What do you think about the trend on talk radio to drop the caller format?  It’s all about PPM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_People_Meter) and how radio measures performance/audience levels in relation to the cost a station or media group can charge advertisers.  It’s an ongoing discussion about radio’s future.

Add to the discussion topic ‘Statistics of online radio listeningon this Google Groups thread under ba.broadcast:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/ba.broadcast/dCvatUL4Bus

(Note: this will take you to the topic discussion thread and NOT the main page of ba.broadcast where a sad person posts dozens of unreadable content at a time)

In a small way, PPM measurement reminds me of the standardized tests in school and how the goal is no longer enriching the mind but finding ways to beat the numbers to bring in more money to benefit the administrators or executives.

The end user is no longer in the equation.  It no longer matters what it takes to get the money.  The short-term gain benefits few and the multitude of students or listeners are left wanting.

I’d mentioned Spencer Hughes in my last post.  He’s been a fill-in host for a few days each week in the 10:00am-1:00pm open time slot on Talk 910 (recently vacated by Ed Baxter), and he endorses a caller-rich program.  Spencer has been opening the phone lines and taking calls on any topic.  It’s been interesting to hear.

When David Weintraub filled in two days this week, it showcased the drabness of a program with the host talking for hours except for the phone guest interviews added to the mix.  I turned it off and listened to other options online.  Both Hughes and Weintraub are better options than that sophomoric show following the open slot.  And, thank gawd! they don’t have Gil’s wife pretending to be a viable co-host with her bland observations in agonizingly slow speech until she forgets to control herself and turns on the screeching voicebox.  Why, oh why, is she still on the air?  I stopped listening to Gil’s Friday shows long ago.  Even now it’s painful to remember.

Lately, I only listen to Talk 910 when Spencer Hughes is on and taking calls, although, it’s getting to be a bit much about the online streaming app he keeps promoting.  Weintraub was promoting it as well.  It’s fine to promote oneself and try to reach a larger audience but it’s getting to be ten minutes of it every hour on the hour.  With that said, I enjoy listening to Spencer’s show.  I don’t think he’s on top of his talk show game yet, but at least he ‘gets it’ and is striving to deliver the type of talk show listeners want to hear.  Does it keep PPM busy collecting ratings?  I don’t know.

The discussion on the ba.broadcast link I’ve provided (above) goes into the latest trend of not taking calls, such as:

 I consider a program a “talk program” when it is spoken word and not news or art.  It does NOT have to have callers.  If that was a requirement then Gil Gross wouldn’t qualify as having a talk program since he never takes callers.

But Clear Channel (sorry, “iHeart”) is a big company, and if they wanted Gil to take
calls, I’m sure he would.

… that stroke of genius had to come down from manglement, one of a long string of bad decisions that have sunk any possibility that Talk 910 could get traction.

I’d rather listen to informed journalists and subject-matter experts than to random callers.

I don’t care for those one-person-pontificating-for-three-hours shows, but I guess they’re talk shows because one person is yammering.

Some hosts wonder why people don’t call but it’s not fun to sit on hold for 40 minutes and they take your call 1/2 minute before the break.

But the same old callers time and again get really boring UNLESS the host uses them for schtick as Alan Colmes does on his nightly show.

 

Follow the link and add your thoughts to the discussion.

I included the Alan Colmes comment because the radio show I listen to in the mornings (Pacific time), on WOR710-AM NY, talk host Mark Simone will play with callers and have fun with them.  Yesterday, Simone somehow connected two live callers so all three were on-air and he couldn’t fix it.  So, he told caller Ken, “Hey, Ken. that caller Lou phoned in because he couldn’t stand what you were saying and wants to meet you behind the Starbucks on 43rd after the show and beat the crap out of you”.  Then, after back and forth bantering, Simone tells Lou, “By the way, Ken told us he hates the stupid topics you bring up.”

It was more entertaining than dumb stories about dumb something-or-other.  Simone is a smooth talker and seems to enjoy caller interaction.  He handles it well.  The only thing not good is that he bashes all things liberal.  It’s always good to hear what the other side is trying to sell but I think if Hillary sneezes, they’ll concoct a tissue scandal with her at the center.  It’s getting to be a bit much.

Here’s the link to WOR 710-AM, an iHeart station:

http://www.wor710.com/main.html

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-marksimone/

This week Mark Simone made a comment they all were let go from another station and many of them ended up on iHeart’s WOR710-AM.  I’m going to see if I can find out anything about that story and how the listeners handled it.

Also, Simone posts video on his homepage and this week there is a video of Letterman and Carson in a legal battle:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/david-letterman-and-johnny-carson-once-13556038/

Don Rickles tells a few funny stories about Frank Sinatra:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/tbt-don-rickles-tells-denzel-washington-12750390/

Comedians talk comedy:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/seinfeld-chris-rock-louis-ck-and-13548564/

Seinfeld cast talk about the show:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/the-cast-of-seinfeld-years-later-13556341/

 

Plus, don’t forget about Ed Baxter’s website, The Talk Pod:

http://thetalkpod.com/

How can you not love Lloyd Lindsay Young?

http://thetalkpod.com/lloyd-lindsay-young-legends-weather-prognosticators/

And, of course, visit the Facebook page of No More KGO:

https://www.facebook.com/NoMoreKGO

 

Well, once again, I didn’t think I had anything to say today and here I am talking about not talking…

That’s it.  I’ll not talk now.

Enjoy the weekend!

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