Posts Tagged ‘KGO’

Again!  They did it again.  Of course, they did.  Would we expect anything else from the dark cloud of Cumulus that hangs over the Bay Area?

CCA-SA 2.0 Generic

 

Read about it here and see the comments that follow, 417 at last count:

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Ronn-Owens-moves-to-KSFO-7218704.php

 

I’ve seen it on newscasts as well.  I will post more links as I see them.  I have to work over the weekend so I wanted to put it out there for now until I’m able to read more about it.

 

More links to information:

 

http://soundwavestv.com/2016/03/31/kgo-and-the-death-of-radio/

http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/KFOG-axes-DJs-future-up-in-the-air-7223598.php

http://www.radiodiscussions.com/showthread.php?693580-Changes-at-KGO

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/ba.broadcast/3cKxG4i1XFs

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/ba.broadcast/5C07hGlqYoQ

http://www.allaccess.com/the-letter/archive/24075/as-goes-kgo

And, this one is for the ‘if you don’t go away how can I miss you’ file:

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Ronn-Owens-to-stay-at-KGO-after-station-reverses-7225772.php

 

In my previous post, Type about Talk, a comment submitted by Bruce K. contains many layers for discussion.  I will reprint the comment here for anyone who missed it.  If you want to respond and interact with Bruce K. then Reply to his comments on the Type about Talk post (the post prior to this one) and add to the discussion.

By Paramount Pictures [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Here is the comment in its entirety:

Lately I have been thinking about talk radio and how much I miss it. Oddly enough I started looking for videos on You-Tube to keep up with Bernie Sanders. Then for some reason thought about Bernie Ward and what a disappointment and embarrassment Bernie was to Liberal. I really liked Bernie a lot when he first started on KGO, and even some of his shows before he was a regular. Ugh.

But then I went to thinking about John Rothmann who I used to listen to all the time on that late night weekend slot, and all the other talk show hosts. But virtually any reminiscence of talk radio has me thinking back on what a great diversity and selection there used to be in the Bay Area.

It’s ironic that when I first moved to CA in 1970 KGO to me was an right-wing old man irritant that I never could listen to. Always yelling down the callers, insults and idiocy … a lot like what we hear today after everything has been cut.

There used to be great talk shows on the rock stations, sex advice shows, psychologist shows, political talk shows, science fiction, etc. I could literally be in my car driving and have a selection of very good live spontaneous entertainment and education. I must have spend thousands of hours listening to talk shows. And they started getting better and better.

With a couple of Liberals on KGO finally I felt a little more like something other than right-wing nonsense was being broadcast. The solid middle of the road of Ron Owen, who runs a pretty good show, that is too early for me to listen to very often. But there was Gene Burns, who whether he was Liberal, Libertarian, or whatever could really hold and intelligent conversation. Gene was one of my favorites. And John Rothmann, who I still think is a Republican still used to have really good conversations and let peolpe talk. Same with Pat Thurston, and others.

It has been a very long time since they shut down KGO, and I can only give that Orwellian causes, because there days there is nothing any longer. There used to be all kinds of good TV shows as well, and even speakers in local venues. Almost all of that is gone. There is very little talk radio anymore, and where there is there is about 10 minutes of talk for every half hour.

-Bruce K.

 

In response, I can say many of us miss the talk radio format with interactive live calls from listeners.  The current format of reading Facebook comments or email from listeners is about as exciting as reading the back of a cereal box.  The format lacks forward motion since the host just inserts his or her own talking points again into the discussion after reading the comments and there is no one there to engage deeper into the conversation.  Boring!

The excitement and surprise of live calls is accomplished through the exchange of ideas and hearing reactions to those ideas and the occasional change of perspective as a result.  So many times I’ve felt one way about a subject and then after a phone call or two about it, I could see the other side of it.  I used to enjoy the cops who called in to a show and gave more insight into breaking news stories.  There were always a few listener calls that offered a unique viewpoint of a topic, based on a vast knowledge of the subject.  One host does not know it all.  One host brings preconceived ideas into a subject and has no one to challenge or change them.  It’s all a big YAWN!

A talk radio host can tell us numerous times how times have changed and they have to do things differently now, but listeners know it’s a talking point fed to the hosts by management.  These so-called executives seem to think if they force the hosts to say it enough times we’ll believe it (a bad habit from conservative talk radio).  We know what we hear.  The new format is not working and no matter how many times they try to push that explanation, we know it’s not valid.  After awhile, we give up and walk away.  Everyone who walks away takes ratings with them.

I was encouraged by Ed Baxter and Spencer Hughes.  When Ed was a fill-in host on noTalk910, he supported listener calls and encouraged people to call.  The moment he was given the job as full-time host, he suddenly changed his mind and thought the new format of no calls served listeners more and he explained it with the tired talking-points of management who seem to have no clue how talk radio works.  Then, Spencer, again as a fill-in host, gave long, impassioned speeches about his love of talk radio and how the listener calls are the reason it works.  After filling in for a few weeks, he suddenly changed his mind over a weekend and decided he wasn’t going to take calls after all.  He then gave the same tired talking-points of management.

