Static follows Entercom’s move SOAPBOX: ‘Charlie’ doesn’t speak to listeners like its predecessor did By TODD WERKHOVEN Issue date: Fri, May 27, 2005 The Tribune Dear Entercom Communications, Give us a reason to listen to your Portland radio stations. “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” Bruce Banner uttered that line in the television show “The Hulk.” It’s a geeky reference, but that’s what makes it so perfect. On April 22, “Max 910 Talk Radio for Guys” was taken off the air. Entercom, which owns the station, moved oldies station KKSN from 97.1 FM to 910 AM to make room for a new format called “Charlie FM.” Radio is hemorrhaging listeners who prefer their iPods, homemade CDs and satellite radio. Charlie FM is Entercom’s desperate move to cling to relevancy. It figures that by mimicking the iPod shuffle (Charlie will have a playlist of 1,500 songs instead of the regular 300), listeners will stay tuned. This new plan is both stupid and shortsighted. Why would listeners who are leaving for their own iPod playlists want to hear a faceless corporation’s idea of “the best mix of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s”? What’s worse, the Charlie format is automated, which means there are no on-air personalities. In other words, there is no reason to tune in at all. Local radio is a dying breed. Most radio programs are syndicated shows broadcast from another city. Local radio personalities are relegated to weather and traffic. Conglomerates (Entercom, Clear Channel, etc.) are killing unique, local programming. It’s cheaper to run a machine in Denver playing “Louie Louie” for the 5,000th time than to give listeners an actual reason to tune in. Local radio builds community. Portland has a vibrant artistic community, from bands to filmmakers and artists to writers. With fewer local commercial radio outlets, the listeners lose their ties to the medium. Even local businesses are upset about the format change. Mark Landers of Everybody’s Garden Center says, “Even though Howard Stern gains a much higher market share, we had twice the customers from the ads running on ‘The Rick Emerson Show’ on Max 910. We got a 4-to-1 return on our dollar.” The ability to do a “live read,” in which a DJ talks about a business instead of playing a prerecorded advertisement, is one of the most powerful advertising tools available. It is not feasible to have Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern do a live read for a local business. Getting a live read on a station that has no DJs is impossible. I understand the bottom line. Piped-in corporate radio costs less, and from a business standpoint, it’s a no-brainer. But again, this “no-brainer” is shortsighted. To put it simply: “Dear Entercom: If you don’t give us a reason to listen — unique, compelling content; content we cannot get anywhere else — we will go away. And we won’t come back. I can program my own iPod.” So what does this have to do with geek anger? When Entercom eliminated Max 910, it also eliminated local radio personality Rick Emerson. “The Rick Emerson Show” (which also included newsman Tim Riley) was a wholly unique blend of pop culture, honest political talk (emphasis on “talk,” not “parroting party lines”), Portland life and geeky conversations ranging from Xbox Live to “Star Wars.” After the station change, disenfranchised listeners quickly took matters into their own hands. A band of rebels organized a campaign against the Empire called “The Coffee Cup Crusade.” The idea was simple: Send a coffee cup with the message “I need my morning fix. Bring back ‘The Rick Emerson Show’ ” to the Entercom Portland headquarters. By April 29 — just three days after the campaign started — organizers reported that more than 1,000 cups had been sent. (Entercom’s Portland office reports receiving 40 to 100 coffee cups.) Listeners also contacted local sponsors, telling them that if they didn’t demand the show back, they would not patronize them. It’s a rather impressive showing for a small, local radio show; who knows if it will work. The point is we still have a voice. Our wallets still have the power. We want to reward businesses who believe in the importance of “local.” If Entercom wins, the answer to the question “What makes Portland radio unique and interesting?” will be “nothing.” Todd Werkhoven is a freelance writer who listened to MAX 910 until the format changed last month. He lives in Southwest Portland.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Eddie Albert, whose lighthearted portrayals made him a favorite in movies and television for more than 50 years, died of pneumonia Thursday at his home, in the presence of his longtime caregivers and son Albert, a family friend said Friday. He was 99.
Albert achieved his greatest fame on television's "Green Acres" as Oliver Douglas, a New York lawyer who settles in a rural town with his glamorous wife, played by Eva Gabor. He was nominated for Academy Awards as supporting actor in "Roman Holiday" (1953) and "The Heartbreak Kid" (1972).
The actor moved smoothly from the Broadway stage to movies to television. Besides his 1965-1971 run in "Green Acres," he costarred on TV with Robert Wagner in "Switch" from 1975 to 1978 and was a semi-regular on "Falcon Crest" in 1988.
He was a tireless conservationist, crusading for endangered species, healthful food, cleanup of Santa Monica Bay pollution and other causes.
"The Sunday Morning Hangover" features "Wish You'd Been Here," a BBC history of Pink Floyd, part 2, 8am, KWVA 88.1 FM. Also a tribute to Eddie Albert of Green Acres, stoopid songs hangover cures and the usual outside music.
And I will be: Cleaning out the gutters on my house Mowing the lawn trimming the hedge going to Salem OH and TODAY I AM ON THE RADIO! the Sonar Map program 11AM to 1 PM KWVA 88.1 also at 5 PM I am going to the LAUNCHPAD GIG: Saturday 5/28 @ CD World (11th & Seneca), 5pm. It'll be a big party! And you can go to bed on time!!
Had a great lunch with you at Evergreen Indian food in Corvallis today. If I didn't have friends like you to do lunch with every now and then I would just go crazy at work Thank you. And Stef say Hi to your Mom for me.
Frank Gorshin, the impressionist with 100 faces best known for his Emmy-nominated role as the Riddler on the "Batman" TV series, has died. He was 72. Despite dozens of TV and movie credits, Gorshin will be forever remembered for his role as the Riddler, Adam West's villainous foil in the question mark-pocked green suit and bowler hat on "Batman" from 1966 to 1969. He was on The Ed Sullivan Show on the memorable night the Beatles made their first US TV appearance in 1964. Asked about his appearance, he said: "I looked out the window of my dressing room and said, 'Look at all the kids that came to see me!'." Gorshin's final performance will be broadcast on this Thursday's CBS series "CSI: Crime Scene In
Now the guy I grew up with that hosted Popeye cartoons on Channel 8 WNHC in New Haven Connecticut was Admiral Jack-I also watched Ranger Andy out of WTIC Ch 3 in Hartford. What's great about this book is that you can reference by state and find your old TV heroes.
I found this cool book about 50's and 60's TV Kiddies show hosts called "Hi There Boys and Girls" by Tim Hollis. Highly recommended if you remember early TV and only got three channels-check it out if you like Krusty the Clown and check out the perverted clown on the cover.
GREAT PARTY! Marc with Hangover listener and local celebrity Dawn Baby at Rae's going away party Sat Nite--lifted from Amelia Mixtapemafiette's blog..great food, drink , music and company, and the record player fixed itself!