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Thread: Must-read Study

  1. #1

    Must-read Study

    Finally, someone has quantified what I consider to be the biggest problem that radio faces today. No, it's not the Internet, iPods, sattelite radio, or any other new form of technology. It's the lack of relatability between radio and the audience.

    Is it a lack of talent on the part of the current generation of jocks? Or, is it the lack of opportunity to entertain?

    Many in management are quick to blame "motor-mouth dee-jays". Read the study, and see what you think.

    Alan Burns & Associates
    Did I forget that <<sarcasm>> tag again?

  2. #2

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    Re: Must-read Study

    Great find! It's too early in the morning with too many items on the to-do list to carefully read the piece, but I went to the rest of their website and see that there are other essays to put on my reading list.

    My first reaction: The essay addresses MUSIC radio.

    There is a basic question that I ask myself over and over, and when people become aware I even have this thought, I get strange looks from some people: How much of radio is MUSIC radio? How much SHOULD BE music radio?

    Television finally reached the whole nation in the same era that rock and roll revolutionized the music business. Prior to that radio was not simply a part of the music business. Radio has become MUSIC radio. Was that by choice? Was radio forced to become MUSIC radio by the competition? Did radio become MUSIC radio because that decision, on its own without outside pressure, a GREAT business decision? Did radio simply milk the expedient, cheap, easy way out and start "grinding records" as one station owner I worked for called it.

    After I read the essay, maybe I'll be "SINGING a different song!" ;D
    Life is too short to waste time dancing with ugly posts

  3. #3

    Re: Must-read Study

    How many people on radio would you want to have dinner with? Music d-js aren't the problem as they are mostly irrelevant today. But talk radio has a world of "i got to win the argument" "I'll have the last word" "I'm smarter than the caller or the guest" hosts who are psuedo entertainers and end up being bombastic blowhards.

    Nobody cries foul because radio pd's love "edgy, loud attention getting " hosts ... and promos...and overstated liners...
    One can't promo their way to a great station because the today's audience isn't buying everything radio is selling and their BS Detector is on "full alert" and with that in mind, sadly, a lot of our message isn't heard and some our credibility isn't even there.



  4. #4

    Re: Must-read Study

    I think I've said it more than a few times on these boards that the problem with music radio is the (non-existent) relationship between the air-staff and listener.

    That is why many of us in the Phoenix market were so distressed when KOOL-FM shucked most of their personalities and went the "minimum live and VT" route. Now the only thing relating to the listener is their morning show (which was reduced from 4 on-air to 2), a tiny bit of midday and the midnight shift.

    Listeners tune in to hear the air staff they like, especially if that person can relate to the listener. Without that you have only an iPod.

    DJ's are what made radio phenomenal in the 50's, 60's and 70's but it won't return to that greatness until there are real, talented people behind the mic's once again.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  5. #5
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    Re: Rox Gets It Wrong Again

    Quote Originally Posted by SirRoxalot
    Finally, someone has quantified what I consider to be the biggest problem that radio faces today. No, it's not the Internet, iPods, sattelite radio, or any other new form of technology. It's the lack of relatability between radio and the audience.

    Is it a lack of talent on the part of the current generation of jocks? Or, is it the lack of opportunity to entertain?
    The piece does not talk about entertaining. It simply discusses and tabulates how radio stations spend more time talking about themselves than talking about listener interests. The very end of it mentions that giving the weather is different from telling people to take a jacket or sweater as it will cool off during the day... that is about relating, not entertaining, the listener.

    Entertaining is a separate issue. Of course, that is where we find that in many formats listeners don't want "entertaining" jocks... they want a nice flow and blend of music. To them, that is entertaining and useful.

    Many in management are quick to blame "motor-mouth dee-jays". Read the study, and see what you think.
    The study is not about DJ style. It is about whether the content relates to the listener, or is about the station. It has nothing to do with entertaining or style or delivery of the DJs; in fact, much of what was monitored consisted of recorded liners and such.
    [/quote]
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  6. #6
    aunti-terrestrial
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    Re: Must-read Study

    Quote Originally Posted by landtuna
    I think I've said it more than a few times on these boards that the problem with music radio is the (non-existent) relationship between the air-staff and listener.

    That is why many of us in the Phoenix market were so distressed when KOOL-FM shucked most of their personalities and went the "minimum live and VT" route. Now the only thing relating to the listener is their morning show (which was reduced from 4 on-air to 2), a tiny bit of midday and the midnight shift.

    Listeners tune in to hear the air staff they like, especially if that person can relate to the listener. Without that you have only an iPod.

    DJ's are what made radio phenomenal in the 50's, 60's and 70's but it won't return to that greatness until there are real, talented people behind the mic's once again.
    Tuna, not just behind the mic, but out in the communities. Unless you are an avid golfer, eat at Hooters on a regular basis, or go car-shopping every weekend, your chances of running into an on-air DJ in my city are slim to none. It's like the mentality is, "if there's not a check in my hand, I'm going home to watch some TV." I'm at music shows almost every night of the week, and I've run into former co-workers exactly twice in the last five years. On the other hand, at almost every show is one of the jocks from the local non-comm, where they need to press the flesh in order to make their fundraising quotas to stay on the air. By the very virtue of having to make personal connections in order to keep their jobs, these non-comm jocks place their visibility and relationships within the community at the highest priority, and it shows. If a jock's only ever attended concerts or events promoted by their own station, or their idea of "the city" is the circuit between their apartment, their job, and the liquor store, they've probably lost sight of what it takes to reconnect with the audience---if they ever had that sight, to begin with.

