May 27, 2003 |
With a sinister laugh, an on-air promotion for Viacom Inc.'s WZNE-FM rock station has been tipping listeners in Rochester, N.Y., to the parent corporation's dark purpose. "Our company has a master plan for world media domination," an announcer says. He quickly adds: "We're not part of it." In the age of media consolidation, corporate radio is beginning to wrestle with a brand-new worry -- an audience that might actually care who owns the station.
May 9, 2003 |
The challenge was stiff: Take a station that had broadcast evangelical Christian talk for nearly 80 years, flip it to Latin American dance music, and somehow let prospective listeners know they should stop at a frequency most had always bypassed before. That was the task facing the staff at KZAB-FM (93.5) when it launched in March, and -- at least according to the latest Arbitron ratings -- they pulled it off.
February 1, 2003 |
One of the joys of radio is its potential for discovery -- a song you've never heard before grabs you by the throat, or the heart. Then you wait, dying to find out who and what it is. But you might die before you ever do. A commercial or the next song comes on, and you realize that the DJ is never going to tell you what just played. The complaint is so common among listeners that satellite radio companies have made it a selling point, boasting that their equipment always shows what's on the air.
October 18, 2002 |
I: Is he really saying that? You don't usually get congratulated on Tom Leykis' syndicated radio show unless you're, say, a caller describing the way you talked your unexpectedly pregnant girlfriend into having an abortion -- and then dumped her. Or unless you're a woman with a lascivious tale to share, like the law clerk who boasts about tripling her pay by engaging in masochistic sex with the partner of another firm.
June 21, 2002 |
In George Orwell's "1984," Big Brother always knew what his constituents were watching on television, because he was looking through their screens and watching them. Now Arbitron, the radio ratings service, wants to eavesdrop on what you're listening to. But the goal isn't world domination. Like anything to do with ratings, it all comes down to money--a more accurate gauge of listening habits, so stations know what to charge their advertisers.
December 13, 2001 |
Jeff Burgess walks into his Bakersfield broadcast studio (his bedroom), checks the transmission equipment (his PC), sits in the studio chair (blue vinyl, purchased used for $2), searches his CD library (cardboard boxes on the floor), adjusts the microphone on the announcer's deck (built by a local carpenter for a 12-pack of beer) and speaks the words that can be heard, potentially, by millions around the world. "This is Destroy Radio!" At best, maybe 300 people actually hear Burgess.
June 4, 2001 |
Is Los Angeles the public radio capital of the nation? And if not, will it be one day? Anyone who seeks out local and national public (that is, noncommercial) radio programs such as "This American Life," "A Prairie Home Companion" and "Le Show") realizes that we have five major public stations on the FM dial in Southern California. Most big cities have only one or two. (New York has four.
August 11, 2000 |
The countdown to November's election is a frenzied, madcap rush to gain popularity, filled with name-calling and the intense heat of competition. And that's just on talk radio. The political season represents an important window for Los Angeles' talk stations and personalities, especially with next week's Democratic National Convention being staged in the city for the first time in four decades.
April 25, 2000 |
The Angels are on the air, and the fans are listening through their computer speakers as they dispatch e-mail. . . . * From South Korea: "Feels like I'm home." * From New Zealand: "I'm a long-time Angel fan . . . What's the status on Gary's thumb?" * From South Carolina: "How about sending me some of those baseball cards you guys were playing around with last night?" That the Angels, without a pennant to their credit, have a national and international following is wondrous enough.
October 16, 1999 |
Reflecting a stable marketplace in which most people seem to be set in their listening habits, the Arbitron radio ratings that came out Friday were topped by the same five stations as the previous three-month period. Still in the No. 1 and 2 spots for the Los Angeles-Orange County market--for the fourth quarter in a row--were Spanish-language stations KSCA-FM (101.9), playing Mexican regional music, and KLVE-FM (107.5), featuring adult contemporary music.