song to our power category. That cost the group what would have been their last #1 record. Just one reporting station caused all that havoc. I caught Holy Hell from RCA and even the trade mags to which KIX reported for not playing the game.
Collusion between the trades and the labels? Nah!!!
Trust me, from then to now, nothing has changed. Want proof? Read this: Then, nearly 20 minutes into the hour-long discussion, after not having said so much as "hello," country musician and panelist Clay Walker casually piped up. "I miss payola," Walker said. "When I came out in 1994, you could take a guy out to a ballgame, buy him sneakers and pay for his kid's private school and you'd form a great relationship. These days, I mean, it's become holier-than-thou at every radio station you go to. They can't accept anything."
Bummer. Comment here. 03-02-07Contest violations cost money ... Trades are buzzing with the revelation of multiple FCC fines (and, likely, more to come). And every one of these $4000 forfeitures could have been avoided if the stations involved had had a clear set of rules posted on their websites and available at the station's office. Over the years, I developed a set of very basic rules for all contests that was supplemented with specific and timely rules for each new contest that aired. The rules were vetted by station/company attorneys and kept my fat out of the fire on a number of occasions. I wish I had a set to present to you here, but that memo is long gone. We could always recreate it here, though. Submit your ideas below and let's see what we can come up with. I do remember that the last rule on the basic sheet was this: Decision of the judges is final. That always seemed to be the most important one, for some reason. Comment here. 03-02-07AAR sale may be in trouble ... from AllAccess: Could NY Dispute Sink AAR Sale?
Trouble may be brewing over the closing of the sale of Air America Radio to real estate mogul Stephen L. Green. It may involve the reported $3 million yearly fee paid to Access.1 Talk WWRL-A/NYC to serve as the network's flagship. Almost a full year before AA took air, I said that their proposed business model was unworkable and now it looks like it's coming back to bite them in their left butt cheek in the hour of their greatest financial need. Somebody with real-life radio experience needs to take these people firmly by the shoulders and shake them to some level of awareness. Comment here. 03-01-07ASCAP wants more of your dough ... from AllAccess: ASCAP filed a motion yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, asking the court to confirm that all Internet transmissions of musical works to the public are "public performances." Essentially, ASCAP wants all digital streams and downloads to be be subject to licensing by the creators and copyright owners of those works, through organizations, like ASCAP, that represent them -- and therefore subject to an additional license and royalty fees. "The emergence of the digital world is dramatically reshaping the way music is purchased and enjoyed," said ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento. "We strongly believe that our members are entitled to be compensated for all Internet transmissions of their music to the public -- including the public performance that is an essential part of a music download." Comment here.
03-01-07AI's Katharine McPhee ... allowed this to happen to her on TV: Tyra Banks: “I squeezed her boobs and they are real! They’re jiggly and soft.” The screen grab was used by RCA as an ad in several radio trades (the headline on the graphic is theirs). The blanking is mine. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. Your kids have access to music sites and I guarantee that this will show up there. Disallow this crap and ban McPhee's music. Comment here.
03-01-07CC/STL-HD2 stations ... (except KLOU-HD2, which is Rams' football games) all now have jocks. Of course, they're all voice-tracked and slipped into the 'puter driven music rotation. But at least there's somebody saying here is and that was and come see this thing. Hope there was a few bucks passed around for this additional duty. Now tell me again, what was the enemy, exactly, that HDRadio was supposed to beat? National talents on SatRad? MP3 players? Hard drives(what I'm listening to now)? Live broadcast radio(where I'll be listening tomorrow morning)? Just wonderin'... Comment here. 03-01-07The Main System here went online in May '02 ... with a few upgrades since, and now we're thinking about upgrading the whole system. Hardware aside, the biggest consideration for me is the OS: sticking with XPPro (which I'd prefer) or moving to Vista. I've heard from a few already who've made the change and all seems copasetic with peripherals, which was an initial concern. But I'm more concerned about the additional DRM aspects of Vista since a lot of my work includes audio and video. Your thoughts? Comment here. 03-01-07My apologies to Erin Austin ... In the piece below that mentions Ms. Austin's ascension to MD at The Bull, I mentioned that she and Z107 PD Tommy Austin were married. That is not the case. The source for the tip was mistaken and I erred by not following it up. The report has been corrected. 02-27-07Congratulations to Mrs. A and her business partner, Mrs. S ... along with their ridiculously expensive intellectual property attorneys, for being granted the patent for the device they've worked on so long and so hard. Now comes the fun part: manufacturing and marketing. Maybe I'll get to do the sales pitch on TV...hey, me and Billy Mays! 02-27-07For no apparent reason ... I've been asked to make a presentation on New Media at the regional Society of Professional Journalists meeting in STL in April. For more info, or to join or register for the confab, send email here.
02-27-07Big time at the Chase Park Plaza ... Hotel insiders report that a group of Saudi Arabians partied heartily in the multi-floor Chase penthouse over the weekend, with local entertainment, lots of booze and nose candy and a whole herd of hookers. Guess those Saudi restrictions on behavior only apply if they're at home. Glad to offer a good time, boys! Have you tried White Castle, Waffle House, Uncle Sam's and Courtesy Diner? My only question is why in the hell would Saudis come to STL to party? Now, about those $61+ a barrel oil prices... Comment here.
02-27-07Congrats to Erin Austin ... The [former] wife of Tommy Austin, PD at Z107, has been named MD at The Bull. Erin's been here for two years, with previous stops in Austin, Portland and Omaha. Bull PD Billy Greenwood says: "She has tremendous passion for the music and will be a tremendous asset as MD."AllAccess reports: "AUSTIN will take over MD duties on MARCH 6 and can be reached at (314) 333-8132. Music call times are to be announced soon."
02-27-07Fall Book: no SatRad channel exceeded 0.2% ... The average satellite radio channel had a .009% share of quarter hours, which would not be high enough to meet Arbitron’s minimum reporting standards. More here. From AllAccess: The Fall 2006 survey was the first in which new instructions were provided in the diary asking respondents to indicate their listening to satellite and Internet radio in addition to AM/FM radio. Respondents mentioned 297 separate satellite radio channels during the Fall 2006 survey; approximately 5.6% (rough equivalent of reach or "cume rating") of the 468,786 diary keepers who participated in the survey listed a satellite radio channel in their diary. The sum of all listening to satellite channels mentioned by the half-million diary keepers in the ARBITRON FALL 2006 survey totaled 3.4% of credited quarter hours (rough equivalent of share), according to ARBITRON. NOTE: the 3.4% share 12+ in STL's Fall Book would have landed your station in twelfth place, but there are way too many layers of "if" here to relate these numbers to the STL market. Thanks to Jay Philpott for the tip (and I hope I've finally got this right!). Comment here.
02-26-07Baby talk-jock Joe Hipperson ... (see his photo above) decided a while back (February 8, 2007) to take on STL Radio legend JC Corcoran. Apparently, Corcoran had made a few comments on-air about Hipperson's work, and Joe took umbrage. Here's my take: I've known JC since he was in college, employed him twice, in fact, and he's never let me down, personally or professionally, in all those years. JC is one of the two hardest-working radio talents I have ever known. Hipperson, on the other hand, makes promises he cannot (or will not) keep and thinks that sounding like a low-end, high-energy Casey Kasem is the path to fame and fortune. Anybody can talk about CD and DVD release dates, Joe. That doesn't drive you to an AM drive show anywhere. And almost anybody can work at KTRS; shoot, nearly everyone here has! Ain't no thang! Calm way down and get back in line. Comment here. 02-26-07Former WIL PD Russ Schell sent this along ... "I just found this article on the Yahoo! main page. Interesting, and quick, reading. What if radio's middle managers (and GM's for that matter) started to think this way? Food for thought. Instead of just "covering their ass" maybe they should think about growing their assets."Read the article and then comment here. 02-26-07They're already shaking in their boots ... at the very thought of Mel as boss: "There are definitely people who are nervous," said XM PD Billy Zero. "Without a doubt, there's going to be some overlap. I'm a creative guy. I'm an innovator. Hopefully, I will be part of that team. That's what it's going to be about -- pulling the most creative and innovative people onto the next leg of this tour."Read the rest. Gosh, it's like it's already a fait accompli...and that's not a good thing. Comment here. 02-26-07The Oscars didn't fare so well ... a few reviews from the Washington Post, Variety, Hollywood Daily, and the New York Times; former VP and global warming evangelist
Al Gore had a funny comedy moment. Comment here. 02-25-07Hire this guy ... if you're in NC or know someone who is and is looking. Mike Berlak followed me as the PD at my first programming gig and went on to make his own exceptional mark at stations across the country. Now he wants to return to home base to be with his family. He's a good man, and talented on the air and in the office. Contact him at email@example.com or on his wireless at (916)521-3559. 02-25-07Over the last week or so ... I've discovered that former KLOU jock Mike McCann and I had more in common than we ever thought: we both pretty much started our careers at WMID/Atlantic City. I was there a few years before McCann, but the bosses were the same, and so were the horror stories, including twenty commercial minutes an hour Easter-thru-Labor Day. Some scenes from Eddie & The Cruisers and Atlantic City were shot in the station, at client locations and at places McCann and I both visited. WMID still has a website; Mike McCann is doing weekend sports anchoring at WFAN/NYC. You know where I am. Comment here. 02-25-07KEZK no longer the exclusive Komen Run station ... Well, now, what precipitated that? Last year's bad-taste handling of the big-contributing WIL team by CBS PD Mark Edwards? That was probably a part of it, but it's more likely that the charity saw the future and decided that allowing several stations to participate as co-sponsors made more sense than having just one station in charge. Check other markets where the Komen Run happens to see how they handle it. Comment here. 02-25-07Maybe you better move your MP3's to a CD or DVD ... on a non-DRM system or HD right now! Trades (including AllAccess) are reporting that a U.S. federal jury found yesterday that Microsoft infringed audio patents held by Alcatel-Lucent and should pay $1.52 billion in damages. MS said it plans to first ask the trial judge to knock down the ruling and will appeal if necessary. It said the verdict is unsupported by the law and that it had already licensed the technology in question from Germany's Fraunhofer. This may also include Apple's iPod and iTunes files, Sony and others. My bet is that this will come to nothing, or at best, a quiet settlement. But better safe than sorry. Burn, burn, burn then golden discs. Comment here. 02-25-07Oh, my, it's starting up again ... as I expected it would. Unsigned threats and stupidity are coming in thru the rumors/newstips link and it's pretty obvious where they're coming from. Look, if you want to threaten me or try to intimidate me, at least have the courage to sign your name. Otherwise, your messages are as meaningless as those you represent. And why do you think they don't have the sack to do it for themselves and have to ask others to do it for them? Go away now. Scat. I have a business to run. 02-25-07Secret Squirrel hears that ... KTRS GM Tiny Tim Dorsey has named Jeff Witt(current AE at The Arch) to steer the sales ship. If true, Witt would be the 4th SM at The Big 550 in 18 months. Is this some kind of new market record? Did TTD's son and/or brother fail to make it happen? Comment here. 02-24-07Voiceover guru Dave Morris' excellent blog ... which you can read here, pointed the way to this story, about a ban on dancing in certain clubs in NYC. That lead to this memory. Read it and then comment here. 02-24-07Thanks and a tip o' the hat to ... Ameren UE, who managed to plunge the neighborhood surrounding STLMedia World HQ into heatless darkness this afternoon for about five hours. Mrs. A and I had both a business lunch and dinner scheduled; I wound up shaving by candlelight (NOTE: this is NOT romantic, or even very comfortable). No wind and only light rain, so I don't know the proximate cause of the outage. But the power infrastructure is crumbling...that's very clear. Comment here.
02-23-07Thanks to intrepid STLMedia reporter "Jane" ... for sending along the photo above: Mike,
I ate lunch at Pita+ Thursday at Olive & Fee Fee, next door to a Dobbs Auto Center, when I spotted this opportunity to amuse you. The Arch van had been parked in front of Dobbs but then was carried away by this wrecker truck. I dropped my falafel, almost knocked a lady down that was coming into the restaurant and ran out the door to get this picture. Hey, that antenna mast that much higher off the ground's a little scary...didn't they hear about Paul Arca's adventure with power-line electricity last year?
02-23-07Regardless of the facts ... that I had a vasectomy in 1981 and I've never been within 1000 miles of the woman, I have to admit that I am the father of Anna Nicole Smith's baby and that I should be given control of all the money. That Florida probate judge is a showboating idiot. The relationship between Anna and me is obvious when you compare the images (above) of some of my other children (T-Bear and BatBoy) to our daughter, DannieLynn, and then to my image, at right. More or less, we all look like Winston Churchill. Any questions?
