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DCRTV Mailbag - January 19 to January 26, 2009
Latest messages listed first.....
\/ January 26 Messages \/
There is a phenomenon called the “law of unintended consequences”. One example is that it’s well known that WTOP’s online audio traffic reports have not only dissuaded companies considering locating to the Washington, D.C. area, but are also used by “economic development authorities” in other parts of the country for counter-marketing against businesses considering a move to the D.C. area. Now, there’s another twist: There’s a bill in the Virginia Senate, SB874 that is more than just your usual anti-cellphone bill. Makes me think of the Bob Marbourg/Lisa Baden line… “WTOP cell callers report/tell us…” Maybe Virginia doesn’t like its citizens becoming free-lance journalists adding to its economic tailspin. Perhaps “WTOP listeners tell us”, would’ve kept Virginia’s guardians of ignorance and decency guessing whether it was that dratted e-mail instead of those infernal cellphones that reveal to the world (via WTOP) how bad Northern Virginia’s traffic really is… Remember: In an adversarial environment, a good journalist never reveals a source. And, few environments are as adversarial as an economic depression and a paranoid government. (1/26/09)
The Rockettes -- Canned Singing. -Silvie- (1/26/09)
I believe that the person complaining about digital TV in general and WBAL-DT's upcoming digital operations in particular is a bit misinformed. WBAL-DT's proposal for digital operations on channel 11 was constrained first and foremost by the range of their current transition operations on channel 59. Prior to the window for maximizing applications, stations could not propose facilities that exceeded the range of their transition operations except under very limited circumstances. Since transition operations generally replicated the coverage of the original analog service, this was not a problem. However, in WBAL's case, DT 59 does not replicate analog 11 completely, so, barring any waivers, DT 11 would also fall short. WBAL did request a waiver of the rules in order to get 5 kW authorized, as 3.4 kW would have been the limit as defined by DT 59 (see for yourself here). In addition, the FCC has published a study that depicts the change in service between digital and analog television that is available at www.fcc.gov/dtv/markets. These comparisons were generated before maximization applications were filed, so consider the plots to be worst-case scenarios in most cases. Regards, Dave Loudin (1/26/09)
A few years ago when my daughter was into figure skating, we went to see one of the "Champions On Ice" shows at the Verizon Center. Cameras were everywhere as the performance was to be televised several nights later. Two of the performers flubbed their routines but kept going. Later on, once the show was over and the skaters did their grand finale (to a standing O), the rink announcer came on and told the crowd, "hey folks, stick around for a few minutes. We're going to ask our performers to do part of their routines again for the telecast. Be sure and applaud real loudly, OK?" The audience seemed pleased to go along with it; not only because they got to see a perfect take but also because they were "in" on the secret to making the TV show successful. Sure enough, when I watched the program some nights later, the routines were drop-dead perfect. Nobody I know was angry that the show was an edit-job. The moral of the story: who gives a **** about Yo-Yo and his buddies and their contrived performance? It was REALLY them, they were REALLY there. C'mon people, how much mental anguish do you think we as a nation will genuinely suffer because a fistful of musicians played along with a prerecorded performance? Please. Go pour some coffee in your lap and sue someone, OK? (1/26/09)
Re: "You expect these people to perform live." ...No, Silvie -- YOU expect these people to perform live. Other than you and a handful of not-too-popular talk show hosts, nobody really gives rat's ass. We all get it. Dave in Sterling (1/26/09)
Was it just me or did anyone else notice the funny headline regarding Steve davis @ WBAL....Steve davis gets cut @ WBAL and is replaced by a "SCHMUCK" That’s great stuff. Sorry steve......... (1/26/09)
"I hate it when Britney, the Jonas Brothers, the Rockettes and even the little Chinese girl during the Beijing Olympics did it." Silvie - are you trying to tell us that the legendary Radio City Music Hall Rockettes don't actually DO THEIR OWN DANCING??? You mean they're KICK-SYNCING??? (1/26/09)
Greetings from sunny northern Cali. If Yo-Yo Ma would've played live, he would've horribly out of tune. Then the discussion would be..."OMG, did you hear that POS performance?" Ma is a pro and made the only choice he really had. Screw Parks. He could only hope to be half the professional that Ma is. Non-story from a non-talent. Dan W. (1/26/09)
[snippy] Dave's response: Are you sure you weren't listening to Howard Stern on Sirius XM? [end snippy]. I’m guessing it was Dude Walker. He kicks puppies, too. (I’m kidding, of course. I think most of us know Dude is a great guy!) (1/26/09)
("Yo-Yo was probably playing a $10 Walmart violin anyway and not his $3 million one. They should’ve let him play later in the day at one of the indoor dinners. -Silvie-") God – you are truly an idiot! (1/26/09)
Re: the DC AM - Hey Dave, I checked out the new f**kin sponsor's f**kin podcast and thought it was f**kin interesting, but not to my f**kin interest. Those f**kin guys sound more like an eccentric f**kin version of f**kin Ron and Fez. Cheers, f**kin Robert B from Arlington :) (1/26/09)
Dave's response: Are you sure you weren't listening to Howard Stern on Sirius XM?
There may be some truth to WCHH's signal being better to the south. It is much weaker in Harford County now. I live in Chruchville and was able to pick them up in my house. They used to be one of the strongest stations on the dial. I wonder, in the hayday of WBSB, how important was Harford County to thier ratings? (1/26/09)
Yes, it’s a non-issue and, trust me, I have about 1,000 other things to think about today and this is not one of them. However, I’m replying to an assortment of posts. The pre-recorded music is not un-American, but it’s weird as hell to have these two Maestros faking it for the whole world to see and for us not to be told until a day later. I hate it when Britney, the Jonas Brothers, the Rockettes and even the little Chinese girl during the Beijing Olympics did it. You expect these people to perform live. To isolate WMAL for these observations is ridiculous. Many have been questioning the fact that they were playing outside. It didn't make much sense that the musicians would expose their valuable instruments to possible damage or sacrifice their fingers through frostbite for “The One”. (And yes, the Jonas Bros. are a hack act too!) -Silvie- (1/26/09)
I'm starting to worry that the Fairness Doctrine may try to make a come back. I don't want to see anybody's free speech limited. Scary. Dick (1/26/09)
Dave's response: I agree. I don't want to see the government, including the FCC, getting into the "content regulation" business for any TV or radio station. And that includes fines for so-called "indecency." The FCC should stick to ownership and technical regs - and stay out of programming. But, I would also like to see stations like WMAL voluntarily add shows by talkers who aren't just righty white men.....
Silvie, Did you listen to WMAL when it was a real radio station too? I'm not sure if you remember that far back or were even in the area then but it used to be a great radio station that served a wonderful purpose to many... Also, Silvie, the government did plan accordingly for the cold weather by having the talent pre-record their musical selections that were likely to be affected by the cold. This really is a non-story. (1/26/09)
I don't believe for a second that Silvie "just happened to walk by a TV" and caught the performance. But, just for the sake of discussion, let's overlook that and ask instead: what is the crime you think was committed here? Why were Parks his few followers up in arms about this in the first place? Is there really a belief that hearing pre-recorded music is somehow unAmerican, pro-terrorist, anti-capitalist, grating or even a mild inconvenience? Or is this just Ultra-Right radio nitwits scraping the absolute bottom of the barrel, trying (and failing) to become relevant again? That's a rhetorical question. (1/26/09)
Someone asked you recently about JC Heyward. Has there been any news about the upcoming cuts that are coming at NBC? You mentioned a while ago that NBC was cutting back in salaries so are there ant cuts in staff being reported? Maybe Vance or Doreen may go? (1/26/09)
Re: "Google the words "Yo-Yo Ma" and "Milli Vanilli" and there will be multiple articles coming up on Web & News about this - too many to post here. Parks and Thompson were not the only ones stating these observations." Yes, when online cranks spout off about a non-topic, that makes it valid. Uh-huh. Of course this is a moron's comparison, because Milli Vanilli were discredited for lip-synching the singing of OTHER performers, while Yo-Yo Ma, et el, were synch'd to their OWN performance. Big damn deal. Ever watched musicians on TV? Virtually every performance you've seen on the tube is synced. The same silliness is spouted off by professional yackers every year when -- how shocking! -- the half time show at the Superbowl is synched. It's often just the singer performing live over pre-recorded backing tracks. I can think of about 400 million things that bug me more than Yo-Yo Ma not being able to keep his instrument in tune in 20-degree weather. By the way... who are "Parks and Thompson"? (1/26/09)
Sarah Lee was reporting this morning on WJLA, but Alisa Parenti was no where to be seen. I guess she didn't get the boot with everyone else. (1/26/09)
Dave's response: Several of the JLAers who were cut on Friday are being allowed to work until their contracts expire. I assume that's so for Sarah Lee. Then it's back to the cake/baking business for her (sorry, bad joke).....
104.3's signal is covering Anne Arundel and Howard Counties better? Now MORE people have the option of not tuning in! (1/26/09)
Someone please refresh my failing memory: Was Yo-Yo Ma Milli or Vanilli? (1/26/09)
Google the words "Yo-Yo Ma" and "Milli Vanilli" and there will be multiple articles coming up on Web & News about this - too many to post here. Parks and Thompson were not the only ones stating these observations. So maybe then Air Force Band policy needs to be reviewed for cold weather performances by renowed violinists. Yes, it was certainly too much to expect that the government would plan for cold weather for a JANUARY 20TH event! They should’ve surrounded the musicians with some sort of windbreak & cover and then fired up the space heaters. -Silvie- (1/26/09)
Thanks for the information, Mike, will listen when i can! Burt in Denton (1/26/09)
The issue is Andy Parks condemned Yo-Yo Ma for what turned out to be the Master following Air Force Band policy. The issue here is Bill Thompson compared Yo-Yo Ma to Milli Vanilli, which is unforgivable. The one real thing that is obvious is the WMAL morning team propagandists were not aware of the Air Force Band policy when they were doing their job of bad mouthing anything that has to do with Obama and the Democrats. Unfortunately, just like the Plante/Palin disaster, this time it came back to bite them. (1/26/09)
Also, any news about JC Hayward leaving with 9? (1/26/09)
Dave's response: I have heard rumblings that she could be leaving WUSA this spring. But, we've heard like rumors before and they haven't panned out.....
Dear WMAL: Did Andy Parks ever apologize to the Air Force Band this morning for condemning their well thought out weather policy? Did Andy apologize to Yo-Yo Ma for condemning the master for following the well thought out Air Force Band weather policy? Did Bill Thompson apologize to Yo-Yo Ma for comparing him to Milli Vanilli? (1/26/09)
DC-Based Media Hack and former Bush Aide hired to smear Caroline Kennedy: The New York Daily News. reports that NY Gov. David Paterson's "decision to go nuclear on Caroline Kennedy was a hatchet job run by a pricey out-of-state consultant who specializes in political scandals, disgruntled administration sources said. Judy Smith, a Washington-based PR guru and former Bush White House deputy press secretary, orchestrated the ill-conceived character attack on Kennedy." Despite an internal among Paterson staffers to refrain from attacking Kennedy, there were several leaks from inside the governor's office that Kennedy's supposed tax, nanny and marital problems had tanked her bid for Hillary Clinton's senate seat. Sources also say that it was Patterson himself who signed off on Smith's plan to release dirt on Kennedy. Smith, the first African-American woman to hold the deputy press secretary position at the White House, has a client list tha's included Monica Lewinsky, the family of murdered Washington intern Chandra Levy, Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson, who is battling corruption charges, scandal-scarred former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the wake of 9/11. (1/26/09)
Re: John Kelly's article in the WashPost about Led Zeppelin at the Wheaton Youth Center back in '69. I think I remember it. I believe it happened, because I saw Rod Stewart there around the same general time frame, back when I was a "yute" attending Good Counsel HS next door. I seem to recall it cost all of 50 cents to get in, and I think Barry Richards had his hand in that one as well. Stewart and band (Faces? not sure) played only briefly, as they had major problems with the electricity on stage. During a power outage, the drummer went into an extended solo, after which the Youth Center dudes announced that the concert was over and that we'd all have to leave. Bummer! Missed Zeppelin, but did see them either in '69 or '70 at the old Baltimore Coliseum - schweet! Mike in Frederick, before there was a Dashboard DX Society, still dazed and confused through all the good times, bad time, know I've had my share… (1/26/09)
It's official according to the FCC, WCHH Channel 104.3 is now transmitting from the huge FOX 45 tower @close to 1000 feet on TV Hill ! Anybody notice a difference in signal? I would think Columbia, Howard County and AA county would probably notice the most signal improvement since Baltimore downtown skyscrapers are no longer an obstruction. (1/26/09)
RE: Yo-Yo Ma music -- It was obvious from the first note that they were not actually playing live. I never gave it much of a thought. I happened to walk by a TV while the big dog & pony show was going on but all I heard was someone trying to strangle a cat. More importantly that Andy Parks’ comments (which are a non-issue because the ones to blame here are the Inauguration organizers... Media Matters will not touch this with a 10-foot pole) is the question of why didn’t the organizers think of this when they booked Yo-Yo? I mean this is January weather in D.C. Why didn’t they book someone who could actually play live? Small marching band? Electric piano artist and singer? Harmonica solo? I do understand their not wanting to hurt the instruments. No problem. All the more reason to book someone else. Yo-Yo was probably playing a $10 Walmart violin anyway and not his $3 million one. They should’ve let him play later in the day at one of the indoor dinners. -Silvie- (1/26/09)
I fully expect to read in a future "Washingtonian" about WJLA (which stands for Joseph L. Allbritton, in case readers have forgotten) execs' real estate purchases in pricey neighborhoods. ABC-7, your infomercial leader. (1/26/09)
Hey Dave, I read these headline at Newsblues.com today: "Last-place DC station axes older staffers, moves to multimedia"... "Salaries cut 30-50%, responsibilities increased, unions buckle"... "Veteran morning anchor declines 60% pay cut, quits"... So are there more cuts that occurred today, or are these the buyouts that Gannett offered to 9 News employees? Is the 30-50% cut for all 9 News talent? If that is the case what does that mean for those that are freelance traditional reporters like Gary Nurrenburg? Dan (1/26/09)
Dave's response: Today, Mike James at Newsblues actually linked to DCRTV's news item of Friday (1/23, updated 1/24) which said that Mike Walter will soon be leaving WUSA. We're hearing that Gannett's 9 is offering many reporters/anchors pay cuts and "multimedia journalist" titles (shoot your own video) when their contracts come up for renewal.....
Andy Parks spread false information about the U.S. Air Force Band. Bill Thompson made a false comparison disparaging US Air Force Band policy. Andy Parks insulted American treasures for following US Air Force Band policies. I cannot begin to say how disgusted I am with the WMAL Morning Show over these antics. There needs to be apologies to Yo-Yo Ma and the United States Air Force Band from the WMAL Morning Show. (1/26/09)
Previous posters are right on in saying that it would be a huge loss at Broadcast House – oops, sorry, I mean the “9 News Now Information Center” – if Jennifer Ryan does indeed leave. While Anita Brikman is okay, Ryan should have been given the weeknight anchor job. I wonder if Mike Walter leaving will also lead to Andrea Roane deciding to depart as well – she can retire anytime now, I’m sure. I can see it now: your new 9 News Now morning team…Nancy Yamada and Armando Trull! YIKES! Unfortunately, WJLA is following in the same path by debuting news in HD and then turning around and getting rid of qualified talent right and left. What a shame… BG in Fairfax (1/26/09)
Let us all be clear here; Andy Parks and others on the WMAL Morning Show condemned Yo-Yo Ma and his top notch troop for following Air Force procedures and policies. Yes, Andy should apologize to Yo-Yo Ma and the Air Force. (1/26/09)
Dave's response: Andy should go get a cello and, on some very cold morning, try playing it out front of the WMAL studios. Might make a good on-air stunt. WMAL needs more stuff like that to bolster the anemic ratings. Back in the old days, didn't Andy do stuff like that? Like putting on a bathing suit and jumping into a vat of Jello in a parking lot. I think I have a picture of that in the massive DCRTV Photo Archives. Will have to dig it up. How about hiring Teapot Tim to replace Bryan Nehman? Less propaganda. More funny.....
/\ January 26 Messages /\
\/ January 25 Messages \/
If WMAL practices what it preaches about support for our military, I would expect a minimum of a lengthy suspension of Andy Parks for his comments disparaging our military musicians -had there been a sincere apology. However, in absence of an any apology at all, WMAL should dismiss him for his on-air display of what was nothing less than sheer contempt for our military. "Media Matters" should've been all over this in a hurry! (1/25/09)
To Burt in Denton: I am still at Hot A/C 101.7 & 95-3 The B out of Georgetown, DE jocking afternoons now 2-7pm. I am not a jock on 93-5 The Beach but I host the Ravens Wrap Show from the Greene Turtle in OC on 93-5 The Beach during season and have done some occasional segments on the air with my co-worker Chris Steele in the afternoon. I also have local NFL and High School Football Updates that run on all the stations in the cluster which are apart of my sports director responsibilities. It just so happened I was on vacation this past week and in Baltimore and was able to be a guest on my friend Rob Long's Show which debuted this past week on Fox 1370 Sports Radio. But even before that I was a guest on Tony Lombardi's Show 'The X Factor' a few times as I have known Tony for two years now from Ravens camp and Tony is one of the hosts of the Ravens Wrap Show. I really appreciated the opportunity to be on both shows, it was a lot of fun and to be on with sports radio people that have a lot of knowledge and who I highly respect. -Michael Popovec (1/25/09)
I have been “Hannitized,” and I know if you criticize the military’s policies and procedures you are not supporting our troops. Hannity was right in condemning those that questioned Rumsfield’s decision to disband The Iraqi Army; those that questioned it were not supporting our troops. It is the same principle with Andy Parks; for Andy to criticize Yo-Yo Ma for following Air Force Band procedure and policy is in fact Andy criticizing the men and women in the United States Air Force. I cannot stand to have Andy criticize our troops. Andy needs to apologize to Yo-Yo Ma and the Air Force Band. (1/25/09)
I believe that WJZ-TV ad is a picture of Mark Viviano before his name change. He's one of those guys who can't die because he saved a Indian Shaman from the settlers back in the 1600's. (1/25/09)
Kin Komando ran last night ( Saturday) on WTNT .. I think is was about 9 p.m. (1/25/09)
Separated at birth: Bill Powers in his WJZ ad, and the "Heck of a Guy" mascot? (1/25/09)
“Politico has been losing money from the start. They may be "head of budget" for the year but overall, they are way down.” Incorrect: Politico currently makes a small profit – and they are far ahead of last year because of all of the lobbyists Ad spending with the new Administration. “why not keep the 401k contributions going for Politico employees? If they are making so much money, why should they be penalized?” Because Politico is part of the same 401(k) as all of the Allbritton TV stations. To treat them differently (keep the contributions for Politico only) would be ILLEGAL. (1/25/09)
The news; Mike Walter gone, Jennifer Ryan next? That would be a huge mistake. Jennifer Ryan keeps the weekend shows upbeat and watchable. I understand budget cuts where they make sense, but this one is a fatal error. 9 will be running infomercials at the 11 hour on weekends if this move is made. Her smile and laughter boosts the boring newscast of local news. Sorry to see Mike go, guess he didn’t blog enough! (1/25/09)
Re: The late Wizards game and Channel 4. How do we know they didn't only record a version with the Wizards losing? If they had actually won, I imagine they could have had the anchor talk up the highlights and give the final score after running the story about hell freezing over. Charles in Winchester (1/25/09)
Andy Parks shouldn't get all the blame for the screw up with Yo-Yo Ma; either Bill or Brian called it a "Milli Vanilli moment," insinuating the performers were pantomiming to other peoples' work, as Milli Vanilli did. This comparison was false, misleading, illogical, and juvenile. The musicians in question, lead by Yo-Yo Ma, pantomimed to their own-recorded performance, and the pantomime was justified and permitted because of the weather and Air Force Band policy. To be clear, they did not covet, falsely represent, and take credit for, other peoples' talent, so it was in no way a “Milli Vanilli moment.” Yes, apologies are due to Yo-Yo Ma and the Air Force Band by the WMAL Morning Show. (1/25/09)
So what’s up at WTNT? Usually at 1pm on Sunday’s they run the Kin Komando computer show, but today it’s Monica Crowley’s politics show. Also the station’s website is down. Heck, I had to tune into Dave Ramsay (yuck) on WMAL to listen to some talk while I work on the house. (1/25/09)
Dave's response: There's always Pat Goss on JFK. A very interesting lecture today on malfunctioning temperature gauges.....
As unlikely the probability that the chap in this December 1962 WJZ-TV ad was L.A.'s Bill Powers, I just HAD to ask. If anyone knows the true identity of the pictured anchor (or would like a JPG of the original TV Guide ad), just write me at PleasantLiving@gmail.com (1/25/09)
In case you missed it, John Kelly's Washington column in Thursday's Post had a cute article about Led Zeppelin's first U.S. concert, 40 years ago this week on the night of Richard Nixon's first inauguration, which was handled by Rock Impresario Barry Richards (of Progressive WHMC-AM in Gaithersburg at the time.) The story goes that the gig took place in the activity room of the Wheaton Youth Center in front of about 55 kids! www.washingtonpost.com (1/25/09)
Liberals need to stop worrying about what Rush, Sean and others are saying and just do their damn jobs. Clinton used to do the same thing and just dwell on what Limbaugh was saying... (1/25/09)
Dave's response: And despite Rush's constant criticism, Bill Clinton was the first Democrat to serve two full terms as president since Franklin Roosevelt. Something Obama should take note of. The more enraged Rush gets, the better you're doing.....
Too Funny: WOLB radio blogging about Baltimore city political corruption is sort of like the cat investigating where all the mice went! LOL Every time I ever listened to that station, they blamed all the city's troubles on "the man" or "Mr. Bobo" and that's no joke! LOL (1/25/09)
Yo-Yo Ma is a gift for America; Andy Parks of WMAL is not. Andy needs to apologize to Yo-Yo Ma, the listeners, and the Air Force Band for spewing "made up crap" as fact. For Andy to make a blanket statement without apparently knowing Air Force Band procedures and contingencies on the subject was the highest point of sophomoric righteousness I heard on WMAL all week (disclosure; I did not listen to Chris Plante all week, so I don't have all the WMAL misinformation handy for comparison purposes). Andy, do the right thing, apologize to all involved, and admit you had no background knowledge or basis when condemning Yo-Yo Ma by unfairly comparing him with the Air Force band. Andy, please set the record straight; Yo-Yo Ma did not warrant your criticism and the Air Force Band did not need you misinforming the public by ignoring their well thought out systems and procedures. Or, should Yo-Yo Ma disassociate himself from the Air Force Band for being unduly publicly criticized on the radio for following their policy? (1/25/09)
Hello, Mike Popovec, what station on the shore are you working for now? Seems I went to 93.5 and there was no mention of you on the website. Maybe I have the wrong station? Take care and best to a fellow Ravens fan! Burt in Denton (1/25/09)
Thank you to the poster who found Samantha Davies on WBAL. That station already has some of the hottest -- in the forms of Sarah Caldwell and Kate Amara. Adding Samantha makes a gorgeous trifecta: blonde, brunette and redhead. (1/25/09)
Funny that Limbaugh is so into Obama's head. And Obama needs to understand that doing something for the sake of doing something, which is what he seems to be all about, is stupid. The idea is to do the right thing. (1/25/09)
Again we have to put up with the bullshit in the NBC4 sports dept. For the Sunday morning sports ( which is always recorded the night before ) with the Wizards in a late coast game, they recorded two versions-one showing the Wizards winning and one showing the Wizards losing. Each is accompanied by a clip from early in the game. So we see that the Wizards lost. The news anchor does not give the final score. Shit, I walked out to my curb, grabbed the Post and got the final, box score and the rest. Way to go, NBC4! Regards Biff (1/25/09)
New Republican talking point, first heard on WMAL's Grandy and Andy Friday, then parroted on other wingnut radio shows and currently being used in Politico's online poll of the day: "Don't you think he (Obama) appears to be in way over his head?" Right. Have fun with it America--keep a shot glass nearby, fill it and drain it everytime you hear some radio or TV lunatic voice this phrase over the next week. We're on to you, RNC. And judging from the results of the poll, so is the majority. ACH (1/25/09)
Dave's response: Gee, Obama's been president for less than a week and he hasn't yet ended the worldwide recession. It's time that local advertisers, like the cemeteries and funeral homes that still buy spots on the station, realize that WMAL is an out of touch joke.....
(However, another source tells us that there are no trimmings at the Politico, which is the only Allbritton division ahead of budget, we hear. "The cuts would have been deeper if Politico was not here," a source adds. More soon.....) This is complete BS. Politico has been losing money from the start. They may be "head of budget" for the year but overall, they are way down. And it's only a matter of time before WJLA employees raise questions about how much money is being spent on Politico's budget. "The cuts would have been deeper if Politico was not here," a source adds. That is pure spin. And Politico knows it. Don't believe it. If that were the case, why not keep the 401k contributions going for Politico employees? If they are making so much money, why should they be penalized? (1/25/09)
Dave's response: Allbritton is spending a lot of dough on a relatively star-staffed political news site that is pretty much niche-targeted to Capitol Hill, which is already served by several wonk rags. While it gets lotsa links from political agenda clowns like Drudge, it doesn't sound like the Politico will ever make much money.....
I flipped by WBAL-TV 11 News at 11pm tonight (Saturday night), and I caught a glimpse of Samantha Davies, who used to be a meteorologist on the now-defunct NBC WeatherPlus, filling in for John Collins. I thought that Jay Kendrick normally filled in for John on weekends. Curiously, I looked at Ch.11's news team site at www.wbaltv.com, and there's no listing or picture of Jay on there. I wonder if WBAL-TV let Jay go, and are testing other meteorologists, like Samantha, for the fourth meteorologist spot? I saw Samantha again on WBAL-DT's now-all local InstaWeatherPlus subchannel later in the evening. -Greg in Perry Hall (1/25/09)
Dave's response: I flipped by WRC's "NBC Plus" (former WeatherPlus) local weather channel Saturday evening and the radar was all parallel green lines.....
This is Bill Powers answering back to the poster who asked if I’d ever worked at WJZ-TV…NOPE, not me. Wish I had, but I’ve never worked in TV except for very small-market voiceovers in years past, and that was back before the days of MP3ing via the internet on handy little 5-inch audio reels…. I worked in the Balto market from 1998-2003 and then, because I couldn’t tolerate the cold temps and having to walk to work in all that snow, it was time to move back to California. Was there someone at JZ named Bill Powers in the past or perhaps just a similar name? Thanks, from the Powers That Be out here in LA! (1/25/09)
/\ January 25 Messages /\
\/ January 24 Messages \/
Friday, Andy Parks was very critical over the taped music at the Inauguration. Andy said that the Marine Corps and the Air Force bands played in the cold, so why couldn't Yo-Yo Ma? Well, Yo-Yo was on NPR that afternoon and explained during rehearsal Monday it was so cold strings were going to snap and the clarinet's keys got stuck. He also stated they were following the Air Force Band's policy to record their part (in case they needed it) a few days before an outdoor winter performance because of uncertainties in the weather. They recorded it on Sunday, and made the decision to use the recording at Monday's rehearsal. So, we got a moronic comment from WMAL on the news, and an educated explanation from NPR. Is Andy Parks taking lessons from Chris Plante on making up facts to support a conclusion? Yo-Yo is a great American. (1/24/09)
Dave – do you or does anyone out there have a ballpark estimate of what an infomercial TV spot would cost on one of our local affiliates here in DC? I have read that sometimes half hour spots can be purchased for as little as $50 to $100 in some markets. I would imagine the going rate is much higher here in DC, but how much higher? Thanks for your time. -Danny (1/24/09)
Dave's response: I have no idea. Anybody know?
I am not trying to be a wise ass here. The question was asked about what should a journalist/video tech do in the way of thinking of new work if the day job is lost. Seriously, given that the winds of political correctness are the guiding force of the new admin, there are going to be all sorts of legal actions against who knows what legacy institutions. Those legal actions will require depositions. Go into legal video work. There are kits on the web. You get a service contract with 5 law firms working class action lawsuits one day per week for each and you can clear $75-100k year for probably the next 5 years. The law firms are very stringent however on how you conduct your biz. (1/24/09)
I believe Dan Hellie said this morning something to the effect " there's no reason why Maryland can't beat Duke today " I believe he should have said, " there's no reason Maryland can't come within 40 points of Duke today ".. and he still would have been wrong. Regards Biff (1/24/09)
Anyone know where I can stream/download airchecks of Charley Eckman from his WFBR days? Thanks, David P., Oakland, CA (1/24/09)
(optimistic quote) There are enormous opportunities for you to take advantage of - a recession is a terrific time to make a move. (end quote) I am still employed but obsessing over what may happen at the job at any moment. Assuming one has been - say - a TV pro for a decade, what opportunities do you suggest a displaced journalist/commentator/technician should pursue? Legit question here, not a wiseass rejoinder to the above quote. Someone please chime in. (1/24/09)
RE: "I have about had it with the Allbritton style of ownership." I am no defender of the Albrittons, but the poster here needs to understand that a business owner exists first and foremost to make a profit. Instead of wasting anyone's time outlining the well-known headwinds faced today by television stations, radio stations, newspapers, et al., let me say the following to anyone working in the business: 1) The best job security you will ever have can be developed over time by acquiring new skills and interests (beyond the rapidly evolving/imploding media business), constantly networking and learning to live and work beyond your comfort zone. This is a long-term, never-ending process. 2) Thinking nostalgically about the past is a waste of time - focus on the future. 3) Hunkering down and being afraid to take a risk is, ironically, the riskiest strategy of all. 4) Relative to inflation, chances are you have not gotten a raise in years. Your standard of living is falling. Why would you even want to continue in a situation in which you are constantly losing ground? 5) As I have said many times in this forum: control your own fate, before the suit down the hall does. There are enormous opportunities for you to take advantage of - a recession is a terrific time to make a move. (1/24/09)
Quick question for DCRTV Mailbagger Bill Powers of Los Angeles: Did you ever work at Westinghouse's WJZ-TV 13? (1/24/09)
I don't know what to make of Obama's comment about Limbaugh--on the one hand it seems beneath the President to make such comments and makes me think the Fairness Doctrine is not far off. On the other hand, it's about 12 years since I reached the same conclusion about Limbaugh: Don't listen to him if you want to get things done. He's about distraction, not action. ... Meanwhile, the Senate is about to vote on whether the country is about procrastination instead of action. People have had years to get ready for DTV, so what good would a 3 month delay accomplish? Some people simply *will*not* prepare for *anything* until they are *forced* to. Work retail on Christmas Eve if you don't believe me. (1/24/09)
So, is WJLA doing THAT bad that they're decreasing all employees' salary by 3.9% and ceasing retirement contributions?..Wow...So, it's becoming obvious that if you have any history with these networks (for ex. Andrea McCarren's 26 yrs), you should be sort of shaking in your boots..I wonder how folks like Jim Vance, Doreen Gentzler, Maureen Bunyan, etc. are feeling right now regarding their jobs being safe. (1/24/09)
Nice job Joe, with all the infomercials, ABC pre-emptions (extra local ad revenue), and other crap WJLA does, was it really necessary to layoff those people, including one who is expecting? Perhaps WJLA can go 24x7 with those paid ads on the weekends to raise money for the next Allbritton Georgetown real estate purchase. Who needs kids shows, sports or "This Week" when there is big money in infomercials! Better yet, sell the station, I have about had it with the Allbritton style of ownership. (1/24/09)
Why has The Weather Channel prepared a video spoof featuring Stephanie Abrams for the Jan. 31 inaugural bash for incoming President Donna Leinwand? Here's a hint. The theme of the evening is "Hurricane Donna", seizing upon Donna's Florida roots and the many storms and other disasters she's covered for USA Today. (1/24/09)
I like Mike Walter, but I can see how alot of people do not like his on air persona. He is a little too serious for morning news. Speaking of morning news, as much as I like Kim, she sure does take alot of time off. I can not remember were she actually worked a full month without taking at least one or two days off. (1/24/09)
WBAL's DTV signal is constrained by a NEW DTV Channel 10 in Harrisburg, PA and a NEW DTV Channel 12 in Martinsburg, WV, but coincidentally, Hearst-Argyle sister station WGAL 8 in Lancaster will also end up being a sorta-low power DTV signal too! So, it almost sounds like the engineers at Hearst screwed up or the suits made bad decisions. Both Hearst stations in Baltimore and the Harrisburg/Lancaster/York market will lose quite a few viewers in a month for sure and significantly more than their main local news competitors. Clearly, the FCC constrained the TV band too tightly (at least for some markets like in the northeast where bandwidth is scarce) to maximize cell phone bandwidth sale profits at the expense of the public interest and many stations were left with few options as the FCC willy nilly changed the rules in the middle of the DTV transition to suck up to special interests. I honestly believe that FCC policy was changed to protect the current monopolies and corporate interests, but it just backfired on the stupid suit lawyers. The original DTV plan would have let every station have full power signals and even maybe some new competitors in some markets as there would be additional channel space in some. But, the FCC made sure that wouldn't happen and in effect shot itself in the foot in the process and screwed up the entire transition from start to finish. So I guess if you have an antenna on your roof in Dover, DE and watch WBAL TV, you may as well start getting used to another station's news or get cable, but even that has its issues too. Whatta mess! If I were Obama, I'd have asked for the resignations of EVERY FCC Commissioner instead of PROMOTING one that helped create this mess. :-( (1/24/09)
Further confirmation that we’re in full-fledged Depression folks: Radio was rife with infomercials in the 1929-1941 Depression. Same thing is true today. (OK, so we’re stuck with them on TV today as well…) OK, the products were different from what is aired today. But the concept is identical; Ads of questionable taste and medical efficacy. Think about Dr. John Brinkley on XER/XERA and Dr. Norman Baker on XENT back in the 1930’s. Now, listen to some of the ads on WTOP and WMAL! I’ve even heard a few strange ones on WAVA! Very little change here, though. Only ED is actually being talked about in so many words! Finally, there’s the proliferation of political demagogues on radio. In the thirties, besides Baker and Brinkley, you had Father Coughlin. All of whom were promising a better tomorrow to the economically disenfranchised who “missed the good old days”. Today, you have Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, et al. Need I say more? Unsigned Corporate Suit (1/24/09)
Homina. Kristen Berset can be my BFF anytime. (1/24/09)
Thought your readers might like to see these pictures from inauguration day. I happened to be at the White House as the Bushes greeted the Obamas. Later, as the president and president-elect were departing for the swearing in, I happened to have a quick word with Obama. He was obviously in good spirits as was Mr. Bush - who looked happy and, dare I presume, relieved? Tossed in a shot of Cheney too -- a cross between Ebeneezer Scrooge and Old Man Potter from "It's A Wonderful Life." (1/24/09)
Dave's response: That last pic of Cheney in the wheelchair reminds me of "Dr. Strangelove." Hmmm.....
/\ January 24 Messages /\
\/ January 23 Messages \/
We sat behind Mike Walter for a couple of years at Fed Ex Field, but didn’t see him out there this season. Wish him the best. Charles in Winchester (1/23/09)
If memory serves me correctly, a lot of posters were saying that Anita Marks was history when Scott Garceau was hired. Looks like those posters were wrong. JohnnyuinHanover,Pa. (1/23/09)
Re: "Please DON'T buy into this urban HDTV legend that once the VHF stations now on UHF in DT move back to their original VHF frequencies in DT, that their VHF HDTV signals will be so much better than their current UHF DT signals. NOT NECESSARILY TRUE! (see pic)" You're half right. WBAL's biggest problem is not that their final digital facility will be on channel 11. Their biggest problem is that it'll be on channel 11 WITH 5KW. I'm not an expect, but WBAL appears hemmed in by other stations. WJZ, meanwhile, moves back to 13 for digital with nearly 30KW after the transition...nearly 6 times the power of WBAL. 30KW digital is maximized on VHF. There is one upside to VHF vs. UHF - in the mountains, UHF signals don't get around as easy. Not a problem for Baltimore, but up in Central PA in places like Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or Altoona/Johnstown... (1/23/09)
On Thursday (01/22/09), Bill Werber died in Charlotte, NC at the age of 100. He was the oldest living ex-major league baseball player at the time of his death. In August 1939, when NBC/RCA brought their camera to Ebbets Field, Werber was the leadoff hitter for the Cincinnati Reds. As NBC televised the second half of the Reds-Brooklyn Dodgers double-header, Werber became the first major league batter to appear on electronic television. Regards, Al McGilvray, News Director, TalkRadio WRNR AM 740 (1/23/09)
ChiaObama Rocks. I'd say that empty head, Pamela Brown on 7 does the story 1st. I'M ordering a bunch to send to O'Reilly and Hannity. Paul (1/23/09)
News out of Allbritton's Harrisburg affil...GM had a station-wide meeting today at 3 PM...15 jobs eliminated...11 employees laid off and 4 open positions absorbed...paycuts across the board...all contracted employees have to meet with the GM...401(k) match suspended (but apparently not eliminated)...and yet take-home cars remain. Go figure! The good news...these are not permanent cuts...those jobs will be refilled when the economy turns. GM also said this was a once and done deal. There are no more cost-cutting measures planned... (1/23/09)
Dave: Place your bets. Which of Washington's mediocre, low budget, low hanging fruit news outlets (that would be all of them) will be the first to do a story on this bit of garbage? The race is on: www.chiaobama.com (1/23/09)
Dave's response: I'll say Channel 9.....
