Herald: Music fee hikes could scuttle WJIB

Aaron Read readaaron@friedbagels.com
Tue Jan 30 12:42:21 EST 2007

Ehhh.  Sorry, Larry.  I had a long and barely-civil argument with a 
friend about college radio recently.  I shouldn't have taken it out on 
the list.

However, you'll note that I didn't say "Arbitron".  I said 
"Arbitron/RRC"...for Radio Research Consortium; the Arbitrons of the 
non-commercial band (although that is, apparently, going away very soon 
as well since Arbitron wants to treat non-comms the same as commercial 
stations in ratings).   Generally speaking, those stations don't show up 
in the RRC ratings either.   With the exception of WERS, I suppose...but 
I don't know if their new format has been around long enough to be 
measured yet.

Anyways, I completely agree that there are fans of freeform out there, 
and I also agree that there should be at least a station or two 
available for those fans to listen to.  But the Greater Boston area has 
at least 17 stations (WYAJ, WZLY, WERS, WMBR, WZBC, WMFO, WRBB, WIQH, 
WBMT, WRPS, WBIM, WUML, WUMD, WMWM, WXPL, WDJM and WHHB) that are pretty 
much devoted to the freeform or quasi-freeform/block-form format. (One 
could argue WMLN, WGAO and WHRB are as well...but I personally don't 
think so).

While there certainly are some great shows on those stations, there's 
also an ocean of crap.  Granted commercial radio is like that, too...but 
with freeform I feel it's for a different reason: many of these stations 
exist to serve their DJ's first and listenerships second.  Because of 
its unique nature, freeform programming tends to encourage that mindset. 
  Ergo, it's even more work to fight against that trend and focus on the 
listeners' needs...work that VERY few people (I include myself among 
them) are willing to put in to make a great show.

So I guess I wasn't dopeslapping the freeform format so much as I was 
dissing the way it's frequently done here in Boston.  I don't think we 
need an 18th iteration of freeform on our airwaves and the ratings would 
seem to indicate that the listening public doesn't want it, either. 
Instead, the ratings seem to indicate they like what Bob is doing right now.

Heh.  Seeing Mike's post about WCUW, maybe Bob should buy out that 
station, too...simulcast it with WJIB, and get a better rate for his 
leased-time programming!  :-)


Aaron Read
Boston, MA 02446-2204


At 12:09 PM -0500 1/29/07, Aaron Read wrote:
 >If I wanted to listen to that kinda of free-form crap, I'd listen to
 >one of the existing stations.  And if anyone wanted to listen to
 >those stations, then they'd show up in the Arbitrons/RRC's.

Hey, Aaron, we all have different musical tastes.  Just because you
don't like what I like I won't label what you like as "crap".  Please
show others the same respect, OK.

Those stations don't show up in the Arbitrons because they don't rate
non-commercial stations.  And even if they have a relatively low
listenership, there's still an audience being served, even if you are
not a part of it.  With the large number of radio stations in this
area, there's no need for them all to be the same and only catering
to the most popular tastes, there's room for everyone.

OK, rant mode off.

That being said, today I got my ice storm damaged FM antenna
replaced.  The remains of the old Stereo Probe 9 are now awaiting my
next trip to the dump, but I will strongly recommend the Delphi FM
antenna the installer used.  The Delphi TV antenna and Channel Master
preamp they also installed means I'll finally have the ability to
receive digital TV as soon as I find a reasonably priced box.

Anyone have any user reports on the Sangean HD Radio tuner?

Larry Weil
Lake Wobegone, NH

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