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This is the diary that I've dreaded writing all week. I've thought about dour titles; I considered and rejected variations of "the day the music died". If you're on the walking papers end of a layoff, it is a dire situation indeed. And CEO's rarely lay themselves off, so the bad personnel decisions they make almost invariably hurt the most vulnerable, the most dedicated, the ones most dependent upon paychecks. And seniority matters not at all across the hierarchical divide; CEO's of six months tenure regularly lay off workers who have been on the job for decades. I was laid off after 33 years on the job. Yes, I hate layoffs.

Another big black eye for radio

The headline tells the story: 'You have her blood on your hands': Global revulsion at Australian DJs behind 'sick prank' after nurse's suspected suicide

This is the aftermath of the call to a hospital impersonating the queen to obtain personal health information. Who would have thought a prank by Australian shock jocks could top Rush Limbaugh's three day Sandra Fluke rant for "global revulsion"?

Here's the Rush news

Hat tip to el dorado gal; Rush (on KMOX) is now playing second fiddle in St. Louis. The once number one talker across the country has fallen behind The Dana Show starring Dana Loesch on KFTK. This follows Rush falling to number 2 in streaming audio metrics for iGadget listeners, behind Michael Savage.

Rush is losing sponsors AND listeners

Flush Rush and Stop Rush activism is not focused on listeners, it is focused on advertisers. Thus, Limbaugh fully owns any decrease in his listening audience, and it is nice to see that by that measure, he is losing all on his own.

More Limbaugh, destruction of rock and roll, and
Clear Channel's devastating layoffs, after the jump

The day the music -- was denied?

In case you hadn't noticed, Clear Channel is killing rock and roll in favor of the top 40. (It is also killing jazz, bluegrass, local content creation and progressive talk, mostly for generic sports talk and moribund, increasingly ancient conservative talk...)

With just slight modifications, the following articles could have been written for most any city in the U.S.

In August, Clear Channel flipped Active Rock WKLS (Project 9-6-1)/Atlanta to contemporary hit radio (CHR), rebranding the station as "Power 96.1."

Katie Diem, a third year psychology major, sat down to study, having no idea that she was about to assume the role of a renegade.

Diem took a break from the books to turn on WKLS’s Project 9-6-1.

The station, known for its hard rock and alternative format, was playing “Freebird,” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Diem was confused, especially when the DJ announced they were going off the air after that night’s broadcast.

After frantically searching for answers, Diem discovered that Clear Channel had sold the station to Ryan Seacrest. Project 9-6-1 was to become “Power,” a Top 40 pop music channel.

"They just got me on the wrong night," Diem said.

[Then] she stumbled across a Facebook page that had already been erected in protest of the station’s demise, calling itself "Save Project 9-6-1"...

  Radio station fans fight to save airwaves

Another activist born out of Clear Channel's one-size-fits-all, cram this hit music down your throat mega-corporate mentality.

"'There’s really no true rock ‘n’ roll stations out there anymore,' said Anthony Brown, an employee of Mixx 104.5 in Dalton, Ga."

So it seems.

Project 9-6-1 Atlanta Has Been Taken Away
My Thoughts and How to Fight It!

Save Project 961 is on Facebook here, and on Twitter here.

An article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution describes just how bad it can become:

This is Bieber’s first chart topper in Atlanta, with the credit going primarily to two Clear Channel stations: the new Power 96.1 played it a whopping 141 times while its sister station Wild 105.7 added another 125. Q100 spun it 23 times.

I can’t say this is necessarily a coincidence, but Bieber is headlining the first Power 96.1 Jingle Ball in Atlanta at Philips Arena Dec. 12.

  Justin Bieber’s ‘As Long As You Love Me’ top song in Atlanta radio

Radio analyst Jerry Del Colliano refers to this as "whoring out of radio stations." He explains, "Bieber is also the top attraction at Q102, Philadelphia’s Jingle Bell Ball which means the stations owe him airplay without disclosing the link between airplay and the personal appearances.  These appearances are not done for direct cash just promotional consideration and at no point does any Clear Channel station disclose what that consideration is."

We may turn to Wikipedia for a possible explanation:

Payola, in the American music industry, is the illegal practice of payment or other inducement by record companies for the broadcast of recordings on music radio in which the song is presented as being part of the normal day's broadcast. Under U.S. law, 47 U.S.C. § 317, a radio station can play a specific song in exchange for money, but this must be disclosed on the air as being sponsored airtime, and that play of the song should not be counted as a "regular airplay".


In this era of Citizens United style decisions at the U.S. Supreme Court, it appears that Clear Channel isn't too concerned about flouting the spirit of the law, if not the law itself. Maybe this isn't flat out illegal. But it stinks, and when corporations seem able to do no wrong, no one is investigating.

Such circumstances result in various activist efforts, such as this Facebook contribution:

National "Demand Radio Diversity" Day

On Wednesday, December 5, 2012, call or email the program director of your favorite radio stations and demand they play more local and independent music.

  National "Demand Radio Diversity" Day

Tip to callers: the mega-corporations are firing station-based program directors, and are centralizing that functionality, either in each radio station cluster, or even nationally. The trend is decidedly against diversity, against locally generated content, and toward all radio stations throughout the country sounding exactly the same.

Even the auto industry is sounding a warning note about radio industry homogenization:
Ford executive, asked “Will AM/FM radio always be available in-car?”

He was interviewed by Jacobs Media for the Arbitron Client Conference session “What The Connected Car Means For Radio,” co-presented by Fred Jacobs and Valerie Shuman, VP of The Connected Vehicle Trade Association.

Yes there is such a group, evidence not that the-future-is-now, but rather that the in-car media future arrived last decade, with Ford’s trailblazing Sync, and GM’s On-Star, and other Jetsons-like new-tech now increasingly commonplace.

“Local content” will ensure radio’s place in the mid-dashboard array now being called “the stack,” in the opinion of that Ford exec. His words would’ve comforted the several hundred radio folks attending, had news not been breaking that Clear Channel firings were underway nationwide.

  As automaker calls for “local content,” Clear Channel fires hundreds more local content creators

Layoffs, more layoffs, and even more layoffs (oh my!)

Holland Cooke, radio industry analyst

There are accounts of Clear Channel layoffs coming in from all over the country.

Another Round Of Layoffs At Clear Channel

ALL ACCESS has learned that CLEAR CHANNEL is going through another round of layoffs today. The reductions in force appear to be covering several of the company's clusters.

  Another Round Of Layoffs At Clear Channel

Bob Pittman, Clear Channel CEO

The All Access article triggered scores of comments, including:

"Hey Pittman is this how you're making radio "cool" again? F***ing loser."


"Hope you die a painful death CC. You have destroyed good radio throughout the years and will suffer the consequences for it."