Please DON'T buy into this urban HDTV legend that once the VHF stations now on UHF in DT move back to their original VHF frequencies in DT, that their VHF HDTV signals will be so much better than their current UHF DT signals. NOT NECESSARILY TRUE! (see pic) Anybody who used to get WBAL-TV in outlying areas or in Delaware..... ummm, forget about it in a month! Apparently stingy Hearst-Argyle is just doing it to save on the ENERGY COSTS, NOT for an improved signal! :-( (1/23/09)
Let us look at results here; a few months after “Operation Chaos,” started by Rush Limbaugh and praised on CNN and WMAL by Chris Plante, Obama is in the White House, Hillary is the Secretary of State (an may be on the Supreme Court in five years), and there are most likely 59 Democratic Senators including Al Franken. Libby Dole is out of the Senate, and the Democratic Party gained 21 seats in the House. Way to go Rush; I love it when a plan comes together. El Rushbo, we know that the Petroleum Lobby pays you to be their unofficial spokesman, but at this rate you should require payment from the DNC for all your work in helping them. Remember, coming up in 2010, Republicans must defend 19 Senate seats including six (North Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio) in states won by President-elect Barack Obama. So, the DNC needs more of Rush Limbaugh bashing in order to win more seats in the Senate. Rush, you should charge the DNC a premium for doing another “Michael J. Fox faking it” or “Operation Chaos” stunt for the 2010 elections. And by the way, Chris Plante, you were absolutely wrong about “Operation Chaos” the election results, Sarah Palin, etc. Am I the only one that thinks Chris Plante is going the way of Michael Graham? (1/23/09)
Dave's response: Like Chris Plante or not, there's no point in paying a "real" locally-based human being to do a late morning, non drivetime show on a talk station. It's just a matter of time before WMAL plops a syndicated talker in the 9 AM slot. Just you watch.....
French bailout their newspapers www.breitcart.com (1/23/09)
Dave, I haven't seen this posted anywhere: Ann Coulter was on Dr. Phil's show yesterday (1/22/09), along with Alan Colmes and former WH press guy Scott McClellan: www.popmodal.com... Happy Weekend! Silvie (1/23/09)
Who says Obama couldn't have walked across the Capitol reflecting pool if he'd wanted to on Tuesday? Me and a few hundred other people didn't seem to have any problem doing it... (1/23/09)
Real conservatives (and most moderates) quit listening to the likes of "Rush Limburger" and "Sean Haggerty" a long time ago. They're only there for entertainment purposes. They hae not grown up and are just two little boys. I quit listening to them a long time ago. Many years ago when there was no conservative voice on mainstream airwaves Rush and Sean were once a nice alternative to the mostly liberal news agencies. Now they're just a joke and probably helped cost the Republicans the election. Sad how the mighty have fallen. Just my 2 1/2 cents. Dave in Fredericksburg (1/23/09)
Mike in Kensington - Thanks for the info regarding which VHF stations currently broadcast their digital signals on UHF. I suspect that is the culprit. The in-laws CAN get digital 27 out of Harrisburg. I'll pass the info along. Too bad this kind of info isn't being widely disseminated. Lucky I monitor this board!!! Thanks DCRTV Dave! - Allen in Carroll County (1/23/09)
I can tell you why people prefer to "hang up and listen" after contributing to a radio talk show. It's not worth staying with the crappy sound quality while you're on the line. And since most shows rarely follow up after a caller has made some point or other, hanging up makes the most sense. (1/23/09)
I have to give it to Rush for being so quick on his feet today. When a caller facetiously asked Rush if he saw Obama walk across on the pool of The National Mall, Rush said no, but he did see him immerge from a cesspool in Chicago! (1/23/09)
I was driving to work this AM and decided to take a listen to Elliott and friends. What a boatload of CRAP. They were discussing kissing and the aspects of what it meant. Guys kissing guys on the lips, kissing kids on the lips, kissing girls on the lips all on a social level??? One, I think it was flounder was obsessed with the "sexual and erotic aspect of kissing any of the above. For God's sake GROW UP! It's never been a family practice, at least in my family of kissing anyone on the lips and getting sexually aroused. I mean imagine kissing your grandmother (with mustache) on the lips and getting aroused????? If that's good radio...we're all goners. Erotica (1/23/09)
Wow, David Gregory is a Nats fan. I'm not a David Gregory fan. Has W's pal "Slim" ever broken ANY news story, especially in the run up to the unnecessary invasion of Iraq? Nope but in Washington's sad quasi-celebrity culture, he's supposedly important, just like that other great journalist, Luke Russert. Zzzzzzzzzzz. Meanwhile, the pinkslips keep hitting "the little people." (1/23/09)
Look, this isn't two days in office, he has said for two years now what he wants to do. And he has done more in two days than any President that I can think of. They disagree with what he's doing, so be it. Hell the press or WH press has already gone after them. Dave's response: Look, I voted for Obama. And I don't have a problem with Limbaugh and Hannity and Drudge (etc.) being critical of the new president. But give him chance, first. Leveling on the criticism hot and heavy after less than two days (!!!!!!!!!!!) in office seems a bit pointless and nutty..... (1/23/09)
What's going on with Fox Sports Radio? Without notice, Shemon and Washington are gone and Dan Patrick is in. Andrew Sciliano is gone and some Southern Cal crap is in. They haven't even bothered to upgrade their changes on their website. (1/23/09)
ok, I just need to rant, why is it that most/some callers to radio shows feel the need to 'hang up and listen" after they ask a question rather than have a conversation. how did this phenomenon begin??? (1/23/09)
The Washington Post article titled "Does a Glass Ceiling Persist in Politics?" proves why the newspaper industry is dead. The article discusses how there is a double standard in politics, citing the recent so-called media bashing of Caroline Kennedy and Sarah Palin. It goes on to say that the NY Gov was expected to announce the replacement for Hillary Clinton's senate seat today. We now know the Governor selected a woman. Kinda makes the point of the article moot. (1/23/09)
Last year. Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos," which received plenty of MSM coverage, (including Chris Plante touting on CNN how much it was going to work, and how it made the Democrats look "silly"), in my opinion, caused the voters to look at the candidates in a different way. This shiting of "politics as usual" most likely was a major factor in flipping Virginia, Florida, Indiana, and North Carolina blue. Thanks Rush, you were a big help in 2006 with Michael J. Fox, and in 2008 with Operation Chaos. Keep up the good work! You too, Chris Plante! (1/23/09)
Dave's response: The Republican Party needs to replace Rush with someone who's younger, better looking, and who doesn't flaunt his wealth as much. Hey, that's Chris Plante.....
Rush, Hannity, et al. are pure partisans, for the sake of entertainment and to be contrarians. It's their right. This country is in a mess, and the vast majority know it, and most of us feel it in very real ways. George Bush was their guy, and no matter how much blame for the current mess they want to prescribe to those who were in charge before Bush, he and his cadre have been the stewards for the last eight years. In that time, they have trashed some of the core concepts of conservatism, especially those to do with fiscal conservatism. Now, three days into Obama's tenure, we have Rush claiming he hopes Obama fails, as other Republicans pledge to work with Obama, and show a desire to start addressing the huge problems. OK, so many have an ebullience and hope that may have to be tempered, but three days in we don't know jack shit. Certainly, Obama himself has been downplaying the possibility of any magic happening within a few days. Yet, by and large people are hopeful, and why not ? Shouldn't we expect our politicians to actually work together to start fixing some of the problems which are quite evident, no matter who caused them ? So, it's sad, when a guy like Rush Limbaugh is automatically cynical to the point of acting like a bitter petulant child. Meanwhile, real Republicans, the kind that have to run for office and win elections based on the will of the people, are feeling enormous pressure just like their Democratic colleagues to start fixing the problems which we all agree are enormous. In that sense, people like Rush Limbaugh, are obstructionists for the sake of being an obstructionists, and at least in the current environment, shows them to be way out of touch with overwhelming majority, who don't live in gilded mansions. (1/23/09)
Dave's response: Exactly right. Millions of Americans can't afford health insurance, forget expensive health care. And Limbaugh, who vehemently campaigns against guaranteed "socialized" health care for all Americans, is rich enough to buy a hospital. Probably even a chain of hospitals. There's a major "disconnect" there.....
What is the deal with The Blaine Young Show on 930 WFMD in Frederick that is on after Rush from 3pm to 5pm? He has been booking and getting on some pretty big time guests. Today (Thursday) was Ann Coulter tomorrow US Senator Ben Cardin. I have heard Walter Williams, Jerome Corsi, JC Watts, David Freddoso and Newt. Are these people coming on because of rating or connections? He based in Frederick, MD not exactly power central. Sharon, Montgomery Village (1/23/09)
Dave's response: Mike O'Meara gets big-time (phone) guests too, and his ratings aren't as good as Blaine's are. Right? Ha ha ha.....
DC 2nd in nation in Inauguration ratings, Baltimore 4th, Norfolk 3rd. Quite Interesting. More in The Sun..... www.baltimoresun.com (1/23/09)
/\ January 23 Messages /\
\/ January 22 Messages \/
As the original post said, the lefties would never understand why Limbaugh, Hannity, etc. will be performing a valuable function in the Jesus Obama presidency. Didn't take long for that to be proven given the subsequent posts on the board. (1/22/09)
Dave's response: Look, I voted for Obama. And I don't have a problem with Limbaugh and Hannity and Drudge (etc.) being critical of the new president. But give him chance, first. Leveling on the criticism hot and heavy after less than two days (!!!!!!!!!!!) in office seems a bit pointless and nutty.....
Re: "I know the lefties don't get this, but the Limbaugh's, Hannity's, Ingraham's, Beck's etc. are performing a valuable service to the country and will be for some time. Until the mainstream media gets over its infatuation with Obama, the conservative media types will be the ONLY ones willing to question the guy, challenge his policies and demand explanations." How unfortunate for the rest of us that the Limbaugh's, Hannity's, Ingraham's, Beck's etc. didn't feel the need to perform that same service for the last eight years. Why'd they take the W years off? They spent eight years calling Clinton a murdering perverted thief, then bent over for W for eight years, and now they're back in service? If they did the real job of journalists, which you accurately identify as questioning, challenging and demanding explanations of government officials, that would be great. But what the Limbaugh's, Hannity's, Ingraham's, Beck's etc. do is just make stuff up ("Obama is a Muslim!" "John Kerry is a war criminal!"), ignore reality and (most of all) pat themselves on the back as America's saviors. They aren't patriots. They aren't journalists. They're propagandists. (1/22/09)
Every now and then while switching channels, I will come across former NBC4 anchor Campbell Brown on CNN doing some report. And maybe it's a coincidence, but each time I've seen her, I've noticed that she's become such a pit bull since leaving the NBC network...Guess she was allowed to be her real self on NBC?? (1/22/09)
"I have never seen such an abdication of responsibility by the mainstream media as occurred during the campaign and I expect no better in the forseeable future." Gee, I have. See 2000 and 2004. In 2000, the media decided that Bush, an alcoholic, was a better guy to have a drink with and made a big deal out of sighs and earth tones. In 2004, campaign reporting came down to the notion that lies (Swiftboaters) and truth (Kerry's and his actual crew's accounts) were somehow equivalent and should be given equal time with no consideration as to which was which. The bottom line is in all three races the better CAMPAIGNER won, as is usually the case. In first two, that guy turned out to be a pretty dreadful President. The media didn't figure that out until after most of the people did (about halfway through the second term). The jury's still out on this one (about 50+ hours into his term). Howie (1/22/09)
Didn't C-SPAN originally mean "Congress-Senate Public Affairs Network"? (1/22/09)
Dave's response: No. It didn't carry the Senate in its early days. It was the Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network.....
I know the lefties don't get this, but the Limbaugh's, Hannity's, Ingraham's, Beck's etc. are performing a valuable service to the country and will be for some time. Until the mainstream media gets over its infatuation with Obama, the conservative media types will be the ONLY ones willing to question the guy, challenge his policies and demand explanations. I have never seen such an abdication of responsibility by the mainstream media as occurred during the campaign and I expect no better in the forseeable future. (1/22/09)
Dave's response: Rush Limbaugh + good looks = Glenn Beck. Both still mighty creepy, but the latter is at least "creepy handsome".....
Over the past few days I’ve seen some posts I wanted to comment on, so here goes. (1) Pros like Ken Merson & Johnny Dark: Stations who opt for twenty-somethings that don’t really know the music and couldn’t spot a fake from the real version of a song really lower the bar for “oldies” formats. I’ve heard too many stations in my life where a young PD had no clue his station was playing a fake version of a song. They don’t know much about the artists nor anything about the times many of us actually grew up in. Ultimately, how good an oldies format is depends on whether you want to invest in real pros who have the passion AND the knowledge, or whether you want the cheap way out with someone who’s too young to know that record companies like Dominion don’t put out real, original versions of songs. It’s only getting worse and it won’t get any better until stations start putting seasoned pros to work again who can at least try to teach these “young-uns” a thing or two. It’s scary out there, just the idea that one day there won’t be anyone left to tell the original version of all the old songs anymore, that’s something that comes with experience. (2) Satellite: I don’t know how many of you have heard that Dial-Global 24/7 Satellite Networks is now controlled by the Jones Networks out of Colorado. At the end of last month, there was a a massacre in the Valencia, CA building, many long-time AFTRA-member full and part-timers were axed, to be replaced by their counterparts in Denver, who are non-union. I’m sure DG didn’t tell their affiliates that. Nothing personal against the guys in Denver, but most of those people in Valencia were LA talent that had been the market a long time and paid their dues, only to be replaced by cheaper, non-union people. This may diminish the quality of programming fed to the affiliates. Time will tell whether those affiliates will bolt and decide that being local is better anyway, especially if there are any major F-ups from the bird. So much for the idea of getting quality programming into the medium and smaller markets, instead now it’s talent from a midsized market feeding the nation. Hmmmm. (3) Circuit City: They caused their own demise, though I feel sorry for all the workers who will be beached. The company went wrong when they decided on the bait-and-switch stuff a couple of years back where an item had three different prices, one on the internet, a different one on the store’s own intranet and then one in the paper. Not only that but a few years ago, I noticed the caliber of their help went straight down when they were getting cheaper and cheaper people. The writing was already on the wall years ago. (4) Cheap Channel: All the firings in the world won’t make CC or any other company completely solvent. Get over the idea that you can keep firing people to shore up the bottom line, HELLO, IT’S NOT WORKING! You want people to “rethink radio”, then quit playing the same broken record. Better to cut everyone’s pay a little and keep everyone working through rough times, not just throw people on the curb like yesterday’s garbage. After Tuesday’s massacre, I find little solace that the Mayses will have their salaries cut to $500K, that’s still more than most people will ever make so I can’t really shed a tear for them. I’m sure they have an investment portfolio that will keep them off the street and well-fed, so not to worry. Perhaps a really novel approach is in order, quit firing and start hiring, even if the wages are lower. Without people, you have no product, without product you have no audience, and without audience, you have empty buildings that are now worthless. Bill Powers, Los Angeles (1/22/09)
Kirk and Mark are under contract still with CBS until at least the end of 2009. Getting paid PHAT cash for doing nothing!!! Must be nice!! (1/22/09)
Regarding Obama’s Hand Gesture, No, I don’t get what you are talking about, and I will be going with it being a “shocker” on today’s program. Signed Sean Hannity (1/22/09)
It is ironic and amazing how Rush Limbaugh and folks like the un-signed poster below, who by their own acknowledgement are conservative and are quick to add their ties to Christianity, have no shame in demeaning their own beliefs by disrespecting Jesus who Christians see as the Messiah. I suppose if it sounds cute and elicits a laugh at the expense of poking fun at Obama than even Jesus has to get insulted. Such hatred and vitriol as shown on this board is quite sad. Ralph (1/22/09)
Dave's response: Every so often I have to do this. It's time for a quick reminder that this is a local radio and TV venue. The election and inauguration are over. Please keep your posts on-topic. Off-topic political-only posts will be trashed.....
Any info on what's happening with Kirk & Mark since their departure from 105.7? I've done some searches on the interwebs, but haven't seen anything and you are the voice for what's happening in the area? thanks for the great job you do! ~ Lisa (1/22/09)
Dave's response: Haven't heard a word. If Clear Channel was smart, it would hire K&M for mornings on new Baltimore alt rocker 104.3 WCHH to get somebody - anybody!!! - to listen.....
"Hand Gestures 101" - Class is in session -- All right, to clear up this confusion over Obama's parade gesture, here's a primer. He was saluting the marching band from Hawaii with the "hang loose"- a traditional Hawaiian greeting as pointed out earlier. Elvis Presley famously used this during his 1973 Aloha concert in Honolulu. The confusion comes from the fact that it's sometimes called the "shaka"--en.wikipedia.org... Which is not to be confused with the "shocker"--en.wikipedia.org -- An entirely different gesture (using other fingers) with other meanings, that bears resemblance to "the pitchfork" gesture used by Arizona State University. For the record, former first daughter Jenna Bush inadvertently gave the "shocker" symbol once, intending it to be the "hook 'em horns" gesture for the Univ. of Texas. Her dad quickly corrected her, though. And both George & Laura used the "hook 'em horns" gesture at his 2005 inaugural parade... And none of the above should be confused with Mr.Spock's "live long & prosper" salute. There-- get it? Got it? Good. (1/22/09)
_Twice_ on today's broadcast (Paul Harvey News in name only) Ron Chapman proclaimed that today is Washington's Birthday. Did I sleep for a month, or is this yet another example that no one proofs these "news" scripts before they're read on the air? (1/22/09)
Friend of DCRTV and fellow mail bagger Michael Popovec is an in-studio guest/co-host on "The Rob Long Show" on 1370-AM this morning. hmmm. (1/22/09)
C-SPAN, which originally stood for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, first went on the air on March 19, 1979, broadcasting a speech by then-congressman Al Gore. C-SPAN2, a spin-off network, covers all live sessions of the U.S. Senate and went on the air on June 2, 1986, with the original channel then focusing on the House. The latest spin-off, C-SPAN3, began broadcasting on January 22, 2001, and shows other government-related live events along with historical programming from C-SPAN's archives. (1/22/09)
So is C4 no longer going to be on WBAL 1090 from 12-3??? Paddy O (1/22/09)
Dave's response: Laura Ingraham stays in late nights - for now.....
People forget, Reagan was sworn in on the day the Iranian Hostage Crisis ended too, so 2 HUGE events were playing out on TV at the same time. Even if you didn't like Reagan, you were probably interested in that outcome and thus watched. So its not surprising more people watched the Reagan Inaugural at all. Obviously, if there had a been a terrorist related incident or Obama had secured the release of hostages on the same day, Obama's Inaugural, most likely would be #1 for sure, no doubt, so this takes nothing away from Obama in any way shape or form. (1/22/09)
Dear Dave: With the switch to digital television signals fast approaching (for now), we have seen recent articles discussing the difficulties that people are having receiving a digital signal. I'm sure that there are people on this board who are encountering the same issue. While I can't do anything about the switchover, I can recommend an antenna that may be helpful. Last October, I purchased a Terk Indoor Amplified Antenna from Best Buy (www.bestbuy.com) and attached it to my Sony Bravia television. This television is located in my basement rec room. The antenna was placed on some shelving next to the basement window, at a level which put it even with the ground just outside that window. The antenna was then pointed more or less in the direction of the transmitters in DC which are located 25 miles away from my Ashburn home. Even with the less-than-ideal location of this antenna, the distance, and the homes in my neighborhood that are placed rather close together (i.e. - potential signal interference), I have been very happy with the reception of the DC television stations on both the analog and digital signals. I have an occasional screen freeze, but it seems to coincide with the departure path taken by the occasional flight leaving Dulles Airport. Can't receive the Baltimore stations but am not surprised given my setup. Anyway, just wanted to pass along the word of my experience. Again, Dave, a great site! Sincerely, Joe Kasell (1/22/09)
Just because many of the places you mention didn't exist in the 1980s (CSPAN did btw I'm pretty sure), that doesn't mean lots of people didn't watch the Reagan Inaugural at other places that existed back then (that might not be around now), and that probably includes bars and other places too. Reagan was also very huge on college campuses back then btw. The stat was simply TV ratings, period, deal with it. I dunno know why people take simple facts so personal and love to create an alternative argument that is really comparing apples to oranges, geez. (1/22/09)
These comments are really making me smile. Let's take a look. "Extra points if they actually comprehend what has been said and big bonus points, if they contemplate (in silence) how it might actually apply to them." Well, that first off questions the education of those who oppose our illustrious new leader. I would suppose those people you are questioning have more education than you could even consider. Second, why should they contemplate anything in silence? Liberals sure didn't. It started when they had a fantasy GW "stealing" the election and it continued from there. Also, I doubt the shirts that read "F*** Bush", "F*** Cheney", or the one I forgot yesterday "Meet the F***ERS" with Bush and Cheney's photo on it would be considered silent. It would seem Liberals believe they are the only ones who have the RIGHT to voice their views. "Obama just came into office 16 hours ago. Grownups actually wait until somebody fucks up before criticizing. Children cry when they don't get their way. That said...what on earth does this have to do with radio?" Well, Liberals were crying because they didn't get Al Gore as their President. Also, Obama has been outlining his Socialist agenda for a couple of years now. So, it is not like the opposition does not have a clue what he is going to try and put forward. To sit back and be silent would be crazy. But again, I guess I need to remember that Liberals have cornered the market on speaking their minds about things they don't like and when somebody comes out against their Messiah, they need to make it known that all criticism not in lockstep (or is the Goose Step) with them should cease. And it has been brought up in the mailbag because Dave made a comment, which is his right to do on his website, regarding what Rush Limbaugh did during his program. The opinions given in the mailbag are a counterpoint to what he said. When the Liberal readers began responding to the counterpoint crying that their Messiah was being trodden upon by those in opposition, the back and forth ensued. (1/22/09)
Dave: WBAL has been airing Laura Ingraham from 10:00pm - 1:00am since last week. I remember that they were originally going to air Sporting News Radio from 9:00pm - 1:00am as they had done with Fox Sports Radio, but It looks like they've made a change. Sporting News Radio is only on from 9:00pm - 10:00 pm, right after Steve Davis. Schedule link below: wbal.com... Doug in Bel Air (1/22/09)
Dave's response: I have updated today's newsblurb.....
I noticed that someone on MSNBC this morning was bragging that NBC News had the highest ratings for the Inauguration coverage. Surely, this is fuzzy math, i.e.: maybe they're adding up MSNBC + NBC ratings or they meant just NBC News? I could possibly see that NBC had higher ratings then the other 3 main over the air networks (CBS, ABC, FOX), but to say this on MSNBC is a bit disingenuous to say the LEAST because there's just NO WAY MSNBC beat CNN and Fox News! HAha! As for the VERIZON FIOS issue, well the outgoing FCC chairman has always been a bit favorable to the cell phone companies, and yes its true VERIZON is giving away free digital boxes. However I STILL wish the FCC would DEMAND of ALL of the companies that if you have a new HDTV set with QAM band reception, that you should NOT have to have a converter box on every TV just to get basic cable and that includes a limited # of cable channels, NOT JUST LOCALS. Nobody wants a converter box in every room of the house or places like the kitchen or spare rooms. This is why these TV commercials saying that if you have Cable TV in Feb 09, "Nothing Will Change" is just simply false advertising and the companies doing it should be fined. It's just not true. Right now, I get basic cable INCLUDING CABLE CHANNELS on my HDTV set including some HDTV content, both locals and cable networks. I don't want a converter box, I love my new HDTV's features and paid a LOT of money to get them and I hate those clunky COMCAST ON DEMAND remotes! There is just no reason for the cable companies to get away with this BATE & SWITCH whether they are giving the boxes away or not. It's still a loss of some functionality or a hassle with my HDTV set and a serious pain for people in places like kitchens and spare bedrooms or garages with cable. I really think very few people know yet what a pain this "big switch" is going to be, even people with BRAND NEW HDTV sets. Sure, if you want digital tier networks or ON DEMAND services, fine, charge more and require a converter box, but DON'T PUNISH PEOPLE WHO SPENT THOUSANDS ON A FULL FEATURED HDTV SET w/ QAM band AND JUST WANT BASIC CABLE like they already have! The FCC really needs to step in here and go after VERIZON TOO! And no I'm not saying I want cable networks in HDTV for free or anything. I, like many people (many who've yet to think about this I bet), just want the same level of service before and after the switch and that is clearly NOT HAPPENING either over the air or on cable TV! :-( (1/22/09)
Allow me to dispute the claim that more Americans watched the Reagan inaugural than the Obama celebration. First, at least a million more citizens showed up on the mall to see it in person. Second, there was no C-Span when Reagan was sworn in and that channel was not included in the ratings. How many watched on C-Span? Let's say at least a million. How many people watched it online on their computer (there was no viable Internet in the Reagan era)? CNN says 1.1 million watched it on their website alone. There was no Starbucks in the early 80s and the inauguration was piped into nearly 1000 Starbucks stores who don't normally have television. Further, the ceremonies were shown at 25 multiplex theatres nationwide--I saw the show in the comfort offered by the Fairfax Corner multiplex with stadium seating and free popcorn. Add in the crowds that gathered at bars and community centers and there can be little doubt that this inauguration was the most watched ever. ACH (1/22/09)
This morning on WBIG, the morning guy made a comment that "they" had been unable to update their webpages. Could be technical issues...could be the begining of the end? (1/22/09)
"Why didn’t Verizon FIOS TV get fined by the FCC over the removing of channels from the analog service and forcing customers into the more expensive digital tier?" Probably because they didn't raise the price of the "FiOS TV Local" (old analog channels) package. VZ still offers the package to this day, though you have to ask for it. Also, with a digital box, the local channel package adds some local TV subchannels, like the WUSA 9-2 weather radar (channel 461). VZ offered to provide one Motorola DCT-700 digital box to old analog customers, with no additional monthly fee. Getting more of them, or any of the VOD-capable boxes, would add rental fees to the monthly bill, though. Sincerely, Mike in Kensington (1/22/09)
To the teacher concerned with the 'shocka' hand gesture. given by President Obama and his kids yesterday...boy are you off base! The correct term is for the sexual act is "Shocker" and uses three fingers, pinkie, middle and index finger, not two. As the kids say, "Two in the pink and one in the stink!" The 'Shaka' greeting you incorrectly referenced is widely known by surfers and visitors to the Hawaiian Islands alike. It only uses two fingers, the thumb and pinky. Big difference. You must not have been a very good teacher. (1/22/09)
I don't doubt that Red Zebra's purchase of WTEM saved some local sports host jobs from the Clear Channel budget ax. However, Red Zebra has its own unique brand of incompetence. For some incomprehensible reason, the Zeeb bumped a college basketball broadcast of the Virginia Tech Hokies at #1 Wake Forest off ESPN 980 Wednesday night in favor of a Redskins Recap show. Okay, the reason wasn't incomprehensible at all, the station is in Dan Snyder's pocket. Of course, you can guess what happened next if you don't already know. Virginia Tech scored one of the biggest upsets of the college basketball season. Red Zebra promotions could have bragged endlessly about its D.C. sports talker having aired this instant classic, if the station had actually aired it. Statements that the game was on Freedom 570 just won't have the same ring to them. Hey, but I'm sure that Redskins Recap thing was great. Jeez. Everett W. (1/22/09)
Oh, how I love Liberals. They can spend eight years with Ad Hominem attacks against the previous administration. They could wear vile disgusting shirts that would blatantly say "F*** Bush" or "F*** Cheney." But those were all fair because Bush and his administration were "EVIL" and destroying the world. But wait, the Messiah is here and as President he is going to change the world, make flowers grow, and there will be money and jobs for all. So, if you don't believe that or believe his rhetoric you are evil, mean-spirited, racist windbags whose ground has shifted underneath them and bring nothing to the table. It's funny to see the Liberal reaction to the bare minimum of attacks on Obama so far. Anything is fair when it is GW Bush being attacked but when it is Obama, Katy bar the door. Be prepared because the battle of words has begun and when Obama starts to screw up, and he will, the attacks against him are going to grow. I could not say this better myself! Oh and how about Dan Rather and his made up story about Bush and the National Guard. Liberals can say all kinds of crap about Conservatives and Republicans, it is almost like they have carte blanche to do that. But let Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh express their views, and all the liberal loons are out in full force. The media is kissing O'Bama's butt, especially NBC/MSNBC or is that the Obama network. Fox News remains the only network that truly tells it like it is! (1/22/09)
It is time for a certain rotund right-leaning commentator -- whose name shall not be mentioned -- to shut his yap. Barack Obama won. He is now president. Get over it and move on. Since the RR-LC talked his way through the inauguration speech, he must have missed the part about bringing people together and not being so divisive. But since negativity butters his bread, he probably wants nothing to do with a better America. So maybe he would be happier in mountains of Afghanistan hanging with OBL? They seem to have much in common. Peace Out. LO (1/22/09)
Dave, A heads up for your web site getting a well-deserved mention on the Spot-On web site today. Granted, it was written by my wife but a little nationwide coverage never hurts anyone. The link: spot-on.com... Dirtman (1/22/09)
I don't know if anyone caught this or not, but Fox Newsbabe Megyn Kelly was reporting from the Commander-in-Chief's Ball last night, and when she mentioned that a lot of the attendees were wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, she added that all of them had a "Purple Heart on." It sounded too much like "purple hard-on." Of course, that dress she wore would have given any man there one, if you know what I mean. (1/22/09)
(Not if you can already get channel 45 digitally. Their digital signal isn't being modified on 2/17....) Big TV is in the family room (lower level), small TV on third floor has rabbit ears. Hot women look better on the BIG TV. (1/22/09)
Why didn’t Verizon FIOS TV get fined by the FCC over the removing of channels from the analog service and forcing customers into the more expensive digital tier? Unlike the fined cable companies, Verizon FIOS TV has removed EVERY analog channel and requires a digital converter on EVERY TV. (1/22/09)
/\ January 22 Messages /\
\/ January 21 Messages \/
Oh, I forgot to mention, last weekend NOT 1 of Baltimore's 4-5 sports talk stations had the NFC Champtionship game on! UNBELIEVABLE REALLY! LOL (1/21/09)
Dave, I read your rant about localism and couldn't agree more. I think less is more, the best business plan in radio is focus on just a few stations, enabling more resources to be poured into stations instead of running on a shoestring budget. This in turn enhances talent, content and leads to better or bigger ratings and more revenue...I truly believe the pendulum will swing back and that radio has many great days still ahead!...Also re: Ken Merson and Johnny Dark--I certainly hope the opportunity presents itself for you two to come back into the Baltimore/DC market. I was very fortunate as I always have said to be able to hear some great talents including the aforementioned, some of whom (Johnny Dark & Ken Merson) were DJs when my parents were teenagers and into their twenty's (sorry guys don't mean to make you feel old, lol). I have been able to take what they have done in turn use it on the air. Everytime I crack the mic I try to be entertaining and or local/informative, otherwise there is no point. Thank you guys for the foundation you laid for us younger DJs. -Michael Popovec (1/21/09)
Dave's response: Oh, I hear that Michael is going to guest from 9 AM to noon on Thursday on Rob Long's new show on Fox 1370 Sports Radio. It will be a reunion from their WNST days.....
"I need a bigger antenna to get Channel 45 on the big TV!" Not if you can already get channel 45 digitally. Their digital signal isn't being modified on 2/17. Sincerely, Mike in Kensington (1/21/09)
CNN just reported that Obama gave the Hawaii marching band the "shocka" hand gesture as they passed the reviewing stand. There was also tape of his children doing the same. Campbell Brown said it was a Hawaiian tradition. That is dubious. I will hint on what it means to teenagers. Coming from one who taught in a high school for many years it means one in the %$#! and the other in the &*^)!. (1/21/09)
DAMN, Now I need a bigger antenna to get Channel 45 on the big TV!!!!!!! (1/21/09)
Hey Dave in Sterling - Grownups also know how to make valid points and have conversations without the use of profanity. Feel free to join our ranks someday. (1/21/09)
If Kristen Berset, I believe it's indeed Kristen, does start doing sports on 45 in Baltimore, does that mean the insufferable Bruce Cunningham is on his way out? I guess she's going to be replacing Jennifer Gilbert as the resident station hottie as well? (1/21/09)
Dave, Had the same issue down here in Charlottesville. WVIR had the game on both 29.1 and 29.3 - wife was SUPER pissed off that they pre-empted Biggest Looser for the game. And I was confused why they pre-empted it when they had the game on 29.3 as well, but was happy to not endure another episode. Keep up the good work on dcrtv! Ben (1/21/09)
The CC cuts has really done in the Fox Sports Network. Steve Czaban was one of the few big names that did not get cut. Also many of their locally owned stations dropped big name sports talk stars. You have to wonder if Sports Talk 980 were still around who would have gotten the AX? Is it possible that Dan Snyder may have saved some of DC's top sports talker's from the Clear Channel Ax? www.dcexaminer.com... Hummm. By the way I spoke to some highly placed Atlanta sources and they said Sutton leaving DC is possible but a long shot. He still has a year left on his MASN/NATS deal... Cheers, Jim (1/21/09)
Hi y'all! Did I tell you who my new employer is....?
I always knew my "pipes" were decent but, VOICE OF AMERICA!? So while at work last night (I slept over to insure making it in on time) I walked a few blocks away from VOA and took these photos...
Today, just before the big event, our parking lot was used as the staging area for some elements marching (or trotting) in the parade...
...and seeing that I'm now a Federal employee, here' I am saluting the new Commander and Chief!
I was also highly disappointed by Channel 4's decision to drop the network coverage of the Inaugural Parade for a local news production. As much as I like and respect Vance and Doreen, they didn't have the resources to cover the event - plus the fact that they dropped to SD to cover an event that cried out for HD was embarrassing to NBC (assuming that they're still capable of embarrassment). If they keep this stuff up, they're soon going to start going the way of Channel 9; and that would be a very sad thing. At least Channel 9's pictures look good, even if they can't get anything else right. (1/21/09)
I'm glad to hear that Kirsten Berset is coming to WBFF. I love sports. (1/21/09)
Sorry to see the Mailbag has become a dumping ground for poorly-written neocon propaganda, none of which makes even passing reference to Washington area radio and television. Whenever I see those things it makes me think the days of Mike O'Meara bashing weren't so bad after all. (1/21/09)
I get a real kick out of the rightwingers on this board and how they love to twist things around to suit their talking points. Let's read the sentence again: "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply." President Obama offers a well-constructed, coherent, plainly-spoken and true statement. I realize that utterances of this sort were not in evidence from Mr. Bush over these past eight years, so some folks will need a period of adjustment to get used to it. As they are doing so, it would be wise for them to note that the Good Lord gave 'em two ears and one mouth - so maybe they just need to shut the hell up (for a change) and listen to what is actually being said. Extra points if they actually comprehed what has been said and big bonus points, if they contemplate (in silence) how it might actually apply to them. (1/21/09)
Sirius rate hike consumerist.com (1/21/09)
How about Scott Shannon's True Oldies give Johnny Dark some national exposure? Sadly the ratings locally don't look very good at all, but I've really been enjoying Shannon's programming. He consistently pulls out a few great obscurities every time I listen and nicely balances them with more familiar tunes. (1/21/09)
Re: "Rush and his cadre of wannabes bring nothing of real value to the conversation and it's really best to just ignore them." /// Amen ! It's not like every politician doesn't admit there are serious problems in the country, with the economy, housing, health care, wages, and what has been wrought by the clear excesses of greed and the largely unregulated free market. Yet, partisan cheerleaders like Rush and his ilk, don't offer any solutions or even point to people with solutions. They only offer tired contrarian slogans and worn platitudes. Who is this mythical conservative candidate of yore that can win a national election ? The political and ideological terrain has shifted, and while Rush and his ilk have the right act as the loyal opposition, Republicans who are interested in trying to run for national office are going to be looking beyond Rush Limbaugh and his waning demographics. It's clear that the majority of Americans are looking for a new direction, bold and ambitious plans to add more transparency in government, start addressing global warming and energy issues, and offer new ideas on global conflict. Do we really think the smoke and mirrors of a massive Financial Services industry is the way to progress as a country ? Can Obama cut through the tripe and get anything done ? It remains to be seen. But, one thing I am quite sure of, even as Obama will get his fair share of criticism in the future: Rush and his ilk mean very little to the future of the Republican Party beyond a petulant child or drunk uncle who wants to make a scene at the family reunion. Sure, there are 80 year old white guys like my dad, that still march in lockstep to the dulcet verbiage of El Rushbo, but it's an ever smaller number of people that see this sort of entertainment as having much to do with reality or solving problems, no matter on which side of the aisle you may reside. (1/21/09)
“I’ve also noted that while Circuit City has joined dozens of other retail giants in the trash heap, how few radio companies (any?) have filed for bankruptcy”…That’s going to change. A lot of businesses – including newspapers and radio stations – have been losing money, but credit’s been easy to get, radio stations don’t have to finance inventory like a Circuit City, and many have just operated in survival mode, waiting for things to get better. Now with the credit markets much tighter and businesses dialing their advertising plans back by substantial margins, those two factors could knock a number of leveraged media companies over the line and into the bankruptcy column. If you can’t borrow money or increase revenues to pay the bills, you have no choice. (1/21/09)
I guess the difference is that George W. Bush spent eight years fucking up, and Obama just came into office 16 hours ago. Grownups actually wait until somebody fucks up before criticizing. Children cry when they don't get their way. That said...what on earth does this have to do with radio? Dave in Sterling (1/21/09)
Fox45 has made their weekend sports anchor hire. Her name is Kristen Burset and her first day on the job was today (wed). She will debut as weekend anchor friday night. (1/21/09)
Oh, how I love Liberals. They can spend eight years with Ad Hominem attacks against the previous administration. They could wear vile disgusting shirts that would blatantly say "F*** Bush" or "F*** Cheney." But those were all fair because Bush and his administration were "EVIL" and destroying the world. But wait, the Messiah is here and as President he is going to change the world, make flowers grow, and there will be money and jobs for all. So, if you don't believe that or believe his rhetoric you are evil, mean-spirited, racist windbags whose ground has shifted underneath them and bring nothing to the table. It's funny to see the Liberal reaction to the bare minimum of attacks on Obama so far. Anything is fair when it is GW Bush being attacked but when it is Obama, Katy bar the door. Be prepared because the battle of words has begun and when Obama starts to screw up, and he will, the attacks against him are going to grow. (1/21/09)
Can’t help but be highly amused by the number of folks who post on this board to share their observation that RADIO SUCKS! And/or, RADIO IS DEAD!!! Never mind that more than 90 percent of the Great Unwashed continue to listen to radio every week, per the researchers, but really every day—since radio listening tends to be a daily habit rather than a weekly appointment. And they’re shocked (shocked!!!) that 60-year old and 70-year old disc jockeys are no longer hot items on the employment market—never mind that all of us 60+ have seen our hottest employment days slip past. I’ve also noted that while Circuit City has joined dozens of other retail giants in the trash heap, how few radio companies (any?) have filed for bankruptcy, thus far—even those leveraged to the hilt. While I certainly don’t want to discourage any posters from slashing their wrists and jumping from tall buildings—one has to be entertained, after all—I would like to suggest that their despair over the state of radio is, perhaps, more show than substance. (1/21/09)
The Braves can have Don Sutton. He's very knowledgeable when it comes to pitchinhg. But EVERYTHING he comments on is from the perspective of a pitcher. Sure, he was a great pitcher. But for this viewer/listener, it gets monotonous. It would be great if MASN worked something out to trade TV and Radio commentators for a few innings each game. (1/21/09)
(regarding some previous posts) President Obama yesterday, indirectly addressed Limbaugh, his ditto heads, and his many imitators on radio and TV, in his speech: "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them -- that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply." These people would rather naysay, grumble, bitch, piss, moan and complain - than actually do something positive and constructive in the world. As the old saying goes: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Rush and his cadre of wannabes bring nothing of real value to the conversation and it's really best to just ignore them. (1/21/09)
RE: The best answer to "Tom Brokaw's crass off the wall comment" comes from Chris Rock: "Excellent black people have always been compensated for excellence. Always. The real equality is when we can have a black president as dumb as George Bush. That's when we're really equal. That's when the dream has come true." (1/21/09)
"My in-laws that live in northeast Frederick County, MD get pretty good analog reception from the Baltimore stations (2, 11, 13), clear picture and sound; no jumping picture or buzzing sound. When they hooked up their converter boxes, nothing, nada for these three stations. Not even a pixelated picture." Can your in-laws get Baltimore's analog channel 45 as clear as 13 analog? If not, their rooftop antenna's probably designed to receive only VHF, not UHF, signals. All Baltimore digital TV signals currently reside on UHF. Channels 11 and 13 will move back to VHF when the transition ends in Feb.; ABC channel 2 will remain on UHF. However, Harrisburg's ABC affiliate currently runs on VHF, and will remain so after the transition. If it's easily possible, have your in-laws turn their antennas towards Harrisburg and then perform another scan for digital channels. If they can pick up the Harrisburg ABC signal, it will display as channel 27-1. They may also get Harrisburg's CBS station 21-1, which will broadcast digitally on VHF until 2/17, then move to UHF. On a side note, I'm curious: what brand of converter boxes did your in-laws get? Sincerely, Mike in Kensington (1/21/09)
I liked NBC's coverage yesterday it was very well done. I just wished that they had stayed National the wholetime though. nothing against Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler I liked them but the National coverage was better.I like MSNBC too except yesterday I was a little disappointed in their coverage because they talked too much and at the wrong times. (1/21/09)
RE: [ " Put an engineer instead of a lawyer in charge of the FCC. Watch things change and suddenly make sense. " ]........ No truer words have ever been spoken, but don't hold your breath, it ain't gonna happen as the new FCC Chair was a major Obama fundraiser and will once again be a lawyer, and probably favorable to media corporations, some of which probably would shoot themselves in the foot if they could, even though many are in dire financial trouble. Nobody high up at the FCC has a clue on new technology or how to fix HDTV, AM, FM, or CABLE concerns in 2009. Obama has FAILED on 1 CHANGE promise already in my opinion, another FCC empty suit lawyer as Chairman, yep. What a crying shame. :-( (1/21/09)
What ever happened to Milton Q. Ford, Matthew Warren, Weldon Walker? When I was living in D.C., I remember Art Lamb and Aletha Agee on the original Dumont Network WTTG 5. In 1962 and 1963, I was the executive producer - director of the program Affirmation of Faith on WHFS (Frank Evans), but I have been Ken Wheaton since 1960. Can you tell me more about Bob Kalk, the all night drive on WHFS in 1968 and 1969, a very good friend of mine? And I still remember Bruce Helland, Jim Gray and Jerry Gray of WDON-WAMU. I will never forget David Fentress. We were both members of the Montgomery County Maryland Young Republican Club together. He was at WWDC radio then. Growing up, I would listen to Jack Rowzie and Fred Fiske on WWDC. I met Fred Fiske at the WWDC studio in Silver Spring a long time ago. I went to school with Warner Wolf at Coolidge High School in the DIstrict in 1955. More from me later. Ken Wheaton (1/21/09)
To folks who were disappointed in any way with WTOP's coverage of the Inauguration (or with WRC-TV's SD format), here's evidence that the five main radio stations in town carried the festivities exactly 52-years-ago today in glorious monaural amplitude modulation (PDF file): www.otrstreet.com... (The 1957 event was held on the 21st of January and it was Charlie Brotman's first Inaugural assignment at age 29.) And if you like that sort of nostalgia, Lee Chambers shares this amazing site for old radio logs : www.jjonz.us (1/21/09)
Put an engineer instead of a lawyer in charge of the FCC. Watch things change and suddenly make sense. (1/21/09)
I would like to take this opportunity to send kudos to WNVC for having the keen foresight to realize that February has been known to be a time for winter weather, and arranging to have their new antenna installed months ahead of time. Now let's hope their rare ingenuity will be rewarded by the government allowing them to _use_ their new antenna on the pre-arranged February date (it's only been a law for 3 whole years). ~~CA in BC (1/21/09)
Dave, Wondering if anyone else noticed that the wheelchair bound Dick Cheney attending the Inauguration, bore a striking resemblance to actor Lionel Barrymore in his role as banker Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life." David in Hyattsville (1/21/09)
Dave, In response to the poster that said "Every time I see another version of the same article about somebody who had all this great TV reception but can't get digital TV, I wonder just how great their analog reception was." OK, so this poster isn't having any problems; that doesn't mean they don't exist. My in-laws that live in northeast Frederick County, MD get pretty good analog reception from the Baltimore stations (2, 11, 13), clear picture and sound; no jumping picture or buzzing sound. When they hooked up their converter boxes, nothing, nada for these three stations. Not even a pixelated picture. They have a rooftop antenna, not rabbit ears. I even took my converter box to their house and tried it; at our house, three miles east, but probably 100 feet higher terrain, we are getting good digital reception for these stations. A test just in case their converter boxes were crap. Again, same, exact results. So, the transition to digital IS NOT going as smoothly as some in government may have hoped. Given that the transition is scheduled for late winter, and that some may have to install new antennas, a delay to June might not be such a bad idea so that people can install a new antenna in warmer weather and not risk falling off of an icy roof in bitterly cold weather. That is at least one, common sense reason for delaying the transistion to June. As I have noted to my in-laws and others, this is another goverment mandate that is taking money from the masses and making the corporations richer by having the masses buy converter boxes, digital TVs, and "newer, more powerful" antennas. Not to mention giving those in society that prey upon others that might not know better by selling them something or some service that won't fix their problem. Regards, Allen (1/21/09)
"Your twice-daily messages about MSNBC and NBC have driven home two points: You hate them AND you watch them 24/7." Ummmmm, Nope, never watch either much nor do I post twice daily about them either (well except for maybe today now LOL), I just happened to catch Tom Brokaw's southern redneck comment while switching channels to be honest and was kinda shocked actually. Coming from him that was kinda surprising to me. I mostly watched CNN, ABC, & some of FOX News, however I do like to watch WBAL TV News. Can you imagine what their news ratings would be like if they weren't attached to 2 such shitty national news organizations + bad primetime programming? Think about it, NBC and MSNBC ratings are so damn bad, yet WRC 4 and WBAL 11 still not only compete but WIN! That says lotsa good about the local stations, but not so much for NBC or MSNBC, that's for damn sure. Sorry if that news hurts, but sometimes the truth does hurt. Oh, and FYI to all the old geezers on this mailbag: All the people that dont listen to AM/FM radio anymore have digital ipods and zunes and other mp3 players. Even FM radio sucks to us because it sounds so frikkin bad compared to having an ipod in your car or a cd player. It's pretty damn obvious to me. But old people just don't "get it" as usual. DUH! (1/21/09)
RE: "digital won't save AM" But not because its "digital"! The only thing that will save AM is for people who aren't idiots or religous nuts buy up the properties, put some time and effort into it, and provide what has desperately been missing. ENTERTAINMENT! The same can be said for FM. Listener numbers are dropping every year. People aren't listening to their radios anymore because they're sick of the crap that commerical broadcasters are shoveling out. I know that I'm sick of the 'controlled playlists" that are generated by a computer in L.A.! Digital, Morse Code, RTTY, FSK, Side-band, none of it will save AM or FM because stations are being run by idiots, sons of idiots and bean counters. They have forgotten that radio is an "entertainment medium". AM is either taped religous nuts, begging for money, satellite programs by hate spewing right wingers, or vitamin selling hacks. The very few "news' stations are not programed by "news" people but by old rock jocks who have no concept of "journalism". AM and FM stations have limited the market by the programming they offer listeners. What is so pitifully sad, is that now that the Sirius-XM merger has gone down, both suck worse than they ever did. Sirius has all but destroyed the good programs and channels offered by XM! Not sure if this is a cycle and at some point there will be some creative and smart business folks to turn it around, but right now RADIO SUCKS. AM, FM, Satellite, it all SUCKS! So going "digital" won't save it, and neither will any other technical saviour. Granted, listening to James Dobson rant about the "gays" can be entertaining, but only for a few short moments. Dobson is a certifiable asshole! Radio has destroyed itself! Glad I've got memories of when it was good! Robert W. Smith, Chevy Chase, MD (1/21/09)
What happened to Katie Couric's hair? Is she going for the Hilary look? Looks AWFUL. Is anyone in Alexandria having trouble with picking up Sirius/XM on their home radio? Mine's been on ''Acquiring Signal'' since Sunday. Calling their customer service has been a waste of time. Paul (1/21/09)
Every time I see another version of the same article about somebody who had all this great TV reception but can't get digital TV, I wonder just how great their analog reception was. I've been to people's homes where the TV was on, with a green mess of a picture jumping every 2 seconds and the sound constantly buzzing--and they didn't seem to mind! That just won't fly with digital--like I've also seen people's LPs that look like they served dinner on them, or played frisbee with the dog with them, and still played them albeit with skips and sounds like a hail storm. You simply can't do that with CDs. Digital is fussy. But most of all, I don't see how delaying the analog shutoff will help anybody. People have a way of fixing things when they have to fix things, and if the shutoff is delayed until June, or September, or 2017, people won't do anything about their situation except whine when the next deadline looms. ~~CA in BC (1/21/09)
In response to racist Rush and his tragic ilk...I am reminded of the scene in the great movie, "Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou" when the poison-spouting white guy was exposed as a Klansman. The crowd woke up, smelled the coffee and ran his ass out of town - the old-fashioned way. Painful. Fabulous. Rush? Isn't that a knock on your door? (1/21/09)
I'm in Howard County and my paper didn't have the Caps or the Terps stories. The entire bottom half of the sports page was taken up by the article on the Redskins. Perhaps they were mistakenly left out of the earlier editions. (1/21/09)
Dave, your little rant about what Rush was doing makes me laugh. Like most liberals yesterday, they couldn’t stomach anybody in opposition to our new leader. If it was McCain giving the speech and Ron and Fez or some Liberal broadcaster doing that, you would have loved it. Because Rush is doing it, he sounds bitter and racist and needs to give it a rest. Liberals gave GW Bush no quarter from his first Inauguration until the day he left office. After all that, you expect those in opposition now to be quiet because Obama is giving a speech, Obama is walking down the street, Obama is doing whatever… Get a grip. If you can dish it out, you need to learn how to take it. Oh and just because Rush is white and against the new administration doesn’t mean he is racist. Sounds like racist is going to be the new cry of the Liberal left. (1/21/09)
Re: Did anyone happen to catch Tom Brokaw's crass off the wall comment yesterday...I predict MSNBC & possibly NBC News will fold before 2010 at this rate! LOL" Your twice-daily messages about MSNBC and NBC have driven home two points: You hate them AND you watch them 24/7. Give it some thought, I bet you can figure out how to solve this problem. Duh. (1/21/09)
About "FCC Fines Comcast & Cox"............ I hate to say I TOLD YOU SO, but I was one of the VERY FIRST people to warn people in this MAILBAG that COMCAST was yanking analog channels to the digital tier unannounced, like AMC, ION, a few others on some systems, yet their TV GUIDE CHANNEL was always showing these channels STILL THERE! HAHA! This is basically to nudge people off of basic cable and give less service for the same money and try to blame it on bandwidth limitations and the HDTV switch, all BS, and only NOW everyone has figured it out that I was right? No one believed me 6 months ago. In fact people in the mail bag argued with me and disputed this fact like I was some nutjob or something when I said that Comcast was pushing/forcing basic cable customers to have digital cable boxes or lose channels or running false ads. And NOW the FCC is FINALLY taking ACTION to stop this and FINE COMCAST and COX CABLE! Vindication finally, thank you. -- Joe in Essex :-) (1/21/09)
(RE: *Wrong Game For 20* - 1/20 - A DCRTVer tells us that Channel 20/WDCA plugged into the NC State-Duke basketball game at 8 PM Tuesday. Instead of the scheduled Raycom feed of the Virginia-Maryland game. We're told that Raycom was having satellite trouble so it shifted 20 to the NC State-Duke game. The problem got fixed at 8:15 PM.....) Hey Dave - The same thing happened on WNUV last night, but it wasn't a mistake made by the stations: Our master control received a call from Raycom Sports at 7:46 PM telling them that there was an uplink problem with the Maryland game that was supposed to start at 8:00, and that they would have to change all of the satellite dish positions and tuners (that I had set up) over to the Duke game. After doing that, Raycom called back and told them that they were probably going to get the Maryland game working, so they should be ready to change back to it, which meant that they had to have the back-up receiver on the Maryland game, and the primary receiver on the Duke game. After getting the OK to go back, the master control operator put the Maryland game back on the primary receiver so that they didn't have to re-program the settings in the automation computer. It was a last-minute scramble, but I think that everyone at the stations did a good job. It's not fair to blame this on the stations. (1/21/09)
Watching the Inauguration aftermath on local TV and walking downtown, where I work, I’m struck by the enormity of the clean up effort. I’m also struck by the irony that many of those who created this giant 3-day carbon footprint are the same people who are telling us what kind of car to drive and to unplug our cell phone chargers and toasters on the outside chance some small leakage current might be wasted. What a bunch of hypocrites. (1/21/09)
Dear Dave: Commenting on today's mail thread regarding the Washington Post, to wit: ""I got my Washington Post this morning and noticed the Sports section didn't have any coverage of last night's Caps and Terps games, but there was a two-page spread on what the Redskins should do in the off-season. Did they run out of ink printing the special inaugural section?" What part of the area are you in? The Terps and Caps game articles are started on the bottom half of the front page of the Sports section." I'm in Loudoun County, Ashburn to be precise, and neither game story was in the edition I received at home, nor in those papers on the racks at the local Exxon station. I didn't see either game on television, but given that the Caps game started at 7:30 PM and the Maryland game started at 8:00 PM, I'm assuming that both ended by 10:30. This isn't enough time to get each story in the paper that is delivered to Ashburn? Also, today's edition reprinted the AP game recap of the UCONN/UNC women's basketball game that finished at 9:00 PM on Monday, but was listed as a "Monday's Late Women's Game." Huh? A game that finishes at 9:00 PM is a late game? Maybe for my eight-year-old on a school night. Look, I know that early editions go out to areas that are far removed from the home city of any paper. But we're not that far out. Great site Dave! Sincerely, Joe Kasell (1/21/09)
I would like to take a moment to thank CBS for having the large "Inauguration of Barack Obama" graphic on for over half of the day. I would have never guessed. I thought it might have been a "West Wing" Episode. And thanks also for the scroll showing nothing but 2 lines of "CBS NEWS"" And also thanks to CH 13 for the big WJZ graphic in the lower right corner of the screen. What is the fascination with this stuff?? Geez !. (1/21/09)
The Washington Post may have run out of color ink at least, the sports section was all B&W for the second consecutive day. It also seems to have been printed early at least on my home edition, none of the evening scores are there. No UVA/UMD, no Caps, no anything. On a followup to the UVA/UMD issue, announcer Tim Brant did make later mention of technical difficulties on the Raycom television broadcast so it wasn't WDCA/20's fault. Everett W. (1/21/09)
RE: [ " Dave's response: Digital radio simply won't work on the AM band for one simple reason - the signal bounce after dark. " ].......... I'm not an engineer, but I disagree on 1 thing...... For Class D signals, obviously it would not work well at all at night, but the FCC is already trying to phase out and not offer any new Class D station permits. These are the AM stations that probably should be moved to a new FM band to clean up the band. DC would be a particularly problematic market with all its current bad AM signals. But for most Class B and certainly all Class A stations, DIGITAL AM should work with the use of redundancy and even possibly some Class C stations might be ok. This is where you repeat the information stream multiple times so that interference and "bounce" has less effect because the technology autocorrects and finds the correct info, ya know like on CD or DVD players and other higher digital tech. I honestly can't see HOW FULL DIGITAL AM could be ANY WORSE than the current AM situation or the totally unworkable HD RADIO AM situation which will never fly. The rest of your comments I agree with Dave though. A DIGITAL DONE RIGHT plan is absolutely a must. And both FM bands should eventually go all digital, thus cleaning up BOTH BANDS from interference (TV channels 4, 5, or more likely just 6 need to go to Digital FM). And on FM, you could probably have 2 high quality HD signals per current frequency I bet just like with HDTV meaning a greater source of revenue for the struggling media companies that will have to foot the bill for this upgrade. I just don't see even the new FCC Chairman embarking on any of this bold action though, but I hope I'm wrong honestly. HD RADIO has proven its a BUST! It's provided no added source of revenue to any station practically whatsoever, only added cost. Nobody's buying it, and its only going to get worse in 2009 with possibly one of the major radio ownership groups going under. Quick action on this is seriously needed. (1/21/09)
Dave's response: Here's what I'd like to see. The analog AM band would only have three or four super hi-powered stations per market. And these would have to be affiliates of the National Disaster Network, in case of a calamity. All other AM stations would be moved to a new digital-only FM band, where all current FM stations would also eventually wind up. Come 2020 or so, we'd have two radio bands: a national "emergency-ready" uncluttered analog AM band, and a digital FM band with upwards of 300 stations available at many location.....
"I got my Washington Post this morning and noticed the Sports section didn't have any coverage of last night's Caps and Terps games, but there was a two-page spread on what the Redskins should do in the off-season. Did they run out of ink printing the special inaugural section?" What part of the area are you in? The Terps and Caps game articles are started on the bottom half of the front page of the Sports section. (1/21/09)
I have a comment about the AM Radio Suggestions........ Some of your suggestions might help (9khz, etc...), but they WON'T SAVE AM RADIO longterm still. ANALOG IS DEAD! GET WITH THE PROGRAM! Only going ALL DIGITAL will save AM RADIO and ultimately FM RADIO as well. This HD-RADIO crap is just not catching on because it doesn't really sound much better and nobody can get the damn signals! Portable Radios? The beach? Jogging? Commuting from Baltimore to DC? Forget it, HD RADIO WONT WORK. You can't compete with an iPOD or IPHONE with shitty technology! Maybe we should turn the FCC over to Steve Jobs at Apple or something to see what whizbang idea he could get the Apple engineers to come up with for AM/FM radio. Geez, anything would be better than this current mess of an FCC and Obama's just replaced one empty suit lawyer with another. CHANGE ??? I think not, just another total FCC FUCKUP! Just a different corporate shill to different corporations without any concern for the public's airwaves or decent technology. Same old same old. That's my 2¢ (1/21/09)
Dave's response: Digital radio simply won't work on the AM band for one simple reason - the signal bounce after dark. You need a "stable" band for digital. You also need an FM radio band that's only digital, and not shared with analog, like the current "HD Radio." The new FCC chairman needs to start a program called "digital done right." Like what they're doing in many European countries.....
