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Funeral for a Friend- and other songs I can't hear on the radio anymore.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
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captainsblog
captainsblog
Funeral for a Friend- and other songs I can't hear on the radio anymore....
Driving back from an early Saturday workout, the pickings on the car radio are limited. My go-to sports station is running an hour of paid programming shamelessly shilling for some Las Vegas point-spread company- an entirely illegal activity in this state, but since gambling has been regulated about effectively as broadcast stations, who cares? Other AMs were doing either national shows or "public service" (i.e., also paid-for) programming, so I flipped to the FM.   NPR's always wonderful, but Robert Siegel's a bit soporific at this hour, so I tried my two remaining music options at the end of the dial.

There I had two friends- Jack and Ed. 

Both are variations on the "playing what we want" concept that's existed under various names- guys like Jack, gals like Alice and ideas like Fickle- for going on 20 years.  The range varied- Jack, being Canadian, was required to air more native content- but both kept my finger off the channel-switching button with decent selections and limited commercials.

As of yesterday, though, the Jack stands alone, because Ed died in a transmitter fire yesterday:

On September 19, 2013, CJED dropped its adult hits format and branding and began stunting with Christmas music. The next day, at Noon, 105.1 flipped to CHR, branded as 2Day FM 105.1/101.1 and began simulcasting on CFLZ-FM. The first song on "2Day FM" was Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines. The reason for the simulcast was because CJED serves the areas closer to St. Catharines and Niagara Falls, while CFLZ is primarily directed towards Fort Erie and Buffalo.

Not that it's all horrid- they've got "Same Love" by Macklemore & Ryan on there at the moment- but any format starting with something as rape-friendly as that thing from Miley Cyrus's butt boy? It isn't coming through MY speakers.

----

This change comes a couple of weeks after another one- where the only voice for progressive talk radio within 100 miles, Buffalo's legendary KB1520, flipped to a simulcast of ESPN radio's national sports coverage. The station is owned by the same Intergalactic Broadcasting behemoth that had been carrying ESPN on off-hours and airs Bills, Sabres and most of the local stuff- at least when they're not shilling for a Las Vegas sports book.

Again, they pointed to ratings as the reason,  but the owners never promoted KB the way they do their two flagship AM stations (the other being the home of Limbaugh and all the other right-wing idiots).  More to the point, ratings are down across the dial, the Intergalactic Broadcasters have been laying off tons of people (including locally beloved on-air talents in many cities) and are even cutting back their carriage of the big fat idiot voices of the Far Right. There are just too many competing sources out there, including PCs, smartphones and other anywhere-anything-anytime devices that obviate the need to tune a 19th century device to hear 21st century content.

There's even speculation that those spots on your dashboard will soon be taken up by ports for iThings:




Somewhere on all the cars out today, is plain old AM and FM, but is it being overshadowed by popular cell-based services like Pandora? So say the auto audio moguls at the recent Radio Ink Convergence conference. Eric Rhoads, a publisher and longtime radio guy, got the word from a panel that included an unidentified General Motors source, a Gartner Research auto expert, as well as other industry professionals.
 
Rhoads heard this: “AM and FM are being eliminated from the dash of two car companies within two years and will be eliminated from the dash of all cars within five years.” Wow, really? There goes half my audience. It’s not exactly welcome news for NPR, which counts on a big commuter audience for Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

I doubt that will be much of a problem. NPR listeners tend to be smart, hip and wealthy enough to figure out how to plug a smart device of some sort into the missing gap.  But the crazy-pants listeners of the lunatic fringe, who think electricity is a mystery (if they believe in it at all, since the Bible doesn't say which of the six Actual Days God created it on), are going to flip out when they can no longer get their talking points in their cars on the way to Wal Mart or the gun store.  It will be presented as a conspiracy to silence the only voices opposed to the "Mainstream Media" (which, last I checked, are owned by the same Intergalactic Broadcasting corporations that their precious wingnut radio stations are), and car makers will be forced to continue to carry the product for fear of boycotts.

I modestly propose a compromise: keep the radio receivers, but move them to the back of the tailpipe. That's a far more appropriate place for what these guys are spewing, anyway.

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