Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wednesday Blogs + A Few Small Details...

50° - scattered clouds at 9am

..and happy halloween.

From my blogosphere:

Mark Ramsey: "Embrace digital realities or die". The future is about great content and multiple distribution platforms. Read here.

Fred Jacobs: TV commercials and music. Something we touched on here back on Monday. Fred's blog makes a good read - here.


This Friday: Its National Traffic Director's Day. A day to show your traffic director some love.

Aside from the chore of deciphering sales orders, she or he is the one adjusting the log everytime you decide to change the clocks or schedule that special programming.

As one who has done traffic on oversold radio stations more than a few times - more often than not- its just a thankless job.

The TDGA has some suggestions

With that, I recall a Market Manager (was it Cindy Schloss?) once say "we can't be sold out - I'm still hearing music on the air".

Daylight Savings Time: This Sunday Morning at 2am. Think about some clever imaging to remind your audience to turn the clocks back an hour.

No need to go overboard - perhaps once an hour - maybe tie in with legal ID. Begin on Friday during PM drive.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Late Show - Tuesday Edition

49° - clear at 11:10pm

Late post; another busy day.

And thats a good thing!

Getting a moment to surf tonight - a couple of things that caught my eye:

Air talent and "roles". Dave Lange has a great post this morning about casting the airstaff - and it goes far beyond morning drive. Dave has some suggestions about the various roles members of your airstaff might take on:
  • The "In Touch" jock
  • The "Music Expert"
  • "Everyday Joes"
  • "Wild Ones"
  • "Cool Ones"
  • "The Mayor"
Dave mentions one other role: "The Rule Book" - noting though: "it's usually about as entertaining as listening to auto phone answer systems." Read Dave's entire post here. Well worth your time.

Halloween hits: Use this year. Print and save for next year. Consultant Guy Zapoleon (another influence of mine) posts a halloween song list here.
Thanks to Sean Ross for the tip!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday Monday

42° - clear at 10:53am

Busy day = late post.

Supervising pumpkin carving tonight. Kids and knives make for a nervous dad. Happy to report we made it through the night Band-Aid free.

Music Testing. I'm hearing a lot of classic rock tunes on television as of late. I don't know the answer - but I wonder if this "airplay" does anything for test scores and interest in featured titles?

What I've heard and seen lately:
  • I Can See For Miles/The Who (Honda)
  • Barracuda/Heart (Honda)
  • All Right Now/Free (Monster.Com & Ford/Lincoln Dealers)
  • Sweet Home Alabama/Skynyrd (KFC; still don't get it)
  • Dreamer/Supertramp (Acura)
  • Wild Horses/Rolling Stones (Movie "Bella")
  • Gimme Some Lovin'/Spencer Davis Group (Ameriprise Financial)
  • Whole Lotta Love (Concert Footage)/Led Zeppelin (Ziddio.Com)
  • Let My Love Open The Door/Pete Townshend (Movie "Dan In Real Life")
Gotta be others I've missed. Why not include these tv spot "hits" on your next music test? Granted, there's some no brainers here - but I'm thinking the deeper tracks here by The Who, Supertramp, Stones, Spencer Davis and Townshend.

If I were doing AC right now, I might be testing this song - just to see what happens.

btw: good resource for finding song titles/artists used in commercials is

Idea For Radio: Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" morning show announced this morning the start of "The Show After The Show".

If I heard correctly - the morning crew will continue their morning show for another hour - past 9am eastern -
on the internet. Have not seen an official announcement.

John Landecker. I love great radio stories. Rick Kaempfer talks again to the legendary Mr. "Records" Landecker - about WZZN, his new syndicated show - plus his story of getting started in the business.

John spent time here in Lansing radio while going to Michigan State University; and then a big leap straight to Philadelphia. And then there's Chicago. Read

More Chicago. Longtime talk/AOR personality Steve Dahl moves to WJMK (Jack-FM) and mornings starting next week his current home - WCKG - changes format to something only a few know for certain.

Rumors of spanish for WCKG are strong - as is active rock. If you're from outside Chicago and don't know the name Steve Dahl - chances are you have hear of this highlight from Steve's long career.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ray Marshall

This post was updated as additional thoughts came to mind Monday, October 29th. And again Wednesday, October 31st.

I'm saddened to write here about former Citadel/Lansing Operations Manager Ray Marshall. Ray passed away this morning at his home in nearby Holt.

Ray served 16 years at the Lansing cluster of stations - starting at AC WFMK in 1990 and helped build the cluster with WFMK’s perennial #1 performance.

