Wednesday, March 21, 2018

More Of Your Radio Comments

LOTS of good radio discussion going on here this past week …

So let's keep things rolling!

The Great Ones:
Kent -
Thanks for posting the email from Johnny Holliday.  I had the pleasure of meeting him for the first time about ten years ago at a WHK reunion event here in Cleveland, and he treated me like we had known each other all our lives.  Talk about a great DJ and a great guy … he is right up there with the best!
Clay Pasternack
That he is … and just as natural to talk to as can be!  He truly appreciates the great career he has enjoyed in the business he loves … and it still shows, even after all these years.  The fact that he has build an extraordinary broadcasting career in sports and is still remembered so fondly for his Top 40 rock and roll days says a lot about this guy.  (kk)

Growing up as a radio loving teenager in Western Canada (Edmonton, Alberta), I was fortunate enough to be able to pick up 'the wild Itralian' DIck Biondi on WLS as well as Wolfman Jack on XERB from Mexico at nighttime (it could have been XERF, but for some reason I always have thought that it was XERB).  This would have been early 1960's.  Gotta love those AM signal skips through the ionosphere.  Both Chicago and Mexico are a very long way from Edmonton.  I loved listening to both jocks (especially during the winter months when it got dark around 4 'clock).  WLS was a little static-y sometimes, but Wolfman came in crystal clear most nights. 
While we did have great radio DJ's in Edmonton as well, there just something magically about listening to radio from foreign countries, especially two legends like Biondi and Wolfman.
Once I got into radio and was hired as a board operator at CHUM in Toronto in February of 1965, I discovered WABC at night and was glued to the radio on my nights off.  While I enjoyed listening to Cousin Brucie, WABC's star jock (as far as I was concerned) was Dan Ingram.  Dan was a jock's jock, witty, hip and quick.  I still enjoy listening to airchecks of Dan today.  I equate Dan Ingram's talent with the Real Don Steele's and I was fortunate enough to hear both legends. 
In 1970, I was hired by radio consultant Ted Randal, who was based in Los Angeles, sorry, I meant Boss Angeles, and got to listen to KHJ's the Real Don Steele LIVE every afternoon in the office.  In fact, I wouldn't go home until his show was over most nights.
Ted's office was located on Argyle Boulevard in Hollywood (from where The Hollywood Argyles of "Alley Oop" fame took their name).  Two blocks up from Ted's office was a restaurant / bar called Martoni's on Cahuenga Blvd.  Spent more than a few nights there having dinner and often saw KHJ's legendary program consultant Bill Drake.  Never saw Don Steele at Martoni's though.  I did see him a few times Nickodell restaurant at 5511 Melrose Avenue, by the famous Paramount Studios main gate and the KHJ building. 
Just down the block from Martoni's was a bar on Sunset called the Jolly Roger.  It was on the ground floor in what is now the CNN building.  Can't remember what it was back in 1970.  Anyway, one or two of us from the office would occasionally pop in there after work when we didn't go to Martoni's.  Harry Nilsson was a regular at the Jolly Roger bar.  Saw him there many, many times.  Only had conversations with him once or twice.
Amazing times in LA.
Doug Thompson

The comments concerning oldie dee jays like Cousin Brucie and my fellow “Was-Been” radio stars are to be expected and I couldn’t agree more! By the way, a “Was-Been” was somebody who was once a star and is no more! There was a time when we were the delightful and daring radio companions while you  struggled with Algebra homework … now, 50 years later, we are as outdated as saddle shoes!
Sure, I still get a kick out of the Beach Boys driving their 409 whether it's on air or in print and the “Do Lang Do Lang” in “He’s So Fine” still gets my attention!  However hearing an 80 or 85 year man doing his “shtick” can be more than a little sad.
But don’t entirely blame the  old “Gaffer” who’s vocal cords now resemble shoe leather … the media is also to blame. According to Radio Ink, an estimated 2000 stations are in bankruptcy and they are desperate. By paying some old DJ who today thinks denial is a river in Egypt a couple of bucks to fill airtime in the name of entertainment is criminal. Is he as good as he once was? Ask his wife!
87 year old “Was-Been Clark Weber”
There's been a formula for years now of bringing back the original jocks who played all this great music in the first place and filling an oldies radio station with this personnel … some are even brave enough to allow them to incorporate some of their old Top 40 tricks to not only help retain some of the older, original fans as well as draw in some new ones by showing how radio USED to be. Some of these experiments have worked better than others ... but there is a certain "comfort zone" with this type of programming.
(My Grandparents were into old those old radio serials from before television came along to dominate the entertainment industry.  They swore that there was NOTHING like using your own imagination to help move the story along ... so when some of these programs became available on cassette tape, they scooped them up!)  
But those of us who grew up listening to the fast patter of Top 40 Radio know that many of these jocks were every bit as important as the music they were playing … and we miss it.
Would it play well today?  Probably not.  There is no "dedicated" radio listener anymore … there are too many distractions and too much multi-tasking going on.  Radio has become white noise in the background … if it's on at all.
That's why it's SO refreshing to see a radio station come along like Me-TV-FM reverting back to the variety of all that radio can offer and play some of the long-lost gems on a regular basis.  (Like I've said all along, it's Forgotten Hits Radio to the nth degree!)  kk

