Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday Monday

Good Morning.

Not ready for prime time. R&R reports this morning that Arbitron has suspended its eDiary, citing low return rates.

Speaking of Arbitron: the company is now collecting station info on HD multicasts. Instructions and forms on their website. Arbitron says they won't begin reporting HD multicast listening yet. McVay Media's Dave Lange writes about the E-Diary and more here.

Over the weekend in Chicago: Spent time listening to WDRV (surprised?) when in the car...both the Chicago 97.1 signal as well as the far north simulcast on 96.9. Every hour the station runs a recorded promo for HD radio..highlighting the technology, hardware and programming.

More WDRV: On Wednesday May 9th, the station celebrates its 6th birthday with a free listener concert featuring REO Speedwagon and The Ides Of March.

Added: WCSX/Detroit announced the winner of its $20,000 TV Commercial Contest. See the winner here.

Another programmer blogging:
Congrats to AC programmer Doug Daniels - most recently of Next Media's WZSR/WWYW - for launching
his blog. I became acquainted with Doug after reading this. Like yours truly, Doug is in search of his next great opportunity.

Later This Week:

Tuesday (5/1): Patti Smith on NBC-TV's Jay Leno
Wednesday (5/2): Alice Cooper on NBC-TV's Carson Daly
Thursday (5/3): Alice Cooper on CBS-TV's Craig Ferguson
Thursday (5/3): Bob Weir on NBC-TV's Conan O'Brien
Saturday (5/5): Cinco de Mayo

Sunday, April 29, 2007

More Sound Exchange

Wow. As you likely know, Sound Exchange is the organization charged with collecting performance royalties from internet streaming and passing them onto recording artists.

And, according to
this post on Gizmodo - they have the legal right to collect royalties for every performance - even for non-members!

Get this: Gizmodo
adds that if a non-member wants to collect that money - they have to join Sound Exchange - and pay an administrative fee to do so.

Gizmodo: "And if you (recording artist) don't join, you won't see a dime—it simply goes straight into their pocket."


Sunday Morning Odds & Sods

Good Morning from Chicago. We're actually staying at my brother's home in the community of Gurnee - north of Chicago right near the Wisconsin state line.

Had a family reunion last night in Deerfield - my hometown. Good times.

More Lone Star 92.5:
Pollack Media Group's Jim Kerr - writing in his company's weekly "Pollack Media Confidential" observes that the revamped KZPS is "a radio station built to be streamed".

Jim makes the point that with station's new commercial policy - no traditional recorded spots - the station eliminates all AFTRA streaming issues.
And with that, Lone Star 92.5 can receive full credit from Arbitron for any online listening.

If you were not aware - Arbitron will not give your station credit for online listening if the stream isn't 100% simulcast with the on-air signal......commercials and all. Should Jim's piece be available online at some point, we'll be sure to pass it along.

Mike McVay.
Mike writes about an old pair of shoes and creating emotional attachments with listeners.

Jay Leno.
Chicago's Rick Kaempfer shares a great story about a Jay Leno moment on his "Celebrity Snippets" blog here. And do check out Rick's Chicago Radio Spotlight this week for his interview with former radio writer/performer Jeff Hoover. I never get bored reading and hearing radio war stories.

More here Monday.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Weekend Classic Rock FM

Happy Friday. This weekend we're back to my hometown in the north Chicago suburbs. Family gathering.

Just a few things this morning:

Streaming Update: Yesterday, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) introduced "The Internet Radio Equality Act" to nullify the recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board to hike rates, threatening the future of streaming radio. Kurt Hanson has details here.

Now is the time to act. Urge your representative to support "The Internet Radio Equality Act" here. Do it now.

Talent and planning. Since Wednesday, David Martin has been sharing his wisdom on talent recruitment and the need to plan ahead. As examples, Dave asks "What if Howard's plane goes down?" and "What if Letterman does not agree to another extension?".

Its a great read. Here. And Dave has promised more.

Have a great weekend. More here Sunday Morning.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Roger King

Meet Roger King. On my list of heroes and influences. Roger is Creative Services Director of Clear Channel's KRFX/Denver (103.5/The Fox).

He's one of a few to teach me that station imaging is much about bonding: to the music, artists, market and audience.

Roger's Day: "
I get into work around 11:30a and am usually finished by 7:30 or 8p. Answer e-mail first, download audio from Harland Williams. Then edit, add music and sfx to Harland's stuff for afternoon drive, and hand place it in the log..."

"..Meet with the PD and write copy, produce imaging for the station (everything from daily cross promos for the morning, midday, and evening show, to topical legal ID's - to music imaging). Next, I groom the rest of the log - and the last thing I do is the bit of the day."

Just to explain: Comedian/celebrity Harland Williams does afternoon drive on the station via recorded tracks from LA (or wherever he may be).

Not too many years ago,
Roger made the point of inserting specific imaging into the log after it was generated:

Yes, I still groom the log w/ production. I don't hand place every single piece, but like to insert rockin' production into rockin' songs, slower prod for slower songs, and some production is song or artist specific... ie: Seinfeld/Kramer drop into BTO's "Takin' Care of Biz", "Immigrant Song" intro by Jack Black (on the special features DVD from School of Rock), "The Office" drop - when Michael Scott's talkin' about Doobies, Letterman, Leno, Ellen, or any show where they introduce artists that play on the station."

"I also like to groom song to song without production and match the beat or create a tasty segue by marryin' the fade with the ramp. It's time consuming, but worth it. I'm familiar with all the imaging loaded in the system, so it just makes sense."

Prophet/NexGen is the system we use at Clear Channel. It allows you to create a color coded daily log of what's on the radio station including commercials, songs, DJ voicetracks, traffic, and production. You can listen to and move each element and "groom the log" so that everything runs seamlessly."

Aside from station imaging and promos, Roger also produces "The bit of the day" - a comedy piece - everyday - five days a week. He syndicates this to other Clear Channel markets plus stations in non-CC markets.

Check his website here. Click and listen to both "King Calls" and "King Bits". Awesome stuff.
Listen to Roger's imaging on The Fox stream here.

Roger King. One of the best in the business.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wednesday Blogs

Rain - Lansing 9:07am. Latest image here.

From my blogosphere:

Radio's talent crisis. Fred Jacobs writes about "A short bench". Added: Dave Martin's take on Fred's post here.

Mark & Mark. Mark Ramsey with some interesting thoughts inspired by Mark Cuban here. Its a great read: all about "the experience".

On his own blog: Mark Cuban touches on a pet peeve of mine: why do some stations run spots for obvious scams? Why rip off your listeners? Read Mark Cuban's comments here.

Public Service: WMGK/Philadelphia morning man John DeBella holds his 5th Annual "DeBella Dog Walk" on May 6th. Link. Looks like a great bonding experience.

KKLZ/Las Vegas gets out this Friday - all day 6a-7p with "DJs for PJs"; collecting new PJs to benefit children in need. See here.

Last Friday, WDRV/Chicago
opened bidding for 12 hours on a
Fender Stratocaster guitar autographed by former Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. Winning bid was just over 5 grand with proceeds to benefit the Save The Earth Foundation. See here.

Speaking of: A Chicago competitor praises WDRV. I'd be psyched. Read Robert Feder's column here. Meanwhile other Chicago broadcasters talk about Arbitron's new PPM...and what it means here.

WKRP DVD Update. Via Lee Arnold's blog, comes this link.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I intended to save this for Wednesday; but there's lots of tongues a waggin'.....

Me: Its sad to see a heritage classic rock station disappear. I can only speculate the reasons and the events that led to the decision.

That said
- I listened to the new Lone Star 92.5 for about an hour yesterday and found it refreshing; The music, overall presentation - and the commercial policy were fantastic. Only time will tell whether the format has legs - and if the ad community will support this new paradigm. I hope so.

Fred Jacobs comments more this morning here about the change in Dallas - and suggests that the station's new commercial policy might have been better tested with the prior classic rock format.

