Previously on The Front Page...Jul/Aug/Sep 2008

Tuesday 09-30-08: Bob Heil remembers Stan Kann ...
   It has been a very sad day for me. I received word this afternoon from Dave Schoenborn of the Lincoln Theatre in Belleville that Stan Kann, one of America's great theatre organists, my teacher, mentor and friend passed away this morning at the age of 83. I just can't believe this has happened.
   At the age of 14, Stan took me under his wing, taught me the theatre style and all of the ins and out of that magnificent St. Louis Fox Wurlitzer. A month before my 16th birthday, Stan brought me in as his substitute and that changed my life.
   For twelve years, I was a professional organist playing 6 nights a week - at the Fox and in several restaurants around St. Louis - one that I had built and installed a theatre pipe organ. Without the guidance and teachings from Stan I would not be where I am today.
   Comment here.

Tuesday 09-30-08: Cusamano out at Sports 101.1 before he's in ...
   Now that Frank Cusamano just signed a "multi-year" deal with KFNS (wondering how that contract's written in terms of assignability -- if the station is sold, then what for Frank?), Coach K's latest person of interest is a well-known sports voice with ties to SLU's athletic program. Don't be surprised by a development there soon.
   And it appears a deal to bring JC to Bonneville's new sports station was thisclose. A variety of factors played into both sides shelving the deal, at least for now.
   In the meantime, Randy Karraker is telling those close to him he's a lock for one of the two drives.
   Comment here.

Tuesday 09-30-08: Erection at KTRS ...
   Secret Squirrel's still giggling at that headline.
   Dorsey must have scratched up a few bucks someplace. KTRS has finally started constructing two new towers. As of 9-29, the bottom half is up and the gin poles are attached to prepare for the rest. No free standers, just regular ones.
   Presumably that would mean the two new towers would be guyed, as opposed to the older self-supporters that survived the storm.
   Comment here.

Tuesday 09-30-08: Hipperson follows the News Department out the door at KTRS ...
   A confused listener wrote last night:
   Not a media person, but what's up at KTRS? Is Joe Hipperson all of a sudden out? He was telling everyone Thursday night that he was going full time starting tonight (Monday Sep 29th). Schedule shows the 9pm to midnight slot as Hipp Nights with Joe Hipperson but tonight's programming has the syndicated program The Adam Corella Show airing during the 9pm hour. FYI - The 10pm hour has just began and it's back to Adam's show.
   This morning came the clarification:
   Joe Hipperson is now longer on 9pm-midnight at KTRS. He has been replaced by the Adam Carolla Show. Joe will still be on with FOP. It was a budgetary move.
   At least now we know how the two new towers were (partially) funded. And a free recorded 18-hour old show is much easier to manage than a guy like Hipperson.
   Comment here.

Tuesday 09-30-08: The boy's nose was out of joint, is what that was all about ...
   Some of the circumstances relating to the departure of Crane Durham from KFTK are coming to light and point in the direction of his becoming increasingly frustrated with his former partner. The whole thing may have hit an impasse on their broadcasts from the recent conventions when it was Allman's pre-recorded interviews that got played back on the air at a significantly greater number than Durham's. Crane, feeling slighted, remarked "I just couldn't work with Jamie anymore." Emmis appears to be in no hurry to add a player to their morning show anytime soon.
   Comment here.

Tuesday 09-30-08: KMOX's Jackie Paulus is going to WGN ...
   Here's the memo from Tom Langmyer to his staff at WGN:
   I am pleased to announce that Jackie Paulus will join WGN Radio on October 6th in the new position of Director, Marketing & Digital Innovation, reporting to me.
   In this role Jackie will lead our marketing team, while building a strong new interactive department. She will be responsible for taking full advantage of the content from all Tribune brands, adding new technologies, and leading the whole staff to greater involvement in our digital effort, which is critical to our success. She will also lead in the creation of revenue-based digital programs and NTR initiatives for sales. Jackie’s first project will be to work with our team at WGN and with Tribune Interactive to build the new website.
   Jackie joins us from CBS Radio, where she was Director of Marketing, Digital & NTR for KMOX Radio in St. Louis. She also served as the head of the marketing council for CBS Radio's News/Talk Stations Group. Before joining KMOX in 2001, Jackie was an Internet account manager for TMP Worldwide. She began her career in marketing & promotions for the Memphis Redbirds professional baseball team.
   A native of Burlington, Iowa, Jackie graduated Cum Laude from the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelors' degree in Marketing (Emphasis: Advertising & Sales). She is a Certified Digital Marketing Consultant and also a Facilitator for Brainstorming/Creative Thinking and Planning. She is also involved in the community, having served as a board member or provided support to the St. Louis Sports Commission, Winning Women, Giant Steps, March of Dimes, Ronald McDonald House, United Way of Greater St. Louis, St. Louis Senior Olympics, Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club, the NCAA Final Four and Christmas in St. Louis.

   Comment here.

Sunday 09-28-08: Good for Dave Sinclair ...
   Chad Garrison writes in the RFT:
   Sinclair Pulls Advertising From Post-Dispatch
   Auto dealer Dave Sinclair has pulled his advertising from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch following the paper’s controversial decision to outsource some of its advertising typesetting jobs to India.
   Sinclair tells Riverfront Times that he canceled all his ads for the next four to five weeks. "It’s going to cost them $25,000 to $30,000," says Sinclair, who in television commercials encourages the public to "buy American."
   "I'm not trying to be a rabble-rouser, but I wanted to make my point clear. Here we are talking about jobless rates in the United States and they’re shipping jobs overseas."
   News of Sinclair's boycott first made news last week when anonymous tipsters inside the Post-Dispatch alerted reporter Kevin Madden of the St. Louis/Southern Illinois Labor Tribune. A week earlier (September 11) Madden had reported of the daily's plans to lay off five typesetters in September and another six in October.
   Typesetters with the Post-Dispatch are members of the Communication Workers of America (Local 6300) and until now had done all their work in-house at the paper. According to the Labor Tribune, some of the paper's typesetting jobs will now be outsourced to a shop in India owned and operated by KCS Express, a California company that specializes in "world class offshore advertising production for newspapers."
   "I'm old. I’m a 1928 model," says Sinclair in reference to the year he was born. "But I just don't get it. Now we got foreign investors buying up our banks. In ten years, you wonder what will be left. I'm just trying to do what I can."
   Kevin Mowbray, publisher of the Post-Dispatch, could not be reached for comment. The typesetting layoffs come the same month that the Post-Dispatch fired five longtime editors. As Riverfront Times reported earlier this month, the daily has cut more than 200 positions since Lee Enterprises acquired the paper in June 2005.

   Comment here.

Saturday 09-27-08: 101.1 Sports Talk will not air potty talk ...

   You really need to read this interview of Teflon John Kijowski by Dan Caesar.
   John Kijowski, who runs the FM station owned by Bonneville International that he is converting from a dance-music format to sports talk on Jan. 1, said the current trend of "guy-talk'' in many slots at his two primary competitors won't be tolerated at WMVN (101.1).
   "We will be absolutely a 100 percent sports-talk station,'' he said. "Talk about bimbos, hookers on our air? No way. There's no need to dumb it down. Just because you're a guy doesn't mean you have to talk about that stuff. We will take a local, regional and national approach to mature sports talk.''

   Mature sports talk may be an entirely new format in US radio.
   Read it all here or here and comment here.

Friday 09-26-08: WHCO/AM1230, in Sparta IL ...
   (just a hair East of Red Bud and South of Marissa), is looking for two sales pros with some on-air ability and/or experience. Take a look at their media kit (in PDF) and then contact GM John Scheper by email or by phone at 636-295-0670 or 877-443-1230.
   Hint to jobseekers: you can make some fairly good bucks in a small market, if you're willing to work hard, wear a couple hats and marry the community.

Thursday 09-25-08: 101.1 Sports Talk falling apart already?
   Secret Squirrel spews: Apparently Frankie C. is wavering on his decision to go to 101.1. A morning show shift after doing 10pm news? Plus, he's not really a morning drive kind of talent. Also, Burwell is rumored to be his co-host. That' really, really bad decision by management. Long story short is that Frank to 101.1 all of the sudden isn't a done deal.
   Barrett as the PD? Listen to the 1380 promo and see what the competition thinks of this hire.
   Karraker in PM Drive? Yawwwwwwwwwwwn!
   Even with an inferior signal, 1380 has a far superior lineup with McKernan & Co. in mornings, Kilcoyne from 10-12, Slaten from 12-3 and Bernie in PM Drive. And all those guys are supposedly locked into contracts. Slaten's deal is only 90 days, but he'll make more dough with his Frank O. Pinion-esque deal than he ever could at Barrett's batallion.
   KFNS, on the other hand, is close to being sold - a lot closer than anyone knows.
   If this continues to play out the way it appears to be headed, then Kijowski will be gone by mid-2009.

   Mike's comments: Bonneville has one chance to make this a success. The station absolutely has to hit the ground in full-battle mode on Day 1. If the troops are not trained and rehearsed (yes, rehearsed, and that means dry runs, off the air) and confident in their leadership, if armaments (shy of any PxP deals) are not completely in place, if their marketing strategies and budgets are not clearly defined and understood by everyone and if the company is not 2000% supportive of the effort, it will fail and it will fail quickly.
   Taking what amounts to the biggest FM signal in the market to Sports Talk is a huge gamble in any arena, but especially so in a provincial market like STL that thrives on localism.
   Out-of-town talent and management can succeed here (most all of us came from somewhere else) but only if they immerse themselves in a deep personal study of what makes the market and the listeners here tick. Call it STL101.
   I don't know if Barrett has the chops for this gig; his time in STL hasn't shown anymore than a perfunctory understanding of the market and the talent at hand.
   And by the way: Randy Karraker may not be a headliner, but he damned sure is the cheese on the pizza, the layer that makes the meats and the veggies work together. Tom Casey is the same kinda guy, just to a slightly lesser extent (only because of somewhat less experience). A smart PD would bring both of them into the prep and decision making process.
   A smart PD would use Jim Holder's experience as a daily "Paul Harvey on Sports" sort of commentary. Two 3 to 5 minute shots a day, broadcast and podcast, from Holder, sold to different sponsors, would pay his salary and make the station money.
   And a smart PD would never hire TV people out of their time element or newspaper people who have a rep for dissent or troublemaking.
   And as far as Teflon John Kijowski not lasting through 2009, well, if what I've heard from his previous employees and current associates is only half true, Coach K is way too slick to have placed himself in the position of blame for any failure.
   Kijowski is just Bill Viands for the 21st Century without the blue hair.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 09-24-08: I expected the Earth to move yesterday ...
   ...when Bonneville finally announced what I've been telling you would happen for the last few months, that they're taking their newly-refurbished-for-millions 101.1FM signal to all-sports after the first of the year.
   I got a bunch of phone calls and emails but nothing that would equate to the market-shaking news this should have delivered.
   Read the press release, in PDF.
   What I already know:
   101 will air at least two major dayparts with local talent and the rest will be ESPN syndication, at least initially. I know who the morning and afternoon drive talents will be and I've spoken or corresponded with many others who have interviewed for positions on the station.
   101 will sign the Rams as their first PxP team (CC is so eager to get out of that contract on KLOU you can't believe it), and will go after the Cardinals, who have NO loyalty to Tim Dorsey's KTRS/AM550. You can't be a REAL sports station with fewer than two PxP deals.
   101 will finally force the idiots at Big League Broadcasting out of the market and crawling back to their Tennessee homebase, pillaging as many of the decent sports talent from that mess as they can, for whatever part-time use they can put them to. As for Simmons, who knows?
   101 will throw Christmas music into the mix as soon as they reasonably can, tossing the station into the Holiday Hoo-Hah and effectively cancelling out the KEZK Christmas advantage.
   Here's "Teflon John" Kijowski's memo on the new PD:
   TO: All Bonneville St. Louis Radio Group Employees
   FROM: John Kijowski, VP/Market Manager
   DATE: September 22, 2008
   RE: New Program Director for the new 101.1 Sports Talk!
   Please join me in welcoming to the new 101.1 Sports Talk station, Jason Barrett as the Program Director. Jason comes to us with a great deal of talent and highly recommended. Jason worked for KFNS from June 2006 until March 2008 where he worked as the Program Director. Prior to KFNS he worked for a Sports Talk station in Philadelphia (WPEN). Jason also worked as the Lead Producer for ESPN’s ‘The Dan Patrick Show’ as well as the Lead Producer for ESPN’s ‘Game Night’.
   Jason’s first day will be tomorrow, Tuesday, September 23, 2008. He will sit in the programming office near the Web Department. Please stop by and give him a warm Bonneville welcome!

