Friday, March 30, 2007
Classic Rock and Baseball. Sunday is opening day for the 2007 season of Major League Baseball. This season, Grand Rapids' classic rock WLAV will air Detroit Tiger night and weekend games.
I'm sure WLAV is hoping the Tigers can repeat the success they had in 2006. Sports isn't foreign to classic rock; many carry the NFL. Anyone else with baseball?
Next Thursday is opening day for our local minor-league Lansing Lugnuts. Best value for the money in our family. Minor league baseball understands that its the experience, not just the game. My two boys (8 & 11) love it!
Rush On Tour. Been receiving lots of email blasts from classic rock stations coast-to-coast with pre-sale info and on-air ticket giveaways. Check out the tour schedule here. Rush will have a new CD "Snakes and Arrows" on May 1st.
Sound Bites: Catch ZZ Top on "King Of The Hill" - Fox Television Sunday Night. TiVo or roll tape for imaging drops.
A happy ending out of Santa Fe (a market where I spent seven years in the late 70s/early 80s). The story: corporation sells local radio station to religious broadcaster. Employees and friends of the station rally and successfully save "their" station. Read about KBAC here.
Failure To Launch. Is it me - or are we seeing a lot more format launch failures in the last few years as compared to the past? Not too many years ago, failure to sustain and grow seemed to be an periodic issue with some start-ups. You'd see a great launch with lots of buzz and excitement - but for any number of reasons - after a book or two - the station would become stagnant.
Of course the great ones were fed, nourished - and continued to grow into legends.
But these days there seems to be a epidemic of launch failures. DOA. We likely would come up with the same list of reasons. Edison Media Research's Sean Ross just wrote a piece on this topic here. I guess its not just me.
Have a good weekend. More here Sunday.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
There's some tools on the web to see what your listeners and others may be writing - be it in their personal blogs, MySpace site - or on the web about your station or its personalities. Or your competition.
Type your call letters or slogan into these blog search engines and see what comes up:
Google Blog Search
Ice Rocket Blog Search
Try it also with the regular web search engines too - like Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.
A little time-consuming, but sometimes the results can be revealing.
And btw: Spring book begins one week from today!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
WCSX/Detroit is offering listeners a chance to make the station's next TV spot with a prize of $20,000 to the winner for the best commercial. More here.
Listener Advisory Boards and more. The concept of "research by marketing" in a great post by Fred Jacobs. You can get a lot for $50 in pizza.
Step Away From The Keyboard. "Great radio stations are not completely built on the science of crunching numbers, analyzing research, and working behind the computer screen." Think art. Mandatory reading from here from Dave Lange.
More Art. Focus on the experience, not the beans. Read "What Starbucks Knows That We Don't" from Alan Mason here.
Sound Cool. The always entertaining and brilliant Phil Hendrie here with "Some Inside Radio Terms You Can Know and Sound Cool Using". Phil explaining radio speak to those outside the industry.
Have a great Wednesday!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
KGB/San Diego's Cindy Pace has "The Liquid Lunch"; with listeners waiting for Cindy to "pop the top" to win a six-pack of prizes. "Another perk for listening at work".
WKLH/Milwaukee's Marilynn Mee serves up "The Workforce Lunch" with requests.
Scott Barnett at Tucson's KLPX does the "Hot Lunch" request hour.
Dutch on Wilmington, NC's WBNU (The Bone) does requests with "Bone Appetit".
As noted here - Frankie - middays at KCFX in Kansas City does a great job chatting with listeners while taking requests on "The Fox Free Lunch".
Chris Rhoads at WHTQ/Orlando features the "Workforce Lunchtime Classic" - with a prize to the designated caller.
Old acquaintance Lee Roberts - longtime air talent at KXRO/Oklahoma City does a listener-selected "Ultimate Album Side" every weekday at noon.
My favorite: In Detroit, Karen Savelly on WCSX invites listener participation with "Linkletter" On Demand. Its all-request - but the first letter of the first word in a requested song has to match the last letter of the last word in the previous song. An excellent example of engaging listeners and getting them involved.
Got a great idea? Share here!
I was wrong.
The voice is actually that of Seaver (photo above); who's been the daily 8a-5p voice of the WDRV HD2 channel since March 3rd. Prior to WDRV, he'd been longtime PM drive personality at WLUP/Chicago.
In an email yesterday, Seaver notes that I'm the first media-type to note that there's an actual jock on the HD2 programming; and its a compliment that I thought his voice was Downes.
Appreciate the kind words about the blog and hope this sets the record straight. Its awesome that The Drive is investing talent dollars into their HD2 channel. It does make a difference!