Edison Media Research's Sean Ross gives the new "Lone Star 92.5" a first listen
here. Sean notes that the music is mostly grounded in......classic rock.

We noted the words of McVay Media's Dave Lange yesterday; but
here they are again.

Whats your take? Click to listen to Lone Star 92.5.

WCSX/Detroit $20k Commercial Casting Call

Simply a great promotion.

We mentioned here about a month ago - that WCSX/Detroit was offering a $20,000 prize the listener who can produce the station's next TV commercial.

Now the finalists have been announced;
and their entries are posted on the WCSX website so "Workforce Members" can pick a winner.

You can see all 14 finalists

Some comments: The production values of these spots far exceed what I ever imagined. With the availability today of inexpensive high-quality digital video gear - including cameras and editing software - almost anyone with a little talent and imagination can turn out some great video.

Add professional voice-over work as needed and you'd swear some of these spots were the work of production pros. A few entrants even understood the concept of a logo "bug" in the corner of the screen throughout the spot!

Another observation: You can tell that these listeners really get the positioning statements and programming attributes of the radio station.

They know 'CSX:
The no-repeat work week, the morning show, the "five o'clock funnies", etc.

Having listeners help produce content - be it on the radio or on television - gives them ownership and turns them into advocates.

WCSX just set the bar a few notches higher. Congrats!

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Case Of The Mondays...! Its the start of a great week!

This morning Keith Cunningham of Jacobs Media writes about radio's ability to react fast - but suggests it could be slow to get into the game. Read Keith's comments here.

Last Friday: We noted here that Cincinnati's WOFX (92.5 The Fox) is repeating the 6am hour of Bob & Tom middays 10-11am. Now Miami's WBGG (Big 105.9) is extending morning drivers Paul & Young Ron until noon.

Lee Abrams: Over the weekend Lee blogged about Washington, DC's new 94.7/The Globe - and wrote in depth about his XM Radio "check list" for a great station. Some more great thoughts from Lee on how to think about your radio station.

Added: Dallas loses classic rock KZPS - and with the change - Clear Channel gets rid of....commercials. Read here.

More: Fred Jacobs on KZPS - as quoted on All Access: "In a major market, for a classic rock station to change formats is really an anomaly"..."You could make a nice, long, healthy list of top five stations that are classic rock, and several would be No. 1 or No. 2 in their markets". Me thinks the door just opened for a new classic rock convert in Dallas; or adjustments at 93.3 The Bone.

Yet More: Dave Lange on the launch of the new KZPS "Lone Star 92.5" - here.

Tony Soprano rocks. If you saw last night's episode of The Sopranos, you heard another great classic rock moment.

Tony and Paulie hit the road with the radio cranked to Fredricksburg, VA's WWUZ/Classic Rock 96.9. That's too cool! Congrats to their staff.

Later this week:

Tuesday (4/24) - Iggy Pop/The Stooges on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel.
Wednesday (4/25) is Administrative Professional's Day
Thursday (4/26) is "Take Your Daughter (Or Son) To Work Day"

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Listener focused?

This sent from a friend - below the home page of a classic hits station website.

Does this station look like they put the listener first?

I've blacked out frequency and call letters. I don't embarrass here. (Its in a small western market; which may explain the overly broad artist selection). Click on image for better view:

I wonder if their on-air sweepers say "Classic Hits K-106.8...its all about the revenue"! Lock it in and rip off the knob.

Sunday Morning Odds & Sods

Writing outside: sunny and 75° at 10:30am.

Did work around the house yesterday while listening to streams of WDRV and WKLH . Heard some listener-voiced sweepers on 'KLH. Quite nice.

This morning
Stroud on WDRV is blacked out on the stream due to RIAA issues; listening to Steve Palec on 'KLH instead. Very psychedelic. Too much information?

Bob Seger going to Starbucks? The new Starbucks record label that is. This story from the Detroit News is almost a month old - but new to me. Bob's been with Capitol Records for 40 years - and his latest "Face The Promise" just went platinum.

