Category: Opinions

Retro Column: When the ’90s Hits Become Oldies

| August 22, 2016

This article — by Edison Research staffer and Ross on Radio writer Sean Ross — originally appeared in RadioInfo on July 18, 2012.

 

By Sean Ross
Edison Research/Ross on Radio

rossseanwriterNEW YORK —  When WCBS-FM New York played Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman” on Sunday afternoon, they established a couple of reasons for doing so. It was part of a special weekend — the battle of New York vs. New Jersey artists. Houston, of course, has bittersweet topicality these days (the song had actually been spinning on the station since her death in February). And both the artist and song, a remake of Chaka Khan’s 1978 title, had a foothold in the era that CBS-FM already covers.

But Whitney’s version of “I’m Every Woman” is still from early 1993.  And no matter how carefully staged, hearing any ’90s song on an Oldies/Greatest Hits station begs the discussion of how and when the format (which was still negotiating the ’70s not-so-long-ago) will break the next sound barrier. Discussions of era are with you always in Oldies/Greatest Hits radio, and not everybody has yet figured out how to best use the ’80s or whether to fight for the ’60s.

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Radio’s Hot New (Old) Format: ‘The Puddle’

| January 8, 2016

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — What do we learn from the nearly 20,000 people worldwide who’ve been watching a puddle on Periscope?

Well, if we’re historically conscious and observationally astute – we should be saying, “they have rediscovered the magic of radio.”

Say what? These are people watching a PUDDLE. In the UK. Visually. On social media. What does that have to do with radio?

Think about it. If you really believe all radio is local – and GREAT local radio is all about making compelling content out of the everyday events and observations in the communities it serves — then “the puddle” can be seen as a metaphor for what radio’s core mission has always been, and which it used to execute better than any other medium.

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FAQ: PD?

| October 22, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — A client (station group owner) asks: “What does it take to be a great PD for 2015 to 2020?”

1972: I was a DJ and Budd Clain was my PD at WSPR, Springfield, MA, a stand-alone AM.  His wife told me that, one Saturday afternoon, he dozed-off on the living room sofa.  She tip-toed-in and turned off the radio…and he woke up.

Fast-forward to present day: Post-consolidation scale dictates that general managers become market managers.  And GSM to DOS was logical, especially with NTR and digital.  But the biggest casualty of the way consolidation re-packed middle management was when program directors disappeared.  Stations are now “managed” rather than “programmed,” because:

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Price: Now, It’s Personal

| August 27, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — The assassination – yes, it was an assassination — of WDBJ-TV, Roanoke, Virginia reporter Alison Parker and her videographer, Adam Ward, on live morning television, should be a wake-up call, not only for the media business, but also for every business.

The shootings themselves were horrific enough. That they took place on live television – on a program being line-produced by the fiancée of one of the victims – compounded the tragedy.  That it was also captured and posted online by the gunman himself is simply unspeakable.

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Price: Radio’s Role on a ‘Typical Friday Night’

| July 8, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — It was just a typical summer Friday…until news broke, and didn’t stop breaking until well into the evening.

If you were online, or near a TV, or fortunate enough to be within earshot of one of the country’s 31 all-news radio stations on June 26, (and perhaps many news/talk stations, too), you were very much aware of what was going on.

You heard history being made at the Supreme Court as same-sex marriage became the law of the land.

You heard the president lead thousands in “Amazing Grace,” as he eulogized the nine souls murdered by a racist assassin, in oratory so stirring even some of the president’s critics acknowledged it as some of the best of his or any other presidency.

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Legacy Media: Still the 800-Pound Gorilla

| April 6, 2015

By Bill Brady
Futures & Options, Inc.
President/CEO

bradybillwriterJupiter, Fla. — Regular readers of the media trades or general interest publications have been subjected to a non-stop barrage of digital media brainwashing for the last 15 years.

This is the product of the PR machine employed by digital start-ups to build and reinforce their investment value through rounds of funding leading to an eventual IPO.  Media consultants who hope to survive as digital experts also contribute mightily to the noise.  So do media companies themselves who are complicit in allowing the misguided narrative to go on and on and on.

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A Salute to Family, Sex and Radio

| January 27, 2015

By Carolyn Fox
Whimsical Fox, LTD
President

fox carolynNEW YORK — Hey, I might not be towering genius but I do know a few things about life. There is nothing better in the world than great kids, sex and radio.

I’ve known many of you since my days as music director at WBRU, Providence. Ok, so we all have a little less hair where we want it and too many pounds of blubber where we don’t. You’re basically the same and so are the basic tenets of good radio.

Let me remind you of why I had over 50% of the available radio audience at any given time listening to me for over 20 years. I’m going keep this short because I know we all have the attention spans of gnats, which is why we ended up in this biz to begin with!

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Thoughts for the New Year

| January 5, 2015

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

sabowriterNEW YORK — The biggest trends and their impact that Sabo Media has been following in this challenging year of disruption:

1) The vital initiative of NextRadio activating the FM chip in your smartphone.  Jeff Smulyan’s endless effort is paying off.  There are two important lessons.  Radio can infiltrate new technological platforms effectively.  Secondly, a solo operator determined to make positive change, can!

2) Major advertisers, such as Coke, moving their money from prime time network TV shows such as American Idol to online video.  Sabo Media was the first company, in 2007, to identify online video stars and monetize their work. Our HITVIEWS division persuaded Pepsi, Timberland, US Government, TiVo, Sony, Panasonic and many others to put their products inside user-generated video content.  Not worthless pre-rolls or pop-ups but placement inside web-star shows. For radio this means that radio divisions within TV companies are becoming more important to total corporate financial health.

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The Spreading Digital Junkyard

| December 23, 2014

By Michael Harrison
TALKERS/RadioInfo
Publisher

mh2014SPRINGFIELD, MA — Is it just me?  Have you noticed lately that some of your favorite websites have become increasingly user-unfriendly?

Odds are your usual haunts in the newspaper, magazine, general entertainment and information arenas have become cluttered with terribly annoying pop up ads, videos that start playing loudly without invitation (sometimes more than one at a time) – and maddeningly confusing hodge-podges of editorial and commercial content laid out in such a manner as to make it almost impossible to follow an article without being sidetracked into a unwanted advertisement.  (Hmm, which one of these three arrows should I click?)

How about the emergence of that creepy entity known as the “sponsored” or “promoted” story  that innocently sits among the non-paid editorial content on so many of our distinguished bastions of journalism.

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A Somber Anniversary

| December 8, 2014

By Rob Stevens
One Stone Productions, Ltd.
President 
studentrobbieNEW YORK — My name is Rob Stevens.  If you go to the website of my discography (www.onestoneproductions.com) you’ll see that I’ve mixed, produced, and A&R’d much of the posthumously released John Lennon material.

It was and continues to be an honor to be chosen to participate, as I have, in these projects.

It speaks well of me professionally.

I truly wish there was never cause for it.

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