Previously on The Front Page...Oct/Nov/Dec 2007
12-31-07 From the STLMedia MB ...
Imagine JC and Allman together. That would rock talk.
It would certainly be better than having to listen to the whiny young prepster currently partnering with Jamie. The kid adds nothing.
And two hard-holders of their positions, in measured arguments, would be a welcome addition to media discussion. Hannity & Colmes are crap; neither espouses anything beyond party lines, no original thoughts.
JC & Jamie/Jamie & JC sounds like a pretty good idea. I might even get up early enough to listen. I can already hear the promos...
And, to paraphrase LBJ, "If they've got Anderson, they've got America."
Of course, it'll never happen, because neither John Beck nor Rick Balis have any idea how to combine oil and water on a radio station.
I do, but they'd never ask me to help because they once tried to sue me for something I presented on the STLMedia website and, acting pro se, I shut them and their lawyers down like a Corvette v. a Chevette.
12-31-07 Too little, too late ... from InsideRadio:
Apple plans HD Radio push:
Apple will reportedly unveil HDRadio-equipped boomboxes with iPod docking at next month's Macworld Expo. The units will be iTunes Tagging-ready, allowing users to more easily turn songs heard on the radio into purchases at the iTunes store. CBS Radio, Clear Channel, Cumulus, Cox, Entercom and Greater Media have begun encoding stations for iTunes Tagging.
Where were these guys a year ago? Two years ago? Tagging notwithstanding, if iPods or their accessories had included any sort of HDRadio capability months ago, the concept might have had a chance. After all, iPod is the core for new audio tech, even though it's rapidly aging.
Why intro such new tech after Christmas?
Is the accessory market for iPods open enough for a first-quarter purchase of what is likely to be a costly device?
My bet is that iBiquity paid Apple serious money to encourage the development and marketing of these things because the entire fraudulent HDRadio deal is crashing.
It doesn't work on AM after dark and the formats on the FM HD channels are yawners.
Plus there's the whole licensing fee thing. What a ripoff.
When will the industry realize that listeners just don't care about HD and that station owners have been taken for hundreds of thousands of dollars per station for something that nobody wants to listen to?
Wish I had a huge chunk of iBiquity stock...I'd be selling it right now and laughing all the way to my new home in the Caribbean.
12-31-07 I spent a lot of New Years' Eves ... honchoing various radio station celebrations, usually in bars and always as a "station personality." Along with a few Vietnam and surgical experiences I can say that many of those "celebrations" are high on my Worst Times Of My Life list.
I always loved being with radio fans but when you're the Unofficial Greeter and the listeners are all pretty much at their "I love you, man" place by 9PM, it can get very old way before Auld Lang Syne.
In recent years, it's always a quiet thing with friends and family, as it will be for me and Mrs. A tonight. I highly recommend such a celebration; quiet is good.
12-30-07 STLMedia notes the passing of John Roedel ... earlier this evening. This email encapsulates a shining St. Louis radio and television career:
Just got word via Howard Demere and the KSDK alumni e-mailing, that John Roedel passed away tonight.
Not only was John one of the last genuine gentlemen of television (we all became hardass ogres after his era), what makes him absolutely
special is the part he played in St. Louis TV history...came to town in the
1940's (I think), as a member of AFRA (no televison yet) to work for
When the Pulitzers decided to put a TV station on the air 60
years ago, they asked him to read news, making him the first TV news
anchor in town. He was the announcer on the old Charlotte Peters show in
the '50s but was uncomfortable as a newsman doing that kind of
entertainment thing and went back to news...did general assignment up until the
late '80s, early '90s, whenever he retired.
Not only a classic broadcaster, but a true and genuine gentleman.
John was one of the original inductees into the STLMedia and Radio Halls of Fame.
UPDATE: STLToday and KSDK/5 tributes now online.
12-30-07 2007 Fall Book, Phase 2, demo insight ...
25-54 PERSONS Mon-Sun 6a-12 Mid
KSHE: 6.5 -- 6.7
WARH: 6.1 -- 6.4
KEZK: 5.5 -- 6.1
WIL: 5.2 -- 6.0
KMJM: 5.2 -- 5.6
KIHT: 5.1 -- 5.5
KYKY: 4.8 -- 4.5
KLOU: 4.9 -- 4.3
KSD: 4.2 -- 4.1
WFUN: 3.9 -- 3.8
KFTK: 3.7 -- 3.6
KSLZ: 2.7 -- 3.2
KTRS: 3.3 -- 2.8
KMOX: 3.0 -- 2.8
WMVN: 2.7 -- 2.7
KATZ-FM: 2.7 -- 2.5
WHHL: 2.4 -- 2.4
KPNT: 2.9 -- 2.3
KFNS: 1.7 -- 1.8
KATZ-AM: 1.8 -- 1.6
NOTES: All of the top six stations are trending up. Pretty early in KLOU's new sound to be trending down. KFTK, KTRS and KMOX all trending down. Movin' not movin'. KFNS still not showing signs of recovery.
25-54 PERSONS Mon-Fri 6a-10a
KSHE: 7.0 -- 8.0
KIHT: 7.1 -- 7.3
WARH: 6.9 -- 7.1
WIL: 5.8 -- 6.1
KEZK: 5.3 -- 5.6
KMJM: 5.3 -- 5.3
KYKY: 5.7 -- 5.2
KSD: 4.7 -- 4.6
WFUN: 3.8 -- 3.7
KLOU: 3.9 -- 3.6
KSLZ: 3.5 -- 3.5
KMOX: 3.8 -- 3.2
KFTK: 2.8 -- 2.7
WHHL: 2.3 -- 2.6
WMVN: 2.6 -- 2.6
KPNT: 2.6 -- 1.9
KFNS: 1.7 -- 1.8
KATZ-FM: 2.4 -- 1.7
KSLG: .7 -- 1.6
KTRS: 1.5 -- 1.5
NOTES: Big surge for Bob & Tom to re-take first place from JC and U- Man. KMOX falls further. KFTK still only 13th in the midst of the political season? Brian McKenna and Joe DeNiro not moving yet. Vic and Katie...hello? Hello?
25-54 PERSONS Mon-Fri 10a-3p
WARH: 7.6 -- 8.5
KEZK: 6.3 -- 7.6
KSHE: 7.1 -- 6.7
KIHT: 6.2 -- 6.6
WIL: 5.2 -- 5.6
KYKY: 5.5 -- 5.3
KLOU: 5.3 -- 4.7
KMJM: 4.0 -- 4.6
WMVN: 3.4 -- 3.6
KSD: 3.6 -- 3.3
KMOX: 3.8 -- 3.1
WFUN: 3.5 -- 2.9
KFTK: 3.3 -- 2.8
KFNS: 2.5 -- 2.7
KPNT: 3.2 -- 2.5
KSLZ: 2.0 -- 2.1
KTRS: 1.8 -- 1.9
KATZ-FM: 1.9 -- 1.8
WHHL: 1.7 -- 1.7
KATZ-AM: 1.4 -- 1.1
NOTES: Huge jumps for The Arch and KEZK. KLOU trending down at what would seem like an odd time. Rush beats O'Reilly. Milhaven and Christoper way, way back.
25-54 PERSONS Mon-Fri 3p-7p
KFTK: 7.0 -- 7.7
KEZK: 5.5 -- 5.6
WARH: 5.5 -- 5.6
WIL: 4.7 -- 5.3
KSHE: 5.3 -- 5.2
WFUN: 4.5 -- 4.7
KTRS: 5.1 -- 4.5
KYKY: 4.2 -- 4.4
KIHT: 4.0 -- 4.3
KMJM: 4.1 -- 3.9
KSLZ: 3.1 -- 3.7
KLOU: 4.3 -- 3.6
KSD: 3.7 -- 3.5
KATZ-FM: 2.4 -- 2.9
KMOX: 2.5 -- 2.6
KPNT: 3.1 -- 2.5
WHHL: 2.4 -- 2.3
WMVN: 2.3 -- 2.3
KFNS: 2.2 -- 2.2
KSLG: .8 -- 1.9
NOTES: Glover continues to dominate PM drive in this demo. KLOU down again. Paul Harris hasn't moved in quite some time. 1380 showing up in the top 20 for the first time since we've been watching.
25-54 PERSONS Mon-Fri 7p-MID
KMJM: 8.4 -- 10.3
KEZK: 6.2 -- 6.9
KATZ-FM: 4.8 -- 5.6
WIL: 4.2 -- 5.6
KSHE: 4.5 -- 5.1
KTRS: 7.4 -- 4.7
WARH: 5.0 -- 4.5
KLOU: 6.0 -- 4.2
KSD: 4.5 -- 4.2
WFUN: 3.6 -- 3.9
NOTE: There had been a request for upper demos, numbers that would allegedly show KMOX in a dominating position in the market. Here are those numbers.
35-64 PERSONS Mon-Sun 6a-Mid
KEZK: 7.0 -- 7.6
KSHE: 5.8 -- 5.9
KMJM: 5.3 -- 5.8
KIHT: 5.2 -- 5.7
KLOU: 5.6 -- 5.7
WIL: 5.3 -- 5.5
WARH: 5.2 -- 5.5
KMOX: 5.9 -- 5.5
35-64 PERSONS Mon-Fri 6a-10a
KIHT: 7.3 -- 7.9
KMOX: 8.0 -- 7.2
35-64 PERSONS Mon-Fri 10a-3p
KEZK: 7.8 -- 8.8
WARH: 6.4 -- 6.9
KIHT: 6.1 -- 6.6
KSHE: 6.6 -- 6.2
KLOU: 6.2 -- 6.2
KMOX: 6.3 -- 5.4
35-64 PERSONS Mon-Fri 3p-7p
35-64 PERSONS Mon-Fri 7p-Mid
18-34 PERSONS Mon-Sun 6a-Mid
KPNT, KSLZ, WHHL, KATZ-FM, WIL, WARH, KSD, KMJM, KSHE, KYKY, WMVN, WFUN, KFTK, KEZK, KSLG, KLOU, KTRS, KMOX, KATZ-AM, KIHT, KNSX
18-34 PERSONS Mon-Fri 6a-Mid
18-34 PERSONS Mon-Fri 3p-7p
KSLZ, KPNT, KSHE, KSD, WIL, WHHL, KMJM, KATZ-FM, WARH, WMVN, KYKY, KSLG, WFUN, KEZK, KIHT, KFTK, KATZ-AM, KLOU, KMOX
KSLZ, KPNT, KFTK, KATZ-FM, WIL, WHHL, WARH, KSD, KEZK, KYKY, KSLG, WMVN, WFUN, KSHE, KTRS, KMJM, KLOU, KMOX, KIHT, KNSX
12-27-07 Congrats to JC Corcoran ...
New KTRS PD Todd Manley (photo from 2004), to whom neither the untouchable McGraw Millhaven nor the month-to-month Frank O. Pinion goldmine will need to pay attention.
Manley will also have no control over any sports or news programming or personnel.
Yup, that's the PD gig I'd want, boy howdy!
Minus syndication and sold weekend programming Todd handles, what, about twenty, thirty hours a week?
Oh, wait...he also schedules board ops. Good for the ol' resumé, you bet.
Sorry, Todd, but when you said "Yes," to Tim you entered permanent professional obscurity.
|12-27-07 Dear Mom, I got a PD job in St. Louis! ... Secret Squirrel thinks due diligence may not have been part of the new guy's plan:|
Craig Unger is out as PD of KTRS. He will be replaced by Todd Manley (scroll down the page), most recently the imaging director of WGN/Chicago. Manley also did imaging for KTRS as a free lancer for a few years. Could more changes be in the air AGAIN at KTRS? How many morning shows has the station had in 11 years? How many PDs has Dorsey gone through there? Maybe Manley didn't do his homework? Let's see how this latest move plays out.
What's really sad is that now that Tiny Tim's run out of KMOX'ers to Svengali into his fold, he's had to resort to hires who are a handshake away from former KMOX'ers. How pathetic.
And, knowing the history of the radio station, why has this guy said yes? I know jobs are hard to get these days, but to misquote Al Wilson, "I knew you were a snake before you brought me in." Todd could have asked anyone in the entire industry about Tim and KTRS (The Laughingstock of the Broadcast BizTM)...most of them have worked here at one time or another!
Emmis Broadcasting's K-HITS 96 morning talker JC Corcoran has signed a three-year contract extension.
Corcoran began his stint in St. Louis in 1984 with KSHE, then re-joined Emmis in 2001 following a sixteen-year hiatus.
The "Morning Showgram with JC and The U-Man (John Ulett)" is currently in second-place in their target demo of 25-54 Persons.
"This new deal ensures that I'll be at K-HITS in 2009 for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the show's debut in St. Louis. It also ensures that I'll finally be able to pay off my student loan," Corcoran said.
JC will also continue provide nightly commentary for FOX2 News in St. Louis as well as contribute a monthly column to St. Louis Sports Magazine.
12-27-07 CE move from CC/STL to CC/DC ... Another one exits the Highlands...but this time in a positive light! Chief Engineer Christian Vang is headed to CC/Washington DC for a similar position where one of his first prorities will be a major studio build-out.
12-26-07 STLMedia buddy and certifed car nut Jonnie King ...
... knows I drive a somewhat more recent model of the Lincoln Town Car than the one pictured above, the 1941 Lincoln, one of the last great American luxury cars built before we entered WWII and shifted all our machining and metal over to the war effort.
|12-26-07 On the Internet ... you can run but you can never hide. (And no one can hear you scream, unless you load up an MP3 file.)|
Tasha, the STLMedia WatchDog, offers this email in evidence:
Someone asked me what Al Brady Law is up to...so I did a search and found this...
Could this guy seriously be programming a new religious station in
Doesn't seem like a fit...but the picture looks like him.
STLMedia firmly believes in redemption, so anything is possible. The top photo is of ABL from his KTRS days; the bottom photo is from the referenced link at LifeFM.
The eyes, the 'stache, the hairline...looks like the same guy on these monitors, at least to me.
If Al Brady Law has found the Lord and become an expat, more power to him.
We report, you decide, to coin a cliche.
UPDATE: Secret Squirrel supplements Tasha's report -- Al Brady is in Boston. I don't know WHERE yet though,
and as far as I know, no one else knows either. BOSTON! TRUST ME!
Look at that vehicle, though: streamlining, moulded rear fender skirts, suicide doors and a leather interior that could house a family of eight in comfort.
The chrome and glass alone on the car probably weighs more than most current mid-sized autos.
And you just know that there's an unbelievable power plant (for the era) under the long, long hood.
In any given accident, if you're driving it, you win. Even Santa knows.
For me, today? Power everything, please. I don't think I could steer that beast, shift its gears or brake it without power assist.
And gas at .23 a gallon like it was when I was in High School would be good, too.
12-22-07 OakHill buys Fox O&O's ... and you unbelievers told me it would never happen!
KTVI/Fox2 becomes part of LocalTV, along with the NYT and Tribune stations (including KPLR/11), at least for now.
Note: This is why KTRS (Bobby Lawrence's radio baby) affiliated with KTVI/Fox2 and dropped KSDK/NBC5 a while back. I will take your cash challenge on this bet now.
Oak Hill Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, announced today that it has agreed to purchase eight News Corporation owned-and-operated FOX network affiliated television stations for approximately $1.1 billion in cash.
Bobby Lawrence, CEO of Local TV, said, "These are heritage stations in great markets. Their management teams and operations are a perfect fit with Local TV. The stations have an outstanding track record and we look forward to helping them continue their success."
12-22-07 Radio World asking for postage help ... the magazine, published most recently by IMAS Publishing, has been sent free for years to almost anyone who asked for it, and in the past few years has carved their snailmail list down even while it's become more and more a shill for various sponsoring causes (specifically HDRadio).
It's come into my mailbox every two weeks for years but now this advertising-supported trade mag wants its readers to pay for part of the cost of snailmailing. I say no.
They've developed a wonderful interactive website and great Rich Text issues and features online and that should be enough.
The dead-tree version should just go away; they could easily alert us (as they already do) to the presence of a new issue or industry alerts online with email.
If this is not where they're headed already, Radio World management needs to be replaced with Print 2.0-savvy types that can move the mag forward.
