Posts Tagged ‘Len Tillem’

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.

 

Absolutely something…

WOR710-AM NY, the Mark Simone show, is good for listeners who want entertaining talk radio with callers and interesting guests and a professional, likeable host who doesn’t take himself too seriously.  Not possible, you say, given the state of radio today.

Image by Colin Smith CCA-SA2.0

Then, listen to this segment from Simone’s show podcast on Wednesday, May 13th, Hour 1:

His guest is Lionel (Michael William Lebron) of lionelmedia.com.  This guy has a Len Tillem style and a background in both broadcast and law.  His strong words and opinions go beyond the reach of our one-time favorite loyah and he even sprinkles in such language gems as kaka-poo-poo in his loud, forceful way of speaking.

Mark Simone can hold own against someone like Lionel.  Simone has his own style, he is a competent host who interacts with guests and callers without feeling the need to insert himself into the conversation.  And, as we in the Bay Area know too well, that’s Gross!  Thankfully, Simone does not have a wife who does crossword puzzles, the head-scratching Gross excuse for subjecting listeners to a Friday show that lives up to his name.

As for the Mark Simone segment, it’s a relevant conversation about issues of big cities dealing with homeless and crime and the New York policy of ‘broken windows’.  They discuss the recent capture of the ‘hammer guy’ by NYPD.  As Lionel says, “It ain’t safe like it used to be.”

Listen to the segment, it starts approximately 3/4 of an hour into the podcast and lasts to the end of the podcast.  For some reason, there is no time indicator as the podcast runs, but if you see the image of Simone on the podcast, the segment starts at the left-hand corner of his right eye (when you are facing the screen) and goes to the end.

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-show-marksimone/the-mark-simone-show-5132015-hour-26047075/

 

Here’s more information about Lionel:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_%28radio_personality%29

There are some interesting blog posts and videos on Lionel’s website as well:

http://lionelmedia.com/

 

Also, as I’ve mentioned before, Simone posts video on his home page and there’s always one or two worth watching.  It’s funny that Lionel mentions it in his conversation with Mark as well.

I saw this once on a Ted Talks playlist and could never find it again.  Thanks, Mark Simone, for adding it to your page!

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/youve-been-tying-your-shoes-wrong-13581909/

Don Rickles makes his final appearance on Letterman:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/don-rickles-final-letterman-appearance-with-13582708/

 

Simone also posted a link to an article about Frank Sinatra written by Michael Riedel, Theater Critic New York Post:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/sinatras-secret-life-in-nyc-great-13388393/

Riedel was on Simone’s show, Thursday, 5/14/15, Hour 1.  Their discussion includes such tidbits as Sinatra’s little orange piano:

(The segment begins approximately 3/4 of an hour into the podcast and last to nearly the end of the podcast)

http://www.wor710.com/media/podcast-mark-simone-show-marksimone/the-mark-simone-show-5142015-hour-26050532/

 

Finally, a funny joke at a Curb reunion:

http://www.wor710.com/onair/mark-simone-52176/the-cast-of-curb-discusses-the-13577413/

 

Here’s a link to the broken windows article written by Michael Goodwin and published in the New York Post:

May 12, 2015

http://nypost.com/2015/05/12/safety-stats-mean-nothing-if-people-dont-actually-feel-safe/

April 29, 2015

http://nypost.com/2015/04/29/heed-the-signs-de-blasio/

 

Want to see more Ted Talks?

https://www.ted.com/talks

 

Again, something that Lionel discussed on the segment I posted earlier, was the interaction between Mark Simone and Joe Bartlett.  I had to look up Joe because I wondered if he was the same Bay Area Joel Bartlett.  Nope.  But I did find an extremely awkward on-air segment on YouTube between Bay Area Joel Bartlett and Dave McElhatton on KPIX.  It’s a 1982 blooper about Video Editor Dan Schear but I found the interaction between McElhatton and Bartlett extremely uncomfortable.

 

I also found an article about the Bay Area drought in 1990.  It lasted four years, so hopefully, history will repeat itself because aren’t we going into year four now?

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/11/30/us/san-francisco-journal-when-skies-are-blue-so-are-the-forecasters.html

 

Anyone see any of the Dark Shadows show binge last week on local tv?  What a trip…

 

And, I can’t leave before I mention how much I’m enjoying Spencer Hughes now on Talk910-AM.  He is taking all calls, all of the time.  It’s such a treat to hear.  Unfortunately, I’ve had to turn it off when that awful lady, yelling-about-cars commercial, comes on time after time.  If I hear it 2x into a half-hour segment, I turn off the station.  I hate to do it during Hughes’ show, but I won’t listen to that commercial willingly.  Why would I?

I even had to turn to Sean Hannity at Noon on WOR710-AM on Friday, even though Hughes had a good thing going with what he referred to as ‘Loosey Goosey Friday’ and any call on any topic was allowed.  Really, Spencer, I love that, but not when I have to turn off the radio every ten minutes to avoid the torture of hearing that yelling lady ad one more time.  Most times I forget to turn the radio on again.  I usually don’t turn on Talk910 again, anyway, on Friday afternoons because, well, you all know by now – I can’t stand the screeching of that other lady, either.  That’s Gross.

Thank you, Spencer, for using common sense programming on a talk radio station.  You can bet I’ll be listening!  ..unless I hear that car ad, then all bets are off.

Gee, this was fun, maybe we’ll do it again next week.  See you, then!

 

Souce: biocurious.com Posted by Toshio Ando CC-By SA 3.0

He sings: “I used to care but things have changed.”

When I was young, I listened to music on the radio.  I used to turn it down low and fall asleep with it playing.

As I aged, I listened to talk radio whenever I visited my grandmother.  It was always on in her house.  She played it loud and loved the crazy callers.  We’d drink coffee at her small wooden kitchen table and listen to her small black radio, its  antenna pulled all of the way up and tilted to the left, next to the toaster on the counter.   She’d laugh whenever a call escalated to name-calling and then flick ashes from her cigarette into a big glass ashtray.

I don’t recall when I began listening to talk radio.  Probably on a sleepless night I searched the radio dial for something to distract me.  Maybe it was Ray or Bill or Bernie that hooked me, or maybe it was the fond memories of my grandmother’s kitchen, but talk radio became my listening habit and my radio dial was always tuned to KGO.

That is, until December 2011, when Cumulus Media came to town and destroyed radio in this market and many others.  I would not listen to KGO now.  Not even if Len goes back or they somehow manage to convince Rothmann to host a show.  As long as Cumulus owns that station, I will not listen.  I will tell others not to listen.  Why would talk radio listeners support a company that doesn’t care about listeners, only money in their executive pockets with no benefit to the local community?

So, I was forced to find another outlet for my radio time and thought Talk910-AM was going to step up their programming and build a talk station worth its listeners’ time.  I listened to them everyday from 12:00Noon to the end of my work day.  They hired Len and Gil to host shows.  Then they dropped Len, who knows what happened there, and there was something very wrong with Gil’s show.  It was him talking and talking and talking, the same tired format day in and day out, no callers, and he even brought his wife on the show every Friday.  yikes.  Fridays were the worst.  His wife does not belong on any radio, not even Nighttime Theater of Horrors.  Her voice is ear-splitting irritating and her laugh is downright goosebump scary.  I’m sure it hits the dog whistle range.  ugh!  I shiver in agony just thinking about it.

I listen to Frosty.  I like his show.  He doesn’t take callers, so it’s not optimal, but it’s the only thing out there now.  I don’t listen again to his podcasts.  I don’t have to.  Gil discusses the exact same news items in his show a few hours later.

This is what we are left with.

I seldom listen to Gil’s show now.  I usually turn to radiolab.org (http://www.radiolab.org/) or thisamericanlife.org (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/) instead.

I did hear Gil recently when he had a guest on to discuss Pete Seeger’s death and it confirmed what I don’t like about Gil.  He had a guest on who knew Pete Seeger and Gil took up half of the interview telling the guest about the time he, Gil, saw a Pete Seeger show.  It was unbelievable.  Here, he had a guy on the line who knew Seeger personally, and could provide more insight into who Seeger was, and Gil interrupts to inject himself into the conversation about how he once went to a Seeger concert.  By the time Gil was finished with his long, drawn-out story, it was time for news.

I thought his wife was a horrible addition, and now I’m at the point where I can’t stand Gil’s name-dropping stories that he thinks are interesting.  It’s pathetic.

For weeks now, they’ve been playing a clip of Gil and his wife on a promo spot.  Are you kidding me?  It’s like they want to drive away any listeners they have left.  When I hear it, I turn off the radio and go back to BBC.

So, now I’m down to listening to Frosty’s show.  That’s it.  Three hours in a day.

I tried the Randi Rhodes program, but it’s an angry show with sound effects that seem to come from a machine shop.  You know the sound of welding?  It’s like that.  Along with clips of Limbaugh.  She has some good discussion points, but it’s all that other stuff in between that’s annoying.  I tried, but I can’t listen to it.

Here’s the Wikipedia link to her show:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Randi_Rhodes_Show

Thankfully, BBC Radio2 has decent programming.  I guess I’ll have to go back to listening to a music format again.  I started out with ‘things have changed’ but I probably should have said ‘the more things change, the more they remain the same’.

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.

*

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!

If you missed it, Ed Baxter filled in for Gil’s Friday show.

