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July 1st, 2004

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01:06 pm - Listen closely or you might miss it
It is interesting to see how users handle the occasional demonstration of the awesome power that is the broadcast megacorps Clear Channel and Infiniti Broadcasting. For those familiar with the Pittsburgh radio market but not in it, we've had some changes. Howard Stern used to be broadcast on 105.9 WXDX, which is the Clear Channel modern rock station. And then Stern moved against Bush... err, got fined heavily by the FCC (for stupid reasons this time)... and Clear Channel dropped him. That was in January. This affected only about 6-9 markets, because Infiniti is the more common broadcaster. Apparently, Infiniti and Clear Channel even have a contract about it although it has taken six months before the lawsuits started. (Heck, the FCC is only now talking about SuperBowl damages). But this is uninteresting.

What might be more interesting is the other step that Infiniti took yesterday for Howard Stern. They had a popular, competitive pop station, 93.7 WBZZ to Clear Channel's 96.1. Yesterday, in a flash, that disappeared to be replaced by "K-Rock", a generic rock station with no DJs. And promos for the return of Howard Stern in a couple of weeks. Tuesday, it was a reliable channel for listening to overplayed Outkast and the other cross-genre pop/rock/hiphop. Wednesday, Beatles, Led Zepplin, Perl Jam. Did anyone bat an eye, that a completely new station, with high-production promos, shifted demographic ads, etc was active within hours over a different glossy station identity? I am not sure. I guess I heard on the Clear Channel pop station that they were getting a flood of "refugees" to their reliable morning show. Because people don't have the memory to remember they are less than 6 months old as a concept here as well.

How do most people feel about the fact that all the radio stations around the country are ruled by a select few companies. That you can listen to a KISS radio station in any major market, same Oldies station, and so on. That even if the DJs are "local", the "local" DJ shows have the same shticks in different places? Does it matter?

I'm not looking for answers. I just like to listen.

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:July 1st, 2004 12:15 pm (UTC)
I solve the problem by simply not listening to the radio anymore, because there isn't any point. I'm simply not part of any of the targeted demographics.
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Date:July 1st, 2004 01:03 pm (UTC)
pittsburgh radio sucks. In pittsburgh I'm constantly flipping stations trying to find something acceptable, but end up just putting in a CD. The only other places I have that problem is the middle of ohio and the middle of indiana.
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Date:July 1st, 2004 08:27 pm (UTC)
I don't have much experience with pittsburgh-sized cities, but if you're just talking about cities that aren't huge like new york/chicago, then yes, boston, minneapolis, and milwaukee all have better radio. I particularly like milwaukee radio since the major stations for rock, alternative, and classic rock are all non-mega-corp stations.

My friend who lives in minneapolis most of the time says radio there sucks compared to milwaukee, but it still seemed better than pittsburgh to me.

In pittsburgh, its not just the repetition of crap that bothers me, I find the djs to be intolerable as well. Perhaps this new dj-less station is a good improvement.
Date:July 1st, 2004 07:17 pm (UTC)
I dislike the broadcasting megacorps. Pittsburgh has independent public radio station WYEP 91.3. There's always shortwave!

I wonder what satellite radio will do to this mix.

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