   Mike's response:
   Hoo, boy, did Coach K ever make a mistake on this decision. Barrett's tenure at WIP/Philadelphia was measured in months and his experience at KFNS was measured in bodies. Unless he's gone through some serious counselling and radio re-education, he's no more capable of being a real PD than Tasha, the STLMedia WatchDog. At least she can follow the ball and chase the laser dot.
   And wasn't Barrett going back East to be with his kids or something? Looks like he may be the luckiest boy in the world.
   Here's "Teflon John" Kijowski's memo on the new format:
   TO: All Bonneville St. Louis Radio Group Employees
   FROM: John Kijowski, VP/Market Manager
   DATE: September 22, 2008
   RE: WMVN – 101.1
   As you will see from the attached press release that will go out today, Movin is switching formats in January 2009 to Sports Talk.
   This is purely a business decision based on growth and profitability. I would like to thank Jules Riley for programming Movin as the best sounding Movin station in the country. The market’s appetite for this music simply is not as strong as we would have hoped for.
   Unfortunately, decisions like this sometimes mean having to say goodbye to some employees that have worked very hard for us in the past…Scott Burwell, Mike Jennewein, Steph Duran, Eric Schmidt, Annie Wilson, Judi Diamond and Scott Hasick will all be leaving Bonneville St. Louis Radio Group.
   I cannot even begin to tell you how much I appreciate the work these people have done and truly hope for all the best for each of them in the future.
   We will be eliminating the Director of Sales position and will be reducing the number of sales managers, thus eliminating a sales management position as well. These positions will not be replaced.
   I know there will be a lot of questions so please join me in the main conference room today at 3:00P for a question and answer meeting. If you cannot make the meeting, please feel free to see me, email me or call me.

   Mike's response:
   What can I say? Bonneville fired everybody they could to cover their costs and the expected losses for the next year.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 09-24-08: And now the Enquirer's facing bankruptcy ...
   What will you read in the supermarket checkout?
   Generoso Pope Jr., the MIT-educated founding father of America's guiltiest pleasure, was stuck behind a long line of rubberneckers gawking at the scene of an auto accident when inspiration struck. There might be a market for a newspaper trafficking in blood and guts. The stories would be short and graphic—newswire copy with pulp flourishes. And so the National Enquirer was born...
   Comment here.

Wednesday 09-24-08: Another media writer heads out the door ...
    Longtime Chicago Sun-Times television/radio columnist Robert Feder announced today he is leaving the paper within the "next few weeks." He's covered the local broadcast scene since 1980.
   In his column today, Feder says he's taking a buyout as part of an agreement between the paper and his union. His departure leaves the Chicago Tribune's Phil Rosenthal as the last of the Windy City's big newspaper TV columnists.
   "The more I thought about it," Feder writes of his decision, "the more I came to see it as a great opportunity...I'll be able to take a break, step back and think about what else I want to do...
   "One reason I stayed as long as I have in this job is that it was such a perfect fit. I'd been fascinated by the inner workings of the media for as long as I can remember. While other kids grew up worshiping rock stars or athletes, my idol was Walter Cronkite, the great CBS News anchorman...
   "But times change, and covering the minutiae of the broadcast business isn't as much fun as it used to be...I'd rather leave too early than stay too late.

   Comment here.

Tuesday 09-23-08: Just say no to AFTRA ...
   From Tom Taylor:
   Isn’t it time to look at streaming all of a station’s programming – instead of substituting commercials?
    This is another story from the NAB Radio Show in Austin, and it’s a subject that radio tends to avoid. KOIT, San Francisco programmer Bill Conway comes up to the mic at the Thursday morning group heads breakfast to say this: “We pay an enormous amount of money” to handle all the substitution and creation of additional content that goes between the songs, on his station’s Internet stream.
   The issue comes down to another kind of cost – talent cost for some agency-produced spots, which means most of them are automatically not simulcast online. That means #1, Arbitron won’t count the stream as a simulcast with high-performing soft AC KOIT.
   And #2, Sometimes the experience of listening online to a bunch of subbed-in PSAs and other content isn’t the most fun – it’s just not like listening to the station itself. Conway’s not against selling separate ads and the income that generates. But he says after investigating it, “only about 10% of commercials can’t be streamed”, because of union talent-fee concerns.
   CBS Radio’s Dan Mason responds that “the first thing is to get through the misinformation out there – as an industry, we can do a much better job” with the whole issue. But almost nobody’s thinking about it, and the on-air and online programming continues to diverge. Maybe that’s inevitable, but it didn’t have to turn out that way.

   Comment here.

Tuesday 09-23-08: I started hearing the same story in my head, but with CC, CBS, Bonneville ...
   CEO murdered by mob of sacked Indian workers
   Corporate India is in shock after a mob of workers bludgeoned to death the chief executive who sacked them from a factory in a suburb of Delhi.
   Lalit Kishore Choudhary, 47, the head of the Indian operations of Graziano Transmissioni, a manufacturer of car parts that has its headquarters in Italy, died of severe head wounds on Monday after being attacked by scores of laid-off employees, police said. The incident, in Greater Noida, followed a long-running dispute between the factory’s management and workers demanding better pay and permanent contracts.

Tuesday 09-23-08: It's the message, stupid, not the medium ...
   When will the record companies learn?
   Record Labels to Sell Music on Memory Cards
   Just as vinyl once gave way to compact discs as the main physical medium for music, could CDs be replaced now by a fingernail-sized memory card? Perhaps not entirely, but SanDisk Corp., four major record labels and retailers Best Buy Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are hoping that albums sold on microSD memory cards will at least provide an additional stream of sales. The companies unveiled plans Monday to sell memory cards loaded with music in the MP3 format, free of copy protections.
   See, here's the thing: I got a box full of thumb drives, up to 16gigs, and players with huge storage. Now what I need is access to reasonably priced music that I'd like to buy. Amazon and iTunes and the rest are OK, but, at a buck a tune, expensive.
   Music people, think this through, will ya?
   Comment here.

Monday 09-22-08: The news must go on ...
   Apparently, this guy on a Greek Internet station dumped his ashtray in the trashcan a little too early. But, bless his heart, he was bound and determined to get through the 'cast. Good thing he had a buddy nearby...

Weekend 09-19/20-08: I'm terribly disappointed ...
   Weeks ago this radio webmonkey, too scared to own up to his work with his real name, promised to "put this d**k in his place once and for all."
   That d**k would, of course, be me.
   He's managed to round up three dozen or so of his MySpace friends to show their solidarity, but only three have felt compelled to present their case online, none, of course, over their real names.
   Dang, I say. And I wonder why the radio biz is going down the pooper. These new guys can't even hate properly.
   C'mon, MySpace guy -- Bring.It.On!
   I've faced off with big-deal lawyers and corporate execs and won every time. You're just a slice of sponge cake.
   Comment here.

Weekend 09-19/20-08: Hopefully, there's a range day in my near future ...
   Plans are to spend a few hours in the great outdoors early next week, breaking in some pistols and that kind of thing.
   Blowin' stuff up and punching high-velocity holes in things is such a red-state guy thing, dontcha know?
   Comment here.

Weekend 09-19/20-08: Nick Barrale wants to come home ...
   Nick writes: I have been broadcasting baseball at the minor league level for five years now. I am a St. Louis native trying to make my way back to STL. The team I was working for told me they have no plans for radio right now in 2009 so I am left looking for a job. Here's Nick's website.

Weekend 09-19/20-08: Apologies to Brian Krueger, KMOX LSM ...
   ...for confusing him with KTRS ND Brian Kelly in a recent entry here. As Mr. Krueger wrote yesterday: Currently I am the Local Sales Manager at KMOX, however, the day is still young.
   Sometimes my giant brain gets ahead of my typing skills. And sometimes I just have an attack of the stupids asshats. Your call.
   Comment here.

Friday 09-18-08: Out the door at KMOX ...
   Secret Squirrel offers this: Things must be bad at CBS. A memo came out from Steve Moore today stating that KMOX marketing director Jackie Paulus "is leaving to pursue other endeavors." That sounds like a nice way to say "budget cuts at CBS." She is VERY good. That is a big surprise.
   OTOH, there's this: Jackie left on her own. She's going to be replaced and the position was not eliminated. What's with all the jumping to conclusions??
   As I've often said, your call.
   Comment here.

Friday 09-18-08: Woo-hoo!! Been trying to get this remodeling done for a few years, but it's always been something else getting in the way. The custom cabinets and marble counter top are done and will be delivered early next week, and we'll have a whole new master vanity at STLMedia HQ by the end of next week!
Friday 09-18-08: Randy Raley wants you to sell for him ...
   Randy's the Market Manager for Great Plains Media stations in Bloomington/Normal IL. He writes:
   I am looking for some decent sellers. If you know anyone who knows anything about radio, have a great attitude and are looking to learn how to sell radio correctly, let me know. Attitude is 80% of the game, if they have that, I'll train them on the rest. We have a very comprehensive, intense training regimen (the best I have ever seen), but once done, they will be ready to hit the streets with confidence and attitude.
   Bloomington/Normal is a great small city with a recession proof economy and is a nice place to live. List provided.

   Randy's stations include 107.7 The Bull, Cities 92.9 and Eagle Classic Rock.
   Touch base with Randy here.

Friday 09-18-08: Apologies to users of Charter Internet ...
   It seems that emails from my regular account to anything or anyone at a address are being blocked by some nefarious digital process.
   I'm being forced to contact and respond to Charter users using my super-secret ultra-stealth email addy and all that cut-and-paste stuff takes time.
   Interestingly, men named Dorsey also spent some years at and borrowed some money from a company named Charter and they may have something to do with this residual horsehockey that lessens your ability to read and recieve communications from this website.
   If this is an issue for you, please contact your Charter rep and insist that my email addy be removed from their blacklist.
   Of course, I wouldn't use Charter for anything digital, even on a bet.

Friday 09-18-08: Speaking of KTRS/2 ...
   Along with Steve Klotz and Craig Andrews, I now find out that newsbabe Melanie Streeper was also tossed out of the KTRS News camper. That leaves exactly two news people on staff at the Big 550: ND Brian Krueger Kelly and Victoria Babu, who also anchors and co-anchors various talk shows.
   Secret Squirrel says that KTRS now offers NO evening news and NO outside reporters
   A sad, but regular turn of events for the station, which has, for more than a decade used their supposedly vaunted news department as a way to balance the station budget.
    I remember meeting with the news staff about my proposed internet news initiative in the Joan Beuckmann days and there were people in chairs, sitting on desks and standing around, all eager to end the meeting and get on to covering...NEWS!
   Cell phones were beeping, recorders were rolling, actualities were making...
   No more, it seems. I bet it's pretty quiet in the newsroom at Westport these days.
   Comment here.

Friday 09-18-08: Speaking of KTRS ...
   I can't find anything on the FCC website that says that the Commission renewed their authorization to operate with two towers/1250 watts at night since expiration in March 2008.
   I admit that I'm not the best with the FCC's search apparatus, but others have made a stab at it, too, and we've all come up blank.
   So, does this mean that the station is operating without authorization? And that their PD, Chick Manly, told me a big ol' fib when he promised that the four towers would be restored by the start of Winter?
   I gots ta know...did he shoot four rounds or only two?
   UPDATE: Hooray, they're legal: MB contributor Colonel Flair found it on the FCC website. They're good through March 18, 2009.
   Comment here.

Thursday 09-18-08: Karen Vail out at KTRS ...
   Karen, who'd worked with Frank O. Pinion and his Large Morning Show In The Afternoon in various incarnations for the last fifteen years, parted with the show after Wednesday's airing.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 09-17-08: I told ya so, months ago ...
   But you all told me how wrong I was. Now it's happened. Sam Zell is closing his tiny little fist, having accepted that his purchase of the Tribune properties was an incredibly stupid move and now tries to save a dollar here and there by crunching TV ops together.
   Meanwhile, Tribune exec Randy Michaels continues to try and make the newspapers profitable and more readable by hiring old radio people.
   Yup. that's gonna work. "And the pages just keep on comin'."
   For no reason at all.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 09-17-08: Hey! I got a GREAT idea! ...
   Let's all get beered up and drive around shootin' stuff!
   Okay, let's not.
   But if you're a target-shooting or handgun enthusiast, maybe you'd feel inclined to join me on an STLMedia Range Day.
   Just putting it together now, and there aren't that many ranges available or very many decent-weather weekends before the cold stuff sets in.
   It'll be on a weekend, and it'll include rental for eye- and ear-protection and lunch; guns and gun rental and ammo, you're on your own.
   Cost per person would depend on total participants, but I'm lookin' at no more than $40 per person.
   I'm in, with Son Jason and Grandson Christopher. You?
   Email me here.