02-23-07A locally-aired syndicated radio show ... is taking shots on the air at this website and the associated Message Board and we thank them for the additional traffic. That's more money to STLMedia! They're also using a slug-line that's dangerously close to a copyrighted element of a local radio show. All that does is make lawyers and original copyright holders wealthier; copiers never win. Just more asshattery from them. They'll never challenge me here, because they know that I know what they did criminally wrong. 02-23-07Ever wonder who's worked in STL radio, and when? Get the answers at Frank Absher's STLRadio.com website. Click here and look for your favorites. And make sure to update your personal entry there by letting Frank know when and where you've been in the market.
02-23-07Hadley shoots mouth off, hits foot ... KTRS sports guy John Hadley wrote on his website, regarding a trade, that "If the Blues management team
is denying this information...they're liars." Exactly which part of the old saw "biting the hand that feeds you" does Mr. Hadley not understand? And, yes, a screencap is available. Comment here.
02-23-07The three most compelling elements ... of Talk Radio are pretty simple: money, sex and death. The current Anna Nicole Smith, and, to a lesser degree, Britney Spears, stories, scream all three; politics, war, religion and the social aspects thereof may touch on them but not in any meaningful or entertaining way. Money, sex and death are the heart and soul of all Pop Culture talk. So would you listen to a radio station that only addressed Pop Culture, staying away from issues that did not "fit the format" as if they were the plague? None of that pesky, unentertaining conservative-liberal stuff? Or would you include some serious stuff? What percentage of total programming would it be? When would you air such segments? Here's an opportunity to design your perfect Talk Radio station. Comment here. 02-22-07Just a few years back ... I suggested here that broadcast stations hold back from streaming until RIAA and AFTRA issues were resolved. Smart operators completely ignored that advice (paying outrageous fees as a result) and today, Internet Radio listening stands at almost 20% of web users 12+. But remember that the concept of Internet Radio isn't limited to over-the-air broadcasters...AOL, Yahoo and Live365 are the top three, followed by Clear Channel(on the list because they're the radio elephant in the room). Now, of course, UWB is making streaming a necessity. Along with that stream, though, must come intense localization of content and service. That's how the winners will be determined once there are thousands of "radio" sources available online. Comment here. 02-22-07Mel's confident, the stocks have recovered ... and the nation waits to see if shareholders and the Congress will approve the merger of Sirius and XM. The House Judiciary Committee says it'll go through if it can be shown to benefit subscribers; financial analysts are giving it a less-than-50% chance of success. Karmazin's got his dancin' shoes on and all laced up...watch the man go to work on the most important deal of his career. Comment here. 02-22-07For absolutely no reason I can fathom ... FNC'sHalf-Hour News Hour debut scored big numbers. A million and a half households is pretty respectable for a new show airing at 10PM EST on a Sunday evening. It has not been cancelled, as some media websites had suggested, and there will be a second airing, with new material, along with a repeat of the premiere this Sunday night. Comment here. 02-21-07Perfect airchecking ... use SuperMP3Recorder to grab any sound that comes through your 'puter, including streams, tv and DVD audio. It also includes editing and scheduling utilities. Cheap...just $30. 02-21-07Back on the Main System at STLMedia World HQ ... and what a nightmare it's been. Reinstalled XP/SP1, and then it didn't want SP2. Then DSL failed. SBC/ATT came through valiantly, but it took hours while they replaced a FO router. Finally convinced the OS to accept SP2, and then the updates began: security, Windows Media, IE and all the constant restarts. Almost makes a guy want to switch to a Mac. 02-21-07To "cleanheads" wherever you are ... that Norelco shaver I mentioned a while back is the best. My hair grows fast and I have to mow the lawn about every other day; one full charge gives me about a week of haircuts. And now, since I beat Britney to the punch, that info should mean something. Even the esteemed Sid Dithers has had his say: Britney Spears Goes "Mike Anderson"!!!Read and comment here. 02-20-07All day long, it was everywhere ... that would be, of course, the news of the proposed merger of the XM and Sirius SatRad companies, something I never thought would happen. I waited all day for all the reports on this to clear my online resources before commenting...
Read the rest at STLMediaReview. 02-20-07Found by a reader ... on Craig's List: Currently seeking experienced radio journalist to write, edit and report news stories for top AM radio station in St. Louis. At least 2-3 years experience in news writing and editing required. Familiarity with AP News Style and SAW Plus preferred. This is an immediate opening. Forward resume and references ASAP. So who's hirin'? Who's still using SAW Plus? I say it's KRFT. This was an ad for AM Drive, by the way.
Comment here. 02-19-07Last night's debut of the "Half Hour News Hour" ... on Fox New Channel was pretty much crap. Read what we and others have to say and watch it here and then comment here. 02-19-07The Post-Dispatch can't deal with the net, yet ... They just don't share very well. Mad props to the P-D's Dan Caesar for his nearly-on-time article in the P-D on KTRS, KMOX and the Fall ratings book. Read it at the STLMediaReview and comment here. 02-18-07This guy's completely bonkers ... former Country Music editor of Billboard Magazine Ed Morris says "country radio stations were wrong to ban the Chicks' music, and regulations should be imposed to ensure that nothing like this happens again. It is eminently reasonable for a station to decline to play a record if it doesn't 'test' well with listeners; but it is outrageous to blacklist a performer's entire catalog simply because it doesn't like his or her politics." Exactly how does Mr. Morris propose to control such an incredibly subjective aspect of station operation? A Fairness Doctrine that covers Talk Radio topics is one thing; to extend it to the political philosophies of recording artists is absurd. There are a lot of recording artists whose music I just do not enjoy, regardless of their politics, and when they come on the radio, I change the station. Morris is suggesting that listeners should no longer have that freedom. Government mandated airplay? Good luck with that, Ed. Comment here. 02-18-07Anticipating a whole new herd of freshman clients ... once the Clear Channel sale is consummated and CBSRadio's sell-off continues, Arbitron is making itself even more user-friendly than ever by setting themselves up as "a service to investors who are considering an ownership stake in radio". It's also a good place to start for non-media types who want to learn more about the industry. Comment here. 02-18-07A bunch of new stuff went up over the weekend ... at Frank Absher's diligently researched STLRadio.com website. Go there and click on Articles to read the latest entries. Comment here. 02-17-07Yawn ... another syndicated show, Steve & DC, enters STL morning radio at 1190/KRFT beginning in March. Perfect match: a radio show no one cares to hear, on a station that no one can hear. Comment here. 02-17-07Okay, the cow's dead...now what?
Late last week we received this anonymous bit of email viewer unhappiness... On thursday at 5p KTVI showed live coverage of a cow drowning in the Big River.Read the rest at STLMedia Review. 02-17-07Chicks! Guys, they're all out to get us! Saturday afternoon, Mrs. A drove me to a voice session (STLMedia's official S-10 had a flat and AAA hadn't shown up yet). I've been doing voice work for Mrs. J's company for almost a decade and Mrs. A has never before accompanied me or even met the client. Today, Mrs. J wrote a check, as she has at the end of every session, and then HANDED IT TO MY WIFE! Men, you've been warned... 02-17-07 New fox at Fox - see my thumb? She's really dumb! ... Courtney Friel began her FNC tenure with Saturday mornings's Fox & Friends. And as much as I enjoy a pretty face on the tube, I'm afraid that young Courtney would lose a game of cribbage to a cabbage... Read the rest and see her audition video at STLMedia Review. 02-17-07Secret Squirrel's nattering on the ... sale of the 14 Shepard Broadcasting stations in Missouri to a newly formed company owned by a former PAX TV executive, Dean Goodman, has turned up a sales price currently floating the rounds in Moberly: $30million! Not a bad little nest egg, huh? Comment here. 02-16-07May have spoken too soon ... UWB(ultra-wide-band) may actually be the REAL next big thing. Imagine your 'puter setup, with peripherals and everything, running seamlessly, and without cables. No more mess behind the desk or under the table, and ten times faster than Wi-Fi, with no setup. Compatibility issues are being dealt with between manufacturers as we write...looks like 2007 will be the year it comes into first play. Give it a year for the costs to settle and then jump in! Comment here. 02-16-07Ritenour HS' radio station license ... for KRSH-FM/Overland may be forfeit because of the Ritenour Consolidated School District's failure to "timely file a license renewal application for the Station" and for willfull and repeated violations of Section 301 of the Communications Act, by engaging in unauthorized operation of the Station after its authorization had expired in 2004. According to the FCC, Ritenour Consolidated School District is liable for a fine of $7,000 and loss of the operating license. Thanks to SuperMax for the tip. Comment here. 02-15-07Online movies on-demand ... Hate to say it, but this is the next Big Thing. Netflix has a deal that allows you to watch, using their proprietary viewer, a selection of current and past movies. Last night I watched The World's Fastest Indian on the laptop; almost-immediate download, great video and stereo, and free since I'm a Netflix subscriber. The next level will be to allow download-and-copy-to-own-to-DVD. Blockbuster, Wal-Mart and Hollywood either need to catch up right now or kiss it goodbye. Comment here. 02-15-07Here's a handy personal hint ... If you shave your head regularly, try to avoid doing it on the coldest day of the year and then go out driving. This is why God made knit watch caps...damn, it was chilly! 02-15-07Sometimes we worry about ... the next generation. STL Radio Old Dog Tom Calhoun has some words on just that...read 'em here. 02-15-07Secret Squirrel spins on ... Shepard Broadcasting Stations in Missouri: All 14, including KJFF in Festus, and a combo in Farmington, about an hour from St. Louis have been sold to a newly formed company owned by a former PAX TV executive, Dean Goodman, based in West Palm Beach FL...seems Dean has a website...www.deanradio.tv...that is under construction..from what we were told, young Dean would like to someday own 400 radio stations..why is anybody's guess...I'm wondering if he'll try to pick up any of Clear Channel's scraps in their small market fire sale, or just what he chooses to do...seems he also owns some stations in Iowa...interestingly enough...no sales price has been disclosed, and likely won't be until the actual filing with the FCC.Comment here. 02-15-07The beginning of the end for analog TV? Well, yes and no. CNet has an HDTV Primer and an eye opening article on what is really going to happen when the federal government pulls the plug on over-the-air analog TV, now only two years away. But an equally important, yet widely misunderstood date is just days away: February 28, 2007. That's the last day manufacturers can ship or import TVs or other consumer electronics devices such as DVD
recorders with analog TV tuners only. But there are loopholes... I think I'll just stick with cable. Comment here. 02-15-07MSNBC's Keith Olbermann re-signs for millions ... of dollars, but not viewers. But he does have a few hundred thousand of them, and that number has been growing steadily... Read the rest here and then comment here. 02-15-07Format-by-demo breakouts ... from the Fall 2006 Arbitron. Highlights: News/Talk and AC retain top spots among Persons 12+ in Fall 2006; Spanish and AC are biggest year over year gainers. CHR and Spanish at #1 and #2 among Persons 18-34, AC #1 Persons 25-54; News/Talk leads in Persons 35-64 and 35+.Comment here. 02-15-07More and more, dead-tree pubs ... are migrating to the WWW, Charles Klotzer notwithstanding, to either replace or supplement their print versions. It is, after all, the future. RadioWorld has one of the slickest online interfaces of any I've run across. Subscribe for free here. 02-14-07In the Winter of 1962 ... my family moved back to New Jersey after a few bad years following my Dad's Western dream in California and Arizona. I was a high school freshman and got dumped to live with Grandmother Steelman, much to her chagrin, in Atlantic City, until my Father re-made his Philadelphia professional bones and could reunite the family. The first radio station I listened to in AC on my Emerson Zenith eight-transistor portable was WMID(AM1340) and the first song I heard was Our Day Will Come by Ruby & The Romantics; nine years later, out of the Army and starting a career, I went to work for WMID and the first song I played there was this one. Can't ever accuse me of not being sentimental, nossir. Comment here. 02-14-07May your Valentines' Day be wunnerful ... I found my forever sweetie a long time back and we've been married for twenty years this past January. I've never been more in love with her than I am today. It's so cool growing older with the Very Best Lady on Earth! 02-14-07Hope this isn't true ... from the STLMedia Message Board: Word from Westport is that what had been bad is now much much worse. Heavy hitter salespeople are flying out the front door while Vic continues his campaign to be PD and involve himself in everything. Meanwhile complaints are pouring in about the morning show and what a rotten job they did with the weather Tuesday morning. Sadly, the complaints are from the few employees left. MIA is Bobby Lawrence. Queen City chatter is that he has officially washed his hands of the KTRMesS and has moved along to run TV stations with King Randy. I commented a while back on how well Porcelli had done filling in at KFTK, even emailed him congrats. But Vic's talk radio experience has been, what, two weeks? And Katie's, just minutes here and there? The two of them could have had a much better debut with a week or so of rehearsal for the show. But Porcelli as a TalkRadio PD? In a couple years, maybe, after he's lifted the weights a while and learned the difference between playing the hits and talking the s**t. I have real problems believing this is the deal now at KTRS. If so, you'll smell the smoke soon. Comment here. 02-13-07If you missed Old Dog Rick Sanborn's feature ... on “Living St. Louis” on Channel 9, here's a link to KETC's archived shows. After using the link, click on the “Smooth Jazz (Rick Sanborn)”… 02-13-07You may not have noticed ... but it snowed a bit today. 'Round STLMedia World HQ it began about 7:30AM and was kickin' pretty good when I finally rolled out of bed an hour later. As a result I missed most radio coverage (at 9AM, KTRS had McGraw on remote at a hot tub outlet and KMOX was discussing the use of DNA in trials) and all local TV except for KTVI were back into net or syndicated programming. KTVI did its usual remarkable job, but I have one question. Why has no station, radio or tv, ever considered using just "openings" rather than "closings"? Aside from the fact that doing so would change listening and viewing habits that date back to the Ming Dynasty, it'd be a much shorter list, and a lot easier to scan and comprehend. Comment here. 02-13-07Got the Main System back online ... thanks to the technical skills of Mrs. A who did some amazing things with a strange glowing golden disc and some magic words that I didn't think I'd ever hear her say out loud. 02-13-07The Air America auction happens Friday ... and so far New York Democratic pol Mark Green’s brother Stephen L. Green still looks like the winner with his bid of $4.25 million. A bankruptcy judge says any last-minute competitor would have to raise the pot to at least $4.6 million. And Al Franken does his last show tomorrow. Comment here. 02-13-07How KTRS became the first STL radio station ... to stream their signal online: story coming later this week. 02-13-07Got GM business? You might have to work a little harder at keeping it. InsideRadio reports: General Motors cut its ad spending by $600 million — and GM’s Betsy Lazar tells radio what to do. But were enough folks getting the message from her RAB keynote in Dallas? Lazar was quite specific — doing business the old way won’t cut it and pitching schedules of :30s won’t do it. What GM wants is ideas that show involvement by the station.Comment here. 02-13-07The Dixie Chicks won a bag of Grammys Sunday ... and by and large yawns ensued. Used to be that politics stopped at the water's edge, but Natalie shot her mouth off overseas about the Prez and the War, and then mocked their core listeners. Net result was that they alienated said core and radio pals, lost in-format radio play, bruised record sales and concert attendance big time but are still very, very rich and much admired by music industry insiders if not record buyers and radio listeners. And bottom line is that it's all about the Benjamins and they gots plenty o' dem. The Chicks lost me with that Earl Must Die thing; it was cute the first few times but then it got creepy. Comment here. 02-12-07Live-blogging Vic & Katie's first day on KTRS: 0535: Both need to handle their mics better.
Katie is more cheery than you can handle.
Too much explaining what they're doing. UH-OH:Kay Tee "Err" Ess overload. It's "ARE", dammit!
Who's in charge here? Not clear.
Don't radio people rehearse their startups anymore?
Did KTRS management just throw these guys in together with no rehearsal?
This is a Top 20 market. Their first half-hour should have been golden; instead, it was lead. 0605: Please stop using music classics as bumpers.
Sorry, but Katie sounds like the much-hated Francene. Nasal, way too nasal. She looks cuter than she sounds.
Too many spot breaks, too many weather and traffic breaks.
Service on the fives? Every ten minutes is too often. How 'bout just when the info changes, and promoting it that way?
Why can't they use one theme to re-enter segments? God forbid they claim a musical ID as their own.
Katie's voice continues to annoy.
If it's gonna be Vic & Katie, let Vic lead.
I've had enough. Summary: no rehearsal. I'll try again on another day. Comment here. 02-12-07James Brown and Luciano Pavorotti ... This Is A Man's World duet. Too cool/weird not to pass along...
02-11-07Who'd have thought that just-fired ... KTRS morning host George Woods is one of the world's best known and most respected horse race handicapping experts? George has a couple best-selling books on the subject behind him and at least one to come. Only Tim Dorsey's station and industry-ignorant Board of Directors would trash a world-respected authority on any subject as an air talent. This is unbelievable. KTRS has nowhere else on Earth to mine talent; Porcelli and Jamboretz will last maybe six months and then where will the station go for talent? KTRS is the laughingstock of the talk radio industry. They hire locally because no one from anywhere else wants to come to the station. Why do the shareholoders continue to trust this sad little man to manage their investment? Are people with money really that stupid? Hey, investors: my phone number is 314-878-0673. Please call and explain why you hold on to this loser. Do you have too much money? Comment here. 02-11-07In February 2006, Jason Barrett ... was being feted as the new "Head Coach" at Philadelphia's SportsTalk WPEN. A few months later he wound up here, at Big League's KFNS, in FlyoverAmerica. What went wrong with Greater Media in Philly? And has something gone sour here? You have the answers...let us know. Comment here. 02-11-07Working with a damaged wing ... Late Friday the Main System(with access to all my html files and web and graphics software) decided to dump a few critical files and render itself useless. So I'm suddenly back in the mid-90's, using Notepad to edit on the laptop and IE to transfer files up to the Web. This is an interesting exercise in seeing how much I remember about the basics, but the sooner it's fixed, the happier I'll be. Resolution is expected NLT Monday PM; until then wish me luck remembering the commands. Damned laptop keeps typing extra nnnnnn's and going into caplock FOR NO REASON. Or maybe it's just my funky, fat little fingers...
02-10-07Letter from the road ... from Bob Heil: Hi Mike...
I hope this finds you well and good. I certainly enjoy keeping up with the St Louis market through your great efforts.
This weekend Sarah and I are in Orlando at the second largest ham radio convention. I see lots of broadcasters at these events and today was very special. Jim White, whom I sat behind the KMOX microphones for 25 years during our 'Heil Tech Heil' segments attended my workshop and visited the Heil booth several times. Jim is in great health, looks great and continues to have the sharp quick wit. Steve Carew also stopped by to say 'Hello'.. Steve did a lot of voice overs and did the lead ins for the Cardinal Network back in the GLORY years.
Thanks for all you do! Bob Heil 02-10-07Truth or bulls**t? Probably the latter. Secret Squirrel tells us that KFTK's Crane Durham is allegedly under fire by management and listeners for comments he made about Anna Nicole Smith, at least if you believe the Dave Glover website (where you can also hear the "incriminating" audio). Hey, any promotion is good promotion as long as you spell the name right, huh? Comment here. 02-10-07Thanks to all ... who made the STLMediaMeeting2007 at Krieger's/Maryland Heights a success this afternoon. I'm pretty sure that several "workable" plots were hatched among the participants to fix all the woes of the world in general and broadcasting in particular. You might have to wait a bit, though, for a consensus presidential candidate endorsement... 02-09-07KTRS blows out morning show ... again. George Woods, Dana Daniels and Monty are out effective now; Vic Porcelli and Katie Jamboretz are in starting Monday. In other KTRS news, Station Manager Craig Unger has assumed additional duties as Program Director. Comment here. 02-08-07First it was CBS ... and now NBC is having problems with copyrighted material posted at YouTube. New CEO Jeff Zucker says, "YouTube needs to prove that it will implement its filtering technology across its online platform. It’s proven it can do it when it wants to.”Comment here. 02-08-07The River City Rascals ... are looking for a Broadcast Intern for the 2007 season. Details here. Questions? Email Phil Giubileo, Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations. Note: This is an unpaid internship, so there is no compensation except for college credit. 02-08-07If you thought buying KTRS for $2mil ... was a deal, check this out: NYC real estate mogul Stephen L. Green picked up the libnet AirAmerica in bankruptcy court for $4.25 million and an additional few million in debt payoff. AA has no real estate or real property and hardly any physical assets, almost no ad income and is losing affiliates on an almost daily basis. But Green's brother, a NYC politico, now has a radio show! Life is good on the left... Comment here. 02-08-07KWMU story on the SJR ... is now online at the station's website. Matt Sepic did a bang-up job examining the conflicts and future of one of the market's finest media resources. Listen here to STL Journalism Review readies for new (old) ownership. Comment here. 02-08-07Dead-tree pub goes digital ... From MSNBC: For centuries, readers thumbed through the crackling pages of Sweden's Post-och Inrikes Tidningar newspaper. No longer. The world's oldest paper still in circulation has dropped its paper edition and now exists only in cyberspace.Comment here. 02-08-07NYT to go digital in five years?(From Haaretz) That's what the paper's boss seems to be saying: Given the constant erosion of the printed press, does he see the New York Times still being printed in five years? "I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care either," Arthur Sulzberger, owner, chairman and publisher of the most respected newspaper in the world says. Sulzberger is focusing on how to best manage the transition from print to Internet.Comment here.
02-07-07The phonecam is mightier than anything ... The fax machine was considered to be the single greatest tool in the democratization of China; it's likely that the camera-equipped wireless phone has opened up even more of the world, including the US, to a never-before considered press freedom and access. Phones like this one have been used to take photos and videos of events ranging from natural disasters to the Michael Richard's comedy club idiocy to the execution of Sadaam Hussein. Take the images, send them to home base for editing via email and then call in the audio component or send along the captions with text messaging or in multi-media email. Picture quality and size of imagery is limited only by the available network bandwidth and on-board memory and that's getting better every day. Many news agencies and resources recognize the power of this tool and offer specific email addresses for you to send submissions; I urge caution when sending stills and videos, especially of major events, to reserve your personal copyright and ownership for later, additional resale. Comment here.
02-07-07Web hubs attacked ... from the AP: Hackers briefly overwhelmed at least three of the 13 computers that help manage global computer traffic Tuesday in one of the most significant attacks against the Internet since 2002. Experts said the unusually powerful attacks lasted as long as 12 hours but passed largely unnoticed by most computer users, a testament to the resiliency of the Internet. Behind the scenes, computer scientists worldwide raced to cope with enormous volumes of data that threatened to saturate some of the Internet's most vital pipelines. Most of the DOS attacks seemed to come from South Korea, according to ICAAN. Comment here. 02-07-07Congrats to KSHE's Rob Naughton ... As KSHE’s Image Director, Rob Naughton’s voice is frequently heard voicing station promos and commercials. But on Superbowl Sunday, Naughton was heard by an international audience of nearly 90 million plus viewers as the VT of the Sprint Broadband “Connectile Dysfunction” commercial which aired during the second quarter. Naughton, a KSHE employee for 10 years, is also the voice talent for Grey’s Anatomy on Lifetime, Fox Sports and most recently for Bank of America. Read the press release.
Comment here. 02-07-07Frankie Laine passes at 93 ... from Reuters: Laine, the full-voiced singer who became one of the most popular entertainers of the 1950s with such hits as "I Believe" and "Jezebel" and was part of a generation of great Italian-American crooners whose peers included Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, died of a heart attack after hip-replacement surgery at the Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego. He is perhaps best remembered by a younger generation of American fans for his recordings of the theme to the hit television Western "Rawhide" and the theme to Mel Brooks' 1974 big-screen western spoof "Blazing Saddles." I had the honor of interviewing Laine as part of an AFRTS audition package in January 1969 during his week-long stand at the Latin Casino in New Jersey; I was a star-struck kid but he was a real gentleman who did his best to make me feel at ease. Comment here. 02-07-07This oughta brighten your day ... from Reuters: Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Tuesday called on the four major record companies to start selling songs online without copy protection software to thwart piracy known as digital rights management (DRM). Jobs said there appeared to be no benefit for the record companies in continuing to sell more than 90 percent of their music without DRM on compact discs, while selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system.Comment here. 02-07-07Arbitron gets tough with public radio ... from InsideRadio: Arbitron may feel that public radio’s gotten a break on fees because of its ability to bargain en masse through the Radio Research Consortium. Now it’s interested in negotiating directly with stations – and asking for rates in People Meter markets that could literally be four to five times higher than what they’re paying now. Remember now, 2007 is the year that public radio numbers will finally appear in published Arbitron ratings. This bears watching. Comment here. 02-06-07In the words of the honoree ... STL Radio Old Dog Tom Calhoun was recently honored for his twenty years of work as PA announcer at Blues hockey games. In all those years, Tom has never once missed a game. Read his account of the event. Comment here. 02-05-07My goal has always been to keep any political agenda ... off the Front Page. But this video, from Monday night's O'Reilly, about the Washington Post's and NBC's military analyst William Arkin's trashing of US troops abroad, is too much to bear for this Vietnam combat veteranmercenary. I've read Arkin's work in the Post and I've watched him on NBC. IMHO, Arkin needs to be taken out back and beat to within an inch of his life. But, hey, I'm just a veteranmercenary. Kill a Commie for Mommie!