More here later today.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
It could hit 65° today! I'll try to drag my two boys away from their PS2 long enough to join me on a bike ride this afternoon. I could use the exercise.
Elton John is 60 years young today. WDRV/Chicago is celebrating with 60 songs by Elton starting at 11am EDT. Just heard the marathon kick off with "Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding".
Added: Its 11:30am and the WDRV stream just got clipped. Here's why: "Due to RIAA guidelines and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we are unable to stream Elton John's 60th Birthday Party programming. The stream will be back on at 4:30pm. Thanks for clicking on WDRV.com, we apologize for the inconvenience."
The RIAA strikes again! WDRV is substituting with its HD2 deep tracks stream. Good tunes. Even hosted by a jock (sounds like Steve Downes)!
>>oops - see correction here.<<
Free Stuff. From McVay Media. "60 Ideas In 60 Minutes" - from some great programming minds at the 2007 Canadian Music Week conference in Toronto. Get it here.
Core Artists. Reading Jaye Albright's blog over coffee this morning. She writes about "the only artists you should play once an hour". And those "maybe once every two hours". Jaye does country - but this applies to almost any format - and certainly to classic rock.
Are your artist protection rules set up to give your core artists the exposure they need? AND - do your rules demand that core artists are scheduled consistently? I've used type codes/rules in Selector to define core artists so I don't schedule too many non-core artists in a row. -dan
Fun and Educational. "The Horrors of Clearing Customs...and Good Times In Canada" - by Lee Abrams. Lee writes: "As a consultant I always preferred to get the mechanics like rotations out of the away and then look at the things that were beyond mechanics—what made stations GREAT." Yup.
Tommy Chong. A terrific person and a great interview. And now he's video blogging. See Tommy here.
Right: Tommy and me at WMMQ last year.
Performance License Fees. They just went up for web streaming. Traditional over-the-air radio has always been exempt. Could this change? More here from Mark Ramsey.
April Fools. Its next Sunday - a day off for most morning shows. FWIW, here's this FCC advisory from Broadcasting and Cable.
Have a great Sunday.
Friday, March 23, 2007
I remember playing these guys on the radio starting with the REO/TWO album in 1973. They've got a new CD package hitting stores in April that includes a DVD.
Streaming Rates Explained. Boulder's SBR Creative Media has put together a white paper PDF read on how the new copyright rates affect webcasting. Its a great reference piece. Find it here.
Meanwhile - Mark Ramsey writes here about "The Coming Internet Radio Boom".
We noted a few days ago the passing of Calvert DeForest. Check out this classic 1983 Larry "Bud" Melman clip from Late Night with David Letterman.
More here Sunday.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Being the curious sort I am - I surfed by the website of the original syndicator of the "Cuz" spot - Robert Michelson Inc - and saw that the spot was still being marketed 16 years later! I soon shot Bob Michelson an email - to say hello again after many years - and to find out the history of the spot.
DK: Can you give me a little history of the "Cuz" campaign?
RM: "CUZ" premiered for The Loop (WLUP-FM) in Chicago in 1991. "CUZ" - aka Robert Marena - got his name because his cousin filmed him dancing initially for use in a music video for his demo reel. When it was being edited, The Loop's advertising agency saw the video - and one thing led to another and it became their TV commercial instead.
Norm Weiner - Program Director of (crosstown) WXRT-FM - contacted me about the spot. We (Robert Michelson Inc) had just completed a TV campaign for KGB-FM in San Diego. KGB's Program Director - Ted Edwards - informed me that they wanted to purchase a new spot that The Loop (Chicago) was using.
After viewing the spot - I flew to Chicago and had meetings with The Loop's advertising agency, Jimmy DeCastro - President of Evergreen Media, and Larry Wert - General Manager of The Loop. Shortly thereafter, we entered into a syndication agreement.
Fifteen years after the original commercial aired - we went back to the original site in Chicago and re-shot CUZ/Robert Marena in high definition for The Loop's new TV campaign welcoming Jonathan Brandmeier back to the station. There is a whole new generation of young listeners that can now view the CUZ TV campaign in high definition. CUZ has become an internationally syndicated campaign. It has run in Australia, Italy and was purchased by Richard Branson for use in England.
DK: I see that you've now produced a new take on the CUZ campaign for Jack FM in LA...
RM: Our most recent TV campaign, "You Can Dance", features real people improv dancing on a theater stage. It has already been purchased in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and is the top-selling campaign for the Variety Hits format. It has already crossed over to both Hot AC and Rhythmic/AC formats. The "You Can Dance" campaign will be posted on our website shortly http://www.rmitv.com.
