Previously on The Front Page...Jul/Aug/Sep 2007

09-30-07 I've widened the scope of the Political Forum ... at the STLMedia Message Board, including all political party candidates, and global warming and IslamoFascist issues. Remember to only respond to the message rather than defame the messenger. Otherwise, have a big time. I've also added a Cooking & Cookware forum; that's something that's been my avocation for many years (I've taught cooking skills and even marketed a line of spices) and I invite you to jump in with your recipe ideas, comments and reviews.
09-29-07 One more day and we'll be through ... Cards and Pirates tomorrow afternoon (on KTRS/AM550). Then the boys clean out their lockers and head off to wherever overpaid, underachieving game players go in the offseason after a sub-.500 season.
   However, here's a little thing you may want to download and listen to until Spring. The 2006 World Series notwithstanding, It's the single most requested audio ever presented here at STLMedia. Thanks to Casey Van Allen for the creation, and Terry Fox and Terry Weatherford for the curation and preservation. And to Jack Buck and Mike Shannon for, well, for just being.

09-28-07 Here's some audio history you need to hear ...
   From TwinCitiesRadioAirchecks: The History of Radio in 10 Minutes.
   Jay Philpott (who provided the link) says: It was recorded before 1965 because you can hear comments by Todd Storz about 10 minutes into this 11:30 long recording. You will also hear Chuck Blore comment about Color Radio. This takes you back to the beginning and bring you up to Top 40 radio.
   This tape was found at WDGY's basement at the old studio at the Bloomington transmitter site before the 9 tower array was removed and replaced by housing. This recording is relevant to us here in St. Louis since KXOK was a sister station to WDGY in the Storz era.

   Comment here.

09-28-07 FCC Chairman Kevin Martin ... says Yes and No.
   Martin says No to public interest obligations, that he's against requiring more public service from radio (that's one Obama issue I agree with; stations should not only provide more but document it within their license renewals).
   Martin says, "I'm not a fan of additional quantifiable public interest obligations for either radio or TV."
   
Instead, he's asking the NAB and state broadcaster organizations to step up their efforts to report statistics on what radio is doing. Sorry, but the industry hasn't the cultural memory to know how to do that. Radio and tv MUST have guidance and regulation.
   Martin unbelievably says YES to more freedom of language and content. While the FCC wants to “protect families from indecent language on television and radio when children are likely to be in the audience” Martin says that government standards are too vague on what constitutes indecency. Not so.
   As I've said many times before, radio and tv content comes down to simply being polite and respectful. You don't need to say on broadcasts anything you wouldn't say to your Mother. Cable and satellite? Yup, a different story.
   Comment here.

09-28-07 AirAmerica offers free airtime to candidates ... this is something I've encouraged here and elsewhere for years.
   The NYDaily News reports that AirAmerica's NYC afilliate has offered an hour of free airtime to all presidential candidates.
   The "Presidential Project" was conceived by 8-10p host Richard Greene to help reduce the pressure of money in election campaigns. All eight major Democratic candidates have accepted, says Greene, and the invitation has been extended to Republicans.
   Those who accept the offer, which must be cashed in during the first two weeks of October, can either host an hour on Greene's show or submit a prerecorded two to five-minute statement that will run several times during the week.

   If AA was serious about this, they'd wait until the conventions made the final nominations next Summer. This is just showboating and chews up airtime that AA cannot sell.
   Your station should keep this tactic in mind next year, though. If enough radio and TV stations refused to sell political ad time to anyone, and only offered a limited amount of free time, we'd be quickly done with the hate and negative ads.
   But, no...stations are all too willing to take the easy income from political money rather than actually work for ad income.
   Because of this, broadcasters contribute to the bullroar and confusion that seem to be part and parcel of 21st Century politics.
   Comment here.

09-28-07 Holiday reality show ... from Worldscreen:
   In December, NBC will air Clash of the Choirs, following five celebrity singers back to their hometowns to assemble an amateur singing group made up of everyday people from all walks of life.
   Once the best of the best have been selected and the choirs have been assembled, they will compete live in studio. Musical genres will range from current hits to holiday classics and the choir hopefuls will be judged each night by viewers watching at home.
   The winning choir, along with the celebrity that selected them, will receive the opportunity to pick a prize to help their hometown and give back to their community—anything from renovating a school gym to an auditorium to a new neighborhood park.

   Comment here.

09-27-07 Former 60 Minutes Producer Don Hewitt on Dan Rather ... From the NYPost: "What Dan Rather is incensed about is, CBS has done to him what he did to Walter Cronkite." Comment here.
09-26-07 Bill Clevlen Live now online ... video from last weekend's show at the History Museum is up and running at his YouTube page.
09-26-07 Clear Channel's been sold ... for a thousand bazillion gazillion dollars. The company is now in the hands of the money changers and who knows what the hell this means except that there will be even more personnel blood-letting at every level as the new owners seek to justify their acquisition. The Mays family is wealthy now beyond anyone's wildest dreams. They might as well be Saudi royalty. Closing is expected by the end of 2007. This whole deal makes me puke. Comment here.
09-26-07 MetroTraffic responds ... to a piece we published yesterday (scroll down to read it). From Metro Ops Director Bill Bowen:
   Mike, I'm responding to a story reported on your website this morning regarding Metro Networks making up traffic reports. Metro Networks does not make up traffic reports.
   In fact, we err on the side of caution when reporting traffic incidents. We don't rely solely on DOT traffic cameras or road sensors for traffic information.
   Metro has a helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft flying traffic patrols, weather permitting, in the mornings and afternoons. No other traffic service in St. Louis can say that.

   My apologies if Secret Squirrel misstated the fact of the day, but it was me who said that there is no wizardry, cameras, road sensors, accidents and aircraft notwithstanding, to reporting traffic flow.
   I stand by my premise that anyone who's traveled the roads 'round here for more than a week or two could tell you precisely when and where any particular route will be slow. This is one more instance where technology is overkill.
   Comment here.

09-26-07 KTRS' Hadley in auto accident ... I hadn't heard anything about this until last evening: Hadley was injured, apparently seriously, in an auto accident on 9/13. If you have further word on his condition, please let us know. My thanks to the regular reader who passed this along and our best wishes to John for a full recovery. Comment here.
09-26-07 If you don't like the NSA, you'll hate this ... From the NYT:
   Pudding Media, a start-up based in San Jose, Calif., is introducing an Internet phone service today that will be supported by advertising related to what people are talking about in their calls. The Web-based phone service is similar to Skype’s online service — consumers plug a headset and a microphone into their computers, dial any phone number and chat away. But unlike Internet phone services that charge by the length of the calls, Pudding Media offers calling without any toll charges.
   The trade-off is that Pudding Media is eavesdropping on phone calls in order to display ads on the screen that are related to the conversation. Voice recognition software monitors the calls, selects ads based on what it hears and pushes the ads to the subscriber’s computer screen while he or she is still talking.

   Comment here.

09-25-07 Get your kicks on KMOX ... This Saturday evening, KMOX debuts a new weekend show, Route 66 On KMOX. From the station:
   Route 66, the iconic highway memorialized in song, winds across the United States, through St. Louis, down through Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico & beyond.
   KMOX, the iconic radio station established in 1925, blasts its 50,000 watt signal across the vast stretch of Route 66.
   Now KMOX debuts a new Saturday night show titled “ROUTE 66.” ROUTE 66 is hosted by St. Louis radio veteran Randy Raley.
   ROUTE 66 on KMOX is a hip, retro slice of life, featuring the music heard on AM radios in the Chevys, Buicks, and Fords driving across this exciting American Highway. On ROUTE 66, you’ll also hear historic moments from the huge KMOX audio vault. ROUTE 66 returns radio to its American roots.
   So whether you’re out on the road this Saturday night, or relaxing at home, please enjoy ROUTE 66 on KMOX.

   Comment here.

09-25-07 Big voiced guys get the chicks ... Anybody who's been in radio for more than a half-hour knows this is an indisputable fact. And now there's even a scientific study that proves it.
   Studies conducted by David Feinberg of McMaster University in Canada have shown that women are more attracted to men with deeper voices, judging them to be older, healthier and more masculine than their higher-pitched rivals.
   Unfortunately, big-voiced guys are usually about as physically attractive as the chicks who call in to talk with them.
   Not that I have any personal experience in this, just sayin'...
   I mean, I've always been married. But I could have written this study years ago. Let's not talk about the necessary research, okay?
   I think I'm in trouble with Mrs. A. In fact, I'm probably a dead man.
   Comment here.

09-25-07 Mid-America Emmy nominations are online ... check 'em here.
09-25-07 A service provider wouldn't lie to us, would they? ... from Secret Squirrel's mailbox: Metro Traffic was making up traffic reports Monday morning. The Illinois Department of Transportation cameras didn't work until 8:20am. They were reporting traffic getting heavy. How would they know?
   And how would we know? Really, how different, excluding accidents, is traffic flow day to day? I haven't been on the air in the morning in a lot of years, but I bet I could produce a pretty accurate report from memory and recent experience. Sounds like that's exactly what Metro did on Monday...
   Comment here.

09-25-07 TV clutter has suddenly become an issue ... from TVWatch (RR):
   Think "snipes," "crawls," and "bugs" -- that's the on-air marketing pollution that goes on while a show goes on. Get ready for even more inundated viewers this season: They will be reminded, while watching one TV show, that there are other shows to watch on the network as well.
   One day it'll all backfire. Viewers will look at those marketing tricks and be convinced. Right then and there they'll decide the network is right; they'll shut off the show they are watching, gaze into space, and wait for the other show to start.
   ABC has even been working on commercials that start during a show on, say, a fictional family's living room TV.

   Comment here.

09-25-07 Was a time in the early 1970's ... when AM radio stations thought their best defense against the encroaching FM enemy was a good offense: play the long (album) versions of the hits and throw in a few non-hit LP cuts for tasty hippieness. And, of course, name the album, name the album ad nauseum.
   Needless to say, this didn't work too awfully well.
   The magic was in the stereo (or at least in the little red light that told us it was stereo, whether it was or not), the lower commercial load on FM, and the hypeless delivery of the non-pro-sounding DJ's. AM Top 40's all over the country took this tack; here's how KXOK aired it in 1972.
   In this 9:04 aircheck, KXOK's Lou Kirby does his hip thang, gettin' it on, layin' it back, bro, playin' the heavy hits and still running the CashCall contest, jingles, timechecks and spots overly produced for a "progressive" station. Note, too, that the station's reverb is still in place. Pretty hip, huh?
   Thanks to Bob Walsh, who liberated this bit of radio history from his Father's cassette collection. Thanks, Bob, for making me feel older than I am.
   FYI, in 1972 I was working at WIFI/Philadelphia, a Top 40 FM, playing the hits in three-song segues with a low energy presentation. My PD was this guy, who eventually got into the trade mag biz. He did okay for himself.
   Comment here.

09-24-07 Thanks to Jim Leach ... for directing me to this article from RadioInk on former KMOX PD and current WGN/Chicago GM Tom Langmyer, in which Tom speaks to the upcoming cross-ownership rule hearings. WGN is one of the few radio stations, in any market of any size, that's truly the heart and soul of their community of license. Langmyer has worked hard to maintain and grow that position; if the FCC decides that their grandfathered protection is null upon the Tribune Co. going private, all bets are off and that would be a damned shame.
09-24-07 Nice article over the weekend ... on KMOX' Jon Grayson in the Belleville News-Democrat. Now we know that Grayson drives a Chrysler Sebring convertible. Danged AM TJ show off!
09-23-07 Art imitates radio ...
   Promo maven Judy Martin writes: Wash U is putting on an old-timey radio play October 5th-14th that I thought some of your readers might like to attend.
   From the website: Set against the backdrop of World War II, The 1940s Radio Hour follows a group of broadcast has-beens and wannabes as they attempt to make it big on the "Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade."
   The play's structure mimics that of an actual radio broadcast, with backstage hands, musicians and performers straggling in, preparing for broadcast and, at the top of the hour, going live.
   The production features nearly two dozen classic songs, including "Blue Moon," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Old Black Magic," as well as comedy segments, radio plays, period commercials and prominent "On the Air" and "Applause" signs, which the audience is prompted to follow.

   Mike says: Shows like this ought to be mandatory for all youngbloods and radio pups. Old dogs'll enjoy it too. Hey, $9. Go crazy. You'll have enough left over for a feast at Taco Bell on the way home...

09-23-07 ABC fires Amanda Congdon ...and nobody at the network knows why she was even hired there in the first place. Right.
   Congdon was hired away from Rocketboom about a year ago.
    No one knows exactly what it was she did there, or at ABC, except to smile and move various body parts.
   That was considered sufficient for employment at both nets. Bet FNC is next in her career.
   Okay by me. I like FNC. /sexist mode off

09-23-07 There's been a search raised industry wide ... to find the current status of legendary radio programmer Russell "Buzz" Bennett.
   Last I heard, Buzz was scheduled to fly into Memphis in the late 1970's to work with the Tanner Company on developing a new-concept jingle package. Bought him a ticket, but he wasn't on the plane.
   Since then rumors abide and facts subside.
   In recent years, Buzz has been spotted working on Hairspray on Broadway; living with his Mom in Florida or in residence in Louisiana in an assisted-living home; unemployed and "looking bad" in a Dallas airport as recently as 1999; and maybe he's even passed away within the past few years, with an Orlando obit that nobody can source.
   I'd hate to think he wound up as a John Doe, buried in an unmarked pauper's grave.
   Buzz was a tortured soul but he sure made his mark on radio in just a few years. Today, nobody knows for sure what happened to the guy.
   Let me know if you do

09-23-07 Think your SatTV reception is bad? ... One of my Israeli readers/correspondents sends this along: Monday night the TV (1 year old) began to flicker between normal color and Martian green, and figures began to flicker. We thought it was celebrating the day after guarantee expiration. In this morning's newspaper was an article about the Israel satellite surveillance of Iran and Syria disturbing TV reception. Not something you usually consider. Comment here.
09-23-07 Youth-targeted TVNet CW ... is taking product placement to a whole new level. From the WSJ:
   When the CW network (KPLR/11 in STL) launched this time last year, it experimented with a new kind of commercial break designed to look like a minishow built around products. The so-called content wraps were such a hit with marketers that the network is going one better this fall, with a half-hour weekly series in which it will promote sponsors' products.
   "CW Now," which debuts Sunday, is a newsmagazine-style program aimed at young adults, dishing out segments on what is hot in the worlds of fashion, music, entertainment and technology. The program won't break for commercials.

    Comment here.

09-23-07 Absolutely nothing to do with STLMedia ... but here's a PDF of the Dan Rather v. CBS complaint. Ol' Dan's got hisself one hell of a loquacious lawyer, huh? My bet is that CBS will choose to settle instead of litigate. May not be cheaper, but since their E&O insurance policy's checkbook is already wide open after the Imus settlement, it'd just be easier. Think of all they money they saved by by the way they unconscionably savaged General Westmoreland in that lawsuit... Comment here.
09-22-07 Secret Squirrel is positive ... that recently annointed broadcast sales person Randy Raley is going to assume some undefined additional duties, at some radio station, at some time during some upcoming weekend or weekends. It may or may not involve music of an unknown vintage. On the other hand, Secret Squirrel may have been just a bit out of his sweet spot, having spent most of his day today at what he reported to me as "A Drink of St. Louis." Comment here.
09-22-07 You already know what I think of HDRadio ... Media prof Jerry Del Colliano has skinned the beast alive and is looking for lighter fluid and matches to finish the job:
    "Here's what iBiquity says, 'All a consumer needs is a new HD Radio receiver; the content is free. The radios are priced for everyone from under $100 from major mass-market retailers across the U.S. Virtually everyone can experience the crystal-clear digital sound on AM and FM as well as the broadcast-exclusive new FM channels'.
   Those under $100 models must really sound good. iBiquity seems to have left out the expensive $400 models. Just an oversight, I guess."

   And that's the part where he's being nice.
   Comment here.

09-22-07 Lotsa rumors about this ... but it looks like the controversial Bill O'Reilly radio show, heard in STL on KFTK, will be heard for at least one more year via syndicator Westwood One. His show has recently been picked up in San Francisco, Denver and Washington, DC and he's said to have signed a one-year extension rather than a wholly new contract. There have been some business problems rumored at WW1 and word is that O'Reilly's show would have just moved to FoxRadio if WW1 had actually bailed. Comment here.
09-22-07 From the desk of Mark Edwards ... new Y-guys (well, Y-gals, but that doesn't rhyme):
   It's my great pleasure to welcome two new part time Air Personalities to the staff of Y98.
   Elaine Everett joins us as part of her distinguished career, most notably over four years co-hosting mornings at WIL. After a stint in Columbus, Ohio, Elaine is back home and will make a great addition to the Y98 family.
   Jennifer Sparks has recovered from working with a certain high profile morning personality in town and is ready to take to the airwaves, and we are very fortunate that she'll be doing it at Y98. Like Elaine, Jennifer is known to St. Louis listeners and I know she will sound incredible and relateable to the Y98 audience.
   We have been very fortunate to attract high profile personalities like Elaine and Jennifer for Y98, as well as David Craig and Maria Keena on KEZK. All of these people, as well as our existing part timers, are important members of the team and will make our stations sound great on the weekends or when full timers are off.
   Elaine and Jennifer will be in the station to train over the next week or so and should be on the air by October 1. You're going to love listening to them!
   Mark Edwards, Director Of Programming
   Soft Rock 102.5 KEZK -- KYKY, Y98
   CBS Radio St. Louis

   Comment here.