Speaking of which …

It's All About ME:
Hi Kent:
Thanks so much for the numerous mentions and kind words about the station in today’s blog.  Things broke our way in February, and we’ll take it! 
To be honest, we don’t know just how many listeners we picked up with the demise of WJMK.  We shared some of our audience with them but not nearly as much as WLS-FM.  They also skewed younger.  But losing K-Hits from the range of available choices did not hurt us in any way.  We might also gain a few former WLUP listeners, although that station was even younger than K-Hits.  In the end, The Drive might be the most fortunate station of all, gobbling up the lion’s share of Loop listeners.
You asked how a station like ours could reach #2 during the day without streaming?  Two things.  First of all, stream listeners do not count toward a station’s terrestrial listening audience.  It’s a separate measurement.  In other words, you could be the top streaming station in the city, but you still can’t add those listeners to your terrestrial count.  The ratings in Robert Feder’s column are strictly over-the-air listeners.  Second, although there are fewer radios at workplaces, in-car listening is still huge for terrestrial radio in general.  In our case, MeTVFM is a very popular choice in cabs and ride-sharing vehicles (probably one of the top five stations in those cars), and that definitely counts in the ratings.  Every week we hear from listeners who’ve ridden in Ubers and Lyfts and taxicabs that had MeTVFM on when they got in — or they glanced up at the dashboard and saw 87.7 as one of the presets.
Ratings can change quickly, as you know.  We’re just going to savor the moment and try and thank all the people who helped get the station to where it is today.  It’s all about the listeners.
Rick O'Dell

What a great jump for WRME! Commentary and Nielsen Ratings below.