My thanks to Robert Michelson for sharing the "Cuz" story with us. And do check out the new "You Can Dance" spot. I can best describe it as "Cuz" meets Napoleon Dynamite. If its not on his website yet, it will be shortly - or email RMITV here.
The WLUP spot from 1991:
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Calvert DeForest - aka Larry "Bud" Melman on the David Letterman Show - passed away this week at age 85.
Read Ray Richmond's short but wonderful tribute to this comic genius here.
Satellite Radio interest appears to be slowing - at least with listeners of rock radio. This morning Fred Jacobs discusses findings from the latest Jacobs Media Tech Survey on his blog. See graphs from the satellite portion of the survey on the Jacobs website here.
Meanwhile...in Our Nation's Capitol: Yesterday, Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin made another apperance in Washington to answer more questions about the proposed Sirius/XM merger. David Martin reviews his performance here.
Streaming. Appeals have been filed against the new royalty rates announced by the Copyright Royalty Board. Kurt Hanson's RAIN has been providing excellent coverage on this issue. Read the latest here.
The Secret To Making Them Smile. Some thoughts on how its getting more difficult to shock an audience without crossing the line - and how "simply delighting them with effective service" might be the better path.
Lessons for radio programming here from ChaosScenario.
E-Diary. While much has been written about Arbitron's PPM rollout; the new E-Diary affects almost everyone right now. McVay Media's Dave Lange discusses on his blog here.
Latest Favorite Quote: "I would have made this shorter but I didn't have the time." - David Martin. Have a great Wednesday.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Perhaps I wouldn't use that term on-air, but "consumer generated weekends" can accomplish a couple of goals: more weekend tune-in and listener loyalty in the radio station.
As we've written before: CGM means ownership; and ownership turns listeners into advocates.
Here's some examples to start your next brainstorming session: WCSX/Detroit is currently asking its Workforce Listeners to contribute for a "MyTunes" weekend. Look here. How cool is it for Joe listener when his/her name is mentioned on the air as programmer of the next set of music? Ditto with this from KQRS/Minneapolis.
Listening online a week or so ago, I really got hooked on WKLH/Milwaukee's "Ten Best". Ten great songs - centered around a year or theme; many qualify as "deep cuts" or "lost classics". And submitted by listeners. Look here.
Sidenote: "deep cuts" - used as spice with the proper set up or staging reinforce music credibility and can often change repetition perceptions. Too much spice can kill the meal. Your mileage may vary.
During February, Baltimore's 100.7 The Bay featured listener-programmed theme weekends from phone and email requests to "The Homemade Block Party Weekend". Look here. update: link now gone 4/5/07
With some effort - weekends can add more quarter hours from your audience. Ideas similar to what I've mentioned here can generate both TSL and listener loyalty - by making them part of the process.
Added: "The world of media is changing, and you’re not going to stop it, because you’re no longer in control – the consumer is." -Alan Mason via his blog yesterday.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Green. Wore an old green sweatshirt yesterday for St. Patrick's Day; and also for Michigan State's appearance in the NCAA. (They lost last night to North Carolina 81-67).
Back to our show - already in progress:
Nuts & Bolts: $20,000 a month to promote your morning show. Its yours right now. Read why and how to use it best with this from Rich Van Slyke.
Superfans. Get them to listen longer and write it down! Jaye Albright writes about what two country stations are doing here. Could this be adapted for classic rock?
WLUP 30th Anniversary Part 3: Exchanged email Friday with Tom O'Toole - one of the original Loop air talents. Here's Tom writing about the early days: "We did have a fun time in those early Loop days--just a bunch of crazy ass punk kids having fun on the radio!" More WLUP here.
Roadmap. Check out this story of an alternative station in Salt Lake City. Many of the strategies related to its success can be applied to any classic rock station.
Be sure to note "A Surprise In Every Daypart"; "Location, Location, Location" (especially when it talks about imaging); and "Good Casting". Thanks to Dave Beasing of Jacobs for sharing.
Related. I've been fortunate throughout my radio career to have a lot of great influences and mentors. Here's one: Jack Evans.
When he was in Denver with Jacor in the early 90s, Jack taught me that the real power of a radio station was between the records. You heard it on his KRFX (The Fox) - and emphasized its importance as my consultant.
Added 10/07: An update on Jack Evans here.
Since then - when I drive into a market, I punch around the dial to see who "gets it" or not. I hear a lot of radio stations with perfect music rotations and good air talent - but miss it when it comes to integrating the local market into its content and imaging. Do I hear the vibe? Who would I rather compete with? Do I hear opportunities?
Did I mention that I'm not a big fan of most national "show prep" services? As a PD, I've come close to doing away with them more than a few times. In fairness, they're good in small doses - but give me local market content first.
Have a great Sunday!
Friday, March 16, 2007
Spring Is In The Air. McVay Media's Dave Lange here on preparing for the spring '07 book.
Yesterday while writing about WLUP/Chicago's 30th Anniversary, I thought about the "Loop Stores" that were spread around the Chicago area. They were basically retail locations inside other businesses where one could buy station-logo'd merchandise: T-shirts, hats, etc. You just don't see that sort of promotional activity anymore (yes, some do it online now).
The value of a great brand with a great logo can't be underestimated.
Related is a post at Pollack Media: "The Lost Art of Radio Brand Extension". Read it here.
Kids, Schools, Classic Rock & NTR = a great promotion. Look what KUFX/San Jose (98.5 K-Fox) is doing here.
Getting the story out. This past Monday, Fred Jacobs wrote about Buffalo's 97 Rock sending an email blast to its database over last weekend regarding the death of Boston's Brad Delp. An excellent move by PD John Hager. Another opportunity to bond with your listener community and strengthen your brand.
I recall last year doing something similar following Bob Seger's return to the concert circuit. Some amateur video of Bob's first show of the tour wound up on You Tube the morning after (2 or 3 complete songs!) We quickly did an email blast with links to the videos suggesting they catch them before they disappear.
And it was very sad this week to read of the circumstances surrounding the passing of Boston singer Brad Delp. My heart goes out to his family and fiancee. Boston's Tom Scholz writes about Brad Delp here.
May all your St. Patty's day promotions be safe and successful!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
At the beginning of 1977, Programmer Jay Blackburn was hired by the Chess family (of the legendary Chess Records) to turn around then-jazz WSDM. His solution was a female-friendly AOR format.
In a email just today - Jay said it took 3 months to rebuild the facility or as he puts it "that old tube station" (under a very tight budget as I recall from a conversation with Jay years ago); and after the rebuild "it took us 7 months to become the number 1 AOR in the market", eventually running ABC (94.7) and NBC (101.1) out of the format in Chicago.
Jay hired some air talents from smaller markets who have since become legends in the business: Bill Evans, Patti Haze, Dave Logan, Les Tracy and Tom O'Toole. Yours truly was a fan of the station while I was doing radio in the suburbs.
The station was then sold to Heftel - who brought in Lee Abrams - and took it to yet another level - the rest is history. 30 years worth. Here. The history of this station is an education for any classic rock program director.
To the left: the original 1977 WLUP logo. Jay admits that by the time Heftel and Abrams came in, it was due for change.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Since last weekend - this blog has had a banner ad for "Save The Streams" (scroll down on the right hand column). I've intended to write more about "Save The Streams"; but Fred Jacobs wrote extensively today about saving internet radio on his blog here. If your station streams on the internet (or plans to), Fred's post is a great read.
More here tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
It's touted as a way for listeners to "get more music, and more variety". The basics are that this guy edits songs, eliminates "self indulgent guitar solos", "long intros" and "no repetition of choruses again and again"; promising an average length of about two minutes per song. More songs per hour.
He claims that most people don't hardly notice; but feel that "the station moves". He even has a patent for the idea; something to do with digital delivery of edited songs.
Read more and hear a demo via Wired here.
For classic rock? There's a high level of music credibility that classic rock listeners expect. Not too many years ago, I recall editing "Who Are You" or substituting the "clean" record company edit of Steve Miller's "Jet Airliner". The listener feedback was loud and negative. But we had Janet Jackson to blame.
Can you imagine the possibilities with SASS? Yipes!
Monday, March 12, 2007
Kristi's ties with KDAG ("Big Dog 96.9") extend beyond the Bob & Tom Show. Aside from the network apprearance each morning, Kristi is also a KDAG on-air personality with her own airshift from 1 to 3pm each weekday - voice-tracked from Bob & Tom flagship WFBQ/Indianapolis.
This comedy tour stop sold out the week prior. With that, KDAG Program Director Randy Burton described the energy level at the show "insane" with comedians Zany, Wilson and Dore - but that the house went totally nuts when Kristi Lee finally hit the stage (arriving mid-show due to travel delays). And she didn't slow down afterwards; Randy adds that she made her way around the venue to visit with listeners; chatting "like she's known them all her life".
Afterwards the KDAG crew - including Kristi hung out with listeners at one local watering hole "until it shut down with a full house at midnight" (go figure); and then onto another club until closing. Hangin' with listeners on their turf. How cool.
Kristi may be syndicated and voice-tracked into the market - but she's every part a personality on that radio station as far as KDAG's listeners are concerned. Wonder how many told someone else the next morning (and at work today) that they hung out with Kristi and the rest of the KDAG airstaff? Kristi rocks.
And if you're wondering how Kristi Lee wound up voice-tracking a daily airshift on KDAG - it started as a "what if" discussion between PD Randy and Kristi on a prior Comedy Tour stop in town.
Kristi on stage Friday Night:
More photos here.
Sidenote: Yours truly put KDAG on the air back in 1994; Randy is only the second Program Director of the station in 13 years - and I'm very proud of the stations continued success. That explains the LONG post.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
OMG. Bob Stroud (WDRV) is playing 10cc's "Rubber Bullets". One of many good tunes this morning on Rock & Roll Roots. When Bob goes off, its a quick switch to Steve Palec (WKLH). Great radio with great coffee. Plenty of sunshine this morning. All an excellent start to the day. Save The Streams.
Hispanics and Classic Rock. Edison Media Research released a study at this year's Country Radio Seminar on the appeal of country music and radio to the Hispanic audience. The study is recommended reading. Meanwhile, researcher Steve Casey got curious and reviewed some rock radio music tests and came up with the Top Testing Songs That Lean Hispanic.
I just discovered Steve's blog in the past several days. Check out his site and blog archives. Well worth the read. Added: Fred Jacobs on Hispanics and rock this past Friday here.
Promotions. Lots of classic rock stations jumping onto the new Genesis tour as well as The Police. Think on-air ticket giveaways, bus trips or listener fly-aways. It should be a great summer for concerts - even without Van Halen.
Fred Winston. One of the greatest - with an awesome set of pipes and a one-of-a-kind on-air persona. A new interview today on Rick Kaempfer's Chicago Radio Spotlight.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Roll tape or TiVo the induction ceremonies. Monday 8:30pm ET on VH-1 Classic.
If its spring-like today where you live, relax and enjoy.
Friday, March 9, 2007
ATKINSON, N.H. — Brad Delp, the lead singer for the band Boston, was found dead Friday at his home in southern New Hampshire. He was 55. Atkinson police responded to a call for help at 1:20 p.m. and found Delp dead. Lt. William Baldwin said in a statement the death was "untimely" and that there was no indication of foul play.
Delp apparently was alone at the time, Baldwin said.
The cause of his death remained under investigation. Police said an incident report would not be available until Monday.
The website of the band Boston now displays a single page with the words: "We've just lost the nicest guy in rock and roll".
My continuing education in the past few days:
Radio Should Participate In Media. This weekend spend a few moments and listen to Mark Ramsey chat with author Ben McConnell on the topic of Citizen Marketing - and what it means for radio. Click here to listen. Its time well-spent.
Still relevant. Greg Gillispie wrote this over a year ago. A good read over about one of my biggest challenges as a programmer, especially when it comes to the two little words "value added". And giving promotions the on-air attention needed to succeed.
Top 200 Albums. Of all time. A list from NARM via Lee Arnold here.
Daylight Savings Time. One more reminder. Spring ahead Sunday Morning at 2am.
And - by way of Fred Jacobs - comes this from Dodge:
Have a great weekend.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
And I thought it was brilliant. Putting faces on the listeners. Building a "club". A "community".
This strategy came to mind the other day. I surfed around the web and could only find two stations doing this beyond KSAN (which has since apparently dropped the concept; the image to the left was found on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine).
It doesn't take much effort. Solicit photos or bring a camera to remotes. Combine this with other elements that build a community of listeners on and off air and it adds up.
In the end, you make your station just a little more bullet-proof. Real words from real people. Check out Milwaukee's WKLH (who is doing an online promotion "Hey Mom, I'm on WKLH.COM") as well as Buffalo's 97 Rock. Duct tape rocks.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
You can't help but be a bit envious.
Seen on David Martin's blog this morning: "Every production of genius must be the production of enthusiasm." -Disraeli
Spring book now less than a month away. Fred Jacobs on Priorities.
Streaming. Last week's decision by The Copyright Office to hike streaming royalties is putting the fate of hundreds of webcasters in jeopardy. A number of webcasters have begun to reach out to their listeners to help fight this action. Kurt Hanson's RAIN has the story here.
Business Week covers the internet radio issue here. Forbes here.
Online Research. McVay Media's Dave Lange writes here.
Have a great Wednesday. I've got to shovel snow.