Thursday, January 9, 2014

Our Movement To Bring The True Oldies Channel Is Underway ...

... but we still need your help!!!

Somehow ... someway ... we need to continue to get the word out to the radio fans of Chicago who want our oldies back!!!

The timing is right ... scroll back to read Monday's post to get completely up to speed ... and then help us spread the word through any means available to you.

Chicago LOVES their oldies ... we've been an oldies town since the late '70's and early '80's ... and we're tired of hearing the same tired 200-300 songs playing on EVERY radio station in town!!!

I agree 1000% and now that Cumulus has two more rock stations in Chicago, it's time that WLS-FM be returned to Oldies!  Every one of their legendary jocks would embrace such a change.  It is SO logical and would tap a demo that not only HAS money they also HAVE the time to spend it. WHY is radio being SO blind to the obvious?   I'm out in Las Vegas at the CES but return this weekend I will do my best to help out.  Can you get Rob Feder to do a piece on this? He has readers and that equals power!  
Rock on Kent.
Art Vuolo, Jr

Actually, we appealed to Feder (and Chicagoland Radio and Media, too) to help us with our cause ... or, at the very least, spread the word to all the listeners out there  frustrated by the same diet of repetitive music that plays relentlessly non-stop on every station in town ... but so far we've heard nothing back.  Nothing from the television media either ... and the ONLY way to get this movement off the ground is to spread the word and gain the support of the listeners who will faithfully embrace this station.
Again, folks HAVE to help us to spread the word or this dies on the vine right now.  (kk)

UPDATE:  Yay!!!  Chicagoland Radio and Media ran a link to our cause in today's column!!!  Let's get this movement underway!  
Kent Kotal's popular blogsite Forgotten Hits has started a grass roots campaign to get the Oldies format returned to WLS-FM. More details on this can be found HERE.

In response to your / our plea, it would be great if you could post all the important email addresses and even phone numbers if you think that will work to get the oldies army into action. I’m trying to find Lew Dickey’s addy as I type. 
Thanks for your leadership.  
Scott Schultz, 
We've been trying to track down Lew Dickey's email address, too, but so far no luck.  However you can write, fax or call Cumulus Broadcasting via the information below. (Of course first it'd be nice to generate some support here at home ... so don't be shy about contacting the media outlets right here in Chicago, too!)
3280 Peachtree Road, NW Suite 2300
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
TEL. (404) 949-0700
FAX. (404) 949-0740
The word WILL get out ... we just need to nudge it along a little bit right now!  Imagine if we just get two guys over at Cumulus kicking this around between themselves while admitting, "Hey, you know ... that's really not a half-bad idea!!!"  (kk)    

I hear ya loud and clear man. How can we contact higher management? I have already sent my plea to  WLS / FM and the company that bought the LOOP.  
It sure is funny ... you would think radio would cater to the over 30 crowd ... any one younger probably does not listen to radio the way we do (or used to)! 
Mike De Martino 
President of the Lovejoy Music Club  
It's programming with blinders on, targeting the completely wrong audience for all the wrong reasons.  I think you may be right ... today's audience may not even GET the radio!!!  Give us a REASON to listen, and we will!  And then the advertisers will have the captive audience they so desire!  (kk)      

Kent - 
Just read your Monday cumulus posting and I completely agree with you. For the past year I no longer listen to any AM or FM station in Chicago. Instead, I have 7000 songs on my ipod which plays those songs at random. When in the car I only listen to Sirius XM 50's and / or 60's channels.  
But I miss hearing good radio voices talking directly to me such as Scott Shannon.  And it doesn't have to be original voices as frankly Fred Winston (who was one of the funniest during his heyday) and John Landecker now just sound tired (I'm not sure if this is due to station edicts or the fact that they're just being tired)  
In any event, your request to contact Cumulus is a great one. However you failed to give info as to how best to contact them. Please post instructions in order for us to best reach those who can make a decision to do what you suggest.    
Steve Davidson   
See the info above, Steve ... and then let your fingers do the walking ... and the talking!  (kk)    

I see you’re trying to talk WLS into doing oldies. 
I grew up in Chicago, and listened to WJJD starting in 1956 and all the others.  WLS, and later the WLS / WCFL competition, were the highlight of the sixties, of course.  Being a writer, I’ve interviewed all the jocks I could find in 1982. WLS would have an unrivaled source of the most  unbelievable material from the 1960s.  It would be really unique if they played one a day.
Mike Callahan 
Both Sides Now  
It would be like NOTHING else on the radio today ... allowing the station to stand apart from ALL the others in town ... and all the while paying fitting homage to the legacy of this great, great station.  I'm telling you, it's a KILLER idea ... now how do we get folks to listen???  (kk)   

Hi Kent: 
What a station like WLS should do is just air the old unscoped airchecks of their stations! There are hundreds in circulation and Lord knows how many are not. If the archivists have more of these, that would be great Radio!  Just like it was in the 60’s, where all the great old jocks will be live again. Wouldn’t it be great to turn on WLS and hear Clark Weber, Art Roberts, Ron Riley, Larry Lujack, Dick Biondi, etc. I think so. 
Ken Freck  
A BIG part of the problem with radio today is that the people who are programming it ... and controlling what we hear ... have absolutely NO grasp of what has worked in the past ... in their minds, it's all from a bygone era and it's not the audience they're seeking.  Too bad ... THAT was the era that made radio the giant it was. (kk)

And, speaking of Clark Weber, check out his comment below to see where part of the disconnect is.  