C'mon...how much could IMAS save by dumping ink, newsprint and snailmail?
12-22-07 Top 10 STLMedia stories of 2007 ... Look thru the 2007 archives for October/November, July/August/September, April/May/June and January/February/March and, for December 2007, below on The Front Page...then suggest here what you think were a few of the biggest stories in the market for 2007 in radio, tv and print. I'll tally 'em up and post 'em here after the New Year.
12-21-07 Randy Michaels takes over WGN radio ... he's Sam Zell's $8billion dollar boy wonder, named EVP and CEO of Interactive and Broadcasting for Tribune Company's TV and radio properties; Zell is Tribune's new CEO. Can Bobby Lawrence be far behind in the order of march?
Chicago insiders say there are serious business problems at Tribune and they need to be fixed. Michael's slash and burn rep with FM's won't apply to Tribune in Chicago; he has a different record with AM's.
WGN's staff is aging and may be facing some necessary personnel changes in the coming year.
I bet former KMOX'er Tom Langmyer is waiting to see what happens and keeping his options open.
Now...what might happen with Zell's acquisition of KPLR/11 and his potential purchase of the Fox O&O's, including KTVI/Fox2? Don't count two-stations in one-market ownership out for Zell's company.
12-21-07 Nielsen TV ratings have a glitch ... and that's just what ratings credibility needs. From MediaPost:
The glitch, which was disclosed this week in a notice to clients, involved a failure of both the active and the passive components of Nielsen's system used to measure WKRN-TV, the ABC affiliate in Nashville, Tenn. Nielsen did not explain to clients specifically what happened, but it acknowledged that the failure involved both the "station's encoding equipment" (the active portion of its system), as well as its Nielsen's passive monitoring of the station's signal.
12-19-07 KMOV/CBS4 offered, in the cable channel guides ... a new NCIS eppy this evening, but showed a repeat instead. The new show had a plot that presented ME "Ducky's" refusal to perform an autopsy on a murdered Muslim US sailor. I've emailed KMOV to see what's the deal. I'd hate to think that the wonderful world of political correctness was the cause of the change, either locally or on the net.
UPDATE 21 December -- Got this email from KMOV/CBS4 in response to my query:
CBS pulled the show at the last minute. They did this with two other shows on Wednesday night as well. They did not provide any reason to the affiliates, but my guess is that, due to the ongoing writer's strike, they are trying to save new episodes for a later date. Comment here
12-19-07 Not good, not good, infinity ... from Yahoo/Reuters:
The FCC said okay today to end the 32-year old ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership in the top 20 markets. TV station owners may buy up to seven radio stations in a market.
In addition, the FCC action exempted 36 newspaper-broadcast ownership combinations that had been grandfathered under the previous rule. Thanks to Rod Zerr for the tip.
It's...it's...it's unnatural, cats and dogs living together.
When will these maroons learn that consolidation is NOT a good thing?
The good news is that Lee is so underfunded that they can't even buy a CB radio.
12-19-07 Non-Sonderman STL pizza delivery history ... from the WSJ:
In 1993, a St. Louis woman who was involved in an auto accident with a Domino's delivery person sued the company on the grounds that the 30-minute pledge led to accidents. Domino's later settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed sum and abandoned the promise. Now, with declining sales nationwide, Domino's is bringing it back.
12-18-07 Why can't all political advertising be like this? ... Why can't candidates quell the who shot John crap and concentrate on their, uh, qualifications?
12-18-07 Found in a local grocery store ... (and openly liberated by me); the printing department at this company is probably staffed by future CNN and FNC headline scroll writers. I gots a shiny new quarter that says they meant something else...
12-18-07 Ticket scalping to become legal, sort of ...
Ticketmaster plans to launch a Web site next year where people can resell tickets to pro football games, the latest push by the event ticketing company into the lucrative secondary ticket market.
12-18-07 Art Holliday to take business refresher course, soon ... from Countenance:
KSDK: Don’t Watch Our Commercials
Art Holliday was doing a story [Monday] on Channel 5’s news at noon. The story was about exercise, and the point of the story was that you can get exercise just by getting off the couch. Holliday finished the story by stating that one can get exercise by walking around the house during commercial breaks on TV.
Presumably he meant to include the line "turn it up" but just, you know, forgot.
12-18-07 Arbitron Fall 2007 Phase 2 numbers ...
12-17-07 Frank O. Pinion's ... Large Morning Show In The Afternoon used JibJab's resources to produce this Christmas greeting/shameless hustle for their upcoming cruise. Thanks to Ian (the Peon) Geisz for the link.
12-17-07 Is it just me ... or are pretty much all of the internal functions at STLToday.com slow as molasses? And the searches many times turn out to be inconclusive? Comment here
12-17-07 KMOV/CBS4's website ... was down briefly and then up again over the weekend. The page that appeared was a Network Solutions replacement page, leading wise websters to believe that somebody forgot to renew a domain. It's an "oops" that's happened at least once to just about everyone who manages websites; the good news is that it was caught in time, before the domain got picked up by a pack of Chinese or North Korean pirates and turned into a porn site. Now, that would have been embarassing!
12-17-07 Say it ain't so ... Secret Squirrel almost lost his nuts (or at least the map to where he buried them) when he heard this: Did Craig Unger and Tim Dorsey really try to convince Wendy Wiese to go back to Westport Plaza for yet another try at a bad morning show? Is management that unhappy with Vick and Katy? Sheesh...no comments necessary.
12-17-07 Best.Newspaper.Headline.Ever. ... at dinner Sunday evening, celebrating the birthday of one of our closest friends, this headline,
supposedly from the New York Post, came into conversation: Ike Turner Beats Tina To Death. Think about it... Comment here
12-16-07 Apparently, sometime in the last few days ... it snowed. Anybody else notice this? Did they mention it on the tv weathercasts?
12-16-07 Looks like the STLMedia Watchdog knew ... the squirrels Tasha's been herding the past few months had no place to go but up into the branches of an oak tree once the snow fell. Girl-dog's on the case.
Tasha is an Australian Cattle Dog (a Red Heeler). She was born 15 March 2005 and became an Anderson on 13 September 2007. Tasha's a rescue dog, from the Humane Society. Please consider adopting a pet there first, or from any qualified adoption agency.
12-15-07 Worst.Sponsor.Credit.Ever. ... Saturday evening, on the History Channel, during a show on the pandemic that took out as much as half of the European population in the Middle Ages, the VO guy said: "The Plague is brought to you by Red Lobster." Mrs. A and I 'bout busted a gut laughing. I'm thinking a job review of HC copywriters might be in order... Comment here
12-14-07 Thanks to Susan Smith-Harmon ... for this cool Christmas card. Drifters, right? Or maybe the Coasters...and only former KIX PD John King and Mrs. A will understand that reference.
12-14-07 Re: Pujols -- KTVI/Fox 2 did nothing wrong ... before those of you rallying against KTVI and their ND light your torches and march on the station, you might want to hold your water and think this over rationally. If what Dan Caesar reported is true (I did not see KTVI's reports) they reported only what was delivered to them in a chain of references and sources that would have been acceptable by any news reporting agency anywhere.
That it began at the NBC radio flagship in NYC should have tripped a few triggers in the suspicions department, since NBC and their broadcast and cable nets have had some pretty serious problems with factual reporting and credibility in the past year.
Nonetheless, that KTVI used the story and presented it the way they did is to their credit, and shame on others, radio and TV, for ignoring it and treating Pujols as St. Albert the Greater. There's considerable discussion on this going on here (Registration required).
12-12-07 And they can play it over from 12M-5AM ... Cable network GAC and ABC Radio Networks have partnered to launch GAC Nights: Live from Nashville, a syndicated radio program airing weeknights from 7PM-12M. GAC's Suzanne Alexander hosts and will be joined by GAC personalities Storme Warren and Nan Kelley. The show launches January 14th.
See how quickly your friends in Nashville can reduce that burdensome, expensive employee list even further?
12-11-07 Please note the story references ONLINE newspapers ... from MediaPost:
One of the best ways of generating word-of-mouth may be via the press. That's the conclusion of a new Millward Brown study being released today by the National Newspaper Network and the Newspaper Association of America. The study, based on online interviews of 1,501 adults conducted in September and October, found that readers of online newspapers are more likely to be so-called "influencers" - people who spread buzz and shape the opinions of others about various issues, including branded products and services.
12-11-07 A delicate issue ... that probably no one will address. From MediaPost:
Black-Owned Radio Group Slams Arbitron
It's a bad sign when a media fight goes to Congress.
The latest swipe at Arbitron came from Jim Winston, executive director of the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters, in his testimony to the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications last Wednesday. He said results from its Portable People Meter system suffered from "bias," adding: "PPM is a greater threat to the survival of minority-owned media than even the FCC's threatened media-ownership rule changes."
Winston's ire was the result of Arbitron's alleged unwillingness to rectify shortcomings in the PPM system, including its failure to meet target sample sizes in key demos. Of critical interest to NABOB members are African-Americans ages 18-34, a group they say is woefully underrepresented in Arbitron's samples. They blame ratings disparities--the sudden drop at urban format stations--after the switch to PPM.
Here's Mike's take on this. Get ready to get pi**ed off if you're a sensitive sort.
Over many years of Arbitron research, it's been known how difficult it was to get any respondents at all to fill in the diaries. We came to accept that they were completed on the last possible day before they had to be mailed in, and from memory and not from concurrent listening.
Some demos (mostly younger) and some races (mostly Black but also Hispanic) were less likely to fill them in at all, so Arbitron increased the financial incentive for those listener segments, with the intention of increasing their response rate. Makes sense to me.
Additionally, Arbitron always bolstered the final segment of the survey period with a flood of diaries into under-represented demos and races to bring their "in-tab" (fully completed and acceptable for parsing) diaries up to the 1% sample they deemed necessary for accurate results each rating cycle.
We accepted these weaknesses, work-arounds and minimal responses and learned to live with the ratings. Didn't like 'em, didn't think they used a sufficient audience base, thought they cost too much, but they were what they were and they were what we had to sell.
Then along comes the Personal People Meter, a little pager-like device that listens to radio along with you, records what you hear, stores the info and then sends it back to Arbitron.
There's good news and bad news with the PPM.
First, you have to remember to wear it ever day, all day long.
Second, you have to keep the PPM charged by placing it in its cradle for at least a few hours every day.
Third, you have to allow the PPM time in its cradle to "call home" and report it's findings.
There are other issues, but these three are the top of the list.
I'm not saying that any given race or nationality is less than attentive to their PPM responsibilities. But the published fact is that Black and Hispanic radio stations are the ones complaining about ratings lesser than they were with the hand-written diaries.
Look: all you've got to do to make your radio use measured fairly, White, Black, Hispanic, Oriental or whatever, is to wear the damned PPM thing and then remember to set it in its little saddle at night. It does everything automatically, like magic.
How tough is that?
Much as I hate to say it, these rating discrepancies are not Arbitron's fault.
12-11-07 Secret Squirrel put his Rams jersey on and infiltrated ... the Not-So-Big 590:
John Marecek and Bob Fescoe are out at KFNS effective
Jan 1. They were told their contracts would not be renewed. In other
KFNS news, Brian Stull, who was not good enough to be considered for the
full time reporters job when he applied a year ago, is now the full time
Rams, Blues and Cardinal reporter. Sara Daley, who was told 2 years
ago that she did not have enough experience to be the promotions
director, is now the new promotions director. Evan Crocker has also been asking
staffers for their opinion of Jason Barrett. The feedback has not been
good for JB.
12-11-07 Like the KSHE Cafe wasn't a bad enough idea ... from Boston.com:
It's "I Love Lucy" meets Kobe beef burgers in a sleek restaurant just a few yards from Gillette Stadium. That's the premise of a new concept, known as CBS Scene, being unveiled next fall as a joint partnership between New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and CBS Corp. The 15,000-square-foot restaurant serving upscale grill fare will feature about 130 high-definition televisions, including table-side flat-screens programmed with CBS content ranging from "Late Night with David Letterman" to "The Honeymooners."
12-11-07 This audio track hit the web over the weekend ... like an atomic bomb. By late Sunday it was linked at countless blogs and websites, and Monday I had HUGE email, all pointing to the hotlink. In case that doesn't work, try this one. Merry Christmas...from Clear Channel!
12-09-07 Just after 4AM Sunday morning ... Tasha, the STLMedia WatchDog, and I distributed the ashes of Lucy and Boy Dog in the back yard that our dear two dogs loved so much.
Tasha yipped and jumped in their honor, following my lead, even though she didn't know them, as I tossed their ashes into the wet grass, to be absorbed into the next-year's lawn.
Lucy and Boy crossed The Rainbow Bridge this last year, in April and September, respectively.
Tasha, an Australian Cattle Dog, joined our family on my birthday in September.
12-09-07 In honor of Production Directors everywhere ... especially at this time of the year. Talk about unsung heroes... Listen here
12-07-07 I occasionaly get positive email ... like this: This site is great with the inside info on radio, TV and print. You really fill a big void in our community. As a former radio guy I still like to know what's going on in the biz. You're doing great work. I like your "take no prisoners" attitude, concerning the Clear Channel and KTRS salt mines. Your advice to print media is revolutionary and right on. What a great job! The only thing I can advise is don't give away the advice for free, man, you could make a mint as a media consultant.
Okay then...no more free advice. Send the money before you ask the questions.
12-07-07 Arbitron ... will reach 80% of its target sample sizes for the critical 18-54 demo, the company announced Wednesday after consulting with the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council. This is a step down from its earlier proposal to guarantee 90% of sample target sizes for listeners 6 years and up.
12-07-07 Newspaper 2008 will be just as bad ... as Newspaper 2007: Newspaper publishers and analysts now say next year will probably be just as tough for the troubled industry as 2007.
12-07-07 Sometime today we'll learn ... if the story we picked up from OHM about the sale of nine Fox TV stations, including KTVI/2 here, has legs. I say it has long, muscular legs, that stretch all the way to the floor.
OHM has credibility and has posted updates and clarifications to the info we posted here weeks ago.
KTVI/2's GM Spencer Koch has denied this sale to our sources, but we believe this is just a matter of his being allowed no corporate comment on the story. Guess Spencer hopes he'll be kept on. Good luck, Mr. Koch.
If I were a betting man, I'd put the cash on Fox selling the nine markets to Local TV, LLC, and for all of them to stay Fox affiliates.
Then we'll have to deal with Bobby Lawrence and Randy Michaels raping a group of otherwise healthy tv broadcast stations for their own personal profit.
Just like they did with their radio properties.
12-06-07 From JC Corcoran ...We got this too late to do much with it last year so we've rolled it out, full-scale, this year. These are the real guys, btw. The writing was a collaboration among me, Carl Middleman, as well as David Bickler and Pete Stacker, the RMOG guys. Nicely done, and something of a privilege to have "the RMOG guys" working on your station's behalf. Listen here.
12-06-07 WKRP audio ... STLMedia friend Jay Philpott has one of the most amazing collections of radio-related MP3's (airchecks, jingles, drops, etc.) I'm aware of, even organized on a lengthy spreadsheet. Recently Jay's begun sharing tracks from his 90-episode collection of the classic tv show, WKRP in Cincinnati. We'll be presenting them here, as Jay excerpts the audio.
12-05-07 Fox sells KTVI to Local TV LLC ...
Ohio Media Watch hears that it has been announced to staffers at Cleveland FOX
owned-and-operated WJW/8 "FOX 8" that the local station, and eight other
FOX-owned stations are being sold to Oak Hill Capital Partners. The
below-top-10 market outlets were put on the block to help fund FOX parent
News Corporation's successful bid for the "Wall Street Journal".
Yes, that's the same Oak Hill Capital Partners which bought the New
York Times TV stations, and now run them under the "Local TV, LLC" banner.
And yes, that's the same Oak Hill which hired former Clear Channel
radio head Randy Michaels, he of suburban Cincinnati, to run the group.
The prospect was brought up recently in a Reuters article, which we
found through Tom Taylor's Radio-Info.com daily newsletter.
