Saturday, August 29, 2015

Why I'm glad I got out of radio

I thank “Kung Fu Fighting.” I was a disc jockey in San Diego in 1974 working the 7-midnight shift. Although we were called a Top 40 station, our playlist was more like Top 20. Research suggested that repetition was the key to rating success so we played the same damn records over and over. The “power” rotation was like five records that played every 70 minutes or so.

There were nights when “Kung Fu Fighting” would come up four times a shift. It was like a drill to my head. I had been flirting with getting out of radio for about a year – maybe try my hand at TV writing if I was good enough and lucky enough to break in – but there was a tugging at my heart. Radio had always been my first love, ever since I was a kid.

I loved the amazing creative disc jockeys like Dick Whittington, Robert W. Morgan, Don MacKinnon, Gary Owens, Dan Ingram, Lohman & Barkley, Bob & Ray, Larry Lujack, Emperor Hudson, Dave Diamond, and of course the incomparable Real Don Steele. Tuning down the dial for non music stations I had Vin Scully calling Dodger games, Chick Hearn calling the Lakers, Bill King describing the Raiders, and dynamic news personalities like Paul Harvey (even I wanted to buy a tractor, he made them sound so inviting).

But I bailed, went into TV and moved on with my dreams. Over the years I’ve kept my hand in radio – weekend disc jockey here, talk show host there, and eventually baseball announcer – but it has always broken my heart to see how the industry has changed, and never for the better.

Once major conglomerates were able to gobble up more than a couple of stations in every market things went from bad to calamitous. Thousands of jobs were eliminated, every corner that could be cut was, commercial loads increased to insane amounts, and the listener was completely disregarded.  Profits.  Profits.  That's all the mattered.  Mortgage any future to make a buck today!

What few precious on air personalities we still have are quickly dwindling. And there’s no one new coming up because who in their right mind would want to begin a career in radio now? That’s like hoping to go into the typewriter manufacturing business.

There were a few more casualties last week. KRTH in Los Angeles, a CBS station, after reaching ratings heights with its ‘80s oldies format, just fired three major reasons why people listened to the station. Shotgun Tom Kelly got left go after 15 years or more. The guy has a fucking star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also dumped were longtime nighttime jock, Christina Kelley (a wonderful talent), and radio icon Charlie Tuna.

Shotgun was given some bullshit title of “ambassador” and will make personal appearances but that’s just nonsense. He won’t be on the air doing afternoons anymore. And by the way, he sounds as good now as he ever did.

Who will replace them? Actually, the question should be “what” will replace them? Generic voice tracks? Or will they splurge and hire some nobody and pay him minimum wage?

It’s disgraceful and it’s an epidemic. Internet radio and satellite radio and podcasts can’t come fast enough. I recently did the Kevin Smith podcast and I bet ten times as many people heard me than if I were on KRTH – and KRTH gets good ratings. And when you did hear me, you didn’t have to suffer through twenty minutes of horrendous commercials, annoying promos, and idiotic contests.

In the past when a great disc jockey got fired he would simply show up elsewhere. But who knows today? Nobody is hiring. They’re all just firing.

It breaks my heart for so many reasons. It’s like, I’m glad I left my girlfriend when I did, but how tragic that she ended up Krysten Ritter on BREAKING BAD.

48 comments:

Matthew said...

One of our local stations trumpets their "No Repeat Workdays", where they don't play any song repeats all day long. Pity they play the same fucking no-repeat playlist every day!

They also replaced the (pretty decent) afternoon guy with a "comedy" duo from the eastern states, so I don't listen to them any more.

Stoney said...

First, you've most likely heard that Vin Scully will continue to call Dodgers baseball for a 67th season. What has he got that makes him so ageless?

The cutting is no longer limited to just stations; the "America's Best Music" network has, as of this past week, gone jockless in a cost-cutting move.

