[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: no respect for history

On Thu, 10 Jul 1997, Dan Strassberg wrote:

> If _you_ were trying to attract younger demos and shed the image of a
> station listened to only by people over 54, would _you_ remind the listeners
> that your station's roots go back 75 years? It doesn't surprise me at all
> that WRKO's GM would not be interested. What _does_ surprise me, though not
> enormously, is that the population at large has such total lack of interest
> in history (not to mention total lack of respect for it). As they say, those
> who ignore it are doomed to repeat it. Can you say 1929? Can you say Adolph
> Hitler? (BTW, that's the same Hitler that Ollie North insists on calling "Mr
> Hitler.")

Dont you think that making such sweeping statements about the attitudes
of the society as a whole based on a single example and your own personal
thoughts is somewhat unjustified? Why dont you present some solid evidence
to show that Americans are not interested in history?

With 35 million subscribers after just two years, the  History Channel  -
a basic channel that reaches 52 percent of all cable homes - has had one
of the most impressive launches(jan 1,1995) of any cable channel in years.

Based on an annual survey supplied by the cable industry, cable operators
are more likely to add the  History Channel  than any other service, including
the Sci-Fi Channel, Turner Classic Movies and even ESPN2.

The same survey also repored that an increased interest in history is fueled
partially by more people wanting to look back as the end of the century
approaches. Other factors included the new-found respect for
documentaries, the popularity  of films by Ken Burns, and the presence of
the 13-year-old Arts & Entertainment Network, which broke in many viewers
by offering a combination of documentaries and sophisticated dramas with
historical themes.
Here are some recent subjects I've seen on the History Channel : the
Hindenburg disaster, Vietnam and the origins of the Civil War. Also, the
channel has re-examined the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, showed an
amazing series on the great Yukon Gold Rush, and rebroadcast
made-for-network miniseries such as the 29-hour "War and Remembrance".

I am not even going into the fact about a record number of
viewers tuning in to watch "Schindler's List" on NBC-TV this past

What's more dangerous is that people like to jump to assumptions and
conclusions based on very little or no info. Being a GM of 2 major market
stations(WRKO and WEEI) is not as easy as people think -- board meetings,
staff meetings, sales meetings, teleconferences, business trips,
etc....Why not cut the guy some slack and maybe he'll call back with
a response?

- -Mark