Hey, it's beautiful here in San Dieg . . . I mean, Boise
February 25, 2002 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Hey, it's beautiful here in San Dieg . . . I mean, Boise Also, "this morning," which is actually several weeks from now. You prolly know that many DJs aren't local now. But it's this bad? Clear Channel radio chief to the WSJ: "I don’t think it’s at all wrong or deceptive to put together terrific programs that reflect local communities and sometimes use talent who may physically be somewhere else."
posted by raysmj (11 comments total)
posted by panopticon at 9:08 AM on February 25, 2002

panopticon: Actually, I thought about that. It's an expansion of the earlier FPP article. Plenty of new information. Nothing in the last one about actually talking about trying to create an authentic local feel from hundreds or thousands of miles away - just that the DJs did their work somewhere else. The article's also considerably more detailed.
posted by raysmj at 9:22 AM on February 25, 2002

Actually, it *was* the authenticity bit that I was interested in. Wasn't that clear in the post? Sheesh. Thanks for possibly ruining a thread with the too-fast "sorry" bit.
posted by raysmj at 9:46 AM on February 25, 2002

But Hope Brophy, a manager at a [Boise] hair salon, said that, even though she couldn’t tell the difference, the idea “irritates me. ... I think if you don’t live here, you don’t understand it.”

This is becoming less true as the years go on. Thanks to uniform and interchangeable radio stations, strip malls, theme restaurants and chain newspapers, there's hardly anything left to not understand about any place in this country.

I also enjoy this quote from programmer Randy Michaels:

"Change is inevitable. All we can do is exploit it.”
posted by argybarg at 10:06 AM on February 25, 2002

I like the change quote, and may steal it.

My own experience with Clear Channel (and I have no affiliation with them other than I listen to their stations and own some of their stock):

Clear Channel bought/merged with Premiere Radio a couple years ago. Premiere syndicates Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, and my own secret indulgence, Art Bell (hey, sometimes aliens on the radio is just what you need at 3 am - the show's a hoot).

Anyway, the AM station in my market that carried all those shows lost them suddenly - it was a non-Clear Channel station. So after I heard about the buyout, I called the local AM station that Clear Channel owned, asked to talk to the program manager, and asked, "Hey, when are you guys going to start carrying Art Bell?"

He replied, "In about a month and a ha - hey, how did you know?"

I thanked him, hung up. 15 minutes later, someone from the legal department at Clear Channel Corporate called and asked if I had just called the station (they must have gotten my number off Caller ID), who I was, who I worked for, what my business was calling the station, how did I get my hands on such information, etc., etc. It was bizarre, and I finally just started laughing at the guy, which didn't help matters any.

Any experience I've had with the local Clear Channel talent and sales reps has been great, but I get the feeling the Corporate guys are major hard-ass types. Not that there's anything wrong with that, more power to them for competing in the marketplace.

But it was funny at the time.
posted by ebarker at 10:39 AM on February 25, 2002

Here in chicago, when sept. 11 hit, all the real local stations were able keep up and at least provide some running commentary. The virtual local stations didn't fare so well: When the second tower collapsed, you could still turn on a CC station (I won't say which one) and hear a "wacky" DJ doing one of those "prank call your boss!" bits.

Obviously, there are some benefits that even economies of scale don't outweigh.
posted by lawtalkinguy at 10:50 AM on February 25, 2002

How is this different than what Tom Joyner's been doing for years? Joyner hosts a nationally syndicated broadcast in over 100 markets in the US, but is based in Texas. When his show was broadcast in Atlanta, there were lots of 'local bits' inserted in the broadcast, not just the taped "let's throw it to so-and-so for the news." Other than the Clear Channel angle, I don't see that much difference. Granted, I haven't worked in radio for over 10 years, so I'm a bit rusty.
posted by likorish at 10:53 AM on February 25, 2002

Wow, that happened in Chicago? Amazing. Here in my small market (Charleston, SC), the local Clear Channel news station went to national news immediately, and after about an hour or so, started mixing in broadcasts from the local hosts (and I know for a fact they're local, having laid eyes upon them), and did that nonstop for a day or two. The other 5 Clear Channel stations (all FM) in my market picked up the AM station's feed within a few minutes of this all happening.

Yes, I am a media junkie.
posted by ebarker at 11:10 AM on February 25, 2002

The low point of my radio career, a whole 24 years ago, was working as Operations Director for an old-style automated radio station in Boondock, CA, and trying to figure out some way to make it sound local. One irony was the equipment (which used big reel-to-reel tapes) was so unreliable, that we had to have minimum-wage Operators on the scene 24/7, who never had directly-connected microphones to talk into (and live small-time talent were working in other stations for the same wage). I erroneously thought the automators were going to take over all of radio way back then. Now, the technology is so much more sophisticated, reliable and affordable.

But I suspect the real inspiration for how these are being done was the fact that, in the '80s and '90s, some of the highest-rated veteran DJs in L.A., N.Y. and other mega-markets were getting old and feeble and had mini-studios set up in their homes, and nobody in the listening audience noticed/cared.
Nowadays, Rick Dees is doing his "L.A.-based" show three weeks out of four from his ranch somewhere in Tennessee (he's Clear Channel property), and half of K-ROQ's morning team (Infinity/Viacom) is phoning it in from his home on an island somewhere near Seattle. It's been widely reported in the trade press (unfortunately, laradio.com has gone pay, or I'd link you to its discussions last year), and even revealed in stories in the L.A. Times, but most of the radio audience still doesn't notice/care.
posted by wendell at 1:36 PM on February 25, 2002

Well, the KROQ thing is a bit different- they've never pretended that Bean was in the city and he comes down for big events.
posted by dogwelder at 4:01 PM on February 25, 2002

"Cabana Boy Geoff" Why do radio people always have to come up with the stupidest names?
posted by helloboys at 5:12 AM on February 26, 2002

« Older Barclay employees lose job after 44000 pound...   |   human wrongs. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments