Thursday, March 12, 2009

What ever happened to Saturdays on the radio?

Even as radio stations continue to eliminate the high priced talent and scale back local programming like there is no tomorrow (and in some cases there may not be), I was reminded of times years ago when the leading personalities worked a 6 day week on the air with no questions asked. But you wouldn't know that today, even with all of the cutbacks.

What reminded me is some feedback we received from one of our airchecks which has been a good seller. Houston area residents over the age of 35 most certainly remember the morning team of Hudson & Harrigan and their (then) unique blend of humor and how well they blended together on the air.

A compilaton of 2 of the airchecks from the 1970's has been very well received. What makes this more interesting is that one of the segments was from a Saturday morning. Yet, the Hudson & Harrigan are on doing some "bits" and entertaining like any other morning. The only difference is more music and less news and traffic. Most personalities, including morning drive, worked a 6 day week back then.

Now, the morning personalities are the highest paid on most stations and have gone on over the years to be on air the least. Sure, I can understand how bringing in the audience and consequently the ad revenue deserves some reward. But those were different econonmic times.

Yet, these days, stations are paying weekend "fill-in" talent to do the same shifts the high powered drive-time talent used to as part of their deal. Radio executives now use the argument that "the Saturday morning audience isn't as large as the weekday audience". While they have a point, there is also a listener "argument".

"The talent level isn't there on the weekends like it is during the week." If these stations are going to throw us a bone on the weekends, then us listeners have fewer reasons to get excited about our favorite stations. In a time when there are generally fewer reasons for us to get excited about our favorite stations as it is.

At this rate, the great rememberances of Hudson & Harrigan are as much to enjoy what Saturday radio USED TO BE as they are to recall what a great morning team they were.

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