Can’t We Fix This?

26 Aug

Working conditions were supposed to improve when Big Brother took over from Mom and Pop.

There are so many stories about bad, no horrible radio station facilities in the days before consolidation we could tell them all night.

Almost everybody has a few tales about a ‘dump’ or two.

Ask someone about the old WWL studios in the French Quarter. The ones where the all night guys set up their turntables on bricks each night to do their show.

They had to evacuate the building when the termites swarmed.

I kid you not.

Capstar bought some station, I don’t remember which one now, that was located in a junk yard.

The owner had to go to the trunk of a junked car to get his files.

Hey, if I’m lying, I’m dying.

We thought all that would end when the big guys got to town.

I’ve seen some junkers owned by publicly traded companies.

There’s a cluster in Georgia I’m sure they don’t want the Fire Marshall to see.

Another is housed in an old jail in Texas. It’s said to be haunted. I’d believe it.

I’m more likely to believe the ghosts are rats in the walls.

I did a consulting project in the early 90s for KMML Amarillo.

It was housed in a small shopping center. The building was dark, and dirty, and well plain awful.

Five years later I went back to that building when Capstar bought the station.

I swear the same dirty coffee cups were in the exact spot they were five years earlier.

We moved a lot of radio stations in the years during consolidation. KMML was one of them.

Ah, the things I’ve seen.

I looked through some of postings from Florida on Radio-Info this weekend. There are still a good number of radio stations off air because of Fay.

From the sound of it, several towns had little or no radio service after the storm.

Most clusters have one engineer if they are lucky. Sometimes only a contract engineer is available.

That one engineer is responsible for the studios and often multiple transmitter locations spread over many miles.

There’s nothing more useless than a radio station with a dead transmitter, especially in times of trouble.

Now that Mom and Pop don’t run the company, maybe it’s time for the kids who do to fork out a little money and make sure these stations are ready before the next storm hits.

Remember your station is worthless if they can’t hear it.

Don’t tell us you’ll be there in times of trouble and not show up.


Posted by on August 26, 2008 in Radio programming


Tags: , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Can’t We Fix This?

  1. Bob Gowa

    August 26, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Right…I’ve been on the air from studios located in a hole in the ground, converted from a bathroom (with the toilet still in place) and on a chicken ranch. Every one was a successful station in a top 10 market!

  2. alanfurst

    August 27, 2008 at 12:23 am

    A good staff never let a bad studio get in their way. I bet you can blind fold most of us who worked in the 60 s and 70s, take us to an old radio studio and we could tell by the smell where we were. I still hate shag carpet and still have dreams of being sucked into the audio processing at 14FEC Harrisburg, in the basement of the old Blackstone Building.

  3. Pocket-Radio

    September 10, 2008 at 2:21 am

    Think talent???? Think fresh????

    What are you smokin? My poor boy, broadcasters are looking for ways to cut talent from good old AM/FM radio. And they gave up on thinking fresh years ago. And now the stupid morons are applying old world rules to this new fangled thing called HD radio. There is no talent left and the stuffed suites are not grooming new talent. They think music alone will keep listeners. Here’s a news flash for any broadcasters left, if you want music today you go straight to the internet and your ipod. Radio is something you listen to when there’s nothing else. It’s bottom of the barrel media. Like TV has become.

    And I assure you, kids the next generation thinks radio sucks! Do you really think these old cows can program radio stations for the next generation? Maybe radio management is old and they should fire themselves. Like they’ve done to talent.


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