"I was let go from KYLD(WiLD 94-9) in San Francisco over four years ago after a fourteen year stint and have been looking for work ever since."

RadioInfo has a similar list, and so does RadioInk.

RadioInfo's layoff masthead: iHEARTLESSradio

A few news snippets:

"A Clear Channel market manager told the Detroit Free Press that the company is taking advantage of new technology and continuing to update its operations. It creates jobs, and it eliminates jobs... The radio group has developed a reputation for pruning its workforce at the end of the year. A quick glance at RBR-TVBR archives demonstrated that the company engages in workforce reductions at other times of the year as well."

"Getting fired from your job is never fun; having it happen three weeks from Christmas can only make it worse... there are also those who remain on the job and are tasked with carrying out the unenviable assignment of carrying out the company order. Not only do they have to deal with taking away the livelihood of their co-workers and lose friends, the question they will always ask themselves is Am I really safe?

"One programmer we reached out to Thursday morning was about to go into a meeting where he had to let 10 people go. Ten seemed to be the number we heard a lot on Thursday. Many markets we heard from Thursday had lost about 10 people.

"There's no real way to know exactly how many people were fired yesterday, it's not something a company puts on a press release. It's safe to say the carnage was in the hundreds. And, it didn't matter if you were a weekend jock or a 20-year veteran. This round focused a lot on the bigger markets like Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Columbus, Detroit and Denver, just to name a few.

"More layoffs are expected today and we've been told, but have no way to confirm, today will focus more on management cuts."

The layoffs impacted old timers (nearly 40 years with the company!), and sports figures, and minority voices, and local managers, and programmers (which will translate into even less local input into content choices).

A familiar tactic: use front line managers to lay off the workforce, and then lay off front line managers. Why do we still play this game?

The reference to Minot is an important one:

Clear Channel still haunted by Minot toxic spill disaster

On the night of January 18, 2002, 911 operators serving Ward County, North Dakota began receiving panicked phone calls from the residents of Minot, the state's fourth largest city. "I don't know what it is but there was a huge, huge crash," one caller explained. "There's smoke everywhere outside."

"You need to stay calm until we can figure out what, what's going on," an operator told a resident. "You need to stay in your house."

But it was already too late for that.

"Female: My daughter ran out the front door.
Operator: She ran out? How old is your daughter?
Female: She's twelve . . . Is she going to die out there?
Male: I don't know.
Female: You guys have to hurry please."

What neither emergency dispatch or Minot's residents knew yet was that a railway train transporting anhydrous ammonia for fertilizer had just derailed nearby. It exploded and dumped almost 250,000 gallons of the compound near one of the town's residential neighborhoods. With electricity down, residents who smelled fumes frantically tuned their battery operated radios to KCJB AM 910, the designated local emergency broadcast station, for news.

But to no avail.

"KCJB, and every other radio station in town, were not reporting any news or information about the anhydrous spill," explains New York University sociologist Eric Klinenberg in his gripping book Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media. "Instead, all six of Minot's name-brand stations—Z94, 97 Kicks, Mix 99.9, The Fox Classic Rock, 91 Country, and Cars Oldies Radio—continued playing a standard menu of canned music, served up by smooth-talking DJs trading in light banter and off-color jokes while the giant toxic cloud floated into town."

  Clear Channel still haunted by Minot toxic spill disaster

Clear Channel wants robo-stations -- robot stations with NO personnel. Technology is allowing them to move closer to that goal, as each round of layoffs proves.

Local also gives way to syndication in Chicago, and even gospel loses out:

Quiet Storm ... is expected to be replaced by The Sweat Hotel, a syndicated show... Effie Rolfe, midday host, assistant program director and music director of gospel [was also laid off]

  Chicago stations hit in Clear Channel’s latest round of layoffs

Unable to hide such sweeping dismissals they way they've hidden their continuing stealth layoffs, Clear Channel issued an official statement:
We are constantly looking at all aspects of our business to ensure that it reflects how the best organizations work today, taking advantage of the latest cutting-edge technology and organizational structure so we can continue to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible. Like every successful business, our strategy continues to evolve as we move forward as a company; this creates some new jobs, and unfortunately eliminates others. These are never easy decisions to make. In the process of making these recent changes, some employees were affected. We thank them for their service and wish them all the best for the future."


Radio analyst Jerry Del Colliano's response to that statement: "Successful business?"

Since Bain bought Clear Channel, it has eliminated an estimated 11,000 Clear Channel jobs.

If Clear Channel fired Rush Limbaugh, his $400,000,000, eight year contract could pay ten thousand radio industry workers a salary of $40,000. Clear Channel prefers to keep its bigotry and bloviation, while eliminating the jobs of working people.

And I close with a prediction:

The diarist is active in Flush Rush on Facebook:
Rush Limbaugh's talk radio career is in a slow downward spiral in part because of the activism of consumers, volunteers, and activists who seek to hold Rush accountable for his hate speech. One very active group in this cause is Flush Rush on Facebook. Flush Rush and other, similar groups use the StopRush Database to inform advertisers about where their ads are appearing.

Please consider joining. Small donations are also accepted to fund data storage; visit StopRush for more information.

Flush Rush on Facebook:
Stop Rush database:
My Stop Rush blog posts:
Twitter hashtag: #stoprush

Originally posted to Richard Myers on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:58 PM PST.

