Wednesday, April 22, 2009

U2 or not U2 for radio? That is the question....

A program director was quoted on one of the radio boards earlier this week complaining about how his station supposedly spent thousands of dollars to promote the new CD by U2 only to have (group leader) Bono make public statements about he (Bono) feels that radio stations should pay royalties to the performers of the music they play.

My first reaction was to wonder who "forced" this P.D. to air the special about the CD and upcoming tour and play their new tracks.

My next reaction was to write this note to the administrator of that internet board:

"Dear Anonymous Program Director:
No one required you to air anything relative to U2's new CD. You could have done nothing but recycle the same U2 songs from the 80's, like many of your colleagues do, and treat them like an oldies act. Since you ran all of this U2 related programming you wrote about, I'm going to guess that sponsors paid for commercial time to be a part of those shows. Had it been just another hour of a few of the same 500 songs in between clusters of commercials, your station might not have had as big of an audience.
This, while there is a chance that your market has a "Jack-FM" or "Fresh" or at least one station with no live hosts some, most, or all of the day. The "free" music you seem to expect is saving you thousands of dollars of programming costs since these stations can play all music and not pay personalities.
It so happens that one of the major artists suggests that the source of your programming and your income receive some form of compensation. And YOU are offended?
Fine. Drop all of your music. Hire more air personalities to take phone calls all day and night. Hire a news staff to keep your audience informed and to give your hosts a few minutes to rest each hour.
Then check those profit sheets at the end of the month.
There - you would sure show Bono!!"

That comment actually provoked more emotion from me than the stories about how some radio stations might be cutting back on or stopping some or all of their HD channels. Probably started from the same program director who made the comments above.

Let me get this straight. Some radio stations and owners fought against the XM and Sirius merger fearing additional listener and advertising dollar competition for their stations by having an even larger subscriber base for satellite radio with millions of subscribers combined into one total.

Most stations put content on their HD channels that, obviously, is or was not strong enough to attract the audiences to purchase and use an HD radio.

So now they might pull the plug on it? I'm now even more glad I didn't spend money on an HD Radio. It could become obsolete before I had gotten used to it.

Well, maybe they couldn't think of enough quality programming to put on HD. They are too busy complaining about what they are putting on their AM and FM airwaves and what it costs to pay attention to HD.

And they still wonder why sales of MP3 players continue to skyrocket.

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