OMW hears that Randy's name was mentioned at today's meeting with FOX
brass visiting the South Marginal Road headquarters of WJW.
"Cleveland's Own" FOX 8 is the largest market station on the
nine-station FOX sell-off list, followed by markets like Denver and St. Louis.
FOX's top 10 market O&Os (in places like New York, Chicago and Los
Angeles) are staying with the company.
STLMedia told you weeks ago that this was a sure thing, and now it looks like it's come to pass. Woe is the TV market in the Gateway City as the "man" who single-handedly crippled the radio business now takes his pathetic shot at television. Comment here.
12-05-07 Smartest move they've made since they've been here ... Simmons Media has hired market vet and the guy who is likely the best known (and certainly the best behaved) stadium announcer in STL, Tom Calhoun, to voice their imaging for their Team 1380 station. Tom's been the voice of the Blues for, oh, what, about a hundred years? He's also the PA guy for the Gateway Grizzlies. As Tom says, "I'll announce your sports event for food, particularly that Krispy Kreme cheeseburger at the Grizzlies games."
12-05-07 Mr. Computer Wizard ... finally finished up the STLMedia Main System updates, hardware and software, polishing it all off with a nifty wireless keyboard and mouse thingie. Now we here sit around the office drinking coffee and patiently waiting for the next round of XPPro updates, due early 2008.
12-05-07 KLPW back on the air ... Following up Wachter's stations off the air -- Randy Wachter's KLPW-FM/Union is back on the air as of Tuesday PM, in a country format. We still don't know why it was off the air, or why its sister station was, in the first place. Comment here.
12-04-07 The only reason I can think of ... that Jamie Allman's KFTK morning show doesn't make the Top Ten 25-54 is the presence of the Fortunate Son Crane Durham. The boy adds nothing to the show and, in fact, drags the level of intellect considerably down. Durham, formerly a country club tennis coach, is only on the air anywhere because of his family's social connections. Emmis/STL would be well served by ditching Durham and letting Allman solo. Comment here.
12-04-07 Coming soon ... why radio hits are played so many times, and the frequency came to be...
12-04-07 What we already said ... and about which we do not care.
From the STLBJ:
Local radio stations 1380 KSLG-AM and 1190 AM are changing their affiliations
Big League Broadcasting, owners of Sports Talk 590 KFNS-AM and The Talk Monster 1190 AM, announced Monday the conversion of the 1190 frequency to ESPN Radio 1190 AM. The transition will take place on Jan. 1.
Evan Crocker, vice president and general manager of Big League Broadcasting-St. Louis, said in a statement: "In taking 1190 AM to all-sports ESPN 1190, combined with Sports Talk 590 The Fan KFNS, Big League Broadcasting can now deliver premiere sports programming on a national and local level for the St. Louis sports fan."
Simmons Sports Marketing said as of Monday morning, sports talk station 1380 KSLG-AM is switching its affiliation from ESPN Radio to Fox Sports under the new name TEAM 1380. It wasn't long ago 1190 AM switched from a sports talk format over to political talk and now its going back to sports with ESPN.
The station will be local from 6AM to 7PM Monday through Friday with national syndicated programs taking up the remainder of the schedule.
None of this matters. It's all crap meant for stupid advertisers who will buy anything directed at local sports clients. You can't hear these stations outside the 170 loop anyway.
12-04-07 HD-2 EAS Handbook ... download it and bet your life that it'll never be used. Why? Nobody has an HD Radio, and those who broadcast to them just don't care. Comment here.
12-04-07 Imus is back on the air at WABC/NYC ... and for the life of me, I don't understand why anyone cares, especially those of us in markets where his show does not air. The radio trades are all aflame with audio and video celebrating his resurrection. Fact is that Imus' relevance was finished a dozen years ago. C'mon...do you really care? Comment here.
12-04-07 Wachter's stations off the air ... and Secret Squirrel wants to know: So what’s up with Randy and his stations? 93x …the station in Union MO and Vandalia stations are all off the air as of Friday. I have no idea why ... maybe you do. Comment here.
12-03-07 Friday's CC changes ... Secret Squirrel reports: Taylor J returns weekdays to Z107.7; on The Bull, Craig Cornett will be heard 5:30AM-12N and Billy Greenwood 12N-7PM. Reason being told is that listeners want to hear more from their favorite air-personalities. Big Mike and Sherry Farmer are off the air weekdays and Kelly Wilde is gone.
Morning and afternoon drivers, including the PD, running seven hour shows? Bullcrap. At least half of each will be voicetracked. Listeners want to hear more of their favorites, indeed.
Look, the deal is this: Clear Channel needs to clear the decks on personnel charges as they sell off. They DO NOT care about ratings and they DO NOT care about audience.
They care only about raping their stations for profit.
12-01-07 A little holiday giftie for ya ... thirty minutes of tv spot oldies:
12-01-07 Former KTRS'er George Woods has been hard at work ... on an internet "radio" project and is just bringing it to fruition, with affiliation with 67 national sponsors (!), local sponsors and multiple music streams.
Woods says: After I returned to KC, the hole in the market that RadioGeorge, the online local talk show that I cranked up just before KTRS lured me to St. Louis, filled, wasn't there any more.
To my surprise, a number of friends, and my wife, kept saying that RG was a great idea and that maybe there was some other way to resurrect it. What has come forth has been a real labor of love, and is turning into an exercise in Internet marketing...and full credit to Randy Raley, who gave me the idea for the new Radio George.
12-01-07 Tom Weber is leaving KWMU ... for Minnesota Public Radio, says he couldn't pass up the opportunity to work at a network that produces such shows as "A Prairie Home Companion" and "Marketplace" and operates a regional network of 37 radio stations. Comment here.
12-01-07 A listener wonders ... about news and traffic reporting. Maybe station execs ought to pay attention...here's from my email:
I like your site because it keeps me updated (honestly) about radio in STL and in general. I graduated Mizzou with a degree in Radio/TV/Film (not J school!) but never got in the biz. Still, I love radio and listen to 20 times more radio than watch TV (I've figured it out).
My question is why does STL radio rely so much on networks for news? There are stations across the country (WSB, WGN, WLS, WIND, KMBZ, WWL, etc) that will have their top-of-the hour news presented locally with network sound bites. It's concise, tight, and you get the info you need from one voice/source. Here all stations follow the model of network first then local after. Seems like that drags it out.
KTRS tried this approach during the ill-fated Brady era, but went back to the old way after he left. That was the one change I did like. WBGZ in Alton does this sort-of. Local first then network, but even this is better.
One other thing-seems to me stations are cutting traffic reports or cutting traffic people just as we are heading to having the biggest traffic issues of our STL lives. Not everyone has access to traffic info on the go or access to computer...I have the latter. The least KMOX could do is traffic in every news cast...even if it's just construction. They would definitely find sponsors.
Answers, anyone? Bueller?
12-01-07 Don't call it product placement ... call it an "integration." And now Trump's Apprentice wants $2.5 million per episode. Radio missed the boat entirely on this deal. Use your imagination, radio dudes (and dudettes)! Comment here.
12-01-07 RJ Reynolds dumps print ads ... The nation's second-largest tobacco seller is pulling out of print advertising entirely in 2008 in response to attacks from Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) and sympathetic colleagues, as well as broader criticism from anti-tobacco advocacy groups. Comment here.
12-01-07 Former AM radio sales guy figures out narrowcasting ... at local gas stations. He's making a lot of money, charging clients $200 a month and offering 2100 avails a day per location, airing 15-second spots and using free, unsigned local talent for music. He also employs seven people (probably more than your local Clear Channel cluster) and plans to triple his workforce next year. Comment here.
11-30-07 1380 cans most of their local sales staff ...and outsources their new 10A-12N weekday show to 360 Sports Marketing.
360, founded earlier this year by UMSL golf coach (and former Winghaven CC manager and radio personality) Dustin Ashby, will be bringing in Tim Woodburn, most recently Sports Director at Cumulus' WVLK in Lexington/KY and previously publisher of the defunct free newspaper, The Lexington Snitch.
Woodburn joins an "elite" group of STL sports types (Tony LaRussa, Josh Hancock, Leonard Little, Rob Ramage, et al) with alcohol-related driving offenses or tragedies on their record.
Dan Caesar will likely have more on this at STLToday.com over the weekend.
11-30-07 Local news media up in arms at Press Club treatment ...
At a recent STL Press Club event, well-known local PR maven Joan Quicksilver "disallowed" local TV reporters access to Tony LaRussa when they attempted to ask questions about his earlier guilty plea to a Florida DUI charge. The video's here.
KTVI/Fox2 is pretty hot about the situation.
This isn't the first time Quicksilver has tangled with members of the working press.
According to one local media observer, The group's biggest problem is that few members are working press, and it's being run by PR types like [outgoing PC President Alice] Handleman and Quicksilver. They really botched this one.
Another media wonk wonders why the tv crews couldn't have just waited and done one of their time-honored ambush interviews in the parking garage after the Joe Buck tribute?
On one hand, Quicksilver could easily be said to just be doing her job as a watchdog (and that's about 90% of a PR person's gig); on the other, it's unsettling to see the Press Club suppressing the local press.
But it's no real surprise. STL has, for many, many years been a "company town" and all the pertinent rules have been laid down by their PR firms and followed sheepishly by media, broadcast and print.
The times, though, they are a'changin'...
11-30-07 After what appears to have been a company-wide series of layoffs ... STLMedia is still waiting to hear the results of a 10AM-this-morning meeting at CCU's digs at The Highlands. Long-time employees in LA, Dallas, Greensboro and Louisville, among other markets, bit the dust today. Merry Christmas from the Mays family, who, also today, made a $40+million deposit after closing two major sales. Comment here.
11-28-07 Fall Book, Phase 1, 25-54 insight ...
25-54 PERSONS, 6-10A Weekdays
KIHT 6.7 to 7.1
KSHE 7.7 to 7.0
WARH 6.7 to 6.9
WIL 5.4 to 5.8
KYKY 5.1 to 5.7
KEZK 5.3 to 5.3
KMJM 5.4 to 5.3
KSD 4.6 to 4.7
KLOU 3.9 to 3.9
WFUN 3.2 to 3.8
KMOX 4.2 to 3.8
NOTES: Hard to imagine that KMOX is tied with, of all stations, WFUN
(!!!!!!!) for a TENTH-place tie, but they are. Watch to see if
KLOU's new TV campaign with Smash's voice-over propels them from
9th. Arch holding on. Guy Phillips up. Watch the impact of KEZK's
Christmas music on the cluster of top stations. JC and John Ulett
back in first over Bob and Tom for the first time since The Arch
25-54 PERSONS, 3-7P Weekdays
KFTK 6.9 to 7.0
WARH 5.5 to 5.5
KEZK 5.2 to 5.5
KSHE 4.8 to 5.3
KTRS 5.2 to 5.1
WIL 4.5 to 4.7
WFUN 4.5 to 4.5
KLOU 3.9 to 4.3
KYKY 4.1 to 4.2
KMJM 4.5 to 4.1
NOTES: Little movement here. Watch Glover's numbers as the
political season kicks into full swing.
25-54 PERSONS, 6A-12M Weekdays
KSHE 6.4 to 6.5
WARH 6.0 to 6.1
KEZK 5.2 to 5.5
KMJM 5.5 to 5.2
WIL 4.6 to 5.2
KIHT 5.0 to 5.1
KLOU 4.6 to 4.9
KYKY 4.6 to 4.8
KSD 4.1 to 4.2
WFUN 3.8 to 3.9
NOTES: Again, little movement. WIL mornings and overall moving up.
11-28-07 Left-coast sportswriter and STL homeboy Irv Muchnik ... (yes, THAT Muchnik family) has a bit to say about the major-media slamming of Mizzou's football ranking: Missouri’s #1 Football Ranking Can Mean Only One Thing – Slavery Is Back!
Read it here and then comment here.
11-28-07 Media recession coming? ... I call BS on this bit of business terror mongering. A downturn, yes. A full blown recession, probably not. From TheGlobeandMail.com:
The U.S. media industry is on the brink of a second downturn in a decade, one that could accelerate the divisions between fast-growing targeted advertising and traditional formats aimed at mass audiences.
Since the last advertising recession following the Internet bust in 2000, the world's largest media companies have tried to adapt to deep technological changes, from the rise of high-speed Web use to the spread of portable digital media players like Apple's iPod.
But a deteriorating U.S. housing market has raised fears of a domestic recession that could harm media segments vying for some $290 billion in U.S. advertising in 2008.
11-28-07 Susan Smith-Harmon ... why, oh why, did you have to try and do that juggling thing with six cans of cranberry sauce? Always one of our favorite people, Susan fractured her wrist over Thanksgiving. Tough to do data entry with one hand, kiddo! Heal quickly, Ms. Harmon!
11-28-07 November TV sweeps are almost over ... and here's where the numbers stand: KSDK owns mornings and 5 and 6PM; KMOV has the noon and 10PM locked up; KTVI trumps KPLR at 9PM and lags behind the established 10PM shows with its not yet established "News Edge."
5 - 7.9
2 - 5.0
4 - 3.9
4 - 6.7
5 - 6.6
5 - 12.6
4 - 9.1
2 - 6.4
5 - 13.2
4 - 8.6
2 - 4.7
2 - 8.7
11 - 3.7
4 - 13.9
5 - 13.1
2 - 4.3
11-28-07 Web radio royalty may silence Yahoo, AOL ... from InsideRadio: The two Internet giants say an impending 38% increase in royalties to the record labels will likely lead to an end to their web radio service. Yahoo's Ian Rogers tells Bloomberg "We're not going to stay in the business if cost is more than we make long term." AOL's Lisa Namerow agrees "the current math doesn't add up." Terrestrial radio operators are also facing a big increase for their webcasts. Comment here.
11-27-07 Classic STL aircheck ... Jonnie King on WDRQ Detroit and on K-Hits96...Listen here
11-27-07 My brother sends this along ... Just days after Microsoft delivered a release candidate preview for Windows Vista SP1, it has quietly issued a similar milestone for Windows XP SP3 to about 15,000 testers, the company said...according to accounts published last month, XP SP3 will feature more than 1,000 hot fixes and patches that have been issued in the past three years, as well as at least four new features, some of which will be ports of Vista tools.
It's those Vista ports that worry Rick and me... Comment here.
11-27-07 Hot news anchor creates tension in MO TV newsroom ... KRDW's new anchorette is making waves in local television. "I've done tons of photo shoots for Hooters and Banana Boat," says newswoman Lisa Storm. "That's like, really hard and stuff..." Read it here.
11-26-07 The history of Gaslight Square ... a lengthy (2:17) video presentation of the history of Gaslight Square, once the premier St. Louis arts and entertainment district. Very cool memories and a very cool video!
Thanks to Jonnie King for the original material (he even briefly appears in it, at about 4:20).
Joe Pollack reminded me that the STL Playboy Club was not exactly in Gaslight Square...it was on Lindell, near Vandeventer.
And another emailer, who shall remain nameless, waxed rhapsodical about his (very) personal experiences at the local Club and at Hef's West Coast mansion. Such things were so different in the 1960's and 1970's...
Enjoy the video. If you have RealPlayer10, you can download it for home viewing at your convenience.
11-26-07 Bill Pfeiffer's Airwaves is no more ... For those of you who don't know, Bill Pfeiffer started the first radio news group in the 1980's on the old USENET and grew it into a remarkable discussion group, newsletter and website.
He suffered a horrible disaster in December 1996, a fire in which he lost everything and which eventually took the life of his Mother; I was able to help a little by donating a computer to use as a new server and I paid for as much bandwidth as I could afford.
A few years later, in September 1999, Bill was killed in an auto accident and his website went into a memorial status. I just discovered that the domain was sold to an HVAC company a few years ago.
Bill gave a start to a number of well-known radio websites and was an inspiration when I first began STLMedia in 2000. Comment here.
11-25-07 Welcome to unattended operation ... Most recently known as 1490 Soul Classics WESL, owned by Simmons Media, WFFX had a bit of an issue over the weekend.
According to an emailed report, "WFFX 1490 AM for a few hours this afternoon simulcast KESZ 102.9 FM in Cape Girardeau. I don't think they have the same owner, so I can't place rhyme or reason."
