Sunday, October 16, 2005

less rock, more talk

Entertainment Weekly devotes almost all their pages to covering movies, television, books, music and theater. Rarely do they cover radio, the entertainment medium that reaches 200 million Americans each week. In the current issue there's an article called "Lost in Transmission" which diagnoses some of radio's ills.

One sidebar to the article gives a glimmer of hope. They mention four trends we should watch (or listen) for. The most promising is Neo-Radio, which they describe as:
"Not a technology, but rather an approach that returns localization and unique
programming to the dial."
Many stations have been switching to an automated music format devoid of personality. To compensate for the boring presentation they give the station a guy's name like Jack or Earl, etc. The people who run these stations think they can compete with the music on satellite radio or iPods. They can't. Unique programming doesn't mean playing "One Night in Bangkok" followed by "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Unique programming means creating a show that can't be found anywhere else. The best way to do that is with deejays and talk show hosts who can make a connection with their listeners.

I still love radio and I want to see it snap out of the doldrums. I want to see more personality, more morning shows, more talk shows, more deejays and less automation. If only I could talk some sense into the radio business. There's so much on my mind. Maybe I should write a letter.

Dear Music Radio,
You know that guy you've been living with, Record Company? You should totally break up with him. He treats you like dirt. Sure he gives you free CDs, but you still have to pay the ASCAP bill every month. Besides, I hear he's cheating on you with some chick called Internet or iTunes or something like that. And what about the times he left money on your desk to play some crappy J-Lo song repeatedly? Doesn't that make you a prostitute?

You need some self respect. Do something original instead of just following Record Company around like a puppy. Your brother, Talk Radio may be a windbag but at least he does some good for the community and people listen to him. Your cousin in the Midwest, Farm Report Radio, may not have fancy gold records on the wall but at least she's earned everything she has. Your grandparents had to make their own sound effects and write their own scripts and people loved them for it! I used to think that your sister was the black sheep of the family when she started dating that Shock Jock but now it's you I'm ashamed of. You're wasting your life. Adopt some baby deejays and teach them the ropes. Do it now before it's too late.

Your fan,
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Blogger jess said...

Frank -
and I love the letter you wrote... very funny, very truthful.
and, strangely, actually reminds me of the writing style of one mr. greg behendehert.

as a prophet once said, keep on rockin' in the free world!

Blogger jess said...

p.s. what's up with murray head?
let's ask the wheel of bad ideas...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said.


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