02-05-07The "making of" the Super Bull Shuffle video ... Craig Cornette and friends at The Bull put together a Super BowlBig Game Shuffle rap and videoed their studio work. Anybody else do anything nearly as creative as this? Then The Bull wins. By default, but they win nonetheless. Not bad, but c'mon... Comment here.
02-05-07SJR leaves Webster U. after 11 years ... Here's the article that tells the whole story, as published in the SJR, and why the STLMediaReview was created (although we're not mentioned in the article). Comment here. 02-05-07From KWRE's Jay Murry ... I have been fortunate to be chosen as the "Missouri Sportscaster of the Year", by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. To be selected from a nominee list that included Frank Cusumano and John Rooney is certainly very flattering, and I'm grateful to receive the honor.
Bill Battle from the Washington Missourian won the "Missouri Sportswriter of the Year", and the both of us will join the other state winners for the awards weekend April 28-30, at the NSSA headquarters in Salisbury, North Carolina.Comment here.
02-04-07Keith Kramer ... was the wrong guy, at the wrong time, and in the wrong time (12N-3PM) when he worked at KTRS, which was also the wrong station. All that wrongness notwithstanding, Keith would be a perfect match for a morning show on an AA or a Rock station. This guy is a raw talent who would benefit greatly from direction from a PD who truly understands how to guide and develop. Keith's setting up an online show that you can listen to thru his website(Note: he's likely to get a bit out of bounds without guidance); I really believe he's got the stuff for a big market over the long haul. And I believe he deserves the opportunity. Right daypart, right PD, this guy's gonna be a star and make your station a lot of money. Comment here. 02-04-07By the way ... the NFL does not allow you to watch the SuperBowlBig Game(yes, the name SuperBowl is copyrighted and may not be used without NFL permission, which I most assuredly do not have) on TV screens larger than 55", whether in public or at your home. The NFL Police will be going door-to-door, I guess, to make sure you're fully in compliance. They've already shut down church activities. Good thing I cancelled the install of the video projector so I could have a 12' widescreen wall and stayed with the 43" Sony, huh? Asshats! Comment here. 02-04-07Far as I'm concerned ... the best parts of the SuperBowlBig Game are the ads that clients and agencies spend months and months and huge dollars developing. Regardless of the game (I'm not even sure who's playing whom this year, or where) the spots are what I run out of the kitchen to see. Here are all the ads and here's a Message Board area set up specifically so you can 'spress yo'sef on the ad issue! Comment here. 02-04-07After the two-day power out at STLMedia World HQ a while back ... (when Big-Dog Lucy and I toughed it out under Blanket Mountain) I've been having nightmares that I'll never be warm again. But a late-night trip to the grocery last evening, even though I felt like a popsicle in the 11 funderful degrees, warmed the cockles of my heart. The ionosphere was clearly in a reflective mood...the scan button on the truck radio found a signal on just about every AM frequency. It was a great night for DX-ing in St. Louis, almost like the old days when there was so much less interference. Denver to NYC and w-a-y down South, all my amplitudinally-modulated friends were right there. Too bad it's only a five-minute drive to the store. Even with the kickass heater in the S-10, it was too cold to drive around just to listen. Comment here. 02-03-07Viacom wants their moom pitchers back ... Viacom has issued a firm demand to YouTube, the video-sharing site, to immediately remove over 100,000 video clips featuring content from Viacom's family of networks after the two companies have failed to come to a workable content-sharing arrangement. The clips, which Viacom says account for 1.2 billion video streams, range from short snippets to full-length episodes of shows from MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, among others. Or a bunch of money, either one'll work. If you've got some favorites bookmarked on YouTube, you might want to take a look here. Otherwise, expect the load on YT's server to lighten up considerably over the next week... Comment here. 02-03-07Now, this is compelling programming ... that'll guarantee Sirius success! AllAccess reports that Sirius Adds National Lacrosse League -- SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO will broadcast a NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE "Game of the Week" starting today (2/2) under a multi-year deal that makes SIRIUS the exclusive Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NLL. The deal also includes a weekly one-hour league highlights and analysis show. The first game to be featured under the deal will be tonight's MINNESOTA SWARM at PORTLAND LUMBERJAX match at 10p ET on SIRIUS channel 123. One can only hope that KTRS fills its non-sports time with such excitement! Comment here. 02-03-07We're from Google, and we're here to help ... from R&R: Google says it’s signed “over 700 radio stations in more than 200 metros.” Google SVP Jonathan Rosenberg says accountability is where they’ll make a killing — since they’ll provide real-time reports on exactly where the ad played and when it played to advertisers. That’s in contrast to what he says is radio’s stretched-out affidavit process that can take 12 weeks. A lot of radio's big thinkers are saying lots of negative things about this, but if you run a station with regularly unused inventory, you should get on board with this deal, and right now. Any money you make is a plus. And Google will even write and produce the ad for you. Give me one good reason why it's a bad idea... Comment here. 02-02-07Savage goes native ... from AllAccess: Did Michael Use Savage Language? Did syndicated talker MICHAEL SAVAGE drop the f-bomb on his show THURSDAY night? MP3s that appear to show SAVAGE saying, partially off-mic, "Somebody's not running the board properly, I don't give a f--k who it is. Fix the goddamn board!" beneath the show's bumper music are circulating on the 'Net. While the audio appears to be an accidental open-mic situation, it's unclear whether individual affiliates aired the slip or were able to dump out of the comment before it aired. The clip's been posted at RADIO EQUALIZER. Another Brian Maloney exclusive! Comment here. 02-01-07Well, how 'bout that?Radio World, which has been a weekly print trade magazine since dirt was rocks, is doing exactly one of the things I recommended the SJR do...supplement the printed magazine with a digital edition available through email, serving up breaking news as necessary as a companion to their existing online edition. Comment here. 02-01-07The RFT's Chad Garrison ... did a brief phone interview with me a few days ago about the coming STLMediaReview website. Par for the course, Garrison drew his own conclusions about my goals with the new site from an out of context (or two) statements from me. He also completely glossed over the disclaimer I made at the beginning of our conversation regarding my deep admiration for the work of Charles Klotzer in developing the STL Journalism Review and in taking back the responsibility for the pub when Webster University failed to carry it on. Read it here or here and then comment here. 02-01-07Bonneville/STL new meat ... The Arch adds Eric Schmidt from I-Channel for nights and Chuck Dee from WGRD/Grand Rapids for overnights. At MOViN 101.1, Steph Duran takes mornings after five years with Y98, Jill Devine adds middays to her existing MD duties, Mysti Cox assumes PM drive from KHMX/Houston; and Raven Rush grabs nights from KJMM/Tulsa. It's an all-chick non-hip-hop station! Comment here.
01-31-07New puppy name and a lawsuit at KFNS ... LARadio.com is reporting that Evan Makovsky(pictured at left), known as "E-Mak", is joining KFNS as producer of "The Morning Grind", coming from radio gigs in LA and San Diego. He'll also do a weekend show. In less pleasant news, Jim Hayes has filed against Big League Broadcasting alleging that "The defendant without cause fired the plaintiff and refuses to pay him $38,000 of salary left on his contract. The plaintiff is also seeking an undetermined amount of punitive damages." Hayes is represented by Noel Sevastianos. Comment here.
01-31-07Has Mel Karmazin been in DC recently? ... from the Washington Post: If you hear some scratching noises on XM radio, it's probably not static -- but it might be rats. The satellite radio's District headquarters is so infested with the furry little critters that the company has gone to the rat-eradication equivalent of DefCon 1.
"Those of you familiar with DC rodents know that we're looking at the size of small house cats," writes XM senior veep Dan Turner in an internal memo sent to employees on Friday.
Turner goes on to describe the gnawing dread: "Currently we have lost the functionality of Production Room 8 as the rodents have discovered that the cover on our fiber optics cables makes good nesting material. A couple of weeks ago it was one of the multi-function studios that was taken out of commission. Tomorrow it could be a cable to a satellite uplink. It is that serious."
The Beltway, rat-wise, appears to be on the second floor of the XM building, a beautifully restored former printing factory on New York Avenue NE, reports our colleague Paul Farhi. The crawl space under the raised floors "represents an eight-lane superhighway to anywhere the rats want to go," writes Turner.
The broadcaster has summoned Orkin, according to spokesman Chance Patterson, and has enlisted the building's 600 employees in "immediate and very aggressive eradication measures" -- that means no food and drink in the studios (not even coffee? Eeeekk!) and all those magazines, posters and other junk must be tossed because rats like to use them to build nests.
No shock and awe here -- Turner's ready for a long siege. "Eventually, they'll get the building back," he concludes his memo, "but we ain't done with it yet." by Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts Comment here. 01-30-07Note to STLMedia Newsletter subscribers ... We send several hundred HTML-based emails five or so nights a week through one or more of our GMail accounts. If (a) it winds up in your Trash file or (b) you're just not getting it you may have to adjust your personal email account settings to "whitelist" or otherwise approve our submissions or dig through your Trash for the latest news. Sorry, but this is what the Web has devolved to. Spam has made many automated mailservers wary of any mass or regular emailings. If changing your settings or digging for the email is a problem for you, you can always unsubscribe. I'll miss you on the maillist but I'll understand. 01-29-07Batchelor's OK, MissouriRadio.net back up soon ... from the weekend email: Hi Mike - Was checking in on your site when I saw my name come up - all is well with me, the site just happened to crash at a very inopportune time for me, as I am choking in work right now, and the hosting company that I had been using has been less than helpful, even though the problem is seemingly on their end. I am going to transfer the domain, and hopefully, I will at least be able to get the message forum back rolling again within the week. If you could please let folks know that the site isn't gone for good, I would appreciate it - I know many people frequent both our sites. Thanks, Mike BatchelorComment here. 01-29-07This'd almost be funny ... if it wasn't getting to be a regular occurrence. Brian Maloney's Radio Equalizer reports that, "According to media sources, including the bankrupt company itself, Air America has been sold to Stephen L. Green, a real estate baron and political player in New York City's lefty circles. He's also the brother of Mayor Bloomberg's most recent opponent, Mark Green." Al Franken is on the way out, too, scheduled to leave in a couple weeks, presumably to run for the US Senate from Minnesota. Yawns ensue all around. By the way, note that the new owner is a real estate guy. Does that tell you anything about the esteem in which the financial world holds radio in general and this network in particular? Why does this money monkey think that he can achieve anything with the same product that none of the previous millionaires have? Comment here. 01-29-07Do bears play in the woods? Don't try to answer. Just go here. 01-29-07Looking for Mike Duran ... or at least a guy I know is. If you know where Mike D. is these days, and you'll let me know, I'll let the guy I know, know. Know what I mean? 01-29-07Rick Sanborn on TV tonight ... From email: Mike...Tonight (Monday January 29) on KETC Channel 9 at 7pm, tune in or TIVO "Living St. Louis". Ruth Ezell interviewed me way back in November about the state of Smooth Jazz in St. Louis and she just emailed me to say that it will finally air tonight. Don't know what context/content...but if it keeps the dream of Smooth alive in the Lou...it's all good.
Best, Rick.UPDATE: Ruth Ezell (who looks better than ever) did a great job on the segment and Rick comported himself nicely. Good to see that the Botox is workin' for him...Sanborn's getting up in years, y'know! 01-27-07Greatest STLMedia get-well wishes ... to Old Dog Jack Rinne, who is recovering at home in Marshall MO after ICU treatment at University Hospital in Columbia for a diabetes-related problem. He'd appreciate hearing from friends, I'm sure. Get well, Jack, and thanks for the history of the Krieger's restaurant in Maryland Heights! 01-27-07It's not just me ... who thinks SatRad is a mess. Even some really smart guys are onto the fraud: Jeffrey M. McCall of DePauw University writes: The main programming problem for satellite radio is audience fit. Radio's success over the years has been its local identity. Satellite-delivered programs have no localism. While the large majority of Americans still listen to radio, the question is whether it is important enough in their lifestyles to pay for a receiver and an ongoing monthly fee. Cost is the major factor for nonsubscribers, particularly among young people. Most music formats and talkers are available via free radio.
Read it all here or here. Comment here. 01-27-07Yesterday The Point made Rover's Morning Glory ... a thing of the past. Emmis' failed adventure with syndicated crap radio is gratefully over; they've replaced it with a local show, hosted by Donnie Fandango, who previously worked at The Point from '96 thru '01. Fandango's new show is said to be music-intensive, with a lot of listener input in the programming of music. Donnie returns this Monday, the 29th, with Christy Swyers doing news and other service elements. In addition to the new morning show, Drew Patterson joins the station as the new Creative Director. Drew comes to Emmis/STL from Pittsburgh where he held the same position at WRKZ-FM. The position was formerly held by Jeff Frisse. Comment here. 01-27-07Keith Kramer ... formerly of the Big 550, has plans for an online-only talk show. According to his website, "It will be completely uncensored and without advertisements. No bosses. No programmers. No suits. No stuffy bankers. No restrictions. Sometimes, maybe no clothing." Best of luck, boyo. Comment here. 01-27-07Secret Squirrel spins on ... the Big 550: "I heard that Vic Porcelli and Jamboretz from Channel 11 were going to have a show on KTRS and McGraw was moving to mornings...is that true?" Whew. That's a big leap. Porcelli did a bang-up job filling in on KFTK and would probably do a great job at KTRS(assuming he's done the due diligence necessary for any new employer-employee relationship), but I have no idea how Ms. Jamboretz would sound on the radio (she was certainly okay on the tube). McGraw would sound good in just about any daypart, I think. The question is whether he or anyone else can draw numbers in KTRS Mornings... Comment here. 01-26-07STLMediaReview.com ... is in the works. It's a subscription-based multi-media website that will replace the dead-tree STL Journalism Review, with politically and socially balanced print, audio and video commentary and coverage of all media from a local perspective. If you'd like to be considered as a (well, eventually) paid contributor, send a sample of your work on media to firstname.lastname@example.org. We're looking for regular/monthly columnists and feature authors of all political and social stripes; audio and video applications should be three minutes or less and in Windows Media (video, audio) or MP3 (audio) formats. Your attitude and your ability to express yourself and your opinions clearly is more important than age or experience; students of the media of all ages are welcome to apply. Please include your name and phone number in your cover email. Comment here. 01-26-07Stupidest radio story of the week ... an undocumented alien was denied a prize (a used Corvette) because she couldn't come up with a SSAN for tax purposes and now she's upset. Here's the story from AllAccess: THE CHICAGO SUN TIMES is reporting that MARIBEL NAVA ALVAREZ, a CHICAGO-area resident, said officials with WLEY (LA LEY 107.9 FM) and its parent company, SPANISH BROADCASTING SYSTEM, withheld the gray sports car she won in a LA LEY contest when they discovered she was an undocumented resident.
ALVAREZ claims she was threatened after winning a contest for a 1999 Corvette. What's worse, she said, is that an SBS attorney allegedly threatened to alert authorities of her immigration status once he learned she intended to take her battle to court.
"I was very sad. I cried. ... My feelings were hurt because I was mocked," ALVAREZ said in her native Spanish on WEDNESDAY. "It's unjust."
Despite LA LEY's claims, ALVAREZ said she was never informed verbally or in print that she had to be U.S. citizen or legal resident to be eligible to win Mexican-American singer JUAN RIVERA's old car during the JULY 4, 2005 contest.
LA LEY is required by law to get a valid Social Security number or tax identification number from all winners of prizes worth more than $500, according to a written statement from the station. An official said she did not want to comment because the matter is in litigation.
How would you handle it? Comment here. 01-26-07In case you were worried ... that the downturn in music sales was adversely affecting performers' income, well, worry no more. At least for these guys. Here's Forbes Top 10 Music Moneymakers: The Rolling Stones -- $150.6 million Tim McGraw & Faith Hill -- $132 million Rascal Flatts -- $110.5 million Madonna -- $96.8 million Barbra Streisand -- $95.8 million Kenny Chesney -- $90.1 million Celine Dion -- $85.2 million Bon Jovi -- $77.5 million Nickelback -- $74.1 million Dave Matthews Band -- $60.4 million Mike's commentary:Holy s**t! Comment here. 01-26-07KTRS' Craig Unger writes ... We had to change our Listen Live link because our provider upgraded servers. It is now: http://mmslb.eonstreams.com/ktrsam.asf 01-26-07An open letter ... to KTRS'Mark Christopher and Joe Hipperson: Gentlemen, I enjoy your shows. What I most especially enjoy is the passion that both of you bring to your work. It's clear that you enjoy what you're doing and that you see it as much more than just a job. But would you please do me just one teeny little favor? When you say your call letters, would you hit the "R" with the same emphasis as the "K", "T" and "S"? Currently, you both kinda roll it under ("KAY-TEE-er-ESS"). Just sayin'. Have a nice day and say hi to all there for me...Mike. 01-26-07Wrandy Wraley writes ... Mike, I thought I would pass along info about an opening here at Cumulus/Nashville. The FM talker is looking for a producer for the morning show. The guy you would be working for is a good cat. He is looking for someone to be reliable and professional. People can send info to me at email@example.com. Nashville is 4.5 hours from St. Louis and is a pretty cool city. 01-25-07'Splain to me one more time ... exactly why it is we need broadcast network newscasts at the dinner hour and daily newspapers? I watch the local 'casts because, well, they're local, and I feel an obligation to keep in touch with STLTV. But there's absolutely nothing that the nets provide, or the Post, the NYT or (fill in the blank) that I cannot get either at their websites or at any one of the many news aggregators. I know my demo doesn't account for much for ad agencies, but studies keep telling me that I'm in the prime useage age for both news providers. What's wrong with this picture? Comment here. 01-25-07Is it just me ... or is anyone else totally annoyed by the "Who Would You Give A Volvo To" TV spot that uses the little girl rambling a story at her (presumably) Dad as he loads her into the car? Enough is enough. We've raised kids and we have grandkids and it's not like we don't love the little ones. But the little girl in the spot is teeth-grindingly, unbearably "cute". Too much syrup on the waffle, Volvo. On the other hand, it must test well somewhere, because it seems to be the only spot running in the campaign. Comment here. 01-24-07In email recently: 590 The Fan Seeks Dynamic Director of Promotions & Marketing ... 590 “The Fan” in St. Louis, is looking to land a “winner” to lead the Promotions and Marketing Department. Do you have an unparalleled passion to win? Are you excited to work at one of radio’s most exciting young companies? Creativity and organizational skills are a must. Being a sports fan is great, but understanding what moves men is even more important. If you're interested in being considered for this opportunity please email Jason Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls please.Comment here.
01-24-07Former STLRadio dude Mike Watermann ... has been PD/PM-drive DJ at 97.7 The River in Santa Rosa/CA since 2002 (isn't that Flo & Eddie in the photo?). And at the risk of sounding like the theme from The Jetsons, his wife Jane is selling limited-release, premium wines from the US, Europe and Australia by mail from Wine Spectrum. If you're an oenophile, check the website, then call and ask for Jane.
01-24-07Hurry up and merge ... From InsideRadio: If an XM-Sirius merger happens - it will be soon.
Maybe in the next 4-6 weeks, says Bear Stearns analyst Robert Peck. Here's his reasoning - there's a "closing political window" because of the 2008 elections, and "the deal could take 12-15 months to complete." Peck's careful to say they're not judging whether XM and Sirius will reach an agreement - though he predicts there will be an attempt. And soon.Comment here. 01-24-07On January 18th I wrote ... about the water-intoxication death in Sacramento: What happened here is unconscionable. Entercom should just write the check and get it over with and then they should have their license to operate the station yanked by the FCC; the show's participants should all do hard time. A few days ago, the city was looking into criminal charges and today, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has directed the FCC Enforcement Bureau to look into the matter and attorneys for Royce International Broadcasting allege in a petition to the FCC that Entercom is “a highly-leveraged criminal enterprise that cannot be relied on to serve the public interest,” arguing that Entercom should be prevented from acquiring 16 CBS stations. It appears that a number of responsible grown-ups have had attacks of good judgement. Comment here. 01-23-07Secret Squirrel spins on ... KFNS' Kevin "Slatey" Slaten: He wasn't "sick" on Monday as reported. He was serving a one-day suspension for his comments about Brad Soderberg and SLU. The SLU administration was livid when they heard the comments. That is why Bob Ramsey was on his tirade today about everyone ripping on Soderberg.Comment here. 01-23-07Batchelor out of touch ... Mike Batchelor's MissouriRadio.net website has been offline for some time, and no one seems to know why. His statewide service is excellent and missed by many. Anybody got a clue on this? Is Mike OK? Comment here. 01-23-07Like anybody could remember ... Don Corey, the STLRadio Old Dog referenced recently in the Webster-Kirkwood Times, is writing a book about his adventures as a late night DJ at KSHE. If you have any interesting stories or anecdotes, please email them so Don might consider including them in the book. If you’d be interested in being notified when the book publishes, email Don your address, name and phone number. Comment here. 01-23-07Really rich guys never seem to learn ... and more money gets poured down a dry well. From AllAccess: The WALL STREET JOURNAL is reporting that the sale of AIR AMERICA RADIO to the FRENCH family of WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY is close to being announced. As previously reported, the family, who owns independent WRNN-TV/KINGSTON, NY, is the likely candidate to buy AAR out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The paper reports that RICHARD FRENCH, a former NEW YORK STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY official, would "likely get his own show in prime time" on the network (he hosts a nightly show on WRNN-TV) and that former AIR AMERICA host MARK MARON has been talking to the FRENCHES about returning to the network. Any deal would require bankruptcy-court approval.Comment here. 01-22-07Free international phone calls ... Very cool! I just talked to my Brother in Israel on my cell phone via the services of futurephone.com. No charge, no Skype headset use or registration. You dial an Iowa-based number from your phone, enter your 011+ international info and you connect. I understand that in time there'll be a tiny commercial played, but for now, no such thing. It connected, Rick and I chatted, zero BS. Quality was a little muddy, but if I may repeat, it's free. I presume it's VOIP-based; if so, it must chew up megatons of bandwidth.
01-22-07Nobody ever mentioned to me ... that keeping a healthily growing head of hair shaved would be such a chore. Bic? Shick? Two, three or four blades? Shaving cream or oil? Norelco? I'm tryin' 'em all. Maybe I should have asked someone for advice. And what, exactly, does this have to do with STLMedia? Answer THAT, bald guy! Comment here. 01-21-07At 5AM Sunday morning ... it doesn't look so bad, Snow Advisory cancelled. But now comes the freezing drizzle, whatever that is. How y'all doin'?
Comment here. 01-21-07Congratulations to KMOX and Steve Moore ... Radio & Records has just released the ballots for their News/Talk Awards. The winners will be announced at the Talk Radio Seminar in LA. KMOX(News/Talk Station of the Year Markets 1-25) and Program Director Steve Moore(News/Talk Radio Executive of the Year), have been nominated. Here are the rest of the categories and nominees:
R&R News/Talk Industry Exec of the Year
Amy Bolton, Jones Radio Network
Kraig Kitchin, Premiere Radio Networks
Peter Kosann, Westwood One
Kevin Magee, Fox News Radio
Mark Masters, Talk Radio Network
John McConnell, ABC Radio Networks
R&R News/Talk Radio Executive of the Year
Phil Boyce, ABC Radio
Gabe Hobbs, Clear Channel Radio
Brian Jennings, Citadel Communications
Zemira Jones, Radio One
Steve Moore, CBS Radio
Tom Tradup, Salem Communications
R&R News/Talk GM of the Year
Greg Ashlock, Clear Channel/Los Angeles
Keri Korzeniewski, ABC Radio/Dallas
Dick Lewis, Clear Channel/New Orleans
Mickey Luckoff, ABC Radio/San Francisco
Joel Oxley, Bonneville/Washington
Rod Zimmerman, CBS Radio/Chicago
R&R News/Talk PD of the Year
Robin Bertolucci, KFI/Los Angeles
Eric Johnson, WKXW & WIXM/Trenton, NJ
Diane Newman, WWL/New Orleans
Darryl Parks, WLW/Cincinnati
Pete Spriggs, WSB/Atlanta
Jack Swanson, KGO/San Francisco
R&R News/Talk Exec of the Year
Thom Callahan, Associated Press Radio
Jim Farley, Bonneville International
Harley Hotchkiss, CNN Radio
Steve Jones, ABC News Radio
Mark Mason, CBS Radio
Harvey Nagler, CBS Radio News
R&R News/Talk Station of the Year (Markets 1-25)
R&R News/Talk Station of the Year (Markets 26+)
KSL - AM&FM/Salt Lake City
WKXW & WIXM/Trenton, NJ
R&R News/Talk Local Personality of the Year
Jerry Agar, KMBZ/Kansas City MO
Howie Carr, WRKO/Boston
Don Wade & Roma, WLS/Chicago
Bill Handel, KFI/Los Angeles
Thom Hartman, KPOJ/Portland OR
Neil Rogers, WQAM/Miami
R&R News/Talk Syndicated Personality of the Year
Sean Hannity, The Sean Hannity Show
Rush Limbaugh, The Rush Limbaugh Show
Dave Ramsey, The Dave Ramsey Show
Michael Savage, The Savage Nation
Dr. Laura Schlessinger, The Dr. Laura Show
Ed Schultz, The Ed Schultz Show Comment here.
01-20-07Schnucks and Dierbergs ... are dropping product prices like stones, saying they'll need to compete with Wal-Mart Super Centers planned for STL. But suspicious minds in each company tell me that's horsehockey and that the real reason is upcoming union negotiations and the need to drive cost of operation down. They also say that Wal-Mart's big stores will never happen here because of the "strong Retail Clerk union presence." I say people will take a job where they can find it, unions notwithstanding, but what do I know? My union screwed me three times and I'm still bleeding. My question to STL investigative reporters: who'll be the first of you to get into the dirt on this and maybe cost your employer some serious ad bucks for the sake of a great story? My guess? You'll never hear a peep about it in pop journalism, on the tv or in the newspaper. Supermarket ad money makes this a non-issue for everyone except the RFT and the STL Business Journal(neither of which, by the way, would ever consider thanking this website for the lead). Regardless, which one of them has the stones to take this and run with it? Comment here. 01-20-07One more to Nashburg ... The (former) River's (former) PD Marty Linck is off to Music City as PD at South Central Communication's 96.3 JackFM. Marty's quoted in AllAccess: "I am so excited to move to NASHVILLE as PD for SOUTH CENTRAL COMMUNICATION'S JACK FM. The company is rock solid and they obviously know what they are doing with both of their stations in NASHVILLE. 96.3 JACK FM is a leader in the format with a great reputation, plus lot's of ratings and revenue success. I look forward to joining the team, meeting the staff and being an integral part of helping the radio station stay on top".Comment here. 01-20-07Presuming the coming storm's cooperation ... Mrs. A and I will be watching the first four hours of 24/Day 6 that we missed because of last week's power/cable outage this Sunday afternoon/evening. Fox has made a great marketing decision, apparently making segments of the season available on DVD in four-show increments, at $10 a pop. If you miss a segment, you can wait just four weeks to buy the arc and catch up, rather than waiting for re-runs or to purchase the boxed set at the end of the year. Comment here. 01-20-07And, of course, it's coming right for us ... Dear God: Please keep our power on. If Ameren gets into trouble, please give Your Blessing to the spare AA- and D-cell batteries in the credenza and to the hand-crank-powered radio also therein, even though it's likely that most STL radio stations will not be offering much in the way of helpful information. I promise not to open the refrigerator for beer this time. At least as long as the power is out for less than an hour. Beyond sixty minutes, please understand that I am only a man. Amen.
Comment here. 01-20-07Image is everything ... This is something that I've mentioned to a few of the AT's and companies with whom I work and it bears repeating in a more public forum: MySpace-based websites may hurt much more than help you. I know, they're free, they're easy to customize and update, yada yada yada. But every time some degenerate creep gets busted, what's one of the first things that the media mentions? Right! Their MySpace site! And, BANG!you're smeared by association. I always advise to err on the side of caution, and this is most definitely one of those times. There are other, better ways to express your presence online. Comment here. 01-20-07The Simmons Media Group ... (1380 ESPN/1490 WESL) has named a new General Manager, replacing Dave Greene, for their STL properties. The name is... well, I can't mention the name until I get the official word. But if what I'm led to believe is fact, this is a very positive move in a very good direction for the stations. More later. 01-19-07The pundits have spoken ... radio consultants, tv commentators and the occasional rogue air personalities interviewed in various media seem to agree that the Age of Shock Jocks/Stunt Boys is over and done with. And not a second too soon. The Entercom/Sacramento listener-killing seems to have been the tipping point. You've read the stories, heard the audio, seen the commentary...isn't it about time that radio returned to Common Decency in programming? I hate the word, but maybe it's time for radio to become "pro-active", take the initiative and clean up our collective acts. There is no longer any room in the industry for ignorant or short-sighted management with only real estate or auto sales experience on their resumé and the listeners will be expressing their sentiments in the ratings. My suggestion to The Consolidators: there are a bunch of experienced managers, programmers and air talents sitting on the beach (men and women you have tossed aside because they cost too much), available for your phone call. They may smile and happily return to work; they may also tell you to pound sand, and who would blame them? But these are the guys who can resurrect your failing operations. God knows you can use the help and guidance. Comment here. 01-19-07Thursday was the day of the Great 2007 Fix-Up (1) ... by mid-afternoon on the 18th all the cable, phone and downed-wire issues had been resolved at STLMediaHQ(just in time for the snow this weekend); with any luck, on Saturday our regular yard guy will chop-and-tote all the dropped lumber outa here at a reasonable price. Why do I have this feeling of impending doom, with so much of Winter yet to come? 01-18-07Now Randy and Bobby can screw up television, too ... Just read the press release. You'll be shaking your head as I did at the possibilities: FT. WRIGHT, Ky., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Oak Hill Capital Partners ("Oak Hill") announced today that it has named Randy Michaels as CEO of Local TV, LLC, and Robert ("Bobby") Lawrence has been named President & COO. Local TV, LLC was formed by Oak Hill to acquire the Broadcast Media Group, consisting of nine network-affiliated television stations and related properties, from the New York Times Company.
Oak Hill said it intends to build a broader media platform under the leadership of Michaels and Lawrence.
"Randy is a visionary and a great motivator," said J. Taylor Crandall, a Managing Partner of Oak Hill. "He has a strong track record of outstanding broadcast management, content development and engineering. We are confident that Randy and Bobby, who are long-time partners, will bring innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit to the television industry. We are excited to have them on board."
"The New York Times properties are high quality, heritage stations that are well positioned for future growth," said Randy Michaels. "Our most important role is to support our management and employees in creating strong, locally appealing news and content and serving the needs of our advertising customers and communities. We also have our eyes on the rapid changes that are occurring in the television industry. Local TV will be on the leading edge of change as the industry evolves. We are excited to work with the group's outstanding employees. I am confident they are up for the challenging and creative approach we will bring to this business."
"Oak Hill is a tremendous equity partner," said Bobby Lawrence. "They are committed to giving us the capital and flexibility we need to support this acquisition and our future expansion initiatives. The New York Times Broadcast Media Group is a superb platform."
The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2007.
Don't these a-holes already have enough money? Do they really need to continue screwing with our lives? Comment here. 01-18-07Told ya so ... told ya that this would not be happening. Nanny nanny boo boo! Now, InsideRadio is reporting it: The "merger premium" for XM and Sirius is evaporating. Inside Radio reported on January 11 that - based on FCC Chairman Martin's comments at the Citigroup conference - he "probably wouldn't officiate at a marriage" between the only two licensed satcasters. Today the Chairman said it even more clearly - that the current FCC rules wouldn't permit a merger. That report from Bloomberg and others got investors hitting the "sell" button on "XMSR" and "SIRI."Comment here. 01-18-07If you've been trying to call STLMedia or me ... well, another oops obtains. The lines here have become confused and are sending all calls to the fax machine...all you get are a bunch of tones and beeps. Gratefully, DSL is still working. For the next (unknown) little bit, call the wireless number (at the bottom of any email you've received from me). The Phone Company is aware of the "issue". Sorry for the inconvenience. 01-18-07Hold your wee for a Wii ... So now a radio station finally killed a listener doing a useless, stupid promotion. I've been watching this develop and didn't want to say anything until the local authorities decided that criminal charges against Entercom and the morning idiots that pulled this off were likely. KMOX' Paul Harris says everything I wanted to say (be sure to listen to the show's audio); my experience is exactly the same as his. ALL promotions should be thoroughly discussed and vetted BEFORE they hit the air, with all possible downside elements taken into consideration. What happened here is unconscionable. Entercom should just write the check and get it over with and then they should have their license to operate the station yanked by the FCC; the show's participants should all do hard time. Comment here. 01-17-07So who's the new KTRS PD? Is it a BoyPD or is it a GirlPD? Word is that the new PD is a local hire, and that cuts the choices considerably. Will GM Tiny Tim Dorsey allow him/her the leeway and latitude to appropriately and successfully manage and critique the sports and talk talent? Will the sports and talk talent allow themselves to be so managed and critiqued? Does it really matter at all? Is the fact that the station's reputation in the industry is so bad that it can't pull in anyone out of the market to program the KTRmesS significant? Some of the nation's best talk PD's have been through there, and all have landed at MUCH better places, no thanks to TTD, who has done his very best to ruin their careers. Comment here. 01-17-07Been without cable since Saturday night ... and I'm discovering that life without TV is not that big a deal. I'm reading books and studying online a lot more, playing with and rubbing the dogs a lot more, and spending more time out of STLMediaHQ than in recent months. I don't think I'm brave enough to face life without cable, but it's been an interesting respite. What's amazing is that to reconnect the house to cable would take plugging in just one wire, something I could do easily myself. But I've let it lie on the ground, four feet from the connection. So far, I'm two deep in a stack of five books I had set up to read anyway. When the cable guy gets here, he gets here and it happens. Comment here. 01-17-07On the way home last evening ... I came up on a few Ameren trucks parked in my street, with their workers milling about. I had the chance then to thank them for their hard work. The guys looked exhausted, like they'd really appreciate a hot shower and a cold beer. I know how frustrating and uncomfortable it can be to be out of electric, but these guys are working their tails off to get us back into the system, and in the very worst conditions possible. If you have the opportunity to express your gratitude for their hard work, do it the first chance you get. The problems we're experiencing are not their fault. Comment here. 01-17-07The Fall Arbitron Quarterly is out ... take a look at 12+ numbers here, along with a little in-demo 25-54 analysis. Comment here. 01-17-07As expected ... Dave Ervin has been upped to market manager of CBS Radio/STL. Here's the story from R&R: Thirty-five-year radio vet Dave Ervin has been upped to market manager of CBS Radio's three-station St. Louis cluster, overseeing news/talk giant KMOX, AC KEZK and hot AC KYKY (Y98). He's promoted from the KMOX VP/GM chair and replaces Jim McKernan, who was GM of KEZK and KYKY but left to become NRG Media/Omaha GM earlier this month.
At the same time, Michael Payne comes in as director of sales for KEZK and Y98. He was most recently Cumulus/Kansas City VP/GM and has also worked as VP and regional manager for Waitt Media. Ervin has spent time across the street as market manager of Radio One's St. Louis cluster, and as market president of Bonneville's group there as well. He has been VP/GM of KZLA/Los Angeles, and his resume includes stops at WCLR/Chicago; WNIC/Detroit; WQAL/Cleveland; KGON/Portland, Ore.; and WIBA-AM & FM/Madison.
CBS Radio senior VP and regional manager Les Hollander said, "During Dave's tenure at KMOX, he has used his extensive experience in broadcasting to better the station's image on-air as well as in the community. We look forward to his bringing that expertise to the two FMs in his leadership role for CBS Radio."
"We're thrilled and fortunate to have Mike's experience and guidance at CBS Radio/St. Louis," Ervin said about Payne. Comment here.
01-17-07Back in the dark ages ... Kathy Corey, the much better half of Old Dog Don Corey, sends along this cover sheet from the Webster-Kirkwood Times, picturing a 19-year old Don at the board in KSHE's Watson Road studios. Click here for a larger and actually legible image. Don, like many of us, has grown up and is no longer active in day-to-day radio. But, ahh, those were the days, my friends, we thought they'd never end... Comment here.
01-16-07I watched the premieres of Day 6/24 ... on a twenty-year old b&w 2-inch Sony Watchman screen because power and cable were out at STLMediaHQ. But that doesn't mean that discussion is unavailable. Sid Dithers takes care of Jack Bauer's biz but none of Jack's responsibilities. Discuss here.
