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Re: WQSO Goes Jockless All Christmas Music

Brian V. asked:
>OK, I'll bite.  What the hell is a "Chinese Auction"?<


   the Chinese Auction, as it was called in the days of yore, was a way for 
small market stations to put the coin of the realm in their hands instantly.  
once a month, in the case of WIDE/WBYC, they'd spend the day auctioning off 
gift certificates and/or merchandise from local retailers.  the retailer would 
provide X number of dollars worth of g.c.'s/merch. in exchange for a like 
dollar amount of advertising.  whatever the station could sell the item for was 
what the station got.  if Dave Beattie's Dunkin Donuts provided $500 worth of 
donuts in one-dozen increments, the station would auction off the dozens of 
donuts, either one at a time, or five at a time.  if a dozen cost $2.00 (this 
was the early 80's), and the auction price was a buck, then the station got a 
buck while Dave Beattie got $2 worth of advertising (based on the station's 
prevailing rate card).  the purchasers would come into the station and pay for 
their items in cash.  this station in particular actually did get a brand new 
vehicle for the auction.  we were STILL running the dealer's spots when i left 
in 1989.
   the thought behind this cash-producing venture for small market stations is 
simple:  one can NOT put an unsold minute on the shelf to use at a later time.  
when the minute is gone, it's gone.  the owners would rather get a dollar for a 
commercial availability than get nothing.  in simplistic terms, there's not 
much of an argument against.  in the big scheme of capitalism, there's plenty 
to debate.

- -Chuck Igo