Wednesday 09-17-08: Kevin McCarthy to NextTrip OM ...
   STLMedia OldDog Kevin McCarthy, who has carved out a niche online and on the air in travel-related news, has taken the OM reigns at 24/7 travel-program syndicator features live talk programming about all types of travel information and entertainment and is now available for syndication.
   Contact OM Kevin McCarthy for scheduling info.

Wednesday 09-17-08: Joe Potatoes not thinking about the future ...
   What the hell's the matter with the Heartland? And those old people?
   Read this story: U.S. regulators are unprepared for an expected surge in demand for government help from consumers needing to switch their television sets from analog to digital, a government report said on Tuesday. Congress ordered the switch, to go into effect next February, to free public airwaves for emergency uses, such as for police and fire departments.
   Don't know what the odds are on something like this, but I'd put a couple bucks on the digital debut being delayed just a bit, and blamed on the intransigence of Americans.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 09-17-08: Emmett McAuliffe can finally get a nap ...
   Hi Mike: I want you to know that I resigned my KMOX show. My last Emmett McAuliffe Program will be overnight Friday/Saturday 2-5 a.m. 9/20. After 12 years of trying to sleep and wake at different times during the week, I had developed Circadian rhythm sleep disorder. KMOX says they will keep me on staff as a fill-in for shifts that end at least by 2a.m.
   I completely understand. It's not like I've never had any sleep of luck to our buddy EMcA.

Wednesday 09-17-08: Metro layoffs roll the grief downhill ...
   It's not bad enough that the company threw hundreds of employees across the country under the bus; now the fallout is becoming evident as the remaining employees have to struggle to cover the contracted work product.
   Here's an edited journal from a Metro employee in an unnamed market 'splaining what the new days are like:
   ... ah, but you don't know how funny it all is. well, "funny" in a black comedy sort of way. so -- i get to keep (redacted), but i lost my two-hour shift on (redacted reference to first market) (they divided the two hours between the a.m. and p.m. rush guys). i also lost a suburban station on which i did news. in its place? i'm supposed to be writing (redacted reference to a second market) news in the a.m. through (redacted). problem is, my browser kicks me out every time i go to (redacted) website, so i don't have any stories to (re) write, as of yet. coming soon, though, they say. i start sending (redacted) traffic reports at (redacted), which means i have to get up about 40 minutes earlier. then, starting at (redacted), i do :90 sports reports for (redacted reference to a third market) until noon. i really should have listened to my mother when she told me to go into accounting...but, at least for now, i still have gainful employment. we'll see how long that lasts.
   This can't possibly entrance Metro subscribers who signed on in good faith expecting a quality product and then get half-ass service (not the responsibility of the reporters, but of the bad business judgement of the provider).
   Who's gonna be the first to sue?
   Comment here.

Wednesday 09-17-08: One bad turn doesn't deserve another ...
   Regardless of what you may think of the recent spate of "accusations" and "scandals" launched recently at GOP VP Candidate Sarah Palin, this radio putz in Anchorage needs to be taken to the woodshed:
   Anchorage AM radio host Eddie Burke was been suspended after broadcasting the phone numbers of women involved in organizing a protest rally against Sarah Palin over the weekend, his station manager said today.
   Last week Burke, host of a conservative daily talk show, called rally organizers Charla Sterne and Ilona Bessenyey "socialist, baby-killing maggots," read their phone numbers on the air and encouraged listeners to call them. The women said their voice-mail quickly filled with angry, profane messages, some of them threatening. Burke later apologized for calling them maggots and said he didn't realize he was giving out personal cell-phone numbers.

   Giving out private numbers, unless they've been published elsewhere, is never a good idea.
   On the other hand, I guess it's okay to send emails out to attack by phone a two-way talk radio show (for the second time) on, say, WGN/Chicago, when the host has the cajones to actually present an anti-Obama issue. You make the call.
   Comment here.

Tuesday 09-16-08: The best reason I've heard for keeping the site going ...
   From John King, Senior VP/Operations, Regent Broadcasting:
   I didn’t delete the bookmark and kept checking back….glad to see you’ve changed your mind! More ass hats, insensitive rants, and telling it like it is!
   That's what makes this all worth doing!

Tuesday 09-16-08: Tasha, the STLMedia WatchDog, is watching you ...
Tuesday 09-16-08: Don't know much about Cape radio ...
   ... but Kevin Alfultis thinks his Facebook page offers a great idea (you must have a registered Facebook account to read it or play there) about his fondly remembered SEMO college radio experience.
   KJAQ/Q99 was a little 3,000 watt station licensed to Gordonville but to us it was a Gorilla...that all the other stations took for granted. The little 3,000 station had to work harder and longer...and we had MORE fun doing it!
   Whether you worked for Jim Smith, Ron Voss, Al Sikes, Tom Stine or Mark Rollings you knew that in order to compete and beat the larger competitors you had to be innovative, creative, persistent, and full of vigor.
   Please share your stories, pictures and audio from any Cape station.

   Mr. Alfultis and his compadres have a full-blown website coming soon.

Monday 09-15-08: This would be seriously bad judgement ...
   ... on the part of Bonneville:
   Word is that Movin' 101 is thinking about hiring Jason Barrett as their new PD. Word also has it that many of the individuals they are thinking about for on air slots can't stand Barrett and aren't happy about that move.
   The potential on air personnel have heard the horror stories about Barrett's reign at KFNS and aren't happy that they may be working for a guy who has a reputation for not getting along with his staff. Not to mention the fact that he destroyed KFNS before getting the boot himself.
   Many are also wondering why he hasn't moved back to New York to be with his son, considering that is the reason he gave for leaving KFNS in the first place.

   Comment here.

Monday 09-15-08: Secret Squirrel, who was almost rained out ... pops out of his tiny little FEMA trailer in my backyard with this, 'cause SS loves him some hate mail:
   Yeah, I'm sure you were overwhelmed by people begging you to keep going with the site. Riiight. I figured your pathetic ego wouldn't let you walk away from the attention you so desperately crave. Just keep telling yourself and everybody else how vital you are to St. Louis media. Eventually, you'll convince yourself this is the truth.
   Why do I think this is one of the unthinking morons making stuff up about Sarah Palin? Of course, the sender's too intimidated by me to add his name...

Monday 09-15-08: Wipeout at Westport ...
   KTRS/AM 550, which uses their News department to balance their bank account, has made some changes:
   Cuts in the KTRS newsroom. Full timers Steve Klotz and Craig Andrews have been let go due to budget problems. No replacements will be hired. Brian Kelly stays on.
   Comment here.

Sunday 09-14-08: Doop, doop, doop, lookin' out my backdoor ...
   It's wet and windy but Tasha has to take care of her business, know what I mean? Here's a bit of Hurricane Ike's aftermath in flyover country, recorded, edited and YouTubed just before the power popped out for seven hours. I went back to bed and missed Day Two of my Birthday weekend.
   No yellow cake with chocolate icing for me, one year!
   Comment here.

Sunday 09-14-08: Hurricane Ike remnants suck ...
   Lotsa rain, lotsa wind, lumber down in the yard, thunder and lightning and cable's out.
   Happy birthday weekend to me, huh?
   Comment here.

Saturday 09-13-08: A couple weeks ago I was ready to give it all up ...
   And then the emails and phone calls and in-person comments began.
   I had no idea how many of you, in this market and around the US, were reading the news and commentary here.
   I had no idea how many links there were to this website out there.
   I had no idea how much of the stuff I'd written here was quoted on other sites, even many sites from the Really Smart Guys.
   After all the years I spent paying attention to ratings, I really no longer cared about the metrics. But even more importantly, I completely missed the emotional attachment that so many had developed to a website that one wag characterized as "crack for media people."
   The tipping point was a phone conversation Thursday with a long-time friend (since 1972) who'd gone through much of the same weirdness and convinced me to keep fighting the good fight.
   Thanks, JDC.
   So, albeit a little reluctantly, I'm back on the horse and I'll do my best to ride it into the sunset.
   Don't want your money, don't want your adulation. I just want you to let me know what I'm doing right or wrong and what's going on where you work.
   Now I'm gonna get some sleep, have a Happy Birthday weekend, and then, on Monday, get back to work. Yes, by then I'll probably be pissed about something or other.
   Thanks for allowing me that opportunity, by the way.
   Comment here.

Saturday 09-13-08: Hurricane Ike ...
   Mrs. A and I have kin in Houston; last time a Big One played through he (an oil company engineering exec) and his family took a week in Dallas while the storm played out. Rode the rides, saw the sights, then went home and the kids went back to school and wrote about what they did on their hurricane vacation.
   This time they decided to hunker down and ride it out...
   Read more and comment here.

Saturday 09-13-08: Mrs. A gave me this for my birthday ...
   An I-FOAM! Yay, beer! And please think Happy Anniversary thoughts for out dear little Red Heeler, Tasha, who came to be the STLMedia WatchDog exactly one year ago today.

Saturday 09-13-08: The rumors about Metro cuts were in my inbox ... by the time I got home from Friday's Monthly Meeting. By Friday PM, they'd become reality, with talent like Mark Stevens, Tom Casey, Chris Gardener, Vicki Pimentel and Susan Smith-Harmon kicked off the bus.
   As always, STLMedia offers our bandwidth -- free -- to any and all of those folks displaced for resumés and streaming airchecks. Please email me for details.
   Comment here.

Saturday 09-13-08: They hate me! ... They really, really hate me! Hoo-ah!
   Parody, meet flattery. Thanks to Mick Flanderson and his "minions" for their kind attention to my own self. You know that you've accomplished your goal when something like this pops up. Caution: Bad taste prevails in the bg image.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 08-27-08: A while back ...
   I put out a "casting call" for someone to take over this website once I tired of it.
   I received exactly one response from someone even vaguely qualified and he never responded when I asked for ideas for what he might consider the future of STLMedia.
   So it's obvious that I have no heirs for the eight years of work I've done here, nor is there anyone interested in carrying on the tradition.
   Ya don't want it, ya don't get it. And I've had enough of working for you for free.
   Join me at Reynolds on September 12th for my 60th birthday and farewell party for
   Or not. I'll enjoy my biscuits and gravy with or without you.
   Time for me to move on to other things.
   The STLMedia Message Board will remain in place and that's where I'll direct you to my next projects.
   This is my final entry here. I'll remain active on the MB, of course. See ya there!
   G'bye and thanks for all the fishes.

Monday 08-25-08: Wildlife amongst the crackerboxes ...
   STLMedia's WorldWide HQ is nestled in a 40+ year old subdivision, where the houses exist on 1/3 acre lots. Lots of civilization in a very small space very near the Missouri River and wooded space.
   Last night, on the way home from a late-night grocery run, I nearly ran into a deer on my street.
   No antlers, too small to be a mature fawn, the yearling jumped onto the nearest lawn and indignantly watched me move slowly by. Very cool!
   Gotta start carrying my camera more often...

Monday 08-25-08: Hey, look! There's a tricycle in the lobby ...
   Consultant Ed Shane was the guy who, in 1985, suggested to WIL PD Mike Oakes and GM Craig Magee that I be hired for their morning show.
   In a subsequent phone conversation, discussing the "corporate culture" in place at then-LIN-owned WIL, Shane posited this: "You walk into a radio station lobby and see an adult-sized tricycle parked there. What happens next?"
   My immediate response was that I'd get on it and ride it.
   Ed went on to point out that I was probably in the minority...most folks would look at the trike curiously and then ignore it.
   How 'bout you? Walk into your company's lobby, see a trike. Ride it or ignore it? Why? How about your co-workers?
   Comment here.

Weekend 08-23/24-08: I've spent the last three months ... learning everything I can about home- and self-defense.
   I've studied country-wide issues and asked and read all the experts I can find about handguns, rifles, shotguns and other aspects of HD, including the recreational aspect (target shooting is a gas!).
   So I've created a new Message Board for those of you interested in home protection, target shooting and so on and you might also be interested in taking part.
   Sign up and let's talk.

