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Music Media

Homogenized Music 489

Mansing writes "The connections between broadcast radio and music industry are well known. In the old days, payola was the method to increase a song's (or album's) exposure. But now, the same "free market" corporate music that infects the music industry is also infecting the broadcast radio industry as well. What makes the article so informative is not the business angles, but how business has changed what is broadcast. Seeing the parallels between the recording industry's force fed music and Clear Channel's "nothing is left to whim or chance" programming, I now understand how hard it is for any non-corporate sanctioned music to become widely heard."
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Homogenized Music

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  • raido sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alcimedes ( 398213 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @09:57AM (#3608904)
    outside of college radio stations, there's nothing left worth listening to, and this tells you why.

    can't someone show a business model to some exec. that shows that

    good music=listeners=money?

    instead of

    crap music we're supposed to play=industry is happy=money

    where's the listener come in?

    oh yeah, as a stat on some marketroids excell spreadsheet showing that if you play enough Britney Spears, people's standards drop low enough to where they can sell their product.

    if you can't tell, i hate almost all broadcast radio. it's been crap for years now and getting worse. i feel like an old man before my time. :)

    • Try listening [] to TripleJ []. Brought to you by the tax payers of Australia.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Advertisers run like hell from the 54+ crowd, especially the female segment. Why? I dunno. They're the ones with the disposable income, the best tastes, and are actually influenced by what they hear.

      The 18 to 54 crowd has bills, prespent income (credit card debt), college tuition, and they're minds are already made up, don't care what they hear.

      So, I make my money by targetting nonprofit appeals to the geezer crowd. The best bucks per appeal doesn't happen until you start mailing to the 60+ widows. And AARP perennially does real well, too. And you know their crowd.

      So, again, why don't advertisers like the 60+ crowd, helluva lot of money to be made there.
    • the only commercial radio i listen to is talk radio, otherwise it's college radio. though i will admit i am biased because i work at one. having been involved with an urban (philly) college, non-commercial station now for about 10 years i can see how dedicated people are to the station.
      we, WKDU 91.7fm [] play pretty much "music not heard on other stations". we are the only free format, student run station left in Philadelphia. our programming cover punk/hardcore, indie, reggae, techno/hjouse/trace and whatever else. one thing about our programming... we do not follow the generic college block programming for styles of music. basically every 3 hours the DJ changes and most all of the time it's not the same style of music. a program guide (online or in print form) is helpful, but most people don't seem to care. they still listen most all of the time. i guess being the last Philly student run station and the only one without programming (DJ picks 100% of their own music) makes us pretty much the only broadcast option for many people.
      We have been webcasting for a few years now (and hopefully will be able to in the future if those damn fees don't kill us) and have seen a pretty good online response. though we are not always on 24 hours a day, we do not shut down for holidays or summer (Drexel U runs full year... 3 months quarters). our webcast listeners are a mix of people in the local area, and around the world. i guess the bonus we have over other internet radio stations is a bigger budget than many with cool musical tastes, a lot of DJs and a record/cd collection we have been building up since 1968. i'm all for people starting their own webcasting stations, but there are some things bedroom run stations can't do as easily (live bands, DJ marathons, buy a lot of rad hardware)

      the coolest thing about webcasting is the ability for a station like ours to reach everywhere. there are a lot of decent little stations out there, but unless you live in the right area (area often being small due to low power transmitters), you miss out.

      corporate radio will always suck, but thanks to the internet we all have more options.
    • outside of college radio stations, there's nothing left worth listening to, and this tells you why.

      Nonsense. You might mean "only college stations play the kind of music I like," which certainly doesn't mean that other stations suck. Or you might mean that many commercial stations have short, safe playlists. But then there are stations that don't fit that mold.

      This is just like the overgeneralization that commercial music sucks, when you'll find instead that all of the music played on college stations is, in fact, commercial. The myth among anti-media geeks is that CDs from Britney Spears and Mariah Carey are put out by Evil Money Grubbing Corporations, while music from Chemical Brothers and Radiohead is put out by Independent Freedom Loving Hippies. When, in fact, there's no difference.

      • The myth among anti-media geeks is that CDs from Britney Spears and Mariah Carey are put out by Evil Money Grubbing Corporations, while music from Chemical Brothers and Radiohead is put out by Independent Freedom Loving Hippies.

        Why would freedom loving hippies put out commercial music like the chemmical brothers or radiohead??

        This in fact goes right against your argument - what YOU think of as underground music is actually REALLY mainstream...

      • There are still independent labels out there.

        For example, Underground Resistance is owned by no one. They distribute through Submerge, who is also owned by no one.

        They're pretty good at the anti-corporate propaganda thing too.
    • Re:raido sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thesolo ( 131008 )
      outside of college radio stations, there's nothing left worth listening to, and this tells you why.

      Even that statement isn't true anymore. College radio is no longer a free-spirited playground of diverse music that it once was. Now, college radio is a proving grounds.

      Indies, promoters, radio execs, they all visit college radio stations. They pay the stations/DJs and/or the schools money to get certain songs on the air. They test the market amongst college students, trying to find the next big hit for commercial radio. Very few college radio stations don't have at least some form of commercial influence.

      You can read more on the subject at / ndex.html []
    • Re:raido sucks (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bluesee ( 173416 ) <(michaelpatrickkenny) (at) (> on Thursday May 30, 2002 @02:17PM (#3610857)
      My daughter is a deejay for KDVS college station in Davis, CA and she tells me that they are forbidden to play any commercial songs: Radiohead, Garbage, and Smashing Pumpkins, which I believe were to a good extent birthed on college campuses are now off limits to college stations. This is not to say its a bad thing, but even colleges have their skewed policies.

      On another note, I am in a constant process of ridding my life of commercial interests and commercials. I have stopped listening to radio almost entirely on my daily commute, preferring my cassettes. And let me tell you, after listening to good rock or jazz instead of commercials with their jingles and subliminal messages and urging to consume or be left out, I feel much more relaxed, much less anxious. I have successfully reduced corporate influence in my life to a manageble level. It's just one example of 'think globally, act locally'. If all people did this, ClearChannel would die the death it really deserves. Now when I listen to the rock station I used to hear all the time, it's easy to spot the manipulative messages they are trying to put over on me, and when I realize how much of their time is spent inflating their self-importance, I can be smug about being the non-conformist. Of course, I get laid a lot less.
  • this is complete crap. college radio! i hear the strangest most non-commercial shit ever on college radio. there is even a college station in L.A. that plays wall to wall industrial. these people have never heard of a dial on thier radio?
    • College radio tends to have very low power broadcast, and hence low range. If you don't live in a college town, or even on the outskirts, you don't get it.

