Previously on The Front Page...Apr/May/Jun 2007
06-30-07 Claim made...is it true? Buzzsings writes (scroll down): I listen to AM 850 KFUO, the oldest continually-religious station in the world. And if the signal is a problem (say you live more than 75 miles from Clayton MO), you can always listen online at www.kfuoam.org - go to the streaming audio... Comment here.
06-30-07 Spring Book Phase 2 coming Monday ... We'll have 12+ numbers and demo commentary.
06-30-07 Is Katie Couric failing on CBS ... because of sexism? I think the answer is a resounding NO...she has no credibility and none of what you call your basic gravitas. Jeff Zucker, Katie Couric's former boss, thinks some of the scrutiny directed toward her has been "unfair and sexist in tone." Smarmy is the best way I can describe her delivery. Comment here.
06-30-07 Damn dog! ... We're sitting son Jason's dog, Ruca, while he's on a camping trip through the 4th; Ruca is a notorious counter surfer and a big noise just ran me into the kitchen to discover she'd tipped the remains of a dinner plate onto the floor. I found her in the deepest, darkest corner of the living room, ears back, eyes big and looking guilty as sin. I'm such a sucker for dogs...I just cleaned up the mess and went back to work. My fault, I guess...I shoulda cleaned up the dinner dishes hours ago. Comment here.
06-30-07 What's up with 'GNU? ... If what I'm hearing is correct, the buyer (Burt Kaufman) has not yet decided what to do with AM920. He's apparently brought in consulting engineers to work on the towers and transmitters; God knows the engineering must need some tweaking after what must be years of neglect. More later. Comment here.
06-30-07 Randy Wachter gets out of 21Sound ... Randy's selling his interest in the company to his partner, Louis B. Eckelkamp, for $200k. Wachter walks with $100k free and clear in his pocket. If he ever borrowed $20 from you, now's the time to call and remind him... Comment here.
06-30-07 Get-well wishes to an ailing Smash ... Dr. S. Squirrel, MD, sends along this report: You might want to send out some best wishes to Smash who is recovering from an exercise accident in which he tore both achillles tendons. Not "confined to" a wheelchair, but in one some of the time. Smash, babycakes, c'mon...exercise that vigorous at your age? You might take some of Frank O. Pinion's exercise advice: "Start slowly. Then taper off." Comment here.
06-29-07 Buying an iPhone today? ... Well, good luck to ya, what with the lines and everything. Read this first. Then let us know your first impressions. I'll be sticking with my RAZR for a while. Comment here.
06-29-07 Today's STLMedia's 7th birthday ... so Happy Birthday to us! Apologies for the long delay between newsletters, but family business and the 4th of July has taken precedence for the past few days (I did plan on a week or so off, but, well...).
06-29-07 Looks like Prince gets it ... the undefinable recording artist Prince is planning a huge freebie: a giveaway of his latest album with a British Sunday newspaper and with concert tickets. Record stores in England are seething. Prince clearly sees the way to profitability for him in the future is with ticket sales, and the free recorded music just primes the pump. The Big 5 (or is it now the Big 4?) labels here need to take notice...this is the road to the future. Comment here.
06-29-07 Clue bat for Farid Suleman ... no, you can't sell all your inventory! Take what you can get and run with the cash!
From R&R: Google-izing Ad Inventory A Mark of Failure? -- Just the mere notion of selling a station’s surplus advertising through Google seemed to unnerve Farid Suleman Thursday afternoon (June 28). Sitting on an Interep Radio Symposium panel along with fellow industry titans, the Citadel CEO wrinkled his face when the subject of electronic selling of extra inventory was broached. “That is further commoditizing our product. I think it is a fundamentally flawed model. It says we cannot sell all of our inventory,” Suleman said with the sound of a man in pain. Comment here.
06-29-07 Jonnie King with Darryl Starbird ... STLRadio vet Jonnie King recently spent some time with Darryl Starbird (if you don't know Starbird, he's one of the custom car greats). Jonnie's custom Buick Invicta is in Darryl's museum.
06-29-07 More HD-Radio content you'll never hear ... If nobody's listening now, and there are no receivers in the marketplace, what makes anyone think things will be different in 12 months? (A) it's iBiquity that's making this statement, just to make the suckers who bought into this bulls**t technology feel better, and (B) of course, Clear Channel has something to offer.
"Monetizing" is my favorite word so far this decade. Everybody wants to do it, but nobody knows how.
From R&R: Look For HD Channels To Add Spots In ’08 -- A few years ago when the HD Digital Radio Alliance launched, signaling the debut of HD programming, the companies involved in the alliance agreed not to air advertising on HD side channels initially as a way to lure listeners to sample the new technology -- but that might change soon.
iBiquity president Bob Struble told attendees at the Interep Radio Symposium Thursday afternoon (June 28) that he expects to hear advertisements on the channels early next year as stations attempt to “monetize” HD. Some side channels not part of the alliance, Struble said, have already begun to broadcast spots, but he acknowledged that currently there are too few receivers “out there” to be able to “monetize the stations.”
Struble did not elaborate on what the plans are for advertising, but broadcasters have never made it a secret that adding very limited ad schedules as a new source of revenue was part of the greater plan for the new technology.
Clear Channel, said Struble, is creating a specialized traffic reporting service that it expects to sell for “$4 or $5 a month” on a narrowcast basis.
So exactly why would I pay $5 a month for traffic info on an HD channel when all I have to is click back once to get it on the broadcast channel for free?
God, what crap. Can you spell d-e-s-p-e-r-a-t-e? Comment here.
06-28-07 STL Old Dog Kevin McCarthy ... is now the highest-cuming voice talent on Planet Earth. In addition to his voice work on the Staten Island Ferry in New York (where about 20million travelers a year hear his narration and directions), Kevin is now the official on-board voice of the Golden Gate Ferry in San Francisco (total number of travelers unknown, but it's gotta be huge). Or, as Kevin writes: "The coast to coast voice of the ferry's! I have to be careful how I spell that one!" Comment here.
06-28-07 Day of Silence survey results ... All of Bridge Ratings' study is published here (scroll down the page to see the graph). Trades and blogs are trumpeting the "huge numbers of calls" to Congress. Unfortunately they're not mentioning that the same congressional offices were receiving an unprecedented number of calls on the Immigration Amnesty bill. Comment here.
06-28-07 One more sports station in STL ... exactly what we need! From Frank Absher's Arch City Chronicles media column: One Less Format Choice --
Reliable sources report "Soul Classic" 1490 a.m. WESL is dropping the unique format in favor of an affiliation with Fox Spots Radio Network. Comment here.
06-27-07 Somebody's been fibbing ...
(STLMedia reported months ago that there's an easy compatibility between the two SatRad services). Just today TomTaylor reports:
Can some XM and Sirius receivers get both signals, already? Michael Hartleib says "yes."
The California resident and satellite shareholder smells a rat in the confusion over "interoperability." Their FCC-granted licenses require XM and Sirius to work toward that goal, and Hartleib says "many of the radios in service today are capable of receiving ‘either/or' service and signals, but not both simultaneously." That would be big news.
He says that could happen either by "firmware update and/or flash of the receiver." He alleges that "both companies have been less than forthright regarding the interoperability issue, and have done their best to confuse this issue."
Now Hartleib seeks to force the FCC to "explain [its] lack of enforcement, certification and implementation of the interoperable mandate." Also to force XM and Sirius "to immediately disclose to the public and their shareholders the availability of an interoperable radio which has existed for several years."
Interestingly, Hartleib favors the proposed satellite merger.
06-27-07 Did the Day of Silence work? ... Dunno. Maybe we'll get an idea of the reverse-boycott's effectiveness later this week when Bridge Ratings releases their survey results.
06-27-07 Star Spangled Banner ... from JibJab. It's a Presidential thing...
06-27-07 Today would have been ... Dianna "Krash" Kirby's 51st birthday. Think good things.
06-27-07 Annie Wilson ... formerly of KTRS, hires on full-time as Programming Assistant at WARH & WMVN. Comment here.
06-26-07 FEMA's fault, looks like ...
from R&R: A Federal Emergency Management Agency contractor is being blamed for inadvertently activating the federal Emergency Alert System over the Illinois State Emergency Alert System on Tuesday morning (June 26) at around 7:45 local time after a new satellite-based distribution network was installed on Monday. The installation is part of a program that will cover all 50 states.
FEMA said the mistaken broadcast of an internal EAS test happened while ongoing improvements were being made to the national alert and warning system, and, despite the goof, the overall test of the system "was ultimately successful in verifying that the new alert and warning technologies are compatible with the current EAS in providing a redundant and reliable capability to distribute emergency messages to the public."
No broadcast message was heard, but local radio and TV broadcasts in several states were interrupted, FEMA said.
Looks like I picked the wrong day to sleep in...
This is not the first time the emergency notification system has failed.
WGN's Spike O'Dell said shortly after the two-minute silence: "I have no idea how many other radio stations are listening to us right now. We are trying to figure out what's going on."
The glitch also affected St. Louis stations: one email report sent here said "KPNT read the text of an official guv'ment saying that they had declared a state of emergency. KIHT (JC) just sounded annoyed that the system took over the console and he was forced to listen to
KMOX KTRS. Y-98 and KDHX also went on autopilot. I had an unconfirmed report that some tornado sirens were activated."
06-26-07 Outta here for the 4th ... Gonna celebrate our 7th birthday and take care of some home business; back full time on the 9th of July. As you might expect, I'll check in and update you as you provide the news. Send it here. I plan on sleepin' in!
06-26-07 Help wanted ... 590 THE FAN – PRODUCER WANTED
590 The Fan is looking for a Producer who can hit the ground running and understands what it takes to produce an entertaining talk show. You must bring with yourself a proven track record of success, a passion for the position, a very creative mind, an ability to work with and motivate high profile talent, a strong sense of organization and a great understanding and ability to execute top notch production.
The person who fills this opening will understand developing, improving and advancing story ideas, the compilation/editing of material for individual production, providing creative guidelines to on-air talent, booking guests, knowing how to win in the ratings game and building and maintaining solid relationships with local sports teams.
To qualify, you must have strong radio production and guest booking experience, knowledge of effective phone call screening techniques, a flexible attitude and tireless work ethic and the ability to adapt to a constantly changing environment. Living in St. Louis or having ties to the market is also a huge plus.
For immediate consideration, please send your resume and a letter outlining your producer philosophy to Jason Barrett at JBarrett@kfns.com. No phone calls please.
06-26-07 Today's the day ... that those stations protesting the proposed rate increases will shut down their streams, midnight to midnight. The Big 5 streamers in STL affected by this include stations owned by Clear Channel, Emmis, CBS, Bonneville and RadioOne. Of course, there are others. Listen as you can and, if you can, record their alternate streams and send brief excerpts along; I'll include samples here as they come in. I've got a busy day today, but I'll try to catch as many alternate streams as I can as well. Comment here.
06-23-07 This will not work ... Stations (broadcast and online) that stream on the 'net are being encouraged to drop said streams next Tuesday to show their solidarity against the draconian webstreaming fees about to be imposed by the RIAA and approved by the Copyright Board.
So far, just a few broadcast companies have agreed to go along with the boycott; presumably a lot of the online-only streams will go dark for the day.
Read more about it here and here.
My vision of the future includes online WiMax radio, including broadcast and online channels, available everywhere...but the fees demanded may not permit that. Greater Media's Peter Smyth says broadcasters are willing to pay reasonable rates, but the Copyright Board's ruling "could mean the end of any and all Internet radio."
Unfortunately, this "day of darkness" will have about the same effect as those emails you get every now and again that encourage you to boycott this or that oil company's gas stations for a day.
Which is to say, nothing.
Tomorrow you'll just come back for more.
The only answer I know to this issue is to aggravate the hell out of legislators until they agree that WiMax is the next thing and then allow it to happen. The music industry certainly isn't about to think their future through. Comment here.
06-23-07 More from KFNS via Secret Squirrel ... Brian McKenna is picked to replace Tim McKernan on KFNS's Morning Grind. No word yet who will replace him in his 10pm-midnight show. McKenna's still doing his 10p-midnight show, not sure when that's going to end. I like Brian, and I wish him well. But sooner or later KFNS is going to have to get it under control or they'll wind up with as bad a rep as KTRS. Comment here.
06-23-07 What you need to know to win ... Perry Michael Simon is the editor of the AllAccess News-Talk-Sports section; each week he sends out a newsletter. This weeks's included this:
I was reminded why some hosts become successful, some don't, and some can't get hired in the first place. The core of it is simple. Here's the main thing you need to be a better radio host:
A distinct personality.
Here's the other main thing you need to be a better radio host:
Something to say.
Very true, and, sadly, not always the case for talkers or, for that matter, anyone on the air. Perry has a lot more to say on this; not sure if his newsletter is online, but you can go there and search for yourself.
06-23-07 20% less income ... is okay with you, right? From Broadcasting & Cable:
Congress looks at forcing stations to cut lowest unit rates by 20%:
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) says it will cost stations "a lot of money - there's do doubt about that." But he says stations make a lot from elections so it's "not unreasonable" to ask stations to give "some small part of it back into the system."
Uh-huh. Obviously Durbin doesn't own a broadcast outlet. Or a business of any kind.
According to Durbin (D-IL), the current system is essentially "creating a trust fund for TV stations" which will receive millions he has collected from "generous contributors." Candidates are currently charged the lowest unit rate for TV ads, but the bill would give them a extra 20% discount in the run-up to election day. The bill would also extend the lowest unit rate and discount beyond candidates to ads from political parties.
As we used to say in the Army (edited) un-freakin'-believable. I have a much better idea, which I have published here before and will again, soonest.
You may not make any money with my idea, but you'll be a good and well-respected American.
06-23-07 Speed Racer returns! ...Lionsgate announces plans for its first animated series, a new version of the 1960s toon "Speed Racer." Nickelodeon's 24-hour cartoon channel, Nicktoons, is aboard to run the initial 26 episodes.The downside? "Chim-Chim is now a mechanical robot." Comment here.
06-23-07 I hear Joe Pesci's character Leo Getz ... from the Lethal Weapon movies, saying this: "Okay, okay, okay, RDS didn't work, didn't work, let's try HD. HD! " From InsideRadio: Promising results from pilot tests using HD Radio for data delivery -- With a goal to find additional revenue opportunities from HD, iBiquity has been testing a system that would piggyback traffic data on an FM signal. Engineers drove around Chicago in a car with a specially-equipped traffic navigation system that pulled its data from Emmis rocker WKQX's HD signal. The test drives show no loss of service or dropped data.
With the ultimate failure of HDRadio looming, iBiquity is scrambling to repurpose the technology. The listeners don't need it, they don't want it, and it's just too damned expensive to implement for the providers.
06-23-07 Mel's just gotta be seriously pissed ... From InsideRadio:
Sirius slapped with $100 million advertiser suit -- JEC Nutrition is filing the suit after it says a live-read on Howard Stern's show went terribly wrong - and led to a 20% drop in sales. CEO Kelly Lockwood tells FNC's Neil Cavuto that "we saw a plummet in our sales after those comments." JEC claims Stern show regular Crazy Cabbie was supposed to talk about how he lost weight using their product - but instead Stern kept saying how he looked "fatter than ever." Lockwood says when he asked Sirius not to rebroadcast the spot - they refused. Comment here.
06-22-07 Last Sunday, on Fathers' Day ... Mrs. A and the kids wanted to take me out to dinner. Fair enough; I wanted fried chicken, hadn't had any in many months. They wanted to go to dinner at 2PM. Nobody within miles serves fried chicken dinners at 2PM. I grumpily settled for a couple appetizers, they had sandwiches and fries.
So since then I've been jonesing for fried chicken and Thursday I went to KFC and bought a bucket. No 'taters, no slaw, no biscuits...just fried chicken.
On the way, going through WestPort, I narrowly avoided wiping out a family of ducks who crossed in front of me. Oddly, the ducklings were not in a row, but, rather, gathered tightly around their Mama. I had second thoughts about eating poultry at that point, but the ducks survived, so...
Came home, loaded the DVD player with Brisco County Jr. TV shows and did my cholesterol count a massive disservice. Went through about a hundred paper towels. Trashcan looks like a poultry abattoir.
As of Friday, there are two pieces left to eat, and a lot of Brisco County DVD's left to watch. But I've still got a couple slices of Spam, a half-dozen eggs and a quarter-pound each of boiled ham and garlic baloney in the fridge for sandwiches to add to the feast.
Happy belated Fathers' Day to me, huh? Hope I live...
06-22-07 Philpott's back in the game ... Jay Philpott returns to the air at Bonneville's WARH/ St. Louis (106.5 The Arch - 70's, 80's Whatever We Want). In addition to his role as a radio/public speaking instructor at Broadcast Center, Philpott's duties at the Arch will include weekends, vacation fill-in, production - Whatever They Want. Comment here.
06-22-07 If it ain't one thing it's another ... NPR considers sports loyalists to be "feather brained" and says if it weren't for sports, they'd be glomming onto something else, something less savory: Well, to be sure, there are an awful lot of featherbrained fans who could rattle off the entire roster of the Kansas City Royals before they could name their own congressman. But somehow I doubt that these folks would suddenly become as acutely involved as informed citizens if, tomorrow, all sports coverage instantly ceased. Probably, in fact, their new devotion would be to something more base, like pornography. Now, tell me that the fine folks at NPR aren't societal elitists...How 'bout we look over their hard drives? Comment here.
06-22-07 The word I get from the trenches ... is that agency ad spending for blogs is dropping like a stone, with the exception of a very few, very highly-rated sites. And even these are fighting tooth and nail for ads. There is a huge amount of competition for ad dollars for what has been primarily a self-supported cottage industry (bandwidth costs money). Unless they're part of a blog network or some kind of hub-and-spoke system, expect to see lots of citizen journalists' work falling by the wayside over the next year. Comment here.
06-22-07 Just what we need ... more LPFM's! Radio trades are reporting that bills were introduced in the House and Senate Thursday proposing to lift the ban on low-power stations by letting the FCC strip away full-power broadcasters' third-adjacent channel protection. TomTaylor suggests that the Future of Music Coalition is behind it all: Why is it interested in Low Power FM? The Coalition believes that licensing more stations is a way around "corporate radio." Some other folks also think that putting more LPFMs up for grabs, especially in larger markets, might discourage pirates. Comment here.
06-21-07 Horse hockey ... The new report -- entitled The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio -- raises serious questions about whether the companies licensed to broadcast over the public radio airwaves are serving the listening needs of all Americans.
Along with other ideas, the report recommends that national radio ownership not be allowed to exceed 5 percent of the total number of AM and FM broadcast stations, and local ownership should not exceed more than 10 percent of the total commercial radio stations in a given market.
My take on the Fairness Doctrine will smooth it all out. This, however, is a very, very bad idea. Comment here.
06-21-07 KCFV's Dianna Kirby passes ... Dianna Kirby, Radio Station Supervisor at FloValley's student station
KCFV passed away Wednesday morning.
From the school: I am sorry to say that Dianna Kirby, long time GM of
KCFV, passed away this morning at approximately 6:30am from a heart
attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family this morning.
For those who do not know, on June 1st, Dianna had a heart attack and
was admitted to Barnes Jewish hospital in St. Peters. While there, she
was diagnosed with colon cancer and possible lung cancer. She was
gaining strength and was looking better and better each and every day. Early
this morning, she had another heart attack at about 1am. She passed
away several hours later.
We are currently working with her family on details for arrangements.
From Sam Pranito: KCFV will be airing a Diana Kirby tribute all day Thursday, starting at 8am. Former co-workers and students are enouraged to drop by the station at SLCC/Florissant Valley, 3400 Pershall Road in Ferguson, or phone-in their favorite Diana story. The phone number is 314-513-4478.
Mike says: Much to my regret, I never had the honor of meeting Ms. Kirby. It was always one of those things I had planned to do, but for stupid, inconsequential reasons I never got around to. I feel her loss deeply, regardless. The list of people (in radio and other businesses) whose careers and lives she touched is impressive and very, very long.
Let this be a lesson. If there's someone in your industry whose work has inspired you or who has been an example for you, take the time right now to call them or email them or touch base however and thank them.
06-21-07 MLB started this with their claim on photos ... from Tom Taylor: "The new National Football League rules on podcasting state that if I send my own guy to the game and he does an interview with a player in the lockerroom, using the station's tape recorder - I can't podcast it on the station website. The NFL is now claiming they own the rights to that." Teams increasingly want to control everything about their "story", and now they're asserting rights over all kinds of new technology. Comment here.
06-21-07 Ruh-roh ... research results are starting to suck. This is to be presented by Critical Mass Media at the upcoming Conclave, according to Tom Taylor: 75% of phone calls placed by researchers aren't answered, period. And of the other 25%, four out of five people will talk, but won't answer the survey. That's the scary topline data from a new 30,000-person Critical Mass Media study that will presented a week from today at the Conclave. Looking forward to the full report... Comment here.
06-21-07 June 29th is comin' up ... and there are three special occasions due then: the iPhone releases to retail, Michael Moore's Sicko shows up in theaters, and this website celebrates its seventh birthday. Guess which one I'll have a party for?
06-21-07 ESPN/1380 pays $25k ... to get off the hook on FCC fines for running day power after sunset between October 2006 and January 2007. Comment here.
06-20-07 Al Brady Law slips out of STL ... from R&R: Al Brady Law Joins WERC/Birmingham As PD -- Al Brady Law will be taking the programming reins at Clear Channel news/talker WERC/Birmingham, effective July 2. He will also be handling day-to-day duties at the Alabama Radio Network. Law was PD of CH Holdings' talk KTRS/St. Louis until he exited in December 2006; his long career also includes programming stops in New York, Los Angeles and Houston. Near as I can tell, WERC has just one live, local show; the rest is syndication. The network is all newscasts and sports. Looks like there's nothing there he can break. Unless he tries really, really hard. Watch the trades to see what havoc ol' Al Lady Bra can wreak in Birmingham... Comment here.
06-19-07 Watch this ...
06-19-07 STLRadioOne ... is looking for a local Business Manager. Considering the company's current federal financial difficulties, you might want to give this position an extra layer of consideration. Just sayin'... Comment here.
06-19-07 You really need to see this ... the website for MusicFIRST. It's always somebody else's fault. According to them, radio has had no impact on music sales. I just don't know what to do with this new knowledge.
Does this mean the 45's and LP's I bought because I heard the songs on the radio would have been bought because I just imagined that the Four Tops or The Doors had a new tune? Why were so many gold records awarded to radio? Will I have to give mine back? And to whom? Will they go back to music hall plays and deny them credit for sheet music sales?
MusicFirst, backed by the RIAA, intends to destroy not only all commercial music broadcasting, but all forms of internet radio. What the hell are these people thinking? Who do they think presents the new songs to encourage purchase? Comment here.
06-18-07 Oldies artists sob for sympathy, and cash ... from InsideRadio: The music industry is fighting to change the law and force stations pay a performance fee for airing music. They argue if satellite and Internet radio are required to pay - it's only fair terrestrial radio pays too. musicFirst's Mark Kadesh says "it's time to close the loophole." They're pushing for congressional hearings. So far more than 100 artists are signing-on as founding members of musicFIRST.
And I wish them luck, because they're gonna need it. After, what, sixty years of payments to BMI and ASCAP, now the same stations that played (and paid dearly for the right to do so) pre-recorded music on their air, selling billions of records and cassettes and CD's, have to dig into their dimishing bank accounts and pony up more money because the artists made bad deals years ago with their record companies and managers?
I wonder if those concert performances and CD's and DVD's they're performing for PBS' fund-raising benefit (including STL's Channel 9) are paying them any fees worth noting?
Me? I watch and listen without guilt, figuring that, over the years, I've:
(a) paid performers plenty enough for concert performances and show tickets
(b) paid ASCAP and BMI enough in station fees
(c) bought enough oldies record, CD's, etc.
All of the above should offset an hour or two of viewing, listening or many hours in Purgatory.
Kinda like buying indulgences (if you're Catholic, you'll get that reference).
06-18-07 Here's a surprise! ... from InsideRadio: The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has earmarked $1 million for its ad campaign on why fuel mileage requirements should not be raised. But they're only using news and talk formats formats. Well, of course they are! Fifty-plussers are the demos that listen to news/talk radio...and that's the demo that can afford $3-a-gallon gas! Please don't hate us because we can afford to fill up our low-mpg SUV and luxury car tanks! Don't ya know we all keep a Prius in the trunk as a spare? Comment here.
06-18-07 Tall men running around in their underwear ... set new lows for the NBA finals. From MediaDailyNews -- The San Antonio Spurs' sweep over the Cleveland Cavaliers will mean this NBA finals will sink to the lowest-ever numbers among all viewers, as well as key 18-49 watchers--posting a preliminary 5.6 rating. That's down
06-18-07 Scarborough taking over Imus' spot on MSNBC/WFAN? After five weeks, it sure seems like the former congressman-turned-talkhost is doing that, but neither MSNBC nor WFAN has anything to say about it. I discovered, after three years, that I do have MSNBC on my cable system (it's up in the mid-two hundreds, where I've never even searched, mostly kids' channels) and, after watching this guy a few times, I can't understand why they'd want him. He has nothing original to say, and his moaning and sub-vocé comments during newscasts is annoying as hell. I don't care about his politics; he's just hard to take, too negative, regardless of his philosophical persuasion. Comment here.
06-16-07 Website traffic ... After years of living under the gun of radio ratings, I've never really cared about who or how many visits this site or the associated MB gets, how often they come here, and who is a new or unique visitor.
||06-17-07 Secret Squirrel says Kramer's going to KRFT/1190 ... Word is the former KTRS'er will replace low-rated Air America syndication Randi Rhodes 3-6PM. The offer has apparently been made by the Big League Broadcasting station as a barter-type deal, with Kramer getting an unknown number of spots per hour to sell in lieu of a salary. An arrangement similar to this has worked amazingly well for STL vet Frank O. Pinion and some years ago for Mark Klose. Kramer's sales skills are unknown. He's recently been working on the development of a web portal at GodOfRadio.com. Comment here. |
Using Google Analytics I've learned that this website gets just under a thousand absolute unique visitors a day, no IP address repeats, and that impresses even me.
Near as I can tell from the metrics supplied, the MB, eliminating image hits and IP address repeats, gets, on average, about 500 unique visitors daily.
That means that almost 1,500 unique visitors...1,500 ever day...touch base with STLMedia branding.
Weekends suck here and on the MB, as expected, but M-F uniques are pretty amazing. 1,500 every day. Just like a newspaper with a circulation of 1,500, but with ads in context and only one reader per copy.
What all this means is this: about 1500 different radio types and/or radio fans log into this site or the STLMedia MB every day.
It might be worth your while to spend a few bucks to capture or keep their attention.
I have a number of ways to present your message: audio, static video and flash video. Let me know how to begin to put STLMedia to work for your company.
06-16-07 DelColliano says let's play what if ... Read it all here; some highlights:
I can't help thinking what would happen if radio united for a national day of "relief" from playing the same old songs over and over again and replace their playlists -- just for one little day -- with lots of new music that is available rights free.
A veritable nationwide "Stop The Music" protest, even.
Radio listeners would eat it up. Station ratings would go up. Radio might even attract some interest for a change from their younger listeners, the ones they are losing to the Internet.
Indeed, radio stations would make a lot of listeners happy. Finally, it takes an arrogant record industry to force terrestrial radio into doing what the audience wants anyway --more variety, less repetition, fresh music and artists.
And if radio had the guts, extend the national "Stop The Music" day to two days and really give the musicians and label execs something to think about.
06-16-07 CBS to change morning show format ... Secret Squirrel reads the KMOV internal memoes: KMOV is expected to run from 5am-7am. Early Show will go from 7-9, mirroring the Today Show. Comment here.
06-16-07 KMOX employment ad a sham ... Secret Squirrel noses around One Memorial Drive: The CBS GM ad is an EEO formality. Someone already in
the building on Market Street will be the new GM post haste. Wonder if they'll be able to find the GM office? Wow. I'm knocked out. When was the last posted employment ad by anyone anything other than just an EEO cover-your-legal-ass ploy? FYI, I checked today and discovered that no one from CBS was making fun on the PA system of any other stations at the Komen Run... Comment here.
06-16-07 KTRS Kastoffs Reunion ... three hours of bison burgers, chicken wings and nachos, cold beer and iced tea, war stories and bringing eachother up to date made for a great afternoon at Krieger's. Thanks to Dave Strauss for bringing a stack of the above bumper stickers, dating back to the first days of the Dorsey Debacle. Mrs. A ran the numbers and figures there was a complete staff turnover about every eight months for ten years, which may be an industry record. Click on the thumbnails above for larger images. We'll let you know date and time for the next Kastoffs Reunion.
06-15-07 Air America exits the newscast business ... InsideRadio reports: CEO Scott Elberg says that decision's based "solely on economics" and it makes sense: Air America Radio really should concentrate its resources on its talk service. Its initial vision from the March 2004 launch was to offer progressive stations a turn-key network of talk and news (not just a syndication menu). Unfortunately, AAR's point of view shone through all of that - that politics were at least as important as offering compelling talk programming. The New York Daily News' David Hinckley reports the end of the news effort, probably in late June, and that puts these journalists on the street: Wayne Gillman, Bill Crowley, Mike Piazza and Mark Scheerer. Comment here.
06-15-07 I'll never be in any radio hall of fame ... but I've had the privilege of working with and knowing many who are. Professional accolades are wonderful, but the best are those that come from the family. Like this one, from Ray Otis' granddaughter Michelle, whom I met while Ray was in town for the STLMediaHOF thing last week. Michelle is a remarkable young lady, by the way. Thanks to Frank Absher for sending me this link. Comment here.
06-15-07 Help wanted: One Memorial Drive ... unfounded speculation may begin now. From KMOX.com:
Vice President/General Manager
CBS Radio, St. Louis has an opportunity for an additional VP/General
Manager position in St. Louis. Successful candidates will be
performance-driven and results-oriented leaders to oversee the
day-to-day operations of all facets of the radio stations. Must be a great
strategist with a winning track record who leads by example and knows how
to create revenue and manage success. Broadcasters with
previous GM experience or 5+ years major market GSM experience will be
Recruitment: Until position is filled.
To apply, send resume to:
KEZK/KMOX/KYKY, Attn: H/R-GM, 3100 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103
Or, I guess, if you know him, call Dan Mason...
06-15-07 WGNU sold ... to "the company that owns KXEN – 1010 AM." That's what it says on the oddly-worded press release. FYI, "the people" who own KXEN are BDJ Radio Enterprises. No price is mentioned, but the transfer is set for later this year. Any money on how long Lizz Brown lasts? Comment here.
06-15-07 McKernan out at KFNS ... as of right now. Monty in? Yawn. Comment here.
06-14-07 Love you CC web guys ... Throw the name Carroll into the mix and I might buy you all lunch. KLOU's website is being redirected to Dodie Rahlman here. You can sign up to suggest music to be played, and presumably for station updates and promotional involvement. Format changes are scheduled to come down on Monday (or sooner) when Smash kicks off his morning show on 103.3. Or you can go here and see the new site in all its glory. Welcome to My103.3 -- My life, my music. Maybe they'll throw football onto HD-3 with lessened bandwidth, where the reduced fidelity won't matter. Comment here.
06-13-07 Let the extortion begin ... From AllAccess: A partnership of artists and music industry organizations will announce a newly formed coalition named MUSICFIRST tomorrow (6/14). The coalition is asking that "performers, from aspiring and local artists to background singers and well-known stars, be compensated through a performance right when their music is broadcast on AM and FM radio."
Founding artists include CHRISTINA AGUILERA; JIMMY BUFFETT; CELINE DION; THE DOORS; EARTH, WIND & FIRE; DON HENLEY; WYCLEF JEAN; TOBY KEITH; PATTI LABELLE; JOHN LEGEND; JENNIFER LOPEZ; MARTHA REEVES; MARY WILSON; and 11 industry organizations. The official press conference is set for tomorrow.
These people are getting some very bad legal and career advice.
06-13-07 Two words: prior restraint ... From R&R:
WIOD's Deal With County May End Over Limbaugh Show
According to a report in Wednesday's (June 13) South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the all-Democrat Broward County Commission is considering ending an arrangement under which WIOD/Miami broadcasts hurricane information to the area because the station airs shows hosted by conservative talkers Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. The Clear Channel news/talk station has been the official channel for Broward County emergency information for the past year.
Commissioner Stacy Ritter said of Limbaugh and Hannity, "They have every right to speak, but we don't have to do business with [WIOD]," the paper reports. Commissioner John Rodstrom, however, said, "If we are going to start censoring what people write in the paper or speak on the radio or television, that's a slippery slope. This is necessary. It's something we need to do for emergency response."
WIOD PD Ken Charles told the Sun-Sentinel: "It's a shame that people would let politics get in the way of saving lives in a hurricane."
Under its deal with Broward County, WIOD broadcasts news conferences from the county Emergency Operations Center in Plantation, Fla., in their entirety. The commissioners have delayed a final decision on the WIOD contract until next week.
This is the first real First Amendment issue I've seen in years. I'm pretty sure that no government agency can prevent a news agency from covering a story like this. Comment here.
06-13-07 Update on the weekend oopser on Movin' ... Bonneville jocks recieved a "radio 101" email today (Tuesday) reminding them to never use profanity near any microphone, hot or not.....
06-13-07 Secret Squirrel DX'd to hear KFNS news ... Two more producers out at KFNS. Frank Ladd and Tony Hubert are the latest to fall under the Jason Barrett regime. Ladd was fired last week and Hubert was asked to take a pay cut, refused and put in his notice. That makes 13 employee's that have either quit or been fired since Barrett's arrival. This station is so determined to destroy itself it's frightening. Comment here.
06-13-07 Fox unloads O&O's ... News Corp. announced Wednesday it has hired Allen & Co. to advise it on potential transactions, which would leave the company with 26 stations, including nine major-market duopolies.
A News Corp. spokesman said the company was just lightening up its roster by selling off stations it considers good but not critical to
The stations on the block are WJW-TV in Cleveland; KDVR-TV in Denver; KTVI-TV in St. Louis, Mo.; WDAF-TV in Kansas City, Kan.; WITI-TV in Milwaukee, Wis.; KSTU-TV in Salt Lake City; WBRC-TV in Birmingham, Ala.; WHBQ-TV in Memphis, Tenn.; and WGHP-TV in Greensboro, N.C.
06-13-07 KSHE PD Rick Balis ...has been promoted to VP/Rock Programming for both KSHE and Classic Rock/Classic Hits KIHT. His new responsibilities will include overseeing the entire STL cluster as well as consulting on programming decisions at Emmis stations in Chicago, Austin and Terre Haute. After the requisite celebration, Balis will return to doing what he does best: scheduling weekend air talent. Comment here.
06-12-07 Start talkin' about your web stream ... right freakin' now, and loudly. It's your future. (from MediaDailyNews):
Arbitron: Net Radio Numbers Remain Low
The world may be digital, but radio has yet to catch up. Online listening for AM/FM stations remains low, according to Arbitron's analysis of its fall 2006 radio audience data. Such listening represents less than 1% of total quarter hours in the 30 markets where it was analyzed.
While the proportion of AM/FM stations specifically identified as the source of online radio listening increased, giving a slight boost to individual station ratings, the low overall total may temper earlier optimism about the rate of adoption for online radio generally.
In Arbitron's 30-market survey drawing on fall 2006 data, diary keepers recorded 20,331 unweighted quarter hours of Internet radio listening attributed to a specific AM/FM radio station. That figure is up dramatically from 4,684 in spring 2006. However, the increase was mostly due to revised reporting instructions issued by Arbitron for the later reporting period.
Interestingly, most Internet listening for AM/FM stations came from older males, contradicting the image of early adopters of Internet media as younger men. Arbitron found that 78% of Internet listeners also listened to the same station's regular broadcasts on a traditional radio set.
06-11-07 Secret Squirrel was out dancin' over the weekend and got this email ... I was driving down the street Saturday, listening to Movin' when I heard the jock on the air intro the remote break. I then heard the jock at the remote start the break, stumble and then go… “…sh*t, sorry about that. 3-2-1…” and she starts the break over. Don’t know who either jock was, but I just about shot a Pepsi through my nose. Somebody at Bonneville needs to run a digital editing seminar. And then a seminar on polite-speak.
|06-12-07 Best Fathers' Day gift ... ever! Hard to believe that this show premiered the same year as The X-Files, in 1993, and even harder to believe that it never gained ratings traction. UPS snuck the complete 27-episode (plus extras) DVD set onto the front porch early on Monday morning. Bruce Campbell (The King of B-Movies) stars in this series, along with his genius horse, Comet, and the intensive viewing will commence immediately following the KTRS Reunion this Saturday. Or sooner. My thanks to Mrs. A for understanding what truly amuses an aging husband who is otherwise of no account.|
06-11-07 For no good reason ... Mrs. A and I were invited to a meet-and-greet and brunch with many of the KXOK "old-timers" Sunday morning. On the way, I explained to her that these were the guys who stood at the frontline of the creation of the Top 40 format and that their work made everything I did in my career possible. We were honored to have an audience with Storz PD Bud Connell, legendary newsman and voice artist Steven B. Stevens and Production Director and voice artist Richard Fatherley, followed up with brunch with Fatherley and dj and voice artist Ray Otis and his family. I'm one of those guys who has a respect for the history of the industry in which I spent so many years and this past Sunday morning will be stored in the Anderson memory banks wonderfully and tightly forever. I'm tellin' ya...I was born ten years too late!
