Yikes!  I started this post almost a month ago and wasn’t able to get back to it.  At the time, I was curious about the financial outlook of Cumulus Media.  I was shocked and, admittedly, pleased to see the jaw-dropping close of cmls at $1.18.   Then, after a few weeks, I checked it again to see it drop further to $0.96.  I checked the Facebook page of No More KGO and they were on top of the big drop, linking numerous articles about it.

Visit their page and be sure to ‘like’ it:

https://www.facebook.com/NoMoreKGO/

At the time, I found this little news blurb about the current situation at the house of the drooping Dick-eys:

(note, the investorplace page has a pop-up ad on it that is annoying)

http://investorplace.com/2015/08/4-media-stocks-to-sell-now-cmls-wwe-disca-2/

Cumulus Media Inc. Class A earns an F (“strong sell”) this week, moving down from last week’s grade of D (“sell”). Cumulus Media is a radio broadcasting corporation that owns and operates FM and AM radio station clusters that serve mid-sized markets in the United States.

It is no surprise the Dick-eys were graded F on their radio report card.  Any radio listener to any of their failed radio stations across the country could have predicted this outcome, the Bay Area listeners could have told you that way back in December 2011.

The Dick-eys, as expected, are acting in their own self-interest and abandoning their top positions to take a lesser role within the company, probably to deflect any blame and lawsuits to other executives.  In their rush for the door, the Dick-eys grabbed millions on the way out.

wow.

What’s so disgusting about it, and why, in the past, I’ve questioned how former listeners can still listen to the Dick-ey stations after seeing how they fired top talent, dropped employees pay to minimum (yes, all of you so-called former listeners, this more than likely included your kids, your spouses, your relatives, and your friends) and then the Dick-ey brothers reached into every worker’s back pocket for that extra pay the staff should have been getting and paid themselves millions in bonuses every year.

So, if and when the station is closed or sold, your loved ones will continue to struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table, and the Dick-eys will walk away millionaires.  No one benefits but the Dick-eys.  There is no extra income spent in the community because no one can afford it.  The station loads commercials into the mix like logs into a blast furnace and makes the station content unlistenable, but it brings in enough money to line the Dick-eys pockets with more bonuses every year.  And, what about the shareholders?  Can’t they see how the Dick-eys have come in and destroyed radio communities?  I’d tell the shareholders to sue, but they enabled this disaster so why should they be rewarded for bad judgement?

Many of us really are former listeners for a reason and the principle behind it.

I’m not saying the other media conglomerates out there are much better, only that they’ve handled their business with seemingly less brutal tactics than the soulless Dick-eys.

The others, especially in the Bay Area, have also made questionable business and content decisions.   Yes, I’m talking about noTalk 910-AM.  I don’t fault them for all of the missteps.  Who would have thought Gil Gross could be such a disappointment?   You know I have to mention the Friday wife with Gil!  Can any program be designed to irritate people more than this?  It should be banned as a torture device.  Stay away from Friday to keep your sanity intact.

But I do fault noTalk for the disastrous afternoon programming that has driven many listeners away, you know the program, the two selfie sticks talking nonsense and making jokes that make even Gil’s humor sound less awkward, trying-too-hard.  ugh!

I don’t know if that annoying lady yelling commercial is still on the air because that’s when I stopped listening to noTalk.  That, and the selfie-stick programming, drove me to conservative talk.  I don’t enjoy hearing all of the conservative political talking points, day after day, the same talking points on every program using the exact same words.  It is tiresome, but at least there are callers and interviews that bring in both sides of the argument (probably fixed to make the liberal side look foolish, but, hey, there is a discussion and disagreement).  When that gets to be too much, then I always fall back on BBC.  I can expect to find some interesting programming, music or documentary or podcast that adds something to the experience of online listening.

 

One recent podcast on BBC Radio2 I’d recommend others to listen to before it expires in 20-something days: John Lennon’s Last Day.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06f5508

 

Steve Wright in the Afternoon is another BBC Radio2 show that is easy to listen to with a mix of music old and new and celebrity interviews.  He has an interview with Robert De Niro who responds to his interview questions.  If you’ve ever watched De Niro mumble through Late Night shows then you know that’s quite rare to get impromptu, coherent answers out of him.

Here’s a link to Steve’s page on BBC Radio2:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006wr4r

 

Don’t forget about Simon Mayo Drivetime and his Confessions podcasts:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p2dfq

 

Of course, I’ve mentioned it many times, the one program I try not to miss during the week day is New York station WOR’s Mark Simone show.  I love that guy.  I don’t agree with many of his opinions but that’s not the draw of the show.  He really is Mr. Personality who has fun with the callers and his guests.  Yes, he takes calls every day and he makes it entertaining.  There is even a New York lawyer guest on his show periodically who is like Len Tillem’s lost twin with his loud talk and level of crudeness that flirts with offensive.

