October 21, 2016The More Things Change
You know the line. When William Holden's cynical writer Joe Gillis first meets Gloria Swanson's faded movie queen Norma Desmond in the classic "Sunset Boulevard," he blurts out in recognition, "you used to be big." Her response is always on the lists of most memorable lines in movie history: "I AM big," she protests. "It's the pictures that got small."
This walk into cinematic history isn't random, because it came to mind when I was pondering yet another article that purported to look into Millennials' minds and treated them again as a monolithic entity with peculiar characteristics so different from those of boomers and Gen-Xers as to warrant more blather from self-appointed experts who taught an extension course once or worked with this twenty-something who wouldn't take a lunch break or something. Reading it reminded me of the countless panels and discussions and articles we've seen about radio and reaching Millennials and how they're different and you need to account for that because they don't put up with commercials or phoniness or whatever. I've done that myself. But I realized that perhaps we're approaching this from the wrong angle.
October 14, 2016Open All Hours
What was your News-Talk station doing last Friday night? Before you answer that, allow me to backtrack a little. There have been general assumptions governing the way talk radio has programmed stations since the advent of the format, assumptions based on a combination ...
October 7, 2016Before The Next Storm Hits
The thing about emergencies and radio is that the ones you see coming are really just tests for the ones that blindside you. First, the ones you see coming: I'm gratified that I've heard some excellent work from several radio stations in the path of Hurricane Matthew, ...
September 30, 2016The Election Bump And Other Distractions
Are you happy with what you're achieving? No, this isn't a self-help column. It's more of another wake-up call, but... okay, let me see if I can make this simple. It's an election year, and we're in the middle of the most bizarre, remarkably out-of-control campaign ...
September 23, 2016Old School Graduation
It was late, just about the end of FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn's talk at the Radio Show 2016 in Nashville on Thursday afternoon, and I was, I'll admit, falling asleep. Blame my daily mid-afternoon crash, blame allergies, blame a long week or lack of sleep or just ...
September 16, 2016Expecting The Expected
One of the life skills most people develop early on in their existence is how to manage expectations. We learn, usually the hard way, that our hopes that our favorite teams will make it to the Super Bowl or World Series will be dashed early in the season, that the ...
September 2, 2016What’s Next?
Is there anything you want to read less than a column about radio the afternoon before a long holiday weekend (in the U.S. and Canada, that is)? Okay, then, I'll keep it short. The great 1972 movie "The Candidate" ends with an iconic scene, when Robert Redford, as the ...
August 26, 2016Real Drama
One of the things I have to remind myself when writing this column is that, whatever I want to believe about the state of the radio industry, I still live in the real world. That manifests itself when I hear something I don't like and start to pontificate about what ...
August 19, 2016The 140-Character Sprint
I will freely admit that I do not have all the answers to every radio industry dilemma. This week, all I can do is observe, and the answer is escaping me. I'm talking about talk radio's reaction to fast-moving events, the kind that seemingly change by the minute. Take ...
August 12, 2016Rip It Up
Maybe to build a new talk radio, we can learn by tearing down what we have now. Let me explain that by "tear it down," I may not mean what you think that means. This isn't a call to anarchy or an advance on the talk radio palace with torches and pitchforks. It's ...