Also republished by Sluts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (210+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx, some other george, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, blueyedace2, MKinTN, blueoasis, BonnieJeanneTonks, manyamile, Mother Mags, kevinpdx, Hey338Too, ontheleftcoast, gloriana, Eddie L, Empower Ink, nellgwen, elwior, Marihilda, zukesgirl64, catly, profundo, irate, Silverleaf, KittyFitz50, millwood, socal altvibe, Jeff Y, blueoregon, G Jones, Al Fondy, NearlyNormal, vzfk3s, Russ Jarmusch, LynnS, bread, mookins, Ann B FLAW, AlwaysDemocrat, Miss Jones, Ohiodem1, certainot, Jim Domenico, meg, 2thanks, NBBooks, eru, maryabein, defluxion10, Zwoof, Rolfyboy6, glitterscale, karmsy, filkertom, Vatexia, Odysseus, Shippo1776, Chaddiwicker, SteelerGrrl, Carlo, science nerd, PeterHug, anodnhajo, Jim R, SD Goat, Miggles, arizonablue, enhydra lutris, shortgirl, Alumbrados, Sylv, sparkysgal, markdd, liberte, Free Jazz at High Noon, Steven D, ExStr8, Wood Dragon, jacey, desordre remplir, majcmb1, rapala, IreGyre, trumpeter, Brooke In Seattle, paul2port, uciguy30, ZappoDave, mooshter, cka, stormicats, arlene, Neon Vincent, bleeding blue, tampaedski, leonard145b, tofumagoo, greycat, Cronesense, Shotput8, murasaki, antirove, HeartlandLiberal, dewley notid, simaramis, davehouck, Glen The Plumber, BYw, doingbusinessas, Anne was here, J M F, terabytes, DSC on the Plateau, Philpm, renzo capetti, SanJoseLady, CodeTalker, nicolemm, Homer J, buckstop, Simplify, tommyfocus2003, yoduuuh do or do not, xaxnar, cwsmoke, rubyclaire, jedennis, PrahaPartizan, roses, yet another liberal, NoMoreLies, StrayCat, D minor, thomask, owlbear1, dotdash2u, 417els, Kentucky Kid, Clytemnestra, mod2lib, Just Bob, Radiowalla, dotsright, Liberal Thinking, LOrion, Involuntary Exile, rja, Gemina13, JDWolverton, Youffraita, BlueInRedCincy, bunsk, Noodles, steamed rice, progressivevoice, Wife of Bath, Larsstephens, Blu Gal in DE, FWIW, The Zipper, Siri, Seneca Doane, walkshills, kurt, JVolvo, PeteZerria, Tinfoil Hat, Habitat Vic, Lefty Coaster, cal2010, Alfred E Newman, willrob, MartyM, sb, TheGreatLeapForward, Blue Bronc, bookwoman, marabout40, real world chick, Naniboujou, DuzT, Sailorben, BOHICA, JayRaye, ladybug53, greenchiledem, OpherGopher, GDbot, Crashing Vor, blue jersey mom, oldcrow, Compostings, Leftcandid, cybersaur, wilderness voice, pHunbalanced, Creosote, shesaid, nominalize, CharlieHipHop, dwayne, fabucat, freelunch, cotterperson, Zack from the SFV, IndieGuy, frisco, OleHippieChick, TheDuckManCometh, Blue Bell Bookworm, fredsfish

    Follow me on Twitter: @denverunionguy

    by Richard Myers on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:58:02 PM PST

  •  This tragic (16+ / 0-)

    In a number of ways. Diversity is important, no matter what. I wish there was some way to take advantage of this situation. Some way we could take those people back to work.

  •  Clear Channel is killing terrestrial radio (32+ / 0-)

    Eventually, they will kill the goose that laid their golden eggs.

    who doesn't want to wear the ribbon?!?

    by redacted stew on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:26:19 PM PST

  •  Is it possible to get control (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Lujane, Odysseus, Gemina13, qofdisks, karmsy

    of some of these stations into independent hands? What has to happen to do that?

    Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one. Marx

    by Marihilda on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:29:03 PM PST

  •  You have this completely wrong. (17+ / 0-)

    Where to start...

    Again, Rush is not the cause nor the problem. If you're talking about Clear Channel and Premiere, their issues are entirely debt related. They have been pushing back their debt payments for years and now - with no more room left on the ledge in a few years from now - time is up.

    In the case of layoffs, this has been them since 2005. They have continually laid off people and reorganized their management every year since. Hell, CBS, Cumulus and Emmis have pretty much done the same thing. CC's issue is that they've been trying to hold on to an empty empire of nationalizing radio.

    The Justin Bieber issue isn't illegal or unusual. Since he's popular - and has work he needs to promote - he does it through promotion like any actor would for a new movie coming out. It's promotion plain and simple. If Jerry Del Whatever is saying otherwise, he's no expert on our business period.

    I met Holland Cooke a few times. He's a nice man but he's been outside of the radio industry loop for years.

    Rush's salary is based on what he pulls in from advertisers for Premiere. Plus, it's from the carriage fees he gets from stations. Before Sandra Fluke, he was raking in a lot of cash to justify his salary. It wasn't Howard Stern or Dr. Laura levels but he held his own. Unfortunately, the layoffs of rank and file at their stations is a result of years of bad bets and no real investment in the future.

    There is ample speculation that CC knows their time is up and are preparing for a sell off.

    I understand you're trying to figure this all out. However, you know very little of the lot of it. It's been decades in the making. Rush is only a headache.

  •  let's see if I have this right (15+ / 0-)

    Clear Channel hooks up Lush Rimbaugh, pays him too much, and proceeds to buy up and buy out radio in all big cities, moving on to smaller towns after a while. With their pseudo monopoly, and a strong grasp on sTalk Radio's Fynest, they use those profits to buy even more stations.

    Like any pyramid scheme, this only goes forward while you grow. Forget content, forget pushing boundaries of new programming and artists, forget creativity. They end up with three major venues, consevatalk radio, sports talk, and some way overplayed top hits from the 90s.

    Rush to the bottom has caused the basic flaws in their plan to grow exponentially. Add the fact that Bain decided to leach off their blood, finance them with even more debt, and voila, we see the vacuumed destruction of indie, profitable, and useful stations across the entire USandA, we see their business plan collapse, and we see the coming sell off of hundreds of stations.

    Perhaps those who used to do a real radio job can go back to it.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:31:05 PM PST

    •  Not quite. (7+ / 0-)

      The stations were bought years before. The Mays family that owned CC hired a guy named Randy Michaels. He came up with the concept of nationalizing radio through radio stations. CC bought a lot these stations and needed a national talent to fill it. Rush was one of those people.

      After the Mays simply gave up running it, Bain has been on and off trying to sell Clear Channel for years. There were no takers that would profit them they way the wanted. So they kept it and been loading up on the debt.

      Their worst decision?

      Investing 10 million in the iHeartRadio app.

      iHeartRadio was originally a format incubator for CC to test new formats. And they had some pretty cool ones too but then went the app route.

  •  Radio long ago ceased to be worth listening to (16+ / 0-)

    The companies that owns chains of stations have been aggressively eliminating local content and DJs in favor of canned stuff that plays everywhere, conservative morons and sports talk that has nothing to do with local teams.

    Satellite radio is well worth the price.

    •  Remember the days (0+ / 0-)

      when it was raining out and the local DJ would do a set of great rainy day songs.  

      I got a Satellite radio in my car with a free 90 day subscription.  Not local stuff, but absolutely loved it but can't justify the high monthly subscription for the limited time I am in my car.    

    •  I love satellite radio (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fabucat, elwior, cotterperson, dotdash2u

      But I really long for a LOCAL station that would give me LOCAL news. Something that would do interviews of the local candidates, tell me about local events, maybe even run some local talk shows.

      Music might be nice, but I know music is expensive.

      We get a very local paper every week. It's free, shows up in my driveway. It's probably the only paper I read anymore. It's almost entirely local news. What new businesses are opening, who's running for what, who won what award, what the local schools are doing, etc. I even read the ads.

      That's what I want in a radio station. Just one.

