Saying Goodbye - Was: Nightcap

Pamela Riesmeyer
Sun Jan 4 07:43:51 EST 2009

At 10:57 PM 1/3/2009, Kevin Vahey wrote:
>Pamela are still working in Chicago today?

No, Kevin. I was pretty much done with the industry as I knew it 
after that whole Westinghouse-Infinity-CBS mess of the late 1990's. 
We went off the air at WMAQ in 2000 and I've been working in Web 
development and dabbling in Internet radio ever since. I still live 
just outside Chicago and I still talk to some of the people I worked 
with, but no interest in going back on the air.  I do think, as many 
of you have said, that broadcasting and newspapers haven't made the 
kind of use of the Web that they could have and should have. I'm not 
sure what the future holds but I do think the existing business model 
is broken.

>WMAQ was just caught in a perfect storm. Even though the 
>Westinghouse news format was enjoyed by many the suits wanted to move WSCR to a
>better signal. The irony is that as well as CBS/Infinity has done 
>with sports at WFAN and WIP the format has never caught in Chicago. 
>Of course Mike North didn't help things. ( he now on Comcast Sports 
>Net Chicago morning )

Long story behind this.  Short version is this - Westinghouse had 
projected that it would take 5 years for WMAQ to top WBBM.  WBBM's 
competitive strategy was to blur the lines, since they had the 
longevity in the market, and just adopt everything we did to make it 
seem as if it was their idea.  It worked really well for them.  That 
may be why the talk about moving WMAQ to all sports talk started just 
two years into the 5 year plan.   Our GM at the time was Rick Starr, 
btw, and he resisted the efforts.  It didn't make him very popular in 
Pittsburgh but we hung on for a long time - 10 years after that.  The 
CBS/Infinity purchase was the clue that we were in big 
trouble.  There were other signs, too. I can't wait for someone to 
write that book!


Pamela Riesmeyer
Wings of Mercury Web Designs
(219) 322 2396 

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