Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Staticmentary 01: Radio for Millennials

Welcome to the first of what we call Staticmentaries from Clearing The
Static.  Staticmentaries are long form documentary type presentations,
which, along with the CTS Extras, are mostly exclusive to the website. 
These staticmentaries will probably be either radio station profiles,
or investigations and analysis of a topic produced in a long form
documentary format.

Our first Staticmentary will be the latter type of presentation, as we
take a look at 3 radio stations that are targeting millennials, and the
different ways these stations are innovating in order to reach a
generation consumed by phone apps, and services like Spotify.  It's
something we've talked about on the program often, but now you'll get
to hear stations doing the type of innovation we've been talking about.

We'll take  a listen to "103.3 The App", an Alternative station from
San Antonio, TX.  Why are they called "The App?" What is their
philosophy about apps versus radio?  The answer may surprise you!

We'll listen to WROM "103.1 Radio M" from Rome, GA.  What type of
different music are they playing to appeal to high school and college
aged students?

Most tellingly, we'll listen to KSXY "Y100.9," an unusually
unconventional CHR from Santa Rosa, CA, which is mixing Country and
Alternative music into their CHR playlist.  We'll also chat via email
with KSXY PD Dray Lopez, and get his thoughts on what his station is
doing, and how CHR radio can innovate to reach Millennials.  Should
every CHR start doing this?  You'll find out what Lopez thinks of that
idea on this, our first Staticmentary from CTS -- Staticmentary 1 --
Radio For Millennials.

Special thanks to KSXY PD Dray Lopez for talking to us for this
Staticmentary.  In a note of disclosure, both "103.3 The App" and WROM
were contacted for this story, but did not return our requests for an interview.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

CTS Extra 15: Freddy Vette (Companion to Clearing the Static 06-28-15)

Seeing as we spent the last hour talking with Freddy Vette, we thought we'd offer up a few brief airchecks of his show.


Clearing the Static 06-28-15

This week, we spend an hour with Freddy Vette, the well-known Oldies DJ and afternoon personality on CJBQ (AM 800) in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. Freddy is famous for his eclectic mix of Rock N Roll Oldies, as well as other "theater of the mind" elements that really make his show stand out. We talk with him about his show, about the direction AM radio is headed, radio in general in Canada, and so much more. We had a blast recording this special, and we hope you will have as much fun listening to it. We are taking the audio from Freddy's recording made at the CJBQ studios, as we felt the overall quality of this recording was better than the one we made here at GCR. Enjoy!


CTS Extra 14: Last Call for On Tap

So you've had a hard day at work, and you want to go to the bar with
the guys, and relax.  What's more, you'd like to go to that very same
bar to hear all the great Classic Rock bands you grew up with play live
for you, and talk with you.  Too bad you can't do that, right? Well,
no.  Actually, through the power of radio, VH1, and a Classic Rock show
named On Tap, you can!  The show originates from VH1's Rock lounge
above Times Square, and is hosted by Nick Carter. Through these live
broadcasts, some creativity, live bar-room ambience, and great
interviews, your radio dial magically becomes that bar in New York City
5 days a week, and all you need to do to show up is to tune your radio
to the station in your market that carries the syndicated show. (There
are 33 affiliates across the country.) Unfortunately, I do have sad
news about this bar, however.  VH1 has decided to cancel On Tap, as VH1
is moving out of radio, and in a different direction  As a result of
this fact, host Nick Carter and all his crew have issued one last call,
and are looking back on all the interviews they've done since the show
went on the air in August of 2012. We here at Clearing The Static have
decided to go to the rock lounge via radio one last time, and we're
taking you with us, and there's no cover charge!  We will make our
visit to the Rock Lounge by bar hopping to 2 of On Tap's affiliates. 
First, you will hear the show via WLLW "99.3 The Wall," serving Geneva,
NY, and the Finger Lakes region.  Then, we will stagger up the virtual
dial to hear the show as heard on WAQI (102.1 "Rock 102") Springfield,
MA. As you listen, if your ears and mind aren't too intoxicated by the
magic of hearing this place come alive via radio, you may want to pay
attention to how the 2 stations handle the adds and breaks within the
show. Okay. Buckle up, and make sure you have a designated listener
because we are about to have one last drink On Tap at the Rock Lounge
with Nick Carter. This week on CTS Extra, we drink, as VH1 says
"Last Call," and cuts off On Tap.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Clearing the Static 06-21-15

We open with Radio News Now. Then, we comment on some recent CTS Extras we have posted here on this website. Some listener feedback follows. After that, Rush Limbaugh has a new radio home in Boston. Will the new Talk 1430 have any impact in the market? Apple launching a new personality driven "radio" service for IOS platforms, how does The Radio Kid feel about this? Finally, ASCAP files a petition for reconsideration against Pandora's purchase of a South Dakota radio station. Will it do any good? We talk about it all on this edition of CTS from GCR.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

CTS Extra 13: WABL 1570 AM

On the edge of the Baton Rouge, Louisiana market, you'll find the town of
Amite, and radio station WABL (1570 AM).  WABL, which has an associated
translator on 97.3 FM, plays a soft Oldies/Classic Hits format. The
station was recently sold from Spotlight Communications to Randy
Allen's Second Line Media. While the music is great, there are some
very interesting flaws that exist with this station, and so we thought
we'd aircheck it for you. This time on CTS Extra, it's our review of
WABL 1570.


