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Re: no respect for history

Mark Shneyder wrote:

> 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
> February.
> 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, I think what he and many of us feel is that the broadcast industry
displays a total lack of interest in the history of the industry.  Radio
executives now more than ever before appear to not care one bit what
goes on the air as long as they collect that advertising dollar.  If
some program director has an idea he thinks would work, the higher ups
more often than not will take the safe road and squash the idea.  It's
frustrating. When I hear of a music weekend promoted as "The Big 68 -
WRKO", I think of the old Drake format that was so familiar to us from
great stations like 93 KHJ in Los Angeles, 800 CKLW Windsor/Detroit, 610
KFRC San Francisco, and others; the stations and formats that literally
MADE contemporary radio what it is.  To put only a half baked effort
into something as WRKO did over the 4th weekend is a tragedy.

You can't honestly tell me that the WRKO programmers really wanted to do
anything other than just give the talk hosts a day off.  What a cheap
promotion.  I can't believe that ARS executives don't even know or care
about the rich top 40 history of WRKO.  Memories are so short.
Remember, it was only around 1981 when 'RKO gave up on top 40.

As for the comment about Adolf Hitler, while it may or may not have fit
the WRKO discussion, BRAVO.  While the history channel may have a large
audience, it still is only a small slice of society, and I think the
vast majority of citizens either don't care about history or have a
distorted view of it. (This discussion group definitely is an

That's my $.02 from the soap box.

Steve Sawyer
WINQ 97.7 Winchendon/Gardner


End of boston-radio-interest-digest V1 #89