Monday, November 29, 2010

Radio's own turkeys for holiday weekend

Another note to the radio executives while they continue to wonder why the AM and FM radio audiences continue to vanish.

This may come as a shock, but millions of people are at home or in the car with more time than usual to listen to local radio stations on Thanksgiving weekend. This SHOULD have been a time for local stations to showcase their programming and talent in hopes of increasing their audiences.

Instead, us listeners were slapped in the face (or the ear) with reruns of talk shows, substitute hosts, and part-time staff.

I can possibly accept some degree of substitutions on Thanksgiving Day itself. Yet, moreso than past years, it seems that radio has made the entire weekend to be like a holiday and thrown away a chance to impress potential listeners.

Airing a "Best Of" talk show which is outdated is not a way to keep a listener's attention when he or she has more time than usual to listen and perhaps sample a show he/she would not normally have an opportunity to hear. This past weekend should have been the chance to give people more and more reasons to CHOOSE "your" station.

This was not a holiday for PPM's, diaries, or other ratings measurement tools.

True, on-air talent deserves some time off just like anyone else. But at least prepare something ahead of time. Make an effort. Listeners have too many other options.

My MP3 player wasn't playing music I don't normally listen to instead of my favorite songs. Many of the TV networks were showing marathons, special movie presentations, or some form of themed programming designed to attract and keep viewers for hours, knowing that more viewers than usual would be available. Check the movie box office figures for the weekend. Obviously, a lot of people seeing a lot of movies.

Other forms of 'entertainment' were clearly ready for the long holiday weekend.

Many smaller retailers, open for extended hours on the year's busiest shopping weekend, had local radio stations on. How annoying it must have been for their customers to have to listen to replays of talk shows or part-time hosts introducing music instead of the station's top guns.

All except, of course, the stations in every city already burning us out on the same few hours of holiday music titles weeks before the next set of holidays gets here.

I guess we will all have to adjust to the wishes of AM and FM Radio management. We should only listen to local stations between 6 AM and Midnight on working weekdays. Then we wouldn't have these issues.

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