Previously on The Front Page...Apr/May/Jun 2008
Monday 06-30-08: Last Friday Kevin McCarthy showed me his ...
Kevin whipped out a 1-gig credit-card-sized flash-memory card with a built-in USB extension. Very cool! Even thinner 2gig and 4gig flash cards are available from Walletex, the Israeli company that created them; if you don't buy directly from them, you're racist.
I just bought me a 4gig card from them, with shipping, about a C-note.
As you might imagine, I support Israeli industry. So should you.
UPDATE: Turns out the company is just a few miles away from the city in which my Brother lives and it'll be at my home Wednesday via FedEx! Photos coming.
Monday 06-30-08: This is what happens ... when you let a heritage set of call letters go into the wind. Good move, Crawford.
They wind up in a city 80 miles East of San Francisco, at a radio station that still thinks AM stereo is a happening thang. Maybe some of those cars on the lot at Western Motors have a Kahn or Motorola compatible receiver...
I couldn't get their audio stream to work (what the heck is a *.PLS file?); I don't believe that the station is still on the air (can't find any reference anywhere to AM 630 in the vicinity). Thanks to Dan Joachimsthaler of Collinsville for the link. What a hoot!
Cool website, though, huh?
UPDATE: I've dealt with streaming audio for years, and I guess I've just missed this file type. I'm told it works with WMP and WinAmp; thanks to all who responded about this. I'll try them eventually.
Sunday 06-29-08: Secret Squirrel's bookie says it's a lock ...
John "Coach" Kijowski's recent trip to BIC HQ brought home the corporate green light to convert their 101.1 FM super-signal to Sports Talk 101TM before the end of the year, perhaps as soon as August.
My furry little friend tells me "This whole story is longer a rumor. Got some nuts?" No, but Coach K.TM does for undertaking this project.
Observations and wonderings:
Squirrel says that the Salt Lake City discussion covered the gamut: promotions, strategies, sales and programming budgets, air talent and shows, both locally originated and syndicated.
I hear that Coach K.TM is talking to some of the biggest names in STL radio, sports-types and some you might not associate with the format. I can think of three or four who might consider this an opportunity and any combination of them would be interesting listening.
Watch for the first of those "90-day outs" on certain syndicated programming now airing elsewhere to be exercised soon; expect syndicators to be very quiet about details.
I'm hearing that construction on appropriate studio and office facilities will begin soon at the Palace near Ballas. I wonder if Coach K.TM will be using union electricians again, as they did during the original build, and then had to have their own guys go back through and fix the mistakes the union guys made?
The biggest feature of any sports station is, of course, major league play-by-play and, for Coach K.TM, that's all still up in the air.
The Blues are comfy with KMOX and unlikely to uproot themselves anytime soon.
The Cardinals own half of KTRS but I don't believe that that would keep them from moving the games to a vastly superior signal if the opportunity arose. They could dump their 50% share of the station in a heartbeat -- and at a profit -- anytime they wanted. Or they could donate it to Reverend Larry Rice. Come to think about it, the idea of Tiny Tim DorseyTM co-managing KTRS with Larry Rice pleases me somehow...
The Rams and KLOU have always seemed to me to be a mismatch. I don't know when their deal with CC/STL is done, but I'd bet that NFL PxP will be the first to appear on 101.1 FM. And why would they need a local AM affiliate? It's not like listeners need to hunt to find an FM radio. More bad news for KTRS.
But NFL and NHL games are money losers on the radio, adding only a tiny little bit of sports spiff and you can't eat spiff. MLB PxP is the key. If BIC is serious with this, they HAVE to have the Redbirds and sooner rather than later.
Once Coach K.TM pulls the trigger on Big Sports 101TM, what happens to these guys:
KFNS/AM590, KFNS-FM/FM100.7 and KRFT/AM1190, owned by Big League Broadcasting, and KSLG/AM1380 and WFFX/AM1490, owned by Simmons?
If they have any sense, they'll modestly bow out of the sports format and go away. No one West of the I-170 loop can hear them at home anyway.
Simmons has a long history with BIC and it wouldn't surprise me if they don't already have some agreement to transfer local employees to the new St. Louis Sports Super StationTM.
BLB has always been thought of as an interloper in this market, and they're likely to get out any way they can. Face saving is not an option; financial survival is.
This is also going to have implications for any radio station trying to hit males: KSHE, K-HITS, The Point, 97.1, KMOX, KTRS and so on.
Final question: Is Coach K.TM up to the job? He runs the entire BIC cluster and a sports and/or talk station needs a lot of attention. Who's gonna be directly in charge of the St. Louis Sports Super StationTM?
Wait -- one more thing: Hello from The Conclave in Minneapolis. Not many
people here, but a certain STL PD is making quite the spectacle of herself
by telling everyone she sees that she's looking for a new gig because
one of her stations is going to stop playing music this summer. She's
got a pile of envelopes, probably resumes, and is handing them out like
free samples at Costco. Not a good look.
Wasn't "herself" honored in the recent past by her company as one of their brightest, shiniest stars? And now she's bailing? So much for loyalty. And judgement.
Jules, baby, the key to getting a gig at a convention is subtle marketing...and we've got eyes and ears everywhere!
Note: this story is ©Mike Anderson and ©STLMedia.net. Use of copyrighted and trademarked material herein in other media is welcome, but credit must be given to the copyright and trademark holders and full expression of STLMedia's web address is required in all cases. My intellectual property lawyer is bigger than your intellectual property lawyer. Meaner, too. He drinks Jack-and-human blood cocktails. At breakfast. Mean, mean, mean. Don't make me pull this car over and call him.
|Saturday 06-28-08: Ozzie loves him some Tasha ...|
The Black Lab across the back yard fence thinks our Red Heeler, Tasha, is the best GirlDog he's ever seen.
Ozzie sits and watches as Tasha runs the yard; Ozzie tosses his tennis balls over the fence hoping to impress her.
Tasha does the fence thing with Ozzie but otherwise ignores him.
Ozzie's got a blue collared-buddy who entrances Tasha a bit more, and that keeps the three of them active when they're all out.
It's a canine soap opera and I love watching it.
Saturday 06-28-08: Email address alert ...
|Saturday 06-28-08: STLRadio vets marry ...|
Former CC/STL PD Rob Walker and former KSD-FM SM Della Pizzati did the wedding thing in Vegas on the 15th after a "brief" (eight years!) engagement.
They're currently living in Seattle, where Rob, no longer in radio, is a paramedic and studying to become an EMS educator; Della is DOS for the Entercom group there.
Rob, as always, has a lot going on and you can follow his adventures at his blog.
Best wishes to Rob and Della...they're good people and deserve the best.
My mike @ pickeringonline email address is no longer functional, due to an ISP change for that website.
Please use only firstname.lastname@example.org to contact me.
Make that change in your address book as soon as possible.
Friday 06-27-08: Thanks to all who came ... to our June STLMedia Meeting, veterans and newbies alike.
Fun facts discovered:
-- Jim Shannon is now doing middays at KZQZ/AM1430. Shannon preceded me at WIL and then worked with me at KIX104. He's a good guy and I wish him luck in his new gig.
-- Former CBS guy Sam Prainito's event DJ work is going nicely, thanks, and he's available on demand thru TKO DJs; ask for Sam by name. And with any luck, we'll have some video of his game show work soon to present to you here.
-- Kevin & Sue McCarthy reminded me that the 8th anniversary of their Travel Planners Show occurs this month, along with STLMedia's! Their show is also featured weekly on the KMOX internet channel, KMOX2.
-- Speaking of Kevin McCarthy, his recent surgery to fix an arthritic hip was a huge success; to show how succesful it was, Kevin danced a bit of a jig and that, dear readers, was a sight to see!
-- Chad Briesacher, ND and AT at Lindenwood College's KCLC stopped by to talk about employment in the radio biz in the 21st Century; thanks to Mike Wall for suggesting he make the trip to Reynolds. I've never heard his work, but Chad's presentation and enthusiasm impressed everyone at our tables.
-- Frank Absher asked me to mention that the ballots for the STLRadio Hall of Fame Class of 2008-2009 will be arriving soon; if you're a voter, please watch your snailmail and return the completed ballots soonest.
-- Jonnie King brought along a CD of his 40th anniversary show on the now-defunct Bill Clevlen channels; listen to it here. And listen to a demo of Jonnie on WDRQ/Detroit and K-Hits96/STL. Jonnie's lifelong fascination with custom cars and hot rods has been tuned into an impressive website. Take a look and be dazzled.
-- Jack Klobnak's as bad a gadget freak as me...and thanks to Jack for his generosity to STLMedia.
There was more intel, of course, but there's that classified thing...
Wednesday 06-25-08: We've had for several years ... an ATT multiphone cordless system throughout the house and office. The screens started to fade and the proprietary batteries no longer hold a useful charge.
Battery replacement for the ATT system, and for another system a friend passed along to us, was cost prohibitive, and it was time to look for another way to go.
I found a 1.9gHz Panasonic 4-phone (expandable to 6) DECT 6.0 system for just over $100 that uses rechargeable NiMh AAA batteries; problem was, every time I used the base phone (positioned near my wireless router) it knocked out my DSL.
A couple hours of research later I found the answer on an Australian blog: "Move the base away from the router, you wanker."
Worked like a champ. Probably coulda figured it out on my own, but the Ozzies drink way more beer than me. Still a little hash on the audio, but I'll eventually get that taken care of, too. It's always RF that's the issue, huh?
Monday 06-23-08: Sunday morning, Secret Squirrel headed East on Olive ... while Mrs. A and I went West to brunch at First Watch.
Squirrel came home complaining about the humidity and with this tidbit:
This may be
the make-it-or-break-it week for John Kijowski's plan to move Movin'
to all sports. The Bonneville GM currently is packing for a trip to
BIC headquarters this week in Salt Lake City. When he gets
back, things may get even more active than they've already been
around the Palace near Ballas.
Monday 06-23-08: Wonderful W-I-N-O signs off ...
Comic, social critic and author George Carlin died Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles. He was 71. Carlin's passing is believed to be associated with his long history of heart problems.
Carlin was one of the pioneers of comedy on cable and is perhaps best remembered for his "Seven Words You Can't Say On TV".
Jay Philpott sends along links to Carlin's Wikipedia page and a YouTube search for his best work.
Sunday 06-22-08: Greatest hits, for cheap ... See that ad on the upper right on the Front Page? Click on the AmazonMP3 logo and look for your favorites. Download 'em for a buck or less a track.
I just dl'd all of the Spinners 70's hits and burned 'em to one of those old fashioned CD's for living room and iPod playback and posterity. And all of that because I caught the opening guitar licks of the 1970 hit It's A Shame on the supermarket PA.
I played this tune when it was a hit on a 45rpm record at KLEN/AM 1050 in Killeen TX when I was a baby DJ.
I figure the memory added $10 to my grocery bill and it's worth it if I can smile when I shop and spend more money that I should. Beef and chicken costs HOW MUCH?
Sunday 06-22-08: Buh-bye to Kara ... a Secret Squirrel report:
Surprised there was no mention of the going-away party
last weekend for Kara Kaswell. Her last day at KMOV was Wednesday,
6/18. Kara spent 14 years at Channel 4 after a short stint at KPLR. She
broke many, many stories on the police beat over the years and had one of
the best source lists in the city.
The going-away party was at Llewellyn's in Webster Groves. Attendees
included a number of KMOV'ers from in front of and behind the camera,
personal friends from outside the business: KTVI assignment editor Paddy
McPhillips (who used to work with Kara in the 90s at KMOV), JC Corcoran
(who worked with Kara when he was a contributor to KMOV), and former
KSDK and KMOV consumer-investigative reporter Jody Davis.
Sunday 06-22-08: Newspaper layoffs continue ... MediaOne of Utah, the company that prints and distributes the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune and sells advertising for the two papers began laying off employees Friday, according to MediaOne President Brent Low.
Saturday 06-21-08: KMOXAM2 ... which is supposed, I guess, to be an on-line parallel of the station's on-air programming, is not being delivered well.
And it won't be until AM2's schedule fills up and synchs up with the broadcast AM.
If the station offers special programming in place of its regular programming and I choose to listen to it online, it should be available not only then, but whenever I want to hear it.
If it's special enough to program away from the regular programming, it's special enough to make available when I want to hear it.
There's that whole podcast thing (just a downloadable 96k MP3 file).
I'm happy that programming provided by friends of mine is available there, at specific times; I'd much rather that links to their audio and text files be made available by RSS or just as an MP3 download so I can hear them when I want to.
I'm not an appointment listening kinda guy.
Saturday 06-21-08: Satellite radio is a dead man walking ...
I didn't say that.
The Washington Post did.
Saturday 06-21-08: This week in the missionary position ...
Big news this past week in STLMedia was the finalization of the power upgrade of Bonneville's 101.1FM signal from 50kw to 100kw which, according to the press release, expands the reach of of the station over the St. Louis metro and into Washington, De Soto, St. Genevieve and Wentzville, MO, and into Troy, Warrenton, Farmington, Sullivan, and Carlyle, in Illinois.
Currently the station is formatted as a Rhythmic AC; in a few months, who knows? Rumors abound, with a strong leaning to sports. We'll see.
But what's most interesting is that the best known iterations of the frequency have been owned by missionary-intensive churches.
When it was WMRY-FM, the station was owned by The Oblate Fathers of the Catholic Church, which to this day sponsor Catholic missionary efforts in more than seventy countries.
Over the years, their station was a St. Louis favorite, playing progressive rock from Mark Klose and real jazz from Leo Chears, the legendary "Man in the Red Vest," along with inspirational messages.
Eventually the station bounced to the ownership of Bonneville International, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormons.
Of course, The LDS is well known for their worldwide missionary work, as well.
Just thought it was worth noting.
More 101.1 history here, from Frank Absher's STLRadio.com.
Friday 06-20-08: Back then, it was all about the hair ...
Here's Fox2's Sandy Miller's turn in a swimsuit at the Miss America contest in 1984; Sandy appears about 6:00 in. Miss Missouri, indeed!
Thanks to Ron Ward of Valley Park MO for the link.
Friday 06-20-08: This showed up in my email yesterday ... a day I took off. It regards the likely joint operation of KPLR/ll and KTVI/2, which will soon be "related by marriage."
Some of it mirrors info we've received here, some of it's new.
I think that it's pretty unlikely that Zell would shut KPLR down, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see ABC shift from KDNL to either KPLR or KTVI, both of which are better signals, with Fox on the other.
I should note that this did not come in anonymously through the Secret Squirrel form; I present, you decide...
I am sure that you are aware that one of Sam Zell's partners purchased Ch 2 recently. That transaction is supposed to be approved in July. One that happens, Zell plans to run both stations as 1 operation, or until as recent as yesterday, I have now been told that KPLR may in fact be in danger of being shut down. Zell is not a fan of the CW and had told their employees back in March that he was going to angle to try and take ABC from Sinclair. Yes Zell and Randy Michales did make a trip to STL to meet with their employees.
Now it appears that in fact that the stations employees will be consolidated, reduced - meaning massive layoffs, or outright firings is the way Zell does business, and that it is very likely that they could shut down KPLR all-together. To further demonstrate this, department heads at KPLR have been told that they are on a budget freeze in terms of spending for basic supplies such as post it notes and pens. "Use them until the ink runs out" is what they have been told. They are going to allow certain hiring only if it is necessary to run news.
I don't really think that they will shut down KPLR all-together, I can't imagine that, but it is clear that a massive consolidation is about to take place and many people in the industry, both at KTVI and KPLR could lose their jobs. If they keep both stations but consolidate, the original plan was to terminate people from both stations until they got to the right fit. But if they shut down KPLR, I would guess they will just terminate the people from KPLR, except maybe in the news division, if they go over to KTVI.
How much of this you are aware of, I don't know. I'm not sure what knowledge or sources you have. I am not a member of your message board, so maybe this has all been or being discussed, but I thought that it was something that would be of interest to the broader community, and not come as a shock when it goes down.
Friday 06-20-08: One OldDog out, one OldDog in ...
After years with Emmis, KIHT/KFTK ND John Cooper is leaving The Powerhouse. Today was his last day; John's wife is moving to Nashville to continue her medical career and he's following her (unusual in the radio biz).
According to an Emmis insider, "John has been a great asset to us on the programming side of things. In fact, over the last couple of years his role on the Dave Glover Show has grown so much that John has even hosted the show a couple times. He is truly one of the few 'utility men' left in the business. John we hate to see you go, but put on your hat and boots and saddle up for a great career in Nashville radio."
Cooper's replacement is none other than Rick Sanborn, who has grazed the meadows of STLRadio since 1986 except for a brief break in, ironically, Nashville, and has been with Emmis/STL since 2005.
According to PD Jeff Allen, Sanborn's initial duties will include only KFTK/FM97.1.
Rick's son Max is also employed by KFTK, where he produces the Jamie Allman Morning Show and does an excellent weekend entertainment show called Max on Movies.
Friday 06-20-08: XM & Sirius shares plummet, but there's an upside ...
InsideRadio reports shares of both satellite radio companies dived more than 10% today after an analyst advised clients to sell on fears "core demand for satellite radio appears to be falling amongst the younger demographic" - which Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Wienkes says are lured more to MP3 players. There's also concern subscription radio will be a tough sell in a recession.
But inside every cloud is a silver lining...Italian sports car manufacturer Automobili Lamborghini will include Sirius as standard factory-installed equipment on its Murcielago beginning later this year with the 2009 model. Included with the $345,000 price of the car is a
I was actually thinking of trading the Lincoln in for something a little more fuel efficient...
Thursday 06-19-08: Taking some time off ... I'll be out of touch today and most of Friday.
Wednesday 06-18-08: Yeah, this was bound to work ...
The Future of Music Coalition has been studying airplay data and concludes four broadcasters aren't living up their end of an April 2007 deal with the FCC settling a payola investigation. FMC says it wants the FCC to investigate whether CBS Radio, Citadel, Clear Channel and Entercom fulfilled a pledge to air 4,200 hours of independent and unsigned artists.
Yup, all four of those named outfits are likely to want to play unproven, unresearched music. FMC really expected them to carry thru on this deal?
Wednesday 06-18-08: Running out of ideas for reality shows, please help ...
The man who brought the world "Big Brother" and "Fear Factor" is asking TV fans to come up with the next big reality hit.
Endemol co-founder John de Mol's Talpa Media Group has launched a website, TalpaCreative.com, that reality fans can visit to pitch ideas.
The site launches this week. Users will register as members and then receive an opportunity to submit ideas as well as respond to assignments posted by de Mol and Talpa execs.
"Everyone has an opinion about TV," de Mol said. "But for people not a part of our business, it's extremely difficult to get a meeting with a network. This is a platform where people with good ideas can come."
Wednesday 06-18-08: The AP has lost its mind ...
The news gathering agency is now charging non-subscribers as much as US$2.50 a word to excerpt their articles.
AP's all in a hissy because they just do not like that Copyright Act Fair Use provision.
The AP's biggest problems seem to be with bloggers and websites like this one that occasionally quote parts of an article and then either comment on it or ask for comments, while using a weblink back to the whole story.
Ironically, the AP regularly excerpts articles from blogs and websites without either crediting such material or offering a link back to the original source.
Like, say, STLToday.com.
Tuesday 06-17-08: What, no Mexican or Arabic SatRad channels?
Guess they didn't piss and moan loudly enough.
From the Washington Post:
Senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus yesterday criticized a compromise plan for the proposed merger of the XM and Sirius satellite radio companies, saying the deal does not provide enough opportunities for minority-owned programming.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said over the weekend that he would support the merger after XM and Sirius voluntarily agreed, among a series of other concessions, to lease 4 percent of their radio spectrums, or 12 channels, for programming run by minorities and women.
Members of the black caucus on Capitol Hill have been arguing for the merged company to lease 20% of spectrum to companies owned by racial minorities.
This is greenmail -- give us money or a piece of the action and we'll shut up and leave your deal alone.
I hate that XM & Sirius might merge, but only because it's a violation of the original law that set them up.
Mel Karmazin is so eager to get this merger done that he'll agree to the CBC's ridiculous demands. Mel will do anything to turn a profit, even pay off these extortionists.
Check back in a year or so to see how well Karmazin's served his 20% masters and count the number of commercials SatRad runs every hour on every channel.
There is no way that SatRad will succeed with a fifth (or more) of their programming, newly and specifically developed for women, blacks and immigrant minorities who'll assert their claim to SatRad bandwidth as soon as they can find lawyers happy to represent them.
God bless the ACLU.
Thank them for the loss of your special SatRad listening and all those damned spots.
Tuesday 06-17-08: Secret Squirrel picked this up downtown ...
Belo has told KMOV mgt that they want to get rid of all news part timers.
