Thursday, March 7, 2013

Don't Touch That Dial, Bad People Are Ruining It

We have a local radio station where I live that for the past three years has managed not only once, but twice, to shoot itself in the feet. The first time was back in 2010, when without warning, they started terminating well known (and higher paid) talent and replaced them with lesser known (and lower paid) talent, often with no explanation for the sudden disappearance.

As you can imagine, the reaction to this

was brutal, succinct and over the top. People were incredibly upset that their beloved radio station (that played the type of hard rock that you normally don't hear on commercial radio) was being heavy handed and short sighted of their purging of on-air talent.

So a lot of them, including myself, took to their Facebook page to register their displeasure over this short sightedness.

However, being super thin skinned to legitimate complaints and/or pointing out faults, they began purging of comments and blocking of people who they felt were simply spitballing.

Like myself. Who got the pumpkin treatment up above in 2010 (you can read about it here), for being critical about how they were treating their listeners.

Fast forward to 2013.

About a week or so ago, I was listening to another radio station when they were plugging a segment called "Five Seconds with Fish", in which you had five seconds to bloviate on any topic for five seconds. So he started giving examples on what you could bloviate about, like that other radio station changing formats. With my curiosity piqued, I turned the proverbial knob to the station in question to check it out.

Lo and behold, the station done blinked and changed to a classic rock format.

The response was pretty much like this:

When our local paper announced it on their entertainment blog, the comments were fast and furious. More importantly, they eviscerated the program director who managed to insert both feet into his mouth up to his knees by stating rather stupidly, that they didn't need the current crop of listeners, as they were more concern with listener in the 35-50 age range.

For the moment, this radio station is holding their ground, in spite of the overwhelming dissatisfaction of their radio audience, which has created a Facebook page to vocalize their annoyance with the station.

So in a small way I have been vindicated, in that my comment about them not really caring about the listeners but caring more about the almighty dollar was basically on the money. Most of the time, a Pyrrhic victory is not something to savor.

But in this case, it's a good to make an exception.


  1. One of the big reasons I went to satellite radio. So far none of those kinds of BS issues.

  2. Pretty dumb of any business not to listen to its customers.

  3. Charles: While I don't have the equipment/money for satellite, I usually listen to the next best thing: college radio.

    Got enough variety on any given time of the day to pique my curiosity and keep me satisfied.

    M: Absolutely. Especially if you're in the media/entertainment business chasing that almighty dollar.

  4. The only radio I've listened to alot of lately was during the long power out was WBUR- Boston University broadcast out of 5 locations including the Vineyard. It was mostly talk, n classic Rock. Except Sunday night when Spanish came on, so I decided to find a new book to read...

    It's all about not losing the audience...DUH!

    Power of dissatisfied customers spouting in public is alot more powerful these days- Yay

  5. Snaggle: Wow. You would think that a college/university radio station would treat classic rock like a viral infection. Almost all of the college/university radio stations out here don't even touch classic rock. At the very most, they'll touch on those bands by digging deeper into their entire catalog so that you can get a better sampling of who & what the band was about.

  6. If I were to listen to radio again I would probably do the satellite radio tango. Most of the time I listen to Talk Radio when I'm driving about.

    But congrats on your "Pyrrhic victory."

  7. David: Thanks.

    I usually do talk radio on Saturdays, when I eat my lunch in my car.

    Otherwise, the stuff that they happen to broadcast out here really doesn't do anything for me anymore.

  8. This post has really struck a cord with me. I had a favorite radio station and loved it for the talented broadcasters who could run a lot of entertaining chatter in the mornings dealing with local stuff. I would always listen as i got ready for work and they never failed to make me laugh. Now the station has changed completely and it is so boring and filled mostly with syndicated talk shows. I don't see where the "buck" is coming from as people turn off their radios.

  9. I have replaced radio with podcasts. I don't know what I would do anymore without my iPod. I guess I'd spend 20 minutes every hour listening to advertisements, that's what.

  10. G.A.: The sad part about this format change was that for years, this particular station would hammer home the point that was "Live, Local and Late Breaking" and that it was a "non-corporate" owned radio station.

    Over the past few years, they have slowly changed to chase the almighty dollar and greater market share.

    I stopped listening to the music when I got banned from their FB page, and now only listen to it for the NE Patriot football games, but I'm not sure if I'm going to continue doing that for next season.

    S.R.: Makes great sense to change if you got the ability to do it. I think that's why digital radio/satellite radio is so popular these days.

  11. It sucks when you're right and the situation is all wrong. And why on earth would they want to alienate their listeners like that? Crazeee!

  12. Talon: Like I said, they're chasing the almighty dollar in a highly fragmented market, and by chaning to a format that three other radio stations already have,they're dooming themselves to irrelevance.

    Very very sad, especially when they're now down to escorting the ex-talent off the premises.

  13. I'm sick of the radio stations I listen to in the car. The same songs over and over again. Plus some irritating dj's that love the sound of their own voices a bit too much. I flick through the 6 channels I have set until I find one that is playing a song I like.

  14. Joe: Sounds spookily similar to what I go through on mine. Frequently, I find myself simply either pushing the volume knob to turn the radio off or pressing the CD button.

    The only time I tolerate jocks talking is on the AM side, which is where most of talk radio is, but even then, I have zero tolerance for jocks who talk about stuff that only 1/2 of 1% of the population truly cares about.


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