He also converted WJIM-FM to oldies and double-digit numbers - and re-launched classic rock WMMQ on a full-market signal (and #1 in its first book!).

Ray had an incredible run that continued with the growth of news/talk WJIM-AM, sports WVFN-AM as well as his involvement with country WITL.

For a time at Citadel, Ray served as "Oldies Format General" - consulting like-formatted stations for the company nationwide. Prior to Lansing, Ray worked radio in Cleveland and several other Ohio markets.

Ray Marshall was the consummate radio pro with skills on-air, in programming, engineering, IT and legal. He was the "go to" guy in the Lansing Citadel cluster for virtually the entire staff. If anyone knew the answer, how to find it or how to fix it - chances are Ray would.

The radio stations were under Ray's watch 24/7. The exception: an annual camping trip when he took the opportunity to turn the cell phone off. A well-deserved break.

Following budget cuts - Ray (along with yours truly) left Citadel in February of this year. Since then we've done a few projects together - and exchanged email frequently, if nothing more than to share a joke.

We had coffee together just this past Friday - the first time I'd seen him in nearly two months. Actually I had the coffee. Ray had a craving for hot chocolate. At Starbucks in Okemos. A very fortunate moment.

There's so many who knew Ray Marshall far longer and much better than me. But it was my pleasure - and my honor to have called Ray Marshall a friend.

Added: WQMX/Akron PD Sue Wilson remembers her friend Ray here.
Added: Lansing State Journal story on Ray Marshall here.

From KSAN/San Francisco: Cool Award of Week

From the website of KSAN/San Francisco (107.7 The Bone) - probably one of the more creative Flash banners I've ever seen:
(hit "replay" if still)

Sunday Morning Odds & Sods

50° - clear at 11:50am. Frost last night!

Happy Sunday.
Morning coffee accompanied by radio via the 'net. The usual. Later: Kids flag football - plus pumpkin and costume shopping.

Halloween fun:
"Dead Bass Player Days" - from KKZX/Spokane - here. I did laugh out loud...very clever!

This Weekend:
WCSX/Detroit is offering listeners a "Monsters of Classic Rock" Weekend (4 song blocks) - here.

WAQY/Springfield is doing a "Ghosts of Rock" Weekend. Its dead rockers. Here.

What is your station doing on air for halloween?

More Ghoul Tube.
We mentioned WGRF/Buffalo's "Ghoul Tube" here the other day. A couple other stations on-board with the concept too. WCSX/Detroit has theirs here. Likewise with Citadel's KHYT/Tucson.

Clear Channel has "scariest music videos" on many of their station websites. Click the link
here to see. Look at clip #12. LOL!

Classic Rock A to Z.
Watching television last night - it looks like Jerry Seinfeld's "Bee Movie" might have some clips suitable for letter "b" imaging. Find trailer and clips here. I'm just thinkin'....

Geico Caveman. Rachel Veness at Geico emails to tell me that the Caveman's Crib interactive website has been updated. Fun stuff. Check it out here and be ready to point and click.

And: the actor who plays the Caveman for Geico - John Lehr - has a website. See the transformation to Caveman

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Weekend Classic Rock FM

54° - overcast at 11:30am

I've got company.
No school for kids here today; as of now one's glued to the TV - another with World of Warcraft on their Dell.

Listening: To KCDX on the web with morning coffee. Just heard "Headed For A Fall" by Firefall. Nice! Some other surprises too.

Mark Ramsey's Hear 2.0. Yesterday Mark wrote
here about how the Arbitron diary and how its biased against satellite and internet radio. My thought: The diary due for redesign. It should be user-friendly to record all radio, no matter the source. As an industry, we need the data.

Follow-up post this morning:
Mark on streaming, Arbitron and that pesky AFTRA problem. Read

Dave Lange.
Dave reviews Mark Ramsey's NAB presentation on PPM and offers some thoughts on restructuring your clocks (and where your on-air talent talks) to prevent "Mic Flight":

"If we somehow re-worked the clocks so the personalities were doing more between the songs and perhaps we started going from a sweeper into spots perhaps our personality assets wouldn't end up in the audience trash bag as much."

Dave's entire piece is a great read -

WAXQ/New York's Hottest Mom contest. Since mentioning on this blog back on October 16th, we've seen a lot of search engine interest in this website promotion. Some searches winding up here. A sign of a great promotion.

More Sunday Morning.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ghoul Tube From Buffalo's 97 Rock

WGRF/Buffalo PD John Hager continues to engage and his entertain audience - both on the air and on the web.

Every year close to Christmas - John has taken advantage of the free resources of YouTube and has come up with "Yule Tube" - a list of Classic Rock Xmas Videos.

Something I
proudly ripped off while at a sister Citadel station!

Now its Halloween and John does it again. See here. Wonderful stuff Mr. Hager! This is something that any station can do - a list put together with a little imagination and a little YouTube searching. And another reason for your listeners to visit your website.

I'd rip this off no matter where I'm working. What a great concept!

And it looks like John's efforts are spreading to other Citadel classic rockers - here's one that even has it sold:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Summer Arbitron, Music & Stuff From The Web

59 - partly cloudy at 10pm. Frost warning!

Back to the book - format winners in summer ARBs released since Monday: KMOD/Tulsa gaining over three points and tied for #1 12-plus. Congrats to OM/PD Don Cristi.

Another big gainer:
WCMF/Rochester with over a two point jump. A great win for this heritage rock station.

WKLR/Richmond up over a point; in Columbia, SC - WMFX also up over a point; likewise with both WSFR/Louisville and KKCD/Omaha.

WSKZ/Chattanooga up nearly a point; likewise WRFX/Charlotte. In Knoxville - WIMZ is up a bit over a half point as is WROQ/Greenville-Spartanburg.

In Tucson its a classic rock battle. KHYT is up almost a point; longtime market rocker KLPX maintains a half point lead. KHYT PD Darrin Arriens making some progress.

New music (or not). A tough call for stations that label themselves "classic rock". There's many classic rock artists still producing new music: Mellencamp, Clapton, The Who, Tom Petty, Bob Seger - and Bruce Springsteen (who's at #1 for a 3rd week).

McVay Media's Dave Lange makes the case for "new rock music for 25-54s"

As a classic rock programmer - I've played a limited number of currents by core artists that were hard to ignore.

Those tracks were played with the proper staging and setup - including "then and now" 2-fers; and at the very minimum a live jock intro.

But (I feel) it really comes down to audience expectations for a classic rock station. If you can celebrate and make a new release "an event" it can work real easy.

Here in Michigan a year ago I couldn't pass on the opportunity to play Bob Seger's "Face The Promise" CD - after snagging a leaked copy of the CD days before its official release to radio.

An "event" that my station's audience expected. And we delivered. Bob Seger is Michigan. And that celebration continued with Bob's tour.

Other odds and ends:
Clear Channel's WAXQ/New York is advertising on the web via Google adwords.

Caught my eye when an ad appeared in the Google ad space on this blog last night.

Dave Martin
blogs about troubled CBS-owned talker WCKG/Chicago - saying the problem with WCKG is not the format.

And writes about dealing with talent:
"When I hear that a certain talent is "difficult" it's music to my ears". Another great one - read here.

And in the news:
Opie & Anthony done at WYSP after trashing both the station and its PD on air.

Access reports today that Opie wants to "take down 'YSP" as well as rival WMMR morning team Preston and Steve - and is willing to work for free to prove it. Whatever.

KBZT: Its More Than The Music

Cool move in San Diego. Inside Radio reported yesterday:

"Lincoln Financial dropped alternative programming on KBZT and turned over the 94.9 signal to the news team at NPR affiliate KPBS, after they lost their transmitter in the fire overnight. Before handing over their airwaves to KBZT jock Tommy Hough told listeners "These are extraordinary times and this is an extraordinary situation. It's in everyone's best interest to hand over our airwaves to KPBS"

I've read elsewhere that KPBS has the largest radio news staff in San Diego. And now without a transmitter. Translation: a brilliant move (on at least a couple levels) by the folks at KBZT. Tom Taylor in his Radio-Info.Com Newsletter adds:

"LFM corporate programmer John Dimick says KBZT programmer Garett Michaels called him early yesterday morning and proposed a lifeline for KPBS – letting it borrow the KBZT 94.9 frequency. They got it done quickly and it’s a terrific arrangement. Dimick tells me they figure on continuing it for another 48-72 hours, “until we’re sure that everybody who could be helped by the information on KPBS is out of danger.”

Kudos to Garett Michaels, John Dimick and everyone at Lincoln Financial Media. Added - Fred Jacobs writes: Sometimes its NOT about the music:

"If you got into this business to make a difference, know that you do, every day. Sometimes it's by playing a favorite song or making people laugh. And sometimes it's by doing what's least expected but most needed."

Read Fred's entire post on KBZT here.