Well, now. That's pretty damned unfriendly. Guess Belo full timers ought to get ready for some extra long work weeks...
And Belo hasn't even sold their stations to Sam Zell.
Tuesday 06-17-08: Cold snap in Hell... women and minorities most affected!
Unbelievably, STLToday.com has published a story about a website, written by the worstest media writer ever, Diane Toroian Keaggy.
And actually, the story's pretty well written, except that online there are no live links. Wuzzup wif dat, online editors, hey?
The story's all about Bill Streeter's Lo-Fi STL site, which is very cool and is actually the Web2 version of the work begun by Pete Parisi all those years ago.
The language in the videos on the site is occasionally NSFW, but Streeter's video work is amazing.
Photo above by John L. White/P-D.
Tuesday 06-17-08: DelColliano channels Clear Channel 3.0...
And it ain't a pretty picture. Below's a taste; read all of what what Jerry says here.
-- More pink slips are coming as these non-radio owners will do what they do best – look for economies of scale.
-- That means more stations carrying Ryan Seacrest doing his national show mornings or midday's on a local medium. Believe me, these bean counters are not going to get caught up in the local radio argument. They need cost concessions. So, what's wrong with an LA morning show in many other markets. Or so they think.
-- Voice tracking and program duplication will increase.
-- Cheap talent will be employed.
-- Multitasking will continue or grow – one PD to run many stations. One GM to – well, you know – they’re doing this now. And these PDs are likely to have their private parts cut off meaning they won't be able to stand up and do what they know has to be done.
-- Increased use of syndication.
-- Pruning expensive air talent.
If I was a St. Louis CC guy, I'd be looking into changing my name to Gomez and learning yardwork.
Tuesday 06-17-08: A while back I purchased ... an anti-bark collar for Tasha, that delivers a tiny little shock from a 3v battery. It's a PetSafe product and I picked it up for less than a hundred bucks (including spare batteries bought online) at one of the big-box pet stores.
It took almost no time for GirlDog to understand that when she wore it and barked, she'd get a mildly unpleasant jolt on her throat, similar to what you get by putting your tongue against both terminals of a 9v battery.
Tasha learns quickly and now just putting the collar on, without activating it, is sufficient deterrence most of the time (until she manages to push it around, away from her thorax, and resumes her ACD-itude).
I highly recommend the product.
Tuesday 06-17-08: Women owning radio stations ... get outa here!
Sheesh. Next thing you know they'll want to vote, wear pants and make men have babies.
Chicks. Can't live with 'em, pass the beer nuts, etc.
InsideRadio says the FCC is pushing back the deadlines for filing comments in its proceeding looking at ways to increase the number of new owners in media, particularly among women and minorities. The deadline for comments is now June 30 with reply comments due July 14. A coalition of broadcasters and public interest groups had requested the extension.
Just in time for the bankers who will soon take control of the Clear Channel empire to start spinning the stations off to gubmint preferred buyers.
Monday 06-16-08: Finally caught the culprit in the act ...
What with the neighborhood raccoon issue, I put the trash out on Monday just after sunrise.
This morning, I caught the P-D delivery guy driving by, flagged him down and told him in no uncertain terms to stop littering my driveway with free copies of the paper.
"Oh, no," he said, "It's not me who leaves 'em, it's the Journal guy."
Bullroar. I get three or four free copies of the STLP-D a week, including Sunday's edition, and all of the useless Journals.
Don't read any of 'em, just toss 'em in the trash can.
Hey, Lee Publishing, quit it! There's nothing in the dead-tree I want that I can't get online!
You're using the throwaways to enhance your circulation figures and make your worthless rags more valuable to advertisers with baloney ratings and I don't want to be part of your fraud.
I don't want the P-D or the Journal on my driveway and, no, I don't want to have to call your circulation monkeys to have it stopped.
You should be calling me to ask if I want your junk. And I don't.
Monday 06-16-08: FCC Chief supports SatRad merger ...
The Washington Post is reporting that FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin said yesterday that he will support a merger between the nation's sole satellite radio operators, XM and Sirius, a decision that could remove the last regulatory hurdle in the lengthy and heavily criticized move to make the companies one.
Note that this will require the approval of two of the other four Commissioners before approval of the merger.
Monday 06-16-08: Best Fathers' Day gift for a geek like me ...
Mrs. A popped for a UPS for the Main System and she and Jason installed it while I vegged out on reruns of The Deadliest Catch.
Now all the data is protected not only by the RAID multiple-drive system, but also by an incredibly powerful surge-protection system that also offers a half-hour of backup-battery-power to shut down the system safely in the event of a catastrophic power failure. Damned thing weighs a ton.
Not like anything I have here is worth saving...
Well, maybe billing records and the latest Tasha videos.
Monday 06-16-08: Bad news, good news ...
The bad news is that I asked too much of my Flip Ultras when recording the UMSL Media Halls of Fame ceremony. The Flip lenses just were not up to the zooms requested (although I'd recommend these little cameras for almost any other purpose; I should have set mine closer and all would have been good). The good news is that a DVD of the entire program is on the way and that video will be available here soonest. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Monday 06-16-08: We could certainly do worse ...
And we probably will this November.
WorldNetDaily reports Popular late-night radio host George Noory says that with many issues of concern to him and his vast audience not being addressed, he's once again pondering a run for the White House in 2012. "With the millions of listeners to Coast to Coast AM, I get constant feedback from people who are not happy with the current candidates," Noory told WND.
Noory 2012: the legend continues.
Monday 06-16-08: Channeling my inner Beavis & Butthead ...
When the LA Times headlines a story about the departure of Jeff Weiner, the executive vice president of Yahoo's network division, with Weiner Out At Yahoo, that's funny!
Sunday 06-15-08: John Harold Anderson ... Legendary typographer and fine printer, WW2 cryptographer with USAAF service in the CBI Campaign, who "flew the Hump" over the Himalayas in a non-pressurized C-47 and who was also my Father, in front of his
first print shop which was, I believe, directly below our home on Walnut Street in Philadelphia.
UPDATE from my Brother, Rick: As I recall the picture you published was of the shop at 54th and Spruce Street. It was the first shop in Philly, and the first called Pickering, but Pop had a shop in Atlantic City and in New York as well, I think. His first shop was called the Bantam Press.
Saturday 06-14-08: Apologies for no new entries here ...
Just worn out from a long week, no really new news, and the recurrence of a sinus infection have kept it quiet yesterday and today.
Thursday 06-12-08: For those of you who hate Tasha ...
Here's a couple minutes of raw video of the STLMedia WatchDog chasing a laser dot on the closest oak in the yard.
Thursday 06-12-08: I've annoyed the hell out of people for more than forty years ...
Usually by just being there, but often by, when, for example, the song Papa Was A Rolling Stone comes on the radio or whatever player is in use.
With that endless intro, I'd wait...and wait...and then, at exactly the right instant turn to them and say "What day was it?"
"It was the third of September..." the Temps would sing and then life would go on, albeit a little less pleasantly for whomever heard me do that for the second time.
That brings me to this:
How many of you OldDogs still habitually talk up songs you hear from the very first note, tossing in your favorite set of calls to instinctively hit the vocal?
How many of you can still bring to your mind's eye the colors of the label and the intro and carted (not the record, because the length of a 45 was always to zero mod and that was useless) lengths and the exact execution point to start the next tune or the backsell into a stop set?
Computers don't know that a song's over when it's usefulness is done and that may occur before the audio chain kicks it out. Makes me crazy when a tune goes on and on, way beyond it should.
I still have this weird involuntary reflex that kicks in when I hear music I played as a hit.
You, too, I bet; for me, the calls are always K-H-J, each letter spoken clearly, distinctly and separately.
The way Mr. Drake would have wanted it done.
Thursday 06-12-08: Formerly local sports pub cuts back ...
According to AdAge, The Sporting News, the nation's first weekly sports magazine, will become a bi-weekly in July and begin a free daily online version; they'll cut the press run from 700k to 600k in September.
The new print magazine will come in a larger, glossier format and will focus more on features than breaking news.
The Sporting News was purchased by American City Business Journals in 2006.
"We didn't buy it 18 months ago to keep it the same," said Ed Baker, the magazine's publisher.
Nope, they didn't. They bought it to make money and you can see that they're morphing it into a web-only pub to defeat the dreaded dead-tree dilemma.
Expect it to go monthly as soon as they can, then quarterly, then...
Wednesday 06-11-08: Everybody sent me this story ...
I wonder what they meant by that?
Used to be, when you were given notice, you would, on your last day, do one of the following:
1. You'd go quietly into the good night (usually the best choice).
2. You'd take the bulk eraser and run it up and down past every spot cart in the rack.
3. You'd leave a note for management telling them that you had recorded an extra and unwanted word (f**k, s**t, etc.) on one of their 700 recorded spots and you wished them good luck finding which cart held it before it aired.
Then Hong Chae, who police say was fired from Korean Media in Atlanta two months ago, walked into the station's building and tried to throw a Molotov cocktail inside, only to severely burn himself.
Ol' Hong raised the bar for vengeance, I'd say.
Wednesday 06-11-08: A teeny little guy from Cleveland ...
...spent four hours on the Senate floor reading all the big legal words that followed this:
Resolved, that President George W. Bush be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the
following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate.
Oh noes! Can I haz peachymum burger?
Please -- before you respond by telling me what an a**hole I am, be sure to read all 65 pages of the impeachment articles so you don't embarass yourself.
'Cause he sure did.
Wednesday 06-11-08: WIL's Cornbread becomes a daddy ...
It's a Happy Fathers' Day story: Congrats to BIC/STL's WIL Morning Guy Cornbread and wife Lisa on the birth of their baby girl, Adeline Lucille on 9 June 2008. Lisa, of course, did all the work.
Wednesday 06-11-08: You gotta be kidding me ... Airplay sells music? Get outa town!
R&R actually published a story from MediaWeek that goes a little something like this:
"There is a direct correlation between the number of 'spins' (plays on free, local radio) and the sales of albums or singles," the report concluded. "It is this promotion -- free advertising -- that drives record sales and represents just one of the many ways local radio provides value to artists and contributes to their financial and commercial success."
A couple things: first, this was demonstrably true years ago when there actually were physical representations (records, tapes, CD's) of music to sell and research; second, nobody buys music anymore and even if they did the current metrics to measure sales are woefully inadequate.
And, of course, there's also the fact that most new music in any given format is crap.
All involved in this study are officially AssHats.
Wednesday 06-11-08: As promised ... Ninety seconds of video digitized from KXOK Production Director Richard Ward Fatherly's 8mm film. It's a little tour around the Radio Park front yard and some mopic of the nattily dressed KXOK softball team. Thanks to Frank Absher for the VHS to DVD transfer.
And speaking of Frank and KXOK, he's written a great piece (with photo) about the station's long-time home. Check it out here.
Tuesday 06-10-08: Halls of Fame 2008 Program ... Saturday's souvenir booklet as a PDF file, all 20 pages of it, so you can play along. Get it here and pity us attendees for the shrimp and beef tenderloin meal we were forced to eat by heavily armed media meal guards. That chocolate thing at dessert? Boo-yeah!
Then we had to listen to all that blah-blah-blah and who really cares about all them old folks anyway...
Tuesday 06-10-08: Flying this Summer? Fly Derrie-Air ... serving US air travelers from humble beginnings in Salamander MO.
Tuesday 06-10-08: Congrats to Emmett McAuliffe ... one of your more prominent Renaissance men, Emmett has been appointed to the Missouri State Council on the Arts.
McAuliffe is also a KMOX talk personality, an Intellectual Property attorney with Spencer Fane Britt & Browne, an AFTRA Board member and has been awarded a Gold Record by the RIAA.
On a personal note I should also mention that he's truly one of the good guys and was instrumental in helping Mrs. A successfully push through a difficult patent application a couple years ago.
Tuesday 06-10-08: Apologies to Larry Hoffman ... for misidentifying him in the KXOK group photo below. Hey, it was a long weekend...
Monday 06-09-08: Last Friday I noted the passing of Bill Dial ... an Atlanta radio personality and a Hollywood screenwriter, whose work is remembered from the classic show WKRP and others.
Radio consultant and STLMedia reader Ed Shane was a long-time friend of Dial's and kindly passed this along:
When he retired to the marshes of South Carolina’s Low Country, he began listening to radio again and found a medium nothing like the one he was part of before his success in Hollywood. He found stations that seem not to be connected to their audiences. There was one instance of a sports station that accidentally ran network cues all weekend. We asked him to share his reactions to what he heard with our clients.
Bill Dial writes:
I've been away from the radio business for almost 40 years. But not really.
I was in on the first two seasons of WKRP in Cincinnati. Then I tried to re-start the franchise in 1991 with a syndicated version of the show. Unfortunately I was not as lucky with the casting the second time around, and by the time I thought I'd finally figured it out, MTM was bought by Pat Robertson's company, and they decided our show was a little too raucous for them.
I wrote an episode called "Moss Dies."
There was a mysterious off-screen character in the original show, the midnight to six jock named Moss Steiger. We never saw him, but we learned about him through various episodes by things he left behind in the studio -- a KFC box of chicken with, strangely, only the wings eaten and put carefully back into the box with the rest of the uneaten bird; an oddly scented, half-burnt candle; a book of poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke; etc.
[WKRP creator] Hugh Wilson never brought him on-stage, so I decided, when I returned to the show, to kill him off. Major rule in comedy writing: Nothing is funnier than a dead guy in the refrigerator. What takes the sting out is that no one really knew him.
One of my favorite exchanges was in the first scene. Johnny Fever returning for a guest appearance, had the following exchange (as well as I can remember it) with ace newsman, Les Nessman.
Johnny: I heard Moss died. How did it happen?
Les: Well, he went up onto the roof to have a smoke during one of those long Grateful Dead tracks.
Johnny: Moss loved the Dead.
Les: Yeah, well somehow he fell off the roof.
Johnny: Wow...seventeen floors...
Les: Not exactly. He landed on top of the marquee of the theater on the north side of the building.
Les: They were running a Dennis Hopper retrospective.
Johnny: Sorry I missed it.
Les: Anyway, apparently a window air conditioning unit came loose and dropped on him, and that knocked him into the street.
Johnny: My God...
Les: And that's where the bus hit him.
Johnny (Mulls this over for a moment): It's how he would have wanted to go.
One thing after another goes wrong: Moss's body is mixed up at the morgue with a Chinese guy. After the cremation his body is accidently shipped out as part of a station promotion. At his wake everyone smokes some of his favorite cigars and they flick the ashes into the urn.
The next day when his mother arrives for the final commital, Johnny says “It'll be fine” -- looking at the ashes -- "Unless she knows him awfully well, I don't think she'll know the difference."
The focus of the show really was on all of these folks who, it turns out, never really knew Moss. At the wake they all try to say something nice about him. For example, the dippy receptionist tells everyone, "I'll never forget the time he called one morning. I said, 'WKRP, serving the Ohio Valley for 36 years,' the way I always do, you know. .And he said, 'Really? I just wanted to know what time it is.' And I told him it was 10:30, and he said ‘Thank you,’ and hung up. But in a nice way."
So it was up Johnny Fever to sum it up.
"We're here to say goodbye to a fallen colleague. I guess I knew Moss better than anyone here, but I never really knew him that well. He really liked The Carpenters, and once told me he felt like he could have saved Karen at the end if he had only been there. I mean, he said, how hard is it to get somebody to eat something.
“Anyway, Moss lived by night. He chose to spend his waking life on the flip side. But for whoever was out there in the dark, Moss was always here. He was a warm, human voice in the night. That's what radio is, or sure ought to be. A voice we love to hear, a voice we need to hear, a voice that tells us everything's gonna be all right.
“Moss should remind all of us not to forget that."
And that, my old friends, is what I think a radio station ought to be.
A voice. A comfort.
Someplace to turn to when you need the help.
Monday 06-09-08: Something I noticed ... at the STLMedia HOF ceremonies Saturday night was the dearth of under-40 attendees.
I 'spect that a lot of those at the ceremony had their way paid in by the company and the $90-a-pop price put off many who didn't have that bennie or that much cash to drop on a night out for two. There was a lot of grey hair across my field of vision from the back of the Khorassan Room.
That should trip the triggers of media buyers who inist that 18-34's have it all going on and that the 54+ demos are nothing but losers and not worth attending to.
But I'm willing to bet that a lot of younger media types just do not care about such things as Halls of Fame and wouldn't have gone to the show regardless of the price.
Comin' up, I remember engaging in many hours of discussion about the history of the radio execs and jocks and formats that preceded my generation...that probably doesn't happen anymore, likely because there aren't very many memorable execs, jocks or formats.
I remember the hunger to get to back-then OldDogs, to talk to them, to argue music rotations and format basics and talent styles with them. And that was back when Long Distance phone calls cost real money.
If you're an OldDog, tell me, when was the last time a newbie asked you about the way things used to be, how things were twenty, ten or even five years ago, let alone in the 1960's?
How can it be that any industry will dispense with its cultural wisdom and dna as thoroughly as has broadcasting and insist on recreating the wheel again and again without at least scratching the layer below to see what's there that might be useful and expect any level of success?
Santayana's Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it sounds trite, even simplistic.
But it's invariably true.
Sunday 06-08-08: A long way back in Chase Park Plaza Field...
My assigned seating last night, at the 2008 STLMedia HOF Inductions in the Khorassan Room, was at Tables 20 and 21, along with the KXOK'ers there.
In baseball parlance, we were deep into right field.
I set up my Flips, with their zoom extended all the way out on a tripod and hit record. Results were a bit iffy but I'm doing my best to optimize as I edit. Next time I'll get the cameras closer.
UMSL did some serious video recording, and I hope to get a copy to share. Additionally, over the next day or so, I'll scan the excellent program so you can play along.
It was a great evening for renewing acquaintances and putting faces to names with whom I've only been in touch online.
Many of the inductees past and present had tables-full of fans, family and friends who went wild each time the photo of their honoree showed up on the video screens during the show-before-the-show. Loyalty is a wonderful thing, huh?
One more photo to share, courtesy of Larry Hoffman...
(l-r: Dick Fatherly, Bud Connell, Bill Hopkins, Larry Hoffman, Frank Absher, Steven B. Stevens and Robert R. Lynn)
There wasn't a dry eye at either of our tables when KXOK GM Jack Sampson was inducted; his speech was memorable, and audio will be available soonest.
I believe that Ted Simmons, inducted into the PR/Advertising arm of the HOF, may be one of the only people ever to effectively use the word "s**tfaced" in an acceptance speech. I guess that's why he one of the great Ad Men.
The tribute to Marty Hendin was especially touching. In all the years I've worked in media, I can only remember two or three others who were as universally loved and respected as Marty.
Betsy Bruce and Allan Cohen were the two inductees who were most notable in mentioning that what they've accomplished did not occur in a vacuum...and they named names!
Question: what's the difference between Y98's Guy Phillips and KMOV/4's Vickie Newton and Larry Conners when valet parking goes bad?
Well, one couple was smart enough to con their way out a few minutes before the rest of us, one stood quietly while the problems were being worked out demonstrating her grace and dignity and the third stood next to me volubly bitching and moaning about what an inconvenience it all was and how incompetent the valets were. I'll let you decide which is whych.
Saturday 06-07-08: A long, long day ... that began with almost no sleep.
Picked up KXOK's Dick Fatherly from his personal rail car at the downtown AMTRAK "station" at "16th Street under Highway 40" as it's described. Take a look:
Because of four sidings along the way from KC to allow UP freight cars to pass the AMTRAK train was an hour late coming into the "station:"
This ramshackle piece of junk is an embarassment to a nation that should be able to present great local train stations. No organized parking, hardly any paving, no services and unbelievably filthy inside and out. American rail passengers deserve much better.
Nonetheless, got friend Fatherly on board the Town Car and zoomed him to The Chase Park Plaza; I zoomed back home to get into a suit for the HOF Presentations; napped for a half-hour and then zoomed my way back to Kingshighway via Page, 170 and Forest Park Parkway. By the time I got there, KMOX' John Carney and his producer Trevor were already on the air. Carney did a remote show from 6-8PM, dressed in sports and shorts. Way to respect your elders, John.
I leave you with this incredible photo of four STLMedia HOF'ers you never thought you'd see together without handguns. Bill Hopkins, Dick Fatherley, Ron Elz -- the original Johnnie Rabbitt -- and PD Bud Connell; it's their first time together since PD Connell and GM Sampson fired Elz in June 1964, replacing him with Don Pietromonaco.
Friday 06-06-08: As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly ...
|Friday 06-06-08: I really hate these guys ...|
Looks like a herd/pack/group/whatever of raccoons has moved into the neighborhood.
Next-door Mike & Judy got hit, then we had a trash can tipped and spread across the driveway.