Friday 08-22-08: Happy birthday, you're fired ...
   Randy Karraker , who just had a birthday, has been dismissed at Simmons' Team 1380/KSLG, along with Producer Iggy Strode. Ever the gentleman, Randy quotes cost-saving as the reason but other sources say the move was made to make way for Kevin Slaten.
   Comment here.

Friday 08-22-08: Marketing & Promotions Director (St. Louis, MO) ...
   Help wanted from Craig's List.

Friday 08-22-08: Local DJ of little consequence garners worldwide honors ...
   Larry Shannon's Radio People of the Day named Z-107's HaZe as such recently. HaZe lives in a downtown loft with his dog Louis...where does he walk the pup? In the hallways? In the stairwells?
   I clicked through and found his page at CC's local site: uninspiring, badly constructed and poorly spelled and punctuated and he says "yo" a lot. Plus HaZe has a crappy haircut and criminally misuses his hair products. But his dog sure is a cutie.
   Is this what "teen appeal" dj's have descended to?
   Comment here.

Friday 08-22-08: My cousin was an Olympic athlete in the '60's ...
   Now I know why.

Friday 08-22-08: Can't wait for the Democrat's Denver convention ...
Friday 08-22-08: Last Winter's ice storm ...
   Kept me and Lucy (The Dog You Could See From Outer Space) at home during the electric failure. Lucy had limited mobility and I decided to stay with her, bundled up and warm for the duration in our home, while Mrs. A and BoyDog went to safer and warmer quarters. It was a nippy couple of days.
   Lucy and BoyDog have since passed over the Rainbow Bridge from age-related illnesses and our current pup, Tasha, at 3 1/2, may be better equipped to handle weather extremes.
   For the coming Winter Farmers’ Almanac predicts below-average temps for most of the U.S.
   The almanac’s winter forecast is at odds with that of the National Weather Service, whose trends-based outlook calls for warmer than normal temperatures over much of the country, including Alaska, said Ed O’Lenic, chief of the operations branch at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
   Regardless of the real outcome, and as a friend of mine has written, I’m laying in more supplies, including food and ammo. If I’m being nothing but a paranoid nutball, I can always find a use for the stuff. And if I’m not, I can - in fact will - find a use for the stuff too.
   The Winter will come after the November elections and regardless of the outcome I'm afraid that there will be social repercussions because of it and that the use of corn to make ethanol instead of cattle feed will increase the price of meat and related food products astronomically.
   We're going to have a tough time ahead, and it's all because of the climate change fraud.
   Comment here.

Friday 08-22-08: 32nd Annual Mid-America Emmy Award Nominations ... The Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominations today for the 2008 Emmy Awards.
Weekend 08-16/17-08: Foxman gets some face time, on Fox2 ...
   Still a little weirded by the music on the KZQZ. Lotsa hits and then lotsa non-recognizable tunes, too. I mean, VERY non-recognizable. I was there when they were hits (or not) and I should know.
   And the air talent, with rare exception, is uniformly bad.
   But I only get to listen in the car and I don't drive that much...
   Is this all just a Romanik vanity project?
   Comment here.

Weekend 08-16/17-08: On the 10th of August ...
   KSHE's HD-2 broadcast the CDB's concert at the Washington MO Fair.
   To what purpose? It was touted as the first HD concert blah blah blah.
   The broadcast reached the fewer (way fewer) than 1000 HD listeners in STL and annoyed the hell out of the pig.
   It was not, as I understand it, streamed live or subsequently on the WWW.
   Look, I love Rich Dalton, who manages the programming of KSHE's HD channels and works like a banshee at it, love him like a brother, but he's shooting bullets at a phantom.
   Live shows, special formats, whatever...HDRadio is just not gonna happen.
   The Cloud, on the other hand, is.
   WiFi, WiMax, EVDO, Edge, 3G...whatever you wanna call it, however it's delivered, the omnipresence of the web is coming, in big waves.
   Near you. And soon. And it'll deliver everything.
   Comment here.

Weekend 08-16/17-08: Don't usually report on outstate radio issues here ...   but this one's kind of unusual.
   KXEO/KWWR Mexico GM Gary Leonard fell while changing a light fixture at his wife's business and wound up with serious spinal injury and subsequent surgery.
   As Gary writes: Stuck inside (for the most part), heavily medicated and watching every movie the local video store has is not really my idea of an ideal way to spend one's entire summer.
   Get well wishes to Gary; I know exactly from my burned-foot adventure in July 2006 how exciting being off your feet for months can be!
   Say hi to Gary Leonard and wish him well here.

Weekend 08-16/17-08: Hope you never hear this ...    Bloomingdale's chief Marvin Traub told Rupert Murdoch that he wouldn't advertise in the New York Post, "Because, Rupert, your readers are our shoplifters."
Friday 08-15-08: So I took a week off ...
   Consider it a vacation, including playtime with my new hobbies and the visit here of a '60's Army buddy who is also the GodFather of my children. Updates and catch-up coming here this weekend.

Wednesday 08-13-08: Hey you, it's Jonnie King's birthday!
   Jonnie's one of the original "up and down the dial" radio guys, with a long, successful track record in STL.
   And in the last year, he's parlayed his passsion for custom cars into a seriously cool website, photos, memories and interviews with lots of the pioneers and stars of the custom car world.
   When you get there, make sure you drop Jonnie a Happy Birthday email!

Friday 08-08-08: KTRS PD Todd Manley replies ...
   The KTRS tower project will be complete before winter arrives in St. Louis. If you have any questions about the project, please feel free to contact our chief engineer, Mike Breitenstein. We're all very excited about returning to the Big 550 signal that existed prior to the storm of 2006.
   I'm sure they're very anxious to see their miserable seriously directional night-time signal back in place.
   No reply yet to these followup questions I sent to Mr. Manley:
   1. What is the status of the lead abatement at your Illinois transmitter site? Is the EPA involved?
   2. What is the status of the escrow account set up by the station's previous owners to pay for that lead abatement? How much money is in that account? Has any of the money in that account been used for other purposes? Has that account been used as equity for a loan for a purpose other than the proposed lead abatement?
   3. CH Holdings, according to FCC records, applied in May 2008 for an extension to their temporary status, to allow nighttime service with just 2 towers at 1250 watts. You say that full night-time service will be restored before 12/21/2008...who has done the necessary engineering certification for the new construction and which of the several antenna companies have you chosen to do the work?
   4. Will you be rebuilding the entire antenna field with new, self-supporting towers, will you be using new guyed towers, or will you be using a combination of these, using the two remaining towers?
   5. Who is your insurance company for the tower field and have they already paid off for the damage? If so, how has the money been spent?
   6. I have heard that your stockholders want to sell off portions of your antenna field for new parking areas for Gateway International. Is that true? If so, how would you accomodate the laying of the ground radials in a redacted tower field?
   7. Have you any intention of moving your towers to a new location? If so, where? And how would that affect your day-time and night-time signal? Would it require you to go directional day AND night and destroy the monstrous regional signal you've had in daylight hours for decades?
   8. Were the recent purchasers of 50% of the station, the STL Cardinals, advised of the potential for lead abatement at your transmitter site and the cost? If so, do you have any documentation of this notification?

   I look forward, Todd, to your reply to these questions.
   Waiting, waiting, crickets chirping...
   Comment here.

Friday 08-06-08: Local blog star in auto accident ...
   Jim Hoft, the hardest working guy in the blogosphere, was in a serious auto accident Tuesday; he's fine and back at work.
   From GatewayPundit:
   Around 6:45 AM CST I was hit by a semi tractor on Highway 70 near the depressed section by the St. Louis Arch.
   The semi tractor pushed my trunk up into my back seat and forced me into the car ahead of me. The semi tractor then smashed me again and busted out the passenger side windows of the car.
   My car was totaled in the accident. The St. Louis emergency medical team strapped me on a backboard and took me to a local hospital where I was checked out and checked out.

Friday 08-08-08: Former WIL PD Mike Oakes ...
   ...lands lightly on his feet as Affiliate Relations Director of the new syndie company Sovereign City Communications.
   The company provides its Oasis AC music format to stations beginning with its flagship evening program "Wendy In Your Oasis," and is preparing a morning program, "Your Morning With Jim & Debbie," for national launch this Fall.
   Oakes has programmed Country, Adult Contemporary and Classic Hits stations in Detroit, St. Louis, Sacramento, West Palm Beach and Jacksonville and worked in Affiliate Relations with the Waitt Radio Networks.
   Mike was one of the guys (including GM Craig Magee and consultant Ed Shane) who brought me to St. Louis in 1985. I'll never forgive any of them!

Friday 08-08-08: Former KTRS morning guy goes undercover, writes book ...
   From All Access' Perry Michael Simon:
   KTAR-F/Phoenix host Darrell Ankarlo's new book "Another Man's Sombrero: A Conservative Broadcaster's Undercover Journey Across the Mexican Border" has hit bookstores nationwide and is already in its second printing.
   The book, published by Thomas Nelson, chronicles Ankarlo's visit to Mexico to talk to Mexican citizens preparing to enter the U.S. and Ankarlo's own experience sneaking back across the border.
   An appearance on Glenn Beck's show pushed the book into a second printing the day after publication. Ankarlo is available to talk about the book on shows across the country; reach him at

   I couldn't stand Ankarlo's 15 minutes on KTRS, but that was probably because he was teamed with the worst female air talent of all time, Francene Cuccinello, who is currently satisfying all of Louisville.
   Ankarlo went on from KTRS to score big hits in Dallas and Phoenix.
   Comment here.

Friday 08-08-08: KDHX rolls out new schedule beginning Monday ...
   From the KDHX website:
   On Monday, August 11, KDHX 88.1 FM will roll out a new program schedule. The first thing you'll notice is that it has lots of familiar voices and shows. You'll also hear some new voices presenting even more kinds of music, and doing so with 88.1 FM's unique passion and independence.
   Here's the new schedule.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 08-06-08: Why no new KTRS towers? Here's why ...
   It's all because of an incredible and potentially lethal disregard for the environment and, perhaps, fiscal impropriety.
   The two magic words are "lead abatement."
   When the station transferred years ago to Tim Dorsey's CH Holdings there was a trust fund (or whatever the financial name of such an arrangement is) set up by the sellers (Combined Communications>EZ Communications>American Radio Systems) to pay for the cleaning of the antenna field of an incredible amount of lead paint that had fallen to the ground from the towers in an area with a high water table.
   This has never been done, to the best of my knowledge. No new antenna construction can begin until the abatement is accomplished. I suspect that this is an EPA thing and trumps the FCC.
   Eventually it will come to a head and one or the other of the agencies will force a fix which will cost millions of dollars, an expense that CH Holdings can ill afford to absorb, that would require deep-digging and a complete reinstall of the ground system.
   I'm willing to bet that the MLB Cardinals, a 50% owner of the station, absorbed with their own Baseball Village issues, have no idea this problem even exists and were never told of it during their due diligence.
   I wonder, though, if the money is still in place as provided by the seller. I can't imagine that someone would be so dishonest as to deplete the bank account for expenses or to use the bank account as equity for a loan.
   It'd be interesting to know.
   But that's why the new towers are not being built.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 08-06-08: Your middle-of-the-week Tasha pinup ...
   Got a great deal on a bunch of non-Chinese manufactured tennis balls and passed the cans of three out to neighbor and family dogs.
   Tasha grudgingly accepts them for play indoors and in daylight when there is no laser dot to chase.
Wednesday 08-06-08: Karmazin smacks his lips and begins to cut ...
   You SatRad subscribers need to read this and see what Uncle Mel has in store for you. A taste from the NYT:
   He has to slash some $400 million in annual costs and seems almost giddy at the prospect.
   “You know, the movie I’m most proud of is ‘Jackass.’ It cost me $6 million and made $100 million.”
   As a result, many of the radio network’s fans and customers are also its owners. “A lot of them are unsophisticated, but they have a passion for the company,” he said.
   Mr. Karmazin hinted he may try to sell Sirius-XM, like he has the ventures he has run before. “I’m not a visionary; I’m an operator,” he said. “And I’ve been a seller. The bankers all want the next transaction.”

   Read it all and comment here.

