Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Night Update

44° - overcast at 9:03pm

If you've been a longtime reader to this blog - you'd think that after two straight posts about Detroit's WCSX, I'd move on to...well, perhaps Chicago's WDRV. But no.

Detroit PPM numbers have been released and WCSX and clustermate WRIF both saw some great numbers, once again showing that PPM is good for rock!
All-Access reported today (and thank you Lee for passing along) these rankings for the two Greater Media Detroit rockers:

WRIF: #1 12+; #2 25-54; #1 18-49; #2 18-34
WCSX: #2 12+; #4 25-54; #4 18-49; #9 18-34

Very nice! And congrats to Cluster Director of Rock Programming Doug Podell and his crew on both stations. The market curious as to what becomes of WCSX mornings; details could come as soon as Monday.

Bob Coburn/Rockline. One of the best programs on the air; and Bob signs a new deal with Dial-Global for distribution. Program website here. The program sells its archives on the site (not for broadcast use); the collection is priceless.

Speaking of archiving:
Back on Sunday, this blog made reference to John Gorman's Buzzard (Book) Blog and the fact that aside from lots of great stories, John offers some audio and visual glimpses into the history of one of the world's heritage album rockers.

I wrapped up the post, suggesting that stations need to archive their audio assets and preserve them for future use; and that brought a note from the legendary Mr. Gorman himself:


The original WMMS archives, which were well maintained from the early seventies on, were destroyed in the early nineties when the station moved to a new, smaller location and was under management that had little interest in preserving its past.

The archives contained nearly every interview, every concert broadcast, and hundreds of hours of random airchecks and classic spots.

At the time we didn't know why we were saving everything. We felt there would be historical value to it someday. The Internet wasn't even a dream at that time - but had they been saved, an Internet site could have been set up to house the material, much like the Wolfgang site did for Bill Graham's concert broadcasts.

Different management and different times. The new managers viewed a room full of tapes as reusable goods and the few tapes saved were shipped off to the unheated, no-air conditioned transmitter site, where most were destroyed by natural elements - flooding, critters, etc.

We learned of the archives' fate when I paid a visit to the transmitter site in 1994 and chewed up and unrolled tapes submerged in six inches of water. A few were apparently lifted - and some showed up years later at garage sales and flea markets. In fact, I was just contacted by someone last week who bought a couple of concert tapes at a rural flea markets hundreds of miles away.

Nearly all of what I have been able to recover so far has come from former listeners' taped-from-the-radio private collections. The Townshend interview came from a listener who later became an intern at the station and, today, manages a group of stations.

I stress to every radio station to find a way to save as much as you can. You never know....

A very sad story indeed. If you have an archive, official or not, preserve it. Share your heritage with your listeners if not on the air, on the web.
Just save it.

More tomorrow.

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