Lets see, Obama was not sworn in on the Koran as Ann Coulter said on the Sean Hannity Show on WMAL he would be. Louis Farrakhan was not on the stage for the swearing in, as Rush on WMAL said he would be. Obama did not go down the parade route "like Hitler" as Mark Levin on WMAL said he would do. It was not Hillary up there as Dick Morris warned us about in his book (once available at www.hannity.com). I don't know what Chris Plante warned us Obama would do on Inauguration day but I am sure the propaganda was equally as stupid. Perhaps we should all stop listening to WMAL because they seem to get things wrong a lot. On the other hand, anyone go to the WMAL Ball last night? Did anyone from the RNC beat up Chris Plante for not dumping on his show the STUPIDEST COMMENT MADE ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL LAST YEAR? (1/21/09)
Dave's response: The minute Obama flubbed up the oath (thanks to John Roberts), I suggested that the righty talkers would make a big deal about that. Hey, maybe I should be programming WMAL.....
In all honesty, Obama's speech was extremely underwhelming and all the fawning by the media elites couldn't mask that. By the way, I never noticed what a caboose Michelle has until today. She matches Hillary pound for pound in the ass department. (1/21/09)
With news of a probable price hike, canceling my XM subscription will be the easiest decision I make all year. I signed up in July and enjoyed it well enough until the merger went through and too many of the things I had learned to like at XM were changed. Besides, when I'm home, I can hear most of the XM music channels for free on DirecTV. The new SiriusXM has actually made me appreciate what my local AM and FM stations have to offer. Conservative Talk Radio? Yep. Liberal Talk Radio? Yep. Sports? Yep. Classical? Yep. All News? Yep. NPR? Yep. Classic Rock? Yep. And it's all free! (Granted, there's no Stern and no play-by-play of all the MLB games.) Local radio may not be especially groundbreaking, but the new SiriusXM seems to have decided that it doesn't really want to be so revolutionary either. (1/21/09)
I sent a message earlier but there's a part of the (Clear Channel) cuts today that is not being told. Some of the cuts today were done by telephone while they were on a personal holiday or vacation for the Inauguration. Called and told to pick up their severance checks tomorrow and that their personal effects are being mailed to the address on file. (1/21/09)
The posting about McGinty not doing his research… I'm sorry, you were expecting more from Derek McGinty? Channel 9 should have figured his skills out way back from his WAMU days when he would interview book writers and not crack the book. Derek's the guy you pray is picked for the other team in high school gym class! Way to pick em 9! (1/21/09)
At long last, the election, all of its ramifications and the inauguration are over. WASH FM is done playing holiday music for another year, and a new FCC head honcho is about to take his seat. Time to get down to what's really important here in the Mailbag. I'll start: WDMV sucks. (1/21/09)
Re: Rant, The Last DJ: You bring up some interesting points. I would like to share my thoughts with you on a few matters. First, regarding radio ownership, I don't think that one company owning more than one radio station per band is a bad thing, but I could see setting the limit at say no more than four per market with no more than three on one band. Second, regarding AM stations, I would like to see the AM band radically revamped so that some level of integrity can reign there once again. With this, I would first suggest taking the band from 10khz intervals to 9khz intervals like what prevails in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. I realize this is radical, but I feel it'll be the first step to clearing much of the problems on AM today. Whether or not this could be accomplished, I'll still suggest allocating the following channels to the following types of service: 540 stays Canadian Clear; 550-630 (549-630) stays regional - no higher than 5 kilowatts; 640-1220 (639-1224) and 1500-1580 (1503-1584) would be clear channels; 1230-1490 (1233-1494) and 1590-1600 (1593-1602) would be local channels - no higher than one kw with allowances for low and ultra-low power broadcasting. Encourage schools and community broadcasters to use this space as well as the space between 1610 and 1700 khz. Extend the FM band either below 88khz or above 108khz to allow AM stations who wish to leave that band to have a place to migrate to. Allow no less than 1,200 miles between a clear channel station and another 24 hour facility on same channel. Limited-time powerhouses (e.g. the old WJJD Chicago) could exist east of the Mississippi only. In allowing more clear channels, maybe each state could be allowed at least one such station. Third, either design radios that repel much static or have electrical providers reduce the amount of static they can emit. Last but not least, implement a quality ANALOG AM transmission standard! (1/21/09)
Dave, perhaps the most telling visuals of the day was George W Bush, looking 100 years old ,and Dick Cheney in a wheelchair. OUT with the old, tired , worn out administration--IN with the young , vital and energetic new administration. And all the increasingly irrelevant Rush Limbaugh could do was try and make sophmoric jokes while the ceremony was going on. Keep on doing what you're doing Rush...no one cares anymore. (1/21/09)
(I. for one, am happy Flounder survived the cuts. He's been with Elliott from nearly day one starting as an intern. He has developed through the years and paid his dues. Good for him.).... Thanks for your input Mrs. Schlossberg...now go tuck Bryan in. (1/21/09)
"Adds a local radio listener: "Rush Limbaugh - speaking over Barak Obama during the (inauguration) speech - sounds like the 'stupid' kid talking out loud while the new principal is speaking to the school. Shut up Rush, you sound like a bitter, racist pig. The man is the president, can't you let him speak? You have all the time in the world to blast him later on"....." Rush is just continuing the tradition of Ron and Fez talking over State of the Union addresses and presidential debates. If you don't like it, perhaps the speech was carried on another station or two. No one forces you to listen to Rush. I like him but it never ocurred to me to tune in to him today. What's wrong with you? And what's wrong with Obama's preacher friend, with his blatant ripoff of David Frye's 1970's album, Richard Nixon Superstar? You know who's fatter than Rush Limbaugh? Yes, Aretha of course, but that's too easy; it's Stevie Wonder. Soon he'll have to have his shower curtain suits custom made. -- ThePenIsMightier (1/21/09)
I heard Rush's show yesterday during the Inaugural Address. And I thought it was funny as hell. It was just like a radio version of the 'Short Attention Span' TV movie series where three characters added smart-ass comments during the dialogue of (usually) B-movies. Only in this case, it was a B-host with A-ratings turning an otherwise boring spectacle into something to laugh at. JA (1/21/09)
Hi Dave, It's been a while since I've posted. I just wanted to say that Tony Oles is one of the best air personalities in the market! I enjoyed your work on WLPL,WBSB and WZBA! You know your stuff----hang in there. You mentioned Bill Quinn,just talked to him this evening.Bill is doing quite well for himself and sends his regards. Nick L.(Miller's Island) (1/21/09)
Did anyone happen to catch Tom Brokaw's crass off the wall comment yesterday??? Brokaw said that basically that after all the traveling around the country and particularly down south he's done covering news over the decades, he's glad to see the Obama Inauguration really stick it to all the redneck bigots down south! Yeah, insult half the country! That'll drive ratings up! I predict MSNBC & possibly NBC News will fold before 2010 at this rate! LOL (1/21/09)
I got my Washington Post this morning and noticed the Sports section didn't have any coverage of last night's Caps and Terps games, but there was a two-page spread on what the Redskins should do in the off-season. Did they run out of ink printing the special inaugural section? (1/21/09)
You may like or hate the outgoing FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, but what the cable companies are planning for the BIG HDTV SWITCH really is like a BATE and SWITCH SCAM and its unconscionable that its being allowed to happen without any public controversy, hearings or any news reports at all. And the main reason you're not hearing about this is because all the major news organizations have a huge stake in the cable industry or are affected by its actions, so they are VERY reluctant to criticize the person they're already in bed with! On the one hand companies like local giant Comcast are advertising that if you have cable, NOTHING WILL CHANGE for you, but that's patently false advertising. If Martin had any balls or wasn't a corporate shill, he'd have gone through with those "Lack of Candor" charges. What all these cable companies are doing is seeing a windfall of money from the switch to HDTV because they are planning to switch all their customers in lots of ways into more expensive DIGITAL TIER cable TV packages through a slick but phony advertising campaign. The way things are heading, by 2010, there will be no such thing as BASIC CABLE and we'll all be paying more to these scumbags just to have a TV set that picks up HDTV signals even though we could get the channels FOR FREE OVER THE AIR or without a converter box! (Well, not really since the FCC F'd that up too and all the stations are grossly underpowered and have smaller signal ranges and indoor reception is practically out of the question) Oh, and the government is out of Digital TV converter box coupons too! HAHA! GEEZ, WHAT A TOTAL FUCKUP the whole DIGITAL TV Conversion has turned into! And yet there is no controversy about it on the local or national news, hardly even much news about it on DCRTV either, GO FIGURE! :-( (1/21/09)
Maybe it is because the Clear Channel is trying to sell the stations or maybe because the stations' are already running on tight staffs, but the Frederick stations were saved from the chopping block yesterday. (1/21/09)
/\ January 21 Messages /\
\/ January 20 Messages \/
On the Once-Mighty Channel 9 tonight, Derek McGinty “revealed” that Metro was “expected” to set an all-time ridership record today. No kidding! Baldy went on to state that the existing record has stood (and I quote) “for years.” Derek, the all-time ridership record was set YESTERDAY, so it will barely last 24 hours. In fact, 18 of the top 20 ridership days in Metro’s history have occurred within the last two years: www.wmata.com. Not doing this simple research proves how far downhill WUSA has gone… (1/20/09)
Come on Great Pontificator of Poop, I want to know why Clear Channel, no matter how much cutting they do elsewhere, are not allowed to fire anyone in Winchester such as Q102's Chris & Rosie, Chuck Carrol, or WFQX;s Elwood King ( Ben Gates ), Scott Hesson or Dan Glostner. God knows it couldn’t be because of the talent… (1/20/09)
Signals crossed? WDCA/20 is showing the wrong ACC game feed from Raycom as of 8:10 p.m., N.C. State @ Duke instead of Virginia @ Maryland. Don't know if the same problem is happening on WNUV/54 Baltimore. Everett W.... Quick followup.... Virginia/Maryland basketball just came on WDCA/20 at 8:15 p.m., 15 minutes late. No idea what the problem was. Everett W. (1/20/09)
Fortunately, I was able to get DirecTV’s NBC feed from New York…that would be channel 82. Their video was sparkling and in 1080. Matt Lauer and gang always tend to talk too much over the video, but when Brokaw and Brian Williams took over later the audio gaggle calmed down. Beautifully done video and great use of the pool cameras… and all in HD! (1/20/09)
Dave's response: Channel 4/WRC's NBC network coverage of the inaug was in HD. Not its locally-produced inaug coverage.....
I. for one, am happy Flounder survived the cuts. He's been with Elliott from nearly day one starting as an intern. He has developed through the years and paid his dues. Good for him. (1/20/09)
Funny, I felt the underlying message to Obama’s inauguration speech was “quit whining, sack up and let’s fix this thing together”. But the posters here seem to think it was “let’s whine and complain about the crap that doesn’t matter”. Turn off Rush, stop listening to the pundits, left and right, and let’s get out of bed and get a hammer and a nail. Sorry, Dave, but I may have to stop coming here if the tone stays so damn negative. Geez! (1/20/09)
A source of mine at L’Enfant Plaza tells me that on his way out the door this morning, FCC Chair Kevin Martin left a “goodbye” card for the Cable industry: Fines against nine cable companies for failing to adequately respond to an FCC request for information regarding the shifting of channels from the analog to the digital tier. The word is that he was originally going to go after ‘em on “Lack of Candor”, but had a change of heart. (TW is one of those getting hit and they’re big in NC where Martin wants to run for the U.S. Senate…) “Lack of Candor” is one of the most serious charges the FCC can level and was what ultimately sunk RKO General. The action is based on cable companies shifting channels from analog to digital to reclaim bandwidth while supposedly charging the same or more.. The FCC Enforcement Bureau sent a letter of inquiry (LOI) to over a dozen cable companies. Some were considered non-responsive, either not replying to the LOI or failing to provide a “sufficient” response. The targets reportedly include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks and Harron – not for moving the channels, but for “failing to respond to the LOI.” No word on how much the tab will be. And, I’m sure you can expect appeals. This was supposedly “unrelated” to Martin’s effort to unbundle cable programming and services. I bet the Cable people are glad to see him gone! (1/20/09)
Watched the inauguration coverage today in HD. Both NBC and CBS had good quality pictures off the air. CNN had more pixelation. Don't know if this is CNN or COX cutting bandwidth. Unfortunately ABC's use of 720p gives a noticeably softer picture. I hope the network and WJLA will change to 1080 in the future. When WRC cut to local coverage and went to standard definition I switched to WUSA. While I prefer WRC's local news I find myself switching to HD. After watching HD for a while you don't want to go back to SD. WRC PLEASE GET WITH IT AND UPGRADE YOUR NEWS TO HD! Bob Fairfax (1/20/09)
CNN was by far the worst coverage for ONE SIMPLE ANNOYING REASON........... If i'd heard a CNN anchor say that the U.S. Constitution stipulates that a black man is only 3/5's of a white man by definition one more time by Anderson Cooper or others, I think I would have had to FUCKING PUKE! BOOOOO! RACE BATING on Inauguration Day is just plain downright evil and YELLOW JOURNALISM in my book. There's just no place for that crap in this kind of celebratory event in my opinion. :-( (1/20/09)
Crap....I was all excited that Clear Channel was going to fire that big pant-load Flounder from Dc101... (1/20/09)
One thing I left out in my diatribe regarding Dave’s rant of Saturday: Local would = Live! Sorry, voice trackers… You’d be behind the mic on a real shift in a real station as opposed to a studio in your home! And, you’d be in demand, too. Unsigned Corporate Suit (1/20/09)
Fox broadcast network has been using local Fox 5 personnel to helm its national coverage. That's why Holly Morris et al have been on so long. Everett W. (1/20/09)
Okay, CNN's coverage was the best. Wolf Blitzer, as always, a superb anchor/analyst. I could've done without invited guests David Gargle...er...Gergen, though, as well as Jesse Jackson, who in a very enlightened moment when President Obama was getting out of his car on 11th & Penn. said [paraphrasing]: "There's a history of violence; a violent element", insinuating that someone was going to harm our President right then & there, which is always a possibility because he is, after all, our President now. You'd be proud of me, Dave, because I didn't put Fox News Channel on all day long! I also need to pop two huge Advil after watching Diane Sawyer frothing from the mouth all morning long. But, alll in all, it was a great day for TV viewing & radio listening! -Silvie- (1/20/09)
Every local news station should be ashamed of their local coverage. Network feeds are available in HD, yet 4, 5, 7 and 9 insist on staying local and showing the parade in SD. Off to CNN and Fox News (if Beck would shut up). Another great day for Washington television. (1/20/09)
I think that coverage of the Inaugural events by both FOX and MSNBC was atrocious. Matthews, Olberman, Wallace, et al, just couldn't shut up and let us simply enjoy what we were watching. Who cares whether Rachael Maddow has this perverse fascination with the Presidential limo? This one talking, that one talking, and way too many split screens. Why the need for a split screen with Inaugural events on one side and a bobblehead on the other? I mean, we can HEAR them speak, so why the split screen? I've never heard so many commentators and guest commentators talk so much, and talk over each other so much, in my life. Chris Wallace was the absolute worst and Al Roker is an idiot. And for heaven's sake, we KNOW that he's the first African-American President. We don't need to be reminded of that every two minutes. When will they realize that less is better. (1/20/09)
How does one cancel/delete a cable station from ones TV? After today's shameful & embarrassing propaganda diatribe on MSNBC/OBAMA-TV I am going no where near MSNBC/OBAMA-TV anymore... (I hope the few talking heads with some brains-class-common sense get the hell out of there... I'm praying for you Pat Buchannan :-) "kinky-neo-con" (1/20/09)
''voice like It Vice-President Biden saying, "Good riddens," A- Fucking- Men! Truer words could not have been spoken. Wouldn't it have made a beautiful gesture if everyone had the chance to give Cheney and Bush the middle finger as they left? Why does Fox5 have that hyper active poodle Holly Morris broadcasting all day? Holly is good with her little reports in the morning and I LOVE looking at her but ALL DAY is just a bit much. Paul (1/20/09)
Look, I was not an Obama supporter, but I enjoyed all the TV coverage today and have high regards and hopes for President Obama. I don't agree with him politically on many things, but clearly he is a man of stature and incredible intelligence and I wish him and our country the best. Obviously though, from a media perspective, Obama was favored by the mainstream media as everyone came to hate BUSH, even Repubs. But, the lack of non-bias was actually much more obvious between the coverage of Biden and Palin. I mean, c'mon Joe Biden has been sticking his foot in his mouth for 20+ years and his wife added a 3rd foot just the other day. And then Biden topped her today! Conversely, Palin made some flubs for what 2 months? Yet got lambasted! Somebody explain to me the disparity in the news coverage of the 2 VPs please! Even if I were Obama right now, I'd want to muzzle Biden already on Inauguration Day! LOL (1/20/09)
I have been watching the Inaugaration coverage all day and I am typically a loyal viewer of NBC4 news. However today I had to witch channels when they went to parade coverage. They should have stayed with the national HD feed instead of the local non-HD coverage. I personally switched to CBS to see the parade in HD. (1/20/09)
Dave's response: I'm finding myself doing the same thing. Switching away from TV coverage that's not in HD.....