09-21-07 Dan Rather on Larry King Thursday evening ... Dan's suing his former employer, CBS, for $70million for what amounts to wrongful dismissal, and CNN's star softball pitcher allowed him the airtime to make his case.
   Rather says that "Big Corporations" screwed him out of his gig as CBS anchorman after he presented arguably phony documents regarding President Bush's military record as truth.
   Even when presented with co-worker's statements (Mike Wallace, for example, saying he should have resigned then and there), Rather continued to be defensive about his work.
   The rest of the journalistic world has moved on, accepting the fact that Rather was let go at the end of his contract. There's no employer responsibility to renew a deal and so Mr. Rather was simply let go at the end of his term after an embarassing episode.
   It's not personal, it's just business.
   Dan, 75, just looked sad and confused during the King interview. This was an unhappy cap to his career. Whoever allowed or suggested he make this appearance should be taken out back and beaten unmercifully.
   Even Larry King seemed to view Rather's position as questionable.
   Comment here.

09-21-07 Regarding Laura Ingraham ... the syndicated talk show hostette and best-selling author will bring her national Power To The People book-signing tour to the Kemp Auto Museum on Moday, September 24th. The book is currently #1 on the NYT bestseller list. Her appearance is sponsored by Emmis' KFTK.
09-21-07 What's wrong with this picture? ... An unproven technology with glaring faults is being used by a consolidator that has no idea of what radio is about to "improve" the product and radio and advertising trades are talking about it.
   Unfortunately, the trades are looking at this development in the worst possible wrong way.
   As part of its developing PPM strategy, Clear Channel Radio/Houston’s five FM stations has trimmed the number of commercial stop sets they do each hour from three to two "to increase our PPM numbers even more."
   Less Is More inventory minute limits remain in place, but stopsets will grow from a maximum of four minutes to five.
   So, no fewer spots, just more of them in a row. Haven't we been through this Purgatory before? Has no one given any thought to the fact that it might be the quality of the content between the tunes that gets listeners? Like air talent that have something relateable to say?
   Here's part of the memo (note the incomplete sentences):
   "Effective immediately, Clear Channel Houston Radio is moving from 3 stop sets per hour to 2 stop sets per hour. In order to increase our PPM numbers even more. Below are more specifics. The great thing about PPM is we will see the benefits of this much more quickly than we were able with the old diary method.
   * PPM changes have brought on new opportunities for ratings growth. In order to get better ratings.
   * We are programming longer music sweeps and moving from 3 breaks to 2 per hour.
   * We are not adding minutes or units to any hour.
   * Research with PPM shows us that people are listening through the commercial breaks.
   * AM drive is not included in the changes -- it will remain the same.
   * It's only one more minute per break (was 4 min. max now 5 min. max).
   * Typically the stop set won't make it to 5 minutes, closer to 4.5.
   * We are reducing station promos to one minute per hour -- this means one more minute of content added to ALL dayparts.
   * This change takes place immediately on all 5 FM stations. The AM stations are not affected."

   Once again, the blind are leading the blind. It's sad when cousins marry and the offspring go on to manage radio stations. Comment here.

09-21-07 Broadcast radio seems to be doing just fine ... at least according to a study performed by American Media Services: 63% of adults listen to the radio one or more times a day; 74% say they turn on the radio when they get into their car; listening was strongest within the key age group of 25-34; only 11% say they listen to satellite radio; more music and fewer commercials would get people to listen to more radio. I have no idea who commissioned this study nor have I seen the questionnaire. Their website says they're an engineering and sales brokerage company and it hasn't been updated since 2006. Comment here.
09-21-07 Confusing sales presentations can work well ... Well, duh! This article, while it refers mostly to pitches made for consumer products, is also easily transferrable to pitches made to ad clients. Pay attention when they refer to the DTR technique. Caveat emptor, as those Roman kids say. But don't say it too loudly. Comment here.
09-20-07 Mel's whining again ... from Inside Radio:
   Mel tells labels - If terrestrial doesn't pay, neither should we
    Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin is locked in a tough royalty negotiation with the record labels' collection agency, SoundExchange, over its royalties. Karmazin says "terrestrial radio doesn't pay anything, and our view is we compete with terrestrial radio and we shouldn't have to pay [them] any money either." The current estimate is that satellite radio pays 2% to 3% of its revenues to the record industry.
   SatRad should pay EXACTLY the same fees to the relevant rights and copyright authorities as TerRad. They established themselves as the then-primary competitors to broadcast radio, right? Why shouldn't they play on the same field and by the same rules? Comment here.

09-20-07 Speaking of Don Wolff's Jazz Show ... (as we did below) after a number of conversations with insiders and outsiders at KMOX, I think I've got a pretty good idea of what the replacement program will be...and who might be hosting it. The new show is likely as not going to also involve a "specialty" music format and will include a familiar music radio name. We'll see in a week and change, huh?
09-20-07 Will KTRS ever replace ... the two towers they lost in that storm a couple years ago? My guess is that they'll continue to extend the waiver they got for the altered night-time signal as long as they continue to air the Cardinal games. And why not? The two-tower signal is vastly better on the East Side than the four-tower directional array allowed; with most games broadcast at night, the revenue vs. legal fees to keep the waiver in place vs. potential fines is probably worth the gamble. Comment here.
09-20-07 Damn, damn, damn ... my outboard HD for the Main System shot craps a few days back. It contained all my data files, all my client work and billing, and all the backup multimedia files. That's why some stories have been delayed here and there's been no newsletter update in a couple days. It's now in the hands of God and our computer Wizard for data recovery.
09-20-07 Don Wolff to HEC-TV ... STLToday's Deb Peterson says that Wolff's I Love Jazz show, scheduled to end its long KMOX tenure at the end of the month, will resurface on cable, taped live in St. Louis jazz clubs. The show will also be streamed live on www.HECTV.org. There's no premiere date as yet. Comment here.
09-20-07 A while back we made the point ... here and on the STLMedia MB that the traditional 25-54 and 35-64 demographics were not realistic and hadn't been for years. Now along comes Bridge Ratings with a study that backs up our original point, but with a better set of new demos:
   Boomers: 1946-1964/ages 43-6
   Gen X: 1964-1976/ages 31-43
   Echo Boomers/Gen Y: 1989-1993/ages 13-21 and 22-31
   After all, what's the sense in marketing a product to a demo that includes not only me and Mrs. A, but our children as well? While we have a lot more in common with them than just DNA, our product and lifestyle preferences diverge substantially. Read the article and carefully view the charts; they say a lot of things that should be considered by sales and programming types.
   Comment here.

09-20-07 Best sales idea of the year ... 2007 marks the 100th anniversary of the Kirkwood-Webster Groves Thanksgiving football matchup, and KMOX is going to air it as their STL Superbowl, giving it the full promotional Monty. The station has locked in both schools and I understand that Costas and Buck were both approached for play-by-play, but had other, national, commitments. This is local radio service at it's very best...how did the local "sports" stations manage to miss this opportunity? Comment here.
09-20-07 Great STLMedia Monthly Meeting at Reynolds ... some old friends, some new friends, and some who "weren't there." We'll do it again, third Thursday in October.
09-20-07 Bill Clevlen in auto accident ... it happened earlier this week, Bill's okay but shaken. He says he'll be just fine for his Variety Show this weekend at the History Museum.
09-19-07 Summer '07 Phase 2 12+ ... posted on the STLMedia MB. Read 'em and comment here.
09-18-07 The least liked woman ever in STLRadio ... has to have been Francene Cucinello.
    An avowed man-hater with a voice like fingernails on a chalkboard, she annoyed everyone who ever heard her on the air. Francene managed, while she was here, to ruin the careers of several of her male co-workers with baseless accusations and helped drive Darrell Ankarlo, who helped get her to STL, out of town.
   These days, she's holding listeners of ClearChannel's WHAS/Louisville hostage, probably because CC's too afraid of what she might bring to pass if they tried to get rid of her. I'd rather that they be stuck with her than us; my biggest memory of this chick was when I spent an afternoon taking photos of her for the station website.
   After I asked her to stop touching me (and you know I'm no prize), I mentioned that I was not a fan of some female singer. She snottily said that I must not like strong women.
   I told her that she must never have met Mrs. A, who could kick her butt back to the Stone Age, physically and intellectually. Shut right up, she did.
   Here's her latest net appearance, and it's no surprise that she's still trolling for a man and still showing off her cleavage.
   Comment here.

09-18-07 Unlicensed stations haven't been much of a problem in STLRadio ... and I don't understand why there haven't been more reports of pirates, or even of a few legal Part 15 low-powers. What with the burgeoning Bosnian and Latino populations here, I'm truly surprised that some enterprising immigrant or group hasn't spent the few grand necessary to play their music and talk their talk, splattered across three or four adjacent channels, engineered as badly as most self-respecting/law-flouting pirates would. Heard one? Report them to the FCC here and/or add to the Message Board merriment: comment here.
09-18-07 A coupla sales-assistant-type gigs up for grabs ... with NationalCableCommunications: One is for a sales coordinator, and the other is for a planner/management coordinator. Interested? Resumes to susan_krakow@spotcable.com right now.
09-17-07 I wish this was not happening ... and personal politics and relationships notwithstanding, K-HITS/Fox2's JC Corcoran's on-air screed and email exchange with an STL Battalion Fire Chief about whether or not we should discontinue rememberances of the 9/11 attack was way out of line.
   I've been forwarded copies of the relevant emails and it seems to me that the attitude and language of Corcoran's response was, to say the least, excessive. I didn't hear his on-air response, although that has been described to me as "over the top."
   After reading the email exchange, that's the least I can say about it.
   I've known Corcoran for more than thirty years and he's always been "edgy"...but this is an unforgiveable transgression.
   The tragedy of 9/11 can never be dismissed, nor can the cost in human lives, just as you would never dismiss the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
   That day will always live as The Day Of Infamy. 9/11 joins it historically.
   Corcoran owes the Fire Chief and all of us an apology. But I don't think we'll get it.
   And neither John Beck nor Rick Balis have the balls or inclination to force an apology from him. Neither of these two wusses understand the concept of market service.
   Which is why my dog can herd cattle and neither of them can play poker without a cheat sheet. Asshats.
   Comment here.

09-15-07 State of the STLMedia Dogs, 2007 ... Read it (photos of Tasha coming) and then, if you care, comment here.
09-15-07 Why HDRadio is a failure in the US ... Simply put, "it's the content, stupid!" All those extra FM channels could be loaded with compelling, interesting, audience-grabbing content. But they're not. The BBC seems to be doing it right, and digital radio sales in Britain are hitting nearly 6 million as a result. In the US? A few hundred thousand. The other side of the issue, of course, is that this is a technology that nobody asked for and nobody really wants. Maybe they would if there was something good to listen to on it. Probably, it's too late. Comment here.
09-15-07 FCC complicit in destroying small businesses ... from MediaPost:
   FCC Digital Rules May Shut Down Small Cable Companies
   The American Cable Association, which represents small cable operators, said the FCC's recent decision ruling that cable systems carry all broadcasters' digital and analog signals means "some very small systems will have no choice but to shut down. Their small subscriber bases cannot support the costly equipment mandated by this order," according to a statement by Matthew Polka, president and CEO of the ACA.
   The ACA said the extra labor costs and equipment could exceed $150,000 for systems. All that would mean a decrease--if not abandonment--of the growing broadband, video and voice services cable needed to be competitive.

   Comment here.

09-14-07 Dingo descendant now in residence at STLMedia HQ ...
   Mrs. A (on vacation) and I spent part of Wednesday and Thursday on the "Add-a-dog-to-the-Andersons'-Home" project. It appears success has been achieved, thanks to these guys at Boone's Crossing.
   Her name is Tasha, she's 2 1/2 years old, part Australian Cattle Dog (the rest came from a very good family), and doesn't bark.
   I can see the sign on the fence now: Beware of the dingo...she may eat your babies!
   Yes, our dogs are always interesting (but they never hardly ever eat babies); story and photos over the weekend.

09-14-07 AM radio went HD 24/7 at 12M 09-13 ... from InsideRadio:
   When the clock strikes 12 midnight the FCC will allow AM stations across the country to turn on their HD signals after dark. Until now the 226 AM stations broadcasting in HD have had to switch back to analog at night. Also starting tonight are new rules requiring FM HD-2 multicasts to begin airing EAS alerts.
   Does this mean that iBiquity's genius engineers have found a way to made directional AM's HD? I can't find anything that confirms this...
   It also means that AM dx'ing is over, what with the diminished signals that HDRadio creates. Thanks, iBiquity, for destroying it all.
   Comment here.

09-14-07 Secret Squirrel has been covering for me ... while Mrs. A and I did the new dog happy dance and quietly celebrated my 59th 29th birthday for the 30th time. SS found this nugget in R&R: Eric Schmidt moves across the hall -- and to the other side of the clock -- as he goes from nights at Bonneville Adult Hits WARH (106.5 The Arch)/St. Louis to co-host mornings at Rhythmic AC clustercousin WMVN (MOViN 101.1) alongside Steph Duran. Back at The Arch, overnight dude Chuck Dee temporarily moves into Schmidt's old night shift, while weekend overnight jock Andrew Eads is filling in on overnights. Comment here.
09-13-07 From the email ...
   A friend of mine is inquiring about the Glenn Frey “The Heat Is On” song that had St. Louis Cardinals “bites” in it. Do you have any idea where I could obtain a clean copy of it? Mp3 format is perfectly fine.
   If memory serves me correctly, this was produced by Casey Van Allen, who visits here occasionally. Casey, if you'd email me a copy "in the clear" I'd be happy to forward it.
   UPDATE: Within 12 hours of posting this I forwarded a copy to the requestor. You guys rock!

09-13-07 From the email ...
   Hi, Mike...There is an event in the works for a reunion of KCOU staff members who were at Mizzou in the 70's. Basically, a group of us have contacted the station and are planning a "take over" on Saturday, October 27 at KCOU in Columbia.
   We are going to play actual vinyl records on turntables and show the kids how radio should be done There will be round table discussions involving those of us who were there in the 70's and lots of reminiscing and tall tales.
   We want to get as many people involved as possible who were there during the "glory days".
   Sincerely...Sherri Schott Volkerding

09-12-07 CBS still dragging legal feet ...
   from The HollywoodReporter:
   The broadcaster is challenging a $550,000 fine issued by the FCC. The two sides offered arguments before three federal appeals judges who must decide whether the brief glimpse of Jackson's barely covered breast was indecent, or merely a fleeting and accidental glitch that shouldn't be punished.
   From InsideRadio: CBS argues the FCC has hurt creativity
   "The FCC's new zero-tolerance policy has already had a chilling effect on the broadcast industry" CBS attorney Robert Corn-Revere argued Tuesday before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
    Good grief. This happened, when, in 1865? Pay the fine and get on with it, CBS. And a chilling effect on creativity because the net allowed (and you know they did; it was no accident) a nipple to show or some moron to drop the f-bomb on an award show? Horsehockey. That hasn't been considered "creative" since Lenny Bruce.
   Pay it or I'll sic my dingo (see above) on you!
   Comment here.

09-11-07 Secret Squirrel says this makes him raff ...
   Big rumor around KMOV/4 is that Deanne Lane is coming over to replace Donna Savarese. Why she'd want to do that is anyone's guess...but it's a pretty strong rumor (from management).
   No disrespect to Ms. Savarese, but I've never really considered her more than a second-stringer on KMOV/4. She was okay on the air there, but not ever Big Talent. Elsewhere she might be a star.
   It's hard to imagine that Deanne would be tapped as her replacement. But KSDK/5 unceremoniously kicked Karen Foss to the curb and maybe Ms. Lane sees the writing on the wall.
   Contract renewal coming up? There's certainly going to be a non-compete involved and Deanne wouldn't be on KMOV/4 until 2008.
   As Omar Khayam said, "The moving finger writes and, having given the finger, moves on." Or something like that. Comment here.

09-11-07 Terry Fox's 9/11 mix ... Foxman took news sound bites (remember when we called them "actualities"?) and mixed them with a LeAnn Rimes song; it's a moving and very emotional piece of work. Download it here.
   Play it as often as you can; if your PD complains, tell him/her I think he/she's a damned commie and that I haven't killed anyone since 1969 but I would be willing to break my streak of non-violence. That should work.

09-10-07 The 9/11 6th Anniversary ... is tomorow. If you're planning a look back at that awful day, here's a page worth of show prep.
09-10-07 That whole Web2.0 freebie thing ... Ismael Ghalimi, the organizer of the Office 2.0 conference, is serious about living the Web 2.0 dream, except for a browser. Here are the browser-dependent online apps he uses day in and day out. Hey, free is good. Let us know how this works out for you. Comment here.
09-10-07 A world without Bruce Williams ... I can only hope, having hosted him for a personal appearance in the '80's. What an embarassing evening that was! Williams hasn't been heard in STL for years.
   From InsideRadio:
   Bruce Williams has the longest-running show in radio - 27 years. But his contract with TalkRadio Network ends 10/17 and the two sides have yet to agree on a new deal.
   Williams says "I don't want it to end - I want to continue doing this." TRN says it's confident they'll come to an agreement and keep Williams on the air "for as many years as he wishes to continue to broadcast."
Comment here.