So now the cans will reside in the garage and not go to the curb on trash day until sunlight.
Yeah, they're cute, but they're pests, and prone to rabies and hurting pets. The .410 is locked and loaded.
The guy who wrote that line for the classic WKRP episode died this week.
Bill Dial, who worked in Atlanta radio and moved on to films and TV as a writer and actor, passed in coastal South Carolina, where he had retired.
His friend Ed Shane says “Bill wrote what TV Guide called the single funniest line in TV sitcom history."
Dial was also occasionally in front of the camera on WKRP, as chief engineer Bucky Dornster, who always had a beer in his hand.
Ed Shane says “Bill’s other credits include ‘Simon & Simon’ and ‘Sliders’ on the Sci-Fi Channel, plus contributions as executive producer for several shows.”
Thanks to Frank Absher, Tom Taylor and Ed Shane.
Thursday 06-05-08: Speaking of birthdays...
Today is the 39th for a young man whom I considerably respect and admire.
Mike Lemons (Coordinator/Assistant Professor, Radio Broadcasting and Mass Communication at Lewis and Clark Community College, Godfrey IL) moved years ago from radio sales to education.
Lemons is one of the very few educators at any level and in any subject who truly understands what a student needs to know.
When I taught there Mike allowed me amazing latitude in the creation of my own curriculum. I still hear from my students after classes they attended more than ten years ago. That makes me think that my work there made a difference.
I credit much of that to the way that Mike managed his Department and his teachers and instructors.
Lemons is a good guy, a talented educator and one of the few slim hopes who remain in the education of young people who, for hardly reason at all, want to enter radio and tv as a career.
If ya know Mike, call him (618-468-4940) and say Happy Birthday.
Thursday 06-05-08: Missed mentioning this yesterday...
Future STLMedia Radio Hall of Fame member George Noory just had a birthday. I believe that he's much, much older than he claims, and that his appearance, youthful demeanor and unnaturally coal-black hair is aided by space alien technology reverse-engineered by scientists at Area 51.
Noory knows some guys...
Thursday 06-05-08: Really Smart Guys agree with me ...
Not that that's all that surprising.
On 17 May, I commented on the RAB recommendation that the radio biz adopt the TV practice of "posting," wherein stations guarantee to advertisers a specific rating goal and offer makegoods or refunds if those goals are not met.
Sounded like BS to me then, sounds like BS to me now. Now some of the Really Smart Guys are speaking up...
From Tom Taylor:
Small-market owner Jack Taddeo chimes in behind Ed Christian, about “posting.”
The subject is guaranteeing a minimum audience level for a specific advertising buy. Midwest owner and consultant Taddeo read the Saga CEO’s skeptical remarks in T-R-I on posting and emails this: “As usual, Ed hit the nail squarely on the head. If you are in a disaster area like, say, the top 10 markets, you are scrambling for a way to kiss up to the agencies and buyers. Since the major and large markets did such a poor job of selling (see: definition of cost-per-point), they are now reaping the ‘rewards’ of their own laziness. Why in the world would the rest of us want to follow them down the rabbit hole? As Ed suggested, in markets with only two books a year (and even some with four), we are already discussing ratings that are six months to nearly a year old. What possible advantage is it for the station or advertiser (notice I did not say ‘rep or agency’, since they are not actually paying the bill) to base a buy on posted numbers? Message to the RAB and big group owners: Please leave the rest of us alone. We’re doing just fine with one-to-one relationships and results-based selling.”
Wednesday 06-04-08: Well, foo, an OldDog no-show ...
Email from 630KXOK's Ray Otis:
I had looked forward to spending time with you and Fatherley and the guys. Was all set to go then found out that the family planned a 70th birthday party for me that weekend. I regret not being there for Jack Sampson's induction. He was the most effective GM that I encountered in my career. Good dude.
Former KXOK GM Jack Sampson will be inducted (along with many other media types) into the STLMedia Halls Of Fame Saturday night; the Good Lord willin' and my digital video cameras workin' as they should, you'll be able to see all of the inductions as soon after they happen as possible.
I'm still learning this video editing thing...wish me luck.
The Town Car will be engaged Saturday and Sunday by Storz KXOK Production Director and WHB Program Director Dick Fatherley and his guest, Dr. George Chance.
Not only will I have to wear a suit Saturday night, I'll be busier than hell all weekend. Having to wear a suit is the ultimate indignity.
Wait to call me until Monday. Maybe Tuesday.
Me in a suit. Sheesh.
Wednesday 06-04-08: The Paul Harris World Tour continues ...
According to DCRTV.com, the former KTRS'er and KMOX'er will be filling in in the nation's Capital.
Paul Harris To Sub On MAL - 6/3 - DCRTV hears that DC radio veteran Paul Harris will be doing fill-in work on talker WMAL (630 AM) from 6/9 to 6/13 in the 8 PM to 10 PM slot. Harris, who had worked at DC101, WARW, WCXR, and at WMAL over the past 20 years, recently got budget-cut from his gig at St. Louis talker KMOX. He now runs a fill-in hosting service from a studio in his Missouri home.....
Thanks to Todd Gaddy for the tip.
Wednesday 06-04-08: Goodbye to Bob Sheehan ... Sad to learn that old friend Bob Sheehan, a long-time STL radio, tv and WW2 (belly gunner on a B-25!) vet passed away on Sunday, 1 June 2008 at 86.
Funeral from the KRIEGSHAUSER WEST Mortuary 9450 Olive Blvd., Olivette, MO, Thursday, June 5, 2008, 9:30 a.m. then to St. Monica Catholic Church, 11126 Olive Blvd. for Funeral Mass celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Visitation Wednesday 4-8 p.m. at Kriegshauser West Mortuary.
I had the honor and privilege of working with Bob and his partner-in-crime, the late Jack Warnick, at Broadcast Center in the late 1980's. Sheehan was the erudite one, who did crossword puzzles in ink; Warnick was the acerbic Abe Vigoda lookalike. Almost an Odd Couple kinda thing.
Both had a rapier-like wit and once we had our students set up for their one-hour self-guided lessons, the three of us would escape to the print shop in the basement and trade one-liners for the next half-hour, until we had to go back and listen to the student tapes.
I think they "adopted" me when they discovered that I had written into the huge BC dictionary, on the blank page following the letter
"M", this entry: Write additional words here. That was their kind of humor.
Warnick took a fall in the print shop while leaning on a sorting table; he broke his hip and subsequently died from complications of the injury.
Shortly after that accident, I excused myself from Broadcast Center to concentrate on newly assigned duties as PD at KIX104.
I only met with Sheehan a couple times after that; both times he was working on the NYT crossword. In ink.
Bob and Jack were great friends to eachother and to me and much of what I know about media history here came from listening and talking to them.
I'm honored to this day that these two wonderful broadcasters bothered to take me under their wing. They're both sorely missed.
Tuesday 06-03-08: Last month Learfield Communications ... tossed their co-founder, Derry Brownfield, off the bus for Derry's political, business and social opinions.
As COB and CEO Clyde Lear writes: He didn't mind controversy or taking on giants like the Monsanto Corporation. He thought they were bad for farmers, too big for their britches and generally bad for America. Increasingly he's been saying so, without seeking balance, in my opinion.
Presumably, Clyde gave his former partner an equitable payout. But what prompted Lear to dump Mr. Brownfield?
Learfield's website and the associated sites of major company players, including Clyde's, are guided by Steve Mays, who characterizes the President on his personal blog as a "dick-wad."
I do not understand how this one unhappy, BDS-affected man can fairly guide the entire network's online services, in news, sports, farm news and weather, for hundreds of radio stations in the middle of America.
Those of you who use Learfield's services need to ask your client service reps what the company really believes in and how their political stance affects their product.
If the answer you get is unsatisfactory, maybe it's time to for a new regional ag, sports and news network.
Tuesday 06-03-08: JonesTM gets all tingly up their legs over HDRadio ... and figures out how to make a few extra bucks on this misguided technology.
From Tom Taylor:
JonesTM CEO David Graupner's manifesto/sales offering says “For better or worse, HD Radio is the future. We can disagree about the effectiveness of the commercials [promos] that have run. We can disagree about the technology. We can even disagree about the very name, HD Radio.
But what’s done is done. Now is the time for all of us in the broadcast community to come together and get behind HD.”
That’s the stick-out-your-neck part of his “open letter to HD-2 programmers.”
Then comes the offer: JonesTM will sell a jingle package, an imaging library or a production library to any HD-2 station for 50% off, through August 31. That's in recognition of putting best-quality programming on the new "channels-between-the-channels" of HD-2.
Graupner’s final line: “Lastly, I want to thank [CBS Dallas programmer] Kurt Johnson for making me sit in his car for an hour and listen to how good and how cool HD can be.”
At gunpoint, perhaps? Or maybe it was the only HD receiver in DFW?
Or maybe "Holy crap, here's a totally unexploited market for all of our old stuff!"
Tuesday 06-03-08: Monitor exchange ... That storm last week that blew out one of my new Samsung monitors (still under warranty) taught me a great lesson about how cool the future we live in is.
Mrs. A took the monitor to Best Buy and confirmed that the power thingie was shot (no charge for the diagnosis even though we didn't buy it there); she contacted Samsung, and soon there will be a brand new monitor at my local UPS Store, for which I will exchange the broken one.
Warranty repairs and exchanges used to be so complicated...
And, yes, we'll be upgrading the Office with stronger surge protectors.
Tuesday 06-03-08: Secret Squirrel's curious email... presented here exactly as received Monday afternoon:
Movin update. There will be a switch to mainly sports, but probably not until Labor Day. Slaten does have a job offer from them, but the non-compete has totally messed things up.
Plan is for Imus in the morning and Slaten in the afternoon. College sports for now,
Rams when the deal is up.
In the meantime, they're running it on the cheap and using it to "screwup Y98 and make clients think we're not changing" all summer.
Greg Solk in Chicago is making all the decisions and
now negitiating with ESPN for affiliation. That's so John can deny everything and stay out of the process because he really won't know what's happening.
They're losing clients on Movin because of things like the Ceaser article so John has to say nothing is changing to save the billing.
What a disaster this is going to be.
The one glaring issue I have with this note is the plan to use Imus. He's never had any impact here and the show is way too New York-centric to appeal to St. Louis.
Monday 06-02-08: Top 40 fans alert ...
||Tuesday 06-03-08: Wente out at KWMU ...|
The emails arrived all day yesterday alerting me to this STLToday story:
Patty Wente was fired today from her GM position at KWMU.
Now officially a Ronin, Ms. Wente apparently has no immediate plans.
Thanks to Jay Philpott, we now know that ReelRadio is presenting Ron Jacob's Cruisin' re-created airchecks of the greatest air talents, including Jack Carney.
You'll need to subscribe to Uncle Ricky's website to hear the goodies; no more than a dozen bucks a year.
But you can always send more to keep this treasure online.
Monday 06-02-08: Handheld digital videocams for sale ...
Both (SD card memory), plus AC and auto chargers and a spare lithium battery for each, have been tested by me and happily approved.
Aiptek GO-HD 720p Camcorder with 3x Optical Zoom (about $200 at Amazon)
Aiptek A-HD 720P 5MP CMOS HD Camcorder (about $140 at Amazon)
$325 for the whole package, including manuals and a mini-tripod.
HD Video in your pocket and for cheap...doesn't get any better.
Must sell now.
Monday 06-02-08: Back to the Sixties ... Well, maybe.
Wasn't all that great a decade when I lived it.
Sunday 06-01-08: I hate ants and crickets and mosquitoes and flies ...
Have since I was a kid, my time in Vietnam didn't make them much more inviting, and I hate them more today than yesterday. The bad news is that this is the time of the year for them; the good news is that my town sprays regularly outside and so do I, inside. Bugs=yukko.
Sunday 06-01-08: Edison says Podcasting is a good thing ...
They found the number of Americans who downloaded and listened to an audio podcast grew from 13% to 18% in the past year. Edison says stations should create as much "podcast-able content" as they can.
Ya know, if every station did maybe an hour or two, with music or with just talk, a listener could make up a pretty interesting day of listening for himself...
Sunday 06-01-08: Slaten's non-compete hangs tough ...
A St. Louis County judge grants a temporary restraining order stopping Slaten from hosting a sports program at other stations in the market.
Slaten was fired from Big League Broadcasting's KFNS/St. Louis last month after airing a caller without informing the person he was live. Slaten recently filed a lawsuit for wrongful termination over the incident.
The PD supposedly reports that the restraining order will remain in effect until hearings on the lawsuit -- scheduled for June 5 and 6 – take place.
The paper's web site has such a pitiful search engine that I cannot find the story.
Sunday 06-01-08: Good apartment deal ... condo for rent near Lindbergh and Schuetz, 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths, covered parking space, recently remodeled, ready for move in. On the 91 bus line which goes west to Chesterfield Mall, and east into St Louis via Olive. $750 monthly rent, $1000 security deposit. Leave a message for Judy at 314-576-7936.
Sunday 06-01-08: The US has never had a real, working emergency broadcast alert system...
And now the gubmint is looking into new ways to alarm us.
Even CONELRAD in the 1950's and 1960's was just a way to draw the nuclear target away from major cities.
How would you get it done today?
Reverse 911 is an option...but how else?
Sunday 06-01-08: Reality-show budgets are being cut ...
How low can they go?
From Hollywood Reporter: Long considered the cheapest of programming genres, reality programs increasingly are under the gun to cut costs. Producers are being urged to shoot shows faster than ever and use indoor settings to help reduce expenses.
Sunday 06-01-08: Randy Wright writes well ... from the Columbia MO Tribune, via RadioDailyNews:
When I started at the old KFMZ radio - now off the air but formerly at 98.3 FM - I was 14 and "volunteered" after school cleaning carts and taking out the trash. It was so long ago that anyone at a radio station today likely would have no idea what a cart is, or was, but suffice it to say it took a lot of rubbing alcohol and razor blades to clean them so that the next commercial or song could be recorded.
Sunday 06-01-08: Ya know those thunderstorms ... the ones that rolled thru STL Friday and then again late Saturday? Somewhere along the line they blew out one of my monitors and as a result XP's placement of application windows got seriously hinky. Took until late Saturday evening to get it figured out and now we're getting updates online as fast as we can. Sorry for any delays.
Thursday 05-29-08: GoMizzouTigers wrote an interesting entry ... on the STLMedia MB regarding a TV firing in Columbia/Jeff City.
Here's my response:
Television stations are looking everywhere for ways to cut costs. And right after they bring on board the "One Man Band" news reporters (what we used to call photo journalists and what was, in the 1980's, presented in the short-lived series Max Headroom), the next area of over-burdening expense is sports.
Many companies have already cut expense at the anchor level; trust in the anchor and their level of experience is less important than their telepresence. That's why Fox/CNN/CNBC/MSNBC hires babes with big boobs who used to be lawyers. No, Courtney Friel was never an attorney. But she fits all other categories.
Weather has to be there but trust in the 'caster is becoming less important as technology advances. Weather types have made their jobs less defensible by insisting on more and better gadgets that do what the humans used to do, using their own skills and knowledge of the market.
And, no, the new technology is not more accurate. But it's weather, and trying to predict it is like playing roulette. Ya spins the wheel and ya takes your chances.
And traffic? Don't get me started. What, with the exception of the odd accident, makes yesterday's or tomorrow's traffic flow different from today's? The herd moves in the same direction at the same time every work day of the year, knows by heart every choke point and obstruction, and knows to expect a delay now and again. But, if you can sell a sponsorship to tell them what they already know, more power to ya.
The good news is that traffic info is cheap to acquire and deliver.
So sports is up to bat next, if you'll forgive the expression.
As much as it pains me to say it, who needs a twenty-three year veteran broadcaster to read scores and narrate video when a guy with two years experience can do it just as well, albeit without the long-term knowledge? And, of course, that silly six-figure salary?
Pro teams are killing themselves with outrageous rights fees and affiliate inventory demands; colleges are right behind them on the too-much-pay scale. High school football can still be a moneymaker, if you can air it with low-cost talent and be satisfied with the revenue generated from businesses owned by the parents of the players.
No, I'm not a sports fan, but being a fan has nothing to do with understanding the realities of running a business answerable to investors and Wall Street.
It all comes down to "debits on the left, credits on the right" and that there had better damned well not be any red ink on either page of the accounting ledger. That's media mentality in 2008.
By the way, it's particularly ironic and just a bit hypocritical that newspapers are bemoaning the loss of a beloved local TV sportscaster when dead-tree operations across the country are firing and/or forcing into early retirement their best and longest-serving employees themselves.
|Thursday 05-29-08: All your station are belong to Google ...|
First there was Search and GMail, then there was AdSense and now Google offers full automation for scheduling of all your station's elements.
If I had me medium- or small-market radio stations in one or more markets I'd sign up with both of those deals in a hurry, just if it meant that I was able to sell unused inventory.
Reports, logs, podcast and VPN control, it's all built in. Run your radio station and add new programming while you're on vacation, even on a cruise.
All you need is a laptop.
Wednesday 05-28-08: Movin' 101 to Sports ...
|Wednesday 05-28-08: So cool ...|
The guy at left is my brother and he lives six time zones to the East of you and me, in Israel.
We just finished a great half-hour phone conversation on Skype.
If you want MidEast insight, you could do worse than using Rick as a resource.
He and his family have been and grown in Israel since 1967.
Contact me; I'll put you in touch.
Secret Squirrel says: The Bonneville thing is looking as though it will happen, but it's
not imminent. It's WELL off. But the rest of it looks legit.....and
it's not just "sports" guys they're looking at, btw.
Kids, I told ya almost three months back that this is the deal. Just wait, you'll see. I bet the deal includes the Cards. And that the P-D will steal another story from me.
Wednesday 05-28-08: Layoffs at KMOV ...
Secret Squirrel says: Looks like the layoffs are to begin at KMOV in the next week or two. People are really worried out there.
Wednesday 05-28-08: I never heard a thing ... but I wondered why Tasha was so antsy and wanted, needed a hug in my lap.
GirlDog heard the sirens, I guess...I did not.
Here are cell phone photos of the funnel cloud sighted at Page & 170 yesterday at 12:30PM: Thanks to JC "Twister Boy" Corcoran for sending them along.
Tuesday 05-27-08: Three weeks ago, May 6th, was the 71st anniversary ... of the Hindenburg crash at Lakehurst NAS NJ when WLS/Chicago's Herb Morrison uttered the immortal words... And we all thought reporting was so much better way back when...
Tuesday 05-27-08: Completely lost track of this ... When I came to WIL in 1985 to do the morning show, I was the replacement for a guy called Wilkie.
The station's management and their consultant sang his praises but I don't remember ever hearing word one about him from listeners once I'd dug in for a few weeks, even from the management or the consultants.
Maybe they were just glad to be rid of Wilkie and his issues.
Wilkie was apparently enormously talented and magically entertaining, but apparently he had a self-destructive streak that wound up with him dying in a drink-and-drug induced auto accident in late 1984.
Now reader Frank Hawkins wonders if there are any airchecks of him.
I'd like to hear them too...I've never known what my predecessor at WIL sounded like.
I can't find anything about Wilkie online and that's kinda sad.
Monday 05-26-08: STL Radio OldDog Scott St. James ... sends along this link to a pretty funny faux-Sinatra bit on MySpace. The Chairman was a short little devil, wasn't he?
Monday 05-26-08: My family in Israel ... sends along this photo of my grand-neice Zohar celebrating Towel Day. If you've never read or watched Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, get to it.
There are no more excuses.
Sunday 05-25-08: That was quick ... Kent Weissinger sent along links to tribute sites for WQAM and WFUN, both in Miami, along with this book review:
The Rise of Clear Channel and the Fall of Commercial Radio
Writer Alec Foege's interest in the subject of radio in general and Clear Channel in particular was piqued when he became aware of the uniformity of radio stations' programming during a longish family car trip. He wanted to know why the music was so bland and over-familiar.
Sunday 05-25-08: Happy holiday weekend ... to the vile, puerile asshat who used the anonymity of the Rumor Form to alert me to his (or her) hatred of Tasha, the STLMedia WatchDog.
Here's the deal: hate me, hate what I write, fine. But if you need to anonymously email your hate and threats for a dog, you have some real problems.
Please feel free to stop by The Manse, as you offered. I'd love to introduce you to my friend, Mr. Mossberg.
Sunday 05-25-08: Since I launched the 630KXOK tribute website ...
... in 2003, there's been an explosive growth in the number of similar websites across the US and around the world, celebrating the memory of long-gone but readily-remembered and much-loved radio favs of the past.
What's really amazing is that many, if not most, of these are being put together not just by OldDogs like me, but by folks much, much younger, who discovered them through airchecks.