      Besides, from the last slashdot article on payola in the music industry, seems like a lot of the big college radio stations are where the corporate fuzz do their test runs.
    • College radio has no advertising. Nobody knows it's there. And most people are scared to go below 92 on their radio dials, because that's where the boring classical stations and *shudder* NPR are.
    • "i hear the strangest most non-commercial shit ever on college radio."

      This is probably why a lot of listeners stay away. Most people don't WANT to hear anything new, or risk their cozy bland existence by hearing anything which might challenge their concept of what constitutes "music". (end of bitter gripe). I do suspect that its very diversity is one of the factors hurting "college" or community radio - it's almost impossible to predict what will be playing when you tune in. Will it be death metal, reggae, christian rock, aboriginal talk radio or something completely unexpected? Personally, I like that. It's neat. I don't care for the Christian rock, but hey, turn off the radio for an hour, and later something else will be on :-)

      "There is even a college station in L.A. that plays wall to wall industrial."

      Cool :-D I have to put on a CD player to get my morning dose of Front Line Assembly...
  • This is nothing new (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    It always happens like this. When network TV was getting bland and homogenized, cable stepped up to fill the void. All the net does is accelerate the process.

    All forms of media really need to take their eyes of the ledgers and look toward the future... otherwise they'll be caught by surprise again.

    With the net all neighborhoods are virtual and local.


  • "History repeats itself, the first time is tragedy, the second time, farce." So quoth Karl Marx.

    Of course nobody would admit to being a Marxist or even a Marxian - think of all those killed in the Soviet Union and China.

    But it seems that you can't keep a good idea down and those of the Marxist critical theorists of the Frankfurt School keep coming up again and again in /.

    This is what capitalism does, people - it tends to monopoly, and restricts human development.

    The great pity is that the left - and nowhere more so than in the US - seem unable to produce a decent theory of politics - the theory of praxis as it was once called - that connects the frustrations of those who post these articles on /. with proposals to change the world.

    Capitalism is still making us pay for the Soviet Union's experience of repression.
    • From the article:
      The passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 swept aside many of the old ownership limits, and ignited the business like a firecracker. Small owners started selling, and larger companies began feverishly merging. Six years later, radio is a big business, with publicly traded companies now dominating ownership of the nation's 11,400 commercial stations.
      What gets lost in all this is the fact that those mom-and-pop stations voluntarily sold their stations. Since the people who bought those stations want to make the most money possible, they pander to the widest audience possible. Yeah, it results in the big stations playing pop-oriented hits. But you also have to understand that those stations wouldn't be popular if the music wasn't popular (for whatever reasons that music is...I certainly don't like most of it).

      It's obvious there's a growing backlash against this kind of radio. People don't want to hear 15 minutes of commercials out of 30 minutes of air time. People grow tired with oft-repeated tunes. That doesn't necessarily mean we need to have a political solution. It means those people who feel they are disenfranchised need to start their own radio stations, non-commercial [] or commercial [].
      • Voluntary? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by coyote-san ( 38515 )
        I'm not sure how "voluntary" many of these sales were. They weren't compelled, in the sense that property is occasionally condemned for a new road or public facility, but that's about all you can say about it.

        Imagine for a moment that you're the owner of a local station (or small chain), and someone like Clear Channel decides they want your radio station. You're making enough to meet payroll, sponsor some community events, but you don't have deep cash reserves. Then CC comes in and tells you to sell for a lowball price.

        You refuse - and they tell all of your advertisers that there's a new sheriff in town. If they sign exclusive agreements with CC stations, they get an ad rate substantially lower than what you can offer. It's far below cost to CC also, but they can pull in money from other stations nationwide.

        But if they don't agree to that exclusive agreement, they're blacklisted by CC stations. Accounts are closed (even if that involves penalties), and even after they're removed from the blacklist (when CC is the only game in town) they'll never get prefered customer rates.

        How long do you think you'll hold onto customers? A few may say with you, but anyone running ads on multiple stations will be forced to dump you. And all CC needs to do to target your advertisers is hire an intern to listen to your station and jot down what ads they hear.

        This isn't an abusive monopoly since CC doesn't yet have a monopoly in that market, but it's as unfair as an unlimited stakes poker game where one player has $100 and another has $1000, and you can't not play.
    • Re: Marx (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ke6 ( 96078 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:29AM (#3609129) Homepage Journal
      Capitalism does tend towards monopoly. But the monopolistic trend is countered by some things Marx never considered. Inventers, developers, people who just think outside the business box, they then provide more competition. Of course, the Monopolies will try to eat them up, but they can and do fail at that, and get washed up and forgotten.

      While Communism, that's the Monopoly of the state, with no chance for competition, after all the State KNOWS what you need and want. Even if it's true for the majority, the Tyranny of the Majority is not something to be desired either.

      So Monopoly, from Communism or Capitalism is bad. But at least with Capitalism, we have a chance against it.

      • Communism isn't neccesarily monopoly of the state. There is such a thing as stateless communism, and it happens to be the 'government' which all humanity used for thousands and thousands of years. Still do in some places, those groups we've not assimilated or murdered. Yet.

        Tyranny of the Majority is not something to be desired either.

        Lucky us, we've got both in the US! Tyranny of the majority in our political matters, and monopolies in your economic matters! Yea!
      • "Capitalism does tend towards monopoly."

        Monopolies exist under all different forms of Government. One thing we do have is choice (which is definately a result of people thinking outside the box as you describe). So ClearChannel runs most of radio. There are tons of Internet radio stations popping up. Satellite radio now offers quite a bit of choice. Additionally, nothing is stopping independent radio stations from popping up. The ultimate choice is just buying the music and listening to what you want; the U.S. produces an extremely diverse selection of music/programming. Where there is niche demand, there are niche suppliers.

        The bigger issue is unfair practices (much through the lobbying government) that limit choice. Trying to kill Internet radio through ridiculous fees or banning technology (like an mp3 player), which results in limiting the alternatives to programmed radio. These are just a few examples.