Tuesday 08-05-08: Wasn't this an Eddie Murphy movie name?
   Reggie Love is Barack Hussein Obama's body man.
   Reggie Love (born June 21, 1981) is the personal aide to 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama.
   Love is known for his career as a forward for the Duke Blue Devils basketball team and played on the 2001 team which captured the national championship, and was a captain of the 2005 team. Love also played wide receiver for the Duke football team, and tried out unsuccessfully with several NFL teams.
   A body man is, in American political jargon, a personal assistant to a politician or political candidate who accompanies the politician or candidate virtually everywhere, often arranging lodging, transportation or meals, and providing companionship, snacks, a cellphone, and any other necessary assistance.
   President Bush's most recent Body Man (1999-2006) is Blake Gottesman.
   Comment here.

Tuesday 08-05-08: First time I heard Shawn Balint on the air ...
   I thought I was still listening to KTRS' ABC News feed. He's that good. Occasionally inconsistent in delivery, Shawn's writing has always been top-notch.
   Monday, Shawn was released by KTRS ND Brian Kelly and PD Todd Manley.
   According to authoritative sources, Brian Kelly was one of two balls being juggled for dismissal late last year; Craig Unger lost the toss and Kelly kept his gig.
   And I've heard from friends in Chicago that Todd Manley has tried at least once to reclaim his former position at WGN but was told "I told you so, and no thanks."
   Shawn Balint is available right now for news anchoring, play-by-play, imaging and voiceovers and you can reach him at
   Two guys who are themselves on tenterhooks get rid of an established station news anchor. Makes sense to me.
   How can KTRS' management walk with all those bullet holes in their feet?
   Comment here.

Weekend 08-02/03-08: I've had about enough of this BS ...
   The stories are rising from the garbage heap again, foisted upon us by news sources like AP, which has a left-wing hook deeply into an anti-any-war stance.
   And I'm sick and g**damned tired of it. I've read them for fifty years and they were and remain bulls**t.
   Read it all and comment here.

Friday 08-01-08: Wonder what a real newspaper radio column is like?
   Robert Feder does a great job in the Chicago Sun-Times, but this irregular taste of radio in the San Francisco Chronicle is, well, special. And, yes, the Woody mentioned is the same Woody we had here, for a while. Thanks to Frank Absher for the link.
   STL newspapers have never had a decent or knowledgeable radio reporter in all my years here.
   Eric Mink was the P-D radio writer when I arrived here, and he expressed his qualification for the job by saying, "Well, I listen." I guess maybe that's good enough. And there was always Jerry Berger, who at least had some contacts.
   And there was the Globe-Democrat revival, and The Sun.
   Gone, gone and gone.
   The St. Louis Journalism Review did, though, offer quality radio review occasionally, especially from writers like Larry Hoffman, Frank Absher and Lynn Vennhaus. But even the most recent AM/FM page writer, market vet Joe Sonderman, has given it up and apparently it's gone from the SJR in favor of more left-wing histrionics.
   Sonderman, Hoffman and Vennhaus are gone, but Frank Absher remains in print, publishing local radio history at SJR, at his STLRadio website and blogging at Arch City Chronicles.
   Cripes, years ago, I worked with a great radio reporter in the paper in Richmond-by-God-Virginia, as her "secret source", feeding her ratings and rumors and inside-industry stories and she produced a great weekly column and occasional radio features, even if I did write most of it myself.
   Oddly, her column disappeared shortly after I left Richmond...
   I guess you're stuck with me!
   Edited and corrected 08-03-08
   Comment here.

Friday 08-01-08: Where do you get your coupons?
   Scarborough Research reports that while Internet coupons are of increasing interest to consumers (11% of households currently obtain coupons via the Internet, increasing 83% since 2005), the Sunday newspaper remains the number one place, at 53%, for acquiring household coupons. Other leading coupon sources include the mail, in-store coupons, preferred customer/loyalty cards, in-store circulars, weekday newspapers, product packages, and magazines. All of the coupon acquisition categories have experienced growth since 2005, however none have grown at the level of Internet coupons.
   Wow. This means that the Sunday newspaper is rapidly lessening its importance to that of a local shopper.
    Comment here.

Friday 08-01-08: E-mak and Dave Duncan, together again ...
   Hunh. Wasn't this E-mak guy the fellow who was made the goat in the Kevin Slaten vs. Dave Duncan issue a while back on KFNS/Fans590, when he was blamed for not telling Duncan he was on the air and subsequently fired?
   Here's a snip from Makovsky's Direct TV show recently wherein he and Duncan have an astonishingly civil conversation.
   Does this mean that Slaten would knowingly throw a co-worker under the bus? Nah, can't be.
   By the way...has anyone ever worked with E-mak on his delivery? It's awful.
   Thanks to Josh Polsky for the audio. Josh wrote: Kind of telling also that the guy involved in that storm that took place at 590 would be on the radio with the guy that took the fall. I guess we know who's fault it isn't.
   Comment here.

Friday 08-01-08: Sam Zell's deal from hell ... That's what Zell himself calls his purchase of Tribune Companies.
   From BusinessWeek: The turnaround maven should have seen the problems ahead in the newspaper industry. His blind side may cost Tribune Co. its very life.
   I think Zell shoulda stayed in real estate. Buying into newspapers in 2008? He shoulda seen it coming.
   Comment here.

Friday 08-01-08: CBS says they'll sell fifty stations ...
   But which 50? I'd assume that they would be the 50 lowest performers of the, what, 500 they own and that would likely not include any of the three in their STL cluster, KMOX, KEZK and KYKY, which are said to regularly outperform their ratings in sales.
   InsideMusicMedia's Jerry DelColliano likens it to a yard sale: Less than a day after Clear Channel retreats into the secret world of private capitalism, CBS drops this bombshell that they are selling 50 assorted mid-sized radio stations but no names are on the list. Bring money and you decide.
   Of course, sales success or not, any property is for sale if three things are in place: a motivated seller, the right sales price, and an eager buyer with ready credit or tons of on-hand cash.
   CBS may be motivated, but buyers and money may be in short supply in an uneasy economy facing a political sea change in just a few months.
   Read more here, here, here and here.
   Comment here.

Friday 08-01-08: David Lipman, former P-D ME, passes ...
   David Lipman, who was managing editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 14 of his 36 years at the newspaper, died Thursday following an illness. He was 77 and had lived in Chesterfield.
   Comment here.

Thursday 07-31-08: KMAC's exclusive Jim White interview ... Here are the two exclusive show segments that Kevin & Sue McCarthy recorded with KMOX late-night legend and STLRadio Hall of Famer Jim White, in streaming MP3.
   Jim was kind enough to join us while on his trip North at our STLMedia Monthly Meeting last Friday. You never know who's gonna show up at one of them!
    Jim White part 1   Jim White part 2.

Thursday 07-31-08: Rejected by YouTube but available as a WMV file here ...
   Click here to download and/or watch this official gun camera video provided by Tony Barbieri. Pass it along as you will.
   This is a video taken inside the cockpit of an A-10 by the pilot and it was a night view. What you see is from 9700 feet away (almost two miles).
   The four terrorists had no clue there was someone watching them from almost 2 miles away. The A-10 was using a 30 mm cannon WITHOUT injuring the dog nearby who escaped unharmed. You can see the gun camera shake a bit as the pilot fires; then count about 4 seconds for the rounds to travel 2 miles.
   Every tenth round is a tracer, so the bullets you actually see are every tenth; they are getting hit with hundreds of rounds, but the dog is unscathed.
   Muzzle velocity on the 30mm is 2430 feet per second. Four fewer guys to blow up women and children!

   Comment here.

Wednesday 07-30-08: It's not the camera, it's the journalism ...
   There's been considerable discussion on the STLMedia MB about the "one-man-band," tv reporters who also do their own audio and photography. In the Army, we called this photojournalism and it was an accepted practice; in the other world, tech unions hate it and fight it like wildcats.
   Don't get me wrong, there are some immensely talented cameramen photographers videographers out there. But the 2008 reality is to get the story and pictures within a tightened budget.
   Here's how one tv station managed to get it done using one of the inexpensive flash video cameras we've discussed here and which I've purchased to teach myself a little video.
   Right place, right time: pull the Flip Ultra outa your pocket, push the red button and start asking questions. It's about the story, kids, not the technology.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 07-30-08: There've been a fair number of "internet radios" ... over the past few years, most of which run wirelessly as an accessory to your 802.xx network; this one is a half-ounce USB plug-in, and it looks pretty cool.
   The Ezonics eRadio provides access to 1000's of Internet radio stations anywhere you have a web connection. I don't know if you can only choose from a predetermined station roster or enter url's for streams you prefer.
   The warranty's only for 90 days but it only costs $40.
   I think maybe I'll wait for Gen2 or 3 on this one, but it's the sort of device that'll shape media listening in the years to come.
   Thanks to Larry Shannon for the heads up.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 07-30-08: April & Nelly, sittin' in a tree ...
   Secret Squirrel 'bout lost his nuts when he heard this:
   Did you happen to witness Ms. April Simpson (who I might add, NEVER smiles on camera) SHOUT out loud Tuesday morning during the local news at about 7:55 am "Jesus Christ" at the top of her lungs, with the mike hot? She was at the "host anchor desk" in-studio and they were bill-boarding the up coming story of U. City rapper Nelly now doing underwear ads.
   When they showed the picture of him to the home viewing audience in his underwear shorts, and no shirt I might add, that's when she yelled out '"Jesus Christ" so loud, I think I would have heard her if I was outside of their building and a block away.

   Comment here.

Wednesday 07-30-08: George Noory becomes his own topic ...
   Coast To Coast AM's Noory drops us an email: How many people can claim to be in two two cities..that's what happened to me....a few months ago...a 5.2 in St. Louis (I was on CNN) then I came to LA..and bang...a 5.4!
   Obviously he's become an Earthquake Magnet, probably caused during one of his (hitherto untold) abductions by aliens. And don't even mention that anal probe thingie!

Wednesday 07-30-08: For newspapers, this year is seen as the industry’s worst since the Depression ...
    From MediaWeek: A recent Pew Research Center survey illuminated the sorry situation. More than half of 259 papers polled reported cutting full-time newsroom staff and the news hole over the past three years. Large dailies have been hit hardest...
   Comment here.

Wednesday 07-30-08: On the upside, newspapers' web sites continue to grow ...
   From MediaDailyNews: The number of unique visitors increasing 12.2% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year, according to the Newspaper Association of America, which pegged it at 66.4 million people. That's over 40% of all Internet users in the United States. The problem? Newspapers can't monetize their online traffic near the level necessary to offset ongoing print losses.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 07-30-08: One more search engine to add to your collection ...
    From BusinessWeek: Just weeks after the last highly touted Google challenger, Powerset, was snapped up by Microsoft, a new one launched Sunday night. Cuil (pronounced “cool”), boasts a Web index three times the assumed size of Google’s, a management team with an impressive pedigree (several people from Google), a different set of algorithms that in part analyze the content of pages, and a radically different presentation of search results.
   Comment here.

Tuesday 07-29-08: A conundrum ...
    In the past thirty years I've recommended a few exceptional students and former employees for gigs. Now I've been asked to speak to the capability of former KTRS PD Al Brady Law for a job, to recommend him, to help him make a living.
   We have a PD opening and Al Brady Law is coming in today and tomorrow for talks. I don’t mean to judge the guy, and I’ve been in the business for almost 30 years myself, but wow...I’m not sure what to make of everything I’m finding on him, which is probably more than our GM is. This isn’t an official inquiry, I’m just another radio guy trying to keep his job.
   I’m just wondering if you have anything else to add on the guy? Not gossip or hearsay, but whether all the stuff I’m reading is pretty accurate. If even part of it is, I really don’t understand how he’d fit in with our operation here. He said he spent the last 6 months in Ireland getting a station up and running...a far cry from Toledo or STL.

   I believe in redemption. Hopefully, ABL has achieved his. I hope his interview goes well and he works out at this gig.

Tuesday 07-29-08: I don't know Craig Cornett, never met the man ...
   I've listened to him, of course, over the years, and have always been impressed with his brand of radio. Yesterday, The Bull's morning man sent me an email touting his show's and the station's Spring ratings, but with a twist:
   I think they shed some light on the decision to bring Jill Devine on the show. I'll tell you honestly that I wasn't consulted about the hire, or even Beau's departure. I was a little skeptical just like most people on the MB, but it didn't take long for her to win me over. Today's numbers prove that she does bring a lot to the table and I was hoping to generate a little recognition for her. A great 1st book for Jill!
   Well, knock me out with an ASP!
   Here's a major-league morning talent, actually deferring credit to his sidekick for ratings success.
   I've been in radio, with a few breaks, since 1966, and I can honestly say that the number of times I've heard this happen in all those years I can count on the fingers of one hand.
   Craig Cornett is an honorable guy and I'm thoroughly impressed.
   Comment here.