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr1-w-ed-23627479/

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr2-w-ed-23627789/

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr3-w-ed-23627884/

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-gil-gross-gil_gross/gil-gross-82313-hr-4-w-23627947/

Don’t miss Hour Four, where Sebastian Kunz presents his full production of Nerd News!

Plus, Ed has a new book out, Waiting at Red Lights:

http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Red-Lights-Edward-Baxter/dp/0985736763

http://edbaxtermedia.com/waiting-at-red-lights/

*

*

This past week, on the Facebook page of formerkgolisteners, they linked a post by that media blogger guy who wrote an unflattering piece about Gil.  Here’s the Facebook page if you want to read it, the post is dated August 19th:

https://www.facebook.com/FormerKGOListeners

It’s nice to see from the comments that Gil has many fans and I wasn’t surprised that many on Facebook did not appreciate the blogger guy using prominent names such as Gil as a tactic to try to pull in readers and, now, listeners, to his substandard radio show.  Back in December 2011, I had hopes the blogger guy was better than what he’s turned out to be.  For awhile, even, I used to link his posts but no longer want to lead readers there except for the comments on his blog, or, I should say, the comments he allows.  That guy censors criticism and I’ve had suspicions that he pads his own blog with favorable comments about how great he is, written by him, and how he has the best show on the radio.  Yeah, right.  Maybe he could partner with Yelp.

I’ve thought about going back and deleting all links to his blog, but I’ll leave those old posts that document the journey transitioning from hope to disgust in real-time postings.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to moderate comments.  I used to think I’d never censor comments, but I’m forced to put up a wall between spam and bots that would overwhelm any blog space.  I understand the need to moderate, it’s saved me considerable time.  Without it, I’d have to manually delete thousands of spam and fraud items.  I welcome readers who want to comment and actually join a conversation, but I’ve also had to reject a few trollish comments with choice words about my mental ability after posts about Armstrong & Getty.  Those comments added nothing except vitriol.

I don’t care to listen to screamers in the morning.  Some do.  I don’t.

Anyway…

I am thankful we have Gil here in the Bay Area, but his show in the past year has been less satisfying than in former years and on Fridays it is downright irritating.  I realize some of my dissatisfaction comes from listening to him every day except for Friday (unless his wife stays home or someone guest hosts).  We all know and recognize Gil’s talent as a broadcaster.  The frustration is in the change of his show’s format to chase PPM (Portable People Meter).

These are thoughts about PPM attributed to Gil that I found online in a September 2008 article written by Brad Kava:

http://www.examiner.com/article/lipstick-on-a-horse-s-ass-the-american-media-never-looked-worse

Maybe KGO-AM’s afternoon host Gil Gross said it best. With the new People Meter, which measures exactly what people are listening to, radio managers can tell that a conversation about the economy gets far fewer listeners than one about an out of context, inflammatory hit piece, like the pig comment.

Sadly, if he’s right, we’ve become a country of horses asses…and no lipstick is going to fix that.

I found another quote by an out-of-state GM who is not a fan of PPM:

http://www.pugetsoundradio.com/cgi-bin/forum/Blah.pl?m-1298563415/

Here’s one quote from a GM “I could go on for days about how radio is getting screwed by Arbitron’s PPM. We’ve become a reach  medium who programs to the meter measurement and not to listeners or to help clients with marketing issues. The most repulsive aspect  is the mediocrity it has caused, meaning all formats sound the same. Very sad. I loved this industry but now we are more of a commodity  than a good, tight place that listeners want to go to – to feel good and for our clients to reach those targets”. Another told us “PPM says  you are a ‘listener’ if you are exposed to the radio in a cab while on your cell phone for 5 minutes in a week  even if you didn’t hear the  station and you don’t even like it”

Here’s another discussion about PPM:

http://jacobsmedia.typepad.com/jacobs/ppm/

Jeff Vidler picked up on the theme by focusing on what he calls the “PPM engagement gap.”

Jeff points out that with the advent of PPM, it is no longer necessary for the audience to be engaged with a station as long as they are exposed to it.

The reality of this thinking is that while basic PPM tactics (less talk, more segues, staccato imaging, fewer charity events) can facilitate exposure, something is being lost in the fan engagement process.

Yet, in the digital and social worlds, it is all about making connections with audiences and communities.  And as Jeff notes, advertisers are thinking more and more about investing in marketing that engages and makes the best use of digital’s ability to connect people with brands.

*

When searching the internet for information it’s difficult to take bias out of it.  I’ve located articles that support my opinion by bringing up search terms such as:

how PPM hurts radio

complaints about PPM

I realize that it’s easy to find articles I agree with when I’m not even looking for the opposing argument.  i’m going to continue to read about PPM to try and understand how it helps or hurts radio, and search for opposing opinions from mine.