Monday, June 15, 2015

CTS Extra 12: Mix 106.1 Vs. Rewind 105.7

One of the questions programmers are now grappling with is how to make
the demo for Classic Hits younger. As the demos who like 60's and 70's
music grow older, programmers are struggling with how to add 90's
titles to the mix of 80's music played on some stations. In most
markets, if you are lucky, you will find a station experimenting with
90's music in their playlist of Classic Pop hits. But, in Albany, NY,
an unusual situation is occurring, as there are now 2 stations in that
market featuring an 80's and 90's format. WAIX (1160, and it's
translator, branded as "Mix 106.1"), and Townsquare's WQSH ("Rewind
105.7"). On this Kid's Corner edition of CTS Extra, we're going to
put these 2 stations to the aircheck battle, and let you decide who's
the winner. Ladies and gentlemen! Take your seats!  This time, on CTS
Extra, it's Mix 106.1 Vs. Rewind 105.7 in the big 80's and 90's battle
in Albany!


Clearing the Static 06-14-15

We open with Radio News Now. Then, we have some news concerning the impending sale of the stations of the Finger Lakes Radio Group. Later, Pride FM in the twin cities, could this be rolled out in other markets? And, changes on the TV dial in Southeastern Ontario. It's all coming up on this edition of CTS from GCR.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

CTS Extra 10: Checking in With Mom

It seems that Mom does everything these days. Getting the kids up and
ready for school, fixing lunches and dinners, driving to sports events
and concerts, being a comfort when the kids need her, and now, we can
add radio to that list. At least, if you live in Lebanon, Indiana, and
surrounding Boone County, which is part of the Indianapolis market. 
The mom we're talking about is Radio Mom (WIRE 91.1), which has been
running a hyper-local female leaning CHR/Hot AC hybrid for years.  How
hyper-local, you ask?  Well, right away, from the start of the
aircheck, you'll notice a newscast. Well rounded, but centered on
Boone County.  And this is just the beginning of the surprises you will
find in this aircheck!  And the biggest surprise of all? This is a
very commercial sounding non-commercial station!  So, if you like
female oriented formatics mixed with hyper-local content, as I do, you'll
love to listen to your mom. Radio mom, that is!  This time on CTS
Extra, we're checking in with Mom!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

CTS Extra 11: WNMB 900 AM

For me, personally, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was always a place for relaxing,
eating hot dogs, getting a sun tan, and enjoying the sounds of the
beach. One of my most memorable sounds of Myrtle Beach was radio
station WNMB (900 AM).  The radio station had a 50's and 60's music
format. But things have changed at WNMB. Former owner Bill Norman
died of controversial circumstances in 2012, and, since then, Norman's
wife, Linda Susan Norman, along with partner Matt Smith have made significant
changes to the station,  increasing the amount of 70's and 80's music
to the station's library.  The final change was a sale of the station in
May of 2015 to Beaty Broadcasting.  Beaty has yet to take over the
station, and so the Classic Hits music, and the great jingles are still
on the air. So, we thought we'd aircheck this station in this form
while we could. I forgot to say this in the Kid's Corner audio
presentation, but the website to stream the station is http://wnmb.net
So, get ready to head to the beach this week, and don't forget to keep
the sand out of your eyes as we listen to this aircheck of WNMB 900 AM
on this eddition of CTS Extra.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Clearing the Static 06-07-15

On this edition, we open with Radio News Now. Then, a legal battle over the Lake AC format and identity in the Milwaukee market. Finally, Rush Limbaugh, what's up with his clearance in Indianapolis, and where will he end up on the Boston radio dial? Could the writing be on the wall for the "Excellence in Broadcasting" network? All this coming up for you on this edition of CTS from GCR.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

CTS Extra 09: Y Max?

One of the more unique (and lesser known) formats out there is the Rock
Hits (or Mainstream Rock, or Rock 40) format. While the format isn't
heard in many places throughout the country, you can find it in great
abundance in the state of Pennsylvania, with 2 stations in the state
running the format. It is these 2 stations we are reviewing today for
our Kid's Corner CTS Extra. First, we will listen to the launch of, and
then an aircheck of WMQX (102.3) "Max 102" in Scranton, PA. This
station flipped from sports "The Sports Hub" in April with a very
unusual stunt, normal Pennsylvanians counting upward, which you will
hear in the first few minutes of the launch aircheck.. We will then
head a bit further south and east to Reading Pennsylvania to hear a
longstanding station in the format, WRFY (102.5) "Y102", which has
been in the format since the 1980s. As you listen, please take great
note of the similarities, but slight subtle differences between the
stations. On this CTS Extra, get ready to rock with the hits as we
ask, Y Max?


CTS Extra 08: Backlogged Radio News Now

This time, it's a look back at the station format flips and sales from the last two weeks in May 2015.