Tuesday 07-29-08: Thin skin alert, Part 2 ... Somebody who lives in his Mom's basement didn't like the sendup I wrote (below) around the unflattering photo of Madonna...
   you of all people are taking shots at peoples appearance? are you kidding? youre as ugly on the outside as you are on the inside and you have the gall to take shots at someone elses looks? thats pretty nervey.

   I'm ugly and he's a moron. Life's just a series of tradeoffs...

Tuesday 07-29-08: Prediction ... If the US economy officially enters into a recession (which requires two successive quarters of negative growth and we haven't yet had even one) look for Old Media ad spending to get thrown right off the bus and monies directed at web development and advertising to continue unabated, and even increase because that's where the ears and eyes are.
   Some major metro newspapers and magazines will cease publication, and radio and tv will begin offering previously-unimaginable discounts and bonusing on the schedules they're able to sell.
   That, in turn, will affect the content and quality of all programming. It'd be difficult for the big radio owners to cut any further but they will nonetheless find a way to take it deeper to the bone; tv will (and, in many markets, already has) dump non-PxP sports coverage and highly-paid anchors and reporters.
   Outdoor will suffer, but only on long-haul routes; commuter road placements will remain unless the cost of gas approaches $5 a gallon and commuters go to three- or four-day weeks or telecommuting.
   I think we're approaching a tipping point in ad spending anyway, an evolutionary step in the way things are done; a negative economy will only move it along a little faster.
   Comment here.

Tuesday 07-29-08: Spring Arbitron 12+ observations/ruminations ...
   Numbers here
   KMOX' braggin' rights to holding the 12+ top slot since dirt was rocks may be in jeopardy; some pundits say it'll lose the perch by the end of the year. Maybe not.
   The station most likely to knock the Mighty 'MOX out of the top spot is co-owned KEZK, and they have a traditionally soft Summer book. EZ's Santa Surge will be reflected in the Fall '08 book, that ends 10 December. If it happens, it'll be then and reported in early '09.
   As far as everybody else is concerned...
   WIL grew 4.6-5.5 recovering from its worst book in more than two years. KSD rose from 13t-9t, ending a three-survey skid.
   The Arch and Z107 are up, and KTRS jumps significantly and as expected in a "baseball book."
   KLOU's up a point, KSHE's back to the mid-4's. Majic's up a half-point and The Bull is up, slightly.
   Movin' continues to hover in the low 2's and KFNS AM/FM slip 1.4-.8.
   Comment here.

Monday 07-28-08: Only KMAC got the interview ... with the legendary Jim White. After our STLMedia get-together, Jim was offered a bunch of radio appearance opportunities. To all of them he said a resounding NO except for an exclusive chat with Kevin McCarthy. We'll have audio soon.
Monday 07-28-08: Pop singer Madonna ... has signed for the secondary role of Popeye in the coming transgender remake of Robert Altman's hugely unsuccessful 1980 flick of the cartoon hero.
   The new movie, to be titled Tim Burton's Olive Oyl, stars Johnny Depp as Olive Oyl (around whom the film will be centered) and includes Kathy Bates as Bluto and Bea Arthur, coming out of retirement, as Poopdeck Pappy.
   A new character for this version, played by Helena Bonham Carter, will be Olive Oyl's estranged brother Canola who was adopted out of the family and moved through a number of careers, becoming a millionaire.
   SPOILER: Popeye will die from eating spinach poisoned by picker poop.

Weather radar when the power came backTasha does NOT like thunder
Monday 07-28-08: Ack and, in fack, double and triple ack ...
   This'll teach me to pay less attention to local weather forecasts than Ice Road Truckers.
   My neighbor called me about 9:30PM Sunday night and alerted me to the coming weather; I did a quick store run and got into the garage minutes before it hit. The power went out just after 10:30PM.
   Mrs. A and I sat in the dark office with flashlights talking and harrumphing in the dark; she went to bed after a bit and I opted to stay up with Tasha, the STLMedia WatchDog, who is terrified of thunder.
   Power came back about 12:15AM. Image at left, above, is the way the radar looked then; at right, the way Tasha composed herself for the duration. Brave little ACD!
   How'd you do and how's your fam?
   Comment here.

Saturday 07-26-08: No Glocks for me, one year ...
   I bought a Taurus ACP .45 a couple weeks ago at BassPro in St. Charles; the Taurus is a nice weapon, well machined and reviewed.
   Then Jason and I did a walk through at Cabela's at St. Louis Mills.
   Worlds of difference.
   Friday I sold my 12gauge Mossberg Persuader back to Cabela and earned a sufficient credit to buy a S&W 637 Airweight .38 Police Special.
   The Taurus .45 is stashed upstairs with two clips and the S&W .38 is hidden in the office, loaded with hollow point and ready to rock and roll, with a .410 Mossberg HS500 pump shotgun handling any business inbetween, with alternate shot and shell.
   Comment here.

Saturday 07-26-08: Back when I was hiring ... I looked as much for the talent's desire to succeed as their skills.
   Here's an aircheck from a Lindenwood College kid who wants more than anything to make a career in radio.
   Chad's kinda laid back but my experience with him is that he's directable and amenable to whatever it takes. At least listen to him; at best, you could email him and let him know how he can make himelf a product you'd want to bring on board.
   That presumes, of course, that there's a talent director somewhere out there who can critique this guy fairly.
   Otherwise, blame yourself for losing the next layer of talent.

Friday 07-25-08: Was Ron Elz' recent tryout on KMOX ... an audition for him taking over the Route 66 show begun by Randy Raley, who's shifted into station management for Jerry Zimmer's stations in Illinois? Guess we'll know tomorrow night.
Friday 07-25-08: If you're one of the select few ... who vote for each year's new inductees into the STLRadio Hall of FameSM, you need to know that ballots MUST be returned to Frank Absher no later than next Thursday, 31 July. Thanks in advance!
Friday 07-25-08: The July Monthly Meeting ... drew the usual suspects and a special guest, STLRadio Hall of FameSM inductee and KMOX star Jim White, who regaled us with stories from his three decades of 50kw chat with callers from just about everywhere. In the photo: Standing l to r - Jim, Tom, Frank and Rich; sitting l to r -- Kevin, assistant photo dude Ed, our "moll" Nancy and intern Chad.
Thursday 07-24-08: FCC Commish Tate will make it 3-2 in favor ...
   Radio trades and newspapers are seething with the news that Republican FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate decided to sign off on the XM/Sirius merger in exchange for a consent decree that resolves several enforcement issues involving the satellite radio companies, and a combined fine of about $20 million.
   Approval is supposedly expected any time now, but we've been hearing that for a long, long time.
   If it comes down this way, it'll be due to the persistence of Mel Karmazin, who's done everything but lay on the floor and hold his breath until he turns blue.
   Count on more and more commercials, fewer and fewer channels and, of course, fewer and fewer employees. Enjoy your SatRad while you've got it, kids...because SatRad2 is going to be a pale shadow of what you're getting today.
   And while you're thinking about it, grab an old coffee can and start saving change so you can plug a WiMax receiver into your car once the satellites cease producing a joyful noise.
   Because sooner or later, Karmazin will start acquiring WiMax bandwidth for his next adventure...
   Comment here.

Thursday 07-24-08: Bonneville signs three-year deal for baseball ...
   In Seattle.
   While their ratings skewed upward during the Mariners' years, the reported $10 million a year that KOMO 1000 paid the Mariners in a package that stunned both the radio and baseball industries almost certainly resulted in financial losses.
   In the end, KOMO dropped out of the bidding early, and KJR got into it only perfunctorily. The Mariners pondered installing an in-house radio operation, as nearly half of the teams in MLB now employ — and as the Seahawks do and the Sonics did — before ultimately deciding that the benefits of working with a partner exceeded that of a self-produced operation
   Nope, nothing like that could ever happen in STL...
   Comment here.

Tuesday 07-22-08: Tasha in the office and on the hunt ...
Tasha in the office July 2008
Tasha hunting in July 2008
Monday 07-21-08: Is it just my imagination, runnin' away with me?
   That for the last week or so, I'm not getting P-D's, Suburban Journals or some other freebie newspaper crap tossed from a drive-by onto my front yard? Takin' the trash to the curb last night, I realized that I had just one plastic-wrapped paper to toss into the can over the past week.
   If so, this is a blessing from above. I may begin attending Mass again.

Monday 07-21-08: Thin skin alert ... WIL/FM92's morning star Cornbread really, really didn't like that I suggested that the Marconi Awards, for one of which he is nominated, might be drawing from a much smaller talent pool as more and more stations drop out of the NAB. Here's his email to me (one of three), exactly as received:

   Bad grammar, all caps and spotty punctuation. And what, exactly, does the word positivity mean? Is it actually a word? He also sent two versions from a phony email address that kicked back as such when I replied.
   Snide, snarky, snotty and ignorant is no way to go thru life, Cornbread.
   Calm down, big boy, we all of us love ya, ya big galoot!
   Except for the 95.3% of the 12+ STL Radio audience that doesn't listen to ya!
   Comment here.

Weekend 07-19/20-08: Sunday funnies ... Read 'em all for decades, and sometime in the '70's they got to be socially relevant. Lost all interest in 'em then.
   Funnies are supposed to be funny.
   No more rotagravure for me, no sir. But I'll bet newspapers haven't used that printing process in years.
   BTW: My speech teacher in college played bass guitar and sang backup on the semi-hit, Alley Oop.
   Another brush with fame...
   Comment here.

Weekend 07-19/20-08: Newspapers beat broadcast media ... in firings and revenue loss. It's being called the MidSummer Massacre, with 3500 print gigs done away with and huge amounts of income lost in just two months. Mrs. A's brother is an IT guy for McClatchy and our prayers are with him.
   Trust me...I know how tough it is for a 50+ typical white guy to get a gig these days.
   Comment here.

Weekend 07-19/20-08: Secret Squirrel had this note passed to him ... at his favorite sports bar:
   The beginning of the end for KFNS. Brian McKenna and Joe Dinero were informed by Evan Crocker that their contracts would not be renewed when they expire in August. They were told if they find something better before August, they would be free to leave. Everyones contracts at KFNS are up in December.
   Huh. Looks like BLB is making plans to get right on outa town when BIC's SportsRadio101TM hits the air.
   Comment here.

Weekend 07-19/20-08: Hasta la vista, vaqueros ...
   Harry Cochran Gibbs, an STL television actor and announcer best known for his role as Texas Bruce on KSD-TV's "Wranglers Club," died Friday (July 18, 2008) at Surrey Place in Chesterfield. He was 91 and a resident of Webster Groves.
   Comment here.

Weekend 07-19/20-08: The OMB battles continue at KSDK/NBC5 ...
   The Squirrel got this email, clearly from an IBEW guy:
   Big doings at KSDK, where the news comes first, and the employees are coming in dead last.
   The managers are making an assault on the IBEW, but using so-called backpack reporters to do it.
   Recent discussions at 1000 Market revolve around increasing the number of backpackers by having on staff reporters pick up cameras and record their own video.
   The efforts have created an "us v. them" mood in the shop, "us" being the staff and "them" being the managers who seem to be intent on reducing overhead, read that salaries!
   Anger is further stoked by sweeping schedule changes, as the Big5 tries to bolster it's morning show. But, in true 5 fashion, no extra staff.
    Instead, move people around to fill in the holes, and hope the audience doesn't notice.
   But the recent ratings numbers show the audience may notice.

   I might be so bold as to suggest that ratings drops for any given broadast TV station are driven more by the proliferation of visual media than cost-cutting, which would naturally follow a drop in numbers and so a drop in revenue. These TV guys oughta talk to their buds in radio if they have any further questions.
   Comment here.

Friday 07-18-08: Today Dion turns 69 ... That's Dion Dimucci, of Da Bronx, who recorded greats like Runaround Sue, The Wanderer, Teenager In Love, Where Or When, Ruby Baby and Abraham, Martin & John (none of which KLOU plays). Here's a great piece from the Blogosphere celebrating his life and work...and tipping you to something about him you would never have thought.
   Comment here.

Friday 07-18-08: New utility news guy at Emmis ...
To: (List redacted)
Sent: 7/17/2008 3:25:30 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: Jason Church
Please welcome Jason to the building.
Jason will be filling some holes in our news operation. His latest radio "gig" was working for Bonneville at 106.5 when they were Smooth Jazz. He is now going to help us "strengthen the bench" in the News Department when we have vacations, sickness, schedule conflicts and the like. Say Hey to Jason when you see him around.
Jeff Allen
Program Director
KFTK (97.1 FM TALK- St. Louis)
97.1 RED-HD2
96.3 HANK-HD2

Thursday 07-17-08: I got your Hopeyness and Changitude right here ... because you know that I am The One.
   View the first news report here; thanks to George for the link.

Wednesday 07-16-08: Been a while since Tasha has headlined these pages; her most recent portrait was taken with our new Panasonic Lumix 9mpx still/video camera.
Tasha, the STLMedia WatchDog, 9mp Panasonic Lumix
Wednesday 07-16-08: Who wants a bunch of Beta pre-recorded movies and 8-track music tapes?
   Got some of each and gotta get rid of 'em, for free. They've not been viewed or heard in years, so I have no idea what kind of shape they're in. All I ask is that if you can copy them, send me a DVD copy of the Beta movies. You're on your own with the 8-track music.
   UPDATE: Wrong email address given originally, now corrected. If you want 'em let me know.
   Closed circuit to KMAC: 10" audio reels are still yours; I'll deliver soon (it's only taken a couple years, sorry).

Wednesday 07-16-08: Here's the deal ... to the emailer who wrote:
   Sheesh, how could you miss Cornbread being nominated for a Marconi? Too busy reading the SJR?
   Mel Karmazin dropped CBS out of the NAB a few years back and so no CBS radio stations can be nominated for Marconi's, in any category, right?
   Why should some lunchbucket like Cornbread, from a mid-ranked radio station in the 20th market, be honored for an award nomination in any ceremony that excludes one of the major groups?
   The Marconi's no longer mean anything. Don't you understand that?
   Ya think there might be a greater talent on a non-NAB station that would push Cornbread off the list? The answer is an emphatic Yes.
   Almost any air talent can be a market hero presuming enough of the station's promotional effort is behind him.
   And by the way, nice try making this a personal issue with me rather than addressing CBS' issues with the NAB.
   You have earned the sobriquet of Asshat! Wear it proudly!

Wednesday 07-16-08: I never watched The Waltons on broadcast TV ... but yesterday morning I did, on the Hallmark cable channel (I've had enough of the "grins and giggles" and "your politics suck" morning news shows). Two things struck me:
   First, the episode concerned a travelling salesman who peddled a book collection called the Harvard Classics, known as the "Five-foot Shelf of Books." The salesman was a printer who was knocked out of work by the Depression; might as well have been my Father, a printer in the late 1930's.
   As soon as the peddler held up one of the books and began his sales pitch, I knew what he was selling. My family had most of a set of these when I was a child, stored in the only heritage piece of furniture we owned, passed down from Grandmother Steelman, a large desk and cabinet thing called a secretary.
   It was my brother's bedroom desk during his high school years and mine ten years later; the slanted piece folded down and exposed secret storage.
   My Brother Rick used some of the books as he taught me to read and, over the years, I read many more on my own. I can still recite much of Lewis Carroll's The Jabberwocky from that time 55 years ago.
   I was the only kid at Our Lady of Perpetual Help with a First Grade Liberal Arts degree.
   Second, the show presented a scene in which the Walton Family sat around an old-timey radio to listen to Fibber McGee & Molly, but could not because there was "too much static" that evening.
   That comment rocketed me from the show's 1940's to the present, when we can also no longer hear the old-time big-gun AM's because of RF and HD trash and the random scattering of tiny-power AM's on former big-power-only frequencies.
   What the hell was the FCC thinking when they allowed all that crap to distort AM?
   Of course, we can always listen online, but there's just something about hearing it on the radio that's special.
   Comment here.

Tuesday 07-15-08: Secret Squirrel slums at Westport ... and wonders if it's a coincidence that both KTRS and Train Wreck Saloon are there:
   Katy Jamboretz out as of last Friday at KTRS. Trish Gazall in, along with Vic Porcelli, on the KTRS morning show beginning in four weeks. Also, format change on the KTRS morning show. The "First News" moniker bye, bye.
   Comment here.

Tuesday 07-15-08: When I make a mistake I try to make sure ... it's a doozy, and this one sure was:
   Yesterday I published an email review of the new iPhone and mistakenly credited it to the wrong "E". The review was actually written by Everett Marshall, not Emmett McAuliffe.
   I consider both of them Really Smart Guys and obviously I'm nowhere near being equipped intellectually enough for inclusion on that list.
   My apologies to both of these gentlemen.
   The rest of you should consider this my "Oprah -- Uma" moment.

Tuesday 07-15-08: Finally, proof I exist, and in print ... here. It is, by the way, an excellent piece.
   Vastly underpaid writer, incisive observer of human nature and, now, my new BFF, Kevin Horrigan, actually mentioned this website in the P-D, and the editors let the mention stay in the story. So much for adult supervision.
   I guess hanging around Horrigan back in the bad old KTRS days paid off.
   Thanks to Frank Absher for pointing out the mention in Sunday's paper.

Monday 07-14-08: New Toshiba laptop in the office ... with Vista software. Lotsa guts, inputs and outputs: 15+" screen, 4xUSB, DVD dual-layer recorder, S-Video-out, Ethernet, card reader, WiFi (802.11a/g/n), Li-Ion battery, webcam and mic and Harmon-Kardon speakers and a 300gig+ HD, worth at least a try and return.
Click here to read the page as a PDF fileMonday 07-14-08: SJR shows its Socialist lean ...
   The STL Journalism Review's June issue offered on its back page an article touting imaginary press freedom in Cuba and unfounded hooey about alleged US attacks on Cuba's citizens, including the use of germ warfare.
   I'm the biggest believer ever is press freedom, but if the Left wants the Fairness Doctrine back in place (as I do), they need to understand that both sides of the equal sign have to bear the same weight.
   The SJR's immigrant-owner Charles Klotzer obviously hates the country that allowed him to make his fortune and should be ashamed to spend his USA-earned loot on garbage like this.
   Comment here.

Monday 07-14-08: Radio vs. newspaper trial ...
   Guess who wins?
   Too often, advertisers want to take a one-day newspaper budget and spread it out over several days on the radio, or worse, spread it out over several radio stations. To be a fair test, we had to spend all the money in one day on one station. But radio needs repetition, so I refused to buy stations that would have delivered huge reach but with lower frequency. My 36-ad schedule was non-negotiable. Call me nuts if you want. I’ll tell you how it ended in a minute.
   Thanks to Kevin Robinson for the link.
   Comment here.

Monday 07-14-08: Voiceover artist KMOX personality and intellectual property attorney Emmet McAuliffe Everett Marshall ... is one of the Really Smart Guys.
   Follows here EMcA's EM's observations about the iPhone 3G release:
   I had the original. And I stood in line for the new one.
   In case you missed the launch of iPhone 3G, the biggest addition to the Apple line up is actually iPhone 2.0 software with the AppStore. Most, if not all the apps for sale (or free) will run on the original iPhone. Those that require GPS location services are the only ones that need the new iPhone. Included in those apps is the next step in the slow, agonizing death of radio (the industry), AOL Radio.
   Using the free AOL Radio app, you can listen to AOL audio channels and all (if not ALMOST all) CBS radio stations, for FREE. You don't even need 3G or WiFi to do it, as it will work just fine on the old iPhone using Edge although I would expect some drop outs at the slower data rate.
   There are also inexpensive apps that will allow you to play THOUSANDS of other sources. (The best one is probably Nullriver's "Tuner" for $4.99. There is no cost to listen to pretty much the same streams you find in Apple iTunes.)
   The difference between ordinary streaming on a computer and the iPhone stream is that you can now take it with you and it sounds great. With a Griffin transmitter, you can listen to your iPhone audio in the car on an available open channel.
   It won't be long before other radio groups offer their streams up to iPhone...unless they go bankrupt first. The problem is that they don't seem to be willing to pay for talent to develop great programming and the days of just throwing music out to listeners are coming to an end.
   So, how does this affect local radio and paid online syndication? Here's an example:
   I happen to like Glenn Beck. I think he does a truly unique show and I like his personality. (And no, I don't agree with everything he says.) I even pay for an Insider Subscription at $6.95 per month since locally KFTK/St.Louis only carries ONE delayed hour of the 3 hour show, which I would listen to occasionally if I'm in the car at that time. As an Insider, I can listen live online or grab the podcasts later.
   Before, I could listen to Glenn on WPHT/Philly live at home, but if I have to leave the house I couldn't listen. Now I can.
   So, I dump the Insider subscription (I already cancelled it saving $83.40 per year) AND I don't need KFTK to hear just a portion of the show. Glenn loses a subscriber. Local radio loses. Local advertisers lose. But I win. Portable, on-demand, LIVE choice, for free. Guess how long it took me to make that decision.
   This will also affect SatRad in a big way too, I think. Although the choices are a little limited right now, I already have more choices that I can take with me and I bet we see more options for live radio on iPhone in the next 30-60 days...maybe less. Will XM/Sirius will release a player for iPhone?
   Radio (the industry) better learn how to play the new game by using radio (the delivery system) to provide new and better content, because if I can get better somewhere else for free, I will. And so will just about everyone else.
   But getting out there is just a small part of it. If you are a tech-driven programmer, the fact that it is really whiz-bang-super-cool to listen to a streamed radio station hundreds or thousands of miles away (or listen to your own station) on your iPhone better wear off really fast. Listeners don't choose based on that. Wipe the glaze off your eyes and get to work. Listeners choose content and if programmers don't provide content they will still lose.
   I'll listen to local (AM/FM/HD/ONLINE) when local gives me something better than Glenn Beck or provides his full show live. Until then I will listen to what I like somewhere else.
   BTW: I'm not stumping for Beck, this is just a real example of how current and future tech changed my consumer and radio habits.

   Comment here.

Monday 07-14-08: Over the weekend, Secret Squirrel heard this ...
   Facts about Fox 2, as gleaned from five different insiders:
   * station's Chief Engineer and Senior Web Producer both retiring to get Fox retirement pkg.;
   * station's Webmaster leaving for new job w/WUSA in D.C.;
   * Local TV LLC (apparently) thinks Fox 2 could provide custom programming (political reports, biz reports, etc.) to other members of the station group.
   * Spencer Koch's job is safe,especially following meeting of ex-Fox o&o GM's in Denver w/Local TV execs. Koch's station reportedly impresses Local TV more than the others (incld. Cleveland & Denver);
   * main problem w/uncertainty over benefits, etc. is that Fox refused to let Local TV communicate aboiut anything in any way w/stations & employees until midnight Friday July 11, the effective date of the sale;
   * main job losses could be in traffic, sales, clerical UNLESS Local TV decides to use Fox 2 to provide "back office" services to other stations in group

   Comment here.

Saturday 07-12-08: In case you missed the big announcement ... one more local daypart in STLRadio is going syndicated, as CC's KLOU/103.3FM adds the Tom Kent Show 7PM-12M, starting 20 July.
   Kent's an energetic, experienced and talented jock who knows his music and his audience...but he does the show in his basement, which is in Cleveland.
   I wish him well.
   Comment here.

Saturday 07-12-08: Wasn't that long ago ... that the big STLMedia news was all about Patty Wente, her alleged managerial and financial transgressions at KWMU and her dismissal from her position at the station.
   Now all we hear is a thundering silence, with a low-level background of chirping crickets.
   I'm hearing that Wente is threatening to sue everybody and anybody in reach, and that UMSL is cowering in fear of her's and other lawsuits.
   What a country, huh? Comment here.

Saturday 07-12-08: KWRE/KFAV's Jay Murray ... is looking for an affordable PA system for his kids' swim team. Got one to sell or know where he can find one priced reasonably? Contact Jay here.
Saturday 07-12-08: Rough times selling broadcast spots?
   Be glad you're not selling magazine ad pages. From MediaPost:
   Magazines have suffered a sharp reversal in fortune since 2007, when they enjoyed modest growth despite the economic slowdown. According to the Publisher's Information Bureau, total magazine ad pages fell 8.2% in the second quarter of 2008, one of the steepest industry-wide drops in years. Worse, it comes on top of an earlier decline of 6.4% in the first quarter. Altogether, in the first half of 2008, ad pages are down 7.4% compared to the same period last year. Comment here.