I do base my negative comments about PPM on what I can hear.  Going back to discuss Gil’s show, I was an instant fan when he first joined KGO after Pete Wilson’s untimely death.  I heard Gil’s in-depth conversations, he sounded as if he enjoyed interacting with the audience, he interviewed politicians, book authors, comedians, musicians, people in the news, etc.

He had shows where he talked about his father and encouraged people to call in and talk about theirs.  He discussed beliefs and spiritualism and even Bernie Ward when no one else would touch that subject in 2008.  People called in crying, in disbelief, and Gil related how he’d noticed a change in Bernie and wondered what was going on.  He guided listeners through a difficult, sad time, both in Pete Wilson’s death and Bernie’s conviction.

Now, what we get from Gil are snippets of Politico interviews and him talking on-air to his producer and board operator and, ugh, his wife.  We get Gil standing in line at a supermarket to buy apples.  We get Gil doing mindless fluff like dumb criminals and teachers and whatever brainless story that is easily found on a Google search.

And, it seems we have no one to guide us.

Gil defends his show on the PPM numbers.  If you follow the link on the Facebook page of formerkgolisteners and read that blogger guy’s post about Gil, or, I should say, read the comments, someone said they emailed Gil to ask why he continues with the new format when so many do not like it and Gil responded.  Gil claimed the format change has increased ratings from 0.3 to 2.0.  Said he is doing what the station wants and it’s a business in the end and advertisers have no interest in a call-in talk format.  Said it’s probably not what the person wanted to hear, but it’s the truth.

Another commenter claims Gil doesn’t care.  The suits don’t care so why should he?

I hope that’s not true.

Gil should care, for the sake of talk radio in this market and for his friends on the show with him: Sebastian and Lloyd Lindsay Young and that producer and board operator he always drags on the air for their opinions instead of callers.

If this continues, we might have another news item like we had in December 2011, or even this one from back in 2000:

November 7, 2000

http://articles.philly.com/2000-11-07/news/25612553_1_sid-mark-beasley-broadcast-group-dave-donahue

“I found out a minute and a half before I thought I was going on the air,” said Gross yesterday. “That was fun.”

If you tuned in to WWDB before 5 p.m. yesterday, what you heard was an electronic voice counting backward from 6,000.

“That’s an old radio stunt,” said Gross. “The aim is to get people wondering ‘What’s going on there?’ to create interest in what’s coming next. And apparently word got around. A Lower Merion policeman told me someone called to report ‘a crazed woman was holding the station hostage while she counted.’ That was the first laugh I had all day.”

The countdown voice reached 3-2-1 at 5 p.m. at which point another voice announced: “Look out Philadelphia, here we come.” The station promised to bring listeners “the best of the ’80s.”

According to Paul Heine of the radio newsletter Friday Morning Quarterback, there has been a rash of stations switching to this ’80s format in recent months, presumably to attract 20- and 30-somethings nostalgic for the music of their high school years.

That’s a much younger audience than WWDB has been attracting.

*

I truly hope not.  But if Gil won’t guide us through this, who will?

*

I have a few more interesting articles on PPM, but no time to discuss them now.  Posts about phantom cumes and stories of PPM wearers.  Sounds like fun, huh?

Maybe in the next week or two since we have a long holiday weekend approaching…

*

By the way, this past week on BBC Radio2 I heard about a new group who has an album coming out in September.  They have the potential to be the next big thing.

I think it was Simon Mayo, on BBC Radio2, who was interviewing a different popular group and a member of that group could not stop talking about a new group they’d heard in the studio where they’d been recording the previous afternoon.  He was talking about the new group, London Grammar.

BBC Radio2 decided to find out about this new group and they agreed London Grammar needed to get some airplay and that’s how it’s all started to happen for them.  You can listen to them here or follow the link to YouTube:

*

*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6drfp_3823I

Hannah Reid, the lead singer, has a strong, clear voice, similar to Florence and the Machine, except Hannah doesn’t go off in those screaming, vocal-stretching episodes that, for me, degrades the listening experience. London Grammar has the ability to express emotion in a lead voice that does not have to shout and strain to showcase it.

https://www.facebook.com/londongrammar

http://www.londongrammar.com/ustour/

*

Also, last week Stan explained his obsession with Radnich:

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-stan-and-raddy-storymost-of-it.html

*

Don’t forget to check Frosty’s page and podcasts:

http://www.talk910.com/pages/frosty.html

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/

*

And, still no sign of Len Tillem.  Is he giving up as well?

If you turn off Gil’s dreadful show every Friday, as I do, then here’s another online program to consider in its place.

