Oh The Humanity!

philcoradio.jpgThere was blood all over the radio dial, especially on the AM talkers, over the weekend. Major talent was ‘released’ (read, fired), as ABC radio, and it’s owners, Citadel, struggle to make ends meet.

Or struggle to put conservative talk radio out of business. The jury is still out on which. From Fri., Feb. 29:

For conservative talk radio, this represents a crisis, as some of the biggest syndicated names in the business will soon be affected by Citadel’s failure. While many conservative bloggers still seem unaware of the issue, a few liberals have attempted to assign partisan motives to the meltdown. The problem with that approach is that this has occurred despite the success of right- leaning talk, due to entirely epic managerial incompetence.

Why accuse Citadel, and it’s CEO, Farid Suleman, of playing politics when the company is in financial difficulty? Brian Maloney at Radio Equalizer explains why.

[J]ust take a look at Suleman’s liberal political contribution history. In addition, Suleman was behind the baffling elimination of Rush Limbaugh from his longtime home in Providence, WPRO-AM.

Oh, I see. He points to two other factors; Suleman’s salary and Don Imus’s salary, as the major contributors to Citadel’s financial struggles.

One of my favorite hosts, Chris Core (formally) of WMAL, has, after 33 years of being one of the most successful radio personalities in the Washington DC metro area, lost his job. If because of this he gets an opportunity to go national, perhaps on TV, it’ll be the country’s gain and Citadel’s loss.

What’s really frustrating about this situation is the position in which the local station has been put. WMAL is Citadel-ABC’s local outlet, and it’s been reasonably successful over the years. I’ve been a loyal listener.

Of late, I’ve have trouble listening to that very same station, and it’s not because of the hosts. It’s because of the ads. There are ads that are so bad I change the station, and every day there are more of them! It’s not because of their content – they’re just hawking their wares. It’s because the ads are omnipresent (waaayyy too many every hour), loud, obnoxious, rude and insulting to listeners’ intelligence. The worst of them are all that and bastardize my beloved 60’s music.

I’m not alone – people have been not listening to their radios in droves ever since music went the way of Britney Spears and DJs became automated. Talk radio was the last place left to hear a human being.

Except that what you heard was – ads! Citadel’s solution has been to panic and to sell more ads. Look in the dictionary under “vicious circle”.

Oh – have you noticed that TV is even worse? Find me the station that isn’t showing ads as crawlers and “active spiders” across the bottom of the screen while the show is on. Next thing you know, they’ll be putting ads in my mailbox and – oh, wait…

I don’t think AM radio is going away, but it’s going to change, again. Remember the days of top-40 DJs, like Joey Reynolds? My dad laughs when I say stuff like that and tells me about The Bickersons, Burns & Allen The Green Hornet, Inner Sanctum

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