How can the passion for caller-based talk radio change so suddenly?  Two hosts, who’d said they supported calls,  changed their belief in a short period of time after the promise of a full-time gig.  Gee.  I don’t think it’s the water they drink over there at noTalk.

I have more to say in response to Bruce K.’s comments, but will have to continue next week because I don’t have the time at the moment.

 

Before I go, I wanted to mention a good audio source of music history from the ’50s to the ’60s.  It’s from a post by David Kaye at Google Groups ba.broadcast.  I’ll provide the link, but that forum in general has been overrun by one troll who is stinking up that site as if it was the streets of San Francisco.  Too bad.

Here’s a link to David Kaye’s post:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/ba.broadcast/8jDfi2I5gpM

And, here’s a link to The Pop Chronicles, by John Gilliland, archived by UNT (University of North Texas):

http://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/JGPC/

The Pop Chronicles on UNT is not listed in chronological order so you have to look through the list and choose the audio segment.  There are full and partial songs in the audio mix along with comments from the artists.  The series consists of 55 segments total.  Have fun!  And, thank you, David Kaye, for mentioning it.

See you all next week.

 

 

NARA 533886

I found out that radiodiscussions is gone.  Here’s a link that explains it all – from beginning to end:

http://chicagoradioandmedia.com/news/6167-radiodiscussions-com-message-boards-shut-down

I used to visit that site every so often, whenever I heard something and wanted to find out more about it.  Real radio people populated that site, not some gossipy Caen-wannabe, as we see in that other stupid media blog that is trying to hang on by a thread.

Looks as if everyone is migrating to this site: http://radioinsight.com/community/topic/radiodiscussions-ceases-operations/

When KGO claimed it ‘listened to its listeners’ and changed the entire format in December 2011, they lost most of their listeners. huh.  As Judge Judy would say, ‘you didn’t have your listening ears on’.  A few of the old KGO audience still hang on to Owens, but they don’t ‘get it’, that continuing to listen to that station is the same as contributing to a Kardashian charity fund, where Kim keeps 90% of the proceeds for ‘administrative costs’ – in the same way the Dick-eys have to lay-off highly paid people, and cut the others down to minimum wage, so those same Dick-eys can give themselves another million in bonuses for what they’ve saved in costs.

Not that I would ever listen to Owens ever again after December 2011.  I still cringe when I hear those mattress ads on other stations.  I’ll never go there to buy a mattress.

I noticed on the Facebook page of formerkgolisteners (https://www.facebook.com/FormerKGOListeners– go there and ‘like’ their page.  They update the site with new information every week.) that Len Tillem wants to start up again on radio.  You can find out about it if you want.  I’m not going to bother promoting it.  Len left without a word, just left his loyal listeners hanging and didn’t bother to mention he was no longer posting podcasts.  What did he care?  Listeners weren’t paying him.  Why would he bother to mention to people, who’ve listened to him for years, that they no longer matter?  They don’t give him a check.  So, he can disappear without a thank-you, for months, and think his personality alone will bring people back.

um, no.

I work in a business that is paid by clients, but we wouldn’t have clients if we didn’t have the customers who support them.  We make decisions with both customer and client in mind, not just the one with money attached.  There would be no money attached if there were no customers of our clients.

In a convoluted way, Cumulus Media is trying to circumvent the customer of the product.  They are selling airtime to clients on stations that no longer have an audience.  All Cumulus has to do is tell advertisers how many markets they will penetrate and sell that as a package.  Listeners are a given.  They are counting on having someone listen to their stations at least a few minutes every day, and that way they can profit from ad revenue and add more money to their annual corporate bonuses.  Ever think of that when you listen to Ronn?  I don’t understand how intelligent people still don’t understand this.

It’s interesting that the few who could have profited from the KGO mess two years ago didn’t have the intelligence or ability to pull it off.  That media blogger, instead of expanding his worth in the market, chose to continue down the same path of gossip, sensationalism, and rating media women by their ‘hotness’, not to mention his utter ineptness at putting sentences together.  What a waste of time that was.

Plus, that Santa Cruz station instead of using an opportunity to increase listeners tenfold, they opted to continue using equipment that seldom worked, podcasts that never posted, and some old lady who loved Donald Trump and was allowed on the air, every day, to express her opinion.  yikes.  What a mess!

These are not the game changers.

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The new station that offers a half-day of programming for the former KGO listeners, KKSF  Talk910, will be changing their programming soon.  Gil will stay.  I don’t have to tell you what I think of that.  They might as well cut his entire Friday shows.  What a disappointment Gil has turned out to be.

Frosty’s programming will begin at 10:00am now instead of 12 Noon and will end at 1:00pm, not 3:00pm.  I don’t mind.  It cuts into my BBC Radio2 time, but I’m sure Simon Mayo won’t care that I have to switch to local programming after his confessions segment.

