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Thread: Why Does Cumulus Prefer Indianapolis Over New York?

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Tibbs4 View Post
    IF radio continues to try to sound as lifeless as Sirius or Pandora, well, then why waste the time going through the hardships. Just listen to whatever on your phone. And no matter how insanely great a station and their talent may be, a ton of people simply will never listen, no matter what. Especially true more and more with the youth of today.
    I challenge the premise of this statement. Radio is NOT "trying to sound as lifeless as Sirius or Pandora." They can't, legally. There are things radio stations are legally required to do that neither Sirius nor Pandora do. Part of that of course is Pandora is unregulated. Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music and other streamers employ no voice talent whatsoever. They are all primarily music distribution systems with no hosts, no continuity, no imaging, or identification of any sort. That is a very different beast from anything one hears on AM/FM radio. Obviously, it's something a very large number of people want.

    Getting back to your premise, no one that I know of has ever done anything in AM/FM radio in order to sound like Pandora. If anything, the goal is to retain the sound that radio has had for 60 years. That's why voice-tracking was invented. It was invented as a way to localize talent, rather than use satellite delivered talent from companies such as the Satellite Radio Network/ABC. The only intent was to have the best quality talent on the air in dayparts when quality talent didn't want to work. Wasn't that a good goal?

    This was the exact same goal Bing Crosby had in 1932 when he told NBC Radio that he would no longer do a live feed of his show for the west coast. Instead they would run a transcription recording of his east coast show for audiences on the west coast. This was a perfectly acceptable process during the golden age of radio that you seem to have a problem with. Was Bing Crosby's recorded repeat lifeless? Of course not. Are the records that radio stations play for most of its content "lifeless" because it's recorded? Of course not. Are the commercials we play "lifeless" because they are recorded? Of course not. So why is there this different standard for on-air talent? It makes no sense to me.
    Last edited by TheBigA; 04-19-2019 at 12:54 AM.

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    This was the exact same goal Bing Crosby had in 1932 when he told NBC Radio that he would no longer do a live feed of his show for the west coast. Instead they would run a transcription recording of his east coast show for audiences on the west coast. This was a perfectly acceptable process during the golden age of radio that you seem to have a problem with. Was Bing Crosby's recorded repeat lifeless? Of course not. Are the records that radio stations play for most of its content "lifeless" because it's recorded? Of course not. Are the commercials we play "lifeless" because they are recorded? Of course not. So why is there this different standard for on-air talent? It makes no sense to me.
    He may have told NBC that, but IIRC, the Musicians' Union had something else to say about it. That was why his show moved to ABC in 1946, which didn't have those union contracts.
    We have to save the Earth! It's the only planet with football and beer.

  3. #63
    Again, my wording was off. Apologies, as I have just a few minutes to write on here. My point is that many radio stations, especially in small markets, have reduced so many aspects of their once more vibrant on-air approach. One example can be found along the world's most beautiful white sand beaches (according to DE, hehe.) - Panama City, Ft.Walton and Pensacola, FL. For many years, the stations there were amazingly entertaining, especially for being in such small markets. Each year, as I go to vacation there, the stations have become more subdued, less compelling and less competitive in many ways. Gone on many a station, is the local flavor. Many are obviously VT or now part of a satellite service. A few years back you would hear CJ Whittmere talk about something happening along the beaches this weekend. He kept the music going and listening was fun. You felt like he was talking right to you. Now you barely get the weather. Formats were more diverse, and better programmed to mess with the competition. Now, many are national sounds and in some cases you can literally hear three stations in three markets bleeding into each town playing the exact same songs 24/7 using SRN/ABC, etc.. It's more radio on life support than lifeless Panora. Trust me, I understand the revenues certainly dictate how much you can spend to pay a staff, etc. But, every time you give a listener a little less filler between the songs or just say your name and call letters every three songs, you don't stand out against Sirius or Pandora. That's what I meant to say, BigA. You can always challenge my premises, but remember you are welcome on my lawn for beer anytime. I'll be better at saying things properly when I sleep more. Nite.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tibbs4 View Post
    As for other ways to reach consumers, David, again, I don't disagree with you that it is highly necessary that radio stations give listeners other options to compete against other platforms. I just try to stay on the topic of actual radio.
    A big portion of the problems radio has today are due to the attitude of denial that, first, satellite and, then, streaming, is not "radio".

    They are all "radio". Why? Because when we talk to listeners that is what they call XM and Pandora and the rest. Some distinguish between "radio" and on-demand services like Spotify, but many don't.

    So we have to consider that we may need to abandon AM and then FM in the future when listeners don't want that option any more. But we can still create content and do "radio".

    And radio is indeed, I agree with you, a content business, even if the content is designed to attract advertisers first and listeners second.
    No, it is the other way around. We create content, attract listeners and then sell "the listeners" to advertisers. Without listeners, there are no advertisers.