09-09-07 But no radio or TV ads ... yet: a federal court has ruled that Nevada's licensed bordellos can advertise in counties such as Clark and Washoe, where prostitution is illegal. Earlier this summer, U.S. District Judge James Mahan ruled that state laws barring such ads were "overly broad"...now, that's comedy gold! Comment here.
09-09-07 Great Plains Radio Symposium ... Friday, 21 September in the K-State Union, Kansas State University, Manhattan KS. Presentations by Richard Fatherley, Ted Cramer, Dr. Mark Smith, Frank Absher, Dr. David McFarland and others. All interested are welcome to attend. Email Dr. McFarland for info.
09-09-07 Old dog hero alert ... Last Wednesday's Tonight Show Jaywalking episode featured Leno knocking on doors asking folks to imitate videos of hit songs. According to AllAccess, one of the doors was answered by legendary RKO Radio VP/Programming Paul Drew.
   Joel Denver writes: The segment was drop-dead hilarious for those in the industry who were lucky enough to catch him mimicking MIMS "This Is Why I'm Hot." If you know Paul, then you know it was way out of character for him, but he pulled it off like the pro that he is.

09-09-07 Media vet John Gorman ... one of the few remaining truly wise men in the business, has a lot to say about the role the NAB should have been playing as an advocate for member stations for all these years...and has not. Can you say betrayal? Comment here.
09-09-07 iBiquity is so freakin' eager ... to make their HDRadio fraud a hit that they've insinuated themselves into the iPod/music download deal, making it unnecessarily complicated.
   From InsideRadio: After 18 months of behind-the-scenes development, iBiquity and Apple have connected radio to the iPod. It comes as Polk Audio releases the next generation of its I-Sonic and the JBL iHD receivers.
   With this device, listeners can "tag" songs they hear then buy the song via iTunes. Several groups have already struck licensing deals with Apple. Is this the technology breakthrough radio has been looking for?

   Of course, iBiquity has already announced that HDRadio clients who want to make this happen will have to include a new piece of gear into their existing audio chain or upgrade existing software; the cost for this has not yet been fully explained.
   I call a resounding shenanigans here.
   If Steve Jobs had wanted HDRadio to truly be an iPod element, it would have been included as a radio receiver in the new generation of iPod players. You HDRadio guys are gonna get hosed again, at a whole new level, and I do not understand why you don't just give it up and write off the whole HD thing as a failed experiment.
   Until one point it'll be tax deductible as a loss; but eventually it'll be tough to write off stupidity on your corporate return.
   How many Christmases do you have to wait through to understand that listeners don't want this? Comment here.

09-09-07 Network news wars ... on 8/27, MSNBC slammed CNN's three-part special God's Warriors, saying that Christine Amanpour "avoided getting bogged down in objectivity." Friday, ABC took on NBC's Dateline sexual predator series. Whew! There goes the gentlemen's agreement that has held such commenting at bay for fifty years. What could this lead to? Comment here.
09-09-07 The 13th annual Bill Clevlen Variety Show ... is comin' up Saturday, 22 September, 7:30PM at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. Tickets are available free of charge while they last at the MO History Musuem Box Office. This years guests include: Cliff St. James (aka Corky The Clown), and jazz musician Tim Cunningham.
09-08-07 As if that wasn't enough grief for one day ... Friday morning about 10AM there was a sudden, loud crack out back.
   Cable went out and I presumed a random hit of lightning or an accident had done some damage somewehere. No wind, no rain, no sirens...but in the backyard, an enormous chunk of oak tree lay on the patio, having missed the house by maybe two feet.
   It had to have been thirty feet long, two or three 5-6" main branches that had rotted at the trunk and brought lots of foilage along for the ride.
   The cleanup guys said it was probably 350-400 pounds of lumber and fell from about 40 feet up. If it'd hit the house it would have taken out the kitchen.
   I'm hoping this weekend's weirdness is finished.

09-08-07 Our sincerest thanks ... to the "pack" of friends and readers who've sent notes of consolation about our family's loss yesterday. Thanks so much...your kind words make all of this easier for me and Mrs A.
09-07-07 Today our beloved BoyDog went to his Rest ... He was 14 and had been part of our family since his adoption in 2000. When Lucy died in April, I made a promise to Boy that he'd be the "only dog" here for the rest of his life (Lucy bossed Boy around unmercifully). Tonight there will be no dog sleeping at the foot of our bed for the first time in 21 years. And, yes, I'm a wreck.
09-06-07 Joe Sonderman's Yesterday St. Louis ... is available exclusively here. Joe's a long-time STL radio personality, historian and a published author. Use the info he's researched on everything St. Louis day-by-day to enhance your content...for free! Or maybe with just a little thanks...
09-05-07 Matt Drudge's Sunday KFTK show ends 9/30 ... Trades, including Tom Taylor and Brian Maloney's RadioEqualizer, are saying that the show, which landed at Premiere after a fitful start at ABC, will be replaced by Bill Cunningham, on WLW/Cincinnati since 1983. Cunningham's weekday show on WLW will continue, as will his criminal law practice. Comment here.
09-05-07 They're not only watching Pentagon computers ... from OnlineMediaDaily:
    Authorities in Beijing announced that two virtual police officers would soon begin visible patrols on Chinese Web sites--avatars will pop up every half hour to remind surfers that their online activities are being watched.
   According to the China Daily newspaper, the 'Beijing Internet Police' will look out for Web sites and Internet activities that "incite secession, promote superstition, gambling, fraud and pornography." The cyber cops will appear on sites hosted by 13 Beijing-based major Web portals, with expansion to all city Internet sites by the end of the year.
   The avatars (named "Jing" and "Cha," after the two characters that make up the Chinese word for "police") first appeared on portals based out of the southern city of Shenzhen last year, according to the newspaper.

   Comment here.

09-05-07 Gardner Advertising's last gasps ... from MediaDailyNews: In what appears to be the end of a media buying era, Omnicom has closed the St. Louis offices of PHD, once the largest media buying shop in the market, and the home of one of Madison Avenue's best known media services organizations, Advanswers, which bought Gardner in 1989. Comment here.
09-05-07 Newspaper Q2 revenues ... from MediaDailyNews:
   Newspapers reported an 8.6% decline in overall advertising revenue to $11.3 billion. Online revenues were a bright spot, posting 19.3% growth for a total $796 million. But it couldn't offset a 10.2% decline in print ad revenue, to $10.5 billion. Biggest hits were in classified, which sank 16.4% compared to the same quarter in 2006. Classifieds account for about one-third of total revenues.
   By category, real estate fell 20.7%, to $966.8 million; automotive fell 19.3%, to $756.2 million; and job recruitment fell 18.5%, to $995.4 million.
   Comment here.

09-04-07 RadioBill ...
   Here's a locally programmed internet music and talk channel run by someone who doesn't care about industry awards, trade magazine accolades or jamming up employees.
   Imagine that!
09-04-07 Jonnie King's website officially debuts ...
   Longtime STLRadio personality Jonnie King has launched an impressive multi-media website at www.thewwbc.net.
   The site includes interviews with some custom car greats and a tasty audio snack in Jonnie's Breakfast Serial area.
   In addition, King celebrates his 40th anniversary in broadcasting (10 September 2007) by announcing his participation in "Young" Bill Clevlen's recently launched internet channel.
   From Jonnie: "As I celebrate my 40th Anniversary in broadcasting, I sincerely thank each and everyone that has made my "dream come true". Without you being there to listen, there would have been no need for me...and I thank you from the bottom of my heart."
   Comment here.

09-03-07 The World's Largest Non-scheduled Airline ... that was the comic name given to the STL-based Ozark Airlines, for their pilots' occasional decisions to not fly into or through bad weather. Works for me. Ozark was sold to TWA in 1986 and the regional brand became history. The annual reunion of former Ozark employees happens this year on 8 September (next Saturday) at Smartt Field in St. Charles County. The public is invited.
09-03-07 Thanks to Frank Absher ...for sending this along from ClaudeHall.com:
   Bill Mouzis, Los Angeles, KHJ engineer, now 85 years old, still has copies to sell of a two-CD highlights version of the historic 48-hour "History of Rock and Roll" special produced by Ron Jacobs and narrated by the late Robert W. Morgan. Proceeds go to charity. Copies of the CD set are still available here. Or call 808-247-9090.
   Minimum donation of $40...it's worth it for a two-and-a-half-hour sampler! If you've never heard it, this work, along with Fantasy Park, was one of the two greatest syndicated shows ever. I've ordered mine, and I can't wait.
   And, by the way, why has there not been a new Fantasy Park? Whatever happened to imagination?

09-03-07 Fred Thompson for President ...may be causing problems (RR) for cable affiliates:
   TV stations that air "Law & Order" reruns - or any episodes in the "L&O" franchise that Thompson appeared in -- would need to keep a time track of his on-air appearances. They would have to give his competitors equal time -- and, according to FCC rules on TV political advertising, at the lowest possible price. That could create a gold rush for other candidates looking for their comparable spotlight.
   Comment here.

09-03-07 Ruh-roh ... them danged InterTubes is costing you money! From MediaDailyNews: INTERNET AD REVENUES ARE SET to pass radio's for the first time, according to eMarketer, a firm that tracks and analyzes spending trends across various media. EMarketer is pegging Internet ad spending at $21.7 billion, compared to $20.4 billion for radio. Comment here.
08-31-07 Who makes a million bucks a year? ... RadioInfo's Tom Taylor has some guesses on local radio salaries nationwide, but misses the local boy who really earns the loot by a mile:
    Angelo Cataldi at WIP Philadelphia
    Boomer Esiason at WFAN NYC
    Scott Shannon at WPLJ NYC
    Ryan Seacrest at KIIS-FM LA
    John Lander at WBMX Boston
    Kevin & Bean at KROQ-FM LA
    Dick Purtan at WOMC Detroit
    Eddie and Jobo at B96 Chicago
    Spike O'Dell at WGN Chicago
    Eric Ferguson at WTMX Chicago
    Jonathan Brandmeier at WLUP Chicago
    Mike North at WSCR at Chicago
    Steve Dahl at WCKG at Chicago
    Roe Conn at WLS at Chicago

08-31-07 Clicker killer ... I know it's a ManThing, using a remote to move quickly from one media event to another, but while I was testing the new audio on the Back System last evening, using Randy Raley's Top40 Jukebox as a subject, I discovered something interesting.
   I never listen to all of a song, just enough to go "Yeah!" and then I move on (and that drives Mrs. A nuts when we're in the RedRide).
   Randy's site lets me do that for a few songs but then tells me I have to listen to at least one all the way through. Female software? Or is Mr. Raley just too damned sensitive? He is now in sales, after all...

08-31-07 The NFL tries to repair their bad-news image ... from the NYT:
   The past year has brought plenty for the league to want to neutralize. The news coverage of professional football has read more like a police blotter. This week, Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons pleaded guilty to a federal felony charge of conspiracy stemming from a dog-fighting kennel, while Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears was charged with leaving the scene of an accident after crashing his Lamborghini sports car.
    Sports in general has had a rough time in the past few years in the US. The word "thuggery" is applied to many player activities on and off the field.
   There's the NBA ref charged with making calls to benefit gamblers, the obvious use of performance enhancing drugs across the board (including the deaths of dozens of "pro" wrestlers and the shamefully drug-enhanced run at Hank Aaron's HR record by Barry Bonds), and now come accusations of cheating in golf and tennis, the two most whitebread sports of all.
    Games. We're talking about games here. Two things come to mind: the education (both scholastically and morally) of the players coming into the Games, and Gambling.
   Neither could exist without one twisting within the other.
   We'll never get rid of Gambling; we can, though, change the educational and moral requirements for both student and professional players, and it's about damned time to get that underway. Comment here.

08-31-07 Amazing ... A news agency reports on a news agency dumping a news agency. Bloomberg reports that CNN drops Reuters, ostensibly to cut costs and reinvest the loot in their own network. Might it have anything to do with the fact that Reuters is no longer reliable as source to Western news agencies? Just sayin'... Comment here.
08-31-07 NPR loves commercial radio ... well, of course they do. The less attention commercial radio stations pay to their local markets, especially the news they once were required to report, the more's the opportunity for NPR stations to pick up local listeners.
   From InsideRadio: NPR chief says commercial radio helps them
   Ken Stern says "part of public radio's success in the last decade" comes from the fact NPR stations are "getting better" at news and "commercial radio has vacated that space." He says "NPR's one of the few national news organizations still investing in news." Stern tells the Seattle Post-Intelligencer they do share a common issue with for-profit radio - they're trying to figure out the best way to use HD Radio to reach younger listeners.
   That last statement is their biggest mistake: younger listeners don't care about radio, HD or otherwise. When will broadcasters get that?
   Comment here.

08-31-07 Is it just my imagination ... or have more folks been taking their Summer vacation in August in the past few years? I really don't remember business news in any industry being as dead as it's been in this month in recent years. Granted, Mrs. A and I don't take official vacations, grabbing time off as we can, because, even at our advanced ages, we still really enjoy working. But still...isn't August the official month off for France? Is there some international thing going on here that I'm missing?
   Comment here.

08-30-07 I once had plans of setting up a small audio studio ... here in the office. Bought mics and stands, cables, a mixer, amps, etc., the whole shebang.
    Frankly, time outran my skill and patience and all of the gear has been placed for sale on the STL CraigsList. More electronics will go up as I get it set up for sale. Check in there for some pretty good bargains...I even deliver!
   I can still do high-quality voice recording as required by clients, but what I'm now concentrating on is transferring my remaining LP's to MP3 files, using the Ion USB TT. (I've had it in the office for months and just got around to plugging it in...works like a champ.)
    I've added a Logitech Z-4I speaker system to the Toshiba laptop on the back desk to monitor, along with a Belkin 7-port USB hub because there'll be a lot going on back there. I guess that's why they call it Labor Day.
    We'll catch up with you next Tuesday, unless something important crosses our email before then.

08-29-07 This is the last STLCounty Fair & Air Show ... how do we know? Mark Edwards told us!
    Email to the KEZK/Y98 Staff from Mark Edwards:
    Sometimes information that is meant for you is NOT meant for our listeners. Any information that you might have seen or heard about the future of the County Fair And Air Show is for YOUR use and NOT for public consumption. It was clearly presented to you that way in the past, but evidently one or more of our Air Personalities have mentioned it on the air, causing a great deal of distress amongst the people who run the event.
    UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE YOU TO MENTION THAT THIS IS THE LAST COUNTY FAIR AND AIR SHOW. THAT INFORMATION WAS PROVIDED AS BACKGROUND FOR YOU AND NOT FOR YOU TO USE ON THE AIR. WHEN REFERRING TO THIS EVENT, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT BEING THE LAST SHOW, THE LAST CHANCE TO SEE THE BLUE ANGLES, NOTHING ABOUT THE STATUS OF THE SHOW.
    The actions of one (and maybe more) Air Personality has put both our stations' relationship with this event in jeopardy and I now have to work with the organizers to repair the damage. Please do all of us a favor and not mention anything about the show other than what's in the studio for you to use and what you know about how much fun the show is for the whole family.
    I think I've made myself clear, but if you have any questions, please see me.
Mark Edwards, Director Of Programming
CBS Radio St. Louis
Soft Rock 102.5 KEZK KYKY, Y98
3100 Market Street St. Louis, MO 63103
(personal contact info redacted)

   Comment here.

08-29-07 Bruce Springsteen hates you ... and your little radio station, too.
   DeelyStan sends us this: Bruce Springsteen's first single from his new album "Magic" is called "Radio Nowhere". It is to radio what "57 Channels and Nothing On" was to TV. He seems to attack satellite radio as bland, pines for the days of DXing, decries voice tracking, asking if there is "anybody alive out there" and even seems to make reference to the train wreck in Minot ("searching for a mystery train") that was so badly handled by radio in that market.
   Attack radio and expect ANY airplay for that track or ANY other? Yeah Boss, lemme know how that's workin' for ya.
    You can download a good marginal quality mp3 (ymmv) at 128k here for one week (until 9/3) or here thereafter. Clearly, you shouldn't BUY it and support this kind of blasphemy.

   Comment here.