The writer followed up on Sunday: "I have a theory re the WFFX simulcasting KEZS I told you about yesterday. [They were airing] SEMO basketball, and WFFX didn't cut out of the simulcast after the game, meaning for a few hours it played KEZS's country music and local ads."
11-24-07 Using a U3 drive ... The 4gig USB 2.0 thumb drive I recently purchased delivers graphic editing and capture using Irfan, reads MSOffice files (using Open Office), does FTP transfer, reads the web with Firefox, provides instant local weather updates, renders and edits PDF files, and gives me a text/HTML editor and an enormous amount of data storage...and that's just with free U3 aps I downloaded Friday night.
It can move from system to system; seems to work with everything here. Pretty impressive...a little teeny computer in your pocket, using everbody else's resources.
It also includes free anti-virus protection from the host computer.
Skip carrying the laptop around; just tie one of these onto your keychain, fill it up with your presentation and plug it into your client's system.
11-24-07 From STLRadio dot com ... A photographic and technical PDF presentation on KMOX transmitters, up to 2005, by Stanley Adams. Cool, in a geeky sort of way. Comment here.
11-24-07 Thanks to Frank Absher for sending this link along ... "For over 50 years, outlaw American radio broadcasters exploited a legal loophole and aired powerful pirate radio from the Mexican side of the border. So called ‘border blasters’ - or ‘X stations’ - were true innovators whose influence continues to be felt today."
11-23-07 Just in case you need to keep track ... of which radio stations around the US are doing the Christmas thing, here's where you can see the list. It's updated somewhat regularly.
11-22-07 Sincerest condolences ... to STL Radio stalwart JC Corcoran, whose father, James Francis Corcoran, passed away Wednesday evening at the age of 85 following a lengthy illness. According to JC, arrangements are pending but a memorial will likely be held in upstate Wisconsin sometime after the first of the year.
11-21-07 Happy Thanksgiving to y'all ... Don't know about you, but I'm most thankful for four-day holiday weekends. Great dinners with local family and friends, fun (and confusing) speaker-phone calls with distant family in KC and Richmond and friends elsewhere, and finally a taste of Winter.
Mrs. A will get some rest from her regular 60-hour weeks, Tasha, the STLMedia WatchDog, and I will play Tug, Herd The Squirrels, Belly Rub, Fur Brush and Chase The Laser Dot, we will all watch DVD's of no consequence and my BP will drop to 90 over 60.
Guaranteed: sometime on Saturday, Mrs. A will not-so-subtly suggest that I get my butt in gear and start cleaning and organizing the office, which has fallen into some disunity in the past year. Life just isn't fair.
If something comes up, email me or send it in via the Rumors Page.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
11-21-07 Maybe that's what made his hair grow back ...
Please tase me, bro! From 11 months ago yesterday, a memory of the sacrifices that our TV anchors will make for our holiday amusement...
|11-21-07 Charles Klotzer will hate this ...|
Klotzer, the Founder and Publisher Emeritus of the once-esteemed St. Louis Journalism Review, has steadfastly refused to accept that dead-tree publications are just that...dead, or nearly so. It's now all about the electrons.
The device pictured at left is the end of all Mr. K's objections.
Meet the Kindle, the first truly viable wireless online/offline reader, from Amazon.
Many topics are free to read, some are available by subscription, and most books cost about $10. And the EVDO service is free (no need to search for a WiFi HotSpot).
I can't include all the features here. Read this page and you'll be as impressed as I am (and, yes, it's on my Wish List, above right).
As with any new technology, there are sure to be improvements in updated models. But this, or something very similar, is the future, friends. Get the ink off your hands once and for all.
11-19-07 Phase 1, 12+, Fall 2007 ...
|11-20-07 KWMU GM Pat Wente ... spent part of the past weekend as a guest of the Sarasota County/FL Sheriff's Office after being stopped for and charged with DUI Saturday evening.|
Of course, the all-important mugshot is at left, with Ms. Wente wearing one of those snazzy prison orange jumpsuits.
Read the arrest sheet here (scroll down to p. 106).
Ms. Wente has been GM of KWMU, an NPR affiliate, since 1989.
11-19-07 My very first hard drive ... was a 40
kb meg install into a Tandy laptop and cost about a grand. That was in 1989 and I was online with Prodigy at 14.4k baud dialup.
Does anyone use the word "baud" anymore? Does anyone get a busy signal anymore when they log on?
Now I'm on DSL, with a system I don't fully understand but makes thing happen very, very quickly and will store a half-terabyte of data and never have a hard drive failure because of something called RAID.
I think terabyte means the same as a bajillion. Dunno. But I bet it's a lot.
Last night I bought a 4gig thumbdrive for about $60 that will store all my work, data, photos and audio and email and provide me with a transportable OS that I can plug into any computer, anywhere, carry in my pocket and get my work done wherever. Damn.
And Old Media can't get it together enough to move on to the next level?
11-19-07 STL racist tossed off YouTube ... Former WGNU talker and caller Frank Weltner, known on the air as "Couch Potato," who has taken advantage of the internet to spread his vitriolic white power and anti-semitic slime in hundreds of bigoted rants, has finally been deleted from the net's most easily accessible website.
YouTube has canned him, deleting all of his video rants.
Weltner is an oily spreader of hatred in all directions. I remember him calling conservatives on the air (including myself) at WGNU with his peculiar brand of unhappiness and I remember him emailing me with unhappy, drunken screeds late at night, about his broken relationships with women and men and his less-than-honorable military service. Weltner is a sad, bad and evil man.
11-18-07 Classified revenue is tanking ... and the best idea that the newspaper industry can come up with is to spend tens of millions to reinvent the Craigslist wheel.
Lee Enterprises Inc., the owner of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis, has joined fellow newspaper publishers MediaNews Group Inc. and Hearst Corp. in the $20 million purchase of an online classified ad software provider...aimed at creating an industrywide consortium featuring community-based classified advertising.
Mike's first six suggestions:
1. Shrink the print edition to tabloid size and pocket the newsprint savings. Think of the print package as a revenue-generating gift from God, while there are still people alive who want to read a newspaper offline; cherish newsbox and subscription income while it lasts. Print lots of photos.
2. Think Max Headroom. Only hire new reporters who are trained in video and still photography, video production and have appropriate wrap-around writing and narrative skills; train the old ones. It kills me to say it, but I haven't shot a photo on 35mm in years and years. My Leica and Nikon go unused. 7 or 8mp digital res is just fine for repro in print and online. Use higher res and sell the prints online as added revenue.
3. Equip all reporters with video/still cameras and digital audio recorders. Use the stills and their stories in what remains of your print edition; direct readers to your newly enhanced online edition with video and audio. Yes, you're in direct competition with TV. You always have been, so live with it. Now you can compete fully, even wif dem moom pitchers. Let your reporters narrate the video and read the stories, recorded in the newsroom. Natsound is good. Podcasts are good, too, although a tad out of date.
4. Pay as much (or more) for a visionary Web Manager as you do for your Editor-In-Chief. He or she represents the future of your business. And just one Web Manager per paper, please, if you're a chain. Save on salaries elsewhere.
5. Just as the income from recorded music is no longer in the sale of CD's, your future is in the ancillary income you can generate, one dime at a time. Coupons. User managed and auto-paid classifieds. Advertised product purchase click-thru's. Subscribed movie previews and product reviews. Get the picture?
Give the news away and charge a little bit here and a little bit there (mostly invisibly and in partnerships) so your readers can make their lives better and make your online product the central part of their info and consumer lives.
6. Include carefully moderated chat rooms for instant feedback and forums for single-subject commentary.
I grew up the son of a Printer and it pains me to say this: ink sucks and electrons rule. It is, after all, the 21st Century.
11-18-07 Congrats to KFTK's Jamie Allman ...
From Jamie's website: Natalie Kathleen Allman is 4lbs 15 ozs and is in NICU and doing great..she's a strong girl and your prayers worked! Thank you for all of your great thoughts and we are happy and blessed to have this beautiful and early gift! All the best, Jamie.
11-18-07 Hy Lit's show on WIBG was the reason I got into radio ...
11-17-07 St. Louis receives another national accolade ... and KEZK is so proud! I'm pretty sure this never hit the air, but it's VERY funny! Just click the Go button on the player below. The Syphillis Station...KEZK! Listen here
11-16-07 Happy birthday today ... to the STL Business Journal's best reporter and my buddy Rick DesLoge. Honestly, I had no idea how old he was. Wow. Still working, too, and with such a young wife (well, he told me she was his wife).
11-16-07 Persons using radio continue to decline ...
That refers to broadcast radio, of course. This ain't a good thing. We need to grow/educate more radio listeners. The way to do it is with compelling content. But I bet your budget doesn't allow for that, or your PD or consultant has no idea how to do it.
Summer book Persons Using Radio numbers declined to their lowest level since Arbitron began keeping statistics in Fall 1998. Radio usage dropped in every cell except 50-54s. Steepest declines continue to be among teenagers and young adults. That's especially true among males, with Men 18-24 and 18-34 cells posting the biggest year-over-year declines. But the crowded media world is also taking a toll on the 25-54 money demo.
11-16-07 Murdoch says huge TV profits are history ...
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has all but declared that the sky's-the-limit profits from traditional broadcast TV are over.
"I think we have to be a little sensible about this--and realize that free-to-air television faces a lot of challenges, just from the sheer fragmentation of the audience," Murdoch told shareholders in Australia, citing many homes with hundreds of channels. And that comes, he said, despite broadcasters "probably offering the best programs with the most excitement about them."
11-16-07 I brought BoyDog home yesterday ... After three months of putting it off, I picked up my late pup's cremains from my buddy and vet Dr. Chris Rolf's office at Clayton Animal Hospital. Chris and I had a good long chat, too. Boy's and Lucy's ashes will be scattered at their favorite places in our yard during the first appropriate snowstorm of the Winter. Plans are still being made, but they will certainly include son Jason, me, Tasha the STLMedia WatchDog and a considerable amount of beer.
11-16-07 This guy is a bought-and-paid-for idiot ... On the issue of the XM/Sirius merger, this rural Virginia Representative, Rick Boucher, says:
By the end of the year, the Justice Dept. and the Federal Communications Commission should have completed their review of the proposed merger of satellite radio providers XM Satellite Radio Holdings (XMSR) and Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI).
Because the merger will promote competition and benefit consumers, it should be approved.
How, exactly, does reducing the two licensed SatRad companies to one promote competition? Who will compete with whom? What a freakin' moron.
11-15-07 Noory for President 2012 ... From WorldNetDaily:
George Noory affirmed that he intends to remain the principal host of Coast to Coast AM, honoring until 2012 his current long-term contract with Premier Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, and possibly through 2016, but he acknowledges various advisers have been urging him to run.
For what it's worth, the year 2012 is also considered by many callers to Noory's show to be the end of the world predicted by the Mayan calendar, a year during which the planet will be struck by horrendous cataclysm.
Hey, I can see how these two could work together...
11-15-07 Is the AntiChrist set to buy Fox O&O's? ...
Secret Squirrel passes along this email:
Randy Michaels & Bobby Lawrence are one step closer to owning Fox 2 and eight other Fox TV-owned stations.
Reuters business wire reports Oak Hill Capital, the venture capital firm that owns Local TV LLC, has made a bid of $1.2 billion for the nine Fox-owned stations.
Local TV LLC is the operation run by Michaels and Lawrence.
According to Reuters, the bid is $600 million below Fox's asking price, but is the only bid that's been made.
Michaels and Lawrence are widely regarded as the Darth Vaders of radio broadcasting. They currently own nine TV stations sold by the New York Times Company. The largest markets in that group are Oklahoma City and Memphis. The nine Fox TV stations for sale include St. Louis, Denver, Cleveland, Kansas City, and Milwaukee.
11-15-07 One more from the Squirrel ... More changes at The Highlands: CC Total Traffic Assistant Director of Operations/Reporter Melody Sharp is out. Comment here.
11-15-07 Man Bites Dog! STL P-D praises radio station ... alleged Post-Dispatch radio writer Diane Toroian Keaggy has put together an interesting look at KSHE's 40th anniversary. Young Diane finds the most entrancing part of their tribute website to be the collection of Sweetmeat images. Comment here.
11-15-07 Radio trades were buzzing about this Thursday AM ...
The radio industry gave voice to its dissatisfaction with Arbitron's Portable People Meter ratings in a blunt letter sent last night and signed by some of the country's biggest broadcasters. With signatories including Clear Channel Radio, Cumulus Media, Cox Radio and Radio One Inc., the letter demands immediate action by Arbitron to remedy the PPM rating system's shortcomings.
Specifically, the broadcasters demand that Arbitron meet its in-tab sample targets for all age segments in the 18-54 range and all ethnicities, including African-Americans and Hispanics.
These four companies represent a big bag of subscriber loot to Arbitron; this bears watching.
11-14-07 Old Richmond friend David Bernstein ... most recently VP/Programming Air America, is out, effective immediately. Make your bets now that the LibTalk net is cutting back on costs. Love to see 'em survive, but they just don't get that whole Capitalism thing. David & Debbie will be just fine, I betcha.
Can't say so much for AA. Comment here.
11-14-07 A $15 WiFi portable receiver ... Told ya this was coming, and it looks like here it is.
A $15 portable WiFi radio that picks up 10,000-plus stations?
Cambridge Consultants says it’s completed the design of just such a gizmo, dubbed RadioPro, and that it will make the circuitry available to manufacturers.
This is the HDRadio and SatRad killer we've told you about.
Signals from the electronic mist that surrounds us all...and all your, lovingly free.
11-13-07 J-school prof fired for plagiarism ... A distinguished UM-Columbia journalism professor, John Merrill, will no longer write a weekly newspaper column after admitting to plagiarizing material from a student reporter. Comment here.
|11-14-07 Digital newsbox ...|
Newspapers used to cost a nickel back when I was a kid and now they cost, well, more.
The Birmingham News' Scott Walker modified a newsbox he bought on Ebay with a 17" monitor and a used Mac (although a PC would work as well) to play newspaper front pages from around the world, and even works as an alarm clock.
With speakers and a wireless connection, it'll also play MP3's and online videos.
The cost was about $800, plus his skilled labor.
Here are Scott's plans and project notes.
This pretty much answers the question, "Is print dead?"
So when will the P-D roll over and give it up to the Web? Comment here.
11-13-07 A new voice at STLMedia ... Here's an article on the Free Flow of Information Act by J-student Kathy Valdez, from whom I hope we'll read more.
Here's an excerpt from Kathy's excellent work:
I have come to realize that the free press that I learned about in history and the papers I read while growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s doesn’t really exist in the same form in the United States.
Today, the media is all about circulation and viewership which translates into advertising which means money.
Read it all and comment here.
11-13-07 The current Writers' Guild strike ... brings to mind the 1967 AFTRA strike that WABC/NYC DJ's were forced to honor. Management and other staff had to fill in on air. It wasn't pretty. The good news was that it didn't last long.
So...presuming that you were working at an AFTRA station, and there was a labor action and all your air talent decided to honor the picket lines, what would your station do?
Oops! Trick question: your station's already using voice tracking from non-union stations and your contract says that's okey-dokey; you're screwed! Not that AFTRA's of much use anyway...
11-13-07 This oughta make KMOX' Randy Raley a happy man ... from MetalUnderground: XM Radio launched a new channel dedicated to the music of rock icons Led Zeppelin yesterday. The new channel, "XM LED: The Led Zeppelin Channel" (XM 59), will feature the band's complete audio catalog, interviews with band members and other unique content that celebrates the musical contributions of Led Zeppelin. Comment here.
11-13-07 Top earning dead guys for 2007 ... from Forbes:
1- Elvis Presley $49 million
2- John Lennon $44 million
3- Charles Schulz $35 million
4- George Harrison $22 million
5- Albert Einstein $18 million
6- Andy Warhol $15 million
7- Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) $13 million
8- Tupac Shakur $9 million
9- Marilyn Monroe $7 million
10- Steve McQueen $6 million
11- James Brown $5 million
12- Bob Marley $4 million
13- James Dean $3.5 million
11-13-07 If the US enters a recession ... (and I'm not suggesting that we're about to, but there seems to be an uncertain feeling about the economy within the ad community) ... radio ads always seem to be the first thing to get thrown off the bus.
