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Letters

re: Name Withheld's definition on what radio is Since the dark cloud of corporate control of terrestrial radio covered most of San Diego, Internet has become radio while AM and FM have become anything but radio. Since the mid-90s, the definition of what a radio is has changed to mean streaming audio from websites, and that has become the new meaning of radio. Satellite delivered playlists of music is also called radio. Podcasts are not, however, radio, but more like shows on demand, but many people are thinking that it's radio. What is no longer radio, however, are the stuff that comes between the AM frequencies of 540 and 1700 kHz. What it is are mostly right-wing wacko propagation machines in the guise of talk, religion, and news shows. The music played on the AM band tends to be aimed for people in the AARP age group. Generally, younger people think of AM as their grandparent's band, and is not relevant to their lives. FM is the younger people's parent's band. That band too tends to play music that is controlled by suits in far away places who have no connection with what the general public wants to hear. On the corporate-run stations that's anything but radio, all you get is lite pop rock music aimed at young females, worn out dinosaur rock for what's left of the older listeners, watered-down country and alternative rock, light jazz, adult contemporary that sounds like rock, rock that sounds like adult contemporary, R&B that has anything but house music, and other monotonous ideas. With younger listeners flocking to radio (Sateliite, Internet, whatever else) and away from merely corrupt AM/FM, the collective numbers for the radio stations continues to fall, with many more stations going below a 1.0, and a sizable portion under a 0.5 rating. As long as radio station decision makers continue to shoot themselves in the foot, the ratings will continue to ebb, advertising dollars fall, and deficits on the rise. Stations are going dark, asking for donations, cutting back on local talent in favor of cheaper programming, and adding more informercial blocks. In short, radio is out of ideas on what to program to get an audience. On the Internet, you can find oldies that go far deeper than what The Walrus is daring to do, dance mixes that commercial stations avoids, real comedy that you won't find on the morning talk shows, blues, bluegrass, folk, rock-country, and other genres that go ignored on the AM and FM bands, and so forth. It makes me wonder why it is worth it for a radio station to keep pushing the same old stuff again and again when the audience doesn't care for it anymore. Get some refreshing talk programming that doesn't slam people and you'll get ratings. Get some music that has a beat, pulse, groove, and a real riff and you'll get some listeners again. So when will the terrestrial analog streams on the AM and FM bands start acting like radio once again?
— January 10, 2009 8:44 p.m.

Chris Cantore and Hilary Chambers leave San Diego Clear Channel stations

We need music directors to discover good new songs to play on the radio instead of the corporate-chosen crap that's a staple on contemporary hit radio. Too much of the new songs being selected are unmemorable and boring. Funny music artists are producing parodies of today's crap so that their "covers" would sound half as crappy as the original, but it's their fault that they're listening to uninspiring contemporary hit radio for parody ideas that don't appeal to most people in my age demographic. I'm way outside of the demographic of Channel, Star, 91X, Sophie, and Z90 so I never tune them in. Clear Channel has done one thing right though. It launched a I Heart Music website for ordinary joes like myself to upload songs. I even got one of my songs uploaded and noticed by several podcasters, so I won't bash Clear Channel here, though I got no word if any local hosts played my song from this past Christmas season. I listen to downloads, Internet radio, satellite radio, cable radio, FM 94/9, and podcasts for music. I'm all for outsourcing syndicated talent (not the vertically-aligned shows) if the shows are interesting enough to attract listeners and advertisers. I could offer one of my podcast shows on a terrestrial stick and radio can pay me a fee for the service, while selling the advertising slots so they make money. Independent podcasters and netcasters can find music the suits never dreamed of putting on the airwaves. Offer multiple streams of stations and podcasts from their websites so portable music devices like iPhones can tune them in easily. Radio needs to seek out independent average joes for ideas and pay them to try out new ideas. That's what radio needs to survive.
— December 31, 2008 12:06 p.m.
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