Do we REALLY not know what's wrong?

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Do we REALLY not know what's wrong?

Post by winterwest » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:17 am

Every once in a great while when I log in here to see if anything has changed, (it occurs with less frequency lately) I always get a chuckle out of all the articles regarding your "web presence" or your "Facebook page" or your "online inventory".

Like most of the other old farts around here I think back to a time before the internet...hell, before CDs(!) and try to put my finger on the source of the magic we created. How did we inspire that tight knit sense of community that sprang up around our call letters? What made people care about us? What made it possible to walk in to a potential advertiser confident they already knew who you were?

Chances are if you're in upper management in a major broadcast firm these days you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about...and you know what? That's OK. You weren't hired because you know about radio and what makes it work. You're there because you're a savvy real estate investor, or you have an MBA, or well, you KNOW somebody. (nudge nudge! wink wink!) You're there because you have a deep understanding about social media and how to monetize every square inch of your website. None of which have anything to do with RADIO.

This is the part where all the brilliant consultants and young social media whiz kids tell me how wrong I am. "Social media is a wave that won't ebb! It's the future that's here now! It's another avenue to reach our audience!"

No, it's not.

The internet is a place for you to lose your way, chasing a buck with “likes” and “hits” but never really connecting with your audience. The internet is your motivation for sitting in your office, perfecting your on line “presence” to all those “friends” when there’s a guy in the lobby wanting a t-shirt that you’re ignoring. Now…If you said “A t-shirt? Really?”, you’re part of the problem as you clearly don’t understand the point I’m making or, in fact, the point of radio in the first place. It’s the difference between watching a live feed of the general store porch, and actually sitting around the “cracker barrel”.

I’m sure this high tech, electronic bastard love child of what was once radio and the miracle of modern science is making you a little money. You might even be having some of what passes for “fun” these days. Just don’t call it “radio”. You killed that horse long ago.

I’d like to sit here and type some more so I can tell you all how brilliant I am…but I think I’ll shut off my computer now and go hang out with my real life friends under the real life sun and throw a game of real life Bocce.

**By the way one and all, I hit my 10 years cancer free last Friday. I remember the day I posted here that I’d been diagnosed with Stage Four Throat Cancer. I asked you for your prayers that I might beat it. You did…and so did I. Thanks!

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Re: Do we REALLY not know what's wrong?

Post by realscott » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:34 pm

First of all, praise the LORD on your health. Next, you have written a very concise paragraph on the foibles of modern radio.
The social media aspect is great. Nothing wrong with it and if it adds to the bottom line, GREAT! But first and foremost, we are BROADCASTERS dang it!!! Let's work on the only thing we can do better than Satellite, voice tracking and podcasting- communicating one on one with that individual that has us on the radio and is listening.

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Re: Do we REALLY not know what's wrong?

Post by danno » Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:23 pm

Winterwest, You Hit the nail on the head! You are correct a web page is NOT Radio, and IF it took alot of Employees to maintain it, IT TOO would go away. Sadly the so called "broadcasters" have decimated their "product" so much, they Can't seem to sell it, or enough of it to make money, So they look Now to the internet to save their sorry A$$es, and it Won't. i know many so called "radio" stations with wonderful websites and NO Listeners to their radio stations. Which would You rather have?

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Re: Do we REALLY not know what's wrong?

Post by dwc151 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:37 pm

Too bad the consultant types are all in with the "social media must be more important than your radio show" bit.

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Re: Do we REALLY not know what's wrong?

Post by tstone » Mon May 04, 2015 2:58 am

Praise the Lord for your recovery, Winterwest. Good to have you still with us. And you are right. If radio is not front and center with "social media" serving to promote it, not the other way around...that is a problem.

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Re: Do we REALLY not know what's wrong?

Post by exspree » Wed May 06, 2015 1:21 pm

Thumbs up on your health buddy! We still do real radio here in Joshua Tree, California... Drop by for a listen in the morning. Live local news, kids lunch menus, lost dogs/pets... Local and manned with humans 7 days a week. Humans also answer the phones.

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Re: Do we REALLY not know what's wrong?

Post by tofifi08 » Wed May 06, 2015 8:26 pm

Great stuff from you. I love what you've got here, love what you're saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining. I cant wait to read more from you. This is really a great article.

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Re: Do we REALLY not know what's wrong?

Post by TheMaxPower » Sat May 09, 2015 8:36 pm

First off Congrats on 10 years free of Cancer. I am so lucky I got to work with you out in the then barren wasteland known as Coachella. With Consolidation, Consultants, and technology came the mindless radio "Announcer". Not their fault really. But these days you don't have to think. Nothing to cue up. No real buttons to push except the Mic on and in or out of auto to manual on the Hard drive music system. You can leave the studio for at least 20 minutes most times. The Hard Drive does it all for you. I recall in 03 working at a Hot AC in Vermont. The Scott System crashed. The only had basically home CD players in the studio. The Young'uns there, and the 1st time, fairly new to radio PD were horrified and dumbfounded as to how to do things the "Hard Way". Being a crusty old Radio vagabond I had a great time doing things the "Old School" way. The PD asked me how I could do it so easily. I said tell the engineer to hook up some turn tables and we'll really have some fun! As Elvis Costello said in 1977 Long before it became a massive epidemic, "radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools Tryin' to anaesthetise the way that you feel!" It's so VERY True today. And it's not just a shame it's a CRIME!

Read more: Elvis Costello - Radio Radio Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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Re: Do we REALLY not know what's wrong?

Post by winterwest » Tue May 12, 2015 7:04 am

exspree, one of my favorite places to camp! I love the Jumbo Rock area! I'll stop by to say hi on my way to visit friends in Palm Springs soon...

Tstone, thanks for the good wishes! Nice to "see" you again...

Max, you don't don't call...WTF?
I'm working on a project to aid returning vets with physical injuries including amputations get on a bike (well, as close to what could be called a "bike') and regain a little normalcy to their lives. Imagine being able to take that ride you used to take with your kid before you came back challenged with the loss of a limb, or two. All custom engineered to be "one off" pieces specifically built for each vet and their need.

"Not all that counts can be counted."
Einstein said that...although we're often mistaken.

Thanks to all for the good wishes!

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Re: Do we REALLY not know what's wrong?

Post by parocks » Wed May 13, 2015 3:10 am

Vertical integration

Radio station groups as local music groups

360 deals with bands

Who knows how long the expensive airwaves will be popular, people will still listen to live music

A radio station owned label can get their songs on the radio better than a major label.

You have the radio stations in a radio station group signing the bands in that area to 360 deals and have them tour in the markets where the radio stations are playing their songs. Active rock would be the easiest to implement.

Focus on the smaller markets - they're more deficient in live music choices. Have venues in all the metro areas that are covered by the signal, for all these active rock bands. Play songs from your label, at shows you organized and you get a percent all around. And you improve things in these low choices markets. You have a comp CD that you try to get on the Billboard charts. Buzz about that might drive up interest in the stations in the group.

I get how radio people are thinking "what happens when these radio frequencies aren't used by many?"

At this point, radio stations in smaller cities and rural areas are the most effective influence of small groups of people in small geographical areas. The radio stations are the best influencers, the radio stations should be pushing people to buy the product that they have ownership in.

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