Ricky Irwin's ReelRadio has been, of course, since 1996, the best aircheck collection site, and is likely the place where these new listeners discovered the wonderment of what was radio. But there are many other websites that hone in on a single station in one market at a particular point in time.
And their publishers have gone to a lot of effort to research the history of the stations and dig up images relating to their projects. I'm impressed.
I'm told by Really Smart Guys that younger folks have a declining interest in broadcast radio; the effort I see them expend in their tribute projects somewhat belays that.
The stations that are being profiled went way beyond just playing the hits. They entertained with bigger-than-life air personalities, they informed, and they fully served their home towns.
Keeping up with the new sites is a challenge, but in the next few days I hope to have an updated list available on the Front Page, below, at left.
And I'm restaging the 630KXOK.stlmedia.net area as well, adding cleaner audio and new photos and video. That'll take a while, so please be patient.
Yup, great radio still exists, even if it's only in edited 96kb MP3 files.
The good news is that you can carry it all around in a gigabyte or two on a portable media player or flash drive.
The bad news is that you can only imagine it happening as you listen.
So now I'm just wonderin' why no one is launching tribute websites for no-longer-published newspapers?
Sunday 05-25-08: From STLRadio OldDog David Blair ... Over a decade ago, I wrote a piece which, to my surprise, I've seen repeated over and over across the Internet. I wrote it because of how I feel about Memorial Day, and those whose lived are celebrated, honored, and mourned by us as a nation. I'd like to share this with everyone again.
Every year at this time, I sit and try to write something moving, something which will express my gratitude and respect for those who surrendered their lives in service of this country.
Every year, I fail.
It isn't that I can't craft the words.
The problem always is the same. Our language doesn't contain words vivid enough, deep enough, moving enough, to get the job done.
This is the day set aside to honor a special group of veterans. These aren't just those who served- that comes in November. This day- Memorial Day- is for those who served and lost life in that service.
I am a free man because of the sacrifice of those who served, and those who died in service. I am free to read what I choose, to protest our government, and to disagree with those whose views differ.
I am FREE.
This freedom I have was paid for by the blood of those valiant men and women who we honor today. As long as I am alive, I will be grateful to them, and when my time comes, I hope one of the first opportunities I have in the next life is to thank them personally.
To those who lost loved ones in service: Your loss was not in vain, and I am forever in your debt, too. May your sorrows be assuaged by the knowledge that your loved one(s) made the world, and our home, better and safer.
Saturday 05-24-08: If Dan Caesar wrote it ... it must be right!
Are you ready for another sports radio station?
If four aren't enough, sources say management at a fifth outlet has been thinking seriously about switching to the jock-talk format. But things would be radically different at No. 5, with the signal booming out on the FM dial and the goal probably to take over the market, not co-exist. The station also might pursue the play-by-play of at least one local team.
Multiple sources have said that Bonneville International, which owns three stations in the St. Louis market, has been contemplating switching WMVN (101.1 FM) from its female-oriented music lineup to another genre, with sports under heavy consideration, and it is believed overtures have been made to several people with big names in the St. Louis sports-talk scene.
Huh. Good story, Dan.
Don't want to deflate your ego or anything, young Mr. Caesar...but one of those "multiple sources" first made extensive mention of this possibility two and a half months ago. Click here and scroll down to 11 March, to the original piece I wrote.
Damn. Ripped off again by a dead-tree guy.
Friday 05-23-08: Heartwarming as the above video is ... the original is still the best. Here's an MP3 of Kate Smith performing the Irving Berlin song she introduced to the nation.
Friday 05-23-08: A bigger music list for the weekend ... It's all country and courtesy of Lon Helton's Country Aircheck, from the Green Book of Songs:
Big & Rich/8th Of November
Randy Travis/America Will Always Stand
Charlie Daniels/America, I Believe In You
Phil Vassar/American Child
Toby Keith/American Soldier
Emmylou Harris/Bang The Drum Slowly
SheDaisy/Come Home Soon
Toby Keith/Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)
Merle Haggard/Fightin' Side Of Me
Lee Greenwood/God Bless The U.S.A.
Darryl Worley/Have You Forgotten
Darryl Worley/I Just Came Back From A War
Tim McGraw/If You're Reading This
John Michael Montgomery/Letters From Home
Charlie Daniels/Ragged Old Flag
David Ball/Riding With Private Malone
Collin Raye/A Soldier?s Prayer
Kathy Mattea/Somebody's Darling
Johnny Cash/Song Of The Patriot
Dixie Chicks/Travelin' Soldier
Aaron Tippin/Where The Stars & Stripes...
Aaron Tippin/You've Got To Stand For Something
Thursday 05-22-08: Once again, JDC nails it ...
|Thursday 05-22-08: John Brown's new book ...|
KTVI/Fox2 anchor/reporter John Brown's latest book, Missouri Legends, a biographical listing of famous people from the Show Me State, is hitting the stores this week.
John says "It's a fun read and I think people will get a kick out of the list of famous people who grew up here."
It's a cool Fathers' Day book and a great read for kids who need to learn more of their state's history.
Brown's media experience would make this a great radio segment, too.
Touch base with John here.
Four basic rules for the radio PD of the future's GM --
1. Give your PD enough rope to either do some great things or hang him or herself.
2. Demand great ideas that you can use now.
3. Never disrespect the owner.
4. Illustrate and demonstrate your ideas.
Read it all at Professor DelColliano's blog, InsideMusicMedia.
Interestingly, Jerry's fourth point was one of the first things I learned from the first GM/owner for whom I PD'd (Joe Mackin, in St. Joseph MI):
Always prepare an audio demo of any format alteration or change in delivery execution you expect your dj's to carry out. Just telling them how to do it, or, worse, telling them in a memo, will just leave them confused.
Mackin went on to explain that that confusion was why we could hire, in 1972, full timers for less than eight grand a year and pay the minimum hourly wage to sportsguys who were making the station a fortune broadcasting high school football games.
Joe just didn't think that announcers were all that bright; after all, if they had any smarts, they'd be in sales, right?
I didn't include that bit of management wisdom in my instruction to the staff. But Mr. Mackin was rich and I was not, he was the owner and I was not. I was going by Rule #3.
Things haven't changed much, huh? I mean, even adjusted for inflation...
Thursday 05-22-08: Can a dead brand live again?
A small company in Chicago, called River West Brands, figures that it’s definitely worth something, and possibly quite a lot. The firm did its own research a year or so ago and claims that among people over the age of 25, Brim had 92 percent “aided national awareness.” What this means is that if you ask people anywhere in America if they have ever heard of Brim, about 9 out of 10 will say yes. If true, that’s potentially a big deal. Building that level of recognition for a new brand of coffee — or anything else — from scratch would involve an astronomical amount of money, a great deal of time, or both.
Too bad all the good domain names are already taken...
Thursday 05-22-08: This is a great promotion ... From Tom Taylor:
“Shred Fest” is where listeners bring their old bank records to be destroyed. Journal’s “Star 104.5” KSRZ and its TV sister KMTV just did this promotion for the second year, resulting in the delivery and shredding of 12 tons of old bank statements, loan records, phone bills and other documents that might – in the wrong hands – lead to identity theft.
Journal says authorities have busted two separate rings in the area, and one of those involved the theft of bank statements. Star and Channel 3 say people lined up two hours before “Shred Fest” began and filled four lanes of traffic.
Thursday 05-22-08: And nobody's gettin' fat 'cept Mama Cass ...
Five years after the Body Solutions weight loss scam was shut down by the FTC, former Mark Nutrionals CEO Harry Siskind has pleaded guilty to charges he lied about his assets during a 2003 court deposition. He faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and $155 million restitution.
The firm went bankrupt owing radio $20 million.
Good luck on getting your money...
Thursday 05-22-08: Crunching the Winter STL Book ...
Anthony Acampora breaks it down at AllAccess:
St. Louis: KSHE Holds Upper Demos; KSLZ Steals 18-34 Crown
EMMIS Rock KSHE took the top spot once again among adults 18-49 and 25-54, but sister Alternative KPNT lost the top spot 18-34 to CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 KSLZ. Here's what happened this WINTER in the GATEWAY CITY.
25-54: KSHE continued to hold the top spot. CBS AC KEZK remained in 2nd, with BONNEVILLE Adult Hits WARH (THE ARCH) rose from 4th to 3rd. CLEAR CHANNEL Urban AC KMJM and CBS Hot AC KYKY (Y98) tied for 4th (with Y98 rising from 7th). EMMIS Classic Rock KIHT held in 6th. CBS News/Talk KMOX rose from 10th to 7th. BONNEVILLE Country WIL-F slid from 3rd to 8th. EMMIS Talk KFTK sat in 9th place, and CLEAR CHANNEL Classic Hits soared from 13th to 10th, where they tied RADIO ONE Urban AC WFUN.
CLEAR CHANNEL Country KSD dipped from 8th to 12th (in what appears to be an off book). KSLZ dipped from 12th to 13th in rank, but increased share. KPNT held in 14th, but posted a nice share gain, tied with CH HOLDINGS News/Talk KTRS and BONNEVILLE Hot AC WMVN (which has moved away from Rhythmic AC).
18-49: KSHE won here -- and by a pretty healthy margin. KSLZ rose from 5th to 2nd and KYKY from 8th to 3rd. WARH dipped from 2nd to 4th. KMJM held in 5th place. KEZK dropped from 3rd to 6th. KPNT held in 7th place. WIL dropped from 3rd to 8th in 18-49 (just as it did 25-54). WHHL moved from 12th to 9th. KATZ-FM and KSD-FM tied for 10th.
KIHT dropped from 8th to 12th, with WFUN and WMVN now tied for 13th. KFTK rounded out the top 15. Not inside the top 15 was the legendary KMOX, which ranked 16th -- although they did score its highest 18-49 share since FALL 2006.
18-34: KSLZ regained the top spot 18-34 for the first time since FALL 2006 -- and won by a landslide over KPNT and KATZ, which were only 0.1 apart for 2nd and 3rd, respectively. KYKY vaulted from 13th to 5th. KSHE held in sixth. WIL-F slid from 5th to 7th, with KEZK and WARH tied for 8th. KMJM and KSD tied for 10th.
Thursday 05-22-08: Paul Harris goes freelance ... From AllAccess:
The former KMOX-er is subbing for WBT/Charlotte's John Hancock today and Monday and on "The Morning Drive" at WGST/Atlanta Friday and Monday. Harris, who recently filled in at WLS/Chicago, has installed an ISDN line and is available for fill-in work anywhere, any time. Paul continues his free podcasts at HarrisOnline.com. Hear his demo by clicking here; reach him for your upcoming fill-in needs at (314) 514-7307 or email@example.com.
Wednesday 05-21-08: Two holiday weekends a year really catch my attention ...
One is Memorial Day, coming up this weekend, when we remember our family and friends who have given their lives and well-being for our freedom; the other is Veterans' Day, in November, dedicated to all who have served.
Here are some tunes you might consider throwing into the mix over the next few days.
You have no idea how much military vets from then to now and their families will appreciate your honor of their service and sacrifice.
"Uncle" Bill Tapia's Stars & Stripes Forever -- Bill was born in 1908 and still plays in concert in 2008. How cool is that?
Lee Greenwood's God Bless The USA -- the patriotic standard since the 1980's.
Charlie Daniel's In America -- Substitute Muslim for Russian in the lyrics and you get a whole new version of the song.
Statlers' More Than A Name On The Wall -- Written by Jimmy Fortune, this song best presented the losses of the survivors of the Vietnam War.
Charlie Daniel's Still In Saigon -- No one who's ever been to a war wants to go back. But sometimes the memories are difficult to shed.
Note: These songs will only be available thru Monday morning, May 26th.
Tuesday 05-20-08: Aack! Setting up a pirate broadcast radio station ...
At approximately 9:15AM, Tasha, the STLMediaWatchDog ... marched triumphantly through the yard up to the back door to deliver to me her first trophy, a grey squirrel who couldn't move quickly enough to make it to its next birthday.
Tasha 1, Squirrels 0.
Well, yuk, but good for Tasha.
The ME is performing a necropsy as I write this to ensure that Tasha has not inadvertantly put Secret Squirrel out of the game for good and all.
More later on CSI:STLMedia.
Breakin' the law, breakin' the law...throw in a turntable, a cassette player, Audacity, Audiograbber, a mic, basic music scheduling software, a basic PC and a tweaked Part 15 transmitter with a tall stick and you're on the air.
And then maybe in jail.
Tuesday 05-20-08: When radio people attack ...
Sam Zell, who bought The Tribune Company, brought Randy Michaels of Clear Channel ignominy in as honcho; Michaels hired Lee Abrams from XM SatRad as the company Thinker.
Jim Romanesko, who blogs here and here and edits at Poynter, has collected Abrams' memoes to the troops.
Here's a taste:
We are getting closer to the re-imaging of WGN Superstation. Sooner than later, it will evolve into a leader in their world, something that they
haven't quite accomplished. The look and sound of the Network will be
like nothing else out there. Some may think it's a little weird. It is.
Their problem has been being too average....too "TV". Actually a TV guy
said "Hey, what's wrong with being too TV...after all we ARE TV".
To me--that's a big problem. You aren't TV.
You are part of this
complicated media pie and you need to think outside of where you "are"
or else you define yourself by what everyone else is doing.
A recipe for
The spirit of Ward Quall is disturbed. But I bet Lee has no idea who Ward was...not a clue about the books Quall wrote on radio and tv management and programming, the business he wrote to 'GN's books, or the service his stations provided to the Second City.
This will not end well.
Tuesday 05-20-08: "I'm from West Alton and I call bulls**t" ... A local boy says his piece on the CW's Farmer Wants A Wife.
Tuesday 05-20-08: Katie Couric is doomed ... From MediaBistro:
Couric is far from being the most important part of the story; her time at CBS will be, luckily for her, just a footnote to history, a very expensive Band-Aid that failed to stop the bleeding.
On the same note: Bob Schieffer is set to sign a new "long term deal" today that will keep the 71-year-old from retiring.
Let's leave this topic with some entertainment...
Tuesday 05-20-08: InsideRadio buys into BS survey ...
A survey done by electronics manufacturer Sonoro Audio shows 39% of a consumer's listening time is spent on FM radio - beating both MP3 players and CDs. What's holding people? Sonoro says radio is free and it's easy to use.
Well, of course, a badly done survey by a German radio manufacturer (fewer than 500 respondents, all allegedly in the US) would say that.
As much as I'd like to believe the survey's answers, radio listeners are getting older and fewer, dispersing to New Media. Breaks my heart, considering the immediacy and availability of info on the AM and FM bands.
And, of course, an Old Media newsletter only recently graduated to an online entity would glom onto spurious results to verify its worth.
But you knew that, right?
Monday 05-19-08: Please note that as of today ... you can buy DRM-free MP3 songs that will play anywhere (I've dl'd to the hard drive, burned to a CD, and copied to portable drives...no problems!) from Amazon by clicking on the Top MP3 Songs link at right. Every song you buy coughs a few coins into the STLMedia till...thanks for your support!
Monday 05-19-08: I think (I hope) Mrs A will be pleased ... I bought us a Kindle Reader from Amazon (click on the link above to buy your own).
We're not interested in newspaper or blog subs, we already have that by RSS on our PC's and laptops, and I have my Asus eee set up for all that and dl's from the Gutenberg Project as well.
We're both inveterate readers, with stacks of read and unread books on our nightstands and coffee tables. House full of books, computers full of books. And now a Kindle-full.
The Kindle gives us access to newly published material at immense discounts, delivered instantly by EVDO.
Damn. It's almost becoming the world I envisioned when I was reading sci-fi as a kid!
The only issue I can see is how Mrs A and I can share this wonderful new thing!
Monday 05-19-08: Following the KWMU investigation ... is easy: just log in here. It'll be updated as needed, with links to news accounts and other stories. And you can comment there or you can ...
... comment here.
Sunday 05-18-08: Never heard of Taylor Mali before ... But there's lots more of his work on YouTube. Watch and then tell me that this isn't the guy you'd want teaching your kids.
Saturday 05-17-08: Guess I don't get it ...
I don't write here about a guy allegedly commiting suicide (which I knew from the get-go was a sad, twisted hoax), I don't write here about a guy taking a gig with a syndicated show (which I knew from the get-go wouldn't work out, and didn't), I don't write here about a guy going two or three times thru rehab and/or detox, I don't quote a guy's website that publishes a note from his wife that she's leaving him because he's no kind of man at all and I get crucified in email
and online for being ignorant and insensitive of what's happening in this guy's life.
Then I do publish a story about him and how he's alive and well, how his last gig didn't work out and how he needs a job and, well, I get crucified in email ("You have a
mental illness. Too bad you don't have any genuine friends who could
intervene and help you.") and online for being ignorant and insensitive of what's happening in this guy's life.
That doesn't include the scourgings I've taken in email from the guy himself, which I won't replay here.
As I said, I just don't get it. What does the guy want me to do?
If I don't write about him, I get hate mail. If I do write about him, I get hate mail.
Is it possible he could just kindly go away and take that lawn gig I suggested?
Saturday 05-17-08: More than meets the eye ...
While the XM+Sirius deal cooks, a company called Primosphere wants spectrum space for a free ad-supported satellite service. Never heard of them?
Primosphere was the #3 bidder in the original SatRad auction, behind XM and Sirius, and wants a SatRad license, period, right now and thank you very much.
Presuming an XM+Sirius merger, there would be an unused SatRad channel and Primosphere wants it...including the creation of an interoperable receiver system they’re required to and are ready to develop, by law (XM and Sirius never did that, even though required by law).
Saturday 05-17-08: Reminiscent of Tomorrow Radio ... this presentation offers some interesting thoughts for the near future of the news media. In the year 2014, The New York Times has gone offline. The Fourth Estate's fortunes have waned. What happened to the news? And what is EPIC?
Keep in mind that it was created in 2004 and thus anything from then on is speculation.
Or is it?
Saturday 05-17-08: A curious TV practice coming to Radio ... In television ad sales, posting (as I understand the practice) guarantees a certain audience level for advertisers. If the goals are not met, rebates and makegoods are the order of the day.
Now, some lunchbag at the RAB thinks this would be a better way to sell radio. And as you might expect, I dissent.
I've always been a big believer in the "ya pays your money and ya takes your chances" school of ad sales. The success of an ad campaign cannot always be measured in raw ratings numbers. Ask any sales exec who sells personal endorsements.
In STL, ask Frank O. Pinion, who's made a hugely successful career of speaking to smallish but highly qualified and motivated groups of listeners who will stand in line to buy the products and services he endorses.
There is a caveat: the set of standards presented to the radio industry won't include a set performance goal. Different demo groups would carry different guarantees, with more focused demos getting more leeway for under-delivery.
Nonetheless, while major ad agencies might already think of this treatment as their due, direct clients in, say, Peckerwood Lake AR, will eventually, expect the same treatment.
The net effect could be the fatal crippling of local ad sales efforts.
Just another way that your friends at the RAB (and the NAB, in other issues) are looking out for you!
Saturday 05-17-08: Owners and operators still fighting localism regs ...
New rules on how broadcasters must service their communities are drawing "substantial concern" from 23 U.S. Senators. They're asking the FCC to avoid rules that "responsible" operators say would be "unjustifiably penalized" by the new requirements. A similar House letter attracted 123 signatures.
Forget that the quoted 23 Senators and 123 Representatives are in the pocket of the mega-, maxi- and mini-owners around the country: owners and operators, here's the deal. Take a look around.
The land on which your transmitter and tower(s) sit(s)? If you own it, cool, because it's probably worth as much as or more than your station on the open market; there's somebody ready to knock down the metal and build a mall or a subdivision or a parking lot right there. If you lease antenna space on a community tower, you're a renter.
The building where your facilities are located? If you own it, good for you. Otherwise, you're a renter.
How 'bout the deal on your office furniture and electronic gear? Leasing or trading it? You're a renter.
That license to broadcast you value so much? Trust me...you're a renter.
The broadcast license upon which your business is based belongs to the community you serve; you're just the happy recipient of their largesse, based upon congressional mandate that obviously excludes the elected pinheads mentioned above.
Time's ripe for you to get your public service and news effort ramped up and start taking care of local needs.
Will that be a pain in the butt? Yes! Will it cost more? Yes!
Will it keep the use of the publicly-owned license in your hands and allow you to continue making money? Yes!
Friday 05-16-08: Early weekend video ... Kevin and Sue McCarthy visit with the world famous NYC DJ Cousin Brucie Morrow.
Friday 05-16-08: So how'd that DC Chymes with Kramer thing work out last week?
Not real well, from what we've heard.
After just three days, young Mr. Crowden was allegedly told things weren't coming together as expected; word is that the Hazelwood police had to be brought into the matter. Dunno.