    I just don't see many people on this board wanting to discuss websites, hundreds of XM channels or the latest greatest non-radio listening creation.
    What we ought to be talking about is the content, not whether it travels by RF or stream.
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  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by KeithE4 View Post
    He may have told NBC that, but IIRC, the Musicians' Union had something else to say about it. That was why his show moved to ABC in 1946, which didn't have those union contracts.
    My point however is that radio has been airing pre-recorded content since the golden age. There is no reason to single out air talent from the rest of the pre-recorded content that radio stations air, especially when the technology exists to do it well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tibbs4 View Post
    I understand the revenues certainly dictate how much you can spend to pay a staff, etc. But, every time you give a listener a little less filler between the songs or just say your name and call letters every three songs, you don't stand out against Sirius or Pandora. That's what I meant to say, BigA.
    If you're giving the listener what they want, then you're doing your job, regardless of whether or not it sounds like Sirius or Pandora. AM/FM radio will NEVER sound like Sirius or Pandora, because both of them are digital. The goal of radio should not be to be different from other media, but to do what its listeners and customers want. You're forcing us into a box that says we can't do what our listeners want because heaven forbid it might sound like Pandora. Radio should not do what it did in the 60s just because using modern technology makes it sound like other media. If that's the goal, they we should bring back carts and turntables.
    Last edited by TheBigA; 04-19-2019 at 01:30 AM.

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Tibbs4 View Post
    Now, many are national sounds and in some cases you can literally hear three stations in three markets bleeding into each town playing the exact same songs 24/7 using SRN/ABC, etc.. It's more radio on life support than lifeless Panora. Trust me, I understand the revenues certainly dictate how much you can spend to pay a staff, etc. But, every time you give a listener a little less filler between the songs or just say your name and call letters every three songs, you don't stand out against Sirius or Pandora. That's what I meant to say, BigA.
    Unfortunately for all the jocks out there, I have the opposite opinion. If you think Pandora/Spotify/Apple Music are winning, going jockless is the smart option. Listeners pretty consistently say they prefer fewer jock breaks to more, so give the people what they want.

    I wasn't alive for Boss Radio in the 60s and 70s. But if you put that on the radio for me today, I would hate it. It may have worked back then in a Stockholm Syndrome manner - listen for the hottest hits of the Turtles, put up with a 10 minute newscast and boss jocks because there was no alternative - records were annoying and expensive. And sometimes the jocks would do a fun bit for which they would be remembered.
    "Its music what makes a radio station, and at Live FM, we play the last music around."
    After receiving that copy, I quit the VO industry.

  7. #67
    Perhaps the better, and more pressing question: one year from now will Cumulus have emerged from their SECOND bankruptcy and when and if they do, will they still own radio stations, WWO, or will busted into so many pieces it will amount to 450 individual radio stations?

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Pops Schlamp View Post
    Perhaps the better, and more pressing question: one year from now will Cumulus have emerged from their SECOND bankruptcy and when and if they do, will they still own radio stations, WWO, or will busted into so many pieces it will amount to 450 individual radio stations?
    It will take longer for that to happen. It might take 4 or 5 years to see if the first bankruptcy worked. In the meantime, they're working on creating new revenue streams beyond radio stations. That's what they have to do, because there's no growth in radio. They can't add more commercials, and they can't raise their rates. So the only alternative is keep the operating costs low, and create new revenue streams.

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by PTBoardOp94 View Post
    Unfortunately for all the jocks out there, I have the opposite opinion. If you think Pandora/Spotify/Apple Music are winning, going jockless is the smart option. Listeners pretty consistently say they prefer fewer jock breaks to more, so give the people what they want.

    I wasn't alive for Boss Radio in the 60s and 70s. But if you put that on the radio for me today, I would hate it. It may have worked back then in a Stockholm Syndrome manner - listen for the hottest hits of the Turtles, put up with a 10 minute newscast and boss jocks because there was no alternative - records were annoying and expensive. And sometimes the jocks would do a fun bit for which they would be remembered.
    Or if the person is a jocks in some cases they can do a podcast show and have it a made for app though.

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post


    You are focusing on the platform. Nautel and Gates make transmitter and ERI and Shiveley make antennas and so on... radio is not in the transmitter and tower business. We are in the content business.

    When interstate highways bypassed towns, many travel related businesses had the choice of moving to new locations by freeway exits or dying. If they moved, they still did whatever they always did... sell gas, provide food and lodging... but the location changed because people preferred limited access highways.

    The AM and FM bands are the Route 66 of media. They are no longer as interesting, and traffic is declining. Those of us who create content have to make it available to users of the new systems.

    The obstacle in radio today is the high cost of licensing for digital content. It is hard to impossible to make money with the current regulations, and OTA radio has to pay for the moving costs until some manner of accommodation appears.

    So it's not stealing revenue from AM and FM to move it to new media. It is changing the delivery platform to suit users who are making choices that don't favor over the air radio on AM and FM. Pandora is radio, so is Sirius XM. To the user, real time audio without pictures is all "radio"... but stations concerned about the value of their FCC licenses don't see that they now have a depleting resource, like an oil well. You can not save something consumers increasingly do not want or need.

    I Like the US-66 Comparison though with AM/FM Radio given that the route is considered sentimental value and nostalgia to people who did talk about road trips in the past though. I understand in past threads when I heard of why (XYZ-AM-FM Radio) does not air 50's and 60's music anymore in Classic Hits/Oldies format and I had to mention that the median audience has shifted over the years from those songs to 80's to early 2000's songs for nostalgia songs. Or the Label has made certain songs only seen on Youtube though due to where the big venues are at today.

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