06-11-07 Tales out of school ... When former KXOK DJ Ray Otis worked here, he and his family lived in Bridgeton. While he was here for the recent STLMedia Halls of Fame ceremony over the weekend, he visited the site of his previous home and discovered that...it was gone! Welcome to the new Lambert runway, Ray! The cross-street sign that stood near his home, however, was still there. Until it magically disappeared. Are you aware that those things just slip up and over the poles on which they're mounted? Police who investigated the theft of Bridgeton city property report no leads, but assume that the sign was taken by aliens. I agree.
06-11-07 A little help ... Former KXOK DJ William Hopkins is looking for copies of the station jingle packages produced by Hugh Heller for Gene Autry's Golden West stations. I've found material for KSFO online, but not for the other stations. If you have any of this, please let me know and perhaps we can make arrangements to get the audio to Bill. He's still on the air, by the way, doing a weekend jazz show at WESS, East Stroudsburg University/PA, and operates an amazingly well-equipped (and totally analog) production studio out of his home.
06-10-07 Both hours ... of KMOX' pre-show at the STLMedia Halls of Fame Gala from last night are up for your listening pleasure, in MP3. Click here for Hour 1 and click here for Hour 2 to download or listen online. John Carney interviews event organizer Frank Absher and inductees Jim Holder and cartoonist Mike Peters in Hour 1 and inductees Anne Keefe, Steven B. Stevens, Dick Ford and Karen Foss and previous inductee Ron Jacober in Hour 2.
06-09-07 It's not so hard to be humble ... regardless of what Mac Davis sings. So I pick up Richard Fatherley this morning and take him to the Chase Park Plaza for the Media Halls of Fame thing that played out there Saturday evening. We retire to one of the coffee shops for drinks and lunch and are soon joined by William Hopkins and Ray Otis. Now, I've been told over the years I have a decent voice. But sitting there with those three guys, who don't just sound like God, they sound like God would if He had had voice lessons, I learned an overwhelming lesson in humility. And I truly dreaded the imminent arrival of similarly-big-voiced Bud Connell, Steven B. Stevens and Robert R. Lynn. I couldn't add much to the discussion by just nodding. 630KXOK was a truly amazing radio station, if just for the timbre of the station's voices. Comment here.
06-08-07 Clayton Studio's Dick Ulett writes ... I told former KSD jock/pd (1977-'79) Tom Straw that I would spread the word about his first mystery novel, "The Trigger Episode," recently released. Tom is living up East and is currently writing for the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. More details at tomstraw.com. Book's available at Borders, Amazon, etc. Any mention you can make, please do. Well, I did. Radio folks with ambition might take a close look at Tom's track since he left KSD. His success in television has been nothing short of stellar. Bet he'd be happy to do an interview...
06-08-07 Old pal Mike Berlak ...has relaunched his website: "Whether you are looking for on-going or per-project assistance with radio station or internet stream programming, or you need an "idea guy" for ad copy or marketing strategy, please explore these pages and see (and hear) the type of work I've done for others." Berlak offers unique in-house outsourcing for all area of station operation. Smart guy, good ideas, great service. Give him a call.
06-08-07 I'll say it once more ... if you, as radio managers, can't get your talent under control, then the guvmint will step in and help you do it. And nobody wants that. From InsideRadio: Congress isn't done tinkering with the indecency rulebook -- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (R-WV) is writing legislation that would give the FCC even more power to go after stations on indecency. Rockefeller says this week's appellate court ruling "called into question nearly 30 years of FCC precedents and regulations." So if the FCC can't enforce its longstanding rules - he wants Congress to step-in. Comment here.
06-08-07 Tell me again why the US is switching to digital TV? ... From BroadcastingCable: "The FCC has warned K-Mart, Best Buy, Circuit City, Radio Shack, and CompUSA, or essentially an A-list of the major electronics retailers, that if they don't start placing the following warning "in close proximity" to analog-only sets, even those sold online, the stores will face an $11,000-per-day fine, up to $97,000." Comment here.
06-08-07 In the footsteps of that amazingly successful ...Fox "Foreign Taxi Driver" campaign, SpikeTV rolls out their own version, aimed at holding viewers thru spot breaks: "The two 30-second original clips, dubbed Spike Men of Action, spoof typical action movies. The first, sponsored by Dairy Queen, features two young men attempting to diffuse a bomb while eating a meal from the fast food chain. The second, sponsored by Lamisil features the same two guys fighting martial-arts-style as one recommends that the other might need to try using the athlete’s foot remedy." Yup, this'll hold me off the clicker...especially by including commercials within the non-commercials. Comment here.
06-07-07 If CNN had reported D-Day ...
06-07-07 My apologies ... to STLMedia Newsletter subscribers who may have been a bit jolted when they received yesterday's edition datelined 06 January 2007. Hey, January and June are both "J" months, right? Sorry, kids. Those letters go out around 4AM...
06-07-07 61% of households have no digital idea ... government mandates be damned. From WorldScreen: "As the U.S. prepares for the transition from analog to digital-only signals, the study concluded that many consumers are generally unaware of the nature of the transition and do not fully know what the direct impact on their ability to watch TV will be. An earlier APTS report revealed that 61 percent of over-the-air households had "no idea" the DTV transition was taking place. Free over-the-air households have also resisted subscription campaigns by cable and satellite companies. The population of free, over-the-air households has virtually remained unchanged since 2004 at 22.6 million, compared with 22.5 million in the first quarter of 2007." Comment here.
06-07-07 STL Satire website launches ... Chris Files and Mike Merenda, a pair of STL twenty-somethings with a self-professed (combined) mental age of about nine have set netsail with TheFilesFiles, a twice-weekly-updated site of fun, frolic and frivolity that includes written and video satire of wuz happenin'. Pretty good stuff. I'm betting that they give good interview. They might even make good on-air regulars...
06-07-07 Currently my favorite TV spots ... are these from Haggar slacks: Boyfriend, Cableguy, Overgrown and Harassment. Boomers Pete and Red will probably not get their own show (like the GEICO cavemen) but they'll likely lapse into ad history as those Bartles & Jaymes guys did years ago. Don't know how many pairs of pants they'll sell, but these are great spots. Comment here.
06-07-07 Is it just my imagination ... or are the soundtracks to Stripes (1981, by Elmer Bernstein) and The Caine Mutiny (1954, by Max Steiner) almost identical? At least the main theme? A little help? Or am I nuts? Comment here.
06-07-07 Former RAB HBMIC Gary Fries ... joins the dark side. From trades: "Former Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Gary Fries has been retained by Arbitron to provide the company with insights and recommendations about the needs of radio station owners and operators in smaller markets."
06-07-07 A quarter of a billion dollars ... that's how much serious cash Sirius needed. From R&R: "Satcaster Sirius Satellite Radio on Tuesday (June 6) got a $250 million senior secured loan from Morgan Stanley that will span 5 1/2 years. The loan is to be used for general corporate purposes. Word on the street is that Sirius is paying about 7.9% interest." Good rate. Maybe Mel could have done better with American Equity Mortgage? Comment here.
06-07-07 The music biz continues shooting ... itself in the foot: Lon Helton's CountryAircheck reports: After six months of airplay, Sony BMG/Nashville Sr. VP/Legal & Business Affairs Katherine Woods has demanded that stations stop playing the Tracy Lawrence song "Find Out Who Your Friends Are" featuring guest vocals by BNA's Kenny Chesney. The original single release was sung entirely by Lawrence, but his album For The Love features a version with guest vocals by Chesney and Curb's Tim McGraw.
Woods' letter reads in part: "SBMG did not grant 'singles' rights to Rocky Comfort Records with respect to the album version of this song and has not authorized any radio station to play this recording. If your station is playing the album version...SBMG demands that you immediately cease such unauthorized broadcasting."
Radio stations and legal types are confused; no further response so far from the label. Comment here.
06-06-07 63 years ago today ... D-Day! When we stood as nations together against our enemy...
06-06-07 A la carte cable ain't gonna work ... according to a study by Forrester Research: A little over one-half of consumers surveyed by Forrester Research in 2006 support a la carte pricing of cable programming but have unrealistic expectations of what it would cost for the privilege of picking only the channels they want to watch. Respondents indicated that they’d pick a package of 26 channels for which they’d like to pay $24 per month. That’s about 53% of what they currently pay for only one-quarter of the channels in a typical expanded-basic package. And it computes to about 10 cents per viewing hour per week -- economics that would not financially support program development or delivery, according to the report. Cable viewers currently spend about 22 cents per viewing hour, according to Forrester.
06-06-07 After BigDog Lucy passed a few weeks back ... I made a promise in my heart to BoyDog that he'd be the only dog in da house for the rest of his time with us (he's almost 13). It's taken him a while to assume dominance but this past weekend it clicked in and it's been a wonderful thing to watch. He's resumed patrolling the entire yard, barking back when barked at...having the biggest time. In the house, he's by me wherever I go. Bless his aged little ol' heart.
06-06-07 With all this money up for grabs in gay print ... I still do not understand why radio in St. Louis continues to ignore the huge and well-funded gay market as targets for lifestyle programming. From Media Daily News: Ad spending in the gay and lesbian press reached $223.3 million in 2006--a record figure, according to the study from Prime Access Inc. and Rivendell Media, a gay-media representative firm. Over the last 10 years, ad spending in these niche publications has grown at about three times the rate of consumer magazines in general. Of the top Fortune 500 brands, 183 had a presence in gay media in 2006, according to the study--a nearly 1,000% increase over 1994, when just 19 did. Comment here.
06-06-07 I had no idea ... that it was so easy to manipulate TV ratings. From BroadcastingCable: In the highly lucrative morning news hours, running commercial-free would seem counter-intuitive. But that’s just what NBC’s Today did on the last Wednesday of May sweeps when Dancing With the Stars winner/Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno appeared with finalists Laila Ali and Joey Fatone on ABC’s Good Morning America. Because ABC’s ratings were likely to spike, thanks to the popularity of Dancing, NBC figured its numbers would fall faster than Meredith Vieira on skates. Since Nielsen doesn’t record program data without national ads, NBC yanked the ads. How come this doesn't work with Arbitron? Comment here.
06-06-07 Here we go again ... and once again the courts have their hands in the mix for no reason at all. From various trade reports:
-- Broadcast attorneys are still sorting what the impact will be for radio of a ruling today tossing out indecency decisions against two TV networks. The U.S. Court of Appeals says the FCC was "arbitrary and capricious" when it wrote its indecency rulebook regarding cases when an expletive is a slip of the tongue. The FCC says it's still studying the decision.
-- Commissioner Michael Copps warns the appeals court decision striking down part of the FCC's indecency rules doesn't mean stations can cross the line with immunity. Copps says "any broadcaster who sees this decision as a green light to send more gratuitous sex and violence into our homes would be making a huge mistake." The FCC is still mulling an appeal.
-- The U.S. Court of Appeals has tossed out the FCC's "fleeting expletives" policy regarding slips of the tongue. Washington insiders say it sets a precedent for what is enforceable and what is not. But Kevin Martin says the court is "divorced from reality." While the NAB backs "responsible industry self-regulation."
-- The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York said when that happens, there is no foul. As such, the court handed a sharp rebuke of a Federal Communications Commission ruling — and the Bush administration as well — yesterday. It threw out an FCC decision on indecency, siding with four television networks — Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC — that filed a lawsuit against the federal agency.
Here's how to resolve the issue: first, only hire air talents who understand that there are some words you just cannot say and who understand the nature of polite discussion; second, plug in a brief delay system for use when you have guests who don't know the rules; and, third, hire producers to manage the delay and educate them thorougly in propriety. The fact that their parents should have provided that input is notwithstanding (their parents probably didn't); if the producers screw up, fire them and hire someone else.
Wow, just like magic, your multi-million dollar investment and cash flow is suddenly protected from FCC fines! How tough is that to understand? Comment here.
06-06-07 Secret Squirrel's cousin, Distant Deep Squirrel, squeaks thusly ... and I hope it's the last word on what KLOU might become. We'll know on the 18th. For now, here's some educated speculation:
Is it all a smokescreen? It doesn't seem that KLOU's supposed shift to a male 70's/80's classic hits/classic rock format is a smart or strategic play, or a move that's likely to produce any quick dividends. It's more likely that the station is walking into an expensive format war if it tries to move into a very crowded neighborhood. There isn't much room for another station in that arena. With those decades amply covered by The Arch (75% of its music is from those two decades), K-Hits (82%), KSHE (on the hard side of the spectrum at 57%) and KEZK (on the pop side with 41%). Secondly, the assertions that KLOU would mimic sister stations in Milwaukee and Washington DC to present that format aren't quite accurate, as those stations couldn't be described as "male leaning".
A look at a recent "last 9 played" from My 95.7 in Milwaukee:
Saturday Night/Bay City Rollers
Smoke From A Distant Fire/Sanford-Townsend Band
Drift Away/Dobie Gray
I Think I Love You/Partridge Family
Nice To Be With You/Gallery
50 Ways To Leave Your Lover/Paul Simon
A look at a recent "last 9 played" from WBIG in Washington DC:
We Will Rock You/Queen
All Right Now/Queen
Born To Be Wild/Steppenwolf
Don't Stop/Fleetwood Mac
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me/Animals
It's Only Rock & Roll/Rolling Stones
More Than A Feeling/Boston
New Kid In Town/Eagles
Neither of those stations can be accused of a male lean. The Milwaukee station is a blend of oldies and classic hits (and wimpy at that) while the DC station is straight ahead classic hits.
A more likely approach for KLOU, and one with more potential for success is Clear Channel's "Brew" format. It's a Rock of The 80's classic hits station, and this approach could be described as having a male lean. CC runs this format in Milwaukee, Columbus and Omaha. First developed in the home city of Miller Brewing, a station called "Brew" would seem to be a natural for A/B's hometown. It's 80's classic hits without going too far into the "hair" image. This would present a dilemma for KSHE and KIHT....which station should respond to a Brew attack?
The Brew in Omaha - Last 9 played:
Back In Black/ACDC
Living After Midnight/Judas Priest
Living On The Edge/Aerosmith
Overkill/Men At Work
Pretenders/Brass In Pocket
Don't Go Away Mad/Motley Crue
Anyway You Want It/Journey
Lick It Up/Kiss
The Brew in Columbus - Last 9 played:
Walk This Way/Aerosmith
Crumblin' Down/John Mellencamp
Welcome To The Jungle/Guns N Roses
She's A Beauty/Tubes
You Really Got Me/Van Halen
Love Is Like A Rock/Donnie Iris
Boulevard of Broken Dreams/Green Day
06-05-07 Let me 'splain this stuff once again ... If you have questions that need answering, please do not contact me thru the Tips/Rumors form. That sends me an email with no return address and no way to track the sender, providing me with what the politicians call plausible deniability and the sender with full anonymity in case the lawyers come calling. Same thing if you have heartburn about something you've read here or on the Message Board. Please know that I will not deal with complaints about content or how the site is managed if the email is signed by anything but a real name with valid contact info. If you have a valid issue I'll respect your confidentiality and answer your questions best I can but I won't deal with screen names...only real people. Thanks for understanding.
06-05-07 KMOX' John Carney checks in ... Thought you'd like to know that I'll be doing a broadcast from the 2nd Annual STL Media Halls Of Fame Gala from the Khorassan Room at the Chase Park Plaza from 5-7. Bob Hamilton will be co-hosting with me and we'll have chats with many of the past recipients and some of this years inductees. As always, thanks to Dick Ulett, I'll also have some tape of STL Radio over the years. The get-together is this Saturday evening.
06-05-07 12+ Spring '07, Phase 1 numbers ... are posted here. Demo discussions will follow.
06-04-07 Happy Birthday ... to the Master of Worldwide Broadcast Overnight and all the rest that is radio weirdness...George Noory!
06-03-07 Thanks to an intrepid insider ... (who shall remail hidden behind the curtain of anonymity) the hot skinny is this: My103.3 will be a male-oriented 1970's-1980's Classic Hits mix station, ala WRIT/Milwaukee and WBIG/DC. Streaming audio is avalable at both links; welcome to the New World of FM103.3/STL. Feh. Back to the iPod. What? This couldn't have been an HD2 format, replacing bad football games? We need a new broadcast Classic Rock station? Comment here.
06-03-07 Secret Squirrel spins on the promo dude ... "James Perry, longtime WIL Promotions Director for WIL has switched teams and is now beating the streets for the Bull! His first official job was on Friday at the Alan Jackson concert." Comment here.
06-03-07 This is not good, not good at all ... I have stated many times that I applaud the efforts made by the holders of copyrighted material to protect their intellectual property (having myself been the victim of copyright-rape). But this apparent use of steganographic embeds in iTunes music tracks to keep an eye on what goes where opens a door that should have never even been unlocked. While, in itself, this is not a privacy issue, it may eventually lead to a massive abuse of user rights...for example, what exactly they can do with tracks they own and have ripped from sources, not purchased online. I think this is one of those Star Wars upsets-in-the-Universe moments. Comment here.
06-02-07 This guy agrees with me ... not that that's unusual:
You're right, the reason I wouldn't bother to buy HD radio is the same
reason I bought an iPod for work - why would I buy new equipment to
listen to the same crap I don't enjoy listening to now? HD crap is
still crap, crystal clear digital crap or not...
It's insane. I can flip through 8 presets and get 6 stations on
commercials (sometimes the same commercial - how many times do they
need to talk about mortgages before realizing I DON'T NEED ONE?), one
DJ yammering on about some "news story" about a water-skiing squirrel
(no offense to SS) and maybe one station playing a song that I want to
Why should I bother when I can have 15000 songs in my pocket?
06-02-07 Former KTRS victim George Woods ... has news: read here.
06-02-07 After a long absence ... expect to see billboards again for KMOX. Turns out that the "new guy at Corporate" -- real radio guy Dan Mason -- thinks that's how you can help to build an audience. Comment here.
06-02-07 In other CC/STL news ... The Bull's morning guy, Craig Cornett, signed a contract extension that'll keep him in place until 2010. With all that's been happening at CC here lately, I hope Craig thinks of this as a good thing... Comment here.
06-02-07 Oldies 103 will become My103.3 ... at 6AM, 18 June, the morning Smash takes over as AM driver at KLOU. Will Smash be the new PD?
Not sure as of now, considering there's still some speculation as to which demo the new format will go for, but that isn't unlikely, considering that CC PD's don't have to do much with the format other than schedule weekend dj's (no disrespect to Mr. Benrubi, but that's the reality).
Screen shots of the new website have been available all over the Web for a day or so. Best guess? A change is gonna come to CC/STL's 103.3 on the 18th, it'll be called "My103.3" and here it'll probably lean male, probably some kind of Classic Rock/ClassicHits hybrid. Or not.