While you make the comments about Rush, perhaps you would like to watch the footage of former President Bush leaving the Capitol in the helicopter and listen. Just seconds before you could hear Vice-President Biden speaking to President Obama while the helicopter was starting up, then you caould hear a voice like It Vice-President Biden saying, "Good riddens," as the helicopter takes off. (1/20/09)
The fact Clear Channel chose this important day in history to fire all of those people is disgraceful. In an apparent effort to avoid the bad press, Clear Channel chose today. They are like snakes in the grass, and cockroaches in the night. Please do not allow CC to put any spin on this shameful display. They are a big reason why radio is what it is today. (1/20/09)
My gawd.....1850 people on the street from Clear Channel. That is totally un-Godly! And we wonder why the industry is slowly falling into the abyss. This is sheer terrorism. How can any company do this to so many people in one day. It's the St. Valentines Massacre of broadcasting. My heart goes out to all that are affected. Life in the industry has to be the most terrifying it's ever been. I thought it was tough when I was in the thick of things, with kids, wife and responsibilities, but this, this is just horrible. I truly feel for the young people that dream of being on air and lovin life. I'm afraid that chapter is gone. God Save the Broadcast Industry. PLB (1/20/09)
("You liberals/socialists crack me up. Regarding the mailbagger and the rant on Rush and the Obama speech. Rush is an entertainer...") Right on! I wonder if Air America talked over O"Bamas' speech, would the liberals/socialists have whined about that? What about the broadcast networks constant chatter over events. Seems like they don't know when to shut up, especially NBC, the Obama network. (1/20/09)
Re: "You liberals/socialists crack me up...I bet when Jon Stewart was talking all over the speeches during Comedy Central's convention coverage you were not complaining. Maybe that’s because Jon Stewart is a liberal? I don't know, it sounds like you two are the one's that are whining." In the first place, Stewart did not talk over LIVE speeches at the conventions. In the second place, none of those people talking were the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. In the third place, Rush's handy jumping back and forth between being "an entertainer" and being the GOP mouthpiece who spends time in behind-closed-doors meetings with GOP leaders when not having sleep-overs at the White House is, for the time being, over. So who cares what that fat tub of goo does? G-bye, conservative claptrap! Welcome to the 21st century! (1/20/09)
You liberals/socialists crack me up. Regarding the mailbagger and the rant on Rush and the Obama speech. Rush is an entertainer. There were tons of places people could go to listen/see the speech uninterrupted. I bet when Jon Stewart was talking all over the speeches during Comedy Central's convention coverage you were not complaining. Maybe that’s because Jon Stewart is a liberal? I don't know, it sounds like you two are the one's that are whining. (1/20/09)
Is it tacky to use the phrase "GILF" to describe Silvie? (1/20/09)
("Are there really people on earth who think calling the new president "Barack The Magic Negro," or saying things like "Does it seem likely that 1260 AM will drop the "Obama" image once ol' Barry takes the White House?" (A) is funny, (B) convinces anyone of anything or (C) accomplishes any purpose?") Just today I noriced a plane full of Republicans at Dulles Airport. How did I know that they were Republicans I hear you ask? Well, even after the pilot turned off the engines I could still hear a loud whining noise. Thanks, I'm here all week. Tony (1/20/09)
Legendary Chicago jock let go after 20 years with WNUA. Insightful story. Keep up the great work, DCRTV! Click link below. newsblogs.chicagotribune.com (1/20/09)
I am curious to know how Clear Channel wants to execute their on-site promotions without promotions staff? Does this mean the talent and sales executives will have to start setting up tents, etc.?? *gasp* That sounds unheard of.... Or would they slash those events now?? I can't imagine so since a lot of them generate money.... Answers?? Also, did anybody from the Kane Show or Elliott get axed? (1/20/09)
I know Clear Channel, no matter how much cutting they do elsewhere are not allowed to fire anyone in Winchester such as Q102's Chris & Rosie, Chuck Carrol, or WFQX;s Elwood King ( Ben Gates ), Scott Hesson or Dan Glostner. Does GM Chuck Peterson know? (1/20/09)
(“It's station responsibility when that happens. Arbritron provided monitors that tell you when PPM encoding is not working. We monitor that 24/7....guess WGTS does not.”) Yes it is, and this issue was my fault not Arbitron’s. IN fact they are the ones that notified us of the problem. I took on the responsibility to take care of wiring this up. Unfortunately I had a run in with a bunch of blood clots to my lungs and was hospitalized before I finished some of the wiring of the monitor. I simply forgot when I got back to finish and I failed to let my contract engineer know I hadn’t done it. So no one is to blame by myself. John Konrad, Vice President/General Manager, WGTS 91.9 fm (1/20/09)
Rush Limbaugh (speaking over Barak Obama during the speech) sounds like the "stupid" kid talking out loud while the new principal is speaking to the school. SHUT UP RUSH you sound like a bitter, racist pig. THE MAN IS THE PRESIDENT, can't you let him speak? You have all the time in the world to blast him later on... (1/20/09)
Patrick McGrath said at about 8 a.m. this morning that he would be retiring from the station in the next 10 days. Fox 5 anchors have been mentioning this being his last presidential inauguration all morning. (1/20/09)
Reading about today's cuts at Clear Channel, I have to wonder to wonder how many at the Harrisnburg custer are being been cut? I know Clear Channel, no matter how much cutting they do elsewhere are not allowed to fire anyone in Winchester such as Q102's Chris & Rosie, Chuck Carrol, or WFQX;s Elwood King ( Ben Gates ), Scott Hesson or Dan Glostner. (1/20/09)
I know Silvie thinks she's God's gift to humanity....but when did DCRTV become a dating board for lonely women? Is there some reason she's posting her pic here....? WTF?!? (1/20/09)
It had become a little much hearing from Silvie in the mailbag. Now we've got to look at her (and her #1 guy.) It's almost enough to hope we hear more from Joe in Essex. NOT. (1/20/09)
I'm watching the inauguration activities on FOX5 and Steve Chenevey said to Patrick McGrath "On your LAST inauguration-----" and continued with some other comments. So, I'm thinking that this suggests McGrath will be retiring soon..Dave, didn't you say that we should expect some more pink slips at FOX5?..And if I remember correctly, I had written in saying that I thought Patrick McGrath may be on that list. (1/20/09)
I think it's fascinating that the death-throws of the pro-Bush neocon movement, in the Mailbag, on WMAL and elsewhere, has devolved into a series of racial slurs and racist "jokes." Are there really people on earth who think calling the new president "Barack The Magic Negro," or saying things like "Does it seem likely that 1260 AM will drop the "Obama" image once ol' Barry takes the White House?" (A) is funny, (B) convinces anyone of anything or (C) accomplishes any purpose? Wake up: America has passed the tipping point and has left that kind of crap right where it belongs: in history's garbage can. Grow up. (1/20/09)
(RE: WGMS PPM problems) It's station responsibility when that happens. Arbritron provided monitors that tell you when PPM encoding is not working. We monitor that 24/7....guess WGTS does not. (1/20/09)
FLASH!!! THIS JUST IN FROM WTOP -- "it is important that everyone drive carefully" and wear warm clothing when it is cold out. Jeezus, will they EVER get over themselves over there?!? (1/20/09)
RE: OPRAH...... Hmmmm, I wonder if Oprah will visit Baltimore too while in the area. I hear she owns a HUGE MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR Ritz Carlton condo right on Baltimore's Inner Harbor that is safer from attack than Fort McHenry! hehe :-) Btw, the Baltimore media is reporting that all of Baltimore's hotels are also sold out and at or quite near capacity as of yesterday. Quite unprecedented I think for both cities to be sold out at same time. I also know people who were forced to take today off strictly because the MARC train ride would either not be available or be too expensive. (1/20/09)
Dave, juxtaposed to Silvie is the WMAL host that allowed Sarah Palin on his radio show to MAKE THE DUMBEST COMMENT SAID ON THE CAMPAIGN TRIAL. The comment Governor Palin made was so dumb ABC News even covered it on their noon WMAL broadcast and CNN put it at the top of the hour. It was covered in Malaysian, German, British, Australian, and Japanese newspapers. It was so dumb, and this WMAL radio host wasn't quick witted enough to dump it, Sarah Palin had to appear on national television to try and nullify it. After Sarah Palin said this really really dumb thing, that infuriated both John McCain and Nicolle Wallace, The next day this host, in a specious way, tried to turn her comments around by attempting to stick the anti "First Amendment" label on Obama. This pathetic attempt at rewriting history didn't fly, and only displayed this host as a partisan hack ("hack" meaning inferior writer or communicator). Is that Mark Levin juxtaposed to Silvie? No, Mark Levin was smart enough to tape his interview with Sarah Palin and provide her the answers beforehand. So, who is the dumbest host on WMAL since Michael Graham that is standing next to Silvie.... That is Chris Fogal, I mean Plante, with Silvie! See you all at the WMAL Ball tonight, and I am looking forward to Rush leading the sing-a-long to Barack the Magic Negro!! (1/20/09)
RCN has picked the weekend of the NFL championship games and an historic inauguration to perform its "Analog Crush" in the DC area (switch to all-digital). Consequently, the loyal customers of this beleagered company have had their High-Def programming yanked out from under them until Thursday, 1/22. For those of us who recently purchased large flat screen tvs in order to fully enjoy the historic festivities, it is disheartening to think that we would be better off on the frozen mall in front of a Jumbotron. Repeated calls to Customer "Help" have been futile. No wonder the District is clamoring for FIOS. (1/20/09)
Dave's response: If you've got an antenna, unplug the cable and try to watch HD coverage of the inaug directly via 4, 7, 9, or 26.....
WTF is up with WTOP?!?! Are we going to have to listen to Marbourg pontificate about the traffic all day? We get it already. It's a clusterf**k out there! Won't someone please tell him to STFU? (1/20/09)
Does anyone else think the constant frequency shuffle of WTOP is a big joke? Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t we just make WTOP the whole AM and FM dial... Another beef about WTOP….”Your Inauguration Station”? Give me a break! It appears they dropped that tag since I haven’t heard it in a few days. Wise choice! – Steve in Burtonsville (1/20/09)
I just don't get this madness......... WHY ARE SCHOOLS CLOSED OR 2 HRS LATE TODAY? RIDICULOUS! WBAL-TV could barely find just 1 ACCIDENT TODAY! Poor Sarah Caldwell looks like an idiot saying traffic is fine when all these SCHOOL CLOSINGS are running underneath her! Geez, it was only like flurries or light snow, all the roads have had plenty of time to be salted. I live on a dead end street and its completely clear, I only have a light dusting of snow on my LAWN for CHRIST SAKE! And I've not seen any pictures or video of significant snowfall on ANY LOCAL TV STATION! They can't even seem to find a single street that's snow-covered!!! I just don't get this madness!!!! Somebody explain this to me please!!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE LOCAL SCHOOL SYSTEMS? Is this the message we want to send to our kids in 2009? Call out of work for any reason just because we're lazy losers?? How will our kids ever be productive adults with this bad message being sent EVERY WINTER and ingrained in their dumb and getting dumbed down heads!! (Oh, and I'm talking Baltimore, not DC so this is NOT President Obama related, that's different) (1/20/09)
The comment " There aren't any radios stations hiring. ", ah not totally true but then again it depends on how one looks at it. For someone who has spent many of years in the biz , has a ton of on-air experience, perhpas won mnay awards...for those...sadly...chances are no they aren't hiring. Maybe it would be better ( not in a good way ) to say chances are many radio stations don't even want to bother with them. Now on the other hand..say a 16 year old kid still in high school wants to get into radio..and willing to do it on the cheap or even willing to do the job for FREE...can't rule them out at all !!. I myself know of at least on CHR station in a top 25 market who actually turned to a local high school to find their jocks even though the same city was ( and still is ) full of radio vets to pick from, but they wanted those 16 and 17 year olds with brunt Marlboros placed behind their ears instead. Sad but true. In my girlfriend's hometown the local Hot AC station there, rather than hiring those with experience for on air gigs, the station made a deal with a number of local bars so the jocks at that those bars can do splin their records on the air....and because this was a trade, those jocks were paid nothing to be on the air. Somewhat surprised that schools like the Columbia School of Broadcasting are still in the business? How can their graduates ( much less those who already have the experience ) compete with kids and/or club disc jockies who are will to go on the air for free? Voice Tracking? OK, lots of radio stations use them but what about the growing number of them who are NOT? In my recent travels across the country I have noticed quite a few of stations that don't even bother with voice tracking. Great example is Denver's popular Lite AC station KOSI 101.1. Listen to them on the weekends ( I assume KOSI streams ). Instead on voice tracking, the only local "announcer" is a female computer voice ( much like what one would expect to hear when they call their local bank.."dial 1 for Engish..dial 2 in Spanish " ) who only backsells the last song KOSI had played and nothing else. No local weather, no traffic..nothing just that computer voice telling you what was the last song that aired. From what I understand there are stations in Phoenix, Dallas, and Seattle who are doing this as well. Then you have those 24 hour formats like Scott Shannon's True Oldies...yes 105.9 has local content but many of those True Oldies stations do not. Now with Scott Shannon's True Oldies being a success as it is ( it did bring the format back to a lot places..like DC ), how long will it be before they get competiton? Recently I heard that Mike Harvey ( host of the oldies show Supergold ) is considering doing a 24/7 format like Shannon. Heck Harvey's show is already airing 6 days a week in a few places, not a surprise. Delilah airs in 12 hour blocks at a number of Light Rock stations and can't overlook Ryan Seacrest. How long will it be before the idea pops up for a 24/7 Ryan Seacrest CHR/HOTAC format? The way things are going, even voice tracking could be a thing of the past at many stations. (1/20/09)
It's easy to blame the anonymous corporate bean-counters for the demise of local radio as we knew it. They deserve at least part of the blame. But there's no fixing it because the listneners have permanently moved on. No local business person would be willing to spend time, at a financial loss, to build programming that only maybe would lure enough people to sustain a station. You'd have to find someone like a Sun Myung Moon and his Washington Times. (1/20/09)
RE: "Number Two...Johnny (Dark) and Ken (Merson) would be greatly served on an Oldies based station or adult oldies based station. There are few and far between. Almost all of them automated." & "Number Three...Johnny Dark will be hired soon and Ken Merson will do Voice Tracks for automated stations that can't afford a staff." -- I genuinely appreciate the poster's kind words and votes of confidence. For the record, staying on top of music and pop culture lifestyle content continues to be a priority for me. Except for hardcore Album Rock, Classical, pre-Modern Country or foreign language formats, I’m knowledgeable, conversant and confident working with any music radio genre from Adult Standards to CHR. A smart broadcast personality worth their weight in ARB diaries or PPM meters is one who remains adaptable, resourceful and open to new ideas. My current projects revolve around voicetracking two Entercom Communications stations (traditional 60s/70-formatted WOLX in Madison, WI and Classic Hits WKQK in Memphis, TN) for which I am most grateful. Conversely, these voicetracking endeavors do not preclude me from entertaining and accepting “live” on-air possibilities. Johnny Dark and I – like most radio pros – have the ability and talent to perform “live” on-air and voicetracked radio. With all due respect to those who have ever or are currently voicetracking – and that includes yours truly – this is the work that is currently available to us. I assure you that even the very best voicetrackers prefer the spontaneous energy of performing “live.” Ken Merson – Merson Person Voice Tracks (1/20/09)
Dave, I was going to forewarn you, here comes the other Conroy. The other day I had a chance to watch "American Graffiti" and love the scene where Richard Dreyfuss' character was on a mission to find the Wolfman. That scene is a classic because it shows the Wolfman in a rather dingy looking studio sucking on popsicles. Instead of finding the Wolfman surrounded by glitz and glitter, he finds a gentle fellow with a gravelly voice behind the mic pretending to be the manager. I love when Richard's character, Curt, looks in the window and sees all along, it was the Wolfman. I often tell many an up- and- coming broadcaster that radio has its moments, but deep down, it is NOT a glamorous business. If you are in it for the right reasons, it is more like a labor of love. Sure you have personalities like Howard Stern who are highly paid, but of course, Howard had to pay his dues along the way. I will probably get a few laughs here, but it is really a calling. It is that love of communicating. Also, it is about communicating the love of a particular genre of music, the artists and their body of work to an audience as well as your own body of work, your own personality. To the journalist who posted, I feel for you my friend. I really do. I also agree at one point, you have to move on for your own mental health and basically, you need to earn a living. Unfortunately, it does not take away the calling or love of being on the air. I also agree that the Clear Channels, etc. are partially responsible for the downward trend of radio and personally, they could care less about the art of broadcasting. I made a decision long ago that is more fulfulling to be an unpaid volunteer on a great public radio station and hold a day job, then to be unhappy reading a script and being treated like a machine. That need to communicate does not go away however. I earned a black belt during my down time and went right back to radio. Even the martial arts didn;t get it out of my system LOL. I know Ken Merson, Johnny Dark, PLB (Paul, you will do fine in your new endeavor) and Scott Fitzgerald personally and believe me, all of these professionals have paid their dues and love the business. That is the reason they continue to communicate in some way, shape or form. Scott, you will find another station. Hang in there. I am always speaking for Tom and he loves it too. For them, it isn't just the mean green. Blessings to all and sorry about the long post. P.S. Sylvie, bless you. None of my grandmothers looked like that. You are a lovely lady. Joyce Conroy (WHFC) (1/20/09)
/\ January 20 Messages /\
\/ January 19 Messages \/
Dave - I wanted to let you know that Radiotime.com has set up a listing of streams for people around the globe who may want to tune into Inauguration coverage through the Wunder Radio app on the Iphone. I thought that your readers may find this info. helpful if they plan on using their Iphones to keep on top of information tomorrow as they attempt to get somewhere close to the Capitol steps. RadioTime's listings power the Wunder Radio app on the Iphone and users can easily find Inauguration-related programming available by browsing talk programming, then clicking on the "Obama Inauguration channel." There, they will find links to streams from NPR, BBC, CBC, CNN, CBS Radio, and WTOP. Also, all of these listings will be available on the web here... Thanks, Scott Fleischer (1/19/09)
((snip)) I also had a great employment record until this Bush ass took office. ((end snip)) A quick history lesson for you. The Telecommunication Act of 1996, the legislation that lifted the national cap on radio station ownership and led to the consolidation that totally f*cked up a once-great business, was signed into law by one President William Jefferson Clinton. At the R&R Convention a short time later, Clinton said he thought the Telecom rewrite went too far but he didn't veto it out of fear he would be overridden by Congress. That was the latest chapter of the deregulation craze that began under Jimmy Carter.-A registered Democrat. (1/19/09)
I have read about the impending personnel cuts coming on Tuesday at Clear Channel and I'm aware of the many jobs that have been lost in the radio industry in recent times. It's sad to see the many people with true love and dedication for the business who have had their talents crushed by the evil bastards of corporate radio. I wish all of you the best in the future . It's difficult to understand the rationalization going on in the business particularly in regard to these companies dismissing or demoting the "GOLD" that is the reward for every station that truly fills a need for the public. These valuable people are those gifted with the special skills to establish a special relationship with advertisers to work promoting valuable products and services. Perhaps the big corporate "Dinosaurs" don't need these people, but I do! Please, if there are any of you out there reading this, contact me. My name is Bill Elliott and I'm the owner of internet radio station www.3DSJ.com. I'm offering opportunities for Sales Contractors. We do things differently than the old corporate structures. Work from home, work when you want, no sales meetings to go to. I wonder what the corporate scums think about 40% commission! If you have an interest, please call me: 305-230-6834 or email, billelliott@3DSJ.com. (1/19/09)
Thursday, April 21st, 1977. The very first appearance of an Circuit City ad in the Washington Post. (1/19/09)
Hey "Scott Fitzgerald" get over yourself! Your awful Baltimore accent and brutal command of the English language are not missed! (1/19/09)
A SAD way to celebrate an anniversary . . . . . Not only is tomorrow the Inauguration , but it is also a VERY important day in my life . . . . 10pm tomorrow night will mark exactly 35 years since I first cracked a mike open on Baltimore Radio at WLPL FM, Stereo 92, and since I was first anointed by Bill Quinn with my long time Air Name, Scott Fitzgerald. Sad, why ???? because I currently am NOT on the air in Baltimore and I miss the hell out of it Please celebrate with me, and remember the good 'ol days !!!!!!!!!!! Thanks to all of my FRIENDS, and 35 years worth of Loyal Listeners and coworkers. I hope to talk to you again soon. = Tony Oles, aka Scott Fitzgerald, Cockeysville MD (1/19/09)
The past few months of mailbag have been interesting. I went off on a journey to a small operator who plans to stick to the two station ownership rule. After a couple of months, I was cut due to financial reasons. I told my wife as I made that second humiliating call of my life, I am done with this. Personally, I studied journalism and have a wall full of awards for my work. I also had a great employment record until this Bush ass took office. Having interviewed great only to be told I would be a great fit but a woman was needed to attract the “right” kind of audience, I am done. Way to go Clear Channel. Way to go CBS. Great job Citadel. I hope you’re all so proud. I’m sure you assume all ex-employees are washouts. I was rested and ready for every job I took. And I performed. You bastards. You fucking bastards. You are all Judas incarnate. You couldn’t manage yourself out of a paper bag with instructions on the seam. You don’t even know what a seam is. Garsh, seams like snow. That’s what you think. Get out, all of you. If you have a talent for anything else, get out. Sell books, change oil, open doors. The people in charge of radio are determined to destroy your life, and they don’t even care. (1/19/09)
Enough-already-indeed! Thankfully Ive been holed and on a bender and havent turned on any 'news'/PROPAGANDA for the past 2 days... I cant wait until all these clueless, clueless tourists get the hell out of "DCRTV Land"... Where do we drop off the gold, frankincense & mur? (1/19/09)
please post more pics of HOTTIE DCRTV emailers (i.e. 'SILVIE'... hellooo Silvie ;-) (1/19/09)
Dave's response: Here you go. That's Silvie on the left and a Macy's mannequin on the right.....