    • This is what capitalism does, people - it tends to monopoly, and restricts human development.

      Yes, let's look back at the golden age of Communist Radio! Where popular music is replaced by government propaganda.

      And if you tell me that a true communist country has yet to be seen, I will barf.

      Yeah, so the small radio stations sold to the big guys, and clear channel has a monopoly. If they abuse the monopoly, the could be facing trouble down the road.

      In the meantime, our CAPITALIST markets helped create this thing called the Internet, and it is already being used to compete against the radio stations. (Socialist MP3 traders notwithstanding.)
      • In the meantime, our CAPITALIST markets helped create this thing called the Internet...

        The Internet was created by the DOD [], part of the evil statist socialist government. I guess it must be worthless then, not being created by the holiness of free enterprise.

      • > Yeah, so the small radio stations sold to the big guys, and clear channel has a monopoly. If they abuse the monopoly, the could be facing trouble
        > down the road.

        Unless of course they can buy enough influence in Congress to get the right legislation. After all, the strategy is working so far for the RIAA, MPAA, and isn't doing too badly by Microsoft, either.
    • No need to stage a communist revolution just yet - read the article: CCU is 8 billion in debt, listenership is falling, etc etc. Like everyone here posts, who listens to radio anymore when you have alternatives? Capitalism may yet come to the rescue: CCU creditors can call their debt in, they may have to file for bandruptcy, they might have to sell off a lot of stations at bargain prices back to community oriented owners. It's just another aspect of the telecom / dot.bomb wave and their bubble hasn't burst yet. I'd love to get a good 1KW Collins AM transmitter for cheap and convert it to ham bands. The /worst/ thing to happen would be for a govt to socialize the thing and freeze CCU in it's current form, like having Castro for your leader until he croaks. Even in a solialist state plain ol' human politics 1.0 still rules whether a corporation owns it or, what we consider worse, a political party owns everything, where some are inevitably more 'equal' than others. In capitalism man opresses man, but in communism it's just the opposite.

      There are more things in heaven & earth than are drempt of in Marx's, or anyone's, 'philosophy'.

  • McRadio (Score:2, Funny)

    by freality ( 324306 )
    Memes need a name :)
  • by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:09AM (#3608985) Homepage
    this subject dovetails nicely with a recent Onion [] piece, hehe.

  • I can't remember the last time I listened to the radio for music. With an MP3 library that can play for over 30 days 24/7 without repeating (started buying CDs in '86) and the Internet, radio music is so 20th century. The only reason I even turn on a radio is to listen to the news or talk.

    Radio music is dead. You can tell by the ratings of FM stations. They pick up their biggest audience when the kings of fart jokes and naked chicks hit the air, i.e., Shock Jock Talk Radio. Howard Stern, Opie & Andy and their moronic minions of copycats are the only ratings FM stations are getting these days. Its no wonder that Clear Channel and Inifinity are looking outside of shoving ads into their customer's ears for revenue.

    • Re:Radio GaGa (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MrHanky ( 141717 )
      The problem with the modern music distribution channels (p2p that is) is that you don't get to know about music you don't about: you don't know how to search for things you never heard about. Radio is quite brilliant when it comes to forcing The Unknown upon you. That's what I like about radio; but as the subject of this thread shows, this is less widespread in America. So I'm glad I live in Norway [].
  • by squarooticus ( 5092 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:11AM (#3609004) Homepage
    The market is working just fine. The problem is that the majority are willing to listen to the homogeneous crap that CCU broadcasts. You can argue all you want that the airwaves are a "public good" and not just another form of property, but in the end of the day, someone is going to be arbitrarily choosing what goes on the airwaves no matter how the power to choose is apportioned. And if it's the public (read: majority) choosing how to use that good, you can be assured they're not going to waste that bandwidth on indie rock, metal, big-band music, or African tongue-clicking.

    Instead of complaining, choose one of the alternatives: listen to satellite radio, internet radio, listen to CD's (the real ones, not those phony pseudo-CD's), etc. If CCU truly isn't performing a service that people want, advertisers will stop buying airtime and it will go bankrupt. I'm guessing that isn't about to happen anytime soon.
    • The market is working just fine. The problem is that the majority are willing to listen to the homogeneous crap that CCU broadcasts.

      Only because that's all they get anyway.

      CCU truly isn't performing a service that people want, advertisers will stop buying airtime and it will go bankrupt.

      I'm not sure how tightly coupled advertising is to the actual number of listeners.
    • Is the fact that listening figures are down 10% in the U.S. since the market was deregulated a sign that the market has not been totally successful? You can measure success in many ways. - Profit, Revenue, Listeners, Diversity.

      I prefer the British system (and I am biased) where some of the RF spectrum is reserved for public radio (The BBC). This has some varied, and quality stuff. There is also commercial space, with the more homogonized genres. It is probably more workable over here, as we have a comparatively small geographic area.

      The point I'm trying to make, however, is that you don't have to divide up the airwaves "all commercial" or "all centrally planned", but you can do a bit of both. (Even if it sounds like a choice between free market and command economy)

      I guess you can listen to the BBC World Service ;-)

      • We have this too: National People's Radio []. It's a command system, ruled by the government even though they only have a 10% stake. The only problem is that in order to be alternative there needs to be diversity--and only in large cities is there market enough for public radio stations to do anything than run "Talk of the Nation" all day long, which is just NPR trying to compete with AM radio. So what you have is this:

        The unwashed masses listen to pablum.

        The right-wing masses listen to AM radio and country music stations.

        The monied left-wingers listen to NPR.

        The monied right-wingers listen to NPR and complain about the slant.

        The left-wing masses (college students who wear black and listen to the Cure) listen to College Radio and bitch about how the man is opressing them by playing Meat Beat Manifesto instead of the Cure.

        And guess what? It's been like this for years and CC's ownership has been a marginal change at most.
  • by Andy_R ( 114137 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:12AM (#3609010) Homepage Journal
    i think the problem here is one of bandwidth... here in the UK, we have a small number of large indepedent radio networks, as well as regional stations that are currently peddling almost exactly the same type of music as each other, all going for the least offensive (to the average listener) and most bland music 'product' that they can find, in order to maximise advertising revenue - a 'one size fits all' system.