The former KTRS'er, after three rounds in
rehab detox, is back into his BlogTalkRadio thing and his GodOfRadio website and MB (from which my IP addy is banned) are back up and running, beating on me like a big bass drum, from what I'm told.
Yes, his personal and professional failures are all my fault.
The guy's either gotta get a real radio gig somewhere or start mowing lawns. And, by the way, the guy who takes care of my yard makes a pretty good living thru all four seasons.
I found a new career when radio didn't want me anymore...why can't Kramer?
If you know the guy, call him and help him find employment.
Thursday 05-15-08: Think we said this before ...
25-54 is too broad a demo to buy.
The aging population could shift popular radio demo.
Radio has traditionally been bought by advertisers using demo's like 18-34, 18-49 and the most popular demo, 25-54.
But what do 25-year-olds have in common with 54-year-olds?
The aging of America might even move the target demo higher since a Media Audit study shows people over 50 have more disposable income. So where's the demo "sweet spot"?
This is the worst demo of all time and always has been. 25-54 stretches through two generations.
Should be split into 25-34 and 35-54.
The sweet spot? Try the guys with money: 45-55.
Thursday 05-15-08: Secret Squirrel and Tasha been sniffin' round KWMU ...
The on-going investigation of KWMU's Patricia Wente and
the legal/accoungting team now enters Week 3 and sources say Ms. Wente
is remaining defiant and is very confident that she is not going to
leave KWMU nor does she expect the investigation from the legal or
accounting side to push her out.
While the outcome of the investigation has
not been finalized, Patty is expressing verbally in the business
community via phone calls and luncheons that the legal/accounting review
will not change her style.
Just when we thought the RFT's story might
make a difference, she appears to hang on to her job (she's was never
placed on administrative leave to begin with) and the status quo remains
OOH! Wente's got gravitas!
Wednesday 05-14-08: So, twenty years ago, Bill O'Reilly got upset NSFW! ... You probably have never worked with or managed air talent who are perfectionists. O'Reilly expected a certain level of performance from his crew and they failed to meet it.
How can you blame him for being pissed?
Tuesday 05-13-08: Somewhere in the garage ...
I have a reel of tape of the entire 1964 Beatles Hollywood Bowl concert, only a portion of which was ever released....
From the Jimmy Rabbitt Report:
The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl was released this week in 1977. The LP was recorded over two nights, a year apart (August 23, 1964 and August 30, 1965). The album is unavailable (at least, legitimately) on CD from either side of the pond.
Wanna buy it? You'll need a whole more loot that that thievin' bastard New York lawyer who tried to screw me on the Jim Croce live master tapes...but lost. Lost big. Six figures big.
Thank God for Mike Stern. Call him if you're interested. I'll be here.
Tuesday 05-13-08: Super-secret WKRP inside info ...
|Tuesday 05-13-08: Joe Sonderman's newest book ... is hot off the presses and in bookstores by this weekend.|
Sonderman writes: Route 66 in St. Louis has over 200 vintage photos, many never before published, and great information and history on "The Mother Road" in Metro East, St. Louis and Franklin Counties. What a great segment for any show! Hint hint wink wink nudge nudge. The book is from Arcadia Publishing and will be available on Amazon.com and all the big book stores. I'll be on KTVI/Fox2 Tuesday at 8:20AM.
Joe Sonderman is a long-time St. Louis historian and radio personality; as we say, an OldDog.
Contact Joe here for interviews.
Thanks to Tom O'Keefe for sending the link to this translation of the thoroughly confusing WKRP end theme lyrics...now, after all these years, I finally get it!
Monday 05-12-08: 40 years ago this Summer ... PFC Mike Anderson (that would be me) was working for the Army Security Agency, a leisure time service of the National Security Agency, at a tiny, immensely secure post near Washington DC called Arlington Hall Station, doing secret stuff about which I can never speak (well, I installed a PA system in the post EM Club...).
I was waiting for my final security clearance, which never came; I was eventually transferred to Ft. Devens MA, where I ran a language lab for Special Forces. Yup, the same goober who had managed to fail Spanish, French and Latin in High School was now training our nation's finest to speak Cambodian!
Within a few months of that mind-numbing duty I'd volunteered for service in Vietnam; I arrived in-country in January 1969.
Read the adventures here.
Monday 05-12-08: Chad Garrison finally gets a hit ... otherwise-hack writer Garrison's recent RFT story on the alleged miscreance of UMSL's KWMU manager Patty Wente has brought followups in the P-D and the STLBJ and has created a recently-launched blog.
It ain't lookin' good for Ms. Wente.
I've had exactly one business experience with her and it wasn't pleasant.
But I'm willing to wait and see this settle out although I'm pretty sure it won't resolve in her favor.
KWMU GM candidates might want to start lining up now.
P.S. RFT writer Garrison will use this story and the kerfuffle created as his escape hatch from the RFT.
Monday 05-12-08: If you're a Mother ... I hope your day was magnificent.
Mine began at 4:30AM with Tasha, the STLMedia WatchDog, a bit concerned about the wind and rain and other things; Mrs. A slept in while I dealt with the scaredy-dog and had a quick chat online via Skype with my brother and some of his family in Israel.
Later, Mrs. A and I took a late pancake lunch and came home in time to for me to prepare a pasta-and-pork-tenderloin dinner celebration for the Mom and the in-town kids and grandkids.
The good news is that while I napped somebody else did the dishes.
I hope that Mrs. A felt celebrated appropriately because she is the Most Marvelous Matriarch ever.
Sunday 05-11-08: Wish we could all afford to lose half our salary ... and still feel okay about the gig.
Midday personality Neil Rogers' $1.5 million annual salary will be cut in half when his new five-year deal kicks in with Beasley's "Sports Radio 560" WQAM, Miami.
Rogers tells The Sun-Sentinel there weren't many other options. "It was `take it or leave it."
"I'm not happy about it but I don't expect people to feel sorry for me. I'm still doing pretty well."
Rogers tried to explore other opportunities, including a jump to a Clear Channel station but says "They never put a dime on the table."
Feelin' sorry for Rogers in 3...2...well, hell, never.
Saturday 05-10-08: Very strange delivery ... Friday afternoon when I was somewhat indisposed, the doorbell rang. By the time I got there, there was no one, just a case of Stater Bros. water left on my porch.
Never heard of the brand and I've never seen it in any grocery store.
No, I won't be drinking it and yes, I'll probably turn it over to the police.
Am I paranoid? You publish a website like this one and let me know if you have a suspicion or two when something like this happens.
Saturday 05-10-08: Weekend listening ... Bill Cosby's 1967 Little Ol' Man. Hard to believe this was a major East Coast hit 41 years ago...
Saturday 05-10-08: Conflict of interest ...
My experience with newspapers over the years has been that editorially they are not invested with any particular devotion to or interest in a Higher Being. So I find it entertaining, to say the least, that this website has popped up recently:
This site is devoted to the simple premise. Our business is in trouble and with it are a lot of our friends, our brothers and sisters and their families. We are just asking that anyone who cares about their fellow journalists devote part of their prayer time to "Pray for Papers".
I guess any business that would allow a cretin like Randy Michaels to assume a CEO position would eventually resort to praying to their "imaginary friend," as they have so often described Him, to help set things right.
I think the word sanctimonious sums it up.
Of course, asshats is also a good word.
Saturday 05-10-08: Movin' to sports?
The many rumors regarding BIC/STL's 101.1 freq are starting to coalesce.
I'd bet your house and car on the station taking a sports position, grabbing the Rams as available and making a play for the Cardinals, maybe going so far as to buy a chunk of KTRS in order to get the games on the newly ginormous-sized FM.
We're hearing the holdup is the availability of certain syndicated shows considered important to the format.
A Memorial Day changeover looks less likely but still possible if the syndicators get their collective acts in gear.
And look for a not-entirely-sports oriented morning show.
Saturday 05-10-08: This is the way ... you want your station to be memorialized. CBSRadio has launched an incredible multimedia website that covers the history of their WBBM/AM780 news radio station, from the station's format entry in 1968 to the present.
Saturday 05-10-08: National Sportscasters & Sportswriters
John Covington of KLPW/Washington won the Missouri Sportscaster of
the Year award from the NSSA.
Murry of KWRE/Warrenton and Mike Kelly of the Missouri Tigers Radio
Network were the other two finalists.
Bill Battle of the Washington
Missourian won the Missouri Sportswriter of the Year award.
Murry is a finalist for the MBA's "Best
Play-By-Play: Small Market" award. It would be Murry's second straight win.
Friday 05-09-08: Weekend video ...
KETC Producer Jim Kirchherr visits with Kay Morton and talks about her experience in STL radio during the 1930's.
Rock group Fear's TV ad for KSHE95 from the mid-eighties...
Friday 05-09-08: Annual Scarborough report ... Scarborough Research released its annual Newspaper Audience Ratings Report, a comprehensive compendium of the weekly print, weekly website and Integrated Newspaper Audience (combined print and online) ratings for 161 newspapers in 81 Top-Tier markets.
"The report is a valuable desktop reference tool on newspaper ratings for those involved in the planning, buying or selling of local media."
Friday 05-09-08: TV news from all over ... watch it here, copy it here, move it to your own blog. Thanks to SuperMax for reminding me of the site.
Friday 05-09-08: I had the good fortune ... of running into an old friend at lunch today. No names so as not to jeapordize his position, but I should have said hello again a long time back; bad on me for that. Glad he's doing well!
| || Friday 05-09-08: In the bad old days ... it was thought that the nucs from the Godless Commies would home in on radio station freqs assigned to major cities. So we created Conelrad to confuse 'em.|
It involved a system of switching xmtr crystals between 640 and 1240kHz on the most powerful regional signals (all other stations would be ordered off the air), which would go on and off the air.
The public was told to listen to stations on either frequency for emergency info, not knowing that they were being used to confuse enemy aircraft who might be aiming nuclear weapons using Radio Direction Finding.
Somebody would get flattened and glow for a few thousand years, but hopefully not a major metropolitan area. The government printed and distributed these cards (below) to remind citizens of what they needed to do in the event of an attack.
The good news is that none of this was ever necessary. Thanks to Kevin McCarthy who, for no reason at all, has kept the Conelrad card in his wallet since he was 9 years old and turned it over to me for scanning this afternoon. Kevin was a little shaky letting it go even though I tried to tell him it was no longer an issue.
Friday 05-09-08: Had a bit of a glitch Thursday ... on new member subs on the STLMedia MB. If you subscribed and have not received the activation email by noon Friday, you might want to register again to ensure your access. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Friday 05-09-08: Too many spots = problems ... Well, DUH!
Tom Taylor quotes Cox CEO Bob Neil as saying that “the proliferation of ad units, regardless of the media”, is a core problem.
No disrespect to radio wizards like Neil but isn't that kind of a given?
That whole Dark Side of the Hour thing, playing 12 or 15 songs in a row from :57 around to, what :34 or :36, followed by three heavily-laden spot sets and just one or two songs never made much sense to me.
Friday 05-09-08: Bad week for Classic Country ...
Last Monday, 5 May, we lost Jerry Wallace at the age of 79. Wallace's career spanned three decades, with hits including Primrose Lane, Shutters And Boards and If You Leave Me Tonight I'll Cry, which was featured in a classic 1972 Night Gallery episode called The Tune In Dan's Cafe.
Yesterday, 8 May, Eddy Arnold, passed away a week short of his 90th birthday. Arnold had dozens of pop and country hits, including 67 consecutive top 10 hits between 1945 and 1956 with career record sales past 85 million copies. Arnold's wife Sally died in March after 66 years of marriage.
Friday 05-09-08: I'm convinced Citadel CEO Farid Suleman is the Antichrist ...
After at least one round of gutting the once tall-standing ABC/Disney stations, resulting in the layoff of 2% of its workforce, Suleman says "This is going to be an ongoing process."
The next focus is on back-office operations.
Great. Pillage your office and sales staff and see the improvement!
Suleman also says every air shift must also be "justified."
How the hell does this idiot, who learned radio management at the feet of Mel Karmazin, who cares less about content and programming than any radio manager who ever lived, justify dropping local morning shows and adding the resurrection of Imus to replace them?
Citadel revenues were down 5% in first quarter, dragged lower by a 12% drop at the big-market former ABC Radio stations.
There's a big surprise. Thank God Citadel is not a player in the STL market.
Thursday 05-08-08: Former NFL cheerleader gets KMOV/CBS4 show ...
Stephanie Soviar, who will be known here as Stephanie Simmons, has been tapped as the hostette of the new KMOV show Great Day St. Louis, which will debut in September. Until then, see young Steph's antics here:
| ||Thursday 05-08-08: Patty Wente under review by accountants and UMSL attorneys ... because of "deficiencies" uncovered during a recent audit of the UMSL FM station KWMU.|
The RFT's reporting that the long-time KWMU GM is under the microscope because Wente has allegedly orchestrated misleading fundraising drives, assigned staff to personal work, and ruled with a "reign of terror" in which employees felt threatened to bring concerns to the university.
Thursday 05-08-08: Holiday shenanigans at The Palace Near Ballas?
| ||Thursday 05-08-08: Now it's His 103.3 ...|
John Matthews, formerly Director of Affiliate Relations/Western Region for The Tom Kent Radio Network, has been named PD at KLOU 103.3. CC/STL OM Tommy Austin commented, "John is very passionate and in touch with the lifegroup, as well as having the energy to bring in new core, continuing to make this a winning and profitable station."
Is there a new "Sound" coming to 101.1 FM this Memorial
Wednesday 05-07-08: Sneak peek at the new STLToday website ...
Lotsa white space. Make your own jokes. View the new test site here.
UPDATE: The new site went live just after we published the Test Site link.
Wednesday 05-07-08: Subject Line of the day/week/month ...
|Wednesday 05-07-08: Newest Flash drive ... in my collection: 16Gigs, USB 2.0, $60 after rebate. Files transfer and play like lightning. It holds the (mostly '60's) tunes for the new Pioneer radio in the Town Car that don't come in via CD. Order at Amazon, at right; key words: Corsair, flash, 16gig. |
Like everyone, my email, Bulk and Trash inboxes are flooded with spam for various products, including meds for what is euphemistically referred to as ED.
Here's the best Subject Line ever, for Cialis:
The Quicker Pecker Upper.
Wednesday 05-07-08: This went up at STLToday.com just after midnight ...
Pretty unusual for a major website like that to pull maintenance on a weekday night, don't ya think?
What's coming next? A redesign? Or at the very least a vastly improved search engine?
I've thought all along that the P-D website is one of the best newspaper sites going (as of last evening it was still very much a Pulitzer project); it would be easy to overthink it with small-market ideas and screw it up.
Guess we'll see in a few hours.
Tuesday 05-06-08: STLMedia Email newsletter ceases publication ...
After a year and a half of Gmailing the several-times-weekly STLMedia email newsletter to a huge number of industry subscribers I've made the Executive Decision to drop it from my list of things-to-do.
Commercial support has been weak, but that was never a big part of the project anyway.
Subscriptions rolls have grown way beyond what I expected, and for that I'm grateful and sorry now to disappoint.
It's just that it's taking up way too much time, time that I'd rather be spending on other projects, professional and personal.
Sorry to say it, but the last STLMedia Newsletter you received was the last STLMedia Newsletter.
Of course, you'll always be able to catch the latest local news, rumors, gossip and such at STLMedia.net. Make sure you bookmark the site in your browser. This site is NOT going away, as much as many media managers would like it to.
Thanks so much for your online patronage over the years. Please remember that any purchase from any sponsors shown on this page add a little loot to the STLMedia.net coffers when you click thru to the links.
Tuesday 05-06-08: I'm a dog guy, but this is seriously funny ...
The lede in the latest issue of TheFilesFiles is this:
CHILD STARTING TO THINK FAMILY DOG ISN’T REALLY VISITING A FARM
The story brings to mind a real-life incident, in which a friend of mine, who named his all-black Retriever Spot, lost the pup to a virus while the dog was away being trained for hunting.
He kept up the false-front for years, telling the kids that the dog was still at school.
Yes, you would know my friend's name.
Tuesday 05-06-08: I don't drive much ... but radio sales execs do and always have. Now, with gas at six million dollars a gallon, it's a real issue.
Add that ad sales are way off and an Inside Radio survey finds the average AE has seen their gas costs double this year, to an average of $525 a month. I can't imagine spending that kind of money on local travel.
Telecommuting's an option, but sales are best made when done face-to-face.
What are you doing to save gas?
Tuesday 05-06-08: Wait until WiMax fully kicks in ...
The growth of online listening is based solely on wired listening. Here's the Edison Research Report via InsideRadio:
The number of employed Americans that listen often over the Internet has grown from 12% last year to 20% this year, while at the same time the number who listens via a regular radio has dropped from 88% to 80%. Online listening is even higher among more-educated demos.
Here's a promotional thought you might want to consider:
If internet listening has grown this much among employed web users, how much has it grown among unemployed web users, who have more time and access?
And who also get Arbitron diaries.
Paper the windshields of cars in parking lots near employment and state job agencies with ads for your station (never on State property).
Run one or two free help-wanted ads an hour.
Create a weekend dead-time show that allows employers to call in with job openings.
Got more ideas?
Monday 05-05-08: Perry Michael Simon ...writes a great weekly column at AllAccess; to read it you have to subscribe there. If you haven't already, shame on you. Go do it now and then come back here.
Perry recently brought up a point those of in the hinterlands have been making for a long time: why are there no longer any radio minor leagues where a potential star can get his or her training for The Big Show?
Voice-tracking, best-of's and syndication, of course, are the chief culprits.
Infomercials also chew up a lot of the time that used to be available to baby DJ's and TJ's.
Here's Perry's idea:
What I'd like to see radio stations try, in every market, no matter how big or small, is this: Take a few hours out of your weekends, a couple of hours on the fringes that your sales staff can't broker, maybe the hours when you stick a "best of" on the air to save money and trouble. Use that time as a training ground.
You find someone who's rough around the edges but who might be able to talk on the radio? Try 'em out. A local celebrity or dignitary suggests that perhaps radio would be a good next career act? Try 'em out. A couple of amateur hours won't hurt.
Who's gonna be the first to try it?
Once upon a time in St. Louis we had a guy like Chuck Norman who gave a start at his WGNU to a lot of TalkRadio types who moved on to other, larger stations and more important positions....myself included.
Who are the Chuck Norman's of the 21st Century?
Who will help develop the next generations of air talent?
Why not you?
Monday 05-05-08: I've been everywhere, man ... or at least a few places in North America, Asia and Europe.
Here's a photo from December 1992 of my Israeli family (as of then), taken in Upper Nazareth.
It includes, from left to right, my Brother Rick's kids, their spouses and children (as of then; there are many more now), Pat and Rick and, at the far right (where else?) me, left holding the dog, Bambi.
Sixteen years ago my hair was darker and more plentiful, I'll tell ya what.
Apparently, so was my brother's.
Sunday 05-04-08: I laugh all over myself ... reading this crap thru the Secret Squirrel© mail service:
(1) So, you're aware of the Kramer news, yet just like the
mainstream media, you choose NOT to report the news that doesn't fit
your agenda or preference. You've had a naked obsession with Kramer for
over a year, but now you won't report the positive news that he has
landed a job. You're a real pro! Actually, you're an embarassment, but
deep down, you know that, don't you?
Kramer burned through what, a half-dozen local jobs? And managed to alienate every online entity with whom he associated himself? At this point, anything he does is non-news. Don't care anymore.
(2) Where's the announcement about Kramer with D.C.? I
thought your site was about media news and happenings. C'mon put it up on
the front page accompanied with one of your typical unfunny insults.
Step lively, asshat!
Way to motivate me.
Kramer's the guy who faked his suicide on the Bubba SatRad show and DC's the guy who used to work with Steve Shannon in all those mini-markets, the guy who's married to the ex-stripper.
Jeez, they belong together. Don't care much about either of 'em.
They have nothing to do with STLMedia any longer. Done with both.
Sunday 05-04-08: Saw Jersey Boys last Sunday at The Fox ...
...as I told ya, and while I've been updating this past week I've been listening to The Very Best of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and The Jersey Boys CD's in the office...over and over and over.
So I bought one of these to replace the stock cassette stereo in my Town Car to listen there, too, over and over and over, on the built-in JBL speaker system. It plays broadcast AM and FM and CD's, of course, and it also plays CD-R's filled with MP3 files. Which I have a lot of.
It'll get installed in the Lincoln this week.
But the big news is that there's a USB hookup thru which I can listen to music from my iPod or from a thumb drive (imagine how much music you can load onto a $60 16gig flash drive).
No HD Radio or SatRad. Neither are needed, thank you. I still depend on TerRad for emergency info.