Idiot Poster: Does this person look like a "Nasty Grandmother from Waldorf"? Looks more like someone who doesn't really give a sh*t, don't you think? DCRTV Dave - who and what (TV & radio) will you be listening to tomorrow morning during the Inauguration ceremony & parade? I follow your lead, you Media Guru, you! ;-) -Silvie- (1/19/09)
Dave's response: I'll probably be flipping between CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and MSNBC, and I may tune in a few minutes of Rush Limbaugh to listen to his "sour grapes" rants - and laugh. What a "baby".....
I'd like to add to the discussion about Johnny Dark, Ken Merson and the state of hiring in radio. Johnny and Ken are two of the best DJ's in the radio business. Any station would be grateful to have them on their airwaves. BUT - Number One - There aren't any radios stations hiring. READ - Dave's front page headline. "Clear Channel to layoff 7% of its workforce Tuesday". That's already ready after major cuts earlier last year. CBS made a 20% cut in workforce and expenses in November and December at every station CBS owns nationwide. Number Two - Johnny and Ken would be greatly served on an Oldies based station or adult oldies based station. There are few and far between. Almost all of them automated. Number Three - Because of the current economic situation the nation is in, print, radio; TV and outdoor advertising are down 50% or more. It's BRUTAL out there for sales. Most stations are operating at or below their break even line. To continue operation from day-to-day, stations have lowered the bar to keep their head above. Automation has replaced live DJ's. Employees, who still have a job, now do the jobs of five. Board-ops who work for $7 an hour are now hosting the shows. Johnny Dark will be hired soon and Ken Merson will do Voice Tracks for automated stations that can't afford a staff. They're survivors. I just feel for the broadcasts professional, who won't make it back, and a business that will never make it back due to the corporate owners, the economy, digital broadcast over the web, and $7 board-ops who will soon be President's of Programming after 1 year in the business. (1/19/09)
I really enjoyed the posts from Ken Mersen and Johnny Dark, two top professionals with a real passion for radio. Both of these guys are veterans and certainly have seen their share of slowdowns in the business over the years. I did my share of radio in Baltimore, and often made the comment that I was having so much fun I'd do it for free, needless to say, AFTRA took me too seriously. (Though I sure would have worked for a whole lot less!). Again, that's the passion that many veterans in this business have, it's in our blood. I'm down here in SW Va at a station that still expects personality, and allows some flexibility to develop special shows like the 70's and 80's country special. Is the pay good? For this area, it's more than I'd expect. I'll still never forget the look on the face of the HR lady when she told me the starting pay, perhaps expecting me to reject it) Recently I told the owner that if it get's tight, I'd be happy to take a pay cut to help out until revenue increases. Again, it's the love of radio, and like JD, I have additional income. I realize those who count on radio for their only income can't do this. Station owners, don't let the idea of a veteran broadcaster scare you off, you may be real surprised at what you'll get for the money, kind of like real estate. And by the way Johnny, why not consider having fun on a non-com if you can find the time? I do want to thank you again for allowing me to be part of the WCAO team, it was the dream of a lifetime. You trusted me to do some fun things with minimal supervision. Respectfully,Tom Conroy (1/19/09)
A true Redskins Fan would NEVER root for the Eagles to win. :p (1/19/09)
Dave's response: A Redskins fan who lived in the Philadelphia area for the first 14 years of his life and who was raised by a die-hard Eagles fan father would.....
I see that Radio-Locator.com has already DELETED WTFX AM 610 from its archives. If Clear Channel were smart, they'd immediately file an FCC app for co-owned Baltimore adjacent channel WCAO 600 to increase its signal towards Washington DC. I doubt CC will do this investment in a slowing economy, but geez, WCAO is a Top 10 Baltimore radio station! In fact with all the talk of AM RADIO DYING, guess what? Baltimore has THREE Top 10 AM STATIONS! And even stranger, WCBM 680 is now getting ratings traction in the Salisbury/OC market too! Go figure. And there are plenty of other markets with successful AM stations. Washington DC just got the bad AM station allotments at the time because the city was so utterly tiny back then in AM radio days, but DC got paid back with more FMs decades later. Similarly, Washington also got way more TV station allotments as well compared to Baltimore even though Baltimore at the time was STILL a larger market and city. Go figure. By the way, I was also hoping for a Ravens/Eagles or Giants SuperBowl and of course Ravens/Redskins would be unbelievable for the area. Phoenix vs Pittsburgh to me is like the Toothlessburgers vs The SunBelt Yuppies SuperBowl and no rivalry at all whatsoever. Nobody cares really about the Cardinals, not even their owner, it's like a strange accident. Another allegedly sunbelt up and coming city like Jacksonville that had to either remove seats or build a smaller stadium to sell out! Sad. Yet Bethesda resident Paul Tagliabue still believes Baltimore cannot support an NFL team! Go figure. Ok, I've reached my "Go Figure" limit of 3. Anyone know if Big Ben will waive his dentures to the crowd when the Steelers win the Super Bowl? :-) (1/19/09)
Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with that person with the poor punctuation who addressed me at the start of their posting. I think we all realize that Washington metro is already here, and there’s not much to stop it even if the city wanted to. While they might be able to keep the noose around Old Town, the rest of our fair 9 square miles will develop to serve the needs of neighboring Frederick County, Va. To get this back on a radio footing, I was on I-66 east heading in for a Caps game a couple of weeks ago, and 1550 (where the sports talk was moved when 610 shut down) comes in clearer around The Plains than it does in parts of Winchester. Charles in, well, you know... (1/19/09)
I readily concur with my friend and colleague Johnny Dark’s experienced-based assessment of the difficult state of today’s broadcast art. Like JD and the many gifted professionals I’ve had the fortune to create great radio with, our common bond was and continues to be our passion for the broadcast art itself, the music and the resultant magic of connecting with the generous audiences who allow us to be part of their respective lives. The door to my current broadcast ties with Entercom Communications opened within hours of CBS Radio Baltimore closing the door on my (up to then) 34-year daily radio career. I’m grateful to be able to continue to earn a living doing what I love to do with people who “get it.” Any perceptive businessperson knows that salaries in a challenged economy are commensurate to whatever the market will bear. I’m certain that JD, I and every other “benched” broadcast talent are all more than sensitive to that very reality. I’m always available to discuss and negotiate any reasonable broadcast offer whenever one surfaces. Ken Merson – Merson Person Voice Tracks (1/19/09)
RE: To the guy (or gal) who always has the conspiracy theories from Winchester - STOP(!) listening to the voices in your head or nearby trailer. Based on the retail growth in the last ten years - I would say Winchester has said "yes" (as if they can keep these businesses away or as if they (whomever THEY are) would make a deal with a nearby town....geez) to anything and everything that wanted a big box in town. Besides even if ANY of this COULD be true - the Wash Metro is coming your way - along with lots of people moving to the area who expect to shop at these stores and have money to spend...the town wants ALL that money. To everyone wanting 1985 back on the radio - this always reminds me of the "weenie in the butt" segment from Family Guy...for a look at what the 'average' person may think of that kind of radio. If you haven't seen it - check out YOU TUBE. And the question of what keeps Billy Bush and Seacrest out there - the answer is (unless you were being rhetorical) - TV. I would think the biggest fear Premiere (Seacrests radio syndicator) would have is for him to get fired from IDOL. Remember he has already had his own syndicated afternoon show ala Oprah that tanked. (1/19/09)
Hey, Johnny Dark, I want to clarify that I used the word "theoretical" in terms of me owning a radio station. You probably glazed over that word, which I'd understand given the sheer size of that rant. I'm nowhere near owning any radio station, unless you count having one of those crappy portable FM transmitters sold by C. Crane as "owning" a station. No hard feelings. Nevertheless, thanks for the insight you gave; it speaks to the perception I've had about legacy talent. If I ever do own a radio station, in the unlikely event that that would happen, I'll consider making an offer. Take care, Mike in Kensington. P.S. Hey, Dave, speaking of Johnny Dark, weren't you going to post the interview you once did with him on WEBR? Did I miss something (1/19/09)
Johnny Dark, right on target. The business is NOT what it used to be, that’s a shame! You’re love of the industry is exactly what made the industry great back when we were rockin. Your retort to the “too expensive” line was absolutely on GREAT. Many of us were willing to take a cut just to be on air…that hasn’t changed. As you already know, I’m going back on the air soon and it ain’t for big bucks, it’s for the fun of it. The only difference is, I’m formatting my own show, that makes a big difference. To be honest, I’m a bit nervous I haven’t been on the air since 1998 and I’m sure there will be some rust on the pipes. I think I’m going to doing “rock/Talk. Not sure yet! PLB (1/19/09)
(Snippage City) If I invest in high-price/high-talent people, with the intent to keep my (theoretical) station afloat, that means hoping that enough new listeners start coming in before the debt load becomes too much to bear and I'm forced out of business (Snippage City files Chap 11). Don't depend on just talent's presence to be enough. Said talent has to have personal hustle too, if they want to count on any kind of longevity. Back in the day when jocks were minor celebs, they did lots of appearances, generated buzz... many 70s-vintage jocks remember when the new jock in town did the "Mystery Man" promotion, dressing in a white tux and handing out $100 bills. A real pro won't just do their four hours then leave the station for the day ...they will be contributing music/talk/political columns to local or regional publications; offering themselves as commentators on local newscasts or CNN; get a band together, talk at schools, organize a sports tourney, making appearances etc. What is it that keeps Billy Bush and Ryan Seacrest in the front of our minds? How about THEY ARE F***ING EVERYWHERE?! If I were to invest in high-price/high-talent people and they demanded a pile of money for the job, I'd have to ask, "Why? What are you going to do for this station that warrants that kind of money?" Since everyone is born with a larynx, can work a computer and read pre-printed material from a jokesheet or gossip website, truly ANYONE can now do the job of air talent. In this economy and with radio smarting as it is, talent has to bring something fantastic to the table, be ready with a strategy to counter what the *other* fantastic jock in town will be doing, deal with a demanding performance/results review before any escalators are added to a contract, and not depend on "mommy" (the station) to do it all. THEN we'll talk. (1/19/09)
To Mike the Bean Counter in Kensington, a much needed response. To say that Ken Merson and I have priced ourselves out of the market is laughable. It's the state of the industry today that keeps Ken voice-tracking and me providing music for all occasions. I fell in love with radio when I was in grammar school in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I never dreamed that one day it would become my life. It's been a long and wonderful ride, one that I hoped would never end. It did, however, when World Space Satellite Radio (my last employer) filed for Chapter 11 in August of last year. I'm still very capable of performing on radio, as is the Merson Person. We can both perform at a very high level but there's no offers forthcoming. In response to your comment about pricing ourselves out of the market, with my other income I wouldn't require a big salary. That's when my love for being on the radio would come into play. Make me an offer!....Dave's current rant is right on the money but with the mega-conglomerates in charge things will not change...One more note, when WCAO switched to Black-gospel and fired me and the entire staff in November of 1991, I was "on the beach" as they say for a couple of months. After being hired by MIX106, I bumped into a GM of a Baltimore station who made this comment, "I would have hired you but legends cost too much." My response, "Out of work legends come cheap.".......Johnny Dark (1/19/09)
I too was hoping for a Ravens/Eagles Superbowl. I grew up a big Colts fan, became a Redskins fan as well in 1970 when George Allen came to coach the Redskins. When the Ravens came to Baltimore, I became a fan of that team as well, but continued to follow the Redskins as well. My Superbowl dream game is Ravens/Redskins. But it was a great season for the Ravens, they have a great future Burt in Denton (1/19/09)
Dave, Your rant is right on time but you missed the most important point, the real ownership of the air waves that once belong to the people and how "We The People" lost them to deregulations. Just in case you didn't know before deregulation even a Citizen Band Operator had total responsibilty to the FCC for it's operation and content that was broadcast from the transmitter the same as ham radio, ship or aircraft radio operators. I found this out when I got my first and only word for word transcrept of an FCC violation and a fine for talking about two dogs fighting in another CB operators back yard over in Baltimore MD, in early 60s before I got my FCC 3rd phone licenses. I went to broadcast school under the GI bill and still remember a FCC qrustion on who's responsibilty is it for programming and it's content. And thats how I found out and understood that as the FCC license holder signed on to the station operation log, I could and would be held responsible for the content in the programming at the transmitter. That is the real problem in localism, in the mid 80s the FCC removed the shared responsibility for programming and it's content and gave total responsibility to owners of the radio station. This in fact brought about the Censorship and the dumming down of the American People and the loss of a station owners first line of defence in a violation of programming and it's content. And also the lick of creative programming we don't have today.>>Peace and Love>>Billy Ray Edwards, Former Producer Programmer "The Way We Were" Wpfw/Wyre Oldies Radio at it's best. (1/19/09)
The word is that CC will fire 40% of its sales staff tomorrow. The Local Sales Managers will be demoted to category local sales people. This must be the last phase of the "Less is More Campaign". (1/19/09)
I'll admit, I'm somewhat perplexed as to how to make money running a radio station these days. In these troubled times, how could a long-term profit be made by investing in very expensive, yet high-quality talent? Let's use Circuit City as a side example, since it has been brought up. With that store, someone in the Mailbag blamed CCity's demise on recent layoffs of higher-priced clerks. Nonsense. Somewhere at some board meeting, I'm pretty sure that the top financial guys told company bosses that if they didn't do that, the company wouldn't be able to survive much longer. So they did it, and they went broke, anyway. They were doomed no matter what they did. If they hired high-price folks, perhaps service would have gotten better. But, even if so, that fact is moot: Look at Ford and GM: The quality of their cars, like the Ford Fusion, Chevy Malibu, and Saturn Outlook, have been better than ever over the past few years, but so many still refuse to even consider GM and Ford, because they still perceive them as unreliable economobiles. So with Circuit City, does word of mouth of improved customer service spread fast enough to improve mass customer perception? Considering how quickly they went broke, probably not. So now let's look at radio. Let's say I were to invest in bringing in the Merson Person and Johnny Dark to an oldies station. Fine. But they're expensive compared to the 20-yr-old guy I could bring in for minimum wage, or the syndicated show I could pipe in from Cleveland or wherever. If I invest in high-price/high-talent people, with the intent to keep my (theoretical) station afloat, that means hoping that enough new listeners start coming in before the debt load becomes too much to bear and I'm forced out of business. That's hoping for a lot in these modern times, when advertisers are reluctant to radio advertise in the first place. If I were able to get Merson and Dark for the same price as the cheap guys, I would. But as the market is, I probably wouldn't hire them at a Clear Channel or Citadel station; I would be concerned that if I don't go cheap, I'll go broke before the listeners come in. (Besides, at Clear Channel, to avoid getting fired, I would have to meet corporate-determined short-term profit margins at any costs.) So in effect, whether it's right or wrong, Merson and Dark are pricing themselves out of the radio market, which is like the housing market: Ultimately, the home market determines the price range that a home is sold for, not the seller. One thing I do know: The Clear Channel model of programming for pre-determined margins isn't sustainable for the long-term health of the radio market. You just have to accept whatever profits come in, when they come in. Sincerely, Mike the Beancounter in Kensington (1/19/09)
If I could make a suggestion, stop worrying all the time about what Mark Levin is saying. Every week it’s the same drivel. I don’t know if you pick this up from MediaMatters and repeat it or you work for them and are trying to advance their agenda through other outlets. You may think you’re doing everyone a service but it’s really just an annoyance. 99.9% of people spend little time worrying about every little thing that is said on Levin, Limbaugh, or Air America. Try spending more of your energy on things that really matter like family and community. You will come off as less of a crazed loon and contribute something much more worthwhile. PS – I hope Unsigned Corporate Suit is a major contributor to DCRTV for all the bandwidth used during those verbose postings. I can’t get half way through without my eyes glazing over. (1/19/09)
From Charles in Winchester ..Re: Circuit City in the valley. In the case of Winchester, a shopping center is planned next to I-81 that is supposed to include Best Buy. They have continued site work there, but we were guessing they would delay construction because of the economy...." Interesting BUT I still have my doubts Best Buy will ever see the light in that town. Actually I see a lot of stores and restaurants pulling out of Winchester but for some of them it won't be due to the economy. About 10 years ago the city of Winchester made a promise to the "neighbor to the north" the city of Martinsburg, West Virginia that they would NOT allow certain chains to be built within the city limits of Winchester, rather if those chains who were interested to come to the Shenahdoah Valley, they ( Winchester ) would instruct them to build a location in Martinsburg instead. Among the chains Winchester promised Martinsburg they would NOT allow...Hechts, Macys, Aldi Foods, Harris-Teeter, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, SUPER Target ( not meaning a "regular" Target ) any multi-plex movie theatre that allows stadium seating and any upscale restaurant like Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Applebees, Mimi's Cafe and Joe's Crab Shack. What was the purpose? Winchester wanted to keep that "Mayberry feel ". and they felt such chains would damage that idea, however trying to be a "good neighbor" and knowing Martinsburg has this desire of being a "huge metro area", that is where this "promise" ciomes into play. Of course over the years some of those chains did build in Winchester meanwhile Martinsburg is still waiting for it's first Target. With all that being said, I wonder if this "promise" was done on paper? If so Martinsburg has an excellent case as they can very well force say Red Lobster to close up shop in Winchester ( even if the chain is doing well there ) and re-locate to Martinsburg. If this promise was one of those "handshake" things, then its pretty much Winchester's word against Martinsburg's though I have heard for a number of years now that "promise" is why Winchester is having a tough time getting a multi-plex theatre and one reason why Apple Blossom Mall's owner Simon has been unable to "update that mall which is so dated. Who knows !! But I guess some things never change. Recently I heard that the city of Winchester wanted to "donate" the now defunct WHPL/WTFX AM 610 to Martinsburg ( yeah that makes sense...to compete with that town's two AM stations WEPM and WRNR neither of which has that many listeners in the first place ). Of course neither the city of Winchester or Martinsburg has a say in this. That would be between the FCC and Clear Channel Communications. (1/19/09)
WHAG Anchor? I haven't seen Jennifer Von Reuter on WHAG TV 25 lately? Gone perhaps or promoted within? (1/19/09)
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