Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Monolithic Corporate Radio Rolls On

Air America Phoenix - 1010 TALK KXXT

"Dear Friends of Air America Phoenix,

Thank you to the staff, the listeners and the clients for all you’ve done in the past 17 months.

You helped take an unrated, unprofitable AM radio station and pushed it to a tie for 3rd place out of 25 AM stations in Phoenix. You took that same AM station and made it profitable in less than a year and even after the sale was announced you stood by Air America Phoenix and we kept on making money even when our future was in doubt and we didn’t know when our “plug” was going to be pulled. In fact, the last month we were on the air was the 3rd best month we’ve had financially!

Air America Phoenix has now disappeared into the ether and Phoenix is left with multiple Christian formats, some in English and others in Spanish, several “brokered’ time stations (you know the radio stations selling you vitamins, good bowel movements and financial advice) a bagful of right wing “Conservative Talk stations” featuring Rush, Sean, Laura, Bill Bennett, Savage, Medved and all of their local imitators, three “Sports Talk” stations that live off the largess of their sister stations in the big corporate clusters that dominate the dial in Phoenix. Is anyone enjoying Tony Snow on KTAR…did anyone ask for him? And there are 3 “nostalgia” stations on AM and another on the FM dial. (The inside radio joke on nostalgia is that listeners are “dying” for it!) CBS’ new “Free” FM is another station loaded with sophomoric chatter, but without the interruption of overplayed songs! Free FM is a continuous loop of bad FM morning show humor 24 hours a day! CBS should have stood by Howard Stern and they will regret the day they didn’t!

Phoenix has 60 odd radio signals on the AM and FM dial and the best of those signals are owned by four companies; CBS, Clear Channel, Bonneville and Sandusky, they play it safe and considering the level of investment, it is certainly understandable. Innovation and change has to come from the smaller clusters and the one and two station owners. Will they innovate? Take a chance like we did with KXXT? Probably not, they never have and they never will, like the classic definition of insanity they “continue to do the same thing over and over expecting different results”! Only a special company like James Crystal would let me take the chance, Thanks, Jim!


Robert J Christy
General Manager,
Air America Phoenix, 1010 Talk KXXT"

No comments: