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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington school coverbands on Temple of the Dog

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You're still here? Good for you!

How different were things 10 years ago. 20 years ago. 

The only constant is change.

People who were your boss - are now part time at some places, working to get back in. Other people who might have been your colleagues are now working to find happiness in other industries.

If you're still 'here' for whatever reason, take a look at some of the reasons why.

You had skills.

You had some people skills.

You were good at bullshit.

You 'got' it.

For whatever reason, you're still here. And, if, as is the case with my company, they're gonna be here into 2020 or whatever thanks to debt refinancing, well, congratulations to you... 

... that is, if you're proving you're 'worth' keeping around.

It's hard work, to ride out on the frontier, build a camp and live so far past where it's 'easy.'

But it's so worth it.

Here's to our continued adventure, friends. Saddle up. We're still blazing trails!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The great thing about Libya, Egypt, Wisconsin...

... is that those in power, IE: corporations, lobbyists, elected officials who listen to lobbyists more than constituents, governments who are morally bankrupt around the world and others, are seeing just who exactly holds the power now that the world is a wide open conversation forum thanks to the Internet and social media.

A tweet can change a regime. A facebook post with video can outrage and expose violence. A worker in Wisconsin in a union can tell the truth about what's really going on.

If a government or a boss is screwing you over - go "Egypt" on 'em and spark a movement... if something in your town stinks to high heaven, go "Libya" on 'em and make the world aware of what's wrong.
It's awesome. The balance of power is now back in the hands of the people armed with an iPad and wi-fi.

Today, or tomorrow after the President's Day holiday, corporations and governments will probably meet at some point to try to figure out how to deal with "we, the people" using this once-again new found power at the root of our democracy. It's awesome to watch. It's going to be even more amazing to see how it stops some shenanigans right in their tracks.

Who knew? The most powerful tool of democracy to be deployed on the world by America would be the Internet... and who knew this virus of Freedom would go so viral so fast!

We live in amazing times. It's so amazing to be alive!

RIAA: A few more thoughts...

Everyone gets the need for artists to get paid on what they do, but, really, should radio, after all this time, be the one to have to do it? Let's take a look at a few things...

Radio is provided music for free by labels to play. Artists want this airplay. They know that this exposure is priceless, and it can move the sales of a song, and album, exponentially. This has always been the nature of a symbiotic relationship between radio and records. It's not been 'broken' before and it's not 'broken' now. So why the need to change it?

Should radio groups submit invoices to labels for 3-4 minute 'commercials' which is essentially what we're doing by playing these songs?

More immediately - how much would Interscope owe for 5000 spins at 3 minutes each to radio stations for Lady Gaga, should radio and records destroy the existing model of success?

This senseless tax on radio - the performance tax - is just loony. It's a desperate measure thought up to remedy a much larger problem: the buying habits of consumers.

When Apple and Steve Jobs brokered the deal for iTunes with the labels back in the day, the labels, incorrectly, thought the model and the platform would never work. They were wrong. Now, it's the norm, and no one else seems to be able to compete. Sure, Apple is getting the lion's share of the profit. It's the deal the labels made with Apple. If you don't like the deal, renegotiate it with Apple, but don't punish the medium which exposes your artists for FREE because you made what you see as a bad deal. Fix the deal.

Day in and day out, people show overwhelmingly they want radio, and they want to hear the labels artists on radio. It just makes no sense to destroy a relationship which works.

Finally - radio is on the side of the artists. We want our artists to do well. That's why we pick 'em like we do  - selectively - so we expose the best of the best in the limited slots we have - to our audiences. It's why we have multi formated stations - from country to rock to latino to pop. We know that our exposure sells singles, moves concert tickets and more. There are no shenanigans with airplay - we just do what we do with what the artists and labels give us to play. The results speak for themselves.

Soapbox off.

There is something to remembering who allows you to do what you do...

Remember the people who are responsible for you being you.

Sometimes, we don't thank them enough.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Labor, organizing and Wisconsin...



Those of you reading know that there have been a few things said here about unions in the past.

So let's just get to the point: What is happening in Wisconsin - the oppression of organized labor and the government-led union busting which is happening there is Un-American, and it must be stopped. 