I read the story about Shotgun Tom. Somehow reminds me of the "Boston Braves" stage of Babe Ruth's career.

A certain Tom Petty tune from a few years ago keeps running through my head.

Bill Avena said...

I saw a 1974 Rockford Files that showed a marquee advertising the Real Dan Steele and supper club singer Polly Cutter. I don't know what his act was like, but it has the smell of death to it, not to mention Bob Crane.

Stoney said...

Dick Biondi is still on WLS FM in Chicago. When he goes, that will be the end of western civilization as we know it!

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Tom's the greatest. I wrote him last night and told him so.

Things change. DJ's came about in the 50's primarily as a cost-cutting measure to eliminate studio orchestras and other performers. Now technology is doing the same to DJ's. I still miss it though.

And California: Don't worry. The water-saving tips I recorded yesterday you'll hear shortly were recorded here in Oregon as an assignment from my Danish talent agency. Technology is doing the same to voiceover folks.

Mike said...

Radio is alive & well & thriving in the UK, courtesy of the BBC. Up & coming bands from LA are pleasantly surprised to hear their records on national daytime radio when they tour. And they can record sessions, play live in the studio, whatever.

Mike Davies (then a trainee firefighter) used to broadcast a punk rock show on UK national radio from a small studio in LA. Most weeks LA punk bands would drop by to play. Good times.

VP81955 said...

When I moved to Los Angeles last year, I was looking forward to some quality radio after several years in Lynchburg and Charlottesville, two small Virginia markets that have been Clear Channeled to death. Instead, I end up with more of the same -- other than KNX for news updates, I hardly listen at all; this isn't the LA radio of 1965, when Bill Drake and KHJ was revolutionizing Top 40 and you had genuises up and down the dial. Heck, even C'ville has a public radio station that broadcast plenty of BBC news, something I miss here. How depressing.

MikeK.Pa. said...

If I recall, you did the Howard Stern Show some months back. Is there any audio you can link to so we can hear the interview?

Michael Hagerty said...

Bill Avena: The marquee was for Gazzari's on the strip. Steele didn't do an "act" there. The professional dancers on his Channel 9 weekend music show (first "Boss City", then "The Real Don Steele Show") were from Gazzari's. And his TV and radio show were both brilliant.

Mike Barer said...

When I was in college, the word was automation was taking over. The internet makes it possible to listen to every station in the country whenever you want, but what's the point, they all sound the same.

Michael said...

On WSM in Nashville, Eddie Stubbs is on 7-12 p.m., playing the country music he wants to play, giving background on the artists, and doing interviews. He's great, but what gets him even more attention is how unusual that is--and it used to be the norm.

This is what Red Barber had in mind when he said that he couldn't have made it as he did if he had come along later. When he started, there were fewer sponsors and commercials, no color man to spout off, and an announcer had more time to shape his own on-air personality. Consider The Vin's announcement of his return. He's the only baseball announcer who works alone. Once, they all did.

Roger Carroll said...

ken I was not one of your FAVORITES you listed I did last 22 years at KMPC 12 years twice a day ten years 6:30 to 9p sometimes 10p. If you would have listed the top PAID in Los Angeles I would have been on your list. I am very proud of you when you worked in the KMPC newsroom and and became very successful in TV and best of all calling baseball games major league. That tall lanky kid in the newsroom has done very well roger carroll


Bill Avena said...

Michael Hagerty: Thanks for edumacating me! I found this clip of his 1974 TV show on Youtube and the hottie dancers were so hot I wonder if any of the Gazzari's dancers were in it (June Fairchild RIP).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxcpqshuFuw

cd1515 said...

can't remember the last time I listened to radio and CERTAINLY can't remember the last time I listened to a commercial on radio.
how that business survives, I have no idea.

blinky said...