    A vanload of teenagers in station shirts handing out koozies and keychains does not a meaningful connection make---even at station events. Of course, if your dayparts are all voicetracked or syndicated, that vanload of minimum-wagers is all you've got to establish your station as any kind of leader or local presence. Yay.

  7. #7

    Re: Must-read Study

    Aunti,

    You are absolutely spot-on. When music radio (mostly pop music) was in its heyday I remember my local jocks out at store openings, movie theater stages, concerts, schools, and one even showed up at a small birthday party for one of my classmates handing out promo records. Guess which station all those kids listened to after that?

    Not so long ago (for example) the KOOL on and off-air staff used to show up at the summer cooler promotions and the on-air staff were usually doing live broadcasts on the weekends. They also hosted cruises. In short, they were always in some part of the public eye. But you need real live people at the station. VTing isn't going to get it done.

    Even as sophisticated as today's kids have become you can't tell me an appearance doesn't have the same effect it had way back then. And it gives air-staff the opportunity for feedback they can't get in studio.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  8. #8

    Re: Must-read Study

    Quote Originally Posted by landtuna
    Even as sophisticated as today's kids have become you can't tell me an appearance doesn't have the same effect it had way back then.
    Certainly it made an impression on me "back then" when Marc Sommers, then working for WABC (WABC!!!) showed up at my high school's Career Day, and when the late Tom Franklin of WCBS-AM* took the time to hand-type a two page letter to this young teen, describing what he did for a living. Which I still have. No, I didn't wind up in the business (and I think both the business and I are better for that choice), but it still had a lasting influence.

    *Yes, I know we're talking about Music Radio here, but it still makes the point.
    George in Ellison Park, NY<br />www.irwinsjournal.com

  9. #9
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    Re: Must-read Study

    Quote Originally Posted by landtuna
    You are absolutely spot-on. When music radio (mostly pop music) was in its heyday I remember my local jocks out at store openings, movie theater stages, concerts, schools, and one even showed up at a small birthday party for one of my classmates handing out promo records. Guess which station all those kids listened to after that?
    Remember, in the larger markets (100 and up) jock shifts in the 50's and 60's on Top 40's were generally 3 hours. This had as much to do with the fatigue of cuing records, threading tapes, manually inserting carts, editing calls with blade and tape, etc., as with the economy. That gave jocks time to go out... today, most spend at least 40 hours in the building, and we live in an age where family and home life is more important to the extent that legislation promotes it.

    Not so long ago (for example) the KOOL on and off-air staff used to show up at the summer cooler promotions and the on-air staff were usually doing live broadcasts on the weekends. They also hosted cruises.
    Today, KOOL and a sister station have one PD. Everyone's job is greater, and there is not time for a lot of this.

    But as to cruisies, those hosted tours were a way for jocks to get a free vacation and some pay... most have just dried up.

    And remotes were and are compensated. if clients are not buying remots, don't expect talent to be there.

    In short, they were always in some part of the public eye. But you need real live people at the station. VTing isn't going to get it done.
    And unless sponsors buy remots and such, those things you mention won't happen. Remotes are in much less demand in most places, as with the immediacy of so many channels of TV and video on phones, there is not the thrill of seing a jock there once was.

    It's like contests... when $1 buys a chance at $180 million in the Mega, a contest that pays your electric bill is pretty small change.

    Even as sophisticated as today's kids have become you can't tell me an appearance doesn't have the same effect it had way back then. And it gives air-staff the opportunity for feedback they can't get in studio.
    Kids can get Tweets from TV and music stars. They can get instantly the latest pics of Kim Kardashians tail end. Do you really think a jock is of interest? Most younger people think jocks suck, and have no use for them. Now, take a good mixer out and that is something different...
    www.americanradiohistory.com
    Broadcasting Magazine and Yearbooks, Billboard, Cash Box, R&R, Record World, Music & Media, Audio, Television/Radio Age, R&R, Duncan's American Radio, Popular Electronics, Studio Sound, Broadcast Engineering, db, and more.

  10. #10

    Re: Must-read Study

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo
    Do you really think a jock is of interest? Most younger people think jocks suck, and have no use for them. Now, take a good mixer out and that is something different...
    WHY do "most younger people think jocks suck"? Could it be that most younger people hear an endless cascade of station self-promotion, and virtually nothing that relates directly to them? It all gets blamed on "the jock" - who in many formats talks less than the "station voice" and has little opportunity to relate to listeners because of station-mandated formatics.

    I know a lot of jocks who did - and would - do their shows from public (i.e. "not for profit") events and festivals for no extra pay, but he station "can't afford" to pay a board-op $8 bucks an hour to run the board back at the studio, let alone the $75 it costs to set up and tear down the remote.

    As far as jocks showing up at concerts, etc. - how many jocks are working second jobs, or spinning in clubs, because the pay sucks? And concert tickets aren't free anymore. Even the taxes on freebies cost more disposable income that a lot of jocks can afford in these days of pay cuts and expanded "duties".
    Did I forget that <<sarcasm>> tag again?

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