If not, "My103.3" will lead a hard charge against Y-98, in which case, Mark Edwards will listen for a bit, lean over from his recliner and throw a switch to change the ever-dropping KYKY to assume another position that will shift the music a bit and retain the awesome income the station brings in. Comment here.
06-01-07 Charter sales turnover? ... After lots of turnover over the last 3 years it seems as though Charter Media has its team in place.....except that word on
the street is that new GM is looking to replace his DOS and all his buddy LSM's. Comment here.
06-01-07 Helmkamp to Simmons/STL GM ...from Radio&Records: Simmons Media Group has tapped John Helmkamp as GM for its St. Louis stations: sports KSLG (1380 ESPN Radio) and urban oldies WESL (AM 1490). He’s replacing Dave Green, who left the company in April to start a new magazine, St. Louis Sports. Helmkamp most recently served as marketing director for CC/STL. In related news, Helmkamp named Matt Strelo to the KSLG staff as a sales and management consultant. Strelo most recently was VP of ticket sales and marketing for the St. Louis Blues. Unfortunately, neither of the Simmons stations can be heard entirely within the MSA. Best of luck, kids. Comment here.
06-01-07 Sam Muchnick: remember him? ... STL's wrestling promo king's nephew has a book in print and you need to get him on your air. You won't believe what Irv has to say. Contact Irv Muchnick for a great interview.
06-01-07 Avis is now offering WiFi in select rental cars ... The death knell for SatRad and HD Radio is in cars already. Radio-info's Tom Taylor writes: You realize what that means? Radio's truly getting a competitor in the car dashboard - the whole Internet. I've been expecting this for years and it may be bad news for XM and Sirius, long-term. Why pay $155 a year to get satellite radio's 130-170 channels in your own car, when you can tune in thousands of streams online, at some kind of additional cost? Of course it's also scary for local AM and FM free radio. The service won't be perfect and of course WiMAX will have to be built out and there are plenty of air pockets ahead - but wireless broadband in the car is coming sooner than you think.
Ummm, I think this is where I say I told you so, huh? Comment here.
06-01-07 I spent a lot of time on the road Thursday ... and I must have heard Richard Fatherley's latest national spot twenty times. By the time I got home, it seemed like an omen.
I called Dick last evening and discovered that he's no longer driving because of visual issues and that he will be here for the MediaSTL Halls of Fame gala at the Chase on the 9th.
I'll pick him up on arrival and carry him to the hotel and back to transportation home; I offered to drive over and pick him up in KC, bring him here and take him back home in the Town Car, but he declined.
Please be aware that Fatherley, a National Treasure, has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and has to travel on Oxygen. We'll see what happens at the end of the long awards weekend!
Richard: the trip back home's on me!
06-01-07 Apologies for a few days absence ... I took added time off after the long weekend. Happenings: the new Bunn coffeemaker has arrived and will be test-driven this weekend; final arrangements have been made for the KTRS Kastoffs Reunion on June 16th (see above); I made plans to pick up Richard Ward Fatherley upon his arrival here and take him via the Red Ride Limo Service to his accomodations at the Chase Park Plaza for the STLMedia Halls of Fame gala there on June 9th; working on audio, photos and text background from last weekend's WLSRewind2007 event; sending off a spare laptop to Mrs. A's Mom, who was burned out of her home a while back and will use it to keep her sanity until she can move back in, hopefully soon; and creating campaign ideas for a certain former Tennessee Senator who appears to be running for the Presidency. Yup, I've been busy during my time off.
05-29-07 Getting a copy of my military records ... In 1971, when I was discharged from the Army, I registered a copy of my DD214 and associated records with the Courthouse in my home county in NJ. Now they can't find my records. Many phone calls later, including to my ex-sister-in-law who works for the County (and with whom I maintain good relations), still no joy. Guess where they sent me? Yup! The Personnel Center on Page. Took some faxing but I'll let you know how this works itself out and how to get copies of your records.
05-29-07 KFNS was off the air ... from 1-2pm on Memorial Day, according to sources, who report:
seems Jason Barrett e-mailed the employees a schedule for Monday and
scheduled a Hard Ball Show. The only problem was that he sent out the e-mail
on Sunday night at 10:30pm. In the e-mail, he aplogized for the late
notice, saying he was out of town and didn't have access to a computer.
Thats funny considering he was at a station function on Thursday and was
at the station on Friday. The host and board-op he had scheduled for
Hard Ball didn't show up. The station switched back to automation at 2pm.
Admittedly, sending out a rescheduling email that late the night before is an iffy kinda thing; the PD would have been better served by making a few phone calls from wherever he was. But why aren't station employees checking their email regularly? Even on a holiday weekend, the 24/7 job of radio goes on. Looks like the blame here goes both ways... Comment here.
05-29-07 The best laid plans ... gang aft agley (lifted liberally from Robert Burns).
I had planned on recording the entire WLS Rewind stream, editing it and then presenting it here. Unfortunately, the outboard drive I was using decided at the least propitious moment possible to get cranky (of course now it's working). So I'll have to rely on the kindness of friends to provide whatever audio I can get.
From what I heard, though, and from what others have said, the presentation was incredible. Fred Winston has the best voice ever in radio. Period. No more discussion. Okay, Gary Gears may have had an edge, but he's passed away...
I understand that WLS will be making segments of the Rewind available at their Podcast download area later this week. I'lll add links as I get 'em.
05-27-07 Bad times for Fox/2's Auble & Williamson ... Fox 2 veteran reporter John Auble and videographer Walt Williamson were injured Friday when a pickup ran a red light and smashed into the side of their Fox 2 news vehicle. Auble may have some internal injuries, but is not hospitalized. Williamson broke one rib. The news unit was totalled. Thoughts, prayers, and good wishes accepted and encouraged. Comment here.
05-27-07 Our Cuisinart coffee grinder/maker crapped out ... after not enough years and I say damn. Something weird with the electronics. So we decided to replace it with restaurant-quality pure muscle, and add a killer bean grinder on the side. Yes, well-brewed coffee is important here. Friends who travel
insist on sending me are begged to send me Jamaican Blue Mountain and Hawaiian Kona beans and Trader Joe's always has Kenyan beans on sale. Who can say no to that selection? Of course, the official basic coffee here is Thomas. What? You'd expect something else?
05-26-07 Former KTRS'er Kramer needs money ... not for rent or food or electric, but to buy a new monitor.
Apparently he's having a rough time of it and his vision's not what it used to be. Let's get on top of this and see that he gets something new to see. The boy wants an Acer 20" flat panel, and I say he deserves it. Send $20 or more and get a free set of TKS dogtags. He'll let ya know when he's got enough money.
Of course, he's already turned down non-monetary business assistance, and I have no idea if he's ever contacted SCORE, as I suggested, to help him develop his business plan. Truthfully, after he told me to go 'eff' myself, I kinda lost interest in his predicament. But here's one more try.
Keith, from someone who's been down the nasty unemployment highway, here's what you MUST do to take care of your wife and son:
1. Get a temp job. Any kind of temp job for which you're physically and/or mentally qualified. You seem to know a little about computers and digital cameras; go for a sales gig at Circuit City or Best Buy. Got a pickup truck? Hire yourself out to haul stuff or deliver pizza. Got a power lawnmower? $30 a lawn, from everyone on your block, once a week, adds up to a substantial sum every month. The gig might not be what you want, but it will bring in some loot. And that shows a potential employer that you've got stones.
2. Want a job in radio? Realize for once and all that the industry is cleaning itself up. Purge your website and your airchecks of anything approaching offensive material (as it will appear to potential employers) and relaunch. Your basic skills are enough to make you a player. You don't need to pass gas or go blue to be a star. If I didn't believe that you were better than gas-passing, I wouldn't have taken the time to write this.
3. Forget about surfing the web so "I don't have to." Most of us want to surf the web. We already have Fark and a lot of other sites to show us suggested links. And we know how to find new stuff to play with. Frankly, you don't have enough bandwidth to compete with the big guns. Quit wasting your money there.
4. Forget about finding local sponsors. Like it or not, you're an STLRadio has been, with a tiny little presence online (and you're badly misinterpreting your webstats). Use Amazon or Google Ads if they'll accept you (and, considering current content, they won't). But they might send a few bucks your way every month if you clean up your online act.
5. Create a blog. Use one of the free services and chronicle your experiences and your reactions to what's going on in the US and the world. You're smart enough to be able to write commentary without going blue. Place ads there. I'll promote it.
6. Learn HTML/CSS/XML. The GodOfRadio/KramerShow website is terribly done. Too many graphics (including animated GIF's) and weird backgrounds. A pointless entry page. Uncontrolled fonts. Uncontrolled page size. Too many bad links. Too many link colors. Whew.
7. If your wife works while you're "on the beach" ... regardless of when, how often and where, and regardless of when, how often and where you work, you should be the one who handles the bills, grocery shops and cooks, washes the dishes and maybe does the laundary. Babysitting is optional, because most men can't handle it. Trust me, I've been in that game, and it will keep your marriage together. And right now you need that marital glue.
All that having been said, I predict that Mr. Kramer will call me every defamatory name in the book in commentary on his website and follow none of these suggestions. He will also never again be employed in the radio biz and the next time I mention him here will be when he moves on to his next full-time non-radio venture.
05-26-07 Sometimes hiding your light under a basket ... is the best thing to do, at least until you're ready to let it shine out loud.
Case in point: CC/STL's Erin Austin, who recently moved on to a morning gig at WKTI/Milwaukee, is already blogging: Monday we will all go to the Brewers game which will be my 1st game. I can't wait to get a hotdog! YUMMY!!! I'm even going to but a Brewers shirt at the game!
Yes, Mike is now going to second-guess the lovely Ms. Austin: First (to paraphrase Tom Hanks), there are no hotdogs in Milwaukee. Or anywhere in Wisconsin, for that matter. Only brats! Spicy links made of God-knows-what and cooked in huge groups over white-hot coals, never boiled or steamed. When the smoke stops, you eat. LOTS of brats. And drink beer. LOTS of beer. But never A-B beer. Not in Milwaukee.
Second, the station couldn't have bought Erin a freakin' Brewers jersey so that she went to the game appropriately outfitted?
Milwaukee, much like STL, is a totally alien culture within the US. I don't understand why new arrivals aren't given a packet of material to study and learn before they get on the air or show up in public. Even KTRS, managed and owned (primarily) by locals, couldn't get a handle on that, back in the Great Talent Debacle of December '05. Managers, what's wrong with you? Comment here.
05-26-07 With the apparent demise of Mike Batchelor's" ... MB's at missouriradio.net, Gary Leonard, out of Mexico MO, has set up missourimedia.net to "fill the void." Gary writes: Two other domains also point to it: showmemedia.net and broadcastforums.com. One unique aspect is the availability of email addresses for forum members. If it flies, great, if it doesn't, so be it. I've got plenty of bandwidth and thought this might be a good way to give back to the broadcast community. Having grown up in St. Louis in the 60s and 70s, it's always interesting to read your take on the St. Louis media. Keep up the good work!
05-26-07 Secret Squirrell ponders one of the folks on the ... whatever happened to list: Is Linda O'Connor about to return to the ranks of the employed? Will she return to a job she once had? Inquiring rodents need to know... Comment here.
05-26-07 Noory takes over the Sci-Fi Channel ... Okay, maybe not take it over. But he's got a show coming up on Wednesday, 13 June (10PM CT). More info here. Incidentally, George is set to celebrate his 57th birthday a little more than a week prior, on 4 June. Comment here.
05-25-07 KLOU set to flip "imminently" ... As of Friday PM, the station was still billing itself as Oldies 103. But that could change anytime, according to my StlMedia.net mailbox that's stuffed with references to "My 103.3". That url, which was registered on April 19th for one year by Clear Channel, leads to an index page which needs password authorization to continue. Scroll down this page to our May 9th story on what life after Oldies at 103.3 might be like. Comment here.
05-24-07 Mike & The Statler Brothers, Part 2 ... Real brothers Harold and Don Reid, original group member Phil Balsley and the newest "Brother," Jimmy Fortune, showed up right on time for my scheduled spot shoot in early 1982.
(Original Statler tenor and songwriter Lew DeWitt -- he wrote Flowers On The Wall -- had retired from the group due to illness in 1982; he passed away at 52 in 1990.)
Harold, Don and Phil were seasoned show biz veterans, but Jimmy was literally being presented to the world for the very first time. He had learned just the night before, while performing in a club in Roanoke, that he was the group's choice to replace DeWitt on a permanent basis.
As you might expect, Fortune was a bit nervous. Composed stage presence in a 200-seat country-music bar was one thing; to be part of what was then one of the best known country music groups in the world was something else entirely.
Young Mr. Fortune had what we now call, 25 years later, "issues."
Jimmy did the best he could and the rest of the group did their expected over-the-top best-of and out-takes. I recently uncovered the Beta tapes of the session (yeah, in a box in the garage), including the finished spots and maybe I can can convince my video wizard bud Kevin McCarthy to transfer them to net-useable video.
The Statler Brothers retired from concerts and tours (and commercial endorsements) in 2002 and have made their home in Staunton VA ever since. Not bad for a high school group who made good. And what a great bunch of guys to work with.
05-24-07 HD Radio reaches less than 1% of the US population ... and therefore I summarily and once and for all declare the concept toast. Bridge Ratings projects there are 450,000 listeners to HD Radio nationwide. But it's not the hardware...it's the content, stupid. Users cited "poor broadcast content" as their number one reason why they don't listen more. But hasn't that always been the top reason for any form of media to fail? Comment here.
05-24-07 Shortly after Memorial Day ... we'll be offering you a locally-based, female-oriented promotion that you can plug into a vacant weekend on your schedule at almost no cost to you and no cost at all to your listeners. It's irresistible to your female audience component. Keep checking back here for details. Note: I have "no dog in this hunt." A friend of mine has a great idea and the resources to pull it off and I'd like you to consider it, that's all.
05-24-07 Secret Squirrel is still hanging around the Highlands ... he reports: The CC Exodus continues as KSLZ GSM Scott Adamec exits. Dennis Lamme quickly announces Adamec's replacement: Effective immediately Aaron Hyland will become the General Sales Manager for KSLZ and KSD. Jeanmarie Lamme will become the Local Sales Manager for KSLZ and KSD. Comment here.
05-24-07 If you've read your radio history ... you might remember Frank Stanton's rules and regs for CBS correspondence setup that set forth, in agonizing detail, exactly how corporate letters and memoranda were to be presented typographically and stylistically.
It appears that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Here's a memo from CC/STL cluster boss Dennis Lamme:
We are low on bandwidth coming in and out of the building right now
that causes our email system to bog down and not send or receive.
Below is from the Clear Channel Handbook regarding emails. I have been
noticing for quite some time that many of our employees have signatures
that are large in size and are full of graphics i.e. pictures,
animated stuff, backgrounds, etc. Reason I have noticed is that they take up
A LOT of room on our servers and slow down the email system in the
building and on handhelds (Blackberrys and such).
BELOW IS THE CC POLICY ON EMAIL SIGNATURES. PLEASE REVIEW AND CORRECT THE SITUATION. WE ARE LOOKING FOR OUR SYSTEM TO WORK CLEANER AND FASTER. THANK YOU FOR LOOKING INTO THIS. DL
IV. Style, Appearance and Size
All Messages sent in the Mail System should be composed in a
professional, business-like manner. All Messages must be able to withstand
scrutiny without causing embarrassment to the Company, its employees or
Attached files should be kept to a minimum where possible. Attached
files in excess of 5 MB in size may not be transmitted, and if
transmitted, will be delivered during off-peak periods. Users should use
software tools such as "Winzip" to reduce the size of files or post them
to a website (such as the CCRC) and ask the intended recipients to
download the file instead of sending it as an attachment.
Email Message signature lines should follow the format below:
-- Division of Clear Channel
-- Address (optional)
-- Phone Number
-- Company Cellular Phone (optional)
-- Fax Number
Users should set their Mail System configuration so that the signature
block is not included in Message replies and forwards. Users should
not add artwork (including Company logos), personal web addresses or any
other non-essential information to their signature. Users should not
use background templates or "stationery" to Messages. Recommended
Message fonts are Ariel, Courier, New Times Roman, Verdana and Tahoma.
So who's gonna be the CC/STL hero who sends me a copy of the CC Handbook?
05-23-07 Along with the tribulation comes a triumph ... Frank O. Pinion's daughter, Amanda, was on the winning Georgia Tech women's tennis team that won the NCAA National Title yesterday, defeating UCLA. Incidentally, today is Amanda's 19th birthday. On the day of her birth, Frank delivered his part of the show on a cell phone from St. John's and Terry Dailey and I held down the fort at the KIX104 studios on the 10th floor at the Gold Tower at Westport Plaza.
More info here.
05-23-07 UMSL names 2007 Media Halls of Fame inductees ...
The University of Missouri-St. Louis and St. Louis Mercantile Library will induct 24 media professionals into the St. Louis Media Halls of Fame at 8:30 p.m. June 9 during a ceremony at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel, 212 N. Kingshighway Blvd. in St. Louis . A reception and dinner will precede the event at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are $110.
The St. Louis Media Halls of Fame represent a merger of the Internet-based St. Louis Radio Hall of Fame and the print and television halls; the public relations/advertising hall is a new category. Tom Eschen, vice chancellor for development at UMSL, and Frank Absher, adjunct professor of communications at Saint Louis University and radio historian, worked together to merge the halls and honor the inductees.
“This move gave us the opportunity to recognize the pioneers in all forms of St. Louis media, an opportunity that was long overdue,” Absher said. “This allows us the ability to provide a permanent way of memorializing those from St. Louis who have made major media contributions.”
The St. Louis Media Halls of Fame are housed in the St. Louis Mercantile Library on the UMSL campus. Eschen says the halls represent the perfect marriage of media and St. Louis history.
“It’s fitting for the university to be the place where we honor and recognize those individuals who helped chronicle our history,” he said. “The St. Louis Mercantile Library is an integral part of our campus. It is a touchstone of history, providing a rich mixture of art and literature, and now the Media Halls of Fame, to students and the St. Louis metropolitan community at large.
The 2007 inductees are:
Steven B. Stevens
Harold “Hod” Grams*
The St. Louis Media Halls of Fame were established in 2006 to recognize the market’s most influential media practitioners and provide the public with information about them. Inductees were chosen based on their contributions to and influence in media, on both local and national levels. Call (314) 516-5442 for more information.
05-23-07 Mike & The Statler Brothers ... In 1981 I convinced Bill Rust (our owner) that our little AM910/WRNL station should go country. It seems impossible that Richmond VA was underserved by country music radio but it was and we jumped right in and took the market by storm...with an AM! In six months we earned a ten-share 25-54 and I was a star.
Early the next year it was time to do TV to support the original marketing effort; it occurred to me that we ought to use Virginia-based talent to speak for us, and the best choice would be the Statler Brothers, hq'd in Staunton VA, where they had bought their old high school and turned it into offices.
After a few phone calls, I hired a video crew from a Public Broadcasting TV station in Harrisonburg and the Statlers agreed to meet us in their gym.
Amazingly, they wanted no money for the spots (which was good because my budget was about twenty-five cents for the project)...they were happy to help promote country music, especially in their home state.
Denise (my promotions director) and I left early one morning to make the long drive (she slept, mostly) from Richmond to Staunton, across the always-foggy Afton Mountain (I drove, terrified, mostly).
We met up with the camera crew at the repurposed school gym, handed out cue cards and waited for the Statlers, with their newest Brother, to make their entry...
(Mike & The Statler Brothers, Part 2, coming soon)
05-23-07 A rough couple weeks for KTRS PM driver Frank O. Pinion ... Frank's Mom passed on the 11th at her Tennessee home after a long illness, and while FOP was shuttling back and forth between arrangements there and his daughter's NCAA Tennis tournament in Georgia, his brother suffered a heart problem and was hospitalized. Condolences and prayers to the family; FOP expects to back on the air at KTRS before the Memorial Day weekend.
05-23-07 Big gooey delicious congrats to ... Emmis Alternative KPNT/STL Creative Services Director Drew Patterson who's now the voice of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN and the "Tonight on ESPN" promos that run during SportsCenter. He's represented by Atlas Talent; contact Hoss at (212) 730-7500 or email@example.com, or visit drewpattersonvoice.com.
05-22-07 They just don't get it ... a big herd of small minds squawking like a flock of chickens because they can't hear Opie & Anthony (never heard on broadcast in STL) deliver their juvenile pronouncements making fun of their fantasy rape of the Secretary of State and the First Lady. Or of their play by play of sex inside a Catholic cathedral. Or of their "joke" about the Mayor of Boston being killed in an auto crash.
These guys are junk and they just don't deserve a home on TerRad or SatRad; not even shortwave or CB.
And then there's JV & Elvis and Don Imus, both canned for racial improprieties.
Somebody, some years ago, allowed radio programming to wander off the reservation and look at where we've wound up.
No-class radio! When will CBS start using that as a slogan? All four of the above shows were on CBS (and XM and MSNBC), but CBS was not the sole offender (and new CBS exec Dan Mason seems to be taking care of business in this regard).
All of the consolidators have had issues with local and syndicated radio shows, and many have summarily dumped them, to their credit.
Advice to programmers:
--Tell your air talent that they don't need to use impolite or overly suggestive language. Bill Cosby, Billy Crystal and other entertainers have had long and successful careers energized by "not going blue."
--Dancing close to the cliff is okay, but there's a clearly defined line over which they should not step. Show them exactly where that line is; give them examples.
--Carefully explain to your talent the responsibility that your station has to the community: public interest, convenience and necessity, and that all of their on-air efforts should be directed toward that goal.
--Make sure they understand that the FCC can levy fines against the station if they cross lines which are only blurringly presented. The fines can be expensive, and they may even extend to the loss of the station's license.
05-21-07 Monday the 28th is Memorial Day ... by Thursday I'll post a few MP3 files of appropriate music that you might consider playing over the weekend.
05-21-07 The RIAA wants another crack at your profits ... Radio trades are on fire about a story in the LA Times. Here's a taste:
With CD sales tumbling, record companies and musicians are looking at a new potential pot of money: royalties from broadcast radio stations. For years, stations have paid royalties to composers and publishers when they played their songs. But they enjoy a federal exemption when paying the performers and record labels because, they argue, the airplay sells music. Now, the Recording Industry Assn. of America and several artists' groups are getting ready to push Congress to repeal the exemption, a move that could generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually in new royalties.
It's not enough that broadcast media are already paying huge chunks of their income to ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and whoever else has their hand in the pot; now the RIAA is coming back to support a music industry that's lost the ability to make songs that people actually want to buy. And CD's are so 20th Century...
AllAccess concludes: Broadcasters are already girding for the fight, expected to last more than a year. In a letter to lawmakers this month, the NAB dubbed the royalties a "performance tax" that would upend the 70-year "mutually beneficial relationship" between radio stations and the recording industry. "The existing system actually provides the epitome of fairness for all parties: free music for free promotion," wrote NAB Pres. David Rehr.
Keep an eye on this. It ain't gonna be pretty.
05-21-07 Hijinx at the Highlands ... So Secret Squirrel was motoring down Highway 40 on his tiny little 1/12 scale Harley Softail Deuce, just past Hampton, when he hears this: About 10 sellers have left Clear Channel in the last week. Some were blown out. Others have left without a new gig, just wanting to get out of this nuthouse. Of course, as soon as he heard "nuthouse..." So what's going on inside CC/STL? We've all heard some horror stories, but this sounds terminal. Comment here.
05-21-07 One more out the door ... at The-Getting-Smaller-Every-Day-550. From (now former) Imaging Director Jay Shadix: I am writing to inform you of my recent separation from KTRS. I was hired as Imaging Director (the first of the "new class") in December of '05. As of Friday my position has been eliminated as the station is now outsourcing all of its imaging. My split from KTRS was amicable and strictly a money issue. Word is that Jay's loot has been reassigned to cover the costs of additional show producers. Here's Jay's demo in MP3; reach him by email or at 314.974.6943.
05-19-07 Today we offer ... free and unfettered membership to this website, our newsletter and our Message Board (upon registration) to the maillist that SJR's Charles Klotzer sent his message to when he defamed me and this website in a recent email to all of his contributors.
I quit my website design and management position for the SJR when Mr. Klotzer offered me an insulting payment for the service, after I had designed the paper on line for nearly six years.
Your references to your past experience with SJR is of no interest to me or relevance since it was before I became involved again.
Uh, huh, you've never been involved, your articles notwithstanding. I'm glad that I've cared for your baby online for all these years in any case. I truly believed that the paper had something to stand for.
I hope that this time you will not call up the Riverfront Times and badmouth SJR again.
The article to which you refer was written by Chad Garrison and my words were taken out of context. When you and I discussed that article, you admitted that's what had happened. I have never "badmouthed" the SJR; I have always respected it.
This is to notify you that we are withdrawing any permission you may have had to represent SJR on the Web or any other medium.
Great. I never asked for such permission, nor have I ever represented myself as SJR on the web or anywhere else. It's not like working with you would bring business my way.
I am developing a multi-media site for the review of STL Journalism, to include print, audio and video. It will be an important opportunity for those who have been involved with the SJR to expand their horizons. Unfortunately your recent email to most of your contributors may have kept them from contacting me.
Mr. Klotzer, it would be a good and prudent thing if you apologized to me and opened the door for your former contributors to join this new media.
If any of you on Mr. Klotzer's list would like to unsubscribe, do so here. I'll understand.
05-19-07 New Leonardo DiCaprio movie blows away Cannes ...
HollywoodReporter says: The film uses a barrage of images and reams of interviews with the world's top environmental scientists to paint a bleak but still optimistic picture of the fate of our planet.
DeCaprio says: I want the public to be very scared by what they see. I want them to see a very bleak future. I want them to feel disillusioned halfway through and feel hopeless.
Mike says: It's desperately important to both Mrs. A and me that we drop, what, maybe, $100, including the cost of a dinner before, and tickets, popcorn, Goobers and Pepsi at the movie, into the ongoing well of depression about the state of the Earth in which we already exist.
Who taught this DeCaprio idiot how to make successful movies? Anybody else sense that this is what's wrong with Hollywood?
Movies are supposed to entertain, not depress. I don't want to be enlightened or educated in a movie theater. I want to laugh, I want to be amazed by special effects. I want to walk out saying "I had a great time!"
05-19-07 Network upfront presentation ... is the time when the nets show off their new (for Fall) shows. They spend a lot of money to make the new shows look good. Unfortunately, from what I've been reading in tv trades, they haven't spent a lot of money to actually make the shows be good. If you're a tv type in STL and you've seen what's coming up, I'll leave it to you to let the great unwashed in on what kind of crap the nets have in store for us. At least one is going commercial-free and that should indicate how much faith management has in it. The new season's new shows looks pretty bleak overall. Comment here.
05-19-07 The post's Dan Caesar ... does a pretty good job debunking the sales-piece "we're a Top 5 station" claims of KFNS. The station not only has no signal in most of the market, it apparently also has no listeners. But they manage, of course, to blame it on the lack of success of area sports teams. Way to accept responsibility for bad programming, BLB. Comment here.
05-19-07 Mixed (and very incorrect) messages ... Stupidly, Imus says "nappy-headed ho's" at CBS and MSNBC and sponsors line up to threaten to quit and he gets fired; his partner/producer Bernard McGuirk gets a tryout at WRKO, in what is arguably the most racist city in America, Boston, and sponsors line up to threaten to quit. But Opie & Anthony, by any measure far more vulgar and in poorer taste than Imus ever was (and that's saying a lot) make a joke about the violent rape of Condoleeza Rice and Laura Bush on XM/SatRad and their sponsors line up to quit to protest their suspension and listeners and other talk hosts, TerRad included, bitch and moan about O&A's loss of their Free Speech rights. Anybody read the Bill of Rights lately? What's wrong with this picture? Comment here.
05-19-07 Jamie Allman's plans to rule the Blogosphere ... seem to be moving right along. The Emmis/KFTK morning guy has debuted BullMooseAmerica and while much of the rest of America is singing "America Needs You, Harry Truman," Allman is looking back a little further in history for an answer. Jamie says: "The thing is smoking in its first day." Comment here.
05-18-07 WLS' Kipper McGee is asking for your assistance ... the station's upcoming Memorial Day Rewind would like to include vintage radio ads from the 1973-1985 era, particularly if they're from Chicagoland sponsors, but it's not necessary that they were aired on The Big 89. If you have complete spots from those years, please send them here in MP3 format only. I'll forward them to McGee with credit to you.
05-18-07 Last night daughter Anna got hooded, receiving her J.D. ... from SLU Law School and I missed the season finale of CSI. Mrs. A and I went out to dinner after the ceremony, snoozed during the nooz but I managed to sneak in the CSI final eppie at 3AM (I never sleep). No DVR, no Tivo, just InnerTube, ripped it for replay on the iPod. Watched it on the laptop. Via WiFi. Full screen, even with the spots too loud. And you're telling me that the coming WiMax won't run all over SatRad and HDRadio?
05-18-07 Doing a golf tournament this year? ... Got one of those "scramble" things on your promotional plate? I've got a friend who can help you slash tee-sign costs to the bone and provide some guidance on how to run a successful event. His name is Tad Griffin and he's a radio "Old Dog" who understands how to interpret such events into radio-speak. Call (804) 272-2808 during regular business hours (Tad's in Virginia, on the Eastern end of Highway 40 -- better known as I-64).
05-18-07 It's only taken me three years ... to get my stuff together on old cell phone donation. But every time I'd get the phones boxed up and ready to go, I'd discover that the agency to which I was sending them had disappeared or was a scam, sending them to South America for resale. This one is a registered 501(c)3 and has been around for a while, and it has the backing of the folks at ReMax Realtors, a company I trust.
05-17-07 The True Believers amongst us ... know well that there is only one authentic sport: Pro Wrasslin'! All other sports, baseball, football, basketball, auto racing, they're all as phony and fixed as a game of three card monte. Irv Muchnick (Parkway Central Class of '72), nephew of the legendary promoter Sam Muchnick, has a well-reviewed book (Wrestling Babylon: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal) out and will be in STL to promote it around June 21st. Contact Irv directly to set up media interviews.
05-17-07 Dr. Clyde Bentley ... Associate Professor at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, alerts us to Cyberbrains.com, a blog by citizen journalism researchers at Mizzou. Dr. Bentley's observations and those of the site's other contributors are to new journalism what Jerry DelColliano's are to the music and radio businesses. Both sites are important reads and will be quoted here and at STLMediaReview.com.
05-17-07 Former KTRS PD Kipper McGee ... now the PD at WLS/Chicago, sends along this press release, letting the world know how he's going to be spending his Memorial Day. It's the chance to do the fun stuff like this that almost makes me want to get back into the game. Almost, I said...but not quite. The Big 89's audio stream is here; you'll want to bookmark it for May 28th, 5AM-12M.
05-16-07 Damn ... first there's the Fort Dix Six, a herd of Islamofascists wanting to kill US Army soldiers, and now there's a huge million-acre fire in the NJ Pine Barrens,
maybe apparently caused by a flare dropped from an F-16 from McGuire AFB. All of this is taking place within just a few miles of the tiny NJ town in which I grew up. And people wonder why I got outta there as fast as I could...
05-16-07 Albright & O'Malley ... is a radio consultancy that specializes in the country format. Recently they offered a presentation at the 2007 ACM convention on the importance of storytelling for air personalities. Check back at their website for the full presentation. Or just listen to Frank O. Pinion, afternoons at KTRS/STL, to hear the master at work. See how much money I just saved you? Comment here.
|05-16-07 As we approach ... the "driving season" the cost of fuel will always go up. So we'll keep this graphic link at top right so you can always see the range of the cost of gas wherever you are. Click on it, submit your ZIP, and see best fuel costs in your neighborhood.|
05-16-07 Uh-oh. Emmis Broadcasting ... which owns a huge chunk of male radio listenership in STL, may be in a pickle. InsideRadio reports: Remember the FCC's payola investigation? It's not over. That's what Chairman Kevin Martin promised during a March visit to Capitol Hill and the latest reminder comes from an SEC filing by Emmis. It discloses that it received a letter of inquiry asking for information. Emmis "will cooperate with the FCC in this investigation and will produce documents and other information requested." Comment here.
05-16-07 Tactics and strategy in any business ... all pretty much work the same way and have for centuries. Sun Tzu's 2400-year-old The Art of War remains an impressive guide through any kind of battle, whether between nations and ideologies or radio stations.. The USMC's "adapt, improvise and overcome" directive is good advice for anyone in a competitive situation.
Yesterday, I learned a new one -- OODA -- "observation, orientation, decision, action." Read about the uses of the OODA Loop in business strategy; I can't think of any situation where it won't work to your advantage. It's a long read and occasionally a bit difficult. But you didn't have to pay some overpriced sales or programming consultant for the new knowledge. Comment here.
05-15-07 McVay rock consultant Dave Lange ... tagged a long email to me with this: If the 70s was FM -- the 80s was sales, value added -- the 90s consolidation/stock/cluster -- 2000 new media invasion -- the 2010s will be about local local local. Local is going to be THE BUZZ for the next decade of radio. That makes a lot of sense. We spin that ol' karmic wheel about every thirty years, and localization should just about be the "next big thing." Suggestion: start now by dropping your syndication! Comment here.
05-15-07 Evan Crocker's claim to be 5th ... as he was quoted in the P-D is, well, a crock. Here's from a Winter Book sales piece sent out by Big League's KFNS:
Morning Grind – 17th place – AQH Rating = 0.5, AQH Share = 2.0, AQH Persons = 27
Press Box – 11th place - AQH Rating = 0.7, AQH Share = 3.0, AQH Persons = 40 1P-3P
Pulse – 14th place (tied) - AQH Rating = 0.6, AQH Share = 2.3, AQH Persons = 32 3P-6P
Bottom Line – 11th place - AQH Rating = 0.7, AQH Share = 2.9, AQH Persons = 40
Busch Rewind/Hard Ball – 13th place (tied) - AQH Rating = 0.3, AQH Share = 3.2, AQH Persons = 19
Nights/On The Fan – 17th place - AQH Rating = 0.2, AQH Share = 2.2, AQH Persons = 9
10P-12A Weekends – 20th place (tie) - AQH Rating = 0.1, AQH Share = 1.1, AQH Persons = 6
Station Overall – 14th place - AQH Rating = 0.6, AQH Share = 2.6, AQH Persons = 33
05-15-07 Flo Valley radio teaching gig ... Mass Communications Instructor/ Assistant Professor -- Emphasis Radio Broadcasting, Florissant Valley. Communications, $45,434 minimum for Instructor, $51,154 minimum for Assistant Professor. Closing Date: May 29. Read more.
05-15-07 26 Miles Across The Sea ... Santa Catalina is on fire because of.... well, it appears that Crawford Radio's engineer was working with some contractors on the antenna field for KBRT/Avalon, when a spark from cutting metal generated the spark that started the Catalina Island fire and eventually swept over nearly 5000 acres. The insurance provider is not going to be happy.
05-15-07 Jacobs Media has done a study ... on HDRadio. Bottom line: Fred Jacobs says "HD Radio remains a foreign concept to most people" and that "major barriers to purchase remain." Read Fred's report here and then comment here.
05-14-07 XM & Sirius have no intention ... of abiding by the law they agreed to when they launched their services. At least since Mel Karmazin got involved:
We won't provide local programming. Both provide local weather and traffic info and have insisted on using local, land-based repeaters to extend their reach.
We'll abide by FCC rules for recievers. Sirius admits that "Sirius personnel requested manufacturers to produce Sirius radios that were not consistent with the FCC's rules." XM likely did the same.
We won't merge. Karmazin went way out of bounds by offering to buy his larger SatRad rival.
SatRad tech is over and done, done, done, overcome by personal music players and, eventually, by universal WiMax. Let's not fool ourselves any longer that, just because you can hear O&A celebrate the imaginary rape of SecState and Howard say the "F" word that the service is worthwhile.
No, SatRad is not governed by the FCC for content...but junk, friends, is still junk.
Listen all you want to junk, but don't do it on my dime. Not on frequencies that citizens own, TerRad or SatRad.
The term SatRad, by the way is, or should be, owned by the lady who thought it up...Pam Mundy.
05-12-07 Fox & The Great American Band ... Does the reality crap never end? From MediaDailyNews: During Wednesday's "Idol" show, a Fox network promo asked all those rock band wannabes to send their videos to the producer of "Idol" for a new show. There'll be no Ryan, Randy, Paula, and absolutely no Simon. Still, the new series from "Idol" producers, FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment, will look to re-create the "Idol" formula--hoping to lift talented groups from playing dive bars and high school talent shows. Comment here.
05-12-07 You pay how much for the P-D in a newsbox? ... The New York Post has reversed its price hike of two weeks ago and will go back to selling for a quarter today (Friday, the 11th). Last time I bought a P-D from a box or a vendor (and I tipped the vendor 100%), it cost a quarter, it was that long ago. Just hate gettin' that nasty, fish-smellin' ink all over my hands... Comment here.
05-12-07 Indy 500 in HD ... from
TVPredictions.com: For the first time ever, the Indianapolis 500 this year will be broadcast in High-Definition. ESPN on ABC will air the 91st Indy 500 in high-def on Sunday, May 27 at 1 p.m. ET. I like this race as much as the next redneck, but how will HD enhance all those left turns? I actually used to enjoy it on an AM radio station when I was away from a television.... Comment here.
