Is radio going to hell?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Varacin, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. Michael Varacin

    Michael Varacin Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anyone else noticed the degradation of radio programming over the last 10 years? Radio stations are becoming more formatted, and playing from the same play lists. Where has the variety gone?


    For example. I listen to a lot of country. There is only one station here in Chicago, and they play THE SAME SONGS OVER AND OVER. Whoever is popular, that's all they play.

    I understand that Clear Channel has purchased about 3,000 stations in the US. They pretty much control what gets played in every market.

    But it gets worse...they are also concert promoters...so guess what? If your touring and you don't use Clear Channel to promote the tour, then you don't get air time.

    Ugh. I could go on and on with examples, but I don't want to make this message to long.

    So what can we do to get control of the stations back to the DJ's? (Oh yeah...how about that voice tracking?...the same programming sent to every city except someone in LA gives different call letter info to make it seem like a local station.)

    Sorry for the random thoughts here....just trying to get a discussion going about how crappy radio is now.
     
  2. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    I gave up on FM a long time ago, mostly for the reasons you listed above. I always listen to AM for their talk shows. I sometimes can't believe that its a "free" form of entertainment. People you usually have to pay for cable television to hear, Jim Rome, Howard Stern, Bill OReilly, etc. you can listen to them on AM for free so I still have a lot of respect for the AM format. On the other hand, FM radio should be renamed Viacom/WB/EMI/Sony or whoever the hell the hot new artist these mega corporations are trying to shove down our throats. Thank god for file sharing, the last way to hear new artists anymore, unless you consider the new "hot" dancing/melody group from Orlando is fresh and exciting.
     
  3. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Yep I agree. Even in "enlightened" Canada, radio stations are as crappy as ever. And in my city, they even blank out mild swear words and material deemed offensive to the religious-right. Lyrics with the words "gun" and "pregnant" are blanked, for example.

    Sad, very sad.
     
  4. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    the answer to radio's problem is simple.
    CLEARCHANNEL
    of course the programming is formatted, as ani difranco once said "no one bothered to tell me every radiostation in the country is owned by the same guy"
    find a nice local public station, we had a good public station on campus, but the university decided it was too costly to operate and shut it down. [​IMG]
    now ND public radio broadcasts on their frequencies, and they seriously suck. Unless you enjoy listening to 80 year olds discus the weather :b
    the world of radio is waaaaaay too corporate and messed up.
     
  5. Josh Lowe

    Josh Lowe Screenwriter

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    I work for a company that owns a lot of radio stations, not Clearchannel. One of my good friends does work for CC, though.

    The problem is a lot more complicated than station ownership. I don't want to get into it more because it'll get political.
     
  6. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    I listen to very little FM radio. While I like all kinds of music finding good stuff is all but impossible. 95% of pop is intolerable and while I like some stuff on the country, oldies, rock, and easy listening stations they always seem to find a song that I don't like.
     
  7. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    This is exactly why I invested in a CD burner and an MP3 player for the car. Radio can't be fixed until there's some sort of corporate revolution that destroys Clearchannel and the like.
     
  8. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    I've given up on commercial radio completely I only listen to NPR or the local community radio station.
     
  9. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    And here in Quebec, whatever you do, DO NOT LISTEN to a french language station. They are forced by law to play something like 70% or 75% of french language music (As in, french language music sucks so bad that we need to put that rule because (most) french language artists can't make decent music)

    I always thought that by requesting a song from a band that nobody has heard of here would sort of help promoting it but apparently it's only what THEY decided is allowed to be known is to be played.
     
  10. Brent_H

    Brent_H Second Unit

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    ok everyone, i have the solution to your problems, and I'm surprised no one's mentioned it yet (or i missed it)

    XM SATELLITE RADIO


    End.
     
  11. Paul_Medenwaldt

    Paul_Medenwaldt Supporting Actor

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    Your solution to this problem with FM radio is either XM or Sirrus.

    I purchased XM in May thinking that it wouldn't really change my listening habits, that it was more of a novelty.

    I was wrong.

    I rarely listen to FM radio now. The variety is enormous. They have an 80's station that doesn't play the same 3 Journey songs that our local 80's station plays to death. XM 80's plays other cuts of Journey, instead of Open Arms, Who's Crying Now and Faithfully.

    IMO XM realizes there are other songs by artists, not just the #1 hits.

    If you really want to change FM, then switch to an alternative source for your music. Try out one of the satellite networks. And after you switch let your local FM stations know that you did make the switch to something else because they had no variety in their play-lists.

    Granted i pay $10 a month for the service, but it is well worth the price after you realize what satellite radio has to offer.

    Paul
     
  12. Jonathan Burk

    Jonathan Burk Second Unit

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    Get an MP3 player for your car. I haven't listened to FM radio in a year. I've got over 250 hours of music on Cd's in my car, and much of it I've never even heard. With the shuffle feature on, it's like having your own, commercial free radio station, and you can instantly skip any song you don't like.
     
  13. Masood Ali

    Masood Ali Supporting Actor

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  14. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    Wonder if Clear Channel is a major owner of XM Radio? Hmm.

    Many people believe that it's the deregulation of the industry that led to its demise.
     
  15. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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  16. AviTevet

    AviTevet Stunt Coordinator

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    I listen to KINK 102 in Portland (www.kink.fm), which as far as I know is a local station. It seems like they just play whatever they want, and they don't play the standard pop top 40 or anything like that. So it's cool. The rest of the stations... blah.[​IMG]
     
  17. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    XM is clear channel. Sirius is the one that's not but also is in some financial difficulty the last time I heard.

    I started to listen to satellite radio through my Dish (AT150), no commercials although they still have a playlist. However, it is different than the playlist on the radios.

    Here in northern NJ, WDHA is a very good station, they'll even play the full 2112 and are about the only station here that will play some Rush other than Limelight or New World Man.

    Jay
     
  18. Jason Handy

    Jason Handy Second Unit

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    We have one of the best radio stations in the country (IMHO) here in Charlottesville. WNRN (www.wnrn.org) is a not-for-profit, public radio station that plays modern rock. They also have specialty programming like rap in the evening, and acoustic/world music in the morning. The DJs are all volunteers, and they support themselves with 2 fund drives every year. Whenever I go back to New England for the holidays, I always cringe at the quality of radio.
    As an example, yesterday on my way to lunch, I heard R.E.M. "Pretty Persuasion", the latest Pearl Jam track, and a Liz Phair song from her last album. And there are no commercials - three times an hour, the DJ opens the mic to read who the sponsors are, but there are no SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY ads...quite refreshing to turn on the radio and have a 95% chance of hearing a song.
    Finally, there is always a DJ live in the studio, so you can call anytime day or night and someone will pick up the phone for a request.
    To those of you who live in areas that have services such as the one I describe - SUPPORT THEM! The only way radio will ever recover from megacorporate dilution is to help support these grassroots efforts around the country. We pay about $100 a year in support to the radio station, but it is totally worth it, because we are getting the highest quality programming I have ever heard.

    Cheers
    Jason
     
  19. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    I havent listened to the radio since the mid80s
     
  20. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

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    The deregulation in the last ten years is the biggest reason why radio's quality has declined so much for the listeners. And yes, Clear Channel has played a large role in the medium's decline.

    Michael, if I lived in Chicago, I'd listen to WXRT all the time. A month ago I was in the Windy City for the weekend, and I listened almost exclusively to WXRT. I heard very little repetition and a surprisingly broad playlist of currents and catalog songs. A uniformly excellent station, although this doesn't help you with your country station problem.
     

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