TED

Many of you are familiar with TED (http://www.ted.com/), owned by the non-profit Sapling Foundation.  Here’s the Wikipedia page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TED_%28conference%29

I’ve never had extra time to really explore TED’s website, but now with Friday afternoons free, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to discover so many alternatives that entertain and educate at the same time.  I’d thought TED was a bunch of pompous and mind-numbing ‘facts’ speeches and it’s not that at all.  Yes, there are speakers but they deal with subjects that used to be discussed on a good talk show.  There are no callers, but we sure don’t get any callers on talk shows now.  On TED you can find many viewpoints and opinions discussed in-depth by someone in that field.  There are speeches with heart, others with heartbreak, some with historical relevance – on any subject you select.  Not in the mood to listen to the next sex-capade of another politician?  Look up talks about how love works:

Talk by Helen Fisher – The Brain In Love

http://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_studies_the_brain_in_love.html

Talk by Helen Fisher – Why We Love, Why We Cheat:

http://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_tells_us_why_we_love_cheat.html

What?  You don’t really want to waste time on love?  Okay.  They’ve got sex there, too:

Playlist with 8 Talks – Sex: Can We Talk?

http://www.ted.com/playlists/6/sex_can_we_talk.html

Check out TED’s Playlist: Collections for Curious Minds:

http://www.ted.com/playlists

Want more insight into events happening in the news?

Seek out Playlists like this one:

Egypt in Crisis – As the violence continues in Egypt, 7 talks from freedom fighters from around the globe:

http://www.ted.com/playlists/12/freedom_rising.html

Or, seek out creative inspiration in this Talk by Kirby Ferguson:

Steal Like An Artist – The surprising sources of inspiration for creatives from Steve Jobs to Bob Dylan.

http://www.ted.com/talks/kirby_ferguson_embrace_the_remix.html

Or, learn How to Tell a Story – a Playlist with Six Talks

There are some incredible talks on this Playlist.

http://www.ted.com/playlists/62/how_to_tell_a_story.html

TED’s website offers hours, even days, of listening and reading.

*

Frosty

I listen to BBC Radio 2 every morning, usually until 11:00am.  I used to switch over to Spreaker for Len Tillem but he’s still not posting and hasn’t offered any reason why.  I’ll just have to do another hour of BBC before Frosty’s show on Talk910-AM.  I’ve tried to listen to TED in that hour before Frosty, but I forget to turn on his show at 12:00Noon because I’m in the middle of a great talk on TED.  So, I’ll leave TED for Fridays when Gil’s wife shows up and ruins Gil’s show.

I’m enjoying Frosty more and more.  On Thursday, he talked about his streak of bad luck (starts around 9:08 on podcast).

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/frosty-81513-hr1-23590509/

It’s funny, because I’ve experienced the same thing.  Everything seems to go wrong.  For me, it usually lasts about three days.  When I expect it, I’m able to laugh about it.  The computer goes down, the smoke detector’s batteries need replacing, something you need can’t be found, and other small irritants.  Nothing major or catastrophic.  Just things that happen in a short time span that together can be thought of as ‘bad luck’.

I like that about Frosty.  He talks about things other than politics all day.  He talks about things we all can relate to and laugh at ourselves.  If you listen to that clip of Frosty’s show you can even hear it happen on air.  I love that.

There is another audio clip of Frosty’s I want to share as well.  Earlier this month, I posted a link to Frosty’s show where he played audio of a phone call Monica Lewinsky made to Bill Clinton.  Well, the entire call was recently released and Frosty played the entire clip (it starts at 4:23 on the podcast):

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/frosty-081313-hr3-23579673/

Another thing Frosty does is he posts interesting video clips on his Talk910-AM page.  I haven’t looked on his page yet, but he’s tempted me many times.  I think I will go and peek at his video clip of the snake he talked about this week.  That one sounds too creepy to be believable.

Aargh!  I just went to Frosty’s show page to see the snake, and YouTube has removed the content for violating YouTube’s Terms of Service.  Oh well..  It’s not Frosty’s violation, it’s whoever posted the original video.  In a way, I’m glad I didn’t get to see it.

Here’s Frosty’s show page where he posts all his videos:

http://www.talk910.com/pages/frosty.html

Frosty also gives out the show’s phone number.  Yes.  He not only gives out his Facebook contact, but he also gives out the phone number for his show.  I think I’ve even heard a call or two.  It took a few weeks, but I’m really enjoying his show.

Here’s Frosty’s archived podcasts:

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/

I just had one more thought about Frosty’s show.  This week he was talking about prescription drug commercials and how the drug companies have to list so many frightening side-effects at the end.  Frosty read off a few and contemplated if it’s worth taking the chance.

Later that evening, at home, I had the television on in the background as I was doing things around the house.  This is what I heard on the end of a commercial: “If you gave your young boy (*drug name*) and he developed breasts in his adolescence…”

what the – ?