I’m unfamiliar with the person taking over the 1:00-3:00pm slot.  Randi Rhodes.  I’ll be listening and maybe I’ll have more to write about after these changes take place.

Not that anyone reads this, anyway.  But, hey, I don’t mind.  Keeps out the riff-raff.

Here’s the announcement of the change:

http://www.examiner.com/article/bay-area-gets-back-an-hour-of-armstrong-and-getty?cid=RSS-EX-topnews

oh, did I forget to mention that Limbaugh is gone from KKSF in January?  ha!

Plus, I’m not excited the buffoons known as A&G will get an extra hour, but I sure won’t be listening to them.  Just like I don’t listen to Gil on Fridays.  But, I’ll probably be listening to KKSF an additional two hours now, every day except on Friday, and I’m happy about that.

For once we can get through December without a radio catastrophe.

Enjoy the holidays!

Photo by Olybrius CCA-SA 3.0

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Hey, it’s a long, holiday weekend so we’ll wander off the path of radio a bit and peek into the backyard of the anti-pope where he and Sarge discuss the Miley media moment.

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9/5/13 UPDATE: yikes.  I titled this as a play on words for cyber attack, and now I see that the anti-pope really did have a cyber attack that didn’t have anything to do with Miley Cyrus.  He deleted everything and started over, so all old content has been removed.

Here’s what he says about it: http://open.salon.com/blog/james_emm/2013/09/07/purging_my_soul

Darn.  He’s hit and miss with his blog, but when he’s on it’s a compelling read.

ANOTHER UPDATE 9/8/13: well, he did  it again!  He deleted his recent purging post!  What is going on over there?  Anyway, here’s what he says now: http://open.salon.com/blog/james_emm/2013/09/08/why_i_deleted_myself

You’d better read it fast before he deletes this one!  You’ll now have to read the Purging My Soul post in Google cache.  Oh, well….

You can still find his old Miley content by Googling: opensalon emmerling rumimatopms on mz miley.  You have to look at the cache view to see it.

NOTE: The following link is no longer valid.  You have to view it in Google’s cache.

http://open.salon.com/blog/james_emm/2013/08/27/a_child_blown_up_ruminations_on_mz_miley

“I am reading that from some quarters that this is about the ‘’empowerment of women’’. And from other quarters that such ‘’obscenity’’ and bare skin and suggestive twirlings & whirlings are exactly the opposite of empowerment.

I am thinking: it was the teenage boys who are now empowered, if this is their image of the female species.”

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Some months back I posted a link to an event promoted by Broadcast Legends that brought together some former KGO staff and hosts at a public luncheon.   Now that the Chronicle has lifted their pay-wall, the write-up by Ben Fong-Torres is visible to the public:

http://www.sfchronicle.com/entertainment/radiowaves/article/Strange-timing-for-Legends-KGO-tribute-4673690.php

It’s interesting what was said about the financial health of the Dick-eys at Cumulus, especially after the headlines this week of a merger:

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-08-30/cumulus-keeps-rush-limbaugh-dials-up-new-talent-just-in-case

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/31/business/media/cumulus-media-will-buy-a-radio-syndicator.html?_r=0

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Well, I guess we did wander back into a radio theme.  So, let’s finish it off with an interesting bio I found on Gil Gross.  It explains his penchant for crafting jokes out of every other sentence spoken by his show guests.

http://www.phillytalkradioonline.com/archive/wwdb/gilgross.html

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That’s it!  Get back to enjoying a long, relaxing weekend before it’s over!

We’ll PPM next week.

Image by Eric Dufresne from Trois-Rivières, Canada CCA-2.0

“Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results”.  Many attribute this quote to Albert Einstein (although there is no originating source to access).  I’m no Einstein, but Arbitron’s PPM-based radio is a little bit of insanity.

I’ve discussed over and over again how unsatisfying Gil Gross’ radio program has been lately and how I’ve been trying to understand why.  It’s a shell of the programming we’d become accustomed to on KGO before the Cumulus Dick-eys gutted that talk station and threw the scraps to the listeners while they dined on the fleshy remains.

It’s not only talk radio that has been affected by this crazy style of programming.  Many music stations are chasing the PPM dream as well and music listeners notice the decline.  They, too, try to understand what is happening.  No matter how many listeners express outrage, radio programming continues the slide downward.  The following blog post written by Adam Hogue attempts to explain why radio content is no longer listenable and his idea on how to fix it:

http://www.policymic.com/articles/13624/the-radio-in-decline-the-radio-reinvented-why-we-must-update-our-radio-stations

He recognizes that PPM doesn’t benefit radio listeners, and he’s calling out the current state of radio.  In his analysis, he includes radio shows he finds satisfying with in-depth content.   One is Radiolab, a well-produced show that I’ve linked to in previous posts.  There are some great Radiolab episodes on podcast.  During times I can’t listen to Gil’s show any longer, and it’s getting to be more than just on Fridays, I seek out Radiolab episodes that bring back a sense of sanity in radio programming.