  •  The times they are a changing (8+ / 0-)

    I love radio but things have changed and there's no looking back.  Programming on SiriusXM is so much better that most anything on terrestial radio.  With few exceptions it is painful to listen to AM/FM radio with commercials, shallow playlists etc.  Sound quality of SiriusXM leaves something to be desired but supposedly a fix is in the works.

    Plus you've got MP3 players, CD, Pandora etc to fill the void - although the Pandora business model doesn't work and I don't think it will survive in its current form either.

    Sucks for the employees but the industry has changed, not unlike print media.

    •  I ditched Xm at the end of 2008 when they held (8+ / 0-)

      their own massacre and pretty much gutted most of the musical content in favor of some really shallow crap.  The whole point of satellite radio was to have hundreds of channels along with programming directors who knew the genres intimately.  Without that I might as well assemble my own playlist.  Anyways, when I called to cancel I remember the call center lady wondering why I wanted to cancel when they had Howard Fucking Stern after all!  Now I can listen to podcasts or pandora pretty much anywhere, and luckily here in DC there are several NPR stations and a CSPAN radio station.  Even if I were to find myself in some rural radio wasteland with nothing but country, holy roller, and right wing radio stations, the many hours worth of music on my ipod would do just fine.

      •  After the destruction of XM Radio by Sirius... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tle, Miggles, elwior, Linda1961, asterlil

        ...and living in the Clear Channel wasteland of Denver (yes, that includes the overhyped KBCO as well), I realized that it was preferable to not listen to radio at all.

        Which I recommend - it's amazing how much better life is when you don't have a continuous background of noise all the time.

        "If you are still playing for Team Republican and want to have any honor whatsoever, you need to leave the Republican Party now, apologize to America, and work to remove it from our political system." - Brad DeLong

        by radabush on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:15:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I live in DC but hate NPR & CSPAN.... (0+ / 0-)

        ...I quit CSPAN when on Wash Journal, the African American moderator REFUSED to challenge the Birther caller by saying "Well I haven't seen his birth certificate EITHER."  

        That's when I knew that CSPAN was run by and for fascists.  Nearly everyone is a Ron Paul robot (a few are OK, but every other call?).  

        WAMU on NPR can be OK, but nearly every new hire sounds like an upper class Valley girl with a clothes pin on her nose.  There's this one young witch who hosts a show called "Metro Connection", who talks like another snot and sounds condescending when she deigns to go into a minority neighborhood and speaks to a minority Washingtonian.  Bleah!  Best thing about NPR is it's all night BBC news feed.

        I listen to progressive radio and progressive music across the country via the TUNE IN app.  I've discovered stations like KXRA and KTNF which give me good liberal fare.

    •  It might look like the answer (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, davehouck, qofdisks, DuzT

      But what if it's just a bigger version of the same problem?

      This is all about consolidation, gigantism, and centralism, which are antithetical to localism, innovation, and long-term good economic and cultural health.  

      Much of this cultural wasteland lies squarely at the FCC's feet for its failure to live up to its obligation to prevent oligopoly.

      Technology OUGHT to make localism more and more within reach, economically.  It is the predatory, unregulated, metastatic perversion of capitalism that destroys diversity and innovation.  No organism of any kind can survive endless growth.  Nor can any empire.  We're seeing this play out fractally, with the same phenomenon repeating itself at nearly every level of scale -- except the smallest levels, since they no longer even exist.

      Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
      It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

      by Alden on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:33:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I chalk Limbaugh's demise up to a whole lot (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KittyFitz50, blueoregon, Lujane, LordMike

    of bad karma, much of it instant karma related to his role in the war on women.
      What goes round, comes round, and this is one very round guy.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:37:14 PM PST

  •  Shit. I love rock radio and I don't have a tv, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bleeding blue, elwior, qofdisks, fabucat

    which means i listen to a lot of radio.

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:45:53 PM PST

  •  So, a reality-based question: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    With all these predictions I read, leading to consensus, is this the time to buy Sirius stock?

    •  Maybe- but a better time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      would have been 2009- my son noticed how cheap it had gotten at like 15 cents a share and bought a bunch. It's been steadily climbing and I think it's close to 3 bucks now.
      He still thinks there's more room for growth cause it's a good concept, but he's more of a music guy than a stock guy.

    •  Outside my expertise (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pittie70, elwior

      But I wish I had invested a couple of years ago.  I love Sirius, have 3 receivers and an internet subscription but I'm not sure how big the actual market is.  It's somewhat pricey and there have been some fairly significant price increases but it does deliver, has a massive amount of programming variety, no commercials on the music channels and still uses quality on-air personalities as DJ's.
      I kind of look at it as cable for the car.

      •  I've had Sirius for a long time. The music (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, Steve Canella, DuzT

        channels are commercial free but not so with the talk channels.  I mostly listen to the leftie channels and sometimes NPR but the commercial breaks are getting longer and longer.

        "By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell -- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed." Adolf Hitler

        by pittie70 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:26:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, Music Unlimited (Sony's Rhapsody) just (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        had a huge sale where PSN Plus members get a year for $12 so I will just stick with that for now.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:45:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know, but I've been a Sirius (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, Ted Hitler, fabucat

      subscriber since 2004 and it is worth every single penny. Several channels of rock music, plus Lithium, the 90s rock and alternative station. I love it. That's the stuff I grew up with. I now understand why my parents listened to the oldies station in the car when I was growing up. Lithium is my oldies station.

      And you can't forget about Howard Stern. Can't count the number of times I've nearly crashed my car during a fit of uncontrollable laughter thanks to the show. Baba booey baba booey!

      "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

      by yg17 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:18:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't stand stern (0+ / 0-)

        Never could. But I do like the old radio shows. And the talk stations, especially potus. It is also wonderful to be able to listen to the msnbc lineup when I'm driving home after working late.

  •  I posted about this yesterday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But this is a lot more thorough. :)

  •  saving GOP talk radio is the first priority (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, qofdisks

    can they make it to the next elections?

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:56:36 PM PST

  •  i could be wrong, but i'm guessing this isn't (6+ / 0-)

    the case:

    If Clear Channel fired Rush Limbaugh, his $400,000,000, eight year contract could pay ten thousand radio industry workers a salary of $40,000.
    as i recall, at the time mr. limbaugh and clear channel entered into his present contractual agreement, he was the hottest thing since sliced bread, on radio, period. at least, according to clear channel's own numbers. mr. limbaugh is a lot of things, stupid isn't generally one of them. my guess (and it's only a guess), that $400m is guaranteed money, absent firing for cause. loss of ad revenues would not be cause, unless he has an even stupider attorney, and i'm guessing not.

    so, if clear channel were to drop him, they might get some advertisers back, but they'll still be paying him $50m a year, through the life of his contract. at least this way, they have something to fill airtime with, even if his target demographic is shrinking, as are his show's revenues. either way, mr. limbaugh won't lose out.

    yes, a big part of this is due to the debt taken to purchase all those stations. however, had they done a better job of programming, they could have conceivably generated sufficient revenues to both service/retire the debt, and improve their product. that isn't how bain works though, their investors insist on huge, short-term profits, which usually results in parting out the carcases of their victims, and firing all the help.