Friday 07-11-08: Travel service thru STLMedia... Daughter Sabra in Kansas City has joined with Travelocity to offer airline, hotel and cruise deals 'specially tailored for media folk. Email; phone: (913) 209-8418
Friday 07-11-08: Radio stocks predicted to drop ... Entercom, Cox and Emmis stocks will fall as industry revenue falls about 5 percent in 2008 as advertisers spend less and companies face larger amounts of debt as interest rates rise and credit conditions remain difficult. Read more.
   Thanks to Jack Klobnak.

Friday 07-11-08: I'm the UNhandyman ... can't handle tools with any skill, can't grow plants, so, as a homeowner, getting in touch with a skilled repairman is important.
   Unfortunately, finding such a guy is next to impossible. They either "expand" their skills by telling you they can handle a project for which they're not capable, screw you on the job by overcharging or they just don't show up.
   Rarely, you find a guy who does what he says he can, charges reasonably and meets his appointments.
   I've locked into one of them and yesterday he finished several projects for me in record time and at a good price.
   I'll be happy to recommend him; I've already made a deal with him for some other work here.
   Email me for contact info.

Thursday 07-10-08: Ruh roh ...
   WIL/FM92 learns the hazards of using a billboard wrap the hard way.

Wednesday 07-09-08: Well, I have wondered where Dave Murray's been ...
   Secret Squirrel was chattering at the back door early this morning, with a tiny little note clutched between his teeth:
   Fast times at Fox2. Sale goes through early next week and employees are very, very nervous. The word on changes in the benefits package coming soon and causing great consternation.
   Is there bad blood between the immensely popular station GM, Spencer Koch, and the new owners and is he on his way out, and is all of this the result of a bizarre misunderstanding?
   Might employees have to wait several weeks before they begin getting paychecks from the new guys?
   And what's up with chief meteorologist, Dave Murray, who contracted a mystery illness while at work last week? Is this for real or is there something bigger going on here? He's disappeared from both his duties on TV and radio.
   And who didn't see this coming from a mile away given the history of the new owners?

   New owners/execs: Sam Zell, Bobby Lawrence, Randy Michaels. And your questions are...?
   Comment here.

RadioGeorge on the road
Wednesday 07-09-08: Former KTRS'er George Woods ... markets his Internet radio streams wherever he can, including on remote, as he did over the July 4th weekend at the Missouri Winefest at the KC Elms.
   Woods writes: Quite different from the usual radio remote broadcast setup. While the bright day wiped out the colorful visualizations on the computer screen, great-sounding Smooth Jazz greeted visitors to the Festival. The laptop, specially built for heavy-duty audio applications and Internet broadcasting, played mp3s over mini-speakers with quality sound that surprised just about everyone. The larger display board on the right had screen shots of the Radio George home page and station pages, to show interested visitors how easy it is to listen to Radio George on their computers.
   And, yes, George Woods sells ads on his player pages.

Wednesday 07-09-08: For a lot of years I've championed ... the return of the Fairness Doctrine. And that's from a gun-totin', God-believin', Red-state-livin' (but not bitter) typical white person.
   You can check the STLMedia archives or search our Message Board to read what I've written.
   And now, the Really Smart Guys are starting to agree, here and here, for example. And you can bet that more will fall in line.
   As DelColliano writes: Equal time can be good for business.
   It can also be good to see just what programming works well enough to develop and maintain an audience.
   Let the Lefties plug the Fairness Doctrine back in, if that's what they me, it'll work just as it should.
   'Cause it's less about legalities than economic realities. Advertisers will make the decision, not lawyers.
   "This is gonna be great!" (Kent Dorfmann - Animal House)
   Comment here.

Wednesday 07-09-08: Bastille Day at KTVI/Fox2 ...
   Secret Squirrel shares this email:
   Local TV LLC and Oak Hill Capitol partners take control of KTVI on July 14.
   Comment here.

Monday 07-07-08: Broadcast consultant websites ...
   I've always wondered why they don't offer live streaming audio of their client's work, or even edited airchecks.
   I mean, if their guidance is so inspired, why don't they present the result in real time from a link of their site?
   To the best of my knowledge, none do.
   Comment here.

Monday 07-07-08: Summer project ... Got a lot of VHS movies (Beta, too, but they're a lost cause -- my last Beta player died a sad death some years ago) and the plan is to transfer them to DVD with this one-touch device.
   Kind of a poor man's DVR, which is how it'll be installed after the Summer project is completed.

Monday 07-07-08: Loading a 48Gig media player ... My new Creative Zen player is, as we speak, filling up with video and audio treats (including my entire South Park video library...what you call a guilty pleasure) and a favorite movie or ten, plus selections from my collection of Top 40 hits 1955-1969. Got some recommendations for video and/or audio podcasts I should subscribe to?
   Send 'em dem RSS feeds.

Monday 07-07-08: High-speed internet access stalls ... poor and minorities most affected.
   Well, of course they are. In a stifled economy those with the least income will always have less to spend on frivolity like the web.
   There's always connection available at the Public Library if they're really in need of an online fix. It's how they do it in Europe and Asia...but who wants to live there?
   Comment here.

Monday 07-07-08: Is TV the new newspaper? Not as dumb a question as it might seem.
   Daily print media's readership has been growing older and older for a long time, with few new (and younger) readers coming into the mix; this report shows that television has joined print in the Golden Age Express:
   The broadcast networks have grown older than ever -- if they were a person, they wouldn't even be a part of TV's target demo anymore.
    According to a study released by Magna Global's Steve Sternberg, the five broadcast nets' average live median age (in other words, not including delayed DVR viewing) was 50 last season. That's the oldest ever since Sternberg started analyzing median age more than a decade ago -- and the first time the nets' median age was outside of the vaunted 18-49 demo.

   Thanks to Jack Klobnak for the link.
   Comment here.

Sunday 07-06-08: Things get complicated when you get past 18... Tell you what, I'll illuminate you on that in about nine weeks.
Sunday 07-06-08: 2008/Part Deux ... what's ahead?
   Locally -- Will BIC move Movin'101 to sports? The clues are there but their resolution for a non-music format here may or may not be. I think it all depends on whether or not they can sign Major League PxP (specifically football and baseball). If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and that huge new FM signal will play polkas or gay wedding music or sumfin. We'll know soon.
   SatRad -- the media world vibrates as the FCC considers the merger between XM & Sirius. My bet is on the merger not happening and the entire format tanks. We didn't need it anyway. Sorry if you spent a bunch to buy in, for receivers and a subscription, but if the provider can't make money, Mel Karmazin notwithstanding, it's over. And merger or not, it's over because WiMax rules.
   Blu-Ray DVD -- Player sales are disappointing and rentals and sales are less than impressive. Blu-Ray smashed HDVideo, but what does that really mean? Most of us will not dump our less-than-two-year-old DVD players for one that costs hundreds more, especially in a time of economic softening. Regular ol' DVD's will always be available at Blockbuster and Netflix. There must be thousands of standard DVD movies out there and we haven't watched most of them; most of the new ones aren't worth watching anyway. Won't be long before we'll just be able to download the ones we want for DVD and personal media players.
   HDRadio -- I laugh. You can't buy a receiver for this mess anywhere and even if you could, your reception is crappy. Not a crowd pleaser. The burn marks are showing. Remember AM stereo? Same deal. A non-starter.
   HDTV -- The gubmint intends to shut down analog broadcast TV in February 2009 in favor of digital TV transmission. I'll bet that that this date will be moved forward into 2009 and perhaps beyond because the Fed will finally realize that even with the coupon offering of HD converters at Fed websites, it will still leave huge swatches of the US without broadcast TV service.
   Compact discs -- cool audio format, for the 1980's. Been to a music store lately? What? Can't find one? Try Amazon or iTunes. Buy the music you want for a buck a track as an MP3, and then watch the purchase price get cheaper as the music companies finally figure out what the tune is worth.
   Comment here.

Sunday 07-06-08: Front-loading a holiday weekend with a day off ... is just kinda weird. But any day off is a gift.
   Hope your Happy 232nd Birthday America's Independence Day weekend has been good.
   Our Friday was quiet, with burgers and salads next door at Bearman's; the evening was spent keeping Tashsa calm as the neighborhood 'splosions continued until well after midnight.
   Saturday was bbq chicken (yes, I cooked) with daughter Anna and the kids; got to teach grandkids Chris and Kelsey how to use the Weaver Stance to improve their paintball gaming accuracy.
   Once we got home, the STLMedia WatchDog required more calming, as the fireworks continued. GirlDog's had enough fun with big noises this month.
   Today it's bbq and salads and furniture moving and electronic installs in the bedroom and office with son Jason. Yeah, the big strong son gets to do the physical labor. And Tasha gets lotsa rubs.
   2008/Part Deux begins Monday...and I think it'll be very interesting.
   Comment here.

Arbitron listening diary sample page Saturday 07-05-08: It's very likely ... that most people in radio have never actually seen or read about the document that can make or break their careers: the dreaded Arbitron diary.
   Take a few moments to learn about this ancient handwritten technology, that's about to be replaced by their PPM, a pager-sized digital device that keeps track of the radio you listen to and then sends it along to The Company.
   There, the data is added to other such info and magically reappears as radio ratings for the 21st Century.
   I have reservations, as do some Really Smart Guys, and we'll discuss them here soon.

Friday 07-04-08: YouTube videos ... can now be linked on the STLMedia MB. Please use this privilege sparingly, no more than one per entry. Thanks.
Friday 07-04-08: When are you gonna realize ... that when I tell you print is dead meat, it's really, really true.
   The Sam Zell owned LATimes is dumping 250 jobs and 15% of their printed pages.
   Even with all the wisdom (cough, cough) of their Randy Michaels hired burned-out former radio wise guys, the point is still that nobody wants to get that greasy ink all over their hands.
   Just as, in the 1980's, we weren't growing any new AM radio listeners, we aren't growing any new newspaper readers in the oughts.
   It's over.
   Comment here.

Friday 07-04-08: Randy Raley moves on from KMOX ...
   Raley announced a few days ago that he's taken the Market Manager gig with Jerry Zimmer's Great Plains Media cluster in Bloomington IL, and with CBS' Dave Ervin's blessing.
   Randy will be responsible for three stations, and it's a career step he deserves.
   Much love, little brother, and good luck. We'll always be here if you need us.

Friday 07-04-08: personality lists updated ...
    Frank Absher's compilation of STL radio workers is new and improved; if you've ever worked here, send Frank an email, let him know the details and we'll include you in the next edition.

Wednesday 07-02-08: Well, KXOK/630 Manteca streams with a thumpin' signal ... Sounds pretty AM-ish good in my WinAmp or Real Player.
   Plug this address into your Real Player or WinAmp:
   May be the best oldies mix I've ever heard.
   The domain is owned privately at 1&1Internet.
   It's up to my squirrels to discover the real owners and where it originates.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 07-02-08: Phase II Spring Arbitrends ... published yesterday, reported by Tom Taylor:
    – Without baseball, KMOX, St. Louis has a stormy Spring.
    - The CBS news/talker chose to let a decades-old relationship with the Cardinals slip away during the Joel Hollander era, and now all-sports KTRS (partly owned by the Cards) is up 4.3-4.5 in the latest March-April-May Phase II Arbitrends. (That’s total week 12+.)
    - While KMOX dips rather shockingly, 7.4-6.4, just 0.5 of a share ahead of #2 KEZK. KMOX has a very long string of consecutive quarterly wins (longer than KGO, San Francisco’s) – but it’s starting to look mortal.
    - Also notable in the St. Louis Trends: Bonneville’s classic hits “Arch” WARH, rising 4.0-5.0 into a tie for third place.
   Comment here.

Wednesday 07-02-08: So the bedroom TV died ... Tried lately to buy a regular ol' TV? Not one of them fancy danged LCD or plasma deals? Took some searching, but I found a 27" stereo Sansui (includes a DTV tuner, which we may never use because we have cable) at WalMart, and for less than $200. Yeah, it's a CRT and it'll need a crane and several small boys to hoist it up to the bedroom, but why spend more than a grand for a TV that'll only be watched occasionally by Mrs. A when I (unwisely) refuse to relinquish control of the the remote in the living room? Hey, Matlock and Murder She Wrote will look just fine back there.
   I plug in a DVD player and suddenly I've got a third multi-media center. Gotta love the digital stuff.

Tuesday 07-01-08: June slipped right past me ... and I missed getting the July and August Sonderman STLHistory archives up and running on time. Sorry 'bout that -- the entire year of Joe's STL History is now online. Enjoy reading and use as you wish.

Previous entries back to 2003 are available here.
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