08-26-07 Dead trees, dinosaurs and Ozzie print ... A thirty-something Australian journalist reflects on the slowly dying print media there. From The Age: It is strange for me to be not quite 40 and already have memories and language that apply to working worlds that no longer exist (the afternoon newspaper being one example, seeing unsuccessful stories I'd written being thrust onto a metal spike is another.) Older journalists...must feel this disjuncture even more acutely. Comment here.
08-26-07 Former KTRS'er George Woods ... who is one of the busiest Old Dogs I know, has restarted Radio George, but this time with a twist. He's using the facilities of FineTune (as has Randy Railey on his blog) to develop a half-dozen music stations in formats George has found lacking in Kansas City. Woods, ever the entrepeneur, has even figured out a way to "monetize" the music! As George says: "Like my father used to say, 'Work with what ya got!'" Comment here.
08-26-07 We've all known this was coming for a while ... but here's Fox2's GM Spencer Koch's official KTVI Intranet note (abridged version):
"News Edge" at 10 PM, beginning Sunday, September 9th.
    Over the years, we recognized that viewers need to be served in many different areas, time being one of them. Our 9 PM News is serving the viewer who wants an earlier newscast. However, we also recognize that St. Louis viewers provide one of the highest viewing levels of prime time in the U.S. between 9 & 10 PM. In addition, a market like St. Louis deserves more than 2 stations providing news at 10 PM.
    In fact in the fall, the only station that has provided a 10 PM News on Sunday night is KMOV since KSDK has Sunday Night Football. For these reasons, we will be providing viewers with FOX 2 "News Edge". The "Edge" will be anchored by our current 6 PM Anchor, Sandy Miller.
    Sandy has great experience in anchoring Prime newscasts both here and at KPLR. She is well respected and well reflects the strong effort that will be provided to our viewers at 10 PM.
    John Brown will be anchoring our Friday Night 10 PM "News Edge". John is a native St. Louisan, most recently working at the Daily Buzz, a syndicated Morning Show since '04, and before that as an anchor at KSPR in Springfield, Missouri. John is an enthusiastic and engaging communicator and we are looking forward to having him join us.
    The tone of the newscast will center on hard news, news that viewers should know. Charles Jaco will be delivering strong, topical stories that will add to the "Edge". Dave and Martin will do weather and sports.
    The goal of the "Edge" is to give the viewers what they need and why they need it. It will serve as a strong counter to what is being seen on the competition.
    In addition the station will air "TMZ", an entertainment magazine based on the highly popular website. The growth of this site has been phenomenal and given the hunger for entertainment news it could be an interesting half hour.
    With FOX 2 "News Edge" at 10 PM and "TMZ" at 10:30 PM, we will be changing our viewers' sitcom habits. It will be challenging and, hopefully, rewarding to again offer first run programming in a highly competitive time period.
   
Comment here.

08-26-07 Web Users Ignore Ads (and Newspaper Users Don't?) ... by Henry Blodget, from AlleyInsider:
   Jakob Nielsen offers another eye-tracking analysis (via Don Day at Lost Remote) that confirms what most people have long assumed: web users gravitate toward content, not ads. Thus, to make your ads more effective, make them look more like content, etc.
   Such findings are usually cast as bad news for the online advertising industry--proof, finally, that it's just a sham, that the Internet is a terrible medium for advertising, that advertisers will soon come to their senses and rush back to...well, that's just it, where will they rush back to, exactly?
   What is less often mentioned in "web ads are ineffective" reports are the results of comparable eye-tracking studies for, say, newspapers.

   Comment here.

08-26-07 See Spot. See Spot run. ... Those damned political spots had better run! From the WaPo: The presidential election is 14 months away and with as many as 17 candidates now running, U.S. television and radio broadcasters are elated at the prospect of billions more in advertising dollars. Comment here.
Hey, Rocky!08-25-07 Hey, Rocky... Watch me pull a carbon credit out of my butt!
   From DerSpiegel:
   Norway's Moose Population is in Trouble for Belching
   Researchers in Norway claim that a grown moose can produce 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide a year -- equivalent to the CO2 output resulting from a 13,000 kilometer car journey. Norway is concerned that its national animal, the moose, is harming the climate by emitting an estimated 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide a year through its belching and farting.

08-25-07 Jules Riley named one of Bonneville's Best ... Jules programs The Arch and Movin'101 and has recently been honored by the company. Comment here.
08-25-07 Got a resume on Monster? Uh-oh... from Reuters:
   Monster.com waited five days to tell its users about a security breach that resulted in the theft of confidential information from some 1.3 million job seekers. Hackers broke into the U.S. online recruitment site's password-protected resume library using credentials that Monster Worldwide Inc said were stolen from its clients, in one of the biggest Internet security breaches in recent memory.
   This surely sucks. Comment here.

08-25-07 Katie Couric to the CBS Evening News was a bad idea ... But wait, that's not as bad as it gets! There's more! The KidNation thing seems to be an even worse problem; accusations of child abuse and general stupidity are involving the CBS Board. Would someone please provide Mr. Moonves a rope with which to hang himself? Comment here.
Sumner Redstone08-25-07 Something's been berry, berry good to Sumner...
   Sumner Redstone, the 84-year old CBS chairman shows no signs of slowing down or relinquishing control of the company.
   He credits an elixir with a cult-like following called MonaVie, made from the Brazilian açai berry.
   Redstone tells Fortune:
   "It's a miracle drug, I feel great. I know I look a lot younger than I am - I feel like I'm 40 years old."
   He's even looked at investing in the company.
   I'm buyin' me some o' dem berries and a 40 o' dat juice, yo.

08-24-07 Getting some whispers in the wind about a regional middle-management-type... using his/her moderate "disabilties" as an ADA-style excuse and shield for his/her bad behavior. The whispers seem to indicate that HR, management and ownership may be close to finding a way to resolve the problems with a promotion that will take him/her out of the direct people management loop. I'll keep ya posted.
08-24-07 A while back I wrote a brief opinion piece... that appeared, I believe, only on the MB, regarding the inanity of the 25-54 demographic. My contention was that the demo should really be split somewhere about 45; now, Bridge Ratings has presented the results of a nationwide survey of nearly 2600 Boomers that says essentially the same thing, but with a lot more words and pretty pictures. See how much wisdom you get here for free? Read it here and comment here.
08-24-07 Summer numbers Phase 1 published a couple days ago...
Comment here.

08-24-07 All Bran makes you poop ... and now we know that this is a good and funny thing.
08-23-07 The Man On Market Street has made some new hires ... and may have some more on the way. Secret Squirrel sniffed this out: David Craig and Maria Keena join KEZK to give the station "bench strength". We've seen some real interesting people coming through for interviews lately. Word is a couple of Y98 additions will be announced soon. Comment here.
08-23-07 T-shirt of the week ... From the email: Not fond of the color scheme, but a great message all the same! Thanks to "Joe Greenlight" for the link to this page...just $24, too! Cheap at twice the price!
08-23-07 I know that at least Matt Gordon will enjoy this ...
08-22-07 Sci-Fi fans ... I'm trying to track down a 70's or earlier story, probably a short story or a novella, that had humans as a purposely dying species, no solid food allowed, vitamin pills and water only. No more building, no brush trimming, no technology allowed. Very prescient. I believe I read it in a single-volume collection, one of those "best of the year" volumes. Any leads? Help me!
08-22-07 Wolff out at KMOX ... From Deb Petersen, STLToday:
   The latest ornament to fall off the KMOX radio family tree? Don Wolff. Wolff has been hosting the five-hour, Saturday night "I Love Jazz" show for nearly 15 years. The tradition of broadcasting jazz at the station on Saturday nights goes back 30 years. When contacted about the change, Wolff said, "I have enjoyed my long association with KMOX and I'm sad to be leaving." The last broadcast of the show is scheduled for Sept. 29. Wolff's two-hour program "Justice for All," which airs on Sunday evenings is slated to have its last airing on Sept. 30. Tim Dorsey of KTRS radio, are you reading this?
   And why shouldn't Dorsey go for it? After all, for the past ten-plus years, he's copied everything else KMOX has ever done.
   Comment here.

08-21-07 Newspaper front page PDF's ... Thanks to new friend Mike Kern for passing along this link that provides a look at newspaper front pages in the USA and around the world.
08-21-07 Yay for us! ... Here are the STL nominees for the R&R Convention 2007 Industry Achievement Awards:
   Country Personality/Show of the Year: Billy Greenwood, The Bull
   Alternative PD/OM of the Year: Tommy Mattern, The Point
   AC Station of the Year (Markets 1-25): KEZK
   AC PD/OM of the Year: Mark Edwards, KEZK
   Rock Station of the Year (Markets 1-50): KSHE
   Rock PD/OM of the Year: Rick Balis, KSHE
   Rock Personality/Show of the Year: John Ulett, KSHE
   Urban Personality/Show of the Year: Tony Scott, KMJM
   Comment here.

08-21-07 Fer God's sake ... When Don Imus made his "nappy headed ho's" comment, I said that he's likely as not done and ought to just fade away. Looks like, though, he's coming back, and now Al Sharpton has some advice for him, and some new rules to work by. Like Reverend Sharpton has never stepped across the line... Comment here.
08-21-07 Destroying the Corvair wasn't enough? ... Radio trades are reporting that Ralph Nader thinks lending cars to radio personalities is cheating.
   From InsideRadio: The consumer advocate says the FCC should investigate a national endorsement campaign using radio personalities. Nader says "it appears that content of the broadcasts may violate the sponsorship identification rules." The ad campaign features dozens of national and local personalities talking up General Motors cars and trucks. GM says it is "confident" they are not violating FCC rules.
   Well, no, it wouldn't be the manufacturer violating FCC rules, it'd be the owners/licensees of the stations. But why would a radio trade know that simple fact?
   The law is pretty simple: say that the car is loaned by (whomever) for promotional consideration and you're free and clear. How tough is that to understand?
   What, you've never driven a dealer car? Comment here.

08-20-07 Beginning in late September or early October ...STLMedia will offer daily downloads of published writer and market vet Joe Sonderman's STLHistory, in PDF format. Joe's been putting together STL history into a remarkable, one of a kind, day-by-day compilation for years, publishing two books along the way. Sonderman's agreed to make his entire collection of daily local history available exclusively at STLMedia.net.
08-20-07 STLRadio HOF Ballots ... If you're a voting member, you probably received your's midweek, last week. HOF admin Frank Absher asks that you vote and return your ballots soonest. Frank's overwhelmed with classwork and other issues. Your promptness is appreciated.
08-20-07 It's not just me ... check out this video...
08-20-07 On weather forecasting ...
    Meteorologists have, typically, a BS degree. And that alone should mean something.
    Most TV weatherpeople couldn't find the high temp for tomorrow with both hands tied behind them (to mix metaphors). But that's because the science is inexact and no pile of expensive electronic gear is going to make it any more exact.
    We've shown here in the last couple years, with commentary from viewers and real-time "blogging," just how inexact it can be: cold fronts roaring thru, unexpected snow, ice and thunderstorms.
    Even Hurricane Dean was off in the Jamaica prediction. As of Sunday morning, the eye was predicted to hit the island square on and it passed South. Yes, the storm caused great havoc, but not near what could have been. They'll be back in business by next week.
    There are simply too many variables for even the most educated, using the most sophisticated gear, to predict weather behavior accurately.
    Best they can do is yell, "Hey, there's a storm coming...maybe!"
    Do weatherpeople and resources/channels use scare tactics?
    You bet they do. Scary sells ads and they need the money. That's why the Weather Channel, for example, has signed on to the Anthropomorphic Global Climate Change issue.
    It gets viewers, and viewers mean money. They hired Heidi Cullen specifically for that reason and allowed her to go on with her "discredit all who do not believe" rant.
    Why do you think that nearly no weather forecasters in Red states advance Global Climate Change theories? Maybe because they know that their viewers are suspect of the issues?
    Ad dollars, kids...it's all about the ad dollars! And, yes, I'm a professional cynic. Do not try this at home.
    Now, back to your regularly scheduled hurricane watch...
   Comment here.

08-19-07 Why I had to kill a MB feature ... I sent this to Greg Render because he/she'd abused the MB:
   It would be a good idea to lay off the exalt/smite feature for a while. You're getting perilously close to abusing it and I'd hate to have to suspend you and/or drop the feature. Thanks for your cooperation.
   Greg Render responded:
   I heard you were a control freak, and that seems to be the case. By the time you've read this reply, I will have already deleted my account. Just keep telling yourself how important you are in "stlmedia" because you were a bit player on a show 10 years ago, and because of your recent prominent "media" role in shilling for a funeral home.
   I haven't read a funeral home spot in years. And it's been 15 years since I've been a radio "bit" player. Mr./Ms. Render is such a loser.
   Comment here.

08-19-07 Isn't this interesting ... dead-tree media and websites (blogs from the Wizards, tech newsletters, newspaper columns, magazine articles) are writing less and less about HDRadio and SatRad and more and more about the "sudden" availablity of devices that make it possible for you to connect to and distribute within your living space (we used to call them "homes") audio from the internet, including streams from your local radio stations...
   I've been telling you that this is the way of the future for years.
   America, here's your future: analog broadcast stations will remain in place and on the air and provide locally originated music, talk and emergency resources (keep those pesky old radios around, just like flashlights, with plenty of batteries for emergencies); most cars and homes will be listening to WiMax-originated streams. If the WiMax power goes out, drop the tech back to Analog AM and FM and stay in touch.
   Presuming you trust the station's local programming.
   Analog-WiMax radios will automatically make this transition, with no need for satellites or special radio frequency access, except for one...WiMax.
   Now, if those idiots at the RIAA/Copyright Board could only understand what a good deal they'll screw up by insisting on digital payments for such an arrangement... Comment here.

08-18-07 Lotta folks using Wikipedia as the ultimate reference ... and it looks like that might not be the best idea. Unauthorized changes may violate Wikipedia's conflict-of-interest guidelines, a spokeswoman for the site said on Thursday.
    Virgil has an interesting page of FAQ's. And, yes, he has a personal agenda, as well he should: he created the program.
    WikiScanner, developed by Virgil Griffith of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, allows users to track the source of computers used to make changes to the popular Internet encyclopedia where anyone can submit and edit entries.
   I've said for a long time that Wikipedia offers valid info on most non-controversial topics.
   But the best part of the wikibeast is that it's updateable, and that's a good thing for, probably, most entries.
   Unfortunately, it's also possible for almost anyone who wants to alter any page to achieve an agenda-driven result to do so.
   Not so good. Now you can see where corrections and alterations came from.
   WikiScanner makes this possible.
   Comment here.

08-18-07 Not too many university broadcasting programs ... have turned out as many grads (and non-grads) in respectable media positions as SIU-Carbondale. And they're about to celebrate the program's 50th anniversary during the week of 1 October 2007. They've set up a special email account for questions and registration. Or you can call 618-453-6950.
08-17-07 Thanks to friends and readers, old and new ... who showed up for the STLMedia August Morning Meeting yesterday. We'll do it again, on 13 September. Same time, same place (unless you have a better suggestion). Check back here for details.
08-16-07 Hard to believe that it was 30 years ago today ... that it was The Day Elvis Died. Bet you know where you were. I was doing afternoons at WTRX/Flint. My newsguy hurried the AP clip into the studio and I just looked at it, not believing what I read.
   A minute later I turned the station all-Elvis, took phone calls and we did the best memorial we could on the fly.
   Years later, when I was at KIX104, FOP, Terry Dailey and I did our morning show from the little strip mall across EP Boulevard from Graceland in horrible Memphis August heat and humidity. On our way out of town, we each recorded Teddy Bear in the EP Studio; you'll never hear my version.
   Comment here.

08-16-07 Is it just me ... or am I imagining things? It seems that network and newsnet weatherpeople are almost all cheering for hurricanes to hit the US coast. We've got a Tropical Storm coming in along the TX coast and another developing into a possible hurricane in the Carribean. Weathercasters seem almost breathless in their storm lust.
   Comment here.

08-15-07 St. Louis Black Talk Radio Is Disappearing ... STLRadio historian Frank Absher writes:
   Within weeks of each other, changes were announced at two St. Louis radio stations that will directly impact the area’s African-American listeners. WGNU, which provides several talk shows aimed at the minority audience, is being sold to BJD Enterprises, which also owns KXEN in St. Louis. WESL, which has served the minority audience for decades, has faded into the history books, with management renaming the station WFFX and plugging it in to the Fox Sports radio feed.
   Read it all and comment here.

08-15-07 106 degrees today ...even the grass was trying to get inside to cool off. I've done nothing for two days, and I'm not apologetic at all. Just thinking about one-hundred plus temps wears me out. Playing catchup now.
08-15-07 Radio One's WHHL/HOT104.1 ... has signed on to air The Rickey Smiley Show beginning August 27th. An actor and comedian, Smiley's show originates from sister Top-40/Rhythmic KBFB/Dallas.
   Please tell me that the graphic that says "I'm paying your child support" is a joke and not a real contest. DJ's Kaos and Silly AZ are now on 6-10PM. Comment here.

08-15-07 Ian the Peon ... board op, producer and long-running character on Frank O. Pinion's LMSITA on KTRS/AM550 has turned 30 and has launched his very own Message Board. Logon and comment here.
08-15-07 Lisa Marie sings with her Dad ... A new video of Lisa Marie Presley singing "In the Ghetto," accompanied by her late father, Elvis, will be posted Friday at Spinner. To mark the 30th anniversary of her father's death, her voice was added to the original version of Elvis' 1969 hit. Proceeds from the new song and video will be used to help build temporary housing for the homeless in New Orleans. Natalie Cole and Hank Williams Jr. have also done this "dead duet" thing, and, in my humble opinion, the audio was cool but the video results were kinda creepy. Comment here.
08-15-07 Radio format performance ... Arbitron's Spring report is out and here are some results: Contemporary Christian has the highest percent of in-car listening at 48.2%. But it's the Sports format that has the highest percentage of upper income ($75,000+) listeners with 49.6%. Talk is second at 45.7%. Which formats are most popular with college grads? Classical (63%) and Sports (45.2%). Read the rest here and then comment here.
08-15-07 Carl Icahn is buying Clear Channel stock ... and that could be a very meaningful signal to the radio industry. Icahn is famous for buying controlling interest in companies and then selling them off in chunks, as he did to TWA here, years ago. In his vision, the sum of the parts is always greater than the whole, kinda the same way a butcher sees a cow. Comment here.
08-14-07 CBS' Bill Plante has a Dan Rather/Sam Donaldson moment ...
   Yesterday, Plante blurted out "If he's so smart, why did you lose Congress?" after President Bush announced Karl Rove's departure.
   A DCMedia blog picked it up and a lot of folks in the biz were unhappy with his behavior.
   Plante responded: "The point is that reporters are not here as guests. We're here to ask questions. Why? Because if we were ever to agree to 'behave,' we'd be walking away from our First Amendment role - and then we really would be the shills we're so often accused of being."
   But is it too much to ask for polite behavior? I mean, like him or not, the guy is the President of the United States. Comment here.