Chicago sticks with iHeart’s urban AC “V103” WVAZ for much of the day – the only daypart it doesn’t win is mornings (third), and it’s #1 total - week (4.7 - 6.8 - 6.6). Entercom is second with news WBBM / WCFS (4.5 - 4.7 - 5.3). That’s also ’BBM’s rank in both drive-times and at night. Third is Hubbard’s hot AC “Mix” WTMX (4.3 - 5.4 - 4.9). It wobbles through the day from #1 (“Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip”) to a tenth-place tie middays and third in afternoons. Cooling as expected is Entercom’s still-newish classic hip-hop / throwbacks “104.3 Jams” WBMX, the former classic hits WJMK (5.4 - 4.8 - 4.0, on strong time-spent listening). It’s second on weekends and third at night. (Julian Jumpin Perez just took over nights last week.) Fifth is Univision’s regional Mexican WOJO (3.3 - 3.5 - 3.7). It’s another wobbler – fourth mornings, but twenty-first at night and fifteenth on weekends. The age 6+ star of the book is Weigel-run easy oldies WRME (1.8 - 2.4 - 3.6). It’s on a low power TV channel 6 leased from Venture Technologies, and Chris Huff says the 3.6 is “its largest share ever.” WRME’s got some special P1 fans in middays, where it’s second, and nights. But it’s not just a time-spent story, since the cume’s up. WLS-FM programmer Brian Thomas hears good news while he packs for Atlanta. His Cumulus classic hits station is up to seventh (3.0 - 3.1 - 3.4), and third middays. Brian’s next challenge is leading country “Kicks 101.5” WKHX for Cumulus, replacing Scott Lindy. (Succeeding Brian at WLS-FM is former “Loop” PD Wade Linder.)    
Last call for the Loop in Chicago – Cumulus-run / Merlin-owned classic rock WLUP finishes gamely (2.7 - 2.9 - 3.2, its best topline since Jul 2013). It’s being sold to EMF, which began programming not-for-profit K-Love there on March 11. In AC, iHeart’s WLIT does the usual post-Christmas-music swan-dive (12.4 - 3.4 - 3.3), tied with Hubbard’s improving AC WSHE (2.4 - 2.6 - 3.3). In talk, there’s Tribune’s WGN (2.8 - 3.3 - 3.1) and Cumulus’ WLS (1.5 - 1.7 - 2.0). The midday Rush Limbaugh daypart on WLS is tied for eighth. Fifteenth for the week – and hinting at its potential – is iHeart CHR “Kiss” WKSC (3.2 - 3.4 - 3.0). It’s Chicago’s cume leader at just over 1.7 million. Final Chicago note – Radio Insight tweets that the WLUP calls just bounced to Randy Michaels-owned “97.9 the Moose” WZXP Au Sable, New York. They’d briefly belonged on 88.3 / Starke, Florida, which is the new WLSF. 
--Tom Taylor
First, I'd like to tell you that your blog is one of the first things I read when I start work in the morning.  Great blog.  
Your short blurb on METV-FM was on the mark about streaming their broadcast.  Even though I have Sirius, I sometimes listen to the local stations.  Most are awful.  Unfortunately my car radio is in a 2017 Ford Escape and the lowest my FM channel will go is 87.9.   My hope is that METV-FM decides to stream on TuneIn or Audials.  I can't even get NextFM to tune to 87.7.   I have heard a lot about METV-FM from your blog and would love to listen to it.  
Gil McAuliff
It's a great station - but unfortunately they have no plans for streaming at this time (or in the foreseeable future.)  The streaming feature that the do offer thru their website does not accurately represent the brilliant programming actually going on at the station … you have to appreciate it live to really take it in.
(I've been told some of these newer cars have software upgrades available that will bring your radio dial down to the desired 87.7 … I have the same problem in my new car … and REALLY need to get it back to the dealer to see what, if anything they can do.)  kk

This And That:
As announced here several months ago, Ringo Starr was knighted yesterday, 53 years after first being awarded his Member of the British Empire medal.  (Sir Richard Starkey joins Sir Paul McCartney with this new honor.  Also recently recognized was Sir Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees!)
Ringo will be 78 years old in July … and he looks GREAT!!! 
He seems to be truly honored for being recognized for his lifetime of work.  (kk)

Hi Kent -
I did not know Ronnie Hawkins and Dale Hawkins were first cousins!
I also did not  realize that Ronnie had an 'ear' for putting great musicians together.
But I did know that  "Mary Lou" was a great  song to  jitterbug to!!!
When in doubt ask the Master for the facts ...

Check it out!
The City Winery is presenting Al Stewart for TWO nights (June 4th and 5th) and each night he and his band will perform a different album in its entirety!  (Meaning fans can attend BOTH concerts and not even see the same show!)

More details below (along with ticket information) 

Al Stewart2 Albums over 2 Nights! 
Monday - Tuesday, June 4 - 5
$42 / $45 / $48 / $52 
Al Stewart came to stardom as part of the legendary British folk revival in the sixties and seventies and developed the combination of folk-rock songs with delicately woven tales of the great characters and events from history. Stewart has 19 studio albums between Bedsitter Images in 1967 and Sparks of Ancient Light in 2008, plus the live album Uncorked with Dave Nachmanoff in 2009. Stewart continues to tour extensively around the U.S. and Europe. He is best known for his hit “Year of the Cat” from the Platinum album of the same name and the Platinum follow up album Time Passages. Stewart’s career spans four decades as a key figure in British music. He played at the first ever Glastonbury Festival in 1970, worked with Yoko Ono pre-Lennon, and shared a London apartment with a young Paul Simon. 
At City Winery Chicago on Monday, June 4, Stewart performs his album Year of the Cat in its entirety with full band and on Tuesday, June 5, Stewart returns to the stage with full band to perform his album Past, Present & Future.