    However, I can't see that this will last for long, as soon as any of the following technolgies reach the average consumer household: Net radio, Stand alone recievers for audio-only channels over satellite, digital radio (we are a long way ahead of the US in this field, I believe, as the BBC have pushed the technology) and increased spectrum avaialbilty due to theproposed switch off of terrestrial analogue TV transmitters (which the UK governement are keen on as they stand to rake a fortune in from selling the bandwidth off).

    When any (or all) of the above technolnogies are mature, then it will be possible to deliver cost-effective radio to much smaller markets (with tightly targetted adverts), so the constant search for the lowest common denominator will no longer be the best way to maximise advertising revenue, providing a wide spectrum of choice will be more cost effective.
  • There have been many eras. There was the bronze age, iron age, industrial age, and now we have the corporate age.

    Each one of these ages gave more power to a select group of people. The corporate age gives the most power to the fewest people. This is showing up in the government and laws, in the schools, in every work place, and most dangerously how people think. RMS is an extremist only because of the times that we live in.

  • by Tony Tastey ( 247 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:15AM (#3609032)

    Check out the extensive coverage they've gotten over at Salon for the past year or so. There's about a dozen articles about various aspects of their business practices. []
    • Those Salon pieces are an excellent companion to the Post piece. They show how CC is not only killing radio, it's damaging the music industry and making it even more difficult for new bands to make a go of it.
  • DC101 in the MD/DC/VA area plays decent music. sure, it's mostly the same corporate jam it down your throat rock that we've all gotten used to, but they've started playing a lot of songs by "Carbon Leaf", an independent band, and they sponsor unsigned local bands for a lot of the shows they put on. Welbilt is a pretty good band that just opened their Chili cookoff. anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that individual stations have more say in their programming that it at first appears.
    • Carbon Leaf [] is a band from Richmond, VA. (where I happen to live). They have an [] page too. They're a good recorded band, and an incredible live band, sort of a rock/country/bluegrass mix with increasingly heavy Celtic influences (their version of Mary Mac kicks arse!). The also won the American Music Award's New Music Award this past January, and the CMJ Music Marathon.

      There's actually several decent live bands in Richmond, and I for one would rather pay for a live show than a CD. You wanna piss off the RIAA? Support local, unsigned bands. Spend your money on concert tickets (where most artists make their real $$) rather than CD's.
  • What we need is a caption competition for the pic in the article.

    My suggestion:

    "You better play what we say or you'll get this baseball bat up your a** !!"

  • by Sc00ter ( 99550 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:21AM (#3609084) Homepage
    Okay. I've already seen some posts about college radio. Now, college radio has the benifit of not having to make much (if any) money to stick around. Unlike commercial radio stations.

    That being said, some of you might find the college radio station better to listen to becuase you get to hear different stuff, things that you don't get to hear on mainstream radio. Now, did you ever seem to think that the reason that it's not on mainstream radio is because mainstream people think that the music sucks?

    Commercial radio is there to make money, so they need to play what MOST people want to hear, not what you want to here. I like techno, most places don't play techno, why? becuase mainstream people don't like techno, in fact some people hate it (my brother included).

    To say that college radio or internet radio is better then commercial radio is silly. Just becuase you don't like it doesn't rule out the fact that somebody must like it, because it's still around, and it's doing well. I've also found that there's some people (an ex-coworker comes to mind) that listens to non-mainstream stuff just becuase it's non-mainstream. I found it to be shit and could see why it wasn't played on the radio. This just goes to show, different people have different tastes, and just because you don't like Britney doesn't rule out the fact that a lot of people do.

  • I live in Sweden. We have several Public Service TV and Radio stations. The biggest radio station is Programme 3, P3.

    P3 play a lot of top-20 stuff, but fortunately smaller interests are seen to. One favourite is P3 Live, which airs four days a week -- a new band/artist every day. Very good and broad selection of music, and excellent live quality

    Look around the playlists []. There's everthing from Slitknot, Bob Hund, In Flames [] and lot's of lot's of bands you've never heard of and would never ever hear on a commercial station.

    Tonight is Kittie [], and Entombed [] is coming up soon. Very nice.

  • by Drath ( 50447 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:25AM (#3609112)
    So what? I haven't listened to music on the radio since high school. Why? Well I can decide what I want to listen to for myself. If you can't investigate new music on your own then the radio telling you what to like shouldn't be a concern of yours.

    Checkout some independent or smaller labels. Labels like Matador Records, Prawn Song, Fat Wreck, and may others. It's a shame that labels like Grand Royal were forced out of business for not force-feeding the status quo. Read Nude As The News [] for non mainstream album reviews.

    Find a band you Like and check out their influences. This is a good way to find new stuff to listen to. Like Led Zeppelin? Listen to Muddy Waters. Like Trey Solo? Listen to Count Basie, Sun Ra, or Little Feet. Like Primus? Listen To Rush. Ect.

    GO SEE LIVE MUSIC! If you live near a large city there are tons of show to go see, there are some good websites dedicated to finding shows in your area. Check out Jambase [] for example.

    Trade Live Music! There are several communities for the trading of live tapes, a large number of bands ok the taping of their shows and the thousands of tapes are out there for free. One Such community Etree [] is a great example of this.

    Listen to College radio if you live near one!

    Don't complain about the lack of variety on the radio, just don't listen to it.
    • Excellent, I can avoid boredom with money! Money for XM or money for albums or money for live music (which I can't listen to at work). My radio cost me $15 and college student that I am, I'm not spending more than that. It's too bad only the weenies here at GMU get the dj gigs. I'd do it, but I need a well paying job because I need more . . . money!
      • Actually one of the stipulations that recording friendly bands make is that people cannot sell the recordings so the most you should ever pay is the cost of a blank cd and a stamp. That $15 you paid for your radio could have been 10 Radiohead Shows. (Or one copy of Phish 12/31/99 ha.)
    • Is there a directory of college radio stations and their freqencies online anywhere? I live near a major well-known (though private) university and I'd like to see if they've a student-run station I can listen to to see if I have a reason to ever tune my car's radio away from the local NPR station.
  • Wait! I'll save you! Da-Da-Daaa! With my amazing Network-O-Power, I can connect you directly to millions of radio stations and mp3 files! The evil forces of Dr. Money are no match for my Connect Ray!!! What? Dr. Money has a new weapon!! He's buying the politicians!! Isn't that illegal?