05-12-07 This will probably become the universal standard ... for website metrics:
Google Analytics has been re-designed to help you learn even more about where your visitors come from and how they interact with your site. Google wants you to attract more of the traffic you are looking for, and help you turn more visitors into customers.
Use Google Analytics to learn which online marketing initiatives are cost effective and see how visitors actually interact with your site. Make informed site design improvements, drive targeted traffic, and increase your conversions and profits.
Signup, cut and paste and pay attention. Oh, yeah...it's free. And probably better than the webstats you're currently using. Takes about 24 hours to kick in, but then it kicks ass. Looks like it works with blog sites, too.
05-12-07 Daughter Anna graduates SLU Law School ... Whoa! This coming Thursday one of our "little girls" crosses over to the dark side. Anna, a mother of two, has knocked herself out for the past three years to get here and Mrs. A and I are very proud. Let's review: one daughter in law, another in medicine, a third in IT development, and the son in restaurant management. Must be good genes...
05-12-07 Post-Dispatch redesign ... Secret Squirrel missed this one (he has problems holding a newspaper in his tiny little hands), but the whispers are getting louder that there's a major redesign set for the dead tree version to roll out with Monday the 14th's edition. Any bets that it'll include front page ads? Comment here.
05-11-07 Drudge vs. Breitbart ... For several years, the Drudge Report was the place to go for news leads, but now it seems like Drudge is over. Looks like Breitbart.com is the new news leader, with text, audio, video links and original reporting. Breitbart's site: commercial, non-partisan and automatically refreshing. Drudge? Mostly none of the above. Make your choice.
05-10-07 Yeah, I heard it, too ... Thursday night, KMOV/4's Larry Connors asked the sports guy (I had the show on in the office and wasn't paying close attention, so I don't know who responded) if he had ever played a particularly tough hole on a golf course...and the response was "I don't have enough balls." Lotsa on-set laughter, including Vickie Newton, into the break, with a very low-level "I meant golf balls" heard in the background. With any luck a renegade engineer will ensure this makes it to YouTube. Or, maybe, here. Too good to hide! Comment here.
| 05-11-07 He has more gray hair now ... BoyDog joined us in early 2001 as a rescue from the Humane Society; the vet said he was at least five years old then, making him eleven years or older today. We've mourned Lucy's passing for about the same time as BoyDog. He's learned to be on his own. Old as he is, BoyDog still runs the fences with neighbor dogs. I'm dreading the future.|
05-10-07 Dunno know if you heard it ... but Thursday afternoon, KTRS' Frank O. Pinion delivered serious (and entirely positive) props to an unnamed air personality easily recognizable as KIHT's JC Corcoran.
For years, those two have traded shots back and forth and it's obviously time for that to be over, considering they've both actually grown up and everything.
I've known both of them for a long, long time (Corcoran from the '70's and Frank from the '80's), consider both to be friends of mine, and it's killed me since we all wound up in STLRadio twenty-plus years ago that these two Godzilla-sized talents didn't get along.
Yeah, I know the whole story, who shot who and who said what. But it needs to be done and done.
Frank, you took the first step today.
Now it's your turn, JC.
There is no reason why you guys shouldn't shake hands and come out smilin'. Once you pass the age of 50, there's very little room left in life for this kind of intransigence.
No comments from the Peanut Gallery, please. But I'll keep you posted and you all keep your fingers crossed that my two friends make nice once and for all.
05-10-07 Yeah, I heard it, too ... Thursday night, KMOV/4's Larry Connors asked the sports guy (I had the show on in the office and wasn't paying close attention, so I don't know who responded) if he had ever played a particularly tough hole on a golf course...and the response was "I don't have enough balls." Lotsa on-set laughter, including Vickie Newton, into the break, with a very low-level "I meant golf balls" heard in the background. With any luck a renegade engineer will ensure this makes it to YouTube. Or, maybe, here. Too good to hide! Comment here.
05-10-07 Five Minutes with Evan Crocker ... In some kind of bizarre mercy h**p for the BLB stations he manages that can't be heard west of the (former) Tamm Avenue Overpass, STLToday quotes Mr. Crocker: "When we took over the radio station, on 590 The Fan, we were Number 15 with the 25 through 54. We are now a top 5 radio station with that group." Now, that's a claim that begs serious documentation! Maybe in the 6311* breakouts? Comment here.
05-10-07 Erin Austin leaves The Bull ... for a morning gig in Milwaukee. Apathy ensues. Comment here.
05-10-07 STLMedia has a new reader ... that would be Dave Lange, VP Rock - McVay Media. He writes: Interesting site with TONS on it – great job. Would like to cross link on my blog. Spoken like a true consultant, Dave...flattery gets you everywhere. Your link will remain in the list at left.
05-10-07 Whatever you do ... don't let the Post-Dispatch think this is a good idea: The job posting was a head-scratcher: “We seek a newspaper journalist based in India to report on the city government and political scene of Pasadena, California, USA.” Comment here.
05-09-07 DelColliano unravels Randy Michaels' TV purchase ... Jerry writes this: Remember Randy's "hub and spoke" system of advertising revenue -- the one he tried to install at Clear Channel before his demise? I think he still likes and believes in it. A system of radio, television (ah ha, see where these TV stations may come in) and print -- maybe even Internet to form a marketing platform as powerful as any. Comment here.
05-09-07 And the poor schlub wonders why ... he can't find a radio job. Caution: NSFW! This is not going to end well. Thanks to those who sent the link; yes, I'm concerned for him and his family, too. Comment here.
| 05-09-07 The 2007 MidAmerica Emmy Awards ... call for entries is underway, through 19 June 2007. Nominations will be announced 20 September and awards will be presented 20 October at America's Center. Complete info here (PDF file).|
05-09-07 Secret Squirrel presents The WAG ReportTM ... There are definitely changes coming at CC/STL. Here's a roundup of what I'm hearing:
Smash will not only be the AMDriver on KLOU, he'll be named PD. This will be announced this week or next.
Music from the 70's and 80's (rock and edgy pop, not disco) will be added to KLOU's playlist, probably at the loss of a significant chunk of the current library.
The changes at KLOU will occur around 15 June.
CC/STL is supposedly in possession of a research study that claims that listeners "hate big voices" and will be dropping all outside voiceover talent to reflect that. More likely, though, it's corporate pressure to maximize revenue that is leading to this cutback. The report also allegedly says that listeners "no longer care about dj's"; I hate to think where that bit o' wisdom will lead the company.
Julie Buck was briefly considered to join Craig Cornette in Bull mornings; she declined. The search continues for a "sidechick."
05-09-07 How long will they continue to fight assimilation? ... "The Googles of the world, they are the Custer of the modern world. We are the Sioux nation," Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Richard Parsons said." This kind of neo-luddism has sure done well by the New York Times, eh? Read it here and then
05-08-07 How consolidation should work ... Mrs. A turned me on to this article from Money: Cherry Creek rarely gets rid of personnel at the stations it acquires; the company has laid off only two managers so far. The reason: Existing managers are considered an invaluable asset for their ties to the local community. Dang! Owners who get it! Don't that beat all! Read it here and then
05-08-07 Now that he's led the Cards down the primrose path ... to half-ownership of KTRS, esteemed radio exec Bobby Lawrence and his pet PD, Randy Michaels, are off and running to destroy the TV industry. Excerpted from the press release:
Randy Michaels and Bobby Lawrence, as LOCAL TV LLC, have taken control of the New York Times television stations with the closing of their $575 million deal to buy NBC affills WHO-TV/Des Moines and KFOR-TV/OKC; CBS affills WREG-TV/Memphis, WHNT-TV/Huntsville, KFSM-TV/Fort Smith, and WTKR-TV/Norfolk; ABC affills WQAD-TV/Quad Cities and WNEP-TV/Scranton; and MYNETWORKTV affiliate KAUT-TV/OKC, plus their websites and the group's Digital Operating Center master control.
"It’s a new day, a new culture and a new company," says CEO Michaels. "It is always difficult to change a culture, especially one so fundamentally different from ours. But the only way to win in this changing business is to lead the change. There’s no question that 'business as usual' has no place at LOCAL. We are the vision you can’t ignore."
"Local TV’s name isn’t a coincidence," adds COO Lawrence. "Our focus is our local market, our local product and our local sales opportunities. We can’t change what NBC sends over the transom anymore than we can take credit for CBS’ ratings strength. But we can make a difference on what we control – our 4-7, news and fringe. That’s where we compete… and where we’ll focus our time and energy."
Ri-i-i-i-ight. Local. Just like their last great adventure, the Prophet System in use at Clear Channel Radio. And in case you've forgotten, "The Noise You Can't Ignore" was the slogan at their late, great Jacor group. The bankers keep lining up and the debt gets deeper and deeper. This will not end well.
05-07-07 Some years ago I went flying with a friend ... and we landed in extreme crosswinds at Spirit Airport, after having to "go back around" with a much larger and faster aircraft in the pattern behind us. Our landing was perfect, but scary as hell (if memory serves me, George Depper was in the back seat, asleep). The pilot was Frank O. Pinion, the best private pilot I've ever known. But it was his Cessna we were in, and nothing like this:
05-06-07 Moved the HD Radio receiver ... lent me by CC; plugged in Griffin Tech's Amplifi to play the thousands of music files I've loaded to my iPod players. My playlist, not corporate's. I hate that I beat commercial radio this way, I really hate it. HDRadio formats are stilll so-so but the shuffle of my 2350+ tunes rules. Comment here.
05-06-07 I've already had several offers ... for www.stljr.org, none of which came from the STL Journalism Review owners. Wonder what these prospective new owners are planning to do with the domain? The name either sells to the old owners or to new owners by June 15th to recoup some of my losses; until then it folds into the list of domains that lead here. Comment here.
05-05-07 Lest you have any doubts that ... newspapers are having a difficult time, with circulation declining and ad revenue being funneled into other areas of media, take a read at how one Midwestern newspaper has been dealing with it over the years. Comment here.
05-05-07 I just screened ... the Monterey Pop and Woodstock concert films, and I can't believe how bad they are. I mean, these were really badly made movies, the soundtracks nothwithstanding, and they were nothing to write home to the editor about. My memory of these movies must have been colored by my few embarassing years as a counter-culture kinda guy. I'm so ashamed. What crap these flicks were. Comment here.
05-04-07 I have completely severed my relationship ... with the St. Louis Journalism Review.
I have been associated with and provided web services to them for nearly six years; recently, even with a new infusion of funding, they have declined to pay a penny for what I have done for them for free and insist that I continue my services and NewMedia consultation at almost no charge. I cannot do that. Enough's enough; I've had to wait up to a year for reimbursement of personally outlaid cash.
The website has been stripped of content and the domain name is available to them (or anyone else, for that matter) for a reasonable transfer fee.
Additionally, the new owner has sent a defamatory email to a long list of those involved with the SJR, accusing me of imagined wrongs.
In the vernacular, what he said about me ain't right. It begs an apology.
It's time for a new media review, with new ownership and new contributors (or old contributors who "get it") and full-scale multi-media.
05-04-07 On George Depper ... hopefully we'll be able to soon offer you a peek at his future plans. Seems like I've known him since the beginning of time:
George was the regular sub for Jack Warnick on the FOP morning show on KIX104 way back when; he was at WJBM in Jerseyville and would make that long, harrowing drive, over the old "scary bridge" between Alton and West Alton, to our Westport 10th floor studios when he had to fill in.
Depper took over the KIX104 morning news when Warnick (a combat news vet) had an accident at Broadcast Center that permanently disabled him. George always did a great job for us and, maybe most important, "he played well with others." Ask him about that "Sweet Georgie" mantra...
He subsequently spent time as newsman for Steve & DC and went on to an "inside" position with Emmis/STL.
George would be an extraordinary Ops Manager for any STL radio station who wants a guy with talent, industry knowledge and integrity. There isn't a station in the market that couldn't use a man with those qualifications.
05-04-07 Dr. Jock's arrangements ... from KMOX' Brian Krueger: The wake will be Tuesday evening, May 8, from 5 till 9 at Lincoln Middle School, 12 S. 10th (at Broadway), East St. Louis. The service will be Wednesday, May 9, 11AM at Bible Fellowship Church, 89th and State, East St. Louis, with Jock’s cousin, Reverend Levi King, leading. Flowers may be sent thru L. King Funeral Home and Chapel, 7711 W. Main, Belleville 62223.
05-04-07 Where's the Cards' radio station on this? ... KMOX Radio Teams Up With Gateway Greening to Create Memorial for Hancock and Kile. Read the press release and then comment here.
05-03-07 Satellite radio is becoming yesterday's news ... Financial guys at the well-respected Motley Fool have the same lack of faith in SatRad I do: The biggest problem for satellite radio is that it is morphing into terrestrial radio, albeit without the commercials. Let me list some of the reasons I see satellite radio failing... Comment here.
05-03-07 While CCU tries to sell the whole shebang off ... the company is diligently working behind the scenes to dump smaller properties in great regional chunks, much the same way that Carl Icahn parted out TWA some years ago. It is no less an offense against stockholders and employees than was Icahn's action in 1986. Trades abound with reports of CCU sales here and there. The Mays' just want out and they don't care who catches it in the face. Comment here.
05-03-07 One of the four released last week from Emmis/STL ... seems to have been old friend and STLRadio Old Dog George Depper, whose last email to me, about the passing of Lou Goad, was signed with this: George Depper, EEO, Public Affairs, Public Service Director, EMMIS Communications. I hope he used the lessons learned in that gig to make his settlement better. Hey, George, touch base soonest. We need to talk. Comment here.
05-03-07 I've "repurposed" a couple of mics and bought a few cables ... along with a pop filter and a phantom power supply and, using the iPod G5 and the Griffin iTalk accessory, I'll be adding some audio commentary here, when it's appropriate. I'll stop short of calling the commentary a podcast, because that's a stupid word. My commentaries may also be stupid. You'll be the judge.
05-02-07 KMOX retains braggin' rights ... the Winter Book shows the station is still #1 12+. But then so is KEZK...both stations show up with a 7.6. As Frank Absher puts it, "it's probably the first time in Arbitron history that a GM can claim to have BOTH #1 12+ stations in the market." Congrats to Dave Ervin, Steve Moore and Mark Edwards...details coming later. Comment here.
04-30-07 Good dogs ...our loss here this weekend is somewhat mitigated by this photo of behaved Brit patrol dogs. Lucy would have led the attack!
|| 05-01-07 Dr. Jockenstein is gone ... We've lost a true STLRadio original with the passing Monday of Rod "Dr. Jockenstein" King. (STLP-D obit). The "Jockenstein" name came from George Clinton and he was a 2003 inductee into the STL Radio Hall of Fame. His morning drive "roll call" remains a well-remembered feature of this legendary talent's airwork. In 2002, King suffered a stroke from which he never fully recovered. He was only 55. |
04-30-07 Not an STLMedia Newsletter subscriber? ... Well, bring the newest news to your mailbox on an almost daily basis or wait a week or so for it to be published here so you can play catch up. I'm in the process of converting all previous newsletters to PDF files. There'll be links in the Archives section.
04-30-07 Is there an echo in here? ... that's from Secret Squirrel, who's been getting multiple messages repeating this thought: Washroom rumor is a format change is coming to KLOU and Smash will be coming back with an unknown co-host. Comment here.
04-29-07 I hate web ratings ... but I've been challenged. It would appear that these are decent ratings for a local website. If you understand any of this, please respond below, because I sure don't. Here are the numbers for April 2007 for the STLMedia website:
|04-29-07 RIP Lucy ... Our sweet girl crossed the Rainbow Bridge this afternoon at 2:30PM. Our close friend, Dr. Chris Rolf, helped ease her way. Lucy had been part of our family for nearly a decade. This evening she's playing with Conan, Maggie and Winnie, someplace where she can finally catch one of those damned squirrels.|
Hits: 637347 (for April)
Unique IP addresses: 8650 (for April)
Visits: 29655 (3.42 visits per unique visitor for April)
Page views: 78551 (2.64 pages per unique visitor for April)
Bandwidth use: 13.91 gb (491.84kb per visit for April)
In addition, over 100,000 visitors access STLMediaMB pages each month, but I don't know how reliable these numbers are; I just know how much I pay for each 50k page views. I stop paying for free MB views after 100k unless they occur before the 20th of the month.
Did I do good?
04-28-07 Local TV, P-D and their websites fail again ... Just as I headed down to the office to put together the Saturday STLMedia Newsletter for subscribers, the news came over the TV that there had been a shooting at Pattonville HS, a couple miles from our home.
A dance competition, eight school districts involved, and a kid with a gun...a recipe guaranteed to bake a disaster. Station and P-D websites only told us that it had happened and provided no useful info.
Since there was a gunman on the loose locally, Mrs. A asked that I not make my normal late-night run to the grocery for essentials. Of course, I did...and at the store discovered that the crisis was over. The arrest had been made, according to my sources, before midnight, at a county library near the Rock Road.
But only KSDK's website had that the perp was in custody, and that wasn't posted until about 2:45AM Saturday morning. No finalization on any of the channels that I caught, nothing I heard on KMOX, and the story had disappeared at STLToday.com...even before I went out and after I returned home.
A kid with a gun, who has already shot someone, is on the loose in Maryland Heights and Bridgeton, potentially threatening tens of thousands of lives...and no one runs a warning, on the air or online?
Yeah, I know that area's just a tiny little slice of the Metro, but where's the responsibility of the broadcast licensees? Where's that otherwise all-encompassing market love the P-D professes to deliver?
Why weren't those big digital highway signs lighted up with a "WARNING: Gunman on the loose!" notice?
Once a news medium assumes the additional mantle of a web news source, they also assume the same responsibilities that they have on the air.
If they don't want to step up, they should turn in their URL's along with their broadcast licenses.
Reflect the community's needs. Is that so difficult? Comment here.
04-28-07 Radio tech wizard Al Germond comments on RDS ... and amazingly he agrees with little ol' me, even on IBOC ("HD Radio")! Read Al's email here. With any luck, Mr. Germond will become a regular contributor.
04-28-07 On the mend ... Brian Cruise is resting at home, recuperating from a quintuple coronary bypass, performed at St. John's new Heart Health Center. Shoot, I thought I was cool when I got a double! Best wishes, buddy; heal quickly. More info on Brian soon.
04-28-07 Thanks to a former student of mine ... who saw the light and got out of radio and into graphic design for the logo you see at the top of these pages. Chuck Harris writes: I'm currently working as a graphic artist/photographer/videographer/marketing guy at a community college in Illinois. I noticed you had a new banner up and I think it's a little on the plain side so I made a new banner for you. Feel free to use or not use the banner. Keep up the good work! Thanks, Chuck. Now I have to speed up the site redesign...
