Missing In Action

07 Jul

Memorial services generally make for boring radio.

Michael Jackson’s is more entertainment than memorial service.

The program handed to guests cleverly omitted the typical listing of speakers and guests.   The audience had to watch to see who would perform.

The drama made for great television.   But where was radio?

It was Jackson that almost single handedly revived Top 40 as it morphed to CHR.   Would stations like KIIS and WHTZ exist today had Michael  not come along at the right moment?

KRTH and KFI were among the stations with full coverage.  Los Angeles stations should be expected to broadcast what is so far the biggest event of the year in LA.  Sorry Lakers.

WCBS FM appeared to be in regular format.  So were WOGL,  and even WOMG Detroit home of Motown Records.

Television owned the event.

Brian Williams is anchoring for NBC in full wall to wall coverage that once would have been reserved for a space launch.

It’s hard to envision Walter Cronkite doing the same.  CBS Evening News didn’t even lead with Elvis the night he died.

Every cable channel broadcast their version of the service as did the lettered networks.

Radio, the medium that first pounded Jackson Five songs into our collective heads, and later provided a platform for Micheal’s reinvention was no where to be found.

Capitol Gold in London announced they’d play Jackson requests.  But there was no coverage of the Memorial Service.

4QK Brisbane rolled into their regular Breakfast Show.

KFI was the only News Talk station doing any sort of coverage.  But again anything at Staple Center is a local story.

Jackson whether you loved him for the music or despised him for the pedophile accusations was a giant.

Radio helped make that giant only to let Television, Twitter, You Tube and others own the story at the end.

It’s radio’s role to play the hits, whether music or cultural hits.

Michael Jackson was both.

Radio missed the party.

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Posted by on July 7, 2009 in Radio programming


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