March 17, 2017Friend in a Box
One of the essential elements of radio's success over the decades has been that the medium is uniquely suited to providing a feeling of companionship, a personal connection that's different from the engagement you get from social media, different from the more passive television medium, different from reading or gaming or anything else. I'm not an expert and I haven't researched it, but I imagine that the connection comes from the human voice, the feeling that the host or jock or announcer is talking directly to you.
This came to mind again while I was falling once again down the Newspapers.com rabbit hole. That site is a paid archive of newspapers around the country, like having a searchable version of the microfilm/microfiche machines at the library but on your computer, and for someone like me who revels in 20th century history but especially on the kind of pop culture ephemera that has been forgotten by everyone but me, it's a godsend and a time suck and fascinating and incredibly educational about things nobody cares to learn about but me. Long-forgotten concerts, the battle over incorporating the town in which I live today, a minor league baseball game 40 years ago that the people who played in the game probably don't remember, all in the original news accounts the way people read about them back in the day? A classified ad from 1963 selling the house we live in now? A big, great photo of my wife from when she was a high school student raising funds for the school radio station? Plus ads for stores and items that no longer exist? I'm in.
March 10, 2017Everything's Fine
It occurred to me while listening to the panels at the Talk Show Boot Camp this week that what talk radio needs is a therapy session. There was a significant amount of self-congratulation by radio people here about the talk and news formats' good ratings fortune in ...
March 3, 2017The Next Next Big Thing
Did you get in on that Snap IPO? All the cool investors did. Even a high school made millions on it. Snap is all the rage on Wall Street, because it's the next big thing. What? You're asking what the business model is? Oh, well, you know Snapchat, right? Yeah, ...
February 24, 2017Stunt Casting
The first thought I had when the idea of Chris Christie getting a sports radio job resurfaced this week, as it does from time to time, was, well, here we go again. After all, I have some experience with putting celebrities and semi-celebrities on the air to do radio. It ...
February 17, 2017The Chairman, The Radio, And The Incessant Buzzing
The new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, gave a talk the other day about radio, and it was mostly what radio industry people would want to hear, a Greatest Hits of radio boosterism. That "93% reach!!!" statistic that would be a good basis for a drinking game at NAB conventions ...
February 10, 2017Let It Snow
It was not surprising that there was a public reaction a few weeks ago when it dawned on people in Philadelphia that KYW was no longer doing school closing announcements on the air -- the decision was quietly made before the season, but it took actually being IN the ...
February 3, 2017Code Orange
What was I telling you not too long ago? Something about how times have literally changed and that there's no "off hours" anymore and the news cycle is now 24/7/365 and if talk radio doesn't adapt.... Last weekend, huge news broke late Friday and carried over all ...
January 27, 2017Always On
This week, some thoughts that I'll probably disagree with shortly after sending this out. I reserve the right to argue with myself. Don't tell me you don't do the same thing.... All right, then. The Holiday 2016 ratings started to come out this week, and the ...
January 20, 2017You Against The World
What would you do if you discovered that the most popular radio personality had suddenly moved to your time slot, competing against you? What would you do if EVERY really popular personality was on against you? Could you compete? Would you try to pull out all the stops ...
January 13, 2017The Return Of Mr. Do-Bee
Last year, I wrote a lot about the need for political talk radio to be prepared for what to do after the election. I counseled that there could very well be a phase in which people would be tired of all the political stuff. Well, then. I had no idea. I don't think my ...