04-28-07 Porterhouse and Ribeye remain, however ... memo from Billy Greenwood, PD, CCU/STL's The Bull: Troy Kueker (T-Bone) is no longer an employee of Clear Channel Communications. We wish T-Bone the best in all of his future endeavors. Comment here.
04-28-07 Four out the door at Emmis/STL ... that's from Secret Squirrel, who was working at Union Station Thursday in his part-time gig as a parking attendant for very small vehicles. So who got the bad news? Squirrel's UPDATE: Emmis/STL lost four sales staff recently. Comment here.
04-28-07 Information does not want to be free ... and YouTube is determined to make it pay. From RedHerring: “We’re looking at executions like a very quick little intro preceding a video, then the video, then a commercial execution on the backside of the content,” Suzie Reider, head of advertising for YouTube, told an audience at the Ad:Tech conference in San Francisco Wednesday. Is your station "monetizing" your podcasts and videos? Why not? Comment here.
04-28-07 Potty mouth cutie to host MTV Movie Awards ... Sarah Silverman gets the gig, but will have to restrain herself: "I mean, I'm not a big swearer or anything, but I still seem to say things that you can't say on basic cable, so ... we're gonna have to have, like, a plan," she said. "But geez," the audience whined, "it's on cable!" And what exactly does that have to do with anything? That 3-year old's saying naughty words again, Dad...time to deal with it. Comment here.
04-27-07 Coming this weekend ... an open letter to former KTRS'er Keith Kramer. I've watched his online efforts for the past few months and, well, Keith's missing the target by a mile. If he really wants to get back in the game, he should pay attention to what I (and others) have to say.
04-27-07 STLMedia updates ... as you can see at the top of this page, we've changed the masthead; that's a little hint of some design changes planned for the website over the next few months. And we've renewed our relationship with Amazon; whenever you click on any link in the ad at right, whatever you buy there, will toss some "spare change" into the STLMedia coffee cup. I appreciate your support. And who hasn't bought something from Amazon? And thanks for your clicks on the Google links. They help keep this site and others and the STLMedia MB alive and well. Your kind contributions help as well.
04-27-07 Four out the door at Emmis/STL ... that's from Secret Squirrel, who was working at Union Station Thursday in his part-time gig as a parking attendant for very small vehicles. So who got the bad news? Comment here.
04-27-07 GM & Chrysler say their HD decision ... is about six months away; no comment from Ford. From Reuters: "Officials from General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Group said they were not rushing to commit to the devices, which would cost the struggling Big Three U.S. automakers as much as an estimated $600 million annually to install." This is the kiss of death for this very bad idea. Comment here.
04-27-07 Hurrah for XM! Oh, wait a minute ... XM just passed the 8 million-subscriber mark, their revenue grew 27% to $264 million, and "XMSR" stock is up markedly. But the company lost another $122 million in Q1. What's it gonna take for these monkeys to get profitable? And the Washington Post is reporting that "it is unlikely that federal regulators will give a thumbs-up to a proposed merger between XM and Sirius." Kiss of death #2? Comment here.
04-26-07 Who's still covering the Nicole Allen murder? Probably not the STLP-D; Lee supports amnesty and is likely to be unwilling to get past that to the real core of what went wrong. TV news? Dunno; maybe one or more of the stations is working on serious followups. KTRS? Haven't heard much followup there; the station is concerned more with games than local issues. They have talented newspeople but they get minimal incentive from management to dig. KMOX News (though not their on-air talent), and KFTK's Jamie Allman (who just got home from two days in DC discussing the immigration issue and will hopefully drill through that to the core problem here) are staying on top of this. Comment here.
04-26-07 Surprise! The V-chip doesn't work! The NYT writes that the [FCC], in a long-awaited report, concluded that the program ratings system and technology intended to help parents block offensive programs — like the V-chip — had failed to protect children from being regularly exposed to violence. Read the article and then please explain why it is that parents, whose ultimate responsibility this is, cannot simply send the children to a TV-free zone and not share mature programming? Who's in charge at your house? If the parents won't take control, the FCC will and that's not a good idea. Comment here.
04-26-07 Speaking of television ... thanks to Scott Simon for this link to SouthernMedia's TV Music Search Site...TV news opens from all over the country, back to the 1970's. The STL area is not as complete as it could be, but there's plenty there to bring back some memories. Comment here.
04-26-07 Dead tree media continues to decline ... and execs scramble to explain it to advertisers and shareholders. From Editor & Publisher: According to industry sources, overall daily circulation for the six months ending March 2007 is expected to sink approximately 2.5% while Sunday will drop around 3.0%. Yet again, major metro papers are bearing the brunt of the responsibility for the declines. Comment here.
04-25-07 May not have mentioned this ... when I took over the Red Ride, but the stereo system included not only amazing JBL audio but an RDS display that tells me the station, the song and artist and other unnecessary stuff. Since this is the newest vehicle I've owned since the mid-'90's I don't know if RDS is currently standard, although I suspect that it's a throwaway. Can someone enlighten me? It doesn't appear to be currently useful beyond song ID. Does the RDS significantly cut back the bandwidth of the FM signal? Comment here.
|04-26-07 David Craig out at KLOU ... or so Secret Squirrel natters whilst munching his nuts. David's name is off the schedule at KLOU's website but his bio page is still online as of 11:30PM Wednesday. Craig came to STLRadio in the late 1980's to work with Debbie Connor in mornings at WIL-FM (he succeeded me, in fact, after a brief period of the station's new PD Ray Massey working that airshift with Connor). Is the way being cleared for a Smash arrival at the end of his non-compete with KFTK's morning show? Comment here.|
04-25-07 MB changes ... I've dropped the 24 and the Movies/DVD discussion forums. Not much action there, so buh-bye. I've added a forum under STLRadio History for 98KSLQ, to celebrate the well-remembered STL FM Top 40 that morphed into the now-sadly-rated KYKY. It's also a place to discuss Terry Fox' incredible recreation of the station. Terry's dumped The Oasis and has moved on from Smooth Jazz to memories of some of the best times in radio (although I've always been an AM kinda guy). The stream sounds great and Foxman tells me that a new website is likely forthcoming. Comment here.
04-24-07 Another CBS morning radio show ... has been kicked off the air for being, well, disgusting and stupid. It was these guys, for this, not heard in STL, but it doesn't matter. They were trash and were the proudly promoted product of the previous CBS regime. Mel Karmazin was in it purely for profit and didn't mind appealing to the lowest common denominator with tasteless radio, and it was no surprise when he rejoined Howard Stern at Sirius. Sumner Redstone may be a good businessman, but he has no scruples; Moonves is a weak sister and the Hollanders were even weaker. CBSRadio is a pale shadow of what Bill Paley's network and company was and what it could have been, with rare local exceptions. Comment here.
04-24-07 I just don't get it ... just a few days after a man, in the US illegally, commits a further series of crimes that end up in the death of a college student, the news is now completely off the website radar of all three network tv affiliates and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The only media outlet that seems to be following up on this is KMOX and why am I not surprised? Here are some leads for all of you to follow...
Read the rest and comment here.
04-24-07 STLMedia friend Jay Philpott ... was kind enough to record the first hour of the format flip at KZPS/DFW, complete with Willie Nelson's "sassy" VT's, and send it along for presentation here. Listen to the first hour as you read Jay's analysis. Then read the original story and comment here.
| || 04-23-07 Here's Pedro, the killer ... I lifted this photo and the image of Nicole from the
STLToday website. But I bet that the best bet for a followup will not be from the Lee owned newspaper, but from one of the local TV stations. Pedro Santos admittedly broke the law when he entered the US. Pedro broke the law, as did his employer, whoever that was, when he went to work there as a cook. Pedro broke Missouri law when he took control of an automobile. And Pedro broke Missouri law when he drove under the influence and slammed fatally into another vehicle. Comment here.|
04-23-07 Voiceover wizard Dave Morris ... offers this link to one of the funniest videos I've ever seen. Gotta love that Pearl! Watch it and comment here.
| 04-23-07 Over the weekend ... less than 1.5 miles from where I live, Nicole Allen was killed because a drunken and admittedly illegal Mexican immigrant slammed the Lincoln Town Car he was driving into the Accura in which she was riding. Why was Pedro Santos allowed to drive at all? Santos is being held under $100k bail. Maryland Heights' apartment complexes have become a haven for illegals because of the proximity to jobs at WestPort; the housing is always overcrowded. Why isn't MH doing something about this? TV? P-D? A little help? Comment here.|
04-23-07 Yup, this'll fix things up, fer sure ... KlearChannel Kidz Kill Kommercials: As of today, KZPS in Dallas — on the dial at 92.5 FM or online at lonestar925.com — will no longer run traditional 30- or 60-second advertisements. Instead, advertisers sponsor an hour of programming, during which a D.J. will promote its product conversationally in what the company calls integration.
Read it all and comment here.
04-22-07 So Sunday morning ... Mrs. A had a meeting with her business partner and I took off alone for an amazingly unhealthy breakfast at Reynolds on Dorsett. Sat at one of the long tables in the middle and laughed my butt off watching several South Park episodes (including the one coming up this week) on the iPodG5 while I ate my potatoes, eggs, bacon and biscuits and gravy. An older couple (the husband was John Murtha's twin) kept glancing at me like I was, well, strange. Well, yes, I am. And proud of it. Comment here.
04-21-07 Melissa Theuriau ... has been called the most beautiful news anchor in the world. I don't think it matters if you don't speak French...
04-21-07 Had me worried for a few days ... but now, as I expected, and according to trades, SoundExchange is "exploring mutually beneficial business arrangements to help foster growth of Internet radio" and also aid its own members. That - a week after it won a big victory for its high streaming fees - could be a real thaw in attitude. Comment here.
04-21-07 Time to 'fess up ... if you've ever worked in STLRadio, now would be a good time to
email Frank Absher with dates and call letters so he can update your personal entry at STLRadio.com. He's recently uploaded a new batch of updates; if your historical info from your tenure in this market is not there, well, it's your own bad!
04-20-07 There were a few times ... when I was in the day-to-day employ of radio stations that I was unemployed. More than once, those times were lengthy and it made for uncomfortable times for my little family.
But back then, the industry seemed more inclined to take care of its own than it does today, even if it was just moral support. When I learned that buddies were on the beach, I tried as best I could to see that they were mailed the help-wanted ads from the trades and touched base with them as often as I could. Almost always, the favor was returned.
I can't imagine wanting to be in day-to-day radio in 2007 and being unemployed. I hear regularly the horror stories about PD's, SM's and GM's who will not return calls and messages even after specifically asking for airchecks and resumés.
I know that part of the reason is that radio managers in this post-consolidation era are overworked and that many of them are responsible for multiple stations within the local cluster-f**k.
But whatever happened to simple human decency?
A guy I know, an enormously talented guy, is going through agonizing emotional turmoil right now, wondering how he's going to support his family. He belongs on the air, but he gets no response from radio managers. Should he, a 30-something husband and father, take a job outside radio? Probably, at least until the industry decides to bring him back under its increasingly dark wing.
How do you, as managers, account for the inexcusably shabby treatement he's received?
04-20-07 XM commercial-free lawsuit continues ... from InsideRadio: Are XM's music channels "100% commercial-free"? A St. Louis judge is allowing a false-advertising claim - first filed in January 2006 - to proceed. Subscriber Matthew Enderlin says the channels carry "promotional and advertisement segments", and he'd like his complaint to be certified as a class action. Comment here.
04-19-07 Full and complete disclosure ... my family grew in the US from ancestors who came here in the 1600's and established themselves along the New Jersey shore, on what is now known as Absecon Island (Atlantic City) and a bit south at Long Beach Island.
Privateer Captain Andrew Steelman and his crew are remembered with a monument near the LBI Lighthouse marking their death in 1782 at the hands of the Tory pirate, John Bacon, while Steelman's men slept on the beach.
My Grandfather, Granville Hezekiah Steelman, a desendant of Captain Steelman, was a businessman of consequence in Atlantic City and partially responsible for the creation in 1917 and the first MC of the Miss America pageant, held in AC until the last few years at the AC Convention Center.
I spent the last half of my first year in high school in 1962 at ACHS, and the entire Summer thereafter at the Steel Pier, watching and being part of the shows. I must have seen the Four Seasons a dozen times in shows there. They were the National Band for East Coast kids. Better than the Beatles. Can't wait until this show gets to The Fox. Comment here.
04-18-07 Smash to KLOU mornings ... once his non-compete is over? That would be a good thing for us listeners, except for David what's-his-name, who would probably wind up selling cars or real estate in Southern Illinois. DC's a nice enough guy, but his airwork is, well, can you pronounce l-a-m-e? Secret Squirrel is all over the nuts in this deal. Comment here.
04-18-07 This is what's wrong ... when people of any race or background refuse to respect themselves. From the P-D's Kevin Johnson: Colorful lyrics sell: Former radio shock jock Don Imus got fired for his choice of words, but he also reignited the controversy over misogynistic rap lyrics. In trying to excuse himself, he said rappers use the same term — and worse — all the time. Read it and comment here.
04-18-07 25-54 no longer the sacred demo ... InsideRadio reports: A new Interep study finds the continuation of a longtime trend - more national ad buys going younger (to 18-49) and older (to 35+). Back in 1995 the 25-54 demo had a 55.5% share of national spot dollars - and in 2006 that was down to 43.2%. Comment here.
04-17-07 There is no Freedom of Speech ... Imus and Rosie and Rush, oh, my. Do you really understand what the First Amendment means?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
It clearly says that Congress shall make no law, etc.
The Constitution does not say that ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FNC, MSNBC, Mike Anderson or anyone else may not make such rules.
If you work for a guy and blog about your job, your employer can fire you if you embarass or defame them.
When you post on a Message Board (unless you own it) the proprietor has every right to edit or entirely delete your comments (I usually let stupidity run its course here unless it degenerates into a personal attack).
Interestingly, FOS seems to be relevant solely to print (dead tree) media. But even the managers there are inclined to lay a heavy editing hand on Letters To The Editor entries
Of course, you can always go downtown, take up a corner on a soapbox and, with your Radio Shack bullhorn, try to illuminate the masses
Unless you get arrested for disturbing the peace.
So, tell me: where do you exercise your Freedom of Speech?
04-16-07 Google and Clear Channel ... sittin' in a tree: Google, Clear Channel Ink Long-Term Deal: Google and Clear Channel announced a long-term agreement Sunday that will allow the Internet search leader to place advertising for its online customers on more than 675 Clear Channel radio stations. The convergence continues in exactly the way I thought it would. Comment here.
| 04-16-07 I first heard Friday that ... former Postie Elaine Viets had suffered a stroke earlier in the week.|
Since leaving the paper, she's become a popular mystery writer and from all accounts is still the same very cool Elaine that we loved in the pages of the P-D. You can see what's she's been up to here, follow her recuperative progress here and post get-well wishes here.
Her books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders and many other stores.
Mrs. A is an inveterate mystery reader; I think she'll enjoy the gift she's about to get...
04-16-07 Way to go, Syl & Tim ... agree or disagree with their politics, WGNU's Syl Wilson & Tim Person are aggressively promoting their weekday PM drive talk show with weekend appearances and a considerable online effort. I'm betting they get no help from the station in this. I received an email late last week, but had no chance to post a notice; the fact the they're sending out a mass email at all is impressive. They get it. Comment here.
04-16-07 JDC nails it ... USC prof and InsideMusicMedia publisher Jerry DelColliano closes the coffin on the corporate hypocrisy that's dripping all over Don Imus like chocolate on a hot fudge sundae. Read and comment here.
04-16-07 Many thanks to regular contributor ... Jay Philpott for sending me the amazing collection of US newspaper political cartoons on the Imus issue -- 79 of them, in fact. I can't publish them all here, but I can say that a lot of cartoonists wasted a lot of time and effort. Imus himself is a low-rated non-issue; it's the accusing players orbiting the issue who will make this bigger than life. Before the end of 2007, those on the right side of the congressional aisle will be begging for the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, just the way I said they should almost a year ago. Comment here.
04-16-07 The really, really true reason ... that WFAN's Don Imus was fired: American radio icon Don Imus disgraced, fired after threat to reveal 9/11 secrets. Of course, it's from Pravda. And, as we've learned over the past fifty or so years, we can always trust Pravda. Comment here.
04-15-07 iPod G5 video ... Probably shouldn't have done it, but I bought SouthPark Seasons 10 and 11 from iTunes to watch at lunch. Look for the guy wearing small headphones and laughing his butt off to spot me and my sammich. Comment here.
04-15-07 Thanks to SuperMax for sending this along ... a link that will allow those of us still possessed of those strange 12" black plastic disks to convert them into digital files with a simple USB plugin device; I bought this one from Target. Comment here.
04-14-07 My thanks to the SPJ Regional convention ... for asking me to speak on New Media as part of their presentation at the Clayton Crowne Plaza this weekend. My 8:45AM session had a full house and it looked like most all sessions had great attendance. Ran into a pack of old friends and made lots of new ones. I feel good about the next generation of journalists. As Kent Martin said, "They get it." Comment here.
04-13-07 Yesterday CBS fired Don Imus ... dumb, dumb, dumb.
The company should have let his suspension run out and then put him back in place, with the promise that he'd been rehabbed...just like Mel Gibson and so many others.
Look, Imus' "act" has been the same for 3+ decades: he made fun of everyone, black, white, red and yellow. In fact, he stopped being funny a long time ago, became political and made his new bones by bringing pundits and politicos on to his show. It was the dictionary definition of "New York-centric". Even though CBS affiliate Westwood One syndicated it to sixty or so markets, the show was never local radio.
And this time, for this offense, he got nailed by the PC police. CBS gave into political and societal pressure and tossed him off the bus.
Last year the company let Howard Stern and Mel Karmazin move on to SatRad, and it's cost them a bundle, huge bucks, in lost advertising. In 2002, they fired, as they should have, Opie & Anthony, but they've since been returned to the CBS air because rude radio pays, regardless of the FCC fine paid.
Imus, like him or not, was the spearhead on the most profitable radio station in the US, and now they've let him go as well. Maybe new CBS leader Dan Mason will be able to make some sense of all this. But right now, I'd not want to be holding stock in the company. The company is obviously knee-jerking and the next year is not going to be a pretty picture.
And by the way, if Imus had generated this kind of press nationally a few weeks ago, his numbers would have been somewhat respectable.
Mr. Paley would have known what to do with a $10million-a-year lunkhead who billed many multiples of his salary. Comment here.
04-13-07 I've been seduced by the demons of Apple ... I plugged the 30gig G5 iPod into the PC's USB connection and it, well, it just did everything right with no help from me, literally right out of the box. All by itself, it opened iTunes, downloaded the right music list (with all my settings intact), charged its batteries to capacity and asked me what name I should give the device for future contact. Next test: plugging in video content that will amuse me thru lunch when I'm on the road. I'll get back to you on this. But it makes my teeth hurt that radio isn't this efficient. Comment here.