01-16-07Newspapers have been described as ... a medium for people who remember newspapers. I'm 58 years old and I haven't bought a newspaper or a magazine in years; anything I want from them I can get from their websites. And if it's not online, I just figure it's not necessary to read because it'll be quoted somewhere else, online, with the additional benefit of commentary and critique. And online is where I do all my study, because it's amost all there (with the exception of the occasional book that's worth reading and I've spent a lot on books over the same time frame). How about you? How old are you and how many magazines and newspapers have you bought and read over the past few years? My bet is the younger you are, the fewer dead-tree pubs you've purchased and perused. Or do you still subscribe to the print version of the STLP-D simply because your folks did and that's what you think you should do? Comment here. 01-16-07Those of you who know me ... know that my personal politics are spread across the spectrum but rest mostly on the Right. Nonetheless, I'm strongly in favor of a return of the Fairness Doctrine. From InsideRadio:Could the Dems revive the Fairness Doctrine? Dennis Kucinich spilled the beans at the National Conference for Media Reform that he'll be the new chair of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee - and that he intends to hold hearings on the FCC. Among the items on the Kucinich agenda - keeping the FCC's cross-ownership ban on local newspaper/broadcasting combos, and reinstating the Fairness Doctrine so stations would have to cover different viewpoints on "controversial" issues. I don't have a lot of respect for Kucinich and I believe that his "hearings on the FCC" will be pretty much a witchhunt, but I think that taking a long, hard look at the Fairness Doctrine is long overdue. It will strengthen the arguments on both sides, cutting out the crap like Michael Savage and Sean Hannity and Randi Rhodes and Rosie O'Donnell, and it will make talk radio and tv stronger and more representative in the long run. And, most importantly, it will force radio and tv to pay attention to their programming instead of blindly running syndication. God forbid, we might even wind up with a whole new set of local talk heroes! Comment here. 01-15-07Oops and oops, again and again ... The STLMedia World HQ lost power at 11:29PM Saturday and returned to the world of semi-warmth this evening just before 7PM. I hung in here with Big Dog (she couldn't get into either of the cars for transport to safe haven) while Mrs. A took off with Small Dog for the daughter's place for refuge. I have never been so cold and disspirited, until I heard the workers making the final reconnections out back and the lights came back on. We've had a few seconds-long glitches with the requisite system restarts, but hopefully the long-term outages, here, at least are over. No cable but we do have phone and DSL (and tons of lumber on the ground...damned pin oaks!); I'll try to catch up with you all in the next day or so. 01-15-07KTRS was to have named a new PD ... sometime Monday. And, according to sources, it'll be a local hire. Comment here. 01-13-07Dave Greene leaves Simmons ... Here's the email memo: From: Dave Greene Sent: Friday, January 12, 2007 9:57 AM Subject: Move
I wanted to let everyone know that effective at the
end of the month I will be leaving Simmons Media Group
(1380 ESPN/1490 WESL) in order to, along with my
partner James Oelklaus, start a new company that will
focus on marketing and publishing. We are extremely
fired up about our first project which will be a local
sports magazine. I am looking forward to sharing all
of the details of this very exciting project with you
as we move forward.
Unfortunately, the change means leaving behind lots of
friends and relationships from my two and a half years
with Simmons. Those that I have worked with during
the launch of the radio station to today, thank you
for being a part of what we built at 1380 ESPN. We
are very proud of what the station has become and know
that it will continue to succeed. For us, it is
simply the right time to fulfill our life long dream
of owning our own company.
For those that I have unfinished business with I will
be in touch soon to make sure you are taken care of.
Mike Brownsher, who has assisted me in programming for
some time, will be your new contact for programming
I will forward my new contact information to everyone
very soon. Again, I will be in through the end of the
month, so you can still reach me through this email
address and my current phone numbers through that
Much more to come…..
Best to all.
Results Radio 1380 ESPN/1490 WESL Comment here.
01-13-07The new "do" asks you ... for a suggestion for an electric shaver. I keep nicking my scalp with the BIC razors I've been using. There's gotta be a better way than a blade and shaving cream. Electrics I've used in the past never seemed to get close enough to really take the stubble down. Suggestions? Ideas? Comment here.
01-13-07Secret Squirrel happily applauds ... "Kudos to Y98's Paul Cook and Lance Hildebrand on the FM's coverage of the Ben Ownby and Shawn Hornbeck recovery...Y was the only FM station to stop the music and carry extended coverage of the amazing story. Even 97.1 FM Talk carried only minimal coverage."Comment here. 01-12-07Google's radio inventory "remnant" sale ... has been discussed here as recently as a month ago; now Inside Radio reports that "a CBS-Google deal would include lots and lots of radio ad time. Maybe as much as 10% of the inventory. Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen says they're still negotiating but terms would supposedly include "low-quality radio inventory for use with Google's dMarc service." Part of the deal - perhaps unspoken - would be to compensate CBS for Google-owned YouTube's past use of CBS video."OVERNIGHT UPDATE: Cohen says the sticking points are control of ad sales and the size of a revenue guarantee related to CBS content used on Google sites like YouTube. The radio ad time would mostly go to smaller advertisers who've never used radio. And Emmis is still apparently considering a deal with Google, too. This is a major issue, people...why aren't you commenting? Do you not understand the impact of this deal? Comment here. 01-12-07Open letter to Al Brady Law ... (former KTRS PD) There's a guy, Bill Comb, from DesertWestMedia.com in Barstow CA, who needs to touch base with you. Might be a gig! Call him at 760.256.2450. His semi-literacy and technical inability are easily within your established skillset. You belong working in the California desert! GO! GO! GO!
01-12-07All available weather services ... predict some pretty crappy Winter weather headed our way over the weekend. I've set up a Message Board area where you can comment on how the media (specifically, radio, tv and online resources; dead-tree media can only relate the history of such an event) respond and react if weather similar to the November storm comes to pass. Stay warm and well and outa the way of falling branches and electrical lines! Comment here.
01-12-07What, exactly, do you not understand ... about payola? Seems that independent record promoters and labels have a hard time getting on board with the legalities. You report the income and you say on the air that it's a sponsored spin. How tough is that to understand? InsideRadio says: "Indie" time? That's indie as in independent record labels, and The Hollywood Reporter says the FCC is considering a settlement to resolve the payola inquiry with a formula that would include stations dedicating airtime to independently-produced music. There would also be a code of conduct - and stations wouldn't admit to past problems with record company relationships. There already is a Code of Conduct...it's called established law. Break it and go to jail. Why is this even an issue? Didn't this get worked out 50 years ago? Comment here. 01-12-07The Fall 2006 ARB ... publishes on Tuesday, the 16th. Just sayin'... 01-12-07Dang, the Debster has the details first ... IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING:What's on J.C. Corcoran's mind? You'll soon be able to find out via KTVI-TV (Channel 2). The mainly radio yakker (The Morning Show on KIHT) will be featured at 5:30 and 9 p.m., Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, says KTVI news director Kingsley Smith. The show will be called, "What's on My Mind," and will feature J.C.'s take on … everything.Comment here. 01-11-07There's a guy in rehab in Burbank CA ... named Bob Wilson. Over the past month or so, Wilson suffered a series of strokes and the prognosis is for a long and difficult recovery. Bob, for those of you who don't recognize the name, founded Radio & Records in the 1970's and published it for many years before he sold the publication and moved on to his next great adventure.
Interestingly, the only trade that's mentioned this has been Joel Denver's AllAccess. Not even R&R itself, now owned by Billboard, has written of Wilson's health.
This got me thinking of the guys who published the radio trades that were important to me through my career. Bill Gavin, who founded The Gavin Report in 1958 was likely the Daddy of them all, the first guy who collected and published record play stats from reporting stations. Gavin was scrupulously honest, never sold ads (he did sell subscriptions and made a few bucks from annual industry conventions he hosted), and was mightily respected by all. To be a reporting station to The Gavin Report was a badge of honor. The paper was originally mimeographed but eventually wound up being printed on 8½x14 blue paper; it was a signature publication that most of us will never forget. Bill died in 1985, and his paper went through several owners before finally ending its run in 2002. Claude Hall was a writer who fell into a job with Billboard Magazine and built it into the most powerful entity in the music industry. Hall moved the magazine away from its "Bible of the Entertainment Industry" position to a magazine that reported primarily on music. On the air, in jukeboxes, in stores, wherever music was heard or sold, in whatever form, it was charted in Billboard. Weekly, he collected radio playlists and from that data, created a "Hot 100" chart that ruled radio for many years. Claude's VoxJox column was the place to have your name and call letters visible; if you were a reporting station, you never had a problem with record service or promotional freebies. Claude's retired and lives in Las Vegas. Kal Rudman ran the Friday Morning Quarterback (and still does) out of Philadelphia from 1968; he had been a teacher, DJ and the R&B Editor of Billboard in the mid-60's. There was the occasional buzz that Kal was on the payroll of some record companies but that didn't matter much to the PD's and DJ's whose names and career moves were chronicled each week. If you were a subscriber, you were a reporter and you and your call letters were mentioned in each week's Insty-Print edition. Bob Hamilton was a DJ who moved onto record promotion with Roulette Records, an East Coast label purported to be owned by the Mafia. His weekly typed-and-snail-mailed newsletter grew into a slick, full-color magazine called the Hamilton Radio Report; he sold it and began a new pub called (for reasons I still don't understand)Fred. In February '83, he created the first online radio-music website and he's been online ever since.
There were other newsletters, of course, for news, sales, promotions, engineering, etc., but these five were the most important music pubs for the industry...back, as they say, in the day. Comment here. 01-11-07How soon we forget ... that when WB11 morphed into CW11, there was a retirement similar to Karen Foss' from KSDK. Eerily similar, in fact. Watch it here. This ranks as one of the funniest sendups I've ever seen...it's worthy of an Emmy the next time they throw those things around locally, if someone could just figure out a category into which it'd logically fit. Comment here. 01-11-07Secret Squirrel jumps out front ... with this one: KHITS 96 morning show co-host J.C. Corcoran is about to return to local TV news. Corcoran was Entertainment Editor at KDSK from '85 to '91, held the same position at KMOV from '93 to '99, and did segments for FSN Midwest until early last year. This new three-nights-a-week position centers on neither entertainment nor sports.Comment here. 01-10-07Kent Hall was most recently practicing production wizardry ... for CC/STL and is now actively seeking his next great radio adventure. His website offers demos, his resume and contact info.
01-10-07And now, for a little audience participation ... Mike: Matt Saunders, National Sales Manager at KMOX, asked me to forward this picture to you in the hopes that you and/or your readers may enjoy the blast into the past and possibly identify some of the people pictured. This picture was taken on June 19, 1957 per the note on the back of it. Matt’s late grandfather, Charlie Horn, is seated 4th from the left and under the “W” on the sign.
P.S. I enjoy reading your site. Thanks for your hard work. Linda Goldsmith
National Sales Assistant
KMOX-AM Radio Take a look and if you can help, comment here.
01-10-07Why Chloe O'Brien should be your IT Mgr:
She works 24 hours a day and never eats or uses the bathroom. Her cell phone batteries never need recharging, and there's never a dropout on the network. She never makes a keystroke error. Her transferred files never need a workaround. She can edit and analyze audio better than any radio production guy, ever.
01-10-07Secret Squirrel hates hearing this ... Along with other former air staffers at Bonneville St. Louis, count long time personality and Smooth Vox PD David Myers as another casualty of the radio wars.Comment here. 01-10-07Secret Squirrel laughed and laughed ... when this showed up in his mailbox: "Gotta love those "puppy names". Yeah, just like "Admiral William "Fox" Fallon??" Is this guy serious, comparing some sports guy's puppy name to the aircraft call sign of a USNavy 4-star with more combat missions and enemy kills to his credit than ball games the sports guy will ever attend in his life? And people wonder why I sometimes despair of radio's future... 01-09-07Most info we get from 590/KFNS is bogus ... maybe this is accurate: Starting Monday, 590 The Fan will debut a new morning show lineup on “The Morning Grind” program featuring Tim McKernan, Mike “Chops” Ritter, Jen Pickett and newcomer, Bob “The Bulldog” Fescoe, who comes to KFNS with 7+ years of sports radio experience, most recently as host of the highly rated “Border Patrol” morning show on 810 WHB sports talk radio in Kansas City. Fescoe made national headlines after having his press credentials revoked by the KC Royals after asking their owner, David Glass, some tough questions about payroll and management decisions. Long-time market veteran Tim McKernan continues in his current co-hosting role on the show and entertainment reporter Jen Pickett’s role has been expanded to 7-9AM each weekday. Current afternoon drive sports update reporter, Mike “Chops" Ritter, will handle the sports updates and add his unique perspective to the morning show. The Morning Grind will continue to air from 6:30–10AM, Monday through Friday. This was signed by Jason Barrett(Program Director) and Marty Linck(Promotions and Marketing Director), with phone numbers and everything so maybe it's official. Gotta love those "puppy names". Comment here. 01-08-07Over the years in any business you collect people ... some are associates, some are acquaintances and some are friends. This evening, I spoke with a friend who is one of the two best bookers/show producers I've ever known. She has a contact list like you wouldn't believe, knows pretty much everybody who's anybody and if she doesn't know them herself she knows somebody to whom she can reach out. She's a hard worker who never disappoints. The good news for you is that she lives here and she's looking for work here. Send me your contact info and I'll pass it along to her confidentially. 01-08-07Today, Daniel Jay Cohen suddenly found himself ... on the beach. He and I share employment experience with the same syndication company in Memphis but he was the guy who got to play raquetball with BT on the roof of the Tanner Building when he was at Memphis State (I was just a Diana Street studio schlub). Cohen's had serious management and sales experience since then. You would do your company a big favor to at least have a converation with him. Click here to see his resumé in PDF. 01-08-07Don Barrett ... has been a GM for McClendon, a PD in LA and a movie exec in Hollywood. Now, he publishes the radio website that the rest of us radio-site types aspire to someday be: LARadio.com. To read it, it'll cost you $40 a year but then LA has, what, 900 radio stations to cover? Don does offer a freebie...The Ladies of LARP Calendar 2007. Now, I don't wanna get all macho and sexist about this, but I now understand why so many guys I've known over the years have determined to get into LARadio. I'd be willing to work on the STLMedia Babes Ladies of STLMedia Calendar/2008 (or maybe even 2007½). Nothing racy, just 24, 36 or 48 of your pretty faces...and between radio and tv Programming, Sales, Office, Ad Agency and Print employees and management, that oughta be pretty easy to put together. Let me know if you have any interest by emailing the appropriate point of participation: Photographers?Faces?Sponsors? Let's show the Left Coast that they have nothing on Flyover Country! 01-08-07Help move STLMedia to the next level of service ... over the next few months, we'll be running a series of surveys to determine the usefulness of aspects and features of this website and the associated Message Board. If you'd like to participate, you'll have to be a subscriber to our regularly published newsletter. We'll be in touch.