    •  I hope they try to drop Rush (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the resulting battle over severance and the contract would indeed be popcorn worthy - and would damage all parties involved. . I hope.

      "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

      by azureblue on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:21:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It wasn't a suggested plan of action, (6+ / 0-)

      it was just a comparison to put certain related issues into perspective.

      Many shock jocks have uttered one or two provocative sentences on the air and been suspended or fired. Limbaugh went on an x-rated tirade for three days, yet there's no discipline whatsoever. Clear Channel has tied their corporate reputation directly to his bigotry and misogyny, in my view. But then, their brand suffers from a lot of different insults lately.

      Follow me on Twitter: @denverunionguy

      by Richard Myers on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:40:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They've always loved assholes. They had a DJ (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, NoMoreLies, tle, kurt

        who advocated that motorists run over bicyclists, and they did nothing. They like sick, twisted dimwits. I assume that it is their target audience.  I note that whenever they hve bought a station or block of stations, it becomes a waste of time to listen to them. It is to the point that I mostly just leave the radio off.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:10:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Clear channel exterminated rock & roll? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shuksan Tahoma, elwior

    Not likely to stick, I'll sic Kevin Bacon on them - and then not only will they have to deal with R & R - but horror of horrors - dancing too!

  •  I'm still worried about those damn plants (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, kurt, DuzT, fabucat

    since they fired the guy who waters them.  What is to become of them?  I feel the same way I did during Katrina, seeing those guys airlifted out while their dogs remained behind on the roof, surrounded by water, barking while their owner flew away to safety.  I thought, Goddammit, where's my car keys, I gotta go rescue that fucking dog!!!  

    So now I feel the same way about those plants.  We need some kind of Clear Channel plant rescue team to go in there and save those poor plants before it's too late.

  •  I started my media career in radio (13+ / 0-)

    and that's where I wanted to finish it as well, but....

    First gig was at my college FM radio station in 1974, where 2 other dudes and myself rocked the night air to the point the local association of broadcasters forced the college to change programming. Seems we were getting in to the Arbitron ratings.

    Sad, but I landed a sales job at the local 100,000 watt rocker and quickly moved into part time DJ. Just as quickly, I was promoted to morning drive and eventually Program Director.

    Our format was based on Tom Donahue's show at  KMPX in San Francisco that I listened to when I lived in Haight Ashbury back in '67. Blues, rock, psychedelic- whatever.

    We turned the station around enough for it to be valuable and , of course it was sold to some bean-dick from Georgia who trashed it. I quit on the air one morning, a move that was followed by most of the other rock jocks. Only one stayed to be fired later.

    So, that was the end of my sweet-assed radio career. Never even applied at another station because I knew what was coming and couldn't have my heart broken again.

    We all stand submissively before the global ATM machine network like trained chickens pecking the correct colored buttons to release our grains of corn. Joe Bageant

    by Zwoof on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:37:03 PM PST

    •  So here's a toast to Russ the Moose, drink up (0+ / 0-)

      and think of something else.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:12:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My radio career path was similar to Zwoof's... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davehouck, Zwoof, DuzT, fabucat

      Recruited from a college station in the mid-70s by a husband-&-wife team who started their own station in a doublewide at a local trailer park, a true underground station that played everything from Zeppelin to Earth Wind & Fire, from BB King to Dan Fogelberg.  All programming decisions made by the jocks, any request honored, very little syndicated content.  After a few years the place was bought by a regional radio mogul to add to the three or four other stations he already ran throughout the state.  Consultants were brought in, playlists were tightened up and more attention was paid to current album-oriented "hits," with major emphasis on the trades and keeping the labels happy.  Another few years and we were gobbled up by a radio conglomerate operating up and down the east coast--even tighter playlists, much more repetition and all programming decisions coming from corporate headquarters with virtually no local input.  'Bout the only individualistic flavor we had left was our longstanding yearly Best of the Bands competition.  At every stage there was less emphasis on the audience we were serving and more interest in the station's bottom line.

      The main problem radio seems to have these days, in this slow economy, is the drastic dwindling of local businesses able to afford the kind of ad rates needed to keep the big media chains happy.  A New York City station may not have much trouble selling out its ad avails, but in the smaller markets the local revenue just isn't there anymore.  There's only so many car dealerships and fast-food joints a second- or third-tier time salesman can bring in, and most of the national ad money stays at corporate.  Sad but true--local radio is dead.

      It ain't free speech if it takes cash money.

      by Uncle Igor on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:55:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reading Susan Faludi's (6+ / 0-)

    book "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women" disillusioned me as a liberal, in squashing this idea I had carried around that heartless-seeming decisions by corporations, are always purely bottom-line driven.  Faludi was documenting specifically the culture's reaction to uppity, post-feminist women. Business suits in dark colors for women, for example, sold really well in the 1970s and 1980s. They turned a profit. But the clothiers didn't like women in business suits (who might get big ideas?), and yanked them. This is just one example, of a business deciding in favor of its covert bigotry, rather than making the best (or equally good) decision for its bottom line.

    This is a striking passage:

    If Clear Channel fired Rush Limbaugh, his $400,000,000, eight year contract could pay ten thousand radio industry workers a salary of $40,000. Clear Channel prefers to keep its bigotry and bloviation, while eliminating the jobs of working people.
    In all too many cases, there's bigotry involved, too, in the decision to fold something or keep it alive, to initiate layoffs or retain workers, to discontinue something, or keep it afloat.

    Thank you so much for spotlighting this. T'd and R'd.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:38:21 PM PST

  •  Long Live Rock, be it dead or alive (11+ / 0-)

    I went to see Pete & Roger do Quadrophenia live in Newark last night. So great to hear the audience get excited with the first notes of "The Real Me", the anticipation of "5:15", and the epic finale of "Love Reign o'er Me".  Then the encores of "Pinball Wizard", "Who Are You", and the still relevant "Won't Get Fooled Again". It still wows people, and that's because people heard them on the radio. Now as Freddy Mercury said, "All we hear is Radio Ga-Ga, Radio blah blah". And a huge amount of blame can be pointed at Clear Channel and other corporations. These people have no idea how to program a station like in NYC. WNEW was a classic station in every sense of the word, and when it went down, there was a collective cry across the city. Now all we have is CC's K-Rock which plays the same damn classic songs every day, or so it seems. How many times do I need to hear fricken Freebird or Billy Joel? It's not just about songs that people like. It's also about educating people. I still remember when Frank Zappa played all the Lather album and said screw the companies. I'd never discover him otherwise. Now the only station I can listen to now is public funded WFUV where I can hear not just classics but good new artists too. So big ups to them and screw Clear Channel. I <3 Radio? F that.