That never made sense to me, but who understands the media buyers' minds? What really troubles me is how much further can radio cut back?
With some exception, most every station is either voice-tracked or using syndication in many dayparts and average DJ pay is at an all-time low. Support personnel are being paid peanuts and sales commissions are in the dirt. Benefits are almost non-existent.
Each subsequent license transfer turns the new owner more financially upside down than the previous one as they assume debt based on stupid business deals. Who the heck buys any business at 15-20 times cash flow?
Most stations are running as fat-free as they have in decades, and there's not a lot left to trim.
11-12-07 Finding the REAL Classic Coke ...
Lots of years ago, Coke began to be made with high fructose corn syrup, as are many soft drinks these days, rather than cane sugar.
To me, it's a big difference in taste, even though I don't consume many soft drinks. And it may be a big difference in your health. But I'll leave that judgement to others.
If you enjoy the old taste of the drink, look for the small glass bottles of Coke that become available around Jewish holidays. Those that are marked Kosher are made with cane sugar rather than corn syrup. Check the label just to make sure (the bottler may have hired an apostate Rabbi). In my experience, the Kosher drink is only available in the smaller bottles (and I still believe that plastic loses taste to glass, regardless of the sweetener used).
Hannukah 2007 begins on December 4th, so these should become available soon. Buy lots, if you like the REAL Classic Coke. Passover's coming soon enough to make a resupply!
11-11-07 Regardless of whom you support ... for the Presidency in '08, you have to admit that this stuff is funny. Example: Fred Thompson once fought fire with fire. Fire was admitted to the hospital with third degree burns covering eighty percent of its body. Comment here.
11-10-07 Frank Absher asks these questions ...
(1) Who most influenced you to get into the radio, tv or print biz?
(2) Who has made you most embarrased that you did?
Comment here. And speaking of Absher, he sent along this video from The Great Plains Radio History Symposium...
11-10-07 But smoke one little doobie ... from New York Magazine:
"We know who you are. We’re all DEA agents, and we think you should smoke as much pot as you want to. And we love you." The Dell Dude lives on, with a new identity. And maybe still baked. Comment here.
11-09-07 Well, nobody expected this ... from MediaPost:
Arbitron's first measurements of New York City radio listening with its Portable People Meter technology delivered bad news for radio stations targeting African-American and Hispanic audiences, with ratings significantly lower than those previously generated by Arbitron's personal diary system. Although PPM ratings won't be used as the official market currency for ad sales until January, the October preview is giving many broadcasters cause for alarm.
And talk radio has grown immensely with PPM. While written diaries have had their own problems, it looks like PPM data recovery may have a whole new set of issues. The user has to remember to wear the damned thing and then to plug it back into the charger, from which it transfers collected data back to the Mothership.
For years, Arbitron has paid minority respondents a premium to "write it down" and now it appears they'll have to go further digitally (and maybe financially) to please minority-formatted owners who are unhappy to see what have been touted as more accurate radio ratings.
Or could it be that minority respondents are just a lot less likely to pay attention to all of this? Why else would Arbitron have made the premium for them so much higher? Ideas, anyone? How can we help PPM more responsive?
Is the written-diary practice of ascription responsible for inflation of ethnic listening? Or is it something else, something more sinister? Comment here.
11-09-07 Will whoever's left at The Highlands ... please turn off the transmitters? Secret Squirrel hears: The blood continues to flow from The Highlands as KMJM Middayer Chaz Saunders is let go on Thursday after a long stint on the radio station. This move also affects several other markets, as Chaz was voicetracking, as well. Clear Channel does it again. Comment here.
11-09-07 Well, of course he'll sue ... Muddying the waters legally is what Mel's all about.
From The Chicago Tribune: "If the FCC nixes the XM/Sirius merger, Sirius will sue."
According to Karmazin, "the merger should be a no-brainer."
Please note that this petulant child-man doesn't ever say who he'll say, or why, he just says he'll sue.
Ooooh...I'm scared! And so is, I'm sure, the FCC.
What doesn't this spoiled brat executive get about the fact that he's not always going to get his way, that he's not going to be the all-seeing, all-knowing master of time, space and SatRad? He needs to be prescribed new meds. Comment here.
11-09-07 We have a lot of readers in the NorthEast ... (thanks to Scott Fybush) and you all need to know that a good guy is available: premium DJ and Production and Programming wizard Kevin Fennessey is on the loose. Kevin's a long-time friend and his resume includes legacy stations like WMCA, WWDJ, WKBW, WHAM, and WFIL. Call (570) 351-2712 to touch base with him.
11-08-07 Resolution! ... We've been essentially offline for the past few days and now the new Main System is in place, and it's killer.
Immense dual-dual core processing capabilities and a three 300-gig HD RAID array, with my recently replaced 250-gig HD in place as an extra resource.
The outboard HD that I thought I had lost forever, with all my files, is finalizing recovery as well and will be added to the mix, along with all HD files back for years and years.
This will give me almost three-quarters of a terabyte storage for aps and files, all of which will be automatically backed up with RAID. God willing, I'll never suffer an HD failure again.
My thanks to Roger Klein, who spent hours building the new STLMedia system and making absolutely certain everything worked, just a few hours before he went to LA on another project.
Lots of other stuff I don't fully understand got included but all of it makes page, image and multi-media rendering and conversion move at the speed of light, online and off.
That's the good news. The rest of the news is that I'll be spending a few days reloading the rest of the software that lets me do whatever it is I do. At least it loads faster.
We'll be back up and running at full speed soonest. Who is it, car dealer Don Brown who says, "Very modern?" Ditto his ad-speak.
UPDATE: Oops...it's Dave Sinclair who says that, not Don Brown. Thanks to Terry Fox for embarassing me.
11-08-07 Bloody Sunday ... from NewsoSaur: Sunday newspaper sales have fallen to a 32-year low of about 51.3 million, according to projections based on the latest report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Comment here.
11-08-07 Sweetmeat regrets ... An unofficial history of KSHE95 from John Sebben. Comment here.
11-08-07 Parisi moves on ... Joe Parisi leaves Movin 101.1. Not fired, he quit and accepted a job outside of radio. Comment here.
11-05-07 Loaded up my iPod last night ... with five recent South Park episodes I'd not yet seen. I'll be the guy wearing earbuds, laughing his butt off, while he eats biscuits and gravy this week at Reynolds Roadhouse.
11-04-07 NBC Football went green ... by shutting off the studio lights during Sunday Night Football:
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” officially will become a “green” show this weekend, as it kicks off an initiative that will see the broadcaster televise 150 hours of environmentally-themed content this week across its broadcast and cable networks, online sites and mobile platforms. … Green week will start one hour into “Football Night in America,” at 8:00pm ET. That’s when studio host Bob Costas will explain the initiative. … About 90 seconds before the end of the pre-game show, NBC literally plans to turn the lights out, having the pregame crew finish the show in the dark. The studio lights will stay off through the halftime and post-game shows.
I'm not sure I fully understand this. Why didn't they just play and air the game during the fully sunlit day?
How much electricity would that have saved? How does such stunting make any difference?
Aah! NBC wouldn't have had prime-time football ads to sell if they'd done that!
I think the word of the day is "disingenuous." The phrase of the day is "politically biased."
11-03-07 Did I get p0wned? ... Maybe. My report on the alleged Mark Edwards promotion to a CBS/Chicago gig is denied by this internal memo from the Big Man himself:
I have received several e mails this morning telling me that a media gossip website (which I no longer lower myself to read) is reporting that I'm moving to Chicago. I feel its important to let each of you know the truth about this unfounded and inaccurate rumor.
Neither me or my family has any intention of leaving KEZK, Y98, and St. Louis for Chicago or anyplace else.
While CBS is making a format change on one of our Chicago stations, I am not involved in that project in any way, shape, or form. Anything I know about that project is information I've read in the trades. I'm quite busy with KEZK and Y98, the upcoming change of KEZK to Christmas music, and building at least two new web streams as we expand our digital offerings. As most of you know, my family and I have chosen to live in St. Louis because of the great job I have and the education services available to my children and that has not changed.
Its not unusual for PD's to help other PD's with their stations, and there's always the chance that I'll be asked to provide feedback on projects in other markets. However, I have no plans to leave our stations.
One of the unfortunate things about the Internet is that anyone with free time on their hands and a computer can post anything they want on the web and some people will believe it simply because its there. For reasons beyond my comprehension, I seem to be a target on some gossip sites, and what's posted is completely baseless. Don't let these sites become a distraction, and consider the source when you read things on the Internet.
I'm going to a doctor's appointment today and will be in a little later than normal. However, I'm available to talk about this with you via cell phone or e mail at any time. I want to make it perfectly clear that I have no plans to go anywhere and am happy to answer any questions you may have in regards to the smear campaign that has been going on for the last week or so.
I'm sorry for any concern or distraction this situation has created and trust this clears things up. I also trust that you will treat this e mail as a confidential internal memo and not share it with anyone outside of our Market Street family.
Mark Edwards, Director Of Programming
KEZK, Soft Rock 102.5
Well, life goes on. Smear campaign? Nah. Just calm down the way you handle your staff. Hope that doctor thing worked out for ya, Mark.
11-03-07 My apologies to those of you who have sent email recently ... I will be responding soonest. STLMedia's Main System is, after about six years, two OS' with accompanying Service Packs, three hard drives and as many CD and DVD drives (and too many service calls), starting to give it up. Email has been transferred to the laptop (with a whole new environment) and a new Main System is being built as I write. The specs look pretty spectacular, with wildly expanded functionality; I'll keep ya posted.
11-03-07 Many thanks to Jim Richardson ... of Richardson Heating & Cooling, who made it his business to stop by after hours and expertly take care of a minor but vexing problem with our furnace that could have left us awfully cold last night. I've known Jim and his wife Carol since the early '90's. Call them at 314-429-1156 when you need HVAC service and say I sent ya.
11-03-07 No spots = no Nielsen ratings ...
ABC says NBC's not playing fair.
From MediaBistro: The hypercompetitive world of the broadcast morning shows, you try what you can to get ratings. But ABC says NBC isn't playing fair. This morning's 8am hour of the Today show had no national commercial spots. A relatively new tactic that takes the hour out of Nielsen measurement.
11-03-07 Print scrambling for new metrics ... to show a better sales story.
From Editor&Publisher: Newspaper executives have complained for years that the yardstick used to measure audience -- paid print circulation -- was unfair especially when compared to the likes of television and radio. Those media have always touted audience share to advertisers so why shouldn't newspapers?
Finally after years of debate, the industry is moving towards tracking its total audience which encompasses all its products (especially online viewership) -- not just how many people plunk down some coins for the newspaper. The change will be reflected next Monday, when the Audit Bureau of Circulations releases numbers for more than 700 daily newspapers throughout the country.
11-02-07 The people whose voices should count say NO ... from the WaPo:
More than half of Americans surveyed said it should be illegal for a company to own both a newspaper and a television station in the same market, a coalition of consumer and telecommunications advocacy groups said on Wednesday.
Me? I say back to 7-7-7, and no newspapers. But who would buy a newspaper these days, anyway? I mean, really, would YOU have bought Pulitzer in the 21st century?
11-02-07 Edwards to Chicago, confirmed ... Both Secret Squirrel and Tasha the STLMedia Dog will be present for the meeting on Market Street Friday afternoon when Mark Edwards will announce he's moving to Chicago as Senior VP of Adult Programming for CBS. He will run Fresh in Chicago and still oversee Y98 and KEZK. Dang...these corps give big titles to just about anybody anymore.
11-02-07 Now all the boys can hear it ... The Squirrel was going thru FCC.gov when he noticed this: WMVN's upgrade and associated station (KLPW-FM, KTUI-FM) moves have been approved by the FCC.
11-02-07 Richard Roeper ... asks a pertinent question in the Chicago SunTimes:
Where's the next radio wave?
With all the high levels of activity (as Robert Feder would say) on the Chicago radio beat, one can't help but notice there doesn't seem to be a Next Generation of talent. With so many stations nationwide going on auto pilot, the concept of the brash and creative newcomer who takes a city by storm seems to be all but dead.
When budding superstars such as Steve Dahl and Jonathon Brandmeier hit it big in Chicago, they were in their 20s, yet they'd already made their mark in some pretty big markets.
Is there a single radio host in the country who's in his/her 20s and has the star wattage and potential that Dahl and Brandmeier possessed at that age?
None in STL that I've heard. Most of the good ones were sent packing because they wanted more than $25k a year. Maybe you know of someone who's the next JC, John Carney, Guy Phillips or FOP... and in their 20's. Good luck.
11-02-07 The aged goatroper returns ... and I yawn. Don Imus returns to AM drive on Citadel talk WABC/NYC starting Monday, Dec. 3. Newsman Charles McCord will join him, Bernard McGuirk may or may not. The show will by syndicated by the ABC Radio Networks.
WABC's current morning show is out, with Curtis Sliwa being reassigned and Ron Kuby dismissed out of hand.
But Brian Maloney thinks more personnel mayhem may be at hand, with Citadel dumping high-profile (and expensive) morning shows across their group to make the worn-out Imus a national brand.
Keep in mind that Citadel CEO Farid Suleman was once Mel Karmazin's #2 guy at CBS. That may give you some insight into his thought process.
11-01-07 Superbowl 2008 is 90% sold out ... from AdAge:
|11-02-07 From John Gorman's blog ...|
Last week I had lunch with a radio friend who was passing through town. He brought up this blog and a comment another radio person made to him about it: Why does John hate radio so much? I don’t hate radio. I love it. What I don’t like is what has happened to it.
If you don't know who Gorman is, shame on you. He programmed one of the five most important rock stations in the US back when rock radio mattered.
In fact, WMMS and Alan Freed are the two main reasons the R&R HOF is in Cleveland.
Read his blog and then buy his book through the Amazon link at right.
Thanks to RDN for the link.
Months before the first dip of a halftime-show buffalo wing, ad time for the Super Bowl is nearly sold out, according to people familiar with the situation. One media buyer estimated News Corp.'s Fox has "less than 10, but more than five" 30-second spots left to sell. A person familiar with the situation said Fox has sold more than 90% of its ad time for the game.
10-31-07 Will a Hollywood writers' strike affect you? ... from Variety:
While the networks have been repeating the mantra that "screens will not go black," it won't take long for TV viewers to see the impact of a Writers Guild of America strike.
The canaries in TV's creative coal mine are latenight hosts such as David Letterman and Jay Leno, whose monologues and sketches are dependent on union writers. If history is any guide, both shows will almost instantly go dark, as would "Saturday Night Live."
Comedy Central's latenight stalwarts "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report" would also likely switch to repeats in the immediate aftermath of a strike.
Me? I'll miss what's not already written for House, NCIS and Boston Legal; Tuesday's about my only big broadcast net night on the tube and I'm not a late night or reality show fan. And I've had enough CSI and Law & Order to last me two additional lifetimes.
I'll muddle through with cable, the web and a thousand+ DVD's...
10-31-07 NBC/Universal HBMIC speaks truth to power ... or whatever.
Jeff Zucker took on the new Fox Business Channel: The battle between NBC and Fox ratcheted up Monday when NBC chief Jeff Zucker waved aside FBN's chances of competing with CNBC, and Fox responded by firing back at Zucker.
Don't know about you, but I would never presume to underestimate Rupert Murdoch.
Same day, different industry, Zucker said "We know that Apple has destroyed the music business in terms of pricing, and if we don’t take control, they’ll do the same thing on the video side."
Zucker also suggested "Apple had rejected requests to share revenue from its sales of iPod devices, which are far more profitable than the digital media store."
Maybe he should also ask Sony to share revenue from TV sales, huh? Good luck there, Jeffie.
10-31-07 Power window fixed ... again, thanks to all for your suggestions.
The problem was the regulator/motor (I'm told in a Lincoln this is one part but how the hell would I know); fix cost $340 and change. Please pray for the continuing health of the other three windows.