08-14-07 Jennifer Sparks out at K-HITS ... Secret Squirrel opines: Budget cuts at Union Station. The position of K-HITS morning drive and afternoon drive traffic person has been eliminated meaning Jennifer Sparks will no longer be with Emmis St. Louis. Comment here.
08-13-07 Happy STLMedia Birthday ... to one of the "cool dudes," Jonnie King. He started in radio back when the transmitters were run by electrostatic generators powered by small animals running on tracks in cages. Jonnie's a friend I'm proud to have and a good guy to know. Hope to see him Thursday at Reynolds. Comment here.
08-13-07 To quote the snail knocking on the front door a year later ... What the hell was THAT all about? It didn't last long but it sure did some damage overnight. 60mph winds within (30+ clocked here at HQ), on-and-off power outs, knocked over bbq grills, frightened dogs and lotsa fallen lumber to clean up in the front and back yards come Monday. I had just shut the office down when it hit. Did I miss a newscast warning on this? Bad on me if so. Comment here.
08-12-07 Merv Griffin passed away over the weekend ... Never met the man, even though he owned the first radio station I worked for after getting out of the Army in 1971 (WMID/Atlantic City). Griffin would send along, every few weeks, a new 45 he had recorded and we would dutifully listen and then file it in the "potential hitbounds" area in the PD's office. Here's his obit.
08-11-07 I think she means before he was dead ... Mike, if you think any of your readers might be "dead" ringers for the Notorious B.I.G., they may want to submit an audition video, or two. You never know from where the next big Hollywood star will emerge. Mary M. Hey, we exist to serve!
08-10-07 Secret Squirrel's been sniffing around downtown again ... Rumor has it that the wonderful Donna Savarese will be departing KMOV Ch. 4 at the end of this month. Not clear if it is voluntary or if she was asked not to come back, but that is the news circulating around the newsroom. Comment here.
08-10-07 Former KTRS'er Jay Shadix lands primo gig ... from the email: Mike: Not that I didn't REALLY enjoy selling home theatre systems for the last two months or anything, but I have just accepted a job as Imaging Director for NewsTalk 710 KIRO & The Truth 770 KTTH in Seattle! I am hitting the road this morning and heading out West. Thank you for your help and support. Jay Shadix
08-09-07 Some bizarre things happening on the Main System's XPPro ... Looks like not all of the necessary operating files survived a software upgrade. I've been in touch with two of the three smartest 'puter people I know and I'll be running the Repair utility soonest. Until then, sorry to say, no STLMedia Newsletters will go out. Keep an eye on an emailbox near you for the next one (hopefully over the weekend).
08-09-07 Secret squirrel chews on copyright issues ... The squirrel chirps that Fox News is looking into copyright violations on the website of a former KTRS'er. Seems this nickel and dime kiddie soft-porn site is posting stories and images from the FNC and other websites, and not paying for the rights to stories, photographs or videos from any of them.
   Hey, Fox could sue, but this monkey owns nothing to lose (he's a renter).
   All Fox can do is shut him down and make him more of a victim than he already whines about being.
   Nobody really cares, unless you do. Comment here.

08-09-07 The trades are talking about this ...
   New site aggregates radio webcasts:
   A pair of New Jersey entrepreneurs have created a website that aggregates radio stations webcasts, and makes it easier for consumers to listen to radio online.
   Adam Savage and Dennis Patti say "Our goal was to create a simple Internet radio website that would allow people to listen live to AM and FM stations from across the nation." Unlike other sites - it's free and only features terrestrial radio stations.
   SnapFM.com has just launched and plans to begin a national ad campaign.

   I shut down one stream aggregator a few years back. I expect that this will disappear the same way.
   With serious DRM payments coming up, listeners from other-than-locally directed websites will not be welcome nor will operators be amused.
   Comment here.

08-09-07 New morning show at KFNS/590 ... But who really cares? Here's from Inside STL's MB:
   Here is the new morning show at KFNS. Brian McKenna, Joe Dinero and Sara Daley. Bob Fescoe, Barrett's hire and the guy who understood Barrett's gameplan for success, is out after 6 months. Bob will continue on at KFNS as the Rams reporter. Another Barrett hire and an Integral part of his gameplan for success on TMG was Evan Makovsky.
   Well, Makovsky is also off the morning show. Instead, he will now be the producer for Kevin Slaten and the Bottomline. I haven't heard, but I'm guessing Kevin's producer will move to the mornings, another Barrett hire, Ryan Huff.
   You know Ryan, the guy who asked "who's Cheryl Levick" when asked to book her as a guest. Jeff Vernetti and Jeff Gordon will buy the air time and take over McKenna's show from 10-midnight. The new morning show will start Aug 20th.

   Comment here.

08-08-07 Woo-hoo! A dozen new XM subscribers ... From AllAccess: XM SATELLITE RADIO announced the first FERRARI model to come with factory-installed XM and XM NAVTRAFFIC real-time information service. The FERRARI 612 SCAGLIETTI will come equipped with XM Radio and XM NavTraffic as standard features that will be incorporated into the vehicle's advanced audio and navigation system. FERRARI will include three years of XM Radio and XM NavTraffic service with each vehicle. Comment here.
08-08-07 A day without media is like ... well, a day without media. How would you do? From the WaPo: Could my students, in fact, survive "the grueling pain that was the 24-hour, e-media fast," as one self-described iPod and computer addict would later write in her paper? Comment here.
08-08-07 STLMedia fan at the Pentagon ... about a year ago, Mrs. A and I were invited to a dinner at the home of General Duncan McNabb, CG of Scott AFB's Air Mobility Command, to discuss the use of New Media in the AF's Press and PA efforts.
   Word came yesterday that General McNabb is on his way to take the Vice Chief of Staff/USAF position with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
   The Change of Command ceremony at Scott AFB is in the first week of September and, yes, we've been invited.
   Promotion protocol seems to be that the Vice Chief moves up to take over the top position in two years and he'd become one of four; knowing McNabb, it wouldn't surprise me to eventually see him as Chairman/JCS.
   So maybe in a few years he'll bring me in to advise President Thompson...
   I can always dream, right? Isn't it all about who ya know?
   Comment here.

08-08-07 Tom Calhoun to retire ... and live off his Hollywood-bound son! Okay, not quite, but the big news is that Tom and Barb Calhoun's son Stewart has been chosen for the lead in a production at the Theatre at Boston Court in Pasadena. Not quite Hollywood, but a damn sight closer than Belleville. Congrats to the Calhoun family! Read the rest and comment here.
08-07-07 I told you this wasn't going to work ... a little less than a year ago. From Mediaweek: After two years of building a full slate of live, female-targeted Talk programming, GreenStone Media is preparing to discontinue operations effective Aug. 17. Only about eight affiliates cleared the programming in mostly mid-size and smaller markets, hardly enough to sustain the network. Comment here.
08-06-07 Mrs. A handed me this box ... and asked for more staples. I looked and laughed. I "liberated" this box of staples from the supply room at the HQ 2nd Armored Division at Ft. Hood in 1971. Took us 36 years to go through all 5000 of them, apparently. Bet the next 5000 will cost more than a quarter...see ya at OfficeMax.
08-06-07 I've had the opportunity ... a couple of times to catch Dana Daniels on KMOX. Dana is a terrific air talent in any format: well-spoken, intelligent, versed in word economy. She sounds great on the air and was a great catch for Steve Moore. I hope he can keep her and use her more and more. Not for news; God knows we have enough news chicks, most of whom aren't worth the talcum powder to dust them off, but for real, serious, two-way, issue-oriented talk. She's a keeper. In fact, Dana's the TJ (talk jock) who should have been partnered with Jamie Allman on KFTK, not the insufferable Crane Durham. But the putz who chooses talent at Emmis went with old-school ties rather than skill. Comment here.
08-06-07 Fifteen years ago this month ... I was dismissed from my gig at KIX104 by Bill Viands and Tom Bradley. I was online then with Prodigy and Compuserve and learned quickly that I had committed suicide.
   The news of my demise was released by email and phone calls, and it quickly reached critical mass, rendering me unemployable until I was able to prove I was still alive. That took a while.
   I have since discovered who masterminded the falsehood of my death and, yes, it was one of the two mentioned above. This has gotta make you love the types the Zimmer Broadcasting hired, huh?
   The Zimmers operate a bunch of gas stations/convenience stores, last I heard. Or at least they should. Comment here.

08-06-07 My Brother, Rick ... who is much smarter and significantly more web-observant than me, sent along this link to some cool Popeye stuff.
   Obviously Rick ate his spinach (he's a college graduate with advanced degrees and everything); I did, too, but only under protest and with considerable salt and butter, which probably contributed to my 1996 heart attack and subsequent bypass work.
   Read why Popeye popped open all those cans and how his girlfriend got her name. Comment here.

08-06-07 Saddest TV commercial yet ... the "Viva Viagra" ad currently running just about everywhere. I'm sorry for the guys' physical issues and I commend their presumed marital fidelity. But the spot is absurd, embarassing and should have been "run thru the typewriter" a few more times before production...and then had the whole idea trashed. Comment here.
08-06-07 On using press releases as news sources ... How easy is it to just take an email and do a little localizing rewrite and plug it into a radio or tv newscast or a newspaper story? Apparently, way too easy. Radio and tv have too few real newswriters left to allow themselves to fall prey to this kind of thing, but it seems to happen way too often anyway. Is laziness the reason? Looks that way...laziness with an agenda, most likely. And aren't reporters supposed to work agenda-free? Comment here.
08-05-07 When I was a kid, our Father ... went out and brought home copies of the Philadelphia Bulletin and the New York Times every Sunday while the rest of us were at Mass at OLPH.
   Pop may have been agnostic, but he demanded his children become readers; my ten-year-older brother taught me to read when I was four.
   Thanks to Rick, I was into Bulfinch's Mythology before I was into Kindergarten.
   Back then, the NYT offered a cash reward if you were the first to find a misspelled word in one of their issues; today it's all too common and they couldn't afford to pay the finders.
   I just spent time going through STLToday and found a pack of them. And my daily news run, through a lot of papers and other media websites?
   Spelling and punctuation and grammatical errors abound. I know there's nothing I can do about it. But it's a damned shame nonetheless that copy editors no longer know the English language. Comment here.

08-05-07 Yeehaw! Welcome to August in STL! ...It is the heat! And it is the humidity! And why is Mr. Sun smiling? Bastard!
08-04-07Yo, Glenn ... is that a thermometer in your pocket or are you just glad to see Katherine McPhee?
08-03-07Richard Ward Fatherley ... on Talk Radio (21:00) Hit the play button and learn more than you ever thought you'd know.
08-03-07 Here we go again ... from STLToday:
   The Post-Dispatch on Thursday announced that it was offering early retirement packages to its employees. The offer includes up to a full year's salary for employees who are age 50 or older and have worked at the paper for at least 10 years. It is the second round of buyouts the Post-Dispatch has offered in the last two years.
   By this time next year, the guys who deliver the paper today will also be writing it, probably because there won't be any home deliveries left to make and they're the only guys left with any newspaper "experience."
   Comment here.

08-03-07 Word in the trade mags ... is that Twin Cities' radio stations went with wall-to-wall coverage of the I-35 bridge collapse, really showing their listeners what community service is all about. Broadcast radio is still the most accessible of all interactive media.
   Local tv is a great resource, of course, but by the time someone already on the scene has called a radio station on their cell phone and described the event, tv is still setting up and aligning sat signals and, well, you get the picture. Or not.
   Every radio listener with a cell phone is a potential reporter/interviewer and all you need to get event coverage happening is someone back at the station with a little news moxie to guide the callers through the process.
   Want ambient sound? Have 'em hold the phone up in the air for a minute and "roll tape." Even better, if they have a digital recorder (I carry an under-$100 Olympus almost everywhere), have 'em record it and, when they get to a computer, upload it to your newsroom/studio.
   Of course, make sure they know to upload pix from their phonecams and digital still and video cameras for your website, too.
   Just make sure you give out the phone number as often as you can. In fact, start giving out the phone number now, as in the old NewsTips days. It works for tv stations and the cable newsnets; why not for radio?
   If the PSB dumps into the River (God forbid) and your listeners are nearby...
   Comment here.

08-03-07 60's, 30's, 10's or BlipVerts? ... Well, way back, pricing 30's and 10's less than 60's was a good idea. It filled up the inventory, even at a reduced rate, on the idea that some money is better than no money.
   Now Cox Radio's CEO Bob Neil wonders if 30's are destroying radio's pricing power. He's quoted in trades saying the practice is teaching buyers they can get the same ratings point and pay 75% of a 60 second rate.
   Making matters worse, he says, it's allowed advertisers to take their savings and reinvest it - in other media. Unless, of course, it's reinvested in your website, thus ensuring yourself 100% of the buy.
   Fact is, a commercial unit is a commercial unit, and is perceived as a commercial by your listeners, whether it's a minute, a half-minute or less.
   It'd be smart to sell it as such. But that'll never happen.
   Comment here.

08-03-07 The Times regrets the error ... I bet they do. A friend sent me this New York Times "error correction" from 30 July 2007:
   An article on Thursday about the arraignment of three men in the shooting of two New York police officers, one of whom died, misstated the schedule set by a judge for a trial in the case. The trial is expected to begin by February, not by “Feb. 30.” The error occurred when an editor saw the symbol “— 30 —” typed at the bottom of the reporter’s article and combined it with the last word, “February.”
   The correction went on to explain that "— 30 —" meant the end of the article and not the date, and offered the history of the symbol.
   It's not unexpected to think that a young, inexperienced copy editor might not recognize an old copy symbol.
   It is, though, a little sad to know that someone at the NYT, at one time considered to be the paper of record in the United States, thinks there are thirty days in February.
   Comment here.

08-03-07 Everything old is new again ... I guess this is suddenly relevant because there's no one left in radio that remembers the controversy that has always swirled around this issue. Now it's important again because of PPM?
   In the August 3 issue of Radio & Records, smooth jazz format editor Carol Archer explains why the transition between commercials is as important as song-to-song: ‘Stacking’ Spots Becomes Relevant Art Form In PPM Era
   The article goes on to examine the ways that a Smooth Jazz station might load its spot clusters "in the days of PPM." It's a wonderful article, considers most of the artsy configurations and is mostly horsehockey.
   In my long-ago experience, there were these considerations:
   Remote reports:v First or last?
   Live spots: First or last?
   Length: Longest to shortest or shortest to longest?
   Production values: Most-produced to least or least-produced to most?
   Weather: Into or out of the spot cluster?
   PSA's: Into the spot cluster as part of the chatter or out of the weather, as in "...and 75 degrees at WXXX, reminding you..."
   Promos: Into the spot cluster as part of the chatter or out of the weather, as in "...and 75 degrees at WXXX, reminding you..."
   A PD I worked with developed a remarkable system, comparable to a Chinese restaurant menu, that solved the problem. I'll publish it sooner or later.
   Or maybe you had a better idea? Always willing to listen...
   Comment here.

08-02-07 18-34 and 25-54 Arbitron analysis ... read it here and then comment here.
08-02-07 Durham joins Allman on KFTK mornings ... From R&R: Emmis talk KFTK/St. Louis overnighter Crane Durham will join incumbent morning show host Jamie Allman for "Allman and Crane In The Morning," beginning August 6. Durham's vacated slot will be filled by syndicated talker Phil Hendrie.
   This is probably a bad idea. Allman's Bullmoose America/Angry Man personna has developed nicely since Smash took off for KLOU, and intellectually and conversationally leaves no room for someone like Durham.
   Crane comes across as a snoot, only parroting back what he's read online without adding the benefit of original thought. I can't imagine he'll add much to the show beyond "You're right, Jamie."
   Allman would be better served partnered with a token liberal, ala Alan Colmes, who would at least add some spark to the conversation.
   Besides, you shouldn't be allowed to do an issue-oriented talk show unless you can effectively argue both sides of a topic. Allman could do that, in most cases; Durham could not. Comment here.

08-02-07 Clevlen gets ink ... Okay, it ain't the New York Times. Or even the Suburban Journal. But ink is ink, and the JavaJournal's ink is as good as anyone's.
08-02-07 Back from spying on Iran, Secret Squirrel's been down at One Memorial Drive ...
   Morale is at an odd juncture at KMOV as their new News Director in from Tulsa, on the job for about a month, has made a series of moves that border on comical, reassigning reporters with what appears to be reckless abandon.
   Example: Lisa Manzo, who has functioned as the station's health reporter (arguably one of the most-important newsroom positions these days) since the departure of Al Wiman, has spent the last several years developing contacts, researching the local health industry and generally excelling in the job, has been inexplicably pulled off the beat and given a reassignment that includes "casinos and theme parks."
   Internal e-mail and private conversation inside KMOV's newsroom ranges from anger to disgust. Of particular note is the fact this gentleman has never held a position of this magnitude. Alan Cohen strikes again?

