Peter Finch "mad as hell" as Howard Beale in the 1976 film, Network
Peter Finch "mad as hell" as Howard Beale in the 1976 film, Network

Media Beat: September 29, 2019

What Was Said

Bob Segarini responds to ‘Ross Davies wants to punch your dial’

I wonder if they will have the balls to invite me to this confab.
After putting together a report on the future of radio for Gary Slaight when I was at SIRIUS/SATRADs Iceberg Channel back in 2008, I never stopped looking into radio's slow, sad suicide, and have some very strong thoughts about how to create an alternative to the chewing gum and baling wire solutions that continue to be implemented, and continue not to work. Radio, as is, will always have an audience and will continue to make money for those who stay the course. That said, I am suggesting an alternative that concentrates on the 75% of listeners who have LEFT since 1990, rather than keeping the still existing audience. If anyone wants to know more of my thoughts on this, ask for and sign a nondisclosure agreement, and I will share my thoughts. I know some of you will be interested. Contact me at segarini@rogers.com with the header RADIO INFO; I'll send it, you print it, sign it, scan it, and send it back. Easy-peasy. Kudos to Ross for opening the door to dialogue and action regarding Radio's trajectory.

Warren Cosford responds as well, in his Warren’s Network newsletter

Long Time List Members are undoubtedly tired of hearing/reading what I have to say about My Radio History....so please, if you're a List Member, skip the next 14 Paragraphs.  They're for new Listers.

I'm old enough to remember, the first time when many believed that Radio was going to die.  It was the '50s coming out of the '40s.  Post War...The Economy Was Booming.  Then TV appeared.  In My Middle-Class Winnipeg Neighbourhood, we saw TV for the first time as we stood outside in the snow with The TV displayed in the front window of a Store. There wasn't even any 'sound'.  But it was still fun watching Range Rider Riding to The Rescue.

TV frightened Radio.  TV scared Movies. In retrospect, I think it made each of them better.

Much of The Entertainment on Radio went to TV.  For Many...Reluctantly.  The best example was the Hit Radio Show Amos & Andy, which ran on Radio from 1928 until 1960.  It was created, written and voiced by two white actors.  

Then they tried it with Black Actors on TV, 

It didn't 'work'.  

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) launched a protest of the Amos ‘n’ Andy Show, criticizing its negative stereotypes of African Americans. CBS finally cancelled the show in 1953

Of course, Amos & Andy wasn't the only Hit Radio Show that tried to adapt to TV.  

I loved The Lone Ranger on Radio.  Less so on TV.  First of all, Brace Beemer sounded better to me than Clayton Moore.  But it wasn't just that.  The Magic of Radio to me, a Pre-teen Kid, was what Radio left to My Imagination.  TV's Lone Ranger could never compete with Radio's Lone Ranger.  

Nevertheless, TV's Lone Ranger was successful.

So, what kept people listening to Radio?  For the most part, it was Music.  Of course, Music had always been part of The Programming Strategy, but with TV added to The Entertainment Menu, Music on Radio no longer took Second Place.  But THAT was Good News.  Programming Music instead of Radio Theatre was much cheaper.

The Challenge?  

Find more Music that would appeal to The Adults that sponsor's demanded.  Problem was...there just weren't that many Hit Records.   The Good News? There was a new kind of Hybrid Music coming together... Country, 'Race', Pop....which was appealing not just to some Adults but almost all Teenagers as well.  

With the Post War Baby Boom within a Thriving Economy, Teens had Increasing Appeal to Sponsors.  

Beginning in 1951 at 50,000-watt WJW in Cleveland, D.J. Alan Freed 'spread the word' that Rock & Roll had arrived whether Your Parents liked it or not. ESPECIALLY because Your Parents didn't like it.

So....what does that mean to The Problems encountered by Today's Radio?    

At Radio 4 Windsor, after 'winning' for CHUM by growing The AMs.... CKLW and CKWW at the same time that The Research Group failed with The FMs, 89X and CIDR (The Planet) it was time for me to leave CHUM.  It appeared that Winning was not a Winning Strategy.

Then, following five years of 'Consulting' by helping others to Consolidate as Wayne Stafford and I had in Canadian Radio's most Competitive Market, I quit Radio...... but not before 'bringing 1050 chum, as a Music Station, to a close, with Style, Dignity, Class and Flair.  

CHUM's AM Radio Stations had given up on Music.  CHUM was now heading towards their Most Expensive Mistake in Radio.  The Team Sports Radio Network.  