*

Stan and other sites

I wish I could say the same for Gil as I do about Frosty, but Gil’s show has been a big disappointment.  Friday, of course, I can’t even listen to it.  The other days of the week I do, but it’s the same thing day after day after day.  Politico on the line, talk about politics, talk about dumb teachers or criminals.  Don’t talk to callers but chat on-air to your producers and board operator, who don’t offer much to the conversation.

We don’t have much left, do we?  Ray’s not around, supposedly writing a book.  We lost Gene Burns.  John Rothmann is on radio a few times but not enough to schedule time around a show he hosts.  Len is missing in action.  Ed Baxter posts on his website and fills in a few times for Gil.  Ronn Owens is not even an option after December 2011.  People who still listen to that radio station he’s on have allowed those Atlanta Dick-eys to continue to destroy our local radio landscape.

We thought Santa Cruz might be an option.  What a joke that turned out to be.  And it’s disgusting how that no-talent blogger guy, who ranks media women by their ‘hotness’, is trying to shove his way in the door.

But we did get a bit of entertainment off that mess.  Good ol’ Stan started a blog.  He seems to have even cleaned up his language a bit (I said a bit…) although he, too, thinks it’s okay to rank ‘hotness’ (and no, he doesn’t include Radnich in his rankness):

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/

*

Remember to visit these sites as well:

Radiolab:

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

*

This American Life:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives

*

John Rothmann:

http://johnrothmann.com/

*

Ed Baxter Media:

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

*

Here’s an interesting story I read on OpenSalon this week.  It’s a true story written by Old New Lefty.

http://open.salon.com/blog/old_new_lefty/2013/08/11/my_most_famous_ghost

*

COZI TV, Musée Mécanique, Camera Obscura

Anyone see COZI TV today?  Before the America’s Cup race there was an old movie. ‘Man’s Favorite Sport?’, about a journalist who claims to be a fishing expert.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man%27s_Favorite_Sport%3F

There’s a scene in the movie where they end up in Musée Mécanique and Rock Hudson runs around feeding coins into the player pianos and musical games so they all play at once.  I used to do that.  Bring in a roll of quarters and plug all of the machines.  It was great.  Musée Mécanique is at the Wharf now.  I haven’t been to it since it moved away from Ocean Beach.

http://www.museemecaniquesf.com/visit.php

I also used to love to visit the Camera Obscura.  I thought it had been moved to the Wharf as well, but from what I see online it’s still near the Cliff House at Ocean Beach.  Years ago, I’d go there and watch the sunset from the inside of the Camera Obscura.  Back then, it was also a bit creepy inside with those holograms on the wall and that music playing.

http://www.giantcamera.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_obscura

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_Obscura_%28San_Francisco,_California%29

Someone even wrote a fiction novel about Camera Obscura.  I read it years ago, it’s a good read:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1116529.Secrets_of_the_Camera_Obscura

*

America’s Cup had some excitement today.  Not one, but two racing boats falling apart during the race.  Two men overboard.  Italy’s racing speed was at 6-10 knots at some points.  It was crazy.  Too bad the America’s Cup has not turned out to be what promoters claimed it would be.  New Zealand racing alone.  So many racing teams not participating.  Tragic accident.  Now, Oracle accused of cheating and no one seems to be doing anything about it.  Allowing them to remain in the race as the defending champions even after the cheating has been proven.

It’s too bad, because there was so much potential to holding the race in San Franciso.  I enjoy watching it, but I’m not going to support a cheating team.  Go, New Zealand!  They deserve it and I hope they win it.

Well, I keep thinking I have nothing to write anymore, given the state of radio and our former hosts.  Somehow, I manage to type a few words every time.  Not that it’s worth reading, but I’m amazed I keep finding something to say.

So, that’s it until next week!  Hopefully, I’ll find something more to talk about by then.

As radio listener numbers continue to drop here, and stations foolishly follow the PPM into content bankruptcy, the number of radio listeners in the U.K. is skyrocketing for BBC Radio.

*

I guess I’m part of that, since I started to listen to BBC all morning after the KGO disaster in December 2011.  BBC Radio is increasing listener numbers to new levels:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23523977

Both Radio 2 and Radio 4 are enjoying the highest overall listening figures they’ve ever recorded since the current RAJAR methodology began in 1999.

Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan said the station’s success was down to its “distinctive high quality content”.

http://radiotoday.co.uk/category/rajarnews/

Twenty-six million people, half the population of the UK are now tuning in to digital radio each week, the latest figures show.

One program I listen to on BBC Radio 2 is the ‘Simon Mayo Drivetime Show’.  During the weekdays, except for Fridays, he airs a confession from a listener, sent in via email or website, that Simon reads on-air and his team decide if the confessor should be forgiven.  It’s a fun feature of his show.  He’s been on vacation, so I was happy to get a week’s worth of confessions again.  The Confession podcasts are posted online every Friday, available for thirty days.  If you download the podcast, you can listen forever.