If you're not aware of what's going on, click here. 

The actions of the Governor in this state which are aimed squarely at organized labor, are not just, right, acceptable, nor are they what should be accepted in a free society.

We can debate whether or not unions have a place, or whether or not unions are evolving all day long, but I'll say this - the right of people to unionize, and to organize to address grievances - is as American as the original American union which said to the King of England back in the day, "hey, we don't like how things are going, and we're not going to take it anymore."

With the way the world is changing, with fewer and fewer companies, etc, controlling things, now is the time - more than ever - for us as a free people to embrace the right we have to organize, and to demand responsibility.

People have died for this right worldwide in recent weeks. Their memories should not be disgraced by ignoring what is happening in one state just because it happens to be located in this "shining city on a hill..."

Wisconsin is about to become Egypt. And, the world is watching.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

IPhone and iPad and iPod touch to have radio and satellite chips soon...

Don't tell Chicken Little the self-pic poster in Arizona this, but patents don't lie. 

Apple has filed patents to put chips and software into iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads which receive terrestrial radio and satellite radio signals

Hey, if it's free -- it's for me. And for Sirius/XM, who wouldn't pay for Howard Stern's content along with the other stuff offered?

I'm sure the self tanning failed former radio guy who loves to post photos of himself on his site will post a photo and start to scream like Chicken Little, but he'll be screaming in vein.

Free content wins. Better content trumps.

And you're still nobody in a desert with no real future, and a mediocre past, at best.

Go ahead and post another self-pic now. Arrogant tool.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Artie Lange...


There's a gaping hole in the world of Radio.

Artie Lange.

He's still fixing himself following some tragic circumstances which happened, but the world of radio - and the world of entertainment - needs him back.

There's a gaping hole that only Artie can fill. Here's to hoping he's well, and that he comes back stronger, faster, better, and funnier than ever before.

Life is worth living. Especially when you can live it BIG.

Godspeed, Artie. Please come back soon.

Just a thought...

Radio is theater of the mind. No one discounts that. 

But, if you're gonna voicetrack a show, and you thank listeners who just "hit you with a text" to "thank you for tickets to a show" they "were at last night" and "had an awesome time..."

... and the show was cancelled because the lead singer is sick, well, that's not theater of the mind... 

that's lying. 

And the audience doesn't take too kindly to that. 

Not an aircheck, just a thought. 

This post inspired by Mick Lee at Z1043 in Baltimore, who knows when shows are cancelled, and who doesn't take his audience for granted. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

RIAA: Portnow must go.

Dear RIAA,

Neil Portnow must go.

His reckless, irresponsible jab at the very medium which exposes your members' work to millions of people across the country and around the world - for free - was poorly thought out and was recklessly delivered last night on your awards show. 

Aware that his comments were more than likely made without your okay or clearance, It's hoped you will take this chance to show your good partners - the thousands of radio stations across the country and the thousands of radio presenters who play your artists - that the Academy doesn't endorse this reckless position, and remove this man from your CEO position.

Radio's free exposure of your artists work to an audience of millions has been part of a symbiotic bond - a relationship which has trancended time. Here's to continuing this great relationship as technology and content continue to evolve.

With respect,

Toby

Friday, February 11, 2011

The passion...

Did you ever talk up a song in the shower? 

Did you ever drive for a few hours just because you wanted to hear a radio station, or a personality who moved you?

Are you still a fan of someone who inspired you one upon a time?

We're doing so much, going so fast, blogging so much, voicetracking so many, producing like crazy... and moving so - ahem - nimbly - that at times we need to take a second to remember where we came from, and what we did to become who we are.

Pull up an aircheck of someone who inspired you for a minute and let it take you back to a place where distance didn't matter, pay wasn't the reason, and when you worked on holidays just because you could.

Passion. Pass it on.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Planned obsolescence

Today, the pulse-Burner in our building stopped by the studio for a quick chat. While it was more related to photographic gear, he mentioned a phrase which is fascinating:

Planned obsolescence. 

It's the intentional plan that says what is new now, will not be so new in a year, and basically says that you'll want what's next. And so goes the cycle.