   Is Alan Cohen the Tim Dorsey of television? Comment here.

08-02-07 STLRadio vet Jack Rinne ... kicked off a Message Board topic regarding the very first song you ever played on the radio. This could get interesting...Jack and I show our doddering old age quickly. Do you ever really forget your first one? Comment here.
08-01-07 The I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis ... is consuming huge amounts of online bandwidth and hours of cable newsnets (not on broadcast nets, however). It's a gigantic story and the coverage is warranted. However...I've got money that Fox/2's 9PM tonight will lead with "Can it happen here?" and that KMOV and KSDK will follow suit with a similar story at 10PM. Betcha a roll of nickels I'm right... Comment here.
08-01-07 Other-than-STL-radio ... in Missouri? There are a lot of stations. You can read about what's happening "out-state" and comment here. This is a pretty nifty message board from Gary Leonard that could use your input and knowledge.
08-01-07 Keith Richards remembers ... something or other. AP reports:
    Rolling Stone Keith Richards is working on a memoir, the object of a multimillion dollar bidding war that will be published by Little, Brown and Company in 2010.
   The master riffer, partier and songwriting/sparring partner with Mick Jagger, received $7.3million for the book, according to an insider.
   Richards, 63, has been interviewed countless times, speaking candidly about his music, heroin addiction, and love life. An editor said that he has read samples from Richards' book, and found them "delicious."

   Keith, who has been presumed dead for two decades, had no comment.

08-01-07 The deal was struck yesterday ... Rupert Murdoch adds the Dow Jones empire, including the Wall Street Journal and Barron's, to his own empire. Presumably the Man from Oz will use the DJ resources to complement his coming Fox Financial Network. Murdoch paid the Bancroft's and their stockholders $5.6billion to own the best financial news brand in the world.
   Remarkably, the NYT also pacted yesterday with NBC to create a multi-media, well, "thing," that will have NYT reporters wandering the mean streets with digital video recorders and NBC reporters showing up on the Times website. Which of these two do you think will manage their mergers best and have the most media impact? Comment here.

08-01-07 DelColliano offers his five-step program ... to resolve the radio royalty kerfuffle:
   The move is underway to allow our great public servants – the men and women of Congress – to stand up proudly and squarely behind the artists and musicians who are being so woefully underpaid. I'm going to throw up.
    Read his commentary and comment at InsideMusicMedia.

08-01-07 STLMedia at front edge of industry-wide trend ... we were the first media website anywhere to offer analysis of Arbitron numbers beyond 12+, thanks to the expertise of our Unknown Analyst. That began almost two years ago, just after we became the first locally-oriented website to contract with Arbitron to legally publish numbers. Now, Joel Denver's AllAccess (RegReq) is offering analysis of demos in selected markets. Joel's a good guy and STLMedia is proud to welcome his site to the club! Our in-demo analysis of the Spring 2007 STL Book will arrive online here this evening.
08-01-07 ACK! I just checked the five-day forecast ... Hot, hot, hot, hot and hot! Humid, humid, humid, humid and humid! It must be global warming global climate change August in St. Louis. Whew. Wake me in October...
08-01-07 The STLMedia Computer Wizard ... stopped by last night to replace my pathetic 40-gig HD with a shiny new 250 gigger. We also made some significant internal changes. The Main System now runs faster, jumps higher and, along with the outboard HD space, can be used to store furniture and a few classic automobiles. The bad news is that my much-heralded half-terabyte outboard HD, onto which I had ripped hundreds of music CD's, has died a tragic but valiant death; there will be a destruction-by-drill-press, a private ceremony and internment at the nearest landfill.
07-31-07 Somewhere in Black Rock, someone is saying ... "This is not my fault!" From Reuters: CBS revenue fell 3 percent to $3.4 billion, as weak radio results offset strength in its publishing and outdoor advertising divisions. Quarterly net earnings fell 48 percent from a year ago. CBS reported second-quarter net earnings of $404 million, or 55 cents a share, compared with $781.7 million, or $1.02, a year earlier. Comment here.
07-31-07 In the late 1970's ... I was a producer/voice talent for The Tanner Company in Memphis. Lotsa good stories to tell, but this may be the best:
   At Tanner, we provided the radio and tv industries with lots of stuff, including rights-free production music and sound effects, delivered monthly on vinyl. Just after I began there, the company's Sales Manager came into our studio with a copy of the latest disc, set to go out to almost a thousand worldwide subscribers in a day or so.
   It included an orchestrated version of the Happy Birthday song.
   Uh-oh, I thought. I knew something that the company didn't know and what I knew might cost them a lot of money.
   Happy Birthday was still in copyright, and if we released the disc, we'd be liable for a HUGE payment to Mildred and Patty Hill, the two schoolteachers who'd written the song way back when. They were long deceased, but they (or their lawyers) had had the foresight to set up a foundation for future payment.
   The copyright demanded that every time someone publicly sang or performed (including on disc) Happy Birthday that a royalty be paid to the Hill Foundation.
   I was terrified that, being the bringer of bad news, I'd be summarily dismissed. The good news was that it turned out to be a whole lot cheaper to remaster and repress the records without Happy Birthday than it would to pay off the Hills.
   Nobody who worked for Tanner was ever a hero, but I got as close as anyone had.
   1998 changes in Copyright Law protect Happy Birthday until 2030; the copyright is currently held by Summy-Birchard Music, a subsidiary of AOL, and royalties are split between Summy-Birchard and the Hill Foundation.
   The song earns over a million dollars a year, which is why you hear all those bizarre birthday song variations in restaurants and ice cream parlors.
   Comment here.

07-31-07 No more colortinis ... I'm still getting over the passing last weekend of one of the true greats, Tom Snyder.
   I read his website regularly, colortini.com, as long as it remained online (he gave it up when he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005). He always made himself available for email contact but, for one of the few times in my life, I was simply too intimidated to write.
   I understood a little better my grief at the loss of pets as he described his heartache at losing his sheepdog Oliver, and reveled in the published memories and thoughts of one of the best broadcasters ever.
   He was the Sinatra of interviewers: a little cocky, perhaps, but well-read and thoughtful, enormously skilled at his craft and, maybe best of all, he took no prisoners and suffered no fools gladly.
   Larry King? Crap. Charley Rose? A pale shadow. Anybody else with a mic? Junk.
   Here are a couple links (1, 2)that might make you more aware of what a giant Snyder was.
07-30-07 PPM fatigue ... already? Arbitron's new technology is wearing respondents out in Philadelphia and Houston, with in-tab numbers down substantially. So I had this idea to get folks more likely to wear the Portable People Meter: change the color! Call it the Purple People Meter. Hey, it could work... Comment here.
07-30-07 And I thought that sparkly hockey puck ... was pretty neat. From SportsBusinessNews: Beginning with Sunday’s telecast of the Allstate 400 ESPN, will enhance its NASCAR coverage with Draft Track, a special effects package that will provide to viewers a never-before-seen effect. When ESPN’s producers activate Draft Track, viewers will see air flowing over and behind race cars as they speed around the track, whether there is one car or a multi-car pack on the television screen. The Draft Track airflow visualization will change as the cars, in relation each other, change position in real time on the racetrack, including passing, racing side by side or when cars are lined up nose to tail. Comment here.
07-30-07 Craven's a good word ... to describe the sort of self-important middle-management weasel who's so afraid of being outed as an honors graduate of the "The beatings will continue until your attitudes improve" school of personnel handling that he had his IT guys block this website and our associated Message Board inside his facilities. More on this later, you bet.
07-30-07 Spring 2007 12+ numbers ... demo analysis to come later:
The Spring 2007 Book 12+
Comment here.

07-29-07 Mike Shannon's wife, Judy, passes ... From STLToday:
    Judy Shannon, wife of Cardinals’ baseball broadcaster Mike Shannon, died Saturday night at the family’s home, team officials confirmed. Mrs. Shannon, 66, had been battling brain cancer for about a year, a close family friend said last night.
   The friend, Pat Bolling, said the former Judith Ann Bufe and Shannon grew up in St. Louis, were high school sweethearts and had been married 48 years.

07-29-07 Worst. Interview. Ever. ... Meet ABC's Merry Miller, who thinks she's on NBC. She's obviously some net exec's bimbette who got the gig in exchange for a weekend in the Hamptons. If I was Holly Hunter, I'd sue.
07-28-07 Racking up the #1's ... STL vet George Noory's Coast To Coast AM show has clocked in, in the Spring Book, with overnight #1's in New York City (WABC), Chicago (WLS) and Los Angeles (KFI)...a potential audience in just those markets of 33.5million listeners, with the rest of the US yet to be delivered. Way to go, Noory!
07-28-07 Son Jason and I are inveterate movie fans ... Last time he came by, we stayed up to watch all four restored hours of Erich von Stroheim' s 1925 nine-hour epic, Greed. Last night, with Mrs. A. out of town, we screened a British bootleg DVD of the RKO/Disney 1946 flick Song of the South. He'd never seen it; last time I did I was a single-digit kid. Now I know two things: (a) where the melody for the song "Midnight Special" came from and (b) where the Chef character in South Park began. To quote Uncle Remus, "My, oh my." Comment here.
07-27-07 STLMedia birthdays today include ... former KLOU and WCBS-FM vet Mike McCann and CCU/STL's John Canavera.
07-27-07 Email from John Carney ... A guy I used to work with in Carbondale is looking for a new news man. The station is WJPF. The format is talk and the morning host is Tom Miller. He can be reached at tomm@riverradio.net.
07-26-07 CNN & FNC finally agree ... stories aired on both cable news nets this morning about the "sudden invasion" of Humboldt squid along the Southern California coast disturbing commercial fishing. Their presence was blamed by several whining witnesses on Global Warming Climate Change; a quick Google search on the topic shows that the creatures have been "summering" in that area for years, even back to the days of the threat of Global Cooling. Comment here.
07-26-07 Added a live chat room to the MB ... If you're an MB member, go there and log in by clicking on the last link on the right (it says [live chat]). Use your login name to join; use it at your convenience to get together with other MB users. How 'bout we all get together at 9PMCT each evening (or at a time of your choice....let me know what's a good time)? I'll be there in and out through the day.
07-26-07 Did some housecleaning on the STLMedia MB ... and dropped about 600 registrations that have never been activated. If you've registered in the past few days and have not yet activated your account, please check your email. If, in the next day or so, you get no notice to activate, you'll have to do it again. Sorry for the inconvenience.
07-26-07 Wild? Maybe not so wild as you might think ...
   from HollywoodReporter:
   Discovery Channel is re-evaluating one of its most popular series, "Man vs. Wild," after allegations surfaced that its survival-expert host was bunking in motels when he was supposed to be braving the great outdoors.
   The network [snip] confirmed that host Bear Grylls had partaken of indoor accommodations on at least two occasions when his series had depicted him spending the night in the wild.
   Among the charges made against Grylls is that a raft he is depicted as having built himself actually was constructed and then disassembled by consultants to the show in order for the host to put it together. In another episode, Grylls happens upon what are referred to as wild horses that were said to be brought in from a trekking station.

    A reality show constructed from falsities? I'm absolutely stunned.
    Comment here.

07-26-07 I'm gonna need a couple extra bucks ... Facebook is on the market for $10billion. I checked the piggy bank, and I'm a little short, but I think it'd make a great add-on to the STLMedia MB.
07-26-07 Wow! Just like the old days! ... from InsideRadio:
   Kevin Martin wants more thorough license renewals
   The FCC chairman is proposing a "whole new set of categories" that would force stations to disclose more of what they're doing, but wouldn't require minimum levels of local news and programming. Martin's proposal has been sitting on his fellow commissioners' desks for months, but so far it hasn't moved forward. Commissioner Michael Copps says the FCC also needs to disclose more - and tell broadcasters what it expects.

   Comment here.

07-26-07 The question of what tunes will be remembered ... as oldies has come up again and again. Joe Sonderman, via Mike McCann, sends this article that deals with the issue...and makes an interesting point. Frankly, I was there, alive and awake for 1967, and I'm still suffering some backlash. Whatever...I've always got the 3000 '55-'69 songs on my Nano. Comment here.
07-26-07 It started with NASCAR ... and all those danged logos a thousand years ago; now the NFL wants photogs to wear vests with Canon and Reebok ads. This stinks. It arrives just a bit later than the news that the NFL restricts the amount of online audio and video NFL content news outlets could post on their web pages, and also prevented the papers from archiving online audio and video content. Comment here.
07-25-07 General aviation, OK ... commercial and military aviation, not so much. Most highways have a "No big planes landing here" rule. See my remarks below. I used to live just North of the Oshkosh airport, and the last speeding ticket I got (in 1974, 87mph in a 55mph zone, trying to make a passenger connection at the Milwaukee airport) was just about where this plane landed on Wisconsin Highway 41, headed for the EAA show.
07-25-07 Mrs. A. has to fly to Virginia this weekend ... and I'm not happy about it at all, even though it's a necessary trip for family affairs and, rationally, I know nothing untoward will happen. Disregard the fact that I won't have adult supervision for a few days (even though son Jason and his damn dog will stop by occasionally and that counts); I just haven't trusted commercial aviation since 9/11/01. Why? You've got to be kidding...
Comment here.

07-25-07 STLMedia birthdays today include ... 13-year KMOV/4 vet Kara Kaswell and perennial sports radio producer Iggy Strode.
07-25-07 Email from KFNS ... For those of you who are always curious about what is going on at 590 The Fan, we'd like to inform you about the debut of "On The Record" with our Program Director Jason Barrett. Each week Jason will be writing a weekly column for KFNS.com where he will address issues that pertain to on-air promotions, personnel, new business agreements and things he notices around the area on local radio. This forum will be his to speak his mind freely on and you're invited to read the first one by clicking here. If you need anything else from 590 The Fan please let us know. Comment here.
07-24-07 Sixteen years ago this week ... it was a slow, very slow Summer of radio show content. I was working with Frank O. Pinion on what was then KIX104 and we were worrying about having no news to cover.
   Then CNN changed everything, with a bulletin involving a Milwaukee guy named Dahmer. I called FOP and, as grisly as the story was, we knew we had struck gold.
   Jeff Dahmer went on, on our show, to become "Jeff The Chef" and we were set for weeks of weirdness, that ended with the station mailing out literally thousands of printed copies of the 300+ jokes we and listeners wrote about this unbelievably horrid event.
   Sometimes the best way to deal with grief is with humor, huh?
   Along the way, we received a copy of Dahmer's original police arrest report from Milwaukee Detective Dennis Murphy. This report has never been shown before, in any media format. Apparently I have the only copy left in public domain.
   In the next few days, I'll present here all nine pages of the late Jeff Dahmer's complete confession to the Milwaukee PD.
   I warn you ahead of time that it's a very rough read.
   Here's a preview of Page 1 in PDF format.

07-24-07 I hear that Hipperson and Clevlen did a "buddy" show ... last night on KTRS. From Joe:
   Not sure what we'll be doing...but I was inspired by your posting about Bill & I...the one where you closed the talkback...so I asked him to co-host Hipp Nights tonight from 9 'til midnight. No clue what he's got in mind. I told him we should just go in and say whatever pops in our heads. Should be a fun show. Just wanted to let you know. So tonight Joe Hipperson and Bill Clevlen will do a talk show together. I'm pretty stoked.
   I caught the last few minutes (I completely forgot about it and apologize profusely); anyone else hear any of the show? This could have gone either way. Two guys, each used to being a headliner, tossed into a partnership, with no apparent trial period. If you heard any of it, comment here.

07-23-07 TV drug spots and side effects ... My current favorite is the ad for Mirapex, a "cure" for Restless Leg Syndrome (called "jimmy legs" on the late and occasionally lamented Seinfeld sitcom); the primary side effect is an urge to gamble. Why isn't Harrah's handing this crap out like candy? Anybody else got a favorite side effect for an advertised drug? Several of them mention death, and that's about as serious as it gets, I guess. But some side effects are so ridiculous as to warrant ridicule. If your doc offers free samples of junk like this, get another doctor. Comment here.
07-23-07 Regarding Farmer Takes Wants Fakes Taking A Wife ... You know, that nowhere-near reality show being shot in Orchard Farm? Mrs. A. and I took a spin past the set and production staging areas Sunday afternoon (and had a nice late lunch/early dinner at Gingham's on 94). Highway H was scheduled to be closed 4:30-7:30PM and there were a bunch of what appeared to be "civilian" cars parked at the production area; anybody know what was going on there on Sunday? Comment here.

07-23-07 24/7 elects chick President and Jack Bauer goes Green ... from Breitbart:
    Tony Award-winning actress Cherry Jones will play President Allison Taylor when the show about the exploits of counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) returns in January for its seventh season, the network announced Sunday. Jones' term will coincide with Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential bid, but Fox Entertainment Chairman Peter Liguori said fiction and real-world politics will not intersect.
   Jones has performed in movies and tv dating back to 1980, including M. Night Shyamalan's The Village and Signs (she played Officer Paski).
    The show's production company has vowed that the season will be entirely carbon neutral by Episode 24 of Season 7; Sutherland has recently filmed a public service announcement which begins: "Global warming is a crime for which we are all guilty!" I'm told the next line is "Now drop your SUV!"
   Young Kieffer is Canadian and the son of well-known Bizarro-world resident Donald Sutherland, which explains a lot.
   Comment here.