04-13-07 Your next DOS ... may be this guy. I recently received this recommendation from an MB regular (whose judgement I trust implicitly) for a friend of his who's looking for a sales management position:
I have a friend who is looking for a job and he is struggling to land a sales or a sales management job. He has been successful in a variety of roles in radio and television sales and management and most recently as the district manager for a large national internet site here in St. Louis.
My friend is a Vietnam vet and he was a police officer for ten plus years before he began his sales career. He managed and built my company's internet sales in Missouri, building it into a multi-million dollar area. Recently he was threatened with losing his stock options and forced out by new upper management. Now he finds himself as a 50+, over-qualified salesman and/or sales manager. He knows and loves internet sales and has worked within one of the most successful models of vertical marketing for 5+ years.
He's a personable, professional, smart business man. He's loyal, funny and I trust and respect him like he was my own family. He's a gear-head riding motorcycles. He's a tech buff. He's resourceful and hard-working.
Someone looking for a Director of Sales for their new venture would be lucky to find him. Anyone looking for a passionate salesman who works with enthusiasm and ethics would love him too.
If you know of a suitable position for this guy, go to the MB and PM nowjustalistener or contact me and I'll pass the info along.
04-13-07 Secret Squirrel was looking for nuts on Hampton ... when he heard this from KTVI/Fox2: Shirley Washington will be joining FOX 2 News as new reporter and weekend anchor. Shirley is an Emmy award winning journalists and author. Shirley spent more than 13 years with FOX at WAGA FOX 5 in Atlanta and KDFW FOX 4 in Dallas. Most recently she worked in the public relations department at Lambert Airport. She went to high school at Roosevelt. St. Louis native. First day is Monday, April 16. Comment here.
04-12-07 My apologies for being away for a while ... I've been working on a presentation for this Saturday at the SPJ regional meeting and on some business and family projects.
04-12-07 The big radio news nationally ... has been the Imus thing. I've restrained myself from writing about this until all the regular suspects checked in and their reaction is exactly what I expected. Imus has done something that he has done time and again over the past 30+ years, but this time some kind of cosmic convergence was in place and he was the target of the bulls**t laser beams. The man stopped being funny sometime in the mid-'70's and has managed to extend his career since then by interviewing political importants on the air in the NYC market, regardless of the fact that his show ranked almost as badly as AirAmerica. He should have retired five years ago; this whole thing is a non-issue. MSNBC canned the simulcast, which will break my best friend's heart; CBS lost an enormous bag of money when Stern moved to SatRad and will spend a lot of time thinking about whether to dump the guy who makes WFAN one of the highest-billing stations in the market and the nation. Outside of The Apple, nobody cares about Don Imus. Except Al and Jesse, who stand to make some loot from this. Comment here.
04-12-07 Uh-oh - troubles at CCU/STL ...Secret Squirrel sends this along: Grumblings and rumblings abound at CCSTL. If you aren't from Albany, NY you are on the outside looking in. Several more sales people will be let go as new recruits will be brought in. Dennis Lamme is no longer favored by the rank and file. Beth Davis has sales staffers in turmoil. See how easy it is to screw up an easy thing? Comment here.
04-12-07 Here come the Old Folks ... and they're bringing bags of money!
From AllAccess: Older Demos Increase Purchasing Power -- Here's some positive news for stations targeting an older demographic. From 2003 through 2006, the number of retirees in the 87 metropolitan markets surveyed regularly by THE MEDIA AUDIT with household incomes of $50,000 or more increased from 23.2% to 27.6%.
Retiree households with annual incomes of $75,000 or more increased from 11.2% to 13.8%, according to INTERNATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS INC. Pres. BOB JORDAN, and those with annual incomes of $100,000 or more increased from 5.8% to 6.9%.
The rate at which retirees shopped on the Internet increased dramatically. Those that made at least one purchase on the Internet increased from 19.7% in 2003 to 28.8% in 2006. Those making five or more purchases increased from 10.2% to 15.8%. Comment here.
04-12-07 Katie just reads the words ... A CBS News producer was fired and the network apologized after a Katie Couric video essay on libraries was found to be plagiarized from The Wall Street Journal. The essay was removed from the CBS Web site and an editor's note was posted saying the item should have credited Jeffrey Zaslow of the Journal, the network said Tuesday. The bigger question, beyond the plagiarism issue, is why doesn't the anchor write her own material? Comment here.
04-12-07 How many listeners do you lose ... during spot breaks? From MediaWeek: The broadcast networks lose an average 7 percent of their audience during commercial breaks, while cable loses 10 percent and syndicated series lose only 2 percent of their audience, according to the latest commercial pod study of Nielsen Media Research by Magna Global USA. Comment here.
04-12-07 Secret Squirrel went looking for a job ... and found this on AllAccess:
PROMOTION/MARKETING DIRECTOR, ST. LOUIS
Y98, KYKY, needs YOU if you're the best Promotions and Marketing
Director on the planet.
We're an Adult CHR with a full calendar of events and on-air contests,
so you have to be a master of multitasking. Unbelieveable
organizational skills are a must because I'm a scatterbrained PD. You must work and
play well with others, whether they be concert promoters, sales people,
or listeners. You need to be creative and come up with killer
promotions that will deliver results and won't break the bank. Knowledge of
Microsoft Office, Promo Suite, and the Chicago Cubs helpful.
The busy Summer season is almost here, so get your best stuff to me
yesterday. Please don't e mail or call me, I'm in a meeting.
Send your package to KYKY, 3100 Market Street Dept AAC, St. Louis, MO
63103. Remember, I said no e mail or calls. KYKY is a CBS Radio station
and an equal opportunity employer.
Did I mention no e mail or calls? Mark Edwards
04-09-07 I've loaded up the 8Gb iPod Nano ... with all my favorite hits from 1954-1969. Almost 2300 songs that sound great in the car and in my 10-year-old Sony headset. Guess I'll have to buy another, bigger, iPod to store more portable audio and video. Oops, I did, bought a 30gig iPod. This could move me away from radio listening. Or not. It's up to you. Tell me why I should stay with broadcast. Comment here.
04-08-07 The list of STLRadio tribute sites grows ... Mike, For those that miss the old K-HITS, like me, I have setup a stream that is fairly close to the old playlist. I know you’ll say it’s too tight… but it’s just something I put together over the weekend and I will be tweaking for the next couple of weeks. Feel free to throw up a link to the stream on your site. Thanks! Marc Elliot (Former KLOU Night Guy and KSD Weekend/Fill-In Guy). Here's the link...take a listen and comment here.
04-08-07 Mrs. A thanks all of you ... who sent birthday wishes. All the kids checked in and daughter Anna (three weeks away from completing law school at SLU) and her kids treated us to an incredible brunch at The Coronado. Best Easter we've had since a trip to N'awlinz in the 90's and the Easter Sunday jazz brunch at Arnaud's.
04-08-07 FoxTV picks up old radio trick ... to retain audience thru spot clusters: the Boston Herald reports "If you skip the commercials on Fox this Monday night you might miss the show. Starting next week, News Corp. [NWS]-owned Fox Broadcasting Company is debuting a new animated program. But it will have an unusual time slot - sandwiched between television commercials. Fox plans eight-second animated clips that follow a half-Greek, half-Lithuanian taxi driver named Oleg - whose hobby is trying to identify from which store stranded shopping carts came from while whipping by them at top speed. Oleg’s adventures will be shown as Fox tries to keep viewers entertained during commercial breaks." Read it all at the link above and then comment here.
04-08-07 The very first audio cassette ... I ever saw in use was at the Philips display at the 1964 NY World's Fair. The company had set up an entire demo radio station that used nothing but this new technology for audio and visitors could watch and listen through windows. Over the years, I ran through a lot of different brands of cassette tapes, and now someone has finally put a face to the memories. Thanks to SuperMax for the tip.
04-08-07 Kevin & Sue McCarthy's travel programming ... is now also heard online at WorldTravelAndDining.com
04-06-07 Lou Goad passes ... STLRadio veteran (Emmis, Gannett) Lou Goad, passed away on Monday of a heart attack. He was 60 years old. From Emmis' Patti McMahon: Lou was a member of this radio family in the early years of KSHE as an on air jock and later on as a sales rep for KHITS. He was a proud Vietnam Veteran, father and friend. He will be missed by many.
04-05-07 Mrs. A's birthday is this Sunday ...and so is Easter, so starting now we'll be taking a few days off from the grind to get together with family and friends and a slow-cooked roast beef or two. Be well, have a great holiday weekend and we'll touch base again on Monday. Maybe see ya for breakfast over the next couple days at Reynolds in Maryland Heights?
04-05-07 What an amazing world it's become ... I just wish that some of you young'n's had been able to taste the 50's, 60's, and 70's media. The jump from AM Radio to VHS was quite a leap. Now I work for hours every day in front of a magic box that can show me any video and play any audio I want to hear, from anywhere in the world, in real time. I can listen to thousands of songs from the last half-century (and I can listen to all of those tunes in my car by just plugging into the cigar lighter) on a player half the size of the wireless phone that I can use to make a call to anyone I know, anywhere in the world. I can play internet music streams on the Big Stereo. I can watch internet movies on the Big TV with the same kind of magic. I can access any website I want wherever I have a computer in my house. Wow. You're some lucky guys, you are. Comment here
04-04-07 Sad to report ... that WGNU's OD Joan Groceman passed away Monday night; she had suffered a stroke March 27th.
04-04-07 How does TNT do it ... The 3-D NBA promos with Jeremy Pivens walking between players suspended in the air just amazes me. I know enough about video to be dangerous but I can't even make a guess as to how the shot is done. I've seen this same effect in commercials. Anybody wanna tell the secret?
04-04-07 When the R&R HOF gets too political for your taste ...you start your own. That's what radio programming legend John Rook and a pack of his friends did when they set up the Hit Parade Hall of Fame. Their nominees are not limited to Rock or Top 40 formats and are voted upon by anyone who accesses their site. Dang...imagine that! Listeners voting for their favorites rather than only industry insiders... Comment here
04-04-07 iPod Nano surprise ... I hate the "earbuds" that come with mp3 players. They're uncomfortable and never seem to fit right. Frank O. Pinion mentioned to me that he uses a regular set of headphones, with a 3.5mm plug. It never occurred to me that such a tiny player would power a full-sized set of cans, but the Nano does, and admirably. There's just something weird about wearing headphones that are twenty times larger than the player. FOP also told me about a trick to use when the Nano locks up: press Menu and the center button at EXACTLY the same time and hold them down for at least six seconds. This resets the electronics and should bring the player back to life. Thank Mr. Pinion if it helped you solve a problem.
04-04-07 Think this is a scam? From -firstname.lastname@example.org:
Best wishes on your new record deal. I told you I could make it happen for you. Stay in the studio and keep working hard and it will all pan out for you. Here's and other tip. Go to www.soonplatinum.com And resrve your username or artist name and join this promotional community. they have alot of big time people in the music and entertainment industry wanting to network with others. I also heard MTV and VH1 will be checking out this site in the near future. Real cool site check it out. Chow baby!
Guess my hit record's gonna have to wait. And it's "ciao," not "chow." Comment here
04-03-07 Former STLRadio personality Scott St. James ... has entered the blogosphere. Here's a link that you might consider adding to your bookmarks.
04-03-07 STLMedia has reconsidered ... the threat of Global Warming and offers a carbon-offset program tailored to our readers.
04-03-07 Yesterday's mention of KSLQ here stirred up considerable interest ... in resurrecting memories of STLRadio's best known FM Top 40. That interest has moved long-time STL air talent Terry Fox to begin development of a KSLQ tribute site. The Foxman is eager to hear from anyone with station memorabilia, including photos, station gear, jingles and promos and especially airchecks, plus written accounts of their time at the legendary station. In a phone discussion yesterday afternoon, Terry outlined his plans and it sounds like an exciting project. If you'd like to get involved, contact Terry Fox.
04-03-07 How long before ... this growth is reflected in the US? Not much, I bet. ZenithOptimedia Group now predicts the Internet will overtake radio as the world's fourth biggest ad medium in 2008, a year earlier than originally forecasted. The report ... predicts the Internet will grow six times faster than traditional media through 2009 and will increase its share of the global advertising marketplace from 5.8% in 2006 to 8.7% in 2009. Comment here
04-03-07 It's not the first time he's done this ... TVNewser reports that Bill O'Reilly ordered his producers to cut retired Col. (turned anti-war activist) Ann Wright's mic off during an interview on Friday. Here's a link to the video. Take a look and then comment here
04-03-07 KPLR/11 owner Tribune Co. goes private for $13billion ... and will spin off the Chicago Cubs after this season. No word on the disposition of other properties, including tv and newspapers and WGN Radio, helmed by former KMOX GM Tom Langmyer. In case you're not keeping score over the years, Sam Zell, the buyer, was the money behind Jacor in the 1990's. I don't mind Trib shareholders getting rich, but this is one of those deals that makes me feel queasy. Comment here
|04-03-07 This link started hitting my mailbox ... early and often yesterday:|
No More Remotes!
“Remotes are the default setting for advertisers seeking added value, but the dirty little secret in our industry is they simply don’t work. Emmis/Indianapolis has a better solution.”
04-02-07 Just 'cause pandas are cool ...
04-02-07 Can anyone who's been an AFTRA member ... tell me if they've ever truly benefited from their membership? My experience with the union over the years has been, to say the least, unsatisfactory. That's why I've withdrawn from membership.
AFTRA's representation has always protected their pension and welfare investments more than my personal rights.
Yeah, I know they mandate a level of payment and benefits at some stations, but I have to believe that their interest in that money means more to them than the welfare of members.
I have friends who have been long-time union members, who have contributed a LOT of cash to dues, and who have been amazingly screwed on medical insurance issues, supposedly covered by the union.
04-02-07 Clear Channel's the obvious provider ... to deliver industry-wide HD programming. You can listen to their various offerings here. But don't get too excited about it. I've skipped thru the formats and it's all music, no dj's (at least none I heard). Just music doesn't excite me too much, unless it's from a list I built and play for my own self. OTOH, I guess you can feel free to use these channels to add to your music collection. Comment here
04-02-07 All the real words ... are all right here. Thanks to former STL PD Russ Schell for sending along the link to one of the best bar-bet-settlement websites ever.
04-02-07 Canada is aggressively going after ... US filmmakers' business with some great tv spots, like this one, this one and this one.
Unions are the expensive problem for US film production, of course. But their involvement can be mitigated with waivers, right? If not, why not? Is it really necessary to have a couple hundred workers on a movie?
So why isn't the American Midwest (including STL and Southern Illinois) doing the same? I know there are local and regional film commissions, but these are mostly run by society types who really have nothing to gain from the new business except self-aggrandisement. How 'bout they create some spots that show the amazing locations along The Rivers?
Run 'em on YouTube along with an email, snailmail and phone blitz? It's the 21st Century and that means you at least need to make a stab at new marketing concepts.
04-02-07 Yesterday, when we were young ... In the 1970's KSLQ (now KYKY) was THE station for Top 40, knocking market-leader KXOK back several notches and earning industrywide recognition. Jonnie King was MD there then and sent along these photos of the staff at a Media Party in 1975. Comment here
04-01-07 Anderson sells website to Clear Channel ... In a surprise move announced today, owner/publisher Mike Anderson has sold the seven-year-old STLMedia.net website to Clear Channel Communications of San Antonio TX for an undisclosed sum. Anderson's future plans are unclear, but he's stated several times recently that he'd "rather sell velvet paintings of Elvis and card-playing dogs out of the back of my pickup in gas station parking lots than take one more early-morning phone call from some damned station's lawyer." Comment here
04-01-07 KTRS hires entire new sales staff ... after blowing out over a dozen veteran radio salespeople late Friday.
Station GM Tim Dorsey's official statement from the press release:
"Our new sales staff is aggressive, hungry and in great physical shape, especially after their long trip across the desert into Texas. Our new General Sales Manager -- we call him The Coyote -- assures us that the staff he brought with him will learn English soon.
We'll be able to use his school bus as the new station promotional vehicle, too! These guys think that working on a straight 5% commission with no base or draw is a dream come true! And all 17 can live in the same apartment in Maryland Heights!
Talk about win-win!"
"Finally," Dorsey said, "we have as many Hispanics onboard as do our baseball partners!"
The station has traded John Deere riding lawnmowers for use by the new sales team and asks that any visitors to the station's Westport Plaza offices refrain from using the word "immigration" or showing any shiny thing that might be considered a badge. Comment here
04-01-07 Two John's to marry ... KMOX' evening team John Carney and Jon Grayson acknowledge that the rumors are true, that they're in love and, regardless of the laws of the State of Missouri, will engage in a civil union sometime this Summer.
According to Carney, they'll be buying a gated and fenced estate in Jefferson County where they'll "raise dingoes and play with chemistry sets" in their off-air time.
"I like dingoes," Grayson said. "They're just dogs that don't bark. And they eat children. I hate children." Comment here
04-01-07 Best wishes for KTVI's Roche Madden and John Auble ... Each are being treated at area hospitals: Madden's at St. Luke's for therapy for Tourette's Syndrome, causing him to overly-emphasize his use of the word "Fox"; Auble is receiving a neck extension at Barnes-Jewish to make him look less like a frog. Comment here
04-01-07 KFNS' Kevin Slaten is a lawyer ... he also has a son who plays college basketball. Just two of the chapters in Slaten's soon to be released new book, Overstated Crap: What I Fall Back On When I Run Out Of Ideas Comment here
04-01-07 KMOV's Larry Connor's hair attacks Bosnian immigrants ... Maybe his, maybe not. STL police are investigating attacks outside Bosnian bars over the past few days on Morgan Ford in the city, saying that the disputed reports of a "creeping hairpiece" attacking Bosnian women might be true. According to the victims, the rogue hairpiece "crept up on them, crapped and then crept away." Connors, who is the local media's most visible victim of Creeping Hairpiece Syndrome, was not available for comment. Comment here
04-01-07 Former manager buys Guy Phillips ... previous salesperson and manager for EZ/ARS/Gannett/CBS/Infinity/Viacom radio properties in STL Karen Carroll, has successfully bid for and purchased the rest of the life of radio personality Guy Phillips, who had recently placed himself for sale on Ebay, hoping to generate enough money for retirement.
"This is great," Phillips said. "I never expected to be bought by someone I actually knew! I'd have gone anywhere for the right money! I always have!"
Carroll, who lives in an intolerably rich neighborhood in Ladue thanks to several divorce settlements, said, "I've always wanted a lawn jockey. Will he stand still for sixteen hours a day? Can I paint him black? What? He worked for me? When?"
Phillips had no further comment.