While talking, it occurred that we've been living planned obsolescence since we were born. We were an idea, that became an action, which became a human after gestation, which, after further review, is added too in the form of a new sibling, or is allowed to continue to gestate through life until the ultimate obsolescence.

Cest la vie, right?

While that might be life, it doesn't have to be how we live our lives, does it?

Defy planned obsolescence. Don't let some so-called engineer tell you that you're done -- or when you're done. Rather, make yourself someone who will never be irrelevant.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The grandiose wailings of failed former radio people are annoying wailings...

Well here we go again.

Let's say you run a website. A blog. And you want people to subscribe to your blog, but nobody does. What do you do?

You bash people who are more successful than you, that's what you do.

Will someone please overnight a binky to radio's crybaby? He's whining about Clear Channel again.

The loud clanging of industry zombies is fun to watch, and then, it becomes sad when you realize it's like watching a funeral dirge of folks who don't realize they're dead yet.

In the real world, the world most of us live and work in now, we know that people want what they want, the way that they want it. They want it on their mobile devices. They download apps by the thousands. Then, they sit at the pool sunning themselves listening to a local top 40 station while they tan, enjoying their local station on demand from their Blackberries or iPhones.

Some haters hate to hear it, but it's quite true.

Some people, like Bob Pittman, are busy riding out to the frontier and blazing a trail...

... while some others are sitting in Arizona, posting photos of themselves, sipping on Slurpees.

Now back to defining - and redefining - the future of content.

Are you in tune, out of tune, or deaf?

When the world is wondering where they're going to get groceries at for the next week of meals, is it smart to brag about being at a swank dinner at some posh hotel where the ticket costs the same amount that could feed a family of four in Leesburg, Virginia, for a week and a half?

Ponderous.

Now, back to more of Today's Hottest Music... for Old Forge... Swingle out.

:-)

Monday, February 07, 2011

Merge-oh-rama and a prophecy...

The fireworks in media came after the big game earlier tonight.

BOOM.

AOL buys Huffington Post, renames itself HUFFINGTON POST MEDIA GROUP, Arianna Huffington, the liberal darling, assumes control of ALL AOL editorial.

Welcome. You've got... content!

This is big, because AOL knows to survive, it's gotta be a conduit for original content, and not a regurgitation site of "right click, save as, post" content.

Here's one to ponder... 

Which major radio group will purchase AOL... or a similar service... soon? Remember, this might also include Sirius/XM... 


or... 


Which major radio group will merge with Sirius/XM soon? 


Hmmmm..... 

We're not deejays anymore. We're not just presenters.

We're content artists. Our platforms is global, and our output is written... and spoken. Seen... and heard.

Buckle up, homies... that next wave just crashed... and the next one... is coming.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Big game. Big bets. Big Football Jesus Podcast for the Super Weekend!

It's here!

The final weekend of American Football... AKA the BIG GAME or the CHAMPIONSHIP... whatever you call it, it's a bowl, it's super in size, it involves football, and here's this week's FOOTBALL JESUS PODCAST!

Prop bets abound, money lines versus over unders are interesting.

Click here to hear it!

The President... is a good man...



Say what you want about his politics, or about what he stands for, but the President of the United States... is a great man. A great human being.

That's why they call him Mr. President.

Not a sermon. Just a thought.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Radio people and friends: I would like to ask for a favor...

Hi guys.

Check out this link. 

Tonight, I'd like for you to please do something for me. And, it's not for me that I'm asking it for.

It's for the radio person in each of us who has ever had the guts to say, "ya know what, eff this, I'm going to try something new..."

It's for the radio geek in each of us who loves what we do, but knows that there's nothing better in this life to strike out with an idea which can change the world.

It's for the radio rebel in each of us which hopefully guides us. 

West Wing Report is a twitter feed I started following when I came to HOT in DC. 

Why?

Because daily, I knew what our city's most famous resident - and important person - was doing. In almost real time. Without any political hub-drudgery or bull.

It's powered by a radio guy.

Paul Brandus.

You can read his dossier here.

His work is read by the most powerful people on the planet now. His objectivity is legendary. Take his comments and present them out of context and see how fast he personally asks you to correct them so he can protect the most powerful thing any of us have: our objectivity.