    Dr Money: At last, I have you under my power, Captain Internet! My minion forces of bad laws will keep your kind down... FOREVER!!! BwaHaHaHaHA!!!

    Will Dr. Money squeeze the life out of the fearless Captain? Will Captain Internet make the world safe for good music again? Tune in next week for anothe exciting episode of...


  • What's with all the weird station names you have in the US anyway ? They all seem to be odd four letter things starting with K or W. Is there any logic behind it ?

    • What's with all the weird station names you have in the US anyway ? They all seem to be odd four letter things starting with K or W. Is there any logic behind it ?

      From what I hear, stations that start with a W are east of the Mississippi River, while stations that start with a K are west of it. As for the other 3 letters, typically they are made up. For example, WBSH in the Illinois/Missouri area is in the Wabash Valley (sound out the station letters). Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they're just arbitrary.

    • K is for the stations that use the KDE desktop and W is for those that use the Wnome.
    • And for those who live on the Mississippi, the stations have both prefixes. It's not unheard of in such towns and cities to be surrounded by K--- stations with the occasional W--- thrown in for good measure, or vice versa.

      They are called "call letters" and they're how the station is identified, much like a ham's call sign (which is two letters, a number, and three more letters.)

      A station is required to announce its call letters on the air once in a given interval, if not more often, though I don't know what that interval is. I've heard DJs cut into ads or weather forecasts, etc. to say "The FCC says we only have 15 seconds more to announce our call letters, so here they are --" and cut right back into programming. Quite amusing.
    • For more info on U.S. call letters, see []. If you loathe what's available on radio now, start your own station. The FCC Media burea has some information on how to do that, see []. Yes, that's nontrivial.
  • It's this kind of situation that leads to a change in music. That's how we got punk rock in the first place. There won't be a rebellion until there is something to rebel against.
  • Article Summary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rnturn ( 11092 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:34AM (#3609168)

    To save folks the time, here's a quick summary of the article: middle-aged manager of a group of radio stations tells us all how hard it is to make ends meet in today's radio marketplace.

    Hint: Skip to the last 2-3 paragraphs and find the real point of the article. You'll be glad you did.

  • It is interesting that now some independent labels for punk bands are selling 100,000 copies per disc. Look at labels like Fat Wreck Chords [], Dischord [], Alternative Tentacles [] and Epitaph []. Bands like NOFX [] and Right Turn Clyde [] are really selling tons of "albums". Sometimes corporate backing isn't needed, heck NOFX loathes it to the point were they sued MTV for playing a cut of one of their releases in South America.

  • by spoot ( 104183 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:39AM (#3609205) Homepage
    All that the payola laws and hearings of the 60's did was take the power of music influence from the individual (disc jockey) and put them in the hands of the corporations. The large radio corporations of the day (rko, gannet, etc...) saw that the control of their content was being usurped to the talent of their stations. The DJ was the all important business and creative liaison at the stations. Record labels did anything to get to the talent, including bribes and perks. All the payola hearings and laws did (brought about from the investigation of the Miami DJ convention) was remove the personality from the equations. Enter the more influential role of the program and music director of stations in the late 60's and 70's. The only real exception would be the "progressive" radio essentially invented by Tom Donahue in SF. Payola was seen as a threat to the radio corporations of the day, God forbid that an indiviual (ie: dj) could have that much control over their (the corporations) widget. So a public spectacle was made. And the dj was villified as a wolf, while the real wolfs were in fact the corporations afraid of loosing control of their publicly liscenced product... that was supposed to be in "the public interest."

    Today in the corporate mentality of the radio world, the individual, the station DJ or the program/music director has any real say as to the music being played on the station. All edicts are essentially made by the corporate programming heads. Everything from play lists, national contesting and yes... even talent. Most talent is run on an automation system (usually prophet) that essentially has destroyed the job market for radio talent and stifled any creativity and the talent pool, stagnating radio to where it is in the present day. Radio listenership is down in the last few years. There just not much compelling. As my daughter puts it, "radio sucks." Hopefully something will happed to shake it up soon, so some rebel out there can get back to creating something compelling again on the radio dial.
    • by GMFTatsujin ( 239569 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @12:58PM (#3610241) Homepage
      I have to say at this point that DJ's do nothing but get my dander up anymore.

      I'm only 28, so this is before my time, but it seems like the days of the Golden Age of Radio Music (50's and 60's) focussed as much on the music that the DJ played by choice as they did on the personality of the DJ. Nowadays, DJs are handed lists of scheduled tunes to spit out, leaving them completely removed from the decision-making process.

      What's the upshot? You can't listen to what the DJ likes to listen to anymore. There's no musical connection to them for the audience to resonate with. Particular DJs don't have particular styles anymore. There's no recognition of individual DJs and styles, no loyalty, and no sense that (*here's the important bit*) the DJ is sharing music with you that he or she thinks is really worth listening to.

      (Whoops -- there's that "sharing music" idea again.)

      DJs are therefore distinguished by their chatter between songs. Which is not music. I turn on the radio to listen to music or news, not chatter. Hence, I hate DJs. They're cookie-cutter gibbering monkeys to me, failed stand-up comedians who couldn't muster enough journalistic skills to become bona fide reporters.

      I listen to my local university-driven NPR affiliate, and that's all. That station has a vast library of out-of-the-way music from every conceivable genre, and the DJs get to pick and chose what they'd like to play. Sometime I hate what they chose. Other times, I'm pleasantly surprised.

      Imay not know their names, but I know their styles. I love that.

  • by colmore ( 56499 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:43AM (#3609229) Journal
    OK Tired of radio and MTV? Me too! Who the heck decided that bad Eddie Vedder impressions would be popular this year?

    Here's some bands worth checking out: (reply and post your own)

    Neutral Milk Hotel
    The Microphones
    The Shins
    The Dismemberment Plan
    Need New Body
    The Mountain Goats
    Boards of Canada
    ... and You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
    Belle & Sebastian
    The Hot Snakes
    The White Stripes (yeah, they've got a video, but they rock harder than anything since Zepplin)

    music has always been comercial and pandering to trends, but in the past five years or so it has gotten *much* worse. There has not been a single innovative band to make it to the popular stage, music hasn't seen anything like this since the dark ages of the late 50s/early 60s. Think about it, what was the last novelty hit? What was the last song that got popular just because some DJ thought it was amusing? It's been quite a while. The early 90s saw innovative acts like Nirvana, Beck, and Liz Phair getting tons of airplay, and now we just have 1001 Pearl Jam/Creed rip-off acts. I won't comment on the R&B teen pop, that's obviously commercial fluff, and it wouldn't bother me if there were good things elsewhere. When we had the New Kids on the Block, we also had U2 and REM. Rap is, thankfully, still going strong, it probably has a good 10 or 15 years of life left in it.