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Here’s a link to Radiolab‘s Episode Archive page:

http://www.radiolab.org/archive/

The nice thing about the Radiolab archives is the next episode will play automatically.  I like that.  I don’t have to continue to bring up the program, find the next podcast, and hit play.  I can let it run in the background.

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Adam Hogue also linked another program I’ve never listened to before.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/

I’m listening now to Episode 109, titled ‘Notes on Camp’, under the recently aired section.  It’s stories about summer camp and captures that culture of outdoor camaraderie seated around a crackling camp fire.

This definitely is an option to replace Gil’s show.

It’s not optimal, though,  because it’s a one-time per week broadcast, like RadiolabThis American Life episodes are only available for one week after broadcast, unless it’s downloaded to your computer.

Here’s their podcast page:

“Most weeks This American Life is the most popular podcast in the country, with more than a 800,000 people downloading each episode. When you subscribe to the free weekly podcast, episodes automatically download to your computer. Episodes are available for exactly one week, beginning the Monday after broadcast. Podcast content is the same as the radio broadcast, except on occasion when we include extra material on the podcast that had to be cut for time”

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http://www.thisamericanlife.org/podcast

(This page includes all of the links to subscribe for free, or download or where to find them on iTunes and Amazon.)

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The ‘Notes on Camp’ Episode explores the group experience.  In some ways, the old KGO talk-radio format was the Bay Area’s camp fire, where we all sat around as a group and listened to stories.  We listened to Gene Burns’ eloquence, and to Pete Wilson’s pirate talk, and Bernie Ward’s ego inflating rants before flattening to the ground with his felony conviction.

We listened in awe around that KGO camp fire, we laughed and we cried as a group and the non-KGO people didn’t understand what it meant to each and every one of us.

We are missing our local camp ground.

We have to search for John Rothmann, we wait for Len Tillem to post new podcasts, and we catch Ed Baxter sometimes filling in for Gil Gross.

There will always be a place for Gil’s show, when news is breaking or when a political issue needs to be analyzed, but it’s no longer a turn-it-on and leave-it-there type of show.  There’s no group sharing, listening to what one another has to say.

Unfortunately, Frosty is following that same path.  I enjoy listening to Frosty’s show, he has a different spoken style than Gil and I haven’t heard the same story from him ten or more times.  But the PPM way of ‘chasing ratings’ is what will ultimately chase me away to seek alternatives.

Summer camp is over.

Will the last person out please douse the embers of the once mighty flame.

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Here at the end I’ll leave you with this new post by the anti-pope about death and ants:

http://open.salon.com/blog/james_emm/2013/07/28/of_god_deathand_ants

By GeeAlice (self-made from Image:Cat silhouette.svg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As you know, I’ve become a bit unnerved by the current state of talk radio in the Bay Area.  I’ve been doing the same thing I used to accuse Bill Wattenburg of doing – saying the same thing over and over again.  Just replace ‘eco-freaks’ and ‘bubble-butt politicians’ with ‘no callers’ and ‘Gil Gross’.  Add to that Gil’s disastrous Friday shows.

I can’t guess why Bill Wattenburg does it, but I do know why I do it – out of pure frustration.  I also know I’m not the only one who is thinking the same things I’ve been posting in a public blog that few see.  Search terms for this blog ask the same things I’ve been asking:

What is wrong with Gil Gross

Why isn’t Gil Gross taking any callers

Why does Gil Gross have his wife on his radio show on fridays talk 910

Why doesn’t kksf have any callers

Why does Gil Gross suck

What happened to Len Tillem podcast – (I’ll get to that in a minute)

And, my personal favorite:

Len Tillem naked

Sorry about that last visual…

I’ve read comments on other sites that attribute this new programming style of changing topics continuously, throughout half-hour segments, to Arbitron’s new ratings measuring tool: the Portable People Meter (PPM).

PPM has devolved radio into cat-chasing-tail programming.  Around and around, keep it going, turn it around, trying to catch listeners who tune in for less than five minutes.

Finally, I found a comment by David Kaye in radiodiscussions.com that explains it as told to him by Gil Gross.  It’s in a thread from October 2012 titled ‘Jerry Doyle Takes over Savage old TRN spot’ and this is the comment and the link to the discussion:

http://radiodiscussions.com/smf/index.php?action=printpage;topic=220596.0

“Or it could be that he has changed the formatics of his show to work better with PPM.  The 15 minute block is now THE way to do talkshows.  I was talking with Gil Gross about this a few weeks ago.  If you notice, he changes topics every 15 minutes and seldom takes calls.  He told me that he does this specifically because of the PPM periods — gotta keep the topics fresh every 15 minutes or it’s too easy to lose listeners.  PPM relies on 15-minute blocks of time and transponders reflecting actual listening.  The old days of filling out diaries and *saying* that you listened to X station are gone.  A station has to keep goosing up those quarter-hour ratings.”

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It also explains why Frosty is following Gil’s program format, but it doesn’t explain why Gil’s wife is still on his Friday shows, unless it adds to the PPM when people click off the station when they hear her and return when she stops talking.

Gil is adapting to new technology.  The degradation of his show is directly associated with chasing those five minute listeners to attract advertising revenue through higher ratings published from PPM results.  Who cares about loyalty?  Listeners who tune in for hours detract from the ratings meter.

It explains the direction of the new KGO under Cumulus management, the Dick-eys, chasing those PPM hits by running all news all day, thinking they’ll get hits every few minutes from people who change stations constantly.  (It doesn’t explain Cumulus’ callous treatment of the former KGO hosts and the Dick-eys obvious disdain for the Bay Area listening audience).  They want hits from anyone wandering by their frequency and who happens to hear a minute or two of content before leaving again.

Is Arbitron the real culprit here?  Have they set-up a flawed tracking tool and radio now has to chase a lowered standard of broadcasting to compete?  Maybe Arbitron should be dropped as a revenue tool, or broadcasters should question why they chase what Arbitron dictates.  It’s evident in this market that Arbitron has miscalculated the loyalty of the old KGO listeners.  More than a year later, people are still searching for the content of the old KGO.  They’re still looking for their beloved broadcasters.  The listeners are left wanting.  Why can’t Arbitron measure that?

Add to the equation advertisers who buy air time.  They are losing as well.  Who will be there to hear about a product when stations garner and value two minute listeners?  Does this make any sense?  Why aren’t the advertisers speaking out?  It’s a long chain and someone up or down the chain has to speak out to change it.  The ironic thing about this is the advertisers benefit the least from this new structure.  Yes, the ones who supply money to the stations don’t get anything out of it.  It’s no mystery why advertisers are abandoning radio.  Advertisers understand brand loyalty – something that is not even considered in the PPM environment.

Radio broadcasters and advertisers should get together and find a better system.  Why should they accept a ratings system that pushes them all down the road to failure?  Is no one listening?   Where is the voice of the local advertisers in all of this?  No one is listening to the stations, but is anyone listening to what hordes of frustrated radio listeners are saying?

I don’t think anyone really believes this is working.

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I looked up articles about PPM to find out more about it and I found some articles of interest.

This variety.com article written by Bob Lefsetz examines the culture of radio, and I’ve included some excerpts:

http://variety.com/2013/music/news/radio-digs-its-own-grave-as-cultural-currents-shift-1200500285/

“Luddites in radio still believe the Internet didn’t happen, that we’re all prisoners of the dial, where there are few stations and little innovation.”

“Most people under age 20 have never experienced good radio. So when baby boomers and Gen X’ers start waxing rhapsodically about their old-time favorites, wanting them to come back, it’s the equivalent of wishing that musicvideos would come back to MTV.”

“Insiders believe that there’s no revolution in terrestrial radio because the owners know it’s headed into the dumper. They’re just milking it for all they can before it falls off a cliff. So if you’re waiting for format innovation and fewer commercials … you’ll be waiting forever.”

“To grow mass, you’ve got to make us feel included. In other words, it’s all about culture. Talk radio has culture. As does public radio. After that, it’s a vast wasteland of sold-out stations with the same fl aw of network TV. … Trying for broad-based appeal, they appeal to no one, and cede their market to excellence. HBO and the cable outlets killed networks with quality. … If you don’t think new services will kill terrestrial radio, you must like inane commercials, you must like me-too music, you must think airplay on one of these outlets will sell millions of albums, but that almost never happens anymore.”

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This nab.org article explains PPM and it includes an image of the meter equipment:

http://www.nab.org/xert/scitech/2008/Radio_TechCheck/radio/rd032408.asp

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This Mark Ramsey Media article addresses PPM and talk radio:

http://www.markramseymedia.com/2011/08/is-ppm-unfair-to-newstalk-radio/

“In any given quarter-hour under diary methodology, you used to have to listen at least five continuous minutes for that listening to “count” you as a listener and to “count” your listening as an “occasion.””

“Under PPM however, I’m told that those five minutes no longer need to be continuous.  That is, if I flip back to the station several times in a quarter-hour I count as a listener and my listening counts as one occasion as long as all those minutes and seconds add up to at least five minutes.

“This hurts the performance of News/Talk.”

“In other words, because of the nature of spoken word content you will need a much longer trial period to determine whether you will keep listening or not. This means you’re far less likely to flip back and forth to a News/Talk station during a quarter-hour, thus your chances of aggregating a qualifying amount of listening in that quarter hour are slimmer.

“Due to the lower churn you’re less likely to “count” as a listener to News/Talk.”

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This Talkers.com article by Michael Harrison talks about the audience factor and the purgatory of PPM:

http://www.talkers.com/2012/09/19/can-terrestrial-radio-thrive-in-the-digital-era/

“The internet is a miraculous medium but terrestrial radio stations must use it more wisely and not be in such a rush to sacrifice the uniqueness and indispensability they need to earn in each local marketplace – where the loyalty and revenue lies – for the fool’s gold of being just another of a thousand mediocre versions of its equally mediocre self co-existing on a single national dial in everyone’s dashboard.  Yikes!”