07-22-07 KSDK/5 spent 45 minutes on the power failure ... at the Arch Saturday evening, cutting into SNL and a replay of Kevin Federline's Justin Timberlake's D**k In A Box performance. Thank to MB regular patlvsbeer for this link to Jeff Small's interview with the UberHoosier, the high point of the 45 minute still shot of the Arch... Comment here.
07-22-07 Calm before the storm ... The Spring Book publishes on Monday the 30th and as always there will be "adjustments" made. Here are a couple links for those of you who think you might be affected by less than inspiring numbers.
07-22-07 AARGH ... The Weekly World News is shutting down; thousands of dj's across the US lose their primary source of show prep and BatBoy loses his home! Comment here.
07-21-07 COMMENTARY: Global warming is horsehockey ... It's tough to have any faith in the Global Warming issues when, over the course of my life, I've been told that... Comment here.
07-20-07 Meeting the rider buyer ... About 8:30 Friday evening, in a grocery store close to Riverport UMB Bank Pavilion Verizon Wireless Amphitheater I ran into a LAB...a large attractive blonde...at the deli counter, where she was buying a huge assortment of cold cuts and sliced cheeses, which she placed into a brimming-over shopping cart, filled with kids' cereals, fruit juuices, sodas, and all manner of bizarre snack foods. Then I noticed the backstage access pass around her neck. Turns out she was buying for the load-out of the Korn Family Values thing held Friday. I checked the only copy of Korn's rider I could find online...but no grocery list. It was quite a cartful of chow...and the LAB was seen several times on the wireless looking and sounding frustrated... Comment here.
07-20-07 John Sheehan returns to manage for CBS ... John Sheehan named VP/GM of AC KEZK and hot AC KYKY/St. Louis, effective August 1. Maybe he can bring PD Mark Edwards under control. Comment here.
07-20-07 Almost missed this ... the birthday of the Comeback Kid of the Year: Jerry DelColliano. Jerry went from Top 40 PD in Philadelphia to the Owner/Publisher of the Inside Radio empire, managed to finagle its sale to Clear Channel and, after walking away with a large bag of The Evil Empire's money and sitting through a brief non-compete, came roaring back to the trade-info industry with Inside Music Media and a position at USC where he can fill young heads with the unique DelColliano brand of wisdom. Eventually Jerry will own USC and will sell it as well to Clear Channel.
07-19-07 Best birthday wishes ... to my favorite Financial Advisor/Money Manager, Dave Simons. I first worked with Dave at KTRS; he's now doing a weekend show on KMOX. Regardless of how much loot you've got squirrelled away (and he has investment minimums that most of us will never see), Dave's on-air advice is always timely and, as the kids say, spot on.
07-19-07 Well, now ... waddya think this is all about (as posted on the STLCraigsList)?
   Radio station with new management and format seeks applicants    Reply to: job-375863541@craigslist.org
   Date: 2007-07-17, 11:56AM CDT
   St. Louis radio station soon to undergo new management and format is now accepting resumes for openings in the following positions beginning this fall:
    General Sales Manager
    Account Executives
    On-air shift announcers
    Production Director
    News Director and newscast anchors
    Producers & Control Room Operators
    The station and format are not being disclosed since the existing staff does not know about this development. All we'll say at this time is if you are looking for a job where you will experience first hand success, a job with us will be available for you. Our working culture will be much different and better than what is being practiced.

Comment here.

07-19-07 Haven't we been down this road before?
   SatRad cheats. We knew that. SatRad even admitted it! Why are we wasting time and money on this?
   From InsideRadio:
   NAB demands data on interference
    The FCC has been holding back on the release of information regarding possible violations of FCC rules governing FM modulators and terrestrial repeaters by XM and Sirius. The NAB is asking the FCC to follow through with the release of the information - held up after the satcasters requested a review. The NAB says the data is "inextricably linked" to their proposed merger. Comment here.

07-19-07 Nice to hear from old friend JD Sosnoff ... worked with him at KIX104 and KTRS; he's recently returned to STL and is now a national cable tv rep. JD's a good guy, and it's nice to hear from old friends. Here's his new email addy, if you haven't touched base with him in a while: JD_Sosnoff@spotcable.com.
07-19-07 Dead tree salespeople need to be afraid, very afraid ...
   From Media Daily News:
   Google has unveiled a plan to offer online advertisers the opportunity to automatically place ads in 225 newspapers nationwide. The papers, which include some of the nation's biggest dailies such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, represent an expansion from a test of print advertising sales Google began with 50 newspapers late last year.
   Like the earlier test, the new print ad sales agreement enables the millions of advertisers who currently utilize Google's online AdWords system to automatically place print ads ranging from one-inch to a full-page in newspapers much the same way they place keyword advertising online.
   The participating papers are located in 32 of the 35 largest media markets and reach a combined circulation of nearly 30 million newspaper subscribers.
Comment here.

07-19-07 Righties are always complaining about ... how much guvmint (read: "tax dollars") money winds up supporting the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which distributes federal subsidies to PBS, National Public Radio and hundreds of public radio and television stations.
   Those subsidies amount to $420million, a tiny little piece of the Federal Budget.
   The rest of their financial needs are taken care of at the local level by those interminable "begging for dollars" segments that seem to always include musical performers from the 1950's and foreign dancers and singers.
   While I have certain philosophical disagreements with much of their programming, I think that this is a fair price to pay for what is provided by CPB. With the exception of the crap that supports that Global Warming horsehockey, of course. Comment here.

07-18-07 I keep reading about the word "oldies" ... and how distasteful it is to boomers. Is it going to become known as the "O" word?
   I've known of off-the-chart songs as "oldies" for almost a half-century. I'm nearing 60 (still about 30 in my head, though) , and I have no problem at all with calling the old songs what they are..."oldies." Not "my songs," "goldens," not "classics" or "classic hits," not "past hits," not "the gold rush." Damned songs are freakin' "oldies." The format is called "oldies" (or should be).
   I'm an "oldie," for goodness' sake, and the hits from 1955-1969, from Billboard's Top Pop and Top 40 charts are "oldies" too!
   You got a problem with that? Maybe the Great Thinkers at the nation's radio consultancies are just overthinking a non-problem, huh? Most of this positioning is just so much bulls**t.
Comment here.

07-18-07 Spring STL Arbitron ... publishes on 30 July. 12+ numbers will be available soonest, and demo analysis will follow.
07-18-07 Well, I guess this is good news and bad news ...
   From InsideRadio: Bonneville is the furthest along on HD
   It's rolled out HD Radio to 90% of its stations, with all but a couple of its 31 now broadcasting in HD. Greater Media is at 70% and Emmis is at 65%. The station that has the most HD stations on the air is Clear Channel - with about a third of its stations already converted. The group doing the highest percentage of multicasts is Emmis. See BIA's scorecard.

   Now take a look at retail sales of consumer HD radios. Big problems loom.
Comment here.

07-17-07 Gotta sell this Mackie mixer ... it's a 1402-VLZ, clean as a whistle, hardly used; manual included, along with many cables. Great little mixing board. $235 cash, and I'll even deliver within a reasonable area. Email me for more info.
07-17-07 I love autoresponders ... Got this one recently: I'm out on vacation until July 18. Since I will be spending the majority of my time in a Swim-Up Bar in Puerto Vallarta, I may not see this e-mail until I return. Or for a while thereafter...
07-17-07 Just wondering how many of you ... are regular readers? Of books, I mean, not this website. And, if so, what books have you been reading lately? I'd appreciate a response below; remember that no response is really also a response, just like a comment of "no comment" may be the most damning comment of all. Comment here.
07-17-07 Randy Raley writes ...
    Hey ya big monkey, just wanted you to know I have put together radio station KRLR on my website. It has everything from Buddy Holly to Aretha to Foghat to Metallica and thought you might want to take a listen. I have almost a thousand songs so far and adding more everyday.
   I was up until 11 last night putting this crazy thing together. It's a station with variety (Motown to Motorhead) but also a lot of familiar stuff, too. Maybe pass it along to your readers? If I was to run a station, it would sound something like this. Let me know what you think. Thanks, Randy.
   
Go to Randy's blog and click on the FineTune link on the right side of the page. Good listening, definitely SFW, but you might want to turn the audio down a bit.

07-17-07 It's like the Last Contest, but for ad guys ...
   From InsideRadio --
   Clear Channel starts new radio awards: They're calling it the EAR Awards - for Excellence in Advertising on Radio - to honor the top radio commercials from ad agencies and radio stations, including those from competing radio groups. Winners will get prizes including a BMW convertible, a Mini Cooper, a chartered jet and $1 million worth of advertising from Clear Channel Radio. CEO John Hogan says they hope to "spark further creative energy" in radio. An independent panel will decide who gets the awards, which will be handed out in November. Submissions are now being accepted at EARAwards.com.

07-17-07 Wrasslin' At The Chase homeboy Irv Muchnick ... signs to write the Chris Benoit story:
   ECW Press announced it has signed Irvin Muchnick to write a book about the sensational case of wrestler Chris Benoit. The book, entitled CHRIS AND NANCY: The True Story of the Benoit Murder-Suicide and Pro Wrestling’s Cocktail of Death, will be published in 2008.
   Muchnick is author of the hot-selling ECW Press book, WRESTLING BABYLON: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal, and has appeared extensively in media coverage of the Benoit case.
   If you haven't had this guy on for an interview yet, why not? Irv knows where all the bodies are buried in the WWF... literally!

07-16-07 Today I threw out a whole trashcan full of ... 3 1/2" and 5" computer discs. There was a little guilt involved, what with the waste and previous cost and all, but I hadn't used a single one of them in years. I feel so 21st Century! And so non-DOS3.1! Plus I added new remotes ($8 each at Radio Shack) to tv's in the Office and the Master Bedroom as I removed analog cable boxes. I feel like a Media Wizard! I guess a DVR is next in the Media Room... any recommendations that'll work for me?
07-16-07 Lotta discussion going on ... regarding whether or not STLRadio can move homegrown airtalent from worst to first. Can local radio types like Bill Clevlen and Joe Hipperson make it to the top of the ratings without going to some other market to gain "seasoning?" I say "YES!" You say "NO!" Sounds like a Beatles' song... Let's talk about it; you'll need to register to play, though. It's free. Comment here.
07-16-07 Missed a birthday over the weekend ... Old Dog David Blair turned something-and-something; David worked pretty much every important station in this market during his tenure here, and very successfully, from the old AM days to post-consolidation. In the last few years, he's moved on to his second career, computer magic, and is currently blazing trails in that industry in another city.
07-15-07 Computer weirdness ... some typing, in any text-using ap, and the 'puter went into auto-repeating +++ symbols and unacceptable behavior. Shutdown after shutdown and it still came back. After about a week of this and trying various fixes, it occurred to me that maybe there was some crap lodged in the keyboard. Used a handy $3 can of compressed air to blow out the crap from inbetween the keys; problem solved. Keep wunnademthangs on your desk nearby, eh, 'specially if you smoke? Do not judge me because of my tobacco addiction. Yes, I'm trying.
07-15-07 Tivo and DVR's ... are wreaking havoc with television commercials.
   And said spots are becoming the basis for tv Nielsen ratings...no spots, no published ratings. Just ask the network morning shows if that's not a big deal. Now broadcast and cable nets are supplanting traditional spots with product placement. It's being called "stealth advertising."
   Does it matter if it's "Mr. Monk Holds Up A Mountain Dew" to you? You're gonna DVR past the spots anyway, right?
   Radio podcasts have a leg up on this issue: they can produce the downloads (or they should) with a :10 or :15 frontload and then deliver the programming. Comment here.

07-15-07 Well, it makes some sense ... that radio research changes radically with radical changes in listening.
    The WSJ reported this last week: Earlier this year, Clear Channel Communications Inc.'s Premiere Radio Networks unit began marketing data on the most popular downloads from illegal file-sharing networks to help radio stations shape their playlists. The theory is that the songs attracting the most downloads online will also win the most listeners on the radio, helping stations sell more advertising. In turn, the service may even help the record labels, because radio airplay is still the biggest factor influencing record sales.
   Outside of the fact that this practice flies in the face of the idiot professor who recently claimed that radio play actually hurts music sales, it's right on point. Read the article. Comment here.

07-15-07 I'm not a hockey fan ... but the Hansen Brothers rule! I'm watching SlapShot (edited) on AMC while I update the Front Page and the Message Board. Even Paul Newman says it's his favorite movie of all he's ever done.
07-14-07 DJ Kaos and Sylli Asz ... fired a couple years ago from CCU's KATZ for their anti-police comments went back on the air July 9th on RadioOne's WHHL/104.1.
   I guess they went through intensive sensitivity training and were found appropriately apologetic and truly understanding of the issues faced by police officers.
   DJKaos: "People were saying radio wasn't the same without me," he says. "I have a presence in this market. It's been said I'm some sort of an icon, that I set standards, like (Michael) Jordan. I know what I bring to the table. That's just me being real. That's what people tell me."
   STLToday's Kevin Johnson gave these two a nice writeup. Of course he did.
   HipHop is still thug music; we'll wait and see how long it takes for these two to revert to type. If they don't, good for them. That means they actually learned from their exile. Comment here.

07-14-07 Perry Michael Simon ... says something smart in every one of his weekly newsletters from his perch as News/Talk Editor at All Access. Last week it was about backup and farm systems...and he wasn't talkin' about your hard drive or the reality show busted below. If you're not a subscriber, (it's free) you're missing out on solid advice and info. Plus he's a great writer.
07-13-07 Farmer Takes A Wife UPDATE ... Is this reality show really reality? Not so much, to hear it from this extra's viewpoint. The best part of the whole deal is that the Farmer (his name is Matt Newstead, by the way) doesn't own the farm on which Freemantle Productions is shooting the series! The Newstead family does own farmland in St. Charles County, but it's in West Alton, closer to the rivers, not Orchard Farm, the site of the series. Comment here.
07-13-07 Shepard buyer may alreay be in trouble ... from InsideRadio: Dean Goodman is on the outs with American Securities Capital Partners - the equity firm that's the sole backer of his company - GoodRadioTV. But American Securities is still committed to its $452 million deal with Clear Channel.
   From a former Shepard employee: I can now confirm 12 people were slashed when GoodRadio LLC took over the Shepard Broadcasting properties on 01 July. This coming from the Moberly office where Shepard formally maintained operations..with some good news..vacation pay is in the mail..coupled with some bad news..no severance since GoodRadio LLC maintains the 12--including me--were ''not retained'' by the new ownership.
   I have also been told Unemployment Compensation will go through without a problem. I was further told that even in the Moberly office, the future is clouded by a ''who knows'' cloud lingering since the actual takeover..no one is sure what will happen today, tomorrow or the next day.
    I wonder if GoodRadio is already running on fumes..with a $500 million millstone around its neck. As an example NextMedia, with some stations based in Chicagoland, was already trying to refinance in 2001, two years after its creation..and finally did so in 2005, dealing with about 200 million in debt. God only knows when the balloon is going to burst in West Palm Beach.
Comment here.

07-13-07 I've been fortunate enough ... to have grown up watching recorded music transition from analog to digital.
    I collected a lot of music on 78's, 45's and 33 1/3 lp's, open reel tape (mostly for audiophiles), cassette tapes and eight-track tapes (mostly for mobile convenience) and, eventually compact discs (allegedly for superior audio).
   I sold most of my record and tape collection some years back (at the peak of the market) and bought a house with the proceeds.
    The very first time I used a CD (a joint project between Phillips, who created the cassette, and Sony) was in 1983 when the rock FM I was associated with then converted their music library from LP to CD.
   Rock went digital first, because of the presumed sophistication of the audience, but within the next couple years all pop music formats did the digital thing, and copyright holders of catalog material shoveled their music onto those little golden discs. Some, like Rhino, did it better than others.
   We went from 78rpm records to CDs, through a half-dozen other physical formats, in just about thirty years.
   Why has it taken the record companies another quarter of a century to go from CDs to digital downloads as a marketing tool?
   Radio is still the reference point, sending buyers to retail. But labels are resisting the reference. What the hell? Comment here.