The repair was done at Jumpers' in Jeff County, near where Mrs. A works; I'll let you know if a sudden weirdness develops unexpectedly elsewhere on the car.
That'd be a bad thing, mostly for Jumpers'.
No, I don't trust any auto repair facility, independent, chain or dealer. They all cheat when they can.
10-30-07 Secret Squirrel can only hope ... this is true: Edwards Back to Chicago? Rumor has it that Mark Edwards could bid adieu to the Gateway City to take the helm of CBS' forthcoming Chicago AC outlet...
10-30-07 Commercial-free radio attracts listeners ... Well, now, there's a surprise! From InsideRadio:
Commercial radio goes commercial-free. And it's not just for an hour. More stations are airing longer blocks of ad-free programming. One Boston station has given back three hours a day. What does it mean for dollars and ratings? Obviously, they're going to be giving up some revenue. But some programmers think it could have a positive effect on ratings in the long run. Especially in a PPM world.
Look, whether it's diaries, or Purple People Meters, or coincidental phone calls, respondents will ALWAYS say that they hate commercials. Commercial free hours will ALWAYS rate higher (unless the content really sucks, and that's a distinct possibility, considering the shape of current music).
Hint to GM's: Try (1) dropping the minute/unit count and raising the unit rate and (2) positioning the spots the way God intended.
It's radio, guys, not (fill in the name of some esoteric subject) science.
10-30-07 Bear Stearns said this, huh? ... From InsideRadio: 2008 Forecast: "The scale could tip either way."
Bear Stearns analyst Victor Miller projects radio will have another "challenging" year as revenues hold flat with "many forces on either side of the scale." Miller says "One of the biggest positives for local radio in 2008 is that there will likely be fewer negatives." On the plus side are more political dollars and increasing web revenues.
You might remember that it was BearStearns who gifted us with all that hedge fund bad business back last July. You should trust them, why, exactly?
I guess they suddenly got smarter and more ethical.
10-30-07 Congrats to former KTRS'er Keith Kramer ... who, after a rough turn of unemployment, has taken an hourly security gig with a local casino and plans on making his family's permanent home here, after that nasty two-year-ago experience with The Big 550. Now all he's got to do is get another dog for his son and he'll be cemented into the community. Kramer continues the development of his NSFW website.
10-29-07 Secret Squirrel ... was out driving this afternoon and his little ears perked up when he passed by The Palace Near Ballas:
Black Monday at Bonneville...6 folks canned at 3pm this afternoon..all rounded up in the same room: 3 promotions people, 2 sales folks and 1 sales assistant got the axe..."restructuring" and "budgets".
10-29-07 Senate passes CPB funding ... from their website: CPB is the largest single source of funding for public television and radio programming. CPB funds diverse and innovative programming that's useful, educational and cultural.
CPB funding passes Senate
By a 75-19 vote, the Senate has passed its version of fiscal 2008 Labor-HHS appropriations bill, which provides funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The bill gives CPB a $420 million advance appropriation as well as $30 million for HD conversion and $27 million for a new satellite system linking public radio stations. The House passed a similar version in July. The House and Senate will now work on a final version of the bill.
Agree or disagree with CPB's political and philosophical slant, this is not very much money to them from the guvmint. In fact, it appears to be much less than 10% of their budget.
The biggest chunk of CPB's station support comes from their listeners and viewers.
Lesson learned: if you don't like public radio or tv, stop buying their totebags and concert CD's.
10-29-07 STL Post-Doodysplash slims down more and more ... from a regular contributor: Now, in order to get the TV supplement (PDTV), you HAVE to subscribe to the Sunday paper. No more TV listings in the copies sold in machines or at stores!
Hey, Lee Publishing: good luck on this one!
10-29-07 My thanks to the huge number ... of folks who offered assistance on my Town Car electric window problem. I've tracked it down to a few specific issues and have a handful of reliable repair centers to talk to about it. You guys are wizards! I'll let you know how much it hurt later this week.
10-29-07 WWV Taken Over By Clear Channel ...
Word on the street is that the National Institute of Standards and Technology is close to signing an LMA with Clear Channel Communications, Inc. for its flagship Time and Frequency station WWV, Fort Collins, Colorado.
Clear Channel Radio's consultants have demanded some changes to the sound of the station, which broadcasts time of day, standard frequency, and other information 24 hours per day, saying that the old format is "dull and predictable."
Additionally, WWV's traditional modulation level of 50 percent for the steady tones, 50 percent for the BCD time code and 75 percent for the voice announcements was deemed "not loud enough."
The station will reformulate itself as "The Tick."
WWV's program director Hickory Zeitgeist says that the station has already added some snappy new announcements to the rotation, which can be heard by clicking the clock at this website. (Hattip to SuperMax)
10-28-07 It only took two years ... for the STLToday radio writer, Diane Toroian Keaggy, to put together an article about the PM-drive reunion of Jeff Burton and Thom West on The Point (KPNT-FM 105.7). Better late than never, I guess, and congrats to the guys for the well-deserved ink. Comment here.
|10-28-07 Rick's room, 1950 ... |
Here's my brother's room in Philadelphia, with his Hallicrafters TV and still-in-progress model railroad.
Rick graduated from Rutgers, took another degree from Seton Hall University and he and his family moved to Israel, where he taught and retired.
I joined the Army, served in Vietnam, went into radio and eventually got blown out of the industry by self-serving idiots.
As of 2007, Rick and I are even.
But my TV is bigger. So I win.
10-26-07 300 Catholic stations in the U.S.? ... The Catholic Radio Association says “we pulled together dioceses, parishes, Knights of Columbus councils, lay apostolates, donors, lawyers and engineers, in the largest effort ever to acquire radio licenses for the sake of the Church’s work of evangelization.”
That’s led to numerous applications to the FCC – 220 pending – on behalf of various Catholic groups. Catholic stations are often dependent on supporters for some or all of their financial well-being and the money seems to be coming.
I'm a Cradle Catholic, spent all my elementary years in Catholic school, attended a Jesuit prep school and a Presbyterian college. Most of my relatives and friends are Jewish. If you want to discuss the hierarchies of monotheism, just ask me.
10-26-07 The Arch uses this service ... to sell the music they play and make a few bucks and now you can expect TuneGenie to show up as a service on any Christmas music format, one of which is surely dead ahead for STL radio. Gotta love this interractive stuff, all of which will happily accept your bank card. Comment here.
10-26-07 TV ratings Sweeps be dead ahead ... and TheFilesFiles has the story that will win the ratings races, gair-awn-tead.
10-26-07 I just know this is gonna hurt a lot ... The drivers'-side power window on the Town Car went down and now it won't come back up. Had to do all that car-shifting thing to get it into the garage while it rains and move Mrs. A's vehicle into the driveway (sorry, punkin, but, well, leather seats and all...). Of course it's out of warranty. Anybody got an idea where I can get it fixed and won't feel like I just visited my proctologist after? And don't say Dobbs.
10-26-07 There's a locally written blog/website ... that's attracting worldwide attention.
It has become a go-to resource for a lot of important writers who cover politics and the GWOT and is linked to regularly by them. One guy puts it all together; his name is Jim Hoft.
I became acquainted with Jim a few years back, just after he'd begun the site and continue to be in awe of his energy and online output.
It's written from a right-side-of-the-political-spectrum viewpoint, but the links, photos and videos that Hoft collects and presents cover all the bases.
Jim's a very smart guy, well-spoken and has a lot to say. A story on Gateway Pundit would make a great feature for any STLTV station...just keep Jaco away from it. His head would explode. Comment here.
10-26-07 Secret Squirrel spins on Sinclair's ... KDNL/ABC30. Word in the TV noozbiz is that KDNL may be getting set to air newscasts produced by KTVI/Fox2. The 'casts would be produced at KTVI, using Fox2's writers, producers and talent and shot on a neutral set dressed with ABC30's logo. Payment for the service would be either cash or revenue sharing. The Squirrel couldn't discern whether this is a Fox deal or from the potential new boyfriends at the Randy & Bobby Show, maybe soon coming to a Fox O&O near you.Comment here.
10-26-07 Memo to all air talent from Captain Vocabulary ... Please cease and desist immediately any use of the word "decimate" in any form until you learn what the aitch-ee-double hockey sticks it means. What it does not mean is complete and utter devastation, as in "The homes that stood here were decimated by the fire in the canyon." and is not properly used when referring to any loss other than human life. That is your lesson for today. That is all. Word...out! Comment here.
10-25-07 Don Corey arrangements ... Visitation is Thursday, 5-9PM. Funeral from Kutis Affton Chapel, 10151 Gravois, Friday, October 26, 11:30AM. Interment follows at St. Paul Churchyard. Contributions to a charity of your choice appreciated.
10-25-07 Secret Squirrel gets email ... Satellite Arbitron?? Why haven't you put that on your site yet? Because you're so anti-satrad I assume.
|10-25-07 KMOX' Paul Harris hates it ... and so do I. This is the new imaging for STL from the CVC. It says nothing positive, and, frankly, it's about as useless as such can get. The representation of the Arch looks like the stream from a garden hose. Some idiot wrote a check to an ad agency for $47k for this stupidity. Got a better idea?|
No, haven't posted it for two important reasons: Jerry DelColliano has already said pretty much everything that needs to be said, and SatRad is a pointless technology that will soon be bypassed by other, more accessible, media.
By the way: SatRad's hero Howard Stern has gone from 20 million broadcast listeners to 1.25 million satellite listeners, an average 96,700 listeners in any given quarter hour. And that's the big story for SatRad. There's some SatRad ratings news for ya, huh? Comment here.
10-25-07 Former STLRadio star Scott St. James ... ran up on TV vet Peter Marshall recently in LA. While discussing the current status of another TV'er Scott and I had been wondering about (who lives close to PM in Palm Springs and who has been a bit argumentative as a neighbor), Marshall said this: "For us veterans, it's all about the scuffling." Kinda like the STLMedia MB, huh? Comment here.
10-25-07 Clear Channel accused of predatory practices ... Gasp! A US District Court judge gave the green light to a class-action lawsuit claiming Clear Channel used its market dominance to illegally inflate ticket prices to live rock concerts across the country.
The suit claims that Clear Channel used its market dominance in anticompetitive activities that unfairly increased ticket prices for consumers and coerced artists to use CC for concert promotion.
A CC spokeperson said: "The claims made by the plaintiffs are erroneous, misleading and completely without merit. We look forward to proving that it court."
Ya coulda knocked me over with a feather... Comment here.
10-25-07 Matt Strelo named OD at Simmons/STL ... replacing Mike Brownshear.
Strelo's duties will include programming and work with marketing and sales for the two sports properties.
Strelo says: "We believe the only way to win in this marketplace is to be local with good solid local personalities."
Strelo also believes that St. Louis "is a community that loves its sports but also loves St. Louis."
All-righty, then. Where do they get these guys? I've never heard of either of them.
10-24-07 If you're a syndicated show... maybe you shouldn't say how much of an idiot your client station's PD is. Opie & Anthony, sent off to satellite hell a while back, complained on the air that WYSP Philadelphia's PD John Cook wouldn't return their calls; they've been canned, effective immediately. Maybe former KTRS'er Kramer could replace them! God knows there are enough KTRS leftovers and castaways to fill a dozen station's rosters!
10-24-07 Hey, I already said this ... now Fortune says it's so:
Last week could hardly have been grimmer for the newspaper industry.
First off, Gannett and McClatchy - the two biggest newspapers publishers in the U.S., respectively - reported diminished revenues and profits.
Meanwhile, following the lead of Belo, publisher of the Dallas Morning News, Scripps announced it was splitting its growing television and interactive businesses off from the company's newspaper business so that investors could get excited about the company's slumping stock price.
The kicker of the week was when stock in the New York Times Company hit its lowest point in a decade after a Morgan Stanley fund manager who had been agitating for changes at the company sold off the firm's entire 7.2% stake.
10-23-07 Be proud for SoCal radio ... The Southern California fires seem to have brought out the best in the biz. From InsideRadio:
San Diego stations in full-fire mode --
Wall-to-wall commercial-free coverage continues on most stations. Clear Channel is simulcasting news/talk KOGO on all seven of its San Diego frequencies and it's offering news reports to other stations. Among the more fascinating turns - Lincoln Financial dropped alternative programming on KBZT and turned over the 94.9 signal to the news team at NPR affiliate KPBS, after they lost their transmitter in the fire overnight. Before handing over their airwaves to KBZT jock Tommy Hough told listeners "These are extraordinary times and this is an extraordinary situation. It's in everyone's best interest to hand over our airwaves to KPBS."
I wonder how well local groups would work together in the event of an STL disaster? Comment here.
10-23-07 Everybody reads STLMedia ... including honorees of the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame:
Hi Mike !
I REALLY enjoy reading through the pages of STL MEDIA....especially when Sarah and I are in our Long Beach home - keeps us up on the 'media' in our Belleville home. Keep up the great work.....
Mike - have a good one for you. Everything in the LA area the past two days is 100% non stop, mostly commercial free coverage of this unbelievable fire storm disaster.
It is difficult for us who spent most of our lives in the Midwest to comprehend WHY anyone would want to move to some of these remote canyons, valleys and hillsides where they build ten million dollar houses on stilts that anyone with a piece of a brain could figure out 'something is going to happen here'...sooner or later.
(Sarah and I are on the water in the Seal Beach/Belmont Shores waterfront area of South Long Beach - no firestorm worry here).
So, we are listening to this news babe on KFI yesterday as she was interviewing one of the command center chiefs and her comments went like this:
"Now let me get this straight, sir. You have this 'super sucker' helicopter that drops a hose into the ocean, sucks up thousands of gallons of salt water and drops it on a house, correct?"
Of course, his answer is "Yes."
"Well, sir, what about the corrosion factor of that salt water on the house?"
Mike - I thought I was going to wreck the Thunderbird! ..... Sarah's comment was - yes, honey the Weber Kettle will probably get a bit rusty.....if we HAVE anything LEFT of the kettle.....
Another wonderful, brilliant statement from a news babe that was on the air much much too long! Just thought I would share that with you.
Hope to see some of my broadcast friends Sunday at the Lincoln theatre in Belleville. Will be back in the ole dimly lit Jim White KMOX studio Wednesday night (where Jim and I spent 25 years on Wednesday nights talking Hi-tech toys) with the Two John's at 8:00 hopefully talking about my theatre organ career but you can BET the 'Johns' will be tagging me to talk about some of my rock n roll buddies I work for and with... should be fun!
Thanks for all, Mike!
BOB and SARAH HEIL
10-22-07 Newspaper says promoting prostitution is good business ...
But vice agents for the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation in Orlando think it's still a crime, and not protected by that First Amendment thingie. The Orlando MBI arrested three Orlando Weekly employees Friday on charges of promoting prostitution by selling classified advertising to escort services.
From the Orlando Sentinel: The weekly newspaper -- a longtime critic of the MBI and its targeting of adult businesses -- also was accused of racketeering and 17 counts of aiding in the commission of prostitution, according to court records. Officials said the newspaper helped escort services design ads that would cloak them from law enforcement.
The accused says: The Orlando Weekly believes these arrests are an outrageous abuse of process and an attempt to censor the First Amendment rights of a newspaper that has reported critically on the MBI. We are in the process of reviewing the charges and retaining counsel. Comment here.
10-22-07 I was just ten years too early ... Back when I was doing radio websites and advising stations on what they should offer online (ahh, the bad old dial-up and ISDN days!) I could barely get management to budget enough to pay for an ISP; now, according to InsideRadio, the line item for the Internet in 2008 budgets is the fastest growing.
Inside Radio didn't hear many stories of cutbacks in most markets. But no big investments either - except for the Internet. While it has led to cuts on other budget lines, a number of companies say they're reallocating dollars to their new media effort because says one CBS Radio manager "That's where we think the growth is going to be." Comment here.
10-22-07 Cuteness reaches critical mass ... From Media Daily News: Valerie Bertinelli has a new gig. She's a "celebrity content buddy" for "The Rachael Ray Show." Bertinelli will develop segments and focus on her interests as a working mother. The first segment will be shot in New Orleans for a girls' guide to the gridiron, and will air Oct 23. Comment here.
