Author Topic: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...  (Read 15667 times)

Offline Gmoney

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Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« on: August 31, 2012, 07:58 am »
Yesterday, Project 96.1 became Power 96, a top-40 station, leaving me wondering where I'm going to hear all my favorite tunes by bands with merch at Hot Topic.  While reading about this, I also found out that Dave FM is changing to Sports-Talk in the next month or so.  This one hits a bit closer to home as it's a station I actually listen to, though to be fair, they were just the best of a pretty horrid radio lineup in Atlanta (Album 88, you get a pass here, though there are times I just have to change the station).

Why can't we have nice things?  Why can't we have any decent radio stations like a real city?
"I am glad that the Robert got shot. Be careful out there!" - Denise

Offline katherine77

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2012, 08:19 am »
I would kill for an oldies (i.e. '50s and '60s) station.

Offline Bagel Snob

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2012, 08:20 am »
I use TuneIn on my iPhone a whole lot. Other than Jazz Classics w/H Johnson on Saturday nights, if I'm listening to radio it's usually Sirius or other cities.
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Offline Jctoast

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2012, 08:43 am »
This is Margot. I am the Music Director at dave-FM and the evening DJ. I've worked at dave-FM for its 8 year run.

We can't have nice things (or a diverse selection of music on the stations you choose to listen to) because radio stations, by and large, are very small pieces of very large corporation money machines. It's all about profit. Stations are rated on an outdated system that takes a "weighting" of listeners who agree to wear their electronic monitors to record the stations they hear. (TV has Nielsen, radio has Arbitron) The Atlanta metro is the 8th largest in the country and basically 1500 people decide how all of the stations in Atlanta are rated. That's it.

So in order to maximize this, stations typically default to hits (or what they think will be hits) rotated over and over. And not marketing (there are a few exceptions to this, but generally of the 30 or so stations in Atlanta, only about 4 or 5 advertise and that is during the critical Fall ratings period) because that saves money. National advertisers buy on a cost per point system, meaning only the highest rated stations. That's leaving rock stations in Atlanta out in the cold because even though these stations have a lot more listeners than their rankings suggest, it doesn't matter to the agencies. Local sales fall flat because there is a lot of pressure to sell, but usually not a lot of time to nurture relationships. But I digress...

In Atlanta, Arbitron has had a difficult time getting the demographic that usually listens to rock (mostly male, white, 25-54) to wear their monitoring beeper. So rock ratings suffer. Allowing the industry to say things like "rock is dead". It's not, but corporations go where the money (and by extension, formats) are. And in Atlanta, as a general rule, the money is now with Urban, CHR, and to a lesser extent, HOT AC and old rock (The River) and WSB-AM in an election year. And of course, sports is a hot format now, too.

The people who work in radio do not like tight playlists nor brief liners. (Keep in mind, we have people telling us what to do and how to be on air more so now than ever before.) Most everyone got into radio for music and personality reasons. Those remaining stay because we love radio (or what we remember it being).

These are things we don't talk about on air but might tell you when you see us in a bar and tell us you think our station sucks. :)

Offline Mr. Man

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2012, 08:56 am »
Wow!  Thats some good insight!  Thank you for sharing Margot/ jctoast
Yes, I agree, with that I knew someone close that smoked and went to chewing tobacca. Used a spit can which was yuck, and then the door of his car.~Denise

Offline katherine77

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2012, 09:01 am »
Thanks for sharing, Margot! I'll be sad to lose Dave, which had a fine variety of tunes.

I was an Arbitron subject briefly in college, back in the day when they sent you a little booklet with a schedule in it, and you had to write down which station you listened to at what point in the day. Then, as now, I don't listen to one particular station (especially in the mornings; ugh morning shows) but rather scan through five or six stations and stop when I hear a song I like.

Offline SteveD

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2012, 09:08 am »
That was very informative. 

Back when I used to commute (I've been working at home now for about 10 years) I would listen to local radio on my drives to and from work.  Now, I only listen to radio when I'm driving long distances to a project site, and I rotate among about 10 channels on Sirius/XM.  This is saying in so many words that I've become completely out of touch with local radio.  When I'm working out at the gym I'm listening to Pandora.

I was familiar with Arbitron, but I had no idea that the ratings it generated were derived from a select few wearing an electronic monitor. 
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Offline J. Grouchy

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2012, 09:14 am »
I use TuneIn on my iPhone a whole lot. Other than Jazz Classics w/H Johnson on Saturday nights, if I'm listening to radio it's usually Sirius or other cities.

Same here! 

You'd probably enjoy KMHD out of Portland.  I was a regular listener when I lived out there and still tune in from time to time.  They also happen to be the NPR news station out there for folks that like a good cure for insomnia.

KINK FM out of Portland was also a great station, what Dave should have been.  Not sure if they're still what they were ten years ago, though.  Haven't tuned in there in a long time.

And of course, sports is a hot format now, too.

I just don't get this.  Not only because I don't give a damn about sports...but really, how can people talk incessantly about sports?  I can understand people wanting to watch it and perhaps fill up conversational gaps with chit chat about games.  How is it possible to keep it up 24/7?  :(~
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 09:40 am by J. Grouchy »

Offline Maru32

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2012, 09:20 am »
I would kill for an oldies (i.e. '50s and '60s) station.

Unfortunately, the '80s and '90s are the new oldies.

H Johnson rocks!  <:)~

Also, Margot speaks the truth.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 09:27 am by Maru32 »
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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2012, 09:23 am »
I use TuneIn on my iPhone a whole lot. Other than Jazz Classics w/H Johnson on Saturday nights, if I'm listening to radio it's usually Sirius or other cities.

Same here! 

You'd probably enjoy KMHD out of Portland.  I was a regular listener when I lived out there and still tune in from time to time.  They also happen to be the NPR news station out there for folks that like a good cure for insomnia.

KINK FM out of Portland was also a great station, what Dave should have been.  Not sure if they're still what they were ten years ago, though.  Haven't tuned in there in a long time.

And of course, sports is a hot format now, too.

I just don't get this.  Not because I don't give a damn about sports...but really, how can people talk incessantly about sports?  I can understand people wanting to watch it and perhaps fill up conversational gaps with chit chat about games.  How is it possible to keep it up 24/7?  :(~
Loved the explanation Margot!

I like Sirius too - and NPR. I always liked Mara Davis on the rare occasions I am listening to radio during mid-day...

Offline angryuser

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2012, 09:25 am »
Fuck Clear Channel.
That is all.
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Offline Gmoney

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2012, 09:37 am »
These are things we don't talk about on air but might tell you when you see us in a bar and tell us you think our station sucks. :)
Thanks, Margot - I knew you lived in the neighborhood, but had no idea you were on the Buzz...

This is all very useful information, and it sounds like you're just about as frustrated (okay, probably a whole lot more frustrated since this is your career) about the whole situation from your side of the issue as the listeners are from their side of things.  It's particularly enlightening to know what a big role Arbitron plays in killing rock in Atlanta.

Out of curiosity, in your opinion, how much of the current state of radio is the result of the deregulation of radio (1996 Telecommunications Act), allowing one owner to own multiple stations in one city versus changes in the music industry in general (i.e. rise of digital media)?

For what it's worth, I've always enjoyed hearing you on-air, and your Dave After Tomorrow show demonstrated pretty well your interest and love of music, so I always wondered why a lot of the other music felt...uninspired?  I grew up in Chicago and always wondered why we couldn't have a station like WXRT (though, in a recent trip to the area, I found that even they were a shadow of their former selves, at least in the few hours I had the opportunity to listen).  This goes a long way towards explaining that.

Thanks for your insight, and I really hope you find a new home in Atlanta radio.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 09:39 am by Gmoney »
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Offline Flower Lady

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2012, 09:40 am »
Every Wednesday from 8-10 pm on AM1690 it's the BEST in 60's radio! Ha Ha! Yours truly is part of the Fringe Factory radio team, playing the best in underground 60's sounds.
Coming SOON we'll be having a quarterly dance party in the 'hood, where we will feature only the most danceable songs of the 60's known and unknown. The dance nights are super fun! We DJ regularly at the Star Bar, and will be there spinning tomorrow night between bands and have a dance party after the live stage action is over!!!
http://1690wmlb.com/the-fringe-factory/
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Offline lore

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2012, 09:45 am »
Tangentially related, why does it seem like reception has decreased so much? I mostly listen to 90.1 or 88.5,  and I swear once you have to drive outside the perimeter you lose both.

Offline scotL

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Re: Right on the dial, wrong on the music...
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2012, 09:54 am »
I always try to listen to Morning Edition and yep once I pass Beaver Ruin it is super spotty reception.

I'm going to miss DaveFM. Yes sometimes they overplayed some stuff I didn't enjoy but they also exposed me to some new music at times as well, also won tickets to Old Crow last week from them. Always enjoyed Margot's timeslots and even though at times I found Mara a bit over the top she was still enjoyable. Renee is also my favorite traffic person, something about her voice is very soothing to me.

Hopefully everyone there lands a great new job somewhere. Z93 (I used to have a love/hate relationship with the Dunhams show)/DaveFm has been a fixutre for many years and it will be sad to find sports talk instead on 92.9.