Spectrum Analysis

My tech support gig has me travelling around Dallas a lot — a lot — and in between stops, I’m listening to my iPod, or local radio, however briefly. Today, while listening to JACK-FM, I heard an ad from the National Association of Broadcasters promoting… radio.

Bear in mind, I’ve worked in radio a couple of times. Up until the iPod provided a real alternative to the variety a radio station could provide, there was an arrogance in the way radio stations positioned themselves. Now, they’re truly scared about losing sizeable chunks of their audience, becoming irrelevant.

Save the comments about how Dallas radio sucks — it’s this bad all over the country. With exceptions such as KCRW, the Los Angeles NPR affiliate, radio in America has done nothing but suffered through homogenization. When the FCC allowed corporations like Clear Channel to purchase as many stations in a given market as they could afford, it opened the door for a select few analysts and programmers to make all of the decisions on what you got to listen to.

[Good Old Days Syndrome = on] Growing up in Dallas, I had KZEW and Q102 introducing me to new music. Redbeard, Jill Savage, Mike Rhyner, George Gimarc, Charlie Jones… they weren’t just “annoying DJs” filling the space between songs with mindless pratter. They were people who were passionate about music, and loved what they did. They gave me a foundation of wide-ranging styles of rock. They were that cool friend who came over and said, “Here, give this a shot.” [GODS = off]

With very few exceptions, that simply doesn’t exist anymore. And radio listeners are the ones who suffer for it… until they all move over to Sirius, XM, or their iPods.

3 Comments so far

  1. Adam Keys (unregistered) on January 31st, 2006 @ 8:52 am

    The way you speak of the Good Old Days reminds me of the way I feel about 95.3 KHYI. Here’s a bunch of guys and gals playing the country music *they* like, not what Nashville is telling them to. I’ve found a ton of great music through the station; they are the cool friend you mentioned. The DJs are pretty unique too; its not the mindless banter I’ve become so accustomed too. They seem to really connect with the listeners. I know I’ve called in several times to “contribute” and that has made me even more vested in loving The Range.

    When I think of what radio must have been like “in its heyday”, I think of the Range. Its really a lone jewel on the Dallas dial.

  2. Scott Johnson (unregistered) on January 31st, 2006 @ 6:38 pm

    I’m not the biggest fan of country music, but it sounds like that KHYI is one of the last few decent stations in town to listen to. Between Sirius and the MP3-playing CD changer in my new VW, lately there’s really no need for me to ever press the FM button. Perhaps I’ll try it out someday when I tire of the zillion Sirius channels.

  3. Komal (unregistered) on February 10th, 2006 @ 11:57 am

    you have a techy job and an ipod?
    you need to hang out with me. don’t you miss me?

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