01-07-07The older brother ... of one of my best HS buds stayed in the Navy and has just been nominated as head of Central Command, in charge of the whole shebang in Iraq and Afghanistan. Admiral William "Fox" Fallon has distinguished himself in military service for nearly 40 years and his skills and experience will be important if Iran gets into it. Somebody's got to protect the flow of oil out of Southwest Asia...your humble HBMIC is proud to have known him when. Godspeed, Admiral Fallon. Comment here.
01-07-07Wasn't this originally a Sinclair trick? Secret Squirrel spins on Belo: Just got a letter from Charter saying that they have temporarily dropped KMOV-DT from their lineup due to Belo requesting Charter to pay for the "free" signal they provide. Thank God I have an OTA antenna. Way to go BELO. I think Charter should turn off their analog signal, too! I don't have Charter so I didn't get such a letter. But it sounds like it's the wave of the future, at least until TV companies realize that cable systems are their best friends. Comment here.
01-06-07When I was a young'n ... a family friend offered to gift me with some shares in a company his friend owned. My Father said, "Nah, just give him a teddy bear."Richard Ellis, an exec with Curtis Publishing, for whom my Father designed Saturday Evening Post pages, did so and I've held onto Teddy Bear since then. TB's fur and nose are gone, his left eye is askew and my Mom's repairs and the stains of youth are evident. But he still represents the few shares that Mr. Ellis wanted to give me of a small, developing company called Polaroid. TB probably won't outlast me, so I wanted to get a photo of this guy online. A little money for Polaroid stock in '49, a teddy bear today. My inheritance. (sighing deeply)Comment here.
01-06-07Ackerman named Manager, Sports Ops at KMOX ... Read the entire release. Veteran sports reporter, Tom Ackerman, has been promoted to Manager of Sports Operations at KMOX Radio. In addition to his new responsibilities, Ackerman will continue to anchor sports reports on Total Information AM with Doug McElvein and Debbie Monterrey.Comment here. 01-06-07Tom Calhoun hits a major milestone ... and it's likely an NHL record. Sunday, Tom celebrates his 20th anniversary as PA announcer at Blues hockey games; he's never missed one in all those years. 01-06-07The Westport Wheel of Unemployment spins again ... Keith Kramer tells us that Annie Wilson is O-U-T as producer of George Wilson and the Morning News on KTRS. Comment here. 01-06-07The P-D's Public Journalism Publisher is dead ... Cole Campbell died Friday in an auto accident near Reno. During his tenure at the P-D, the STL Journalism Review(scroll down the page for the links) fought his style of newspapering with a vengeance. Comment here. 01-05-07If you want or need a G-mail account ... click here. I've got a bunch to share. 01-05-07CBS' Mark Edwards spanks me ... it's moderately deserved and I've made appropriate corrections here. Mike-
I read with rapt interest your report on the state of digital radio in St. Louis.
I especially enjoyed your sharing how well KEZK “snapped right into digital”. Obviously, my being a bully, as you have accused me on your site of being, has reached new superhuman levels BECAUSE KEZK DOES NOT BROADCAST IN HD and will not do so until this Spring.
I must be so vicious, mean and nasty that I make the microprocessors in HD Radios think that they have to show my station as being digital so as not to encounter my wrath.
HD Radios only show HD stations by illuminating the HD logo, much like the “stereo light” only came on when the receiver found a stereo pilot. You’ll find that logo at the top of the display of the radio my friend Mr. Lamme loaned you.
If a station is not in HD, as MANY in St. Louis currently are, you won’t see the HD Logo.
Perhaps you might want to visit hdradio.com for more information on the ins and outs of what promises to be one of the great technical advances in the history of American broadcasting.
I helped write the “HD Playbook” that stations use to manage their launch and promotion of HD Radio. Perhaps we can get you a day or two to look at it and learn a few things. Let me know if you’d like me to request access for you.
I’ve got to go work on my plans for world domination and disrupting public events now. Since your account of what happened at the Komen race was as factually inaccurate as your HD Radio report, I’ll try to give you the heads up the next time I have my evil minions disrupt events so you can see my wicked handiwork first hand.
You must have missed the Martina McBride concert last month. I so wish you would have been there to actually see the viciousness that you have made me semi-famous for.
Well, from this I guess we should all be grateful for Mark's presence here, because it sounds like he's one of the Most Important People in radio. Or at least he says he is. Mark's obviously become a close personal friend of some very important people in radio. Or at least he says he has. And it appears that he's been a major influence in establishing the foundation of the New Media. Or at least he thinks he has. After 40 years in this business, I find people like this insufferable and unbelievable. I wish Mr. Edwards well and hope that his next venture is a lot of fun; I bet that he'll become a corporate official with one of the syndicators. He deserves to serve that penance. Comment here. 01-05-07I hope this isn't true ... but I'm hearing from an anonymous tipster via Secret Squirrel that Clear Channel is cutting all local news and info services to save money. It's not like they have anything more than lip service news anyway...but this is a sad development. Comment here. 01-05-07Yes, I know ... HDRadio stands for Hybrid Digital Radio, not High Definition Radio. And your point is, exactly, what? The HD sig has been tossed about by TV for a while, very successfully, if my viewing and perception means anything, and TV's promotional campaign has been telling us that HD means High Def. I seeHD and I hearHD and I think High Definition. It's burned in; it's the radio industry's inadequacy to create a tag that works or to make HD mean anything else than what TV says it means that's telling in its failure. Comment here. 01-04-07Digital FM says it sounds like a CD ... Is that a good thing? My ears may be approaching 60, but the connection between them and my brain is a lot younger. Digitized tunes have always sounded a bit bright to me, much like the difference between film and video tape. An LP still kicks butt even when played back in a mediocre system; when compared to a digital conversion, it's a world away. Yeah, I know it's that whole lossy compression thing. Is there a way to "soften" digital playback to make it sound like it came from an LP? Comment here. 01-04-07Cruisin' the digital dial ... in which Mr. Anderson adventures into the brave new world of digital AM and FM broadcasting. What's the STL status as of the first week of 2007? Read it here. 01-04-07WESL whacks the entire crew ... from AllAccess: The staff at SIMMONS Urban Oldies WESL-A (SOUL CLASSICS 1490)/ST. LOUIS is out, including PD/morning man "GENTLEMAN" JIM GATES, midday host JACQUILINE UNDERWOOD, afternooner LOU THIMES JR., and nighttimer CALVIN "THE GET DOWN" KING.Comment here. 01-04-07Bridge Ratings prediction for radio in 2007 ... Read 'em here; thanks to FA for the tip. Comment here. 01-04-07I keep tellin' you guys ... that this WiMax thing is happening right under your noses and is going to blow SatRad and HD right out of the air. Here's an article from Businessweek: Autonet Mobile is bringing a new Internet media center to vehicles by letting passengers check email, surf the web, game or communicate via any WiFi-enabled device. The service is optimized for the in-car experience, and is specifically designed to work on 95 percent of U.S. roads, regardless of driving conditions or location.
And the Detroit Free Press offers this: In what might be the start of an exciting technological future for cars and trucks, Ford Motor Co. and software giant Microsoft Corp. are expected to jointly announce soon that new Windows Automotive software soon will be available in Ford vehicles. The new technology -- dubbed "Sync" -- will finally bring together two industries that have long been expected to cross paths, allowing consumers to use their vehicles as computers in key ways, such as hands-free cell phone calls or downloading music or receiving e-mail.Comment here. 01-03-07Karen Foss makes it to YouTube ... here's 7+ minutes of her last KSDK/5 news show, tributes intact. Comment here. 01-03-07Twenty years ago today ... in a Creve Coeur townhouse, with all four kids and a gassy dog named Conan present as witnesses, Mrs. A. and I were married. We've been together through the roughest, weirdest, toughest and best times of our lives. If anyone says Carroll is not the very best, I will fight you! I mean, who else would sit patiently waiting for dinner watching me while I laughed at my complete collection of Killer Tomatoes movies? I'm the luckiest man in the world! 01-02-07STL Radio's Hall of Fame Class 0f 2006-2007 ... is online at the above-mentioned Frank Absher's STLRadio.com. Please welcome the six newest members of this distinguished and exclusive group of STL broadcasters! 01-02-07Secret Squirrel mentioned this blindly a while back... KEZK & Y98 VP/GM Jim McKernan resigns after 8 months. Personal family decision. Moving back to Omaha. McKernan leaves both Y98 and KEZK on solid financial ground for 2007, after a difficult first half of 2006. CBS will probably move KMOX's VP/GM Dave Erwin into a VP/GM position for the CBS/St. Louis cluster, overseeing all 3 stations, similar to the previous management structure with Beth Davis, and with Karen Carroll. Jim joins NRG just in time: NRG-owned KSYZ, Grand Isle, NE lost its 900-foot tower on New Year's Eve because of icing. The only good news there - "No one was hurt."Comment here. 01-01-07CC's John Canavera is my hero... within an hour or two of my request (below) he shot me an MP3 of You Gave Me Somebody To Love, by The Dreamlovers, who backed up most of the Philadelphia-based hits of the 1960's, and had a few of their own, like this one. They appeared as guest performers, for $250, at my 1966 HS graduation party at the local CC, lip-synching their hits. You will never know how great this song sounded on an AM station on an Emerson-manufactured 8-transistor radio to a kid with a crashed teenage love life. It's still a great song. Angst...it's all angst! Comment here. 01-01-07It's all over the media today... XM and Sirius may merge. Well, it's been all over the media for months and it's no more true now than it was before. Today, though, there's a story from the NYTimes saying so. Believe me, that doesn't make it any more credible. Sirius' Mel Karmazin is quoted loud and long in the story; XM is silent on the issue, not quoted at all. Look at the facts: 1. Karmazin is the SatRad antichrist and was so for TerRad. He wants no content regulation and absolute freedom to have his "talents" be able to say whatever they want to say, the wishes of the general public be damned. He ignores the fact that 80% of his potential subscribers/listeners then and now are over 40 and actually may have some wish to NOT hear bad or obscene language on whatever media to which they listen/subscribe. 2. Karmazin's entire business and financial future rides on the two SatRad channels merging, with Mel in full and complete control. Without that absolute control, I doubt that ol' Mel would be capable of an erection, them little blue pills notwithstanding. I bet he couldn't even keep his eyes open unless he was anticipating or already in full charge of both SatRad channels. 3. Karmazin has been in the forefront of actually promoting obscenity on the air, radio and tv, encouraging "talent" like Howard Stern and Opie & Anthony and the formerly classy CBS tv network to do what they want and using corporate (read:"someone else's") dollars to challenge FCC obscenity fines ad infinitum. Mel is an evil man, with evil goals. Comment here. 01-01-07At the risk of sounding greedy ... I had so much success with my request for a copy of the Johnny Cash song that I'm coming to you for another tune: You Gave Me Somebody To Love, by The Dreamlovers, circa 1964. I've looked just about everywhere for it; if you have it in your collection and want to share, that'd be great. Maybe I can return the favor with a lost favorite for you, huh? Uh-oh...this can't be legal...