*

Here is the page to the most recent podcast:

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

The first confession on the podcast has strawberry jam and ends with a sting!

*

If you want to submit a confession, here’s the page:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/simon-mayo/contact/confessions/

*

And, here’s a link to all of Simon Mayo’s show episodes, available for seven days after the first broadcast.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00p2dfq/broadcasts/2013/08

*

Bernie Ward has new posts on his blog.  Now, more from Ward: (maybe he could use that confessional page…)

*

Friday, July 5, 2013 – This ‘n That (includes a little bit of everything, Supreme Court, Snowden, George Bush, oil, etc.)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/07/this-n-that.html

*

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 – Check Please… (about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and more on Snowden)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/07/check-please.html

*

Monday, July 29, 2013 – World War Z (about George Zimmerman)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/07/world-war-z.html

*

Monday, July 29, 2013 – Couldn’t See the Forest for the Smoke (about environmental issues)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/07/couldnt-see-forest-for-smoke.html

*

Monday, July 29, 2013 – With Friends Like These (about a gas deal between Iran and Iraq)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/07/with-friends-like-these.html

*

Monday, July 29, 2013 – Who Watches the Watchers? (about national security and privacy)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/07/who-watches-watchers.html

*

*

Nothing from Len

I wish I could include a Len Tillem update, but his podcasts have been missing for weeks now.  I don’t want to speculate why.  I hope he’s on a luxurious, extended vacation and all is well with him and his loved ones.

Here’s his Spreaker page, but there are no current podcasts:

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

*

Interesting Book

I used to listen to Gil Gross interview authors and enjoyed the in-depth discussions with both author and callers.  Now, not so much.  I can’t even listen to Gil’s Friday shows any longer.  But I do listen to BBC Radio2 every morning and hear book segments with authors.  This book, Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, written by Susan Cain, was recently featured.  Here’s the Amazon page for the book:

http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352153

Plus, there is a TED video about it featuring Susan Cain:

Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

And, this is Susan Cain’s webpage:

http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com/

*

The Frosty Show

I do listen to Frosty every day now, from 12:00 Noon to 3:00pm.  He just puts it all out there and he takes calls.  His shows are not structured for deep content so it’s not something I would go back to and listen again.  It’s all in the moment.  So far, I enjoy his show.  Others do as well, if searches for him are any indication.  Lots of people want to know more about Frosty.  Four times more than they search for Gil.  huh….

Here’s a link to Frosty’s podcasts:

http://www.talk910.com/media/podcast-frosty-podcast-frosty/

They have a new page format for Talk 910’s podcasts.  Now you have to click on the podcast to read about the content.

*

John and Ed

Don’t forget to visit John Rothmann at his website:

http://johnrothmann.com/

And, Ed Baxter at his website:

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

Mozilla’s Webmaker

This is unrelated to radio content, but I think it’s a great new tool for everyone to explore.  Mozilla Firefox has introduced Webmaker, a learning environment for anyone who is interested in creating web content.  The goal is to promote digital literacy through making and sharing.

One thing I like to do, when I’m not working, is learn how to code.  Nothing fancy, just something fun that will keep my interest while learning the basics of coding.  I’m learning how to create a game.  Not exactly the easiest thing to do, considering all of the code language out there with varied requirements and the trick of interacting with different browsers, combined with the concept of stacking and heaping and global objects.  But, once you learn the basic functions and methods and classes of code, it’s not difficult to adapt to any code language: C#, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby, etc.

Code is a language everyone should know or, at least, understand.  Now when I look at websites and add-ons and forms and apps, I recognize how the code behind it was structured.  I think about how I would code it or I search online how to do it in the same way.  I know to look at the Web Developer tools and know how to read the Error Console.  Not much, I know.  But, I know what’s possible and I just have to learn how to get there.

The more I work with it or read about it, the more it makes sense.  So, that’s why I’m excited to see this new program from Mozilla promoting digital literacy.

Here’s the main page (note, it might take a few seconds to load the entire page of sample projects):

https://webmaker.org/

Here’s the page on how to get involved:

https://webmaker.org/en-US/getinvolved

If you select the Tools page (see the bottom of the main page), and click on the ‘Remix a Project’ button, it will load multiple projects that you can edit.  For example, under ‘Popcorn Maker’, this is the page that loads when you click the Remix button:

https://webmaker.org/en-US/search?type=tags&q=webmaker%3Atemplate

If you choose a project, and click on the ‘Remix’ button of the project, a page loads that shows the code of the project, with instructions on how to edit what’s there, alongside the actual preview of the project.  You can view any changes you make as you work.  For example, I clicked on the ‘Remix’ button found on the first project on the page, ‘My Magazine Cover’, and this is what loads:

https://thimble.webmaker.org/project/5405/remix

It explains everything as you work on it.  Try it.  Don’t get frustrated, it looks like a lot to take in at once, but after a few times it will get easier as it all sinks in.  Have fun!