Amazing.  

Four years earlier, I had shown CHUM how to succeed on AM Radio.  I guess they weren't paying attention.

So....how can Today's AM and FM Radio be saved with New Ideas for Tomorrow?  Do what I did throughout My Radio Career.  Do the Outrageous Thing.  What does that mean?  Attached is what The Outrageous Thing meant to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign.

Read it now.  

List Members will recall 'Nance' in Toronto scoffing at Bernie and The Bernie 'Bros, telling The List I knew nothing about U.S. Politics etc. etc..... She even said to us that, in a year, it would be Bernie Who?

Now...Nance is no dummy.  She's a wonderful writer and very bright.  But, in Politics at least, she appears to be a Conventional Thinker.  Here we are three years later, and she's already championing Joe Biden.   I call him Hilary Two.  

Change is Hard.  The Republican 'Lites' Conventional Thinkers in The Democratic Party had better catch up to America soon.  Four more years of Trump is Not An Option.  Fortunately, Bernie Who has inspired some Unconventional Thinkers.  Not surprisingly, most are Women.  

The Good News for Canadian Radio is that David Farrell and Ross Davies are attempting to 'open the conversation' about 'Radio Tomorrow'.  It's about time.  

Sixty years ago, Unconventional Thinkers brought Rock & Roll to Radio.  Alan Freed's Radio inspired Dick Clark's TV.  Together, they planted The Seeds.  How do I know for sure?  Because I now own virtually every American Bandstand TV show ever produced.

The ABC Television Network owe Dick Clark and TV's Bernie Who a lot. 

I wonder who Radio's Bernie Who will be? 

Bruce Allen’s ‘Reality Check’ on Trudeau’s brownface

Vancouver talent manager Bruce Allen’s weekday Reality Check commentary on CKNW has been running for 30+ years on the city’s top-rated AM talk radio station, and he’s given management and the station’s legal team plenty to chew on with his often-controversial views. Smart, concise, not scared to say what he thinks, Allen’s commentaries are also widely distributed on podcast platforms, and he doesn’t miss a beat even when he travels abroad.

A few days back, Allen shared his thoughts on the media-led ‘blackface scandal’ that emerged with the Sept. 18 publication by Time magazine of a photo from a 2001 yearbook from the Vancouver private school West Point Grey Academy, where Trudeau taught. The school staged an Arabian Nights-themed gala. Trudeau dressed as Aladdin, in blackface and a turban. Here’s what Bruce had to say in his Sept. 25 broadcast.

Harvey Oberfeld castigates TVA over election debate rules

The long-standing now retired news and broadcast journalist is mad as hell over TVA’s leader’s debate this Wednesday because the Quebec network has refused to allow Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Peoples’ Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier standing. Writing on his Keeping it Real blog, Oberfeld charges “the stench from the French-language TVA Network Leaders’ Debate, to be held Wednesday, is already wafting across Canada.

“The Quebec network has refused to allow Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and Peoples’ Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier … both NATIONAL party leaders …to take part.

“Which again makes me question the ethics, principles and integrity of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh … who will go along with this discriminatory, divisive and simply UNFAIR format?

“Of course, Bloc Quebec Leader Yves-François Blanchet is all IN!

“He’ll be there … no doubt in fine Quebec nationalist form … I believe purposefully aided and abetted by TVA to score points against Trudeau, the only other fully bilingual opponent.

“Had Bernier ..who is also from Quebec and Francophone … been allowed to take part, the debate would be MUCH MORE active, interesting and challenging … especially for the separatist-sympathetic Bloc.

“And it would be great to see his vision of Canada come up against Trudeau and Scheer en francais au Quebec!

“So why the ‘fixed’ setup for the TVA debate?

“I believe TVA wants a mano-a-mono slugfest between Trudeau and Blanchet: the others are just window dressing.

“And another factor might also concern something the CBC recently reported:

‘”TVA is run by Quebecor, which also manages the Journal de Montréal and the Journal de Québec, and is headed by Pierre-Karl Péladeau — who was briefly leader of the Parti Québécois and who attended a Bloc Québécois campaign-launch event last month.’”

“Mon dieu!

“Does the selective, exclusionary banning of a Canadian nationalist leader … but the welcoming of a Quebec separatist-supporting leader, pass the SMELL test for you?

“Pas pour moi! Not for me!” – Continue reading Oberfeld here.

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