Inside Radio reports this morning
that Clear Channel is simulcasting its news/talk KOGO on all seven of their San Diego signals, including classic rock KGB-FM.

Listening this morning to the "Clear Channel San Diego Radio Network" via KGB's stream. An excellent job (its overnight on the West Coast as I listen and write) by The Clear Channel staff.

Another proud moment for radio. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

EGM: Another Opportunity For Bonding

46° - clear at 8:45pm

Up late one night last week perusing the web I came across John Moore's Brand Autopsy blog - and a post on EGM: Employee Generated Media.

John writes
here about a recent Wall Street Journal article on employees who are permitted (and encouraged) to make videos about personal experiences working for the companies they do.

These videos are then posted on You Tube and used during compus recruitment efforts. Pretty bold, eh?

What could your station do with EGM on your website? To further bond with listeners - with content that you simply can't do on-air.

Some are already involved in EGM through airstaff blogging. An example
here from Buffalo's WGRF. Another here from WCSX/Detroit. And this from WBFX/Grand Rapids.

This all goes beyond the typical silly stale DJ bios you find on so many station websites. These are air personalities writing a little about their personal lives in a way they could never do on the air. The key is fresh material on a regular basis.

There's a large portion of your audience who would love to know your airstaff better. And I don't mean the stalkers.

What about the next level? What if you gave your air personalities video cameras? What if you gave your interns a video camera and turned them loose?

Think video that took listeners behind the scenes of your radio station. Talking to different employees from the receptionist to the program director to the chief engineer. In the studio when the mic is off. Video shot around your market.

Brainstorm the possibilities that you could
stream on your website.

Back in February - I mentioned
this video from longtime friend Tom Becka - who hosts afternoon drive at talk KFAB/Omaha.

Tom's video is a great example of web content that breaks down that wall between performer and audience. I'm betting there's a few other great radio station examples on the web too.

Production values aren't critical in this You Tube era (content is key); and digital editing software for both Macs and PCs is pretty reasonable these days. Find the college intern with the experience.

I wouldn't micro-manage this project. Beyond a few ground rules, let those producing and shooting make it personal. It needs to be.

Video and blogging is all about sharing ourselves with the audience. Friends share stories and their lives with each other. And friends like to hang with friends. Its all about bonding and building relationships.

Its a listener option unavailable with iPods and Rhapsody playlists. And it might just drive some additional website traffic.

More John Moore: "Is it a scary for you to consider having employees make short videos about the experiences at your company? Are you afraid of what they will say? Are you afraid they will be off-message and off-brand?"

"If so, sounds like you have some work that must be done to improve the employee experience at your company."

See & bookmark John's Brand Autopsy blog here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Monday

72°- overcast at 3:50pm

Good afternoon from Okemos. Big win 21-6 (I think) for my 8-year old's flag football team yesterday; my guy responsible for some of those points.

Not to make light of a tragedy: but watching news of the Malibu fires I swear I heard a Fox anchor say Sunday that those fires "shut down 25 rehab centers." Huh? I couldn't have heard that right or did I??

Fred Jacobs wrote this morning:

"How can a radio station create an experience that's more entertaining than someone's iPod or TiVo? These are the questions we should be asking listeners in perceptual studies. And they are questions we should be asking ourselves in strategy meetings."

"Which station is the concert station?" or "Which station plays too many bad songs mixed in with the good ones?" is no longer relevant to the larger issues that are facing broadcast radio."

Fred's entire post here. Our industry/our world is changing fast. In the past few weeks, I put together a station perceptual based on some of the information that came out of Mark Ramsey's PPM presentation at the NAB....questions the station wasn't asking before.

More classic rock depth. Sean Ross follows up on this discussion here.

Rocktober: All Access reporting today that the Colorado Rockies are attempting to register the name of classic rock radio's long-used promotion as their own. The trademark registration would give the team exclusive use of the term on various merchandise. Does this mean no more station "Rocktober" t-shirts?

ARB diary scam: Again from All Access. In a note to trades - a person claiming to be the PD's wife takes blame for diaries sent from household in spring survey; says it was an accident gone wrong - didn't intend to mail; but son saw them and left for postman. Filled out and sealed apparently. Wife also states hubby PD had no knowledge.

All a little hard-to-swallow.

Additionally - PD's wife was sales rep for same station; both apparently resigned at request of the station's GM.

That Northern Michigan station appears to be an unfortunate victim in this; no doubt a very difficult time for them.

Springsteen. Bruce #1 in Street Pulse again for the third week!