Whitney, Grammy, Johnny ... A Week on Overload
February 17, 2012
Jimmy Carter in his homebase Nashville.
Whitney dies, Grammy's gain audience from the curious. Country stars shine on stage and Johnny Cash gets his museum back.
A week that has been exhausting.
The first six weeks of the year are just the pre-game for now. The Super Bowl to Valentine's Day to the beginning of the year's winter escape events.
Hasn't been much of a winter in most parts of the country anyway, but it's time for New Orleans to crank up the end of Mardi Gras, Florida to throw the state fair, San Antonio to have the rodeo and for the record labels to make magic with CRS.
CRS, with all the consolidation and top-down control of big chunks of radio, you really wonder if the labels are that excited, but I guess you go through the motions anyway. The amount of new artists in the pipeline ready to debut seems high. Lots of good looking guys and I hope some new ladies. The charts seem to be a little thin right now with non-Taylor Swift music.
The social media is the wild west. I'm sure that will be an ongoing magic potion topic of CRS.
The Natalie Maines vs Jason Aldean show and The Miranda Lambert vs Chris Brown show had the Internet smoking. Add the Whitney Houston death breaking on Twitter / TMZ, and the Internet was for sure where the action was this week.
I was in my car and saw a tweet ... turned on sat radio and got CNN ... I was covered ... I scanned around the FM and AM locals ... nothing. . another jukebox Saturday night.
Radio on Saturday night is a bit automated/tracked/and DEAD! The Whitney death was an Internet event, then CNN, even Fox went live with wall-to-wall coverage. Radio was unavailable due to its current off-primetime jukebox status. It jumped on it Sunday ... but then more jukebox ... just a Whitney jukebox.
I remember being stuck in an AM/FM-only rental car during the Bin Laden death. I was in Orlando and one of the AM talks did have network coverage. So I got it, but I doubt every town could have said that
This is not new ... It's why local TV's biggest growth period for audience and advertising is 4a to7a! Radio has not been doing its job for so long ... and that's the way it is.
No news ... incomplete weather ... very little real information. Syndicated shows more and more. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Depressing and true! There are exceptions and they are just that.
Have something real big go down in your town/region. Outside 6 to 9a, Mon-Fri, radio is not the likely place your citizenry will turn. Radio is no longer the immediate place to turn to for information and protection. In a word for historians: consolidation.
There are still the WSBs around, but not many.
Johnny Cash will get a museum around CMA Music fest time in Nashville ... nice 13 bucks to enter high-tech museum with plenty of low tech. The Country Music Hall of Fame doesn't spend a lot of time on any one person, so this should satisfy the Cash fans who felt very short-sheeted.
BamaJam just announced Tim McGraw, Zac Brown and Kid Rock. The Band Perry and The Fray get a stadium show in Statesboro, GA soon. Major live music everywhere ... With $5 gas ahead you have to be a little concerned if you are in the concert business.
It's a very busy time with the approach of spring. Radio does need to find the sweet spot that can regain the trust of the public with news and weather coverage. Some middle position. The Alabama stations understand and go all-weather at times. But in other places, the lack of current information about anything is amazing. The big brains don't seem to want full-service stations. Narrowcasting is the word of the day. I guess we are in the narrowcast business, but that sounds weird.