MTV started with Video Killed the Radio Star but I think things like Beats One will be the ultimate demise as far as music goes. I can stream Apple music to my iPhone into my car now. Beats One actually has live DJs and play new music all the time. I occasionally go back to punching thru radio stations when I get lazy and hear the same 10 songs that were playing 6 months ago and the same guy selling diamonds or urging me to "hurry down now" to buy a new Toyota.
Goodbye terrestrial radio.

Artie Breyfogle said...

Yep, radio is a financial spreadsheet...

And those corps have turned the medium into SHEET...

I Thank you...Be here through Tuesday...

Jeffrey Leonard said...

As always, you nailed it, Ken. The radio industry gets sadder every day, and the worst part is that the owners of the stations don't give a damn what we (the former listeners) think, as long as they are putting smiles on the stockholders faces. I truly believe in karma. The powers that be of CBS, Cumulus, Clear Channel (NOT their disguise, I heart radio) etc., are all going to rot in hell.

Howard Hoffman said...

The People Meters that Neilsen uses for its radio ratings pushed everything on the table into the abyss. The thinking that music - and nothing BUT music - will keep people from tuning out, which the People Meters track instantly. But what about compelling content delivered by great personalities? They can do more to keep a listener engaged than any song can. And I'm not saying in the least that wall-to-wall music is bad. But when it's supplemented by a beloved and trusted voice to keep them in the moment, it's magic. The magic's been removed from K-Earth. Let's see what happens.

MARK GLEASON said...

So Ken, how often have you listened to your aircheck from the B100 Hours in Pala from this past March? Now, that was radio the way it used to be and the way it still should be!

H Johnson said...

Very depressing news about KRTH Ken. I went to college in SoCal and K Earth 101 was the go to for oldies. The DJs were great and the whole operation seemed smooth. About as close to boss radio as we'll ever hear again.

I can't imagine the logic behind letting go a couple of the last legends in your market. I wonder if the genius who made that decision had the cajones to do it himself.

We used to have a few good stations here in the islands but now it's just as bad as everywhere else, except the innocuous "comedy teams" scream at us in pidgin.

Aloha

MARK GLEASON said...

So Ken, how often have you listened to your aircheck from the B100 Hours in Pala from this past March? Now, that was radio the way it used to be and the way it still should be!

Paul said...

I found this article a little bit frightening but felt it had expert timing.

Gary Theroux said...

Ken is 100% right. Radio -- which once was so vital -- has been slowly committing suicide for decades. Remember driving along, tuned into what was happening because radio was supplying the soundtrack of your life -- and then finally reaching your destination? You'd turn the car ignition off but then click the radio back on -- because you were afraid that if you didn't, you'd miss something great. When was the last time you heard broadcasting like that? Radio has the power to be as essential today as it was once upon a time -- providing programming that was compelling, captivating, unpredictable and fun. That vanished when it turned robotic -- detached, ridgedly mechanical and free of warmth, humor and human personality.

Mister Charlie said...

Amen, Ken. I left it for radio software, then onward, but I miss the old days still. More and more entertainment businesses are only cash cows now...even the price for a baseball game for the family and food and/or drink is high.

Radio was a grand thing, but as you compared it to typewriter repairman, one cannot stop the march of time and commerce. sigh

D. McEwan said...

In 1974, I was producing Dick Whittington's radio show, and I wrote for him from 1967 on, and eventually I also sold material to Lohman & Barkley. I was spoiled by working with the best right off the block. These days, I don't even own a radio, let alone ever listen to radio. Even in a car, one can pop in a CD and listen to the music I like sans commercials and inane chatter from non-personalities.

Cap'n Bob said...

Nice try, Ken, but there's no way I'm going to listen to Kung Fu Fighting. As for radio, I stopped listening to music stations some years back when the oldies station became all talk. Or ESPN, or something non-musical.

elektrik fredd said...