“PPM notwithstanding, there is no “meter” to measure actual usage the way electricity, water and telephone consumption is tallied.   No tickets are sold. No circulations are audited. There are no “click-thrus.”  As advertisers expect increasingly precise metrics, radio lags behind.”

“Again, Arbitron does a good job within the limits of reason and reality – but the PPM is not good at measuring the audience loyalty and quality-appreciation factors better served by the admittedly imperfect diary that also apply to getting positive results for advertisers.  Simply put, if radio allows itself to be judged in the advertising marketplace solely on numbers, it’ll soon be lights out for most of the stations currently on the air.”

“Those 30 and 60 second “spots” pile up into PPM pits of purgatory. Something must be done soon about the elephant in the room.  Commercial spots are ratings killers.  It is the cruelest of ironies that the very commercial itself can prove to be the downfall of commercial radio.”

“The terrestrial radio industry, armed only with draconian budget cuts, increased centralization of management and programming, and letting it all hang out online, can only hope to survive as long as the FM/AM car radio remains dominant in America’s dashboards.  After that has changed, all bets are off.”

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This 2010 radiostationmanagement.blogspot.com article by Doug McLeod believes there is a need for speed:

http://radiostationmanagement.blogspot.com/2010/12/ppms-lesson-for-talent-get-to-point.html

“While Top 40 programmers have preached short-and-snappy for decades, PPM makes talent who get even a little too chatty pay a stiff price: less cume. And make no mistake, it’s a cume world now. No more diary-based recall methodology. The PPM simply sits there and logs what’s being listened to. As a radio station manager that means your stations – the only brands you have to sell – had better not be wasting listeners’ time.”

“This is especially true for talk radio, both issues-oriented and sports. Many a talk show host has grown up professionally listening to the kings of talk radio but that isn’t always good. The long-winded hour opens (or teases or churns) practiced by some of the most famous yakkers in radio became Old School the day the first PPMs powered up. Now, it’s not only antiquated to cruise through a ten- to twenty-minute show or hour open, it’s deadly”.

“But one of PPM’s crucial lessons is that programmers’ long-time habits of loading up the first quarter-hour are wrong: listeners stay aboard fairly evenly – and desert just as evenly – throughout the hour. Thus the need to get into compelling subject matter fast and keep it moving.”

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This article by harkerresearch.typepad.com discusses the declining numbers of morning drive and questions the accuracy of PPM:

http://harkerresearch.typepad.com/radioinsights/2010/01/is-ppm-antipersonality.html

“Questions remain regarding the accuracy of PPM. Some critics believe participant panels are too small. They note that AQH and share are calculated based on a very small proportion of active panelists who actually carry their meter. Unfortunately, most personalities won’t get very far with their general manager rationalizing low numbers with methodological explanations.”

“The goal of a morning show has to be to produce ratings regardless of measurement issues or problems. PPM may be flawed and unfairly punish personality radio, but personalities have to understand that the game has changed. The personalities that survive will be the people who adapt.”

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This ocregister.com article written by Gary Lycan is also about PPM’s effect on morning DJs and it includes excerpts from Jeff McKay’s RadioInfo article.  I’ll add links to  McKay’s feature article as well, its focus is on music but his five-part series touches on all aspects of radio play.

First, the ocregister article titled  ‘DJs in the ’60s would never survive today’s ratings’:

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/radio-413884-station-feb.html

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Now, RadioInfo’s Jeff McKay’s Five-Part series on ‘The State of the Disc Jockey’:

*

Part One: Personality Radio is “Dying” – But Still Gets Solid Ratings

http://www.radioinfo.com/2013/01/28/the-state-of-the-disc-jockey/

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Part Two: The PPM – a DJ’s Downfall

http://www.radioinfo.com/2013/01/29/the-state-of-the-disc-jockey-part-2/

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Part Three: Radio Killed the Radio Star

http://www.radioinfo.com/2013/01/30/the-state-of-the-disc-jockey-part-3/

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Part Four: The “Evolving” DJ – Adapting to Radio’s Changing Times

http://www.radioinfo.com/2013/01/31/the-state-of-the-disc-jockey-part-4/

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Part Five: The Future of the Radio DJ

http://www.radioinfo.com/2013/02/01/the-state-of-the-disc-jockey-part-5/

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Finally, This radioinsights.com article is about digital dashboards:

http://www.radioinsights.com/2013/07/ford-dumps-digital-dashboard.html

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And, before I wrap this all up in a big, bright bow, I’ve noticed that Len Tillem has not posted any podcasts since June 10th.  Is he on vacation?  Why aren’t there any ‘best of’ shows?  The beauty of podcasting online is the ability to inform in real time.  I hope all is well with our loyah, well enough to update his listeners about his formerly daily podcasts.  We wonder and worry.  We need our loyah fix.

Here’s the link to his Spreaker page.  Follow him, so he can break the 6,700 followers mark this week.

http://www.spreaker.com/user/lentillem

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So, to wrap it up, now that we know why Gil Gross and his fellow broadcasters are churning their shows, the question to ask now is how…

How do we change it?

Photo by Jens Japel

In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have started a blog.  I have a busy job and not a lot of time to put the effort into a seemingly simple one post per week type of blog.  But, I was so darn angry at Cumulus Media and I’d awakened to the mess of our public airwaves.  I had to express it somehow.

Today, I’m still darn angry at Cumulus Media and how they threw their trash into our backyard.  If you want to read more about Cumulus Media history, there’s an extensive article here: http://www.answers.com/topic/cumulus-media-inc that lists all of their radio stations (stations you should now boycott).

**Note: See the end of this post for discussions of Cumulus Media on the News/Talk section of radiodiscussion.com.

Also, I’ve never been fully committed to the radio station that offered jobs to some of the former KGO hosts; the daily content wasn’t appealing to those of us who were used to leaving our radio dials in one spot all day long.  The morning screamers had me holding my hands over my ears and turning it off, then came Rush and the big rush for the door for me.  I had to wait for Len at 3:00pm before I could turn on the radio.  Until then, I streamed online BBC Radio 2, listened to KQED, sometimes Radiolab, and many times (but not now) I’d listen again to Len’s and Gil’s podcasts from the day before.

So, now Len has been kicked to the curb again from the station we thought would save us from our radio nightmare.  huh.  Guess my instincts were right.  That station operates in a similar way to the hated Cumulus Media.  Something we always knew but didn’t want to admit.

Sure, I still listen to Gil on that station.  He is professional and endearing.  Well, that is when he doesn’t drag his wife on the show and that is my first break with Gil.  Why does he continue to push Rhoda on the listeners?  We really don’t want to listen to it.  She doesn’t add anything to the show except the cringe factor and the high-pitched voice unsuited for the airwaves.  Added to that, I can’t understand why a Talk station is committed to keeping out callers.  You know, the talk portion they are touting.

I wonder if it’s a budget thing.  I know Gil can handle callers, but maybe there’s no budget for proper screeners.  Is that what it is?  I’ve been reading that the company is not in the best financial condition so it’s the only reasonable explanation I can come up with. What do you think?

Sorry, I’m not adding a link for Gil any longer since that station got rid of Len.  Not Gil’s fault, I know, but I don’t want to advertise a company that has similar business practices to those losers at Cumulus Media and are acting like a bunch of Dick-eys.

This leads to my thoughts about that media blogger who has tried to profit off the backs of these media professionals.  I no longer add that link since it’s not worth the time even if you have time to waste.  I see reposts of it on the Facebook page of https://www.facebook.com/FormerKGOListeners .  FormerKGOListeners do a good job keeping up with what’s going on in our media wasteland.  Sometimes it includes that blogger guy.

I used to read that media blogger guy’s posts just for the comments, but it turned into one big advertising message for that weird Santa Cruz station.  uh, no thanks.  Plus, that blogger guy has made up so many stories from so-called ‘reliable sources’ that there comes a time to reflect on the saying: Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice… (yeah, you know the one).  We have lives to live, who wants to waste time on that nonsense?  Also, so many supporting comments over there on that blog are obviously fake to fluff up the numbers.  It doesn’t pass the smell test.  I hold my nose when I see that stuff now.

*

We might have a chance to see some of our former hosts together again.  For one night in Berkeley, on Thursday, June 27th, 11:30am – 3:00pm at Spenger’s Seafood Grotto.  Not much yet except the date and time.  There is no mention of potential guests.  That would be good to know.

Here’s the link:

http://www.broadcastlegends.com/index.html

*

By the way, if you don’t know, Len is back, baby!  He’s now taking about four or five calls per day.  All new stuff.  Follow him on Spreaker.  Bump up his numbers (currently at 6,408 followers) and take a minute to leave him a message.

Here’s the link to his podcasts on Spreaker:

http://www.spreaker.com/user/lentillem

Following are links to his show for the past week:

http://www.spreaker.com/user/lentillem/len_tillem_show_5_16_2013

http://www.spreaker.com/user/lentillem/len_tillem_show_5_15_2013

http://www.spreaker.com/user/lentillem/len_tillem_show_5_14_2013

http://www.spreaker.com/user/lentillem/len_tillem_show_5_13_2013

http://www.spreaker.com/user/lentillem/len_tillem_show_5_10_2013

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I hope you haven’t forgotten about Ed Baxter.

Here’s a link to his Making Sense podcasts (I wish they were dated, I don’t know if he updates them weekly or daily):

http://edbaxtermedia.com/category/podcasts/

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John Rothmann continues to share his insights with Gil every so often on the radio.  If you want more, here’s a link to John Rothmann’s web posts:

http://johnrothmann.com/

Here’s his most recent post:

http://johnrothmann.com/post/50656866815/around-the-political-world-with-john-rothmann-may-17

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Yes, and Bernie Ward continues to write for his Lion of the Left Speaks blog.