    Rock and Roll is approaching death. It will soon be as dead as Jazz. It will still be made. There will still be people doing amazing and creative things with it. But it's period of cultural relevancy is nearing the end.

    Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the Strokes/White Stripes garage/blues punk thing will take off. That would be cool.
    • The Mudhens. My favorite band lately. kind of folk-rock-latin-alternative stuff. give it a shot, you'll probably like it.

      They're not really like anyone else out there, so I can't give an analogy. Or maybe I'm no good at analogizing bands.

      Either way, check them out.
    • Dream Theater
      Dar Williams
      Heather Nova

    • Some others worth trying, a few different 'genres' if you will too:

      Godspeed you Black Emporer!
      Einsturzende Neubauten
      Fan tomas

      I second the white stripes...

      The soundtrack to Pi is cool too.

  • Radio is crap - we all know that.
    So what do we do? We download. We seek out old and different things to hear - sometimes it's an old Tom Waits song, or perhaps something from "Grease" that was playing the summer you first fell in love in junior high school - maybe it's something new from Moby that you have no idea if you really like or not. I would guess, though, that if they really took a look at what people were downloading, filtered out the 14-20 year olds, they could find a really half-decent radio playlist in the works.
    OK, but then, you have the obvious 'segments' of the market - you find twenty people downloading old Gold Band cajun recordings and 300 downloading 1967 SanFran psychedelica - no need to lump them together, just create two streams and inject your advertising every fifth song or so.
    If I were a record label, I would *welcome* people downloading old stuff from my catalog that I didn't happen to be pushing at the time - you get one person donloading an old song, he's just a sick - but imagine you get fifty people (fifty people!) a day downloading an old song. "And friends they may think it's a movement..." (Or at least a meme...) (Sorry, Arlo.)

    Using one of the p2p apps, did you ever use the option to "See what else this guy has"? I mean, if I find someone who has a great old Django tune that I've never heard, I want to see what else he's got laying around. Often times, I see a song in their list that I may have on CD but haven't popped in for a while - guess what? I'll probably pop it in and give it a listen.
    There is a tremendous amount of information on listening habits out there that is not being used.
    Imagine a programmable radio station wher you could select the type of music you want to hear based upon what people download - imagine it in some form of pseudo-sql:
    Select (*.mp3 > 160Kbps) from alldownloads where user has downloaded "Gavin Bryars" and "Portishead", exclude $porn, exclude $top40...

    Bad example, but it could be a lot of fun...

    Once I found a guy using giFT (FastTrack) who had such an incredibly good selection (and a kickass connection) that I wrote a shell script to check his new downloads everyday - his kind of unbiased good taste is something is something that I would *pay* for. (Though I would never pay for a *corporate* selection in a million years..)

    OK - it's late here and I've had too much wine...
    Jim in Tokyo

  • Universities played an extremely important role in the start of radio, as they did in the Internet. Like the Internet, radio originally began as a noncommercial domain, but commercial interests persuaded Congress to change that. As a sop to the universities, they reserved some quantities of spectrum for "educational" broadcasting in the FM band at the low end of the spectrum.

    These days it's very rare for my FM tuner to show a reading higher than my body temperature...
  • by mesozoic ( 134277 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:55AM (#3609321)
    I'm convinced that the Internet is what will lead to the demise of the recording industry and the broadcast industry.

    As it is today, radio and record sales are the two main ways for an artist to become popular, sell out their shows, and make money. However, there is a high barrier to entry; the recording and broadcast industries want to profit, and so they only support music that will make them money--regardless of quality.

    But the Internet allows all artists to be heard, by all people, with no strings attached but the size of your pipeline. Since artists never get paid for record sales to begin with, it hardly matters whether their music gets copied online--so long as it's good, they'll still sell out their concerts.

    Ten to twenty years from now, the recording industry will be a crumbling colossus. People will get sick of being force-fed their music, of having to pick between identical blonde models with equally bad style, of seeing the same old stuff on the charts every week. By then, the Internet will have become powerful enough that any artist who wants to be heard, will be.
  • by rkent ( 73434 ) <rkent@pos[ ] ['t.h' in gap]> on Thursday May 30, 2002 @10:59AM (#3609367)
    If you wanted your own daily radio show, Clear Channel would sell you the time for about $1,200 an hour.

    Wow! That's really sad and kind of cool at the same time. It shows that a lot of their stuff really is basically extended commercial time, but it's also a chance for something else to slip in the lineup.

    Think about it. For about $300 grand (yes I KNOW that's a lot), pretty much anyone could have his own show for an hour a day on weekdays, all year long. Now they probably wouldn't let you do anything "subversive" like rant on about corporate radio sucking, BUT: why not get a coalition of several dozen smaller labels together to get a show?

    Clearchannel stations are by nature large-market ones, and if you picked a slot at like 3 or 4 pm, you would get kids after school and it would be before the "rush hour" slot that's so valuable. Say 50 labels chipped in, they could each get at least a couple songs on per week, and take some time to promote local shows, websites, band interviews, and all that.

    And since the labels themselves are putting together the shows, rights shouldn't be an issue. I'm sure I'm missing a dozen reasons why this wouldn't work, but it SOUNDS so neat... *sigh*
  • Radios play what people want to hear. When people don't want to hear it anymore, it will be gone. I don't blame big corporations for the songs on the radio (there are better things to blame them for, pick your battles) - its the people who make and break bands. And personally, I find the songs on the radio these days more listenable than ever before. Evidently all my radio stations are owned by the same people now, but I've hardly even noticed.

    Everyone noted there are alternatives. I've even had a hard time finding mainstream music on the internet. It's all like indie and experimental. Then of course there is mp3 sharing as well.