Sunday 05-04-08: Randy Raley = Dr. House ... OldDog Raley is on the long-term mend from extensive, painful and otherwise annoying rotator cuff surgery. Reminds me of my leg surgery aftermath in '06.
The good news is that Randy will be feeling better and off the meds much faster than House. The bad news is that no one will write a TV show about Randy's adventures in pain management.
Read and comment here.
Saturday 05-03-08: Weekend STLMedia video ... Here's a homemade video from STL's best known one-hit musical wonder, Bob Kuban.
The lead singer of The Cheater, Walter Scott, was the victim in one of STL's weirdest and most brazen murder cases. And, yes, it involved cheating. Irony is everything.
Saturday 05-03-08: Angel joins the angels ... Lynne "Angel" Harvey, wife of Paul Harvey, passed away this morning following a year-long illness.
Larry Shannon's Radio Daily News carried this portion of the release from the Harvey office:
Lynne Harvey died at her River Forest (IL) home early Saturday morning after a yearlong battle with leukemia. Lynne, whom husband Paul called "Angel," recognized throughout her industry as "The First Lady of Radio," was one of the great broadcasting figures of the past century and the first producer ever inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. A director, writer and editor, she was the creative and administrative heartbeat behind the number-one-rated Paul Harvey News and Comment, which reaches tens of millions of listeners. Her guidance and ingenuity helped shape many radio and television formats widely used today, such as the concept of news features within hard-news broadcasts and the humorous "kicker," which became a Paul Harvey trademark. She is survived by her husband Paul Harvey and their son Paul Jr., who has become an integral part of their broadcasts.
Read more here, here, here and here.
Mrs. Harvey met her future husband at KXOK/AM630/STL in 1939 and they were married in 1940.
Saturday 05-03-08: Rudy Ruzicka passes ... The long-time KMOX engineer passed away last Wednesday after a long illness. Rudy was 84.
Saturday 05-03-08: Dodie Rahlman out at KLOU ...
Seems like Dodie's been playin' the hits on 103.3 forever. Over the years he made himself the "go-to-guy" for problems of every sort and handled airshifts no one else wanted to do.
The memo from the Highlands Honcho was just a bit, shall we say, cold, after Dodie's nearly-fifteen years of service to the call letters...
From: Lamme, Dennis
Sent: Friday, May 02, 2008 10:29 AM
To: STL Radio All
Effective immediately Dodie Rahlman is no longer with KLOU and Clear Channel STL.
Dennis W. Lamme
President & Market Manager
I'm confident that almost anyone who's worked with Rahlman for any time at all would be happy to recommend him highly for his next gig; I know I certainly would.
Friday 05-02-08: Paul Arca in surgery this morning ...
Kevin McCarthy tips us that STLRadio OldDog Paul Arca is once again going through treatment for a chronic back problem that dates back years.
Arca, currently with Clear Channel, is arguably among the Top 5 production guys who have ever worked in the STL radio market. And he's a helluva jock, too; Arca does PMDrive on Oldies KLOU.
You may remember a couple years back when Paul was in a KLOU van that moved through a thunderstorm with its antenna raised and hit a power line, landing him in the hospital with a long recovery at home.
He came out of that like a champ, and he'll come out of this better than ever, God willing. Your prayers and good wishes are, of course, welcome.
Kevin and I have known and worked with Paul for a lot of years; we know him well and we love him like a brother. We'll keep ya posted on the progress of Arca's recovery.
Friday 05-02-08: Maybe big storms coming ... this afternoon. Keep an eye out for yourself and your safety and post as you can your observations of how the broadcast and online media handled it.
Friday 05-02-08: Whoa, man, it's the acid dude ... Albert Hofmann, the father of the mind-altering drug LSD whose medical discovery inspired -- and arguably corrupted -- millions in the 1960s hippie generation, has died. He was 102. Hofmann died Tuesday at his home in ...
Sorry, I lost it for a bit. Saw ponies flying by and something very, very red surrounded by Blue Meanies...
Friday 05-02-08: Predictable: Slaten sues KFNS ... From STLToday:
Controversial sports radio personality Kevin Slaten sued KFNS, his former station, in the wake of his termination last month over an on-air confrontation with Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan.
Slaten is expected to seek at least $300,000 for what he terms wrongful termination.
Slaten got his last paycheck April 15. His health benefits expired Wednesday, and the termination letter says he can’t be on the local airwaves for six months.
Question 1: How can BLB expect a non-compete to hold up in court when there is no compensation?
Question 2: How can Slaten expect to ever get another radio gig once he's shown the full nature of his litigiousness?
Prediction: BLB will settle this out of court because it's cheaper to pay Slaten than the legal firm assigned to the case; Slaten will have to renew his bar card and handle DUI's in order to make a living.
Who in hell would hire him for a radio show now?
Oh, wait...there's always the Tim Dorsey backwash.
Friday 05-02-08: Please, God, get me outa here ...
That's how I've heard former Bonneville/STL Promo Guy Sammy Simpson felt about his time here. Guess Sammy was too cool for our little Flyover room.
From Frank Absher's blog via All Access:
BONNEVILLE INTERNATIONAL is moving SAMMY SIMPSON, its veteran national promotion and marketing director, from its ST. LOUIS cluster, to LOS ANGELES, where he will focus more of his efforts on the company’s new station there, KRBV (THE SOUND 100.3 FM), beginning MAY 5th.
BIC has shuffled just about everybody of consequence at Movin' out of the market or they've been allowed to move on, if you'll forgive the expression.
Something gonna happen at 101? Soon?
Friday 05-02-08: The blind leading the blind ... From InsideRadio:
Two House Democrats with oversight of the FCC are giving HD Radio a backhanded push thanks to the XM-Sirius merger. In a letter to FCC chair Kevin Martin, Reps. John Dingell (D-MI) and Ed Markey (D-MA) say the FCC should require a merged XM-Sirius to include HD Radio technology on any new satellite receiver. They say it would "spur technological innovation" and promote competition.
And as they say in that beer ad...BRILLIANT! Yeah, right...that'll work. Combine two marginal and unneeded technologies into one overly expensive package. Crutchfield is licking their chops waiting for the orders.
Friday 05-02-08: Thanks for trying to kill online stations, asshats ...
A federal court sides with the songwriters, composers and music publishers ruling AOL, Yahoo and RealNetworks must pay a higher royalty rate totaling 2.5% of their music-related revenues. The ruling dates back to 2001 and could cost the three companies as much as $100 million in retroactive fees.
I'm the biggest believer in the universe when it comes to appropriate and just royalty payments. But ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and the RIAA are all standing in a circle and firing their .38 Specials at eachother on this issue.
The goose has not yet laid the golden egg when it comes to online music play and, if these idiots keep this legal wrangling up, it never will.
Friday 05-02-08: Bricks of history ...
From Larry Shannon's RadioDailyNews:
'Radio's Best Friend', Art Vuolo Jr., has acquired a pallet of historic bricks from the home of the world's first radio station, KDKA. They come from Building K, at the Westinghouse East Pittsburgh Works, where the first commercial radio broadcast took place on November 2, 1920.
Vuolo says that he obtained the bricks following the demolition of the structure late last year "specifically for people who have a passion for radio history."
Each brick will be accompanied with a 'Certificate of Authenticity' signed by several legendary KDKA personalities and staff.
Art says that there is a 'limited quantity' of bricks, and for ordering information, go to www.radiosbestfriend.com or www.vuolovideo.com.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the new, soon to open, Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.
Thursday 05-01-08: Winter Arbitron published Wednesday ... and so did the PD memoes:
From KFTK's' Jeff Allen:
Subj: Congrats all
The Winter Book was released today and KFTK continues it's climb. Good strong numbers most places, big growth in AM drive and Dave keeps up his stellar performance for us. I will have the SHOW break out's in a couple days but here are a few DAYPART breakout's…
All numbers are Fall 07 / Winter 08
12+: 3.2 # 13 to 3.7 # 10 Cume: 145 to 173
Persons 25-54: Monday - Sunday: 3.8 # 8 to 4.0 # 9
Monday-Friday: 4.2 #8 to 4.5 # 8
AM Drive: 2.7 # 12 to 4.6 # 8 ( .1 share behind KMOX!)
Mid-Days: 3.1 # 11 to 4.1 # 8
PM Drive: 7.2 # 1 to 5.9 # 3 (BEATING KMOX at a 4.0 # 9 and KTRS at 4.8 # 7!!!!!)
MEN 25-54: Monday - Sunday: 5.4 # 4 to 5.1 # 5 (.1 behind KMOX)
Monday - Friday: 5.9 # 4 to 5.7 # 2 (yes that says #2-KMOX # 4)
AM Show: 3.7 # 6 to 5.7 # 3 (BEATING KMOX at a 4.6!!!)
Mid - Days: 4.4 # 5 to 5.3 # 5
PM Drive: 9.9 # 1 to 7.7 # 2 (BEATING KMOX at a 4.2!!!! And KTRS @ 6.9)
From KMOX' Steve Moore:
Winter ratings arrived today. I just wanted to congratulate everyone
on a very successful book. We retained the 12+ overall ranking with a
7.7 share. We enjoyed growth 25 - 54 up from a 3.6 in the Fall to a
4.5 (ranked 7th) in the Winter. Our 35 - 64 numbers grew from a 6.3
share in the fall to a 6.8 share (ranked 2nd).
The ratings never stop and neither do we. Congratulations again!
12+ numbers are below.
Note that KMOX retained the #1 12+ crown for the 67, 459th consecutive rating period. Looks like removing the Christmas music from KEZK lessened the threat, huh?
WIL unaccountably down almost a point and a half, but only slips from #3 to #4.
Bonneville's Arch is flat, Y98 rebounds nicely, and WFUN, WHHL and KATZ jump a bit...a good Urban book. More later.
Thursday 05-01-08: Dad gum it, I missed it ...
I missed the debut of the latest Hollywood insult to the Heartland, Farmer Wants A Wife. If you saw it, let us know how Episode 1 went.
Thursday 05-01-08: Now THIS is Public Service ...
Wednesday 04-30-08: Regarding the passing of Big Ron O'Brien ...
From KMOX's Doug McElvein: Mike, an old pal of mine, John Quincy, just posted this unscoped aircheck of Ron O'Brien. The year was 1972 and it’s a great example of how WCFL sounded right off the line coming out of the studio. John’s right when he suggests one should burn it to CD and then cruise around at night listening to it.
Pay special attention to the way the newscasts are delivered and constructed. Your station could do much worse, and probably has.
There are more tributes to this great, gone-too-soon talent coming...add this hour to your library of great radio. I have.
Thanks, Doug and John.
Wednesday 04-30-08: Secret Squirrel© says Memorial Day's the day ...
that changes, big, serious, market-altering changes, might be coming, that major announcements might be made.
Changes that might force a station or two (or three) into accepting their status as also-rans and made available for purchase, for anyone with sufficient cash, in the months thereafter.
No comments necessary. Squirrel© is currently engaged in trying to find nuts he buried in December and escaping the attentions of Tasha©, the STLMediaWatchDog©; he promises to get back to us soonest.
I'll let you know what (and whose) nuts he finds.
Wednesday 04-30-08: Get well wishes to KMOX' Randy Raley ... who's recovering from surgery for a badly torn rotator cuff. Read about it here.
If the email I received Tuesday is any indication of his attitude, OldDog Raley could use a hug about now. Looks like a long recovery and I wish him the best.
My experience, after that femoral artery surgery thing I went through in '06, can be expressed in three words: naps, movies and painkillers.
Sounds like he's got at least two of those covered.
Wedneday 04-30-08: All your subscription fees are belong to Mel ...
With share prices ($2.70) at less than a third of what they were a few years back, no profit in sight and the merger deal with XM still in limbo, Sirius SatRad CEO Mel Karmazin
earned was paid $32.219 million in 2007, according to the company’s SEC 10-K/A filing submitted Tuesday.
It's good to be the king.
Even if your empire is made of balsa wood, bubble gum and baling wire.
Wednesday 04-30-08: I learned something interesting ... about newspaper circulation a few days ago.
You know all those free papers you find in front of your house, the ones that some guy throws there in the middle of the night?
They count as paid circulation and the numbers are used to sell ads.
That's like a radio station saying, "Well, no, they can't hear our signal there, but if they could I bet they'd listen to us!"
Now let's see how well those free copies have paid off to fraudulently enhance circulation:
-- The New York Times lost more than 150,000 copies on Sunday. Circulation on that day fell a whopping 9.2% to 1,476,400. The paper's daily circulation declined 3.8% to 1,077,256.
-- At The Washington Post, daily circulation decreased 3.5% to 673,180 and Sunday dropped 4.3% to 890,163.
-- In Los Angeles, the Times lost more than 40,000 daily copies. Daily circulation there was down 5.1% to 773,884. Sunday declined 6.0% to 1,101,981.
-- The San Francisco Chronicle reported that daily circulation dropped 4.2% to 370,345, while Sunday dropped 3.0% to 424,603.
-- Daily circulation at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution declined 8.5% to 326,907 while Sunday fell 5.0% to 497,149.
-- Daily and Sunday circulation at the Chicago Tribune both dropped 4.4% to 541,663 and 898,703, respectively.
-- Daily circulation at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch plunged 8.5% Monday-Friday to 255,057. However, the paper managed to grow its Sunday circulation by 1.6% to 414,564.
So there's a tiny little sliver of sunshine for Lee here. They even managed to massage online ratings into circulation figures and come up with this:
Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises Inc. said Tuesday its newspapers overall saw growing print and online viewership in March, reaching 72% of adults in their markets last month, up from 68% in the prior-year period.
Yay for Lee! So when will the next round of layoffs begin?
Wednesday 04-30-08: Another shift bites the dust ... While Entercom doesn't play in the STL radio sandbox, this is disturbing news nonetheless.
First they created a single 7PM-12M show for eight of their AC stations; now they've done the same deal on seven of their country stations.
The net loss? 13 DJ's shown the door, salaries, bonuses, health insurance and other bennies wiped from the debit side of the ledger.
The net gain? A taller bottom line for Entercom, who is also rumored to be looking at further syndication possibilities outside the company.
Good management, huh?
Tuesday 04-29-08: The "undisclosed position" ... for which Movin's Jill Devine was headed at Clear Channel is not KSLZ, as had been speculated. Jill will be joining the crew on The Bull's Craig Cornett Morning Show, replacing Beau Vighn, who has left The Highlands.
Sunday 04-27-08: Looks like it's official ... The dulcet tones of one of STL's longest-running, best known and best loved country music radio personalities will remain on the air as Davey "hello, young'un" Lee joins Bob Romanik's Belleville-based WXOZ/AM 1510.
| ||Monday 04-28-08: Steve April's mystery microphone ...|
Steve's our resident website SCORE advisor, a retired radio engineer and owner of an extensive collection of retired radio gear.
Identify the mic in the photo at left, brand and model (ignore the radio in the background, although we may use it in future quizzes) and, no, you'll win no prize, but you will be acknowledged as a weird kind of expert!
Enter your guess here.
Word is also that the station's power will jump to 5kw sooner rather than later, significantly extending the station's reach across the Mississippi.
Romanik's stations will remain Metro East-centric, though. And good for him and GM Terry Fox for that; maybe they'll start referring to STL as Metro West.
After years of STL stations dusting off Southwestern Illinois communities as "the East Side" it'd only be appropriate.
Sunday 04-27-08: InsideMusicMedia's six-point plan ... for dealing with the various radio industry Evil Empires. As of now, I'm pretty sure JDC is rotating car-starting duties among his students...
Read it and comment here.
Sunday 04-27-08: STLMedia.net beats STLToday.com to the story ... by ten months!
Gail Pennington gins up a story in the weekend digital-and-deadtree fishwrap straight out of the press release on The Farmer Wants A Wife reality show that taped last July in Orchard Farm, St. Charles County.
Yup, the very same reality show we covered here in July 2007, including exclusive unauthorized comments from one of the extras.
The series starts airing this Wednesday on CW11; check your local listings for time.
Sunday 04-27-08: Came home after Jersey Boys to this unhappy news alert from AllAccess:
Shocker! According to PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER reporter MICHAEL KLEIN, radio has lost another legendary personality with the sudden death of CBS Oldies WOGL/PHILADELPHIA afternoon personality 'BIG RON' O'BRIEN (4/28) due to complications of pneumonia.
According to Frank Absher's STLRadio.com, Big Ron did a lengthy turn in STL at WKBQ/Q106 beginning in 1985.
Sunday 04-27-08: Secret Squirrel© ... spins a tale of Belo woe ...
KMOV/CBS4 is bracing for a brutal round of firings,
non-renewed contracts and resignations.
Motives include cutting salaries, replacing reporters with "backpack
journalists," and hiring people more in line with the tabloid-style news
ND Sean McLaughlin brought to KMOV.
Budget cutting appears to be a major issue for the BELO owned
television station. News photograpers will soon lose their take-home cars, as
the company seeks to save money on gasoline. Overtime has all but
disappeared except for ratings-related projects. A new contract between KMOV
and AFTRA also ends overtime pay for a number of newsroom employees.
Saturday 04-26-08: The Dorrough Audio Procesor ...
|Sunday 04-27-08: My socks are somewhere else ... because they got knocked off my feet at this show. Mrs. A and I had down-front tickets to Jersey Boys at the Fox this afternoon, and it was unbelievable.|
It's just that there were so many old people in the audience. Why weren't they at home watching the Weather Channel?
I mean, isn't that what radio station owners think 55+ folk do with their time (and money)?
Shoot, the 4500 Boomers inside the Fox popped all that ticket loot for a few silly memories, not a car. Get real! More here.
The discriminate audio processor (the DAP)...was developed by Mike Dorrough. I maybe used one of the first ever built. Now the technology is omnipresent.
Circa 1975, when I was at WYFE Rockford, I got a phone call from an old buddy, Bruce Miller Earle, who had partnered with Dorrough.
Bruce knew I had an ailing suburban AM signal and maybe they had a solution to our loudness and fidelity issues. Dorrough had been building these revolutionary audio processors on his kitchen table, and he and Earle were driving across country, plugging them in and selling them for cash and traded parts as they could.
WYFE had literally tons of parts in the basement, so I tentatively agreed that we could trade a bunch of tower lights for the processor.
Earle & Dorrough plugged one of the very first DAP's into my AM audio chain, on a handshake, and then moved on to their next targeted markets, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal.
WYFE-AM's signal improved immediately; it sounded incredible, better than our FM.
Unfortunately, the two station co-managers, Duane Daniels and Tom Kushak, who had been on vacation and neither of whom were very bright in such matters, returned, got all upside down about me trading off unused tower lights for an improved signal. They were also plenty pissed about me hiring a woman for morning drive while they were gone.
Turned out OK for Dorrough, though...their only remaining product sample had been confiscated at the Canadian border, and they needed the unit they had installed in Rockford to sell to the Canadian station.
I wound up back with a Volumax/Audimax combo and an engineer on call an hour away.
Of course, I got fired shortly thereafter for spending money to buy shucks for unprotected 45's in their music library and for raising the station's ratings, beating their perennial rival, WROK.
Saturday 04-26-08: What the hell is THAT thing? ...
Here's your weekend techno-history lesson.
From the 1950's through the 1980's, a German company named Wollensak (eventually bought by 3M) manufactured this almost indestructible all-steel tape recorder, an odd device that recorded magnetic representations of audio onto a tightly wound reel of plastic coated with what was essentially rust.
Depending on which buttons you pressed, there were playback/record volume and tone controls. You could control the record level by watching a tiny neon "magic light" that glowed red when you got into distortion. The audio was all-tubed, and mono all the way, so you know it sounded great.
My Father had one of these that we used on our 1960 move across the US on Route 66 to California to record messages back to the rest of the Family as we traveled (its place in our VW Bug was directly under my feet; as a kid whose job it was to carry it to our nightly hotel room, it seemed to weigh 300 pounds); it was cheaper to mail 3" reels of tape than make a long distance phone call back then!
Over the years, this device passed to me; I learned audio editing (using an EditAll block, editing tape and a grease pencil) on it and used it to playback 7" tapes of hits and to record performers at college in the 1960's.
I used it once I got into radio to record, edit and make copies of airchecks into the 1980's (using all of the aforementioned primitive technology).
No idea where this beast is these days, but it sure paid for itself, got me some pretty decent gigs, too.
Digital is so much easier...and cheaper. And lighter to carry, 'cause them electrons weigh almost nothing.
Friday 04-25-08: Thanks to all ... who made the April Meeting a success. My thought is that we'll skip the Final Friday in May (you probably have other plans for the Memorial Day Weekend) and catch up again on June 27th; it'll be our 8th Anniversary Breakfast Party!