Speaking of Starbucks: Just finished "What Must Starbucks Do" - by marketing consultant John Moore - written in response to Starbucks Chairman Howard Schulz's concern over the direction the coffee chain is headed. Its a brilliant piece; you can read it here. (Personally, I wish for free wi-fi at my nearby Starbucks...)

Chicago Ed. I've never heard anyone relate to a city like Ed Schwartz. And its almost a crime that he's not on the now. In today's Chicago Radio Spotlight, Ed talks about his health, career - and offers his thoughts on present-day Chicago radio with Rick Kaempfer.

My memories of Ed go back to 560/WIND - my parents fav station - with talents like Benson & Russell, Dave Baum, Connie Szersen - plus others that don't come to mind right now; and of course, Chicago Ed.

Jim Peterik. Chicago-based singer/songwriter. Think The Ides of March and their 1970 hit "Vehicle" (not to forget follow-up "LA Goodbye"); or the band Survivor - with hit after hit in the 80s. He's the guy.

In the latest podcast from Cara's Basement - Jim shares some great stories with Cara Carriveau and performs a few songs you might know well. No IPOD required. Listen here. Thanks to Cara for the heads-up; its truly wonderful content.

Radio Stories. Spend some time with John Long's journey through his Top 40 radio career. This is a book you can read on the web here. John spent many years with RKO - with some legendary call letters. A great read for anyone in the business.

Have a great Sunday. Get outside if its nice where you are.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Weekend Classic Rock FM

Where did the week go?

Listening this morning to Cincinnati's WOFX (92.5/The Fox); they're recycling an hour of Bob & Tom into middays (10-11am)....not a "best of" hour - but the 6am hour from earlier in the morning.

This blog: Appreciate the comments this past week from more than a handful of readers. Its a labor of love for the format and the industry while I search for my next great opportunity.

Another blog: Randy Raley. Former midwest AOR jock turned self-described "sales slug". In this post he talks about the "art of backtiming". Sometimes we still have to do that! Very nice!

Two notes.
Seth Godin. Classic rock listener. Short post but cool.

The Need For "Code Red":
As the Virginia Tech story was unfolding the other night - I heard one cable news network explain a little about their own "code red" procedure - how everyone on staff is alerted and brought into the fold when a major news story breaks.

Anyone on your staff including overnight board ops, sales assistants - whoever - need to be empowered to contact a key management person when they hear of something it news or weather related - or an on-air personality crisis. At 10am on Wednesday or 3am on Sunday. And even if it turns out to be insignificant, they should be thanked and encouraged to do it again.

In this recent post, McVay Media's Dave Lange writes about two recent situations that radio had to respond to. One external (Virginia Tech); and another internal (Imus). Dave makes a great point about having a plan and being ready to take quick action.

Code Red: How are key players notified? Who? Think GM, OM, PDs, News, GSM, Engineering, etc. What situations might justify a quick call to your consultant? Its just having a clear plan with everyone on board. Put your thoughts together and take them to your GM.

Rant: Beyond Code Red. I mentioned above that any staff person should be empowered to notify key management on critical situations. In today's environment of automated - often unattended radio - especially on nights and weekends - every staff person should be encouraged to contact designated management when they hear something wrong on the it dead air to outdated commercial copy.

I can't express the level of frustration - after I've personally heard and resolved a situation...only to be told (by an AE, receptionist, whoever) that "I heard that same problem" (hours prior) - but didn't call anyone...figuring "someone else" would take care of it.

Insert Sam Kinison scream here. Rant mode now off.

Have a great weekend. More here Sunday morning.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bonding With The Workforce

Last Friday - we wrote here about a couple of classic rock stations getting their morning drive shows out to meet listeners. Excellent!

There's a lot more mileage in meeting and bonding with listeners at their workplace as opposed to inviting them to a bar or some other client-sponsored remote appearance.

With workplace visits, the station is invited by listeners - who are already on-site ; and its a great opportunity to convert non-listeners at the workplace into fans. They can't run when you're feeding them!

From around the dial:

KKPT/Little Rock gets out with "The Point 94.1 Office Patrol" - lunch and prizes. I just love the above graphic on their website!