10-22-07 Quote of the day, week, month, year ... "Radio's most popular formats were created by radio rebels, outlaws, misfits and ne'er-do-wells -- not by corporate marketing executives." That's from Robert Hughes, co-owner of San Diego rock station KPRI, in an article from Wired about HDRadio. Hughes station, by the way, has no immediate plans to broadcast in HD. But the article's a good read and makes some vital points. Comment here.
10-22-07 Bertelson out, Bailon in ... Gilbert Bailon, publisher of a Spanish-language newspaper in Texas and a former editor and reporter at the Dallas Morning News, is the new editorial-page editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"We are very fortunate to have a journalist of Gilbert's caliber leading our editorial page, building the newspaper's long-standing tradition of advocacy for our region," said Post-Dispatch publisher Kevin Mowbray in announcing the appointment today.
Bailon, 48, said the editorial staff "will continue to build on our vital role as public servants in a free society and to help the readers stay informed to improve their lives." Comment here.
10-21-07 Don Corey passes ...
Don, one of the earliest DJ's on legendary KSHE/FM95, suffered a fatal heart attack at his home in Webster Groves this afternoon.
Don was 58 and is survived by his wife Kathy, his daughter Heather and two stepdaughters and four grandchildren. Don was a member of the congregation at St. Michael's in Shrewsbury, as is Kathy.
Arrangements at the Kutis Funeral Home on Gravois are pending and will be posted here.
Don was profiled in 2003 in the STL Journalism Review. In recent years, Corey had worked in videography and analog-to-digital conversion and had just finished his book on his radio experience. There's a deal in place and Kathy vows to see the book to publication
I had the honor of working with Don on his website and, over the years, getting to know him as someone I was proud to think of as a friend. He was a true gentleman in every meaning of the word, one of the good guys and he will be sorely missed.
Don Corey: 12 November, 1949 - 21 October, 2007
10-20-07 Talk Monster shuts up ... Big League Broadcasting is set to turn KRFT/AM1190 all-sports in January, primarily using the syndicated resources of ESPN Radio for programming. That's what Dan Caesar is reporting at STLToday... Steve & DC's show will air through the end of their contract next Spring; presumably Dennis Miller, Neal Boortz and Randi "Chipped Teeth" Rhodes will all bite the dust before that.
Honestly, ya know what? Reporting on Big League's teeny little stations is both annoying and boring, like a mosquito bite and the relief you get after from scratching. These guys offer sports chatter on signals that barely get West of the 170 loop, overpaying talent, hoping for subsistence income from local Mom & Pop's and a bigger burst of cash from regional and national advertisers who have no idea of how little they impact the market. Comment here.
10-20-07 Kevin and Sue McCarthy's ... Travel Planners Radio Show left WGNU/AM920 earlier this year and will reappear on Sunday, 18 November on Z1570, WBGZ from 3-5pm. Kevin says: This station covers the St. Louis area and as far north as Springfield, Il. Its a great sounding station and we are proud to have them as our flagship.
10-19-07 Today would have been their 71st wedding anniversary ... I'm honored that I was able to help them celebrate their 50th, bringing so many of their friends together to their New Jersey church and home. Meet my Mother and Father, Ruthmae and John Harold Anderson, who left this life ten years ago.
10-19-07 So what should I do ... if I'm signed up as an Arbitron household?
Not that I ever have been or currently am, of course. But if the ratings company chose my address, I could sign on as a household with, say, a half-dozen respondents in prime demos or of a desired ethnicity.
Arbitron doesn't check this; they just send the diaries.
I could fill out the week-long reports almost any way I want, using my years-long knowledge of the system to manipulate it so that they are never suspect, and do unbelievable damage to the results of the trend and thus the quarterly report.
Would I do such a thing? No. But is it possible? You bet!
And Arbitron clients have no idea how often home addresses are re-used to garner responses.
This is just one reason why the Arbitron diary system has always been garbage; PPM is just a high-tech version fraught with the same inadequacies.
The only really accurate ratings system is one that collects listening information at the same time the listening happens.
Hooper and Pulse and Birch were right! Concurrent listening is the key to rating accuracy!
10-19-07 A few years back ... somebody gave me a laser pointer as a holiday party favor. Turns out that Tasha thinks the little red point of light it projects is something worth hunting, maybe even herding; she'll run her little Red Heeler butt off trying to catch it, in the house and in the yard, saving me a considerable amount of personal effort. I can run her ragged and just stand on the porch until she's out of energy (which seems to be almost endless). Yes, I know...never near her eyes. Comment here.
10-19-07 Jukebox 2007 ... all the hits, one at a time or streamed, in almost any thematic configuration you can imagine. Listen here. The website is horrific but the tunes are what they are.
10-19-07 Looks like Limbaugh gets the last laugh ... The right-wing syndicated KMOX talker, brought to task by a left-wing website for something he may or may not have said on the air, placed a letter from Senator Harry Reid and signed by forty other members of Congress, to Limbaugh's boss (CC's Mark Mays) calling for his corporate censure, into auction on eBay.
The auction ends at 12N Central Time today, and it looks like the final bid will exceed $2million; Limbaugh has vowed to match the bid and so $4million+ will go to a USMC charity that provides scholarships and support to the children of fallen US soldiers.
I don't understand why none of the broadcast nets or CNN have provided any coverage of this amazing story. It has, though, gotten significant coverage from other websites. Comment here.
10-18-07 25-54 demo analysis of Summer '07 Book ... now available, thanks to the tireless efforts of our Unknown AnalystTM. Comment here.
10-18-07 Important medical news ... the recent discovery of an "in the wild" staph infection, untreatable by antibiotics, known as MRSA, is not related at all to my wife, Carroll, to whom I occasionally refer as "Mrs. A".
The top band was AM radio; all the rest offered music and news from around the world. Wow.
Rick installed a phono plug for a headset and an on/off switch to listen privately.
|10-18-07 MY first "table radio" was a gift ... from my brother, Rick, a Hallicrafters S-38D short wave set, around 1960. I used it to listen to all sorts of signals, from all over the world, (including Wolfman Jack). After my family moved back to New Jersey, I gave it back to Rick to take with him on his family's Aliyah. All the new signal crap and web audio has now rendered SW useless. Ham Radio still works, but I never got into that. Comment here.|
Carroll does, however, suggest that you always wash your hands before and after any contact with uncooked foods, whenever you use what she calls "the facilities" and, of course, before each meal.
Also, always...ALWAYS...wear a medicated face mask during any interview with a corporate radio executive. Carroll says that you should see your family epidemiologist if you have any further questions.
She's really smart, so I wouldn't ignore this sage advice. You're welcome.
10-18-07 I hope Secret Squirrel hangs his ornaments elsewhere ... Rumors are rife that stations nationwide, perhaps including one here in STL, will begin 24-hour Christmas-music formats as early as the first week in November.
There is no excuse for this. I'm as big a Christmas guy as anyone, but Jingle Bells and Deck The Halls should start playing the weekend of Thanksgiving, and no earlier, by Federal law.
While STLMedia never encourages or approves of violent protests against anti-social behavior such as this, we will consider hosting negotiations between listeners and broadcast offenders to reduce any potential psychological damage or confusion.
10-17-07 12+ Summer '07 Arbitron...Comment here.
10-17-07 Leno having second thoughts... From the LATimes:
As part of a high-stakes gambit engineered by NBC Universal executives three years ago, Leno agreed to step down in 2009 as "The Tonight Show" host to make room for Conan O'Brien. Afraid that O'Brien, whose talk show airs after Leno's, would bolt to a competing network, taking his desirable young audience with him, NBC locked up his services by promising him "The Tonight Show." But as the date has drawn closer, Leno has become frustrated, reluctant to retire from late night...
10-17-07 Secret Squirrel wants to upgrade his home theater gear...KMOV is in the process of upgrading to HD. They plan to go on air with it for the February ratings period. They will also unveil new graphics and audio packages. Comment here.
10-17-07 Les(s) money, more Moonves... from The Hollywood Reporter: Moonves Re-Ups At CBS --
CBS chief Les Moonves will be hanging around the company until at least Sept. 30, 2011, under a new deal that extends his contract while linking his compensation closer to the company's stock price. Moonves will get $3.5 million per year in salary -- down from $5.9 million in his previous contract, which also included $2.9 million in deferred compensation. But he will be up for an annual performance-based bonus and get equity-based compensation tied to how well -- or not -- the company's stock does.
Also included in the deal is an option to buy five million shares of CBS common stock, and the company has also provided incentives for Moonves to stay on even after his employment term expires. Says CBS' executive chairman Sumner Redstone: "What he has accomplished since we unleashed the new CBS Corporation has exceeded all my expectations. There is no better CEO in America, and I have no doubt that his success will only continue as he leads CBS into the next decade."
10-17-07 UPDATE: Randi Rhodes ... We are now told that Ms. Rhodes may or may not have been mugged, may or may not have been knocked down, may or may not have been drinking excessively, and that even her little dog may or may not have been with her at the time of whatever the incident that sidelined her occurred. All the original stories have been withdrawn, apologies have been issued for misrepresentation, lawyers and police have made cloudy statements and all we have to hear from now is Ms. Rhodes dentist. It's a tempest in a rumpot, I say... Comment here.
10-16-07 I don't know how many Jeeps this'll sell ... but this is a powerful cute and original spot. Ten sell words at the end.
10-16-07 Syndicated KRFT/AM1190 PM driver Randi Rhodes ... was mugged while walking her dog in NYC. Rhodes, an employee of left-wing network AirAmerica, was "beaten up pretty badly," according to reports, and will be off the air for a few days.
A network co-worker stupidly asked, "Is this an attempt by the right wing hate machine to silence one of our own? Are we threatening them? Are they afraid that we're winning? Are they trying to silence or intimidate us?"
The answer to all of the preceding is, "No."
STLMedia wishes Ms. Rhodes, who has, on several occasions on the air, herself wished for the violent death of President Bush, well and offers prayers for her speedy recovery.
And her little dog, too.
10-16-07 Your radio show's ratings suck and you get canned ... why doesn't this apply to Legacy Media's broadcast network news? Here's why: they each bring in about $100million a year in ad revenue. Who do you think you are? Frank O. Pinion? Comment here.
10-16-07 This'll be a great show ... Discovery has cut a deal to acquire the HowStuffWorks.com web site for $250 million, reported Monday's Wall Street Journal. Comment here.
10-16-07 If the Dodgers can do it ... why can't the Cards go home again?
The Dodgers return to KABC after a decade's absence, during which the games were aired on KXTA and KFWB. The Dodgers and KABC became synonymous during the '70s-'90s, and while I still haven't forgiven the Bums for moving West from Brooklyn, one step back in their history is a good start. Comment here.
10-15-07 Summer ARB out Wednesday at noon ... we may or not have demo breakouts. Long story...don't ask. We will, though, have the 12+ stuff.
10-15-07 Happy Birthday Z107 ... friend, personal dentist and journalist Larry Hoffman reminds us that "For what it's worth, this Saturday, October 20, marks the 10th anniversary of Z-107.7's debut here -- the "format that would never make it" or some such utterance from somebody at Emmis at that time. Jeff Kapugi and others proved them wrong and "Z," while utterly unlistenable to somebody in "our" demographic, continues to thrive in the (CHR/Hip-Hop/Dance-Rhythmic?) niche it's carved out." Comment here.
10-15-07 The Most Important Guy Movies Of All Time ... official list begins here on the STLMedia MB. Registration required.
10-15-07 Polar Bear meets Huskie ... which it would otherwise eat; bear thinks Huskieprogenic Global Warming is nothing but bearpoop and decides to play rather than fret.
10-14-07 Well, thanks, HDAlliance ... it's mighty Christian of ya:
The HD Radio Alliance eases rules on formats and ads: Its members also commit another $230 million - mostly in the form of ad time - to the cause of building awareness of HD Radio and getting more receivers into the marketplace.
Members can now, for the first time, air "naming sponsorships" on HD-2 multicast channels and run limited spot loads. Then there's the easing up on HD-2 formats, with stations now allowed to change those formats "without Alliance review", as long as it doesn't duplicate something else that's already on analog or HD-2.
Finally, the Alliance is putting out the "Welcome" mat for new members.
This is bullroar.
It proves what I've said all along, that iBiquity, which illegally owns all of the HD spectrum, can dictate to station owners who have the misfortune of transmitting HD signals how they may do it. And now it's extorting another almost-quarter of a billion dollars from them to promote their losing idea.
You know how well that whole "preaching to the choir" thing has worked so far, right?
Great: now they allow limited commercials and sponsorship ID's. But they still control the format contents being aired.
This is, by FCC rules and regs, an offense punishable by fine or forfeiture of license: allowing a third party to control a station's programming in the absence of an LMA or similar agreement is simply illegal.
Yet, for reasons I don't understand, iBiquity and the HDAlliance continue to be allowed to get away with ít. Somebody's making a huge bag of money on this deal, and it ain't most AM or FM radio owners.
Of course, the HBMIC at the HDRadio Alliance is a former exec at Clear Channel.
10-13-07 Listening to whatever was on KFTK ... when we were on our way home tonight (I think it was a Glenn Beck replay) and, as we pulled into the grocery store parking lot, a piece of bumper music began to play.
I turned to Mrs. A and smiled. "That's the Faber College anthem," I said, "Knowledge is good." Mrs. A looked at me like I was an idiot (which she rightfully should, and often) and we went into the store and bought some sensual/sensuous zucchini.
I am so embarassed that:
(1) I recognized the music at all.
(2) I remembered the slogan from the base of Emil Farber's statue.
(3) Jason and I both have sweatshirts that say only "COLLEGE" on them. If my end-choice was to buried, I'd want to be buried in mine. I may have a small sweatshirt for Tasha made with "COLLEGE" on the back that she can wear in the Winter.
(4) I remember exact dialogue from the movie. LOTS of exact dialogue.
Somewhere in the world, Animal House is on TV every hour of every day. And I'm probably watching.
It's a guy thing. You wouldn't understand.
10-13-07 The 50 worst songs ever ... from Blender (lots of other Top 50's there, too). Comment here.
10-13-07 I learned a long time ago ... not to underestimate the A-B marketing department. But this, well, this is a bit hard to swallow. Literally.
Anheuser-Busch’s EVP/CCO Bob Lachky let us in on an ongoing product test of a new product, Chelada, a blend of Bud and Clamato. Clamato? Clam juice? He says it’s big in the Latino culture and predicts it will be huge in ‘08.
Maybe with Latinos, who are now, what, 80% of the US population? Clam-juice flavored beer? Hot wings and clam beer?
10-10-07 Legendary AM flips fomat to FM ... (some info from InsideRadio):
As WIBC/Indianapolis is about to celebrate its 69th birthday the heritage AM has just given the market notice that it's moving to the FM dial.
That follows similar shifts at Bonneville's AMs, like Washington's WTOP where Jim Farley says "When you are on the FM dial, you are in a larger neighborhood. There are people who listen to FM that never come to the AM dial."
One advocate says FM talk is a "sales machine."
Of course it is; it's just that for the past few years FM Talk has been badly defined as appealing to only young males. Talk is talk, AM or FM. Good luck to WIBC.
Any possibility we'll see a similar shift here? KMOX/Talk98.1? Load up sports on AM1120 (including the Cards' games). That'd rattle the local radio trees to their roots, huh? Knock out ALL other sports stations, including KTRS.
Dan Mason: are you reading this?
10-10-07 Net listening only so-so ... from InsideRadio:
Internet radio: Potential is great, listeners are few
Spring 2007 data shows less than 1% of diaries contain listening to Internet radio. But when listeners do tune-in online, they seem to favor local stations. In the Fall 2006 survey 66% of diary-keepers went to a webcast from a station they could also hear over the air. 78% say they listened to the station via both mediums. According to Arbitron, 45% of stations are now streaming.
10-10-07 Who owns your sob story? (some info from Tom Taylor):
Late night drama queen Delilah has done a three-book deal for a bazillion-gazillion dollars with romance publisher Harlequin in which she'll present stories and confessions blabbed to her on her syndicated radio show.
