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dfwabel

Changes at FRS

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I left Clear Channel in 2000. I've never looked back. (One of the few radio people you'll meet who left radio on their own terms. The Mad Mac is the other. :D )

This type of thing is why I left. I loved doing sports radio but I had also been in the business long enough to see the writing on the wall. Radio was dying a slow death back in 2000. As we can see, it's much worse now.

It's a shame when 1800 people lose their jobs. It's even more of a shame when those 1800 are just the latest CC or radio employees that have lost their jobs. There's a long way to go before radio stops bleeding.

ESPN being the only "terrestrial" sports radio network is simply inevitable. They are big enough to take the financial beating of doing radio these days.

The deregulation of terrestrial radio station ownership will ultimately prove to be the downfall of the entire industry. I said it when it was passed, and history is proving me correct.

Local radio barely exists anymore, as its cheaper for station owners to subscribe to sat services for programming and hire high school kids with faces that resemble pepperoni pizzas and who think they'll be the next Howard Stern if they just pay their dues by doing board op for $8/hour... but I digress.

One of the best things the Obama Administration could do is to reverse deregulation by reinstating the "one station, one market" rule for radio, and banning cross-station operating agreements, giving current station owners two years to divest themselves. It would at least to some small extent resurrect what was good about radio programming, and probably be better for the industry as a whole financially long-term.

Obama and congress is not going to be able to do that. Mainly because all of these stations that are multi own will try to rally support against the bill across all of their outlets.

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I left Clear Channel in 2000. I've never looked back. (One of the few radio people you'll meet who left radio on their own terms. The Mad Mac is the other. :D )

This type of thing is why I left. I loved doing sports radio but I had also been in the business long enough to see the writing on the wall. Radio was dying a slow death back in 2000. As we can see, it's much worse now.

It's a shame when 1800 people lose their jobs. It's even more of a shame when those 1800 are just the latest CC or radio employees that have lost their jobs. There's a long way to go before radio stops bleeding.

ESPN being the only "terrestrial" sports radio network is simply inevitable. They are big enough to take the financial beating of doing radio these days.

Ironically, in Boston ESPN Radio is like a :censored:ing ant trying to survive on Mars. It sucks so badly, nobody listens to it, it is the subject of very much ridicule :D. It will be dead within the next year, and I am astonished it is still alive. I guess it's different across the country but hearing ESPN Radio described as a strong radio network just sounds ridiculous to me. I honestly have no idea who is on it anymore and what any of the shows are, locally and nationally (besides Mike & Mike of course, but that's on TV now.)

I'm sure you can say the same thing in New York where WFAN has one of the strongest signals in the country (I can get it down near DC at night) and WEPN (espn) you can't even get the signla in parts of the New York area.

I have on occasion picked up WFAN all the way out here in Ohio back when I still listened to the radio. Same with WCBS (is that still what 880 is going by?)

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KFAN here in Minneapolis cut long-time host Chad Hartman and his producer Doogie. Haven't heard what is in place now.

That move was cold and incredibly disappointing. Hartman was an intelligent host who had a very good network of entertaining guests. He was at the station from day one, 17 years. There was no loyalty at all. Really sucky was letting Chad's producer Dougie go. It was his freakin' birthday and he's just about to get married. Cold, cold, cold. :cry:

The maddening thing about letting Hartman go, is that they have two other hosts who are very "love 'em or hate 'em" types and dumping either one of those IDIOTS would have at least pleased half the listeners and raised the station's IQ level considerably. Even worse, one of them has apparently been given an extra hour of show time to replace part of Hartman's shift.

This comes not long after losing another shows co-host to an unfortunate drug bust. Add to that, another station up the dial also recently fired (for very, very thin reasons) their unique noontime host who was my alternative to the KFAN noontime dumbass. My listening habits, solid as a rock for 10 years, have suddenly taken 3 very big hits and it's unsettling.

At least they didn't trash the entire local show lineup for pure syndication like they did in Detroit. I would have cried had they done that. KFAN has been so successful that it has been syndicated at 9 other regional stations. They have all local programming from 6 AM to 9 PM.

We've got it good here since the all local station KFAN has a "little sister" station down the dial that is all syndicated national shows, giving us an alternative depending on the perspective we want at any time.

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Regardless of if it was sports radio or another format, CC employees who did not know that their jobs were in jeopardy are naive. CC has been in trouble within all its subsets for over a year. "Mac" is correct in sighting deregulation as the downfall and it is now even going to get worse for those who are still employed.

Now, I am not a member of the media, but those who are current (or even former members) may be better able to explain what I will now try to for the very novice. Arbitron is the most commonly used "Neilsen-like" rating system for radio. They have recently changed how they collect ratings through something called a PPM, Portable People Meter. There is controversey over its accuracy over written logs, but that is another story. Since PPM have been in place, Arbitron has also changed the demograpic segments which are monitored. Last I heard, the "overall" demographic used to be listeners 12+, now it is 6+. Ad dollars will instantly switch from his change for those stations who subscribe to Arbitron. Moce CC jobs lost were in ad sales, rather than talent.

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Regardless of if it was sports radio or another format, CC employees who did not know that their jobs were in jeopardy are naive. CC has been in trouble within all its subsets for over a year. "Mac" is correct in sighting deregulation as the downfall and it is now even going to get worse for those who are still employed.

Now, I am not a member of the media, but those who are current (or even former members) may be better able to explain what I will now try to for the very novice. Arbitron is the most commonly used "Neilsen-like" rating system for radio. They have recently changed how they collect ratings through something called a PPM, Portable People Meter. There is controversey over its accuracy over written logs, but that is another story. Since PPM have been in place, Arbitron has also changed the demograpic segments which are monitored. Last I heard, the "overall" demographic used to be listeners 12+, now it is 6+. Ad dollars will instantly switch from his change for those stations who subscribe to Arbitron. Moce CC jobs lost were in ad sales, rather than talent.

I can tell you that here in Chicago, the PPM is being viewed by most people as far more accurate than the old diaries. The meters have already confirmed some long-held suspicions about the market, including:

1) If the Cubs aren't playing, there aren't nearly as many people listening to WGN;

2) People really weren't listening to Steve "resting on my laurels" Dahl's dead-air showcase - he just had a small, extremely loyal base willing to write down that they were listening start to finish, uninterrupted, five days a week;

3) We, as a market, aren't really that into Smooth Jazz or the allegedly dominant hip-hop station (both CC properties, by the way); and

4) Oldies is a foolproof format here. The only fools are the ones running CBS, who dumped the format in '05.

Surprisingly, the meters have also dispelled the belief that Lite FM's annual numbers for its all-Christmas format were inflated; watching a station's 6+ numbers go up 250% in a month sadly confirms that yes, people really do want to hear "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" 317 times a week.

Anyway, switching the overall numbers from 12+ to 6+, in and of itself, doesn't change the money. Ad revenues are focused on the 25-34 and 35-54 demographics. The fact that the meters have turned some of those money numbers on their ears is what makes the difference.

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PPMs are a service of Arbitron, dfwabel, and their old diaries are bunk. People can't be arsed to accurately remember what they listened to and when. All these years, we've been worshipping a false idol. Really pretty remarkable. I don't know if every market is going to be shaken like a snow globe upon the advent of PPMs, becuase they're not everywhere just yet, but it's worth it to get accuracy.

Reinstating one owner per market? Hah. Talk about shutting the barn doors after the horse is out. I think we'll see CBS, Entercom, and Clear Channel gradually correct their overexpansions, but centrally planning it isn't going to work. It's not like people are lining up at the doors to buy the 50,000-watt 38-state blowtorches that CBS would be forced to sell. Who has the money and credit to do so?

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Well it appears that 570 KLAC here in LA is now the flagship for FSR.

There are NO local shows.

They have the First Team, then Dan Patrick, Jim Rome, the new national Meyers/Hartman show (with Vic the Brick from Loos Cannons as an update guy. Mychal Thompson is only on Lakers broadcasts now), they promoted the Petros and Money show to a national program, then JT the Brick, and FSR overnight.

That is just ridiculous to me that what can be argued as the #1 sports talk network in LA (they probably are compared to ESPN's LA programming) has NO local LA shows. The #1 sports station in the #2 media market in the US has no local shows. That makes no sense.

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