If you don’t receive the Tom Taylor NOW daily e-mail blast, you missed a great quote by Clarke Ingram in the Soapbox section this morning:

“‘Right now, AM radio is like a shopping mall with only a handful of stores open.’ Clarke Ingram, veteran programmer and consultant, has spent the last decade mostly working with AM stations. He says, ‘Here in Pittsburgh, how many AMs truly compete for an audience? KDKA, WJAS, KQV and the list begins to fail. We will never see the ratings for two of those stations, because of the Nielsen Audio policy of not listing non-subscribers. Same goes for WZUM, where we have recently opened another store that I am sure has customers. We’ve got to get more stores open on the AM dial if we want traffic. And it wouldn’t hurt to renovate the mall. FM translators are better than not being on FM at all, but they are not a real solution to AM’s problems. For the most part they do not cover a market (unless it’s a small market), and they don’t draw ratings. The LPFMs cannot compete with the big signals, and neither can translators – except under very specific circumstances.'”

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14 thoughts on “In case you missed it…

  1. Clarke’s mall has a hole in the roof the size of a DC9 where water has been pouring in for years. The shopkeepers speak in tongues I don’t understand and try to sell me things I never wanted in the first place. Only half the lights are on, the escalators are broken and the rats have eaten all of the Ben & Jerry’s from the food court. The city fathers should have raised it years ago.

  2. Cynical much?

    There’s nothing wrong with AM radio that better programming, better signals, and better fidelity in receivers can’t fix.


  3. The big 3 have online streaming and/or HD Radio subs that provide much better quality than tuning in on the AM dial. I myself can\’t pick up KDKA on my AM radio, but I can get it on my HD radio and that provides a crystal clear static free signal.

    1. AM radio is half a step away from the telegraph in a world where you can Twitter your friend on the ISS. The only reason the AM band still exists (unlike analog TV) is that there really isn’t a good use for that part of the spectrum just yet.
      The AM band is hash at night and nobody, especially carmakers are going to lift a finger to put a better AM radio in their cars. Japan and Canada have already given up on the band.
      Carmakers are headed toward vehicles that are their own Internet hotspot. The next generation doesn’t listen to the radio AT ALL. We older radio guys are going to have to adapt to that new reality and take our talents elsewhere…..or join the dinasours.

  4. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness!

    We recently lit a candle at 1550 that is starting to glow.

    I’d rather do that than complain.


    1. 1550 is typical play it safe repetition. How about an occasional Wynonie Harris “Lovin Machine” or some BB King ? Who ya playin’ it safe for? How many times a day do you have to play Kool and the Gang’s “Celebrate”. You’re radio philosophy is why radio is what it is today…BORING.

      1. Let’s be fair. This philosophy is not one man’s alone. But a station cannot play too many of the lesser-known pieces of music in a regular format rotation and expect to be successful. Niche programming can.

      2. Sorry you don’t like it, “Johnny.” At least 50 percent, and probably closer to 75%, of the music on WZUM hasn’t been played by any Pittsburgh-area radio station in years. If by “play it safe repetition,” you mean we’re playing those songs that were hits and are popular, YOU’RE RIGHT! Thanks for your comments.


  5. OMG, you act like you’re saving the town library or an endangered species. Listeners have never had more “radio” choices, whether it’s over the air, online or satellite. Good luck with your business venture, but that’s what it is. It’s not a crusade. I doubt it will be successful, but time will tell. I’m not even sure AM radio is worth saving. The band is dying because listeners under 50 have found better options. It’s a natural evolution. Same reason people don’t have wringer washers and black and white TVs.

  6. Some people care about these little stations. If you don’t, that’s your prerogative, but don’t belittle those of us who do.

    I helped to bring WZUM back to Pittsburgh. I’d be happy to be remembered for that.

    And, by the way, AM radio IS an endangered species.


  7. Do you honestly think Pittsburgh cares whether WZUM is back? The fact that you would liken an obsolete business to an endangered species indicates how delusional your thinking is about this.

    1. Some people in Pittsburgh care that WZUM is back. The radio station is getting a response from listeners for the first time in decades.

      I’m not delusional. It’s a kilowatt, at the high end of the AM dial, licensed to Braddock. I know its limitations. It won’t make the Top 10 or even the Top 20, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have a purpose.

      AM radio has its place. It’s not what it used to be 40 or 50 years ago, and it never will be again, yet it still has its place. WZUM is finding its place.

      And that, said the Walrus, is that.


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