    "Reality has a well-known liberal bias." - Stephen Colbert

    by Rob Dapore on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:48:43 PM PST

    •  WFMU if you can get it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve Canella

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:15:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  WFMU is on the Internet too (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fabucat, enhydra lutris

        I listened to WFMU when they first adopted their Free Form Radio format ca. 1968.  The station then was owned by Upsala College and located on its campus, though operated rather autonomously.  Upsala later closed and the station became independent, moving from East Orange to Jersey City.  Amazingly, it still does a similar format, similar style, truly unique.  I am no longer in the New York area but I sometimes stream them.

        About a decade ago, copyright royalties for Internet play of music went through the roof.  The major labels demanded, and got, royalties that made it impossible to make money at it.  Even noncommercial stations, which were exempt from royalties when I was doing college radio years ago, had to pay.  But WFMU said that they were not affected because the music they play is not released by the big labels; it's independent labels that don't demand the royalties.

    •  FUV rocks! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I don't even contribute to the local (Phoenix-area) NPR stations, KJZZ and KBAQ, any more.  My money goes to the station that plays what I want to listen to.  And I can't even remember the last time I listened to any commercial station.

      Long live Rita, Corny and the rest of the FUV'ers, my musical oasis in the Arizona desert. And fuck Clear Channel.

      See the children of the earth who wake to find the table bare, See the gentry in the country riding out to take the air. ~~Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"

      by Panama Pete on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:18:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Love my Xm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, mmacdDE

    Ok, it is a bit expensive for a lot of people, but I love my Xm radio.  I listen to mostly blues about 8 hours a day, but I've got it streaming on my tablet, so I've got a dozen 'favorite' channels set up, so if I happen to see a song I like on another channel, I can switch.  Some days I'll switch to reggae, and other days it will stay on the pink Floyd channel.  Other days I might stay on the 70's alternative channel.  Awesome.  And never a commercial.  

    The struggle of today, is not altogether for today--it is for a vast future also. - Lincoln

    by estamm on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:50:43 PM PST

  •  Freebird? (0+ / 0-)


    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:51:01 PM PST

  •  If Bain owns Clear Channel, doesn't that mean (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, LordMike, kurt, DuzT

    Clear Channel will soon be bankrupt and no one there will have a job?

    "We all do better when we all do better." Paul Wellstone

    by jolux on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:56:09 PM PST

  •  An increase in the amount of clear channel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    suckage, quite true, but they have always sucked.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:58:57 PM PST

  •  The Minot spill happened before the age of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, sacrelicious

    twitter, and that's the way news of these types of breaking incidents would propagate these days.  Of course that depends on cell phone towers and internet connectivity which are certainly prone to failure, but it is a decent alternative to depending on what has now become an undependable, out-sourced, local radio infrastructure.

    •  Twitter in a small town? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Electricity was down, so home routers (unless they have the battery backup) would also be down.

      The only thing that might online would be cell-phones and iPads.

      Sure, some of those folks would twitter, but in a city the size of Minot I'm not sure the news would get out fast enough or if it would simply make the situation worse.

      Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

      by sacrelicious on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:14:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Twitter? I mean no disrespect, but I think (0+ / 0-)

      you don't know ND or the people there.  

      I daresay, most people in Minot likely view Twitter, as I do, as an annoying platform for people with too much time, and too much ego, to foist drivel and mostly irrelevant crap on those of us who have better things to do 99% of the time than to read the same.

      "[L]et us judge not that we be not judged." Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1865

      by ByTor on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:55:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  These mega-corporations (4+ / 0-)

    that want to make maximum profit by turning radio into a cookie cutter, automated medium with canned, one-size-fits-all content are apparently ignorant of the fact that radio's immense popularity and success was precisely because of the unique, local nature of each station.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:33:55 PM PST

  •  I never realized how fortunate I was growing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Just Bob

    up in western N.C. Back then a turn of the dial could land one on Bluegrass, Piedmont Blues, Country, Rock, Classical, Jazz, Big Band or just about anything. Growing up around such riches probably contributed to my eclectic music tastes.

    Today, most of the stuff heard on the radio is bland over produced garbage when it comes to music. As for talk radio, which I used to enjoy long ago, down here in the Southeast its all right-wing all the time. With the exception of a few online and public radio stations, like WNCW out of Spindale, N.C. I have all but given up on radio. Here in the Augusta, GA area its all Clear Channel and their formats suck.  

    The loudest cries for war come from those who have never seen one.

    by MadGeorgiaDem on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:41:49 PM PST

  •  06/26/2007: A Date Which Will Live in Infamy... (5+ / 0-)

    This was the date that Milwaukee, Wisconsin lost its classical music station WFMR, thanks to Clear Channel. I was listening to an interview on the radio with a Clear Channel PR rep, who was asked if they were worried about losing 'FMR's extremely loyal listener base. The reply? "They'll just tune in to one of our other ClearChannel." (ClearChannel currently has 6 radio stations in the Milwaukee market.)

    I heard that arrogant statement and said, "Right." I switched off the radio that day. I turn it on and tune it in to the A.M. band that broadcasts air traffic communications when I'm in the observatory lot at the airport. If it appears a tornado is honestly on its way I'll turn it on if I'm in the car, otherwise it's the internet for up-to-date, accurate weather information.

    There've been no negative repercussions to turning off the radio. Quite the opposite. The range and calibre of musical offerings on our planet, via the internet, is astounding.

    "If I could have one wish, I would have people accept the importance of our common humanity." --Pres. Bill Clinton, The Today Show, 09/21/06

    by desordre remplir on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:44:29 PM PST

    •  Er, no. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Myers, elwior

      Clear Channel has done plenty of shitty things, but you can't pin WFMR's demise on it. WFMR was owned by Saga, which is actually one of the better players in the industry. It's a small company based in Michigan, and the boss there fought to keep WFMR alive for quite a while, long after many bigger companies would have pulled the plug. Clear Channel had nothing to do with WFMR's existence, nor with its demise.

      Our arguments as progressives must be fact-based if we're to be taken seriously.

      Intended to be a factual statement.

      by ipsos on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:49:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  College radio is dying too (0+ / 0-)

    All that's going to be left is Top 40, talk, and NPR.