Radio's alive, on the scale of local that's meaningful. I grew up in L.A., moved to
Portland (an excellent public radio town at the time) and then on to Brookings, Oregon.
I returned to radio (having spent way lots of time at Loyola University's KXLU and
somehow still graduated) in the town of Brookings. I do mornings and on KURY that means
the menus for the schools and the senior centers, community groups with access and
public service and appearances at local events. It means high school sports, and that
includes volleyball and softball....every game, home or away....on the air. The music
is varied enough, familiar but not complacent, but it's all the local that goes in
between that can't happen anymore in the mega-corporation world of radio. Mega-inserted
sound bites can be clever, they can give away the moon and stars...but they can't be
your neighbor.

Anonymous said...

I think Tom Lykis was told he had to take a drop in salary, and he said he'd just leave, and did. Now he's got his own podcast that he financed himself. I guess if you pay a small subscription fee you can hear him live daily, otherwise you can hear the repeat.

He's got his same old format, but it seems kind of dated in the podcast world. Also the creative tension isn't there like it was. I guess because it was possible for him to say something to get himself in trouble before. Now as a podcast, he can say anything with nobody to answer to.

Probably one of the major accelerants to the demise of the local DJ in Southern California is the influx of hispanic immigrants. How many first or second generation hispanic immigrants really care about the wit of Charlie Tuna? They have no cultural reference related to those guys. They don't care about a classic number from the Beatles. Many don't know or care anything about the Beatles, or any other nostalgic music by American standards. Even hip hop is getting lame. 80% of Compton is Hispanic now. Imagine that!

Our southern california culture has been leveled by an hispanic population bomb tossed by billionaires from the other side of the border, and it's not going to ever be resurrected in any important way.

Better learn spanish, and get used to Mariachi, kids.

California is gone. Little Brazil is arriving.

The leftover white folks can only stare into their Iphones, rearrange their little apple playlists, and pretend it's all good.

– Steve Pirazzo

Unknown said...

Beaver Cleaver was one of the funniest guys on the radio in SoCal, and we were lucky to have a couple of guest appearances in NY on 99X. Ken was smart to get out of radio, and he's right about the state of radio today. It really does suck.

Anonymous said...

One of the funniest half-hours of television I ever saw was a Tom Snyder Tomorrow Show Coast to Coast with Charlie Tuna, Scott Muni, an LA jock (might have been Steele) and Lujack. Snyder gets all serious, like he used to do, and asks them about payola and they all deny it until he gets to Lujack.
Lujack says, "Payola? You mean paying me money to play records? Sure. You pay me enough money and I'll play any record you want all day long." The other jocks were shocked (no pun intended), and Snyder was horrified.
Lujack just smiled at Snyder. Absolutely hilarious.
(He told me years later he remembered it and was drunk when he was on the show)

Pamela Jaye said...

I haven't listened to the radio since 1986. (Husband wouldn't let me sleep with it on but the silence from turning it off hurt! So I just left it off.) I play mp3s in the car over an old melted tunecast, and Rewound Radio on the weekends. Now I fall asleep to episodes of Grey's Anatomy. Most from the post-Heigl era.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more, Ken.

I work in San Francisco, and I do the news/weather/traffic/sports for various stations, and it's all pre-recorded and fed into an automation system. We have jocks coming to my outfit for work because they've been cut to a few hours a day in which they record voice tracks. You can't make a living on that. Radio barely paid anyway, as you well know, and the superstars are long gone, as you've described, and it's like watching grandpa die.

Jay Walker said...

I was lucky to get into radio in 1969 as talent during the time most consider the glory days of top 40. By the late 70's there were whispers of this thing called deregulation and a lot of us were of the mindset that this might be the beginning of the end of radio. Little did we know. In the mid 80's acquisition fever was in full force and by the time I made it to WLS even ABC had been bought by a little company called Cap Cities. Anyone with a clue could see the writing on the wall, and I knew I needed to make a course correction. Over the years I'd noticed engineers always survived format changes and station sales. The joke was, engineers were furthest from the front door and were less likely to be sucked out with the rest of the staff due to "changes". So I transitioned into engineering by the time I got to Dallas. That change served me well as I was able to ride it through until I retired due to medical reasons in early 2013. While I miss the business, I am happy I no longer have to witness the destruction piece by piece of the industry I once truly love. I was lucky as I worked for the last of the legacy companies who treated me very well, and thankfully it was NOT Clear Channel or whatever they call themselves this week..But God how I miss the "Glory Days"...

Jake said...

@Steve Pirazzo.................Take that BS to Stormfront

Gerry said...

Thank god for The Peak in White Plains, NY. Locally-owned, live DJ's, no contests or wacky comedy duos, and good music old and new. I listen in the car but I lose the signal when I drive into Manhattan. 107.1, you can probably get it over the internets.

Roscoe Beauregard said...

landed in SF after a small taste of "RADIO" in Houston, with dreams of spinning records, as I had several on the AM side as mentors, Jimmy Rabbit knew Gordon Baxter, from Beaumont, Texas, who I found out thru him was put into a TeXas hall of radio fame, and on the Louisiana Side was 'Cousin Curt Maddox" the big mouth of KIKK, first a small am then he moved into a job in Lake Charles, and as the story goes, got into some trouble with a man's wife, who became 'affix' with his 'personality'. He often spoke of 'his ranch' and my dad had commented often, 'Curt Maddox' got no ranch.. Later Dad was to move within shouting distance of Cousin Curt, and visited him as often as I could... Cousin Curt had the 'MOUTH" as those days, so many had the need for.. Twisting some words before he put the 45 onto the turntable... Returning from CA after exposure to FM in SF.. ( KSAN/KMPX,kpfa, and I worked on building the community krcb in Santa Rosa )... Worked with the
collation to save the city KKCY, one last attempt for a freeform station in SF..about that time krsh.com came on the air, and Bill Bowker switched over from the KFOX, which went thru a format change and letter change, to playing a heavy roatation of the pop more metal type songs. . . often known in the market as 'boneyard'... **** I have a number of radio people on my friends list, as being raised by a standup radio at Cooper's Grocery, Bancroft, La.. I was exposed to some great music, and of course, Gordon Baxter.. They are running some of his later tapes over klvu.org Beaumont Texas... I was away in CA and missed his migration from AM to FM... roscoebeauregard facebook..... roscoebeauregard@blogspot.com. where sometimes I get back to posting my prose/poetry.. Sabine River Sons work...

Steve Hoad said...

The airwaves we all own? How the hell do we get 'em back? Local and community in the world of corporate hurt means we as individuals are the losers. Time for some kind of change, ain't it? The days when a local hero can be publicly celebrated right after the news of heroism appears on the morning news are nearly gone; let's not let our local need be completely sucked up by corporate greed. Beans are meant to be eaten, not counted.

Unknown said...

Ken, you worked in radio at a very exciting time. Unfortunately, KRTH's numbers are good and I can't stand them. Of course being around your age, we are way out of their demo. I would listen to Tuna on KRTH the last few years just to listen to Charlie. The music got in the way,and after an hour or so I couldn't take it anymore..the music,not Charlie. I wish streaming existed during the 60's,70's,80's and 90's. I would have loved to listen to KRTH,KHJ and WMCA and CBS FM in NY. I can get both KRTH and CBS FM on my phone and Internet radio and could care less.

DrBOP said...

wwoz.org New Orleans listener-supported net radio WITH personalities, and many of the dj's program their own shows. They also recently added a second stream.

D. McEwan said...

"Our southern california culture has been leveled by an hispanic population bomb tossed by billionaires from the other side of the border, and it's not going to ever be resurrected in any important way.

Better learn spanish, and get used to Mariachi, kids.

California is gone. Little Brazil is arriving.

The leftover white folks can only stare into their Iphones, rearrange their little apple playlists, and pretend it's all good.

– Steve Pirazzo"


Wow. Racist much? Voting for Trump? Since California was originally part of Mexico and populated by entirely by Mexicans and Indians, one could rather more accurately say that California culture was leveled by a white, English-speaking population bomb tossed by greedy rapacious white Europeans back east.

D. McEwan said...

BTW, Steve, you ignorant race-baiter, they don't speak Spanish in Brazil. The language in Brazil is Portuguese.

Jake Mabe said...

Ken: Did you ever run into David Janssen or the "Harry O" crew in '74?

Anyhow, radio. A first love. I used to call in nightly to a local station long gone, WMYU, and ask for rare Elvis Presley records, among other stuff. Damned if Tony Lawson didn't go down into the basement and play E's cover of Chuck B's "Promised Land" and such.

And our morning guy on WIVK, local legend Claude Tomlinson, used to portray three guys. He wasn't Mel Blanc, but he was ours.

We used to have a great sation (WQBB) that played Sinatra and such...with local DJs! on FM! It eventually gave way to syndicated programming of the same music, then went to AM only, then disappeared. For awhile, we had a Music of your Life affiliate. I'd listen to Gary Owens, and Led Brown Jr. in the morning. Better than nothing.

Before I got sick, I listened to NPR, Eddie Stubbs on WSM, Jonathan Schwartz wherever he was at the time, and Pete Van Wieren and Skip Caray do Braves baseball until 2008.

Other than Schwartz, I could get the others over the air. I stopped listening to the other music channels more than 15 years ago.

Jean Shepherd airchecks from his WOR years (think a conglomerate would allow THAT over the air today?) have kept me sane on the blue moons I can listen online, as has Jack Benny's classic radio program.

Otherwise, they're playing to someone other than me over the air. Even "oldies" means 80s now, for god's sake. And our local afternoon talk show will make you regurgitate, even on an empty stomach, especially when the calls commence.

I'm reminded of Dudley Moore's drunken monologue as George Webber in "10."

"(What) fucking kind of era is this?" ... with apologies to Blake Edwards.

Jake Mabe said...

Ken: Did you ever run into David Janssen or the "Harry O" crew in '74?

Anyhow, radio. A first love. I used to call in nightly to a local station long gone, WMYU, and ask for rare Elvis Presley records, among other stuff. Damned if Tony Lawson didn't go down into the basement and play E's cover of Chuck B's "Promised Land" and such.

And our morning guy on WIVK, local legend Claude Tomlinson, used to portray three guys. He wasn't Mel Blanc, but he was ours.

We used to have a great sation (WQBB) that played Sinatra and such...with local DJs! on FM! It eventually gave way to syndicated programming of the same music, then went to AM only, then disappeared. For awhile, we had a Music of your Life affiliate. I'd listen to Gary Owens, and Led Brown Jr. in the morning. Better than nothing.

Before I got sick, I listened to NPR, Eddie Stubbs on WSM, Jonathan Schwartz wherever he was at the time, and Pete Van Wieren and Skip Caray do Braves baseball until 2008.

Other than Schwartz, I could get the others over the air. I stopped listening to the other music channels more than 15 years ago.

Jean Shepherd airchecks from his WOR years (think a conglomerate would allow THAT over the air today?) have kept me sane on the blue moons I can listen online, as has Jack Benny's classic radio program.

Otherwise, they're playing to someone other than me over the air. Even "oldies" means 80s now, for god's sake. And our local afternoon talk show will make you regurgitate, even on an empty stomach, especially when the calls commence.

I'm reminded of Dudley Moore's drunken monologue as George Webber in "10."

"(What) fucking kind of era is this?" ... with apologies to Blake Edwards.

Jake Mabe said...

Ken: Did you ever run into David Janssen or the "Harry O" crew in '74?

Anyhow, radio. A first love. I used to call in nightly to a local station long gone, WMYU, and ask for rare Elvis Presley records, among other stuff. Damned if Tony Lawson didn't go down into the basement and play E's cover of Chuck B's "Promised Land" and such.