Bernie’s May days blog posts:

Thursday, May 2, 2013 – No Free Lunch (about online privacy and the Right To Know Act)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/05/no-free-lunch.html

Monday, May 6, 2013 – Suicide is Painless… (about the rate of suicide in America)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/05/suicide-is-painless.html

Monday, May 13, 2013 – I’m a H-1 Believer… (about big tech labor)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/05/im-h-1-believer.html

Monday, May 13, 2013 – Killing the Golden Goose… (about energy exports)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/05/killing-golden-goose.html

I found this old news item about Bernie Ward’s former house when it went back to the bank:

http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2011/05/the_lion_of_the_lefts_home_falls_prey_to_its_loans.html

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Think I’m done?  Oh no, I’m going to link away….

Last week, Gil Gross said on his show that he doesn’t believe in ghosts or psychics.  He mentioned Sylvia Browne specifically and how she told the mother of Amanda Berry, on The Montel Williams show, that her daughter was dead.

Here’s the link:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2013/05/psychic_sylvia_browne_said_amanda_berry_was_dead_why_do_police_consult_psychics.html

Gil really slammed Sylvia Browne, calling her a fraud that preys on people’s hopes.  I used to like watching her on The Montel Williams show.  Didn’t see it much, only on my days off from work every so often.  But I did see the show when Sylvia Browne predicted a disaster somewhere in India and said to tell anyone who planned on going there that they would die.  That’s what she said.  Don’t go there, you will die.

Here’s an excerpt talking about that show from http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread111679/pg1

“In October 2004 on the Montel Williams Show, Sylvia advised viewers to avoid travel to India due to safety concerns. On December 26th Sylvia’s prediction was validated when a tsunami devastated India. Sylvia further warns that travel to the region will not be safe for another 6 months due to health issues (water purity, disease) created in the aftermath of the tsunami.”

Here’s information about the tsunami that hit on December 26, 2004:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/12/1227_041226_tsunami.html

I don’t think that’s just a lucky (or unlucky) guess on her part.  She was adamant.  But, I don’t think it’s possible to for someone to ‘psych’ on command, in a quick answer to a question.  I don’t think the type of energy is there for it.  But, I wonder if some of the big stuff can be felt before it happens, like an intuition.  We have all experienced that.  We just don’t go on tv to talk about it.

So, I also got to thinking about how Gil doesn’t believe in ghosts.

I was going to write my thoughts on it.  I was searching around on the internet and I found this interesting site:

http://www.ghostsofamerica.com/

There are some really interesting ghost stories about good ol’ SF.  This one in particular is so trippy:

http://www.ghostsofamerica.com/9/California_San_Francisco_ghost_sightings4.html

Here’s an excerpt (if you dare):

“Once again, I saw the man standing at the shoreline. I said, ”the fisherman! ” and at that moment, the man’s legs stretched to at least 40 feet long, as he took 3 giant steps toward us!”

If you listen to Gil’s show, you know that he is on vacation for a few days.  Frosty is sitting for him and I see that he is up for discussion at  http://www.radiodiscussions.com/smf/  .

Want to join in? Here’s the San Francisco section:

http://radiodiscussions.com/smf/index.php?board=203.0

And, here’s the Frosty thread:

http://radiodiscussions.com/smf/index.php?topic=234810.0

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**Some recent discussions about Cumulus Media at radiodiscussions.com in their News/Talk section:

Here’s the general News/Talk section link:

http://radiodiscussions.com/smf/index.php?board=284.0

Following are direct links to the threads about Cumulus Media.

Titled – A Great Article Re: Cumulus and Rush

http://radiodiscussions.com/smf/index.php?topic=234577.0

Titled – What is Cumulus Doing?

http://radiodiscussions.com/smf/index.php?topic=234740.0

 

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Finally, Simon Mayo had another entertaining confession on his BBC Radio 2 show.  It has to do with fishing and missing teeth.  You can listen to it online for the next 30 days, or download it and listen to it forever.

It’s included in the podcast titled:

Friday, May 17, 2013 – Let’s Sick Together and other tales…

It’s the fourth confession on the podcast (and the third one about the resting man is great, too).  Here’s a link to Confessions Page on the BBC website:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/confess

By the way, BBC Radio 2 is making news with its surging listening audience:

http://www.wigantoday.net/news/showbiz-news/radio-2-audience-hits-record-high-1-5676451

“Radio 2 has seen its figures grow by almost 5% compared with those this time last year, when 14.56 million were listening in. And it has piled on 260,000 listeners in the past quarter.”

http://www.imediamonkey.com/2013/05/16/q1-rajars-bbc-radio-2-chris-evans-breakfast-show-post-record-audiences/

“Meanwhile, the whole station achieved its highest listener levels ever as it is now reaching 15.27 million listeners every week, a massive 4.9% increase year on year. Share was also up for the station as it rises to 17.7% from 16.8% in the same quarter last year.”

sigh…