  •  Clear Channel recently sold the #1 rated station (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, sacrelicious

    in Minneapolis to Cumulus. The funny part is that Tom Bernard, the morning show Stern wanna-be, now had to actually show up for work instead of doing the show from his home studio. I guess that is what he gets for defending the likes of Bain.

    Some people have short memories

    by lenzy1000 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:37:57 PM PST

    •  No, Clear Channel didn't (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Richard Myers, elwior, The Zipper

      This diary appears to have turned into a "blame Clear Channel for all the evils of radio" festival.

      I'm no defender of Clear Channel (and if I could tell you who I am and what Clear Channel's done to my career and my life, you'd understand!)...but Clear Channel never owned KQRS, the station in question. It passed from ABC to Citadel, which was acquired in its entirety by Cumulus last year. Clear Channel had nothing to do with it.

      Intended to be a factual statement.

      by ipsos on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:52:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love the rock n roll too, but let's be honest.. (5+ / 0-)

    For the last decade, musical radio (regardless of format) has been dying off. The two biggest reasons?

    1) Technology.  Downloading, Satellite, Streaming, Youtube. This is why there's no more record stores either. For better or for worse, we have an on-demand culture now.  

    2) Cell Phones. Think back to the time when you didn't have a cell phone.  It's hard ain't it?* Portable phones of one type or another have now been available in mass numbers fabric for over 15 years now.

    Kids today spend hours on the phones or on twitter, facebook, et al. Just like when Pac Man and Donkey Kong diverted money from record stores in the early 80s, so too do phones divert attention from music. After all you can't talk and listen to music at the same time. That's less demand for cds and radio alike.

    And not to infuriate anyone but Classic Rock's fans are getting older and older and less attractive to advertisers.  Formats such as Standards (Sinatra, Doris Day) and Fifties rock (Elvis, the Supremes, Doo-Wop), were thrown on the trash heap decades ago. It's a vicious cycle for certain, but it can't be blamed all on Clear Channel.

    *Yes, I know there's some of you who are still Luddites and don't own cell phones and are proud of it. But this about the masses of Americans who do.

    Message to Dems: We HAVE to start showing up for Midterms.

    by Jank2112 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:46:36 PM PST

  •  It's all about Demographics... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, LordMike

    ...hmm...where have we heard that lately..?

    Young listeners are the hardest to reach and therefore, youth oriented music, (specifically hip hop and Top 40) will be able to survive low ratings, whereas a rock station might not.

    Talk radio and news radio will survive because in most cities they do get fairly impressive ratings. For instance, here in the Washington DC area, WTOP is the ratings winner year in year out, because of traffic updates every 10 minutes and such. In a car culture like we have out here, where its rush hour all the time, thats a huge hook.

    Message to Dems: We HAVE to start showing up for Midterms.

    by Jank2112 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:11:20 PM PST

  •  Bernie Sanders on Monopoly in Media (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Myers, elwior

    will be on Bill Moyers & Co this weekend.

  •  Thank Goddess for 89.3 the Current (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shenderson, elwior, fabucat

    part of MPR, all local djs, some local music, great variety on the playlist, we get everything from Sinatra to Atmosphere to Sigur Ros to Foo Fighters and of course, my main criteria, they play Muse :-)

    maybe that's they way to fight back , use the Current as a model for other cities?

    -7.75, -6.05 And these wars; they can't be won Does anyone know or care how they begun?-Matt Bellamy

    by nicolemm on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:39:47 PM PST

  •  Pirate radio is really the only hope for the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, elwior, Tinfoil Hat, dotdash2u

    future of radio.

    Clear Channel has pretty much clearcut its way through the broadcast spectrum.  I despise them beyond words.

    "There's been a little complication with my complication"

    by dash888 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:00:21 PM PST

  •  Why was my city spared? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wonder why my city, Lafayette, Indiana, was spared Clear Channel.  Not one station on the dial is a Clear Channel station.  Dittoheads have to import theirs from other cities.

    (The county went for Romney 53/47, btw.  We're not that liberal.)

    "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

    by Yamaneko2 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:06:13 PM PST

  •  I don't think I've listened to radio (4+ / 0-)

    In AGES, outside of Thom Hartmann and Randi Rhodes, and even them only occasionally. More often than not, I'm listening to my music on my iPhone or streaming radio from it or my computer. I'm afraid radio as we know it is just going to circle the drain. A huge change is going to be necessary.

    The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them. - Albert Einstein.

    by Cvstos on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:26:47 PM PST

    •  now I think of it, I've stopped listening to radio (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      i used to listen to WBUR all day.  WBUR Morning Edition into the classical music they used to have at 9am, then a break to concentrate on work, then back to WBUR for All Things Considered at 4.

      I haven't listened to music on the radio since the 80s when a local radio station played songs from the bands my friends were in.

      Now I listen to WTLK in the morning (when I'm not watching Bill and Stephanie on Current).  The only new music I hear is when my favorite shows have musical guests on.

      I listen to my favorite old songs on Grooveshark most of the time.  I thought I was the last holdout with respect to CDs but I haven't bought one in years.

      Wait, not true... I bought a CD last week from a guy who was playing the cello in the subway.  He sounded great.

      "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
      Four More Years! How sweet it is!!!

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:31:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You and half of America (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That is the underlying issue here.  Most people don't listen to radio, certainly not rock fans.

        I'm a musician.  Terrestrial radio might as well be a fossil.

        •  how do people hear new music then? (0+ / 0-)

          WFNX was the last rock station in Boston and it recently went internet only.  Is everyone listening to "radio" on the internet now?

          "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
          Four More Years! How sweet it is!!!

          by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 05:41:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  To some degree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I download the weekly free single on iTunes. That's almost always something I wouldn't otherwise hear or buy. Sometimes I really like it and go looking for other things by that artist, and iTunes will suggest other songs that I might like, which I preview and sometimes buy.

            I also hear a lot of new stuff on glee. Sometimes I then go looking for the original song, because I really like it.

            And my daughter listens to stuff different from what I do, and sometimes I like what she's got and go buy it.

            But radio? It doesn't even enter the equation.

  •  Here's the Tampa report (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The program director for three Tampa area talk stations was among the staffers laid off Thursday by radio giant Clear Channel in a round of downsizing implemented nationally just weeks before Christmas.

    Steve Versnick, 37, came to Tampa in 2010 to serve as program director at political talk outlet WFLA-AM 970, later adding WDAE-AM 620 and WHNZ-AM 1250 to his responsibilities. A Clear Channel employee for more than 15 years, Versnick declined to comment on his departure.

    Clear Channel's vice president of programming in Tampa, Doug Hamand, who is presumably taking over Versnick's duties, declined to say how many people had been laid off locally or how it might affect on-air lineups. He wrote in an email to the Tampa Bay Times that "as a policy, and out of respect, we don't discuss details on personnel matters."