You can see him on Twitter here. 

At any rate, West Wing Report has been nominated for an important honor to people in social media, and on Twitter.

It's a 'Shorty' award, and I'd like to ask you to vote for West Wing Report. 

You can do so here. 

Why?

Because he had the stuff in him to say, "hey, I can do something no one has ever done before, something completely unique, and I can make a real impact on the world..."

We've all dreamed of doing it. He's doing it.

I hope you'll consider giving him your vote. Because voting for West Wing Report is voting for that passion - that something you can't teach in all of us - which caused us to pick up some headphones or to turn on a microphone for the first time ever. 

Please vote here. You can vote for him as a #journalist. You can also vote for him in the  #news, and #socialmedia categories.

When you do, please make sure to put a reason in so the votes count. You could copy and paste this if you want:

I nominate @WestWingReport for a Shorty Award in #journalist because he's earned it and deserves it. Period. 

Every radio person is doing what we're doing because we had this dream that it might become something more. Something cultural. Something that will be followed by the most intriguing people on the planet - from politicians to movie stars... to musicians and sports figures to other journalists to every day people like me.

The very idea of democracy is rooted in the idea that unbiased news, delivered by personalities who care more about an idea than about some personal fortune or gain, is so American... it's so what radio is all about. Take a read at this man's coverage of our President and the White House. I think you can see that hype means nothing when it comes to reporting the honest, accurate, and at times amazing facts which happen in the most powerful house on the planet.

West Wing Report - and Paul - have done that. And for that, I think he deserves our support. Please consider a few clicks to help this man win.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Branson on success

Sir Richard Branson is the >expletive deleted<.

Well, you know. He's pretty amazing. Here's a guy who is a radical, rebel, heretic, change agent, pioneer, knight, and gentleman.

He shouldn't be. He had everything going against him.
He's dyslexic.

He was a high school drop out.

But, his grandmother, at 100, said to him to remember that you "only get one go at life, so make the most of it."

$3 billion dollars later, he's making the most of it.

It's amazing how people can come from less than nothing to change the world. Yet, it's equally amazing that peoople can have it all and bitch about why the world is the way it is.
Branson didn't really have time to bitch, as the story is told. Sure, some ventures weren't successful. But some other ones, like his airlines, his space endeavours, his microfinance endeavours and more, have been massive successes.

And his Virgin Freefest doesn't blow, either.

Study Richard Branson.

If you want to change the world, get busy. What's stopping you?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Radio isn't dead. It doesn't suck.

There's a blog which is written by a radio guy who basically says that radio is "dead." 


That 'radio sucks.' 

Yeah, he's gonna be on someone's 'short list' for a great gig soon. Who wouldn't want such powerful optimism on their team. What an asset, right?

Right.

What a joke.

As you can imagine, the blog basically pines away for a time when business wasn't business, profit margins weren't profit margins, and before consolidation did what, well, it did to radio.

You know, it's easy to look back and say, "what if it was the way it was."

But, then isn't now. It can't be. It's the past.

The past, is gone.

Rather than looking back at a time which can't come again, why not take a look at the future and ask what can be done to make sure you stay valuable, to make sure your content stays compelling, and to ensure that you've always got a voice and place at the table of change and evolution which is the new medium of content delivery today?

Rather than using a negative connotation to describe a viable industry, why don't you figure out what you can do to stay viable?

Rather than bitching about studio naming rights, and commercial free hours which are brought to you by Jack-In-The-Box, why not find new ways to entertain on air and online?

Cut. Paste. Comment. Hope you don't get caught for using someone else's photo.

Weak. Just weak. Whimpering from the peanut gallery. Weak.

The business of business... is business.

Radio - is a business. We're in the content business, so that people can expose their messages to our audience.

The compelling will win.

The chronic complainers - are on the sidelines - or are already out of the game.

Let's keep writing our future as masters of our own destiny.

Radio isn't dead. The shows on our stations - and the talent delivering these shows - don't suck.

Rather, our talent and our industry are evolving. They're just getting warmed up.
Make sure what you're doing will make it impossible for your bosses - and for the industry - to live without you.