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Well, Thank God I could fall asleep to Alison Steele, the Nightbird on 
WNEW-FM!!

Ward NY
> Hi Carl,
>
> It's OK to raise fists and bay at the moon, but that won't change the 
> moon. Antitrust laws have been gutted since the 90s, so 
> megaglomeration of ... everything is inevitable.
>
> As far as the FM broadcasting industry, I think you're looking back 
> fondly with very rosy glasses. The FM band is NOT a reliable 
> "security" asset due to limited range and sometimes fussy transmitting 
> and receiving gear. It never was some haven of profitability, in fact 
> there was a very short window in time where a few album-oriented rock 
> stations and, even more so, a few formula-automated easy listening 
> stations were mega cash machines. So of course the first- and 
> second-generation owners were all too happy to sell to CC and 
> Evergreen and others. The FCC had no business allowing ANY owner to 
> have multiple frequencies in any market, but as I said there was a 
> change in antitrust laws following the end of the Cold War ("Global 
> Marketplace" and all, ya know). CC and its like got theirs anyway 
> because it turns out that if you put 5 copies of the same lame formula 
> in a marketplace, none of them get listened to. I've noticed that an 
> FM frequency has become so value-less for music broadcasting that 
> religious talk-radio and even poltical talk-radio have started to pop 
> up on the FM dial all over the place. Sports radio moved over there 
> several years ago.
>
> As far as "culturally relevant" (as decided by whom???) radio, the FM 
> band was sabotaged by tax-subsidized NPR. What commercial station 
> wants to try and fight that? So in many markets, the "higher brow 
> taste" model was completely surrendered to the NPR empire. In my 
> opinion, they do a mostly middling job, although the technical quality 
> evolved from amateurish in the early days to superb in many cases 
> today. As far as content, by being obsessed with political 
> correctness, "inclusiveness" of every oddball "viewpoint" and trying 
> to do anything they can think of "not of the masses," they alienate 
> large swaths of the market (and one day will pay in the loss of their 
> tax subsidy). I say this even though I listen to NPR far more than any 
> other radio content, it is nearly 100% of my over-air listening 
> because everything else is so terrible. I also note that NPR worked 
> very hard to kill low-power Community FM, which would have been a 
> blessing of true democratic (SMALL d) variety everywhere it flourished 
> (Community FM was one of the few good ideas to come out of the FCC in 
> the past few decades, and it was killed by massive pressure from the 
> CC's of the world joined by NPR biting the hand that feeds it).
>
> FM radio was already heading down the tubes when I was in high school 
> in the early 80s. I was complaining about the lack of variety among 
> the several differently-owned rock stations I could easily pick up in 
> the NYC suburbs. One of my friends joined in the lament and said, "hey 
> man, the best radio station on the planet is your turntable." He was 
> so right! I'm very glad I always invested in records, CDs and tape 
> recorders rather than tuners.
>
> An interesting discussion is, should radio have been left alone much 
> more so from the get-go, with the FCC in place only to monitor 
> modulation levels and frequency (technical stuff). The only caveat I 
> would have put in place from Day 1 would be -- only one frequency per 
> market per owner, and strictly enforced that every step of the way. 
> From there, let public taste and market economics decide what's 
> popular, what formats work and what's profitable. Stay out of the way 
> and let the folks run their own entertainment tastes. Under my system, 
> you're potentially giving Joe Blow who bought a frequency cheap after 
> WWII the same chance to be "Must Hear Radio" as NBC or CBS networks, 
> as long as Joe Blow knew his market and could deliver something the 
> big boys weren't.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 10:23 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Folk Music in America
>
>
>> Airwaves do matter. No wish to be argumentative, just that radio has 
>> played a big role in my life, so it's important to me to question 
>> this common wisdom. There are a lot of people who still 'use' radio 
>> for music and more who would if offered a better product. Many depend 
>> on the old delivery system and, given the anti-competiveness of 
>> broadband providers and the high cost of wireless, many will for a 
>> long time. It's just that to the press, radio is old tech, and 
>> therefore over. And, crucially, this blaming of the customer is 
>> perfect cover for the rapaciousness and incompetence of the captains 
>> of the industry. Let me share a relevant story...
>>
>> ...It was already 50,000 watts hot on that September morning in 
>> 'Vegas, but coolness prevailed at the yearly Captains of Radio confab 
>> [NAB, or something like that]. Most were phat. And, if not happy, 
>> were keeping their misgivings to themselves. By eleven, at least one 
>> cigar chomper was already getting restless and starting to picture 
>> the leggy servers waiting for him at the Pharaoh Room pig roast. 
>> Almost there, sweaty palms. Just gotta live through the droning of 
>> the stat man. A wafer-thin bowtie wearing an Adams Apple approached 
>> the mic. He'd left his cool back home...
>>
>> This was about 10 or more years ago, when Clear Channel had pretty 
>> much finished its feeding frenzy, but had yet to begin its decade of 
>> nausea. The speaker was, IIRC, the VP of Research for Sinclair 
>> Broadcasting, or one of the other large ownership chains, newly 
>> dwarfed by CC. Somebody to listen to, and with a serious message. The 
>> industry faced a risk, he told them, as consolidation and centralized 
>> programming eliminate an important source of information that music 
>> formats had lived by for years. Trends, tastes, styles are local and 
>> regional in their development, often arising where least expected. 
>> Who in New York anticipated Nashville, or Memphis, or Detroit, or 
>> Seattle, or Greensborough? Or any of that highly-profitable noise the 
>> kids dream up? By losing the intelligence developed by local radio, 
>> the industry will be blinded to the emergence of new talent and 
>> sounds, unable to exploit them. This can undermine the relevance of 
>> radio to a whole generation. Meanwhile, the medium could face serious 
>> challenge from new gadgets just as its audience steadily ages. This 
>> will hurt the performance not only of radio, but effect its 
>> traditional role in supporting the eco-system of the music business 
>> as a whole, concerts and recording.
>>
>> Looking back on it, there couldn't have been a suit in the room who 
>> wasn't aware of the implication of CC's binge of leverage. Properties 
>> would be gutted, programming nationalized. They knew, because they 
>> had done it, setting this devolution in motion. But here was a 
>> monoculture like never before, with the power to ruin the whole game. 
>> Mr. Sliderule just told them of their end. Please, Clear Channel, 
>> gobble up one more. And let it be mine.
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List 
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
>> Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2013 2:10 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Folk Music in America
>>
>> My bet is, the cycle will come around and the airwaves will matter. 
>> Perhaps not for broadcasting
>> music, but the owners of the frequencies will get the last laugh.
>>
>> What I can't understand is, given that we live in the age of 
>> streaming music, iPods, YouTube,
>> Pandora, etc -- who CARES what's on the FM dial???
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>>
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>>
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