It’s been a while since I ranted. The time is right for another rant!
So many people write and ask me, "What was the Golden Age of radio like?"
A couple of weeks ago, I was lolling in bed on a Friday morning and the talk-station I was listening to began playing non-stop PSA’s. After 20 minutes of PSA’s I got on the internet, found the Red Rock Broadcasting phone number and let them know, "Duluth, we have a problem!"
Because of this experience I wasn’t surprised a week later on Saturday morning when the PSA marathon was repeated. This time, when I called, I got the answering machine. "Thank you for calling yadayadayad but the offices are closed yadayadayada until Monday…" I continued to check at intervals to see how things were going. After my shower, PSA’s. On the way to the movies, PSA’s. Après’ movie, PSA’s. That night while checking my email, PSA’s. By this time I was sharing with a friend in California that a local Duluth radio station had hit on a new non-stop PSA’s format. I could continue a sarcastic litany of PSA, PSA, PSA, through Sunday morning, afternoon and night, but you get the drift. On Monday morning (just before 8am when the culprits, er, employees arrived with the donuts) the PSA’s ended. Not bad. From Saturday mid-morning to Monday morning the station’s computer had played nothing but PSA’s. (I know more about the effects of a stroke than I want to)
Now, I don’t want to pick on Red Rock because the following Saturday, while making an attempt to listen to a week-end talk show on Midwest Communication’s WDSM, I got to listen to a half hour CNN news clip feed and a lot of silence. I would guess that WDSM has a computer malfunction 3 week-ends our of 4.
These were AM talk stations, but I see no reason to believe that the state of satellite - computer operated MUSIC stations and their computers is any different. We have the FCC to thank for the wonderful way deregulation has served the public.
So when people ask me the question, "What was the Golden Age of radio like?", I have an answer. It wasn’t like this.
PS: On Saturday while driving to a Chinese Restaurant for lunch, I wanted to listen to the radio. I will admit, in the car, I rarely listen to music radio. It makes me angry. So, I was looking for talk. My choices: Sports Talk, The Green Bay Packers Pre-Season Game, The Minnesota Twins, Another Sports Talk, UMD Football, Bible Study, Car Repair and Financial Talk!!!!! I was forced to listen to Wisconsin Public Radio and a discussion on George Orwell’s novel, 1984. The whole incident almost put me off my Moo Goo Gai Pan!
****UPDATE**** Red Rock is dumping their current line-up for AIR AMERICA. I may as well just…Slit!…My!…Throat!