Thursday 04-24-08: Your red shirt matches your eyes ... you close your cover before striking. Hey, this could be a hit all over again.
Thursday 04-24-08: The Philly Sound ...
Concurrent with Motown's takeover of American music charts in the mid-1960's, Philadelphia song writers and music producers were churning out hit after hit that charted mostly on East Coast radio stations.
Most of those hits came out of a studio in North Philly near the Frankford trolley line, where, as the legend goes, musicians and engineers on break took notice of the rhythm of the trolley cars going past their building and incorporated it into their work.
This may be the earliest example of what became the Philly Sound...the musicians on this track are the same guys who played as MFSB in the early and mid 1970's as backup for The Three Degrees, The O'Jays, Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes, The Spinners, The Stylistics and Billy Paul and had their own hit, TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia).
Thursday 04-24-08: Jill Devine bails on Bonneville ...
Jill Devine jumps ship from Movin' to a job at Clear
Channel. The veteran DJ and music director was the last holdout from The
River. She likely returns to KSLZ.
Thursday 04-24-08: There's a Top 10 for everything ...
Above's the lowdown on the Top 10 radio advertisers nationally for the week April 14-20, 2008, from Media Monitor.
Notice that the HD Digital Radio Alliance was #1 with 37,182 spots.
That's almost 620 hours nationally in one week, and they've held the top slot for months and months and months.
How sad is it that the broadcast radio industry has turned over this much inventory, at no charge, to a bad idea?
It's eerily similar to the way that the industry promoted their FM side-cars on their AM stations in the '60's and '70's. The only difference is that FM had a chance to succeed.
What could these stations have done with almost 40k more minutes of irretrievable time in that week? Run more spots and made lots more money? Played a lot more music? Presented new areas for discussion on talk stations? Run some local newscasts, keeping their cities of license better informed?
We'll never know, I guess.
Those 37,182 minutes are gone forever. Maybe the next few weeks' use of their inventory will be a little wiser. But don't bet on it.
Thursday 04-24-08: Well, of course not ...
From InsideRadio: No indecency regs for online radio
In a trip to Capitol Hill today, FCC chair Kevin Martin told a Senate committee "I do not believe any additional regulations are needed at this time." Instead he says only the sharing of illegal content such as child pornography needs to be regulated. Some activist groups have pushed for indecency regulations similar to what over-the-air radio faces for online streaming content.
It's called the WorldWideWeb because, well, it's worldwide.
Why should any provincial government agency, like the USA's FCC, presume the authority to censor a world-wide resource?
Yes, child pornography must be regulated, even outlawed, but only by world-wide concensus, not by a single-nation mandate.
We can outlaw it within our borders, we can ban it and we can block its access here. But, sadly, we cannot make it illegal in the rest of the world.
Thursday 04-24-08: Passings this week ...
AC and Country singer/songwriter Paul Davis died of a heart attack a day after his 60th birthday, last Tuesday. Davis gave us hits like I Go Crazy, Cool Night, You're Still New To Me (with Marie Osmond) and I Won't Take Less Than Your Love (with Tanya Tucker and Paul Overstreet).
R&B/Top 40 singer Al Wilson passed at 68 last Monday from kidney failure. Wilson gave us The Snake and the classic Show And Tell.
Wednesday 04-23-08: Steve & DC ... who haven't been players here in years have broken up. Steve Shannon is leaving his partnership with DC Chymes to join Leah Brandon from
KFI/LA at WERC/Clear Channel/Birmingham.
Wednesday 04-23-08: A being for the benefit of Mr.
Kite Gentile ...
Long-time STL jazz radio personality (WSIE-FM) Ross Gentile recently came back to the air after a lenghty illness; his friends have put together a jazz concert and dinner on May 9th to help defray Ross' medical costs. All of the performers and Royale Orleans and Giuseppe’s Ristorante are donating goods and services for the event. For more information on the event or to make a donation call 314-277-3008.
Tuesday 04-22-08: Not good news for SatRad ...
We began discussing SatRad subscription churn (resubscription rates) here a few years ago. Now, Jacobs Media has discovered that "subscription rates have been supported by giving away the free samples or as part of a package. When it’s time to start writing checks, it’s hard for satellite radio to retain customers."
|Tuesday 04-22-08: Why aren't you using ... TV ad pitchmen like Billy Mays as your station voice? Mays, a former Atlantic City product demonstrator, could beat your Mom into buying one of those VitaMeataVegamin blenders.|
I've watched Mays and his pals work on the Boardwalk and at State Fairs. He's the best, selling blenders, food slicers, glue and vacuum cleaners to anyone who comes within six feet.
Does Billy yell his message? Yup. Is Billy obnoxious? Yup. Can Billy make you sample the product. Yup.
The difference between Mays and your current voice guy is, exactly, what? Comment here.
Read the study here.
Tuesday 04-22-08: Arnie Warren died last week ...
Arnie Warren was #1 in mornings on Storer’s WGBS/Miami in the 1960's and did TV spots in South Florida into the 1990s.
He had the misfortune of being chosen by KMOX GM Bob Hyland as the immediate successor to Jack Carney; radio wisdom suggests that you never want to be the guy who succeeds The Guy.
Jack was The Guy; Arnie was not.
Warren was a great talent, as were a few of those who followed Carney into the late-morning slot, but none of them ever had a chance to succeed here, considering the impact that Jack Carney had in the market.
It took almost two decades for the KMOX 9AM-12N slot to settle down and accept a less-than-Jack Carney talent.
And today, Jack's son John entertains his radio audience as easily and readily as his father, and on the same station, just in a different daypart.
Something to be said for genetics, huh?
Tuesday 04-22-08: Good hire at KMOX ... Tom Calhoun writes:
Don't know if you had heard, but I accepted a weekend morning gig at KMOX and started working there this past weekend. Actually, my official start date is May 3rd...but I'm doing some on-air stuff with Bill Reker and Maria Keena until I get up to speed. I'll be co-hosting the weekend Total Information AM with Maria (5a-8a Saturday, 7a-10a Sunday) and doing some news reading after those shows for a few hours as well.
Tuesday 04-22-08: Monday was a big day for OldDogs ...
Along with the email from Jeff Davis, I heard from the great Bob Dearborn, who made me aware of the online tribute for his early-1980's syndicated radio show, NightTime America, carried in STL on KADI-FM.
I've added it to the Tributes links (below, at left), along with new links remembering a number of other legendary Top 40 stations.
If you're a grown-up, you may remember Dearborn as the author of an exhaustive 1972 analysis of the lyrics of the song American Pie; it's available online here, along with the whole story of the project that began innocently but took on a life (and capital budget) of its own.
Monday 04-21-08: UPDATE on the John Landecker/Bill Maher piece below ...
Heard today from former WLS'er Jeff Davis (he images KSD-FM, among many other stations), who tells me that it couldn't have been a Boogie Check on WIBG...those began on WLS in the mid-1970's.
But Landecker was doing non-music features on WIBG in those days...maybe an early iteration of Americana Panorama? Dunno.
And is the whole John Landecker/Jay Cook story apocryphal? Dunno that for sure, either. But it's certainly a great lesson in human nature.
Jeff went on to explain the derivation of the Boogie Check name; for the sake of the sacred memory of the radio heroes involved, I won't pass that part of the email along.
Saturday 04-19-08: Bill Maher's comments on the Catholic Church ... and his non-apology apology reminded me of a legendary story about Philadelphia radio, circa late 1960's/early 1970's...
||Monday 04-21-08: Surround and stereo audio recorder for $200...|
The Zoom H2 records audio in an infinite variety of multi-channel applications, from seminars and conferences, to electronic news gathering (ENG) and podcasting, to musical performances, songwriting sessions and rehearsals in high-quality stereo.
Zoom H2 has 4 mic capsules onboard for 360º recording in a W-X/Y configuration; audio is decoded instantly, bringing these four signals together for later configuration in 5.1 software.
Zoom H2 has built-in USB 2.0 and records up to 138 hours of MP3 on 4GB SD memory cards.
The package includes an AC adapter, earbuds, tripod stand, and a 512 MB SD card.
A complete surround audio recording studio for two bills.
God, I love this digital world.
Back when John "Records" Landecker, 6-10PM on WIBG was facing down George Michael on WFIL, Landecker used several non-music bits, one of which, Boogie Check, was an enormously popular segment using quick call-ins from listeners.
Key word: quick.
It was, though, compelling enough listening that it prompted WFIL's PD, Jay Cook, to have his DJ's write Landecker personal letters, telling him how good it sounded, how much they wished they could do something like that, and what a shame it was that it was so brief a segment.
Landecker, basking in the admiration of his competition, obliged...and lengthened the segment.
Cook's WFIL DJ's wrote another round of praise and the predictable happened...more Boogie Check, less music.
This went on for a while, with endless call-ins on WIBG pitted against hit after hit after hit on WFIL, two Top 40 stations going after teens from 6-10PM.
Radio is not, as they say, "rocket surgery" and the end result was pretty predictable.
Here's how that relates to Bill Maher, and, to a lesser extent, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and other "non-equal-opportunity offenders" on all sides of the issue spectrum.
Maher, successful early on as a comedian, parlayed modestly successful shows on Comedy Central and ABC into a non-commercial hit show on HBO starting in 2003.
Working from his history of embracing controversey, Maher has continued since then to become more and more controversial. His comments about Catholicism have, for example, become more and more barbed.
But eventually, career growth of this sort, supported by only the amorphous adulation of like-thinkers (or the canny strategies of the opposition; see above), reaches critical mass and implodes.
Maher, for one, needs to be very careful about who he keeps close to him and to whom he listens.
Saturday 04-19-08: The 4:37AM Friday Follies ... Birds start singing around here in Spring and Summer around 5AM; yesterday, they started about an hour earlier. I should have paid closer attention.
I was downstairs working at 4:37AM STL Quake Time and felt nothing when it hit, just heard some noise (Mrs. A later told me it was the furniture jumping and the windows upstairs rattling; she was seriously spooked).
Tasha was asleep under my desk and had no reaction.
I was already online, so I got the news pretty quickly. I repeat, I got the news online, not from radio or tv, although I eventually went there after letting Mrs. A know what was going on.
Watched STL TV for a couple hours before going to bed but learned nothing beyond what was available online. I never turned on a radio.
When the aftershock rolled through just after 10AM Tasha went nuts but once again I felt nothing. I was pretty seriously asleep when she started making noise.
Saturday morning, though, the STLMedia WatchDog was wide awake and desperate to get me to hold her at 4:30AM. I'd call that a day late and a doggy short!
So here's my question: where did you go first for info on the weirdness?
A lot of stations say they have all-night shows, but very few have personnel on hand. Count CC out, of course, they're useless for emergency info. Bonneville and the CBS music stations may have had news folks in the building preparing for the morning shows, and so did KTRS and certainly KMOX. But who else? And who delivered?
I repeat that it never once occurred to me to turn on radio or tv for info...I relied 100% on the web.
And the web told me everything I needed to know.
How damning is that for local radio and tv?
Saturday 04-19-08: Secret Squirrel came home ... with ink all over his hands and an interesting piece about the STL Post-Dispatch:
Latest round of cost-cutting by Lee Enterprises - all security guards are out as of May 5 and will be replaced by guards from Whelan Security. Also, Suburban Journal's printing plant in North County will be closed and all their papers will be printed at the P-D's plant in Maryland Heights.
Saturday 04-19-08: Rick Monday 1, Asshats 0 ... I'm not a big sports fan, but I enjoy a lazy afternoon of baseball every now and again. Especially when the fielding is as good as this...Play Ball!
Friday 04-18-08: Got a patch or two of regretted skin art? ...
Here's the best idea I've seen in years. And when Dr. Tattoff comes to a city near your radio station that shoots for a 25-34 demo, if you don't jump in promotionally with both feet, you're nuts.
Friday 04-18-08: Cannot get enough of this show ...
I turned on to Deadliest Catch a couple years ago and get a rash when it's not on somehere.
Would I go out with them? Nah, not a chance. Working for Bill Viands and the Zimmers was hazardous enough for me.
Friday 04-18-08: Radio spot revenue down, NTR up ... from AllAccess:
The RAB reports radio revenues were down 8% percent overall in March. Local revs were down 8% when compared to March 2006 and tough news for national, with a 17% drop. Local and national combined for a 10% decline.
There's been no good news for 2008 so far, with the 8% overall decline the sharpest for the year so far. Revenues were down 6% in January and 2% in February.
National revenue has now fallen in three of the last four months by double digits, off 12% in December, 13% in January and 1% in February.
Local revenue didn't fare quite as poorly, down 8% in March after losses of 4% in December, 5% in January and 4% in February.
Non-spot revenue remains the sole bright spot, gaining 18% in March, following 12% in December, 13% in January and 17% in February.
Local and national revenues are based on approximately 100 markets as reported by Miller Kaplan Arase & Co.
On the upside, the NYT reports revenues there are off 10% month-to-month and the company is looking at personnel layoffs.
Friday 04-18-08: Can you spell
apocryfal apockrifal apocryphal? ...
Update on Bo Matthew's request for info on the STL TV anchor who asked back in '99 if the Pope's wife ever traveled with him. I received this cc'd email:
I saw a posting on stlmedia.net in which you wondered about which female TV anchor during the St. Louis Papal Visit asked the question on-air: "Does the Pope's wife ever travel with him?"
Back in 1998-99, I served as Community Relations Director for the Archdiocese, and I can give you the scoop on this. Actually, the way folks remember this is far more entertaining than what was actually said....
As they were waiting for the Pope's motorcade to leave Lambert Airport after the arrival ceremony in St. Louis, Larry Conners and Myriam Wright were simply filling time. Larry told a story about how when Pope John Paul II was a young man, he seemed to disappear for a significant amount of time.
And he noted that at the time there were rumors that the young Karol Wojtyla (who became Pope John Paul II) had disappeared to secretly get married.
As it turned out, Larry said, Wojtyla had joined the seminary and was in hiding from the Gestapo, because the Nazis did not permit the Catholic Church in Poland to have students in the seminary. The seminarians were in hiding in the Archbishop's residence.
In response to Larry's story, Myriam smiled and said, "But he was never married. Never married." And Larry confirmed that with something like a simple "That's right," and they moved on.
That's all there was to the story, but I heard lots of people say that Myriam had asked Larry the question you had written. It just isn't true. Myriam took a lot of grief for something she never said.
The Papal Visit to St. Louis will be 10 years ago next January. What fond memories I have of those days....
Best wishes, Steve Mamanella
So Myriam's off the hook and another urban legend is laid to rest. See how useful STLMedia can be?
Thursday 04-17-08: Tim Robbins' NAB keynote speech ...
The activist actor had a lot to say as he opened up the 2008 NAB Convention. Listen to it here and then comment here.
NOTE: Audio NSFW.
Thursday 04-17-08: It's the content, stupid ...
And nobody, especially the owners and the operators, seem to realize it.
The NAB, RAB and the HD Radio Digital Alliance have banded together to create RadioCreative.com and RadioHeardHere.com, designed to "underscore the broadening versatility of [radio's] content, the pioneering innovation of its technology and the continuing relevance of the medium in Americans' lives."
What unmitigated crap.
Here are a few lines from stories that have abounded in the past two days about this:
-- "a comprehensive, multidimensional, multiyear initiative"
-- "the sleeping giant has awakened"
-- "radio's abiding impact has been overlooked and underappreciated"
-- "the medium has a bright future"
-- "programming has become more versatile, more experimental"
What unmitigated crap.
Under consolidation, broadcast radio has gone into hibernation, become moribund and useless.
And now, these entities purporting to represent the industry, using magical buzz words like convergence, overarching, multifaceted, proactive, viral and multiplatform, suggest that the $200million they plan to spend on advertising (mostly on radio itself) will make any difference.
What unmitigated crap.
Just like the gazillions of dollars that the radio industry provided for free to promote HDRadio. Radio was its own biggest advertiser for almost a year.
How embarassing was that?
I learned a long time ago to never begin an ad campaign until the product was ready for consumption.
In its current state, broadcast radio ain't ready for this campaign.
Not by a long shot.
Thursday 04-17-08: For no discernible reason ... the last few days have brought a ton of contacts from former employees and old friends. Maybe they know something I don't...kinda like giving an older entertainer the Kennedy Center Honors.
One of those who touched base was Dave Barber, whom I knew when we worked together at WTRX/Flint (which no longer even appears on his resume).
Dave spent 30 years in Michigan radio and TV, on the air and in sales, and moved to WPRO/Providence in 2006. Currently he's an anchor for Capitol Television inside the Rhode Island State House.
Dave has an ISDN line at home and does occasional fill in for Air America and various stations across the US.
He's also one of the two or three best radio pitchmen I've ever heard. There is absolutely no reason at all that Dave is not yet in lefty-radio syndication. He can sell product as well as any capitalist I know.
Hear Dave's work and reach him through his website.
Thursday 04-17-08: Everything old is new again ...
Adweek is reporting that Jimmy Kimmel Live is set to integrate live commercials into each episode, with the first such spots ready to go next month. A throwback to the early days of TV, the practice went out of style 30 years ago when most shows began being taped -- and had multiple advertisers. But with clutter increasing, live spots are a way to stand out -- and some advertisers believe they can also beat the increasingly-ubiquitous DVR by integrating product into the content of the show.
Wednesday 04-16-08: The hierarchy of debate/argument ... I found this graphic and this article while perusing my daily list of blogs and websites. Good stuff to know for talk show hosts and folks who engage in conversation on online Message Boards.
Wednesday 04-16-08: Who you gonna call ... for info on how to do that community service thingie (that just might become a part of your license renewal)?
The NABSpotCenter is designed to help stations plan and implement locally-focused community service initiatives. NAB says its new website will include PSAs and downloadable guidebooks for many not-for-profit groups.
A few things more:
Always ask for the non-profit's annual report. If they use more than 10% of their income for operating expenses, run away, very quickly.
If you have to go to the NAB for this info, it's because you were stupid enough to fire all your previous employees who knew this from their many years of experience and understood the culture of the radio business.
And if you think you can trust the NAB for anything, remember that they were the guys who sold your station out on music copyright fees and helped iBiquity promote HD Radio.
Wednesday 04-16-08: For the better part of the last 24 hours ... my DSL has either been non-existent or intermittent.
|Wednesday 04-16-08: A couple days ago ...|
WIL/FM92's Bo Matthews emailed me this question:
Back in 99 when Pope John Paul II was in St. Louis at the Dome a female TV anchor in their two headed commentary asked the question "Does the Pope's wife ever travel with him?" Do you have any idea who that might be? Any help would be appreciated.
I asked around but no one could come up with the answer. If you know, email Bo here.
I was forced to "borrow" bandwidth from an unsuspecting neighbor with a non-secured web connection, forcing me into the role of a criminal.
So am I a victim deprived of a way to make a living by the heavy Hand of The Man?
I've got my fingers crossed that SBC has stabilized sufficiently that I can get some work done...and avoid time in stir.
Tuesday 04-15-08: Who else is using a U3 thumb drive? ...
I've got a multi-gig USB thumb drive plugged into the new main system, with a number of U3 aps on it. I use it to move files from home to remote systems and back without involving any foreign OS.
My SysAdmin says this drive slows down my main system and causes errors.
I say he's wrong. A little help here?
Tuesday 04-15-08: Cumulus dumps Arbitron in their markets 100+ ...
| || Tuesday 04-15-08: FNC's Megyn Kelly ...|
has rocketed to the top of the cable news pile. She's got youth, looks, smarts and voice and delivery on her side.
Kelly came to TV after practicing law.
With Ms. Couric probably on her way out soon after a couple years of abject ratings failure could Kelly be the next face of CBS Evening News?
Cumulus is not a player here, so this doesn't really affect us. But it may. Here's the company's RFP for a non-diary-based rating report. How would you respond? What methodology would you use to provide Cumulus with useable and sellable data?
Tuesday 04-15-08: Congrats to KMOX ...
From AllAccess: The RTNDA has awarded CBS Radio Talk KMOX/STL with five 2008 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for excellence in electronic journalism.
KMOX took awards for Overall Excellence; Continuing Coverage, for Brett Blume and Megan Lynch’s coverage of The Missouri Miracle -- the recovery of Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby; Newscast, for the TIAM 8a news; News Series, for Megan Lynch’s series Playboys. KMOX also took Sports Reporting honors, for Megan Lynch’s report on out-of-control athletes. Regional winners automatically become eligible for the national awards competition.
Monday 04-14-08: In by 9, out by 5 ...Well, not quite. But OldDog Kevin McCarthy went into St. John's Mercy for hip surgery on Friday, went home Sunday PM and was busy emailing Monday morning with, for the first time in a long time, no pain.
Kevin writes: I hope to make the next Breakfast Meeting. Please tell everyone thanks for their concern.