In Hampton Roads, WAFX sends their morning team out to visit a listener workplace once a week with "The Fox Office Of The Week", t-shirts, free music downloads cards - and $100 cash to the person submitting the entry.

KMGN/Flagstaff morning man Eddie Miller goes by the local BK each week and then delivers the "Mid Week Lunch Stop". WMMQ/Lansing rotates airstaff each week for the "Office Ambush"; delivering lunch from Qdoba Mexican Grill each week to an area business. Also teaming up with Qdoba is WNRQ/Nashville with the "Workforce Invasion".

In Knoxville - WIMZ has lunch from Wendy's delivered by an air talent plus a WIMZ Rock Babe! Photos here. Babes rock. WNNJ/Newton, NJ does the "Workforce Pizza Invasion" with food and freebies.

WODE/Easton, PA does a fully-catered lunch/live broadcast each week from an area workplace as part of their "1 O'Clock Back To Work Perk" promotion.

San Diego's 101/KGB targets construction sites (not everyone works inside) with "Free Lunch Fridays".

And this is cool:
WEKL/Augusta visits area workplaces with a "Mayfield Dairy Ice Cream Break". Very nice! I scream for ice cream!

These things are so easy to do - food likely not much more than a trade for mentions - or your sales department can use as programming-friendly "added value". Help them help you.

Workplace appearances can do much to help loyalty listening to the 6a-7p daypart; where adult targeted radio stations get the bulk of their revenue. As PPM is introduced in the top 50 markets, the battle for workplace listening becomes even more critical.

I've read through the years that winning is 50 to 90 percent "just showing up".

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wednesday Blogs

My wife - in Florida for a few days with her job - sent pictures last night of the ocean as well as this sunset shot from an outdoor patio.

Happy Wednesday.
From the blogs:

Stimulate An Audience. A couple of writers sharing some thoughts: First, Alan Mason on "The Cry For Creativity". Then Fred Jacobs on something that "morning shows and entire stations ought to aspire to".

"It's the environment songs are in that often make them sound bad". Lee Abrams talks about the art of song placement - and lots more - in his latest post here.

Streaming Royalties.
In case you haven't heard, the Copyright Royalty Board denied all appeals on the new rate structure. Is it now a matter of legislative relief?

Kurt Hanson's RAIN has the latest.

I hope to write soon about ideas to monetize your webstream - something I'm certain your management is thinking about.

Your station website:
McVay Media's Dave Lange introduces us to "widgets" and what they can add to your station website here.

Dan O'Day is presenting
12th Annual International Radio Creative & Production Summit in Los Angeles August 17th & 18th. Dan's workshops - this and his "PD Grad School" - held annually in February - are always packed full of ideas that you can use back at your station. More info here.

This year's summit will include voice-over pro Don LaFontaine
- "The King Of The Movie Trailers" - who is currently being seen on-camera in Geico Insurance commercials.

btw: Don's website is fantastic! Have a great Wednesday.

Too Cool....

...a favorite phrase of mine to describe great things.

Here's one.

It's the last season of The Sopranos. And New York's WAXQ (Q104.3) is into it - big time - with this page on their website.

Of course, you've heard Q104.3 on Tony's radio in past episodes...and that's way cool.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

List Of Classic Rock Lists

You might find some of these a good reference for your own features and special weekends.

Its great that these stations make these song lists available for their listeners on their websites.

Special kudos to John Hager at WGRF/Buffalo.

Top Song Lists:

WAXQ/NYC's Top 1043 Classic Rock Songs Of All TIme
KZOK/Seattle's Top 1000 Song List
KCFX/Kansas City's 1001 Best Classic Rock Songs Of All TIme
WLVQ/Columbus Memorial Day 500

Other Lists:

Top 97 Artist List
- from WGRF/Buffalo.
A to Z List - from WCSX/Detroit
Another A to Z List - from WGRF/Buffalo
Z to A List - from KZOK/Seattle
Beatles A to Z List
- from WGRF/Buffalo
Halloween A to Z List
- from WGRF/Buffalo
Artists A to Z List
- from WGRF/Buffalo
Drinking Songs A to Z List - from WGRF/Buffalo

Plus: check out
WAXQ/NYC's collection of Top Ten Weekend Lists.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blog Update: Sound Bites

A slight change as this blog evolves...