    But if you want the songs on the radio to change - go do something about it. Support your favorite bands - go to their shows and give their cds to people. If you want new music go to clubs and find it. Look at Linkin Park, I heard of this band forever ago before they had a record out. People had seen them and everyone in Orange County was talking about them. And I was also pretty suprised to hear the Strokes on the radio, they're a pretty indie sounding band. But there was techno before its short radio boom and it lives on after in smaller circles. Someone talked about punk, which also had a radio hayday (circa early epitaph) but in general has been able to survive as its own thing. And a lot of punk bands and a ton of punk fans don't want them to be on the radio. The radio is dependant upon what vocal people and their money like. Whether the radio station is owned by mom and pop or a corporation, if they want to survive, that's what they'll play. Point being, from the audience standpoint, it doesn't matter who owns it. and eventually Vegas Radio will get played when the corporation realizes they've saturated the market with too many of the same sounding stations. And they'll realize it eventually.
  • by GusherJizmac ( 80976 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @11:12AM (#3609446) Homepage
    "I now understand how hard it is for any non-corporate sanctioned music to become widely heard."

    If something is truely "good", or at least something that would be popular to sufficient people to sustain the band, it will be heard. Look at Fugazi. They are a D.C. area neo-punk band that does not have merchandise, is not on a major label, and does not make videos. The receive little to no radio airplay outside college stations, and are completely self-sustaining. They continue to charge only $5 admission to their shows and their CDs (I believe) are $10 post-paid from their record label (which they own and operate).

    If you want to do it, and you are talented enough, you do not need major labels or commercial radio.

  • In Columbus, OH Clear Channel rules the airwaves. The have also don it in a smart way. Our main local AM station is talk/news all of the time and what I listen to the most. Then there's WNCI home to the Morning Zoo. They have a GREAT morning show that makes me laugh every morning. Thank god they consistently are on top of the Arbitron ratings. That show has local flavor (always plays Buckeye tunes and have Buckeye bits during football season, and whenever an OSU team is doing well), is fun as hell to listen to becuase they just have some of the most off the wall crap. They even have a band called the Zootsuits that sing parody tunes. Very good. Now after they go off, well, let's jsut say the music sucks alot.....too much Britney Spears and 'Nsync type stuff. Occasionally they play something good. After the morning, it's back to 610. Of course they have some syndicated stuff during the day....Rush, Glenn Beck (replacing the ICKY Dr. Laura) and the afternoon dirve tim eyou have local guys John Corby, after him you have the show with no name (Sterling), and then late night Steve "Boom Boom" Cannon. After Cannon goes off you have Art Bell for you X-files folks and in the am you have local radio god Bob Connors. All in all they are nice to listen to and they have the Hineygate parties during every home buckeye game. The weekend seems to be adding a bit more of the automated crap, but they still have a local gardening show and a couple of local hosts. Clear Channel has left the top rated stations alone here in Columbus. That's a good thing!
  • The reason why XM and Sirius satellite radio exists today is the fact that we have megacorporations owning large swaths of terrestrial radio stations that have pretty much market-researched all the fringe (and some not-so-fringe) music formats out of existance.

    Right now, most radio stations play the following formats: Adult Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Heavy Metal and Country & Western formats for new music, plus a tightly-controlled selection of oldies. What happened to stations that play Classical, New Age, ethnic, Easy Listening, and wide-selection Oldies music?

    This is where XM and Sirius satellite radio fills the niche. With some 100 channels of audio programming to fill the result is a major resurgence of music formats on these systems that are sorely missed on terrestrial radio today (like the formats I mentioned).

    Yes, I give the nod to college radio stations that are playing a very wide selection of music, but alas, the vast majority of college radio stations don't have powerful enough signals to reach a wide audience like the more mainstream terrestrial broadcasters.
  • Last weekend I went down to the beach and a local radio station was having a "battle of the bands" (corny, but it was cool) where they had several local bands play sets. Not only were they helping local bands to get play time (and the bands were quite good), they also specifically billed themselves as the only non-corporate "anti-clearchannel" radio station around.

    Whenever I hear about clearchannel I think of the movie "Airheads"

  • Look at what most of you are asking for: You all want someone to play your favorite eclectic brand of music that doesn't suck. Only problem is that there are hardly two or three of you who can agree on just what they'd like to listen to.

    Remember, folks, they're in this for MONEY. So they're looking for widest appeal. That's right. The bland stuff. The stuff that offends as few as possible while retaining an interest group.

    Look at it another way: You pay to see bands you like. A bar would book a band that attracts their clientele. If the band is good, expect a cover charge.

    That's all well and good. Now do this without the cover charge, for a population of hundreds of thousands, on a daily basis. Do you even begin to see the problem?

    Yeah, radio is bland. It's mostly boring because you really don't like what they're putting on the air.

    But don't let me stop you. If you feel so strongly, why not put your money where your mouth is, and rent some radio station time for a month. Try to come up with music that will amuse and engage your listeners every single day. Oh, and while you're doing this, try to come up with some way of attracting advetisers to pay your bills.

    Good Luck!

  • by thesolo ( 131008 ) <> on Thursday May 30, 2002 @11:44AM (#3609659) Homepage
    While the article talks about Clear Channel's massive amount of stations, I don't think most people realize just how many stations they have until they see a list of them.

    So, on that note, check out the list of stations that Clear Channel owns: []

    Go ahead, pick out the stations in your town. There are 5 in mine, and all of them are just awful; they play the same songs on an almost daily basis.
  • by Bagheera ( 71311 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @12:17PM (#3609919) Homepage Journal
    ... looks grim.

    Radio is a business, like any other. The object is to spend less money than you take in. Turn a profit. Keep your owners (investors, individuals, corporate sire, whatever) happy. The income for these stations comes from advertising and selling air-time to whoever wants to buy it. The reason "it sucks" is because the advertisers want to get their message to their target audience, and they have very specific target audiences. If "market research" shows the mainstream target audience wants to hear a non-stop beat-mix of Brittney Spears and Weird Al Yankovic, that's what the station will play, because that's what the advertisers will pay to advertise on.

    The "mainstream" listeners are the targets. They don't really care about the niche markets or the fringe because there's no advertising money in niche markets or the fringe. /.ers are, from what I can tell, aren't mainstream.

    Why are listeners abandoning radio? Lots of factors. 6-disk in-dash CD players for the morning commute. MTV or the CD player at home. MP3 collections on the file server. Simple bordom with "mainstream" mass media music. Tired of 40% commercials. Whatever.