Monday 04-14-08: Changing a tradition ... I've used Paint Shop for years as my image software. Got up to V.7, at about a hundred bucks an update. I've tossed hundreds of bucks into the trash, looks like.
Turns out IrfanView does all that PaintShop does, and much of what PhotoShop does, too, and for free.
Free is better. Wish I'd known sooner.
Monday 04-14-08: Puppy dj's should take notes; connections count ...
The photo below includes two guys to whom I was linked in a huge number of ways.
1. WRCP/Philadelphia was the very first country station I ever listened to; WRCP stood for Real Country Power and was among the first country stations to implement the Countrypolitan format.
2. The guy at
top bottom left is Bob Backman, who became the original Sales General Manager for KIX104, for which I worked here in the late '80's and early '90's. I met him at the old Arena, when I was there to intro a Monster Truck Show for WIL and he was there to collect the dough for ads on KIX. He'd gone to other things by the time I got to KIX.
3. The guy at top right is Shelly Davis:
(a:) Shelly went to school at Temple University with Jerry DelColliano, for whom I worked at WIFI/Philadelphia.
(b:) Shelly was a pal of Jerry Blavatt, a Philadelphia dj of consequence, with whom I worked in the '70's in Atlantic City.
(c:) Shelly was the manager of the Oak Ridge Boys when I introduced them at Busch Gardens/Williamsburg in the '80's the week their song Elvira reached #1 on three different format charts.
(d:) Shelly was the owner of KIX104, the guy who bought it from the original Jerseyville owners and used it to attempt an attack on the STL country music market.
String ties and straw hats notwithstanding, I have no idea who the rest of the guys in or around the wagon are. But I bet they were important to hundreds of other radio folks.
Except for a crappy signal, KIX104 almost made it.
Take notes, kids. If you're planning a long-term career, you never know when the guys you know today are the guys you're gonna work with over the next 20 years.
NOTE: Thanks to Mike Watermann and Michelle Kent for needed corrections.
Friday 04-11-08: This is one of those thingies ... that began as a photocopy of the original artwork and got copied from Xerox to Xerox and then snail-mailed.
Over the years it got faxed from bad Xerox copies to cheap fax machines, then, finally scanned from the bad fax copies to this and sent by email.
I've cleaned it up as much as I will (sorry for the background hash).
Clean it further and use it as you will, respecting the copyright as you can.
UPDATE: Matt Gordon cleaned it up, as you see above.
The sentiment remains the same.
Friday 04-11-08: Major League congrats to Dave Morris ... who is once more a Father. Dave and Emily's son Grayson Thomas was born yesterday, the 10th. Young Grayson was 23 inches long and weighed in at 9 pounds, 14 ounces; a big'un!
Check Dave's blog for some wonderful words on Fatherhood, ancestry and the derivation of the unusual name.
Bet they pass on Sparky and call him GT.
Friday 04-11-08: For the first time ... in more than two decades, I walked through an Aldi store (one just opened nearby on the Rock Road).
Didn't see one brand name can or package, just a lot of packaging that looked very much like the branded packaging I'd expect to see on Schnucks' or Dierbergs' supermarket shelves.
I'm not adverse to saving loot on groceries but I just have problems when I don't know where the chow comes from.
Friday 04-11-08: Joe Hipperson needs to move to FaceBook ...
(MySpace has become way too commercial), lose the metrosexually pink bg images and cut all the insty-play music and videos back to on-demand.
Even on a fast connection, with a ton of memory, it just takes too farkin' long to load.
Share the music, Joe...don't force it down our throats.
You have useful stuff to share, Joe, so please make it easier to get to it.
Gotta admit, though, the Die Hard video (NSFW) rocks.
Friday 04-11-08: Looking for an aircheck ... email from Brad Childs:
Trying to get Mike Shannon home run call audio. Can you help?!
I can't but I bet one of youse guys can. Send it to Brad at the link above.
Thursday 04-10-08: When I almost got whacked ...
Born and bred in NJ, I wound up working at WMID/Atlantic City in 1971 just after I got out of the Army. I had a daily 60-mile drive to work and occasionally I stayed at one of the cheap motels along the White Horse Pike.
When I stayed down the shore, occasionally I'd party with fellow jocks from the station. Imagine that!
One fine cold, Winter '71 evening, after having twenty-five cent drafts at place after place after place after place with mid-day dj Walt Cooper (also known as Bobby Mitchell, weekends at WFIL/Philadelphia) we realized we needed to pee. Badly.
The nearest place on our way back to the station was a bar called The 500 Club, owned by Skinny D'Amato.
Looking for the Little DJ's room, I pushed aside a curtain only to see a big table surrounded by Sopranos-looking guys.
Walt and I backed out of there quickly...and respectfully...and found a place to pee elsewhere.
The 500 Club burned down in 1973. Nobody pees anywhere near there anymore.
Probably out of respect.
Thursday 04-10-08: Germany likes to call itself the "Land of Ideas" ...
From the BBC: Over the centuries it has certainly had plenty of them. It was Germans who invented the aspirin, the airship, the printing press and the diesel engine. But Germany has surely never produced anything quite as weird as the automated restaurant.
No, they didn't. The BBC is wrong here on at least two counts. The Germans didn't invent the printing press. The Chinese invented the printing press; the Germans invented moveable type, in the person of Johann Gutenberg (there's that whole printed Bible to prove it).
And thanks to my Brother Rick for reminding me of Horn & Hardart's, who created automated restaurants, in Philadelphia and NYC in 1902.
Wednesday 04-09-08: CBS cuts are the deepest ...
Recently, CBS has tossed a huge number of long-time (and highly-paid) radio and tv stalwarts overboard to carve the budget.
Word now in the trades is that the CBS News Division is getting set to outsource reporting to CNN and is preparing to get rid of the $15million-a-year hole-in-the-water Katie Couric soonest.
The Fluffy One was a hit on mornings on NBC but has never been able to bring her ratings gravitas to Bill Paley's Tiffany Network.
Dan Rather must be turning over in his grave. Oh, wait, he's still alive. Who knew?
Wednesday 04-09-08: TerRad good, SatRad & HDRadio, not so much ...
That's maybe an oversimplification of the results of a recent Edison Research project (sponsored in part by Arbitron), but the fact seems to be that all that danged new-fangled technology, including podcasts, Internet radio and video, and social networks isn't cutting all that much into useage of your basic ol' AM & FM.
Take a look at the study and then comment here.
Tuesday 04-08-08: Had a big talk with Scott St. James yesterday ...
We spoke "of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings, and why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings."
All that brillig and slithey Jabberwocky thing.
Scott's in LA, back there after his turn at KTRS a while back, following his star; we talked about people we both worked for, people we both should have worked for, people we worked with and people we both know.
Wish I'd gotten to know Scott better while he was back here.
Tuesday 04-08-08: This is such crap, such crap ...
From InsideRadio: The annual gender analysis of general managers shows women now account for 15.9% of all GM positions compared to 15.3% last year. The MIW study finds women do better in big markets and with the larger broadcast groups, where they account for 18.8% of all GMs. Univision has more female GMs than any other group.
When will we mature as a society and an industry and realize that it just does not matter what the "gender" of a manager is? That what really matters is how well the business is run and how much money it makes?
How much longer will we have to put up with garbage like gender analysis getting in the way of P&L?
And in case you want to punch me in the nose for being a sexist pig, please remember that Mrs. A is a better and stronger manager than anyone, male or female, you have ever worked for or with.
And our kids could kick your honor student's butt.
Of course, our kids are in their thirties and yours are, what, nine or ten?
Tuesday 04-08-08: Time to mention this once more ...
Legendary Top 40 PD John Long wrote and published in 1999 an e-book about his experiences in radio, including an inside look at his time with the industry leading radio group owned by RKO.
In the late '70's I had the good fortune to work for John at 56WHBQ in Memphis. Recently he's added some photos and airchecks of that time to his website, including personalities and events I remember well and fondly.
The story's a great read and evokes an era in radio that will never come again...when you could play the hits, do wacky promotions just because you could (and didn't have to sell them to a car dealer or some sleazy bar), have fun on the air and still make a ton of money for the owners.
Monday 04-07-08: Mrs. A is off from work this week ... Tuesday's her birthday, we'll celebrate that, and then she has a long, long list of Spring Cleaning projects for me to get done.
If you can't get in touch with me, assume I'm outside doing window cleaning, running the vacuum cleaner somewhere or in the garage or office or library organizing the messes there. This is gonna be a very long week...
Monday 04-07-08: Four -- count 'em -- four new entries ... at Frank Absher's STLRadio.com market history site. Take your laptop to lunch and read 'em.
Sunday 04-06-08: Tips for DJ's and PD's who critique them #1 ...
I was never a great jock myself, but I was considered by many to have the chops to help others make their work better. This is the first of an irregular series.
This one is all about momentum, the impetus of a nonphysical process, such as an idea or a course of events:
This may be one of the most important parts of a DJ's delivery, using the tempo of the various elements of his/her show to move skillfully from one element to the next.
Moving, for example, from a fast-paced element to a slow-paced element can be accomplished by using a recorded ID jingle that is tempoed for such movement (slow-to-fast, fast-to-fast, fast-to-slow, etc.), by using a recorded promotional or image element that essentially ignores pacing and is just an in-between sounder, or by the DJ making the transition gracefully, matching the energy of one song to the next with their delivery.
Sadly, the computer-scheduled music programming and/or the management policies of most stations either ignore the use of momentum in favor of other song characteristics or make no provision for on-the-fly change of scheduled songs and thus disallow creation of a music set that starts hot and then tapers off.
The presentation of both music- and spot-sets could be distinctly improved, and, thus, longer listening achieved, if more attention was paid to momentum.
Generally speaking, it's more effective to decrease momentum as you move through the various segments of a show (music sets, and commercial sets - even newscasts could be improved by using such pacing and tempo rules) and begin the next segment with the highest possible energy.
Sunday 04-06-08: A few weeks ago ... I started looking for someone to join STLMedia as an associate, someone with media experience and knowledge, in their 30's or 40's, who would eventually take this site over once I passed it on to him or her.
The bad news is that, without a successor in place, you get me to run this thing until I'm just flat tired of it and way too curmudgeony to bear, at which point I'll just shut it down.
So if you're interested, contact me here.
Last chance for the next generation to get involved!
Sunday 04-06-08: Looking to update links ... and I could use your help.
I'm looking for links to current and former STL air personality websites and blogs and such (not stations or pages from station websites) and demo sites from STL voice artists.
I'll also be using the links to do a feature Front Page article here, so send 'em in soon as you can.
Saturday 04-05-08: The Anderson Cardiac Curse strikes again ...
My Brother Rick, a year or two (or ten) older than me, was taken into surgery a day ago and given three cardiac artery stents at a hospital in Israel.
He was given the option of a bypass or the stents and chose the "easy way out." I told him that real men have a bypass, but who can blame him for the choice?
Rick and I spoke for a long time last night about our various adventures; he was in top spirits, sounded great and, about to turn 70 in a few days, ready to continue to rock'n'roll.
Survival is cool and much preferred over all other options. With any luck, we'll both live to be 120.
Saturday 04-05-08: A recent college grad emails me ... he writes:
I graduated last May, and I'm still searching for my first gig. It's been a year since I started applying. No matter what I do, I can't seem to get my foot in the door.
For example, I had an interview with KXXX last week, I get a call on Friday with the program director leaving a message saying he'll get in touch with me on Monday about the job.
He never calls, so I call and email back. He still ignores me. And it's been like that for me just about everywhere I apply.
I was wondering, do you have any advice? And, do you know of any entry level openings in the area?
My advice is that I hope you had a useful minor, like Crapistan National History or Albanian Lit to fall back on. All positions in radio these days are entry level. No PD's hire people or answer phone calls or email...it all goes thru HR.
Until the ownership shifts from corporate to individual once more, openings will be filled by uneducated and untalented schlubs or the occasional unfortunate Old Dog, either of whom will work for $12 an hour to pay for mac'n'cheese and ground chuck meatloaf meals.
Personally, I'm much happier doing what I'm now doing, and so are most of my friends and contemporaries, many of whom have found other, more profitable means of making a living.
Saturday 04-05-08: Ad agencies deceiving clients? ... I'm shocked, I say, shocked.
Picked up this line from a newsletter, the original of which I can no longer find:
What's really interesting is that most agencies use research to impress the client rather than to create better marketing programs.
Saturday 04-05-08: Count on this happening at Summer 2008 concerts ... As you leave the concert grounds/venue, you'll have the opportunity to buy the show you just heard on a USB Flash drive. Not a CD...a USB Flash drive, and for about $20-$30. Insty-concert music sales was tried a few years back, but even then nobody wanted a CD. Flash drives provide easier-to-share tunes, and sharing tunes for free is what it's all about.
|Friday 04-04-08: The dogs bark but the caravan moves on ... Dan Caesar has the Kevin Slaten (pictured at left as he sees himself) deal pretty well wrapped here, here and here, and there's considerable discussion on it here, here and here at the STLMedia MB (free registration required).|
The bottom line is accountability. Someone on the air side should have known that you don't call someone and put them on the air without their permission. No excuses for such ignorance.
Slaten and his producer got canned, as they should have been, for putting the station's license in jeopardy. And if Duncan pursues it or not, the FCC may still fine the station for this transgression.
Friday 04-04-08: A new online-only local news resource ... at STLPlatform.org looks promising. Still obviously very much in Beta development, the design is clean and the writing excellent. I'll be looking forward to seeing where they take it, both editorially and in final design.
|Friday 04-04-08: Maybe a solution ...|
Tasha, allegedly "barkless" because of the dingo heritage in her breed, found her shrill voice over the Great Winter of '08. Not good, especially when she's out after nine or ten at night.
Picked up one of these today and it appears to have promise as it delivers a little-bit-more-than-static charge to her when she barks. Others I shopped appeared to deliver a much stronger charge; this was just enough to get her attention.
The question of battery life remains, as does whether or not the collar will stay in place. Tasha only wears it when she goes outside; a larger, stronger version might be useful for PD's...
And don't many of the names of those involved seem familiar from "that newspaper"? Thanks to Michael Kern for the tip. Comment here.
Thursday 04-03-08: The very model of a modern GM General ...
KZQZ/WXOZ GM/PD Terry Fox at work; photo courtesy of Jerry Bielicke. Great boogalooga...Foxman got himself a perm!
| Friday 04-04-08: The weird lookin' guy at left ... is probably one of the most brilliant creative thinkers of the last hundred-plus years. That's Stan Freberg and he's written and produced hit parody records, radio and tv ads and shows and even a campaign for the NAB some years ago, that included this.|
He's also a member of the Radio Hall of Fame, inducted in 1995.
Listen to his parody of Heartbreak Hotel.
Thursday 04-03-08 KFTK adds Dennis Miller to their lineup ...
According to PD Jeff Allen's memo, He will air on Sunday Nights from 6p - 8pm for the immediate future. He will be moving to a different slot in the coming weeks but for now he will be replacing Monica Crowley effective immediately. Dennis is indeed, Younger.Smarter.Better and I am excited to get his image associated with our station.
Thursday 04-03-08: Tasha, the STLMedia WatchDog ... now refuses to come into the house after her final evening visit to the backyard without a lengthy romp chasing the "dot," the red target of a laser pointer.
GirlDog, who has two speeds, off and high, tears ferociously after the little point of light and then follows it into the house once she's winded and ready to hit the doggie sack.
Easier and cheaper exercise than deploying sheep for Tasha to herd...
Thursday 04-03-08: A major ratings record is about to fall ...
Or at least that's what the numbers seem to indicate. Arbitron's Winter Book Phase 2 published yesterday afternoon and, for the second trend, KEZK eked out sister-station KMOX for the #1 slot once more.
If ya do all the necessary cipherin', it would seem that there's no way that KMOX will retain its long-running market champion status when the Winter Book publishes next month.
As MB regular JJ writes: Kind of sad, really. I was always proud of St. Louis for having a N/T #1. Now we have "soft rock" #1. Kind of defines us as a city...
Thursday 04-03-08: Kevin Slaten may have shot himself in the foot ...
I've been watching this to see where it'll go. Dan Caesar has his take, and there's considerable discussion on the STLMedia MB.
It's starting to look more and more like Slaten aired a phone call on KFNS with no notice. That's bad practice, and could end up in a fine or worse.
If there's audio that would clear him, it would have surfaced by now.
Thursday 04-03-08: Bonneville's ToastedRav.com ... is out of beta development and in full service. This is, as I have said, the wave of the future for radio group websites. Thanks to Mary Hediger for the nice hit for STLMedia in their press release.
Wednesday 04-02-08: Last week we reported the passing ... of legendary Top 40 jock Jack Armstrong, whose long career spanned stations from the Right Coast to the Left Coast and everywhere inbetween.
Now, aircheck collectors have dug through their inventory and there's a two-part, two-hour+ tribute online, for online listening or download (Hint: save these to your HD...you'll want to hear it all more than once).
Go here and hear what a true Top 40 genius did for a living. Any of us would be proud to be able to "do radio" even a tiny bit as well as Jack Armstrong did.
"If I Were A Carpenter, I'd probably nail you on the first date." Wow! The guy actually said that! And in the 1960's!
And, damn, could Armstrong nail the vocal. Exactly, right on the exactly correct part of the beat, even when switching between voices and dropping in jingles. And the man worked the music, dropping in and out, hitting internal instrumental and vocal posts like he was William Tell.
You 21st Century baby dj's, you need to listen, pay close attention to the work of The Master. I hope you someday have the opportunity to flex your radio muscles the way that the Le-e-e-e-dur did so well.
Thanks to BigAppleAirchecks for putting this all together and sponsoring the bandwidth.
Wednesday 04-02-08: Old Dog lands new gig ... What's more, it's in management!
Veteran multi-award winning production specialist, programmer, and air talent Terry (Foxman) Fox has been named GM/PD of the brand new KZQZ 1430 AM in St. Louis and WXOZ 1510 AM in Belleville. Insane Broadcasting Inc. owns both properties.
Read it all here and then comment here.
Tuesday 04-01-08: Happy birthday to ... buddies Matt "Mac" Gordon and Kevin McCarthy (who's scheduled to do the doctor dance with an orthopedic surgeon at a local hospital
just about now on the 11th).
Tuesday 04-01-08: KMOX PD Steve Moore ... hires a mime, complete with creepy white-face makeup, for the station's PM drive anchor slot, displacing that Mark kid.
Moore says, "Paul Harris talked too much and that Mark kid played video games during the news and spot breaks. Our new guy won't say a word and will allow KMOX to present PM drive traffic and weather on the one's, two's, three's, four's, five's, six', seven's, eight's, nine's and all the way around the clock with no interruptions for the spurious bull**it you might expect from an intelligent and well-prepared talk show host."
"By the way," Moore went on, "the new guy does the Inside The Box and Pulling The Rope gags better than ANYONE!"
Tuesday 04-01-08: Big League Broadcasting ... buys broadcast rights for the Eastern Missouri/Southern Illinois Paintball League.
It's expected that Kevin Slaten will provide the play by play because he's been banned from almost every other broadcast sport, rendering him functionally useless anywhere else.
The three-station group, which is currently running without adult supervision, won the rights in a spirited auction against KTRS/AM550.
Tuesday 04-01-08: Mark Edwards gets corporate award ...
The CBS executive, who programs KEZK and KYKY St. Louis, has been presented a "CBS Golden Ticket", a tasty chocolate snack and a shiny red thing as a reward for his completion of the Dale Carnegie personnel management seminar.
Make friends with your employees, he learned, and try not to slice their throats.
Tuesday 04-01-08: Billy Greenwood, still sitting in on The Bull ... for Craig Cornett says, "This crap is getting old. The guy has a cold. That's about it, and he's using his f**king rinovirus to get all this godd**ned time off. Asshat. Choke on this, Cornett!"
CCU management responded: "We're trying to go private. Leave us alone or lend us some money. Use Kleenex and hand sanitizer."
Tuesday 04-01-08: STL Business Journal changes paper's format ... to all-restaurant and fast-food reviews.
Publisher Ellen Sherberg says "The internet covers biz news faster and more reliably than some dumb ol' weekly newspaper so we might as well just hone in on what and where gets your lunch and dinner expense money."
Sherberg told STLMedia that their new subscription premiums will include free appetizers at bars throughout South St. Louis ("You know those little deep-fried thingies with corn in them? I really like them," Sherberg said), coupons for the McDonald's Red Box video rental unit and Whopper Cards from Burger King.
Tuesday 04-01-08: KTRS' Tim Dorsey seen huddling with ... some other big deal business guy at Beffa's. Nothing to do with business, they just huddled, probably to get warm. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Previous entries back to 2003 are available here.