On a recent Simone show, the lawyer, Lionel, spoke about a subject that we in the Bay Area deal with everyday, the homeless and transient issue.  You have to hear this:

Mark Simone show – guest Lionel, on from 20:40 to about 31:15 on the podcast:

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-show-marksimone/mark-simone-show-90315-hour-1-26325790/

I have experienced this same zombieland in the Bay Area.  Too many times I’ve walked past men who whip it out and pee on public buildings or in trash cans, or who crouch on the sidewalks with full exposure of their backsides on display.  I’ve stood on a corner waiting for a bus and some crazy exiting from a bus across the street runs over to chase me.  Or, a crazy who stood near me and told me, in a threatening way, to stop looking at him (I wasn’t).  Another guy and his buddy pass by sometimes and they are like the walking dead who stumble around and one speaks in a cracked, groggy, scary-deep voice that only a horror movie director would love.   Once, a disheveled guy walked close behind me and said he could attack me in a minute and no one would get there in time to stop him.  That was on a busy street with plenty of people around.  Creepy instances like that.  I’ve had to sidestep many young men who scream nonsense and throw things around in a rage.  And, who has not seen the disgusting patches of feces hanging off the sides of buildings everywhere?

Emptying the day rooms, indeed.

Lionel nails it.  Listen to him on that podcast.

WOR-710AM has been growing in the ratings.  They are now the #1 New York talk station.  It’s not a big number, but they are experiencing growth in this supposedly dying medium.  They are keeping the ‘talk’ in talk.  They don’t have hours upon hours of one person talking and talking and talking to be followed by another person or two, untalented amateurs, talking and talking and talking to themselves.  That is boring, lazy programming.  No station grows by offering stagnant content.  No listener stays around to hear it.

And no real former listener returned to support the Dick-eys 50,000 watt station in the Bay Area and now the Dick-eys are out of the top spots.  Finally.

There was one interesting comment I’d never read before about that blogger guy on the Facebook page of No More KGO.  Don’t know if it’s true.  It was posted by some guy who usually defends the Dick-eys and their decisions, so keep that in mind.  It sure explains a lot if it is true.

 

Anyone out there into programming and code and game design?  Even an amateur can get into this and have some fun with it.

Unity 5 (a game engine) has partnered with Visual Studio 2015 (Microsoft’s integrated development environment) and offers an import package of Visual Studio 2015 tools to be used for Unity scripting.  It includes IntelliSense for C# and, I think, Javascript but I haven’t tried that yet.  I prefer coding on Visual Studio so I love this.

A beginner can download both Unity game engine and Visual Studio Community for free with unlimited use.  It’s a great way to learn how to code and it’s fun to learn how to create a game.  Both sites offer plenty of help getting started.  Unity has extensive training video and manuals available on their site:

http://unity3d.com/

Poke around the Learn tab and you will see what I mean.  There are many tutorials on YouTube as well.

 

Visual Studio 2015 offers a free version and there are many YouTube videos on how to get started coding basic C#.  Also, they have online support on their Microsoft Developer Network that includes all levels of learning to work with Visual Studio 2015.

Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN):

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd831853.aspx

Visual Studio:

https://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/download-visual-studio-vs

Download the Community version for free.

If you try out Unity 3D, then you have to start with the terrain and adding trees.  It is so amazing.  The best thing to do is find a good YouTube tutorial on Unity 5 (game engine) and working with terrain.  The creation is easy and the results are unbelievable.  There are many free assets offered in Unity’s Asset Store and they include a free Standard Assets package to get you started.

Look at the trees in that package.  Wait until you see them in the Unity Game Player in 3D.  Incredible.  Unity assets include creations from Speed Tree, a 3D animation toolkit.  There are some free and pay-a-fee versions in the Unity Asset Store.

If you’re curious about the 3D modeling of trees, this 2012 video explains how it works:

Speed Tree is not free.  There is, at this time, at $19 charge that is good for one month.  All assets created can be used and stored after your paid subscription ends.

You do not have to build your own trees on Unity 3D, they have fully created trees ready for use to populate your landscape.  Try it and you’ll see.

 

So, there’s plenty to do, lots to see, and podcasts to hear.  Get to it!

I’ll get back on the blogging track next month when it won’t be as busy at work now that the holidays are around the corner!

Enjoy the week and see you next time.

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