And our morning guy on WIVK, local legend Claude Tomlinson, used to portray three guys. He wasn't Mel Blanc, but he was ours.

We used to have a great sation (WQBB) that played Sinatra and such...with local DJs! on FM! It eventually gave way to syndicated programming of the same music, then went to AM only, then disappeared. For awhile, we had a Music of your Life affiliate. I'd listen to Gary Owens, and Led Brown Jr. in the morning. Better than nothing.

Before I got sick, I listened to NPR, Eddie Stubbs on WSM, Jonathan Schwartz wherever he was at the time, and Pete Van Wieren and Skip Caray do Braves baseball until 2008.

Other than Schwartz, I could get the others over the air. I stopped listening to the other music channels more than 15 years ago.

Jean Shepherd airchecks from his WOR years (think a conglomerate would allow THAT over the air today?) have kept me sane on the blue moons I can listen online, as has Jack Benny's classic radio program.

Otherwise, they're playing to someone other than me over the air. Even "oldies" means 80s now, for god's sake. And our local afternoon talk show will make you regurgitate, even on an empty stomach, especially when the calls commence.

I'm reminded of Dudley Moore's drunken monologue as George Webber in "10."

"(What) fucking kind of era is this?" ... with apologies to Blake Edwards.

Stan Amster said...

Ken - You were smart to get out of radio. Radio in LA started to die back in the 80s.

In the 70s and early 80s, KMET was the station to listen to. They knew exactly what the listeners wanted to hear. The music was hand picked by the staff. Not some 'Consultants' in NY. You could go anyplace in LA and you would hear KMET on car radios and boom boxes. KMET started to die when 'Consultants' thought the music the DJ's were playing the wrong music for the demo. The air staff knew what the listeners wanted to hear. The staff of KMET played what the listeners wanted to hear. The 'Consultants' thought other wise. The 'Consultants' were very wrong. Ratings went down hill fast and an icon of LA radio was gone a few years later.

It's only a matter of time before KLOS is also a memory.

KROQ-FM had a very colorful history. It started out as pretty much as anything goes. Rick Carrol came on board and created the 'Roq of the 80s' format. KROQ became a power house in LA back in the 80s. They played what the listeners wanted to hear. It was very successful for years. When KROQ was bought by Infinity, it became corporate radio. What was a great station, (Side note. I worked at KROQ from the late 70s-mid 80s) became corporate programmed. Freedom to play what the listeners wanted disappeared.

The days of radio being ran locally is gone. It's all about a playlist that a computer cranks out, and profits. Radio has become a waste land of the same playlist served up on hundreds of stations across the station by a 'DJ' who is hundreds of miles away.

I have fond memories (Well, sorta) of working in LA radio in the late 70s to the mid 80s and to see what radio has become is a shame.

Joseph Dickerson said...

This is partly why I didn't pursue a career in radio way back when I was in college (I did mornings on the college radio station, and was good enough that a couple of folks said I should keep at it). I saw the writing on the wall then, twenty years ago - the market was incredibly competitive, and the friends I knew who were having a serious go at it were struggling just to pay bills even after they got gigs.

I loved radio, but I didn't love it enough to go hungry chasing a job doing it.

It's a different world now, and I feel really sorry for my sons... They will never get to really be entertained through this medium the way I and so many commentators here were. They'll get their "personalities" from Youtube videos... #eyeroll

Mike said...

Someone mentioned Apple's Beats 1. Here it is. Personally, I think this is already covered by the BBC's Radio 1 & 1Xtra stations. And it has our very own Zane Lowe.

Johnny Walker: I'd forgotten but JW is a DJ who worked the pirate ships in the '60s and is still broadcasting on Radio 2: Sounds of the Seventies.

Dana Puopolo said...

Shotgun is one of the nicest people I have ever met.