Harlequin Publisher/CEO Donna Hayes says they “recognized a unique opportunity to translate these powerful and moving stories to books that could be read and enjoyed by a whole new audience” – other than her more than 8.5 million listeners from a 250-plus Premiere station lineup. The first “Delilah” book of stories is due in October 2008.
Two guarantees: (1) Delilah will not be writing any of this pap herself (she's become too much of a brand to do such low-end work), and (2) neither she nor her publisher will be paying contributors a penny.
So, if you've ever called Delilah and your story is in the books...who really owns your heartache?
10-09-07 Secret Squirrel spins on TV ... and this gave him a headache:
Fox 2 may be purchased by broadcast "executives" Randy Michaels and Bobby Lawrence! Attorneys and investment advisors from their company, Local TV, have been touring Fox 2 ,as well as the other 8 Fox o&o's for sale. Local TV has made a formal pitch to Fox corporate to buy the 9 stations, which include St. Louis, Denver, Cleveland, Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Memphis Fox-owned stations. Given the dynamic duo's detestible reputations, you have to wonder if anyone at Fox 2 is preparing to head for the exits.
Bobby Lawrence, you'll remember, was the guy instrumental in the sale of 50% of KTRS to the Cardinals' organization for the bargain basement price of $2million; Randy Michaels was the guiding force behind the end of radio as we knew it.
10-09-07 Frank O. Pinion declines contract renewal with KTRS ... Pinion's unique deal, which expires 12/31/2007, will not be renewed, at his request. He's been with the station for just over ten years.
Instead, as he told me this morning, he'll be on a month-to-month basis, with either side able to end the arrangement with thirty days notice to the other. The new deal means that Frank's show could start on a new station the day after his final show on KTRS.
How'd you like to be the manager that has to replace TLMSITA and the revenue it generates (it's generally thought that FOP's show produces as much as 20% of the station's total revenue)...especially with the station's long, sordid history of abusing air talent?
10-09-07 This week from The FilesFiles...
| ||10-09-07 Latest Chinese toy recall... The imported playground system (pictured at left) developed and marketed by the Viands/Dorsey Outdoor Playground Big Fun Formerly Radio Company has been recalled due to suspected lead paint contaminaton.|
A company spokesman spoke of the "shredder" game, the rules of which are provided in the equipment handbook: Kids name themselves after vegetables (zucchini, cabbage, carrots, onions and so on) and, after sliding through the tunnel, try to jump over the "fun chopper" onto the ground at the base.
The goal is to avoid becoming a loser, or, as the rules call it, "bloody chunks." Newer versions will have less lead paint but more salad dressing.
FAN SHOUTING ADVICE SUSPECTS PLAYERS MIGHT BE IGNORING HIM
Athletes Seem To Do Exact Opposite Of Advice Yelled From Nosebleed Section
Read it all here.
10-09-07 Qualified apologies to JC Corcoran ... Back on 17 September, I took the K-HITS morning personality to task for both his KTVI commentary on 9/11 and the way in which he handled an email exchange with a St. Louis Batallion Fire Chief.
It's taken me this long to put all the pieces together and into a proper and understandable perspective.
While I still disagree strongly with JC's stance on the 9/11 issue of which he spoke, I respect his right to have that opinion.
But after going through all of the email exchange that's been made available to me, I think that the Chief's emails (and emails from his family and friends) were out of line.
Had I myself been trolled to that extent on such an inflammatory issue, I probably would have responded as emotionally as did Corcoran.
Chief, I agree with what you said, but not the way you said it. You took it to a personal level and that was unnecessary and beneath you.
JC, my apologies for misrepresenting your email responses. I still feel that your commentary's premise is wrong. But you remain the market's radio lightning rod, and that's a good thing.
10-09-07 Yes, per month ... According to InsideRadio, info from the Florida Department of Corrections says that Rush Limbaugh makes $2 to $3 million a month. Let me repeat that: Rush Limbaugh makes $2 to $3 million a month. In other news, AirAmerica may be close to another financial crisis and Ed Schultz eats mac'n'cheese and Beanie-Weenies nine times a week...
10-09-07 Just when you thought ... TV writing couldn't get any worse, it looks like it will. Every LA busboy, waiter and deliveryman with a script idea and a word processor are holding their breath for a probable writers' strike on 10/31.
From Yahoo: The Writers Guild of America has been in talks since July with studios represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Studios and TV networks have accelerated filming of shows and movies and begun stockpiling scripts in case of a strike. The last strike in 1988 lasted 22 weeks, and losses to the industry were put at $500 million.
Look, I don't deny anyone their God-given right to residual and other-media payments for their work. But the fact is that the quallity of TV writing has steadily declined in the past few years. Dialogue and plot development is being written at a third-grade level; the bar for entry to the world of screenwriting has been lowered so far that it should be embarassing.
Is this now one of those gigs being held out as "jobs Americans don't want to do?"
10-09-07 Had the fright of my life Monday ... my enormously-expensive-to-replace Bose Universal Media Controller (Isn't that a great name for a hand-held device? Makes me feel like Roger Ailes!) started flashing lights and doing bizarre things that had nothing at all to do with the buttons that were being pushed. I wondered if I was making changes in the position of NSA satellites. It was a tense few minutes while I thought the problem through, consulted the manual (yes, I keep them all on file), carefully examining the circuitry and connections schematic, and then...changed the batteries. Is two and a half years too much to expect of a pair of AA's?
10-09-07 KFTK's Jamie Allman tipped me to this spot ... I had never seen it, but it's a good'un. Look carefully at the reaction of the woman in the boardroom at the very end.
10-08-07 STL music concert photographers ... you might want to pay attention to this. If you had backstage access to shoot rock and/or blues concerts, 1965-1985, you need to touch base with Kim Garretson. His website, in association with a major retailer, will present your photos from back in the day and represent their use, with royalty payments to you. Or call 952-484-5785 for more info.
10-08-07 Spots per hour... I got this email: Zofran raised the question of minutes of music per hour in different dayparts, but has received no replies. What is your experience regarding this question? I'll take a turn at answering, but only after you all have. This is an interesting subject: AM vs PM vs. Midday. What's right? Eight minutes an hour? Twelve? Eighteen? Twenty? You should jump in. Comment here.
10-08-07 Johnny Rabbitt stuff on DVD ... I have no idea who is offering this but here's a link to a CraigsList place where you can spend $20 on some KXOK video and audio memories. No guarantees from STLMedia, of course.
10-08-07 Tom Taylor's Newsletter asks...
How long should HD-2 channels stay non-commercial?
Is he kidding? How long would you keep a station on the air without any spots? Taylor thinks you HD'ers need to extend the non-commercial agreement.
Forget all the legalities and agreements and other BS. Taylor actually goes on to say:
After all: you can program an extra channel in-house cheaply, and the HD-2 broadcast itself is basically free.
Bull-loney! Whose pocket is Taylor in on the HD thing? Since when did any HD broadcast come cheap, what with the ridiculous and fraudulent "royalty and licensing" payments to use a spectrum, equipment and patents wholly (and perhaps illegallly) owned by iBiquity? Not to mention RIAA, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and other payments for said additional channel(s)?
Tom Taylor has suddenly become just another one, like the rest of them, a radio pundit who is, for his own reasons, kissing the corporate ass of an already-failed technology.
I used to admire Taylor's work. Now it all will require further background and fact-checking before it's acceptable.
10-07-07 My apologies to any and all ... who have emailed and gotten no response or called me and been told "I'll get back with you" in the past few days. Been a lot of family stuff and other weirdness lately and I promise I'll catch up soonest. And who knew the Advil I took to calm down shoulder grief would flatten me as completely as it did? What's really embarassing is that a survivor of the hippie-60's would be flattened to any extent by an over the counter pain med...
10-07-07 Good thing there's only a little bit more heat to come... the STLMedia AC system started leaking water again today; last year the office cleanup cost over $600 because of the same problem and the repair slightly less. Much to Mrs. A's distress, I've shut the system down to lessen office carpet damage and we are waiting patiently for our HVAC folks. It's always something.
10-06-07 BULLETIN! BULLETIN! BULLETIN!... KEZK/KYKY Programmer Mark Edwards responds to a listener complaint politely, invites their further listening, points them to an internet site where the feature they were missing could be found and concludes: "I'll try to keep my dimwit birdbrain actions to a minimum in the future." CBS Corporate execs are confounded at this new aspect of ME's behavior. Comment here.
10-05-07 Secret Squirrel stopped by to visit Tasha... and delivered the news that it was another bad Friday at Clear Channel/STL: Production wizard Terry Fox, Terrence Bib (PM Drive on Majic and the PD of The Beat), Jason Spain (Beat Promo guy) were all let go, along with a Sales Assistant. Squirrel also brings the news that Tony Scott will be moved from AM to PM Drive on Majic, to be replaced by the syndicated Steve Harvey Show. Comment here.
10-04-07 Mrs. A will be in Palm Springs for a few days... at an industry seminar (or so she says!) and the next-door Bearman household has been assigned the task of providing adult supervision for me and Tasha. I hate it when that happens. Not Mrs. A's business trips; it's the adult supervision I resent...a grown man just can't be a kid these days. Dang.
10-04-07 Bob Heil is back at the keyboard... the man with the MBA (Master of Broadcast Audio) will appear in concert on Sunday, 28 October at Belleville's Lincoln Theater, with special guest Stan Kann. Everyone gets a free CD of Bob's best music! See the ad here.
10-04-07 Don't blink twice, it's alright... from MediaPost:
Feds Say Yes to Digital Billboards
In a major victory for outdoor advertisers, the Federal Highway Administration issued a memorandum last week giving the go-ahead for the installation of digital signage along the nation's Interstate highways and other federally subsidized roadways.
10-04-07 Belo spins off newspapers ... The company, which owns KMOV/4 here, recently announced plans to split into two publicly traded companies, separating its newspaper business from its TV operations. Comment here.
10-04-07 Great story on Jonnie King's 40th on-air anniversary ... with some icing on the cake by moi. Read it here
10-04-07 Make betters, not just make goods... TV sellers, according to MediaPost, have a better way:
In a syndication buy, for example, a sitcom like "Seinfeld" may have different price points per daypart -- a run in daytime, prime access, late fringe, or in a prime-time cable run. Yet marketers have no problem making those kinds of buys or getting "audience deficiency units" across those different media areas.
It sounds complicated. But what happens when, say, a network runs out of make-good inventory during the important fourth quarter period, where many consumer marketers want to be?
Should networks do what they did in the past -- in rare instances -- giving back cash? Big-time media companies don't want to give back anything. But they could give inventory in those newfangled video platforms, where, at the moment, those CPMs are many times that of traditional TV. That could be a deal -- for some.
10-04-07 The Limbaugh thing: fuss, no fuss or bullsquat? While advertisers are holding firm and his webstats are showing huge growth, there's a serious concern that "the current congressional attack on Rush Limbaugh is part of a larger effort to revive the Fairness Doctrine. ABC Radio's Sean Hannity says "They pick on people one by one, and the person they want most is Rush because he has the biggest audience." Hannity thinks he's on the hit list too, along with other conservative talkers like Neal Boortz and Mark Levin."
Some months ago, I called for a return of the Fairness Doctrine, but the way I envisioned it was considerably different than the way it seems to be being backdoor-resurrected.
10-03-07 The Top 100 Rock Albums of All Time... here's the methodology and here's the list, as an XLS page. Call (310) 860-9988 to inquire about using the full-results list for on-air programming. Comment here.
10-03-07 I've lived in St. Louis longer than I've lived anywhere else...and I've lived in 14 states and on two continents.
Shoot, Mrs. A and I have lived in this house longer than we've ever lived anywhere else. And even though we're not originally from here, we've come to be very comfortable with St. Louis and Missouri as our adopted home.
When the MO National Guard made this award available for military vets from WW2 through Vietnam, I applied.
Dug up a copy of my DD214 at the APC on Page, and sent it off by fax. This came Tuesday, along with a letter from the Governor and the AG of the MO Guard, and a full-dress medal and medallion.
It may not mean much to you, but, to me, after almost 40 years, it's nice to have someone, anyone, say thanks. I waited a long time to hear it.
If you're a vet of any of the three conflict eras mentioned above apply for yours now. It's the least they can do for us as we Old Dogs wind down.
10-03-07 Secret Squirrel spins-on Simm-ons... .Kent Hall lands gig as Production/Imaging director for 1380ESPN Radio. Hall begins immediately.
10-03-07 Turn on, turn off... night time HD problems being reported at Citadel HD AM's and trade mags have been buzzing. From InsideRadio: Three weeks after the FCC began allowing AM stations to broadcast in HD after dark, Citadel engineers say interference concerns and listener complaints have led to the decision to pull the plug. Of special concern is the impact on Citadel's big 50,000 watt stations like New York's WABC and Detroit's WJR. Insiders call the move "temporary" while they look for ways to improve signal coverage - and point out they'll remain in HD during daylight hours. Comment here.
10-03-07 Another one, worse than the other one... Mark Burnett, creator of “The Apprentice” and the modern-day reality TV show model, has a new one up his sleeve set to air next summer on CBS. Burnett’s new reality show “Jingles” will feature contestants trying to come up with new commercial jingles for all sorts of products — possibly for Crest Toothpaste, Coca-Cola, or other well-known brands. Comment here.
10-02-07 Radiohead is a group that means nothing to me... but they've blazed a new trail in the music biz by giving away their newest compilation (is it right to call a collection of digital music files an album?) for as near to free as you can call it.
This follows Prince's move a few months back, when he offered his most recent collection of songs for free within the folds of a weekend newspaper in Britain. No record stores, no iTunes. Just music, either absolutely free on one of them old-fashioned CD thingies or on a pay-what-you-want basis for the digital version.
Whether the labels (widely perceived by smarter guys than me as dinosaurs about to become extinct) like it or not, this is the future of music distribution.
The bands will make money selling show tickets and gear and alternatives to downloads and the labels will sit on their decaying butts wondering what happened.
Next up: the movie industry. I used to describe the Internet to clients as the new "Wild West"...the gunfights have just begun.
10-02-07 The upside to this is fewer dead trees... Help-Wanted Ads Decline In Newspapers: The Conference Board Help-Wanted Advertising Index--a measure of job offerings in major newspapers across America--notes that in the last three months, help-wanted advertising declined in all nine U.S. regions. Largest declines occurred in the New England (-25.4%), South Atlantic (-18.4%) and Middle Atlantic (-16.9%) regions. Comment here.
10-02-07 The most recent round of staff buyouts... at the PD (we tipped you to this weeks ago) came to pass last Friday. 60 long-time employees accepted the offer and, according to Editor & Publisher, "The offering will result in estimated annual savings between $3.9 million and $4.4 million after the necessary positions are refilled. Lee will recognize an initial cost of $10.6 million in fiscal 2007 related to the offering, with approximately $3.7 million of the cost for the cash payments."
The 60 retiring employees represent about 12% of the paper's news staff. Comment here.
10-02-07 Almost forgot: congrats to our friends at... The Files Files for being named Best Local Website by the RFT. Funny stuff there...both ha-ha and peculiar.
10-01-07 Secret Squirrel two-stepped past The Palace near Ballas... and discovered that Lynn Stewart's contract at WIL-FM will not be renewed. She is off the air effective today (10/1) and she's already been removed from the station's website. Danny Montana will likely take her place in middays. Comment here.
10-01-07 Happy birthday ...to our son Jason.
Today our youngest turns 32 and he and his little dog Ruca are off on a camping trip with friends; he checked in last evening, as I asked him to do, to let us know he arrived safely and that the pup was equipped with a 12-hour glowstick so he could see her at night (she doesn't go very far from him, ever, anyway).
Jason accused me of being a worrying old Grandmother, can you imagine?
At least I never tied a glowstick to him when he was a kid. Would have if I could have, God knows...
10-01-07 Hacked your iPhone, didja?
Now you're hosed.
Apple released an update for the iPhone on Thursday that brings the Wi-Fi Music Store to the device, as well as several security fixes and enhanced features. But, as expected, it also turns iPhones that were unlocked to run on cellular networks other than AT&T's into little more than emergency call boxes. Comment here.
Previous entries back to 2003 are available here.