07-13-07 CNNoory ... the world's most listened to all-night show host, former KTRS'er George Noory, will be on CNN's Larry King Show tonight at 8PM CDT to talk about the Roswell NM UFO flap from 1947. Spooky? You bet!
07-13-07 John Stirrat passes ... Stirrat had recently been on a medical leave of absence and had experienced health problems for the past few years. He died Thursday apparently from complications of the health issues. John entered radio sales from the travel industry at Gannett radio properties here, worked for ARS when they owned KEZK and was most recently in sales at KMOX. He is survived by two daughters, Courtney and Katie. Visitation is Friday, July 13th, 4-8PM at Gerber Chapel, 23 W. Lockwood, Webster Groves; the funeral is Saturday, July 14th, 10AM at Webster Groves Presbyterian, 45 W. Lockwood. Comment here.
07-13-07 Resurrecting the Morning Grind? ... Maybe. 1380 KSLG, of the Simmons Sports Media Empire, is said to setting up a $200,000 morning show, featuring guys named McKernan and Kilcoyne, thus assuring that the station will likely never run at a profit. Comment here.
07-13-07 Online radio gets a reprieve ... Wired is reporting "The SoundExchange executive [Jon Simson, executive director] promised -- in front of Congress -- that SoundExchange will not enforce the new royalty rates. Webcasters will stay online, as new rates are hammered out." Comment here.
07-13-07 Flying under the RIAA radar ... There are a lot of internet music radio stations, almost all non-commercial vanity projects, that run 24/7/365 off servers scattered hither, thither and yon, don't pay a dime to any of the rights agencies and have absolutely no intention of doing so. These are not guys playing "indie" music nor are they specially contracted with labels to play commercial music. They are, for all intents and purposes, pirates. And, presumably, they know that if the rights agencies, including the RIAA, find them out, they're liable for all sorts of punitive financial distress. Is it really that important to play the tunes that these guys would take such a chance? I just don't get the motivation. Comment here.
07-13-07 Thanks to the thundering herd ... of media-types who got together Thursday morning at Reynold's Roadhouse in Maryland Heights. To the best of my knowledge, no outstanding media problems were left unresolved, no waitresses were injured during meal service and a sunshiny day ensued. We'll do it again, maybe in September.
07-12-07 Is there a disruption in the Force coming ... at KEZK/KYKY? Secret Squirrel says there have been conflicting statements issued between CBS HR and Programming regarding the recent Bill Clevlen firing; memoes from each department have been widely distributed (and read here) that indicates corporate policies were ignored and/or violated in this issue and that middle management seems to be very wary of employees saying anything about it at all to outsiders. Guess what? They did! Best bet for HR and Programming not looking really stupid: offer Clevlen his job back (if he wants it), with an apology. Say you made a mistake, you're sorry and all is now well. Comment here.
07-12-07 Better than DVD's ... I'm trying the online backup system called Carbonite; works across local networks, too. I'll let you know more in a day/week/month or so, but the trial is free for two weeks. The service costs $5 a month after that, and, for me, that's a fair price to pay for safeguarding the office system and data.
07-11-07 All of June's entries here ... have been moved to The Archives. Click here to read The Front Page back to 2003.
07-11-07 WERC says never mind to Al Brady Law ... The Birmingham AL station had offered former KTRS PD Law the PD position a while back but subsequently withdrew it after what might be called "due diligence" that turned up a police report and a story we reported on here just after Law's arrival at KTRS. There was also a damning HR-filed report on some issues that found its way to the Birmingham station (both it and the station in Toledo are CCU properties). Law has allegedly returned to Toledo; he'd never sold his house there before moving here. Hell hath no fury... Comment here.
07-10-07 I haven't written anything about ... CBS' Dan Mason bringing WCBS-FM/NYC back as an oldies station for a few reasons.
   First, CBS-FM may have been the best oldies station in the world, ever, but it has nothing to do with STLMedia, other than once employing former KLOU's Mike McCann. Hope he gets his gig back.
   Second, the whole Jack radio thing was doomed to failure from the get-go and its first shot at decay is in the biggest markets. I told you that, but you argued that it was a really independent music format and really played songs based on what you really wanted to hear. Right. Like there's no controlled playlists on computer-based radio stations.
   Third, I wanted to wait until someone much smarter than me took the subject on, and now DelColliano has: Jerry says, "Never build a station around the concept of 'playing what we want.' Play what they want." And he's made the point.
Read it and comment there.

Happy birthday to Pat White!07-10-07 Happy birthday today to ... one of the best Old Dog (well, Middle-aged Dog) production guys around: Bonneville/STL's Pat "Dancin' Machine" White. I had the good fortune to work with Pat in the years-ago weirdness that was KIX104. I'd tell you about the tape splicing competition he and I undertook, but, since he won, the hell with the story.
07-10-07 This is what's wrong with the world ...
    Women demand female Pamplona bull run, with cows:
     A student website set the ball rolling with its campaign "Cows want to run" which asks for a separate encierro, as the bull-runs are known, where only women are allowed to take part.
    Women have been allowed to take part in the San Fermin bull-running for some years but they still represent a tiny minority of the thousands of runners who attempt to dodge 600-kilo bulls along an 800-metre course through the streets of Pamplona.
   The students say it's only logical that women should have their own bull-run.
    "Cows, as well as bulls, have four legs and a natural instinct to run," says their manifesto. "An encierro for cows, would put Pamplona at the vanguard of traditional fiestas with equality for men and women."
    Organizers of the festival, which runs from July 7-14, have not responded to the suggestion.

    Here's the deal. Bulls run. Cows mosey. Even I could get out of the way of a cow. I haven't been able to walk faster than a mosey in twenty years!
   Chicks and that whole equality thing. Sheesh! Or, maybe, moo!
   Just kidding, Mrs. A! God, I'm a dead man...
Comment here.

07-10-07 We may be older but we're not dead ... and we still want to hear our favorite tunes. If stations like KLOU refuse to play them, apparently the AARP wants a piece of that business:
    AARP is eager to hook into the boomers' passion for music to establish itself as something more than a lobby for the Geritol generation. "We're constantly barraged by talk of the prime demographic of 18-to-34-year-olds, and it's like nobody else matters," says Steve Mencher, senior producer of digital media for AARP. Mencher, who earlier in his career worked at National Public Radio, creates programming to challenge the assumption in American business that only teenagers and 20-somethings are still discovering new passions and are still open to new brand loyalties.
    While I may disagree with some of the AARP's political positions, this grabs my attention and approval. Comment here.

07-10-07 Kramer's anti-Jewish rants (UPDATE) ... Since Keith "Kramer" Crowden has laughed off the anti-Semitic comments he made on his website and since the sponsor which seems to support them, Midwest Motor Sports, has not responded to my email, I've turned all of this, including screen shots and audio files, over to both the Anti-Defamation League (they asked for information after reading about it) and the Jewish Defense League. I think Mr. Crowden is about to have a (well-deserved) miserable time. Comment here.
07-10-07 Dead Tree Media does some pruning ... the credit for that headline goes to a long-time reader here, who also sends along this bit of commentary:
   Did you see that the Post-Dispatch has eliminated daytime and overnight TV listings from the PD-TV supplement in the Sunday paper? The only publish the primetime listings Monday through Saturday. They are apparently keeping full listings for Saturdays & Sundays, but they have removed the listings for 90 OF THE 168 HOURS in a week they previously published. It took me about a day to catch on, but since I keep some late hours, it's a real drag to not have the listing in front of me.
    Sure, there's the internet for listings, but you have to track them down channel by channel.
    The TV Guide Channel (02 on Charter) scrolls listings continuously, but it takes 3:11 to get through a single cycle. I don't want to miss the last 3 minutes of a show to see what's next...nor do I want to miss the first 3 minutes of the next program.
    Don't they realize that the TV section is one of THE MOST OFTEN consulted part of their publication? I pick it up a dozen times a day. You would think they could monetize that with intelligently placed (but unobtrusive) ads that could command a PREMIUM rate.
    You would think that the PD would want to expand services, and not cut one of the most universal reasons to buy the paper. Did they do any kind of research on this move? I can't believe that TV listings in the paper are so inconsequential that they would slash them, despite the fact that the same information is available elsewhere. it's a subtle message, but what they are saying is: "we give up...we know you can get TV listings elsewhere...along with news, features, sports". The question is - when will they finally cut all the news from the adpaper?
    Can we mobilize the power of your site and get some letters written in protest of this?
    Email qanda@post-dispatch.com or call 314-425-5995.

    Comment here.

07-09-07 What KLOU's up to ... with that new format. Here's an analysis of a number of parameters of My 103.3's 900-song, three-decade playlist.
   Just like everything else, KLOU is on the 80/20 rule. Conclusion: it's all bullsquat.
   Out of about 900 songs in the playlist, more than 700 of them are played fewer than five times in the course of any given week. Talk about lunar rotations!
   About 400 of the songs on the playlist are from the 1960's and a very few from the 1950's, mostly in the five-or-fewer play categories.
   About 400 of the songs on the playlist are from the 1970's; they're also played five or fewer times a week.
   Songs from the 1980's, 1990's and this century? About 30, and also fewer than five or so plays a week.
   More than 8 plays a week, regardless of era, presumably as image tracks: Crocodile Rock, Long Cool Woman, Brandy, Brown Sugar, Joy To The World, Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Treat Her Like A Lady, Build Me Up Buttercup, Think, Heard It Thru The Grapevine, Judy In Disguise and all the rest of the usual suspects.
   This ain't CBS-FM. 80% of the songs KLOU plays are essentially just happenstance; 20% comprise the oldies image and a somewhat current feel. Overall, the station is barely listeneable.
Comment here.

Charlie Tuna, LA City Councilman Dennis Zone, Scott 07-09-07 Former KTRS'er Scott St. James hooks up with an old buddy ... Legendary LA DJ Charlie Tuna: "Scott St. James caught up with me to say hello at the Woodland Hills celebration. I hadn’t seen him since we were at Robert W. Morgan’s house in his final days. Scott was my sports guy on KMPC and KRLA!" (Courtesy LARadio.com.)
07-09-07 I'm a dog guy ... but I admit you can't take a bad picture of a cat. Want proof? Here's a Mama White Bengal Tiger with her newborn cubs, four white and one striped, at their home in a Mexican zoo. Kittens are cool but puppies are still cooler...

07-06-07 Your Uncle Mike makes a road trip ... to a TV show shoot in St. Charles County. He has big fun, eats catered meals, meets network stars and even gets a credited part in a prime-time show. NOT! The sad real story is here, with pictures of farm animals and everything.
Comment here.

07-06-07 WESL to be sued? Several former employees of WESL 1490 AM are expected to file a lawsuit against Simmons’s Media Group of Salt Lake City, Utah, the owners of the station, to protest their termination on (last) Friday. That's the story from Bernie Hayes in the St. Louis American. Read it and then comment here.
07-06-07 Once upon a time ... there was a Top 40 radio station serving part of St. Louis and points West with the call letters KIRL. The station was owned "back in the day" by a creep, a subsequently-convicted child molestor named Mike Rice. It's had a few other owners since then. Today I visited the station/transmitter site and I've posted a few photos... Comment here.
07-06-07 KEZK's HD2 is on the air ... St. Louis's first full-power, full-time faith-based contemporary music radio station went hot last weekend. The format is an extension of what STLRadio vet Stel Pontikes has been doing on Sundays since 1975. According to Stel, "It's a radio format unlike any other in the country, utilizing the best of the faith-based pop and rock mainstream artists along with the best from the Contemporary Christian music genre." Comment here.
07-06-07 Deepest and sincerest condolences ... to Tom and Barb Calhoun on the loss of their Springer Spaniel Fergie. Tom's written a loving tribute here that you should read if you have a pet. It was doubly difficult for me to read, having just gone through the same thing with Lucy recently. I hope the Calhouns know that our hearts are with them in this time of grief and that, when they're ready, their local Humane Society has a bunch of pups who are just aching for a Forever Home and a belly rub or two in honor of their predecessor.
07-06-07 Kramer's anti-Jewish rants ... Clearly the boy's lost it, publishing words like "Buncha Jews!" and "you JEW BASTARDS" in reference to the lack of donations he's had from users for his soft-porn website. Apparently, at least one sponsor, Midwest Motor Sports, agrees with his new philosophy. You might consider contacting them via their website and let them know that supporting religious bigotry and racial calumny does nothing for their business. Comment here.
07-06-07 Mark Edwards shows his class ass (again) ... The man whose boorish, bullying middle-management "skills" have caused wonder and amazement within CBS/STL for several years strikes again, firing seven-year KEZK vet Bill Clevlen for something he didn't even do! I guess Edwards doesn't understand that the era of Karmazin-management-by-terrorism is over... Maybe it's time for CBS/STL Vice President and General Manager Dave Ervin to step in and make things right. Comment here.
07-05-07 Spring Phase 2 12+ and 25-54 ... numbers and demos here. Peruse at your convenience. Comment here.
07-05-07 Thanks to MB contributor BuzzSings ... for digging this project up out of the FCC database:
    Bonneville is trying to upgrade 101.1 to a Class C1 from Class C2 - and to do so, they have to move some stations in Missouri, and hope that nobody files a petition to dismiss.
    In their Engineering Statement in Support of an Application Study for a Construction Permit, Bonneville proposes to move radio station KLPW-FM, but keep it on 101.7FM, TO Elsberry, MO FROM Union, MO, giving Elsberry it's own station, albeit a Class A local station.
    They ask to move the frequency for station KTUI-FM, Sullivan, MO FROM 100.9FM to 102.1FM, keeping it a Class A local station.
    A frequency allotted in Cuba, MO (271A - or 102.1FM) would then shift to 269A - or 101.7FM, if the contingent moves are approved.

    Read the rest and comment here.
07-04-07 Our 4th was acceptably peaceful ... Up at 5AM to tuck the beef roast into the slow cooker, watched Tora, Tora, Tora and Patton to satisfy my Rethuglican bloodlust, dealt with some email, napped a bit, Mrs. A made brownies, and Anna (our daughter the lawyer) stopped by and we shared shredded beef sandwiches and my world-famous pasta salad. Jason arrived back unscathed from his holiday road trip and picked up Damn Dog Ruca and then I'm back here for some updates. Holidays don't get much milder than that, huh? To quote Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Just My Style.
07-03-07 2007 VP Fair Fair St. Louis entertainment ... On the Main Stage: Cyndi Lauper and The Goo Goo Dolls. What did we do wrong to deserve this crap? When did the money run out? When did this become less than the biggest 4th of July celebration in the US? And people wonder why I watch the fireworks on TV on the 4th... Comment here.
07-03-07 Happy birthday to ... KMOX' Ron Jacober and former radio producer and current PR maven Judy "The Cutie" Martin.
07-03-07 Burned off some Border's gift cards ... a couple days back, to buy books by Elaine Viets. You should buy some, too. Good stories, good writing. Home girl could use your patronage. Comment here.
07-03-07 Did Al Brady Law ... make it to the WERC/Birmingham gig? We're hearing there might have been a hitch in the travel plans...hope not; it's Tuesday, and everybody works on Tuesday! Comment here.
07-03-07 Gospel music issues ... Secret Squirrel attends his own furry little church...but has some questions: "Can anyone tell me what going on at ClearChannel's gospel station 1600am? They have been voice tracking with announcers pretending to be in St. Louis. These announcers don't have a clue as to what's going on in STL and are still playing the same songs over and over and over every hour; they need a current play list of music that came out in 2007. They direct listeners to their website to find out what's going on in the 5 cities they are voice tracking for out of Memphis because it's obvious they don't know whats going on here because they are not connected to the city." Comment here.
07-03-07 Network reality show shooting in West Alton ... Secret Squirrel wonders: "Have you heard of a new reality show being filmed in St.Charles County? It is scheduled to start filming on Monday July 2. If not, I'm not surprised, there has not been anything in the media that I have heard. It is going to be called "Farmer Takes A Wife." It will be filmed in the Portage des Sioux and Orchard Farm area. It being done by the CW Network. I guess it will be on Channel 11 locally. The producers chose a young man from West Alton to be the bachelor farmer and he will pick a wife from ten women."
    If I can get in touch with their media liason, I'll wander across 370 and try to get a few photos... West Alton reality...sheesh!

07-03-07 Former KTRS'er Keith Kramer's website ... has been dropped by Google AdSense for click fraud, a contractual offense that occurs when the site owner blatantly encourages users to click on ads with no intention of purchase. As expected, KK blames someone for snitching, rather than accepting responsibility for his own actions. He's also changed domain names and is now offering a soft-porn product and is looking for new advertisers. Comment here.
07-03-07 Taylor on The Conclave: ... "In the air: Cutbacks, after Clear Channel goes private? Specifically, talent cutbacks, outside the largest markets? That's one rumor edging around the floor at the just-concluded Conclave in Minneapolis. The rumor suggests that future CC owners Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners would be looking to cut costs by voicetracking more dayparts - not just overnights or evenings." Subscribe to Tom Taylor's free newsletter here.
07-03-07 Local Emmy entries closed ... from their website: The 2007 Call For Entries closed on June 11th, but not before 705 entries made it to our doors. For a complete list of the entries, please click here. Now we must get busy processing and preparing the entries for shipping. Judging will take place around the country during July and August, with EMMY Nominations to be made on September 20th. We are happy to report we plan to have the 2007 Nomination Certificates in the mail to you by the end of September 2007! The EMMY GALA will be Saturday, October 20 at AMERICA'S CENTER.
07-02-07 Thanks to Midwest BankCentre ... for the weird semi-polarized specs for viewing fireworks. Now I know what it feels like to see things the way a fly does, that multiple-eye deal and all. They'll probably work better on the 4th...
07-02-07 Vickie Newton, then ...
Comment here.

07-02-07 Must be global warming/cooling/climate change ... Overnight lows here in the 60's, daytime highs about 90. It's the 4th in STL and it should be in the hundreds, with massive thunderstorms locally and huge Southeastern hurricanes. Is Al Gore right? Or is Summer just late this year? Comment here.
07-02-07 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...
   CORRECTION: The posting above was based on incomplete information; thanks to the contributor who offered the correct info:
   The post yesterday regarding Randy Wachter leads one to believe that Randy is out all together, yet I think the following is accurate at the moment.
   Wachter sold his share of Broadcast Properties to LB Eckelkamp. Broadcast Properties only owns KLPW (AM) Union, MO.
   Of interest is that Wachter has applied to transfer KNSX, KKAC and KESY from Twenty One Sound to a new company call Broadcast Communications Inc.but he (Wachter) is still 100% owner. I don't know if that transfer has been consummated but it has been granted at the FCC.

    Sorry for any confusion. Comment here.


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