Classic rock artist appearances on broadcast TV have been pretty scarce as of late; and as a result I'm dropping the weekly "Sound Bites" post.

We'll continue to point artist appearances out as we see them - but within other posts for the present time. With summer tours coming up, I'm certain this will change again. Thanks.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday Morning Odds & Sods

left: still from live webcam - San Francisco Peaks/Flagstaff, AZ - this morning 8:20am Mountain Daylight Time.

Flagstaff: one of my favorite towns.

Listening to Seaver this morning on the Deep Tracks stream from WDRV. Playing right now: "Simple Man" - Skynyrd. Later: "Route 66" - Stones (which mentions "Flagstaff, Arizona" - heard just after I posted the above picture..weird!)

Imus (one more time): If you've watched any of the cable news channels in the last week - plus ESPN - the Don Imus situation continues to be the hot topic. It's Time Magazine's cover story this week with a story written between CBS Radio's suspension and cancellation.

Edison Media Research's Sean Ross
here about life after Imus.

Heritage Station Salutes: About a month ago, we wrote about "The Station Music Expert" - and specifically "Downstairs" Dan Hansen at WKLH/Milwaukee - who features the 'ZMF Flashback during his shift - paying homage to the legendary AOR station in the Milwaukee market back in the 70s. Very cool.

WNCD/Youngstown doing the "Wizard Sunday Morning" from 8 to 10am. WSRD - aka "Wizard" - was Youngstown's original Prog Rock station back in the 70s and early 80s. The show on WNCD is hosted by "original Wizard Minion Thomas John". Another great example of getting real local.

Playlist notes: WDRV/Chicago surprised me yesterday (delightfully) with REM's "Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" from 1987's "Document". Not for every station and your mileage will vary greatly.

But the conversation about aging demos and newer music is a good chat to have. I remembering adding Def Leppard for the first time to a classic rock station playlist years ago with some trepidation; now the band is a core artist for many stations.

I see that starting in September, Nielsen's version of the PPM will start tracking television viewership wherever it occurs - such as bars, restaurants, gyms, etc. Read it here. This should provide some interesting data!

Great Stories.
Rick Kaempfer on Marilu Henner. Actress. Radio guest. Read Rick's stories about Marilu appearing on John Landecker's Chicago radio show here.

Hoping for a high of 50 here; have a great Sunday!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Weekend Classic Rock FM

left: looking east from my home 8:30 this morning.

Here Comes The Sun. Perhaps spring is finally arriving here in Mid-Michigan.

Its Friday the 13th. What, me worry?

WNCX/Cleveland kicks off its spring book workforce promotion on Monday with listeners winning a "20th Anniversary Work Shirt" and a chance at a $5000 each week for 4 weeks. The Work Shirt - a great idea!

WODE/Easton, PA kicks off their Workforce Payroll next Thursday with $99/an hour - plus a shot at an insurance-backed Million Dollar jackpot. Looks like they picked up some NTR revenue with the contest too!

conducted a "Hairband Idol" contest at local clubs. And they've got video on their website.

Out & About: The other day this blog mentioned a few stations getting out shaking hands and kissing babies. I see that WKLH/Milwaukee's Dave and Carole are doing their morning drive show live once a week at "their favorite businesses around town". A great way to kick off the book! Today they're at the "Crew Operations Center" of Midwest Airlines.

Thank You. To Lee Arnold and his kind words about this blog.

On Wednesday I wrote: "I don't feel its going to be quite that easy for Imus this time".

But I never imagined it going this far.

Fred Jacobs sums up Don Imus this morning
on his blog: "terrestrial radio has just lost another star it cannot replace".

Great words. I've always lived by this - and its nice to see in print:
"Tell the truth, tell it completely, and tell it immediately." - Dan Edelman (via Dave Martin).

More here Sunday Morning. Have a great weekend.