Why Local Radio Is No Longer Local

Some points 1) Cantore is considered somewhat of a "lightweight" in the business, not a bad talent-not anyone who is going to light up the ratings or revenue though. 2) The damage was done to the business when the 1996 Telecom act passed congress and was signed by President Clinton. This act enabled the bottom-feeders such as Clear Channel to xerox formats coast to coast, and own their former competition. Anti-trust violations? You betcha. 3)KPOP's Progressive Talk format failed due to lack of revenue. If it was successful, Clear Channel would have never pulled the plug. 4)KFMB used to be considered the tiffany of local stations. The general manager for years sought great talent--everyone from Charlie & Harrigan to Bobby Rich, Hudson & Bauer, Bill Ballance and others were part of a very localized radio station. It made a ton of money too. That is no longer the case, they import most of their programming on KFMB from satellite networks, while KFMB-FM is (outside of morning drive) a simple jukebox. 5) Radio is not all about music. Sorry. Playing the right mix of music is crucial,but it's more than that. Localization, community involvement,local-live personalities, and relevance are all required to create truly memorable radio stations. This has been true since Happy Hare woke up San Diego listeners on KCBQ in the 50's & 60's, to when the original 91X hit the air. KGB, KDEO, Q106 all subscribed to this philosophy. 6) Spoken Word Radio is here to stay. News-Sports-News-Talk-Hot Talk. It's one style that can't be replicated by I-Pods, in the near future less stations will play music. It's not unique anymore. 7) Being a DJ or even talk show host is not a life long career. It should lead to something else, otherwise it's a little sad to see 60 year old DJ's getting fired at local stations. Hey, a 35 year old can rebound, but what about someone who has done radio since they were 14 and are now 60.?
— January 2, 2009 9:01 p.m.

They Out-Draked Drake

Rich Brother Robin is one of a handful of classic Top 40 cookers. A legend, who should be on the air in San Diego. There was a time when local radio was exciting,these AM Top 40 stations were akin to a supercharged I-Pod, mixing Jimi Hendrix with Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye with Johnny Cash, and local DJ's who spoke with passion and energy. Remember how great 91 X was back in the day, KCBQ and KGB were epic stations. The full story is Bill Drake starting in 1964 took a stagnant KGB from 14th place to first in 60 days. KCBQ had owned the Top 40 market previously. KGB rode the Boss Radio format for years, with 15- 20 shares from 1964-1968. Finally KCBQ caught up, and left KGB flat-footed. The cash-call contest along with Q's new breed of talent such as Bobby Wayne, Jimmy Rabbit, & Lee Baby Simms overtook KGB. KCBQ also played a more liberal dose of counter culture rock along with the usual variety of Beatles and Stones. As the battle continued KGB doubled the amount in their cash calls & retook the lead. But by Christmas 1970 KCBQ had once again beaten KGB. However the new regime had already been hired at KCBQ and through very innovative promotion and tricks like sped up records, KCBQ in two rating periods had gained the number one position while KGB fell somewhat mysteriously. Dirty tricks have been alleged, I’m not sure about that, but at least from a psychological point the cultish Q program director Buzz Bennett had psyched out KGB. KGB had possibly the better overall jock lineup, but the Q with their sped-up music mix of bubblegum, pop, and rock imaged the station around street terms like "Rip Off" and "Keep on Trucking". By the end of 1971 KGB was losing revenue, and went in a direction which eventually would overtake KCBQ in revenue and industry acclaim if not ratings. But it was a pleasure to listen to both of these great stations. The only question is what happened to the mystery program director at KCBQ Buzz Bennett? Bill Drake's ultimate work of radio art was KHJ. It was classy and sleek with legendary jocks such as Robert W Morgan, The Real Don Steele, & later Machine Gun Kelly.
— December 12, 2008 9:16 p.m.

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