Friday, April 17, 2009

I Give Up

I don't laugh easily. My sense of humor is on the dry side, so don't expect a hearty guffaw from a spritz of seltzer to the face, a golf ball into the nads, or a "kick me" sign delicately placed on the back of some poor sap's shirt. That said, I howled with laughter over a new initiative from my former radio employer. Read it here. Ok, if you don't want to read their release, let me boil it down for you. What's the hottest thing that radio has going for it  now? Localism! Yep, my old company is now directing its stations to be more local to better serve the community. This means more local public service announcements and programming. This mean airing of music from local bands. In all, it boils down to going back to what always made radio successful and unique in the first place. 

What's funny (in a most tragic sense) is that the very same company that is pushing the initiative for localism is the one that blazed the trial for voicetracking in shows from other markets. KWNR's new slogan- "Vegas Country". Gee, I wonder if they'll be playing "Vegas Country" sweepers during the night-time show...that's taped in Phoenix. CCLV also possess a machine which allows them to grab voicetracked shows from anywhere in the land and simply plop them into one of the dayparts, a machine they could put into action today, if the order came down.  The very company that was instrumental in killing live and local radio now has this brilliant idea that localism is the way to go. Ain't that a hoot?

In the meantime, CC station managers have gathered down in Texas, and the rumor is that the result of these meetings will be dismissals of on-air talent, many with years of goodwill accumulated in their respective markets, all in the name of cost-cutting. If none of this confuses you, you may have a very bright future in radio.


Buzz Jackson said...

Mitch, this is a bait and switch. The other side of their announcement was their "premium choice" initiative which will allow them to, as they say, offer the best programming to local markets. Presumably, this programming is going to come from somewhere else. They are offsetting the importing of shows from other markets by saying they will be running more public service announcements.

Buzz in Tucson, former Clear Channel employee.

DIH said...

Uh yeah. Brilliant ain't it? Laughable indeed. And I'm not confused because I lived it. That said, could I once again have a glimmer of hope for a bright future in radio?

Oh, and your Contrast post is back...


mcfarlaneusa said...

Terrestrial radio's relentless homogenization drove me to pay $13 a month to listen to Howard Stern.

He's good, I guess, but what his show really needs is Robin Quivers saying things like,

"The South Bronx YMCA is taking signups for its summer basketball season. Call them today" and

"The Staten Island SPCA reminds you to bring your pet down to their free spay & neuter clinic this Friday."

Otherwise, I just can't relate.

The best part about that press release, even better than the incessant spewing of corporate buzzwords, was the CC dingbat's assertion that every 8th American is "struggling with hunger."

Yes, it's as if the entire population of California and Nevada is going to bed starving every night. But hey, it's just math. It's not like accuracy is important or anything.