Hi Kent; 
I enjoyed reading your plea for the return of "Entertaining Radio" in Chicago. One of the perks of being "An Old Coot" is that I remember radio in its "Heyday" and am well aware of what created it and more importantly what's killing it. We all recognize that one of the foundations of creating that "super" station is to convince Lending Institutions that even though the asking price is 10, 15 or 20 times earnings that the buyers can generate enough money to pay off the loan within a proper time frame and still make a profit. I can think of perhaps a half dozen or more of Chicago stations that are making good $'s today and the rest are floundering. 
The proposed new owners then decide what formats are still making money. Country, Urban, Spanish, Talk with the money demo's of 18/44 and 25/54. Your friendly Ford Store (and a host of other sponsors) are not interested in 50 plus even though that demo buys 48 percent of cars. The 60 plus demo is in most cases unsellable to radio sponsors even though those listeners (I prefer calling them customers) have the most disposable income of all who tune in to radio. 
Scott Shannon was a master of the "Oldies' format and his show skewed older and that's a tough sell and that's why it was dropped! My agency started selling the 55 plus demo back in 1996 and believe me radio stations can't make money with that demo. Truth be told many radio stations can't make money today regardless of what demo they are targeting. 
Last but certainly not least is to listen to the way radio station treat their sponsors. While listening to the BIG 89 a few weeks ago one of the commercial stop sets contained at least 7 and perhaps 8 or 9 30 second spots as I lost count! In that stop set were two car commercials back to back! Speaking as an ad agency, what the f*** can I possibly create that will make my clients commercial stand out in that hodge podge of spots. The listener is trained to tune out that segment of the program anyway because its merely commercial noise (Along with Looney traffic reports every 10 minutes that are read at 150 mph) waiting for the next song. By the way the station has also jacked up the rates so that 60 sec spots are so expensive on purpose. They can jam more 30 second spots in a stop set and they discourage 60's. After the commercial flight is over the client calls me and says radio doesn't work and he won't use it again. He's right and many agencies use other media that are just as or more effective then radio. 
Last week the Fort Myers Florida newspaper ran a story that the Lombardo family of Sanibel was upset that there was zero interest in their turning over all of the masters and arrangements of the famous Guy Lombardo band. Lombardo and his Royal Canadian's were one of the premium big bands of the 30's, 40's and 50's. The Lombardo's fail to realize that their Uncle's fan base is dead and the music is so dated that current generations don't care for it. That's the same fate that waits music of the 50's, 60's and 70's ... it's the fate of all once popular music.  Sorry!  
Some good points to be sure ... but that all still boils down to the people in charge not knowing how to USE radio to the best advantage.  (NOTHING will make a listener turn away faster than one of those six minute commercial blitzes you just talked about.  Radio was NEVER foolish enough to break the listeners' attention span for more than 30 seconds ... that's why so many of the jocks even did their own commercials!  Once you've switched over to something else, you might not come back!  Isn't that Radio 101???)
The argument has been made for years now that the audience is dying off that appreciate the music of the '50's, '60's and '70's and therefore this music is simply disappearing ... it's the "circle of life", radio-style.  These folks claim that THIS is the reason the music of the '20's, '30's and '40's became extinct ... simply a natural evolution. 
But I disagree.  
NO other music has ever captivated and endured the way rock and roll music has.  The other day we ran a list of at least fifty ads that are currently running using old rock songs in their campaign.  The music is prominently featured in movies and television, theme parks, advertising commercials, jukeboxes, reality show singing competitions and even six-year-old's birthday parties!  It's literally everywhere you turn.   
It's fun, feel-good music that sticks in your head ... and, as such, generations from now people will still be singing "Happy Together" and "Daydream Believer" and "Hound Dog".  (Do you REALLY think for a minute 30, 40 or 50 years from now folks will be walking around reciting some angry rap lyrics at breakneck speed?  It ain't gonna happen!!! They'll be far more likely to break into a chorus of "Do Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do"!!!) 
The music has proven itself to be timeless.  This wasn't the case with the sounds of the '20's, '30's and '40's ... it didn't endure ... it didn't "comeback" and start a nostalgic phase.  Heck, there must have been 20 Elvis Birthday Celebration Shows in Chicago alone this past week!!!  (Somebody made a comment yesterday that Rick Saucedo has now played Elvis longer than Elvis himself did!!!  And it very well may be true!!!)  And don't even get me started on all the 50th Anniversary Beatles Celebrations that are being put together over the next few weeks!!! 
There's never been anything else like it ... not for Bing ... not for Frank ... not for ANY of the big band leaders or killer vocalists that entertained our previous generations.
And this music continues to hold up against ANYTHING that has come out since.  No, not all of it ... without question, a good percentage feels "dated" and would sound grossly out of place on radio today ... but I'll betcha in a week's time I could come up with a "definitive play list" of about 6000 songs that STILL sound great on the radio, still spark a special memory and will still captivate an audience regardless of age group ... and not one of those songs would have to be newer than 1980.  Not to mention the fact that working from a list like that wouldn't require the non-stop repetitive repeats that are driving listeners away the way radio is today.  
Variety and personality have NOT gone out of style ... we're just stuck with a generation of "leaders" who don't understand it or know how to use it ... and that's a shame ... because THAT is what will spell the death of radio once and for all.  (kk)