    More at the link.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:26:55 PM PST

  •  Corporate vs. local control bugs me. But ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a cuss-filled, OMG, every petition and every push you can possibly put forward for a changed radio station format? That's the big problem of the day?

    It's a WKRP plot, in fact the WKRP plot.

    But really, while I think it's great to stand up for good music, radio stations change formats.

    Clear Channel sucks. No doubt of that, but this was way over the top.

    by Magenta on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:32:34 PM PST

  •  Kos Ought to Buy Clear Channel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's probably got a very reasonable price, and DailyKos could expand its radio offering.

    Besides, the country needs an honest radio network.

  •  Lucky to live in a city (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's not completely dominated by CC. We've also got the Lincoln Financial Media owned stations. And one of those even plays actual rock music! They've even got local DJs, who actually get to choose what they play. For awhile they even had listeners come in once a week to play DJ for an hour. Good station.

    Sarahpalindrome (n.): A sentence that makes as much sense backwards as forwards.

    by Hannibal on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:50:59 PM PST

  •  My rock station recently changed to sports talk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How can you talk about sports all day? There is only so much to talk about

    That quote about GDP by Robert Kennedy

    by erichiro on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 03:43:19 AM PST

  •  Let us not exaggerate (0+ / 0-)

    "Rock" has been dying across all distribution channels for a decade.  It's musical toast as pop music. Rock radio is as much a dinosaur as Limbaugh.  And good riddance.

  •  you guys might... (0+ / 0-)

    ...bring down Rush but I will bet you will bring down progressive talk with him.  Advertisers are not just ditching Rush they are ditching all political talk.  So be happy about nicking Rush's armor but don't look at all the collateral damage.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 05:38:46 AM PST

  •  I remember radio. . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Myers

    Pardon our dust. Sig line under renovation.

    by Crashing Vor on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:43:19 AM PST

  •  Clear Chan cost me my last good full time job (0+ / 0-)

    Ten years ago, the data collection center I managed closed. Our clients were independent radio stations and small media chains. More and more of them were being bought by Clear Channel and, to a lesser extent by Cox.

    I have had a grudge against them ever since and despise them all the more for the crap they continue to do.

    1,000,000 Strong! TOTAL RECALL!

    by pHunbalanced on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 07:37:13 AM PST

  •  Clear Channel is more than radio...and hates trees (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fabucat, ByTor, dotdash2u

    They are a HUGE billboard company. I've been involved for many years with Scenic Alabama, which fights billboards. In Florida, Clear Channel has so much money/power that it got the state to allow billboard companies to cut down trees that blocked the view of billboards even if the public had paid to plant the trees!

    So they're pretty much intent on creating an environment where we are just mindless zombie consumers supporting our plutocrat overlords. Sometimes I think they see "Blade Runner" not as dystopia but utopia.

    "Maybe life's meaning is not so much found, as it is made." Opus, by Berke Breathed

    by Lisa in Bama on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:06:06 AM PST

  •  It's the debt, stupid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Myers, Rashaverak

    Let's look at this problem from a wider perspective.

    Clear Channel paid too much money for too many stations, and are now deeply in debt. They had unrealistic expectations driven by a decade-long orgy of speculation that saw stations market values rise dramatically, in some cases by as much as 1,000%.

    My long time employer,Charles River Broadcasting Company, owned a Boston FM station called WCRB that played classical music.  When I was hired in 1985, the station was worth perhaps seven million dollars.  Before he died in 1991, the majority owner, the Rev. Theodore Jones, set up a trust to hold his stock, and had a clause added that forbade the trustees from selling the station or changing the broadcast format to anything other than classical music for one hundred years. Sound good, right? Well, read on.

    Wall Street speculators began getting interested in radio in the 1980's. They saw money to be made from buying radio stations, "turning them around", and flipping them to bigger fools at a handsome profit. The only problems were a lof of inconvenient FCC rules, one of which required that if you bought a station, you had to hold it for three years before you were allowed to sell it. Another rule limited an owner to just seven AM, seven FM, and seven TV stations. So, beginning early in the Reagan years, the lobbyists went to work, overturning rule after rule, until finally, in 1996, they persuaded President Clinton to sign the "Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996", which removed almost all limits on station ownership. Now you could own as many stations as you could afford, and flip them whenever you liked.

    In the decade after 1996, stations sold for prices that were positively obscene. A company called Qantum paid $30 million for three stations on Cape Cod, a market of less than 200,000 people. Nassau Broadcasting paid $19 million (if I remember right) for three others in the same market. Stations in the largest markets were selling for $100 million or more. In Boston, WBOS, another former workplace of mine, had four different owners in one year.  A running joke the industry was "if my boss calls,  get his name".

    Clear Channel became the company we know today when Jacor Communications bought the former Clear Channel and took its name; for several years thereafter it was controlled by Lowry Mays and his family.

    Meanwhile, back at WCRB, now one of the last major locally owned stations in the Boston market, some minority stockholders began pressuring the trustees to buy them out. In the fall of 2005, they took advantage of an obscure provision of state law to force the sale of the station. A year later Greater Media bought it for $100 million and flipped it to country music.

    Greater, as they are known, had a problem, though: they already had five FM stations in Boston, and the FCC had a rule requiring them to sell of of their existing stations in order to buy WCRB; so, they gave the former WKLB 99.5 and $20 million to Nassau, now the largest broadcaster in New England, in exchange for a Nassau station in Philadelphia. Nassau agreed to operate 99.5 as WCRB with a classical format, and did so for three years.

    Meanwhile, the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008. Nassau owed an ungodly amount of money to Wall Street lenders, particularly Goldman Sachs. They put WCRB up for sale in 2009, but got only $14 million for it; they buyer was local public broadcaster WGBH, which had the cash in the bank; no one was willing to finance such a deal.

    My twenty-odd year relationship with WCRB ended at midnight on December 1, 2009, when WGBH took control of the station. By then I was only a contractor working part-time for several other stations. In the same week in September when the WCRB sale was announced, another client of mine went off the air and a third declared bankruptcy. It was a not a good year for radio.

    Nassau was not out of the woods; still the largest broadcaster in New England, they still owed more then $80 million to Goldman Sachs alone. They struggled valiantly to get financing, but eventually declared bankruptcy last year. This past spring, the liquidation of their assets was announced. Companies led by Bill Binnie and Jeff Shapiro divided Nassau's New England stations between them; the last I heard, about a dozen Nassau stations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey were still to be disposed of.  Goldman Sachs will never see more than a fraction of the money Nassau owed them.

    Will Clear Channel follow in Nassau's footsteps? Time will tell. But don't blame them; the real villains are the Wall Streeters and their agents in Congress and the White House.

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