    Are college stations, pirate stations, or internet broadcasters an alternative? Of course they are. Are they "better"? If they serve -your- niche market, they certainly are - for you at least. It's one reason I have an internet station of my own - I can cater to my own tastes.

    Is radio dead? No. But it's ill. If the radio markets all collapse and the big conglomerates start abandoning stations we may see a change back to "the good old days" when stations took risks and used variety to compete for listeners. I just wouldn't count on it.

  • Internet radio? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sielwolf ( 246764 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @12:26PM (#3609980) Homepage Journal
    Has anyone mentioned internet radio as an alternative? Ok, it's broadband only in terms of possible audience... but that doesn't stop me from listening to [] all day, everyday.

    Sure it is usually non-mainstream music. Who cares if it doesn't appeal to the widest, most general audience?

    The key of internet radio is that you can usually find what you like. I have stations that play early 90's jungle, hard-step, tech-step, garage two-step, jungle-ragga, acid jazz, russian pop/rock, independent US hip-hop, french hard core.

    Ok so it might just be me listening to it. Oh, boo-hoo. Either you listen to what you like with the distinct possibility of ostracising yourself from the mainstream, or accept the shill Godsmack/Creed/DMB so you can talk to other folk about music/hit bigger shows with your friends. Of course then you can pay your 400 bucks for a Rolling Stones ticket.

    And that is another thing: underground/independent metal, rock, death metal, electronica, detroit house, hip-hop, and jazz have all survived very well without any help of the mainstream. Steve Albini, Martin Adkins, El-P. Sometimes you have to accept that most people aren't looking for what you are serving.

    But if you like this kind of thing, this may be the sort of thing you kind of like.
  • by KC7GR ( 473279 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @12:51PM (#3610156) Homepage Journal
    It's a constant source of amazement to me that the big record labels keep whining about their revenues dropping due to piracy. Did it ever occur to them, even once, that their declining sales just might be due to the fact that people simply don't like what they're putting out? That they may not care for what they're hearing on commercial radio?

    Fifteen years ago, I was buying 5-20 CD's a MONTH. I found much to listen to in terms of 'New Age' (primarily instrumental, related to Jazz) artists like Ray Lynch, Michael Manring, Checkfield, Pat Metheny, etc., to say nothing of rediscovering all of my rock-and-roll faves from earlier years.

    Guess what? Almost all of what I bought were copies of what I had already heard on commercial radio. KKSF, in the Bay Area, to be exact, plus a few other stations playing "classic" rock.

    Granted, there have been a few of the more recent vocal groups and singers that have caught and held my interest; Don Henley, when he went solo from the Eagles, Bruce Hornsby, Bryan Adams, etc. HOWEVER -- The real reason my CD buying has dropped like a rock (maybe two a year if that) in the past decade or so is because I'm not hearing hardly anything worth listening to, either on or off the radio.

    Music, to me, is a form of storytelling. Whether it's fact, fiction, or somewhere in between doesn't matter to me as long as it is sung with a good voice ('from the heart' is a good way to put it), and with DECENT music to back it up.

    By 'decent,' I'm referring to the idea that the singer also be the songwriter, if not also playing their own instrument. Jimmy Buffett is a great example. He has a band, yes, but he also plays guitar and Lord only knows what else, and he writes his own material for the most part.

    I think what I miss the most about today's (alleged) "pop" music is that much of it is as empty of real meaning, of real 'heart' if you will, as the Mojave Desert is empty of water in midsummer. Real musicians put a lot of their own personality and feeling into their work, and that's what makes it unique.

    Anyway, it seems (to my ears) that the only "good" stuff is showing up on the few independent stations left, and on "web radio." This pisses off the big labels, though, because they now seem to think that music should be lip-syncing "pop stars," dressed in glittery costumes with colors that no living creature would be caught dead in, putting on a show that I don't think even a Las Vegas producer would touch with a 3.048 meter pole.

    Can't have any real creativity running around now, can they? It shines a bad light on their predigested pap-spewing money-machine, and makes the way they've been trying to trample fair-use rights look even more greedy and stupid than it already is.

    Unimaginitive jerks...

  • According to yesterdays NPR's Marketplace [], Clear Channel is now asking it's employees to take money out of their paychecks to help the radio network's lobbying efforts:

    found in his mail at home last week a letter from his employer - Clear Channel Communications - asking him to kick in part of his salary to help pay for the company's new political lobbying efforts.

    Full transcript can be found here [] (have to scroll down a bit)


  • by Shotgun ( 30919 ) on Thursday May 30, 2002 @02:10PM (#3610806)
    I get up in the morning, immediately depressed that I have to go sit in an office and stare at a computer for 8 hours, just like I did yesterday and the day before.

    I shower, eat breakfast, and get in the truck for the 45min commute. I turn on the radio for some music to take my mind off of life. But all I get is commercial trying to convince me to buy more shit to clutter my life with and keep me at this job, or some group of boring assholes chattering endlessly about their bowel movements. The only break we get from the idiots is when they let some bored-as-hell housewife of a caller chatter on endlessly about her dumb-ass husband's bowel movements. I've literally driven the entire commute without hearing ONE song or even a joke I wouldn't be embarrassed if caught repeating.

    So I switch to CDs until I've bored myself to death with the repetition of my diminuitive collection (I'll be damned if I'm paying $15 for half a CD of the vanilla milktoast bullshit they put in stores nowadays!), and then I'll switch over to public radio. The gawd-awlful DJ only drones on for a few minutes before playing a good long set of classical. I don't care for classical that much, but it's a helluva lot better than ANOTHER bowel movement story.

    The opened a 80's station here in Raleigh-Durham, NC, about a year ago. For several months, there was no DJ and I would gladly listen to commercials until the music came back. Then they got 'Jack' and it QUICKLY went downhill. I always wanted to call in and just say, "Shut the fuck up and play some music!!"

    But I guess some researcher went to the MALL and asked 35 people what they wanted to hear. Did you people get that part of the article. Asking 35 people at a local mall is considered research. Isn't the mall for dates and dumbshits who don't know how to find good deals when spending their money?

    Well, I guess that explains it. Radio is run by advertising. Advertising works best on dumbshits, so the radio targets dumbshits.

    And that is WHY I DON'T LISTEN TO RADIO!!

Truth is free, but information costs.