*

Well, I did get a little off-track today, but there’s not much out there any longer after Cumulus Radio destroyed how we listen to radio.  We have to find other options and Gil Gross is not bringing ‘it’ any longer.  Who knows why.  Can’t listen to his wife, nothing against her personally, but she should NOT be on radio.  It’s unlistenable.  So, why does Gil continue to insist on having her on his show?  It’s head-scratching radio, my friends.  I’ve turned to looking for other options.

Again, these sites offer hours of good listening:

Radiolab:

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

This American Life:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives

Here’s This American Life‘s producer and host, Ira Glass, talking about why he chose to quit television and concentrate on radio:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/328/what-i-learned-from-television

Here’s the transcript page of the audio:

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/328/transcript

Ira Glass discusses storytelling:

http://aerogrammestudio.com/2013/05/15/ira-glass-on-storytelling-video/

http://www.nooga.com/160875/interview-ira-glass-on-being-interviewed-and-making-a-good-story/

*

And, for change of pace, take a walk over to see good ol’ fiesty, potty-mouth Stan over there at his new blog:

http://stan55chevy.blogspot.com/

I think that’s enough to keep everyone occupied until next week.  See you then!

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.

*

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.

*

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”

*

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.)

*

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.

*

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.”

*

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.

*

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.”

*

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

*

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.”

*

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.”

*

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.”

*

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.”

*

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

*

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/

*

Part Two: The PPM – a DJ’s Downfall

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

*

Part Three: Radio Killed the Radio Star

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

*

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/

*

Part Five: The Future of the Radio DJ

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

*

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

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

*

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

*

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 David Shankbone CCA-SA 3.0

*

*

*

*

When Bernie Ward gets out of the big house, and begins podcasting or broadcasting somewhere, this blogger guy should be his first guest or first caller.  I read this blogger every so often and it’s always a fun ride.  Sure, its bumpy at times, but that’s half the fun.

http://open.salon.com/blog/james_emm/2013/07/05/what_in_gods_name_are_these_popes_up_to_now

Here’s what Bernie’s been thinking lately:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 – Slippery When Wet… (about privacy and the Patriot Act)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/06/slippery-when-wet.html

Saturday, June 15, 2013 – Hero or Villain? (yep, you guessed it, it’s about Edward Snowden)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/06/hero-or-villain.html

Thursday, June 20, 2013 –  Baaaa Humbug! (about national security policy)

http://lionoftheleft.blogspot.com/2013/06/baaaa-humbug.html

Don’t forget about Len Tillem on Spreaker:

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

Ed Baxter filled in for Frosty on Thursday, July 4th.  I haven’t listened to these yet, but I’m hoping he allowed callers on his show:

Hour 1:

http://www.talk910.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?more_page=1&podcast=frosty&selected_podcast=07.04.13_910_AM_12-00_1372970213_13076.mp3

Hour 2:

http://www.talk910.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?more_page=1&podcast=frosty&selected_podcast=07.04.13_910_AM_13-00_1372973468_12760.mp3

Hour 3:

http://www.talk910.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?more_page=1&podcast=frosty&selected_podcast=07.04.13_910_AM_14-00_1372976157_21799.mp3

Don’t forget to visit Ed Baxter’s ‘Making Sense’ podcasts page posted on his edbaxtermedia website:

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

And, John Rothmann filled in for Gil Gross on Thursday, July 4th.  Again, it would be so nice to hear callers!  I’ll listen to these later today hopeful to hear some:

Thursday, July 4, 2013 Hour 1:

http://www.talk910.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?more_page=1&podcast=gil_gross&selected_podcast=Gil_Gross_7-4-13_Hr1_1372980508_11855.mp3

Hour 2:

http://www.talk910.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?more_page=1&podcast=gil_gross&selected_podcast=Gil_Gross_7-4-13_Hr2_1372983694_18404.mp3

Hour 3:

http://www.talk910.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?more_page=1&podcast=gil_gross&selected_podcast=Gil_Gross_7-4-13_Hr3_1372986599_22442.mp3

Hour 4: (Special Program Note – he begins the hour with Gene Burns’ reading of the Declaration of Independence)

http://www.talk910.com/cc-common/podcast/single_page.html?more_page=1&podcast=gil_gross&selected_podcast=Gil_Gross_7-4-13_Hr4_1372992983_944.mp3

Be sure to visit John Rothmann’s ‘Around the Political World with John Rothmann’ website as well:

http://johnrothmann.com/

Now that you have some reading and listening material, enjoy the long weekend!