WBCN's last days
Wed Aug 12 19:56:35 EDT 2009
> How about poor programming decisions as the culprit, instead of XM, HD, and
Could it be? Nah. Let's blame the pond not the fish.... If you include
value-added services to the listener in those programming decisions then
you are right. SiriusXM, HD, iPods, etc., are not the blame. The more
those pieces find their proper 'fit' into the culture the easier it is
to see what the terrestrials can do that none of the above can possibly do.
Being among the middle-agers among us I think it's easier to withhold
crusty references to "back when I was at Wxxx" because it may be seen as
a dated, out of touch reference with no application. So, here goes
anyway: When we do consider heritage stations from our youth I do not
think it is all about the music. There's the big lie. Charles and the
Big Mattress on WBCN, for instance, was a radio show with good music.
But that was not why most people listened. Really.
A non-radio buddy of mine and I just talked about this today. He said,
"Why should I listen to a radio station that doesn't listen to me?" He
went on to pop-off the dirty little truths that radio (all radio is
local) slowly reduced its value when it backed away from paying to
produce local news, local weather, local sports, local entertainment
news. Radio actually believed the big lie that if you offer less of an
investment you will get the same return. Radio also believed that "It's
all about the music." Well, that certainly became the result because
radio took away any other reason to listen to radio but for the music.
There was nothing left but the music. (No disrespect to my dear buddies
still wearing the cans. You know who you are and you know where I'm
So, along comes a more personalized and easy delivery system for music
lovers. Radio now had nothing else on the shelf for the customer and
became unnecessary. Not irrelevant, just unnecessary.
The good news? Toss in today's iPods, XM, or whatever else may "grab
TSLs" and you CAN still want and need a radio companion in the morning,
ride in the car, etc. But, there is an entire generation-and-a-half
who, through no fault or CHOICE of their own, now need to be exposed to
that thing that live and local radio can do. Radio killed the radio
listener and now owes the listener an apology.
The first thing a radio station needs to do on the first day it decides
to repent is to say, "I'm sorry. I was wrong. I was young and needed
the money. But now I'm back." (You may want to insert
After-School-Special-music under that voicer but that's just me.)
Killing-off WBCN unwittingly started a long time ago. The calls may
have stuck around for the ride but the station left the station long
before midnight last night.
More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest